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12/16/14 2:37 A

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There is One Name—Jesus

by Max Lucado

Son of God, the Lamb of God, the Resurrection and the Life, Alpha and Omega. Phrases that stretch the boundaries of human language in an effort to capture the un-capturable, the grandeur of God. They always fall short. Hearing them is somewhat like hearing a Salvation Army Christmas band on the street corner playing Handel’s Messiah. No names do God justice!

But there is one name. Jesus. A name so typical, if He were here today, his name might be John or Bob or Jim. He was touchable, approachable, reachable. “Just call me Jesus,” you can almost hear Him say. Those who walked with Him remembered Him not with a title or designation, but with a name—Jesus! It’s a beautiful name and a powerful name. The day is coming when at the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord!

From In the Manger



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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12/15/14 3:54 A

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Hidden in Him



TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.”
(Psalm 27:5, NIV)



TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria



What a wonderful promise we have that when we seek God, when we serve Him with our whole hearts, He will hide us in His shelter. That means you can be so connected to Father God that you are untouchable and invisible to the enemy! You are hidden in Him! No matter what is happening around you, you can have strength, confidence and rest. Challenges may come your way, but you won’t be worried about them. You know that ultimately, things are going to work out for your good. You know that no weapon formed against you shall prosper.

People may be talking, trying to make you look bad, but you don’t even give it a second thought. You know that your future is too bright to be distracted. You know they don’t control your destiny. You just keep on being your best, walking in integrity, meditating on the Word and worshiping throughout the day so you can stay hidden in Him!



A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, I come to You today with an open and humble heart. I surrender every area of my life to You. Mold me into Your image and keep me hidden in You. I bless You and praise You today and always in Jesus’ name. Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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12/14/14 10:58 A

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What Are You Considering?



TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body...he did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.”
(Romans 4:19–21 NKJV)



TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria



Abraham had many obstacles coming against the promise of God in his life. God told him that he would be “the father of many nations.” Abraham was over 90 years old before he ever saw that promise begin to come to pass. This scripture tells us that he didn’t consider his body. He didn’t think and meditate on all the reasons he couldn’t be the father of many nations. No, he considered and thought about the strength and ability of God! He thought about God’s faithfulness and gave praise and glory to Him. Abraham exercised faith which enabled God to move on His behalf.

What are you believing God for? Does it seem impossible? Is it taking a long time? Consider your God. Consider His Word. Consider His faithfulness. Just like Abraham, you’ll grow strong as you give glory to God. Your faith will open the door for God to move in every area of your life!



A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, thank You for Your faithfulness and strength at work in my life today. I choose to consider Your ability over my circumstance. I choose to trust You. I give You praise, honor and glory, now and always in Jesus’ name. Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen





IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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12/13/14 7:12 P

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Linger Near the Manger

by Max Lucado

Christianity was born in one big heavenly interruption! Just ask the Bethlehem shepherds! They had no expectations of excitement. These are sheep they’re watching. We count sheep to go to sleep! Shepherds treasured the predictable. This was the night shift. Any excitement was bad excitement—wolves, lions, poachers. Just because they wanted a calm night, didn’t mean they would get it.

Luke 2 says, “Then an angel of the Lord stood before them. The glory of the Lord shining around them, and they became very frightened” (v 9). We always assume the worst before we look for the best. It’s a good thing the shepherds lingered; otherwise, they might have missed the second message. “Today your Savior was born in the town of David. He is Christ the Lord” (v 11).

I hope you’ll do what the shepherds did—linger near the manger!

From In the Manger



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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12/12/14 10:12 P

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Too Busy to Notice

by Max Lucado

One’s imagination is kindled thinking about the conversation of the innkeeper and his family. Did anyone mention the arrival of the young couple the night before? Did anyone ask about the pregnancy of the girl on the donkey? The innkeeper and his family were so busy. The day was upon them. The day’s bread had to be made. The morning’s chores had to be done. There was too much to do to imagine that the impossible had occurred. God had entered the world as a baby.

Meanwhile the city hummed. Merchants were unaware that God had visited their planet. The innkeeper would never believe that he’d just sent God into the cold. Those who missed His Majesty’s arrival—missed it not because of evil acts or malice; no, they missed it simply because they weren’t looking. Not much has changed in the last two thousand years, has it?

From In the Manger



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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12/11/14 1:22 A

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Eternal Glory



TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
(2 Corinthians 4:17 NIV)



TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria



Troubles and trials are only temporary! In fact, this verse tells us they are momentary. Compared with eternity, our troubles won’t last long at all! When you stand strong in faith during the difficult times, you are building faith in your life and also achieving eternal glory.

If you are in the middle of tough times today, look to God. The Bible says that He is the Author and Finisher of your faith. He is the one who writes faith on your heart and then develops it to completion on the inside of you. Your part is to open your heart and choose those words of faith and victory. Remember, your words set the course for your life. As you remind yourself that your troubles are only momentary and declare your trust and hope in God, you will see His hand moving in your life. It won’t be long until you’re past those momentary troubles and experiencing His eternal glory!



A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your eternal glory at work in me. I cast my cares on You, knowing that my trials and troubles are temporary. Thank You for Your eternal blessing on every area of my life in Jesus’ name! Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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12/10/14 4:46 A

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Searching the Night for a Light

by Max Lucado

On the night when Jesus was born, I wonder if Joseph prayed, “Father, this all seems so bizarre. The angel you sent? Any chance you could send another?” You’ve stood where Joseph stood. Each of us knows what it’s like to search the night for a light. Not outside a stable, but perhaps outside an emergency room or on the manicured grass of a cemetery. We’ve asked our questions. We have wondered why God does what he does.

If you’re asking what Joseph asked, let me urge you to do what Joseph did. Obey. He didn’t let his confusion disrupt his obedience. What about you? You have a choice: to obey or disobey. Because Joseph obeyed, God used him to change the world. Can He do the same with you? Will you be that kind of person? Will you serve. . .even when you don’t understand?

From In the Manger


IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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12/9/14 1:09 A

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Out on a Limb

by Max Lucado

After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit (Mt. 1:18 NKJV). Joseph was perched firmly on his branch in the tree. Predictable and solid, Joseph had no intention of leaving it. That is, until he was told to go out on a limb.

“Conceived by the Holy Spirit? Come on! Who will believe me?”

Pride told him not to do it. But God told him to do it. I have a feeling you can relate to Joseph. One foot in your will and one foot in His. His will or yours? Disrupting, isn’t it? You can bet it won’t be easy. Limb-climbing has never been. Ask Joseph…or better yet, ask Jesus! He knows better than anyone the cost of hanging on a tree!

From In the Manger



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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12/8/14 1:16 A

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Just Call Him Jesus

by Max Lucado

God’s plan for humanity…it was crafted in the halls of heaven and carried out on the plains of earth. Only holiness could have imagined it. Only divinity could have enacted it. Only righteousness could have endured it.

When God chose to reveal himself, he did so through a human body. The hand that touched the leper had dirt under its nails. The feet upon which the women wept were calloused and dusty. And his tears—oh, don’t miss His tears. They came from a heart as broken as yours or mine has ever been.

So people came to him! Not one person was reluctant to approach him for fear of being rejected. Remember that the next time you find yourself amazed at your own failures! Or the next time you hear a lifeless liturgy. Remember. It’s man who creates the distance. It’s Jesus who builds the bridge!

From In the Manger



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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12/7/14 1:51 A

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Get Your Joy Back!



TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
(1 Thessalonians 5:16–18, NIV)



TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria



Did you know that it is God’s will for you to be joyful always? He wants you to be happy and carefree. He wants you to love your life no matter what your circumstances look like. In fact, when you have joy in the midst of difficult circumstances, that is evidence that you have faith and trust that God will bring you through.

Joy is strength. When you have His supernatural joy, you can stand strong no matter what’s going on around you. You might say, “I’m just not a real jovial person. I’m more serious. I never laugh much.” And of course, God made us all differently, but you can train yourself to laugh more. One article said that the average child laughs over 200 times a day, but the average adult only laughs 4 times a day. What’s happened? We’ve allowed the pressures of life, stress and more responsibilities, little by little, to steal our joy.

Make the decision today to get your joy back! Decide that you are going to look beyond your problems and look at what God will do on your behalf. Ask Him every day to fill you with His supernatural peace and joy so that you can live in His strength and victory all the days of your life!



A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Heavenly Father, I humbly receive Your Word today. I choose to open my heart to You and invite You to fill me with Your joy and strength. Thank You for showing me Your goodness and empowering me with Your grace. I bless You today and always in Jesus’ name. Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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12/6/14 10:56 P

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Christ in You

by Max Lucado

Proliferating throughout Scripture is an enticing and inviting preposition —the preposition “in.” Jesus lives in his children. From Revelation 3:20, Jesus says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”

God in us! Have we sounded the depth of this promise? With God in you, you have a million resources you didn’t have before. Can’t stop worrying? Christ can. And he lives within you. Can’t forget the past, forgive the jerk, or forsake your bad habits? Christ can! And he lives in you.

Oh to be so full of him that we could say with the apostle Paul, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me!”

From In the Manger



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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12/5/14 1:24 P

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God Came Near

by Max Lucado

It all happened in a moment, a most remarkable moment. God became a man! Heaven opened herself and placed her most precious one in a human womb. Jesus came, not as a flash of light or as an unapproachable conqueror, but as one whose first cries were heard by a peasant girl and a sleepy carpenter. The hands that first held him were un-manicured, calloused, and dirty. For thirty-three years he would feel everything you and I have ever felt. Weak and weary; and afraid of failure. His feelings got hurt.

To think of Jesus in such a light seems almost irreverent. There’s something about keeping him divine that keeps him distant and predictable. But don’t do it! For heaven’s sake, don’t! Let him be as human as he intended to be. Let him into the mire and muck of our world. For only if we let him in can he pull us out!

From In the Manger



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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12/2/14 3:37 A

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On Your Knees

by Max Lucado

A small cathedral outside Bethlehem marks the supposed birthplace of Jesus. Behind a high altar in the church is a cave, a little cavern lit by silver lamps. You can enter the main edifice and admire the ancient church. You can also enter the quiet cave, where a star embedded in the floor recognizes the birth of the King. There is one stipulation, however. You have to stoop. The door is so low you can’t enter standing up., at the birth of Jesus. . .while the theologians were sleeping and the elite were dreaming and the successful were snoring…the meek were kneeling. They were kneeling before the One only the meek will see. They were kneeling in front of Jesus!

The same is true of the Christ. You can see the world standing tall, but to witness the Savior, you have to get on your knees! So, at the birth of Jesus. . .while the theologians were sleeping and the elite were dreaming and the successful were snoring…the meek were kneeling. They were kneeling before the One only the meek will see. They were kneeling in front of Jesus!

In this day of Advent, this is Max Lucado.

From In the Manger


IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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11/30/14 3:12 A

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TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
(Philippians 1:3–6, NIV)

Today in America, we celebrate Thanksgiving. It is a day to remember the goodness of God in our land and to thank Him for our freedoms. As we thank God for His goodness in our lives, we thank God for you, our friends, partners and supporters of this ministry. We always pray for you and believe that your best days are ahead. We know that the work God has begun in your life, He will be faithful to complete it!

Who are you thankful for in your life? Who are the people who support you, encourage you and strengthen you? Who are the people who are there to pick you up when you fall? Why don’t you tell them how much you appreciate them? Pray for them every day and pay it forward. Remember that Thanksgiving isn’t just a holiday; it’s a lifestyle.

Happy Thanksgiving! May you feel His blessing today and every day of the year!

A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, thank You for Your goodness and faithfulness in my life. Thank You for the people You have placed in my life to support and bless me. Show me how I can be a blessing to others and always show my gratitude in Jesus’ name. Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen




IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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11/29/14 12:03 P

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Thank God—For Everything

by Max Lucado

A person never runs out of reasons to say “thanks.” Just the word lifts the spirit! To say, “thanks” is to celebrate a gift. Something. Anything. In Scripture the idea of giving thanks is not a suggestion or a recommendation. It’s a command. It carries the same weight as “love your neighbor” and “give to the poor.” More than a hundred times, either by imperative or example, the Bible commands us to be thankful.

If quantity implies gravity, God takes thanksgiving seriously. Ingratitude is the original sin. Adam and Eve had a million reasons to give thanks. They lived in a perfect world. Then Satan slithered into the garden and, just like that, Eden wasn’t enough. Oh, the hissing we hear. “Don’t you want more?”

So thank God. Moment by moment. Day by day. Thank him…for everything!

From Before Amen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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11/29/14 1:21 A

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A Declaration of Truth

by Max Lucado

As our high priest, Jesus offers our prayers to God. His prayers are always heard. John 16:23 says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you.” The phrase, “In Jesus’ name” is not an empty motto or talisman. It is a declaration of truth! The cancer is not in charge, Jesus is. The grumpy neighbor doesn’t rule the world; Jesus, you do! Just speak the word, Jesus.

Since God works, prayer works. Since you matter to God, your prayers matter in heaven. And on the occasions you can’t find the words to say, pull out this “pocket prayer.” “Father, you are good. I need help. Heal me and forgive me. They need help. Thank you. In Jesus’ name, amen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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11/28/14 2:28 A

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The Cure for Ingratitude

by Max Lucado

First Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to “give thanks in everything!” In everything? In trouble, in the hospital, in a fix, in a mess, in distress? Interruptions? Jesus did. When five thousand people interrupted his planned retreat, he took them out to lunch. Matthew 14:19 says, “He took the five loaves and the two fish and, looking to heaven, he thanked God for the food.”

Jesus was robustly thankful. He was thankful when Mary interrupted the party with perfume. When he hugged children and blessed babies and watched blind people look at their first sunsets, Jesus was thankful.

The cure for ingratitude? Look up. Look what God has done! Thank you, Jesus, for modeling gratitude. Thank you, King Jesus, for working all things together for your good. Thank you….for letting love happen.

From Before Amen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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11/26/14 1:15 A

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Take the Challenge

by Max Lucado

Here is my challenge to you today! Join me, every day for 4 weeks, to pray 4 minutes. Then get ready to connect with God like never before!

When God gives, Luke 6:38 says, He gives a gift that is “pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap.” As we redouble our commitment to pray, God redoubles his promise to bless. Nothing pleases Jesus as much as being audaciously trusted.

And you are never more like Jesus than when you pray for others. Pray for this hurting world. Present their case to the giver of bread. And bring your grocery basket. God will give you plenty of blessings to take back to them!

Take the challenge? Sign on at Beforeamen.com. Join me every day for 4 weeks, to pray 4 minutes—it’ll change your life forever!

From Before Amen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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11/25/14 1:18 A

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TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“When Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him.”
(Acts 11:2, NIV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria Osteen

One time, Jesus was in the temple. It was on the Sabbath, their day of rest. He saw a man with a withered hand. Jesus simply said, “Stretch forth your hand,” and immediately, the man was healed. The religious leaders, the Pharisees, were there and didn’t like Jesus. Even though He did something great, they ridiculed Him for doing it on the Sabbath, the day of rest.

No matter what you do, some people are not going to be for you. Even if you changed, met all their demands and did everything they asked, they would still find something wrong. But, we can all save a lot of heartache and pain by learning to ignore those critical voices. You don’t need those people’s approval. You don’t have to have them cheering you on. They may try to make you look bad, but if you will stay on the high road and let God fight your battles, the more they talk the more God will bless you. They may try to take you down, but God will use it to take you up. Keep focused on your future, keep focused on the Word and let His truth strengthen you to ignore the critics!



A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, today I set my heart and focus on You. I choose to ignore the critical voices that would try to distract me from Your plan. Help me to forgive those who come against me and always walk in love so that I can honor You in Jesus’ name. Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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11/24/14 10:41 P

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A Bucket of Prayer

by Max Lucado

Behold the power of prayer! In Revelation 8:5, John saw the prayers of the saints and said, “there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake!” You ask God for help and BAM! Fire falls to the earth. You lift your concerns to heaven, and turbulence happens.

Go ahead. Stand up on behalf of those you love. And yes, stand up on behalf of those you do not. Pray for those who hurt you. The quickest way to douse the fire of anger is with a bucket of prayer. Rather than rant, rave, or seek revenge…pray. Jesus did this. While hanging on the cross, he interceded for his enemies, “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they are doing.” Even Jesus left his enemies in God’s hands.

Before you say amen—comes the power of a simple prayer!

From Before Amen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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11/22/14 12:24 P

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We are Ambassadors

by Max Lucado

This is the promise of prayer! We can change God’s mind! God’s ultimate will is inflexible, but the implementation of his will is not. He doesn’t change in his character and purpose, but he does alter his strategy because of the appeals of his children. After all, Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:20, “we are ambassadors” for the king. Ambassadors speak with the authority of the throne. If an ambassador sends a request to the king, will the king listen? If you, God’s ambassador in this world, come to your King with a request, will he listen? By all means.

Your sphere of influence is your region. As you grow in faith, your district expands. We plead with God on other people’s behalf. Before amen—comes the power of a simple prayer. “Father, they need help!”

From Before Amen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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11/21/14 1:05 A

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Intercessory Prayer

by Max Lucado

What can you do? When the challenge is greater than you are. When you feel helpless and impotent. Where can you turn? In Luke 11:10 Jesus says, “Everyone who seeks me, finds me. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” Intercessory prayer at its purest is your acknowledgement:

“I can’t heal them, but, God, you can.”
“I can’t forgive them, but, God, you can.”
“I can’t help them, but, God, you can.”

Before you say amen. . .this simple prayer gets God’s attention: “Father you are good. They need help. I can’t, but you can!” He never sleeps. He is never irritated. When you knock, he responds quickly and fairly!

Here’s my challenge for you today! Sign on at BeforeAmen.com. Take the brief Prayer Strengths Assessment you’ll find there. It only takes a minute. But it will encourage you and give you a building block for your growth in prayer.

From Before Amen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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A Guilt-Free You

by Max Lucado

If you are in Christ, your sin is gone. It was last seen on the back of your Sin Bearer as he headed out to Death Valley. When Jesus cried on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”—he entered the wilderness on your behalf. He carried your sin away.

Open yourself to the idea of a guilt-free you. This may be difficult. You have dragged around your past for so long you can’t imagine yourself without it. Jesus sees a revision of your script. Give God your guilt! Pray this simple “pocket prayer.”

“Father you are good. I need help. Forgive me. Place your guilt on the back of your Sin Bearer!

Before amen—comes the power of a simple prayer! My challenge to you? Every day for 4 weeks, pray 4 minutes—a simple prayer. Join me at BeforeAmen.com—it’ll change your life forever!

From Before Amen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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Stand In Faith

Stand in faith
Even when you can’t see your way
Stand in faith
Even when you feel like you can’t face another day
Stand in faith
Even when the tears want to flow from your eyes
Stand in faith
Knowing that our God will always provide
Stand in faith
Even when you feel that all hope is gone
Stand in faith
Knowing that He is always there for you to lean on
Stand in faith
Even when you feel like giving up
Stand in faith
Because He is there ... saying, "Just look up"
Stand in faith
Even in those times you feel so all alone
Stand in faith
Hold on and be strong, for He is still on the throne
Stand in faith
Even when it’s hard to believe
Stand in Faith
Knowing that He can change your situation, suddenly
Stand in faith
Even in those times you feel it’s hard to pray
Stand in faith
And believe that He has already made the way
Faith ... is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen
So stand in faith
Because you already have the victory!

--Evangelist Johnnye V. Chandler




IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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A Prayer of Confession

by Max Lucado

Confession isn’t a punishment for sin; it’s an isolation of sin so it can be exposed and extracted. Exactly what is it that you need forgiveness for? For being a bad person? That’s too general. For losing your patience in the business meeting and calling your coworker a creep? There, you can confess that.

Be firm in a prayer of confession. Satan traffics in guilt and will not give up an addict without a fight. Exercise your authority as a child of God. Tell guilt where to get off. “I left you at the cross, you evil spirit. Stay there!”

Then for heaven’s sake, stop tormenting yourself. Jesus is strong enough to carry your sin. Psalm 103:12 says, “He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.”

Before you say amen—comes the power of a simple prayer.

From Before Amen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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Give God Your Guilt

by Max Lucado

Is guilt having its way with you? If so, here is a promise from Isaiah 1:18: “No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can take it out and make you as clean as freshly fallen snow.” God can do what no one else can. He can extract every last mark from your soul.

Give God your guilt. Pray simply, “Father you are good. I need help. Forgive me. . .” Tell Jesus what you did. Do it as often as needed. One time, two times, ten times a day? By all means! Hold nothing back. No sin is too ancient or recent, too evil or insignificant.

Before amen—comes the power of a simple prayer. Sign on at BeforeAmen.com. Commit every day for 4 weeks, to pray 4 minutes. Then get ready to connect with God like never before!

From Before Amen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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One Option: God

by Max Lucado

When you recognize God as Creator, you will admire Him. When you recognize His wisdom, you will learn from Him. When you discover His strength, you will rely on Him. But only when He saves you will you worship Him.

It’s a “before and after” scenario. Before your rescue, He was high on your priority list, but He shared the spot with others. Then came the storm, the rage, the fight. Despair fell like a fog. Could you turn to your career for help? Only if you want to hide from the storm, not escape it. Lean on your status for strength? A storm isn’t impressed with your title. Suddenly you’re left with one option–God. And when you ask, genuinely ask, He will come. And from that moment on, He is not just a deity to admire, or a master to obey. He is the Savior. The Savior to be worshiped!

From In the Eye of the Storm



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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Love Covers a Multitude of Sins

by Max Lucado

If people love you at 6:00 a.m. one thing is sure. They love you! No makeup. No power tie. No status jewelry. No layers of images. Just unkempt honesty. Just you. “Love,” wrote one forgiven soul, “covers over a multitude of sins.”

Sounds like God’s love. Hebrews 10:14 says, “He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” Note that the word is not improving. God doesn’t improve; he perfects. He doesn’t enhance; he completes. When it comes to our position before God, we are perfect. When he sees each of us, he sees one who has been made perfect through the One who is perfect—Jesus Christ. He sees perfection. Not perfection earned by us, mind you, but perfection paid by him.

Scripture says, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21 NCV).

From The Eye of the Storm





IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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Cry Out to Jesus

by Max Lucado

My friend Jim has battled a muscular condition much of his adult life. The atrophy slurs his speech and impairs his walk. But it doesn’t diminish his faith or erase his smile.

One Sunday we asked church members to park in the back lot and leave the closest spots for guests. As I arrived, I saw Jim. He had parked in the distant corner and was walking toward the sanctuary. His life is an example. I pray that God will heal Jim’s body. But until he does, God is using Jim to inspire people like me.

God will do the same with you. He will use your struggle to change others. Or—he may use your struggle to change you! Disease cannot destroy us. And death has lost its sting. Cry out to Jesus in the power of a simple prayer! He will heal you—instantly or gradually or for sure, ultimately!

From Before Amen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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He Will Heal You

by Max Lucado

Are you waiting for Jesus to heal you? Take hope from Jesus’ response to the blind man in Mark 10:45-47.

“Have mercy on us, O Lord!” the blind man cried. Everyone else kept going. Jesus froze. Something caught his attention. Interrupted his journey. Raising his hand to stop the people, lifting a finger to his lips for them to be quiet. What was it? What did Jesus hear?

A prayer. An unembellished appeal for help floating on winds of faith and landing against his ear. Jesus heard the words and stopped. He still does. And he still asks, “What do you want Me to do for you?”

Before amen—comes the power of a simple prayer! And Jesus’ heart went out to the blind men. He touched their eyes. Jesus moved in where others had stepped away. He healed them. At the gateway to heaven, God’s children will once again be whole!

From Before Amen

Amen Lord Jesus.



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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www.BeforeAmen.com

Rosie

Rose in Michigan
November 19
♥¸.•*¨)♥ -:¦:- ♥~*-:¦:-*♥~.
♥ .•*´¨ )
.•*´¨ )♥ ¸.•*¨) ♥-:¦:- ♥¸.•*¨) ♥

Always leave loved ones with loving words, it may be the last time you see them.

Living one day at a time : enjoying one moment at a time: accepting hardship as the pathway to peace.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotton Son, that whosoever believeth in him should no


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Our Reluctance

by Max Lucado

Perhaps the most amazing response to God’s gift is our reluctance to accept it. We feel better if we earn it. So we create religious hoops and hop through them—making God a trainer, us his pets, and religion a circus.

If only, when God smiles and says we are saved, we’d salute him, thank him, and live like those who’ve just received a gift from the commander in chief. We seldom do that, though. To accept grace is to admit failure. We opt to impress God with how good we are rather than confessing how great he is. We dizzy ourselves with doctrine. Burden ourselves with rules. We think that God will smile on our efforts. But He doesn’t. God’s smile is not for the healthy hiker who boasts that he made the journey alone. It is, instead, for the crippled leper who begs God for a back on which to ride!

From In the Eye of the Storm




IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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God’s Goal is Wholeness

by Max Lucado

Afflictions can sideline the sufferer. Everyone else has a place in the parade. You’d join them if only the tumor would stop growing. You have mood swings as wide and wild as the African Serengeti. And you’ve wondered, “What am I do to with this ailment?”

The blind and the suffering brought their concerns to Jesus. They didn’t ask for Peter or John. They made no request of the disciples or followers. They went straight to the top. They cried out to Jesus. Persistently, personally, passionately. “I need help. Heal me!” You need to do the same. God’s goal for you is wholeness. Your whole self—spirit, soul, and body!

Before you say amen—comes the power of a simple prayer! Sign on at BeforeAmen.com and take the brief Prayer Strengths Assessment.

From Before Amen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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Your God-Given Prayer Strength

by Max Lucado • November 12

Before you say amen—comes the power of a simple prayer! A prayer that says, “Father I need your power in my life. I face impossible circumstances and am desperate for a miracle. Would you show me your power in my life today? God, for those who have a small view of you, help them to find comfort in the knowledge of how mighty and enormous you actually are. Thank you for sending your Son. It’s in the all-powerful name of Jesus that I pray, amen.”

Here’s my invitation to you today! Release that prayer wimp self-image you have and discover confidence in your God-given prayer strength. Sign on at BeforeAmen.com—take the brief Prayer Strengths Assessment. It’ll not only encourage you—it’ll give you a simple building block for your growth in prayer!

Before Amen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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If you are blessed with abilities, if you are gifted, if you are used by God, it is easy to start believing your own stuff. Yet one of the marks of a truly mature life is humility of spirit.
A truly humble person looks for opportunities to give himself freely to others rather than holding back , to release rather than hoarding, to build up rather than tearing down, to serve rather than being served, to learn from others than clamoring for the teaching stand. How blessed are those who learn this early in life.

He who pursues righteousness and loyalty finds, life, righteousness, and honor.
Proverbs 21:21
`By Charles Swindoll's Bedside Blessings.

IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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Not Eloquent Prayers–Honest Ones

by Max Lucado • November 10

For two years, I’ve asked God to remove the pain in my writing hand. After writing thirty-plus books in longhand, the repeated motion has restricted my movement. I stretch my fingers. I avoid the golf course. But most of all, I pray.

Better said, I argue. Shouldn’t God heal my hand? So far he hasn’t healed me. Or has he? These days I pray more as I write. Not eloquent prayers, but honest ones. “Lord, I need help. . .Father; my hand is stiff.” The discomfort humbles me. I’m not Max, the author. I’m Max, the guy whose hand is wearing out. I want God to heal my hand. Thus far he has used my hand to heal my heart!

Here’s my challenge to you! Join me at BeforeAmen.com—then every day for 4 weeks, pray 4 minutes. It’ll change your life!

From Before Amen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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Guard Your Attitude

by Max Lucado

It’s easy to forget who is the servant and who is to be served. The tool of distortion is one of Satan’s slyest. When the focus is on yourself, you worry that your co-workers won’t appreciate you or your leaders will overwork you. With time, your agenda becomes more important than God’s. You’re more concerned with presenting self than pleasing Him. You may even find yourself doubting God’s judgment.

Remember Martha criticizing her sister Mary, “Lord don’t you care that my sister has left me alone to do all the work? Tell her to help me” (Luke 10:40). What had Mary chosen? She’d chosen to sit at the feet of Christ. God is more pleased with the quiet attention of a sincere servant than the noisy service of a sour one!

Guard your attitude. If you concern yourself with your neighbor’s talents, you’ll neglect your own. But if you concern yourself with yours, you could inspire both!

from He Still Moves Stones



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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Your Suffering is Your Sermon

by Max Lucado

Sickness and sin still stalk our planet. But here’s the difference: neither sin nor sickness will have dominion over God’s people. He is in charge! So if you are sick, cry out to Jesus! Talk to him about your stomach, your skin, your headaches. After all, he owns you. Scripture says your body was “bought at a price.”

Do the same with your emotions. Did someone molest you? Did you abort a baby or abandon a child? If so, you likely need inner healing. He will heal you—instantly or gradually. Our highest hope, however, is in our ultimate healing. 1 John 3:2 promises that “when He is revealed, we shall be like him.”

In the meantime, before amen—comes the power of a simple prayer! Your suffering is your sermon.


IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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Strength in Prayer

by Max Lucado

Jesus prayed! He would even disappear for an entire night of prayer. I’m thinking of one night in particular. The day began with the news of the death of John the Baptist. Grief-stricken, Jesus sought to retreat with His disciples, yet spent the day teaching and healing people who followed him. When it was discovered the crowd had no food, Jesus multiplied bread out of a basket and fed the entire multitude. In the span of a few hours, he battled sorrow, stress, demands and needs. He deserved to rest. Yet when evening came, he told the crowd to leave and the disciples to board their boat.

Mark 6:46 tells us, “He went up into the hills by himself to pray.” Lord, teach us to pray like that! To find strength in prayer. Teach us to experience a heart connection with God instead of settling for a prayer wish list for God!

From Before Amen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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Our Good Intentions

by Max Lucado

Struggles come for sure—but so does God! Before amen—comes the power of a simple prayer. As simple as, “Father, You are good. I need help. Heal me and forgive me. They need help. Thank you. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

We want to pray but the calendar pounces on our good intentions like a tiger on a rabbit. Prayer is not a privilege for the pious, not the art of a chosen few. It is simply conversation between God and you. He wants to talk with you!

1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Sign on at BeforeAmen.com—take a few minutes and do the Prayer Strengths Assessment. It will not only encourage you but give you a building block for your growth in prayer!

From Before Amen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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In God’s Hands

by Max Lucado

Imagine this breakfast scene. The daughters are complaining their brother took too much time in the bathroom. So their hair isn’t brushed and makeup isn’t applied. Mom is doing her best, but she woke up with a headache and a long list of things to do. Dad stops at the kitchen doorway. He weighs his options:
Command everyone to shape up and behave.
Berate his son for dominating the bathroom and his wife for not taking control.
Sneak out before anyone notices.

OR. . .he could pray: “Father, you are good. I need help. Reduce the frenzy in my house, please.” Will the prayer change everything? It may. Or it may take another prayer, or two, or ten! But at least the problem is in the hands of the One who can solve it. The Bible says, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you! (1 Peter 5:7).”

Before amen—comes the power of a simple prayer!

From Before Amen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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God Keeps His Word

by Max Lucado

Our daughter Jenna was born in Brazil. Soon after we brought her home we received a hefty bill. No matter how much I pleaded or explained, the insurance company said, “We won’t pay.” The hospital meanwhile said, “You must pay!” The bill was $2,500. Good news: we paid the bill. Bad news: we were broke as a result.

Philippians 4:6 became a theme promise,“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”

I was a novice to anxiety-free living, but I treated each anxious thought—and there were many—with prayer. “Lord, with your help I will not be anxious. But I’m in a foreign country with a new baby and an empty bank account. Hint, hint!” God took the hint! God keeps His word. I just need to ask. Before amen—comes the power of a simple prayer!

From Before Amen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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A Pat on the Back

by Max Lucado

How often do you see people more concerned about getting a job done right than they are about saving their necks? Too seldom, right? But when we do—when we see a gutsy human taking a few risks—ah, now that’s a person worthy of a pat on the back. So…

Here’s to the woman whose husband left her with a nest of kids to raise and bills to pay, but who somehow tells me every Sunday that God has never been closer.

Here’s to the single father of two girls who learned to braid their hair.

Here’s to the girl who was told to abort the baby but chose to keep the baby.

Here’s to the doctor who treats more than half of his patients for free.

Here’s to all of you reckless lovers of life and God.

So what if you forgot about pleasing the crowd. Most of us aren’t even in your league.

From In the Eye of the Storm



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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Standing on His Promises

by Max Lucado

We come to Christ in an hour of deep need. We realize that all the good works in the world are puny when laid before the Perfect One. So we beg for help. Then we hear his voice; and step out in fear, hoping that our little faith will be enough. With precious, wobbly steps, we draw close to him.

We stand upon his promises. It doesn’t make sense that we’re able to do this. We don’t claim to be worthy of such an incredible gift. When people ask how in the world we can keep our balance during such stormy times, we don’t boast. We point to the One who makes it possible. “Nothing in my hand I bring; Simply to Thy cross I cling,” we sing. “Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved,” we declare. And we never look back! May that be the anthem of your life.

From In the Eye of the Storm


IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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Some Assembly Required

by Max Lucado

Do you want to see a father’s face go ashen? Position yourself nearby as he discovers three words on the box of a just-bought toy: “Some assembly required!” What follows are hours of squeezing A into B, bolting D into F, sliding R over Z, and hoping no one notices if steps four, five, and six were skipped altogether. I’m convinced the devil indwells the details of toy assembly. Somewhere in perdition is a warehouse of stolen toy parts.

“Some assembly required.” Not the most welcome sentence but an honest one. Life is a gift, albeit unassembled. The pieces don’t fit. When they don’t, take your problem to Jesus. He says, “Bring your problems to Me!” In prayer, state them simply. Present them faithfully, and trust Him reverently!

Before Amen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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Simple, Powerful Prayers

by Max Lucado

James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”

And here’s this simple “pocket prayer” for you today:

Dear Father. Teach me to accept what you’ve given. I may not always understand circumstances, but show me how they are blessings and give me gratitude for all your gifts.
Rain your blessings on my friends and family today. Give them hope whatever they face. Thank you that Your blessings never end. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Here’s an invitation for you today—one to encourage your daily conversations with God. Go to BeforeAmen.com and take the brief Prayer Strengths Assessment. It’ll give you a building block for your growth in prayer!

Before Amen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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Pray About Everything

by Max Lucado

The moment you sense a problem, however large or small, take it to Christ.

“Max, if I take my problems to Jesus every time I have one, I’m going to be talking to Jesus all day long.”

Now you’re getting the point! An un-prayed for problem is an embedded thorn. It festers and infects the finger, then the hand, then the entire arm. Best to go straight to the person who has the tweezers. We can only wonder how many disasters would be averted if we would go first to Jesus?

Philippians 4:6 says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs and don’t forget to thank him for his answers.”

Sign on at BeforeAmen.com and every day for 4 weeks, pray 4 minutes—simple, powerful prayers. It’ll change your prayer life forever!

Before Amen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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Prayer Wimps Anonymous

by Max Lucado

I’m a card carrying member of the PWA: Prayer Wimps Anonymous. Can you relate? We pray–we pray to stay sober, centered, solvent. We pray when the lump is deemed malignant. When the money runs out before the month does. We all pray—some.

But wouldn’t we like to pray more? Like the disciples when they asked Jesus, “Teach us to pray!” Teach us to find strength in prayer. To banish fear in prayer.

Prayer is simply a heartfelt conversation between God and you! A prayer as simple as this one:

Father, You are good. I need help. Heal me and forgive me.
They need help. Thank you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Pray for 4 weeks, 4 minutes every day. Sign on at BeforeAmen.com and get ready to connect with God like never before!

Before Amen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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A Father to the Fatherless

by Max Lucado

Psalm 34:8 says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” A glimpse of God’s goodness changes us. If He is only slightly stronger than us, why pray? If He has limitations, questions, and hesitations, then you might as well pray to the Wizard of Oz.

Psalm 68:5-6 says God is “a father to the fatherless. He sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity.”

Pray with me: Dear God. Today remind me that you protect me. Be my father and defender. Defend those who are weak and afraid and feel forgotten. Show up in their lives today. Thank you for giving me a spiritual family that can never be taken away. I pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.

At any point, you are only a prayer away from help!

Before Amen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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Soaring and Sitting

by Max Lucado

Perhaps you’ve seen the sight! Tethered to a high-speed boat, the parasail lifts the rope-clinging customer six hundred feet into the air. High above, the passenger hangs on and enjoys the view, letting the boat do the work. What choice does he or she have? To reach such heights, help is needed. To maintain such heights, power is mandated. No person can self-elevate to such a level.

Watching as one of my daughters flew high above on the parasail, I thought, “Isn’t this a picture of grace? Look at her, soaring and sitting.” Those two words seldom appear in the same sentence. Especially religious sentences. We tend to think soaring and working; soaring and striving, soaring and struggling. But soaring and sitting? It happens. It happens when you let the boat do the work. It happens when you let God do the same.

From In the Grip of Grace


IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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10/26/14 1:45 A

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The Anger of God

by Max Lucado

Do not confuse the wrath of God with the wrath of man. The two have little in common. We get ticked off because we’ve been overlooked, neglected, or cheated. It’s the anger of man. God does not get angry because He doesn’t get his way. He gets angry because disobedience always results in self-destruction.

What kind of father sits by and watches his child hurt himself? What kind of God would do the same? Do we think he giggles at adultery? Or snickers at murder? Does he shake his head and say, “Humans will be humans?” God is rightfully angry. Our sins are an affront to his holiness. Habakkuk 1:13 says, his eyes are “too good to look at evil; he cannot stand to see those who do wrong.” God is angry at the evil that ruins his children. He cannot be indifferent that his creation is destroyed and his holy will trodden underfoot.

From In the Grip of Grace


IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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10/25/14 10:29 A

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Unnecessary Messes

by Max Lucado

A lot of us make unnecessary messes. But we can change that. May I make a suggestion? Before you face the world, face your Father.

Take this “pocket prayer:”

“Father. . .You are good. Your heart is good.” The words come slowly at first, but stay at it… “Your ways are right. The weather’s bad, the economy is bad, but God, you are awesome.”

Don’t underestimate the power of this moment. You just opened the door to God and welcomed truth to enter your heart. Who knows, you might even start to worship. Is your world different because you prayed? In one sense, no. But you are different. You have peace. You’ve talked with your Father.

Here’s my challenge to you today! With a “pocket prayer” you’ll find at BeforeAmen.com—join me every day for 4 weeks to pray 4 minutes—it’ll change your life forever!

Before Amen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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God Cannot Be Contained

by Max Lucado

Most people have small thoughts about God. In an effort to see God as our friend, we have lost his immensity. In our desire to understand him, we have sought to contain him.

The God of the Bible cannot be contained. With a word he called Adam out of dust and Eve out of a bone. He consulted no committee. He sought no counsel. He has authority over the world and. . .He has authority over your world. He’s never surprised. He has never, ever uttered the phrase, “How did that happen?”

God’s goodness is a major headline in the Bible. If He were only mighty, we would salute Him. But since He is merciful and mighty, we can approach Him. If God is at once Father and Creator, holy—unlike us—and high above us, then we at any point are only a prayer away from help!

Before Amen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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10/23/14 1:30 A

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“Oh, Daddy!”

by Max Lucado

When my eldest daughter was 13, she flubbed her piano piece at a recital. The silence in the auditorium was broken only by the pounding of her parents’ hearts. She hurried off the stage, threw her arms around me and buried her face in my shirt. “Oh, Daddy.” That was enough for me. At that moment I’d have given her the moon. All she said was, “Oh Daddy!”

Prayer starts here. Prayer begins with an honest, heartfelt, “Oh Daddy!” Jesus invites us to approach God the way a child approaches his or her daddy.

Here’s my prayer challenge to you! Sign on at BeforeAmen.com for a simple prayer. Then every day for 4 weeks, pray 4 minutes—it’ll change your life forever!

Before Amen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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Approaching God

by Max Lucado • October 21

Jesus invites us to approach God the way a child approaches his or her daddy! And how do children approach their daddies? I went to a school playground to find out. When a five-year-old spots his father in the parking lot, how does he react?

“Yippee!” screamed a redheaded boy wearing a Batman backpack.

“Pop!” Over here! Push me!” yelled a boy wearing a Boston Red Sox cap who scooted straight to the swings.

Here’s what I didn’t hear: “Father, it is most gracious of thee to drive thy car to my place of education. Please know of my deep gratitude for your benevolence. For thou art splendid in they attentive care and diligent in they dedication.”

I heard kids who were happy to see their dads and eager to speak to them! God invites us to approach Him in the same manner. What a relief!

Before Amen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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Love Covers a Multitude of Sins

by Max Lucado

If people love you at 6:00 a.m. one thing is sure. They love you! No makeup. No power tie. No status jewelry. No layers of images. Just unkempt honesty. Just you. “Love,” wrote one forgiven soul, “covers over a multitude of sins.”

Sounds like God’s love. Hebrews 10:14 says, “He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” Note that the word is not improving. God doesn’t improve; he perfects. He doesn’t enhance; he completes. When it comes to our position before God, we are perfect. When he sees each of us, he sees one who has been made perfect through the One who is perfect—Jesus Christ. He sees perfection. Not perfection earned by us, mind you, but perfection paid by him.

Scripture says, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21 NCV).

From In the Eye of the Storm



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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Prayers Aren’t Graded

by Max Lucado

Jesus downplayed the importance of words in prayers. We tend to do the opposite. The more words the better! We emphasize the appropriate prayer language, the latest prayer trend, the holiest prayer terminology. Against all this emphasis on syllables and rituals, Jesus says in Matthew 6:7: “Don’t ramble like heathens who talk a lot.” There’s no panel of angelic judges with numbered cards.

“Wow, Lucado, that prayer was a ten. God will certainly hear you!”

“Oh, Lucado, you scored a two this morning. Go home and practice.”

Prayers aren’t graded according to style. If prayer depends on how I pray, I’m sunk. But if the power of prayer depends on the One who hears the prayer, then I have hope.

Before Amen



Edited by: DIDMIS at: 10/20/2014 (08:41)
IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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10/18/14 2:38 A

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God Chats in the Closet

by Max Lucado

Religious leaders loved to make theater out of their prayers. The show nauseated Jesus. In Matthew 6:6 He said, “When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father who cannot be seen. Your Father can see what is done in secret, and He will reward you.”

The words surely stunned Jesus’ audience. The people were simple farmers and stonemasons. They couldn’t enter the temple. But they could enter their closets. The point? He is low on fancy, high on accessibility. You need not woo him with location! Or wow him with eloquence. It’s the power of a simple prayer.

Join me every day for 4 weeks, to pray 4 minutes, a simple prayer. Sign on at BeforeAmen.com. Then get ready to connect with God like never before!

Before Amen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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A Whispered Reminder

by Max Lucado

In Matthew 6, Jesus prayed, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

A prayer that begins. . . “May I not view you as a distant father, but as one who has come to earth and understands the challenges and temptations of my life. Be near me today, whisper reminders that you’re close. My friends need you today as they make difficult decisions in their workplace and in their families. Show them you are closer than even their earthly fathers. Thank you for hearing me and listening to my pleas. It’s in Jesus’ name I pray this, amen.”

Join me in prayer every day for 4 weeks, and pray 4 minutes per day. Sign on at BeforeAmen.com—it’ll change your life!

Before Amen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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Be Honest — Honest to God

by Max Lucado

Prayer really is simple. Resist the urge to complicate it. Don’t take pride in well-crafted prayers. Don’t apologize for incoherent prayers. No games. No cover-ups. Just be honest—honest to God.

Climb into His lap. Tell Him everything that’s on your heart. Or tell Him nothing at all. Just lift your heart to heaven and declare, “Father. . .Daddy.” Stress. Fear. Guilt. Grief. Demands on all sides. And all we can summon is a plaintive, “Oh, Father.” If so, that’s enough. Your heavenly Father will wrap you in His arms!

Sign on at BeforeAmen.com–take the brief Prayer Strengths Assessment. It will encourage you and give you a simple building block for your growth in prayer. Then get ready to connect with God as never before!

Before Amen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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Become as Little Children

by Max Lucado

We prayer wimps fear “mis-praying.” What is the expected etiquette and dress code for prayer? What if we kneel instead of stand?

Jesus’ answer? In Matthew 18:3 He says, “Become as little children.” Carefree. Joy filled. Playful. Trusting. Curious. Trust more—strut less.

God prefers this greeting: “God, you are my Daddy, and I am your child!” It’s hard to show off and call God “Daddy” at the same time. Impossible, in fact. Remember, prayer doesn’t depend on how you pray. The power of prayer depends on the One who hears the prayer!

Here’s my simple prayer challenge for you today! Join me every day for 4 weeks and pray 4 minutes. Sign on at BeforeAmen.com. And just be honest—honest to God!

Before Amen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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Recovering Prayer Wimp

by Max Lucado

Yes, I’m a prayer wimp—but a recovering prayer wimp. Not where I long to be, but not where I was. Before amen—comes the power of a simple prayer. This simple, easy to remember, pocket-size prayer has become a cherished friend.

“Father, You are good. I need help. Heal me and forgive me.
They need help. Thank you. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

Jesus’ disciples faced angry waves and a watery grave. You face angry clients, a turbulent economy, raging seas of stress and sorrow. As you begin your morning, “Father, you are good.” As you commute to work or walk the hallways at school, “I need help.” As you wait in the grocery line, “They need help.” Keep this prayer in your pocket as you pass through the day. Prayer is simply a heartfelt conversation between God and His child.

From Before Amen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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How Quickly We Forget

by Max Lucado

Oh how quickly we forget. So much happens through the years. So many changes within. So many alterations without. And somewhere, back there, we leave Him. We don’t turn away from Him—we just don’t take Him with us. Assignments come. Promotions come. Budgets are made. Kids are born, and Christ—the Christ Jesus is forgotten.

Has it been a while since you stared at the heavens in speechless amazement? Has it been a while since you realized God’s divinity and your carnality? He is still there. He has not left. Do yourself a favor. Stand before Him again. Or better, allow Him to stand before you.

A man is never the same after he simultaneously sees his despair and Jesus’ grace. To see the despair without the grace is destructive. To see the grace without the despair is futility. But to see them both is conversion!

from Six Hours One Friday


IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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Holy Hostility

by Max Lucado

Many insist God loves us so much he cannot be angry at our evil. They don’t understand that love is always angry at evil! Paul said in Romans 1:18, “God is against all the evil and wrong things people do.”

This is a revelation to many who assume God is a harried high-school principal, too busy monitoring the planets to notice us. He is not. God says his anger is directed against any thing and any one who suppresses the knowledge of truth. God loves his children, and hates what destroys them. It simply means that he loves you and hates what you become when you turn from him.

Call it holy hostility! A righteous hatred of wrong. A divine disgust. The question isn’t, “How dare a loving God be angry?” It’s, “How could a loving God feel anything less?”

From In the Grip of Grace



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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God Will Teach You to Pray

by Max Lucado

This much is sure: God will teach you to pray. Don’t think for a minute that he is glaring at you from a distance with crossed arms and a scowl, waiting for you to get your prayer life together. Just the opposite!

In Revelation 3:20 Jesus says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and eat with you, and you will eat with Me.”

Jesus waits on the porch. He taps. . .and calls. He waits for you to open the door. To pray is the hand of faith on the door handle of your heart. The happy welcome to Jesus that says, Come in, O King, come in! The kitchen is messy, but come in. I’m not much of a conversationalist, but come in. Before amen—comes the power of a simple prayer! God changes His people through such moments.


IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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A Heartfelt Conversation with God

by Max Lucado

Prayer is not a privilege for the pious, nor the art of a chosen few. Prayer is simply a heartfelt conversation between God and His child. When we invite God into our world, He brings a host of gifts: joy, patience, resilience. Anxieties come, but they don’t stick. Fears surface and then depart. I’m completing my sixth decade, yet I’m wired with energy. Happier, healthier, and more hopeful! Struggles come, for sure. But so does God.

My friend, He wants to talk with you. Even now as you hear these words, He taps at the door. Open it. Welcome Him in…and let the conversation begin!

Here’s my prayer challenge to you! Every day for 4 weeks, pray 4 minutes with the simple prayer at BeforeAmen.com. Then get ready to connect with God like never before!


IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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A Compelling Prayer Example

by Max Lucado • October

Before amen—comes the power of a simple prayer!

Jesus set a compelling prayer example. He prayed before He ate. He prayed for children. He prayed for the sick. He prayed with thanks…and with tears. He had made the planets and shaped the stars, yet He prayed.

Here’s a prayer for us today!

“Father, you have made me your child through your Spirit. In your kindness you have adopted me and delivered me from sin and death. Remind me today what it means to be your child. It’s so easy for me to live every day on my own terms. Help me live it in light of your grace. Thank you for accepting me as I am but not leaving me the same. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

Here’s my prayer challenge to you! Sign on at BeforeAmen.com—then every day for 4 weeks, pray 4 minutes—it’ll change your life forever!

I especially liked "Thank you for accepting me as I am but not leaving me the same."




IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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Conversation With God

by Max Lucado

Mark 1:35 says, “Jesus went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.”

This dialogue must have been common among His friends:

“Has anyone seen Jesus?”
“Oh, you know. He’s up to the same thing.”
“Praying again?”
“Yep. He’s been gone since sunrise.”

Jesus would even disappear for an entire night of prayer. Prayer for most of us, isn’t a matter of a month-long retreat or even an hour of meditation. It’s a conversation with God while driving to work or waiting for an appointment.

God will teach you to pray. We speak, He listens. He speaks, we listen. This is prayer in its purest form. God changes His people through such moments.

Sign on at BeforeAmen.com—take the Prayer Strengths Assessment—then get ready to connect with God like never before!



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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A Portable Prayer

by Max Lucado

Some people excel in prayer. They are the SEAL Team 6 of intercession. They would rather pray than sleep. Why is it I sleep when I pray? It’s not that we don’t pray at all. We all pray some. Surveys indicate one in five unbelievers prays daily. Just in case, perhaps? When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He gave them a prayer. Not a lecture on prayer. A quotable, repeatable, portable prayer. Could you use the same?

Father, You are good.
I need help. Heal me and forgive me.
They need help. Thank you.
In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let this prayer punctuate your day!

Here’s my challenge for you! Sign on at BeforeAmen com. Every day for 4 weeks, pray 4 minutes. Then get ready to connect with God like never before!



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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Lord, Teach Us to Pray

by Max Lucado

We can’t even get the cable company to answer us, yet God will? The doctor’s too busy, but God isn’t? We have our doubts about prayer!

Jesus raised people from the dead. But a “How to Vacate the Cemetery” seminar? His followers never called for one. But they did want Him to do this: “Lord, teach us to pray.” Might their interest have something to do with the jaw-dropping promise Jesus attached to prayer? “Ask and it will be given to you.” When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray He gave them a prayer. Could you use the same?

Father, You are good. I need help. Heal me and forgive me.
They need help. Thank You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Before amen—comes the power of a simple prayer. Punctuate your day with it!




IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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10/5/14 9:54 A

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A Vision of the Reward

by Max Lucado

Paul said in II Corinthians 4:16-18, “We do not lose heart. . .for our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.” Hear what Paul called “light and momentary”—not what I’d have called them, and I think you’ll agree. Imprisoned. Beaten. Stoned. Shipwrecked three times. In constant danger. Hungry and thirsty. Light and momentary troubles? How could Paul describe endless trials with that phrase? He tells us. He could see “an eternal glory that far out-weighs them all.”

And you–you want to go on, but some days the road seems so long. Let me encourage you with this: God never said the journey would be easy, but he did say that the arrival would be worth it!

From In the Eye of the Storm




IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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10/4/14 6:44 A

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Prayer Guidance

by Max Lucado

When I pray, I think of a thousand things I need to do. I forget the one thing I set out to do: pray! Can you relate? But wouldn’t we all like to pray. . More? Better? Deeper? Stronger? With more fire, faith, or fervency?

Yet we have kids to feed, bills to pay, deadlines to meet. We want to pray, but when? We want to pray, but why? We have our doubts about prayer, our checkered history of unmet expectations, unanswered questions. We aren’t the first. The sign-up for Prayer 101 contains familiar names: John, James, Andrew, and Peter. The first followers of Jesus needed prayer guidance.

So here’s my challenge to you! Sign on at BeforeAmen.com. It will encourage you and give you a building block for your growth in prayer. Then get ready to change your life forever!


Edited by: DIDMIS at: 10/5/2014 (09:54)
IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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10/3/14 3:21 A

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Consequences

by Max Lucado

Are there any consequences for a godless pursuit of pleasure? Is there a price for living for today? The hedonist says, “Who cares? I may be bad, but so what? What I do is my business.” He is more concerned about satisfying his passions than in knowing the Father. His life is so desperate for pleasure that he has no time or room for God. He believes there is no truth beyond this room. No divine factor. Is he right? Is it okay to spend our days thumbing our noses at God and living it up? Paul says, “Absolutely not!”

According to Romans 1, we lose more than stained-glass windows when we dismiss God. We lose our standard, our purpose, and our worship. The apostle says “their thinking became useless. Their foolish minds were filled with darkness. They said they were wise, but they became fools.”








IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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10/2/14 9:35 P

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IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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Before Amen Challenge

by Max Lucado

I’m a recovering prayer wimp. For years my prayers seemed to zig, then zag, then zig again. Maybe you can relate. Perhaps your prayer life could use a tune up, a reboot?

If that sounds overwhelming, I’m inviting you to a simpler plan. Four minutes, plus four weeks, equals forever change! Every day for four weeks, pray for four minutes, focusing on these core elements of prayer: “Father, You are good. I need help. They need help. Thank you.”

It’s that simple. Really! Talking with God doesn’t have to be complicated or complex. The power isn’t in the words we pray—but in the One who hears them!

Sign on at BeforeAmen.com. Every day for 4 weeks, pray four minutes—then get ready to connect with God like never before!


IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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10/1/14 2:44 A

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Content

by Max Lucado

What if God’s only gift to you were his grace to save you. Would you be content? Content! That’s the word. A state of heart in which you would be at peace if God gave you nothing more than he already has. You beg him to save the life of your child. You implore him to remove the cancer from your body. You plead with him to keep your business afloat. What if his answer is, “My grace is enough.” Would you be content?

You see, from heaven’s perspective, grace IS enough. If God did nothing more than save us from hell, could anyone complain? Having been given eternal life, dare we grumble at an aching body? Let me be quick to add. God has not left you with “just” salvation. He has already given you grace upon grace. The vast majority of us have been saved and then blessed even more!

From In the Grip of Grace

IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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9/30/14 6:10 A

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Access to the Father

by Max Lucado

If a child you don’t know appears on your doorstep and asks to spend the night, what would you do? Likely you would ask his name, where he lives, find out why he is roaming the streets, and contact his parents. On the other hand, if a youngster enters your house escorted by your child, that child is welcome.

The same is true with God. By becoming friends with the Son, we gain access to the Father. Jesus promised in Matthew 10:32, “All those who stand before others and say they believe in me, I will say before my Father in heaven that they belong to me.” Jesus ushers us into that blessing of God’s grace we now enjoy and what Paul spoke of in Romans 5:2—”a permanent access by faith into this grace by which we now stand.” We can have a place with God because Jesus has presented us to the Father!

From In the Grip of Grace



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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9/29/14 9:35 A

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Inviting God In

by Max Lucado

Confession admits wrong and seeks forgiveness. Amnesty denies wrong and claims innocence! Many mouth a prayer for forgiveness while in reality claiming amnesty. Consequently our worship is cold—why thank God for a grace we don’t need? . . .and our faith is weak—I’ll handle my mistakes myself, thank you.

We are better at keeping God out than we are at inviting God in. Sunday mornings are full of preparing the body for worship, preparing the hair for worship, preparing the clothes for worship—but preparing the soul? Am I missing the mark when I say that many of us attend church on the run? Am I out of line when I say many of us spend life on the run? Am I overstating the case when I announce, “Grace means you don’t have to run anymore?” It’s the truth! Grace means it’s safe to turn ourselves in.

From In the Grip of Grace by Max Lucado


IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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9/28/14 11:17 A

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IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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9/28/14 9:23 A

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The Definition of Greed

by Max Lucado

Jesus had a definition for greed. He called it the practice of measuring life by possessions! Greed equates a person’s worth with a person’s purse. You got a lot equals you are a lot. You got a little equals you are little. The consequence of such a philosophy is predictable. If you are the sum of what you own, then by all means own it all. No price is too high. No payment is too much. But God’s foremost rule of finance is that we own nothing. We are managers, not owners. Stewards, not landlords. Maintenance people, not proprietors.

Our money is not ours, it is His. It’s not as if God kept the future a secret. One glance at a cemetery should remind us that everyone dies. The Bible says, “The Lord owns the world and everything in it—the heavens, even the highest heavens, are his!” (Psalm 24:1). This includes our money.

From When God Whispers Your Name by Max Lucado



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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9/27/14 3:55 A

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Discharged From Prison

by Max Lucado • September 26

Have you ever heard of a discharged prisoner who wanted to stay? Nor have I. When the doors open, prisoners leave! The thought of a person preferring jail over freedom doesn’t compute. Once the penalty is paid, why live under bondage? You are discharged from the penitentiary of sin. Why, in heaven’s name, would you ever want to set foot in prison again?

The Apostle Paul reminds us in Romans 6:6-7, “Our old life died with Christ on the cross so that our sinful selves would have no power over us and we would not be slaves to sin.”

He is not saying it is impossible for believers to sin; he’s just saying it’s stupid for believers to sin. What does the prison have that you desire? Do you miss the guilt? Are you homesick for dishonesty? Was life better when you were dejected and rejected? It makes no sense to go back to prison!

From In the Grip of Grace



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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9/26/14 1:49 A

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The Test of Love

by Max Lucado

Romans 5:8 says, “God shows his great love for us in this way. Christ died for us while we were still sinners.”

A friend of mine tells of the man who set out to adopt a troubled teenage girl. One would question the father’s logic. The girl was destructive, disobedient and dishonest. One day she ransacked the house looking for money. By the time he arrived, she was gone and the house was in shambles. Friends urged him not to finalize the adoption. “Let her go,” they said. “After all, she’s not really your daughter.” His response was simply, “Yes, I know. But I told her she was.”

God, too, has made a covenant to adopt his people. It’s one thing to love us when we’re strong, obedient and willing. But when we ransack his house and steal what is his? This is the test of love. And God passes the test.

From In the Grip of Grace By Max Lucado



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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9/25/14 9:06 A

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Every Spiritual Blessing

by Max Lucado • September 25

You possess (get this!) every spiritual blessing possible. Ephesians 1:3 promises that “in Christ, God has given us every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms.” This is the gift offered to the lowliest sinner on earth. Who could make such an offer but God? John 1:16 says, “From him we all received one gift after another.”

Romans 11:33 asks, have you ever come upon anything quite like this extravagant love of God, this deep, deep, wisdom? It’s way over our heads. We’ll never figure it out. Is there anyone around who can explain God? Anyone smart enough to tell him what to do? Anyone who’s done him such a huge favor that God has to ask his advice? Everything comes from him. Everything comes through him. Everything ends up in him. Always glory! Always praise! Yes, yes, and yes!

From In the Grip of Grace by Max Lucado


IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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9/24/14 7:55 A

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He Calls You His Child

by Max Lucado

You may know what it’s like to carry a stigma. Each time your name is mentioned, your calamity follows.

“Have you heard from John lately? You know, the fellow who got divorced?”
“We got a letter from Jerry. Remember him, the alcoholic?”
“I saw Melissa today. I don’t know why she can’t keep a job.”

Like a pesky sibling, your past follows you wherever you go. Isn’t there anyone who sees you for who you are and not what you did? Yes, there is One who does, your king. When God speaks of you, he doesn’t mention your plight, pain, or problem; he lets you share in His glory. He calls you His child.

God proved His love for us by sacrificing His Son. Psalm 103:12 says, He has “taken our sins away from us as far as the east is from the west.” Christ died for us while we were still sinners.

From In the Grip of Grace by Max Lucado.



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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9/22/14 1:09 A

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A Vision of the Reward

by Max Lucado

Paul said in II Corinthians 4:16-18, “We do not lose heart. . .for our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.” Hear what Paul called “light and momentary”—not what I’d have called them, and I think you’ll agree. Imprisoned. Beaten. Stoned. Shipwrecked three times. In constant danger. Hungry and thirsty. Light and momentary troubles? How could Paul describe endless trials with that phrase? He tells us. He could see “an eternal glory that far out-weighs them all.”

And you–you want to go on, but some days the road seems so long. Let me encourage you with this: God never said the journey would be easy, but he did say that the arrival would be worth it!

From In the Eye of the Storm by Max Lucado


IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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9/21/14 5:14 P

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emoticon It is my pleasure.

IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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THELOSER82 Posts: 232
9/21/14 4:56 P

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Thanks for doing "Devotions for Dieters". I really appreciate your efforts.

DIDMIS's Photo DIDMIS Posts: 103,253
9/21/14 7:58 A

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Moral Absolutes

by Max Lucado

When I was nine years old, I complimented a friend’s model airplane. He said, “I stole it!” He could tell I was stunned because he asked, “Do you think that was wrong?” When I told him I did, he answered simply, “It may be wrong for you, but it’s not wrong for me. I know the owner. He’s rich…I’m not.”

What do you say to that argument? If the majority opinion determines good and evil, what happens when the majority is wrong? A godly view of the world has something to say to my childhood thief. You may think it’s right. Society may think it’s okay. But the God who made you said, ‘You shall not steal’—and he wasn’t kidding. The hedonist’s world of no moral absolutes works fine on paper and sounds great in a college philosophy course, but in life? Paul described it best in Romans 1:21, “Their foolish minds were filled with darkness.”

From In the Grip of Grace by Max Lucado



IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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9/20/14 6:45 A

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Peace with God

by Max Lucado

As a monk and his apprentice walked back to the abbey, the younger man was unusually quiet. But when asked if anything was wrong the student responded, “What business is it of yours?” When the abbey came in sight, the monk asked, “Tell me my son. What troubles your soul?” “I’ve sinned greatly,” he sobbed. I’m not worthy to enter the abbey at your side.” The teacher putting his arm around the student said, “We’ll enter the abbey together. And together we’ll confess your sin. No one but God will know which of the two of us fell.”

Doesn’t that describe what God has done for us? When we kept our silence, we withdrew from him. But our confession of faults alters our perception. Romans 5:1 says, “Since we have been made right with God by our faith, we have peace with God.” God is no longer a foe, but a friend!

From In the Grip of Grace
by Max Lucado.


IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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9/18/14 11:09 A

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IRENE FROM TEXAS
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)



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