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AskMe #2856273 06/05/15 06:30 AM
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1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT)
11 So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

We should not only be concerned about the welfare and comfort of ourselves, but we should also be concerned about the welfare and comfort of others. We are to pray for one another. We should communicate what we have learned through our own experiences to others. We are to build each other us through reassurance, kindness and comfort.



During the last days of the Third Reich, as Allied bombs rained down on Stuttgart and the Nazi terror writhed in its final death throes, Helmut Thielicke preached a remarkable series of sermons based on the Lord's Prayer. These were days of uncertainty and death. On more than one occasion, the shriek of air raid sirens interrupted his sermon. Thielicke writes that during this period there were times when he felt utterly stricken: "My work in Stuttgart seemed to have gone to pieces; and my listeners were scattered to the four winds; the churches lay in rubble and ashes."

In one of his messages, based upon the petition "Thy kingdom come," Thielicke describes an encounter with a woman from his congregation. He was standing in the street looking down into the pit of a cellar�all that remained from a building that an Allied bomb had shattered. The woman approached him and declared, "My husband died down there. His place was right under the hole. The clean-up squad was unable to find a trace of him; all that was left was his cap."

What does a pastor say in a moment like this? "I'm sorry" hardly seems adequate. But the woman had not come to Thielicke for sympathy. She wanted to express her gratitude. "We were there the last time you preached in the cathedral church," she continued. "And here before this pit I want to thank you for preparing him for eternity." [John Koessler, "Helmut Thielicke: Preaching Amidst the Rubble," A Stanger in the House of God blog (6-24-10)]


As Christians we build up one another. We share personal experiences that give hope and meaning to others. As in the story above we can find comfort in the shared words of another. We can know the assurance of an eternity with God. So continue to encourage one another and you have already been doing.

AskMe #2856478 06/08/15 06:53 AM
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Proverbs 8:20 (NLT)
20 I walk in righteousness, in paths of justice.

This is that fruit of wisdom which is better than gold, than fine gold, it leads us in the way of righteousness, shows us that way and goes before us in it, the way that God would have us walk in and which will certainly bring us to our desired end. It leads in the midst of the paths of judgment, and saves us from deviating on either hand. In medio virtus-Virtue lies in the midst. Christ by his Spirit guides believers into all truth, and so leads them in the way of righteousness, and they walk after the Spirit. [Matthew Henry Commentary]


Normally we think that wisdom comes with age, but not always. Sometimes it comes from the mouths of children.

� Michael said, �Never tell your mom her diet�s not working.�
� Kyoyo, age 9, said, �Never hold a dust buster and a cat at the same time.�
� Naomi, 15 said, �If you want a kitten, start out by asking for a horse.�
� Lauren, age 9 said, �Felt markers are not good to use as lipstick.�
� Joel, 10 years old, said, �Don�t pick on your sister when she�s holding a baseball bat.�
� Eileen, age 8 said, �Never try to baptize a cat.�

A jobless man applied for the position of �office boy� at Microsoft. The HR manager interviewed him then watched him cleaning the floor as a test. �You are hired,� he said. �Give me your e-mail address and I�ll send you the application to fill in, as well as date when you may start.� The man replied, �But I don�t have a computer nor an email address.� �I�m sorry�, said the HR manager, �If you don�t have an email, that means you do not exist. And he who doesn�t exist, cannot have the job.�

The man left with no hope at all. He didn�t know what to do, with only $10 in his pocket. He then decided to go to the supermarket and buy a 20 lb. tomato crate. He then sold the tomatoes in a door to door round. In less than two hours, he succeeded to double his capital. He repeated the operation three times, and returned home with $60. The man realized that he could survive that way, and started to go every day earlier, and return late. Thus, his money doubled or tripled every day.

Shortly, he bought a cart, then a truck, then he had his own fleet of delivery vehicles. 5 years later the man is one of the biggest food retailers in the US. He started to plan for his family�s future, and decided to buy life insurance. He called an insurance broker, and chose a protection plan. When the conversation was concluded, the broker asked him his email. The man replied, �I don�t have an email.� The broker answered curiously, �You don�t have an email, and yet have succeeded to build an empire. Can you imagine what you could have been if you had an email?!!� The man thought for a while and replied, �Yes, I�d be an office boy at Microsoft!� [Steve Shepherd, First Christian Church]


Wisdom will sometimes give you answers that are unexpected. Wisdom will also lead you places where you did not expect to go. But wisdom will watch over you, keep you safe and give you plans for a new day tomorrow. Grab hold of wisdom and don�t let go; for wisdom leads to righteousness and justice.

AskMe #2856536 06/09/15 06:44 AM
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Genesis 11:5-7 (NLT)
5 But the Lord came down to look at the city and the tower the people were building. 6 �Look!� he said. �The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them! 7 Come, let�s go down and confuse the people with different languages. Then they won�t be able to understand each other.�

The people of Babel worked together building a city with a tower that was going to reach the heavens. They had taken their focus off of God. God saw what they were trying to do; so God confused their language, perhaps giving different groups a new language and then God spread them out across the lands where they could no longer work together.



I like using this illustration for the purpose of communication in marriage. I have seen couples who begin to fight among themselves because they are not properly communicating. They then move to the next illogical step � If I leave and separate from my spouse things will get better. I have heard that statement so many times. And when I asked how it is working out, usually it isn�t because the spouses are communicating at all.

I don�t believe in separation in a marriage except for certain circumstances. One of those is physical abuse. There are too many stories where a spouse stayed with an abusive spouse because they thought things would get better or they could possibly fix them. Let me just say this, if the abuser does not want help or does not want treatment they are not going to change. In fact their abuse may escalate. At times it has escalated to the point of serious harm or death.

There is another reason for separation that should be used sparingly. There are times when a spouse may not be abusive, but they are participating in things that could be destructive to the marriage. So the other spouse must set a boundary for their protection and the protection of the family. The boundary may need to be as strong as � If you continue this behavior I will not allow you to stay in this house and will take legal actions to see that you cannot return. There are many reasons why a spouse might do this, but it is because the other spouse has no regard for the family.

Lastly most of these issues arise over communication problems. Just as the people of Babel could no longer communicate and accomplish tasks, if people in a marriage cannot communicate problems will creep into a marriage.

If you feel you are not communicating within your marriage find some professional help. Counselors can help guide you in ways to communicate properly. Shouting at one another is not communicating, but tearing each other down. Learn to communicate in a peaceful and constructive manner.

AskMe #2856623 06/11/15 06:20 AM
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Psalm 119:28 (NLT)
28 I weep with sorrow; encourage me by your word.

Here we find David�s request to God that even while he weeps with sorrow he finds encourage in God�s words to him.



When you encourage someone you inspire them with courage, spirit and hope. It is why you always see a coach at the beginning of a football game give a speech to encourage the team members. They become inspired and have hope of finding a winning victory.

When you discourage someone they become less determined, less hopeful, and less confident. They are less likely to make something happen. They may even become so despondent they lose the desire to even try. They give up and let hope slip away.

Throughout The Bible God gives us examples of encouragement. We are told how deep and wide His love is for us. We are told about His plan of redemption and how through His Son Jesus Christ we can face eternity with courage, spirit and hope. We are told God has a plan for our lives that has purpose and meaning.

Take a moment out of your day and give someone encouraging words. Let them know they are appreciated and you know they can accomplish great things. Share God�s love by doing exactly what God would do by encouraging those who are at a point of sorrow. Love those around you and brighten their day!

AskMe #2856742 06/12/15 09:14 AM
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Psalm 19:1-2 (NIV)

1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.

They plainly speak themselves to be God's handy-works; for they could not exist from eternity; all succession and motion must have had a beginning; they could not make themselves, that is a contradiction; they could not be produced by a casual hit of atoms, that is an absurdity, fit rather to be bantered than reasoned with: therefore they must have a Creator, who can be no other than an eternal mind, infinitely wise, powerful, and good. Thus it appears they are God's works, the works of his fingers, and therefore they declare his glory. [Matthew Henry Commentary]



The Christian philosopher Dallas Willard wrote that God is "the most joyous being in the universe." Willard illustrated with the following story:

While I was teaching in South Africa some time ago, a young man � took me out to see the beaches near his home in Port Elizabeth. I was totally unprepared for the experience. I had seen beaches, or so I thought. But when we came over the rise where the sea and land opened up to us, I stood in stunned silence and then slowly walked toward the waves. Words cannot capture the view that confronted me �.

[I realized] that God sees this all the time. He sees it, experiences it, knows it from every possible point of view, this and billions of other scenes like and unlike it, in this and billions of other worlds. Great tidal waves of joy must constantly wash through his being �.

We pay a lot of money to get a tank with a few tropical fish in it and never tire of looking at their [beauty] and marvelous forms and movements. But God has seas full of them, which he constantly enjoys �. We are enraptured by a well-done movie sequence or by a few bars from an opera or lines from a poem. We treasure our great experiences for a lifetime, and we may have very few of them. But he is simply one great inexhaustible and eternal experience of all that is good and true and beautiful and right �.

Willard concludes, "All of the good and beautiful things from which we occasionally drink tiny droplets of soul-exhilarating joy, God continuously experiences in all their breadth and depth and richness."
[Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy (HarperOne, 1998), pp. 62-64]


As I read this I thought of some recent videos taken by camera drones flying above beautiful landscapes. What was seen was almost too awesome to put into word. There were majestic mountains, blue seas, and endless forests. Their beauty is too much to put into works. God, our creator, put all these things in place for us to enjoy and experience. Let us give thanks for the works and wonders of God!

AskMe #2857043 06/15/15 05:41 AM
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Proverbs 23:24 (NLT)
24 The father of godly children has cause for joy. What a pleasure to have children who are wise.

It is the duty of children to study how they may gladden the hearts of their good parents, and do it yet more and more, so that they may greatly rejoice in them. [Matthew Henry]



The film Gladiator tells the story of Maximus (Russell Crowe), general of the Roman army in 180 A.D. Following victory in a decisive battle, the dying emperor Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris) expresses his desire to appoint Maximus as his successor. Marcus Aurelius's own son Commodus is the amoral opposite of Maximus. When Commodus learns that he will not be the next emperor, he recoils from his father. Immediately the son brings up the painful memories of his childhood, which were the foundation for his unprincipled life.

"You wrote to me once, listing the four chief virtues: wisdom, justice, fortitude, and temperance. As I read the list, I knew I had none of them. But I have other virtues: ambition that can be a virtue when it drives us to excel; resourcefulness; courage perhaps not on the battlefield, but there are many forms of courage; devotion to my family, to you. But none of my virtues were on your list. Even then it was as if you did not want me for your son."

"Commodus, you go too far," replies the emperor.

Commodus continues, "I searched the faces of the gods for ways to please you, to make you proud. One kind word, one full hug where you pressed me to your chest and held me tight would have been like the sun in my heart for a thousand years. What is this in me that you hate so much? All I've ever wanted was to live up to you, Caesar, Father."

"Commodus, your faults as a son is my failure as a father."

[Gladiator (DreamWorks, 2000), written by David Franzoni, directed by Ridely Scott; submitted by Rod Reed, Fresno, California]


A loving parent will often realize the faults in their children were brought about through their own behaviors and failures. I know that opinions which are often strongly expressed are adopted by the children. Children generally love others as their parents love them. Being a parent is a great responsibility; but how pleased we can be when our children are cause for great joy and pleasure.

AskMe #2857247 06/16/15 05:58 AM
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Psalm 103:13 (NLT)
13 The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.

He pities-as a father pities his children, and does them good as there is occasion. God is a Father to those that fear him and owns them for his children, and he is tender of them as a father. The father pities his children that are weak in knowledge and instructs them, pities them when they are froward and bears with them, pities them when they are sick and comforts them (Isa. 66:13), pities them when they have fallen and helps them up again, pities them when they have offended, and, upon their submission, forgives them, pities them when they are wronged and gives them redress; thus the Lord pities those that fear him. [Matthew Henry Commentary]



In Albuquerque, New Mexico, there's a restaurant called Tim's Place. It's named after Tim Harris, a young man with Down syndrome who started the business in 2010 with help from his dad, Keith. Six days a week, Tim greets each customer at the door. The 27-year-old young man calls his restaurant "the world's friendliest restaurant."

In an episode of NPR's Storycorps, he tells his dad, "I wanted to own a restaurant ever since I was a kid. That was my dream." When he was in high school, Tim decided he wanted to go to college. So in 2004, he moved about three hours away to study food service, office skills, and restaurant hosting at Eastern New Mexico University.

The separation wasn't easy at first�for Tim or his parents. Tim told his dad, "I pretty much, like, stayed in my room because I was upset, missing my mom and dad. That was the saddest part. I cried in my pillow. My pillow was nothing but tears. So I decided to knock it off and make friends. It didn't take long."

Now Tim lives in his own apartment within walking distance of his restaurant. Every day, when customers come into the restaurant, Tim says, "When they see me, they just melt into my arms for a hug," he says. The hugs are tallied on a digital counter on the wall, which now displays more than 33,000 hugs.

On the episode Tim asks, "[Dad], how does it feel having a son with a disability?" His dad replies, "You know, Tim, when you were born I was filled with a lot of doubts about whether I could be a good enough dad to be your dad. And many years later now, I'm so happy to have you in my life. I'm very, very proud of you and what you've become."

"Dad, you are the most loving dad ever. And Mom, too," Tim says. "You guys are my superheroes. And having you in my life � that makes me special." [NPR Staff, "A 'Good Enough Dad' and His Special Son," NPR Storycorps (3-15-13);]


We have a Father in heaven who encourages and supports us through the tough times. There are times we are left to face a task alone so we can build strength, but Our Father is always close. God loves us, is compassionate towards us and cares for our lives.

AskMe #2857473 06/17/15 06:53 AM
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Psalm 68:4-5 (NLT)
4 Sing praises to God and to his name! Sing loud praises to him who rides the clouds. His name is the Lord�rejoice in his presence! 5 Father to the fatherless, defender of widows�this is God, whose dwelling is holy.

David wrote this Psalm and here proceeds to praise God, calling all people to praise God. [As a gracious God, a God of mercy and tender compassion. He is great, but he despises not any, no, not the meanest; nay, being a God of great power, he uses his power for the relief of those that are distressed. The fatherless, the widows, the solitary, find him a God all-sufficient to them. ~Matthew Henry]



I believe in God. Not that cosmic, intangible spirit-in-the-sky that Mama told me as a little boy "always was and always will be." But the God who embraced me when Daddy disappeared from our lives � from my life at age four � the night police led him away from our front door, down the stairs in handcuffs.

John W. Fountain is a professor of journalism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has been a reporter for The Chicago Tribune and The Washington Post, and a national correspondent for The New York Times. Fountain is also the author of True Vine: A Young Black Man's Journey of Faith, Hope, and Clarity.

The God who warmed me when we could see our breath inside our freezing apartment, where the gas was disconnected in the dead of another wind-whipped Chicago winter, and there was no food, little hope and no hot water.

The God who held my hand when I witnessed boys in my 'hood swallowed by the elements, by death and by hopelessness; who claimed me when I felt like "no-man's son," amid the absence of any man to wrap his arms around me and tell me, "everything's going to be okay," to speak proudly of me, to call me son.

I believe in God, God the Father, embodied in his Son Jesus Christ. The God who allowed me to feel His presence � whether by the warmth that filled my belly like hot chocolate on a cold afternoon, or that voice, whenever I found myself in the tempest of life's storms, telling me (even when I was told I was "nothing") that I was something, that I was His, and that even amid the desertion of the man who gave me his name and DNA and little else, I might find in Him sustenance.

I believe in God, the God who I have come to know as father, as Abba � Daddy.

I always envied boys I saw walking hand-in-hand with their fathers. I thirsted for the conversations fathers and sons have about the birds and the bees, or about nothing at all � simply feeling his breath, heartbeat, presence. As a boy, I used to sit on the front porch watching the cars roll by, imagining that one day one would park and the man getting out would be my daddy. But it never happened.

When I was 18, I could find no tears that Alabama winter's evening in January 1979 as I stood finally � face to face � with my father lying cold in a casket, his eyes sealed, his heart no longer beating, his breath forever stilled. Killed in a car accident, he died drunk, leaving me hobbled by the sorrow of years of fatherlessness.

By then, it had been years since Mama had summoned the police to our apartment that night, fearing that Daddy might hurt her � hit her � again. Finally, his alcoholism consumed what good there was of him until it swallowed him whole.

It wasn't until many years later, standing over my father's grave for a long overdue conversation that my tears flowed. I told him about the man I had become. I told him about how much I wished he had been in my life. And I realized fully that in his absence, I had found another. Or that He � God, the Father, God, my Father � had found me.

[Excerpt: The God Who Embraced Me, John W. Fountain, www.npr.org,November 28, 2005]

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Ephesians 6:4 (NLT)
4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.

And you fathers, v. 4. Or, you parents, 1. "Do not provoke your children to wrath. Though God has given you power, you must not abuse that power, remembering that your children are, in a particular manner, pieces of yourselves, and therefore ought to be governed with great tenderness and love. Be not impatient with them, use no unreasonable severities and lay no rigid injunctions upon them. When you caution them, when you counsel them, when you reprove them, do it in such a manner as not to provoke them to wrath. In all such cases deal prudently and wisely with them, endeavouring to convince their judgments and to work upon their reason.' [Matthew Henry Commentary]



What is a family but a community of promises made and promises kept no matter what? A family is not just two or more people related by blood who happen to live under one roof. A family is not a management device by which two adults shuffle children around to the various experts who do the real rearing. A family is a community of people who dare to make a promise and care enough to keep it�no matter what.

A family is held together by promises: where promises fail, families fail. The rebirth of the family can begin only in the rebirth of promise keeping. The rebirth of a child of God can only happen through promise keeping.

A man was reminiscing after his father's death told of an experience from much earlier about the summer when his sister was looking for employment. She had two job possibilities. One she wanted very much and the other she didn't but would take as a second choice.

As you can imagine, the second-choice job came up first, and she was offered that job. She wanted to hold out for the other, but she didn't know if the other was going to come. So she went ahead and accepted it for her summer employment. A few days later, as you also could expect, the other job became available to her, and she wanted to quit the first very much and go to the second. So she went to her father.

She said, "Dad, I have a problem." And she portrayed it to him.

He looked her straight in the eye and said, "Did you take the first job?"

She said, "Yes."

"Did you promise you would work there this summer?"

She said, "Yes."

He said, "Why are we having this conversation?"

God has made a promise to save us through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. For God to renege on his promise would be for him to have crucified his Son in vain.

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Ephesians 5:25-26 (NLT)
25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God�s word.

The duty of husbands, is to love their wives; for without this they would abuse their superiority and headship, and, wherever this prevails as it ought to do, it will infer the other duties of the relation, it being a special and peculiar affection that is required in her behalf. The love of Christ to the church is proposed as an example of this, which love of his is a sincere, a pure, an ardent, and constant affection, and that notwithstanding the imperfections and failures that she is guilty of. The greatness of his love to the church appeared in his giving himself unto the death for it.



On January 8, 2011, outside a grocery store in Tucson, Arizona, a troubled college-dropout named Jared Lee Loughner opened fire, killing six people and injuring 13 others. He also shot and severely injured U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords. Dorwan "Dory" Stoddard, a 76-year-old retired construction worker, was among six people shot to death. Stoddard used his body to shelter his wife Mavanell, 75, or Mavy, from the gunfire.

The next week, several hundred mourners gathered for a memorial service for Dory. His loved ones remembered that Dory didn't become a hero during that tragic shooting. For years he had lived with the character of a hero, and on January 8th, 2011 he acted in tune with his character. At the service, Dory's pastor Mike Nowak put it this way: "Dory Stoddard � didn't die a hero, he lived a hero. He completed his heroic act of kindness one final time with his wife, Mavy." Dory's son Dale, one of four sons, recalled a selfless family man known as "Mr. Fixit," who was consistently looking to help others. "He was always helping someone, someone who was hurting, someone who needed some care or just a gallon of gasoline," he told the service, flanked by his three brothers. "Guys like my father are rare."

[Adapted from Tim Gaynor, "Tucson remembers shooting victim who died shielding his wife," Reuters (1-16-11)]

Men are you one of the rare guys who would give their life to protect their family? Christ did. He laid down His life for all those of the church that they may receive eternal life protecting them from the evils of sin.

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Psalm 121:7-8 (NLT)
7 The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. 8 The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.

For those who God calls His children, His eyes will watch over them and His protection will be with them as they come and go.



While serving in Iraq, Courtney Birdsey experienced the protective hand of God, forever changing her. She says:

On one of [our] missions, my unit made a return trip to Samarra, north of Baghdad, to gather data. As we were leaving the town, the Humvee I was riding in approached a tank from behind. A soldier riding on the tank gave us an urgent "turn around" signal. We didn't hesitate to follow orders. We doubled back to Samarra, only to find ourselves surrounded by gunshots.

All of us jumped out of our vehicle and took cover�some of us running ahead and some of us staying with the Humvee. I readied my weapon and hunkered down against the back corner of the Humvee. Amid the gunfire, a black BMW sped through the street at 70 miles per hour�the Iraqi passengers inside, pointing their guns through open windows, opened fire at any American soldier within range.

We exchanged shots, and suddenly the BMW careened, out of control, toward the Humvee where I was crouched. I could see the driver slumped over the steering wheel and knew I had only seconds to make a decision. With my heart pounding and unformed prayers racing in my mind, I ran to the front of the vehicle just before the car slammed into the very place I had been just seconds before.

We were told we would have to transfer the wounded in our own vehicle. In the background, completely incongruent to the battle I was facing, I could hear the droning of Muslim prayer chants over loudspeakers.

My convoy was commanded to drive to an American safe house on the outskirts of town. The chanted prayers and the lamb-like groans of a dying man behind me echoed in my head. Finally we arrived at the safety of the compound. I looked down at my uniform, dirty and speckled with the blood of the wounded. I stepped out of the truck and dropped, shaking, to my knees, thanking God for our safety.

After this encounter, my faith took on a deeper and more personal perspective. I had felt the protective hand of God as we returned to our base physically unscathed. For my remaining time in Iraq, I began to rely heavily on my constant communication with God. Praying without ceasing became, for me, as natural as breathing. [Courtney Birdsey (as told to Julie E. Luekenga), "Prayers in the Desert," Today's Christian (May/June 2005)]


Constantly invite God to be with you, to walk with you, to watch over you and to protect you. He will always be there at your side ready to help when needed. And while our prayers may not always turn out as we expect, God continues to watch over us and use us as He has planned.

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Isaiah 40:31 (NLT)
31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

They shall mount up with wings like eagles, so strongly, so swiftly, so high and heaven-ward. In the strength of divine grace, their souls shall ascend above the world, and even enter into the holiest. Pious and devout affections are the eagles' wings on which gracious souls mount up, Ps. 25:1. Secondly, They shall press forward, forward towards heaven. They shall walk, they shall run, the way of God's commandments, cheerfully and with alacrity (they shall not be weary), constantly and with perseverance (they shall not faint); and therefore in due season they shall reap. [Matthew Henry Commentary]



Alive, with Ethan Hawke, is the true story of a Uruguayan rugby team, whose plane crashes in the Andes mountains in 1972. The film portrays the struggle of those who survived the crash to maintain hope and stay alive.

The 3-minute clip begins with three of the survivors deciding to leave the crash site and attempting to make it through the mountains to get help. After days of trekking through mountainous terrain, they take a break. While one of them rests just below a mountain peak, Canessa makes his way to the top where Nando (Ethan Hawke) is surveying the scenery.

Canessa looks around at the stunning beauty of numerous mountain ranges, but finds only despair. "Mountains. Nothing but mountains! We've had it. We've completely had it!" Out of breath, he collapses in resignation.

Nando responds, "No, we haven't. Into these mountains somewhere there is a green valley. See the mountains over there? There's no snow on them."

"Those mountains must be 50 miles away. Do you think we can walk 50 miles?" Canessa responds.

"If we have to, we will," says Nando.

Canessa says, "I can't."

"Yes you can."

"I can't. I'm not as strong as you."

Nando walks over to Canessa, kneels beside him, and says: "You know what it is that we've lived this long the way we have? Seventy days. That we climbed these mountains? You know what it is? It's impossible. It's impossible, and we did it. I'm proud to be a man on a day like this. Alive. That I lived to see it. And see it in such a place. Take it in."

He stands up and looks around him. "I love you, man. Look. It's magnificent. It's God. It'll carry us over every stone. I swear. I swear it to you."

Nando turns around to look at Canessa, now standing. They agree to send the third man back to the plane and take his extra food. Nando stands beside Canessa and points. "You see where the sun's going to set. That way's west. Into the west of the green valleys of Chile."

"We're going to die, you know," Canessa insists.

Nando declares, "Maybe. But if we die, we're going to die walking."

They end up making it to safety and return with rescue helicopters to pick up the remaining survivors.

[Alive" (Paramount, 1993), written by John Patrick Shanley, directed by Frank Marshall]


When you feel as though you have no strength to carry on, trust in The Lord and you will find new strength. You will soar high on wings like eagles. You will run and not grow weary. You will walk and not faint.

AskMe #2858507 06/24/15 06:27 AM
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2 Thessalonians 3:3 (NLT)
3 But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.

God will keep them from evil. We have as much need of the grace of God for our perseverance to the end as for the beginning of the good work. The evil of sin is the greatest evil, but there are other evils which God will also preserve his saints from-the evil that is in the world, yea, from all evil, to his heavenly kingdom. [Matthew Henry Commentary]


An excerpt of Tri Robinson�s story found in his book, Rooted in Good Soil. Tri tells us the following:

�When I got home from [a] mountaintop weekend [that had changed my life, drawing me closer to Christ], I was excited to share with Nancy what had happened. This was the very thing that for many years she had desperately wanted and prayed for. In the years since she had invited Christ into her life on the side of the canyon, she had been praying for me every day.

�Proverbs 13:12 says, �Hope deferred makes the heart grow sick,� and I believe that must have been what happened. I think Nancy was recovering form a sick heart after all those years of not having her prayers answered concerning me. For so long she had wanted me to become the spiritual leader of our home, and when it was about to happen, I think it was kind of a letdown for her. At first, she was elated, but her happiness soon turned to anger. She got mad and over the next couple of weeks, her anger became visible.

�I couldn't understand what was happening, and I remember wondering if receiving the Lord was such a good idea. I started to question everything about faith and this stimulated real and honest prayer�for the first time in my life.

�It was during this time one Sunday after church that everything came to a head. Our younger daughter, Katie, had gone to the home of some friends. The rest of us headed home for lunch, and our three-year-old son, Brook, went down for a nap. We had just met a new older couple at church that morning and had invited them to drop by later that day. Everything seemed fine until something snapped, and a fight between Nancy and me began.

�I don�t know what started it or even what it was about, but I do remember it escalating rapidly. All at once everything came out�all of Nancy�s anger and all of my frustration erupted, causing Nancy to pick up a pottery mug and hurl it at me across the room. I was able to duck quickly, and the mug missed me and smashed through the window of the front door.

�As only fate would have it, the couple we invited from church arrived and were walking up the front steps at that very moment. They ducked and evaded the flying mug but decided it was not the best time to visit the Robinsons. They turned on their heels and headed for their car.

�I was embarrassed and humiliated, and I lost it like I have never lost it before or since. I started yelling and hitting walls and cupboards. Framed pictures and dishes fell to the floor. I went from room to room turning over furniture and shouting in complete frustration. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn�t make Nancy satisfied with our life, and I didn�t know what I could do about it. In the wake of this realization, I fell apart.

�All my life I had prided myself on being composed and put together; I always felt that showing emotion was a sign of weakness. That day God tore down everything I leaned on for strength. (God) was showing me that without (God) I would never be the person (God) created me to be. I needed (God) to be more than my Savior�I needed (God) to be the Lord of my life. That day I learned in my confession of weakness that (God) would make me strong.

�As I surveyed the aftermath of my rage, I saw my three-year-old son staring at me with huge, frightened eyes. I will never forget how he looked as he stood there in shock and disbelief. That�s when it happened�that�s when I finally broke. My deep frustration turned to tears, and the floodgates opened. I started to weep in a way I never had before. Tears welled up from the depths of my being, and my entire body started to convulse. I cried and cried and couldn't stop the tears.

�I cried for a whole life of pain and frustration, most of which Nancy had nothing to do with. I was broken in a way I can�t fully express, but it was a brokenness that forever changed me. I held my son and Nancy held me, and together we cried and prayed. We repented for the way we had treated each other and together asked God to take control of our lives.

�It was a divine moment in our marriage and a divine moment in our life with God. I believe it was the moment the seed of God�s love and truth penetrated my life. It was a turning point, more powerful than any other I have ever experienced. My journey with God entered into the depths of good soil�to a place where my spiritual roots penetrated (God�s) provision for healing and wholeness. Not only did my relationship with God heal, my relationship with my wife changed as well. I could now love because I had come into the assurance that I was first loved.�

AskMe #2859642 07/06/15 06:00 AM
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Job 14:1 (NLT)
1 How frail is humanity! How short is life, how full of trouble!

Human life is frail. A person here today can be absent tomorrow. We want to accomplish so many things in life, but alas, life is short. Even the time we have been given can be full of woes and troubles, leaving us little time to achieve all the things we long to do.



There is no accident that I have been away from writing for a short while. Members of my family needed me and I took the time to be with them. While I have 24 hours in a day just like everyone else, sometimes you have to prioritize your life in such a way that you can give time to God, time to your family and friends, and even time to those with whom you work. So there are occasions out of our short life that we must stop and help as needed. If we are having routine talks with God He would remind us that even He rested on the 7th day to review the work He had completed; so maybe we need to rest and review what is in front of us.

I have seen frailty in life as family members and friends have passed away. Some had their lives cut way too short in life. Some were in accidents that caused them much pain and suffering. Some could not face the troubles of life and went in their own time.

Yes life is short, so use it wisely. Use it to serve God, your family, your friends, and those you work with.

Last week I was helping my wife. Her mother�s health has slowly been declining. My wife has taken the time to care for her parents and I have helped fill in places and done things she might have normally done. But there comes a time when we are called to take a break and fully help our family and last week was it for me. For I�m not sure how much longer my mother-in-law has, only God knows. I do know it is shorter today than it was yesterday.

In the near future I may steal away some more days for family, but even when I do, I will lift up my family and my friends to God who is always near. I will remember their troubles and ask God to comfort them.

AskMe #2859722 07/07/15 06:19 AM
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Psalm 18:30 (NLT)
30 God�s way is perfect. All the Lord�s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.

Not only is God perfect, but all the things done of God are perfection. God creates, performs and perfects what has been put in place. God promises us many things throughout The Bible and those promises prove true. In moments of need God is our protector even being a Father to the fatherless.



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.


No matter what we are going through God has a plan for our life. Sometimes the road may seem difficult, but we must remember God�s way is perfect.

AskMe #2859973 07/08/15 06:47 AM
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Psalm 138:2 (NLT)
2 I bow before your holy Temple as I worship. I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness; for your promises are backed by all the honor of your name.

Christ is our temple, and towards Him we must have faith, as Mediator between us and God, in all our praises of Him. Heaven is God's holy temple, and it is there we must lift up our eyes in all our prayers to God.



Think about that statement for just a moment. He has exalted His Word above His own name. How powerful is God�s name? It is so powerful that the Jews wouldn�t even speak His name in public. It so powerful that the Bible declares that at the very mention of His name demons tremble, everyone and everything is forced to their knees in worship, and out of their mouths will come a confession that He is Lord. And yet, as powerful as His name is the Psalmist declares that He has exalted His word above even His name! God�s Word is powerful! God�s Word is authority.

Where did Jesus turn when facing off against the devil? The Word! God used God�s Word to take authority! Any Word that Jesus would have spoken would be carried out. He says about himself in Matthew 28:18 that all authority has been given to Him. I mean He is God. He could have looked at the devil and said �boo� and victory was sure. And yet, He uses the written Word of God to wield authority!

God�s Word is the authority figure that we must submit to!

AskMe #2860154 07/09/15 12:12 AM
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When my wife started her affair, I had a facebook account and was "friends" was a man I did not know...but he was part of a church group I belonged to and always posted the Bible daily.

I was devastated and asked him to pray, which he said he would. He also told me "Trust nobody but the Lord Jesus."
He encouraged me not to rely on human wisdom, wise as it may be, but to rely on the written Word of God for guidance.
It was the best advice I received. God's Word is absolute truth and can see us through any hardship if we trust Him.

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Originally Posted by Jedi_Knight
When my wife started her affair, I had a facebook account and was "friends" was a man I did not know...but he was part of a church group I belonged to and always posted the Bible daily.

I was devastated and asked him to pray, which he said he would. He also told me "Trust nobody but the Lord Jesus."
He encouraged me not to rely on human wisdom, wise as it may be, but to rely on the written Word of God for guidance.
It was the best advice I received. God's Word is absolute truth and can see us through any hardship if we trust Him.


AMEN! While others may fail us, God never will!

AskMe #2860396 07/10/15 06:36 AM
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Philippians 1:4-6 (NIV)
4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

The work of grace is but begun in this life; it is not finished here; as long as we are in this imperfect state there is something more to be done. If the same God who begins the good work did not undertake the carrying on and finishing of it, it would lie forever unfinished. He must perform it who began it. We may be confident, or well persuaded, that God not only will not forsake, but that he will finish and crown the work of his own hands. For, as for God, his work is perfect. The work of grace will never be perfected till the day of Jesus Christ, the day of his appearance. When he shall come to judge the world, and finish his mediation, then this work will be complete, and the top-stone will be brought forth with shouting. [Matthew Commentary]



Nicholas Kristof, an op-ed columnist for The New York Times wrote a column in March 2015 entitled, "A Little Respect for Dr. Foster." Kristof makes clear that he isn't an evangelical Christian yet he says, "But I've been truly awed by those I've seen in so many remote places, combating illiteracy and warlords, famine and disease, humbly struggling to do the Lord's work as they see it � " He focuses on "Dr. Stephen Foster, 65, a white-haired missionary surgeon who has lived in Angola for 37 years�much of that in a period when the Angolan regime was Marxist and hostile to Christians."

"We were granted visas," [Foster] said, "by the very people who would tell us publicly, 'your churches are going to disappear in 20 years,' but privately, 'you are the only ones we know willing to serve in the midst of the fire.'"

Kristof writes, "One son contracted polio; a daughter survived cerebral malaria; and the family nearly starved when the area was besieged during war and Dr. Foster insisted on sharing the family rations with 100 famished villagers."

Kristof concludes: "The next time you hear someone at a cocktail party mock evangelicals, think of Dr. Foster and those like him. These are folks who don't so much proclaim the gospel as live it. They deserve better." (Although there's probably much more proclaiming than Kristof realizes. Dr. Foster's website carries the banner: Hope for Angola through healthcare, agriculture, education, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.)


As long as we live in this world we will never find perfection in life. Through our lives we can show others the good things God has to offer. Then one day God will finally complete the good work He started in us and bring us to perfection through His Son Jesus Christ.

AskMe #2860829 07/13/15 05:43 AM
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Philippians 2:9-11 (NIV)

9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Observe, It is to the glory of God the Father to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord; for it is his will that all men should honour the Son as they honour the Father. [Matthew Henry]



On the game show Family Feud, hosted by Steve Harvey, contestants are asked to guess how 100 people responded to various survey questions. On a 2012 episode, a contestant had to provide the top answers to the following survey question: "When someone mentions 'the King,' to whom might he or she be referring?" Here were the four top answers:

1.81 people said "Elvis Presley"
2.7 people said "God or Jesus"
3.3 people said "Martin Luther King, Jr."
4.2 people said "The Burger King"

[James Gilmore, "We Have No King but Elvis," White Horse Inn blog (9-14-12)]


Who or maybe what, is the King in your life? Revelation 17:14 tells us, �These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.��

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