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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Tue, 5/7/2013

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

DAVID, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Tue, 5/7/2013
1 Sam. 30:1-20

HOW TO HANDLE YOUR CRITICS, Lesson 16a

Criticism! No one like to receive it, but it will come anyway! Regardless of how well you live your life or try to conduct yourself in front of others, there will always be those around you who will find something to criticize.

Who can forget the life of Job? Here was a man that the Lord called "perfect and upright, and one that feared God and escheweth evil." Yet, when various calamities fell upon his life and Job's friends came to be with him, all they could find to do to Job was to criticize him. Notice what they said about this man of God, "You are a hypocrite!" (Job 5:4-5)! "You are a windbag!" (Job 8:2)! "You're just getting what you deserve!" (Job 5:8-15)! "You have a bad attitude!" (Job 5:17)! There are many more verses that could be mentioned where the friends of Job attacked and criticized this godly man. Yet, through it all, Job stuck with the Lord and never turned on God. As a result, he was restored and blessed by the Father.

Have you ever been criticized by others? Of course you have! And, you will be again! When it comes your way, you need to know how to respond to your critics so that you can have the victory.

In this passage, we find David on the run from King Saul. He has fled to the land of the Philistines and is waiting there for the Lord to deliver to him the kingdom of Israel. During this time, there arose a series of events that lead to David being criticized by his own people. In fact, verse 6 tells us that they were even talking about stoning David to death over this thing.

Today, I would like for us to look into this passage and see what brought about their criticism and how David handled himself in the face of their attack. The lessons gleaned from these verses will help us when we too find ourselves the focus of criticism. Let me speak to you for a few minutes about “How To Handle Your Critics”.

V. 1-5 THE REASON FOR THEIR CRITICISM

29:1-5 A Misguided Decision - In all reality, David probably had no business trying to help the Philistines defeat Israel. Whatever his reasoning, David was leading his troops to fight against their own people. When things turned out as they did, his men were justified in questioning David's decision.

When criticism comes your way, one of the main things you need to ask yourself is, "Is this true?" Instead of reacting defensively against your critic, try to put yourself in their shoes for a moment and try to see the issue through their eyes. It may be that they are right, at least to a degree. Give them the benefit of the doubt.

V. 1-3 A Military Defeat - When these men returned home, they found that their town had been destroyed by the Amalekites. To the minds of these men David was responsible for this event. If they had been home, instead of away, to fight in a war, they could have defended their wives, children and property. Their distress is easy to understand!

Apparently David was doing what he thought was right. However, those around him saw things a different way. We just need to remember that not everyone will agree with us all the time. There will always be those who could do it better, or who would do it differently. The critics are always close at hand!

John Wesley was deeply disturbed by people who seemed to enjoy criticizing others, especially those who were in the Lord's work. Once while he was preaching, he noticed a lady in the congregation who was well known for her critical attitude. All through the service she sat and stared at his new tie. When the meeting was ended, she came up to him and said very sharply, "Mr. Wesley, the strings on your bow tie are much too long. It's an offense to me!" He asked if any of the ladies present happened to have a pair of scissors in their purse. When they were handed to him, he gave them to the critic and asked her to trim the streamers to her liking.

After she clipped them off near the collar, he said, "Are you sure they're right now?" "Yes", she said, "that's much better!" "Then let me have those shears a moment," said Wesley. "I'm sure you wouldn't mind if I also give you a bit of correction. I don't mean to be cruel, but I must tell you, madam, that your tongue is an offense to me - it's too long! Please, stick it out, I'd like to trim some off." Of course, Wesley didn't follow through on his threat, but he sure made his point!

V. 4-5 A Monumental Discouragement - When the tragedy is discovered, the men weep until they can weep no more and needing a scapegoat, they turn on David, (v. 6). However, what they failed to realize, and the Bible points this put, David's wives were among those taken captive. They were simply concerned with themselves and refused to see the bigger picture.

Such is the way with critics! Very often, they are so caught up in themselves, how they feel, what is happening to them and how they are being affected that they cannot see things objectively. The best way to deal with this is to do what David did: Don't respond to your critic! Criticism often has the effect of injuring the critic more than the one criticized! One fellow put it this way, "If criticism has any real power to harm, the skunk would be extinct by now."

TODAY’S VERSE!
1 Corinthians 3:18 (New King James Version (NKJV)
18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.


TODAY’S HYMN!
“I Want To Be Ready To Meet Him” By: Adger M. Pace (1938)

You may have your worldly pleasures
Your silver and your gold,
You may pile up all the riches
That this old world can hold;
But I’d rather have my Savior
And with Him firmly stand
For I want to be ready to meet Him
In the glory land

Chorus
I want (I want to be) to be ready (ready)
To meet Him by and by.
I want (I want to be) to be ready (ready)
To meet Him in the sky.
Oh, I want to be more like him,
And do his best command,
For I want to be ready to meet Him
In the glory land.

You may talk about your riches, your diamonds and your pearls, You may gain the wealth of ages of this and all the world, But the Savior is more precious, with Him I’ll take my stand, For I want to be ready to meet Him in the glory land.
Chorus


There is one thing I can boast of,
Salvation from the fall,
I’m an heir to wealth in glory,
My Father owns it all;
That is why I’m shouting happy
And go at His command
For I want to be ready to meet Him
In the glory land

Chorus

TODAY’S PRAYER!

Heavenly Father, God of Glory and Grace! Open our eyes and hearts that we may see the truth about our situation. Grant us clear understanding when we are faced by our critics. Give us a clear vision of how You want us to respond towards our critics. Enable us to trust Your hand of protection as we lower our defensive shields, and see and understand the situation from their perspective. Enlarge our hearts so we can receive Your instructions and apply it in a way that will glorify You. Pour out Your blessings on all till each soul is filled with Your love and grace. This is our prayer today that we bring before Your throne of grace in Jesus’ name. Amen!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MZLADY77 5/8/2013 5:52AM

    Thanks again for sharing! God bless you! emoticon

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ANHELIC 5/7/2013 11:01PM

    Thank you Vic for another great lesson, hymn and prayer. Yes, I have often felt offended about what someone had said about me, especially when it was not the truth. A friend of mine made a joke of it and said, if they are criticizing you, they are leaving someone else alone. How true. I prayed about this and now with the help of Holy Spirit, I accept criticizm and am not offended. I just want to please our Lord. Thank you for the goodie and note. Blessings for your continued teachings.

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TONYVAND1 5/7/2013 4:47PM

  Responding in clarity to my situation through Christ.

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QTEALADY20031 5/7/2013 3:06PM

    Vic emoticon . Many times we must put ourselves in the shoes of the other person before we open our mouth and criticize. Criticism is not easy to take but yes we do need to ask ourself if what they are saying is true and then perhaps try to rectify.
In other situations there are people who are not happy with themselves and enjoy criticizing others. Thank goodness God hears and knows what is in our heart! emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/7/2013 3:07:12 PM

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JOANIE69 5/7/2013 12:52PM

    I too can relate. I was easily offended when young and a new Christian, but the Holy Spirit would suggest to me that just MAYBE they meant what they said in a different way than how I had taken it. It was foreign to my own way of thinking to reflect on these opposite possibilities, for if I'd said the same thing to someone, (and usually never would), I would have been criticising them soundly. Thus I know these thoughts were from the Spirit, teaching me that not everybody thinks the way that I do...LOL. And thus too I learned not to be easily offended, but to consider what I took as criticism, and ponder if there may be some other meaning to their words, and if not, then did I deserve that criticism? I can now benefit from constructive criticism. Isn't it marvelous how the Holy Spirit leads us along, step by step changing us into the new creatures we started to be, when we first received Christ? Oh to be more like Him every day of my life...steadily moving forward with my eyes fixed on my Lord God! That is glory. His glory.

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LOSTLIME 5/7/2013 11:57AM

    This was great! It is always better to put yourself in someone else's shoes before saying
something that can hurt or you can't take back. Thank you,Vic.

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IAM_HIS 5/7/2013 11:33AM

    Wow, another one that meant so much to me..thank you!!

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WARRIORGIRL121 5/7/2013 10:16AM

    Wonderful, Vic! emoticon

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NELLIEH1 5/7/2013 8:34AM

    Yes, Father, may I have eyes to see and ears to ear You. And Lord, as You work, please keep plowing up my heart that the words I speak may come from a heart that understands.

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RSSSLHB 5/7/2013 8:26AM

    emoticon

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LOOKINGUP2012 5/7/2013 7:54AM

    Yes, Father, open my eyes so I can see situations clearly. Give me understanding and help me lower my defenses. In Jesus name,

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AZMOMXTWO 5/7/2013 7:34AM

  thank you

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Mon, 5/6/2013

Monday, May 06, 2013

FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Mon, 5/6/2013

David: A Man, After God’s Own Heart

1 Samuel 27:1-12
WHEN SMART PEOPLE MAKE FOOLISH DECISIONS, Lesson 15c


Vs. 30:6-8 THE RECOVERY FROM DAVID’S DECISION
Thank God the story does not end there. I am glad that we get to witness David’s recovery from his sin as well.

v. 30:6c David Repented Before The Lord – When David finally hits the bottom; when he has lost all that a man can lose; at long last, David looks toward Heaven again! Perhaps he realized, as he looked at the broken lives and shattered all around him, that everything that had happened was the result of one foolish conversion with his own heart; followed by one foolish decision on his part. David turned his gaze heavenward once again in humble repentance.

v. 30:7 David Relied Upon The Lord – Now, David does what he should have done at the beginning of this episode of his life: David calls on the Lord in prayer to seek God’s will and God’s help. David is back in a place where he can rely on the lord once again.

v. 30:8-9 David Returned To The Lord – When David hears the Lord’s direction for his life, he does not hesitate, but he goes out immediately to do what the Lord has told him to do. He is not walking in David’s will any longer; He is back in God’s will, walking God’s path once again. David has been fully restored!

Most of what we have learned from David has been a lesson in what a person should not do. But, in this last passage, David clearly shows us what we are supposed to do when we have allowed ourselves to walk away from the Lord.

The first step in getting things right is repentance. We need to get before the Lord and deal honestly with our sin, (Pro. 28:13; Psa. 51:1-5). When sin is confessed and handled God’s way, He will forgive that sin and restore the fallen saint, (1 John 1:9). That is a blessing because there is not a saint in this world who does not fall into sin from time to time! If you have wandered far away from God, you need to know that you can come home today and find complete forgiveness and restoration!

Did you notice the Lord’s response to the repentance of David? David has been out of God’s will for sixteen months. Then, he falls down before the Lord and deals with his sin. Does God say, “I am sorry David, but you have crossed the line. I have found someone new to be the king”? Does He say, “I am going to give you three month probation. If you do all right, then we’ll talk about restoration”? Does God say, “Well, I’ll forgive you, but things can never be the same between us again”?

No, God does none of these things! When David calls out from a right spirit, the Lord instantly forgives, restores and communicates with David. God’s answer is swift, sure and accurate!

What a blessing! There is an earthly price to pay for the sins we commit, (Gal. 6:7). But, when God forgives, He forgives immediately, completely and eternally! Some people today need to experience that kind of grace!

Conc: Regardless of how smart we may be; regardless of how long we may have been saved; or regardless of how high we may climb on the spiritual ladder; we are still capable of making foolish decisions. Some folks are in the process of doing that very thing today.

You have been listening to your heart and it is telling you lies. I suggest that you get to God and hear some truth before it becomes too late. Others have already begun the process of walking a path that is far different from the one God set your feet on when He saved you. I would suggest that you get back before the price gets higher than you want to pay. Still others are watching your world start to come apart all because of some foolish decisions you have made along the way. Some things may have to play out in your life, but you can still have your fellowship with the Lord restored today. There are probably some others who have never even been saved. Friend, you are headed for the rudest awakening of all. If you will come to Jesus, He will save you and give you eternal life.

I know that there are needs today. Who has the spiritual courage to come into the presence of the Lord and get them taken care of right now? Listen to His voice, not your own heart, and do as He says to do!

TODAY’S VERSE!
Proverbs 28:13 (New King James Version (NKJV)

13 He who covers his sins will not prosper,
But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.


TODAY’S HYMN!
“Sweet Will of God” By: C. H. Morris (1900)

1. My stubborn will at last hath yielded;
I would be Thine, and Thine alone;
And this the prayer my lips are bringing,
Lord, let in me Thy will be done.
Refrain:
Sweet will of God, still fold me closer,
Till I am wholly lost in Thee.

2. I’m tired of sin, footsore and weary,
The darksome path hath dreary grown;
But now a light has ris’n to cheer me;
I find in Thee my Star, my Sun.
Refrain:

3. Thy precious will, O conqu’ring Savior,
Doth now embrace and compass me;
All discords hushed, my peace a river,
My soul, a prisoned bird set free.
Refrain:

4. Shut in with Thee, O Lord, forever,
My wayward feet no more to roam;
What pow’r from Thee my soul can sever?
The center of God’s will my home.
Refrain:


TODAY’S PRAYER!

Loving Father, Gracious God! When we are feeling insignificant, and thinking we do not count for much, we read in the scripture how You have a wonderful plan for us who love You and obey Your Word. Your plans tell us that You plan to prosper us and not to harm us. Your plans tell us that we will be saved according to the conditions of your promise. When our relationships are difficult, the Holy Spirit provides Love, joy, and peace that we cannot achieve by our own strength. With Your gifts of peace, faith and wisdom, we are able to deal with the daily problems of living. Our hope in Jesus gives us the courage which we do not always understand but appreciate. Thank You for Your wonderful plan and for Jesus who made it possible. Lead us forever towards our eternal home with YOU! These things we pray in the blessed name of Jesus, our Redeemer, Savior and Lord. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY DAILY “DID YOU KNOW” POST!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IAM_HIS 5/7/2013 11:42AM

    We are so blessed to have such a merciful God. I am always in awe when I realize His unconditional love. Thank for this powerful blog!

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ANHELIC 5/6/2013 11:49PM

    Thank you Vic for another great continuing lesson. Everyday we need to confess our sins and ask God to show us ones we don't realize we have committed as well. As long a we repent with a sincere heart, God will forgive our sins. Thank you for the goodie and note, Vic. God bless you for your teachings.

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LOOKINGUP2012 5/6/2013 7:28PM

    I am so thankful for God's forgiveness and His amazing love! emoticon

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PANANA1 5/6/2013 3:13PM

    emoticon emoticon

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QTEALADY20031 5/6/2013 3:07PM

    emoticon Vic. We know if we go to God and confess our sins that we will start anew. Salvation is always there for us. I hope you are having a blessed day!! emoticon June

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LOSTLIME 5/6/2013 12:34PM

    Thank you, Vic! I am so glad for God's unconditional love for me. I couldn't go back to where I was a year ago. He brings me so much peace and strength in my life. It was so bleak without His love and word!
Have a blessed day!

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JOANIE69 5/6/2013 11:13AM

    Yes Vic. If we say we are without sin, we lie. Daily we ought to ask God to show us our hidden sins as well. And quickly must we confess and repent and return to the Lord. Thank you for this lesson, and I pray someone who may have been away from the Lord will realize he/she needs to turn around and receive God's loving mercy and grace.

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NELLIEH1 5/6/2013 8:07AM

    How blessed we all are day by day, that GOD draws us back to Himself in unconditional love and gives us the gifts of repentance and forgiveness! Oh to always keep short accounts with Him daily!

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AZMOMXTWO 5/6/2013 7:26AM

  emoticon

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RSSSLHB 5/6/2013 7:23AM

    emoticon Vic God bless emoticon

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AMANDACOETZER 5/6/2013 7:13AM

    emoticon

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sun, 5/5/2013

Sunday, May 05, 2013

FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sun, 5/5/2013

David: A Man, After God’s Own Heart

1 Samuel 27:1-12
WHEN SMART PEOPLE MAKE FOOLISH DECISIONS, Lesson 15b


Vs. 27:2-30:6 THE RESULTS OF DAVID’S DECISION
27:2-3 The People In David’s Life Were Affected – Because of the foolish decision David made, everyone who’s life touched that of David was affected as well. All 600 of his men and their families; his own wives and children; everyone around David was brought down by his decision! All of those people where brought into a place of compromise and temptation because one man listened to his heart instead of listening to the Lord.

Romans 14:7 says, “For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.” That basically means that everything we do in our lives touches those around us. When a husband or a wife steps out of God’s will, it affects their marriage. When one or both parents refuse to live by God’s standards, it has an impact on their children. People at school, at work and at church are touched by the way we live our lives. We never know who is watching, or who might be hindered when we give in to the advice of the heart and walk away from God. But, remember, there is a price to pay for touching others in a negative manner, (Luke 17:1-2).

27:5-12 The Pattern Of David’s Life Was Affected – Not only did David’s decision affect the people around him; the very way David lived his life was altered. In other words, his decision to walk away from the Lord changed him completely. Look at some of the things the Bible reveals about this tragic time in David’s life.

v. 4 David lived with a sense of false security. He thought he was safe.

v. 5 David sought help and ran with the wrong crowd. He literally aligned himself with the enemy.

vs. 8-12 David did things there that he never would have done before. He murdered, he lied, and he submitted himself to the enemy of God. The whole fabric of David’s life was altered by the decision he made.

v. 7 David stayed there for 16 months. I am sure he was there longer than he intended to be.

It is also worthy to note that no Psalms are attributed to David during this period of his life. It seems as though the “Sweet Singer of Israel” has lost his voice.

When a believer makes that fatal decision to walk away from the Lord and from the place of blessing, their life will be affected in a negative way.

Like the Prodigal, they will live in a false sense of security; but the backslider is never out of the view of the Lord God; nor is he too far away to avoid chastisement, (Rev. 3:19; Heb. 12:6-12).
The one who walks away will find that they are soon doing things they would have done before; and that they are doing them with a crowd they would never have run with before, (1 Cor. 15:33).
They will find that their entire lifestyle has been changed and they will look around and find that months and even years have passed while they languished in the far country.
They will also find that their song has departed and that their joy has dried up.
You cannot walk away from God and go off into sin and not be affected! If walking away from the Lord does not alter your life; then I would venture to say that you were not His to begin with!

29:1-30:6a The Peace Of David’s Life Was Affected – Someone said, “Sin will take you farther than you want to go; keep you longer than you want to stay; and cost you more than you want to pay.” We are seeing the truth of that fleshed out in David’s life. In this passage, David has fallen about as far as a man can fall. He is out of God’s will; off God’s path and actively working with the enemy against the people of God. But, thankfully, David was not having a good time! You see, his sin affected the people in his life; it affected the pattern of his life; but it also affected the peace of his life.

29:1-5 – David has lost his identity. He unites himself with the Philistines to go and do battle with his own people, Israel. But, even the Philistines do not want him around! He has become and offense to them as well. He is literally a man without a country at this point.

29:6-8 – David reveals the depths to which he has fallen. The future king of Israel grovels at a pagan king’s feet and declares himself to be that king’s servant! He even says that the enemies of King Achish are David’s enemies!

29:9-11 – David is declared to be a faithful servant by Achish.

30:1-5 – David finally reaps the harvest of the wickedness he has sown. He loses far more than he could have ever imagined. The Amalekites retaliate against David and his men for their earlier actions, (27:8-11). Their families are taken captive and their city is burned to the ground! Yet, those pagans showed more grace and mercy than David, the man of God had shown his enemies.

30:6 – David finally reaches the bottom. His men turn on him and threaten to kill him. They rightly realize that all of these tragedies are the result of David’s foolish decision. His sin has taken everything away from him!

What a frightening portrait of the power and potential of sin on our lives! You and I may walk away from the lord and go our own way, but we will not do so without paying a terribly high price! What will it cost you my friend? Is the sin you are about to walk away from God to commit worth the price you are going to pay? Is it worth your spouse? Is it worth your children? Is it worth your ministry? Is it worth your good name? Is it worth your power with God? Is it worth your health? Is it worth your life?

Let us not think for one second that we can walk away from the Lord and do so without consequences! There will be a price to pay and God will have no trouble collecting that price from our lives! That is the clear lesson of Scripture, (Num. 32:23; Psa. 13:15). Before you make a foolish decision and walk away from the lord; consider the price that you might have to pay.

TODAY’S VERSE!
Luke 21:19 (New King James Version (NKJV)

19 By your patience possess your souls.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Be Still, My Soul” By: Katharina Von Schlegel (1752) & Jane Borthwick (1855)

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessèd we shall meet at last.

Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Holy Father, Divine God! You turn our mourning into dancing, fill us with Thy gladness, and bring songs of praises and thanksgiving to our hearts and lips. You are Lord and King of our lives and our precious Redeemer. There is no other God like You. Your love is full of goodness, grace and mercy. You heal us when we are broken and bandage the wounds of our souls. You lead us back when we have gone astray. You build us up when we are weak in our souls. You are Great and Powerful, and understand all things, even what is in our hearts. You take our sadness, hurts and depression and put gladness in our hearts. Today, we put on the garments of praise in exchange for the spirit of heaviness. It is to Your glory and in the name of Jesus that we pray. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY DAILY “DID YOU KNOW” POST!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IAM_HIS 5/7/2013 11:30AM

    This is such an important blog. I truly feel blessed to have read it. Thank you for posting this!! emoticon

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ANHELIC 5/5/2013 11:47PM

    Thank you Vic for a great lesson, hymn and prayer. Teaching us to rely on God and not go our own way and fall into sin and seeing David's life falling into sin and God stepped away from him. Thank you for the goodie and note. God bless you for your teachings.

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NELLIEH1 5/5/2013 9:17PM

    Hebrews 6 and 10 are strong and tragic reminders of the consequences of choosing our own ways as believers in Christ. Whenever I read 6:4-6, I ponder the amazing mercy of GOD to give me a second chance...that all in my life is totally because He initiates, allows, directs it. "Impossible" was turned into "Possible" because Jesus Christ died, shedding His blood to cover our/my sin. A precious verse to hold in our hearts is: 10:26
"If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left..." We are not remaining with/in Christ because of fear of judgment, but rather because of GOD's unconditional love that envelopes us. Oh that we would remain in Him (John 15) and pay attention to GOD's "if's".

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TONYVAND1 5/5/2013 7:26PM

  Yes walking away does mean consequences but I rejoice that I can come back to Him and have a scarf ice of praise

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AZMOMXTWO 5/5/2013 5:37PM

  thank you

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SISSIE21 5/5/2013 11:24AM

    Ok so if I look at this story, David became lost and disillusioned and basically lost his belief in the goodness of the world and himself. It appears he acted out of desperation, so it is not surprising that he made poor decisions. I love the fact that your story shows how much our actions affect those around is. We are all connected in some way and when we lose ourselves we influence the people who care for us greatly. I know as I have personal experience with someone who affects those around in a negative way. It is like a flame that gets started and then sweeps over you and then to the next person... The challenge is to find a way to stay positive and true to your values when this happens.

I see David's story as a man who quit following his deep values and out of desperation clung to anything and anyone who would give him back those feelings of power he was used to. We can all relate to a life situation like that. I have lived long enough to know life goes up and life goes down and if you can enjoy the ups you also need to have the strength and integrity to get through the downs. To me, how you react to the down periods actually show a person's real character.

I kind of feel sorry for David. He reminds me of many of us humans and our life paths.. We make foolish decisions, its part of being human. How we recover from them and make amends to others is what is important. I am hoping this turns out well for him in the end. Can't wait for the next chapter!

Have a great Sunday Vic! emoticon

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CANDOIT54 5/5/2013 11:05AM

    emoticon Vic

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LOSTLIME 5/5/2013 10:26AM

    Today, I was watching a program on TV. It stated that if we don't give our problems to God then He will step back until we ask Him for help. He will not forget us. But will patiently wait for us. For me, that said it all. He is love, forgiveness,caring and hope.

Thank you, Vic for all the lessons on David's life.

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LOOKINGUP2012 5/5/2013 9:23AM

    God's awesome love for David prevailed through it all. Thank God he cares so much for us.

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ILUVTTV 5/5/2013 8:32AM

    David is a very good example of how we can fall, and then through God's great forgiveness, mercy, and love, get back up and walk the path! Thank you for your insight. Love the hymn!

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GARDENSFORLIFE 5/5/2013 8:20AM

    AMEN!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Great Blog!
God Bless You!

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RSSSLHB 5/5/2013 7:29AM

    emoticon for posting, Vic have a emoticon LORD's day

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1HAPPYSPIRIT 5/5/2013 6:42AM

    emoticon Thanks for sharing, Vic!

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GLUECIPHER 5/5/2013 6:41AM

    Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.--2 Sam.12:11

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sat, 5/4/2013

Saturday, May 04, 2013

FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sat, 5/4/2013

David: A Man, After God’s Own Heart

1 Samuel 27:1-12
WHEN SMART PEOPLE MAKE FOOLISH DECISIONS, Lesson 15a

I want you to place yourself in David’s sandals for just a moment. You were told as a teenager that you were going to be the next king of Israel. Samuel, the old man of God, came and anointed you for that office. The next thing you know, you are in the royal palace playing and singing for the king. Then, like a whirlwind, one activity after another took place in your life that brought you to national prominence.

You killed Goliath with a single stone thrown from your sling. You were promoted in the army and made the captain over a thousand men. You married the king’s daughter and were best friends with the king’s son. It seemed that every event in your life was bringing you ever closer to the day when you would step up and claim the throne of the land as your own.

Then, things began to happen. Cracks began to appear in the perfectly constructed life you enjoyed so much. You fell out of favor with the king, and he even tried to kill you! Your relationship with your wife came to an end. You could no longer fellowship with Jonathan, your best friend. You were demoted and lost your position in the army. The next thing you know, you are a fugitive, running for your very life, from an insane king who is determined to take your life.

Yet, even as you run from your enemy, you continue to carry yourself well. You spare his life when the opportunity to kill him is virtually handed to you. You show compassion when dealing with others you could have destroyed out of hand. You even continue to seek God’s direction for your life, believing that someday His promises for your life will all be fulfilled.


Then, one day, something changes. You awake as usual, but somehow, the world is different today. For the first time, it looks like God may have forgotten all about you. It looks like your enemies will eventually prevail. You become discouraged, disillusioned and find yourself trapped in the pit of hopelessness. While you are in that state of despair, you make a foolish decision that alters the course of your life; brings you troubles that you could have never imagined; and leaves you broken spiritually.

That, in a nutshell, is the life of David up to this point. David was on the fast track to the kingdom; now he is a fugitive on the run. Our text finds David hunted, hounded and haunted. He is defeated, discouraged and depressed. While he is in that condition, he makes a foolish decision that will produce some very serious consequences in his life. David decided to give up on God’s plan for his life. He decided that, somehow, God must have forgotten about him. He decided that God’s plan for his life had failed. David took his own life in his own hands and began to live for himself as he wanted to live.

As I think about this stage of the life of David, I see in him a portrait of myself and many believers I have met over the years. David pictures people who have been saved by the grace of God and who began their walk with God very well. But, somewhere along the way, things didn’t go as they had envisioned and they became defeated, disillusioned and discouraged. In their weakened spiritual condition, they made a terrible decision that had terrible consequences in their lives. Instead of staying close to the Lord and following His will for their lives, they chose to walk away from God and live lives of carnality and compromise. They made a tragic decision and paid a high price.


Today, I want to preach on the thought: “When Smart People Make Foolish Decisions”. I would like to take David’s life and point out where we go wrong in the decisions we make in life; what we can expect when we make those decisions; and how we can pick up the pieces and move on with God. I want to make three observations as we look into these verses today and think about “When Smart People Make Foolish Decisions”.

v. 27:1 THE REASONS FOR DAVID’S DECISION
David Trusted The Wrong Confidant – David is pictured having a conversation with himself. Instead of turning to God in prayer as he had so often done; David turns to himself for counsel. The advice he receives from himself is anything but wise.

David Believed The Wrong Counsel – When David communed with his heart, he immediately forgot all the great promises which the Lord had made to him. God had promised David that he would be king, (1 Sam. 16:1, 12-13). That promise had been confirmed by Jonathan, (1 Sam. 23:17); by Abigail, (1 Sam. 25:30-31); and even by Saul, (1 Sam. 24:20). Yet, all these great promises are forgotten when David begins to listen to his own heart. David even thinks that he knows what will happen out there in the future. He should have known that God is a Sovereign God, Who is in total control of all things past, present and future, (Psa. 135:6; Eph. 1:11).

David Reached The Wrong Conclusions – Because David listened to his heart, he chose to abandon the path of life God had placed him on years before. He decided that he would be better off fleeing to the land of the Philistines, where he thought he would be safe from King Saul. Imagine, the future king of Israel, running to the arch enemies of God to beg for help! That’s the kind of trouble David’s heart got him into!

Beware of trusting your own heart! When we consult the heart, we will get in touch with our human nature. Our old, human nature is fallen and it always looks at things from an earthly level, (Gal. 5:19-21). When people say, “Well, I feel it in my heart,” they are usually headed for trouble! That is why the Bible cautions us against trusting the heart, (Jer. 17:9; Pro. 28:26; Eccl. 9:3; Mark 7:21-22). When you talk to yourself, be sure to talk to yourself about the things of God, (Eph. 5:19-20; Phil. 4:8). When someone says to you, “Just listen to what your heart is telling you,” they have given you advice that can lead to spiritual wreck and ruin, if you are foolish enough to follow it.


You see, your heart will say things like, “This church is dead”; “These people don’t like you”; “God is being unfair to you”; “You would be better off if you stayed home, or went somewhere else”; “That preacher is mean”; “You are really missing out! There’s nothing wrong with living it up every now and then”; “God doesn’t even care about you. If He did, these things would not be happening to you: Just once won’t hurt”; “Just a little, won’t matter”; etc.

Many of you know exactly what I am talking about, don’t you? Your heart will trick you, deceive you, lie to you, and lead you down the wrong path of life. If you listen to your heart, you will find yourself where David found himself: out of God’s will; out of God’s place for his life; and out of God’s fellowship! If you listen to your heart, you will find yourself living a life of spiritual compromise and you will find yourself a backslider on the outs with God!

David made wrong decisions because he listened to his heart and it led him astray. Be very careful, my friends, some are heading in that same direction today.

TODAY’S VERSE!
Ecclesiastes 10:12 (New King James Version (NKJV)

12 The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious,
But the lips of a fool shall swallow him up;

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Listen To Our Hearts” By: Jeff Moore and Steven C. Chapman (1992)

Verse 1:
How do you explain,
How do you describe,
A love that goes from east to west,
And runs as deep as it is wide?


You know all our hopes
Lord, you know all our fears
And words cannot express the love we feel
But we long for You to hear


Chorus:
So listen to our hearts (oh, Lord, please listen)
Hear our spirits sing (and hear us sing)
A song of praise that flows (a simple song of praise)
From those You have redeemed (from those You have redeemed)
We will use the words we know
To tell You what an awesome God You are
But words are not enough
To tell You of our love
So listen to our hearts


Verse 2:
If words could fall like rain
From these lips of mine
And if I had a thousand years
I would still run out of time


So if You listen to my heart
Every beat would say,
"Thank You for the Life, thank You for the Truth, thank You for the Way."


Chorus


TODAY’S PRAYER!
Heavenly Father, Most Gracious God. Lead us away from anything that presents even the most remote possibility of getting us off the path You have laid down for us to walk. Help us not to become pre-occupied by the things we see, the things we watch, the things we read, the things we spend our time, that is not from You and for Your glory. Grant us only what is best for us. When we trust in our own hearts, we are a fool, but when we walk wisely according to Your blessed Word, we are delivered from following a foolish road. We choose this day to trust in You and not ourselves. Help us to be wise and stay away from anything that tempts us from the high mark for which You have called us. Lead us in the paths of righteousness. This we ask in the Divine name of Jesus, our Lord. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY DAILY “DID YOU KNOW” POST!
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND INVITE THEM TO JOIN THE TEAM!




  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOOKINGUP2012 5/5/2013 9:21AM

    Thank you for this beautiful lesson on not communing with our own hearts!

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SISSIE21 5/5/2013 12:50AM

    I am really enjoying reading this story, can't wait to see what happens next! Good life lessons wrapped up in it as well.
I am not sure how I feel about the following your heart advice. My experience has been different. Sometimes I think it is because we don't follow our hearts that we end up doing things that make us and others unhappy. It is that still, calm voice inside that I try to listen to when making an important decision. The one that never wants me to harm anyone or myself. When I listen to that voice, it always works out for the good. But to have the courage to follow through on what your heart says is right, now that is not always easy to do... emoticon

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ANHELIC 5/4/2013 10:57PM

    Thank you Vic for a great lesson, hymn and prayer. Yes, if we listen to God and not our own desires and wants, we will follow down the path which God opens up for us and waits at the end. Our own desires will lead us into desruction. Thank you Vic for the goodie and note. Have a blessed Sunday.

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MZLADY77 5/4/2013 10:42PM

    Thanks for sharing! Love your blog! emoticon

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NELLIEH1 5/4/2013 10:18PM

    It is true that we listen to our own wants and make decisions according to our own desires. Throughout scripture GOD lovingly calls us back to Himself...to hear His counsel, to receive His thoughts and to choose to walk with Him in His ways. But unfortunately, the pattern we so often follow is James 1:14-15 especially when we feel discouraged, think we've been treated unfairly or decide our plan is the best (just as David did at this point). Yes, as GOD says our "heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure...the LORD searches "the heart and examines the mind." Will we/I let Him do that in us/me? "Search me, O GOD, and know my heart; try me and know my thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!" - Psalm 139:23-24

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CANDOIT54 5/4/2013 9:12PM

    Thank you - this was me- I thought " How could He let so many bad things happen to me" so I lost faith for awhile. But I believe again.

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SARAHTAIT 5/4/2013 6:12PM

    Thank you.......

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LOSTLIME 5/4/2013 6:09PM

    great blog! Thank you,Vic.

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AZMOMXTWO 5/4/2013 11:12AM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RSSSLHB 5/4/2013 9:07AM

    emoticon blog emoticon

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JOANIE69 5/4/2013 8:27AM

    "When we walk with the Lord,
In the light of His word,
What a glory He sheds on our way
When we do His good will
He abides with us still,
Never fear, only trust and obey."

Thanks for your lessons and goodies, Vic.
(I will have the time to communicate more
on SP next week, Lord willing. )
Blessings, Joanie.



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TONYVAND1 5/4/2013 8:09AM

  learning to walk and talk with Jesus is a life long journey.We need to get our wisdom from Him alone.

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Fri, 5/3/2013

Friday, May 03, 2013

FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Fri, 5/3/2013

David: A Man, After God’s Own Heart

1 Samuel 25:2-44 (Read: Verses 2-13)
ANALYZING AN ANGRY MAN, Lesson 14c

v. 32-42 DAVID’S ANGER CONQUERED
The closing verses of this chapter show us how and why David was able to overcome his anger. My friends, I think we could all use these lessons in our lives!

v. 32-35 Conquered By The Openness Of David’s Heart – David backed down because he saw that God had worked in the situation to send Abigail to him to prevent him from committing a terrible sin. David accepted the things Abigail brought and allowed her to return home with his promise that all was well.

What would have been so wrong if David would have taken matters in his own hand and gave old Nabal what he deserved? The wrong would have been in the fact that God, not David, is the One authorized to right all our wrongs! Anytime we take matters into our own hands and seek to get even with one who has wronged us, we sin against the Lord.

But, as usual, God has a better way, “Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good,” (Romans 12:17-21). David conquered his anger because he was open to the Lord and willing to do things God’s way. That is a plan that will work for any of us!

v. 36-42 Conquered By The Operation Of David’s Heart – When Abigail returns home, she finds her husband drunk. She knows that if she tells him in that state, he is liable to do something really foolish. So, she waits until the morning and she tells him what she has done. When she does, Nabal experiences what many believe to be a stroke. Either he is overcome by anger at what Abigail did and what David threatened to do; or he is overcome by fear. Either way, he stays in that condition for ten days and he dies.

Now, because David was willing to allow the Lord to take care of his problems for him, he enjoyed the victory over Nabal. Instead of taking revenge and getting his hands red with the blood of an enemy; David’s hands were clean. In the end, David married Abigail and probably came to possess all that had belonged to Nabal. In other words, David got it all simply because he refused to allow his anger to rule his life.

David proved by his actions in this encounter why he was called “A man after God’s own heart.” David responded properly to the voice of the Lord and his anger was kept in check. Let that be a lesson to each of us! No matter how strongly we may think that we have a right to get revenge against those who have hurt us, it is never right to violate the Word of God by allowing anger to rule our lives!

Conc: So, what are we to do with this message? We need to bring our anger to the Lord and ask Him to help us act like Jesus toward those who offend us. Some of us need to get before the Lord today and ask for help, because we know that we might not be angry right now, but it could happen before the lights go out tonight. And, we know that when anger comes, we will need God’s help to respond properly. Others have been simmering in your own anger for quite a while now. The best thing you can do is get to the Lord and ask Him to turn down the heat in your heart before you have a meltdown.

I know most folks don’t like to come to the altar after a message like this. But, here are the facts; we are all cut from the same cloth. We all have problems with anger from time to time. The best thing we can ever do is to yield our feelings, our rights and our anger to the Lord, and plant God’s word in our hearts now so when anger comes, we will be know how to respond. If He has used this message to speak to your heart, I challenge you to get before Him and get the help you need!

TODAY’S VERSE!
Matthew 19:26 (New King James Version (NKJV)
26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

TODAY’S HYMN!
“There is Power In The Blood” By: Lewis E. Jones (1899)

1. Would you be free from the burden of sin?
There’s pow’r in the blood, pow’r in the blood;
Would you o’er evil a victory win?
There’s wonderful pow’r in the blood.

Refrain:
There is pow’r, pow’r, wonder-working pow’r
In the blood of the Lamb;
There is pow’r, pow’r, wonder-working pow’r
In the precious blood of the Lamb.

2. Would you be free from your passion and pride?
There’s pow’r in the blood, pow’r in the blood;
Come for a cleansing to Calvary’s tide;
There’s wonderful pow’r in the blood.
Refrain:

3. Would you be whiter, much whiter than snow?
There’s pow’r in the blood, pow’r in the blood;
Sin-stains are lost in its life-giving flow;
There’s wonderful pow’r in the blood.
Refrain:

4. Would you do service for Jesus your King?
There’s pow’r in the blood, pow’r in the blood;
Would you live daily His praises to sing?
There’s wonderful pow’r in the blood.
Refrain:


TODAY’S PRAYER!
Father Most High, God of the Universe! You are awesome! We marvel at the truth that we are invited into Your presence by Jesus Christ, our High Priest who gives us access to You through Him. Let us therefore claim the victory in Him and offer our worship to You. Thank You Jesus for opening a way for us to come and stand before our heavenly Father. Thank You Jesus for sympathizing with our weaknesses and shortcomings, and showing us the mind of God and the way to heaven’s glory. With gladness in our hearts, we praise Your name and pray in Your Mighty name. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY DAILY “DID YOU KNOW” POST!
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND INVITE THEM TO JOIN THE TEAM!


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHONTAY528 5/4/2013 12:21AM

    Thank you !


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ANHELIC 5/4/2013 12:13AM

    Thank you Vic for the great lesson, hymn and prayer. Unless we turn our anger over to the Lord and replace it with the love that God has for us, we will never overcome our troubles. Thank you for the goodie and note, Vic and God bless you and may you have a Blessed weekend.

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NELLIEH1 5/3/2013 6:02PM

    In the Blood, in the Cross, in Christ alone is our acceptance with GOD. Our redemption and forgiveness of sin is so very amazing. We all deserve death and separation from GOD. He, on the other hand, wants us to be in fellowship with Him forever! So Jesus came and became our perfect sacrifice forever and ever! Can't we/I come and agree with Him about our wickedness now?

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TONYVAND1 5/3/2013 11:39AM

  Our anger has to be controlled by the Holy Spirit and left to Him to deal first with us.

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CANDOIT54 5/3/2013 9:19AM

    Great blog

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LOOKINGUP2012 5/3/2013 8:28AM

    Thank you for these wonderful lessons on examining ourselves in the light of God's Word.

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RSSSLHB 5/3/2013 8:01AM

    emoticon hymn, thank you Jesus

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AZMOMXTWO 5/3/2013 8:00AM

  emoticon

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AMANDACOETZER 5/3/2013 7:12AM

    emoticon

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MI-ELLKAYBEE 5/3/2013 7:00AM

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