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TOPIC:   DEVOTIONALS FOR DIETERS 


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DIDMIS
DIDMIS's Photo Posts: 92,085
4/23/14 10:30 A

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Why Did He Do It?

by Max Lucado

Why did Jesus live on the earth as long as He did? To take on our sins is one thing; to experience death, yes, but to put up with long roads and long days? Why did He do it? Because He wants you to trust Him. Even His final act on earth was intended to win your trust.

Mark 15:22.says, “They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha where they offered Him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. And they crucified Him.” Why? Why did He endure all this suffering—all these feelings? Because He knew you’d be weary, disturbed, and angry. He knew you’d be grief-stricken, and hungry, that you’d face pain.

A pauper knows better than to beg from another pauper. He knows he needs someone who’s stronger than he is. Jesus’ message from the Cross is this: I am that Person. Trust Me.

From He Chose the Nails



The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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DIDMIS
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4/22/14 1:10 A

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The Fire That Consumes You

by Max Lucado

God will speak to you differently than He will speak to others. Just because God spoke to Moses through a burning bush doesn’t mean we should all sit next to a bush waiting for God to speak. No, God reveals His heart personally to each person. We learn His will as we take up residence in His house and seek to listen to him every single day.

Want to know God’s will for your life? Then answer the question: What ignites your heart? Forgotten orphans? Untouched nations? The inner city? What is the fire that consumes you? Mark it down. Jesus comes to set you on fire and he will speak to you. The fire of your heart is the light of your path. Fan it at your own delight. Blow it. Stir it. Nourish it. Disregard it at your own expense! Your delight is God’s message to you!

God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing. Ephesians 2:10

from The Great House of God



The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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DIDMIS
DIDMIS's Photo Posts: 92,085
4/21/14 1:30 A

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Mirrors
Several years ago I noticed something strange: people seemed to be smiling at me more often. During my young adult years people had never smiled at me that much. Most of the people I saw seemed to have grim, tense faces. They would look at me for only a second or avert their eyes altogether. Sometimes they would nod or say "hi" but more often said nothing at all.

All that seemed to change, though, as I got older. For some surprising reason people were suddenly greeting me with a warm smile when I passed them. Their eyes seemed to sparkle when they said, "hello" and many times they would even stop to chat happily with me for a few minutes. At first I didn't know what to make of this. Had the whole world suddenly gotten kinder without telling me? Had the hearts and souls of everyone I met suddenly grown more loving and joyful for some reason?

Then one day when I was walking alone in a store the answer came to me. I was thinking to myself of how much God loved me and of all the blessings I had been given in this life. At that moment I walked by a display of mirrors and saw that I had the happiest expression on my face. I had been smiling without even knowing it. Then suddenly I realized that I was the one who had changed. I had grown so much in love, joy, and oneness with God. And it was the light shining from my own soul that others were reflecting back to me.

We are all mirrors in this life. We all reflect each other's love. We all share each other's light. We all help each other to become the image of God that we were meant to be. May you always mirror every bit of goodness, kindness, and joy that you see in this world. May your own soul always shine bright as well. And may you make your whole life here a reflection of the light of Heaven and the love of God.

More GodVine

The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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DIDMIS
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4/20/14 12:08 A

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On Saturday
by Max Lucado

John didn't know on that Friday what you and I now know. He didn't know that Friday's tragedy would be Sunday's triumph. John would later confess that he "did not yet understand from the Scriptures that Jesus must rise from the dead" (John 20:9).

That's why what he did on Saturday is so important.

We don't know anything about this day; we have no passage to read, no knowledge to share. All we know is this: When Sunday came, John was still present. When Mary Magdalene came looking for him, she found him.

Jesus was dead. The Master's body was lifeless. John's friend and future were buried. But John had not left. Why? Was he waiting for the resurrection? No. As far as he knew, the lips were forever silent and the hands forever still. He wasn't expecting a Sunday surprise. Then why was he here?

You'd think he would have left. Who was to say that the men who crucified Christ wouldn't come after him? The crowds were pleased with one crucifixion; the religious leaders might have called for more. Why didn't John get out of town?

Perhaps the answer was pragmatic; perhaps he was taking care of Jesus' mother. Or perhaps he didn't have anywhere else to go. Could be he didn't have any money or energy or direction … or all of the above.

Or maybe he lingered because he loved Jesus.

To others, Jesus was a miracle worker. To others, Jesus was a master teacher. To others, Jesus was the hope of Israel. But to John, he was all of these and more. To John, Jesus was a friend.

You don't abandon a friend—not even when that friend is dead. John stayed close to Jesus.

He had a habit of doing this. He was close to Jesus in the upper room. He was close to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was at the foot of the cross at the crucifixion, and he was a quick walk from the tomb at the burial.

Did he understand Jesus? No.

Was he glad Jesus did what he did? No.

But did he leave Jesus? No.

What about you? When you're in John's position, what do you do? When it's Saturday in your life, how do you react? When you are somewhere between yesterday's tragedy and tomorrow's triumph, what do you do? Do you leave God—or do you linger near him?

John chose to linger. And because he lingered on Saturday, he was around on Sunday to see the miracle.

From He Chose the Nails



The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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DIDMIS
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4/19/14 1:32 A

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Six Hours, One Friday

by Max Lucado

Six hours, one Friday. Mundane to the casual observer. A shepherd with his sheep, a housewife with her thoughts, a doctor with his patients. But to a handful of awestruck witnesses, the most maddening of miracles is occurring. God is on a cross. The creator of the universe is being executed.

It is no normal six hours. It is no normal Friday. Far worse than the breaking of his body is the shredding of his heart. And now his own father is beginning to turn his back on him, leaving him alone. What do you do with that day in history? What do you do with its claims? They were the most critical hours in history.

Nails didn’t hold God to a cross. Love did. The sinless One took on the face of a sinner so that we sinners could take on the face of a saint!

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

From Six Hours One Friday


The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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DIDMIS
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4/17/14 11:04 P

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What Do We Do to Him

by Max Lucado

The soldiers’ assignment was simple. Take the Nazarene to the hill and kill him. But they wanted to have some fun first. Strong, armed soldiers circled an exhausted, nearly dead, Galilean carpenter and beat up on him. The beating was commanded. The crucifixion was ordered. But the spitting?

Spitting isn’t intended to hurt the body—it can’t. Spitting is intended to degrade the soul, and it does. Ever done that? Maybe you haven’t spit on anyone, but have you gossiped? Raised your hand in anger? Ever made someone feel bad so you would feel good?

Jesus said in Matthew 25:40 that the way we treat others is how we treat Jesus!

From He Chose the Nails



The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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DIDMIS
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4/17/14 1:08 A

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Trust the Cross (So Good)

by Max Lucado

My dog Salty knows he isn’t supposed to get into the trash. But let the house be human free, and dark side of Salty takes over. If there’s food in a trash can, the temptation is to
great. That’s what happened the other day. I got mad, but I got over it. I cleaned up the mess and forgot about it. Salty didn’t! He kept his distance. When I finally saw him, his tail was between his legs, 
his ears drooping. He thinks I’m mad at him. He doesn’t know I’ve already dealt with his mistake.

Somewhere, sometime, you got tangled in garbage…and you’ve been avoiding God. You wonder if you could ever feel close to God again.The message of his torn flesh on the cross is — you can. The door is open. Don’t trust your conscience. Trust the cross. You’re welcome in God’s presence!

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).

from He Chose the Nails


The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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DIDMIS
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4/15/14 9:43 P

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Eternal Choices ( good got Good Friday or any day)

by Max Lucado

God gives eternal choices, and these choices have eternal consequences. Isn’t this the reminder of Calvary’s trio? Ever wonder why there were two crosses next to Christ? Why not six or ten? Ever wonder why Jesus was in the center? Could it be the two crosses on the hill symbolize one of God’s greatest gifts? The gift of choice. The two criminals were convicted by the same system. Condemned to death. Equally close to the same Jesus. But one changed and one did not.

You’ve made some bad choices in life, haven’t you? You look back and you say, “If only I could make up for those bad choices.” You can. When one thief on the cross prayed, Jesus loved him enough to save him. When the other mocked, Jesus loved him enough to let him. He allowed him the choice. And he does the same for you and me.

Then (the thief) said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:42-43

from He Chose the Nails


The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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DIDMIS
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4/14/14 9:33 A

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It is Finished

by Max Lucado

Picture if you will, a blank check. The amount of the check is “sufficient grace.” The signer of the check is Jesus. The only blank line is for the payee. That part is for you! May I urge you to spend a few moments with your Savior receiving this check? Reflect on the work of God’s grace. The nails that once held a Savior to the cross. His sacrifice was for you. Express your thanks for His grace. Whether for the first time or the thousandth, let Him hear you whisper, “Forgive us our debts.” And let Him answer your prayer as you imagine writing your name on the check.

No more deposits are necessary. So complete was the payment that Jesus used a banking term to proclaim your salvation. “It is finished” (John 19:30)! Perhaps I best slip out now and leave the two of you to talk.

from The Great House of God


The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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DIDMIS
DIDMIS's Photo Posts: 92,085
4/14/14 12:07 A

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God Listens

by Max Lucado

You and I live in a loud world. To get someone’s attention is no easy task. But when someone’s willing to silence everything else so he can hear us clearly, it’s a privilege. A rare privilege indeed! You can talk to God because God listens. Your voice matters in heaven. He takes you very seriously. No need to fear that you’ll be ignored. Even if you stammer or stumble, even if what you have to say impresses no one, it impresses God—and He listens. Intently. Carefully.

Your prayer on earth activates God’s power in heaven, and Scripture says, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)

Your prayers are honored as precious jewels. You may not understand the mystery of prayer. You don’t need to. But this much is clear: Actions in heaven begin when someone prays on earth. What an amazing thought!

from The Great House of God



The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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DIDMIS
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4/12/14 9:40 P

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Put on Christ

by Max Lucado

Scripture often describes our behavior as the clothes we wear. In 1 Peter 5:5, Peter urges us to be “clothed with humility.” David speaks of evil people who clothe themselves “with cursing.” Garments can symbolize character, and like His garment, Jesus’ character was seamless. The character of Jesus was a seamless fabric woven from heaven to earth—from God’s thoughts to Jesus’ actions. From God’s tears to Jesus’ compassion. From God’s word to Jesus’ response. All one piece. A picture of the character of Jesus.

But when Christ was nailed to the cross, He took off His robe of seamless perfection and assumed a different wardrobe. He wore our sin so we could wear His righteousness.

From He Chose the Nail




The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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MJREIMERS
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4/12/14 8:58 P

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These past devotionals have been very good. I read the One Year Bible and it's difficult for me to read the Old Testament part. God is so mean and vindictive in it. It's hard for me to wrap my brain around that being the same loving God that is in the New. One sacrifice on the cross did that? It still is amazing to me everytime I think about it.

Yes, it's very hard to empty your brain and set aside those thoughts. That's the neat thing about it. Everytime you clear your mind and say your "sacred word" that is yours alone, it is inviting and consenting for the Lord to come "into you." It's like an invitation over and over. You are freeing yourself for that comittment and for his presence. It's also about setting time aside to be one with Him. Nothing else to interfer, just the two of us. It's recommended that you do it twice a day for 20 minutes. I'm still working on that part, but I do enjoy it.

~Mako~


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DIDMIS
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4/11/14 6:33 A

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The Choice is Yours

by Max Lucado

It would’ve been nice if God had let us order life like we order a meal. I’ll take good health and a high IQ. I’ll pass on the music skills, but give me a fast metabolism! It would’ve been nice—but it didn’t happen. When it came to your life on earth, you weren’t given a voice or a vote.

But when it comes to life after death, you were. In my book that seems like a good deal. Wouldn’t you agree? Have we been given any greater privilege than that of choice? You’ve made some bad choices in life, haven’t you? You’ve chosen the wrong friends, maybe the wrong career; even the wrong spouse.

You look back and say, “If only…if only I could make up for those bad choices. You can. One good choice for eternity offsets a thousand bad ones on earth. The choice is yours.

From He Chose the Nails


The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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DIDMIS
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4/10/14 11:45 P

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He Canceled the Record

by Max Lucado

How would you feel if a list of your weaknesses were posted so that everyone, including Christ Himself, could see? Yes, Christ has chronicled your shortcomings. And, yes, that list has been made public. But you’ve never seen it. Neither have I.

Come with me to the hill of Calvary. Watch as the soldiers shove the Carpenter to the ground and stretch His arms against the beams. One presses a knee against a forearm and a spike against a hand. Jesus turns His face toward the nail just as the soldier lifts the hammer to strike it. Couldn’t Jesus have stopped Him?

Through the eyes of Scripture we see what others missed but what Jesus saw. Colossians 2:14 says, “He canceled the record that contained the charges against us. He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ’s cross!”

From He Chose the Nails


The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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DIDMIS
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4/9/14 3:52 P

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The Nail of God

by Max Lucado

God has penned a list of our faults. The list God has made, however, cannot be read. The words can’t be deciphered. The mistakes are covered. The sins are hidden. Those at the top are hidden by His hand; those down the list are covered by His blood. Your sins are blotted out by Jesus. The Bible says that He has forgiven you all your sins. He has utterly wiped out the written evidence of broken commandments which always hung over our heads, and has completely annulled it by nailing it to the cross.

He knew the source of those sins was you, and since He couldn’t bear the thought of eternity without you, Jesus Himself chose the nails. The hand is the hand of God. The nail is the nail of God. And as the hands of Jesus opened for the nail, the doors of heaven opened for you!

From He Chose the Nails


The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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DIDMIS
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4/8/14 7:12 P

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The Cry of a Sinner

by Max Lucado

What is the fruit of sin? Step into the briar patch of humanity and feel a few thistles. Shame. Fear. Disgrace. Discouragement. Anxiety! Haven’t our hearts been caught in these brambles?

The heart of Jesus, however, had not. He had never been cut by the thorns of sin. Anxiety? He never worried. Guilt? He was never guilty. Fear? He never left the presence God, He never knew the fruits of sin until He became sin for us.

Can’t you hear the emotion in His prayer? “My God, my God, why have you rejected me?” These are not the words of a saint. This is the cry of a sinner.

And these are words we should say, but these are words we don’t have to say because Jesus said them for us.

From He Chose the Nails


The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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DIDMIS
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4/7/14 10:17 P

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We Have a Problem

by Max Lucado

Can you live without sin for one day? No? How about one hour? Can you do it? No? Nor can I. And if we can’t live without sin, we have a problem.

Proverbs 10:16 says that we are evil and “evil people are paid with punishment.” What can we do? Observe what Jesus does with our filth. He carries it to the Cross.

God speaks through Isaiah 50:6 when he says, “I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.” Mingled with His blood and sweat was the essence of our sin. Angels were a prayer away. Couldn’t they have taken the spittle away? They could have, but Jesus never commanded them to. The One whose chose the nails also chose the saliva. Why? The sinless One took on the face of a sinner, so that we sinners could take on the face of a saint!

From He Chose the Nails


The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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DIDMIS
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4/7/14 10:09 P

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Kind of difficult to empty your mind of thoughts. Do you find it difficult?

The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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MJREIMERS
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4/7/14 7:51 P

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The goal is to free your mind from any thoughts. Expect thoughts to come into your mind, but let them go and consent to God. Let him come into you, but don't "think" anything. It's a continuous cycle of pushing out thoughts, consenting and in that nanosecond that your mind is "empty," God knows that you are making yourself available to him. To simplify it, you let go (of thoughts) and be(in the moment). It was great.

~Mako~


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DIDMIS
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4/6/14 10:07 P

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No I haven't. Just what is it like? Interesting.

The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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MJREIMERS
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4/6/14 9:48 P

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I participated in a Centering Prayer class yesterday. It was really eye opening! Have you heard of it?

~Mako~


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DIDMIS
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4/5/14 9:35 P

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Unwrapping the Gifts of the Cross

by Max Lucado

Much has been said about Jesus’ “gift of the Cross.” But what of the other gifts? What of the nails, the crown of thorns? The garments taken by the soldiers? Have you taken time to open these gifts?

He didn’t have to give us these gifts, you know. The only required act for our salvation was the shedding of blood, yet He did much more. So much more.

Search the scene of the Cross—and what do you find? A wine-soaked sponge. A sign. Two crosses beside Christ. Divine gifts intended to stir that moment, that split second when your face will brighten, your eyes will widen, and God will hear you whisper, “You did this for me?” Dare we think such thoughts?

Let’s unwrap these gifts of grace– as if for the first time. Pause and listen. Perhaps you will hear Him whisper, “I did it just for you!”

From He Chose the Nails



The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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DIDMIS
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4/2/14 2:06 A

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The Gifts of the Cross

by Max Lucado

Oh, the things we do to give gifts to those we love! Grownups in toy stores, dads in teen stores, wives in the tool department, and husbands in the purse department. We’re at our best in giving.

Have you ever wondered why God gives so much? We could exist on far less. He could have left the world flat and gray, we wouldn’t have known the difference. But He didn’t. He splashed orange in the sunrise and cast the sky in blue. If we give gifts to show our love, how much more would He?

In Matthew 7:11, Jesus asked, “If you sinful men know how to give good gifts to your children, won’t your Father in heaven even more certainly give good gifts to those who ask Him?”

God’s love came not wrapped in paper, but in passion. Not covered with ribbons, but sprinkled with blood. The gifts of the Cross!

From He Chose the Nails





The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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DIDMIS
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4/1/14 2:37 A

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You Are His

by Max Lucado

God’s grace defines you! Society labels you like a can on an assembly line. Stupid. Unproductive. Slow learner. Fast talker. Quitter. But as grace infiltrates, criticism disintegrates. You know you aren’t who they say you are. You are who God says you are. Spiritually alive; heavenly positioned…“seated with him in the heavenly realms” and “one with Jesus Christ.”

Of course, not all labels are negative. Some people regard you as clever, successful. But it doesn’t compare with being “seated with him in the heavenly realms!” God creates the Christian’s resume! Grace defines who you are. The parent you can’t please is as mistaken as the doting uncle you can’t disappoint.

Listen, God wrote your story. He cast you in his drama. You hang as God’s work of art, a testimony in his gallery of grace. According to Him, you are His. Period.

From Cast of Characters


The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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3/31/14 1:25 A

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Truly Special Story

A few years ago at the Seattle Special Olympics, nine contestants, all physically or mentally disabled, assembled at the starting line for the 100 yard dash. At the gun, they all started out, not exactly in a dash, but with a relish to run the race to the finish and win. All, that is, except one boy who stumbled on the asphalt, tumbled over a couple of times and began to cry.

The other eight heard the boy. They slowed down and looked back. They all turned around and went back. Every one of them. One girl with Down's Syndrome bent down and kissed him and said,"This will make it better." All nine linked arms and walked across the finish line together. Everyone in the stadium stood, and the cheering went on for several minutes.

People who were there are still telling the story. Why? Because deep down we know one thing. What matters most in this life is more than winning for ourselves. What truly matters in this life is helping others win, even if it means slowing down and changing our course.




More GodVine


The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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DIDMIS
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Grace Soaked

by Max Lucado

Most people keep a pot of anger on low boil! But you aren’t most people. Look at your feet. They’re wet, grace-soaked. Jesus has washed your feet…he has washed the grimiest parts of your life.

To accept grace is the vow to give it. You don’t endorse the deeds of your offender when you forgive them. Jesus didn’t endorse your sins by forgiving you. The grace-defined person still sends thieves to jail and expects the ex to pay child support. Grace sees the hurt full well. But it refuses to let hurts poison the heart. Where grace is lacking, bitterness abounds. Where grace abounds, forgiveness grows.

So, let the hands of God wipe away every dirty part of your life. Then look across the room and wash someone else’s feet. Let grace begin and continue in you!

From GRACE



The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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A Spiritual MRI

by Max Lucado

We can’t live with foreign objects buried in our bodies or our souls. What would an X-ray of your interior reveal? Remorse over a poor choice? Shame about the marriage that didn’t work, the temptation you couldn’t resist? Guilt lies hidden beneath the surface, festering, irritating. Sometimes so deeply embedded you don’t know the cause.

And you can be touchy, you know. Understandable, since you have a shank of shame lodged in your soul. Would you like an extraction? Here’s what you do. Confess! Ask God to help you. Psalm 139:23-24 says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Confession. You see, confessors find a freedom that deniers don’t. If we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins! He will cleanse us. Not might, could, would, or should. He WILL!

From Grace



The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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Guess what girls. I have a Kindle and I had $6.07 credit.
They had a special for Max Lucados devotional Bible for 2.99. I paid .33 cents for the book which was the tax. What a bargain.
Still have credit left.
Irene

The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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MEADOWBUTTERFLY
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3/28/14 12:41 P

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I always love Max Lucado!

A body in motion, stays in motion.
A body at rest, stays at rest.


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~Mako~


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A Radical Reliance on Grace

by Max Lucado

One day it dawned on me. I had become the very thing I hate: a hypocrite. A pretender. Two-faced. I’d written sermons about people like me. Christians who care more about their appearance than integrity. I knew what I needed to do. I’d written sermons about that, too.

1 John 1:8-9 says, “If we say we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right.”

I needed to confess. What is confession? Confession is not complaining. If I merely recite my problems and rehash my woes, I’m whining. Confession is a radical reliance on grace.

Maybe you need to do what I’ve done the last few days and confess. You just need to confess. God will hear your confession and you will find a wonder of God’s grace. You see, grace creates an honest confession and His great grace receives it!

From GRACE


The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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Not Just Mercy, But Grace

by Max Lucado

We are poor, spiritually for sure; monetarily, perhaps. We’ve buried our dreams, desires, and aspirations. Like the mother with Lupus or the businessman in the unemployment line, we’re out of options.

Yet Christ approached us while we were yet sinners! “Will you cover us?” we asked him, and grace smiled.

He gave us grace. Not just mercy, mind you, but grace. Grace goes beyond mercy. Mercy gave the prodigal son a second chance. Grace threw him a party. Mercy prompted the Samaritan to bandage the wounds of the victim. Grace prompted him to leave his credit card as payment for the victim’s care. Mercy forgave the thief on the cross. Grace escorted him into paradise. Mercy pardons us. Grace woos and weds us.

Grace does this! Grace is God walking into your world with a sparkle in his eye and an offer that’s hard to resist.

From GRACE


The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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3/25/14 4:08 P

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DROP A PEBBLE IN THE WATER

DROP A PEBBLE in the water: just a splash, and it is gone;
But there's half -a -hundred ripples circling on and on and on,
Spreading, spreading from the center, flowing on out to the sea.
And there is no way of telling where the end is going to be.

Drop a pebble in the water: in a minute you forget,
But there's little waves a-flowing, and there's ripples circling yet,
And those little waves a-flowing to a great big wave have grown;
You've disturbed a mighty river just by dropping in a stone.

Drop an unkind word, or careless: in a minute it is gone;
But there's half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on.
They keep spreading, spreading, spreading from the center as they go,
And there is no way to stop them, once you've started them to flow.

Drop and unkind word, or careless: in a minute you forget;
But there's little waves-a-flowing, and there's ripples circling yet,
And perhaps in some sad heart a might wave of tears you've stirred,
And disturbed a life was happy ere you dropped that unkind word.

Drop a word of cheer and kindness: just a flash and it is gone;
But there's half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on,
Bearing hope and joy and comfort on each splashing, dashing wave
Till you wouldn't believe the volume of the one kind word you gave.

Drop a word of cheer and kindness: in a minute you forget;
But there's gladness still a-swelling, and there's joy a-circling yet,
And you've rolled a wave of comfort whose sweet music can be heard
Over miles and miles of water just by dropping one kind word.

-James W, Foley


The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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3/25/14 2:16 A

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Grace Chooses to See Forgiveness

by Max Lucado

Victoria Ruvolo doesn’t remember the 18-year-old boy leaning out the window holding, of all things, a frozen turkey. He threw it at her windshield. Crashing through the glass, it shattered Victoria’s face like a dinner plate on concrete.

John 13:14-15 says, “Since I, the Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. Do as I have done to you.”

Victoria Ruvolo did that. Months later, she stood face to face with her offender in court. No longer cocky, he was trembling, tearful, and apologetic. Six months behind bars, five years’ probation. Everyone in the courtroom objected. He sobbed, and she spoke, “I forgive you. I want your life to be the best it can be.” The reduced sentence was her idea. “God gave me a second chance at life, and I passed it on,” she said! Grace chooses to see God’s forgiveness!

From GRACE


The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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3/24/14 1:15 A

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Why You Shouldn't Lie

A minister told his congregation, "Next week I plan to preach about the sin of lying. To help you understand my sermon, I want you all to read Mark 17."

The following Sunday, as he prepared to deliver his sermon, the minister asked for a show of hands. He wanted to know how many had read Mark 17. Several hands went up.

The minister smiled and said, "Mark has only sixteen chapters. I will now proceed with my sermon on the sin of lying."



The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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DIDMIS
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3/23/14 1:19 A

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Down Life's Path
Many go down life's path with lofty plans
To amass a great fortune of houses and lands
And to live a life of pleasure and ease,
Thinking happiness can be found in these.
Others pursue power and worldwide fame
To be known by all and win their acclaim.
But those without God who attain these goals
Soon find emptiness remains in their souls.
They could not find true happiness
For life's void cannot be filled with this.
If only they realized this will not last
Since life is fleeting and will soon be past.
Wealth, worldly pleasure, fame, and power
Will all be gone at death's dark hour.
And beyond the grave when eternity begins
Those unsaved will be judged for their sins!
If only they would believe in God's Son
And repent of the sinful deeds they've done,
Then they could go down life's path
Not needing to worry about God's wrath.
They would have the joy they longed for,
Inner peace, contentment, and much more
For when their lives on earth shall end
Heavenly bliss would at once begin!

~Perry Boardman



The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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DIDMIS
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3/22/14 1:05 A

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So Many Hurts

by Max Lucado

If hurts were hairs—we’d all look like grizzlies! So many hurts. When teachers ignore your work, their neglect hurts. When your girlfriend drops you, when your husband abandons you, when the company fires you, it hurts. Rejection always hurts.

People bring pain. Sometimes deliberately. Sometimes randomly. So where do you turn? Hitman.com? Jim Beam and friends? Pity Party Catering Service? Retaliation has its appeal, but Jesus has a better idea! Grace is not blind. It sees the hurt full well. But Grace chooses to see God’s forgiveness even more. Hebrews 12:15 urges us, “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”

Where grace is lacking, bitterness abounds. Where grace abounds, forgiveness grows. Forgiveness may not happen all at once. But it can happen with you.

From GRACE



The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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DIDMIS
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3/21/14 1:19 A

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Enough of This Frenzy

by Max Lucado.

Attempts at “self-salvation” guarantee nothing but exhaustion. We scamper and scurry, trying to please God, collecting merit badges and brownie points, scowling at anyone who questions our accomplishments. The result? The weariest people on earth. We so fear failure that we create the image of perfection. Call us the church of hound-dog faces and slumped shoulders. Stop it! Once and for all, enough of this frenzy!

Hebrews 13:9 says, “Your hearts should be strengthened by God’s grace, not by obeying rules.” In Matthew 11:28 Jesus promises, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”

There is no fine print. A second shoe isn’t going to drop. God’s promise has no hidden language. Let grace happen. You have His unending affection. Stretch yourself out in the hammock of grace. You can rest now!

From GRACE



The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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3/20/14 1:48 A

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Make it Personal

by Max Lucado

Christ took away your sins. He endured not just the nails of the Romans, the mockery of the crowd, and the spear of the soldier, but he endured the anger of God! God didn’t overlook your sins, lest he endorse them. He didn’t punish you lest he destroy you. He instead found a way to punish the sin and preserve the sinner. Jesus took your punishment, and God gave you credit for Jesus’ perfection.

As long as the cross is God’s gift to the world, it will touch you but it will not change you. Precious as it is to proclaim, “Christ died for the world,” even sweeter it is to whisper, “Christ died for me!” For my sins he died. He took my place on the cross. He felt my shame and spoke my name. Thank God for the day Jesus took your place, for the day that grace happened to you!

From GRACE


The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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DIDMIS
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3/19/14 11:14 A

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The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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MJREIMERS
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3/19/14 11:05 A

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Amen!

~Mako~


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3/19/14 10:03 A

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Let Grace Happen

by Max Lucado

I became a Christian about the same time I became a Boy Scout and I made the assumption that God grades like the Boy Scout’s do…on a merit system. Good scouts move up. Good people go to heaven.

So, I worked toward the day when God, amid falling confetti and dancing cherubim, would drape my badge-laden sash across my chest and welcome me into his eternal kingdom where I would humbly display my badges for eternity.

But some thorny questions surfaced. How many badges does He require? How good is good?

Ephesians 2:8 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.”

Unearned. A gift. Our merits merit nothing. Let grace happen. Of all the things you must earn in life, God’s unending affection is not one of them. You have it!

From GRACE


The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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3/18/14 12:23 A

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Grace Happened

by Max Lucado

We are incarcerated by our past. We have been found guilty! Our executioner’s footsteps echo against the stone walls. We sit on the floor of the dusty cell, awaiting our final moment. We don’t look up as he opens the door. We know what he’s going to say. “Time to pay for your sins.” But we hear something else! “You’re free to go. They took Jesus instead of you!”

The door swings open, the guard barks, “Get out!” And we find ourselves shackles gone, crimes pardoned, wondering, what just happened? Grace just happened! Christ took away your sins.

Romans 3 says that God, in his gracious kindness, declares us not guilty. For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us.

What happened? Grace happened!

From GRACE

The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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10 Sayings of Bible Mothers
10. Samson! Get your hand out of that lion. You don't know where it's been! (Judges 14:5-8)

9. David! I told you not to play in the house with that sling! Go practice your harp. We pay good money for those lessons!

8. Abraham! Stop wandering around the countryside and get home for supper!

7. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego! I told you never to play with fire!

6. Cain! Get off your brother! You're going to kill him some day!

5. Noah! No, you can't keep them! I told you, don't bring home any more strays!

4. Gideon! Have you been hiding in that wine press again? Look at your clothes! (Judges 6:11)

3. James and John! No more burping contests at the dinner table, please. People are going to call you the sons of thunder! (Mark 3:17)

2. Judas! Have you been in my purse again?!

1. Jesus! Stop working on that old wood and come in and eat! You would spend your life on that wood, if your father asked you to!




The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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3/16/14 1:14 A

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I Can, I Can!

As I'm driving down the road,
I thank God for this old van.
Like me, it's in its last days,
But it sings, "I can! I can!"

It gets thirsty for water,
Steering fluid and even oil.
The air conditioner won't work,
And it needs a heater coil.

It has a good foundation.
The tires are holding up.
It even has a cupholder
To hold one's coffee cup.

The seats are very comfortable,
And the windshield wipers swipe,
So I can really be thankful,
And I have ceased to gripe.

Everytime I drive this van,
I just pray a little prayer.
"Thank you for this van, O God,
Please let it get me there."

More GodVine





The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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DIDMIS
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3/15/14 5:40 P

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emoticon Mako

The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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MJREIMERS
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3/15/14 12:54 P

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Just a quick thanks for all the devotionals! Thanks, Irene.


~Mako~


4 Days until:  Oklahoma 1/2 Marathon
 
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3/15/14 1:10 A

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An Advocate

by Max Lucado

Not all guilt is bad. God uses appropriate doses of guilt to awaken us to sin! God’s guilt brings enough regret to change us! Satan’s guilt, on the other hand, brings enough regret to enslave us. Don’t let Satan lock his shackles on you!

Colossians 3:3 reminds us, “your life is hidden with Christ in God.” When God looks at you, he sees Jesus first. In the Chinese language the word for “righteousness” is a combination of two characters, the figure of a lamb and a person. The lamb is on top, covering the person. Whenever God looks down at you, this is what he sees: The perfect Lamb of God covering you.

So, do you trust your Advocate, Jesus, or do you trust your Accuser—Satan? Give no heed to Satan’s voice! You have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous! (I John 2:1).

From GRACE



The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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3/13/14 8:10 P

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Voices in our Head

by Max Lucado

Voices of ‘failure’ in our world. Voices of ‘not good enough’ in our head. Who is this morality patrolman who issues a citation at every stumble? Does he ever shut up? No. Because Satan never shuts up!

Revelation 12:9-10 says, “For the Accuser has been thrown down to earth, the one who accused our brothers and sisters before God day and night.”

Satan is relentless, tireless. The Accuser makes a career out of accusing. But he will not have the last word. Jesus has acted on our behalf. He stooped…low enough to be spat upon, nailed, and speared. Low…low enough to be buried. And then he stood…he stood up!

Romans 8:34 promises that Christ is in the presence of God at this very moment standing up for us. We have a clean record. It’s by his grace!

From GRACE



The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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3/13/14 11:12 A

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Satan’s Condemnation

by Max Lucado

Satan’s condemnation brings no repentance or resolve, just regret! Satan has come to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). To steal your peace, kill your dreams, and destroy your future. Satan has deputized people to peddle his poison. Friends dredge up your past. Preachers proclaim all guilt and no grace. And parents, oh, your parents. “Why can’t you grow up?” they say. “When are you going to make me proud?” they say. But your accusers will not have the last word! Jesus has acted on your behalf. Jesus Christ has risen to your defense.

Hebrews 10:22 urges “. . .let us come near to God with a sincere heart and a sure faith, because we have been made free from a guilty conscience.”

Not just for our past mistakes but also for our future ones. Behold the fruit of grace: saved by God, raised by God, seated with God! Gifted, equipped, and commissioned!

From GRACE


The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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A Second Chance

by Max Lucado

She was only five years old when you took the photo. Cheeks freckled by the summer sun, hair in pigtails. That was twenty years ago. Three marriages ago. A million flight miles and e-mails ago. Today she walks down the aisle on the arm of another father. You left your family bobbing in the wake of your high-speed career. Now that you have what you wanted, you don’t want it at all. Oh, to have a second chance.

1 John 4:15 says, “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.”

He re-purposes bad decisions and squalid choices. Saved by grace is to be saved by Him. He placed a term limit on sin and danced a victory jig in a graveyard. God can do something with the mess of your life. Grace is what you need!

From GRACE



The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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Christ in You

by Max Lucado

When grace happens, Christ enters. Christ in you, the hope of glory! For many years, I missed this truth. I believed all the other prepositions: Christ for me, with me, ahead of me. But I never imagined that Christ was in me.

I can’t blame my deficiency on Scripture. Paul refers to the indwelling Christ 216 times. John mentions his presence 26 times. No other religion or philosophy makes such a claim. No other movement implies the living presence of its founder in his followers.

Muhammad does not indwell Muslims. Buddha does not inhabit Buddhists. Influence? Instruct? Yes. But occupy? No!

The mystery of Christianity is summarized in Colossians 1:27, “Christ is in you!” The Christian is a person in whom Christ is happening! Little by little a new image emerges! All because of God’s Grace!

From GRACE

The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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2+
25 bonus+
27 team

The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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Three Cookie Days

by Max Lucado

Every day, God prepares for us a plate of experiences. Some days are “three cookie days.” Many are not! Sometimes our plate has nothing but vegetables, twenty-four hours of celery, carrots, and squash. Apparently God knows we need some strength, and though the portion may be hard to swallow, isn’t it for our own good? All are important and all are from God. Romans 8:28 says, “We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love Him.”

The next time your plate has a portion you find hard to swallow, talk to God about it. Jesus did. In the garden of Gethsemane His Father handed Him a cup of suffering so sour, so vile, that Jesus handed it back to heaven.

“My Father,” He prayed, “if it is possible may this cup be taken from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.” (Mark 14:36).

from The Great House of God



The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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Amen!

~Mako~


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God as Heart Surgeon

by Max Lucado

Grace is God as heart surgeon! Grace is God cracking open your chest, removing your heart, poisoned as it is with pride and pain, and replacing it with his own.

God’s dream isn’t just to get you into heaven, but to get heaven into you. Grace lives because Jesus does, works because he works, and matters because he matters. To be saved by grace is to be saved by Jesus—not by an idea, doctrine, creed, or church membership, but by Jesus himself, who will sweep into heaven anyone who so much as gives him the nod. Grace won’t be stage-managed. I have no tips on how to get grace. Truth is, we don’t get grace. But it can sure get us.

If you wonder whether God can do something with the mess of your life, then grace is what you need! Make certain it happens to you!

From GRACE



The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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God’s Best Idea

by Max Lucado

Your dad makes you come to church, but he can’t make you listen. At least that’s what you’ve always muttered to yourself. But this morning you listen because he speaks of a God who loves prodigals, and you feel like the worst sort of one. You can’t keep the pregnancy a secret much longer. Soon your parents will know. The preacher will know. He says God already knows. You wonder what God thinks!

Grace is God’s best idea. Rather than tell us to change, he creates the change. Do we clean up so he can accept us? No, he accepts us and begins cleaning us up. What a difference this makes.

Can’t forgive your past? Christ can, and he is on the move, aggressively budging you from graceless to grace-shaped living. Forgiven people forgiving people. Deep sighs of relief.

Grace is everything Jesus!

From GRACE



The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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A Spiritual Heart Transplant

by Max Lucado

Grace! The bank gives us a grace period. The seedy politician falls from grace. Musicians speak of a grace note. We use the word for hospitals, baby girls, kings and pre-meal prayers. We talk as though we know what grace means.

You turn the page of your Bible and look at the words. You might as well be gazing at a cemetery. Lifeless, stony. Nothing moves you. But you don’t dare close the book, no sirree. You dare not miss a deed for fear that God will erase your name.

God’s grace has a drenching about it. Grace comes after you. It re-wires you. From insecure to God secure. From regret riddled to better-because-of-it. From afraid to die to ready to fly.

As Paul said in Galatians 2:20: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.”

You might call it a spiritual heart transplant!

From GRACE



The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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Grace Comes After You

by Max Lucado

God’s grace! It has a wildness about it. A white-water, rip-tide, turn-you-upside-downess about it. Grace comes after you!

Some years ago I underwent a heart procedure. I asked the surgeon,

“You’re burning the interior of my heart, right?”

“Correct.”

“You intend to kill the misbehaving cells, yes?”

“That’s my plan.”

“As long as you’re in there, could you take your little blowtorch to some of my greed, selfishness, superiority, and guilt?”

He smiled, “Sorry, that’s out of my pay grade!”

But it’s not out of God’s! We’d be wrong to think this change happens overnight. We’d be equally wrong to assume change never happens at all. It may come in fits and spurts—but it comes!

Titus 2:11 says, “The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared.”

You just never know when grace will seep in. Could you use some?

From GRACE



The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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God Answers the Mess of Life

by Max Lucado

You stare into the darkness. The ceiling fan whirls above you. Your husband slumbers next to you. In minutes the alarm will sound, and the demands of the day will shoot you like a clown out of a cannon into a three-ring circus of meetings, bosses, and baseball practices.

And for the millionth time you’ll make breakfast, schedules, and payroll… but for the life of you, you can’t make sense of this thing called life. Its beginnings and endings. Cradles and cancers and cemeteries and questions.

The meaning of life! The poor choices of life. God answers the mess of life with one word: grace! Do we really understand it?

Ezekiel 36:26 says, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you!”

Grace calls us to change and then gives us the power to pull it off!

From GRACE



The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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Insufficient Funds

by Max Lucado

Insufficient funds! What an ominous phrase. In the great gallery of famous phrases, “insufficient funds” hangs in the same hallway with “the IRS will audit your account.” “A root canal is necessary,” and “Let’s stop dating and just be friends.”

You’re overdrawn! You gave more than you had to give. You spent more than you had to spend. And guess who has to cough up some cash? What do you do if you don’t have any money? What do you do if you have nothing to deposit but an honest apology and good intentions? You pray that some wealthy soul will make a huge deposit in your account.

If you’re talking about your financial debt, that’s not likely to happen. If you’re talking about your spiritual debt, it already has. Your heavenly Father has covered your shortfall. In God’s house you are covered by the roof of His grace!

from The Great House of God



The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

by Max Lucado

Many of us have trouble relating to the prayer, “God, give us this day our daily bread.” Because our pantries are so packed and our bellies so full, we seldom ask for food. More likely, we need to ask for self-control and say, “God, help me not to eat so much.”

You won’t find books on surviving starvation, but you will find shelves loaded with books on losing weight. That doesn’t negate the importance of the prayer, however. Just the opposite. We pray only to find our prayer already answered! At some point it occurs to you that someone is providing for your needs.

You take a giant step in maturity when you agree with King David’s words in 1st Chronicles 29:14, “Everything we have has come from You, and we only give You what is Yours already.” Long before you knew you needed someone to provide for your needs, God already had!

from The Great House of God



The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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God in a Real World

by Max Lucado

God calls us in a real world. He doesn’t communicate by performing tricks. He’s not a genie, a magician, a good luck charm, or the man upstairs. He is the Creator of the universe who is right here in the thick of our day-to-day world.

And God speaks in our world. We just have to learn to hear him. Listen for him amidst the ordinary. Do you need affirmation of his care? Let the daily sunrise proclaim his loyalty. Could you use an example of his power? Spend an evening reading how your body works. Are you wondering if his Word is reliable? Make a list of the fulfilled prophecies in the Bible and promises in your life.

Don’t they say only two things in life are certain: death and taxes? Knowing God, he may speak through something as common as the second to give you the answer for the first!

From And the Angels Were Silent



The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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Life is Not Fair

by Max Lucado

May I gently but firmly remind you of something you know but may have forgotten? Life is not fair. That’s not pessimism, it’s a fact. It’s not a complaint, it’s just the way things are. I don’t like it. Neither do you. Ever since the kid down the block got a bike and we didn’t, we’ve been saying the same thing, “That’s not fair!”

At some point someone needs to say to us, “Who ever told you life was going to be fair?” God didn’t. In James 1:2, he didn’t say, “If you have many kinds of troubles,” he said, “When you have many kinds of troubles.” Troubles are part of the package.

Jesus said, “My kingdom does not belong to this world. My kingdom is from another place (John 18:36).”

When all of earth turns against you, all of heaven turns toward you. To keep your balance in this crooked world, think of home!

From And the Angels Were Silent



The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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MJREIMERS
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2/27/14 7:24 P

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Thanks, Irene. I'm still reading!

~Mako~


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The Last Supper

by Max Lucado

For some, the service of communion is a sleepy hour in which wafers are eaten, juice is taken and the soul never stirs. It wasn’t intended to be as such.

In Matthew’s account of the Last Supper, one incredible truth surfaces. Jesus is the person behind it all. He selected the place, designated the time, and set the meal in order. And at the Supper, Jesus is not the served, but the servant. It is Jesus who put on the garb of a servant and washed the disciples’ feet. Jesus is not portrayed as the one who reclines and receives, but as the one who stands and gives.

He still does. The Lord’s Supper is a gift to you. The Lord’s Supper is a holy invitation. A sacred sacrament bidding you to leave the chores of life and enter his splendor. He meets you at the table.

From And the Angels Were Silent



The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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w/o Leviticus you can't understand Hebrews.
w/o Hebrews you can't understand Leviticus.

God put it there for a reason.

The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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MJREIMERS
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2/25/14 11:30 P

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I'm back to reading the One Year Bible again. I needed that "reconnection." Although, Leviticus is a hard read.

~Mako~


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Simplify Your Faith

by Max Lucado

How do you simplify your faith? How do you get rid of the clutter? How do you discover a joy worth waking up to? Simple. Get rid of the middleman. There are some who suggest the only way to God is through them. There’s the great teacher who has the final word on Bible teaching. There’s the father who must bless your acts. There’s the spiritual master who’ll tell you what God wants you to do.

Jesus’ message for complicated religion is to remove these middlemen. He’s not saying you don’t need teachers, elders, or counselors. He is saying, however, that we are all brothers and sisters with equal access to the Father. Seek God for yourself. No elaborate channels of command or levels of access.

You have a Bible? You can study. You have a heart? You can pray. You have a mind? You can think!

From And the Angels Were Silent



The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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Like a Child

by Max Lucado

No child understands the logic of going to bed while there’s energy left in the body! I remember when our daughter, Andrea, was just five. We finally got her to bed. I went in to give her a final kiss, when she lifted her eyelids and said, “I can’t wait until I wake up!” Oh for the attitude of a five-year-old!

Is it any wonder Jesus said we must have the heart of a child before we can enter the kingdom of heaven? He said, “Believe me, unless you change your whole outlook and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:3).” In other words, quit looking at life like an adult. See it through the eyes of a child.

“I can’t wait to wake up,” are the words of a child’s faith. Andrea could say them because she plays hard, laughs much, and leaves the worries to her father. Let’s do the same.

From And the Angels Were Silent



The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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In Debt

by Max Lucado

Debt. To be in debt is to owe someone something. If that’s true, isn’t it appropriate for us to speak of debt in our prayer, for aren’t we all in debt to God? Aren’t we in God’s debt when we disobey His commands? Rather than love our neighbor, we hurt our neighbor. Aren’t we in God’s debt when we disregard Him? He makes the universe and we applaud science. Maybe if I wave at my neighbor or go to church next Sunday, I’ll get caught up. But how do you know when you’ve made enough? That’s the problem. You never can.

Romans 4:5 says, “People cannot do any work that will make them right with God.”

You’re going to spend the rest of your days huffing and puffing to get to the drive-through window before the bank closes. Just try this– trust His grace! It is God who justifies your account!

from The Great House of God



The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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Dealing with Debt

by Max Lucado

Doesn’t someone owe you an apology? A second chance? An explanation? A thank you? A childhood? A marriage? Your parents should have been more protective. Your children should have been more appreciative. Your spouse should be more sensitive. What are you going to do? Few questions are more important.

Dealing with debt is at the heart of your happiness. Jesus speaks of the grace we should share. He says: “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” (Matthew 6:14).

It reminds me of the story of a huge grizzly bear in the center of Yellowstone Park feeding on discarded camp food. No one dared draw near. Except a skunk who walked toward the food and took his place next to the grizzly. The bear didn’t object. He knew the high cost of getting even! We’d be wise to learn the same thing.

from The Great House of God



The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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Made Right with God

by Max Lucado

How would you fill in this blank? A person is made right with God through_____. Don’t let its brevity fool you. How you complete it is critical; it reflects the nature of your faith.

One might say a person is made right with God through. . . being good. Giving sandwiches to the poor. Some say Christian conduct is the secret. Perhaps suffering is the answer. Sleep on dirt floors. Malaria. Poverty. Bare feet. The greater the pain, the greater the saint. No, no, no, another contends. The way to be made right with God? It’s doctrine. Air-tight theology which explains every mystery. Inspiration clarified.

Yet, how are we truly made right with God? All the above are tried. All are demonstrated. But none are from God. Romans 3:28 says, “A person is made right with God through faith.” Through faith in God’s sacrifice on the cross.

It’s not what you do, it’s what He did.

From And the Angels were silent


The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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2/21/14 1:54 A

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A Holy Incredibility

by Max Lucado

God did what we wouldn’t dare dream. He did what we could not imagine. He became a man so we could trust him. He became a sacrifice so we could know him. And he defeated death so we could follow him.

It defies logic. It’s a divine insanity. A holy incredibility. Only a God beyond systems and common sense could create a plan as absurd as this. Yet, it’s the very impossibility of it all that makes it possible. The wildness of the story is its strongest witness. For only a God could create a plan this mad. Only a Creator beyond the fence of logic could offer such a gift of love.

What man cannot do, God does. When it comes to eternity, forgiveness, purpose, and truth, go to the manger, kneel with the shepherds. Worship the God who dared to do what man dared not dream!

From And the Angels Were Silent



The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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2/20/14 2:27 A

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Mis-use of the Mouth

by Max Lucado

There are those in God’s family who find a controversy and stake their claim to it. Every church has at least one stubborn soul who has mastered a minutiae of the message and made a mission out of it.

As long as Christians split hairs, Christians will split churches. Religious leaders thought they could manipulate Jesus with their controversies. But they were wrong. He was not trapped by their trickery, flattered by their flattery, or fooled by their hypotheses.

Perhaps we should take note. I’d like to say to you what I need someone to say to me when I get territorial about my opinions. I challenge you to look around you. Let go of your territory for a while. Scout some new regions. Explore some new reefs. Much is gained by closing your mouth and opening your eyes every so often.

From And the Angels Were Silent



The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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DIDMIS
DIDMIS's Photo Posts: 92,085
2/20/14 12:56 A

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The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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MJREIMERS
MJREIMERS's Photo Posts: 3,203
2/19/14 10:15 P

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emoticon Thanks for the reminder!

~Mako~


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DIDMIS
DIDMIS's Photo Posts: 92,085
2/19/14 12:12 A

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How Quickly We Forget

by Max Lucado

Take this quiz. Name the ten wealthiest men in the world. Name the last ten Heisman trophy winners. Name eight people who’ve won the Nobel prize. How about the last ten Academy Award winners for best picture? Or the last decade’s worth of World Series winners? How’d you do? I didn’t do well either. Surprising how quickly we forget, isn’t it? And what I’ve mentioned are no second-rate achievements. These are the best in their fields.

Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one. Think of three people you enjoy spending time with. Name ten people who’ve taught you something worthwhile. Name five friends who’ve helped you in a difficult time. List a few teachers who aided your journey through high school. Easier? It was for me, too.

The lesson? The people who make a difference are not the ones with the most credentials, but the ones with the most concern.

And the Angels Were Silent


The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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DIDMIS
DIDMIS's Photo Posts: 92,085
2/18/14 3:56 A

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You are Invited

by Max Lucado

Jesus gives the invitation in Revelation 3:20, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock.”

To know God is to receive his invitation. Not just to hear it, not just to study it, not just to acknowledge it, but to receive it. It’s possible to learn much about God’s invitation and never respond to it personally. His invitation is clear and non-negotiable. He gives all and we give him all. Simple and absolute.

Isn’t it incredible that God leaves this choice up to us? Think about it. We can’t choose the weather. We can’t control the economy. We can’t even choose how people respond to us. But we can choose where we spend eternity. The big choice, God leaves to us. The critical decision is ours. What are you doing with his personal request that you live with him forever?

And the Angels Were Silent


The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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DIDMIS
DIDMIS's Photo Posts: 92,085
2/16/14 11:04 P

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It is Finished

by Max Lucado

Picture if you will, a blank check. The amount of the check is “sufficient grace.” The signer of the check is Jesus. The only blank line is for the payee. That part is for you! May I urge you to spend a few moments with your Savior receiving this check? Reflect on the work of God’s grace. The nails that once held a Savior to the cross. His sacrifice was for you. Express your thanks for His grace. Whether for the first time or the thousandth, let Him hear you whisper, “Forgive us our debts.” And let Him answer your prayer as you imagine writing your name on the check.

No more deposits are necessary. So complete was the payment that Jesus used a banking term to proclaim your salvation. “It is finished!” (John 19:30) Perhaps I best slip out now and leave the two of you to talk.

from The Great House of God



The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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DIDMIS
DIDMIS's Photo Posts: 92,085
2/15/14 10:01 P

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Resentment

by Max Lucado.

Resentment is a prison. When you’ve put someone in your jail cell of hatred, you are stuck guarding the door. If you’re out to settle a score, you are never going to rest. How can you? For one thing, your enemy may never pay up.

As much as you think you deserve an apology, your debtor may not agree. The racist may never repent. The chauvinist may never change. As justified as you are in your quest for vengeance, you may never get a penny’s worth of justice. And if you do, will it be enough?

You see, resentment is a prison. Jesus doesn’t question the reality of your wounds. He just doubts whether resentment is going to heal you. What are you going to do? Spend your life guarding the prison jail cell? Or entrust your wounds to Jesus?

from The Great House of God


The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


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DIDMIS
DIDMIS's Photo Posts: 92,085
2/15/14 2:10 A

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Come to Me

by Max Lucado

Invitations are special.

“You’re invited to a gala celebrating the grand opening of. . .”

“Mr. and Mrs. John Smith request your presence at the wedding of their daughter. . .”

To be invited is to be honored—to be held in high esteem! The most incredible invitations aren’t found in envelopes, but rather, they are found in the Bible. God invited Eve to marry Adam, the animals to enter the ark, and Mary to give birth to His son.

“Come,” he invited, “Come to me all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).”

“Come,” he would say. God is the King who invites us to come, who prepares the palace, sets the table, and invites his subjects to come in. His invitation for you, however, is not just for a meal, it’s for life!

From And the Angels Were Silent





The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


 current weight: 152.0 
 
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DIDMIS
DIDMIS's Photo Posts: 92,085
2/13/14 9:02 P

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God’s Eternal Plan

by Max Lucado

When our oldest daughter was two, I lost her in a department store. I panicked! All of a sudden only one thing mattered—I had to find Jenna. Shopping was forgotten. The list of things I came to get was unimportant. I yelled her name. What people thought didn’t matter. Every ounce of energy had one goal: to find my lost child. I did, by the way. She was hiding behind some jackets.

No price is too high for a parent to pay to redeem his child. No energy is too great. No effort too demanding. A parent will go to any length to find his or her own. So will God. Mark it down. God’s greatest creation is not the flung stars or the gorged canyons. It’s his eternal plan to reach his children. Heaven and earth know no greater passion than God’s personal passion for you and your return!

From And the Angels Were Silent



The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


 current weight: 152.0 
 
179
172.25
165.5
158.75
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DIDMIS
DIDMIS's Photo Posts: 92,085
2/12/14 10:26 P

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Hucksters and Faith Peddlers

by Max Lucado

When religion is used for profit and prestige, people are exploited and God is infuriated! When Jesus entered Jerusalem the first day of Passover week, Matthew 21:12-13 says, “He went into the temple and threw out all the people who were buying and selling there. He turned over the tables of those who were exchanging different kinds of money, and he upset the benches of those who were selling doves. Jesus said to all the people there, ‘It is written in the Scriptures, My temple will be called a house for prayer. But you are changing it into a hideout for robbers!’”

Hucksters. Faith peddlers. People making a franchise out of the faith. This was not a temper tantrum. It was an intentional message from Jesus. Cash in on my people and you’ve got me to answer to. God will never hold guiltless those who exploit the privilege of worship.

From And the Angels Were Silent



The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


 current weight: 152.0 
 
179
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DIDMIS
DIDMIS's Photo Posts: 92,085
2/11/14 10:27 P

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He Gave a Donkey

by Max Lucado

I don’t know his name or what he looks like. I only know what he gave. He gave a donkey for Jesus to use on the Sunday he entered Jerusalem. An interesting bit of history is found in Matthew 21:3. It is the story of the man who gave the donkey to Jesus. The scripture says, “If anyone asks you why you are taking the donkeys, say that the Master needs them, and he will send them at once.”

Did the man have any idea his generosity would be used for such a noble purpose? Did it occur to him God was going to ride that donkey?

All of us have a donkey. Something that, if given to God, could move Jesus and His story further down the road. Maybe you sing or program a computer or speak Swahili or write a check. Whichever it may be…that’s your donkey. Do you give it?

The guy who gave Jesus the donkey is just one in a long line of folks who gave little things to a big God.

From And the Angels Were Silent





The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)
Irene from Texas


 current weight: 152.0 
 
179
172.25
165.5
158.75
152


 
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