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Thursday, November 30, 2006

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT - THURSDAY'S THOUGHTS.

Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court. - Psalm 127:3-5.



Let us always look to God's providence. In all the affairs and business of a family we must depend upon his blessing.

1. For raising a family. If God be not acknowledged, we have no reason to expect his blessing; and the best-laid plans fail, unless he crowns them with success.

2. For the safety of a family or a city. Except the Lord keep the city, the watchmen, though they neither slumber nor sleep, wake but in vain; mischief may break out, which even early discoveries may not be able to prevent.

3. For enriching a family. Some are so eager upon the world, that they are continually full of care, which makes their comforts bitter, and their lives a burden. All this is to get money; but all in vain, except God prosper them: while those who love the Lord, using due diligence in their lawful callings, and casting all their care upon him, have needful success, without uneasiness or vexation.

Our care must be to keep ourselves in the love of God; then we may be easy, whether we have little or much of this world. But we must use the proper means very diligently.

Children are God's gifts, a heritage, and a reward; and are to be accounted blessings, and not burdens: he who sends mouths, will send meat, if we trust in him. They are a great support and defence to a family. Children who are young, may be directed aright to the mark, God's glory, and the service of their generation; but when they are gone into the world, they are arrows out of the hand, it is too late to direct them then.

But these arrows in the hand too often prove arrows in the heart, a grief to godly parents. Yet, if trained according to God's word, they generally prove the best defence in declining years, remembering their obligations to their parents, and taking care of them in old age. All earthly comforts are uncertain, but the Lord will assuredly comfort and bless those who serve him; and those who seek the conversion of sinners, will find that their spiritual children are their joy and crown in the day of Jesus Christ. - Matthew Henry.

When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. - Matthew 10:14.

Says it all for me.

Loving Father, I thank you for my children, and for their children. I thank you that everyone of them is a blessing to me. Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to be a blessing, and an example to them. I ask this in the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus. Amen.

Be encouraged.
GBYAY

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT - WEDNESDAY WARRIOR! #1.

I'll say this for adversity, people seem to be able to stand it, and that's more than I can say for prosperity. - Kin Hubbard.

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. – 2 Cor 10:4.

I am in the process of tweaking my blog, and one of the changes is the new Wednesday Warrior, it’s designed to look at some bad/heretical teachings etc; and to fight back against them with some straight-talking, and fighting words. Enjoy the first one...

I love this story because it speaks to me of the foolishness of people, and at the same time the genuineness of Godly people…


Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the LORD had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy. Now bands of raiders from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman's wife. She said to her mistress, "If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy."

Naaman went to his master and told him what the girl from Israel had said. "By all means, go," the king of Aram replied. "I will send a letter to the king of Israel." So Naaman left, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold and ten sets of clothing. The letter that he took to the king of Israel read: "With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you so that you may cure him of his leprosy."

As soon as the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his robes and said, "Am I God? Can I kill and bring back to life? Why does this fellow send someone to me to be cured of his leprosy? See how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me!" When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his robes, he sent him this message: "Why have you torn your robes? Have the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel." – 2Kings 5:1-8.

Can you imagine the prosperity preachers of today, getting mad, tearing their clothes in frustration, and declining the equivalent of 750 pounds or about 340 kilograms of silver, and 150 pounds or about 68 kilograms of gold, plus the latest fashion in expensive clothes?

I don’t think so, not today’s prosperity preachers! They would be falling over themselves to get to the loot! And receiving it in the name of Jesus! That’s the difference today, instead of emulating the example of Godly men in the King of Israel, and Elijah, they would lie, cheat, manipulate, and in some cases destroy, to get their hands on that kind of money!

It would be well if men were as sensible of the burden of sin as they are of bodily disease. And when they seek the blessings which the Lord sends in answer to the prayers of his faithful people, they will find nothing can be had, except they come as beggars for a free gift, not as lords to demand or purchase. – Matthew Henry.

Oh! To have men and women today, of the caliber, and Godliness of the King and Elijah. Is it so difficult to rightly divide the word of God? Is it so difficult to follow Christ? Is it so difficult to call ourselves Christians, and put into practice what Jesus tells us?

Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would come to help us, that He would lead us into all truth. Don't the peddler's of misery take this seriously? Don't they realise that they serve a Holy and just God, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever?

My prayer is that God will have mercy on these prosperity preachers, and that their eyes will be opened to the truth of God’s word, and turn away from their folly. If not, then let them suffer the consequences of a Holy God.

Loving Father, I thank you for the Godly example of the King of Israel and Elijah. Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to study and show myself approved by you, that I may preach your word in truth and deed, and to follow in the footsteps of your dear son Jesus, in whose name I humbly ask these things. Amen.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY - CLASSICAL TESTIMONY'S.

They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. – Revelation 12:11.

By way of encouragement, I would like to devote Tuesdays to classical testimony’s which have brought great blessing and glory, to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Men and women who have faithfully served for the Kingdom of God. My prayer is that you will be blessed, encouraged, and inspired by these testimony’s…

Rodney Smith ("Gipsy Smith"): Methodist evangelist; born at Wanstead (6 miles northeast of London), Essex, England, March 31,1860. He is of Gipsy parentage, and was converted at the age of sixteen. In 1877 he became an evangelist under the auspices of the Christian Mission of London, and preached successfully in various places, particularly at Whitby, Sheffield, Bolton, Chatham, Hull, Derby, and Hanley.

Meanwhile, the Christian Mission had developed into the Salvation Army, and in 1882 Smith was dismissed for a technical breach of discipline. He continued to preach in Hanley, however, but in 1893, after conducting evangelistic services for a time at Hull, made a brief visit to Sweden.Returning to Hanley, he remained there until 1886 when he resigned to resume evangelistic work, being engaged in these labors until the end of 1888.

Early in 1889 he visited the United States, conducting services in various cities, returning to England later in the same year and becoming connected with the Manchester Mission. In 1891 he again visited the United States. In 1892 he conducted services in Edinburgh, and from this grew the Gipsy Gospel Wagon Mission, devoted to evangelistic work among his own people. He visited America for the third time in 1893.

After a five months' revival in Glasgow in 1893-94, Smith went to Australia, preaching at Adelaide, Melbourne, and Sydney, after which he returned to England by way of the United States. In 1895 he preached in London, Manchester, Edinburgh, as well as in many smaller cities, and in 1896 paid his fifth visit to America, returning to England and conducting brief evangelistic campaigns until 1897, when he became first missioner of the National Free Church Council.

This position he still retains [in 1911], and in this capacity he has conducted revivals throughout England, besides paying still another visit to the United States in 1907. [Gipsy Smith died in 1947]. - Gipsy Smith, His Life and Work.

The Apostolic Church was a Praying Church!
Written by Gipsy Smith

"And when they had prayed the place was shaken where they were assembled together." Acts 4:31. Here you will find an account of the model church - the Church as Jesus would have it be. Note for a moment the characteristics of that Church. "And when they had prayed the place was shaken . . ." These people knew how to pray. That is evident. Their Church was in truth the House of Prayer. There was great unity within that Church. They were "of one heart and one soul."

They were concentrated as well as consecrated. They gave of their substance freely. They were generous souls within that Church. There was great grace there also. And surely there was great power. "And with great power gave the Apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus."

Note the five great fundamentals which go to make up the model Church of Jesus Christ: Prayer, Unity, Generosity, Grace, and Power. If you want your Church to come up to the Apostolic standard, it must possess all these characteristics.

In the model Church, the people will love to pray. They will love that more than anything else. They would rather go to a prayer meeting than to a place of entertainment. When the Church of God uses the apostolic standard, it will be a praying church; that will be its chief characteristic. These people prayed! When they prayed, something happened.

Some of us would be surprised if anything striking happened as a result of our prayers. But, you see, I am speaking of the Apostolic Church; the sort of Church you say you would like to have in your locality. I am speaking, not of a Church which had grown conventional and cold, but of a conspicuous, outstanding, convincing, converting Church.

Do men and women enter Sunday after Sunday and say, "I am in the place of Prayer - there is the quickening atmosphere of Prayer all about me". Do they realize that the spirit of unity exists there? Are they conscious of the generosity, the grace, and the power of those whose names are on the Church Roll, and who worship there Sunday after Sunday?

I want to tell you something else you would be doing, if you were like the members of the first Apostolic Church. You would come to Church every Sunday morning a little earlier in order to meet in prayer with your minister, and that would have a mighty effect upon the day's services, upon the preacher and upon the congregation.

Another thing you would do is watch carefully the spiritual life of the Church, guard it at every point, stimulate it by prayer and by Godly conversation, and see to it that nothing is allowed to enter the Church to pollute the spiritual atmosphere or to smother the promptings of the Holy Ghost.

There will be no converting power within your Church, no building-up and strengthening of Christian graces of character, if the spiritual atmosphere is violated. You must see to it that all its windows are open to the winds of Heaven, that the breath of God may have full play. - Real Religion by Gipsy Smith.

Loving Father, I thank you for the life and ministry of Rodney Smith, a faithful servant. I thank you that he is no longer a Gypsy, but that he is seated with you in heavenly places. By the power of the Holy Spirit, help me to be a person of like faith, that I may bring glory to your name. I ask this in the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus. Amen.

Be encouraged.
GBYAY

Monday, November 27, 2006

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT MONDAY - A HEART STARTER #20.

If I had a car with the engine that was ready for the grave, I'd have a new engine put in. I'd take the car into a mechanic who would put it in for me. If when I got that car back, it ran just as poorly, I'd begin to wonder if the old really had been replaced or just cleaned up. It is not different with our new lives in Christ. - Henry Eerdmans.

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.

He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. – Titus 3:3-7.

Well folks, the weekends over, and it’s back to work for those who live in the Southern Hemisphere, for those who don’t, please continue to enjoy your weekend, but remember, Mondays coming! And as we know by experience, Mondays can be very sluggish, especially after a lovely weekend, where we managed to spend some quality time with our families and friends, and suddenly it’s back to the grind.

I thought by way of encouragement,
that we could have a ‘Heart Starter’ from the word of God, rather than the six cups of coffee, or whatever it takes, to get started for the rest of the week!

Our subject today is regeneration…

Rebirth or regeneration is monergistic, not synergistic. It is done by God and by God alone. A dead man cannot cooperate with his resurrection. Lazarus did not cooperate in his resurrection. Regeneration is a sovereign act of God in which man plays no role. After God brings us to life, of course, we certainly are involved in "cooperating" with Him.


We are to believe, trust, obey, and work for him. But unless God acts first, we will never be reborn in the first place. We must also realize it is not as if dead people have faith, and because of their faith God agrees to regenerate them. Rather, it is because God has regenerated us and given us new life that we have faith. - R.C. Sproul.

The new birth or regeneration
is an inner recreating of fallen human nature by the Holy Spirit. It changes the disposition from lawless, godless self-seeking into one of trust and love, of repentance for past rebelliousness and unbelief, and loving compliance with God's law henceforth. It enlightens the blinded mind to discern spiritual realities and liberates and energizes the enslaved will for free obedience to God.

The use of the figure of new birth
to describe this change emphasizes two facts about it. The first is its decisiveness. The regenerate man has forever ceased to be the man he was; his old life is over and a new life has begun; he is a new creature in Christ, buried with him out of reach of condemnation and raised with him into a new life of righteousness.

The second fact emphasized is that regeneration is due to the free, and to us, mysterious, exercise of divine power. Infants do not induce or cooperate in their own procreation and birth; no more can those who are dead in trespasses and sins prompt the quickening operation of God's Spirit within them. - James Packer, Your Father Loves You.

Once there was a brier growing in a ditch
and there came along a gardener with his spade. As he dug around it and lifted it up the brier said to itself, "What is he doing? Doesn't he know I am a worthless brier?" But the gardener took it into his garden and planted it amid his flowers, while the brier said, "What a mistake he has made planting me among these beautiful roses."

Then the gardener came once more
and made a slit in the brier with his sharp knife. He grafted it with a rose and when summer came lovely roses were blooming on that old brier. Then the gardener said, "Your beauty is not due to what came out but to what I put in." - Source Unknown.

Wow! Now that our hearts are beating regularly,
let’s consider what we have just read over a cup of Java, and thank the Lord for our new birth in Him, and also for the regeneration that takes place in us through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Loving Father, I thank you for the beautiful weekend that I have just had. Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit to start off this week, by being someone who is thankful for the regeneration work that the Holy Spirit is doing within me, that I may be the person that you intended me to be. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

Sunday, November 26, 2006

SUNDAY SERMON ON THE BLOG – THE ROAD TO GLORY!

He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. - Mark 8:31.

Knowing Jesus is God's Messiah is one thing, following Jesus as our Lord is quite another. Getting our minds, hearts, and lives to all line up is always a challenge.

Once Jesus' disciples confessed Him as the Christ, He knew He had to teach them the real road to glory. Each of the Gospels reminds us that this road led to the cross of agony before it led to the crown of glory.


The early church captured it in a song that reminded them that they, too, must walk that same road. We are a heaven-bound people, but we can be sure that we will encounter potholes and bumps along the road, and even steep hills to climb as Satan tries to derail, and defeat us.

Our Saviour, however, has already walked this road, and He is our great reminder, that the path leads us to share in his glory too.


Loving Father, I know several believers who are struggling to follow Jesus faithfully. Lord, I ask that by the power of the Holy Spirit, you give them the strength and the courage to endure, and that you use me to encourage them, and to help them through this dark time in their lives. I want to specifically mention several people by name, and ask you to bless them. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

Friday, November 24, 2006

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT FRIDAY – A CHEERFUL HEART #44.

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

Friday has come, and this brings to an end another working week. What better way to get into a good frame of mind than to end it with a good laugh …

Ice Fishing…
A guy gets up really early in the morning to go ice fishing. He goes out onto the ice with his tent, his pick and his fishing rod, and starts to pick at the ice. Then he hears a big booming voice: "THERE'S NO FISH UNDER THE ICE"

The guy looks around and then starts to pick at the ice again. Then he hears the voice again: "THERE'S NO FISH UNDER THE ICE"

Now the guy is getting a little edgy. He looks up, "God, is that you?"

There is no answer, so he starts picking again. "THERE'S NO FISH UNDER THE ICE!!"

Then the guy yells
"God! is that you?"

"NO, IT'S THE MANAGER OF THE ICE RINK!!"
---------------
Things to Do to Liven Up Thanksgiving Dinner…

1. Load your plate up high, then take it to the kitchen, toss it all in the blender, and take your "shake" back to the table. Announce that it's the new Thanksgiving Weight Loss Shake.
2. When everyone goes around to say what they are Thankful for, say, "I'm thankful I didn't get caught" and refuse to say anything more.
3. Bring along old recorded football games, pop them in the VCR when Dad's not looking. Make sure it is set to the last two minutes of the game. When he comes into the room, turn off the VCR and turn on the regular TV.
4. Bring a date that only talks about the tragic and abusive conditions known to exist at turkey farms.
5. During mid-meal turn to mom and say,
"See mom, I told you they wouldn't notice that the Turkey was past expiration date. You were worried for nothing."
--------------
Top Ten Signs You've Eaten Too Much at Thanksgiving Dinner…

10. Hundreds of volunteers have started to stack sandbags around you.
9. Doctor tells you your weight would be perfect for a man 17 feet tall.
8. You are responsible for a slight but measurable shift in the earth's axis.
7. Right this minute you're laughing up pie on the carpet.
6. You decide to take a little nap and wake up in mid-July.
5. World's fattest man sends you a telegram, warning you to "back off!"
4. CBS tells you to lose weight or else.
3. Getting off your couch requires help from the fire department.
2. Every escalator you step on immediately grinds to a halt.
1. You're sweatin' gravy.
-----------------
Thanksgiving Weather Forecast…
In the pre-Thanksgiving rush, we have received an early weather report from our in-house weather reporters. This is one, you should be sure to email your Mom.

Turkeys will thaw in the morning, then warm in the oven to an afternoon high near 190F. The kitchen will turn hot and humid, and if you bother the cook, be ready for a severesquall or cold shoulder.

During the late afternoon and evening, the cold front of a knife will slice through the turkey, causing an accumulation of one to two inches on plates. Mashed potatoes will drift across one side while cranberry sauce creates slippery spots on the other. Please pass the gravy.

A weight watch and indigestion warning have been issued for the entire area, with increased stuffiness around the beltway. During the evening, the turkey will diminish and taper off to leftovers, dropping to a low of 34F in the refrigerator.

Looking ahead to Friday and Saturday, high pressure to eat sandwiches will be established. Flurries of leftovers can be expected both days with a 50 percent chance of scattered soup late in the day. We expect a warming trend where soup develops. By early next week, eating pressure will be low as the only wish left will be the bone.
--------------
CONTENTMENT…

Contentment is not satisfaction. It is the grateful, faithful, fruitful use of what we have, little or much. It is to take the cup of Providence, and call upon the name of the Lord. What the cup contains is its contents. To get all there is in the cup is the act and art of contentment. Not to drink because one has but half a cup, or because one does not like its flavor, or because some one else has silver to one's own glass, is to lose the contents; and is the penalty, if not the meaning of discontent.

No one is discontented who employs and enjoys to the utmost what he has. It is high philosophy to say, we can have just what we like, if we like what we have; but this much at least can be done, and this is contentment,--to have the most and best in life, by making the most and best of what we have.- Maltbie Babcock.

WE ARE REMINDED THAT BEING CHEERFUL KEEPS US 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 cheerful heart, in Jesus wonderful Name I pray, amen!

HAVE A GREAT AND GODLY WEEKEND!

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

Thursday, November 23, 2006

HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY!

A happy thanksgiving day to all our friends and family in America, may the Lord bless you and your families abundantly.

Thanksgiving Day History...

The Pilgrims who sailed to America were originally members of the English Separatist Church. Before going to America they had fled to Holland to escape religious persecution. Although, in Holland, they enjoyed more religious tolerance, but they eventually became disillusioned with the Dutch way of life.

In the hope of a better life, they took the help of a London stock company to move out to America. Most of those making this trip aboard the Mayflower were non-Separatists. Only about one-third of the original colonists were Separatists.

They reached Plymouth in 1620. There, they had to face a terrible winter. Around 46 of the original 102 had died by the next fall. But fortune turned in their favor and the harvest of the next year was bumper. And the remaining colonists decided to celebrate with a feast -- including 91 Indians who had helped the Pilgrims survive their first year. It is believed that the Pilgrims would not have made it through the year without the help of the natives.

The feast was more of a traditional English harvest festival than a true "thanksgiving" observance. It lasted three days. Governor William Bradford sent "four men fowling" after wild ducks and geese. It is not certain that wild turkey was part of their feast. However, it is certain that they had venison. The term "turkey" was used by the Pilgrims to mean any sort of wild fowl.

Another modern staple at almost every Thanksgiving table is pumpkin pie. But it is unlikely that the first feast included that treat. The supply of flour had been long diminished, so there was no bread or pastries of any kind. However, they did eat boiled pumpkin, and they produced a type of fried bread from their corn crop.

There was also no milk, cider, potatoes, or butter. There was no domestic cattle for dairy products, and the newly-discovered potato was still considered by many Europeans to be poisonous. But the feast did include fish, berries, watercress, lobster, dried fruit, clams, venison, and plums.

This "thanksgiving" feast was not repeated the following year. But in 1623, during a severe drought, the pilgrims gathered in a prayer service, praying for rain. When a long, steady rain followed the very next day, Governor Bradford proclaimed another day of Thanksgiving, again inviting their Indian friends. It wasn't until June of 1676 that another Day of Thanksgiving was proclaimed.

On June 20, 1676, the governing council of Charlestown, Massachusetts, held a meeting to determine how best to express thanks for the good fortune that had seen their community securely established. By unanimous vote they instructed Edward Rawson, the clerk, to proclaim June 29 as a day of thanksgiving. It is notable that this thanksgiving celebration probably did not include the Indians, as the celebration was meant partly to be in recognition of the colonists' recent victory over the "heathen natives".

October of 1777 marked the first time that all 13 colonies joined in a thanksgiving celebration. It also commemorated the patriotic victory over the British at Saratoga. But it was a one-time affair. George Washington proclaimed a National Day of Thanksgiving in 1789, although some were opposed to it. There was discord among the colonies, many feeling the hardships of a few Pilgrims did not warrant a national holiday. And later, President Thomas Jefferson scoffed at the idea of having a day of thanksgiving.

It was Sarah Josepha Hale, a magazine editor, whose efforts eventually led to what we recognize as Thanksgiving. Hale wrote many editorials championing her cause in her Boston Ladies' Magazine, and later, in Godey's Lady's Book. Finally, after a 40-year campaign of writing editorials and letters to governors and presidents, Hale's obsession became a reality when, in 1863, President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a national day of Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving was proclaimed by every president after Lincoln. The date was changed a couple of times, most recently by Franklin Roosevelt, who set it up one week to the next-to-last Thursday in order to create a longer Christmas shopping season. Public uproar against this decision caused the president to move Thanksgiving back to its original date two years later. And in 1941, Thanksgiving was finally sanctioned by Congress as a legal holiday, as the fourth Thursday in November.

Be encouraged.
GBYAY

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT THURSDAY- ANGER vs ANGUISH.

A lady once came to Billy Sunday and tried to rationalize her angry outbursts.

"There's nothing wrong with losing my temper," she said. "I blow up, and then it's all over."

"So does a shotgun," Sunday replied, "and look at the damage it leaves behind!"
– Billy Sunday.

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because our anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. – James 1:19-20.

Doctors from Coral Gables, Fla., compared the efficiency of the heart's pumping action in 18 men with coronary artery disease to nine healthy controls. Each of the study participants underwent one physical stress test (riding an exercise bicycle) and three mental stress tests (doing math problems in their heads, recalling a recent incident that had made them very angry, and giving a short speech to defend themselves against a hypothetical charge of shoplifting).

Using sophisticated X-ray techniques, the doctors took pictures of the subjects' hearts in action during these tests. For all the subjects, anger reduced the amount of blood that the heart pumped to body tissues more than the other tests, but this was especially true for those who had heart disease.

Why anger is so much more potent than fear or mental stress is anybody's guess. But until we see more research on this subject, it couldn't hurt to count to 10 before you blow your stack. -
Spokesman-Review.

---------------
Will Rogers was known for his laughter, but he also knew how to weep. One day he was entertaining at the Milton H. Berry Institute in Los Angeles, a hospital that specialized in rehabilitating polio victims and people with broken backs and other extreme physical handicaps. Of course, Rogers had everybody laughing, even patients in really bad condition; but then he suddenly left the platform and went to the rest room.


Milton Berry followed him to give him a towel; and when he opened the door, he saw Will Rogers leaning against the wall, sobbing like a child. He closed the door, and in a few minutes, Rogers appeared back on the platform, as jovial as before.

If you want to learn what a person is really like, ask three questions: What makes him laugh? What makes him angry? What makes him weep? These are fairly good tests of character that are especially appropriate for Christian leaders. I hear people saying, "We need angry leaders today!" or "The time has come to practice militant Christianity!" Perhaps, but
“… our anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” (James 1:20).

What we need today is not anger but anguish, the kind of anguish that Moses displayed when he broke the two tablets of the law and then climbed the mountain to intercede for his people, or that Jesus displayed when He cleansed the temple and then wept over the city.


The difference between anger and anguish is a broken heart. It's easy to get angry, especially at somebody else's sins; but it's not easy to look at sin, our own included, and weep over it. - Warren W. Wiersbe, The Integrity Crisis.

Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit to deal with any anger in my life, help me Lord to anguish over the broken, that they may know your love, healing, and compassion.. I ask this in the wonderful and majestic name of Jesus! Amen!

Be encouraged.
GBYAY

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT WEDNESDAY – WORSHIP.

What is worship? Worship is to feel in your heart and express in some appropriate manner a humbling but delightful sense of admiring awe and astonished wonder and overpowering love in the presence of that most ancient Mystery, that Majesty which philosophers call the First Cause, but which we call Our Father Which Are in Heaven. - A.W. Tozer.

God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth." – John 4:24.

I love to worship, not just at Church or only on a Sunday, but most of my waking time. It comes in many forms, for instance, I was reading Better Bibles Blog today, and this led me to Rick Mansfield's Blog about the, Good News Bible. This was the first Bible I ever read from cover to cover, and I loved it, although my favourite BIBLE, after reading many, many versions, is the TNIV.

However, as I was reading through Rick’s post, it brought back a flood of memories of when I first got saved, and although I was happy today, I started to cry and worship the Lord, I was so thankful that after twenty six years, I was still loving Him with all of my heart, still thankful, still excited, still serving, still obedient, and still worshipping!

Here are some definitions of worship…


To worship God is to recognize his worth or worthiness; to look God-ward, and to acknowledge in all appropriate ways the value of what we see. The Bible calls this activity "glorifying God" or "giving glory to God," and views it as the ultimate end, and from one point of view, the whole duty of man (Ps. 29:2; 96:6; 1 Cor. 10:31).

Scripture views the glorifying of God as a six fold activity: praising God for all that he is and all his achievements; thanking him for his gifts and his goodness to us; asking him to meet our own and others' needs; offering him our gifts, our service, and ourselves; learning of him from his word, read and preached, and obeying his voice; telling others of his worth, both by public confession and testimony to what he has done for us. Thus we might say that the basic formulas of worship are these: "Lord, you are wonderful"; "Thank you, Lord"; "Please Lord"; "Take this, Lord"; "Yes, Lord"; "Listen everybody!"

This then is worship in its largest sense: petition as well as praise, preaching as well as prayer, hearing as well as speaking, actions as well as words, obeying as well as offering, loving people as well as loving God. However, the primary acts of worship are those which focus on God directly -- and we must not imagine that work for God in the world is a substitute for direct fellowship with him in praise and prayer and devotion. - James Packer, Your Father Loves You.
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Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) was present at the Vienna Music Hall, where his oratorio The Creation was being performed. Weakened by age, the great composer was confined to a wheelchair. As the majestic work moved along, the audience was caught up with tremendous emotion. When the passage "And there was light!" was reached, the chorus and orchestra burst forth in such power that the crowd could no longer restrain its enthusiasm.

The vast assembly rose in spontaneous applause. Haydn struggled to stand and motioned for silence. With his hand pointed toward heaven, he said, "No, no, not from me, but from thence comes all!" Having given the glory and praise to the Creator, he fell back into his chair exhausted. – Daily Bread.

Keep worshipping!

Loving Father, I thank you that you are continually working in me, and I take great comfort and encouragement from that. I also thank you for the Holy Spirit who helps me to worship you. I pray I may always have a worshipping heart, that I can continually bring glory to your name. I ask this in the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus. Amen.

Be encouraged.
GBYAY

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY- GRACE.

Although out of pure grace God does not impute our sins to us, He nonetheless did not want to do this until complete and ample satisfaction of His law and His righteousness had been made. Since this was impossible for us, God ordained for us, in our place, One who took upon Himself all the punishment we deserve.

He fulfilled the law for us. He averted the judgment of God from us and appeased God's wrath. Grace, therefore, costs us nothing, but is cost Another much to get it for us. Grace was purchased with an incalculable, infinite treasure, the Son of God Himself."
- Martin Luther.

Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. – John 1:16-17.

I listened to an audio sermon of Jim Bakker today, preaching at his son Jay’s Church Plant, “REVOLUTION NYC.” It is a very touching sermon, and he mentioned some of the things that had happened to him whilst in jail. It is very emotional, and if you are going to listen to it, keep the Kleenex handy!

It’s only a short message, where Jay speaks before his Dad, and talks about his dying Mother, Tammy Fay. You can download the MP3,
here, it’s called ‘Finding Grace.’

Jim talks about GRACE, and the fact that he has just begun to receive it and give it in the last few weeks, after reading a book about grace. The audio sound is poor but it gets better, it is well worth listening to.

Longing to leave her poor Brazilian neighborhood, Christina wanted to see the world. Discontent with a home having only a pallet on the floor, a washbasin, and a wood-burning stove, she dreamed of a better life in the city. One morning she slipped away, breaking her mother's heart.

Knowing what life on the streets would be like for her young, attractive daughter, Maria hurriedly packed to go find her. On her way to the bus stop she entered a drugstore to get one last thing. Pictures. She sat in the photograph booth, closed the curtain, and spent all she could on pictures of herself.

With her purse full of small black-and-white photos, she boarded the next bus to Rio de Janiero. Maria knew Christina had no way of earning money. She also knew that her daughter was too stubborn to give up. When pride meets hunger, a human will do things that were before unthinkable. Knowing this, Maria began her search. Bars, hotels, nightclubs, any place with the reputation for street walkers or prostitutes.


She went to them all. And at each place she left her picture--taped on a bathroom mirror, tacked to a hotel bulletin board, fastened to a corner phone booth. And on the back of each photo she wrote a note. It wasn't too long before both the money and the pictures ran out, and Maria had to go home. The weary mother wept as the bus began its long journey back to her small village.

It was a few weeks later that young Christina descended the hotel stairs. Her young face was tired. Her brown eyes no longer danced with youth but spoke of pain and fear. Her laughter was broken. Her dream had become a nightmare. A thousand times over she had longed to trade these countless beds for her secure pallet. Yet the little village was, in too many ways, too far away.


As she reached the bottom of the stairs, her eyes noticed a familiar face. She looked again, and there on the lobby mirror was a small picture of her mother. Christina's eyes burned and her throat tightened as she walked across the room and removed the small photo.

Written on the back was this compelling invitation. "Whatever you have done, whatever you have become, it doesn't matter. Please come home."... She did. - Max Lucado, ‘No Wonder They Call Him the Savior.’
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Charles Spurgeon and Joseph Parker both had churches in London in the 19th century. On one occasion, Parker commented on the poor condition of children admitted to Spurgeon's orphanage. It was reported to Spurgeon however, that Parker had criticized the orphanage itself. Spurgeon blasted Parker the next week from the pulpit. The attack was printed in the newspapers and became the talk of the town. People flocked to Parker's church the next Sunday to hear his rebuttal.

"I understand Dr. Spurgeon is not in his pulpit today, and this is the Sunday they use to take an offering for the orphanage. I suggest we take a love offering here instead."


The crowd was delighted. The ushers had to empty the collection plates 3 times. Later that week there was a knock at Parker's study. It was Spurgeon. "You know Parker, you have practiced grace on me. You have given me not what I deserved, you have given me what I needed. - Moody Monthly.

Loving Father, by the power of the Holy Spirit, help me to be the giver and the receiver of His grace. I ask this in the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus, my Lord and Saviour. Amen.

Be encouraged.
GBYAY

Monday, November 20, 2006

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT MONDAY - A HEART STARTER #19.

Complacency is a blight that saps energy, dulls attitudes, and causes a drain on the brain. The first symptom is satisfaction with things as they are. The second is rejection of things as they might be. "Good enough" becomes today's watchword and tomorrow's standard.

Complacency makes people fear the unknown, mistrust the untried, and abhor the new. Like water, complacent people follow the easiest course -- downhill. They draw false strength from looking back. - Bits & Pieces.

Well folks, the weekends over, and it’s back to work for those who live in the Southern Hemisphere, for those who don’t, please continue to enjoy your weekend, but remember, Mondays coming! And as we know by experience, Mondays can be very sluggish, especially after a lovely weekend, where we managed to spend some quality time with our families and friends, and suddenly it’s back to the grind.

I thought by way of encouragement, that we could have a ‘Heart Starter’ from the word of God, rather than the six cups of coffee, or whatever it takes, to get started for the rest of the week! Our subject today is complacency…

A certain amount of permanent dissatisfaction with one's talents is probably a healthy thing. Those who are totally satisfied with their work will never reach their potential. The great pianist, Paderewski, achieved tremendous popularity in America.

Yet, said Paderewski, "There have been a few moments when I have known complete satisfaction, but only a few. I have rarely been free from the disturbing realization that my playing might have been better."

The world considered Paderewski's playing near perfection, but he remained unsatisfied and kept constantly at the job of improving his talent. - Bits & Pieces.
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A close friend of mine was asked back to his forty-year high school reunion. For months he saved to take his wife back to the place and the people he'd left four decades before. The closer the time came for the reunion, the more excited he became, thinking of all the wonderful stories he would hear about the changes and the accomplishments these old friends would tell him.

One night before he left he even pulled out his old yearbooks, read the silly statements and the good wishes for the future that students write to each other. He wondered what ol' Number 86 from his football team had done. He wondered if any others had encountered this Christ who had changed him so profoundly. He even tried to guess what some of his friends would look like, and what kind of jobs and families some of these special friends had.

The day came to leave and I drove them to the airport. Their energy was almost contagious. "I'll pick you up on Sunday evening, and you can tell me all about it," I said. "Have a great time."

Sunday evening arrived. As I watched them get off the plane, my friend seemed almost despondent. I almost didn't want to ask, but finally I said, "Well, how was the reunion?"

"Tim," the man said, "it was one of the saddest experiences of my life."

"Good grief," I said, more than a little surprised. "What happened?"

"It wasn't what happened but what didn't happen. It has been forty years, forty years -- and they haven't changed. They had simply gained weight, changed clothes, gotten jobs...but they hadn't really changed. And what I experienced was maybe one of the most tragic things I could ever imagine about life. For reasons I can't fully understand, it seems as though some people choose not to change."

There was a long silence as we walked back to the car. On the drive home, he turned to me and said, "I never, never want that to be said of me, Tim. Life is too precious, too sacred, too important. If you ever see me go stagnant like that, I hope you give me a quick, swift kick where I need it -- for Christ's sake. I hope you'll love me enough to challenge me to keep growing." - Tim Hansel.

Wow! Now that our hearts are beating regularly, let’s consider what we have just read over a cup of Java, and ask the Lord to help us to be people, who will never be satisfied in who/what we are, but will shake off that complacency, and be the person that God intends us to be!

Loving Father, I thank you for the beautiful weekend that I have just had. Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit to start off this week, by being someone who will never be satisfied with what I am, and what I have achieved so far, but to go on and be the person that you purposed me to be. Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit to achieve this, that I may bring glory to your name. In the wonderful name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

Sunday, November 19, 2006

SUNDAY SERMON ON THE BLOG – WHO DO YOU LISTEN TO?

Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: "This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!" - Mark 9:7.

Who are you listening to in your life? We can hear all sorts of different voices, but we can follow only one.

So who are you going to listen to as you make your decisions about morality, values, principles, and character? Who has earned the right to be heard regarding life, death, salvation, and sin?

God makes it unmistakably clear; we must listen to his Son Jesus!


Loving Father, by the power of the Holy Spirit help me to silence the voices of doubt, deception, and rabble-rousing that surround me. Help me to clearly hear the voice of Jesus, follow him, and obey your will in all things, no matter what everyone else around may choose to do. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JEAN!
Many happy birthday blessings to my lovely wife Jean today. She will be absolutely spoiled for the next two weeks... that's how long her celebrations last!

May the Lord Jesus abundantly bless you with many more years!

Your loving husband,
John xooxoxoxoxo

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY - CHILLIN OUT TODAY!

I am chillin out today as I have a busy few days ahead, it's Jean's birthday on Wednesday, so I want to buy her something special. Meanwhile here's some things on happiness...

6 weeks before he died, a reporter asked Elvis Presley, "Elvis, when you first started playing music, you said you wanted to be rich, famous and happy. Are you happy?"

"I'm lonely as hell" he replied. - Source Unknown.
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A woman I know climbed on the bathroom scale after two weeks of butterless toast and chilly jogs around the park. The needle was still stuck on the number where she'd started. This struck her as typical of how things had been going lately. She was destined never to be happy.


As she dressed, scowling at her tight jeans, she found $20 in her pocket. Then her sister called with a funny story. When she hurried out to the car -- angry that she had to get gas -- she discovered her roommate had already filled the tank for her. And this was a woman who thought she'd never be happy.

Every day, it seems, we're flooded with pop-psych advice about happiness. The relentless message is that there's something we're supposed to do to be happy -- make the right choices, or have the right set of beliefs about ourselves. Our Founding Fathers even wrote the pursuit of happiness into the Declaration of Independence.

Coupled with this is the notion that happiness is a permanent condition. If we're not joyful all the time, we conclude there's a problem. Yet what most people experience is not a permanent state of happiness. It is something more ordinary, a mixture of what essayist Hugh Prather once called "unsolved problems, ambiguous victories and vague defeats -- with few moments of clear peace."

Maybe you wouldn't say yesterday was a happy day, because you had a misunderstanding with your boss. But weren't there moments of happiness, moments of clear peace? Now that you think about it, wasn't there a letter from an old friend, or a stranger who asked where you got such a great haircut? You remember having a bad day, yet those good moments occurred.

Happiness is like a visitor, a genial, exotic Aunt Tilly who turns up when you least expect her, orders an extravagant round of drinks and then disappears, trailing a lingering scent of gardenias. You can't command her appearance; you can only appreciate her when she does show up. And you can't force happiness to happen -- but you can make sure you are aware of it when it does.

While you're walking home with a head full of problems, try to notice the sun set the windows of the city on fire. Listen to the shouts of kids playing basketball in the fading light, and feel your spirits rise, just from having paid attention.

Happiness is an attitude, not a condition. It's cleaning the Venetian blinds while listening to an aria, or spending a pleasant hour organizing your closet. Happiness is your family assembled at dinner. It's in the present, not in the distant promise of a "someday when..."

How much luckier we are -- and how much more happiness we experience -- if we can fall in love with the life we're living. Happiness is a choice. Reach out for it at the moment it appears, like a balloon drifting seaward in a bright blue sky.- Source unknown.
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To ask that God's love should be content with us as we are is to ask that God should cease to be God: because He is what He is, His love must, in the nature of things, be impeded and repelled by certain stains in our present character, and because He already loves us He must labour to make us lovable.

We cannot even wish, in our better moments, that He could reconcile Himself to our present impurities--no more than the beggar maid could wish that King Cophetua should be content with her rags and dirt, or a dog, once having learned to love man, could wish that man were such as to tolerate in his house the snapping, verminous, polluting creature of the wild pack.

What we would here and now call our "happiness" is not the end God chiefly has in view: but when we are such as He can love without impediment, we shall in fact be happy. - C.S. Lewis.

Let's take time out to read all of the above, don't just look at it, absorb it, and thank the Lord, for being happy today.

Be encouraged.
GBYAY

Monday, November 13, 2006

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT MONDAY - A HEART STARTER #18.

Although George Whitefield disagreed with John Wesley on some theological matters, he was careful not to create problems in public that could be used to hinder the preaching of the gospel. When someone asked Whitefield if he thought he would see Wesley in heaven, Whitefield replied, "I fear not, for he will be so near the eternal throne and we at such a distance, we shall hardly get sight of him." - W. Wiersbe.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. – Phil 2:3-4.

Well folks, the weekends over, and it’s back to work for those who live in the Southern Hemisphere, for those who don’t, continue to enjoy your weekend, but remember, Mondays coming! And as we know, Mondays can be very sluggish, especially after a lovely weekend, where we managed to spend some quality time with our families and friends, and suddenly it’s back to the grind.

I thought by way of encouragement,
that we could have a ‘Heart Starter’ from the word of God, rather than the six cups of coffee, or whatever it takes, to get started for the rest of the week!

Our subject today is humility…

Humility is perfect quietness of heart.
It is for me to have no trouble; never to be fretted or vexed or irritated or sore or disappointed. It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me and when I am blamed or despised.

It is to have a blessed home in the Lord where I can go in and shut the door and kneel to my Father in secret and be at peace as in a deep sea of calmness when all around is trouble. It is the fruit of the Lord Jesus Christ's redemptive work on Calvary's cross, manifested in those of His own who are definitely subject to the Holy Spirit. Andrew Murray.
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It had been a long day on Capitol Hill for Senator John Stennis.
He was looking forward to a bit of relaxation when he got home. After parking the car, he began to walk toward his front door. Then it happened. Two people came out of the darkness, robbed him, and shot him twice. News of the shooting of Senator Stennis, the chairman of the powerful Armed Forces Committee, shocked Washington and the nation.


For nearly seven hours, Senator Stennis was on the operating table at Walter Reed Hospital. Less than two hours later, another politician was driving home when he heard about the shooting. He turned his car around and drove directly to the hospital.

In the hospital,
he noticed that the staff was swamped and could not keep up with the incoming calls about the Senator's condition. He spotted an unattended switchboard, sat down, and voluntarily went to work. He continued taking calls until daylight.


Sometime during that next day, he stood up, stretched, put on his overcoat, and just before leaving, he introduced himself quietly to the other operator, "I'm Mark Hatfield. Happy to help out." Then Senator Mark Hatfield unobtrusively walked out.

The press could hardly handle that story.
There seemed to be no way for a conservative Republican to give a liberal Democrat a tip of the hat, let alone spend hours doing a menial task and be "happy to help out." - Knofel Stanton.
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Many years ago, Christian professor Stuart Blackie
of the University of Edinburgh was listening to his students as they presented oral readings. When one young man rose to begin his recitation, he held his book in the wrong hand. The professor thundered, "Take your book in your right hand, and be seated!" At this harsh rebuke, the student held up his right arm. He didn't have a right hand! The other students shifted uneasily in their chairs.

For a moment the professor hesitated.
Then he made his way to the student, put his arm around him, and with tears streaming from his eyes, said, "I never knew about it. Please, will you forgive me?" His humble apology made a lasting impact on that young man.


This story was told some time later in a large gathering of believers. At the close of the meeting a man came forward, turned to the crowd, and raised his right arm. It ended at the wrist. He said, "I was that student. Professor Blackie led me to Christ. But he never could have done it if he had not made the wrong right." - Source Unknown.

Wow! Now that our hearts are beating regularly,
let’s consider what we have just read over a cup of Java, and ask the Lord to help us to be people, who will do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility, value others above ourselves. That it wouldn’t be a case of ‘I am alright Jack!’ but, ‘Are you alright Jack? What can I do for you?’

Loving Father, I thank you for the beautiful weekend that I have just had. Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit to start off this week, by being someone who will have true humility. Help me Holy Spirit to achieve this. In the wonderful name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

Sunday, November 12, 2006

SUNDAY SERMON ON THE BLOG – PRAISE YOU JESUS!

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole."- Galatians 3:13.

Cursed! Not just in the sense that he was mocked and his detractors cursed at Him, but in the sense that He received the curse of death because of our sin.

He did what was hideous and scandalous; He died on a Cross, hung to a tree in front of a jeering mob, executed like sub-human scum. But the beauty of His shame and disgrace is that God made it our redemption. Jesus' ridicule and curse bought us freedom from the curse of our own sins.

Praise God! Praise Jesus! Praise His wonderful and mighty name!


Loving Father, I thank you that Jesus died for me that would be set free from the curse of sin. Help me Holy Spirit to make my thoughts and words, convey the gratitude of my heart, as He intercedes for me now. Thank you! Praise you! May my life truly honor you! In the mighty name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

Friday, November 10, 2006

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT FRIDAY – A CHEERFUL HEART #43.

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

Friday has come and brings to an end another working week. What better way to get into a good frame of mind than to end it with a good laugh …

Disorder In The Court - Things people actually said in court, word for word…
Q: What is your date of birth? A: July fifteenth. Q: What year? A: Every year.

Q: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact? A: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.

Q: This myasthenia gravis-does it affect your memory at all? A: Yes. Q: And in what ways does it affect your memory? A: I forget. Q: You forget. Can you give us an example of something that you've forgotten?

Q: All your responses must be oral, OK? What school did you go to? A: Oral.

Q: How old is your son-the one living with you? A: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can't remember which. Q: How long has he lived with you? A: Forty-five years.

Q: What was the first thing your husband said to you when he woke that morning? A: He said, "where am I Cathy?" Q: And why did that upset you? A: My name is Susan.

Q: And where was the location of the accident? A: Approximately milepost 499. Q: And where is milepost 499? A: Probably between milepost 498 and 500.

Q: Sir, what is your IQ? A: Well I can see pretty well I think.

Q: Did you blow your horn or anything? A: After the accident? Q: Before the accident. A: Sure, I played horn for ten years. I even went to school for it.

Q: Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in the voodoo occult? A: We both do. Q: Voodoo? A: We do. Q: You do? A: Yes, voodoo.

Q: Trooper, when you stopped the defendant, were your red and blue lights flashing? A: Yes. Q: Did the defendant say anything when she got out of her car? A: Yes sir. Q: What did she say? A: What disco am I at?

Q: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?

Q: The youngest son, the twenty-year old, how old is he?
Q: Were you present when your picture was taken?
Q: Was it you or your younger brother who was killed in the war?
Q: Did he kill you?
Q: How far apart were the vehicles at the time of the collision?
Q: You were there until the time you left, is that true?
Q: How many times have you committed suicide?

Q: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th? A: Yes. Q: And what were you doing at that time?

Q: She had three children, right? A: Yes. Q: How many were boys? A: None. Q: Were there any girls?

Q: You say the stairs went down to the basement? A: Yes. Q: And these stairs, do they go up also?

Q: Mr. Slatery, you went on a rather elaborate honeymoon, didn't you? A: I went to Europe, sir. Q: And you took your new wife?

Q: How was your first marriage terminated? A: By death. Q: And by whose death was it terminated?

Q: Can you describe the individual? A: He was about medium height and had a beard. Q: Was this a male or a female?

Q: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney? A: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.

Q: Doctor, how many autopsies have you performed on dead people? A: All my autopsies are performed on dead people.
Q: Do you recall the time that you examined the body? A: The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m. Q: And Mr. Dennington was dead at the time? A: No, he was sitting on the table wondering why I was doing an autopsy.
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LAST WORDS OF JOY…
Herman Lange, a German Christian was to be executed by the Nazis during WWII. In his cell on the night before he was to be killed, Lange wrote a note to his parents. He said two feelings occupied his mind: "I am, first, in a joyous mood, and second filled with great anticipation."

Then he made this beautiful affirmation: "In Christ I have put my faith, and precisely today I have faith in Him more firmly than ever."

Finally he urged his parents to read the New Testament for comfort: "Look where you will, everywhere you will find jubilation over the grace that makes us children of God. What can befall a child of God? Of what should I be afraid? On the contrary, rejoice!"

WE ARE REMINDED THAT BEING CHEERFUL KEEPS US 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 cheerful heart, in Jesus wonderful Name I pray, amen!

HAVE A GREAT AND GODLY WEEKEND!
Be encouraged!
GBYAY

Thursday, November 09, 2006

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT THURSDAY – What God Wants For His People Today.

Sin comes when we take a perfectly natural desire or longing or ambition and try desperately to fulfill it without God. Not only is it sin, it is a perverse distortion of the image of the Creator in us. All these good things, and all our security, are rightly found only and completely in him. - Augustine .

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, - Col 1:9.

Paul wrote to the Colossians to instruct them in the ways of God, he prayed for them that they would be filled with the knowledge of God's will, and what Paul prayed for, is also what God wants for his people today!

C.S. Lewis gave us the following insight: 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.

All over the world today we see the opposite to what God wants, people who want to fulfill ‘their’ own ‘want and purpose’ for ‘their’ ministries. Those want’s and purposes, are often very much different from God's.

These people desire ‘huge’ finances for ‘their’ work, large numbers attending ‘their’ churches, held in ‘glamorous’ buildings. Even a private plane, national recognition of 'their' ministries, and telling the people to shout and demand these things from God…

But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. "Get behind me, Satan!" he said. "You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns."- Mark 8:33.

What God wants for them is very different from ‘theirs.’... What the wicked dread will overtake them; what the righteous desire will be granted. - Prov 10:24. God's Desire for His people is what Paul prayed for…

To be filled with the knowledge of His will…

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, - Col 1:9.

Walter Knight told of an old Scottish woman who went from home to home across the countryside selling thread, buttons, and shoestrings. When she came to an unmarked crossroad, she would toss a stick into the air and go in the direction the stick pointed when it landed.

One day, however, she was seen tossing the stick up several times. "Why do you toss the stick more than once?" someone asked. "Because," replied the woman, "it keeps pointing to the left, and I want to take the road on the right." She then dutifully kept throwing the stick into the air until it pointed the way she wanted to go!

Paul knew that the knowledge of God’s will would only come through remaining in His word, and being in fellowship with Him...

He made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. - Eph 1:9-10.

This kind of knowledge results in spiritual wisdom and understanding, which transforms our hearts and lives! Hallelujah! It’s what we need, and that is what GOD WANTS FOR US TODAY!

Loving Father, I know that your want for me is that I be filled with the knowledge of your will. I ask for this in the wonderful name of Jesus, my Lord and Saviour, in order that my heart, and my life may be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit, and that I may bring glory to your name! Amen.

Be encouraged.
GBYAY

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT WEDNESDAY – "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!"

Measure wealth not by the things you have, but by the things you have for which you would not take money. - Anonymous.

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!" The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for the rich to enter the kingdom of God."

The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, "Who then can be saved?" Jesus looked at them and said, "With human beings this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God." - Mar 10:23-27.

Christ took this occasion to speak to his disciples about the difficulty of the salvation of those who have abundance of this world. Those who thus eagerly seek the wealth of the world, will never rightly prize Christ and his grace. Also, as to the greatness of the salvation of those who have but little of this world, and leave it for Christ.

The greatest trial of a good man's constancy is, when love to Jesus calls him to give up love to friends and relatives. Even when gainers by Christ, let them still expect to suffer for him, till they reach heaven. Let us learn contentment in a low state, and to watch against the love of riches in a high one. Let us pray to be enabled to part with all, if required, in Christ's service, and to use all we are allowed to keep in his service.- Matthew Henry.

I am amazed at the number of Christians who want to get rich and most of them quickly! There are so many preachers of wealth on TV, Radio, Internet, and in Churches, it's a wonder there are any poor people left in the world!

Even among my Pastor friends, and some Christians that I know, they are always talking about the latest get rich quick scheme, either it’s medicine that can cure everything, or some gold mine that has been discovered in Wacko, Wacko land, and the shares are available right now, at knockdown prices! And when they tell you these things it’s always… “Get in quick, while there’s still big money to be made!’

John G. Wendel and his sisters were some of the most miserly people of all time. Although they had received a huge inheritance from their parents, they spent very little of it and did all they could to keep their wealth for themselves.

John was able to influence five of his six sisters never to marry, and they lived in the same house in New York City for 50 years. When the last sister died in 1931, her estate was valued at more than $100 million. Her only dress was one that she had made herself, and she had worn it for 25 years.

The Wendels had such a compulsion to hold on to their possessions that they lived like paupers. Even worse, they were like the kind of person Jesus referred to "who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God" (Luke 12:21). - Daily Walk.

If it wasn’t so tragic, it would be funny. Unfortunately it’s not, because many, many, many people have been ‘Ripped off,' and they have lost their homes family, ministries, jobs, etc; getting conned into these get rich schemes. I have even met some who have been 'Ripped off’ a few times, but are still looking for their ‘Eldorada!'

When I challenge some of them about their involvement in these get rich schemes, almost to a person, they always say… “You can’t help poor people, if you are poor!” Or they say, “God will make me rich, so I can help the missions.” It borders on lunacy!

From the standpoint of material wealth, Americans [This goes for Australians as well!] have difficulty realizing how rich we are. Going through a little mental exercise suggested by Robert Heilbroner can help us to count our blessings, however. Imagine doing the following, and you will see how daily life is for as many as a billion people in the world…

1. Take out all the furniture in your home except for one table and a couple of chairs. Use blanket and pads for beds.
2. Take away all of your clothing except for your oldest dress or suit, shirt or blouse. Leave only one pair of shoes.
3. Empty the pantry and the refrigerator except for a small bag of flour, some sugar and salt, a few potatoes, some onions, and a dish of dried beans.
4. Dismantle the bathroom, shut off the running water, and remove all the electrical wiring in your house.
5. Take away the house itself and move the family into the tool shed.
6. Place your "house' in a shantytown.
7. Cancel all subscriptions to newspapers, magazines, and book clubs. This is no great loss because now none of you can read anyway.
8. Leave only one radio for the whole shantytown.
9. Move the nearest hospital or clinic ten miles away and put a midwife in charge instead of a doctor.
10. Throw away your bankbooks, stock certificates, pension plans, and insurance policies. Leave the family a cash hoard of ten dollars.
11. Give the head of the family a few acres to cultivate on which he can raise a few hundred dollars of cash crops, of which one third will go to the landlord and one tenth to the money lenders.
12. Lop off twenty-five or more years in life expectancy.

By comparison how rich we are! And with our wealth comes responsibility to use it wisely, not to be wasteful, and to help others. Think on these things. - Steve Williams.

When will these “Get rich quickly people” ever learn? Don’t they read the Bible? Do they really believe what they say, or are they being deceived by the enemy? My prayer is that… GOD WILL HAVE MERCY ON THEIR SOULS!

Loving Father, I thank you that you are continually working in me, and I take great comfort and encouragement from that. I also thank you for the Holy Spirit who helps me discern good and evil spirits. I pray I may never fall for these get rich schemes, but continually remind myself that the Lord is my shepherd, that I shall never be in need, and that I need to be content in every situation. In His wonderful name I pray. Amen!

Be encouraged.
GBYAY

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY – SET FREE FROM THE SLAVERY OF SIN.

The divine "scheme of things," as Christianity understands it, is at once extremely elastic and extremely rigid. It is elastic, in that it includes a large measure of liberty for the creature; it is rigid in that it includes the proviso that, however created beings choose to behave, they must accept responsibility of their own actions and endure the consequences. - Dorothy L. Sayer.

But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. - Rom 6:17-18.

Radio personality Paul Harvey tells the story of how an Eskimo kills a wolf. The account is grisly, yet it offers fresh insight into the consuming, self-destructive nature of sin.

"First, the Eskimo coats his knife blade with animal blood and allows it to freeze. Then he adds another layer of blood, and another, until the blade is completely concealed by frozen blood. "Next, the hunter fixes his knife in the ground with the blade up.

When a wolf follows his sensitive nose to the source of the scent and discovers the bait, he licks it, tasting the fresh frozen blood. He begins to lick faster, more and more vigorously, lapping the blade until the keen edge is bare. Feverishly now, harder and harder the wolf licks the blade in the arctic night.

So great becomes his craving for blood that the wolf does not notice the razor-sharp sting of the naked blade on his own tongue, nor does he recognize the instant at which his insatiable thirst is being satisfied by his OWN warm blood. His carnivorous appetite just craves more--until the dawn finds him dead in the snow!"

It is a fearful thing that people can be "consumed by their own lusts." Only God's grace keeps us from the wolf's fate. -
Chris T. Zwingelberg.

In light of what has been happening lately in the evangelical world, and the latest news of another fallen celebrity, I often think of those Christians whose whole purpose in life is to become famous, or rich, or bigger, or better! How sad they must be, to be set free and not to be grateful for it.

Don’t they realise the enormity of this truth that Paul speaks; we were once slaves to sin, but now we are free, and that is something to be grateful for! Thank you Lord that we are now slaves of righteousness, and for that we are eternally grateful!

How foolish to try and exceed that, how foolish to forget we were slaves to sin, how foolish to think that there is something better than being set free, from a life of torment, from a life of darkness, from a life serving Satan! How foolish! They were redeemed from the slavery of sin, and became the servants of righteousness. Hallelujah! That is something to be thankful for!


Jesus replied, "Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.. - John 8:34-36.

A group of elderly, cultured gentlemen met often to exchange wisdom and drink tea. Each host tried to find the finest and most costly varieties, to create exotic blends that would arouse the admiration of his guests. When the most venerable and respected of the group entertained, he served his tea with unprecedented ceremony, measuring the leaves from a golden box.

The assembled epicures praised this exquisite tea. The host smiled and said, "The tea you have found so delightful is the same tea our peasants drink. I hope it will be a reminder to all that the good things in life are not necessarily the rarest or the most costly. -
Morris Mandel.

Normally, at the end of each post, I finish with a prayer, but today I would like to finish this post with the prayers of Peter Marshall, who was born in a town in Scotland, that wasn’t very far from where I was born. He was a wonderful Christian, and a great example of Christ to me...

Lord Jesus, thou who art the way, the truth, and the life; hear us as we pray for the truth that shall make all free. Teach us that liberty is not only to be loved but also to be lived. Liberty is too precious a thing to be buried in books. It costs too much to be hoarded. Help us see that our liberty is not the right to do as we please, but the opportunity to please to do what is right. - Peter Marshall, Before the U.S. Senate.

Be encouraged.
GBYAY

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