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AskMe #2745321 07/25/13 06:27 AM
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2 Timothy 2:1 (NKJV)
1 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

The Apostle Paul writes to his friend Timothy to be persistent and consistent in his work for The Lord. In order to do the work ahead, Timothy must remain strong in Christ, accepting the grace Christ Jesus has given him through his faith. As we face trials and tribulations we need to grow stronger in our faith and that which is good. Our resolution must be to take the grace we are given and use it to love God and Jesus Christ even more.




St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople and Church Father (349407) once said, We must not mind insulting men, if by respecting them we offend God.

In our society we often think that stating our belief against sin is either not politically correct or that it is a sin itself. Jesus was often confronted by religious groups and He was never hesitant to confront the issues brought to Him. Sometimes Christ insulted the religious leaders around Him. Jesus stood firm on Gods principles and His first loyalty was to God.

The Bible teaches us that we are to pray for others and we are to lead others to Christ. Obviously we cannot be hateful in our methods or we will lose the opportunities to speak to others about Christ. The Bible tells us in 2 Timothy 3:15-17, All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. Not through hate, but through love we are to learn about God and Christ, check our own ways, correct our own faults, and then instruct others in what is right. We must put God first and stand in His grace if by chance we insult others, we stood firm for God.

In everything we do be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. For Christ, being perfect, never hesitated to point out ones sin, but Christ also offered love, mercy and grace. Ensure you that when you stand up for God you speak in His truth, His mercy, His grace, and His love for others. Remember the words of the Apostle James, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

AskMe #2745560 07/26/13 06:42 AM
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Ephesians 3:14-19 (NKJV)
14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Above is the apostles prayer to God on behalf of the Ephesians who Paul loved. The prayer is to the Father who is in Christ - just as Christ is in the Father just as we are in Christ and Christ is in us. We see from the words his posture that he bows kneeled before The Lord. Then he makes his request to the Father that the Ephesians who are in Christ would be strengthen, that through their faith Christ would be close to them, and that they might know the heights, the widths, and the depths of the Love Jesus Christ.



Billy Graham loves The Lord and has been a personal witness for Jesus Christ all around the world. Billy is currently 94 and has several health issues, but he wants to finish well by providing one last message to a country close to his heart America.

My Hope America with Billy Graham is a nationwide effort to reach people across the United States with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Following a simple biblical model, My Hope America with Billy Graham combines the impact of video programs with the power of personal relationships. Under the guidance of their local pastors, Christians across America will open their homes this November to share the Gospel message with friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors using one of several new evangelistic programs featuring life-changing testimonies & powerful messages from Billy Graham. [http://myhopewithbillygraham.org/what-is-my-hope/?]

Just as the Apostle Paul loved the Ephesians, Billy Graham loves America, the country he considers home. Yet it is a temporary home - for Billy knows his permanent home is in heaven. Billy has preached in America, just as he has preached in so many other places across the world. Billy Graham wants people to know the great love of Jesus Christ a love so great that it is hard to comprehend. Jesus Christ shed His blood on the cross so all could be free from the bonds of sin. When a man gives his life for another that is a friend who loves greater than we can understand.

Let us be in prayer for Dr. Graham that his message will have a great impact upon all who hear him.


2 Chronicles 7:14, If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

AskMe #2746083 07/29/13 06:14 AM
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Psalm 119:93 (NKJV)
93 I will never forget Your precepts, For by them You have given me life.

The psalmist says he will never forget the commands and principles given to him by God; for those commands and principles are what allowed his existence to continue.



In our electronic world of today people are very familiar with search engines that find information on the internet almost instantaneously. The word Google has become a part of everyday life - If you dont know something, Google it.

I have a co-worker who was in Boy Scouts as a youth. He memorized and learned many things making his way to become an Eagle Scout. He still carries with him many of the things he learned. A lot of them dealt with life, being ready and the ability to survive.

What if you found yourself alone on a deserted island, would you rather have survival knowledge in your mind or on the laptop you brought with you. You probably have maybe at most 4 hours to retrieve all the information you need off your laptop before the battery dies and then what do you do? If you havent memorized and learned some skills your stay on the island is going to be very difficult.

The electronic Bibles of today are nice in that they are compact, can contain many versions of The Bible, and can even search for keywords. However, if we dont commit what we read to the mind and a moment comes that we need a Bible verse for comfort or hope - that will be the exact moment our electronic Bible is somewhere else.

The psalmist said, I will never forget Your precepts, For by them You have given me life. Lets commit Gods word to our memories that we will have an answer when the need arises.

AskMe #2746297 07/30/13 06:12 AM
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Proverbs 30:10 (NLT)
10 Never slander a worker to the employer, or the person will curse you, and you will pay for it.

Most of proverbs was written by King Solomon, but chapter 30 is different in that it is penned by "Agur Ben Jakeh. These are divinely inspired verses kept on record. In verse 10 there is a warning given against slander towards a worker; for the person slandered may point out the wrong and it will be held against the slanderer.



The Bible is an amazing book. It contains life stories many of us can relate to. I relate to the verse above because I have seen others slander a person in an office and then the slanderer was disciplined for their harmful words. The verse in Proverbs is just one piece of wisdom we can draw from The Bible.

The Bible also documents the lives of people, such as King David. We know David loved God and God loved David. However, David did not live a perfect life. Even though David desired to keep Gods commandments, he failed at times. Through the life of David we can see Gods love, mercy and grace towards him. God offers the same love, mercy and grace to us.

There are illustrations of dysfunctional families in The Bible. Abraham who had a strong faith in God often feared someone would kill him over his wife Sarah, because he believed her to be a beautiful woman. So there were times Abraham would say that Sarah was his sister as a means of trying to protect himself instead of trusting God.

Isaac is where we see the family dysfunction come into play. God had told Abrahams son Isaac to go and live in Egypt. It is at this point we encounter these verses in Genesis 26:6-7, So Isaac dwelt in Gerar. And the men of the place asked about his wife. And he said, She is my sister; for he was afraid to say, She is my wife, because he thought, lest the men of the place kill me for Rebekah, because she is beautiful to behold. What is Isaac doing, the same dysfunctional thing his father did. He didnt trust enough in God to protect him so he told a lie concerning his wife. A legacy passed on to him by his father.

Yes, The Bible holds many good illustrations about life. Take time to read Gods word and see what lessons you can learn.

AskMe #2746486 07/30/13 06:40 PM
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I missed so much! I'm convinced the Bible is the ultimate guide to life and has the answer to so many of life's questions. I'm halfway through some of the devotions I missed. Coincidentally, some of the devotionals are verses that have been called to my attention in the past couple of months. I'm especially learning to "answer gently" in order to avoid wrath. *Work in progress*

God Bless you Ask!


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BetrayedP #2746739 08/01/13 05:57 AM
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Psalm 119:114 (NLT)
114 You are my refuge and my shield; your word is my source of hope.

In this Psalm of David, David is able to take comfort that when his enemies are against him, God is for him providing protection and defense. When David was being pursued by his enemies he often hid in caves. In battle he used his shield for protection. Now God was both to him, a refuge where he could hide and shield that protected his life. It is though Gods promises and words that David came to know God in a close and personal way. David knew God was his comforter and protector.




In an interview about his book The Folly of Prayer (IVP, 2009), author and pastor Matt Woodley shared a story about his friend Theresa. Theresa was experiencing what St. John of the Cross calls a dark night of the soula period of spiritual loneliness and despair. Over the course of describing her story, listen to how Woodley discovered that what seemed most helpless in his ministry was actually the most helpful:

After marrying the man of her dreams, [Theresa] dropped into the abyss of a deep depression. Everything went dark in her mind and body. She even started writing her obituary. Three years ago I would have had plenty of answers and solutions for her. I would have been so clever and powerful. But now I could only sit with her in her pain. We prayed. I didn't know what to do, didn't have any answers, so I said, "Theresa, I have no idea what to say, so could we just read the Psalms?" Then I read Psalm 77, an agonizing psalm of lament, and I went home. I left feeling utterly powerless, and I sure didn't think that I made her feel better.

The next week another leader of our church visited Theresa. She was still suffering intensely, but when the leader asked if he could pray for her, Theresa said, "Yes, but before you pray, please read Psalm 77. I've been clinging to it all week. It's my lifeline to God." Apparently when we read Psalm 77 in utter powerlessness, God showed up in her life with power.

Woodley adds: "At times the best, most powerful and most useful way to love someone is to get to the end of myself. I admit that I can't fix or change you. My words and my advice won't heal your brokenness. But I can be with you, and we can go together to the Father." [IVP Books, "Are You There, God? An Interview with The Folly of Prayer Author Matt Woodley}


Heavenly Father I come to You in prayer for all who read these words. I pray Father these words will become their words of hope also. Father there is many who are fighting the daily battles of life and they need the comfort and protection. Bless them Father. Father, You provide hope when times seem hopeless. You provide mercy when no others will be merciful. You are always loving towards us when others may be against us. Father we thank you for the victory given to us over death through your Son Jesus Christ. Father we give thanks for Your everlasting love, your grace and your mercy. Father abide with us today and every day that we would know the depths of Your love for us. Be our source of hope!

In the precious name of Jesus,
Amen

BetrayedP #2746740 08/01/13 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted By: BetrayedP
I missed so much! I'm convinced the Bible is the ultimate guide to life and has the answer to so many of life's questions. I'm halfway through some of the devotions I missed. Coincidentally, some of the devotionals are verses that have been called to my attention in the past couple of months. I'm especially learning to "answer gently" in order to avoid wrath. *Work in progress*

God Bless you Ask!


Thank you for your words of encouragement. We are all a work in progress being perfected day by day as The Lord leads us in our lives. Have a wonderfully blessed week!

AskMe #2746938 08/02/13 06:16 AM
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James 1:22 (NLT)
22 But dont just listen to Gods word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.

The apostle states that we should not just be ones who hear Gods word, but we should also put actions to what we hear and learn. The Greek word for fooling means to reckon wrong, cheat by false reasoning and to delude. So those who hear what God say, but are not doers of His word are only deluding themselves about their actions.



Gregg Donnelly, of Maple Plain, Minnesota tells a story: Robert Kupferschmid was an 81-year old with no flying experience. However, due to a tragic emergency, he was forced to fly an airplane. On June 17, 1998, he and his 52-year-old pilot friend, Wesley Sickle, were flying from Indianapolis to Muncie, Indiana. During the flight, the pilot slumped over and died at the controls. The Cessna 172 single-engine plane began to nose-dive and Kupferschmid grabbed the controls. He got on the radio and pleaded for help.

Nearby were two pilots who heard the call. Mount Comfort was the closest airport, and the two pilots gave Kupferschmid a steady stream of instructions of climbing, steeringand the scariest partlanding. The two experienced pilots circled the runway three times before this somewhat frantic and totally inexperienced pilot was ready to attempt the landing.

Emergency vehicles were called out and ready for what seemed like an approaching disaster. Witnesses said the plane's nose nudged the center line and bounced a few times before the tail hit the ground. The Cessna ended up in a patch of soggy grass next to the runway. Amazingly, Kupferschmid was not injured.

This pilot listened and followed those instructions as if his life depended on itand it did. Imagine what would take place in the lives of believers if we listened to and obeyed the Word of God with the same earnestness.


For some reading The Bible becomes a stressor in their life because the parts they hear is do this, do more, and more of this. They begin to feel guilt and stress. The problem is they are not reading the entirety of Gods word and acting upon what it says. Yes, God tells us things we should do or not do, but we also hear the words of Jesus telling us His burden is light. The Bible also tells us of Gods love, mercy and grace towards us. So in our hearing of the word we need to listen in full context and understand the grace of Salvation and act in accordance to that grace. God tells us what to do so like the pilot above we are able to land safely in life.

AskMe #2747547 08/06/13 05:39 AM
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2 Corinthians 1:3-6(NLT)
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 5 For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. 6 Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer.

After the preface the apostle writes about the comfort God provides even in the midst of trials and tribulations. All comfort originates with God and is passed to us so that we can share that comfort with others. For in our trials and tribulations we learn that we can endure and that God is with us. We can share that with others so they can patiently endure the same type of suffering and know God will be with them too.



In The Story before the Story, preached at Lincoln Christian College by Damien Spikereit speaks about a portion of his life: When I was in high school my father passed away rather suddenly. It was just two days before my high school graduation. At that time in my life I was a baby Christian; immature and shallow. I was still drying off the baptistery waters. All I cared about was not going to hell.

But then my dad died. I found myself in a place I'd never been before. I wanted to hear God speak. I wanted to know what he had to say about this situation; how he was going to get me and my family through this difficult time. So I prayed. And I waited for God to speak.

Then came the day of the funeral. The church was packed. I sat on the front pew with my mother and two younger sisters. The Lutheran priest spoke, but I don't remember what he said. I continued to wait for God to say something. Then the service was over. It was the tradition of this church to have the family line up in the foyer. Everyone would file past us and offer words of condolence and encouragement. Tears were shed, hugs offered, and words were given. I don't remember what anybody said to me in that time. But I continued to wait for God to speak.

Then I saw Kim O'Quinn. She was my age. We were in the youth group together. When she got to me, she didn't say a word. She had tears in her eyes. And she simply hugged me and walked off. But I heard God speak. It dawned on me. Just months before, I had attended another funeral; the funeral for Kim O'Quinn's father. In that moment she knew exactly what it meant to be me.

If you want to hear God's voice in your life look no further than the one who knows exactly what it's like to be you. He knows what it is to be human, he knows what it is to suffer, he knows what it is to be rejected, he knows what it is to be human. If you want to hear God's voice speak, allow your soul to be quieted long enough so that you can hear the one who was in the beginning say to you, "draw near to me and I'll draw near to you."


Psalm 23:4 Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.

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Galatians 6:4 (NKJV)
4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.

Here the apostle says each person should examine their lives in the light of Gods word to see whether or not their lives align with Gods desires for them. Some would prefer to judge and censure others so as to make them feel proud, but this is wrong. We instead should view our actions in light of Gods will for us instead of what other people do.



In his book Let Your Life Speak, Parker Palmer, a Quaker, tells the story of how God used Palmer's friends to shape his vocational path in a significant way. Palmer had been offered the opportunity to become the president of a small educational institution. He was certain the job was for him, but he honored the tradition of the Quaker community, which is to call on a dozen trusted friends to engage in a "clearness committee," a process in which "the group refrains from giving you advice but spends three hours asking you honest, open questions to help you discover your own inner truth." Palmer writes that the initial questions were all very easy, until someone simply asked, "What would you like most about being a president?" He writes:

The simplicity of that question loosed me from my head and lowered me into my heart. I remember pondering for at least a full minute before I could respond. Then, very softly and tentatively, I started to speak: "Well, I would not like having to give up my writing and my teaching. I would not like the politics of the presidency, never knowing who your real friends are. I would not like having to glad-hand people I do not respect simply because they have money. I would not"

Gently but firmly, the person who had posed the question interrupted me: "May I remind you that I asked what you would most like?"

I responded impatiently, "Yes, yes, I'm working my way toward an answer." Then I resumed my sullen but honest litany.

Once again the questioner called me back to the original question. But this time I felt compelled to give the only honest answer I possessed, an answer that came from the very bottom of my barrel, an answer that appalled even me as I spoke it.

"Well," I said, in the smallest voice I possess, "I guess what I'd like most is getting my picture in the paper with the word president under it."

I was sitting with seasoned Quakers who knew that though my answer was laughable, my mortal soul was clearly at stake! They did not laugh at all but went into a long and serious silencea silence in which I could only sweat and inwardly groan.

Finally my questioner broke the silence with a question that cracked all of us upand cracked me open: "Parker," he said, "can you think of an easier way to get your picture in the paper?"

By then it was obvious, even to me, that my desire to be president had much more to do with my ego than with the ecology of my lifeso obvious that when the clearness committee ended, I called the school and withdrew my name from consideration. Had I taken that job, it would have been very bad for me and a disaster for the school.



Sometimes we just need to stop and take a moment to examine our life and look at our true intentions. So often we mislead ourselves by making comparisons to others or by letting our own ego and pride draw us away to a place we should not be.

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Psalm 194:4 (NKJV)
4 For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation.

Psalm 194 gives praise to God, The Redeemer, who provided victory over an enemy. The psalm also refers to the future glory of Christ our Savior; for God will beautify the meek, those who surrender their lives to Him and those who trust in Him. They will hear Gods word of salvation and put aside their pride and accept His gift of eternal life in heaven through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Judson W. Van DeVenter (1855-1939) was raised in a Christian home. At age 17, he accepted Jesus as his Savior. He graduated university with a degree in art and was employed successfully as a teacher and administrator of high school art. He traveled extensively, visiting the various art galleries throughout Europe.

Van DeVenter also studied and taught music. He mastered 13 different instruments, sang and composed music. He was very involved in the music ministry of his Methodist Episcopal church and eventually found himself torn between his successful teaching career and his desire to be a part of an evangelistic team. This struggle within himself lasted for almost five years.

In 1896, Van DeVenter was conducting the music of a church event. It was during these meetings that he finally surrendered his desires completely to God -- He made the decision to become a full-time evangelist. As he submitted completely to the will of his Lord, a song was born in his heart.

I Surrender All was put to music by Winfield S. Weeden (1847-1908 ), who published this and many other hymns in several volumes. Weeden so loved this song that the words I Surrender All were put on his tombstone. (1)


The words of I Surrender All are something we should all strive for - All to Jesus, I surrender; All to Him I freely give; I will ever love and trust Him, In His presence daily live. I surrender all, I surrender all, All to Thee, my bless'd Savior, I surrender all. All to Jesus I surrender; Humbly at His feet I bow, Worldly pleasures all forsaken; Take me, Jesus, take me now. I surrender all, I surrender all, All to Thee, my bless'd Savior, I surrender all. All to Jesus, I surrender; Make me, Savior, wholly Thine; Let me feel the Holy Spirit, Truly know that Thou art mine. I surrender all, I surrender all, All to Thee, my bless'd Savior,
I surrender all. All to Jesus, I surrender; Lord, I give myself to Thee; Fill me with Thy love and power; Let Thy blessing fall on me. I surrender all, I surrender all, All to Thee, my bless'd Savior, I surrender all. All to Jesus I surrender; Now I feel the sacred flame. O the joy of full salvation! I surrender all, I surrender all, All to Thee, my bless'd Savior, I surrender all.





(1)[http://www.sharefaith.com/guide/Christian-Music/hymns-the-songs-and-the-stories/i-surrender-all-the-song-and-the-story.html]

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1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NKJV)
19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are Gods.

The Apostle Paul reminds the Church of Corinth that their bodies are now the temple in which the Holy Spirit resides. God use to be only present in the inner most part of the temple, but now His Holy spirit resides in the bodies of those who have placed their faith in Christ. Therefore they should treat themselves with respect just as they would for the temple.



To those of us in the West, he is known only as "The Traveler." He is one of the persons who helps distribute goods inside North Korea. Despite the ever-present danger of exposure, The Traveler remains an unpretentious and simple man. He looks more like a blue-collar factory worker than the Korean James Bond, but that's one of the keys to his success. He's adept at blending in, remaining both vigilant and decisive.

It's a matter of survival.

He has served Open Doors for years, and yet we don't even know his real name. We never will. The fewer people who know it, the better, for if his secret work on behalf of God's people were ever to be discovered, it would mean a brutal death sentence for him.

When [our] leaders spoke to him, we asked him what the church in North Korea prays for. This ostensibly emotionless man who puts his life on the line every dayoften for people he's never even met living in cities he's never visitedbegan to weep.

He told of a church movement that has remained underground ever since the fifties. In order to wipe Christianity from the face of the land, Kim II-sung's soldiers herded entire congregations into the streets and ran them over with bulldozers. Thousands of men, women, and childrennearly all of them North Korean citizenswere literally crushed to death, their remains used to line roadbeds throughout the surrounding cities.

Today, under Kim's son Kim Jon-il, there are [around] 240,000 believers, direct descendants of those who were left behind . [These] North Korean believers are prayerfully focused on one purpose: to be in place and fulfill God's will for their lives. Their prayer is a prayer for liberation, for lifting of the darkness, for a possibility to reopen the churches of their ancestors, and for reconciliation .

So despite the dangers, The Traveler continues to [risk his life in order to] equip believers with commentaries, Bibles, radio resources, training, and encouragement to keep them focused on the Lord.
[Carl Moeller and David Hegg, The Privilege of Persecution (Moody Publishers, 2011), pp. 67-68, 70]


We can put our bodies to use to do good works or works of evil; it is our choice to make. But we are reminded that our bodies are where the Holy Spirit resides; for we are the temples of Christ. Therefore we should use our bodies for good works and not that of sin.

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We are very blessed to live in the USA

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Proverbs 13:16 (NLT)
16 Wise people think before they act; fools dontand even brag about their foolishness.

A reminder, one should think through their actions before jumping in head first. However there are those who dont and even brag about their thoughtless actions.



There was a time I performed interviews for job candidates. Our HR department had trained some of us in a specialized way of handling interviews using questions selected towards the job category. One of the questions was What one thing have you done that you wish you could do over and do it better? The idea behind the question was to see if the job candidate would give a technical example of something where they fell short of expectations and later saw how they could improve upon their work skill. Most of the job candidates understood this and would give an example of an error and how they later corrected it.

One person we interviewed had a completely different kind of response to the question. Im going to be a little gentler with what the person actually said, but it went something like this: I once was told I was getting a job transfer so I decided to cuss out my current boss. I think I went a little over board in some of the language I used. Then I found out I didnt get the transfer. Next time I would wait for the transfer to happen before actually telling anyone where they could go.

I could tell the other person conducting the interview with me was as taken back by the answer as I was. Here was a person talking not about their technical skill, but instead about their interpersonal skills with others. It became clear we didnt want a person who thought the answer to cussing out their boss was to wait until a more opportunistic time. We wondered how they would respond to others authority. The two of us interviewing also thought that was probably not an answer we would have given in an interview.


Wise people think before they act or as is often said think before you leap, because there might be something you dont want to leap into.

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Revelation 3:14,20 (NLT)
14 Write this letter to the angel of the church in Laodicea. This is the message from the one who is the Amenthe faithful and true witness, the beginning of Gods new creation: 20 Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.

In the revelation to John, Jesus instructs an angel to write to the church of Laodicea. It is interesting that for the previous six churches Jesus gave a statement of correction and then a statement of affirmation. For Laodicea the statement was about their lack of enthusiasm for the church; for Christ compared them to lukewarm water, which will wet the mouth but was not very pleasant for drinking. Jesus offers the church hope saying that if anyone hears Him calling they should open the door and He would come in as an intimate friend to be with them.



In his love for us Jesus acts like a hound-dog, intense and focused as he pursues the hunt. That image comes from Francis Thompson, a 19th century British poet who wrote "The Hound of Heaven." Although Thompson was a follower of Christ, he struggled with poverty, poor health, and an addiction to opium (which in those days was sold as an "over-the-counter" medication).

In the depths of his despair, Thompson described his flight from God: "I fled him, down the nights and down the days. I hid from him, and under running laughter. I sped from those strong feet that followed, followed after [me]."

But Thompson also knew the unrelenting love of Jesus, the hound of heaven. In the poem Jesus pursues Thompson with "unhurrying chase, and unperturbed pace, deliberate speed, and majestic instancy [or urgency]." He hears the feet of Jesus beating after him as Jesus calls, "All things betray those who betray me."

In a recent biography of John Stott, Stott refers to Thompson's poem. According to Stott, he owes his faith in Christ not to his parents or teachers or even his own decision, but to Jesus, "the hound of heaven." Stott writes:

[My faith is] due to Jesus Christ himself, who pursued me relentlessly even when I was running away from him in order to go my own way. And if it were not for the gracious pursuit of the hound of heaven I would today be on the scrap-heap of wasted and discarded lives.
[Roger Steer, Basic Christian: The Inside Story of John Stott (IVP Books, 2009), pp. 262-263;]


Jesus never gives up pursuing a relationship with us. Even when we are ignoring Him, Jesus comes and knocks at the door of our heart waiting for us to fellowship with Him. Jesus loves at all times and defends us when Satan accuses us. Jesus is our savior, our friend, and someone we need to spend time with. Open the door of your heart to Jesus and get to know Him in a very personal and intimate way.

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Romans 14:8 (NLT)
8 If we live, its to honor the Lord. And if we die, its to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

From Matthew Henrys Commentary: Christ is the gain we aim at, living and dying. We live to glorify him in all the actions and affairs of life; we die, whether a natural or a violent death, to glorify him, and to go to be glorified with him. Christ is the centre, in which all the lines of life and death do meet. This is true Christianity, which makes Christ all in all. So that, whether we live or die, we are the Lords, devoted to him, depending on him, designed and designing for him.



It was a cold night out as a priest walked down the street with his overcoat on. Suddenly out of an alley steps a man holding a gun demanding the priests money. The priest opened his overcoat to reach in for his wallet to hand over to the robber.

At that point the robber exclaimed, I didnt you were a priest. Im so sorry. I dont rob priests. You see Im Catholic. He then told the priest he could put up his wallet. Relieved the priest said, Why dont you let me buy you a drink to which the robber responded, I cant believe you would suggest something so evil.


Sometimes people have convictions about certain things in life, but they dont allow themselves to live fully in Christ so as to see all their faults. If they did see all their faults they would be slow to criticize others for their faults. Let us live for Christ that we would honor Him.

AskMe #2750046 08/19/13 05:35 AM
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Proverbs 19:3 (NLT)
3 People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord.

In this proverb King Solomon points out two foolish acts of people. First they create their own trouble, embarrassing themselves and running themselves aground. Second when they have done so they choose to lay blame against God. In holding their anger against God they take away their own peace by removing The One who could comfort them.



Adam and Eve could have used this proverb from King Solomon. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating from The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, God asked Adam a simple question, Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat? It was a simple yes or no question, but instead Adam gave this response, It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it. In other words, God had you not created this woman for me then how could she have given me the fruit to eat.

God specifically told Adam he could eat from any tree in the garden except one and that was The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam had heard the command. Adam had understood the command. It was Adam who disobeyed the command and yet we find Adam blaming Eve and God for his own actions.

How many times in your life do you think you have blamed someone else when it was your actions that caused a problem? If we never learn to accept blame for our problems then it becomes difficult to ever correct the problem; for we always justify ourselves. When we justify ourselves there is no need to look for a future solution because we have already laid the blame on someone else; believing it is their problem to correct.


Learn to accept responsibility for your own actions. Learn that getting angry at others for your actions is not the way to solve problems, but instead create new problems. In your mind because they are wrong you alienate yourself from others who could most likely help. Learn to turn to God and others for help instead of placing blame on them.

AskMe #2750340 08/20/13 05:55 AM
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Psalm 16:8-11 (NKJV)
8 I have set the Lord always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. 9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope. 10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. 11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

All of these verses were shared by the St. Peter in his first sermon (Acts 2:25-28) after the Holy Spirit came upon everyone on the day of Pentecost. In these words Peter says David was speaking of Christ. For those who place their faith in Christ find rest in Christ. They find eternal life and a life on earth that can be lived in joy even when facing the painful moments of life.



The words of St. Peter: Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself:

The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.

Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said to them, Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.



Peters message was on the salvation from sin given as a gift to all those willing to repent of their sin and to follow Christ by placing their faith and trust in Him. For their faith they would receive a free gift of salvation, the opportunity to live eternally with Christ in heaven. Salvation is a free gift offered to all people who are willing to receive it.

AskMe #2750594 08/21/13 06:44 AM
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Proverbs 21:9 (NIV)
9 Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.

These are interesting words from King Solomon considering he had over 700 wives and 300 concubines. Solomon was the wisest man to have lived, yet it seems his wisdom was conquered by the women in his life. Many of his wives were from foreign lands and practiced foreign religions, which eventually led to Solomons downfall. Here we find Solomon contemplating solitude on the corner of an uncomfortable roof would be more peaceful that living in the comfort of the home with constant quarrels.



The Chicago Tribune Business Section printed an article called Families seek room to retreat, dated December 10, 2004, by June Fletch. The article states: After two decades of pushing the open floor plan--where domestic life revolved around a big central space and exposed kitchens gave everyone a view of half the house--major builders and top architects are walling people off. They're touting one-person "Internet alcoves," locked-door "away rooms" and his-and-her offices on opposite ends of the house. The new floor plans offer so much seclusion, they're "good for the dysfunctional family," says Gopal Ahluwahlia, director of research for the National Association of Home Builders.



Its sad to think homes have to be built with dysfunctional families in mind. Instead of families learning to cope with problems and issues, they push each other aside by retreating to private places in the home. One TV show I always enjoyed watching was The Waltons. They were a large family, but the one thing they were good about was talking through their family issues and problems. They might have taken time out and gone for walks, but they always came back to address their issues and settle their problems.

God designed us for relationships. When we break off from those relationships and go our own way our lives become out of sync and often dysfunctional. Instead of trying to find a place of solitude, let us learn to create fellowship in families, good communication, appreciation for one another, and showing the same love, grace and mercy that God shows us. Let us put aside quarrels and learn to communicate properly with each other in a harmonious way.

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