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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

DOGGIE TAILS! #1

Lovely little story from Scotland...

Lost Dog Catches First Train Home.

When Archie the black Labrador lost his owner on a lonely Scottish station, he jumped aboard the first train home. Not only did the dog catch the right train, he got off at the right station, the Mail on Sunday newspaper reports.

Owner Mike Taitt lost sight of Archie at Inverurie Station near Aberdeen in eastern Scotland and was hoping someone would spot the dog's tag and return the much-loved mutt. "He is a very intelligent dog," Mr Taitt said. "When he could not find me, he simply took the right train home. He's been on that train before. I am convinced he knew it was the right one. But who knows?"

Closed-circuit television footage shows the dog waiting for his master at the station before watching the Aberdeen to Inverness train pull in. Unable to find his owner, the black Labrador decided to avoid a long walk home by nipping aboard the 20:38.

He got out at the right stop, Insch, 12 minutes along the line, to the bemusement of signalman Derek Hope."There was a train conductor standing with Archie on the platform saying he had got on at Inverurie but didn't have a ticket," Mr Hope said.

Two police forces, the national rail operating system and the local train service have all logged the incident.

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

GBYAY

Link Link

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT WEDNESDAY - HOW TO BE CONTENT IN EVERY SITUATION. The Conclusion.

When you can think of yesterday without regret and tomorrow without fear, you are near contentment. Source Unknown.

I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. - Phil 4:10-13.

Philip Parham tells the story of a rich industrialist who was disturbed to find a fisherman sitting lazily beside his boat. "Why aren't you out there fishing?" he asked. "Because I've caught enough fish for today," said the fisherman. "Why don't you catch more fish than you need?' the rich man asked. "What would I do with them?" "You could earn more money," came the impatient reply, "and buy a better boat so you could go deeper and catch more fish. You could purchase nylon nets, catch even more fish, and make more money. Soon you'd have a fleet of boats and be rich like me."

The fisherman asked, "Then what would I do?" "You could sit down and enjoy life," said the industrialist. "What do you think I'm doing now?" the fisherman replied as he looked placidly out to sea. - Our Daily Bread.

In Part 2, we realised that contentment is something that is earned, also that it is flexible. We also understood that contentment is something we learn, and that it does not come naturally. Today we conclude with the final principle…

CONTENTMENT COMES THROUGH DEPENDABILITY

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. - Phil 4:13. In whom can we depend? We live in an age where consumer goods, (once called “durable goods”) are DESIGNED to fail in a matter of years so you will have to replace them, once dependable brand names have now become known for poor quality. So how can we find contentment through dependence? We must realize two things; 1. That we are the instruments of God. 2. Through Christ we are made sufficient.

We Are The Instruments Of God.
I hardly qualify to become the prophet of positive thinking”, nor do I subscribe to the I’m Ok, your OK theory of Christianity, however, I do feel at times we sell ourselves short. We are the creation of the most High God, and He has chosen us to do an important job. We are to spread the gospel to every nation of the world.

I believe Paul was thinking of this responsibility when he wrote, "I can do ALL things...." As servants of Christ, we need to know the value of one person, who will lend himself or herself to dedication to God. He is looking for people like Paul (and like you and I), who will be willing to submit themselves to difficult situations, and uncomfortable circumstances, in order to use them to make an impact.

We can make a difference through Christ, we are in effect, God’s tools to get the job done, and as a tool, we are directed by the master’s hand. A tool doesn’t do the work itself, but is always guided by someone else.

"Since God has put His work into your weak hands, look not for long ease here: You must feel the full weight of your calling: a weak man with a strong God." - Lady Culross to John Livingston of the Covenanters.

We Are Sufficient Through Christ!
The tasks laid before us are daunting to say the least, but if we attempt to go it alone, we are doomed to certain failure. The key part in verse 13 is the part that says
"THROUGH HIM who gives me strength." THROUGH HIM… THROUGH JESUS CHRIST!

When Jesus is involved in the equation, there is nothing, which we cannot accomplish. He will equip us, and satisfy our needs, He will provide us with the words to say, the actions to do in order to share his gospel. Through Christ, we can reach a state of absolute contentment, and contentment is a worthy goal for the Christian. It is not just a state we can reach with little effort, we must learn contentment, we must be flexible in order to achieve it, and we MUST depend on God for our contentment.

When you have nothing left but God, then you become aware that God is enough. - Maude Royden.

Salvation is the first step on that path, without the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ in our lives, we can never achieve true contentment. You have that opportunity today, to begin this journey.

Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to learn how to be content in every situation, help me to put these principles of your word into practice, that I might be a better child for you, and bring glory to your name, in Jesus wonderful name I pray. Amen.

GBYAY

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY - HOW TO BE CONTENT IN EVERY SITUATION. Part 2.

Be content with what you have, never with what you are. – Source Unknown.

I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. - Phil 4:10-13.

A man became envious of his friends because they had larger and more luxurious homes. So he listed his house with a real estate firm, planning to sell it and to purchase a more impressive home. Shortly afterward, as he was reading the classified section of the newspaper, he saw an ad for a house that seemed just right. He promptly called the realtor and said, "A house described in today's paper is exactly what I'm looking for. I would like to go through it as soon as possible!" The agent asked him several questions about it and then replied, "But sir, that's your house you’re describing." - Source Unknown.

In Part 1, we realised that contentment in every situation is a very difficult state to achieve; nevertheless, according to God’s word it can be done! We had to understand that, contentment is something we learn, and that it does not come naturally. Today we see that…

CONTENTMENT IS SOMETHING THAT IS EARNED

Paul had found contentment through the experiences of his life, he had discovered that there was always a light at the end of the tunnel. There was a purpose behind each of his experiences (good or bad), and he had learned contentment through these experiences. Paul was beaten, with whips and rods, was stoned one time, shipwrecked three, hungry, thirsty, weary, in danger from thieves, without sufficient clothing, and besought with danger at every corner. He had troubles at times greater than our own, but still as relevant to us in 2005.

Contentment Comes Through Flexibility
I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. - Phil 4:12. We have to learn how to adjust to our circumstances.

The Bible is full of illustrations to prove this point. Joseph is perfect example of this kind of adjustments. Joseph, as you may recall, was... the last child in a family of boys that became rather jealous of him. The story goes that Joseph was captured and sold into slavery by his brothers. From here he went into the house of Potiphar, where he was falsely accused of unfaithfulness with the wife of Potiphar and thrown into prison. While in prison, he gains favour with the warden and receives the responsibility of running the prison. In each stage of Joseph’s life, he adjusted. Wherever he was, with his family, in a fine mansion, or in a dingy prison cell, he made the very best of his circumstances.

In our lives, we will face tough times, just as Paul and Joseph did. There will be times when things are going so well that sadness seems like a dim memory, and then there will be those times when we long for God to intervene. We must be content in each of these times, and adjust to our circumstances.

Warren Weirsbe, Theologian and Scholar, tells this story: "The trouble with him is that he is a thermometer and not a thermostat!" This statement by one of the deacons puzzled the pastor. They were discussing possible deacons when one gentleman’s name came up, prompting this strange statement. The deacon explained, "Pastor, it’s like this, a thermometer doesn’t change anything around it -- it just registers the temperature. It’s always going up, or down. But a thermostat regulates the surroundings and changes them when they need to be changed. That man is a thermometer -- he lacks the power to change things. Instead, they change him." - Source unknown.

We are called to adjust, not to change, we must be bigger than our problems. Paul was a thermostat, he did not let his circumstances drive him up and down spiritually, because he adjusted to his circumstances and kept right on serving God faithfully as ever, and instead of letting his circumstances deprive him of opportunities, he used his circumstances to his advantage, he was not a victim of his circumstances but was victorious over them.

Leaning on his fence one day, a devout Quaker was watching a new neighbor move in next door. After all kinds of modern appliances, electronic gadgets, plush furniture, and costly wall hangings had been carried in, the onlooker called over, "If you find you're lacking anything, neighbor, let me know and I'll show you how to live without it." - Source Unknown.

In order to find contentment, we must come to the point where we realise that, we are where God wants us to be, doing his will, and He has already proven over and over his love for us, so we can be assured that he only has our best interest in mind, when he sends us into circumstances that appear too big for us.

Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to learn how to be content in every situation, help me to put these principles of your word into practice, that I might be a better child for you, and bring glory to your name, in Jesus wonderful name I pray. Amen.

GBYAY

Friday, August 26, 2005

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT FRIDAY - HOW TO BE CONTENT IN EVERY SITUATION. Part 1.

I had no shoes and complained until I met a man who had no feet. - Source unknown.

I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. - Phil 4:10-13.

A gentleman, travelling on a misty morning, asked a shepherd what weather it would be. "It will be," said the shepherd, "what weather pleases me." Being requested to explain his meaning, he said," Sir, it shall be what weather pleases God; and what weather pleases God pleases me." – Source unknown.

Contentment in every situation is a very difficult state to achieve; nevertheless, according to God’s word it can be done! I have studied this passage of Scripture for years before I finally got the revelation of it, and I would like to share this with you. I would like us to think about the above illustration as we apply it to this post. Paul, in Philippians 4:10-13 attempts to communicate this very idea to those worshipping in Philippi.

Just as in my own journey for contentment, Paul shares a unique testimony of the inconveniences he has experienced in his travels and his ministry. The Philippians had sent word to Paul that they were concerned about him and his well being, and Paul wanted them to know that while he appreciated their concern, he himself had learned to be content in whatever came his way. He had found contentment in spite of his circumstances.

Leaning on his fence one day, a devout Quaker was watching a new neighbor move in next door. After all kinds of modern appliances, electronic gadgets, plush furniture, and costly wall hangings had been carried in, the onlooker called over, "If you find you're lacking anything, neighbor, let me know and I'll show you how to live without it." - Source unknown.

We too can reach this same state of contentment that Paul describes. Let’s look once again at what Paul tells us from his own experience…

CONTENTMENT IS SOMETHING WE LEARN
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. - Phi 4:11. We have to learn how to be content in every situation, it’s not something that happens overnight, or a ‘word’ from the Lord solves the situation, or an order from someone in authority, but it is a learning experience, something we have to learn ourselves.

He that is down needs fear no fall; He that is low, no pride; He that is humble, ever shall Have God to be his guide. I am content with what I have, Little be it, or much; And, Lord, contentment still I crave, Because Thou savest such.
- John Bunyan.


The church at Philippi had been very generous to Paul, and had sent some gifts to him, these were most likely monetary gifts to be used for his support. Paul wanted to assure the church that he appreciated their generosity, but he had learned to live with whatever he had available to him. He was helping them to understand that he wasn’t dependent on their gifts, but on God. In order to achieve this confidence, there are a couple of things we need to know about contentment...

Contentment Does Not Come Naturally
Dr. James Dobson, who is considered by many to be the foremost expert in child psychology, said in his series of films The Strong Willed Child,” that children are basically born with one of two natures; strong-willed and mild-willed. Now, of course, when we speak of contentment, we are not referring to a mild-mannered child, nor are we necessarily speaking of the natural inclination to be quiet and soft-spoken.

Paul would not readily fit in either of these categories! We are, instead, speaking of reaching a state in ones life, that they are at peace with where they are, and who they are in Christ. Ephesians 2:3 tells us that by our very nature, we are children of wrath... among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

By our very nature, we are selfish, jealous, envious, stricken with strife, and sometimes downright rebellious. No, indeed, contentment does not come naturally.

Bible commentator Matthew Henry, after being robbed, wrote this in his diary: Let me be thankful... first because I was never robbed before. Second, because although they took my wallet they did not take my life. Third, because although they took my all, it was not much. Fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed. – Source unknown.

Contentment comes through time and development.
Contentment comes through perseverance and purpose.
Contentment comes through communication and supplication.

Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to learn how to be content in every situation, help me to put these principles of your word into practice, that I might be a better child for you, and bring glory to your name, in Jesus wonderful name I pray. Amen.

GBYAY

Thursday, August 25, 2005

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT THURSDAY - GOD IS IN THE GIVING BUSINESS!


Give according to your income, lest God make your income according to your giving. - Peter Marshall.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. - James 1:17.

There are so many conflicting doctrines regarding giving that it would make your head spin! The prosperity people tell us to demand from God, so that we can give more, and usually to them! Then there is the other extreme, where God doesn’t need anything, so hang on to your wealth! For the love of me, I can’t understand why people don’t make their giving simple, according to God’s word! It’s not to difficult to follow the instructions of God, give as He gives...

God gave Adam and Eve a piece of skin from an innocent animal to replace the fig leaves to cover their shame of nakedness.
God gave Noah a plan for the ark that would provide for the saving of his household when judgment came.
God gave Abraham a promise concerning his seed. It would be as the sands of the sea, the dust of the ground, and as the stars of the sky.
God gave Sarah a precious miracle child in her old age, and she named him Isaac. He became a mighty man of God.
God gave Isaac the promised ram to take his place on the sacrificial altar on Mount Moriah as Abraham raised the dagger.
God gave Jacob the privilege to father twelve sons who were destined to become heads of the 12 tribes of Israel, the people of the Lord.

God gave Joseph a position as prime minister in Egypt that he might rescue his own from the terrible famine in the days ahead.
God gave Moses the power to work miracles before Pharaoh and prove that God's hand was still with his own.
God gave Joshua the proposition to cross the Jordan and lead the armies of Israel to victory in Canaan.
God gave the Israelites possession of the land flowing with milk and honey.
God gave kings to preside over His chosen people and blessed those who walked in His ways. God gave prophets to plead with His people and tell them of amazing things to come.

God gave the Scriptures to prophesy of a Messiah, a Prophet, a Priest, a King, and a Saviour who would come to deliver and save.
God gave the shepherds a pronouncement by the angels that Jesus was born.
God gave the wise men a preview by a star to lead them to the young child with their gifts. God gave Bethlehem the pre-eminence of all cities of the earth. It was there that Jesus was born.
God gave Joseph the patience to understand the strange circumstances of a virgin with child. God gave Mary the present coveted by all girls of Jewish history – the Christ child.
God gave the world the Prince of Peace, the answer to all ills of all time, in all places.
God gave Jesus the place of sinners on the cross to bear the sorrow and shame.
God gave all men pardon for their sins that they might know the joy of everlasting life. - Source unknown.

God is the greatest giver there ever was and will be, we can’t outgive Him! We can learn a lot about giving from God! "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. - John 3: 16.

It is so easy, if we are ‘Born Again’ we have God’s giving nature within us! For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, - Eph 2:8. Simple! Let our giving be as God’s giving!

Charles Spurgeon and his wife, according to a story in the Chaplain magazine, would sell, but refused to give away, the eggs their chickens laid. Even close relatives were told, "You may have them if you pay for them." As a result some people labeled the Spurgeon’s greedy and grasping.

They accepted the criticisms without defending themselves, and only after Mrs. Spurgeon died was the full story revealed. All the profits from the sale of eggs went to support two elderly widows. Because the Spurgeon’s were unwilling to let their left hand know what their right hand was doing (Matthew 6:3), they endured the attacks in silence. - Chaplain Magazine.

We don’t have to attend ‘Financial Giving Seminars,’ and pay money to learn how to give, or be persuaded by some smooth talking dude! It’s not too difficult to give like God, just follow His instructions and put them into practise.

Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to be giver like you! Help me Lord, not to be swayed by every wind of doctrine, but to simply follow your example! In Jesus wonderful name I pray, Amen!

GBYAY

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT WEDNESDAY - RESURRECTION BRINGS RECONCILIATION. The Conclusion.

For the sake of each of us he laid down his life--worth no less than the universe. He demands of us in return our lives for the sake of each other. - St. Clement of Alexandria.

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, - Rom 1:1-4.

I believe in the power of the Cross! Many Christians think that you only preach the Cross at Easter, not so! The Cross is a message that needs to be preached every day, every week, every month, and every year! But we cannot preach the Cross without preaching the resurrection! This week we will look at the resurrection and how it brings reconciliation with the Father! Yesterday in Part 2, we looked at the POWER of the resurrection, today we conclude with…

THE RECONCILIATION

GOD IS IN THE RECONCILIATION BUSINESS
God has always been in the reconciliation business, He has always promised to reconcile His repentant people! In Deuteronomy, the promise came first through Moses and return to the LORD your God, you and your children, and obey his voice in all that I command you today, with all your heart and with all your soul, then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you, and he will gather you again from all the peoples where the LORD your God has scattered you. - Deut 30:2-3.

Disobedience eventually led to foreign captivity in Jeremiah's day, but, a time of reconciliation was coming, and this promise is provisional for all people, not just for Israel, it guarantees the greatest sinners, if they repent and get saved, they shall have all their sins forgiven, and be reconciled to God, in Christ Jesus! Hallelujah! What an awesome God we serve!

THE RESURRECTION GIVES US HOPE OF RECONCILLIATION
Christ said: "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. - John 14:18-19. Death is inevitable, and all of us know it, and as the years pass, the more we realise it. Most people seek to avoid it, with drugs, with cosmetics, through superstitions and with science. But none of this will stay the unavoidable... death!

Little Philip, born with Down's syndrome, attended a third-grade Sunday School class with several eight-year-old boys and girls. Typical of that age, the children did not readily accept Philip with his differences, according to an article in leadership magazine. But because of a creative teacher, they began to care about Philip and accept him as part of the group, though not fully.

The Sunday after Easter the teacher brought L'eggs pantyhose containers, the kind that look like large eggs. Each receiving one, the children were told to go outside on that lovely spring day, find some symbol for new life, and put it in the egg-like container. Back in the classroom, they would share their new-life symbols, opening the containers one by one in surprise fashion. After running about the church property in wild confusion, the students returned to the classroom and placed the containers on the table. Surrounded by the children, the teacher began to open them one by one. After each one, whether a flower, butterfly, or leaf, the class would ooh and ahh.

Then one was opened, revealing nothing inside. The children exclaimed, "That’s stupid. That's not fair. Somebody didn't do their assignment."
Philip spoke up, "That's mine."
"Philip, you don't ever do things right!" the student retorted. "There's nothing there!"
"I did so do it," Philip insisted. "I did do it. It's empty. the tomb was empty!"

Silence followed. From then on Philip became a full member of the class. He died not long afterward from an infection most normal children would have shrugged off. At the funeral this class of eight-year-olds marched up to the altar not with flowers, but with their Sunday school teacher, each to lay on it an empty pantyhose egg. - Source Unknown.

The resurrection declares a great reunion in the future of every believer. The message of the Cross is not simply that Christ is risen, the message of the Cross is RECONCILIATION, the message of the Cross is EVERLASTING LIFE, the message of the Cross is... BECAUSE HE LIVES, WE TOO SHALL LIVE...

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. - John 3:16-17.

If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator; If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist; If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist; If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer; But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior. – Source unknown.

That's what this is all about, that is why I want you to know Jesus, I want you to know eternal life in Him, I want you to know the ABUNDANT LIFE in Him, religion won't save you, your parents won’t save, the Church won’t save you, but Jesus will! He came to give you life! You say, what shall I do? Just simply confess that you're a sinner and that you can't save yourself, declare and believe that Jesus is the Son of God, then, open your heart and let Him come in and save you.

Loving Father, I thank you for the power of Jesus, and I thank you that Jesus died for me, so that I may be reconciled to you! I thank you Lord that it did not stop there, but that He rose again from the dead, that I might have a new life, a life of power! Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to take the principles contained in your word, and apply them to my life, that I might be a better child for you, in Jesus wonderful name I pray. Amen!

GBYAY

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

LAST ORDER'S PLEASE... I'LL HAVE ONE OF THOSE!

What a fantastic real life emergency story, of a baby delivered in a pub, in Melbourne, Australia!

A baby girl has been born in a pub bathroom in Melbourne with the help of hotel staff. The infant who just wouldn't wait was delivered safe and sound minutes before paramedics arrived at the Chelsea Heights Hotel in the bayside suburb of the same name.

Metropolitan Ambulance Service spokeswoman Liana Cross said the parents delivered the baby with assistance over the phone from a 000 operator, just after calling an ambulance. Hotel staff also helped with the birth.

"They (the parents) were on their way to the hospital," Ms Cross said. "They ducked in (to the hotel) for the mother to go to the loo and ended up delivering the baby in the bathroom."The paramedics said the staff were great."They got sheets and towels and were in there with the couple, looking after the mother and child until the paramedics arrived."

Hotel assistant manager Cynthia Zajcew helped with the delivery and said it happened very fast. "I went out to call the ambulance and by the time I came back in the husband had the head out," she said.
"That baby was ready to come out and she came out in about five seconds flat."

Mother and baby are doing well at Monash Medical Centre.

Cheers mate! Job well done!
GBYAY

Link Link

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY - THE RESURRECTION BRINGS RECONCILIATION. Part 2.

He came to pay a debt He didn't owe because we owed a debt we couldn't pay. - Anonymous.

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, - Rom 1:1-4.

The home of Paul Laurence Dunbar, noted poet, is open to the public in Dayton, Ohio. When Dunbar died, his mother left his room exactly as it was on the day of his death. At the desk of this brilliant man was his final poem, handwritten on a pad.

After his mother died, her friends discovered that Paul Laurence Dunbar's last poem had been lost forever. Because his mother had made his room into a shrine and not moved anything, the sun had bleached the ink in which the poem was written until it was invisible. The poem was gone. If we stay in mourning, we lose so much of life. - Henry Simon.

I believe in the power of the Cross! Many Christians think that you only preach the Cross at Easter, not so! The Cross is a message that needs to be preached every day, every week, every month, and every year! But we cannot preach the Cross without preaching the resurrection! This week we will look at the resurrection and how it brings reconciliation with the Father! Yesterday in Part 1, we looked at why the resurrection is a DECLARATION, today we look at…

THE POWER

The Life Of Jesus Was A Life Of Power
And was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, - Rom 1:4.

He was miraculously born of a virgin, His name was Emmanuel, meaning - God with us! He grew in wisdom, stature and in favour with God and men, and when he was about 30 years old he was baptised in the River Jordan, by John the Baptist, where the Holy Spirit descended upon him. He went about doing good and healing all those who were oppressed of the devil, and that was the start of three and a half years that shook the world, three and a half years of startling miracles, and three and a half years of awesome, Godly power!

He ministered in mercy to the suffering, ministered healing to the incurable, ministered deliverance to those in bondage, ministered forgiveness to the fallen! Wherever He went, He met death and left life, and He met darkness and left light... Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." - John 8:12.

He began His ministry by being hungry, yet He is the Bread of Life.
Jesus ended His earthly ministry by being thirsty, yet He is the Living Water.
Jesus was weary, yet He is our rest.
Jesus paid tribute, yet He is the King.
Jesus was accused of having a demon, yet He cast out demons. Jesus wept, yet He wipes away our tears.
Jesus was sold for thirty pieces of silver, yet He redeemed the world.
Jesus was brought as a lamb to the slaughter, yet He is the Good Shepherd.
Jesus died, yet by His death He destroyed the power of death. - Gregory of Nazianzus, A.D. 381.


Specific Examples Of His Power
When a woman was caught in adultery He forgave her... they said to him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Jesus stood up and said to her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more." - John 8:4; 10-11.

When a woman had a problem of blood for 12 years He healed her... And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone. And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. - Luke 8:43; 47.

When a man had leprosy he healed him and made him clean... And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, "If you will, you can make me clean." Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, "I will; be clean." And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. - Mar 1:40-42.

An anonymous author made this striking comparison: "Socrates taught for 40 years, Plato for 50, Aristotle for 40, and Jesus for only 3. Yet the influence of Christ's 3-year ministry infinitely transcends the impact left by the combined 130 years of teaching from these men who were among the greatest philosophers of all antiquity. Jesus painted no pictures; yet some of the finest paintings of Raphael, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci received their inspiration from Him.

Jesus wrote no poetry; but Dante, Milton, and scores of the world's greatest poets were inspired by Him. Jesus composed no music; still Haydn, Handel, Beethoven, Bach, and Mendelssohn reached their highest perfection of melody in the hymns, symphonies, and oratorios they composed in His praise.

Every sphere of human greatness has been enriched by this humble Carpenter of Nazareth. "His unique contribution to the race of men is the salvation of the soul! Philosophy could not accomplish that, nor art, nor literature, nor music. Only Jesus Christ can break the enslaving chains of sin and Satan. He alone can speak peace to the human heart, strengthen the weak, and give life to those who are spiritually dead." – Source unknown.

His life was a life of power, why should his death be any different? They nailed him to a cross until he bled to death. It would seem that there was nothing supernatural about that, but, it was the most spiritually powerful event in the history of the world. His blood sacrifice cleansed millions from their sins, and it allowed us to be reconciled to God the father! The resurrection opened the way for a great reconciliation, for those who live in this world.

Loving Father, I thank you for the power of Jesus, and I thank you that Jesus died for me, so that I may be reconciled to you! I thank you Lord that it did not stop there, but that He rose again from the dead, that I might have a new life, a life of power! Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to take the principles contained in your word, and apply them to my life, that I might be a better child for you, in Jesus wonderful name I pray. Amen!
GBYAY

PIANO MAN IS IDENTIFIED! - CLOSURE AT LAST.

Praise God! At last we have closure for the 'Piano Man' case, he has identified himself and gone back home to Bavaria...

THE so-called 'Piano Man' has been discharged from the care of an National Health Service (NHS) trust, it was confirmed today. There had been a "marked improvement" in the unidentified man's condition and he was no longer being treated, a spokesman for the West Kent NHS and Social Care Trust said.

Social workers spent months trying to help the man, who had been silent since he was found wandering aimlessly near a beach on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, in April wearing a dripping wet suit and tie.

He was dubbed the Piano Man by the media after a trust spokesperson said he "played classical music beautifully for four hours" to carers. But it was reported today that the man had finally broken his silence, revealing to trust staff last week that he was from Germany and had made his way to the UK after losing his job in Paris.

A trust spokesman would not comment on the details of the report in the Daily Mirror, but said: "The patient dubbed the Piano Man is no longer in the care of the West Kent NHS and Social Care Trust.

"He has been discharged from our care following a marked improvement in his condition. "The rules regarding patient confidentiality mean the trust is unable to make any further comment on this story. "This includes any comment on his condition, current location or the circumstances in which he left the trust's care."

Thanks to everyone who has prayed for this outcome, its truly appreciated!
GBYAY

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Monday, August 22, 2005

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT MONDAY - THE RESURRECTION BRINGS RECONCILIATION. Part 1.

All heaven is interested in the cross of Christ, all hell is terribly afraid of it, while men are the only beings who more or less ignore its meaning. - Oswald Chambers.

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, - Rom 1:1-4.

If you were to look at Rembrandt's painting of The Three Crosses, your attention would be drawn first to the center cross on which Jesus died. Then as you would look at the crowd gathered around the foot of that cross, you'd be impressed by the various facial expressions and actions of the people involved in the awful crime of crucifying the Son of God. Finally, your eyes would drift to the edge of the painting and catch sight of another figure, almost hidden in the shadows. Art critics say this is a representation of Rembrandt himself, for he recognized that by his sins he helped nail Jesus to the cross. - Source Unknown.

I believe in the power of the Cross! Most Christians think that you only preach the Cross at Easter, not so! The Cross is a message that needs to be preached every day, every week, every month, and every year! But we cannot preach the Cross without preaching the resurrection! This week we will look at the resurrection and how it brings reconciliation with the Father! First we look at…

THE DECLARATION
The resurrection is a declaration! It declares that Jesus Christ is the Son of God! He is
“…declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, - Rom.1:4. The resurrection settles everything; every question about Jesus’ identity was settled by the resurrection, every doubt concerning his deity was settled by the resurrection, the resurrection settled it all! Hallelujah! What an awesome God we serve!

We Are Not Declaring Some Dead Religion
We are declaring life! The life that Jesus died for, rose again from the dead for! We are not trying to give up one dead religion and join another! This study is not about religion, it’s about a relationship with the Almighty God. We are not declaring changing religions, we are declaring about having a relationship with God! We are not declaring about Church, although that is important, we are declaring a relationship with a Saviour who gives abundant life!
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. - John 10:10.

A conversation between a Christian missionary and a Muslim illustrates a great point. The Mohammedan’s wanted to impress the missionary with what he considered to be the superiority of Islam. So he said, "When we go to Mecca, we at least find a coffin, but when you Christians go the Jerusalem, your Mecca, you find nothing but an empty grave." To this the believer replied, "That is just the difference, Mohammed is dead and in his coffin. And all other systems of religion and philosophy are in their coffins. But Christ is risen, and all power in heaven and on earth is given to Him! He is alive forevermore! Source unknown.

The Resurrection Is Not Some Dead Doctrine
Some declare the resurrection as though it was just a doctrine, they treat it as though it is something you learn in order to be a part of the religious group, and they treat it as though it's just something you learn so you can fit in at church! The resurrection is not just some dead doctrine, it is reconciliation with God almighty, and it is reconciliation to the Lord Jesus Christ! Death is separation; resurrection is when those who are separated are reconciled to God!

World War II was almost over. News of the armistice had reached the troops but the actual order to cease fire was still on the way to the front. Then a bursting shell tore open a soldier's flesh. As his blood flowed out of the fatal wound, he said, "Isn't this just like God?" – Source unknown.

For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. - Col 1:19-20.

All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; - 2Co 5:18.

The resurrection does not declare the beginning of a new church, and it does not declare the start of a new religion! This miraculous reconciliation of Christ, declares that He is the Son of God! Hallelujah! What a mighty God we serve!

Loving Father, I thank you for the cross, I thank you that Jesus died for me, so that I may be reconciled to you! Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to take the principles contained in your word, and apply them to my life, that I might be a better child for you, in Jesus wonderful name I pray. Amen!

GBYAY

Saturday, August 20, 2005

HOW TO MINISTER IN LOVE - SCOTTISH STYLE!


Is it any wonder why the Church is in trouble in Scotland, when this type of ministry is exposed...

A MINISTER who head-butted his wife in a row over a bedroom light was spared a jail term yesterday. A sheriff heard there was a high risk of the Rev Alan Blackwood reoffending. But she sentenced him to 18 months' probation, saying such a penalty would help him address his problems with domestic violence.

Blackwood, 45, nutted wife Sandi, also a minister, when she took the bulb out of their bedside lamp because she wanted to go to sleep. Sandi needed stitches to her nose after the assault in the early hours of Easter Monday last year.

Hamilton Sheriff Court heard that the couple had a "short, unhappy and stormy" marriage, and that the assault came after a "simmering row" between them

After the attack, Blackwood fled the manse of Burnhead Parish Church in Uddingston, Lanarkshire, where Sandi, 44, is minister. He was arrested on the way to his parents' home after his wife raised the alarm.

Blackwood told police: "She was trying to wind me up and I just snapped."

The couple are now separated and Blackwood is suspended as a minister. His lawyer told the court that he was "genuinely sorry" for the attack.

Sheriff Marie Smart noted from reports that there was a high risk of Blackwood reoffending. But she told him: "You would benefit from probation, particularly addressing your domestic violence. Community service would be unrealistic as you already serve in the community."


GBYAY

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Friday, August 19, 2005

Chariots of Fire Hero Honoured in Homeland - China.


What a fitting tribute to a fine Christian...

The residents of a grimy Chinese city paid an unusual tribute yesterday to the Scottish runner Eric Liddell, hero of the film Chariots of Fire. As part of a ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Japanese internment camp where he died, Chinese officials, old friends and fellow inmates laid a wreath at a memorial marking his grave.

Liddell, a devout Christian, became famous for winning the 400 metres at the 1924 Paris Olympics after refusing to run his best distance, the 100 metres, because the heats were on a Sunday. Less well known is that he was born and spent much of his life in China. The son of missionaries in the port city of Tianjin, he left Britain the year after his Paris triumph to follow in their footsteps as a missionary teacher. "Eric Liddell was a great Olympic champion who gave it all up to come to teach the youth of China," said Stephen Metcalf, 78, a friend and fellow internee.

What was once the Weihsien Internment Camp is now Number Two Middle School in the city of Weifang, and yesterday thousands of children, teachers, residents and city leaders turned out to greet former occupants. More than 2,000 people were held in the camp, including 327 children, mostly from a western-run boarding school nearby. Many were children of missionaries, as were some of the older westerners held there, a fact little mentioned yesterday.

The huge missionary presence in China at the time is still regarded as a symbol of humiliating domination by western powers. Nevertheless, the two dozen former internees who attended were touched by the ceremony's mixture of thoughtfulness and eccentricity. At its climax, to a fanfare of the Star Wars theme tune, fireworks exploded into miniature parachutes, representing the American servicemen who jumped from a B24 bomber to liberate the camp on Aug 17, 1945. Then, 1,500 pigeons were released, one for each of the inmates.

An exhibition hall showing photographs of the camp, and a garden of remembrance containing sculptures and the names of all those held, were also opened. For many of the children, nearly all separated from their parents, Liddell became a father figure. As well as teaching classes, he ran a Sunday school and organised sports competitions. He eventually came round to the idea of sports on Sundays, refereeing football matches after hearing that teenagers with little to do were getting into trouble.


"He gave me two things," Mr Metcalf said. "One was his worn-out running shoes." It was winter, and like many boys Mr Metcalf had nothing to wear on his feet. "The best thing he gave me was his baton of forgiveness. He taught me to love my enemies, the Japanese, and to pray for them." After the war, Mr Metcalf spent 40 years as a missionary teacher in Japan.

Liddell died of a brain tumour in the camp hospital on Feb 21, 1945. "We all trailed along behind his coffin," remembered another former inmate, Estelle Cliff Horne. "My brother was one of the pall-bearers, and we buried him just by where the ceremony was."

The camp had been a mission school for Chinese children, and several of the buildings, including the hospital wing, are still standing. The Liddell memorial was erected by Edinburgh University, where he studied, after China re-opened to the world. After the Japanese left, the camp's history was quietly forgotten within China. During the Chairman Mao years, it was not politically correct to talk of having helped the foreigners. Now the wheel has come full circle, and those who smuggled food into the camp are also honoured in the exhibition hall.

Christian missionaries are also returning. Though missionary activity is formally banned, there are believed to be hundreds working under the guise of charity volunteers and teachers in China today.

Gone, but not forgotten!
GBYAY

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DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT FRIDAY - HAVE WE LOST OUR JOY? The Conclusion.

Happy is the person who not only sings, but feels God's eye is on the sparrow, and knows He watches over me. To be simply ensconced in God is true joy. - Alfred A. Montapert.

These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. - John 15:11.

As we conclude our series on whether we have lost our joy as Christians today? We ask the question… Have the sins and burdens of the enemy and the world stolen our joy? As I travel around and preach in Churches, I sense that a lot of Christians have lost their joy, as I meet and talk to Christians, I know they have lost their JOY! In the famous words of a Christian author who wrote the book… ‘We Should Be The Happiest People On Earth!’ And so we should!

The surest mark of a Christian is not faith, or even love, but joy. - Samuel M. Shoemaker.

What has happened, that so many should lose the joy of the Lord? This week we are looking into what causes this and how to restore our JOY! Yesterday in Part 3 we realised that JOY COMES FROM BEING IN GOD'S PRESENCE, and today we discover that …

JOY COMES FROM HAVING THE HOLY SPIRIT

The fruit of the Spirit is the spontaneous work of the Holy Spirit in us; The Spirit produces the character traits that are found in Christ, and they are the by-products of Christ's control, we can't obtain them by trying to get them without his help. If we want the fruit of the Spirit to grow in us, we must join our life to His in four ways, in accordance with the commandment of Jesus…

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. - John 15:4-5.

WE MUST KNOW HIM! that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, - Phil 3:10.

WE MUST LOVE HIM! And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' - Mar 12:30.

WE MUST REMEMBER HIM! Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, - 2 Tim 2:8.

WE MUST OBEY HIM! "If you love me, you will keep my commandments. - John 14:15.

I remember walking to church one winter evening to preach on the words, "He will glorify me" (John 16:14), seeing the building floodlit as I turned a corner, and realizing that this was exactly the illustration my message needed. When floodlighting is well done, the floodlights are placed so that you do not see them; in fact, you are not supposed to see where the light is coming from; what you are meant to see is just the building on which the floodlights are trained. The intended effect is to make it visible when otherwise it would not be seen for the darkness, and to maximize its dignity by throwing all its details into relief so that you can see it properly. This perfectly illustrated the Spirit's new covenant role. He is, so to speak, the hidden floodlight shining on the Savior.

Or think of it this way. It is as if the Spirit stands behind us, throwing light over our shoulder on to Jesus who stands facing us. The Spirit's message to us is never, "Look at me; listen to me; come to me; get to know me", but always, "Look at him, and see his glory; listen to him and hear his word; go to him and have life; get to know him and taste his gift of joy and peace." The Spirit, we might say, is the matchmaker, the celestial marriage broker, whose role it is to bring us and Christ together and ensure that we stay together. - James Packer.


We can be joyful in spite of our circumstances. It seems strange that a man in prison would be telling a church to rejoice. But Paul's attitude teaches us an important lesson: our inner attitudes do not have to reflect our outward circumstances.

Paul was full of joy because he knew that no matter what happened to him, Jesus Christ was with him. Several times in his letter, Paul urged the Philippians to be joyful, probably because they needed to hear this. It's easy to get discouraged about unpleasant circumstances or to take unimportant events too seriously.

As a third-century man was anticipating death, he penned these last words to a friend: "It's a bad world, an incredibly bad world. But I have discovered in the midst of it a quiet and holy people who have learned a great secret. They have found a joy which is a thousand times better than any pleasure of our sinful life. They are despised and persecuted, but they care not. They are masters of their souls. They have overcome the world. These people are the Christians--and I am one of them." - Today In The Word.

If we haven't been joyful lately, we may not be looking at life from the right perspective, and we might be living life with something that is sucking the joy from us. Ultimate joy comes from Christ dwelling within us. Christ is near, and at his second coming we will fully realise this ultimate joy. He who lives within us will fulfil his final purposes for us.

Loving Father, I thank you for the love that you have for me, I thank you that Jesus said His joy is in me! Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to know Him, to love Him, to remember Him, and to obey Him, in Jesus wonderful name I pray, amen!

GBYAY

Thursday, August 18, 2005

CALL ME BERRY LEE LEWIS

Great little interest story out of Scotland…

FRUIT picker Pavel Andoga can afford to chuck the berries after he was "discovered" tinkling the ivories in a music shop. The poor Czech student came to Scotland to make a few quid harvesting fruit but found himself signed up by a theatre group. Now he's got the posh threads to match his style after fans had a whip-round to kit him out for his big debut. Pavel, 20, arrived in Scotland two months ago to earn money to help him through his university music course. His take-home pay was just £15 for a back-breaking eight-hour day.

But his luck changed during some time off from the fields when he sat down at a keyboard in the Abbey Music shop in Arbroath town centre Special Owner Terry Wood said: "Before long, the shop was full of people and there were dozens listening from the street." Comedian and impresario Ronnie Coburn immediately booked Pavel for his show. He said: "Although I have heard a lot of musicians, when I heard Pavel I realised he was a bit special."

On Tuesday, Pavel appeared in Breath Of Scotland at the Webster Theatre, Arbroath. He played four numbers - The Entertainer, Let It Be, Autumn Leaves and a Czech tune called Jazz Etude. Pavel said: "It was great and I think from the audience's reaction they really enjoyed it. But I still can't believe what has happened. I sat down in a music shop to play for fun and ended up on the stage"

TOP OF THE PIPS
Bohemian Raspberry - Queen Eatin' Trifles - The Jam Kiwi Are Family - Sister Sledge Jammin' - Bob Marley Fruitloose - Kenny Loggins Oops, I Punnet Again - Britney Spears Pip It Up And Start Again - Orange Juice Blueberry Hill - Fats Domino - Strawberry Fields Forever - Beatles -
Goodbye Blackberry way - The Move

GBYAY

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DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT THURSDAY - HAVE WE LOST OUR JOY? Part 3.

Oh the wild joys of living! The leaping from rock to rock ... the cool silver shock of the plunge in a pool's living waters. - Robert Browning.

These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. - John 15:11.

As we continue to discuss whether we have lost our joy as Christians today? We ask the question… Have the sins and burdens of the enemy and the world stolen our joy? As I travel around and preach in Churches, I sense that a lot of Christians have lost their joy, as I meet and talk to Christians, I know they have lost their JOY! In the famous words of a Christian author who wrote the book… ‘We Should Be The Happiest People On Earth!’ And so we should!

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., was a member of the U.S. Supreme Court for 30 years. His mind, wit and work earned him the unofficial title of "the greatest justice since John Marshall." At one point in his life, Justice Holmes explained his choice of a career by saying: "I might have entered the ministry if certain clergymen I knew had not looked and acted so much like undertakers." - Today In The Word.

What has happened, that so many should lose the joy of the Lord? This week we are looking into what causes this and how to restore our JOY! Yesterday in Part 2 we realised that Joy Grows Out Of Real Worship, and today we discover that …

JOY COMES FROM BEING IN GOD'S PRESENCE

David’s heart was glad and his whole being rejoiced when he found the secret to joy… I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. - Psalm 16:8-9.

David wanted to be in the presence of God 24/7, where he felt secure and protected, and we should endeavour to do the same, not only to be in His presence, but to be aware of it 24/7. Then we can rejoice with our whole being! Hallelujah! Praise His wonderful name!

True joy is far deeper than happiness; we can feel joy in spite of our deepest troubles. Happiness is temporary because it is based on external circumstances, but joy is lasting because it is based on God's presence within us. As we contemplate his daily presence, we will find contentment. As we understand the future he has for us, we will experience joy. Let's not base our life on circumstances, but on God.

The well-known theologian Charles Hodge wrote about his early years at Princeton: "It was my privilege to be the pupil-assistant of Professor Joseph Henry, the illustrious scientist. When, for the first time, electric signals were sent from point to point, the earth itself being used for the return current, Professor Henry put me at one end of the circuit, while he stood directing the experiments at the other.

I can well remember the wonderful care with which he arranged them. Very often, when the testing moment came, he would raise his hand in adoring reverence and call upon me to uncover my head and worship in silence. He would say, 'Because God is here, I am about to ask Him a question.'"
- Charles Hodge.


Not only does God want us to HAVE joy, but complete JOY with eternal pleasures! You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. - Ps 16:11.

Not a little bit of joy, not a joy that is tainted, not counterfeit joy, but real joy, completely satisfying, untainted, understandable, a joy that will not be undermined, by the feeling that is must soon come to an end! Hallelujah! What an awesome God we serve!

John R. W. Stott once admitted the truth that many of us have felt but failed to confess: "The thing I know will give me the deepest joy -- namely, to be alone and unhurried in the presence of God, aware of His presence, my heart open to worship Him -- is often the thing I least want to do."

LET US SEEK THE PRESENCE OF GOD AND RECEIVE DEEP JOY!

Loving Father, I thank you for the love that you have for me, I thank you that Jesus said His joy is in me! Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to seek your presence 24/7, and help me Lord to be aware of your presence, as you continue to fill me with your complete joy, in Jesus wonderful name I pray, amen!

GBYAY

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT WEDNESDAY - HAVE WE LOST OUR JOY? Part 2.

Joy is the by-product of obedience. - Traditional.

These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. - John 15:11.

Yesterday we discussed whether we had lost our joy as Christians today? Have the sins and burdens of the enemy and the world stolen our joy? As I travel around and preach in Churches, I sense that a lot of Christians have lost their joy, as I meet and talk to Christians I know they have lost their JOY! In the famous words of a Christian author who wrote the book… ‘We Should Be The Happiest People On Earth!’ And so we should be!

Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition, when infinite joy is offered to us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in the slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased. - C.S. Lewis.

What has happened, that so many should lose the joy of the Lord? This week we are looking into what causes this and how to restore our JOY! Today we discover that …

JOY GROWS OUT OF REAL WORSHIP!


The reason I said ‘Real Worship,’ is that most Christians, don't ‘REALLY’ know how to worship the Lord… salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."- John 4:23-24.

Worship according to Jesus, involves 2 elements... SPIRIT and TRUTH.

WORSHIP IN SPIRIT
When we worship in the spirit, we are opposed to religious rituals and ceremonial posturing, and to the showiness of the symbols of office, and external worship. We need to worship our Lord with the full backing of the Holy Spirit, and with a glad and sincere heart, full of joy and gratitude for what He has done for us…
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. - Rom 8:5.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. - Rom 12:1.

God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit! For we are the real circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh-- Phi 3:3.

A conference at a Presbyterian church in Omaha. People were given helium filled balloons and told to release them at some point in the service when they felt like expressing the joy in their hearts. Since they were Presbyterians, they weren't free to say "Hallelujah, Praise the Lord."

All through the service balloons ascended, but when it was over 1/3 of the balloons were unreleased. Let your balloon go!. - Bruce Larson.

WORSHIP IN TRUTH
We do not worship through the medium of the shadows and types,
nor by the way of sacrifices and bloody offerings, but in the manner represented by all of these…
he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh,how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.- Heb 9: 12-14.

I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. If it were possible for a created soul fully to 'appreciate,' that is, to love and delight in, the worthiest object of all, and simultaneously at every moment to give this delight perfect expression, then that soul would be in supreme blessedness.

To praise God fully we must suppose ourselves to be in perfect love with God, drowned in, dissolved by that delight which, far from remaining pent up within ourselves as incommunicable bliss, flows out from us incessantly again in effortless and perfect expression. Our joy is no more separable from the praise in which it liberates and utters itself than the brightness a mirror receives is separable from the brightness it sheds. -
C.S. Lewis.


Unspeakable Joy is ours when we really worship Him in Spirit and in Truth!

Loving Father, I thank you for the love that you have for me, I thank you that Jesus said His joy is in me! Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to divest myself of all flesh in my worship to you, help me to worship in spirit and in truth, in Jesus wonderful name I pray, amen!

GBYAY

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

This Is What Happens When A German Is Elected Pope!

This is part of my day of JOY! (HT Professor Bainbridge). GBYAY

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DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY – HAVE WE LOST OUR JOY?

The joy of the hypocrite is but for a moment, but the joy of those who abide in Christ's love is a continual feast. – Matthew Henry.

These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. - John 15:11.

Have we lost our joy as Christians today? Has the sin and burdens of the enemy and the world stolen our joy? As I travel around and preach in Churches, I sense that a lot of Christians have lost their joy, as I meet and talk to Christians I know they have lost their JOY! In the famous words of a Christian author who wrote the book… ‘We Should Be The Happiest People On Earth!’ And so we should! What has happened that many should lose the joy of the Lord? This week we will have a look at what causes this and how to restore our JOY!

Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition, when infinite joy is offered to us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in the slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased. - C. S. Lewis.

Webster’s Dictionary defines JOY as… Intense and especially ecstatic or exultant happiness; The expression or manifestation of such feeling; A source or an object of pleasure or satisfaction. Holman’s Bible Dictionary defines JOY as… The happy state that results from knowing and serving God.

Joy is found over 150 times in the Bible, and if such words as "joyous" and "joyful" are included, the number comes to over 200. The verb, rejoice, appears well over 200 times. Joy is the fruit of a right relationship with God. It is not something people can create by their own efforts. The Bible distinguishes joy from pleasure, and it also warns that self-indulgent pleasure-seeking does not lead to happiness and fulfilment.

Ecclesiastes 2:1-11, records the sad testimony of one who sought to build his life on pleasure-seeking. The search left him empty and disillusioned. Proverbs offers insight into this way of life... Even in laughter the heart may ache, and the end of joy may be grief. - Proverbs 14:13.

Cares, riches, and pleasures, rob people of the possibility of fruitful living… And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature.- Luke 8:14.

Pleasure seeking often enslaves people in a vicious cycle of addiction... For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another - Titus 3:3.

Many people think that God is the great Kill-Joy. Nothing could be further from the truth. God Himself knows joy, and He wants His people to know joy…. May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in his works, - Psalm 104:31.

Author Leo Buscaglia tells this story about his mother and their "misery dinner." It was the night after his father came home and said it looked as if he would have to go into bankruptcy because his partner had absconded with their firm's funds. His mother went out and sold some jewelry to buy food for a sumptuous feast. Other members of the family scolded her for it. But she told them that "the time for joy is now, when we need it most, not next week." Her courageous act rallied the family. - Christopher News Notes.

Joy in the Christian life is in direct proportion as believers walk with the Lord. They can rejoice because they are in the Lord… Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. - Phil 4:4. Joy is a fruit of a Spirit-led life (Gal. 5:22). Sin in a believer's life robs the person of joy… Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. - Psalm 51:12. When someone walks with the Lord, they can continue to rejoice even when troubles come, joy in the Lord enables people to enjoy all that God has given.

An anonymous friar in a Nebraska monastery wrote the following late in life: If I had my life to live over again, I'd try to make more mistakes next time. I would relax, I would limber up, I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take more trips. I would be crazier. I would climb more mountains, swim more rivers, and watch more sunsets. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. If I had to do it over again I would go places, do things, and travel lighter. If I had my life to live over I would start barefooted earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would ride on more merry-go-rounds. I'd pick more daisies. – Source unknown.

Too many times, we allow circumstances and situations to drain us of our joy; we are going to learn how to overcome! Let us stand strong against the enemy, and the world’s pleasures, and ask the Lord to restore our joy as followers of Jesus!

Loving Father, I thank you for the love that you have for me, I thank you that Jesus said His joy is in me! Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to stand strong against the enemy and the world's pleasures, and activate the joy that is in me through Jesus, my Lord and Saviour, in whose wonderful name I pray, amen!

GBYAY

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