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4/26/16 5:51 A

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April 26

1 Thessalonians 5:18
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

It's easy to be thankful when we have everything we want or need. It's when we're forced to do without that thankfulness be-comes difficult. Giving thanks for the opportunity to do without our daily bread is sometimes very, very hard. Yet, God is sure to help us when we need help the most. When we feel weak or hungry or unhappy, He will stand beside us and give us comfort. We're blessed to have God to rely on. Be thankful for the love and care of our Lord. In all things praise Him. When we learn to be thankful in our need, we are all the more thankful in our abundance.

Today's thought: If it is my heart's desire to be thin, God will help me!

Edited by: LINTPICKER at: 4/26/2016 (05:52)
Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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4/19/16 7:05 P

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Ephesians 4:22
. . .put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.

Fat people aren't bad people. Sometimes we feel inferior just be-cause we happen to be overweight. It doesn't matter whether we're a few pounds over weight or a lot of pounds overweight; when we're too heavy, it makes us feel bad. Obesity isn't a sin in itself, but often it is the result of sin. Gluttony, sloth, laziness; these things can lead to obesity, and they are sinful behaviors. When we decide to put off these wrong behaviors, we set ourselves on the path that pleases God. Change takes time, but the rewards are always worth the effort.

Today's thought: There's more to a new me than just losing weight.

Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

click here
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4/16/16 2:21 P

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James 1:3
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

When you get really serious about losing weight, you have no alternative but to develop patience. There are no safe, quick ways to lose a lot of weight. It takes time. The body takes a long time to build up, and it takes a long time to wear down. However, the person who sticks with her diet will be amazed to find that the longer it's adhered to, the easier it gets. A time comes when the diet is no big deal. In many cases, people find they prefer their diet to their former way of eating. Patience is an elusive trait, but once it is attained, it is its own reward.

Today's thought: Patience would be a lot easier if it didn't take so long to get.

Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

click here
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4/13/16 11:13 P

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1 Kings 17:8-9
And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, 'Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.'

Consider the prophet Elijah. The Lord told him to go to the town of Zarephath, where he was to wait for further guidance from God. Elijah waited there three years before the word came! How many of us would have such patience? Our dieting period often seems long, but in comparison with what so many others have had to go through, the time is really quite short. Committed people have always found a special source of patience and courage to get them through any situation. The source of their remarkable faith is the Lord, who makes all things possible.

Today's thought: I will make a little last a long, long time!

Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

click here
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4/10/16 4:37 A

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from Crosswalk.com

Psalm 46:10
Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

Whenever food comes into my mind and I have the strongest urges to cheat on my diet, I just close my eyes, clear my head, and try to think of all the wonderful blessings God has given me. I ask God to help me, and then I wait very quietly for Him to answer my humble plea. God has never failed me. In some of the toughest situations, I feel His gentle presence, and my hunger and desire leave me. In the quiet times of our lives God comes the closest, because we do not shove Him aside with other concerns. Call upon God, then wait. He will come.

Today's thought: If I keep my mouth shut, food can't get in!

Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

click here
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4/9/16 11:38 A

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Romans 7:15
For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
The lament of dieters everywhere: 'But what I hate, that I do!' Then, after doing what we have vowed not to do, we turn the hate inward, and we are forced to deal with so much guilt. Why does dieting have to be so hard? Why can't we ever seem to have enough willpower to deal with all the temptations? The harder we try, the harder it gets. It's enough to drive a sane person crazy and a saint to sin. Praise God that He understands us so well and is ready to pick us up when we fall and set us back on the proper path. God is patient with us when we most need Him to be.
Today's thought: I will avoid the things I know I should not do!

Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

click here
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3/14/16 6:00 A

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From esword

Grace Empowered Proclamation of the Risen Christ
This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses . . . the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses . . . Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead . . . And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. (Act_2:32; Act_3:15; Act_4:10, Act_4:33)
At the Lord's Supper, the resurrection was implied. "I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes" (Luk_22:18). At the tomb, the resurrection was documented. "He is not here, but is risen!" (Luk_24:6). With the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost, the resurrection was proclaimed. "Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, and put to death; whom God raised up" (Act_2:23-24).
The risen Christ was the constant message of the early church. In Peter's Spirit empowered message at Pentecost, he repeatedly proclaimed the resurrected Lord Jesus. "Him . . . you have crucified , and put to death; whom God raised up . . .You will not leave my soul in Hades, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption . . . he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ . . . this Jesus God raised up, of which we are all witnesses" (Act_2:23-24, Act_2:27, Act_2:31-32).
Not long after this glorious beginning, another proclamation of the risen Christ occurred as the lame man was healed at the Beautiful Gate. When the crowds gathered to see what had happened, Peter's message was again centered around the resurrection of Jesus Christ. "You denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses" (Act_3:14-15).
Soon after this, the religious leaders arrested the apostles, "being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead" (Act_4:2). Here, Peter again proclaimed the resurrection. "By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole" (Act_4:10).
It was the grace of God that empowered the church to witness boldly about the risen Christ. "And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all" (Act_4:33).
Dear Lord Jesus, I worship You as the risen One. I desire to proclaim Your resurrection to all who need to trust in You. Lord, in a world of doubt and skepticism, strengthen my faith in Your mighty resurrection. Empower me, I pray, by pouring out upon my life great measures of Your grace, in Your name, Amen.


Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

click here
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3/2/16 7:27 A

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from esword

A Branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. (Isa_11:1-2)

In this prophecy of the Messiah, we are told how the Lord Jesus (walking upon earth as a man) would function in order to manifest godliness. He would live by this prophetic promise: "The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him."

The Holy Spirit operating in Jesus would be to Him "the Spirit of wisdom and understanding." No one ever displayed wisdom like Christ. Whether dealing with the woman taken in adultery (Joh_8:2-11) or answering provoking questions about Caesar's image on a coin (Luk_20:20-26), He wisely circumvented every attempt to undermine His ministry. Jesus also demonstrated perfect understanding. When confronting the self-righteous scribes and Pharisees (Mat. 23:13-35), He applied perfect discernment, exposing the corruption of their hearts.

Operating in Jesus, the Holy Spirit would also be to Him "the Spirit of counsel and might." Jesus was truly the "Wonderful Counselor" (Isa_9:6). When counseling Nicodemus, the religious ruler (Joh. 3:1-21), and the Samaritan woman at the well (Joh. 4:7-42), He fully gave them what their hearts were seeking in the truths they needed to hear. Also, Jesus distinctively exhibited the might of God. Whether boldly speaking to calm the raging sea (Mar_4:35-41) or courageously remaining silent at His trial (Mat_27:11-14), the mighty power of God was on majestic display.

Ministering to Jesus, the Holy Spirit would also be to Him "the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD." No one ever possessed knowledge like the Lord Jesus. "Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men" (Joh_2:24). "Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father" (Joh_13:1). Jesus not only had thorough knowledge, but that knowledge was always controlled by "the fear of the LORD." Everything that Jesus ever did was under the full influence of His godly fear (reverential trust and loving respect) toward the Father. "The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him" (Joh_2:17).

Remember, all of these wondrous expressions of Jesus' character were based upon the enabling work of the Holy Spirit. "The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him." This same Spirit of God can bring forth in our lives every appropriate application of these same realities manifested in the life of Jesus.

Who is like You, O Lord? Who could ever match Your majestic character — certainly not me. Yet, I need manifestations of such fruit in my life. Please work deeply in me by Your Holy Spirit, producing such Christlikeness, I pray, in Your holy name, Amen.


Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

click here
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2/18/16 7:18 A

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2Peter 1:3-8 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Work to be effective for Christ.

Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

click here
colleensparlin.com


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2/13/16 5:48 A

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The word of the truth of the gospel, which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth. (Col_1:5-6)

The Lord wants His children to have significant measures of spiritual fruit developing in their lives. "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit" (Joh_15:8). Fruit is described in the scriptures in various ways. It includes godly character qualities. "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace . . . " (Gal_5:22). Also, it involves worship offered to God. "Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name" (Heb_13:15). Additionally, it encompasses lives being touched by our ministry to them. "I often planned to come to you . . . that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles" (Rom_1:13).

Such spiritual fruit is a consequence of God's grace at work in and through our lives. Col_1:5-6 addresses this fact. "The word of the truth of the gospel,which has come to you . . . is bringing forth fruit." The good news of Jesus Christ not only brings forgiveness of sin and the gift of eternal life, it also produces fruit in those who believe. All of this is grace operating in trusting hearts. "Since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth."

Rom_7:4 describes this same glorious process, using different terms. "Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another, even to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God." In order to bear fruit unto the Lord, we had to first be released from our dead relationship to the law. We could not perform effectively under that demanding standard. Thus, our lives were spiritually fruitless before God. Next, we needed to be joined in a new, living relationship with the risen Christ, that we might partake of His grace resources for living. We have experienced both through faith in the Lord Jesus. Now the risen Christ works by His grace in and through our lives, as we humbly depend upon Him.

Yes, the grace of God is His designated dynamic for producing spiritual fruit in our every day lives

Lord God of my salvation, thank You for the glorious message of the gospel. What good news it is to have forgiveness, eternal life, and daily transformation through Your grace. I embrace Your will that I bear much fruit . Lord Jesus, I rejoice that You have taken me out from under the law. I now look to You, the risen Lord, to bring forth spiritual fruit in and through my life, in Your exalted name, Amen.


Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

click here
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1/27/16 6:14 A

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from esword

The Ongoing Grace of God
I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts . . . it is good that the heart be established by grace. (Jer_31:33 and Heb_13:9)

Our initial encounter with the grace of God involved forgiveness and justification. "In Him we have our redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace" (Eph_1:7). Rich measures of God's grace washed away our sins and gave us new life in Christ. Of course, that initial justifying work of God could not exhaust His grace. Rather, it was "according to the riches of His grace." There are unlimited riches yet available for our daily sanctification, our ongoing growth in Christ.

Heb_13:9 is one of the many places in scripture that indicate progressive sanctification, that is, growth in godliness, is by grace. "It is good that the heart be established by grace." This truth clearly pertains to sanctification and growth, not justification and new birth. At regeneration, we are given a new heart. "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh" (Eze_36:26). Then, after receiving a new, soft, responsive heart, the spiritual stabilization of that new heart must follow.

It is from within the heart that the development of practical righteousness must proceed. What is eventually seen and heard in our daily Christian lives sources from within the core of our inner being. "Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life" (Pro_4:23). The Lord wants to work from deep within us. "I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts."

If an unstable, inconsistent life is being expressed outwardly, an unestablished heart within is the cause. Jesus taught that "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks" (Mat_12:34). Whatever is developing and filling up our inner man will eventually come out to be seen and heard.

In order to develop in us an increasingly mature, Christlike walk, our heart must be established. The law of God is not designed to change men's hearts. God's grace is the essential and sufficient cause to bring about this desired work of godliness. "It is good that the heart be established by grace."

Once more we have powerful biblical insight showing us that grace is not only God's provision to forgive and birth us into His family, but grace is also His resource for maturing us as His children.

O Lord, my strength, would You do a powerful work of Your grace deep within my heart. I do not want to displease You or dishonor You by an immature and unstable life. Lord, forgive my feeble and futile attempts to change my heart by striving before the law. Your gracious work in me is my only hope, through Christ I pray, Amen.


Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

click here
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1/23/16 5:42 A

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from esword- Hoekstra - Living as Servants of the New Covenant

Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (2Co_3:5-6)

We who follow the Lord Jesus Christ are "ministers of the new covenant." The term "minister" means servant. The phrase "new covenant" speaks of relating to God by grace. Thus, we are those who serve God by the resources of His grace. Our day by day lives, lived in service of the Lord God Almighty, are to be developed by the grace of God at work in us. What is involved in this biblical, heavenly approach to life here on earth?

The first issue pertains to our own inadequacy. "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves." So often we overlook our personal insufficiency or try to convince ourselves that we can become sufficient, with just a little more time, effort, or preparation. This approach is in direct disagreement with the Lord. God wants us to agree with Him.

Even when we begin to face our spiritual inability to produce the kind of life God is looking for, we easily underestimate the extent of our deficiency. We may think that we are just not able to produce as much as God desires to see in our lives. The Lord has a more radical viewpoint. He says that we are not able to supply "anything" that He wants to see. Again, God wants us to agree with Him.

The second issue pertains to God's adequacy. "Our sufficiency is from God." The sufficient resources for living the Christian life are to be found in God alone. We are to be the recipients of God's grace, that is, His fully adequate supply. We are not to think we are the manufacturers of that grace. God is our source of all that is needed for godly living. Once more, God wants us to agree with Him.

The difference between living by God's supply or by our own resources is a "life and death" matter. "The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life." Living the Christian life by our own capabilities will spiritually kill us. It will eventually leave us exhausted, discouraged, condemned. Whereas, depending upon the Spirit of God to supply the abundant grace of God leaves us strengthened, encouraged, and comforted.

Lord God of all Grace, I humbly admit that I have often held a perspective so different from You on this subject of sufficiency. I have repeatedly behaved as though the Christian life depended upon what I thought I could do from my own resources, and, Lord, as You have declared, it has brought forth spiritual deadness. Please teach me to trust in Your Holy Spirit to bring forth into my experience the full sufficiency of Your immeasurable grace, in Jesus name, Amen.

Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

click here
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1/20/16 6:33 A

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from esword
"Behold, the days are coming," says the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel . . . I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people . . . they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," says the LORD. "For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more." (Jer_31:31, Jer_31:33-34)

Long ago God promised a new covenant of grace for His people Israel. "I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel." Some day the Israelites will turn to Messiah as a group and enter into this promised covenant of grace. "And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins" (Rom_11:26-27). This will take place when the Lord Jesus returns to this earth. "And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they have pierced; they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn" (Zec_12:10).

Meanwhile, the church of the Lord Jesus, comprised of all Jewish and Gentile believers in Christ, already has the new covenant instituted for her. "This cup is the new covenant in My blood" (Luk_22:20).

Note the astounding three-fold provisions this new covenant offers by faith to all believers today. First, there is the forgiveness of sins. "For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more." Second, there is the opportunity to have an intimate relationship with God. "They all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them." Third, there is the internal working of the Lord God Almighty enabling and changing people's lives from the inner core of their being. "I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts."

Almighty God, the provisions of Your new covenant of grace are staggering in their richness! Forgiveness of sins by You, intimacy with You, and inner transformation from You - - all of this is mine through faith in Your Son, my Savior. O Lord, what bountiful grace You make available to us in Christ! I fully and desperately need all three of these wondrous workings that You alone can provide. I praise You for the gift of forgiveness of sins. I seek You for increased intimacy with You. I look to You to be shaping my life according to Your will, from the inside out, all through the grace of my Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.


Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

click here
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1/9/16 6:04 A

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from esword

“For me to live is Christ.”- Phi_1:21

The believer did not always live to Christ. He began to do so when God the Holy Spirit convinced him of sin, and when by grace he was brought to see the dying Savior making a propitiation for his guilt. From the moment of the new birth the man begins to live to Christ. Jesus is to believers the one pearl of great price, for whom we are willing to part with all that we have. He has so completely won our love, that it beats alone for him; to his glory we would live, and in defense of his gospel we would die; he is the pattern of our life, and the model after which we would sculpture our character.

Paul’s words mean more than most men think; they imply that the aim and end of his life was Christ, his life itself was Jesus. In the words of an ancient saint, he did eat, and drink, and sleep eternal life. Jesus was his very breath, the soul of his soul, the heart of his heart, the life of his life.

Can you say, as a professing Christian, that you live up to this idea? Can you honestly say that for you to live is Christ? Your business-are you doing it for Christ? Do you ask, “Is that a mean reason?” For the Christian it is. He professes to live for Christ; how can he live for another object without committing a spiritual adultery? Many there are who carry out this principle in some measure; but who is there that dare say that he hath lived wholly for Christ as the apostle did? Yet, this alone is the true life of a Christian-its source, its sustenance, its fashion, its end, all gathered up in one word-Christ Jesus.

Lord, accept me; I here present myself, praying to live only in thee and to thee.


Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

click here
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12/25/15 6:22 A

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As someone who's been burdened by massive failures in weight loss, this passage from the book "He Loves Me" really spoke to me:
"God sees something redemptive even in letting us fail. He seems less concerned about our mistakes then how we respond to them. Do our mistakes lead us away from trusting in our own strength or wisdom and toward seeking what it means to put our trust in Him? If so, then he finds even our failures worth the pain they cause."
I feel like this is an amazing thing to apply to healthy eating as Christians!

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12/23/15 6:45 A

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from esword

Pray without ceasing . . . Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart . . . And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him? (1Th_5:17 and Luk_18:1, Luk_18:7)

Praying without ceasing is the way to relate rightly to the God of all grace. Jesus called His followers to live in this prayerful manner, when He told a parable that contrasted a godless human judge with God, our righteous judge.

Jesus' primary message would be that men should persistently pray at all times. "Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart." Jesus' illustration involved a wronged widow who was appealing for help from an unjust judge. At first, the judge had no interest in assisting her. However, when she persisted, he relented and gave her relief. "Though I do not fear God nor regard man, because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me" (Luk_18:4-5). The ungodly judge granted her relief, although he was not motivated by fear of God nor by compassion for man. His action was merely self-serving. Jesus then contrasts the holy motivations of our loving God, who will certainly respond to the needs of His chosen ones, as they call upon His name ceaselessly. "And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him?" (Luk_18:7). The Lord Jesus hereby encourages us to pray without ceasing.

Jesus' call to a life of persistent prayer was commended to us by His own example. "Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed" (Mar_1:35). Early in the inspired recordings of the ministry of Jesus, His habit of prayer is noted. At times, Jesus was up before dawn for extended prayer with the Father. On another occasion, He prayed the entire night through. "Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God" (Luk_6:12). In addition to His rich private prayer life, Jesus prayed regularly in public as well. "I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes . . . Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke them . . . Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me" (Mat_11:25; Luk_9:16; and Joh_11:41-42). If Jesus, the Son of God prayed habitually, how clearly we are to do the same.

Jesus, my Lord, I want to heed Your radical call to a path of unceasing prayer. I want to follow Your wonderful example of a life of habitual prayer — in private and in public.


Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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12/15/15 6:24 A

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from esword

God Freely Giving, Man Humbly Receiving

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? . . . What do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you glory as if you had not received it? (Rom_8:32 and 1Co_4:7)

The Lord's plan for rescuing and transforming lives by His grace is established upon the Son of God being given for us as a sacrifice for our sins: "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all." This gift of God's Son assures us that God will also give us with Christ everything we need. "How shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? " God's giving is to be coupled with man's receiving. As God is freely giving to man, He wants man to be humbly receiving from Him.

Every blessing that we have was received from God. "What do you have that you did not receive? " There is no other source from which we can receive true spiritual benefits than the Lord above. "A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven" (Joh_3:27). The joy of having Jesus dwelling in our lives as the children of God became true by us receiving Him. "As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God" (Joh_1:12). The fact that we are now reconciled to God and are no longer His enemies is based upon us receiving the gift of reconciliation. "We also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation" (Rom_5:11). The privilege of serving the Lord in ministry is a gift of grace to be received: "the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God" (Act_20:24). The spiritual gifts that we need for enablement in our ministries is another blessing received from the Lord. "As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another" (1Pe_4:10).

From initial salvation to growth and service, all that is needed must be received from the Lord. This is an encouraging reality. Yet, it is also a humbling truth. It leaves no room for us to glory in ourselves. "Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you glory as if you had not received it?"

Dear Lord, I confess that every blessing I have ever received was given by You from above. I bow humbly before You, admitting that I do not deserve even one of Your innumerable benefits. Lord, I praise You for freely giving to me. I want to humbly receive from You day by day, in Your gracious name, Amen.


Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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12/1/15 6:35 A

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From esword

“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received.” (Eph_4:1)

There is a undeniable need today for Christians to recover the sense of high calling which graced our forefathers and filled them with courage, nobility and enduring commitment to Christ, as well as to one another. Something beyond ordinary religious duty and mere emotional loyalties must lift our thoughts and labors to match those of our predecessors.

Certainly, however, we must realize that it is the Lord’s intention (and the earnest prayer of the saints who have lived before us) that we not merely match them — rather, that we excel them in faith, hope and love. Think of it as a ongoing journey of advanced excellence.

Our success in this regard will be the validation of their faith, and a fitting tribute to their faithfulness. They laid their lives down to bring the Gospel thus far; we, for our part, must now lay our lives down and carry it further!

Advanced excellence is inherent within the call of God upon our lives. The path of the righteous is like the light of day, shining brighter and brighter unto the perfect day (Pro_4:18). It gets brighter and better with each passing moment. It becomes more dynamic with each successive generation.

The first miracle performed by Jesus was at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. It was there that He turned the water into wine, and the host at the wedding exclaimed, “You have saved the best for now!”(John 2:10). Surely, this pattern will hold true as well for the Church in these last days. The Lord will save the best for last. Just as the prophet Haggai wrote, “and the glory of the latter house shall be greater than that of the former.” (Hag_2:9) – so it shall be.

Christianity’s finest hour is upon us! We are the chosen generation. We must not look to the former days of glory with vain imaginations of how wonderful it would’ve been for us to have been there. Nor can we look only to the future and console ourselves with how blissful it is going to be once Gabriel blows his horn.

Today is the day of Salvation. We must answer the call of the Lord for our time. We must walk worthy of the call in this our day. We must sense the moment that God has provided, and seize the momentum of God’s Spirit in bringing forth His purposes in this generation.

There may indeed be those to whom we will faithfully pass the torch in the days to come, and through whom even greater glory may abound to Christ our King. But we must first run our race so that we might have a torch to pass. We must take our place in the succession of the Faithful and do our part to keep the Faith in this our time.


Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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11/22/15 6:50 P

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Amen.

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11/18/15 5:00 A

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from esword

“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” (Rev_3:21)

Three things happen as we pray. First, we become friends with God. Second, we work together with God bringing His will to Earth. And, third, we are being prepared for Eternity. In other words — we are destined for the Throne!

One thing is certain about Heaven — we will not sit around on fluffy clouds strumming harps and eating yogurt, preening our wings and polishing our halos. No; nothing like that at all. Instead, we will reign with Christ, for that’s what the Bible tells us.

“To him that overcomes,” Jesus said, “will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” (Rev_3:21).

John gave us a glimpse into this exalted place, and we hear a mighty host of ransomed men and women from all nations singing, “You are worthy O Lord, for You have made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” (Rev_5:10).

And the standing promise of the Ages, which fills our hearts with unshakable faith — the kind that overcomes the world — says it in perfect clarity: “They shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God gives them light: and they shall reign forever and ever.” (Rev_22:4-5).

Our struggles here on earth, which intensify our resolve in prayer, become the very means whereby God is readying us for that place where we shall reign with Jesus. One old preacher called prayer, “reigning training.” Its the process whereby God deepens our faith, broadens our vision, sharpens our discernment, awakens our passion, and unleashes His power.

The purpose of prayer is to train you to reign with Jesus. So when you bow your head to pray, remember — every king kneels in order to be crowned. You, my royal friend, are destined for the Throne!

Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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11/7/15 7:51 A

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from Spurgeon:

“Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands.”
- Isa_49:16
No doubt a part of the wonder which is concentrated in the word “Behold,” is excited by the unbelieving lamentation of the preceding sentence. Zion said, “The Lord hath forsaken me, and my God hath forgotten me.” How amazed the divine mind seems to be at this wicked unbelief! What can be more astounding than the unfounded doubts and fears of God’s favoured people? The Lord’s loving word of rebuke should make us blush; he cries, “How can I have forgotten thee, when I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands? How darest thou doubt my constant remembrance, when the memorial is set upon my very flesh?” O unbelief, how strange a marvel thou art! We know not which most to wonder at, the faithfulness of God or the unbelief of his people. He keeps his promise a thousand times, and yet the next trial makes us doubt him. He never faileth; he is never a dry well; he is never as a setting sun, a passing meteor, or a melting vapour; and yet we are as continually vexed with anxieties, molested with suspicions, and disturbed with fears, as if our God were the mirage of the desert. “Behold,” is a word intended to excite admiration. Here, indeed, we have a theme for marvelling. Heaven and earth may well be astonished that rebels should obtain so great a nearness to the heart of infinite love as to be written upon the palms of his hands. “I have graven thee.”It does not say, “Thy name.” The name is there, but that is not all: “I have graven thee.” See the fulness of this! I have graven thy person, thine image, thy case, thy circumstances, thy sins, thy temptations, thy weaknesses, thy wants, thy works; I have graven thee, everything about thee, all that concerns thee; I have put thee altogether there. Wilt thou ever say again that thy God hath forsaken thee when he has graven thee upon his own palms?


Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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10/27/15 4:58 P

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Thanks for the reminder. Blessings as I study Gideon to give God my weakness for His strength to get the sparks to burn and to shine. Our message 2 Sundays ago was based on John the Baptist on burning out for Christ.

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10/27/15 6:59 A

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from esword

“He was a burning and a shining light” (Joh_5:35)

This lasting tribute was said of John the Baptist, by none other than Jesus Himself. Indeed, Jesus also said, “I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he” (Mat_11:11). This means that each one of us may, like John, be a burning and shining light.

But there is a price to be paid. Years ago I heard the great revival preacher, Leonard Ravenhill, say, “The cost of shining is burning.”

Many want the glow without the heat, but there can be no sparkle where there are not sparks. And, there can be no sparks where the hammer of God’s word does not strike the anvil of our souls as the Holy Spirit forges Christ-like character in the metal of our lives.

The cost of shining is burning.

The disciples said, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us along the way, and while He opened to us the Scriptures?” (Luk_24:32). In yet another place the Bible asks, “Does not My word burn like fire?” says the LORD. “Is it not like a mighty hammer that smashes a rock to pieces?” (Jer_23:29).

As we open ourselves to the igniting power of God’s word, all within us that is wood, hay or stubble is consumed by its tireless flame. And then, whatever yet remains that is hardened and unresponsive deep in our hearts is busted loose by the mighty blow of God’s hammer — His living word unleashed in our yielded lives.

Will you let the truth of God’s unchanging Word have its way in your life? In your thoughts, your hopes, and your aspirations? In your opinions, your attitudes, and your behavior? In your family, your friendships, and your associations?

If you say yes, you will become a burning and shining light; and you will be counted great in the Kingdom of God.

On the other hand, you can light your own fire and burn out in no time — with nothing to show for the one life you have lived. Surely you can see the better choice is to yield your heart to Christ and let Him be honored by the light of your ignited life.

And He will say of you on that day, “This one was a burning and shining light.”

Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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10/11/15 5:26 A

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from esword Great Blessings through Living by Faith

Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: "For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, my soul has no pleasure in him." But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. (Heb_10:35-39)
Our present verses represent the third time that Habakkuk's pronouncement on living by faith is repeated in the New Testament. "The just shall live by his faith" (Hab_2:4). In Rom_1:17, it was connected with the gospel of Christ. In Gal_3:12, it was contrasted with living under the law. Here, it is seen as the pathway to great blessings like spiritual endurance, God-pleasing obedience, and pressing ahead in assurance.

The opening exhortation warns about forsaking bold dependence upon the Lord. "Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward." The loss of great blessing is the reason given. The Lord wants us to trust in Him without wavering, from the beginning of faith unto the end of our earthly pilgrimage. This makes us consistent partakers of the blessings of grace that are ours in Christ. "For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end" (Heb_3:14).

These blessings include endurance. "For you have need of endurance." The Christian life requires spiritual stamina. The journey of growth, trials, service, and battle can become wearisome. We can be tempted to slack off, to quit pressing ahead. Such is always vain thinking for us, and it is displeasing to the Lord. " If anyone draws back, my soul has no pleasure in him." It is by faith that we persevere in the Christian race. "Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (Heb_12:1-2).

Also, these blessings of faith include obedience and assurance. "You have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise." As we walk by faith, we are enabled to do God's will. Walking in obedience with Christ builds assurance that we will some day be in the presence of the Lord. "For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry." Meanwhile, by faith, assurance grows that we are not among those whose profession proves to be vain. "Now the just shall live by faith . . . we are not of those who draw back to perdition but of those who believe to the saving of the soul."

Dear Father, I need more spiritual stamina. I desire to please You by obedience. I long to walk in more assurance. I praise You that all this is ours in Christ, by faith, Amen.

Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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10/8/15 7:02 A

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from esword

Jesus, the Ultimate Example of Faith's Results
The Lord God has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary . . . The Lord God has opened My ear . . . I gave My back to those who struck Me, and My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting. For the Lord God will help Me; therefore I will not be disgraced; therefore I have set My face like a flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed. (Isa_50:4-7)

The promised Servant of the Lord would undertake His Messianic mission through faith in His heavenly Father. " My God shall be My strength" (Isa_49:5). These verses depicted Jesus as the ultimate example of faith. Now, a corresponding prophetic passage reveals the blessed consequences of trusting in the Lord. Herein, we see Jesus as the ultimate example of faith's results.

The prophetic parties are the Messiah and His heavenly Father. The confessions of Jesus (trusting in the Father) comprise the prophetic statements. "The Lord God has given Me the tongue of the learned." Jesus was "discipled" day by day by the Father (certainly using, in part, His godly parents). "The Lord God has opened My ear." This equipped Jesus to minister to burdened lives: "that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary." In fact, people were amazed in general at the manner in which He spoke. "So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth" (Luk_4:22).

As Jesus would trust in the Father, He would also be prepared for the mounting difficulties that He would face. "I gave My back to those who struck Me, and My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting." In approaching the cross, these prophecies of Jesus (and the enablement He found through depending upon the Father) were fulfilled. "Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands" (Mat_26:67). Though He knew all of this awaited Him before He came to Jerusalem that last time, He put His faith in the Father. "For the Lord God will help Me; therefore I will not be disgraced; therefore I have set My face like a flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed." The Father helped Him. He marched on resolutely to keep His redemption appointment at the cross. "Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem" (Luk_9:51). These are the wonderful consequences of faith.

Father, Your Son, my Savior, was prepared, strengthened, sustained, and used through faith in You. I need to experience in my own life these same blessed results of faith. Please build my faith, more and more, for Your glory and service, Amen.


Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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9/30/15 3:53 P

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Wow! These words really speak to me. I need to take time and meditate on them. Thank you for this message.

Tracy--Oregon

I am a daughter of the King; His banner over me is love. I am truly blessed.
Psalm 46:10a "Be still and know that I am God."


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9/30/15 8:04 A

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from esword,

”My soul thirsts for you…in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” Psa_63:1, NIV)

In our Bible we are told that David wrote this Psalm, celebrating the joy he found in fellowship with God while he was in the desert of Judah.

“Did you say, ‘The Desert of Judah?’”

Yes.

“Isn’t Judah a part of the Promised Land?”

Yes.

So, are you telling me that there is a Desert we have to traverse in the Promised Land?”

Yes.
not only traversed the Desert of Judah; he sang praises to God while there! Commenting on this Spurgeon wrote, “David did not leave off singing because he was in the wilderness, neither did he in slovenly idleness go on repeating Psalms intended for other occasions. Rather, he carefully made his worship suitable to his circumstances, and presented to his God a wilderness hymn when he was in the wilderness.”

“God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.” (Psa_63:1-4, NIV)
Song is interesting for many reasons.

First, it encompasses present, past and future. David says, “God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”

That was his present condition when He wrote the song. He was faced with the difficulty of dryness, yet he did not lose sight of the fact that God was his God. This is a present tense relationship. Perhaps your own season of dryness should be characterized with a similar confession of faith: “God, You are my God.” It is, after all, the truth.

Then David says, “I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory.” This is past tense. There was a time, glorious and unforgettable, when David beheld the beauty of the Lord and inquired in His holy Temple; a time when he danced with all his might and worshipped in the beauty of holiness. It is good to remind ourselves during the dry times of just what we have seen and known of the Lord in times past.

Can you recall a time when the Lord’s Presence was real and near; a time when you were enthusiastic in worship and service? That time was valid; and your present dryness does not negate the gains that were made for Christ when the river flowed freely. Just because you are dry does not mean you are dead. Pause for a moment and reflect upon those life-impacting encounters you have had with the Lord in the past. Let their memory be the momentum that carries you forward through this valley.

And then David looks in faith to the future when he writes, “Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.” This future hope shows us that we go through the dry times; we are not left in them. A better day is coming; the Lord will not leave me in this dry and weary land where there is no water.

Start singing praise, O child of God; for the Lord is with you nevertheless!



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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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9/29/15 8:01 A

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Joh 1:45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."
Joh 1:46 Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see."
Joh 1:47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!"
Joh 1:48 Nathanael said to him, "How do you know me?" Jesus answered him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you."
Joh 1:49 Nathanael answered him, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!"
Joh 1:50 Jesus answered him, "Because I said to you, 'I saw you under the fig tree,' do you believe? You will see greater things than these."
Joh 1:51 And he said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."

Open your heart and see. God is with us!

Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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9/27/15 6:57 P

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excellent! a concise message in poetry! Great job!

Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

click here
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9/27/15 1:40 P

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Thanks for your affirming words. I wrote a poetic meditation based on this same subject from our sermon last week. I titled it Valuable Vocabulary. Scripture James 3:3-10 and Ephesians 4:1-6, 29-32.
Your vocabulary presents a positive or negative image
Paul writing from prison about his hope of new restored image
James brother of Jesus writes about the tongue's power
What you choose on others blessings or cursings shower

New heart, new life, new words vocabulary of grace
Words that build up in writing or when face to face
Words that are timely and fitting
Words that are full of grace and blessing

(Just the first 8 lines) Last 4

It begins with me and the words I use
And also words in my vocabulary I refuse
Words do hurt and reveal what's in my heart
Letting God fill them both is a very good place to start

Be blessed with this meditation on having a valuable vocabulary.

Edited by: DORRINES at: 9/27/2015 (13:49)
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9/23/15 6:28 A

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"He that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile."-- 1Pe_3:10.
"Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt." -- Col_4:6.

THE IDEAL of Christian speech is given in the Apostle's words to the Colossians. Our speech should be always gracious; and grace stands for mercifulness, charity, the willingness to put the best constructions upon the words and actions of another. It is a great help in dealing with envy, jealousy, or unkind feeling to compel our lips to speak as Christ would have them. If you are jealous of another, the temptation is to say unkind or depreciating things, but if we live in the power of the Holy Spirit, He will enable us to check such words and replace them by those that suggest kindly consideration on the part of ourselves and others. Endeavour to say all the good that can be said, and none of the evil. It is remarkable that when we make the effort to speak kindly on behalf of those against whom we feel exasperated, the whole inward temper changes and takes on the tone of our voice.
There should be salt in our speech--purity, antiseptic, and sparkling like the Book of Proverbs. A playful wit, a bright repartee, are not inconsistent with the Apostle's standard, but whenever we mix in conversation with people, they should be aware of an element in us which makes it impossible for them to indulge in ill-natured gossip or coarse jokes.
We must continue in prayer that God would open to us doors of utterance, so that we may speak of the hidden beauty and glory of our Saviour. Sometimes, also, when we are hard pressed to know how to answer difficult questions, it is given to us in that same hour how we ought to speak, and we find that the Holy Spirit has found an utterance by our lips (Luk_12:12; 1Pe_3:15).
It is recorded of our Lord that during His trial He spoke not a word to Pilate or Herod, but as soon as He reached the Cross, He poured out His heart as their Intercessor, saying: "Father, forgive them: for they know not what they do!" Speak more to God than to men who may be reviling and threatening you. It is blessed to realize that He is able to guard the door of our lips, for probably there is no part of our nature that stands more in need of His keeping power.


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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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9/18/15 8:47 A

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"Thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God hath led thee these forty years."-- Deu_8:2.

THE KEYNOTE of this chapter is "Remember!" Faith begins without certain evidence of an external and positive kind, but as life advances, one day after another adds the weight of its indisputable testimony. If we step out on the supposition that there is an eternal and spiritual world enwrapping us on all sides, we shall come to so clear and distinct an assurance of it, that it would be easier to doubt our existence. It is a good thing to look back and see the way; it is as certain as possible that the thread of Divine purpose is stringing together the many-coloured links of our life.
Notice the alliteration of Deu_8:15, Deu_8:16. "Who led thee"; "Who fed thee." Where God leads, He feeds! Look back on the past, and see that just as sure as the guidance of God, has been His care. There is no lack to those who allow Him to lead them in His own paths.
Look back on the past!--Its sins and backslidings--leave them behind for ever, and rise to newness of life. Its discipline--intended to chasten and strengthen us. Its trials--meant to reveal God's power to deliver in the hour of trouble that we may glorify Him. The terrible wilderness of loneliness, the fiery serpents of temptation, the manna which has never failed to fall, the water which the Rock has ever yielded. Deu_8:17-18 teach us the lesson of humility. If, for some reason, you have been put into a position of wealth, honour, or influence, do not be proud, or think that your talents or abilities are to receive the praise. Thank God, and remember that it is He who gives the power to get wealth or honour, and He does it with a very definite purpose! Will you not pledge yourself to serve and worship Him? As you climb the crest of the hill, and begin to descend into the plain, not knowing what lies before, veiled in the mist, fear not, tighten your girdle, put your hand in His, and walk with Him to be His instrument to bless the world of men.


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Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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8/31/15 6:22 A

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"My soul followeth hard after Thee: Thy right hand upholdeth me."-- Psa_63:8.

THERE ARE three notes in this Psalm which betoken the stages of the soul's growth: "My soul thirsteth for Thee"; "my soul shall be satisfied"; "my soul followeth hard after Thee." We may be passing through a wilderness of spiritual drought, the dark night of the soul, the seasons of dryness and depression which are apt to befall. In some cases, as when Elijah asked to die, or when John sent his despairing question to Christ from his prison, it is the result of physical or mental overstrain. But at such times, let us never hesitate still to speak of God as "'my God." Nothing can sever you from His everlasting Love. You may not have the glad consciousness of it, but you must never surrender your belief in it. Go on blessing Him, as long as you live, and lift up your hands in prayer.
But we can never be satisfied with what we have attained. God is ever moving forward! Let us follow hard after Him.


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8/1/15 7:05 A

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from esword

Are You Willing to Take a Risk of Faith?

She was thinking to herself, “If I can just put a finger on his robe, I’ll get well.” Jesus turned–caught her at it. Then he reassured her: “Courage, daughter. You took a risk of faith, and now you’re well.” (Mat_9:21-22, The Message)

The status quo requires no risk. Nothing ventured; nothing gained. But excellence, by its very nature, requires that you break out of the pack and pull away from the common and ordinary, shaking off the mundane and mediocre. Hey, the only thing in the middle of the road is yellow stripes and dead armadillos!

The woman knew that there was healing power working in and through Jesus, so much that if she could only place her finger upon his robe – she would be made whole. But she was unclean, and He a Rabbi. She was a woman; He a man. To violate the social protocol could result in her being stoned by the religious zealots of the day.

She took a risk of faith – and it paid off huge!

It has be said many times, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” What this means, then, is if you want something that you’ve never had before, you must be willing to do something that you’ve never done before. And that is where RISK comes into the equation.

Noah built a boat in the middle of a desert —that was a risk. Abraham left his home and went out, not knowing where he was going – that was a risk. Moses forsook the security of Pharaoh’s palace, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God —that was a risk.
prayed to God though the king had decreed death to any who dared do so—that was a risk. David faced a giant in the open field of battle—that was a risk. John the Baptist confronted the sins of King Herod—that was a risk. Peter walked on water—that was a risk. Paul openly declared to Caesar himself that Jesus Christ is Lord—that was a risk.

These were men of whom the world was not worthy. These are the fathers of our Faith, and we are their sons and daughters. Now it is our turn. Now we have the opportunity and the abilities to not only follow in their steps, but to go beyond where they themselves were able to go. But it will require a definite dose of vision, passion, discipline and risk.

Are you willing to make that leap?

The difference between success and failure may come down to this; one decided to take a risk, while the other chose to take a rest. Let me leave you with the inspiring words of James Ephraim McGirt, a celebrated African-American poet (1874-1930) –

The Farther Shore
is a light upon the farther shore,shines in dazzling splendor to the eye.waters leap, the surging billows roar,he who seeks the prize must leap and try.

A mighty host stand trembling on the brink;anxious eyes they yearn to reach the goal.see them leap, and, Ah! I see them sink –gazing on dread horror fills my soul.

Yet to despair I can but droop and die;
‘Tis better far to try the lashing deep.much prefer beneath the surge to liedeath to find me on this bank asleep.


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Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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7/27/15 7:41 A

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"If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift, go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift."-- Mat_5:23-24.

THERE IS a marked difference between memory and recollection.
Memory resembles a great box or chest into which a man casts his letters, accounts, and manuscripts; recollection is the readiness, be it less or more, with which he can lay his hand on what he requires. We know that it is somewhere in our possession, we remember to have seen and turned it over, but search as we may we cannot find or recall it.
But there is a moment of quickened recollection when we stand before God: "When thou bringest thy gift to the altar and rememberest." As the Divine searchlight plays upon our past life it reveals many things which had passed from our mind. Conscience is a keen quickener of our powers of recollection.
What has your brother against you? This--that you flamed out against him in passion, with bitter, angry words, in hatred and contempt; or this--that you have been sullen and sulky, scarcely answering his advances, meeting his salutations with grudging courtesy. Perhaps you have done him a positive wrong, and have taken from him his only covering, or have forborne to help him when he stood in sore need (Exo_22:26-27; Exo_23:4-9).
We are bidden to get right with man, as the first step to acceptance with God--" first be reconciled to thy brother." Humility is necessary in every approach to God, and nothing so humbles our pride as to confess our faults to our brethren. Truth is necessary to all right dealings with God, and nothing will so promote truth in our inward parts as to be transparent and simple in our dealings with our fellows. Sincerity in confession of sin is an essential beginning of peace with God, but how can we be sure that our confession is sincere unless it costs us something more than words. "'First, be reconciled with thy brother"--not only with the brother of human flesh--but with our great Brother in the Glory (Gen_1:17-21; Heb_2:11). Then come offer thyself, as thy gift; He will accept thee, and thy gifts.


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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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7/15/15 3:30 A

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from esword

“How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?” (Pro_6:9)

It is possible to sleep though Life’s greatest moments; to hit the snooze button one too many times and, through no one’s fault but our own, miss out on that which was ours all along — if only we had wanted it enough to get up and go for it.

Perhaps this little poem, relatively unknown and dwarfed by it’s “brother’s” widespread fame, might be all the incentive you need to get with the program.

One night I had a wondrous dream,set of footprints there was seen.footprints of the Lord they were,mine were not upon the shore.

Then some stranger prints appeared,I asked, “What have we here?”prints were large and round and neat,too big to be my feet.

“My child,” He said in tender tone,
“For miles I carried you alone.challenged you to walk in faith,you refused a step to take.

“You would not learn, you would not grow;way of faith you would not know., though I love you oh so dear,stopped and dropped you on your rear!”

You see, in Life there comes a time one must try, and one must climb;one must rise and take a stand,leave their butt prints in the sand!
, isn’t it time you got with the program?

No more slumbering around with indefinite mind, waffling here and there, yawning away the epic days in which you are placed by God. Wake up from your sleep, and shake off the slumber from your life. Your presence is needed now more than ever!


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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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7/3/15 4:27 A

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from esword

“Fight the good fight of the faith.” (1Ti_6:12).

While leading a group discussion during a staff devotion at a church I was visiting, we discovered a typographical error in the notes that were handed out. Instead of saying “the good fight of Faith,” the notes read – “the food fight of faith.” We all had a good chuckle and tossed a few muffins about the room to show that we are indeed obedient to the Word.

As for me, the typo intrigued me more than a little – “the food fight of faith…” — hmmm. I mulled it over and over in my mind, wondering if there was more there than a simple spelling mistake.

Jesus said, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about” (Joh_4:32). The disciples were completely baffled by His remark and asked one another, “Did you give Him something to eat?” Of course Jesus wasn’t talking about beans and cornbread, rather He was talking about the food that comes from heaven.

Jesus told His disciples, “Do not work for the food that spoils, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man shall give you” (Joh_6:27). So that none would doubt what He meant, the Lord said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Mat_4:4).

As the body would die without food and water, so the soul shall perish without the Word of God. This being true we may be assured of the fact that Satan will do whatever he can to keep us from the Word of God. This, then, is the food fight of faith!
’t expect a frontal assault from the enemy. He’s far to clever for that. He knows that you love and treasure the Word of God, and that you would not stand for any attack against it. Instead, he sabotages your time and distracts your attention. He preoccupies you with skirmishes on other battle fronts, or he lulls you into complacency with prolonged cease fire. All the while he is feverishly working at cutting you off from communication and supplies. If he succeeds he will win the war!

Isaiah asked, “Why spend money on what is not bread? And your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen to Me and eat what is good, and your soul will delight itself in the richest of fare” (Isa_55:2). Job’s confession should be our own: “I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread”(Job_23:12).

My friends — fill yourselves up with the Word of God! And the devil won’t stand a chance against you in the food fight of faith!

excellent, be in the word!

Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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6/9/15 8:39 A

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from esword

“Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you.” (1Pe_5:7).

Anxiety can tear you apart, because it pulls you in many different directions at the same time. Once anxiety seizes your mind, you’re not good for anything else until you break free from its grip. Here’s how you do it.

Cast your cares upon the Lord.

The word “cares” means anxiety. The word “cast” mean to hurl. Peter is telling us what to do the moment anxiety starts putting it squeeze on your mind — grab a hold of it and HURL it onto the Lord. Don’t pitch it; don’t toss it; don’t lob it — HURL IT. Remove it as far as possible away from you.

In other words, you have to let go of it. By holding onto anxiety you form a partnership that trumps your friendship with God. And you empower anxiety to be even stronger than it actually is. Let it go — hurl it upon the Lord.

And here’s the secret of why you can do this — HE CARES FOR YOU!

How odd that we would think our care for ourselves exceeds the care which the Lord has for us. And how absurd when we conclude that our ability to take care of things is greater than God’s power to do so. Yet that is exactly what anxiety cause us to do, over and over again.

So cast your anxieties upon the Lord BY CHANGING YOUR FOCUS from caring about yourself to realizing HE CARES FOR YOU. And He can do a much better job of it than you can. This is the secret of an un-anxious life.

Say it out loud to yourself and watch the cords begin to break away from your mind — “He cares for me!” Say it over and over, in any anxious moment, and God will bless you with a care free mind and a liberated life.


Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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4/30/15 7:51 A

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Great Love, Great Faith- a devotional for a ladies tea. A bit long, but full!


Have you ever thought about how relationships in your lives about how love or friendship develops? It usually isn’t an instantaneous event, but one that develops over time. When you meet someone that connects with our hearts, we desire to know more about them, there is that something there. We enjoy their company and we want to spend more time with them, perhaps over a cup of tea!
In time we understand their areas of wisdom and want to listen to their advice or council. We desire to be blessed by their returned friendship or love. We become dependent on their help and do not like to be apart from them.
After more time, we boast of their accomplishments. We see the good they do and ignore their weaknesses. We begin to see their faults, but overlook them or help them to overcome them. If we persevere through good times and bad, we develop the deepest kind of relationships. These relationships become so deep we begin to think and act alike, and some even begin to look and act alike!
Each step in the development of our relationship is like a seed being planted, nourished, cared for, grown, fought for, and the fruit of the labor being sweet, refreshing, and satisfying.
There have been many worshipers that have such a deep personal relationship with God that they left their mark on history. They loved the Lord so much that they professed their faith even as they were dying. They became martyrs. Martyr - means to witness. They discovered and had a personal relationship with God that was so strong that even at their final breath; they professed their love of God through their witness. As Jesus said in Matthew12:30, They loved the Lord with all their heart, with all their soul, with all their mind and with all their strength.’ They had learned to walk in good times and strengthened their walk through difficult times, so that they had confidence in God during the final time.
Have you wanted to draw so close to God that your love and faith was so deep, so rich, and so extreme? That is where God wants you -to love him with heart, mind, soul, and strength. We all need to grow in our relationship to God, to become more intimate, more personal, to be holy as he is holy: Loving him with a pure heart and seeking to be fully in His presence. It takes time to develop our relationship.
I was listening to a sermon on a relationship with God using Psalm 73 and I would like to share some of that message with you. This Psalm was written by Asaph.
The beginning of the Psalm mentions the ungodly, how they seem to prosper, how they are proud and haughty in their actions, and how Asaph himself had slipped into sin by looking at these type of people and wondering why they were not punished, but continued in their life as if saying “God isn’t doing anything about our sins, so we can continue” But Asaph goes to God in the sanctuary (and most likely lifts his voice in prayer, awaiting a response from God) and then he realized the wicked’s final judgement and God’s care for those that love him. It is at this point he realizes some things about his relationship with God. We are going to look this in the final verses in this Psalm; verses 23-28.
In developing our love and relationship with God, we must first realize God’s constant presence in our lives. vs. 23
23 Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.

You have to realize that God is with you in every moment, every action, aware of every sin, in every direction he has been leading you whether we think it is good or bad, his spirit always speaking to your heart. God cares about every part of our lives. There is never a moment when he is not with us. You may not always feel his being there, but He is walking with us and we need to reflect upon that. Think about him being there, really picture it, because He is here with us, right now, holding on, and guiding us!

24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.

If you are thinking about God, all the time, realizing he is with us at every moment, you start to make decisions based on what God would want in your life. You begin to recognize sins and the things that will make you fall into sin. You have God’s words in your Bibles to counsel you and prayer to commune with God and you have ignored them too long. How else will you grow closer? Why would you want God’s presence, but not want to hear what he has to say to you personally. It is time to stop shutting God out! Listen to him; he is speaking to you.

25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.

When you spend the day thinking about him and developing a relationship with God through communion with him, then you will desire to get more fulfillment in Him. Time with God is far better than time spent with anything else. We need to have the joy of being in his presence. Ps. 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. We need to long to read God’s word, to desire his will, to seek him.

Vs. 26 of Psalm 73
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.

We cannot depend upon things or people. When everything seems to be against us, He is still here and he will lead you through. God will calm our hearts, he will strengthen our walk, and he will guide and comfort us. We need to learn to be dependent on God’s help, trusting him. David understood this and constantly turned to God, that is why David could eventually face his Goliath; he had learned to be confident in God.

27 Those who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.

The people that turn their backs on God are lost or perishing. They are unfaithful in their walking. We need to be fearful of being absent of God’s presence or walking in rebellion! We don’t want to turn our back on God and lose any communion with him nor do we want others to experience eternity without God. What a horrible fate, to be separated from the love of Christ. God commanded us to reach out to the unsaved, the downcast, and those that have turned their backs on God. Let his love through us soften their hearts.

28 But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds.

We need to be willing to proclaim all the great things God has done and is doing for us. Paul said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel”. Are you? If you have fear and shame in proclaiming the gospel or God, then you are showing your lack of intimacy with God. God has done great things! Speak out, do not be ashamed of God, and profess him before others. You should shudder to think of anyone that would spend eternity without God
The best motive for us to draw near to God is because Jesus paid the highest price for us, so that we could draw near to God.
Hebrews 10
19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Christ opened the way and access to God, splitting the veil of the temple, through the high cost of his death, the blood, the destruction of his body and the resulting execution of the precious Lamb of God. It was a high price and cost for our forgiveness and redemption.
You could not have a relationship with God unless the high cost of Christ’s death had taken place. His sacrifice is worthy of our total commitment to him. Nothing fulfills like knowing and relating to our living God. Nothing. No hobby, no other relationship, nothing.
God needs to be the most important part of our life and walk. We should be dedicated to serving Him, studying his word, praying for one another, involved in His ministry, giving to the church, loving our brothers, and the list could go on. After all, he died for us and his church. Shouldn’t your involvement with God be more than a casual relationship? If you aren’t in a growing relationship with God then you have either left as God’s word says “your first love”, or perhaps you have never had a relationship with God. REPENT and Turn to God
We should be aware of his presence, listening to his council, desiring his blessing, dependent on His help, fearful if we are not with him, and proud to proclaim everything He has done, and making God our priority, our deepest relationship and deepest love.
As David said while when he was in the wilderness of Judah
Psalm 63: 1-8
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.
Don’t be lukewarm in your relationship with God.


Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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4/28/15 5:36 A

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Are you giving your best? Or, like so many others, do you just cruise along merely doing only what is acceptable.

Paul the Apostle said, “Whether we are at home with the Lord or away from him, we still try our best to please him” (2Co_5:9). Indeed, we are called to do our best at setting things right in a world gone wrong. Nothing more could be asked, and nothing less would be acceptable.

The story is told of how the great Leonardo Da Vinci had started work on a large canvas in his studio. A few of his students watched as he worked at it — choosing the subject, planning the perspective, sketching the outline, and applying the colors; all with his own inimitable genius. Then he unexpectedly paused, the painting still unfinished, and, summoning one of his students, invited him to step up and complete the work.

The student protested that he was unworthy and unable to complete the great painting which his master had begun. But Da Vinci answered, “Will not what I have done inspire you to do your best?”
you think that Jesus might be saying a similar thing to you?

Your life can honor God greatly, and benefit some many others in positive and lasting ways. Everything you need for this has already been provided by Jesus. Believe it, take hold of it, press on with it, and give it your best shot. Surely you can do no less, seeing how much He has done already.

Finish the painting, my friend — for Jesus believes in you.


Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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4/2/15 3:46 A

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"What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God."-- Mic_6:8.

MICAH WAS a man of the people, and a true patriot. In his day, the political outlook was dark in the extreme, and the prophet felt that one thing only could save his country, and that was a deep and widespread revival of religion. To the inquiry of the people as to whether Jehovah desired the sacrifice of animals, or little children, who were immolated by the heathen people around in order to rid their consciences from sin, the answer came that God required something more spiritual and searching: "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good, etc."
Let us make this threefold message our own. To do justly, giving not a fraction less than can be rightly claimed from us. Every one of us must acknowledge the righteous claims of our home-circle, and of our neighbours, and we must adjust these claims, giving each his due.
Let us love mercy. There are some who have perhaps forfeited all claim on our mercy--the prisoner, the fallen, the helpless, our enemies--we must help all these not grudgingly, but cheerfully and willingly. Do not try to love mercy till you begin to show it. Dare to step out into a life of unselfish beneficence, and as you do so, you will come to love it. St. James insists that pure religion as much consists in visiting the widow and fatherless in their affliction as in keeping oneself unspotted from the world.
Let us also walk humbly with God, not lagging behind, nor running before, but walking with Him, hand in hand. All down the ages, from Enoch onward, there have been those who walked with God in unstained robes. It is not in sacrifices, or rites, or church-going, or almsgiving, though these will follow afterwards, but in holy and humble living, that the heart of true religion is realized.
Is that all? No! What is to be done for those who have tried and failed, who are conscious of guilt and sin? In the closing verses of this book is the answer. There we learn that God will not only forgive, but will subdue our iniquities. He will turn again and have compassion upon us, and cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. He delighteth in mercy! Who is a God like unto Thee?


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“But I will trust in thee.” Psa_55:23

It is one thing to boast of faith when all things are great and wonderful. But it is an entirely different matter when one can walk in the triumph of trust while things are desperate all about.

The Psalmist here is a man whose prayers are not being answered; indeed, it would seem to him that his voice is not even being heard in heaven at all. And it’s not like he’s asking for vain things. No, quite the contrary; for all hell has broke loose and he’s fighting for his life!

“The terrors of death are fallen upon me,” he says, “Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me!” It’s a bad day.

Furthermore, he is painfully aware of his own powerlessness in the situation; he doesn’t even have the ability to run away and hide somewhere. He would gladly scamper if he could, but even that is beyond his supply. He is captive in a Philistine prison.

He’s stuck in a bad deal, and it’s only getting worse. A friend, a dear friend; a treasured friend has betrayed him cruelly. A man who worshipped with him in the presence of the Lord, a man whose friendship he had never doubted and on whose loyalty he had staked his life – this man had proven to be false and broke David’s singing heart.

And in this downward spiral of sorrow he cried to God above — and nothing. No answer at all. Nada. Zippo. Zilch.

Yep, it’s a bad day; a real bad day.

Anybody would understand if at this moment David had decided to call it quits on God; after all, people do it all the time. “C’mon David,” they would say, “join the rest of us who are done with childish things like faith and prayers, Bible verses and silly love longs. Welcome to the real world!”

But David was cut from another stock than that, and now in this darkening moment a single ray of light still remained — it was the light of trust. He refused to regard God’s silence as indifference, or to consider God’s inactivity as impotence. No, instead, he triumphed in trust.

“Heaven might be brass today, and God withdrawn and silent, but I will trust in Thee,” he said. “Winds may be howling and demons may be growling, and all things lovely to behold may be blown away, but I will trust in Thee. My heart is faint, my hopes are dim, and my power is gone, but I will trust in Thee. And though friends have fallen and turned to foes, and none can give solace to my deeper wounds, nevertheless I will trust in Thee.”

We know now that David’s trust in the Lord paid off huge, for history holds him forth as one of the greatest of Israel’s kings. And the Church holds him dear as one of God’s great champions. Who knows but that a similar destiny awaits you on the other side of this ordeal?

Stay the course, my friend, and stand in the triumph of trust!


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"And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in Me."-- Mat_11:6.


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3/5/15 5:00 A

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"Who is able to stand before this holy Lord God?"-- 1Sa_6:20.

THE PHRASE "to stand before God" designates a high-toned religious life; it includes the knowledge of God, the faculty of executing His commands, and the power of interceding for others. The phrase was a favourite one with Elijah, as expressing the spirit of his great career, and we surely desire that the spirit and attitude of our life may be designated thus. But if this is to be something more than a vague wish, or idle dream, there must be a close adhesion to great principles.
Amongst many it is the general tendency to follow the practice of the majority. We drift with the current, and allow our lives to be settled by our companions or our whims, our fancies or our tastes. If we have a momentary qualm, in contrasting our lives with the standards of primitive simplicity, of which Scripture, or the biographies of the saints are full, we excuse ourselves by saying that so long as the main purpose of life is right the details are unimportant. But what we are in the smallest details of our life, that we are really and essentially.
What a revolution would come to us all, if it became the one fixed aim and ambition of our lives to stand before God, and to do always those things that are pleasing in His sight. It would not make us less tender in our friendships, or less active in our service. It would not take the sparkle from the eye; the nerve from the grasp; or the warm glow from the heart. But it would check many a vain word, arrest many a silly jest, stop much selfish and vainglorious expenditure, and bring us back to whatsoever things are true, honourable, just, pure, lovely and of good report.
We must hold lightly to the things around us. It is difficult to say what worldliness consists in, for what is worldly to some people is an ordinary part of life's circumstance to others. But all of us are sensible of ties that hold us to the earth. We may discover what they are by considering what we cling to most; what we find hard to let go, even into the hands of Christ. Whatever it is that hinders us from living on the highest level, if it is a weight that impedes our speed heavenward, it should be laid deliberately on God's altar, that we may be able, without let or hindrance, to be wholly for God.

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2/21/15 10:25 A

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from esword

THE REFINER'S FIRE
"He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver."-- Mal_3:3.
"That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ."-- 1Pe_1:7.

NOTHING IS harder to bear than the apparent aimlessness of suffering.
They say that what breaks a convict's heart in gaol is to set him to say carry stones from one side of the prison to the other, and then back again! But we must never look upon the trials of life as punishments, because all penalty was borne by our Lord Himself. They are intended to destroy the weeds and rubbish of our natures, as the bonfires do in the gardens. Christ regards us in the light of our eternal interests, of which He alone can judge. If you and I knew what sphere we were to fulfil in the other world, we should understand the significance of His dealings with us, as now we cannot do. The Refiner has a purpose in view, of which those who stand beside Him are ignorant, and, therefore, they are unable to judge the process which He is employing.
Dare to believe that Christ is working to a plan in your life. He loves you, so be patient! He would not take so much trouble unless He knew that it was worth while. "We do not prune brambles, or cast common stones into the crucible or plough sea-sands!" You must be capable of some special service, which can only be done by a carefully-prepared instrument, and so Christ sits beside you as the Refiner, year after year, that you may miss nothing.
Whilst the Fire is hot keep conversing with the Refiner. Ponder these words: "He shall sit as a Refiner and Purifier of silver." The thought is specially suitable for those who cannot make long prayers, but they can talk to Christ as He sits beside them. Nicholas Hermann tells us that, as he could not concentrate his mind on prolonged prayer, he gave up set times of prayer and sought constant conversations with Christ. Speak to Him, then, in the midst of your daily toil. He hears the unspoken prayer, and catches your whispers. Talk to Christ about your trials, sorrows, and anxieties! Make Him your Confidant in your joy and happiness! Nothing makes Him so real as to talk to Him aloud about everything!



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1/15/15 6:29 A

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"Lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus."-- Heb_12:1-2.

LEAVE BEHIND your past sins. They have been many and great, more than you can count. But if you have confessed and forsaken them, they have been put away, "as far as the east is from the west.'" Nothing could be more explicit than 1 John 1:9. It is useless to brood over the past. God has buried it in the grave of Christ. Go and sin no more!

Leave behind your bad habits that encumber you. You know what they are, and how they cling! You have fallen again and again, overtaken by them, tripped up, your robes stained and torn. There should be some finality in your life, a mark on the grass from which you start to run the race. The command to put off the old man is in the definite tense (Col_3:8-9). It speaks of one sudden strong act of the will, God-nerved and God-empowered. This, then, is the hour when you must strike for liberty "Ye have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God."

Leave behind your accomplished ideals. They were once far in front and above you. As you climbed they seemed almost inaccessible, and mocking voices rang out their defiance of your attempt. But by the grace of God things that once you dreamt of are now realized, and you are sitting on the peak that once seemed to laugh you to scorn. But you must leave it behind! Look up! look forward! Are there not fresh ideals calling to you? Leave behind your attainments and strike your tents. One battle is fought, but a yet stronger foe bars the way immediately in front.

The best way to leave behind is to press forward. The Spirit of God bids us "run with patience the race set before us, looking unto Jesus." He is our Forerunner, always before us, always leading us on. Let the soul follow hard after Him, and it will become almost oblivious to what it leaves behind. The boy who is running for the goal, in his eagerness to win the prize, strips himself of one and another article of clothing. He will not count their worth, so long as he may win the prize.

So run that ye may attain! Apprehend that for which you were apprehended! Lay hold on the outstretched crown of life!


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12/22/14 6:43 A

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from esword:

Why Bethlehem?

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” (Mic_5:2)

Why Bethlehem? Of all the places Jesus could have been born, why Bethlehem? And mind you, it wasn’t a random happenstance that He was born there — it was foretold. He was ordained by God to be born there, and the prophets of old declared it. Bethlehem was the chosen city of His birth. But why?

Maybe we might suppose that Bethlehem was chosen specifically because it was so small and insignificant. After all, God seems to take special delight in exalting the lowly and humbling the proud. He forever is taking the things that are foolish, and confounding the wise; the things that are nothing, to bring to nothing the things that are thought to be something.

So, maybe this is why He chose Bethlehem. Maybe. But I think there is still something more to this that is worthy of our consideration.

The name Bethlehem means “House of Bread.”

Jesus said of Himself, “I am the Bread of Life.”
’t you find it it more than a little remarkable that the Bread of Life was sent down from Heaven to be born in the House of Bread. But there is still one more detail, too important to overlook.

We know that Jesus was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. But what we may not know is that the manger in which He was placed was actually a feeding trough.

And now the full picture unfolds before us — the Bread of Life was sent down from Heaven above into the House of Bread, and placed in a feeding trough. Why? That we might eat and live!

This is what Jesus was talking about when He said, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If you eat this bread, you will live forever. The bread that I will give you is my flesh, which I give so that the world may live.” (John_6:51).

The plain meaning of the passage is, that by his body and his blood offered in sacrifice for sin, He would procure pardon and life for man; that they who partook of that, or had an interest in that, should obtain eternal life. He uses the figure of eating and drinking because, among the Jews, eating and drinking was expressive of sharing in or partaking of the privileges of friendship.

You hungry? Take this Bread and eat.

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11/16/14 5:49 A

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“One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.” (Psa_27:4)

Three things happen as we pray. First, we become friends with Almighty God.

I’m talking about real friendship; not some imaginary exercise of reciting religious phrases toward some divine place in the sky. No. David said we would behold the beauty of the Lord, and inquire in His temple. This is not some abstract thought about a make-believe world, nor merely a poetic license for things that are not literally real. I’m talking about actually talking with God….and having Him talk back.

“Call unto Me, and I will answer you,” He says, “and show you great and marvelous things to wonderful to know; things of which you are unaware; things that you don’t know and can’t find out without asking Me; things you can never figure out on your own.” (Jer_33:3).

The New Living Bible says, “Ask Me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come.”

Jesus invited us to pray to “Our Father, who is in heaven.” This is a bond greater than any other relational connection we know. He has even placed His Spirit deep within our heart, whereby we call out, “Abba, Father.”

From infancy to our elder years, God’s Fatherhood is the undergirding and over-riding truth of our lives. And it is the single, most compelling factor in how we are to pray –

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Mat_7:7-11).

The purpose of prayer is to strengthen, deepen, broaden, and lengthen our fellowship with God, our Father.


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10/27/14 6:24 A

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Leonard Ravenhill, said, “The cost of shining is burning.”

Many want the glow without the heat, but there can be no sparkle where there are not sparks. And, there can be no sparks where the hammer of God’s word does not strike the anvil of our souls as the Holy Spirit forges Christ-like character in the metal of our lives.

The cost of shining is burning.

The disciples said, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us along the way, and while He opened to us the Scriptures?” (Luk_24:32). In yet another place the Bible asks, “Does not My word burn like fire?” says the LORD. “Is it not like a mighty hammer that smashes a rock to pieces?” (Jer_23:29).

As we open ourselves to the igniting power of God’s word, all within us that is wood, hay or stubble is consumed by its tireless flame. And then, whatever yet remains that is hardened and unresponsive deep in our hearts is busted loose by the mighty blow of God’s hammer — His living word unleashed in our yielded lives.

Will you let the truth of God’s unchanging Word have its way in your life? In your thoughts, your hopes, and your aspirations? In your opinions, your attitudes, and your behavior? In your family, your friendships, and your associations?

If you say yes, you will become a burning and shining light; and you will be counted great in the Kingdom of God.

On the other hand, you can light your own fire and burn out in no time — with nothing to show for the one life you have lived. Surely you can see the better choice is to yield your heart to Christ and let Him be honored by the light of your ignited life.

And He will say of you on that day, “This one was a burning and shining light.”


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10/23/14 7:21 A

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"Time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah... who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises."-- Heb_11:32-33 (R.V.).

FAITH IS the link between our souls and God. It is the capacity of entering into fellowship with the Eternal Love and Power, so that we are able to do all things with the sense that it is not we who do them, but God in us and with us. Faith is the open door and window towards God. In faith our heart goes out towards God in clinging dependence, and God comes in to strengthen us with His Divine fullness.
In human life, when we trust a man, we draw from him all that he is able to supply; in the Divine life, faith draws upon the resources of God, so that they flow freely into our nature, and the results of our life-work are immensely increased. Faith is possible amid a great deal of ignorance. It is clear that Gideon, Barak, Samson, and Jephthah were ignorant of the truth which the Gospel has revealed, and yet we learn that their work was largely due to their faith. Dispensations come and go; the revelation of God grows from less to more; but the attitude of faith is always the same--in the simple woman that touched the hem of Christ's garment, as in St. John the beloved disciple, who had years of training in Christ's School.
Faith achieves very different results. In some, it produces the heroic strength that turns the battle from the gate; in some, the passive suffering that endures the long ordeal of pain. Here, it turns the edge of the sword; there, shuts the mouths of lions. We know how electric force may be applied to all the various machinery of human life. In one place used for the beaming light, in another to drive the motor car, or to flash the message of music and speech from one continent to another. So Faith is able to appropriate God's might for any purpose that lies within the compass of the life-task, whether active or passive. (See Heb_11:32-34, Heb_11:35-39.)
God bears a witness to all who trust Him. He never fails us in the hour of need. His response is the echo of our appeal. As soon as the uplifted arm of the tramcar touches the overhead wire, there is the spark, and the immediate entrance of electric power. So God answers faith.


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10/23/14 7:20 A

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from esword

"Time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah... who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises."-- Heb_11:32-33 (R.V.).

FAITH IS the link between our souls and God. It is the capacity of entering into fellowship with the Eternal Love and Power, so that we are able to do all things with the sense that it is not we who do them, but God in us and with us. Faith is the open door and window towards God. In faith our heart goes out towards God in clinging dependence, and God comes in to strengthen us with His Divine fullness.
In human life, when we trust a man, we draw from him all that he is able to supply; in the Divine life, faith draws upon the resources of God, so that they flow freely into our nature, and the results of our life-work are immensely increased. Faith is possible amid a great deal of ignorance. It is clear that Gideon, Barak, Samson, and Jephthah were ignorant of the truth which the Gospel has revealed, and yet we learn that their work was largely due to their faith. Dispensations come and go; the revelation of God grows from less to more; but the attitude of faith is always the same--in the simple woman that touched the hem of Christ's garment, as in St. John the beloved disciple, who had years of training in Christ's School.
Faith achieves very different results. In some, it produces the heroic strength that turns the battle from the gate; in some, the passive suffering that endures the long ordeal of pain. Here, it turns the edge of the sword; there, shuts the mouths of lions. We know how electric force may be applied to all the various machinery of human life. In one place used for the beaming light, in another to drive the motor car, or to flash the message of music and speech from one continent to another. So Faith is able to appropriate God's might for any purpose that lies within the compass of the life-task, whether active or passive. (See Heb_11:32-34, Heb_11:35-39.)
God bears a witness to all who trust Him. He never fails us in the hour of need. His response is the echo of our appeal. As soon as the uplifted arm of the tramcar touches the overhead wire, there is the spark, and the immediate entrance of electric power. So God answers faith.



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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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10/22/14 5:32 A

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Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Heb 4:13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Heb 4:14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
Heb 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Heb 4:16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Naked and exposed we must give all our weakness and sins, in confession, to Him. He will finish this journey with the mercy and grace we need to walk through the rough spots.

Thanking and praising our Great, Merciful, and Loving God.

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9/4/14 6:09 A

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“For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the LORD and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel” (Ezr_7:10, NASB)

The Bible tells us that Ezra’s trip from Babylon to Jerusalem, a journey of about 900 miles, took less than five months because “the gracious hand of his God was on him.” And then adds, “This was because Ezra had determined to study and obey the Law of the LORD and to teach those decrees and regulations to the people of Israel” (Ezr_7:9-10).

When we set our hearts upon studying and obeying God’s Word, and add the desire to teach it to others — God will prosper our steps with expedience and favor. “The path of the righteous is like the light of day, shining brighter and brighter” (Pro_4:18).

Ezra and his fellow footmen were protected from attacks by bandits, and were preserved in their supplies, both physically and emotionally. They left Babylon in high hopes, and arrived in Jerusalem refreshed and filled with wonder.

Elsewhere the Bible says, “Great peace have they who love Your Law; and nothing will offend them” (Psa_119:165). Set your heart upon God’s Word, and watch how God begins to prosper your way; how He blesses you in business, in friendships, in breakthroughs, and in favor with others.

The bottom line is that God’s Word is true and trustworthy, and by opening our hearts to its life-giving power, we can live everyday in the deep assurance that God will open His heart to us with blessing and favor.


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9/1/14 7:12 A

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from esword:

And when the seventh month had come, and the children of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered together as one man to Jerusalem” (Ezr_3:1,NKJV)

It was the Seventh Month, September by our reckoning, and the Israelites were still filled with the wonder of all that God had done to return them from Babylonian capitivity back to Jerusalem — charged by the king of Persia himself to rebuild the Temple of the Lord. This was truly astounding in every way.

We are told that they assembled “as one man.This singluar moment not only harnessed the great potential of a vast assembly of focused individuals, but it also unleashed a mighty revival in the city — and ultimately in the nation.

As we read Ezra’s account of what happened, three things stand out at the forefront of this historic move of God.

First, they rebuilt the altar, which had been destroyed by the Babylonians years ealier. This symbolizes “seeking first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness.” The Altar is where we worship. It is where we experience God’s presence, hear His voice, and find the power to do His will.

Second, they rekindled the fires of morning and evening offerings. This symbolizes prayer. They began their day, and ended it, in conversation with God. Obviously, the conversation lasted all day long. Did you know that God wants the same thing with you and me? He wants to walk with us, and talk with us as we move about the various affairs of our daily lives. He wants our lives to be ignited with the passion that comes from personal friendship with Him.

Third, they renewed their faithfulness to God’s Word. This symbolizes obedience. They had long forsaken the ways of the Lord, but now were returned to true devotion and faithful allegiance. “You shall now the Truth,” Jesus said, “and the Truth shall set you free.” We can find the freedom Jesus gives by renewing our commitment to the Word of God — seeking His face, hearing His voice, and doing His will.

This is the lesson we learn from Ezra’s revival in ancient time; and it serves as a pattern and a promise for us today. They sought His face, heard His voice, and did His will — and a revival transformed their land. And it happend in September.

What will this September hold for you and me?

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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8/30/14 8:02 A

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Php 3:7-11 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Nothing in this life is permanent. We seem to think we will have good health, all we want, and shouldn't have any problems. But life carries no guarantees. So, Praise God for what he has allowed you to enjoy during your life and keep your eyes focused on eternity.


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Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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8/25/14 7:45 A

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“Sweet hour of prayer that calls me from a world of care, and bids me at my Father’s throne make all my wants and wishes known. In seasons of distress and grief, my soul has often found relief, and oft escaped the Tempter’s snare by thy return — sweet hour of prayer!

“Sweet hour of prayer; the joys I feel, the bliss I share with those whose hungry spirits burn with strong desire for Thy return! With such I hasten to the place where God my Savior shows His face. I gladly take my station there, and wait for thee — sweet hour of prayer.

“Sweet hour of prayer, thy wings shall my petition bear to Him, whose truth and faithfulness engage the waiting soul to bless; and since He bids me seek His face, believe His word, and trust His grace — I’ll cast on Him my every care, and wait for thee: sweet hour of prayer.”

The Lord calling you back! And He is even now awaiting your reply. Spend time with our father in prayer.


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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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8/19/14 6:56 A

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from esword

A friend is invaluable if we stumble or fall on the path of life. "Woe to him that is alone when he falleth." "Brethren," says the Apostle, "if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself lest thou also be tempted.'" Let us watch for each other's souls; if any is falling away from the truth, or into some insidious trap, let us lift him up. Let us exercise the brotherly solicitude that Barnabas did for Paul.
Without companionship material things cannot satisfy. The ties of nature, friendship, and religious communion give a zest to a poor man's life, which the miser with all his wealth forfeits. It is all-important, not only in ordinary life, but pre-eminently in the pilgrimage of the spirit, to have fellowship with some kindred soul. Friendship ought to make our spirits glow. Perhaps this was one reason why our Lord sent forth His disciples by two and two (Mar_6:7).
In temptation a true friend makes us more able to withstand the devil. It is a real help in the hour of trial to have a friend who will appropriate the words of our Lord, saying: "I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not." There is no fellowship like that of Jesus, our Faithful Friend, who lifts us when we fall, chafes us when chilled with cold, and succours us against the Tempter. Does He not make the third in the threefold cord--"Where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them" (Mat_18:20).


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8/16/14 7:45 A

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from esword

"And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that were with him in the ark."-- Gen_8:1.

IT IS very helpful to ponder these words, for it gives the assurance that not only will God take care of cattle, and birds, and every living thing, as we learn from Deu_25:4; Psa_104:11-22; Jon_4:11; Mat_6:26; but that He will much more think of and care for us, His children! Like Noah and his family, you may be shut away from all human help. It may be as impossible for you, as it was for him, to extricate yourself. You may have the responsibility of providing for those in need. Your supplies may be continually decreasing before your eyes, but God remembers you amid the waste of waters, and beneath those dark cloud-covered skies. As a mother cannot forget her sucking child, so God cannot forget you.
The ark grounded on the lower slopes of Ararat on the seventeenth day of the seventh month, and the waters decreased so rapidly, that, as Noah had reaped the harvest before the Flood came, he left the ark in time to sow for the succeeding year. Dare to trust the times and seasons of your life to your Heavenly Father's care. He only waits to be trusted, and then life becomes woven into a beautiful mosaic of His loving forethought and care.
Be sure to guard against raven-like thoughts, which are restless and evil-feeding; seek to cultivate meek, gentle, pure, and dove-like thoughts that cull the olive-leaves of promise from the Word of God. Presently He who said "Come in," will say "Go forth!" Then build your altar of self-sacrifice and self-giving.

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Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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8/9/14 10:22 A

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he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love
Eph 1:5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,
Eph 1:6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
Eph 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
Eph 1:8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight
Eph 1:9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ
Eph 1:10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
Eph 1:11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,
Eph 1:12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.
Eph 1:13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,
Eph 1:14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.


What a promise, what a privilege, what a joy!! Praise God he has chosen me!!

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Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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8/4/14 7:10 A

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from esword

“Worry is an old man with bended head carrying a load of feathers, which he thinks is lead.” Is that you? Bowed over with a load that weighs more in your mind than it does in fact, laboring under the imagined weight of it all – not realizing that you really aren’t carrying anything at all?

“Consider the lilies of the field,” Jesus said, “they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed as one of these.” And again, “Consider the birds of the air, they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

Somehow we just don’t get it. And rather than trust the Lord to carry our load, we do it ourselves and have nothing to show for it but wrinkled faces and frustrated souls.

Peter tells us that we must let Him have all our worries and cares – and here is why. “For He is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you.” Notice two words specifically: always and everything.

The Lord is ALWAYS thinking about you, and watching EVERYTHING that concerns you. Do you seriously believe that you can do a better job than Him? Then why not let Him carry the load? Why not trust that He is really looking out for you in all things at all times?

Since He is always thinking about you, and watching everything that concerns you – you no longer need to always be thinking about yourself, and watching everything that concerns only you!

But what then shall you do with all this new found free time on your hands? Here’s a suggestion, in the words of King David the Psalmist: - Psa 16:9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.



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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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7/28/14 8:57 A

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from esword

Jesus said, “He that is not with Me, is against Me.” (Mat_12:30).

William B. Travis made his mark in history when he drew his sword and placed that line in the sand of the Alamo courtyard. Those who crossed the line walked out of anonymity into renown, each one becoming part of an ongoing legend.

Never underestimate the power of a defining moment; that moment when history draws a line in the sand.

Jesus drew a line in the sand when He said, “He that is not with Me, is against Me.” He set it in cement when He added, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes to the Father but by Me.”

As one preacher said, “Christ is not one of many ways to God, nor is he the best of several ways. He is the only way.” Christ is the way unchanging; He is the truth infallible; He is the life everlasting. Jesus is the way that you might be saved. He is the truth that you might be sure. He is the life that you might be satisfied. Have you stepped across that line in the sand?

We are told in Scripture that Jesus humbled Himself and became obedient unto death on the cross. For this reason God highly exalted Him, and gave Him the name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

The Bible says, “There is salvation in no other, for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.” There is only one name that opens heaven’s doors and God’s heart – the name of Jesus. There is only one name that breaks the power of sin and sets the captive free – the name of Jesus. There is only one name worthy of all praise, and deserving of your allegiance – the name of Jesus.

Far from being narrow and unfair – this is the most generous and fairest of all possible solutions. God did not leave us to ourselves to find a way back to Him – for who among us knows where God is that we could first find Him for ourselves and then chart the path for all others to follow?

God alone knows where He is. God alone knows where we are. And God alone knows what it takes for us to return to Him. The Bible says that God “longs for all to be saved and to understand this truth: That God is on one side and all the people on the other side, and Christ Jesus, himself man, is between them to bring them together, by giving his life for all mankind.”

Have you stepped across that line in the sand? Could I invite you to do so today? Do so and you will discover for yourself what so many others have found to be true — Jesus saves.

Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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7/22/14 8:00 A

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THE HEBREW Psalmody became famous throughout the world. Even their fierce conquerors recognized the sublime beauty of the Hebrew temple music. By the waters of Babylon they urged them to sing one of the Songs of Zion, not knowing how impossible it was for the captives to sing the Lord's song in a strange land! For sixteen years no song had poured forth from the sacred shrine. Ahaz had shut the doors, dispersed the Levites, and allowed the holy fabric to remain unkempt, unlit, and unused. There were no sacrifices on the Altar, no sweet incense in the Holy Place, no blood on the Mercy-Seat, no Song of the Lord!
For too many Christians this, alas, is a picture of their life. The soul, intended to be a holy temple for God, shows signs of disorder and neglect. The lights are not lit, the sweet incense of prayer does not ascend, the doors of entrance to fellowship and exit to service are closed. Outwardly the ordinances of the religious life are preserved, but inwardly silence and darkness prevail, into which bat-like thoughts intrude. Thorns have come up in the court of the Holy Place, where the scorpion makes her nest. The Song of the Lord had died out of heart and life.
Why should not this miserable condition be ended to-day? Why should you not be cleansed from the traces of sin and neglect through the Blood of the Cross? Why should you not come back into fellowship with God, who waits to receive and forgive? Surrender yourself to Him now. Do not be general, but specific in your consecration. Weld yourself to some life or lives that sorely need help. Give not words only, but deeds and blood. Merge your little life in the life of Christ, as the streamlet in the wide ocean. And as you yield yourself to Christ first, and next to all who need you for His sake, you will find the Song of the Lord breaking forth again in your heart like a spring, which was formerly choked with debris.


Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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7/19/14 8:36 A

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"Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit."-- John15:16.

WE DID not choose Him-- we have the evil of the human heart, the film of blindness which sin casts on the sight, the deafness with which it dulls the ear. For to have missed Jesus, to pass Him by, is as though the pearl-hunter were unable to recognize the pearl of greatest price.

"But I chose you." He chose us probably because we were useless and helpless, and He wanted to show what supreme miracles His grace could achieve. The prophet says that the branches of the vine are more useless than any others (Eze_16:1-5). The principle of God's choice is to take what all others reject--the fire-brand plucked from the burning, the feebly-smoking tow, the bruised reed; the younger sons, the halt and lame, the last and least; the things that are foolish, despised, and weak--these are God's choice, that He may bring to nought things that are, that no flesh may glory in His presence.

There was no error in the foreknowledge which preceded our election. God knew all that we were, all that we should be. He foresaw our down-sittings, our hours of depression, our obstinacy, our wanderings into the far country, but He swerved not. He chose us and considers us precious!

Honor God today, give him the glory he deserves.

Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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7/18/14 6:38 A

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“Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before” (Php_3:13)

Scripture encourages us to remember all the way that the Lord has brought us thus far, for in each memory is a meaningful look into the way He works, and the great love He bears for each one of us as He carries us through Life’s many, many episodes.

The battle is never easy, but the victory is always sweet!

Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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7/12/14 6:30 A

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Think about your own storied journey. As you look back over the years and reflect upon all the places you have been, all the things you have seen and done, along with all that you have experienced — good and bad alike — don’t you find your heart rallying to this singular line? “Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.”

In every season of life, through all the changes that occur over the years from one experience to the next, one decade to the next; one generation to the next — “Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.”

In each circumstance throughout a single day — “Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.”

He is our Temple, the center of our worship. He is our Home, the seat of our security. He is our Lair, the site of our rest and repose. He is our School, the stock of our wisdom and knowledge. He is our Retreat, the source of our rejuvination.

He is our Market Place, the success of our labors. He is our High Court, the supply of our peace and righteousness. He is our Heaven, the satisfaction of our eternal longings.

Rightly did the Psalmist say, “Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever” (Psa_73:25-26).

This is the Place where your live — and I pray you live well!


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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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7/10/14 6:44 A

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The love of Christ does not constrain all Christian people, because they do not understand the profound significance of the Cross; but when the soul once appreciates that, and passes through the gate of death into the life of God, then it begins to feel the constraining love of Christ.

The pivot of our life must be the Risen Christ: "We no longer live unto ourselves, but unto Him who rose again." We sometimes hear people described as eccentric---out of the centre. A man is ex-centric to the world when he is concentric with Christ. It is thus that we become a new creation. When by faith we are united to Jesus Christ in His Cross and Grave, the transition is made. We pass over into the Easter life. He has reconciled us unto Himself, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation--therefore we are ambassadors. We have to proclaim forgiveness to the sinful, the loosening of their chains to those who sit in prison-houses, and the near approach of salvation to all (Isa_52:7-10).


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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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7/7/14 6:33 A

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from esword-


So the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” (Exo_4:2)

One thing that stands out about the early followers of Jesus is that they were ordinary men, doing ordinary things – but seeing extraordinary results. One of the most compelling examples of this was when a young boy gave his small lunch to Jesus. What happened next is a miracle still talked about to this day — a multitude was fed with two small fish, and five loaves of bread.

There are five great lessons we learn from this one amazing miracle.

First, never underestimate the Lord’s ability to meet a need. The place was a desert, and the time was late; the people were many, and the need was great. But Jesus not only met the need; He did it with abundance! And He can meet whatever need you are faced with today.

Second, never count yourself out when the Lord starts to work. A man seeing the news about disease, hunger, poverty, and sorrow in the world, turned to his wife and said, “Sometimes I just want to ask God why doesn’t He do something about all of this!” “What’s stopping you from asking Him?” his wife replied. “Because,” the man said, “I’m afraid He will ask me the same question!”

Jesus gave the loaves to the disciples, and they gave it to the people. In other words – the miracle happened in their hands, while they were passing the food out to the people. There is a miracle in your hands, too!

Third, never assume that what you have is too insignificant to matter. A boy with a sack lunch containing five loaves and two small fish – that’s all it took. One disciple asked, “But what is this among so many?” It is tragic how many count themselves out simply because they feel they do not measure up to the moment.

Fourth, never think that He will fail to meet your needs while using you to bless others. The Bible says that they did all eat, and were full. As for the disciples, they collected the fragments and filled twelve baskets – one for each of them. Your service to Him will never go unnoticed, nor unanswered.

Finally, never hold on to what the Lord is asking from you. What if the boy had kept his lunch for himself? Well, he would’ve had lunch – and that’s all. But, giving it to the Lord Jesus took that young man into history. And now, Jesus is asking you, “What do you have? Bring it to Me.”

History awaits your response.



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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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7/5/14 8:29 A

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A tale of a farmer who had a lust for more and more land. Finally he heard of cheap land among the Bashkirs. He sold all he had, made a long journey to their territory, and arranged a deal with them. For one thousand rubles he could buy all the land he could walk around in one day.

The next morning he set out and walked far in one direction and then turned left. He made many detours to include extra areas of good soil. By the time he made his last turn, he realized he had gone too far. He ran as fast as possible to get back to the starting point before sunset. Faster and faster he ran and finally staggered and fell across the starting point just as the sun set. He lay there dead. They buried him in a small hole, all the land he needed.

More times than not when you want something so bad that you cannot stand not having it — once you do get it, you find that it is not really what you wanted after all. In fact, rather than being a blessing to you — it often becomes a curse.

Guard you heart from lusting for more and more — for you just might become swallowed up by the very thing you are chasing.

“Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.” (Pro_27:20)



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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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7/3/14 1:24 P

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Jesus told His disciples, “Do not work for the food that spoils, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man shall give you” (Joh_6:27). So that none would doubt what He meant, the Lord said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Mat_4:4).

As the body would die without food and water, so the soul shall perish without the Word of God. This being true we may be assured of the fact that Satan will do whatever he can to keep us from the Word of God. This, then, is the food fight of faith!
’t expect a frontal assault from the enemy. He’s far to clever for that. He knows that you love and treasure the Word of God, and that you would not stand for any attack against it. Instead, he sabotages your time and distracts your attention. He preoccupies you with skirmishes on other battle fronts, or he lulls you into complacency with prolonged cease fire. All the while he is feverishly working at cutting you off from communication and supplies. If he succeeds he will win the war!

Isaiah asked, “Why spend money on what is not bread? And your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen to Me and eat what is good, and your soul will delight itself in the richest of fare” (Isa_55:2). Job’s confession should be our own: “I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread”(Job_23:12).

My friends — fill yourselves up with the Word of God! And the devil won’t stand a chance against you in the food fight of faith!


Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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6/30/14 6:55 A

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from esword:
"Fear not. I am He that liveth, and was dead; and behold,! am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."-- Rev_1:18.

IT WAS not possible, said St. Peter, that our Lord should be holden of death (Act_2:24). It behooved Christ to suffer; but all the bitter waters of suffering could not quench his love. He was the propitiation for the sins of the whole world. Therefore, every man, even those who pierced Him, is included in His great love.
Christ died, not only to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself, but to rob death of its terrors, and deprive it of its sting. In death our Lord Jesus destroyed both the Devil and his power; the prince of this world has been judged, and cast out of the seat of power (Heb_2:14-15; Joh_12:31; Joh_16:11).
Let us not be afraid of the mystery of death. Christ has shown us that it is the gateway into another life. There is the same spirit, but a different environment. It is a condition of existence in which the same voices are heard, the same human fellowship persists. During the forty days in which Jesus tarried on our earth after His Resurrection, He solved many of the problems of life after death, and illuminated its mystery. To die is to be with Him, and to be welcomed into the great company of loving spirits (2Pe_1:11).
Let us not fear the loneliness of death. The soul passing through the dark valley becomes aware of Another by its side---"Thou art with me.'" Death cannot separate us, even for a moment, from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Jesus died alone; He felt forsaken; but none of us need pass through that terrible experience; for He has said: "I will come again, and receive you unto Myself."
We need not fear what comes after death. The curse and penalty of sin have been put away for ever. "Who is He that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea, rather, that is risen again." That which others call death, we dread no more than sleep. Our bodies lie down exhausted with our long working-day, to awake in the fresh energy of the Eternal Morning, while our spirit is presented before the Presence of His Glory, faultless, and with exceeding joy (Jud_1:24).


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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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6/27/14 5:01 P

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“There is salvation in no other, for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved” (Act_4:12).

There is only one name that opens heaven’s doors and God’s heart—the name of Jesus. There is only one name that breaks the power of sin and sets the captive free—the name of Jesus. There is only one name worthy of all praise, and deserving of your allegiance—the name of Jesus.


Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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6/26/14 4:48 A

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"For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is. dead also."-- Jam_2:26.


"Faith without works is dead." It is good to test ourselves. We must see to it that our heart is pure and our way absolutely transparent. In our dealings with those around us, we must always seek to realize our highest conceptions of love and duty. Even when our efforts of goodwill and affection are not reciprocated, we must never lower the high standard of our action, but always keep before us the conception of our Saviour's life in the Home at Nazareth. Be merciless to yourself, but always merciful to others, always bearing the burdens of those around you, always moderating your pace to the weak and weary, as Greatheart did for the pilgrims. Even Rahab was justified by a faith which wrought itself out in beautiful and unselfish action (Jam_2:25; Heb_11:31). Remember our Lord's words in Mat_7:20-21.


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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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6/24/14 6:06 A

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from esword

THE BASIS OF PEACE
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."-- Rom_5:1.
"Having made peace through the blood of His Cross."-- Col_1:20.

THE BASIS of redemption and peace was laid on Calvary, when our Lord died for the sins of the world. In Lev_17:11, we learn that "the life, or soul, of the flesh is in the blood' (R.V. marg.); from which we infer that the forth-flowing of the blood of Christ was the forth-pouring of His soul as a sacrifice for sin.
It may be asked: Granted that the blood of Christ represents His soul which was poured out for sinful men, how did this marvellous act of self-sacrifice constitute a basis for peace? The full answer to that question is impossible in our present limited knowledge. It is one of the secret things which belong to the Lord our God, hidden from us now, to be revealed when we are full-grown.
But never suppose that the shedding of Christ's blood was necessary to make God love us, to appease His wrath or wring from His unwilling hand an edict of redemption. "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself.'" The Father does not love us because Jesus died, but He went to the Cross because of God's love for us who chose us to be joint-heirs with His Son.
But there is one condition to be fulfilled. The access into Peace is open only to those who believe. We are justified by faith; we have peace through believing. The Apostle says that "through our Lord Jesus Christ we have now received the Atonement" (Col_1:11). The redemption is accomplished; we have but to receive it. The atonement of peace is made, it is only for us to take it. "For as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness, unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord." As we receive eternal life, and the Holy Spirit with open and thankful hearts, relying on the Divine assurance by faith, we enter into the great inheritance of Peace, and the gifts of God in Grace and Nature become our own.


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6/23/14 6:07 A

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a portion of a devotional from esword:

"Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed nothing shall be impossible unto you."-- Mat_17:20.


Let us not despise the day of small things. Faith may be as a grain of mustard seed, but as it is used it will grow. Your effort to do good may seem so insignificant that it would be hardly missed, if it were discontinued, and yet out of it may emanate some mighty work which will bring help and comfort to thousands. How many orphanages, schools, and philanthropic efforts have owed their origin to the most infinitesimal beginnings. One destitute child cared and ministered to for Christ's sake has led to another, until finally thousands of little ones have received a good start in life. What could be more insignificant than the beginnings of the Gospel message in many a heathen country. Do not be discouraged. Like Gideon, you may be only a cake of barley bread, but by faith you may overturn the tents of Midian. Like the little lad, you may only be able to place five tiny loaves and two small fish in the hands of Jesus, but He will bless them and make them sufficient to feed the multitude. A stone may bring Goliath to the dust; an arrow may pierce through the armour of the mailed warrior. Have faith in God; Reckon on God's faithfulness to you!


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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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6/20/14 8:04 A

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From esword devotional

1Peter 3:22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

Sooner or later the last word will be spoken. All debate will cease, and arguments will come to an end. Somebody somehow in someway will be able to sum it all up and put everything and everyone in their place. That somebody is Jesus.

Until then we are surrounded by a hurricane of opinions, ideas, suggestions, postulations, pontifications, exaggerations, exclamations, theories, concepts, notions, imaginations, vanities, snippets, and a host of other verbal squalls that wreck lives and strew debris across the landscape.

The wind blows faster and faster, the swirl moves more and more quickly — gathering speed and force. The vortex of the man-made Blow Cloud sucks virtually everything and everyone into it spin. Soon it will reach such velocity that one will hardly be able to put a clear thought on the table for discussion.

BOOM! That’s when a trumpet blast will call the whole thing to a screeching halt and we will find ourselves dizzy with nonsense as we stand before the Lord. He will look us over, and His gaze will humble us one and all.

And then He will speak — and what He says goes. He will have the final word on everything and everyone. It would be a good idea to become friends with Him now, don’t you think?


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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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6/19/14 10:44 A

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sorry to hear about your loss. May you feel the presence of the Comforter today.

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6/16/14 12:13 P

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My husband's father passed away last Thursday. This devotional was on esword and it seemed perfect for what we have been going through

devotional from esword: "O my God, my soul is cast down within me."-- Psa_42:6.

THE LAMENT of the soul, its cause!

Many have been brought to this condition--Jacob said "all these things are against me"; Job complained that God had refused to listen to his prayer, and had fenced up his way; Elijah prayed that he might die; John the Baptist had his doubts; even our Lord Himself cried: "My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?"

It may arise from physical weakness. Our nature is like a finely-attuned harp, and may easily become tangled and discordant. When we are in good health, and the zest of living is strong within us, the soul sings songs without words, and the heart suns itself in the consciously-realized love of God; but when the lamp of life burns low--the joy of the Lord, the sense of His Love are apt to decline.

It may arise from temperament. Some seem born in the dark, and carry through life a predisposition to melancholy. Their nature is set to a minor key. They gaze on the lowering clouds, rather than on the patches of blue. Thomas had such a temperament, yet our Lord called him to be an apostle! Rightness of heart generally shows itself in gladness of heart; but there are those who mourn in Zion, and are more prone to tears than smiles! The valley of shadow is part of the highway to the Holy City; and the souls that are called to tread it may yet find the valley of Baca to be a place of springs.

Now as to the cure. Make much of your standing in Christ! Our feelings are as fickle as April sunshine. But our standing in Jesus is unalterable. John Bunyan used to say that he had two sorts of money. That which was deposited in the bank, and that which he had in his pocket. The former was, on the whole, permanent, while the other was always changing. Thus he said it was between him and the Saviour. His feelings, like the loose coins in his pocket, were always changing, but his capital was lodged safely in the strong keeping of Christ.

Cease introspection and live in the progress of Christ through the world. He is ever going forth to new conquests, and we must not stand as loiterers, feeling our pulse. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? Canst thou not take thy place in His ever victorious army! Miss Feeblemind, and Mr. Ready-to-halt, in the care of Great-heart, will go over the River singing!




Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

click here
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6/13/14 8:13 A

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devotional from esword:

"Lo, we have left all, and have followed Thee! Jesus answered, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My sake, and the Gospel's but he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time and in the world to come eternal life."-- Mar_10:28-30.


THE PRINCIPLES of this world, and those of our Lord are widely different. The world is set on grasping all it can accumulation, self aggrandisement, the piling up of fortunes, the gradual or speedy climb up the ladder of fame, the gathering of hosts of friends. Looking after "number one" is the readiest way of expressing this principle of life! But it is unsatisfactory and disappointing. The soul which is the centre of its own circumference is doomed to realize that there are more forfeits than prizes, more bitterness than success, more dark hours than bright ones.
On the other side, Christ's principle of life is to give, to trust, to bless! His measure must be always pressed down and running over. The cloak must follow the coat; the second mile must be gladly thrown in with the first. To be willing to surrender all for the sake of others, is the ordinary claim of the King on those who own Him as their Lord.
In every age there have been thousands who have gladly accepted this as their rule of life. Peter and the rest of the Apostles were the leaders of a host which no man can number, who have left all to follow Jesus. He had nowhere to lay His head, and they have been homeless, wandering in the world, with no settled abiding-place; He was poor and they have gone amongst their fellows, saying: "Silver and gold have we none, but such as we have we give." But how great has been their reward. Before we can understand what Christ is willing to do for us, there must be not only a taking-hold, but a letting-go. We must step out from the boat, and withdraw our hand from it. It is even good, like St. Paul, to need all things, since by faith we come to possess all. Read the wonderful series of paradoxes to which he gives utterance in 2 Cor. 4.
The Lord promises eternal life as the crown of all. When we kneel at the Cross, and see Jesus as our own Saviour, we have eternal life, but we cannot realise all it implies until this mortality is swallowed up of life.


Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

click here
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6/4/14 11:59 P

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1Pe 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
1Pe 2:10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.


Jesus doesn’t merely clean us up, dust us off, and patch up a few dings here and there — He performs a total overhaul. His grace transformation of our lives is not cosmetic — it’s cosmic!


Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

click here
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5/21/14 6:54 A

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just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Col. 2:6-7

No matter what comes in our lives, if you are in Christ continue to live for Him! We have a firm foundation from God and continue to be strengthened by Him. Which of course we should be praising God for His love, grace, and provision and everything else!! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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5/6/14 7:14 A

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Psalm 25:4-5 Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.


Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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5/5/14 6:16 A

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Psa 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
Psa 23:2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
Psa 23:3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Psa 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Psa 23:5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Psa 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Amen and amen.

Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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5/2/14 6:36 A

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1Pe 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."

There must be reverence in our prayer. There should be the constant remembrance that in prayer we stand in the presence of our great Creator, Preserver, and Ruler of the Universe. Angels veil their faces and cry "Holy!" The Father of Jesus awaits us. He ascended to His Father and our Father. We pray to One who loves us in His Beloved Son with an everlasting love.


Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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5/1/14 11:00 P

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Psa 7:17 I will give to the LORD the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the LORD, the Most High.

Praise God that he is a righteous judge and his mercy is great.

Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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4/21/14 7:40 A

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Jer 8:5 Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return.
Jer 8:6 I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright: no man repenteth him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? every one turneth to his course, as a horse that rusheth headlong in the battle.

We have all backslid. It is easy to get caught up in the things of the world, watching tv, doing activities, all kinds of things pull us from our fellowship with the Lord. But we don't want to hold fast to the deceit!
Repent of spending so little time in God's word, praising him for his precious gifts. Ask God to show you if you have been off course and have sinned. Return to following God in all areas of our lives.

Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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4/19/14 10:11 A

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Psalm 91- Moses wrote it on the night of the first Passover, as he and all those who had marked their doors with the blood of a lamb were kept safe while the Destroying Angel passed over the land of Egypt executing the final blow in the series of awful plagues that were unleashed against Pharaoh’s rebellious pride.

Psa 91:1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
Psa 91:2 I will say of Jehovah, He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in whom I trust.
Psa 91:3 For he will deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, And from the deadly pestilence.
Psa 91:4 He will cover thee with his pinions, And under his wings shalt thou take refuge: His truth is a shield and a buckler.
Psa 91:5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night, Nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
Psa 91:6 For the pestilence that walketh in darkness, Nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
Psa 91:7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, And ten thousand at thy right hand; But it shall not come nigh thee.
Psa 91:8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold, And see the reward of the wicked.
Psa 91:9 For thou, O Jehovah, art my refuge! Thou hast made the Most High thy habitation;
Psa 91:10 There shall no evil befall thee, Neither shall any plague come nigh thy tent.
Psa 91:11 For he will give his angels charge over thee, To keep thee in all thy ways.
Psa 91:12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, Lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Psa 91:13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: The young lion and the serpent shalt thou trample under foot.
Psa 91:14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
Psa 91:15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble: I will deliver him, and honor him.
Psa 91:16 With long life will I satisfy him, And show him my salvation.

The God of Heaven still holds in His arsenal such devastating weapons as He used in the plagues against Egypt, at what point does He decide to unfurl His banner of War against those Nations today that flaunt their arrogance in His face?

We know that a Day is coming upon this beleaguered Planet when Heaven and Hell collide in catastrophic battle – and those who are marked by God will be preserved, as in the first Passover.

Jesus is our redeemer and protector. He has paid the price for our sins. He alone was worthy to lay down his life for us. Our redemption is in him. May you and I be counted in that number! Prayerfully God has called you to be one of his own.

Follow Moses’ example — “I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.’


Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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4/15/14 8:15 A

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Psa 3:1 A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.
Jehovah, how are mine adversaries increased! Many are they that rise up against me.
Psa 3:2 Many there are that say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.
Psa 3:3 But thou, O Jehovah, art a shield about me; My glory and the lifter up of my head.
Psa 3:4 I cry unto Jehovah with my voice, And he answereth me out of his holy hill. Selah.
Psa 3:5 I laid me down and slept; I awaked; For Jehovah sustaineth me.
Psa 3:6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of the people That have set themselves against me round about.
Psa 3:7 Arise, O Jehovah; save me, O my God: For thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; Thou hast broken the teeth of the wicked.
Psa 3:8 Salvation belongeth unto Jehovah: Thy blessing be upon thy people. Selah.

When all seems lost or undone, God is still with us. When we fail in life or are victorious, God is with us. Who else can we lean upon, who else gives us the words of life? We need to give God any burden and trust that he will lead us through.
Praise God for his abundant love.

Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

click here
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4/8/14 3:52 A

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partially from esword:

"If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."-- Rom_10:9.

SALVATION IS a great word! and it is ours in three tenses:
The Past Tense. We were saved at the moment when we first trusted Christ. "Being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him" (Rom_5:9).
The Present Tense. "We are being saved by His life" (Rom_5:10).
The Future Tense. We are being kept by the power of God unto a salvation which waits to be revealed in the last time (1 Pet. 1.).

Salvation is a great word. It includes the forgiveness that remembers our sin no more; deliverance from the curse and penalty of our evil ways; emancipation from the thrall of evil habit; the growing conformity of the soul to the image of Christ, and the final resurrection of the body in spiritual beauty and energy, to be for ever the companion and vehicle of the redeemed spirit.

Praise God for his great gift!


Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

click here
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4/2/14 6:58 A

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1Co 2:9 But, as it is written, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him"—
1Co 2:10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.
1Co 2:11 For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
1Co 2:12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.
1Co 2:13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.

Lean on the Holy Spirit's guidance as you read God's word. He will reveal to us the things we need to understand, a gift of true understanding.

Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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3/31/14 11:54 A

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“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm119:105).

God’s Word floods our hearts with light – the revelation of His love for us. As we walk in the light of His Word, our lives bring glory to God. And every day we can experience more and more of His love all along our path as we take each step in the light of what He says.

Read God's word and be illuminated

Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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From an esword devotional:

Some people trust in the Lord to help them save themselves. ”Lord, help me out here,” such a person prays. “I can do it, but I need a little push.” They trust the Lord, but not completely. They still keep other options open.

We’ve all heard the old saying, “God helps those who help themselves.” While the sentiments behind this whimsical adage are admirable, the saying itself is quite untrue.

Yes, it is true that a person shouldn’t sit around aimlessly all day just expecting God to do this or that for them, while they themselves do nothing. But the adage errs significantly by failing to realize that God in fact does not help those who help themselves; rather, He helps the helpless.

He is the Defender of the defenseless; He rescues the perishing, saves those who are falling, and lifts ups those who have been struck down. He is a Father to the orphan, a Friend to sinners, and the Champion of those who are weak. Indeed, Paul summed it up — “when we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom_5:6).

The problem with “helping yourself” and asking God for a little assistance is that you’re the one still calling the shots — keeping all your options open. Few things are more insulting to God than for a man to come before Him while holding onto other options…just in case the “God thing” doesn’t work out.


Colleen in Pacific Time zone!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

click here
colleensparlin.com


 Pounds lost: 22.6 
 
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