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AskMe #2885710 08/09/16 05:36 AM
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Proverbs 9:9 (NKJV)
9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.

There are those who are willing to listen to those with wisdom and in doing so they become wiser. The person who listens carefully also gains in knowledge.



When I was 18, my father, a doctor, learned what it was like to be on the receiving end of medical care. He was diagnosed with cancer. His type was very survivable if caught early�which could only be known through surgery.

I sat next to him in the waiting room before the operation. It was odd seeing him in a hospital not striding with confidence into a patient's room or giving orders at a nurses' station like a battleship commander�something I had witnessed many times as a boy accompanying him on Saturday morning rounds. Instead he sat in silence with his shoulders rolled and hands shaking.

"You know doctors make the worst patients," he said.

"Why?" I asked.

"Because we know too much. We know the thousands of things that can go wrong that most people never imagine."

Thankfully his cancer was caught early and he survived, but something important happened when the physician became the patient, when the expert became the examined. He gained something that can't be taught in medical school or acquired from years of practicing medicine. Cancer gave him empathy. I saw his compassion for his patients grow following his own health crisis. Doctors may make the worst patients, but patients make the best doctors.

[Skye Jethani, "Dreaded Exams," Leadership Journal (March 2014)]


Oh, when we take the time to learn the opportunities to learn from life and apply it in such a way that we become a comforter to others.

AskMe #2885793 08/11/16 06:05 AM
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Psalm 119:14 (NIV)
14 I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.

The psalmist reminds us that we should rejoice in God�s statues as one rejoices in the riches of the world. For God�s ways a greater than anything we can imagine.



Our treasure and our truth come from Scripture. Scripture is God's guidance for us on how to avoid Satan's harmful traps and to live God's blessed life. Rather than seeing God's Word as limiting, we need to see it as a gift of love and to value it more highly than riches.

I�m not sure I know anyone who has won the Publisher�s Clearing House, but when the show the commercials of someone showing up with a large check, the person opening the door is not only surprised by delighted.

We too should take delight in God�s word and enjoy the surprises waiting for us.

AskMe #2885930 08/15/16 06:01 AM
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Romans 14:8 (NIV)
8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

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 Lord's, devoted to him, depending on him, designed and designing for him. [Matthew Henry Commentary]



Nicole Cliffe became a Christian on July 7, 2015, after what she called "a very pleasant adult life of firm atheism." "The idea of a benign deity who created and loved us," she writes, "was obviously nonsense, and all that awaited us beyond the grave was joyful oblivion � I had no untapped, unanswered yearnings." But here's how she describes what happened to her:

First, I was worried about my child. One time I said "Be with me" to an empty room. It was embarrassing. I didn't know why I said it, or to whom. I brushed it off, I moved on, the situation resolved itself, I didn't think about it again.

Second, I came across John Ortberg's CT obituary for philosopher Dallas Willard. John's daughters are dear friends, and they have always struck me as sweetly deluded in their evangelical faith, so I read the article. Somebody once asked Dallas if he believed in total depravity."I believe in sufficient depravity," he responded immediately. "I believe that every human being is sufficiently depraved that when we get to heaven, no one will be able to say, 'I merited this.'" A few minutes into reading the piece, I burst into tears. Later that day, I burst into tears again. And the next day. While brushing my teeth, while falling asleep, while in the shower, while feeding my kids, I would burst into tears.

She read more Christian books and every time she cried all over again. She emailed a Christian friend and asked if she could talk about Jesus. She writes:

But about an hour before our call, I knew: I believed in God. Worse, I was a Christian � I was crying constantly while thinking about Jesus because I had begun to believe that Jesus really was who he said he was � So when my friend called, I told her, awkwardly, that I wanted to have a relationship with God, and we prayed � Since then, I have been dunked by a pastor in the Pacific Ocean while shivering in a too-small wetsuit. I have sung "Be Thou My Vision" and celebrated Communion on a beach, while weirded-out Californians tiptoed around me. I go to church. I pray �

[Evan after accepting Christ] I continue to cry a lot. [I read a news article] that literally sank me to my knees at how broken this world is, and yet how stubbornly resilient and joyful we can be in the face of that brokenness. My Christian conversion has granted me no simplicity. It has complicated all of my relationships, changed how I feel about money, messed up my public persona � Obviously, it's been very beautiful. [Adapted from Nicole Cliffe, "How God Messed Up My Happy Atheist Life," Christianity Today (5-20-16)]

AskMe #2886021 08/16/16 05:39 AM
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James 5:14 (NIV)
14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.

The Apostle James tells us if there is anyone who is sick that we should call the leaders of the church together, praying for them and anointing them with holy oil in the name of the Lord.



Longtime Atlanta radio personality Jenn Hobby received devastating news on Saturday.

"August 13, 2016," Hobby said on Facebook. "It is the day that Reese and our family started to beat cancer."

The day that forever changed our world.
It is the day that Reese and our family started to beat cancer.

For the last two weeks, we�ve been in and out of the emergency room and doctors� offices chasing the origin of numerous symptoms. We knew something wasn�t right with our gregarious 10-month old; we just didn�t have any answers.

Saturday morning, Reese had an MRI of her pelvic region. The initial scan would reveal a large mass. One hour after our lil angel went back for a routine MRI, the doctor would sit knee to knee with us and tell us Reese has cancer.

We were immediately admitted to Children�s Healthcare of Atlanta. As we walked on to this highly specialized cancer unit at arguably one of the best pediatric hospitals in the country, we felt comforted by the incredible staff and facility yet terrified by the reality of our circumstances. In an instant, we became part of a new family that shared one common theme � we are the chosen ones to beat cancer.
We are so grateful to have such an incredible network of family and friends. The love and support Reese and our family feel is beyond words. Thank you to everyone who has reached out and lifted our baby up in prayer. Please keep going.

She is strong and a fighter�We are going to beat this. Reese is going to be healthy again soon. We are surrounding her with love and light and laughter.
With determination and love, Jenn and Grant


Luke 18:15-17 People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, �Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.�


Let us all pray for Reese, Jenn, her husband Grant, her other daughter Lauren and the rest of the family. May the Lord touch Reese with His healing hands and give the doctors the wisdom to know what to do.

AskMe #2886086 08/18/16 05:48 AM
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Philippians 1:21 (NKJV)
21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

The apostle tells us there should be a readiness to glorify Christ, whether in life or in death. �Those who have most reason to desire to depart should be willing to continue in the world as long as God has any work for them to do.� [Matthew Henry]



In 1967, a student named Libby attended with her boyfriend, Tom. During the final commitment evening, both submitted their lives to the Lord. For 30 years, Tom and Libby Little served in Afghanistan, providing vision care to the people of Kabul throughout seemingly endless wars and conflict.

In August 2010, shortly after conducting a two-week medical camp in a remote valley of northwestern Afghanistan, Tom and his medical team were ambushed and killed. Upon receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her husband, Libby said, "Although Tom was killed in 2010, he had already surrendered his life to God's good purposes way back in 1967." For four decades, Tom had submitted himself to his divine master. [Adapted from Alec Hill, "The Most Troubling Parable," Christianity Today (July/August 2014)]


When we give our life to Christ we are with Him, whether in this life or in eternal life. May we all serve Christ faithfully.

AskMe #2886176 08/22/16 06:21 AM
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Romans 8:32 (NIV)

32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all�how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

Our God is rich and generous to us. Here the apostle reminds us that a father who gives up his own son, will graciously all things that are needed.



Sgt. Dennis Weichel, (pronounced WY-KLE) 29, died in Afghanistan last week as he lifted an Afghan girl who was in the path of a large military vehicle barreling down a road. Weichel, a Rhode Island National Guardsman, was riding along in a convoy in eastern Afghanistan when some children were spotted on the road ahead.

The children were picking up shell casings lying on the road. The casings are recycled for money in Afghanistan. Weichel and other soldiers got out of their vehicles to get them out of the way of the heavy trucks in the convoy. The children were moved out of the way, but an Afghan girl darted back onto the road to pick up some more casings right in the path of a speeding 16 ton armored truck.

Weichel spotted the girl and quickly moved toward her to get her out of the way. He succeeded, but not before he was run over by the heavily armored truck. The girl was safe, but Weichel died of his injuries. Dennis was 29 years old and had arrived in Afghanistan only a few weeks before.

Staff Sgt. Ronald Corbett, who deployed with Weichel to Iraq in 2005, said, "He would have done it for anybody," adding, "That was the way he was. He would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. He was that type of guy."


This is the same type of sacrificial love God showed us, by allowing His Son to die for our sins. God loves us deeply and graciously gives to us what we need.

AskMe #2886228 08/24/16 05:55 AM
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Psalm 116:1-2 (NIV)
1 I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. 2 Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.

David, in straits, had humbly and earnestly begged mercy of God, and God had heard him, that is, had graciously accepted his prayer, taken cognizance of his case, and granted him an answer of peace. [Matthew Henry]




Keith Mannes, of Highland Church, preached the following: My wife's aunt Gladys has always had a little apple orchard at her home. But this year when we paid her a visit, I couldn't help but notice the huge harvest of apples. The branches hung heavy, and some were cracking with the weight of abundance. Never, in many years, had anyone seen such a harvest.

When I asked her why, she told me that last year there was a late frost in the spring, and all the buds froze. When that happens, Gladys said, an apple tree does a miraculous thing: It stores up its energy in thousands of small bumps, or nodules, called scions (pronounced "see-ons"). All that energy pulsates through that network of scions until the spring of the following year, and then, BAM! You have an exploding riot of buds, as an apple tree unleashes all that stored up energy.

Gladys' description made me think about our spiritual lives. Sometimes the harsh frosts of this life�cancer, divorce, bankruptcy, trauma, grief, depression�cause our hearts to freeze. But at the core of the Christian faith we also live with an incredible promise: in and through Christ, there will be an abundant harvest in our lives. God's power is pulsating under the gnarly bark of this world and even our bodies. In Christ, we are being formed into a small nodule of living hope. During certain seasons of our life we feel our hearts waiting, longing, and even aching for those frozen places to burst into life. Our living hope is that one day, all of this stored up glory will be unleashed in a joyful riot of splendor.

AskMe #2886438 08/29/16 06:08 AM
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Galatians 3:28 (NIV)
28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

This verse reminds us that in Christ there is no distinction between race, free or slave, male or female, for we are all one in Christ.



MIT used to have a famous office building simply called Building 20. This structure, located at the intersection of Main and Vassar Streets in East Cambridge, and eventually demolished in 1998, was thrown together as a temporary shelter during World War II, meant to house the overflow from the school's bustling Radiation Laboratory. As noted by a 2012 New Yorker article, the building was initially seen as a failure: "Ventilation was poor and hallways were dim. The walls were thin, the roof leaked, and the building was broiling in the summer and freezing in the winter."

When the war ended, however, the influx of scientists to Cambridge continued. MIT needed space, so instead of immediately demolishing Building 20, they continued using it as overflow space. The result was that a mismatch of different departments�from nuclear science to linguistics to electronics�shared the low-slung building alongside more ordinary tenants such as a machine shop and a piano repair facility. Because the building was cheaply constructed, these groups felt free to rearrange space as needed. Walls and floors could be shifted and equipment bolted to the beams. For instance, a scientist working on the first atomic clock removed two floors from his Building 20 lab so he could install the three-story cylinder needed for his experiments. In MIT lore, it's generally believed that this haphazard combination of different disciplines, thrown together in a large reconfigurable building, led to chance encounters and a spirit of inventiveness that generated breakthroughs at a fast pace. When the building was finally demolished to make way for a new $300 million office space many at MIT mourned the loss of Building 20. As a matter of fact, the new building includes boards of unfinished plywood and exposed concrete with construction markings left intact.


Many people came together to work on a common goal at MIT. In the Church that are many people who come together to work on a common goal. Each person is different and each may come from different backgrounds, but it in love of Christ they work together for they are one in Christ.

AskMe #2886471 08/30/16 05:34 AM
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Ephesians 2:19 (NIV)
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God�s people and also members of his household,

The church is compared to a city, and every converted sinner is free of it. It is also compared to a house, and every converted sinner is one of the domestics, one of the family, a servant and a child in God's house. [Matthew Henry]



A church in Buffalo, New York has found a unique way to bless its local community�open a Subway franchise in its building. In a riff off the popular TV show, Undercover Boss, in which business leaders from large corporations spend several days working alongside lower-level employees, Don Fertman, Subway's Chief Development Officer, goes undercover at several locations across the United States. Most of the episode includes your typical Undercover Boss fare�bumbling executive, dedicated workers, tear-jerker employee recognitions�but Fertman also visited a restaurant in Buffalo, New York located in the same building as True Bethel Baptist Church. The church owns and operates the franchise.

The reason? To provide employment and job training to the surrounding neighborhood. On the episode Senior Pastor Reverend Darius Pridgen explains the origins and aim of the idea:

The reason we actually put it in the church was because there weren't a lot of opportunities in this neighborhood when I got here. We had a high murder rate, and a lot of people not working. So, a lot of people always talk about, "Just give people jobs." Well, that's not the key, if they haven't been trained. So we started collecting an offering. We called it a "franchise offering"�literally called it a "franchise offering." But we've got to do more than build a business. We've got to train people. We try to push people into the next level of life.

The episode concludes with Fertman waiving the franchise fee for the church to open another similarly suited store in a nearby neighborhood. In addition, he encourages a room of Subway executives to consider it as a model for the future.


[Adapted from Joseph Sunde, "Church Opens Subway Franchise to Bring Jobs to Community," Acton blog (2-19-14)]

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Psalm 119:64 (NIV)
64 The earth is filled with your love, Lord; teach me your decrees.

David pleads that God is good to all the creatures according to their necessities and capacities; as the heaven is full of God's glory, so the earth is full of his mercy, full of the instances of his pity and bounty. [Matthew Henry]



Samson, whom no earthly power could subdue during the twenty years that he was energized by the Spirit of God under his Nazarite vow, yet as soon as his locks were shorn was weak as another man. David, who, while he walked with God was the man after God's own heart, yet at length, when out of communion, could be guilty of the most appalling sins. We have no strength of our own to stand against temptation. The longest life, the most devoted service, is no security against a fall. I remember, when a young man, seeing, at a lecture on magnetism, a piece of soft iron brought on the platform and shown to be unable to hold up a needle. A coil of copper wire was then put round it, and connected with an unseen battery. Now it held, first nails, next chisels and other tools, till all the weights of the institution were brought, and it sustained them every one by the magnetic power. At a signal the wire was cut, and they all fell to the ground. It could no longer hold up the smallest thing. Its magnetic power was not in itself, but in its connection with the unseen battery.

AskMe #2886607 09/06/16 05:56 AM
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John 14:23 (NIV)
23 Jesus replied, �Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.

Where a sincere love to Christ is in the heart, there will be obedience: "If a man love me indeed, that love will be such a commanding constraining principle in him, that, no question, he will keep my words.' Where there is true love to Christ there is a value for his favour, a veneration for his authority, and an entire surrender of the whole man to his direction and government. Where love is, duty follows of course, is easy and natural, and flows from a principle of gratitude. [Matthew Henry]



NPR's radio show "This American Life" ran an interesting segment about a marketing executive from Colombia named Jose Miguel Sokoloff. The government of Columbia approached Jose with an interesting assignment: run a marketing campaign that will convince leftist guerrilla rebels to demobilize and reenter society. At first Jose's firm ran a series of radio ad campaigns that featured testimonials from former rebels. But actors actually read the testimonials so that plan didn't work.

Then in 2010 Mr. Sokoloff tried a different approach�an ad campaign called "Operation Christmas." At nine strategic places in the jungle where the rebels traversed, they strung hundreds of Christmas lights on 75-foot tall trees. When the rebels walked by a motion sensor set off the lights and a recorded message that said, "If Christmas can come to the jungle, you can come home." That campaign helped demobilize 331 rebels.

The next year they ran a similar campaign titled "Operation Rivers of Light." The firm filled over 7,000 translucent plastic balls with small gifts and heartwarming notes inviting the rebels to come home. As the rebels travelled by river, this time they saw the balls, lit up and floating on the river, coming towards them. They couldn't resist; they opened the balls and received the gifts and read the notes. Beauty was the key to this campaign. Sokoloff said, "When you see all these lights floating down the river, slowly floating down towards you, you can't escape the thought of, this is a beautiful thing � [you're] drawn to it."

Then in 2012 the ad agency ran "Operation Bethlehem." They shone huge skylights up into the night air and ran the following message: "This Christmas follow the light that will guide you to your family and your freedom." [Ira Glass, "The Poetry of Propaganda," This American Life (12-18-15)]



Come home, Come home, Cause I�ve been waiting for you, For so long, For so long, Right now there's a war between the vanities, But all I see is you and me, The fight for you is all I�ve ever known, So come home.

AskMe #2886686 09/08/16 05:30 AM
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Psalm 143:10 (NIV)

10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.

Oh, the ease at which we walk on level ground. The psalmist asks for easy leading from the Holy Spirit to learn the will of God.



You might not know the name Angelo Dundee, but you've undoubtedly heard of Muhammad Ali, probably the most famous professional boxer of all time. For more than two decades, Angelo Dundee was in Muhammad Ali's corner, literally. He was Ali's cornerman! He's the one who made Ali float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. He also trained fifteen other world boxing champions. Angelo Dundee described his job as a cornerman this way: "When you're working with a fighter, you're a surgeon, an engineer, and a psychologist."

As followers of Jesus Christ, we have something even better than a surgeon-engineer-psychologist in our corner�the Holy Spirit. [Mark Batterson, If (Baker Books, 2015), page 249]


Holy Spirit break us
Come and overtake us
You're the one we're living for
Holy Spirit lead us
To the heart of Jesus
There is nothing we want more

Teach us how to live beyond ourselves
Let everything we say and do
Bring glory to Your name and bless Your heart
God Show us how to love like You

Strip away my pride and selfishness
Take me back to my first love
Falling on my knees, now I confess
You will always be enough

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Philippians 2:1-2 (NIV)
2 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.

The same love that we are required to express to others, others are bound to express to us. Christian love ought to be mutual love. Love, and you shall be loved.



Claude Alexander, bishop of The Park Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, urges Christians from all walks of life to step up into bold leadership. Here's his take on bold leadership:

There are questions that beg to be answered. There are dilemmas to be overcome. There are gaps to be filled, and the challenge is for you to fill them. That is the essence of the high call of spiritual leadership. There is a purpose for your being here. You are meant to answer something, solve something, provide something, lead something, discover something, compose something, write something, say something, translate something, interpret something, sing something, create something, teach something, preach something, bear something, overcome something, and in doing so, you improve the lives of others under the power of God, for the glory of God.

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Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Filthy and unclean words and discourse are poisonous and infectious, as putrid rotten meat: they proceed from and prove a great deal of corruption in the heart of the speaker, and tend to corrupt the minds and manners of others who hear them; and therefore Christians should beware of all such discourse. It may be taken in general for all that which provokes the lusts and passions of others. We must not only put off corrupt communications, but put on that which is good to the use of edifying. The great use of speech is to edify those with whom we converse. Christians should endeavour to promote a useful conversation: that it may minister grace unto the hearers; that it may be good for, and acceptable to, the hearers, in the way of information, counsel, pertinent reproof, or the like. [Matthew Henry]



Novelist William Giraldi, a contributing editor to The New Republic, recently wrote an essay on the modern phenomenon of online hate mail, most often found in the comments section below an article. Comments often devolve into hate-filled insults, but Giraldi draws some conclusions that Christians could agree with. First, Giraldi writes that hate mail proves that, "People are desperate to be heard, to make some sound, any sound, in the world, and hate mail allows them the illusion of doing so. Legions among us suffer from the [boredom] and [unhappiness] of modernity, from the discontents of an increasingly [isolated] society."

According to Giraldi hate mail also means that at least someone is listening to your viewpoints�even if they hate you for it. Giraldi writes, "Part of a writer's [we could insert Christian here] job should be to dishearten the happily deceived, to quash the misconceptions of the pharisaical � to unsettle and upset. If someone isn't riled by what you write, you aren't writing truthfully enough. Hate mail is what happens when you do."


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Joel 2:23 (NIV)
23 Be glad, people of Zion, rejoice in the Lord your God, for he has given you the autumn rains because he is faithful. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before.

The Lord has given and will give you the former rain and the latter rain, and, if he give them in mercy, he will give them moderately, so that the rain shall not turn into a judgment, and he will give them in due season, the latter rain in the first month, when it was wanted and expected. [Matthew Henry]



In his second letter to Timothy, the apostle Paul said,

�I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; preach the word��

Peter, writing in his first letter, said,

�If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.�

In other words,

�If any man speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God, speaking to the fullest or the best of the ability that God has given him, that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.�


God has bestowed His grace upon us with abundant showers. For those who believe, His mercy does not turn to judgement.

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2 Corinthians 13:14 (NIV)
14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Thus the apostle concludes his epistle, and thus it is usual and proper to dismiss worshipping assemblies. This plainly proves the doctrine of the gospel, and is an acknowledgment that Father, Son, and Spirit, are three distinct persons, yet but one God; and herein the same, that they are the fountain of all blessings to men. It likewise intimates our duty, which is to have an eye by faith to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost-to live in a continual regard to the three persons in the Trinity, into whose name we were baptized, and in whose name we are blessed. [Matthew Henry]



Today is my 60th birthday and for the majority of those years I have known the mercy, grace and love of the Lord. I was a young child when I told my mother I feel like Jesus wants me to tell the preacher I believe in God, Christ and the Holy Spirit. It was a feeling I have a hard time explaining, but I know I was compelled to go.

Through the years I have had my failures in life. There is no such thing as a perfect Christian. The apostle tells us in 1 Corinthians 9:24, �Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.� This is a comparison to the Christian life. A runner gives his best to reach the finish line. Sometimes the runner may come in last. Sometimes the runner may trip and fall. At other times the runner may tire and just want to give up. Some may even resort to walking, but eventually they reach the finish line, whether first or last.

For my birthday I hope each of you know the love of God and Christ. I hope you will run the race of life with enthusiasm and will keep up the hope of crossing the finish line into heaven. You may say, I have too many failures to give my life to God. Let me assure you, I still have failures in my life.

For those who believe they are sinners, for those who have murdered, and those who steal, those who others consider abnormal because of their sexual orientation or beliefs; God welcomes you with open arms. You see God welcomes the broken, down trodden, hopeless, tired and rejected. And God will not reject you nor forsake you.

May God bless you and be with you through the years, because He certainly has been with me.

AskMe #2887482 09/27/16 06:13 AM
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Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

If we were but more careful to please God, and to work out our own salvation, we should be less solicitous to please ourselves, and work out an estate in the world. Thoughtfulness for our souls in the most effectual cure of thoughtfulness for the world. [Matthew Henry Commentary]



Claude Alexander, bishop of The Park Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, urges Christians from all walks of life to step up into bold leadership. Here's his take on bold leadership:

There are questions that beg to be answered. There are dilemmas to be overcome. There are gaps to be filled, and the challenge is for you to fill them. That is the essence of the high call of spiritual leadership. There is a purpose for your being here. You are meant to answer something, solve something, provide something, lead something, discover something, compose something, write something, say something, translate something, interpret something, sing something, create something, teach something, preach something, bear something, overcome something, and in doing so, you improve the lives of others under the power of God, for the glory of God.

AskMe #2887871 10/03/16 05:58 AM
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1 Peter 1:3 (NIV)
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Here the apostle gives praise to The Father for the Salvation found in Jesus Christ. It is a new birth, a new life, with hope of an eternal life with God.



Kris Lackey thought he had hurricane-proofed his manuscripts. An English professor at the University of New Orleans, he had saved his fiction and papers (including the novel he had half-finished) via hard drive, flash drive, diskette, and hard copy. But as the murky waters continued to rise and he was forced to evacuate his home, he left his papers and computer equipment behind. Even so, he left them in high places�tables and bookshelves well out of harm's way. He was, by no means, expecting the 11 feet of water that completely besieged his house during Hurricane Katrina.

Returning more than a month later, Lackey found pages floating in mud, completely indecipherable, as well as what was left of his flash and hard drives. Nothing was retrievable. Nothing.


While some things are can never be retrieved, a life with Christ is every lasting. For there is nothing, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, that will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

AskMe #2887977 10/04/16 05:49 AM
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Proverbs 27:1 (NIV)
27 Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.

Boast not thyself, no, not of to-morrow, much less of many days or years to come. This does not forbid preparing for to-morrow, but presuming upon to-morrow. We must not promise ourselves the continuance of our lives and comforts till to-morrow, but speak of it with submission to the will of God and as those who with good reason are kept at uncertainty about it. [Matthew Henry]



The hymn-writer wrote, "Change and decay in all around I see." Change and decay are enemies that most people fear. ... When we are young, change is a treat; but as we grow older, change becomes a threat. But when Jesus Christ is in control of your life, you need never fear change or decay. ... When you are part of eternity, the decay of the material only hastens the perfecting of the spiritual, if you walk by faith in Christ. [Warren W. Wiersbe, His Name Is Wonderful. Christianity Today, Vol. 30, no. 2.]


Paul McCartney once said, �Close your eyes and I�ll kiss you, Tomorrow I�ll miss you.

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Psalm 62:1 (NIV)
1 Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.

This is a Psalm of King David. He opens with saying that his soul finds rest in God and then he explains by saying he knows that his salvation comes from God.



At the age of 35 Christian psychologist and researcher Dr. Jamie Aten was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer that had spread to his pelvis. Aten said:

For the first six months, whenever I asked for a prognosis, all my oncologist would say was: 'I can't tell you that it's going to be okay, Jamie. It's too early to tell. If there's anyone you want to see or anything you want to do, now is the time.'" Cancer wasn't the first disaster I faced. My family and I had moved to South Mississippi six days before Hurricane Katrina. But this disaster was different. There was no opportunity to evacuate as I did before Katrina made landfall. This time the disaster was striking within: I was a walking disaster.

Aten learned that the key to both traumatic situations involved what he calls "spiritual surrender." Aten writes:

Spiritual surrender helps us understand what we have control over and what we don't. In a research study I led after Katrina, we found that people who showed higher levels of spiritual surrender tended to do better. This finding didn't make sense to me at the time. It seemed like a passive faith response. Fast forward to my cancer disaster. I vividly remember taking the trash to the curb one winter morning while praying that God would heal me. The freezing air felt like tiny razor blades cutting across my hands and feet because of the nerve sensitivity caused by chemotherapy.

Wondering if God even heard my prayers for healing, I kept praying as I walked back inside my home. Then all of a sudden I dropped to my knees and prayed the most challenging prayer of my life. Instead of continuing to pray for God's healing, I asked that God would take care of my wife and children if I didn't make it.

This was the hardest prayer I had ever prayed. For the first time in my life, I truly experienced spiritual surrender. I finally understood. True spiritual surrender is far from passive�it is a willful act of obedience.


[Jamie Aten, "Spiritual Advice for Surviving Cancer and Other Disasters," The Washington Post (8-9-16)]

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