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Sunday, April 30, 2006

SUNDAY SERMON ON THE BLOG – GOD'S CHOSEN AND HOLY CHILDREN!

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. - Colossians 3:12.

What an incredible thought! We are dearly loved as God's chosen and holy children.

No wonder God calls us to a lifestyle of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience! Think of how often our Father needed to use these qualities with us!

How can we not share with others what God has so abundantly shared with us?


Loving Father, thank you for valuing me so highly. While I know some the ways I fall short of what you want me to be, and many reasons why you might not want to choose me as your beloved and holy child, I thank you that you have loved me so richly and valued me so highly! Please work powerfully in me through your Holy Spirit to make me more like you, not for my glory, but for yours. In the wonderful and mighty Name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

Friday, April 28, 2006

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT FRIDAY - A CHEERFUL HEART. #23.


A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. - Pro 17:22. TNIV

Wow! It’s been a busy week, and on top of it all, Jean and I are fighting a virus that’s been hanging on for weeks, we would appreciate your prayers. Now let’s cheer ourselves up after a hard week...

Signs You've Had Too Much Coffee...
You've worn the finish off your coffee table.
All your kids are named Joe.
Chuck Yeager thinks you need to calm down.
Instant coffee takes too long.
Juan Valdez named his donkey after you.
People can test their batteries in your ears.
People get dizzy just watching you.
Starbucks owns the mortgage on your house.
The nurse needs a scientific calculator to take your pulse.
The only time you're standing still is during an earthquake. The Taster's Choice couple wants to adopt you.
When someone asks 'how are you' you say, 'good to the last drop'.
You buy milk by the barrel.
You can jump-start your car without cables.
You can outlast the Energizer bunny.
You can take a picture of yourself from ten feet away without using the timer.
Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

The Differences Between Men And Women…

NICKNAMES: If Gloria, Suzanne, Debra and Michelle go out for lunch, they will call each other Gloria, Suzanne, Debra and Michelle. But if Mike, Phil, Rob and Jack go out for a brewsky, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Godzilla, Peanut-Head and Useless.


DINING OUT: And when the check comes, Mike, Phil, Rob and Jack will each throw in $20 bills, even though it's only for $22.50. None of them will have anything smaller, and none will actually admit they want change back. When the girls get their check, out come the pocket calculators.

BATHROOMS: A man has six items in his bathroom -- a toothbrush, shaving cream, razor, a bar of Dial soap, and a towel from the Holiday Inn. The average number of items in the typical woman's bathroom is 437. A man would not be able to identify most of these items.

GROCERIES: A woman makes a list of things she needs and then goes out to the store and buys these things. A man waits till the only items left in his fridge are half a lime and a soda. Then he goes grocery shopping. He buys everything that looks good. By the time a man reaches the checkout counter, his cart is packed tighter than the Clampett's car on Beverly Hillbillies. Of course, this will not stop him from going to the 10-items-or-less lane.

SHOES: When preparing for work, a woman will put on a Mondi wool suit, then slip on Reebok sneakers. She will carry her dress shoes in a plastic bag from Saks. When a woman gets to work, she will put on her dress shoes. Five minutes later, she will kick them off because her feet are under the desk. A man will wear the same pair of shoes all day.

CATS: Women love cats. Men say they love cats, but when women aren't looking, men kick cats.

DRESSING UP: A woman will dress up to: Go shopping, water the plants, empty the garbage, answer the phone, read a book, get the mail. A man will dress up for: weddings, funerals.

LAUNDRY: Women do laundry every couple of days. A man will wear every article of clothing he owns, including his surgical pants that were hip about eight years ago, before he will do his laundry. When he is finally out of clothes, he will wear a dirty sweatshirt inside out, rent a U-Haul and take his mountain of clothes to the Laundromat. Men always expect to meet beautiful women at the Laundromat. This is a myth perpetuated by re-runs of old episodes of "Love, American Style."

OFFSPRING: Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and soccer games and romances and best friends and favorite foods and secret fears and hopes and dreams. A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.
Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

If 99.9% was good enough...

* 12 newborns would be given to the wrong parents daily.

* 114,500 mismatched pairs of shoes would be shipped per year.
* 18,322 pieces of mail would be mishandled per hour.
* 2,000,000 documents would be lost by the IRS this year. (We can handle that one!)
* 2.5 million books would be shipped with the wrong covers.
* Two planes landing at Chicago's O'Hare airport would be unsafe every day.
* 315 entries in Webster's Dictionary would be misspelled.
* 20,000 incorrect drug prescriptions would be written per year.
* 880,000 credit cards in circulation would turn out to have incorrect cardholder information on their magnetic strips.
* 103,260 income tax returns would be processed incorrectly per year.
* 5.5 million cases of soft drinks produced would be flat.
* 291 pacemaker operations would be performed incorrectly.
* 3056 copies of tomorrow's Wall Street Journal would be missing one of the three sections.*
A typical day would be 24 hours long (give or take 86.4 seconds).

MIRACLE
A story is told of an Eastern king which illustrates at once our delusion respecting natural processes, and also God's work and presence in them. The king was seated in a garden, and one of his counselors was speaking of the wonderful works of God.

"Show me a sign," said the king, "and I will believe."

"Here are four acorns," said the counselor, "will you, Majesty, plant them in the ground, and then stoop down for a moment and look into this clear pool of water?"

The king did so, "Now," said the other, "look up."

The king looked up and saw four oak-trees where he had planted the acorns. "Wonderful!" he exclaimed, "This is indeed the work of God."

"How long were you looking into the water?" asked the counselor.

"Only a second," said the king. "Eighty years have passed as a second," said the other. The king looked at his garments; they were threadbare. He looked at his reflection in the water; he had become an old man. "There is no miracle here, then," he said angrily.

"Yes," said the other, "it is God's work, whether he did it in one second or in eighty years." - Source Unknown.

THESE ARE THE LAST OF THE PUNS FOR MY FRIEND – BLOGOTIONAL, BECAUSE I WANT TO STAY HIS FRIEND!

1. The first duck wouldn't go in the water. The other duck said "What are you, chicken?".
2. Biologists have recently produced immortal frogs by removing their vocal cords. They can't croak.
3. After being treated by an optometrist, the bird seed.
4. Aged attorneys retire because they're tired of the old writ race.
5. French gendarmes don't use yellow crime scene tape but prefer cordon bleu.
6. The meat truck took a long time to deliver because of the Jerky ride.
7. The strike at the sugar factory was dissolved after the assets were liquidated.
8. Every time I put on some trousers, my wardrobe get depleated.
9. My sweet mother got so old she granulated.
10. She sent some herbs by parsley post.
11. I hired a ghost photographer. The spirit was willing but the flash was weak.
12. When there are tears at a wedding there is also eye dew.
13. You will sew according to what you rip.
14. Occasionally in the Caribbean there's a total calypso the sun.
15. When the mayor wanted to slash the budget he turned to a fund razor.
16. You should never drink beyond the pint of no return.
17. A baker always put too much flour in his bread because he was a gluten for punishment.
18. Those who live beyond their means should act their wage.
19. She told me the drink was non-alcoholic, but where was the proof?
20. When I took my family to the zoo, the children were hippo critical.

Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

SO ONCE AGAIN LET US REMIND OURSELVES, THAT BEING CHEERFUL KEEPS YOU HEALTHY. IT IS SLOW DEATH TO BE GLOOMY ALL THE TIME!

Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to remind myself that Jesus died to set me free, help me Lord to live that life, and be determined in Him to have a joyful heart, in Jesus wonderful name I pray, amen!

HAVE A GREAT AND GODLY WEEKEND!

Be encouraged!

GBYAY

Thursday, April 27, 2006

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT THURSDAY – IT'S TIME TO IMPROVE OUR EXPERIENCE.

There's always room for improvement. It's the biggest room in the house. - Louise Health Leber.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. – 1 Cor 13:11. TNIV

In his book, “Folk Psalms of Faith” Ray Stedman tells a story of a woman who had been a school teacher for 25 years. When she heard about a job that would mean a promotion, she applied for the position. However, someone who had been teaching for only one year was hired instead.

She went to the principal and asked why. The principal responded, "I'm sorry, but you haven't had 25 years of experience as you claim; you've had only one year's experience 25 times."

During that whole time the teacher had not improved. This is truly a tragic story, and one I am sure, that we as Christians do not want said about us. How can we improve so that our experience is constantly improving? Here are some principles that I believe will help us…

1. Develop a Lifestyle of PRAYER.

By looking to God in Dependence, and acknowledging how much we need Him. Let us express our dependence to Him
... Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. - Heb 4:16.

2. Develop a Lifestyle of STUDY.

By looking in God's Word for Direction, finding counsel and guidance from the Holy Spirit... Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. - Ps 119:105.

Let us make it a priority of knowing God through His Word... Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. - 2 Tim 2:15.

Return the Cross to Golgotha I simply argue that the cross be raised again at the center of the marketplace as well as on the steeple of the church. I am recovering the claim that Jesus was not crucified in a cathedral between two candles; But on a cross between two thieves: on a town garbage heap; at a crossroad of politics so cosmopolitan that they had to write His title in Hebrew and in Latin and in Greek...

And at the kind of place where cynics talk smut, and thieves curse and soldiers gamble. Because that is where He died, and that is what He died about. And that is where Christ's people ought to be, and what church people ought to be about. - Source Unknown.

3. Develop a Lifestyle of FAITH.

By looking at our world with God's Perspective, and believing God is at work in our lives. We can do this by responding to His truth through obedience...
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. - Heb 11:1.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. - Heb 11:6.

4. Develop a Lifestyle of EVANGELISM.

By looking around for God-given Opportunities, sharing God's grace with those He brings into our lives and opportunities, by being examples in our walk of faith...

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. - 2 Pet 3:9.

The young salesman was disappointed about losing a big sale, and as he talked with his sales manager he lamented, "I guess it just proves you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink." The manager replied, "Son, take my advice: your job is not to make him drink. Your job is to make him thirsty." So it is with evangelism. Our lives should be so filled with Christ that they create a thirst for the Gospel. – Source Unknown.

This encouragement is designed to improve us in our experience, so let us strive to improve in these principles, knowing God gives us the grace and knowledge of Jesus, to do so. Improve!

Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to improve my experience. Help me to develop a lifestyle of prayer, study, faith, and evangelism, that I may bring glory to your Name. In the wonderful name of Jesus I pray! Amen!

Be Encouraged!
GBYAY

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

DECK EXTENSION PART 2.













POST ANZAC DAY

They say a picture is worth a 1000 words, I think this one says more...

RHIANNON Bailey was one of thousands of fresh-faced young Australians who helped make yesterday's Anzac Day celebrations the biggest in years. She marched with the 8th Division, predominantly Changi prisoners of war, in memory of her grandfather, Captain Robert Bailey.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

Link Link

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT WEDNESDAY - THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT.

I love this so much I needed to post it...

From William MacDonald's devotional, One Day at a Time, offered by The Berean Call - 26 January 05.

And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 1 John 3:23. TNIV

We must not think of love as an uncontrollable, unpredictable emotion. We are commanded to love, and this would be quite impossible if love were some elusive, sporadic sensation, coming as unaccountably as a common cold. Love does involve the emotions but it is more a matter of the will than of the emotions. We must also guard against the notion that love is confined to a world of dream castles with little relation to the nitty-gritty of everyday life.

For every hour of moonlight and roses, there are weeks of mops and dirty dishes. In other words, love is intensely practical. For instance, when a plate of bananas is passed at the table and one has black spots, love takes that one. Love cleans the washbasin and bathtub after using them. Love replaces paper towels when the supply is gone so that the next person will not be inconvenienced.

Love puts out the lights when they are not in use. It picks up the crumpled Kleenex instead of walking over it. It replaces the gas and oil after using a borrowed car. Love empties the garbage without being asked. It doesn't keep people waiting. It serves others before self. It takes a squalling baby out so as not to disturb the meeting. Love speaks loudly so that the deaf can hear. And love works in order to have the means to share with others...

"Love has a hem to its garment
That reaches right down to the dust
It can reach the stains of the streets and lanes,
And because it can, it must.

It dare not rest on the mountain;
It must go down to the vale;
For it cannot find its fullness of mind
Till it kindles the lives that fail."


Be encouraged!
GBYAY

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY - ANZAC DAY.

Today is a public holiday in Australia, as we celebrate Anzac Day (Australia/New Zealand Army Corp).

The Anzac tradition - the ideals of courage, endurance, and mateship that are still relevant today, was established on 25 April 1915, when the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula.

In the first week of battle, the Australians had lost 2273 men, and the Turks had lost at least 4000. The battle had taken place in an area the size of two soccer fields. It was the start of a campaign that lasted eight months, and resulted in some 25,000 Australian casualties, including 8700 that were killed, or died of wounds, or disease.

The men who served on the Gallipoli Peninsula created a legend, adding the word ‘Anzac’ to the Australian and New Zealand vocabularies, and creating the notion of the Anzac spirit.

We honour them...

They shall grow not old,

as we that are left grow old;

Age shall not weary them,

nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun

and in the morning

We will remember them.

Be encouraged!

GBYAY

Monday, April 24, 2006

DECK EXTENSION!

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT MONDAY - CHILLIN OUT!


I am chillin out today, as I have a busy week ahead of me, getting a new deck extension built. Have a great day and I will see you tomorrow!

Be Encouraged!
GBYAY

Sunday, April 23, 2006

SUNDAY SERMON ON THE BLOG – SINGING WITH GRATITUDE!

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. - Colossians 3:16.

We sing when we are happy, and we sing when we are heartbroken. Today we sing out of gratitude.

God is not only worthy of all of our praise, He is worthy of all of our thankfulness. But the basis of all our songs is Jesus, and the proclamation of the good news that brings life to us through him.

As that message, that word of Christ fills our hearts; we are tuned to be thankful children of the Most High God.

Loving Father, I am so thankful today, for all the many blessings you have poured into my life. Your love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness give me hope for the future. Your gift of Jesus gives me life today and promises life tomorrow. The incredible physical blessings, as well as the blessings of family and friends, are wonderful. But the greatest of all blessings is the assurance that I will one day see you face- to-face and share your glorious presence forever. In the wonderful and mighty Name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

Friday, April 21, 2006

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT FRIDAY - A CHEERFUL HEART. #22.


A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.. - Pro 17:22. TNIV

This has been an interesting week, and a very short one, owing to the Easter Holidays, Friday – Monday. It was great to be able to share this with some of our children and grandchildren. We had a wonderful Easter service, and fellowship at Church on Sunday, followed by a wonderful lunch, including Champagne and Fresh Oysters, Oysters Kilpatrick, Wild Salmon and Asparagus, and delicious individual Pavlova’s to finish the meal off! What a way to celebrate Resurrection Sunday! Praise the wonderful name of Jesus! So, let’s have a laugh to get this weekend started…

ONE LINERS
Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

Shin: a device for finding furniture in the dark.
It is far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without your help.

Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield.
Laughing stock: cattle with a sense of humour.
Some drink at the fountain of knowledge, others just gargle.
It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
Some people are only alive because it is illegal to shoot them.
Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at math.

Success always occurs in private and failure in full view.
Love may be blind but marriage is a real eye-opener.

Make it idiot proof and someone will make a better idiot.
Give me ambiguity or give me something else.
There's too much blood in my caffeine system.

When there's a will, I want to be in it.
Good judgment comes from bad experience and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
Things are more like they are now than they ever were before.
If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.

IRS: We've got what it takes to take what you've got.

HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!

Want a Push?
A man is in bed with his wife when he hears a rat-a-tat-tat on the front door. He rolls over, looks at the clock and sees that it's three o'clock in the morning. "What idiot would be knocking at the door at this hour?" thinks the man, and he rolls over and tries to go back to sleep.

After a few minutes, there's a louder knock on the door. "Aren't you going to see who it is?" asks his wife, so the man drags himself out of bed and goes downstairs. He opens the door to find a stranger standing outside.
"Eh mate," says the stranger, "Can you give us a push?"
"No! Get lost! It's three in the morning. I was sleeping," says the man and shuts the door.

He goes back to bed and tells his wife what happened. She says, "Remember that night when we broke down in the pouring rain on the way to pick up the kids from the babysitter and you had to knock on that man's door to get him to help us? What would have happened if he'd told us to 'get lost'?"

So the man gets out of bed again, gets dressed and goes downstairs. He opens the door and, not being able to see the stranger anywhere, he shouts, "Hey. Do you still want a push?"
A voice cries out, "Yes please, mate."
So, still being unable to see the stranger the man shouts, "Where are you?"
"I'm over here on the swings."

HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!

The Bells, The Bells...
Evidence has been found that William Tell and his family were avid bowlers. However, all the league records were unfortunately destroyed in a fire. Thus we'll never know for whom the Tells bowled.
HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!


WISDOM:
An angel appears at a faculty meeting and tells the dean that in return for his unselfish and exemplary behavior, the Lord will reward him with his choice of infinite wealth, wisdom or beauty. Without hesitating, the dean selects infinite wisdom.

"Done!" says the angel, and disappears in a cloud of smoke and a bolt of lightning. Now, all heads turn toward the dean, who sits surrounded by a faint halo of light. At length, one of his colleagues whispers, "Say something."

The dean looks at them and says, "I should have taken the money."
- Betsy Devine and Joel E. Cohen.

PUNS OF THE WEEK FOR MY FRIEND – BLOGOTIONAL; HE LOVES THEM SO MUCH… HE LAUGHED SOME WEIGHT OFF!
1. An argument over puppy selection is a pique of the litter.
2. Thieves kidnapped the prized Asian ape because they believed in gibbon take.
3. I had such a bad cold, I thought I was coffin to death.
4. The two desk lamps were considered to be social-lights, because they kept going out at night together.
5. The hen was unable to add numbers until the rooster bought her a new cackle-later.
6. Purchasing land in Baton Rouge won't bayou a thing.
7. Do you have any parting words? - How about comb and brush?
8. The smartest nut mixtures have some macadamia.
9. Its amazing how eagles catch their prey, they must be really talonted.
10. One scholar claimed that others could count on him to get even with odd numbers.
11. The frustrated cannibal threw up his hands.
12. My dog keeps me healthy, so he's my cur for the common cold.
13. A bird watcher was recently convicted of storking.
14. Never cry when you're playing tennis, because you could be charged with racket tearing.
15. When asked by a passenger how high he would get, the pilot replied,'I don't do drugs.'
16. We'll never run out of math teachers because they always multiply.
17. If you eat soup that's nine days old you will get bad broth.
18. To photograph peas, you need a good try pod.
19. In the air duct installers union they have lots of opportunity to vent.
20. Hospitals that buy in bulk get a valium discount.
HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!

SO ONCE AGAIN LET US REMIND OURSELVES, THAT BEING CHEERFUL KEEPS YOU HEALTHY. IT IS SLOW DEATH TO BE GLOOMY ALL THE TIME!

Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to remind myself that Jesus died to set me free, help me Lord to live that life, and be determined in Him to have a joyful heart, in Jesus wonderful name I pray, amen!

HAVE A GREAT AND GODLY WEEKEND!

Be encouraged!

GBYAY

Thursday, April 20, 2006

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT THURSDAY – JESUS, The Way Out Of Religious Confusion. #2.

A man was answering questions for a national poll. When asked for his church preference, he responded, "Red brick." - Source Unknown.

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. – John 14:6. TNIV

Remember putting your face above a headless frame painted to represent a muscle man, a clown, or even a bathing beauty? Many of us have had our pictures taken this way, and the photos are humorous because the head doesn't fit the body. If we could picture Christ as the head of our local body of believers, would the world laugh at the misfit? Or would they stand in awe of a human body so closely related to a divine head? - Dan Bernard.

Yesterday we saw how the example of Jesus can lead us out of Religious Confusion, today, how can we be sure that we are simply Christians, members of the church we read about in the New Testament? In order to answer this, it helps to observe what the Bible tells us about...

THE CHURCH OFJESUS CHRIST
Jesus promised to build His church… And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of death will not overcome it. - Matt 16:18.

The Church was established through the preaching of the gospel, and on the first Pentecost after the ascension of Christ, we see by preaching the gospel, Peter “called out” those who were willing to express their faith in Jesus…

Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call." - Acts 2:38-39.

The Church expanded through the preaching of the gospel. At first, the church existed only in Jerusalem, but as the gospel spread, and people responded to it, groups of these saved people in various cities met together. Each group became known as a church in a local sense (in contrast to the church universal which is made up of all those saved throughout the world). By simply teaching the gospel of Christ, a local church was formed when those who obeyed the gospel joined together in their work and worship.

When we read what the Bible says us about the Lord's church, we learn that by responding to the gospel and paying close heed to the “apostles doctrine” (cf. Ac 2:42), people in the first century were able to be Christians only, without all the confusion prevalent today. Is it possible for us to do this today? Yes! Here is the way out of religious confusion...

ACCEPT THE CALL OF THE GOSPEL...
Remember, Christ calls us into His ekklesia (church) through the gospel, therefore, we can begin by obeying the same instructions that Peter gave on the Day of Pentecost...

Repenting of our sins, and getting baptised in water as a public declaration of your commitment, then we then receive the same blessings as did the 3000 on that day: Salvation! By being saved in this manner, we know that the Lord truly adds us to His church just as He added them on the day of Pentecost! What do we do next?

FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE OF THE EARLY CHRISTIANS...
The early Christians continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine...
They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. - Acts 2:42.

They joined no other religious organisation, and neither should we! In Christ, we are automatically united with all others who are in Him! And as members of the Lord's church, we should study carefully the New Testament description of the church that continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine.

This description is found in the Book of Acts, and in the Epistles which follow it.It is here that we will find instruction from the Lord's apostles on how…
1) To worship the Lord acceptably.
2) To be scripturally organized as local congregations.
3) To live and work together as Christians, spreading the gospel of Christ through word and example.

Since the apostles were directed by the Holy Spirit, we may be sure that their instructions were exactly what Jesus wanted them to be! If we duplicate the early churches by following the apostles' instructions, we will simply be “Christians,” and then we can be certain the Lord is pleased with us! As Jesus said to His apostles about those who would receive or reject their instructions...

"Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me." - Luke 10:16.

Simply being a Christian, and duplicating a New Testament congregation is not as difficult as one might think, there are literally thousands of such congregations throughout the world, and by
following the example and teachings of Jesus, as revealed by His apostles, we can be led out of the religious confusion that dominates the religious world today!


The church is the only cooperative society in the world that exists for the benefit of its non-members. - William Temple.

If you have not yet responded to the commands of the gospel as put forth by Peter in Acts 2:38, why not let the reaction of those who did on the Day of Pentecost describe your actions today.

Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to be a Christian a follower of Jesus, and one who obeys His teachings. That I may not be deceived and fall into religious confusion. In the wonderful name of Jesus I pray! Amen!

Be Encouraged!
GBYAY

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT WEDNESDAY – Jesus, The Way Out Of Religious Confusion. #1.

A university student was seen with a large "K" printed on his T- shirt. When someone asked him what the "K" stood for, he said, "Confused." "But," the questioner replied, "you don't spell "confused" with a "K." The student answered, "You don't know how confused I am." - Source Unknown.

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. – John 14:6. TNIV

Many people who wish to follow Jesus are repelled by the multitude of denominations, conflicting doctrines, and bad practices taught by those professing to be Christians. Such distaste for denominational division is in keeping with the spirit of the New Testament...

Jesus prayed fervently for unity... that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. - John 17:21.

Paul condemned religious division... I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. - 1 Cor 1:10.

While some denominational leaders like to justify their existence, we know that religious confusion does not come from God! God is the author of peace, not confusion... For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord's people. - 1 Cor 14:33.

Religious strife is indicative of carnality, and a work of the flesh... You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere human beings? For when one says, "I follow Paul," and another, "I follow Apollos," are you not mere human beings? - 1 Cor 3:3-4.

Even so, is it possible for people today to simply be Christians, and not a contributor to the denominational division of today? The answer is Yes! And Jesus will show us The Way Out Of Religious Confusion! Notice Jesus' own example in the religious climate of His day...

THE EXAMPLE OF JESUS
Note the religious climate of His day.When Jesus came to this earth, the Israelites were living under God's law given by Moses. In that law, God had not made any provision for the division of His people into religious sects or parties.

Yet, by the time of Jesus, the Jews had formed several distinct religious sects: Pharisees (somewhat conservative); Sadducees (very liberal, the “modernists” of their day); Essenes (radical isolationists); Herodians, Zealots (political religionists). It was assumed that all who were serious about religion would be associated with one of these groups.

JESUS MAINTAINED A NON-SECTARIAN RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
To which of these groups did Jesus belong? He belonged to none of these groups! Instead, He maintained a “non-sectarian” relationship with God to the very end As an Israelite, living at a time when the Law of Moses was still in effect, He was simply an “Israelite.”

In addition, He encouraged all to live by the Law while it was still in effect…


"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. Truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. - Matt 5:17-20. In other words, He encouraged all to simply be what the Law of Moses intended them to be i.e., “Israelites.”

WHAT WOULD JESUS BE TODAY?
Would He be AOG; or Baptist, or Catholic, or Presbyterian, or Methodist? If He was simply an Israelite then, would He not simply be a “Christian” today? That was certainly what His disciples eventually came to be called…

Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch. - Acts 11:25-26.

The 19th-century Danish theologian Soren Kierkegaard identified two kinds of religion -- Religion A and Religion B. The first is "faith" in name only (2 Tim. 3:5). It's the practice of attending church without genuine faith in the living Lord.

Religion B, on the other hand, is a life-transforming, destiny-changing experience. It's a definite commitment to the crucified and risen Savior, which establishes an ongoing personal relationship between a forgiven sinner and a gracious God.

This difference explains why for many years British author C.S. Lewis had such great difficulty in becoming a Christian. Religion A had blinded him to Religion B. According to his brother Warren, his conversion was "no sudden plunge into a new life, but rather a slow, steady convalescence from a deep-seated spiritual illness - an illness that had its origins in our childhood, in the dry husks of religion offered by the semi-political churchgoing of Ulster, and the similar dull emptiness of compulsory church during our school days." - Our Daily Bread.

The example Jesus has set for us is clear; just be what God originally intended under the Law which is in effect. Since in the New Testament the Disciples of Christ were called “Christians,” so we should be! Not only should we be content with being called Christians, we should also be concerned with “just being Christians.” Nothing more, nothing less!

Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to be a Christian, one who follows , and obeys the teachings of Jesus. That I may not be deceived, and fall into religious confusion. In the wonderful name of Jesus I pray! Amen!

Be Encouraged!
GBYAY

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

THIS IS FOR YOU JESUS!

Congratulations Aaron! Praise the Lord for your win, your life, your witness, and your ministry!

AARON Baddeley was reciting a bible verse to himself as he stepped up to the two-metre putt that gave him his breakthrough win on the US PGA Tour."This is for you, Jesus," said Baddeley as he struck the putt which rolled sweetly into the hole.

The former teenage phenomenon of Australian golf has become a young man of deep religious faith, so much so he wants to become an Assembly of God preacher during his golf career.

But faith in himself has been well tested as he battled to fulfil the high expectation produced by his bright start in a fickle sport.Yesterday's victory by one stroke from Jim Furyk in the Heritage Classic at Hilton Head gave Baddeley his first title in 103 US Tour starts.

It's been more than five years since his last win at the Greg Norman International in Sydney, and even longer since those 1999 and 2000 Australian Open titles."

I feel like I've been out here forever, and I'm only 25," said Baddeley after donning the garish plaid winner's jacket and becoming the fourth Australian winner on the tour in 2006 after Stuart Appleby, Geoff Ogilvy and Rod Pampling.

"I've been playing PGA Tour events since I was 18 and it does feel like a long time, but it's definitely worth the wait."

Ranked 199 in the world, Baddeley won a tense head-to-head final round duel with fellow overnight leader Furyk, shooting one-under 70 to win at 15-under 269, collecting $1.3 million and a two-year tour exemption.

He jumped out with three birdies in his first five holes, fell back to level with bogeys at the seventh and eighth and was two shots down after a bogey at the 11th.

But Baddeley then showed his mettle with birdies at two of the hardest holes on the PGA Tour the 14th was statistically the hardest par 3 on Tour last year and the 15th was the hardest par 5 to move in front for good. At the last, Furyk missed his four-metre birdie putt and Baddeley used his faith to help shut the door withhis par.

"I was reciting from 2nd Timothy 1:7 which is: 'God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and a sound mind'," said Baddeley.

"I kept repeating power, love and a sound mind." I had a nice read on the putt and said to myself 'this is for you, Jesus', and then I knocked it in." I was very peaceful. I knew I trusted my golf swing, and I think it showed."I definitely feel that a little weight has been lifted. This is a stepping stone to a bigger picture."

It sure is mate, and this blog will be praying for you, and your ministry!

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY – CONTINUE WITH YOUR MINISTRY!

A religion that gives nothing, costs nothing, and suffers nothing, is worth nothing. - Martin Luther.

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. - Rom 12:6-9. TNIV

“I myself, for instance, am not especially gifted, and am shy by nature, but my gracious and merciful God and Father inclined Himself to me, and when I was weak in faith He strengthened me while I was still young. He taught me in my helplessness to rest on Him, and to pray even about little things in which another might have felt able to help himself.” - James Hudson Taylor.

In my role as a Pastor, I often get the opportunity to speak and minister at other Churches, Bible Colleges, High Schools, and Youth Meetings, (Yes I know, at my age its ridiculous, but I just love speaking to young people).

One of the assertions that always come up as I minister is... “I don’t know what my ministry is!” Young, old, male or female, it doesn’t matter, they still tell me the same thing, and I spend some time explaining to them that every Christian has a ministry!

EVERYONE HAS A PART TO PLAY IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD!

He has placed you in a strategic role! You are important to your church ministry, so just use your gift to the Glory of God and leave the results to Him.

We Are All Called To Minister! To begin with, we have to understand that each of our gifts differ from the others, so God assigns each of us to our place of ministry... Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. - 1 Cor 12:27.

As many vapors, rising from the sea, meet together in one cloud, and that cloud falls down divided into many drops, and those drops run together, making creeks of water, which meet in channels, and those channels run into streams, and those streams into rivers, and those rivers into the sea: so it either is or should be with the gifts and graces of the Church.

They all come down from God, divided severally as he will to various Christians. They should flow through the channels of their special vocations into the common streams of public use for church or community, and ultimately return into the great ocean of his glory, from whence they originally came. - Source unknown.

Minister in Love! Christians who have a genuine love for others in the body of Christ must desire Spiritual gifts in order to minister help, comfort, encourage and strengthen those in need. We must not wait passively for God to give the gifts of the Spirit, instead we must earnestly desire, seek and pray for them ... Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, - 1 Cor 14:1a.

And we are to use what God has given us for the improvement of the Church and its ministries; preaching, teaching, caring, counselling, men, woman and children’s ministries, evangelism and outreach...

So it is with you. Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church. - 1 Cor 14:12.

An elderly widow, restricted in her activities, was eager to serve Christ. After praying about this, she realized that she could bring blessing to others by playing the piano.

The next day she placed this small ad in the Oakland Tribune: "Pianist will play hymns by phone daily for those who are sick and despondent--the service is free." The notice included the number to dial. When people called, she would ask, "What hymn would you like to hear?"

Within a few months her playing had brought cheer to several hundred people. Many of them freely poured out their hearts to her, and she was able to help and encourage them. - Source Unknown.

These last days in which we live are perilous, but they are also days of great opportunity! God has given gifts to the body of Christ that they may be used for the extension of His Kingdom. So let’s use them now, that we may see drunks become sober, drug addicts become addicted to Jesus, families that were broken by the enemy, repaired by God, and people from all walks of life would know the real meaning of life, children prevented from abuse of all kinds!

What are you waiting for? “Continue On With Your Ministry!”

Loving Father, I thank you that I have a ministry! Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to eagerly desire the gifts that you have provided for me in my ministry. That I may use them to bring glory to your name, and to edify my church and its ministries. Help me Lord to reach out and use my ministry to help those in need. In Jesus’ wonderful name I pray! Amen!

Be Encouraged!
GBYAY

Sunday, April 16, 2006

UP FROM THE GRAVE HE AROSE!


A Happy and Holy Easter to everyone who is reading this! It is Easter Sunday here in Australia, and we celebrate the Risen Lord with this wonderful hymn...

Low in the grave he lay, Jesus my Savior,
waiting the coming day, Jesus my Lord!


Up from the grave he arose;
with a mighty triumph o'er his foes;
he arose a victor from the dark domain,
and he lives forever, with his saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!

Vainly they watch his bed, Jesus my Savior,
vainly they seal the dead, Jesus my Lord!

Up from the grave he arose;
with a mighty triumph o'er his foes;
he arose a victor from the dark domain,
and he lives forever, with his saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!


Death cannot keep its prey, Jesus my Savior;
he tore the bars away, Jesus my Lord!


Up from the grave he arose;
with a mighty triumph o'er his foes;
he arose a victor from the dark domain,
and he lives forever, with his saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!

Go here to sing along...

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Saturday, April 15, 2006

IT IS FINISHED!

How terribly have these blessed words of Christ been misunderstood, misappropriated and misapplied!

How many seem to think that on the cross the Lord Jesus accomplished a work which rendered it unnecessary for the beneficiaries of it to live holy lives on earth. So many have been deluded into thinking that, so far as reaching heaven is concerned, it matters not how they walk provided they are "resting on the finished work of Christ."

They may be unfruitful, untruthful, disobedient, yet (though they may possibly miss some millennial crown) so long as they repudiate all righteousness of their own and have faith in Christ, they imagine they are "eternally secure."


All around us are people who are worldly-minded, money-lovers, pleasure-seekers, Sabbath-breakers, yet who think all is well with them because they have "accepted Christ as their personal Saviour." In their aspiration, conversation, and recreation, there is practically nothing to differentiate them from those who make no profession at all.

Neither in their home-life nor social-life is there anything save empty pretensions to distinguish them from others. The fear of God is not upon them, the commands of God have no authority over them, the holiness of God has no attraction for them.

"It is finished." How solemn to realize that these words of Christ must have been used to lull thousands into a false peace. Yet such is the case. We have come into close contact with many who have no private prayer-life, who are selfish, covetous, dishonest, but who suppose that a merciful God will overlook all such things provided they once put their trust in the Lord Jesus.

What a horrible perversion of the truth! What a turning of God’s grace "into lasciviousness"! (Jude 4). Yes, those who now live the most self-seeking and flesh-pleasing lives, talk about their faith in the blood of the Lamb, and suppose they are safe. How the devil has deceived them!"


It is finished." Do those blessed words signify that Christ so satisfied the requirement of God’s holiness that holiness no longer has any real and pressing claims upon us? Perish the thought. Even to the redeemed God says, "Be ye holy, for I am holy" (1 Pet. 1:16).

Did Christ "magnify the law and make it honorable" (Isa. 42:21) that we might be lawless? Did He "fulfil all righteousness" (Matthew 3:15) to purchase for us an immunity from loving God with all our hearts and serving Him with all our faculties? Did Christ die in order to secure a divine indulgence that we might live to please self? Many seem to think so. No, the Lord Jesus has left His people an example that they should "follow (not ignore) His steps."


"It is finished." What was "finished?" The need for sinners to repent? No indeed. The need for turning to God from idols? No indeed. The need for mortifying my members which are upon earth? No indeed. The need for being sanctified wholly, in spirit, and soul, and body? No indeed. Christ died not to make my sorrow for, hatred of, and striving against sin, useless.

Christ died not to absolve me from the full discharge of my responsibilities unto God. Christ died not so that I might go on retaining the friendship and fellowship of the world. How passing strange that any should think that He did. Yet the actions of many show that this is their idea."It is finished."


What was "finished?" The sacrificial types were accomplished, the prophecies, of His sufferings were fulfilled, the work given Him by the Father had been perfectly done, a sure foundation had been laid on which a righteous God could pardon the vilest transgressor of the law who threw down the weapons of his warfare against Him.

Christ had now performed all that was necessary in order for the Holy Spirit to come and work in the hearts of His people; convincing them of their rebellion, slaying their enmity against God, and producing in them a loving and obedient heart.


O, dear reader, make no mistake on this point. The "finished work of Christ" avails you nothing if your heart has never been broken through an agonizing consciousness of your sinfulness.

The "finished work of Christ" avails you nothing unless you have been saved from the power and pollution of sin (Matthew 1:21). It avails you nothing if you still love the world (I John 2:15). It avails you nothing unless you are a "new creature" in Him (2 Cor .5:17). If you value your soul, search the Scriptures to see for yourself; take no man’s word for it. A.W. PINK.


Be encouraged!
GBYAY

Friday, April 14, 2006

WERE YOU THERE WHEN THEY CRUCIFIED MY LORD?


Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?

Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?

Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?

Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?

LISTEN.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT THURSDAY – THE JOY OF HIS SALVATION.

“I am born for God only. Christ is nearer to me than father, or mother, or sister - a near relation, a more affectionate Friend; and I rejoice to follow Him, and to love Him. Blessed Jesus! Thou art all I want -a forerunner to me in all I ever shall go through as a Christian, a minister, or a missionary." Henry Martyn.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you. - Psalm 51:12-13. TNIV

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.

David wrote Psalm 51, after the prophet Nathan confronted him and David confessed that he had committed adultery with Bathsheba. He pleads for mercy from God, and God restores the Joy of His salvation to him, because of his repentant heart.

All of us who have sinned know this feeling of sin's consequence, we feel as if we are all alone, we are wondering if there is a way back to God, we are overwhelmed by our feelings of guilt, we are asking the question… “Can we be restored?” Yes we can!

And the joy of His salvation is found in;The Knowledge of our Forgiveness. We may not have committed such great sins as David, but if our heart is right, and we come before the Lord with a repentant heart, His mercy, grace, compassion, and unfailing love, will grant us forgiveness through the shed blood of Jesus.

Once we have received this forgiveness and know that we are purified, the joy of His salvation comes flooding in, Hallelujah! Praise His wonderful Name! Knowing that we are forgiven, is to know JOY... If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. - 1 John 1:9.

Men have pursued joy in every avenue imaginable. Some have successfully found it while others have not. Perhaps it would be easier to describe where joy cannot be found:

Not in Unbelief -- Voltaire was an infidel of the most pronounced type. He wrote: "I wish I had never been born."

Not in Pleasure -- Lord Byron lived a life of pleasure if anyone did. He wrote: "The worm, the canker, and grief are mine alone."

Not in Money -- Jay Gould, the American millionaire, had plenty of that. When dying, he said: "I suppose I am the most miserable man on earth."

Not in Position and Fame -- Lord Beaconsfield enjoyed more than his share of both. He wrote: "Youth is a mistake; manhood a struggle; old age a regret."

Not in Military Glory -- Alexander the Great conquered the known world in his day. Having done so, he wept in his tent, before he said, "There are no more worlds to conquer."

Where then is real joy found? -- The answer is simple, in Christ alone. – The Bible Friend.

Not only do we know the joy of our forgiveness, but God will also restore unto us the Joy of His Salvation! This will then propel us to begin to tell of this forgiveness, granted to us by our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Tell them about the Jesus who can mend the broken hearts, who can deliver us from addictions, who can restore broken lives, who can repair marriages, who can reunite the lost sons, daughters, husbands or wives, who can put families back together again, who can give us values and direction for our lives! Many backsliders will slide back to Jesus and many souls will be won for the Kingdom of God! Hallelujah! What a mighty God we serve!

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.

COME BACK TO JESUS, HE IS WILLING TO RESTORE TO YOU, THE JOY OF HIS SALVATION!

Loving Father, I thank you that when I have sinned, I can come before your throne and confess my sins. I thank you that you forgive and cleanse me of all unrighteousness, and that you restore the joy of my salvation! Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit to tell people of your mercy, love, grace compassion and unfailing love! Help me Lord to win souls for the kingdom of God. In Jesus wonderful Name I pray! Amen!

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT WEDNESDAY – THE COST OF COMMITMENT. # 2.

American artist James Whistler, who was never known to be bashful about his talent, was once advised that a shipment of blank canvases he had ordered had been lost in the mail. When asked if the canvases were of any great value, Whistler remarked, "not yet, not yet." - Today in the Word.

Large crowds were travelling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: "If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, even life itself, such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. - Luke 14:25-27. TNIV

When 16-year old Eliza married the 20-year old tailor, he had never been to school. Others might have written his education off as a lost cause, but Eliza didn't. She taught him to read, write, and spell. Those days were difficult, but he proved to be a fast learner. In fact, he learned so well that years later he was elected president of the United States! When he ran for a second term he lost, but refused to give up. Instead, he won a seat in the U.S. Senate. Who? our 17th president, Andrew Johnson. - Today in the Word.

As we conclude our series on ‘The Cost Of Commitment’, it is good to remind ourselves that when Jesus looked at His disciples, He always saw the potential rather than their current condition. And when He looks at us, He sees in the same manner, otherwise none of us would have a chance.

At the time we come to Him, there is little in us to recommend us to the world, much less to God. We have to be taught to look at what could be, rather than what is.

Our Potential In Christ Is Much Greater Than We Realise...

For starters, there is the power of our prayer… For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil." - 1 Peter 3:12.

What the Church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use--men of prayer, men mighty in prayer.- E.M.Bounds.

Then there is, the power of our witness… And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. - 2 Timothy 2:2.

A good witness isn't like a salesman, emphasis is on a person rather than a product. A good witness is like a signpost. It doesn't matter whether it is old, young, pretty, ugly; it has to point the right direction and be able to be understood. We are witnesses to Christ, we point to him. - John White.

And finally, the power of our giving… Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will alsoreap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: "They have scattered abroad their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever." 2 Corinthians 9:6-9.

J.L. Kraft, head of the Kraft Cheese Corporation, who had given approximately 25% of his enormous income to Christian causes for many years, said, "The only investment I ever made which has paid consistently increasing dividends is the money I have given to the Lord."

J.D. Rockefeller said, "I never would have been able to tithe the first million dollars I ever made if I had not tithed my first salary, which was $1.50 per week." - W. A. Criswell.

We need to look at our future, realise our potential in Christ, and begin to operate in what God can do with us, as we commit ourselves afresh to Him.

Loving Father, by the power of the Holy Spirit help me to commit my prayer, my witness, my giving, and myself, for your service, and your glory. I ask this in the wonderful and majestic Name of Jesus. Amen.

Be Encouraged!
GBYAY

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY – THE COST OF COMMITMENT. # 1.

You must get involved to have an impact. No one is impressed with the won-lost record of the referee. - John H. Holcomb.

Large crowds were travelling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: "If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, even life itself, such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. - Luke 14:25-27. TNIV

The Bohemian reformer John Hus was a man who believed the Scriptures to be the infallible and supreme authority in all matters. He died at the stake for that belief in Constance, Germany, on his forty-second birthday. As he refused a final plea to renounce his faith, Hus's last words were, "What I taught with my lips, I seal with my blood." - Source Unknown.

Jesus Calls On Us To Make Him First.

When Jesus looked at His disciples, He always saw the potential rather than their current condition. And when He looks at us, He sees in the same manner, otherwise none of us would have a chance. At the time we come to Him, there is little in us to recommend us to the world, much less to God.

We have to be taught to look at what could be, rather than what is, and so our commitment to Him becomes very important for our future.

Our passage of scripture is sometimes difficult to understand, so I will try and explain it simply. Jesus must be supreme in everything; He must come before anything in our lives. Any thing that comes between us and Jesus, must be despised, if this means our families that are not in Christ, then so be it. Jesus must be supremely loved or He is not loved at all.

Many years ago, when Jean and I were just saved, we used to visit my sister Margaret and her husband Charlie every Sunday after Church, and my sister would always ask the question, “How was Church today?” and of course we would tell of what happened in our service, especially where our children were involved.

This became a sort of ritual, and after a few months, my brother-in-law got very upset, and told us if we were going to speak about Jesus again, we were not welcome in their house. We couldn’t accept this and so we left. This caused a considerable amount of pain to us, our children and my sister, but we committed them to prayer every day, and got on with our lives in Christ..

After some years had passed, my sister started coming to our Church, to hear me preach, and not long after accepted Jesus as her Lord and Saviour, at one of our evening services. It was still a difficult time for us, as we were not allowed in their house, but we rejoiced in her decision, and kept praying for Charlie.

A few months after this, he came to Church one evening with my sister and sat at the back. After the sermon I gave an invitation for Salvation, a few people came forward, and as I closed my eyes and started praying for others to come, I heard a commotion, I looked up and there was Charlie standing there weeping, as he gave his life to Christ.

What a night that was, as all was forgiven, and forgotten. They are both with the Lord now, but even writing this, there is a joy deep down in my heart. We took a stand for Him against our unbelieving family members, and He blessed us with great joy after our pain and suffering. Hallelujah! What a mighty God we serve!

We are called on to take up our own cross… And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. - Luke 9:27.

Matthew Henry says…We often meet with crosses in the way of duty; and though we must not pull them upon our own heads, yet, when they are laid for us, we must take them up, and carry them after Christ. It is well or ill with us, according as it is well or ill with our souls. The body cannot be happy, if the soul be miserable in the other world; but the soul may be happy, though the body is greatly afflicted and oppressed in this world. We must never be ashamed of Christ and his gospel.

We must follow Christ… My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one." - John 10:27-30.

A missionary society wrote to David Livingstone and asked, "Have you found a good road to where you are? If so, we want to know how to send other men to join you." Livingstone wrote back, "If you have men who will come only if they know there is a good road, I don't want them. I want men who will come if there is no road at all." - Good News Broadcaster.

TO BE COMMITTED MEANS TO DESPISE ANYTHING THAT WOULD COME BETWEEN US AND JESUS, AND TO TAKE UP OUR CROSS AND FOLLOW HIM.

Loving Father, by the power of the Holy Spirit, help me to despise every thing that would come between me and my Lord Jesus. Grant me your power to take up my cross, and follow Him. I ask this in the wonderful and majestic Name of Jesus. Amen.

Be Encouraged!
GBYAY

Monday, April 10, 2006

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT MONDAY – WHAT IS YOUR VISION?

Vision: the capacity to create a compelling picture of the desired state of affairs that inspires people to respond; that which is desirable, which could be, should be; that which is attainable.

A godly vision is right for the times, right for the church, and right for the people. A godly vision promotes faith rather than fear. A godly vision motivates people to action. A godly vision requires risk-taking. A godly vision glorifies God, not people. - Bob Logan.

I have to brag. There is nothing to be gained by it, but I must brag about the visions and other things that the Lord has shown me. – 2 Cor 12:1. cev

About 350 years ago a shipload of travelers landed on the northeast coast of America. The first year they established a town site. The next year they elected a town government. The third year the town government planned to build a road five miles westward into the wilderness.

In the fourth year the people tried to impeach their town government because they thought it was a waste of public funds to build a road five miles westward into a wilderness. Who needed to go there anyway?

Here were people who had the vision to see three thousand miles across an ocean and overcome great hardships to get there. But in just a few years they were not able to see even five miles out of town. They had lost their pioneering vision.

With a clear vision of what we can become in Christ, no ocean of difficulty is too great. Without it, we rarely move beyond our current boundaries. - Lynn Anderson.

WHAT IS YOUR VISION? WHAT HAS THE LORD SHOWN YOU LATELY?

Loving Father, by the power of the Holy Spirit, help me to have a vision for my faith, my family, my friends, and my future. I ask this in the wonderful and majestic Name of Jesus. Amen.

Be Encouraged!
GBYAY

Sunday, April 09, 2006

SUNDAY SERMON ON THE BLOG – OUR GREAT DELIVERER!

From the LORD comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people. - Psalm 3:8.

God is The Great Deliverer!

That's his chosen expertise. Whether it was delivering the Israelites through the Red Sea from Pharaoh's army ages ago, or it is rescuing a sinner from sin and death through Christ today, our God is The Great Deliverer!


So let's use today to repeatedly pray for people who need God's deliverance from sin, death, disease, family conflict, addiction, financial concerns, legal matters, mental illness, abuse, and temptation.

Loving Father, by the power of the Holy Spirit, I ask for deliverance for my friends who are onmy heart, and whose names I place before you now, release them from their bondage, and deliver them into a time of blessing, comfort, and assurance of your abiding presence. In the wonderful and mighty Name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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