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AskMe #2801820 05/16/14 05:33 AM
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Proverbs 16:25 (NKJV)
25 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

Oh the opinions of man are great, but somewhere in the midst lay the truth. Man is quick to grab onto what seems right to him, although if he carefully examined his thoughts he would find flaws and errors. It is these flaws and errors in judgment that can lead to death; either a physical death or both a spiritual and physical death. For instance one may say, �There can be no god for look at the sin that abounds in the world.� They miss the point that man loosed sin upon man; and who is man to judge God for the problems caused by man�s own acts.




According to a 2006 LA Times article by Pete Y. Hong, An esteemed scientist known as "the father of gene therapy" was convicted Wednesday of sexually abusing a child 50 years his junior. A Los Angeles County Superior Court jury found USC research director William French Anderson, 69, guilty of four counts of continuous sex abuse and lewd acts toward a child under 14. He faces a maximum prison sentence of 22 years.

Anderson, who had warned his victim that her accusations would prevent him from saving lives through medical cures and disillusion those who viewed him as "a model of the right way to live," was jailed immediately. Anderson, director of USC's Gene Therapy Laboratories, focused on stem cell research and correcting defective genes in fetuses.

His accuser, now a 19-year-old college student, is the daughter of Anderson's second in command at the lab. In addition to employing the girl's mother, Anderson had been a close family friend. The jury of 10 men and two women took a little more than a day to reach its verdict. Silver-haired and square-jawed, Anderson, dressed in a gray wool suit, looked straight ahead as the jury verdicts were read by the court clerk.

Outside the courtroom, Deputy Dist. Atty. Cathryn F. Brougham said the verdict showed the jury "did not allow his status, his high education and his professional reputation to stand in the way of the truth."

[His lawyer, Barry Tarlow, had argued that his client was a kindly mentor to the girl and was being smeared by her mother, whom he said wanted to assume Anderson's position at USC.Tarlow said that while Anderson was brilliant in the lab, he did not have great social skills, as evidenced by e-mails introduced at trial in which he wrote about pondering suicide if the girl's allegations were to become public. "Nothing about having a 176 IQ means you have good judgment," Tarlow said. As intelligent as William French Anderson was, his 176 I.Q. did not prove to show him the right way in life. [www.freerepublic.com, July 19, 2006, Linda Deutsch � ap]


We all need to remember the wise words given to us in Proverbs 16:25, �There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.� We all are susceptible to flawed thinking because of sin in the world. Let us never forget we need to look to The Lord for our answers and paths to take in life.

AskMe #2802349 05/19/14 07:01 AM
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James 3:17-18 (NLT)
17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

Wisdom is God�s gift to men. Of all the things King Solomon could ask for; he asked for wisdom and God gave wisdom to him as a gift. True wisdom from God is pure. It is peaceful, gentle, considerate, merciful and compassion. There is no favoritism found in God�s wisdom and the results are always sincere. A Peacemakers use God�s wisdom to instill peace in others. Peacemakers turn a hostile environment into a peaceful environment, which those who are Peacekeepers maintain peace in a hostile environment through whatever means necessary. The seeds planted by Peacekeepers reap a harvest of peaceful righteousness.



On an ordinary winter day in 1961, an MIT meteorologist named Edward Lorenz ran some routine experiments and found some unusual results. Lorenz discovered that seemingly tiny and insignificant changes in his data could produce huge differences in the final result. At first, Lorenz and other scientists in the field of chaos theory called this "the sensitive dependence on initial data." Fortunately, later on Lorenz used a simpler term�"the butterfly effect." In 1972, Lorenz presented a scientific paper entitled "Predictability: Does the Flap of a Butterfly's Wings in Brazil Set off a Tornado in Texas?" According to Lorenz's theory, the butterfly's wing-flapping doesn't actually cause a tornado, but it can start a chain reaction leading to giant changes in world-wide weather patterns. In others words, even tiny, insignificant movements or actions can produce huge changes that affect millions of people.

The Bible often describes a similar "butterfly effect" for the spiritual life. According to Jesus, the spiritual butterfly effect occurs when we do small things�making a meal, visiting the sick, befriending the lonely, opening our home to a guest, praying with a friend�for "insignificant" people, which makes a huge difference in God's eyes. But according to Jesus, there's also a reverse butterfly effect: consistently failing to display small acts of kindness (i.e. living an unkind lifestyle) has a profound loss of opportunity in the spiritual realm. [Kenneth Chang, "Edward N. Lorenz, a Meteorologist and a Father of Chaos Theory, dies at 90," NewYorkTimes.com (4-17-08)]


Apply God�s wisdom to your actions for a simple right action may have a significant and profound positive effect on another, while a negative action may have a lasting detrimental effect. We want to pass along positive effects that others can pass along too.

AskMe #2802511 05/20/14 05:31 AM
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Romans 15:5-6 (NKJV)
5 Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, 6 that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In his course of exhortation the apostle now turns to prayer. He asks that God bestow patience and comfort to those who believe in Christ that they may live as Christ did towards one another and that their lives are as one mind in accordance that of God the Father and God the Son.



Mark DeYmaz, pastor of the Mosaic Church of Central Arkansas, is passionate about building a multi-ethnic and economically diverse church. In his book Building a Healthy Multi-Ethnic Church, DeYmaz stresses the church�especially the American church�ought to reflect the many colors and cultures that dot our landscape. The diversity this requires is not an easy task. Nonetheless, the church ought to be "a place in which people are comfortable being uncomfortable." Christians must realize "that they are a part of something much bigger than themselves."


God�s church was put in place to extend too many people. It doesn�t matter what race you are, it doesn�t matter the color of your skin, it doesn�t matter how wealthy or how poor you are. All that matters is that you have placed your faith and trust in Jesus Christ who died on a cross for the sins of the world; and that on the 3rd day Jesus rose to life victorious over sin and death.

As believers in Christ we are to work together as one, glorifying the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As brothers and sisters in Christ even when we have differences, we are to love one another with the grace and mercy that God would extend. Let us stand firm in our faith and build God�s church as it should be.

AskMe #2802708 05/21/14 06:29 AM
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Proverbs 21:3 (NIV)
3 To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.

This is a reminder from King Solomon that The Lord enjoys when we do things that are right and just. These actions are pleasing to Him. Generally the sacrifice was offered after a transgression had occurred to amend for any sins committed. And while this showed repentance on behalf of the person, it would have been more acceptable to not have committed the transgression.



Max Lucado, in Outlive Your Life wrote: A few months ago I was sitting at the red light of a busy intersection when I noticed a man walking toward my car. He stepped off the curb, bypassed several vehicles, and started waving at me. He carried a cardboard sign under his arm, a jammed pack on his back. His jeans were baggy, his beard scraggly, and he was calling my name, "Max! Max! Remember me?"

I lowered my window. He smiled a toothless grin. [He said], "I still remember that burger you bought me." Then I remembered. Months, maybe a year earlier, at this very intersection, I had taken him to a corner hamburger stand where we enjoyed a meal together. He was California-bound on that day. "I'm passing through Texas again," he told me. The light changed, and cars began to honk. I pulled away, leaving him waving and shouting, "Thanks for the burger, Max."

I'd long since forgotten that meal. Not him. We never know what one meal will do �. When we provide food stamps, we stave off hunger. But when we invite the hungry to our tables, we address the deeper issues of value and self-worth.


As Max illustrated above it would have been simple to sacrifice a few dollars to someone who was hungry. However, Max had taken an extra step of taking the man to eat and sitting down with him for a conversation. It wasn�t the meal that made such a great impact upon the man, but that Max gave his time to share a meal with this man to show he cared about the man.

Even Jesus relayed this example to us when He said in Revelation 3:20, ��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.� Jesus just doesn�t come to believers to give a handout; He comes to believers to have an intimate relationship with them.

AskMe #2802899 05/22/14 05:14 AM
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Galatians 3:5-7 (NLT)
5 I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you obey the law? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ. 6 In the same way, �Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.� 7 The real children of Abraham, then, are those who put their faith in God.

The message the apostle conveyed here is about faith. Faith is belief with strong conviction; firm belief in something for which there may be no tangible proof; complete trust in or devotion to. Faith is the opposite of doubt. Abraham demonstrated his faith by believing God even when there was no proof of a future outcome.


[A Beautiful Mind tells the story of John Nash (Russell Crowe), who is a brilliant mathematician that struggles with mental instability. His marriage is a testimony of true love and commitment through years of trial, illness, and�finally�great success.

On the evening Nash proposes to his future wife, he shows up very late to the restaurant where he's supposed to meet her to celebrate her birthday. Painfully embarrassed about his mistake, he manages to win back her affection. Then he awkwardly straightens his tie and drops to one knee to propose.

As a true scientist, he is uncertain how to justify making such a great commitment with evidence that is so difficult to measure. The ensuing conversation convinces him that he's found true love:

Nash: Alicia, does our relationship warrant long term commitment? I need some kind of proof, some kind of verifiable empirical data.
Alicia: [giggling at his awkwardness] Sorry, I'm just trying to get over my girlish notions of romance. Hmmm�proof�verifiable data�. Okay. How big is the universe?
Nash: Infinite
Alicia: How do you know?
Nash: I know because all the data indicates it's infinite.
Alicia: But it hasn't been proven yet.
Nash: No
Alicia: You haven't seen it.
Nash: No
Alicia: How do you know for sure?
Nash: I don't. I just believe it.
Alicia: It's the same with love, I guess.
[A Beautiful Mind (Universal, 2001), written by Akiva Goldsman, directed by Ron Howard; submitted by Bill White, Paramount, California]]


Nash knew the proof that existed about the size of the universe. The problem was it had never been proven, nor had anyone ever seen far out into the universe. Yet his belief was - there had to be an infinite universe.

1 John 3:1 says, �See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don�t recognize that we are God�s children because they don�t know him.� Pray for those who don�t know God that they may learn of Him.

AskMe #2803072 05/23/14 05:18 AM
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Romans 15:2 (NLT)
2 We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord.

We all are faced with afflictions, but the weak are more subject to problems. Their weakness may come from a weakness in understanding God�s love and mercy. It may be a physical weakness where one is addicted to a substance they cannot overcome. Therefore those of us who are strong in Christ have the responsibility to do what is right and build up those who are weak. Christ did not seek to please Himself, but instead came to minister to the needs of others just as we should do too!



On December 2, 2012, a Spanish long-distance runner named Ivan Fernandez Anaya was competing in a cross-country race in the Spanish countryside. Anaya was running in second-place, well behind the race leader, the Kenyan runner and Olympic medalist Abel Mutai. As they entered the finishing stretch, Mutai, the certain winner of the race, suddenly stopped running. Apparently, he mistakenly thought he had already crossed the finish line.

A Spanish newspaper reported what happened next: "Fern�ndez Anaya quickly caught up with him, but instead of exploiting Mutai's mistake to speed past and claim an unlikely victory, he stayed behind and, using gestures, guided the Kenyan to the line and let him cross first."

When asked what motivated this kind deed, Anaya said, "He was the rightful winner. He created a gap that I couldn't have closed if he hadn't made a mistake. As soon as I saw he was stopping, I knew I wasn't going to pass him."

Surprisingly, Anaya's coach, the famous Spanish runner Martin Fiz, was disappointed with Anaya's display of sportsmanship. Fiz said, "He has wasted an occasion. Winning always makes you more of an athlete. You have to go out to win."

But Anaya stood by his decision. He told reporters,

Even if they had told me that winning would have earned me a place in the Spanish team for the European championships, I wouldn't have done it either � because today, with the way things are in all circles, in soccer, in society, in politics, where it seems anything goes, a gesture of honesty goes down well. [Carlos Arribas, "Honesty of the long-distance runner," El Pais (In English), (12-19-12)]


There will always be those who don�t stop to think about the needs of others. There are leaders who would say we should win at any cost. However The Lord tells us �we should help others do what is right and build them up.�

Anaya could have faced a moment of victory by taking advantage of his competitor�s mistake, but he would have known the truth that his win would have been based on the fact he did not help a fellow runner.

As Christians we are running the race of life together. Let us never leave behind another, but instead encourage, motivate and show them the right paths of life.

AskMe #2803868 05/27/14 05:29 AM
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Acts 20:24 (NLT)
24 But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus�the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.

Here the apostle speaks humbly about himself. He considers his life only worthy of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the Good News of salvation offered to man through God�s grace and mercy just for accepting they are sinners in need of the redemption Jesus provided on the cross.




It�s not always easy to share your faith with other people. Sometimes you fear rejection. Sometime you fear the person might even get hostile. However, most of the time people are pleasant and will thank you or at least acknowledge your efforts.

I have a friend and he uses every opportunity to talk to someone about Jesus. If there was a hitchhiker walking down the road, he would stop and pick them up just to have their undivided attention as he drove and talked about the salvation of Jesus Christ.

One day he was riding down the highway and saw and old country store. He pulled in to get something to drink. As he walked inside he noticed he was the only white person inside. He doesn�t know if it was because he started to talk about Jesus, or he was just an unwelcome stranger, but he found himself being thrown out the screen door. He picked himself up, dusted off, and drove away.

A couple of weeks later he was passing through the same area and saw a man hitch hiking. As my friend usually did he picked up the man so he could talk about Jesus. However this conversation was different. The man stopped him and said, �Aren�t you that white guy that got thrown out of the country story a few weeks back.� My friend replied that he was. Then the man said, �Man you got some courage walking in there like that trying to tell people about Jesus. I want to know some more about Him because obviously He is someone very important to you.�

In the conversation my friend led the man to know Jesus, His mercy, grace and love; along with the salvation that comes from admitting to be a sinner and placing your faith in Jesus. This man became saved through the grace of Jesus and the determination of my friend to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.


If you want to make your life worthwhile, learn to share your faith in Jesus with others. Help others to know Christ that they can also share their faith with others.

AskMe #2804058 05/28/14 05:00 AM
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Roman 12:15 (NIV)
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

True love will interest us in the sorrows and joys of one another, and teach us to make them our own.



On a flight from Atlanta to Chicago in July 2004, nine U.S. soldiers�home from Iraq on a two-week leave�were among the passengers. Before one of the soldiers boarded, a passenger traded his first class ticket for the soldier's coach ticket. As the plane was boarding, other passengers asked to trade their first class seats for the coach seats occupied by the remaining soldiers.

Devilla Evans, a flight attendant on the American Airlines flight, said "it was a privilege to be flying with those two groups of unselfish people: those who would put their lives on the line to protect their fellow citizens' freedom, and those who were not ashamed to say thank you." [headlines.agapepress.org (7-21-04); submitted by Greg Miller, Madison, Mississippi]


God designed us to have relationships with other people. In the story above the people rejoiced over the soldiers coming home after serving their duty. The passengers were willing to rejoice with the soldiers by giving up their first class seats. They also knew these soldiers were probably still mourning the loss of some of their friends. Making them just a little more comfortable was an ease to their mourning and the hardships they endured.

It is out of pure love that we can rejoice and mourn with others. Let us do our best to build lasting relationships that show others the love of Christ.

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Hebrews 9:27-28 (NLT)
27 And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, 28 so also Christ died once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him.

There is one sure thing; everyone at one point in their life will die. It is the end to all relationships in this world. Once death comes we find out life goes on, not as we knew previously, but a new life, an eternal life. It is at this point many will receive God�s mercy and grace of salvation that Christ provided through His death.



[Alison Ritch, of Birmingham, Alabama wrote: My four-year-old, first-born daughter is�in typical first-born fashion�an agonizer. She agonizes over decisions, weighing her options, sometimes paralyzed by the fear of making a choice that will rule something out. A typical example might go like this: She decides she wants juice instead of the water in her glass at breakfast. She comes into the kitchen with her glass of water and asks for juice, but she clutches the glass instead of emptying it in the sink. "I want juice," she says aloud, "but I want my water, too! What if I get thirsty for water? But juice is so sweet and yummy! Oh, what am I going to do?" She had a choice to make. It takes a little extra money to purchase juice, so we always tell the kids they have to choose during breakfast time�it's one or the other. Plus, her little stomach couldn't take both. So there she was, carton in hand while agonizing over her tap water.

It reminds me of how I often come to Christ. I come clutching whatever I'm sure of, whatever I think I have�my righteousness, my things�and ask him for, well, him. I pray, "Lord, fill me with your Spirit. Jesus, I want more of you." But my heart continually goes after what I think will fill me, prove me, justify me, satisfy me. I clutch my reputation, my talents, my possessions. But here's the painful truth: I cannot be filled with Jesus when I won't empty out everything else.

In the third chapter of Philippians, Paul tells the Philippian church that he considers all his former qualifications as garbage because of the far greater worth of knowing Christ. But he doesn't just say that his reasons for "confidence in the flesh" are considered trash in comparison to knowing Christ�although that is certainly true. In verse 8, he writes, "For [Christ's] sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ" (emphasis mine). Paul knew that if he wanted Christ, he had to throw everything else in the dumpster. Just like�however difficult the choice is�my daughter has to choose between water and juice, we have to choose between Christ's righteousness and our own, Christ's riches or ours. We cannot have both.]


Christ died to take away the sins of many people. However, there are some people who trust in their own beliefs or as the Apostle Paul called it, their own garbage. There is no one greater than Christ to remove the sins of the world. Trust in the righteousness of Christ!

AskMe #2805223 06/03/14 05:32 AM
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Proverbs 15:1 (NKJV)
15 A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.

This proverb is making a comparison between a soft answer that is tender, soft and delicate versus a harsh answer that is painful, hurtful and offensive. The soft answer turns away wrath, while the harsh word stirs up anger among each other. As king Solomon kept his mind on peace and provided simple lessons to keep it.



Oswald Chambers once wrote - A man who is continually criticized becomes good for nothing, the effect of criticism knocks all the gumption and power out of him.

When a person is continuously beat down with painful, hurtful and offensive words they tend to coward at anything said to them for fear of more hurt and more pain. They have been through battles many times and they realize the outcome is always the same. So they turn inside to themselves, saying nothing and feeling nothing.

There are others though that respond to harsh statements and give back just as strongly as the manner in which they received. Most often it becomes a battle of words that can even turn into a physical fight.

When someone attacks with harsh words, stop for a moment and thing about the person, think about the conditions and think about anything that may have been a trigger. Maybe they are tired and frustrated themselves and just want to vent their frustration on someone else. Maybe it�s time to listen instead of react.

If there was an accidental mistake or a bad choice of words, maybe a simple �I apologize� would cure the situation. There are some who may say, �Why should I apologize, I did nothing wrong.� However a few kind and soft words may be all that is needed to calm an argument. There is no harm in an apology and it can relieve tensions quickly.

If the words were really hurtful and damaging to you; instead of striking back with your own hateful and angry words, take a moment and process your feelings. Maybe you could say something as simple as, �I feel really hurt right now about what was just said, because I was making my best attempt to do something nice and it just seemed to turn out all wrong.� Notice how the person expresses their feelings without actually making an accusation. Most often when someone connects to another�s feelings they sympathize with them and soften their words and may even apologize.

Follow the words of the Apostle James, �let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.�

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1 Chronicles 29:11 (NIV)
11 Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.

As the gifts for rebuilding the temple are brought in, King David in the assembly of all the people praised The Lord for all of His greatness, majesty and dominion over everything.



Stewart Ruch III, speaks to us from the sermon "Why We Give to Worship and Mission,": My in-laws are missionaries in Brazil. For years they rented a house that they used not only for their own family but also to practice hospitality for people in their community. One day a wealthy widow in Brazil approached my in-laws and said, "I want to buy the house you are renting and give it you. Please take this as a free gift, without any strings attached. I can afford it, and I want to give it to you." It was a beautiful, gracious and unexpected gift.

For the next twenty years, at no point did my in-laws ever say, "This is such an incredible gift; somehow we have to earn the money so we can pay her back. We must repay this debt." They knew that they could never repay this woman for her generosity. So what did they do? Naturally, they brought her close. They became family, and they included her in all their activities. My in-laws kept thinking about ways to express their gratitude and to honor her. "As she has given to us," they kept saying, "we don't have to give back to her; we want to give back to her. The gift she gave to us didn't come with strings attached, but it has bonded us to her forever. We belong to her and she belongs to us."

As a Christian, if you're troubled by the thought of giving back to God, it won't help to hear someone say, "Just get over it and start giving more." Instead you need to hear this: "Believe that you belong to God. Christ has purchased you and your salvation based on his gracious gift. You didn't deserve and you can't earn it. It was a free gift." If you're still trying to figure out how much you can keep and how much you should give, there is a gap in your understanding of God's grace. Once we start to realize what God has done for us, we will give freely, naturally and joyfully.


It is impossible to repay God or Christ for all that has been done for you. Accept the blessings and let them turn to joy in your heart that you may give freely with joy what you can. Learn to give back to others that they too may experience joy and spread the word of God�s good news.

2 Corinthians 9:7 says, �Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.�

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Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV)
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior, tells us metaphorically that there are two gates in life; a wide gate and a narrow gate. The wide gate leads to self-indulgent ways that lead to destruction. The narrow gate is focused on the life of Christ and living the life Jesus would desire for us to have.





Haddon Robinson, from his sermon "Love Keeps Going" writes: Several years ago, I helped lead a tour in Turkey of the churches mentioned in the Book of Revelation. On the last night, we were in the city of Izmir and were having dinner at one of its nicer hotels. Our guide had been in the United States at least ten years and spoke English flawlessly. As we were eating, he began to ask us questions, serious questions about the Christian faith. I said to him, "If you're a follower of Islam, and if you died tonight, would you be sure you could stand in the presence of Allah?" "No," he replied. "There are five things that Muslims should do. I've done two out of five."

Then we began to talk about the gospel. We talked about it long into the night, and before we left I said to him, "Look, you're serious about our conversation, I know. It would not be faithful of me not to ask you if right now you'd like to put your trust and confidence in Jesus Christ." He said to me, "You don't know what you're asking me. Do you know what would happen if I did that? If I announced it to anybody, my wife would leave me. My family would disown me. My boss would fire me. I may want to leave to go back to the United States, and the government would not give me an exit visa. I'd give up everything. You go back home tomorrow. I would not expect you would support me, and I would starve to death in my own culture." As far as I know, he did not trust Christ that night. But there are people who have made that decision and suffered all of that loss and endured those hardships because they are Christ followers.


There are people in this world who are afraid to follow Christ because they may be persecuted, abandoned, and even shunned by their family.

Jesus tells us in John 15:20-22, �Remember what I told you: �A servant is not greater than his master.� If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.�

The Lord speaking to Ananias after Paul�s conversion said, �I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.� The Lord doesn�t promise us an easy life, but He does promise a rewarding one. We are also promised an eternal life with Christ in heaven where there are no more tears. Live for Christ, He died that we would live.

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Colossians 3:13 (NIV)
13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

A straight forward command, �Forgive as the Lord forgave you.� The apostle wants to impress on Christians, since they have been forgiven of their sins that they too should learn to forgive others who have sinned against them.




In June of 2012, Carl Ericsson, a 73-year-old South Dakota man, was sentenced to life in prison after admitting to the murder of a former high school classmate. Friends and family members were shocked that the once-successful insurance salesman seemed to snap. Ericsson had been married to his wife for over 44 years.

But after the murder, Ericsson's secret finally came out. For over 50 years he had simmered with a belated grudge: He was still mad about a classmate who had once pulled a jock strap over his head during a high school locker room prank. Norman Johnson, the classmate and murder victim, was a star athlete on the track team. Ericsson was a student sports manager. According to Ericsson's confession, on one occasion Johnson put a jock strap on Ericsson's head, humiliating him and planting the seed of resentment that would continue to grow for over half a century. Apparently, throughout their lives, Norman Johnson continued to outshine Ericsson. Prior to his murder, Johnson had competed in college football, earned a degree, and then taught and coached at his alma mater for more than three decades.

After holding the grudge for over 50 years, Carl Ericsson rang Johnson's doorbell and shot him dead. Ericsson told a judge, "I guess it was from something that happened over 50 years ago. It was apparently in my subconscious." During his sentencing, Ericsson turned to Johnson's widow and apologized, saying, "I just wish I could turn the calendar back."

[Matt Woodley, managing editor, PreachingToday.com; source: Cameron Smith, Bizarre S.D. murder caused by resentment over 50-year-old locker room jockstrap prank," Yahoo Sports Prep Rally blog (6-18-12]


We are to learn to forgive, not so much for the sake of others, but for ourselves. If only Carl Ericsson had forgiven his old classmate and put aside the grudge he held; most likely there would have been no murder.

I know too many people who keep a grudge believing they are tormenting someone else, when actually they are tormenting themselves. The other person may have forgotten all about the incident. The other person may not have even known what they did. So when you hold a grudge you may be the only one who knows the problem.

Father I pray for those holding onto anger and resentment. I pray they forgive the other person even if they haven�t heard the words I�m sorry. I pray they bring peace back to their own life so they can enjoy it without an old burden weighing them down. I pray this in Jesus name, Amen.

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Psalm 46:10 (NLT)
10 �Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.�

This is proclamation from God that all who are with or against God will know Him. For God will be exalted before every person, in every nation throughout the world.



Let his own people be still; let them be calm and sedate, and tremble no more, but know, to their comfort, that the Lord is God, he is God alone, and will be exalted above the heathen; let him alone to maintain his honour, to fulfil his own counsels and to support his own interest in the world. Though we be depressed, yet let us not be dejected, for we are sure that God will be exalted, and that may satisfy us; he will work for his great name, and then no matter what becomes of our little names. When we pray, Father, glorify thy name, we ought to exercise faith upon the answer given to that prayer when Christ himself prayed it, I have both glorified it and I will glorify it yet again. Amen, Lord, so be it. [Matthew Henry Commentary]

Two commands direct us from the small-minded world of self-help to the large world of God's help. First, "Come, behold the works of the Lord." Take a long, scrutinizing look at what God is doing. This requires patient attentiveness and energetic concentration. Everybody else is noisier than God. The headlines and neon lights and amplifying systems of the world announce human works. But what of God's works? They are unadvertised but also inescapable, if we simply look. They are everywhere. They are marvelous. But God has no public relations agency. He mounts no publicity campaign to get our attention. He simply invites us to look �

The second command is "Be still, and know that I am God." Be still. Quit rushing through the streets long enough to become aware that there is more to life than your little self-help enterprises. When we are noisy and when we are hurried, we are incapable of intimacy�deep, complex, personal relationships. If God is the living center of redemption, it is essential that we be in touch with and responsive to that personal will. If God has a will for this world and we want to be in on it, we must be still long enough to find out what it is (for we certainly are not going to learn by watching the evening news)." [Eugene Peterson, Earth and Altar (InterVarsity Press, 1985), pp. 77-79]

Take time each day to acknowledge the plans and the beautiful works of God. Give praise to the one who leads us to salvation through Jesus Christ. Take time to slow down and develop a personal relationship with both God and Christ so you will understand the importance of your life.

AskMe #2806738 06/12/14 05:01 AM
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Psalm 19:1-2 (NKJV)
1 The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. 2 Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge.

From the things that are seen every day by all the world the psalmist, in these verses, leads us to the consideration of the invisible things of God, whose being appears incontestably evident and whose glory shines transcendently bright in the visible heavens, the structure and beauty of them, and the order and influence of the heavenly bodies. [Matthew Henry]



My wife and I picked up our daughter from a meeting the other night. It was nearing sunset and it had been raining on and off during the afternoon. As we drove up to the building people were looking up into the sky. As we got out of the car we could see why; there was the most beautiful rainbow laid against an orange sky. Never before had I seen anything like this. The sky was completely orange and painted on front of the orange were the colors of the rainbow in a complete arch from one end of the ground to the other.

It�s true what The Bible says, �The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. All around us are beautiful things created by God. Then on special occasions there are even more beautiful and fantastic things never seen before that God places before us. They are so special people stop, look and stand amazed.

The Bible will often talk about fearing God, but it�s not fear like you are about to be punished or disciplined. It is an overwhelming feeling of awe knowing the power, the majesty, and the love of God. If you have ever had that experience you realize the great power of God, what He is capable of doing and that we are small and powerless compared to Him; yet God loves us and would do anything for us. He loves us enough even to paint a beautiful rainbow to remind us of a past promise.

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Luke 11:13 (NLT)
13 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.

Jesus was teaching His disciples about prayer; so He used several parables to help them understand. Here it this example it was about us giving good gifts to our children. Most good parents want to do good things for their children and yet even these good parents have sin in their lives. God who is perfect and loves us as His children is ready to give to each of us the Holy Spirit just for asking.



Clare de Graff writes in �The 10-Second Rule� (Howard Books, 2013), pp. 52-53 -- I've imagined this scene in my head: I'm playing baseball with Jesus. The stands are full of fans, but out there on the field it's just him and me. I'm the pitcher. Jesus is the catcher, behind home plate. He settles into his crouch, ready to play, and I look for his signals�simple commands. What pitch will he want me to throw? I wait in anticipation, but also with one eye on the crowd. What will they think of me?

He signals a fastball.

I think for a moment and shake my head�no, not a fastball.

Next he signals a slider.

This time I look toward my teammates in the dugout for guidance. Then I glance up at the fans. No, I'm not comfortable with that one either.

He gives me yet a third signal.

No, not today, thank you!

Then I imagine Jesus silently and slowly withdrawing his signaling hand back into his mitt. There's a deep disappointment in his eyes. He's decided to let me throw whatever I want. So I do�and then I wonder why there's just no team spirit anymore!

Has Jesus stopped giving you signals?

I doubt it. He never stops speaking to his children. Is there a signal God's been trying to give you, even as you read this sentence that you've ignored because you just don't want to obey?


I know in my life there have been plenty of times I have failed to listen to Jesus, but Jesus still loves me and still wants to speak into my life. All I need to do is put myself to the side and listen. Father I pray that we all learn to stop in life, put aside our own desires, our own wants, and listen to what has been planned for us through Your Son Jesus Christ.

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Proverbs 16:7 (NLT)
7 When people�s lives please the Lord, even their enemies are at peace with them.

If we make it our care to be reconciled to God, and to keep ourselves in his love, he will incline those that have been envious towards us, and vexatious to us, to entertain a good opinion of us and to become our friends. ~ Matthew Henry



The Kenyan actress, Lupita Nyong'o, who received the 2014 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in 12 Years as a Slave, offered this moving reflection on the nature of true beauty:

I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I put on the TV and only saw pale skin. I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin. And my one prayer to God, the miracle worker, was that I would wake up lighter-skinned � [But] every day I experienced the same disappointment of being just as dark as I had been the day before. I tried to negotiate with God: I told him I would stop stealing sugar cubes at night if he gave me what I wanted; I would listen to my mother's every word and never lose my school sweater again if he just made me a little lighter. But I guess God was unimpressed with my bargaining chips because He never listened.

And when I was a teenager my self-hate grew worse � My mother reminded me often that she thought that I was beautiful but that was no consolation: She's my mother, of course she's supposed to think I am beautiful � And my mother again would say to me, "You can't eat beauty. It doesn't feed you." And these words plagued and bothered me � until finally I realized that beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume, it was something that I just had to be � And what my mother meant when she said you can't eat beauty was that you can't rely on how you look to sustain you. [Essence, "Lupita Nyongo Delivers Moving 'Black Women in Hollywood" Acceptance Speech" (2-28-14)]


There are many enemies against us in this world. Sometimes one of those enemies can be ourselves not listening to what God is saying to us. For God tells us that we are precious in His sight. We just need to stop and believe what He is telling us.

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Psalm 68:4-5 (NIV)
4 Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him�his name is the Lord. 5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.

Here the psalmist calls out for others to sing praises to God who is Lord of all. The Lord is one to be extoled for His greatness and majesty. We are to rejoice in song because of His good deeds. He is a father to the fatherless, a defender of widows and remains holy through all He does.



A friend of mine was speaking to me about his father. He said there were there things he learned over time about his father. His father worked hard; he was persistent; and he never asked for help. He said his father would start a job for someone and then kept at it until it was done. If there was something he found he couldn�t do by himself, he learned a way to get the job done without help.

Then my friend asked, which of those three things do you think I learned? His answer was the third item. He learned to do things without the help of anyone else. It is not always a bad trait, but it can be frustrating and difficult when help is needed and you don�t ask for it.

As I thought about my life, I also was one not to ask for any help. I grew up without a father and my single mom counted on me to get things done. Even when it seemed impossible I found a way to accomplish my tasks without asking for help. There was no one around but me, so I had to be my own helper.

Like my friend, I came to the conclusion it is a difficult task being your own helper. You are alone. You are often exhausted. Sometimes you become frustrated because the job gets difficult and you refuse to turn to anyone for help. You even push people away at times because you believe �I can do this alone.�

Then comes along your children and instead of teaching them how to do the difficult things, you step in as you always have done and take over the job without help. You fail to teach them what they need to do. You become impatient and say, �Here, let me just do it.� You really cheat your kids out of learning about life when you do that. I have to say I was guilty many times of doing that exact thing.

The Bible tells us God is a father to the fatherless and I know God was watching over me in my younger life. I know God was willing to help me, but I often did things myself just as I always did. Even when I needed help with the difficult things in life I would struggle along, while God was saying, �Why don�t you let me help you?�

The question for all of us today is, �Why won�t we let God help us?� Are we too proud to ask? Do we just not want a relationship with someone who can help? Are we just stubborn and impatient? Whatever the reason may be take time to ask God to help you today through some of the difficult moments.

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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.

God has given each parent power over their children that should not be abused. Do not be wrathful towards them, impatient, or provoke them to sinful actions. Instead children should be nurtured and instructed in the ways of The Lord. It is a great duty of parents to ensure their children have a good education and are brought up in the ways of The Lord.



According to researcher Elizabeth Marquardt, many people in our society have bought into "the myth of the good divorce." But after the first national study of the inner lives of children of divorce, Marquardt concluded, "We found that even young people who grew up in a so-called 'good divorce,' one in which their divorced parents got along reasonably well and stayed involved in their lives, still suffered negative effects." For example:

Twice as many children of divorce say they felt like a different person with each of their parents (43 percent versus 21 percent).

More than three times as many agreed with the statement: "I was alone a lot as a child." Seven times as many "strongly agreed."

Two-thirds of kids from intact families went to a parent when they needed comfort. Only one-third of children of divorce did the same; they were more likely to turn to friends or siblings.

Sixty-four percent say life was stressful in their family, compared with 25 percent for intact families.

Three times as many say they love their mother but don't respect her. Four times as many say they love their father but don't respect him.

Over 50 percent of young adults from divorced families say that family life after the divorce was stressful, as compared to 6 percent from happy marriages, and 35 percent from unhappy but low-conflict marriages.

53 percent say they experienced many losses in their lives, as compared to 37 percent from happy marriages and 42 percent from unhappy but low-conflict marriages.

Marquardt summarizes the study by stating: "The idea that a 'good' divorce is good for children is popular. But we found that while an amicable or 'good' divorce is better than a bad divorce, it is inaccurate and misleading to describe the children's experience as 'good.'"
[Elizabeth Marquardt, Between Two Worlds (Three Rivers Pres, 2006); Patrick Kampert, "Wounds of Divorce Linger Long Past Childhood," Chicago Tribune (11-13-05)]

It is difficult enough being a good parent to children, even more difficult when the parents can�t be good partners towards each other. For if they can�t handle a partnership in life how can they display a good relationship in their Christian walk with God; not saying it can�t be done, but it surely is more difficult.

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Matthew 10:39 (NLT)
39 If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.

The Apostles were being sent out as missionaries to go to the people of Israel. Jesus gave them some words of wisdom as they were about to depart. One reminder was the verse above. If a person holds on to their sinful life it will be eventually lost; but for those who give up their life for Jesus they will find a new life intended for them.



Christ says, "Give me all. I don't want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want you. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don't want to cut off a branch here and a branch there. I want to have the whole tree down. I don't want to drill the tooth, or crown it, or stop it, but to have it out. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think are innocent as well as the ones you think are wicked�the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you myself: my own will shall become yours."

�C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity


So often we want to hold onto parts of our life, even the damaging parts. A show that hosted Dr. Drew called Celebrity Rehab was about celebrities with addictions. They went in for treatment because they had a hard time letting go of their problems. Many had held so tight to their addictions and for so long they were about to die. As some of the shows went on we learned some did die, because they went back to their old habits.

Christ calls us to give up our entire life and turn it over to Him. As we release ourselves to Christ, we begin to change. I have known some people who had very corrupt lives, but gave up their life to Christ. They changed so quickly people could no longer believe they were the same person. This is what Christ wants, for us to do, release everything to Him; even the things we think are good about ourselves. Christ will then give us back a life that is worth living for. Are you willing to let go and trust Christ?

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