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DIDMIS's Photo DIDMIS Posts: 97,218
10/5/12 12:17 A

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My Hope is in Jesus Christ

Through life I've sang Salvation's song
I've had my ups and downs
I've tried my best to do no wrong
But still I've raised some frowns

I love my God with heart and soul
Though still I feel some pain
Christ washed me clean He made me whole
I'm free and born again

By grace, I'm in Salvation's hand
In Christ my life is new
Through faith I've learned to understand
That Jesus' love is true

Within my Lord I'm more than glad
We talk both night and day
I seek His joy when feeling sad
And for His peace I pray

I'm growing old my hair is white
My blood is running thin
But praise the Lord for giving Light
And freeing me of sin

The world may say my life is through
Now soon I'll see my grave
Yet while I'm here I'll share with you
That Christ is here to save

Although of aged flesh and bone
Of death I've no more fear
For Jesus changed this heart of stone
And came to dwell in here

Upon the Lord we can depend
Through Him we learn to cope
I'll stay in Christ until the end
In Him! I've placed my hope.


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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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DIDMIS's Photo DIDMIS Posts: 97,218
10/4/12 12:09 A

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The Center of the Bible

Q: What is the shortest chapter in the Bible?
A: Psalms 117

Q: What is the longest chapter in the Bible?
A: Psalms 119

Q: Which chapter is in the center of the Bible?
A: Psalms 118

Fact: There are 594 chapters before Psalms 118
Fact: There are 594 chapters after Psalms 118
Add these numbers up and you get 1188.

Q: What is the center verse in the Bible?
A: Psalms 118:8

Q: Does this verse say something significant about God's perfect will for our lives?

The next time someone says they would like to find God's perfect will for their lives and that they want to be in the center of His will, just send them to the center of His Word!

Psalms 118:8
"It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man." Now isn't that odd how this worked out (or was God in the center of it)?

When things get tough, always remember...
Faith doesn't get you around trouble, it gets you through it !!


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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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10/3/12 12:35 A

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So Many Hurts
-
Today's MP3

If hurts were hairs—we’d all look like grizzlies!

So many hurts. When teachers ignore your work, their neglect hurts. When your girlfriend drops you, when your husband abandons you, when the company fires you, it hurts. Rejection always does. People bring pain.

Sometimes deliberately. Sometimes randomly.

So where do you turn? Hitman.com? Jim Beam and friends? Pity Party Catering Service? Retaliation has its appeal. But Jesus has a better idea!

Grace is not blind. It sees the hurt full well. But Grace chooses to see God’s forgiveness even more. Hebrews 12:15 asks us to, “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”

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

From GRACE 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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10/1/12 11:16 P

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I Am a Christian

When I say ... "I am a Christian"
I'm not shouting, "I'm saved"
I'm whispering, "I get lost!"
"That is why I chose this way"

When I say ... "I am a Christian"
I don't speak of this with pride
I'm confessing that I stumble,
and need someone to be my guide

When I say ... "I am a Christian"
I'm not trying to be strong,
I'm professing that I'm weak,
and pray for strength to carry on

When I say ... "I am a Christian"
I'm not bragging of success,
I'm admitting that I've failed,
and cannot ever pay the debt

When I say ... "I am a Christian"
I'm not claiming to be perfect,
my flaws are way too visible
but God believes I'm worth it

When I say ... "I am a Christian"
I still feel the sting of pain
I have my share of heartaches
which is why I seek His Name

When I say ... "I am a Christian"
I do not wish to judge
I have no authority,
I only know I'm loved!


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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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10/1/12 5:18 A

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Enough of This Frenzy
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Today's MP3

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

Stop it! Once and for all, enough of this frenzy!

Hebrews 13:9 tells us, “Your hearts should be strengthened by God’s grace, not by obeying rules.” Just the opposite.

In Matthew 11:28 Jesus promises: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”

There’s no fine print. A second shoe isn’t going to drop. God’s promise has no hidden language.

Let Grace happen. You have His unending affection. Stretch yourself out in the hammock of Grace. You can rest now!

From GRACE 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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9/29/12 11:54 P

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Let Grace Happen
-
Today's MP3

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

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

But some thorny questions surfaced. How good is good? What is the permitted percentage of exaggeration?

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

Unearned. A gift. Our merits merit nothing.

Let grace happen, for heaven’s sake. Of all the things you must earn in life, God’s unending affection is not one of them. You have it!

From 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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9/29/12 12:42 A

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God's Pearls of Wisdom

You say: "It's impossible"
God says: All things are possible
(Luke 18:27)

You say: "I'm too tired"
God says: I will give you rest
(Matthew 11:28-30)

You say: "Nobody really loves me"
God says: I love you
(John 3:16 & John 3:34)

You say: "I can't go on"
God says: My grace is sufficient
(2 Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15)

You say: "I can't figure things out"
God says: I will direct your steps
(Proverbs 3:5-6)

You say: "I can't do it"
God says: You can do all things
(Philippians 4:13)

You say: "I'm not able"
God says: I am able
(2 Corinthians 9:8)

You say: "It's not worth it"
God says: It will be worth it
(Romans 8:28)

You say: "I can't forgive myself"
God says: I Forgive you
(I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1)

You say: "I can't manage"
God says: I will supply all your needs
(Philippians 4:19)

You say: "I'm afraid"
God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear
(2 Timothy 1:7)

You say: "I'm always worried and frustrated"
God says: Cast all your cares on ME
(I Peter 5:7)

You say: "I'm not smart enough"
God says: I give you wisdom
(I Corinthians 1:30)

You say: "I feel all alone"
God says: I will never leave you or forsake you
(Hebrews 13:5)


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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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DIDMIS's Photo DIDMIS Posts: 97,218
9/27/12 9:40 P

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Make it Personal
-
Today's MP3

Christ took away your sins. He endured not just the nails of the Romans, the mockery of the crowd, and the spear of the soldier, but the anger of God!

God didn’t overlook your sins, lest he endorse them. He didn’t punish you lest he destroy you. He instead found a way to punish the sin and preserve the sinner. Jesus took your punishment, and God gave you the credit for Jesus’ perfection. As long as the cross is God’s gift to the world, it will touch you but not change you.

Precious as it is to proclaim, “Christ died for the world,” even sweeter it is to whisper, “Christ died for me!”

For my sins he died. He took my place on the cross. He felt my shame and

spoke my name. Thank God for the day Jesus took your place, for the day Grace happened to you!

From 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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9/26/12 11:20 P

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-
Today's MP3

We are incarcerated by our past, our low-road choices, and our high-minded pride. We have been found guilty!

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

The door swings open, the guard barks, “Get out.” And we find ourselves shackles gone, crimes pardoned, wondering, what just happened?

Grace happened! Christ took away your sins.

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

What happened? Grace happened!

From GRACE 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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9/25/12 11:54 P

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The Rain

One rainy afternoon I was driving along one of the main streets of town, taking those extra precautions necessary when the roads are wet and slick. Suddenly, my daughter, Aspen, spoke up from her relaxed position in her seat.

"Dad, I'm thinking of something." This announcement usually meant she had been pondering some fact for a while, and was now ready to expound all that her six-year-old mind had discovered. I was eager to hear. "What are you thinking?" I asked. "The rain!;" she began, "is like sin, and the windshield wipers are like God wiping our sins away."

After the chill bumps raced up my arms I was able to respond. "That's really good, Aspen." Then my curiosity broke in. How far would this little girl take this revelation? So I asked... "Do you notice how the rain keeps on coming? What does that tell you?" Aspen didn't hesitate one moment with her answer: "We keep on sinning, and God just keeps on forgiving us."

I will always remember this whenever I turn my wipers on. In order to see the rainbow, you must first endure some rain.


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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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9/24/12 2:54 P

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Well Pleased

“And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased’” (Matthew 3:17).

Am I well pleasing to the Lord? Do I model a life of submission to my Savior? Do I defer all honor and glory to Him? For my heavenly Father to be well pleased with me is the heartbeat of humility. This means at times I displease others to please my Master Jesus. I will choose to embrace beliefs and behaviors that are other-worldly and can cause conflict.

A Christian, pleasing to Christ, first learns that to be raised high means to begin low. Jesus did not begin His ministry baptizing, but rather being baptized. He required of Himself everything expected from everyone else. Humble leaders do this; they follow the agreed upon guidelines, realizing no one is above the rules. It is with a humble heart that a leader discerns the Lord’s ways and then lives them out in front of the faithful and faithless.

Perhaps goodhearted people seek to place you on a pedestal of admiration and honor. It is at this point of recognition that you keep your spirit low, as your reputation is on the rise. The Lord sustains His blessing for those who defer honor back to Him. It pleases your heavenly Father to see you engage in humble acts, especially as your influence grows. The closer you grow to Christ, the more you see the need for His grace and forgiveness.

You can only deal with the soul of another if Jesus has dealt with your soul. It pleases Him when you first pronounce yourself needy before heaven, before pointing out the needs of another. Humility looks inward at the heart before it outwardly observes the issues of another. The Lord is pleased when you take the lead to repent.

Go public with your faith after you have been private in prayer. This solemn preparation pleases your heavenly Father. Moreover, have you proclaimed your faith publically in baptism? It pleases God for you to go public for Him. It is an honor becoming your sacred accountability. Private intimacy with your heavenly Father leads to a public inauguration of your faith. He is well pleased with you when you publically pronounce Him the Lord over your life. Humility pleases Him. Why? It listens and obeys.

“Then the Lord spoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form; there was only a voice. He declared to you his covenant, the Ten Commandments, which he commanded you to follow” (Deuteronomy 4:12–13).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, may I bring a smile to Your face in honoring You with my attitudes and actions?

Related Readings: Job 37:5; Haggai 1:12; John 5:25; Hebrews 4:7

Post/Tweet: We go public with our faith after we have been private in prayer. #prayer

Get free eBook “Infusion” by inviting 5 friends to Wisdom Hunters http://bit.ly/PEbaBJ

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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9/24/12 1:02 A

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Dead Ducks Don't Flutter

Many years ago, a wealthy man went duck hunting with a hired hand named Sam.They took a horse and carriage, and along the way a rim came off one of the wheels. As Sam hammered it back on, he accidentally hit his finger. Instantly he let go with some bad words. He quickly fell to his knees, asking God's forgiveness. "Lord, it's difficult at times to live the Christian life", he prayed. "Sam" said the man, "I know you're a Christian, but tell me why you struggle so, I'm an atheist, and I don't have problems like that."

Sam didn't know what to say. Just then two ducks flew overhead. The man raised his gun and two shots rang out. "Leave the dead one and go after that wounded bird!" he shouted. Sam pointed at the duck that was fluttering desperately to escape and said, "I've got an answer for you now, Boss. You said my Christianity isn't any good because I have to struggle so. Well, I'm the wounded duck, and struggle to get away from the devil. But you Boss, you're the dead duck!"

That insight fits Paul's description of his Christian experience in Romans 7: 14-25. Struggle is one evidence of God's work in our lives Forgiveness of sin is available, so don't despair. Remember, dead ducks don't flutter.

-Dennis De Hann


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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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9/22/12 6:17 P

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Small Things

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” Zechariah 4:10 (NLT)

Small things are big to God, so they are not to be discounted or despised. After all, our Savior is into the small things. Our pride wants to get on to the larger and more important opportunities. It dismisses the mundane or the monotonous. But success and significance are also found in the small details.

A quiet smile to a restaurant server is small, but significant. A little gift to an unsuspecting sanitation worker is small, but significant. Learning the names of a blue-collar worker’s children in your company, and occasionally joining him for lunch is small, but significant. Attention to small things makes people big. Celebrate an office employee’s birthday over breakfast, or an important personal milestone over lunch or dinner. When we give attention to small things, we say we care. Private acts of love foster public loyalty and long-term commitment. It is the attention to small things that builds great people and grows great companies.

This is also true with our children. If we want influence with them when they face big issues as teenagers and adults, it is imperative we show interest in the small things of their childhood. Parental investment in ballgames, recitals, school plays, scouts, church camps, outdoors, homework, shared hobbies, and church all add up to an invitation to big things. Little things like tucking them in at night will one day give them the trust to invite us into the dark night of their souls. Investment in the small things invites our having influence with the big things.

Therefore, do not despise this season of small things. They are like seeds that eventually grow into grand and glorious opportunities of influence. There is a definite sequence of seed planting, watering, fertilizing, and cultivating. The process can become boring and seem unproductive, but this illustrates how God works. Your Savior is into stringing together a sequence of small activities that lead to larger outcomes. So stay with the small things, for in due season you will reap the harvest.

God may allow you to harvest far beyond what you could have imagined in the beginning. How much is it worth for your spouse to become your best friend? It won’t happen overnight, but faithfulness to the small things will facilitate the reality of your hopes and dreams.

Furthermore, when you experience a string of small things with Jesus, your faith becomes large. So, be aware of the need for a little prayer to the Lord. Stay dependent on God along life’s path of small steps. When He sees you being faithful with His small opportunities, He can then trust you with the larger ones.

The small things you do honor God: bowing a head before a meal, showing up early for an appointment, memorizing a brief Bible verse, or giving a small anonymous gift. Any small expression with the Lord in mind goes a long way. The Almighty values small things because everything is small to Him. He is large and in charge, but His small tests lead to His best opportunities. Don’t miss this, or you may miss Him. Big things are often disguised as small things, so treat them with respect.

You never know when you might be serving Jesus or entertaining angels. Therefore treasure small things. They are big and they matter, and they may matter most. The Bible says, “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:2).

Taken from September 18th reading in the 365-day devotional book, “Seeking Daily the Heart of God”… http://bit.ly/bQHNIE


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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9/20/12 7:49 P

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Riding the High Wire

In 1940 a great high wire artist was putting on a performance over Niagara Falls. A cable had been stretched from Canada to the US. He started from the Canadian side and was crossing to America. In front he was pushing a wheelbarrow. One foot at a time he crossed the wire, below millions of tons of water were crashing over the falls. The artist with nerves of steel pushes his wheelbarrow across. As he reaches the American side wild cheers were sent up, drowning out the roar of the great falls. He stood alone on the platform, hands raised high, and yelled to the crowd below. "Do you believe I can do it again?" The crowd went into a frenzied roar. He yelled again, "Do I have a volunteer to ride in the wheelbarrow?" All you could hear was the roar from the falls, the crowd was silent.

A lot of Christians believe God, but they are afraid to trust their lives to Him. How sad, imagine what a wild ride they will miss. With Jesus' hands on the wheelbarrow, taking us high above life's problems. With the rest of the crowd looking up wishing. Just wishing.


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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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9/19/12 1:19 A

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Because Jesus Is In Charge

I know that no matter what happens in this life,
everything is going to work out for the best.
Because Jesus is in charge,
and that gives my soul rest.
I go to the Lord in prayer,
and put my life in His loving Hands.
I pour out my heart to Him,
and know that He can.
For there is nothing the Lord can't do,
and He'll do it for you.


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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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9/17/12 11:13 P

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A Prayer... My Prayer

I lift my soul to the God of all nations,
and offer my service to all of His creation.
I accept my place in all that is,
and worship the beauty of my own being.
I accept the beliefs of all who are capable of believing,
but reject their beliefs as having influence on my own experience.

I believe in the Goodness of life and the beauty of Death,
I welcome unpleasant experiences whenever they arise
as these experiences make the Goodness of life perceivable.

I accept that there are things that are unknowable to men
and receive this as a blessing to the Creative Soul.
I give this prayer as affirmation to none but myself,
as it is I who needs the reminding.


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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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9/15/12 11:39 P

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What Goes Around Comes Around

His name was Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer. One day, while trying to eke out a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He dropped his tools and ran to the bog. There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death.

The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman's sparce surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the little boy Farmer Fleming had saved. "I want to repay you," said the nobleman. "You saved my boys life."

"No, I cannot accept payment for what I did," the farmer replied, waving off the offer. At that moment, the farmer's own son came to the door of the family hovel. "Is that your son?" the nobleman asked. "Yes," the farmer replied proudly. "I'll make you a deal. Let me take him and give him a good education. If the lad is anything like his father, he'll grow to a man you can be proud of."

And that he did. In time, Farmer Fleming's son graduated from St. Mary's Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin.

Years afterward, the nobleman's son was stricken with pneumonia. What saved him? Penicillin. The name of the nobleman? Lord Randolph Churchill. His son's name? Sir Winston Churchill.

Someone once said what goes around comes around. Jesus said it much better. "Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38


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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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9/15/12 12:34 A

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Jesus is Our CEO

Advertisements in the world are many,
Billions spent making us think plenty,
How did we ever survive before?
This product came knocking at our door.

Beg, borrow, buy, sell, rent, and/or lease,
You'll never make it in the world without one of these,
As though there will never be another available piece,
I want it even if I have to lie, cheat, steal or fleece.

Even though the laws have outlawed it,
That's why are our jails are over crowded,
I have to, I must, and I desperately need,
Is pushing God away from the inside of me.

C.E.O.'s campaign to get hired,
Only later to retire or be fired,
Which is first to rear its head and holler?
Of course the bottom line is the dollar.

The product may make you more sick than well,
But that doesn't matter if it will sell,
The consumer is always the guinea pig,
Sometimes paying with an early grave to dig.

Yes, mansions, yachts and private jets,
Are some of the perks a C.E.O. will get,
While shoppers run amok in area malls,
Like horses for the meat wagon packed in stalls.

Hold on; just wait a minute, I can't believe,
You bought that for them and this for me?
Stop! Jesus said, "it is better to give than receive",
Take a long hard look at it, do you really need...?

Advertisements are polluting our minds with impure thoughts,
It's not the gift but the fact that it was bought,
To swallow your pride this is all you have to do,
Put a smile on you face and just say "thank you".

OK, now it's time to get back to the matter at hand,
Exactly who is the big boss of all the land?
Only One is in charge with all power and might,
A Chief Executive Officer named Jesus Christ.


More GodVine


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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9/13/12 7:12 P

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Jesus is My Wish For You

This is a beautiful short poem for anyone you feel needs to find Jesus. The words are so true.

My wish for you is Jesus,
He's all you need today,
The Mighty God, Prince of Peace,
The Light, the Truth, the Way,

He's with you in times of good,
He'll be with you when they are bad,
Laugh with you on happy days,
Beside you when you're sad,

So look to Him from your heart
For choices you must make,
He'll guide you and protect you,
In every step you take.


More GodVine

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 to Jesus Christ

O Lord, I want to walk with Thee,
In Thine footsteps to Calvary;
And share the burden of Thine cross,
Thou carried for our sins, Alas!

O Jesus, I must talk with Thee,
All life-time in my life earthly;
Receiving wisdom heavenly,
To tread the path of Thine glory.

O Christ, I want to follow Thee,
To Thine abode- Eternity,
Avoiding sins that hinder me,
From seeing Thee Lord, finally.

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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Letting God Take Over

When I have moments of complete anxiety . . .
Of doubt, fear, or despair . . .
When I feel depressed, angry or with hate . . .
When I feel my life in general are a vicious circle . . .
And I feel that everything repeats itself . . .
The good and the evil; the beautiful and the ugly . . .
The hard work and the crime; the vice
and the violence . . .
The treason, the hypocrisy and the marble heart . . .
Feeling sad and angry, rebellious,
rancorous, vengeful . . .
Not knowing why . . .
When I can do no more . . .
I just relax and put my life in God's hands and pray. . .
The Patter Noster or the Act of Faith,
The Hail Mary or the Act of Contrition . . .
Or I just say, "Oh, Sacred Heart of Jesus,
I Confide In Thee . . ."
Or, "Oh, my God, have mercy on me . . ."
I just drop everything in God's hands and rest . . .
And the solutions to my problems begin to appear . . .
And I, like Jesus Christ, resurrect to a better and happier life . . .


More GodVine

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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9/9/12 10:19 P

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What the Bible Means

A father was approached by his small son, who told him proudly, "I know what the Bible means!"

His father smiled and replied, "What do you mean, you 'know' what the Bible means?"

The son replied, "I do know!"

"Okay," said his father. "So, Son, what does the Bible mean?"

"That's easy, Daddy. It stands for 'Basic Information Before Leaving Earth.'"


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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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Thank You Jesus

We should always remember to thank Jesus. There are so many things to be thankful for :)

Thank you Jesus for your love that you've given to me
Thank you Jesus for your mercy that is always so free
Thank you Jesus for you dying on Calvary's tree
Thank you Jesus for what you've done for me.

Thank you Jesus for your grace that you've given to me
Thank you Jesus for your love that is always so free
Thank you Jesus for your blessings I see every day
Thank you Jesus for what you've done for me.

Thank you Jesus for your life that you've given to me
Thank you Jesus for the cross that has set me so free
Thank you Jesus for your caring for all of my sin
Thank you Jesus for what you've done for me.

Thank you Jesus for the mansion you've built there for me
Thank you Jesus for heaven where I'll always be free
Thank you Jesus for making my life full of joy
Thank you Jesus for what you've done for me.

Lee Stuck



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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9/7/12 11:04 P

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Make a Choice
-
Today's MP3

Maybe your past isn’t much to brag about. Maybe you’ve seen raw evil—and now you have to make a choice. Do you rise above the past and make a difference? Or do you remain controlled by the past and make excuses?

Healthy bodies. Sharp minds. But retired dreams. Back and forth they rock in the chair of regret. Lean closely and you’ll hear them.

If only I’d been born somewhere else. . .

If only I’d been treated fairly. . .

If only I’d had more opportunities. . .if only. . .

Put down the scrapbook of your life and pick up the Bible. Read Jesus’ words in John 3:6: “Human life comes from human parents but spiritual life comes from the Spirit.”

God has not left you adrift on a sea of heredity. You have a choice in the path you take.

Choose well!

From Cast of Characters 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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A Godly Touch
-
Today's MP3

The power of a godly touch. Have you known it? The doctor who treated you, or the teacher who dried your tears? Was there a hand holding yours at a funeral?

Haven’t we known the power of a godly touch? Can’t we offer the same?

Some of you use your hands to pray for the sick. If you aren’t touching them personally, you’re writing notes, calling, baking pies. You’ve learned the power of a touch.

But others tend to forget. Our hearts are good; it’s just that our memories are bad. We forget how significant one touch can be.

We fear saying the wrong thing, or using the wrong tone or acting the wrong way. So rather than do it incorrectly, we do nothing at all.

Aren’t we glad Jesus didn’t make the same mistake? Jesus touched the untouchables of the world. Will you do the same?



From Cast of Characters 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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9/5/12 10:47 P

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I Trust in Jesus

Before this body turns to dust
Before this world I leave
Upon The Lord I've placed my trust
Upon The Rock I'll cleave


I've placed my trust in Jesus Christ
God's Son of flesh and bone
The innocent Lamb sacrificed
I trust His word alone


I trust He chose for man to die
Then rose again to reign
That as God's Seed He'd multiply
His flock when born-again


I trust His blood can cleanse the soul
I trust His blood can save
His very name can make us whole
And save us from the grave


I trust in Jesus' loving care
I trust He bore my shame
I trust the love He came to share
Remains today the same


I trust the pardon Jesus bought
Can save this wretch from hell
I trust Salvation's true report
My Saviour had to tell


Although the devil's out to harm
Though Satan's he's out to kill
I trust my Lord's almighty arm
I trust His righteous will


I trust my life to Christ The Lord
I trust in Heaven's Door
I trust in God's Almighty Sword
I'll trust Him evermore...
Michael P. Johnson


More GodVine 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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9/4/12 11:12 A

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You Are His
-
Today's MP3

God’s grace defines you!

Society labels you like a can on an assembly line. Stupid. Unproductive. Slow learner. Fast talker. Quitter. But as grace infiltrates, criticism disintegrates. You know you aren’t who they say you are.

You are who God says you are: “spiritually alive.” Heavenly positioned, “seated with him in the heavenly realms.” “One with Jesus Christ.”

Of course, not all labels are negative. Some people regard you as clever, successful. But it doesn’t compare with being “seated with him in the heavenly realms!” God creates the Christian’s resume!

Grace defines who you are. The parent you can’t please is as mistaken as the doting uncle you can’t disappoint.

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

According to Him, you are His. Period.

“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:6

From Cast of Characters

Max’s newest book, GRACE, is shipping soon from MaxLucado.com.

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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9/2/12 11:51 P

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Nothing Compares With Him
-
Today's MP3

To what can we compare God? Who is like the Lord?

What you are to a paper airplane, God is to you.

Make one. Challenge it to race you around the block. Who’s faster?

Invite the airplane to a game of one-on-one basketball. Will you not dominate the court? And well you should.

The thing exists only because you formed it and flies only when someone throws it.

God asks Isaiah: “To whom will you compare me? Who is my equal?” As if his question needed an answer, he gives one: I am God. I alone! I am God, and there is no one else like me.

King David marveled, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence?” (Psalm 139:7)

You and I may have power. But God is power. No one and nothing compares with Him!

From Cast of Characters 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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9/1/12 10:25 P

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Your Family
-
Today's MP3

Is your fantasy that your family will be like the Waltons? An expectation that your dearest friends will be your next of kin? Jesus didn’t have that expectation.

Look how Jesus defined his family in Mark 3:35: “My true brother and sister and mother are those who do what God wants.”

He recognized that his spiritual family could provide what his physical family didn’t. If Jesus himself couldn’t force his family to share his convictions, what makes you think you can force yours?

We can’t control the way our family responds to us. We have to move beyond the naive expectation that if we do good, our family will treat us right. I can’t assure you your family will ever give you the blessing you seek, but I know this- God will.

Accept God as your Father! Let God give you what your family doesn’t!



From Cast of Characters 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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9/1/12 1:59 A

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Sand and Stone

There is a story about two friends who were walking through the desert. Halfway through the journey they had an argument and one friend slapped the other in the face.

The one who was slapped felt hurt, but without saying anything he wrote in the sand: "Today my best friend slapped me in the face."

They kept on walking until they found an oasis where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped began to drown and his friend saved him. When he recovered from the ordeal, he wrote on a stone: "Today my best friend saved my life."

His friend asked him, "Why, after I hurt you, did you write in the sand and now you write on a stone?"

The man, smiling, replied: "When a friend hurts us, we should write it down in the sand, where the winds of forgiveness can erase it away. And when something great happens, we should engrave it on the stone of the memory of our heart, where no wind can erase it."


More GodVine

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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8/31/12 1:22 A

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Saved By God's Wings

An article in National Geographic several years ago provided an interesting picture of God's wings. After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno's damage.

One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree. Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick. When he gently struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother's wings.

The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offsprings to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise. She could have flown to safety but had refused to abandon her babies.

Then the blaze had arrived and the heat had scorched her small body. The mother had remained steadfast. She had been willing to die, so those under the cover of her wings would live.

"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge." (Psalm 91:4)

Being loved this much should make a difference in your life. Remember the One who loves you, and then be different because of it.


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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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8/30/12 8:31 A

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Having Lunch With God

A little boy wanted to meet God. He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his suitcase with Twinkies and a six-pack of root beer and started his journey.

When he had gone about three blocks, he met an old man. He was sitting in the park just staring at some pigeons. The boy sat down next to him and opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his root beer when he noticed that the old man looked hungry, so he offered him a Twinkie. He gratefully accepted it and smiled at him. His smile was so pleasant that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered him a root beer. Again, he smiled at him. The boy was delighted! They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word.

As it grew dark, the boy realized how tired he was and got up to leave, but before he had gone more than a few steps, he turned around, ran back to the old man and gave him a hug. He gave him his biggest smile ever.

When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked him, "What did you do today that made you so happy?" He replied, "I had lunch with God." And before his mother could respond, he added, "You know what? He's got the most beautiful smile I've ever seen."

Meanwhile, the old man, also radiant with joy, returned to his home. His son was stunned by the look of peace on his face and asked, "Dad, what did you do today that made you so happy?" He replied, "I ate Twinkies in the park with God." And before his son responded, he added, "You know, he's much younger than I expected."

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Embrace all equally.

Let people know how important they are. (Have lunch with God!)


More GodVine

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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8/29/12 4:01 A

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The Handwriting on the Wall

A weary mother returned from the store,
Lugging groceries through the kitchen door.
Awaiting her arrival was her 8 year old son,
Anxious to relate what his younger brother had done.

"While I was out playing and Dad was on a call,
T.J. took his crayons and wrote on the wall!
It's on the new paper you just hung in the den.
I told him you'd be mad at having to do it again."

She let out a moan and furrowed her brow,
"Where is your little brother right now?"
She emptied her arms and with a purposeful stride,
She marched to his closet where he had gone to hide.

She called his full name as she entered his room.
He trembled with fear--he knew that meant doom!
For the next ten minutes, she ranted and raved
About the expensive wallpaper and how she had saved.

Lamenting all the work it would take to repair,
She condemned his actions and total lack of care.
The more she scolded, the madder she got,
Then stomped from his room, totally distraught!

She headed for the den to confirm her fears.
When she saw the wall, her eyes flooded with tears.
The message she read pierced her soul with a dart.
It said, "I love Mommy," surrounded by a heart.

Well, the wallpaper remained, just as she found it,
With an empty picture frame hung to surround it.
A reminder to her, and indeed to all,
Take time to read the handwriting on the wall


More GodVine

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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8/28/12 1:38 A

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Let Us All Eat at the Same Table

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law and four year old grandson. The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered.

The family ate together at the table, but the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth. The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. "We must do something about grandfather," said the son. "I've had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor."

So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl. When the family glanced in grandfather's direction, he sometimes had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food. The four year old watched it all in silence.

One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, "What are you making?" Just as sweetly the boy responded, "Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Momma to eat your food from when I grow up." The four year old smiled and went back to work.

The words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no words were spoken, both knew what must be done. That evening the husband took grandfather's hand and gently led him back to the family table.

For the remainder of his days, he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.

---

Children are remarkably perceptive. Their eyes ever observe, their ears ever listen, and their minds ever process the message they absorb. If they see us patiently provide a happy home atmosphere for family members, they will imitate that attitude for the rest of their lives. The wise parent realizes that every day the building blocks are being laid for the child's future.

Let us be wise builders. From Godvine

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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8/27/12 12:47 A

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Worth Saving
-
Today's MP3

No one believed in people more than Jesus did. He saw something in Peter worth developing, in the adulterous woman worth forgiving, and in John worth harnessing.

He saw something in the thief on the cross, and what he saw was worth saving. And in the life of a wild-eyed, bloodthirsty extremist, He saw the apostle of grace. He believed in Saul.

Don’t give up on your Saul. When others write him off, give him another chance. Stay strong. Call him brother. Call her sister. It’s too soon to throw in the towel. Talk to your Saul about Jesus, and pray.

God is at work behind the scenes. And remember this: God never sends you where he hasn’t already been. By the time you reach your Saul, who knows what you’ll find.

God used Saul, who became Paul, to touch the world.

Has God given you a Saul?

From Cast of Characters

Like UpWords · 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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8/26/12 12:05 A

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To Know the Heart of the Pilot
-


Three passengers share a row of seats in an airplane. As the plane is taxiing for takeoff, their conversation turns to the topic of the airplane pilot.

Stunningly, passenger “A” doesn’t believe one exists. “No one flies the plane. We are guided by a computer system in the terminal. This plane is an occupied drone. Why should I believe otherwise? The cockpit door is closed. Who can know? There is no pilot.”

Passenger “B” disagrees. “Oh, there is a pilot. Someone sits at the controls of the plane. But, once we take off, he takes a nap. He gets the plane in the air and then goes to sleep.”

The third passenger is shocked by what she hears. “You don’t know what you are talking about. First, there is a pilot. Second, the pilot is alert, competent and kind. I know; he is my husband. He is seasoned and sensitive and has every intention of a successful flight. We are in good hands.”

Three passengers. Three opinions. A plane with no pilot. A plane with a disengaged pilot. A plane with a seasoned and concerned pilot. Fast forward a few minutes. Turbulence shakes the plane like popcorn in a paper bag. Will the three passengers experience the flight in the same way? Of the three travelers, which is most prone to stay calm?

Nothing is more important than the right view of God. Nothing. I’ve seen the wealthy and highly educated crumple like cowards at the face of death. I’ve seen the simple and humble take their final breath with a smile and a song. The difference? They knew the Pilot.

You need to know the heart of the pilot. That is why the story of Jesus is in the Bible. He is the only picture of God ever taken. To know Jesus, is to know God. To know God is to know: this flight gets bumpy, but the Pilot? He knows how to get us home.
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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8/25/12 5:40 A

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Always Praying
-
Today's MP3

Early Christians were urged by the apostle Paul to “pray without ceasing.” In Romans 12:12, Paul said: “always be prayerful. And in Ephesians 6:18, to “pray at all times and on every occasion.”

Unceasing prayer may sound complicated, but it needn’t be!

As you stand in line to register your car, think, “Thank you, Lord, for being here.” In the grocery store as you shop. As you load the dishwasher, worship your Maker.

Brother Lawrence was a well-known saint who called himself the “lord of pots and pans.” He wrote: “The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer; and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the blessed sacrament.”

Though a rookie in the League of Unceasing Prayer, I sure enjoy the result! I think you will too.



From Come Thirsty 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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8/23/12 11:48 A

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But now, O Jacob, listen to the LORD who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
(Isaiah 43:1-3 NLT)


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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8/23/12 12:12 A

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Life Stinks
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Today's MP3

Yes, life stinks. But it won’t forever!

As one of my friends likes to say “Everything will work out in the end. If it’s not working out, it’s not the end.”

In the meantime, don’t over-react! Psalm 37:7 reminds us, “Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for Him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.”

Avoid Pollyanna optimism. But neither do we join the Chicken Little chorus of gloom and doom. “The sky is falling.” “The sky is falling!”

Somewhere between Pollyanna and Chicken Little, between denial and blatant panic, stands the follower of Christ.

Psalm 27:3 says, “My heart shall not fear—though war arise against me, yes, I will be confident!”

Confident in Him. 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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8/21/12 11:41 P

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A Memo From God

-----
MEMO FROM GOD
-----

To: YOU
Date: TODAY
From: THE BOSS
Subject: YOURSELF
Reference: LIFE

I am God.

Today I will be handling all of your problems. Please remember that I do not need your help.

If life happens to deliver a situation to you that you cannot handle, do not attempt to resolve it. Kindly put it in the SFGTD (something for God to do) box. All situations will be resolved... but in My time, not yours.

Once the matter is placed into the box, do not hold onto it by worrying about it. Instead, focus on all the wonderful things that are present in your life now

If you find yourself stuck in traffic; Don't despair. There are people in this world for whom driving is an unheard of privilege.

Should you have a bad day at work; Think of the man who has been out of work for years.

Should you despair over a relationship gone bad; Think of the person who has never known what it's like to love and be loved in return.

Should you grieve the passing of another weekend; Think of the woman in dire straits, working twelve hours a day, seven days a week to feed her children.

Should your car break down, leaving you miles away from assistance; Think of the paraplegic who would love the opportunity to take that walk.

Should you notice a new gray hair in the mirror; Think of the cancer patient in chemo who wishes she had hair to examine.

Should you find yourself at a loss and pondering what is life all about, asking what is my purpose? Be thankful. There are those who didn't live long enough to get the opportunity.

Should you find yourself the victim of other people's bitterness, ignorance, smallness or insecurities; Remember, things could be worse. You could be one of them!

Should you decide to send this to a friend, thank you. You may have touched a life in ways you will never know!


More GodVine 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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8/20/12 8:53 P

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The True Power of Prayer

This is an older story, but it's one of our favorites. So we wanted to share it again for anyone who's never read it.

A missionary on furlough told this true story while visiting his home church in Michigan...

"While serving at a small field hospital in Africa, every two weeks I traveled by bicycle through the jungle to a nearby city for supplies.

This was a journey of two days and required camping overnight at the halfway point. On one of these journeys, I arrived in the city where I planned to collect money from a bank, purchase medicine and supplies, and then begin my two-day journey back to the field hospital.

Upon arrival in the city, I observed two men fighting, one of whom had been seriously injured. I treated him for his injuries and at the same time talked to him about the Lord. I then traveled two days, camping overnight, and arrived home without incident.

Two weeks later I repeated my journey. Upon arriving in the city, I was approached by the young man I had treated. He told me that he had known I carried money and medicines. He said, 'Some friends and I followed you into the jungle, knowing you would camp overnight.

We planned to kill you and take your money and drugs. But just as we were about to move into your camp, we saw that you were surrounded by 26 armed guards. At this, I laughed and said that I was certainly all alone in that jungle campsite. The young man pressed the point, however, and said, 'No sir, I was not the only person to see the guards. My five friends also saw them, and we all counted them. It was because of those guards that we were afraid and left you alone.


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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8/18/12 10:43 P

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Every Day- Closer to Home
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Today's MP3

Too seldom do I hear thunder and think “Is that God?”

I’ve been known to let a day pass, even two days, without a glance to the eastern sky. Let’s do better!

Colossians 3:2 reminds us to “Let heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth.”

Blessings and burdens. Both can alarm-clock us out of slumber. Gifts stir homeward longings. So do struggles. Every homeless day carries us closer to the day our Father will come.

The Bible tells us God will wipe away all tears, there will be no more death, no more sorrow, no more crying, no more pain.

All of that gone forever. Write checks of hope on this promise! With Paul in Romans 8:23, we “wait anxiously for that day when God will give us our full rights as his children.”

Every day—closer to home!

From Come Thirsty

On Pre-Sale Now! GRACE, More Than we Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine by Max Lucado. Shipping soon from our online store!



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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8/17/12 9:09 A

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I never put on two so close together but this is so good I had to put it on for you today to start your day.

A Prayer to Help You Start the Day

This is a prayer to help you get started every day. Inspired by St. Patrick. 

Recite this prayer in the morning and you are ready to face the world.

I arise today through the

power of God:

God's might to comfort me,

God's wisdom to guide me,

God's eye to look before me,

God's ear to hear me,

God's word to speak for me,

God's hand to lead me,

God's way to lie before me,

God's shield to protect me,

God's Heavenly Host to save me

from the snares of the devil,

from temptations to sin,

from all who wish me ill,

from near and afar,

alone and with others.



May Christ shield me today

against poison and fire,

against drowning and wounding,

so that I may fulfill my mission

and bear fruit in abundance.

Christ behind and before me,

Christ behind and above me,

Christ with me and in me,

Christ around and about me,

Christ on my right and on my left,

Christ when I lie down at night,

Christ when I rise in the morning,

Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of everyone that speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,

Christ in every ear that hears me.


More GodVine

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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8/17/12 12:36 A

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Seeing You
-
Today's MP3

Why does God love you so much?

For the same reason the artist loves his paintings. You are His idea!

Ephesians 2:10 confirms that we are “God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

In the movie Hook, Peter Pan had become old and looked nothing like the Peter the lost boys knew. In the midst of the boys shouting that this was NOT Peter, one of the smallest boys pulled him down to his level. He places his hands on Peter’s face, moved the skin around and reshaped his face. The boy looked into Peter’s eyes and said, “There you are, Peter!”

Shh. Listen. Do you hear?

God is saying the same words to you. There you are! There you are!

He’s seeing you and loving the you he sees.

From Fearless 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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8/15/12 5:29 P

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The Sneeze

They walked in tandem, each of the ninety-two students filing into the already crowded auditorium. With their rich maroon gowns flowing ... and the traditional caps, they looked almost as grown up as they felt.

Dads swallowed hard behind broad smiles, and Moms freely brushed away tears.

This class would NOT pray during the commencements - not by choice, but because of a recent court ruling prohibiting it.

The principal and several students were careful to stay within the guidelines allowed by the ruling. They gave inspirational and challenging speeches, but no one mentioned divine guidance and no one asked for blessings on the graduates or their families.

The speeches were nice, but they were routine ... until the final speech received a standing ovation.

A solitary student walked proudly to the microphone. He stood still and silent for just a moment, and then, it happened.

All 92 students, every single one of them, suddenly SNEEZED!!!!

The student on stage simply looked at the audience and said, "GOD BLESS YOU, each and every one of you!" And he walked off stage ...

The audience exploded into applause. This graduating class had found a unique way to invoke God's blessing on their future with or without the court's approval.

This is a true story; it happened at the University of Maryland.


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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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8/15/12 1:36 A

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Chapters in Life
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Today's MP3

Certain chapters in this life seem so unnecessary—like nostrils on the pre-born. Like suffering. Loneliness. Disease. Holocausts. Martyrdom. Hurricanes, earthquakes and monsoons.

If we assume this world exists just for pre-grave happiness, these atrocities disqualify it from doing so! But what if this earth is the womb? Might these challenges, severe as they may be, serve to prepare us, equip us for the world to come?

The apostle Paul wrote in 2nd Corinthians 4:17: “These little troubles are getting us ready for an eternal glory that will make all our troubles seem like nothing.”

Eternal glory? I’d like a large cup of that, wouldn’t you?

Everything in this life is preparing us for the next. 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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8/13/12 12:04 A

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From Poverty to Pride
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Today's MP3

There’s a predictable progression from poverty to pride. The poor man prays and works; God hears and blesses. The humble man becomes rich and forgets God. The faithful, poor man becomes the proud, rich man.

As God said through Hosea, “When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me.” (Hosea 13:6)

How can a person survive prosperity? Scripture says, do not be haughty! Don’t think for a moment that you had anything to do with your accumulation.

Scripture also makes clear that your stocks, cash, and 401k are not yours.

1st Timothy 6:17 warns us, “do not put your trust in uncertain riches.”

Money is an untrustworthy foundation.

Have you noticed that the word “miser” is just one letter short of the word “misery!”

Like UpWords · 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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8/11/12 11:24 P

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Heaven is Your Home
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Today's MP3

The dread of death ends when you know heaven is your true home! In all my air travels I’ve never seen one passenger weep when the plan landed. Never.

No one clings to the armrests and begs, “Don’t’ make me leave! Let me stay and eat more peanuts!” We’re willing to exit because the plane has no permanent mailing address.

Nor does this world.

Paul said in Philippians 3:20: “But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for Him to return as our Savior.”

What about you? Is your fear of dying robbing your joy of living?

Romans 14:9 says, “Christ died and rose again for this very purpose, so that he might be Lord of those who are alive and of those who have died.”

In Christ, heaven is your home!

From Come Thirsty

For Pre-Sale Now! GRACE, More Than we Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine by Max Lucado. Available soon from our online store!

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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8/10/12 11:42 P

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We’re Made Whole
-
Today's MP3

Sin sees the world with no God in it! Where we might think of sin as slip-ups or missteps, God views sin as a godless attitude that leads to godless actions.

Isaiah 53:6 says, “All of us have strayed away like sheep. We have left God’s paths to follow our own.” Sin proclaims, “It’s your life, right? Pump your body with drugs, your mind with greed, your nights with pleasure.” The godless life is a a me-dominated, childish life, a life of doing what we feel like doing, whenever we feel like doing it.

God says to love. I choose to hate. God instructs, forgive. I opt to get even. God calls for self-control. I promote self-indulgence. This is sin.

Jesus took the punishment for that sin, and made us whole. God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong on him.

Trust his work for you, then trust His work in you.

From Come Thirsty 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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8/9/12 9:16 P

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When God Engraved Your Name
-
A person doesn’t have to be a golf fan to empathize with Adam Scott. With four holes to go he had a four shot lead in the British Open. Four shots! Par the final quartet of holes and the trophy was his. Might as well have told him to chew gum. He could par these holes in his sleep. Everyone knew the tournament was his. A craftsman in a nearby workshop began sketching the name Adam Scott on the winner’s medal.

But disaster struck. Missed putts. Wayward shots. The next thing he knew, he was scrambling to make a ten-foot putt to force a playoff. He missed it. “Wow,” he mouthed, chin trembling.

The most poignant moment of the collapse might have been the camera shot of the engraver as he was given the news. He stopped his work and, gulp, erased Adam Scott’s name from the first place medal.

Viewers offered a collective groan.

Many Christians can relate. We fear the same will happen to us. We fear the fatal stumble, the ultimate collapse. Might we fall so utterly that God will erase our name?

No, he won’t.

Jesus couldn’t be more emphatic. “And I shall give them eternal life, and they shall never lose it or perish throughout the ages. [To all eternity they shall never by any means be destroyed.] And no one is able to snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:28 AMP).

Jesus promised a new life that cannot be forfeited or terminated. “Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned: he has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24 NIV).

Unlike the medal engraver, Jesus has an eternal perspective. He knew every step of your life before you took the first one. He saw the bogies and the birdies, the strong days and bad ones. He made His choice. When you said “yes” to him, he entered your name into the eternal populace of heaven. Your name is “engraved on the palms of his hands.” (Is.49:16 )

Finish well. But, if you stumble along the way, don’t worry, Jesus doesn’t use an eraser.

Like UpWords · 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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