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Friday, March 30, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT FRIDAY – A CHEERFUL HEART #52

This is proof that a man needs a wife!
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. For my friend John at, BLOGOTIONAL, Christian One-Liners…

"Don't let your worries get the best of you. Remember, Moses started out as a basket case"
Some people are kind, polite, and sweet-spirited - until you try to sit in their pews.
Many folks want to serve God, but only as advisors.
It is easier to preach ten sermons than it is to live one.
The good Lord didn't create anything without a purpose, but mosquitoes and sand gnats come close!
When you get to your wit's end, you'll find God lives there. People are funny, they want the front of the bus, the middle of the road, and the back of the church.
Opportunity may knock once, but temptation bangs on your front door forever.
Quit griping about your church; if it was perfect, you couldn't belong.
If the church wants a better preacher, it only needs to pray for the one it has.
God Himself does not propose to judge a man until he is dead. So why should you?
Some minds are like concrete, thoroughly mixed up and permanently set .
Peace starts with a smile.
I don't know why some people change churches; what difference does it make which one you stay home from?
A lot of church members who are singing "Standing on the Promises" are just sitting on the premises.
We were called to be witnesses, not lawyers or judges.
Be ye fishers of men. You catch them - He'll clean them. Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous. Don't put a question mark where God put a period.
Don't wait for 6 strong men to take you to church.
Forbidden fruits create many jams.
God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
God grades on the cross, not the curve.
God loves everyone, but probably prefers "fruits of the spirit" over "religious nuts!"
God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.
He who angers you, controls you!
If God is your Copilot - swap seats!
Prayer: Don't give God instructions -- just report for duty!
The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us. The Will of God will never take you to where the Grace of God will not protect you.
We don't change the message, the message changes us.
You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage him.
The best mathematical equation I have ever seen: 1 cross + 3 nails = 4 given.
----------------
All I Really Need To Know I Learned From Noah's Ark…
1. Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.
2. Stay fit. When you're 600 years old, someone might ask you to do something REALLY big.
3. Don't listen to critics -- do what has to be done.
4. Build on high ground.
5. For safety's sake, travel in pairs.
6. Two heads are better than one.
7. Speed isn't always an advantage. The cheetahs were on board, but so were the snails.
8. If you can't fight or flee -- float!
9. Take care of your animals as if they were the last ones on earth.
10. Don't forget that we're all in the same boat.
11. When the doo-doo gets really deep, don't sit there and complain -- shovel!!!
12. Stay below deck during the storm.
13. Remember that the ark was built by amateurs and the Titanic was built by professionals.
14. If you have to start over, have a friend by your side.
15. Remember that the woodpeckers INSIDE are often a bigger threat than the storm outside.
16. Don't miss the boat.
17. No matter how bleak it looks, there's always a rainbow on the other side.
-----------------
"Answer Back…"
Down in the south, there are many churches known as "answer back" churches. When the preacher says something, the congregation naturally replies. One Sunday, a preacher was speaking on what it would take for the church to become better.
He said "If this church is to become better, it must take up it's bed, and walk." The congregation said "Let it walk, Preacher, let it walk."
Encouraged by their response, he went further "If this church is going to become better, it will have to throw aside it's hindrances and run!" The congregation replied, "Let it run, preacher, let it run!"
Now really into his message, he spoke stronger. "If this church really wants to become great, it will have to take up it's wings and fly!" "Let it fly, Preacher, let it fly!" the congregation shouts.
The Preacher gets louder. "If this church is going to fly, it will cost money!"
The congregation replied. "Let it walk, Preacher, let it walk."
--------------
Sovereignty of God…

In the frigid waters around Greenland
are countless icebergs, some little and some gigantic. If you'd observe them carefully, you'd notice that sometimes the small ice floes move in one direction while their massive counterparts flow in another.
The explanation is simple. Surface winds drive the little ones, whereas the huge masses of ice are carried along by deep ocean currents. When we face trials and tragedies, it's helpful to see our lives as being subject to two forces--surface winds and ocean currents. The winds represent everything changeable, unpredictable, and distressing. But operating simultaneously with these gusts and gales is another force that's even more powerful. It is the sure movement of God's wise and sovereign purposes, the deep flow of His unchanging love. - Unknown.

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

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – THURSDAY THOUGHTS #9… THE TOUCH OF ENCOURAGEMENT.

"How shall I feel at the judgment, if multitudes of missed opportunities pass before me in full review, and all my excuses prove to be disguises of my cowardice and pride?" - W. E. Sangster.

They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man's eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, "Do you see anything?" He looked up and said, "I see people; they look like trees walking around." Once more Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. Jesus sent him home, saying, "Don't even go into the village." - Mark 8:22-26. TNIV

A woman named Rose Crawford had been blind for 50 years. "I just can't believe it!" she gasped as the doctor lifted the bandages from her eyes after her recovery from delicate surgery in an Ontario hospital. She wept for joy when for the first time in her life a dazzling and beautiful world of form and colour greeted eyes that now were able to see.

The amazing thing about the story, however, is that 20 years of her blindness had been unnecessary. She didn't know that surgical techniques had been developed, and that an operation could have restored her vision at the age of 30. The doctor said,
"She just figured there was nothing that could be done about her condition. Much of her life could have been different."

As I read the news account of her case, some questions came to mind. Why did she continue to assume that her situation was hopeless? Had no one told her about the wonderful advances in eye surgery? Then I thought of the plight of those unreached by the Gospel. How many will go on living in moral blindness unless we bring them to the Saviour? Millions will never know anything but spiritual darkness because no one has shared with them the Light that has come into the world. – Source unknown.

The Scriptures tell us that "they", perhaps this man's friends or family, brought him to Jesus. It is the concept of being a "Stretcher Bearer." These people had enough faith and action to know, that if they could get him to Jesus he could be healed. The Scriptures say they "begged” Jesus to touch this man.

Do we believe like this? Do we believe Jesus can still heal and change the lives of people? After the request to touch the blind man, Jesus touches him with a touch of encouragement… He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. Why? When Jesus usually healed on the spot, why would he take this man out of the town of Bethsaida?

Then Jesus began to denounce the towns in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. - Matt 11:20-22.

The City of Bethsaida had become too hardened to be touched by Jesus. Sad, but the fact remains true today. Many in and out of the kingdom have hardened hearts toward the true touch of Jesus. That's why our churches are empty with no prayers for healing. God is moving, and working among us, to touch us.

But this man, thanks to friends, would be the recipient of a touch of encouragement. As Jesus took this man by the hand to lead him,
I believe this TOUCH OF ENCOURAGEMENT was...

A PERSONAL TOUCH... Tender and Loving.
Our church, town, families, friends, strangers; all need a touch from us in the most personal way we can touch them. Jesus shows us how, by showing an INTEREST in the man. I'm sure this man was perhaps lonely and discouraged, having to live in darkness. And now all attention for the moment was being given to him. The world wants to know that we are interested in them; people really want to know that God loves them, and they are looking for the love through us. Jesus took the time to touch!

During the 17th century, Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, sentenced a soldier to be shot for his crimes. The execution was to take place at the ringing of the evening curfew bell. However, the bell did not sound. The soldier's fiancé had climbed into the belfry and clung to the great clapper of the bell to prevent it from striking. When she was summoned by Cromwell to account for her actions, she wept as she showed him her bruised and bleeding hands. Cromwell's heart was touched and he said, "Your lover shall live because of your sacrifice. Curfew shall not ring tonight!" - Our Daily Bread.

I believe this TOUCH OF ENCOURAGEMENT was...

A PATIENT TOUCH... No Hurry.
Hope was born as Jesus took the time for this man. God is so patient with us, while we live in an "impatient generation." We've heard of folks who… “Stand at the microwave and scream hurry up!" And with people we have even less patience! But Jesus was patient to bring a hopeful encouragement to this man. We must do the same.

A POWERFUL TOUCH... Sensitive.
I believe that as Jesus took the man by the hand, the man knew that this touch was one of power, that could bring healing, Jesus' touch was powerful in that it was, comforting, it was as if Jesus seemed to say "allow me," it was a sensitive touch.

"We must feel toward our people as a father toward his children; yea, the most tender love of a mother must not surpass ours. We must even travail in birth, till Christ be formed in them. They should see that we care for no outward thing, neither liberty, nor honor, nor life, in comparison to their salvation... When the people see that you truly love them, they will hear anything from you...Oh therefore, see that you feel a tender love for your people in your hearts, and let them perceive it in your speech and conduct. Let them see that you spend and are spent for their sakes." - Richard Baxter.

It is a risk, to seek the touch from Jesus, that will encourage us. Why? Because we must change! This man, whom Jesus healed was never the same again! Will we let Jesus touch us to encourage us? To comfort us? Even if it calls for us to give up a very sensitive and personal part of our life?

Be assured that the touch of Jesus, is a touch of encouragement.

Loving Father, I thank you for your touch of encouragement. Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to reach out and touch others with the same encouragement. Change me Lord, for your glory and for the extension of your Kingdom, in Jesus wonderful and mighty name I pray, amen!

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – WEDNESDAY WARRIOR! #9… WE NEED A PENTECOSTAL REVIVAL! Part 2.

Lady asked Billy Sunday: "Why do you keep having revivals when it doesn't last?"
He asked her, "Why do you keep taking baths?"
- Source Unknown.

Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, "What does this mean?" Some, however, made fun of them and said, "They have had too much wine." Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: "Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It's only nine in the morning! – Acts 2:12-15. TNIV

Last week in, Part 1, I shared how we desperately need a Holy Spirit driven Pentecostal revival here on the Gold Coast of Queensland. I said that I didn’t mean an Assembly of God revival, a Baptist revival, a Charismatic revival, a Reformed revival, a Roman Catholic revival, a Presbyterian revival, or any other denominational revival; we need a Holy Spirit Pentecostal revival!

What is a true "Pentecostal" revival? The picture of Acts is often a far cry from what we see in many Pentecostal churches. First let's look at what it is not.

A Pentecostal revival is not:
A revival of programs
A revival of human personalities
A revival of pomp and circumstance.

A true Pentecostal revival is…

A REVIVAL OF POWER


The disciples of Jesus went out in power, and turned the world the right way up... But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." - Acts 1:8.

These mighty men and woman of God, including Mary the mother of Jesus, were empowered by the Holy Spirit, to witness all over the world, of the person of Christ, of His miraculous birth, of His deity and sonship, of His incarnation, His ministry, and His miracles, of His suffering and death, of His resurrection from the dead, and His ascension to heaven. Displaying the majesty of God by bold preaching, and the demonstration of His power by sign’s and wonders.

In a seminary missions class, Herbert Jackson told how, as a new missionary, he was assigned a car that would not start without a push. After pondering his problem, he devised a plan. He went to the school near his home, got permission to take some children out of class, and had them push his car off. As he made his rounds, he would either park on a hill or leave the engine running. He used this ingenious procedure for two years.

Ill health forced the Jackson family to leave, and a new missionary came to that station. When Jackson proudly began to explain his arrangement for getting the car started, the new man began looking under the hood. Before the explanation was complete, the new missionary interrupted, "Why, Dr. Jackson, I believe the only trouble is this loose cable." He gave the cable a twist, stepped into the car, pushed the switch, and to Jackson's astonishment, the engine roared to life. For two years needless trouble had become routine. The power was there all the time. Only a loose connection kept Jackson from putting that power to work.

J.B. Phillips paraphrases
Ephesians 1;19-20, "How tremendous is the power available to us who believe in God." When we make firm our connection with God, his life and power flow through us.
- Ernest B. Beevers.

I thank Jesus that we serve a God of POWER... His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. - 2 Peter 1:3. Not like the gods of wood and stone, which have hands but cannot save, ears but cannot hear, eyes but cannot see. Not like the gods of secular humanism, which have no power to transform a person, or lift them out of their sins. He is a God of power! He is an awesome God! One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard: "Power belongs to you, God, - Ps 62:11

But not only does God have power; He wants that Power to work through us... Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, - Eph 3:20. Power for what? Power to shout? I started shouting the day the burden of sin was lifted off my shoulders and I haven't stopped yet! Shouting is not a sign of power; shouting is a sign of joy!

No, we have been given power to witness, and to walk the walk.
It grieves me to see Pentecostal’s and Charismatic’s shouting about having the power of the Holy Spirit, saying that they speak in tongues, saying that they posses the gifts of healing, prophecy, word of knowledge etc; but they can't stop smoking, they can't stop gossiping about their neighbours, they can’t stop lusting after money, they can't stop sinning, and won't witness for Jesus. If they have got power, then there will be enough power to witness, and to live right!

If to be a Christian is worthwhile, then the most ordinary interest in those with whom we come in contact would prompt us to speak to them of Christ.

If the New Testament be true--and we know that it is--who has given us the right to place the responsibility for soul-winning on other shoulders than our own?

If they who reject Christ are in danger, is it not strange that we, who are so sympathetic when the difficulties are physical or temporal, should apparently be so devoid of interest as to allow our friends and neighbors and kindred to come into our lives and pass out again without a word of invitation to accept Christ, to say nothing of sounding a note of warning because of their peril?

If today is the day of salvation, if tomorrow may never come, and if life is equally uncertain, how can we eat, drink and be merry when those who live with us, work with us, walk with us and love us are unprepared for eternity because they are unprepared for time?

If Jesus called his disciples to be fishers of men, who gave us the right to be satisfied with making fishing tackle, or pointing the way to the fishing bank,s instead of going ourselves to cast out the net until it be filled?

If Jesus himself went seeking the lost, if Paul the Apostle was in agony because his kinsmen, according to the flesh, knew not Christ, why should we not consider it worthwhile to go out after the lost until they are found?

If I am to stand at the judgment seat of Christ to render an account for the deeds done in the Body, what shall I say to him if my children are missing, if my friends are not saved or if my employer or employee should miss the way because I have been faithless?

If I wish to be approved at the last, then let me remember that no intellectual superiority, no eloquence in preaching, no absorption in business, no shrinking temperament or no spirit of timidity can take the place of or be an excuse for my not making an honest, sincere, prayerful effort to win others to Christ. - J. Wilbur Chapman.


Oh that the Spirit would blow across this sinner’s paradise, and fan the flame within the followers of Jesus, that they would walk the walk, and talk the talk! God’s power is for righteous living, and for winning the lost!

Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit to be a mighty warrior for you, and for the extension of your Kingdom, help me to realise that revival begins in me, fuelled by the teachings of Jesus, and in the power of the Holy Spirit. I ask this in the wonderful Name of Jesus. Amen.

Next Wednesday… The Conclusion.

Be encouraged!

GBYAY

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY - CLASSICAL TESTIMONIES…Keith Green.

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 testimonies which have brought great blessing and glory to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. These are of 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 testimonies as I was. Enjoy…

I repent of ever having recorded one single song, and ever having performed one concert, if my music, and more importantly, my life has not provoked you into Godly jealousy or to sell out more completely to Jesus! — Keith Green.

Keith Green was 15 the first time he ran away from home. He started a journal that ran for years as he looked for musical adventure and spiritual truth. Keith had a Jewish background, but he grew up reading the New Testament. He called it "an odd combination" that left him open minded, but deeply unsatisfied. His journey led him to drugs, eastern mysticism, and free-love.

When Keith was 19 he met a fellow seeker/musician named Melody. They were married a year later -- but his spiritual quest continued. Then when he had nearly given up hope, Keith found the truth he was looking for. He was 21 and he never looked back.

What once confused him now made sense as he proudly told the world, “I'm a Jewish Christian." As soon as Keith opened his heart to Jesus, he and Melody opened their home. Anyone with a need, or who wanted to kick drugs, or get off the street, was welcome. Of course, they always heard plenty about Jesus.

Not only did Keith's life take a radical turn, but as an accomplished musician and songwriter, so did his music. His quest for stardom ended. His songs now reflected the absolute thrill of finding Jesus and seeing his own life radically changed. Keith's spiritual intensity not only took him beyond most people's comfort zones, but it constantly drove him even beyond himself.

Somewhat reluctantly, Keith was thrust into a "John the Baptist" type ministry—calling believers to wake up, repent, and live a life that looked like what they said they believed. Keith felt he would have met Jesus sooner if not for Christians who led double lives. He made audiences squirm by saying, “If you praise and worship Jesus with your mouth and your life does not praise and worship him, there's something wrong!"

The radical commitment Keith preached was also a desire of his own heart. He said, “Loving Him is to be our cause. He can take care of a lot of other causes without us, but He can’t make us love Him with all our heart. That’s the work we must do... Anything else is an imitation.”

Keith's songs were often birthed during his own spiritual struggles. He pointed the finger at himself, penning honest and vulnerable lyrics—but he left room for God to convict the rest of us too. He knew the journey to heaven often winds through muddy valleys, and saw no value in portraying things as otherwise.

With Keith's honesty, he would have chafed against a glossed-over reading of his own life. After all, Keith was in the spotlight as he grew in Jesus. He made mistakes. We miss something essential when we overlook the frailty and humanity of those who've gone before us. Keith was far from perfect, but he honestly hungered after righteousness—constantly asking the Holy Spirit to, "change my heart, convict me of my sin." And when he was convicted, he took action. If he needed to repent, he repented. If he needed to phone someone to ask forgiveness, he did.

For Keith, meeting Jesus was one thing. Becoming more like Him was another. After striving for years to measure up to God's holiness, at times questioning his own salvation, Keith came into a deeper understanding of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross—both to forgive his sins, and to clothe him in His own righteousness. It wasn't that Keith became less concerned with purity and holiness. But he was now motivated more by love and less by fear in His pursuit of Jesus.

While on earth, Keith struggled with the same things we do—discipline, deadlines, problems crying for attention. He had music to write and a growing family. And he was also discipling the 70 believers who had come to be part of Last Days Ministries—the ministry he and Melody expanded from the outreach that began in their home. But he learned, in the midst of it all, the importance of pausing simply to behold the glory of God and to enjoy His presence. That is perhaps, more than anything, the legacy Keith would have wanted us to remember.

In seven short years of knowing Jesus, the Lord took Keith from concert crowds of 20 or less—to stadiums of 12,000 people who came to hear only him. His recordings were chart topping—and when he began to give his recordings away for whatever people could afford, some misunderstood. His views were often controversial but never boring. Television and radio appearances became the norm. Still, Keith's heart was to please the Lord and build His kingdom, not his own.

And in the last few months of his life, the Lord turned Keith's heart once again toward the lost. He wanted to go back out into the streets, the prisons, and the nations to reach those without God. He wanted to sing to them. He wanted to tell them how much Jesus loved them. However, it was not to be.

On July 28, 1982, there was a small plane crash and Keith went home to be with Jesus. The crash also took the life of his three year old son Josiah, and his two year old daughter, Bethany. Melody was home with their one year old, Rebekah, and was also six weeks pregnant with their fourth child, Rachel. Keith was only 28 years old.

Although Keith is now with Jesus, his life and ministry is still making a huge impact around the world. His songs and passionate delivery are still changing lives. His writings are translated into many languages. Keith once said, "When I die I just want to be remembered as a Christian." It's safe to say he reached his goal, and perhaps, a bit more.

Keith Green was simply a man of conviction. When his convictions led him to an eternally worthy object in the person of Jesus he sold all that he had—ambitions, possessions, and dreams—to possess His love. In so doing he became a man of devotion. He also became a man remembered, and still missed, by millions around the world.

The only music minister to whom the Lord will say, "Well done, thy good and faithful servant," is the one whose life proves what their lyrics are saying, and to whom music is the least important part of their life. Glorifying the only worthy One has to be a minister's most important goal! — Keith Green.

Are you willing to do whatever it takes and give your all to win the lost to Christ? Then like, Keith Green, put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water, and dare to follow Jesus wherever He leads you?

Loving Father, I thank you for the life of Keith Green, and I pray that anyone reading this may be inspired by his testimony to give their life to you, and that you would use them in the same way as Keith. By the power of the Holy Spirit, help me to be a person of like faith, that I may bring glory to your name. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged.
GBYAY

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Monday, March 26, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT MONDAY – A HEART STARTER #27.

Watchman Nee tells about a new convert who came in deep distress to see him. "No matter how much I pray, no matter how hard I try, I simply cannot seem to be faithful to my Lord. I think I'm losing my salvation."

Nee said, "Do you see this dog here? He is my dog. He is house-trained; he never makes a mess; he is obedient; he is a pure delight to me. Out in the kitchen I have a son, a baby son. He makes a mess, he throws his food around, he fouls his clothes, he is a total mess. But who is going to inherit my kingdom? Not my dog; my son is my heir. You are Jesus Christ's heir because it is for you that He died." We are Christ's heirs, not through our perfection but by means of His grace. - Watchman Nee.

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can human beings do to me?" - Hebrews 13:5-6. TNIV

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 Eternal Security…


A group of botanists went on an expedition into a hard-to-reach location in the Alps, searching for new varieties of flowers. One day as a scientist looked through his binoculars, he saw a beautiful, rare species growing at the bottom of a deep ravine. To reach it, someone would have to be lowered into that gorge. Noticing a local youngster standing nearby, the man asked him if he would help them get the flower. The boy was told that a rope would be tied around his waist and the men would then lower him to the floor of the canyon.

Excited yet apprehensive about the adventure, the youngster peered thoughtfully into the chasm. "Wait," he said, "I'll be back," and off he dashed. When he returned, he was accompanied by an older man. Approaching the head botanist, the boy said, "I'll go over the cliff now and get the flower for you, but this man must hold onto the rope. He's my dad!" - Our Daily Bread.


F.B. Meyer wrote about two Germans who wanted to climb the Matterhorn. They hired three guides and began their ascent at the steepest and most slippery part. The men roped themselves together in this order: guide, traveler, guide, traveler, guide. They had gone only a little way up the side when the last man lost his footing. He was held up temporarily by the other four, because each had a toehold in the niches they had cut in the ice. But then the next man slipped, and he pulled down the two above him.

The only one to stand firm was the first guide, who had driven a spike deep into the ice. Because he held his ground, all the men beneath him regained their footing. F.B. Meyer concluded his story by drawing a spiritual application. He said, "I am like one of those men who slipped, but thank God, I am bound in a living partnership to Christ. And because He stands, I will never perish." - Our Daily Bread.

The story is told of a monastery in Portugal, perched high on a 3,000 foot cliff and accessible only by a terrifying ride in a swaying basket. The basket is pulled with a single rope by several strong men, perspiring under the strain of the fully loaded basket. One American tourist who visited the site got nervous halfway up the cliff when he noticed that the rope was old and frayed. Hoping to relive his fear he asked, "How often do you change the rope?" The monk in charge replied, "Whenever it breaks!" - Daily Walk.

The 3-year old felt secure in his father's arms as Dad stood in the middle of the pool. But Dad, for fun, began walking slowly toward the deep end, gently chanting, "Deeper and deeper and deeper," as the water rose higher and higher on the child. The lad's face registered increasing degrees of panic, as he held all the more tightly to his father, who, of course, easily touched the bottom. Had the little boy been able to analyze his situation, he'd have realized there was no reason for increased anxiety. The water's depth in ANY part of the pool was over his head. Even in the shallowest part, had he not been held up, he'd have drowned. His safety anywhere in that pool depended on Dad.

At various points in our lives, all of us feel we're getting "out of our depth" -- problems abound, a job is lost, someone dies. Our temptation is to panic, for we feel we've lost control. Yet, as with the child in the pool, the truth is we've never been in control over the most valuable things of life. We've always been held up by the grace of God, our Father, and that does not change. God is never out of his depth, and therefore we're safe when we're "going deeper" than we've ever been. - Charles Ryrie.


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 that He will never leave us, or forsake us, and also for the power of the Holy Spirit, that reminds us of these powerful promises.

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 taking on board some of the advice that I have just read, and to remember that I am safe in my Saviour’s arms. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

SUNDAY SERMON ON THE BLOG – PURE HAPPINESS!

“For the Lamb at the center before the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” - Revelation 7:17. TNIV

What a beautiful picture! Springs of living water, and no more distress, or grief! Pure happiness!

The One who died for us will nourish and refresh us, the One upon whom all eternity hinges, will take time to personally comfort us.

No wonder Paul could say that he did not compare his present sufferings worth comparing to the glory that would be revealed in us!
(I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18).

Loving Father, I thank you, for your incredible love for me. I know I don't deserve your overwhelming and generous grace, so I thank you for Jesus my shepherd, who obtained it for me. I rejoice in Him, and in your pure happiness. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged.
GBYAY

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Friday, March 23, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT FRIDAY – A CHEERFUL HEART #51

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.

NEW CORPORATE BUZZ WORDS …
Blamestorming: Sitting around in a group discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed, and who was responsible.
Body Nazis: Hard-core exercise and weight-lifting fanatics who look down on anyone who doesn't work out obsessively.
Seagull Manager: A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise, and then leaves.
Chainsaw Consultant: An outside expert brought in to reduce the employee headcount, leaving the top brass with clean hands.
Cube Farm: An office filled with cubicles.
Idea Hamsters: People who always seem to have their idea generators running.
Mouse Potato: The online, wired generation's answer to the couch potato.
Prairie Dogging: When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube farm, and people's heads pop up over the walls to see what's going on.
SITCOMS: What yuppies turn into when they have children and one of them stops working to stay home with the kids. Stands for Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage.

Squirt the Bird: To transmit a signal to a satellite.
Stress Puppy: A person who seems to thrive on being stressed out and whiny.
Swiped Out: An ATM or credit card that has been rendered useless because the magnetic strip is worn away from extensive use.
Tourists: People who take training classes just to get a vacation from their jobs. "We had three serious students in class; the rest were just tourists."
Treeware: Hacker slang for documentation or other printed material.

Xerox Subsidy: Euphemism for swiping free photocopies from one's workplace.
Going Postal: Euphemism for being totally stressed out, for losing it. Makes reference to the unfortunate track record of postal employees who have snapped and gone on shooting rampages.
Alpha Geek: The most knowledgeable, technically proficient person in an office or work group. "Ask Larry, he's the Alpha Geek around here.

Assmosis: The process by which some people seem to absorb success and advancement by kissing up to the boss rather than working hard.
Chips and Salsa: Chips = hardware, Salsa = software. "Well, first we gotta figure out if the problem is in your chips or your salsa."
Flight Risk: Used to describe employees who are suspected of planning to leave a company or department soon.
Irritainment: Entertainment and media spectacles that are annoying, but you find yourself unable to stop watching them. The O.J. trials were a prime example.
Percussive Maintenance: The fine art of attacking an electronic device to get it to work again.
Uninstalled: Euphemism for being fired. Heard on the voicemail of a Vice President at a downsizing computer firm: "You have reached the number of an uninstalled Vice President. Please dial our main number and ask the operator for assistance." See also Decruitment.
Vulcan Nerve Pinch: The taxing hand positions required to reach all the appropriate keys for commands. For instance, the warm re-boot for a Mac II computer involves simultaneously pressing the Control Key, the Command key, the Return key and the Power On key.
---------------
HOW TO MAINTAIN A HEALTHY LEVEL OF INSANITY IN THE WORKPLACE…
Page yourself over the intercom. Don't disguise your voice.
Make up nicknames for all your coworkers and refer to them only by these names. "That's a good point, Sparky." "No, I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to disagree with you there, Cha-cha."
Send e-mail to the rest of the company telling them exactly what you're doing. For example: "If anyone needs me, I'll be in the bathroom."
Hi-Lite your shoes. Tell people you haven't lost them as much since you did this.
While sitting at your desk, soak your fingers in Palmolive liquid. Call everyone Madge.
Hang mosquito netting around your cubicle. When you emerge to get coffee or a printout or whatever, slap yourself randomly the whole way. Put a chair facing a printer. Sit there all day and tell people you're waiting for your document.
Every time someone asks you to do something, anything, ask him or her if they want fries with that.

Send e-mail back and forth to yourself engaging yourself in an intellectual debate. Forward the mail to a co-worker and ask her to settle the disagreement.
Put your trash can on your desk. Label it "IN." Feign an unnatural and hysterical fear of staplers.
Send e-mail messages saying there's free pizza or donuts or cake in the lunchroom. When people drift back to work complaining that they found none, lean back, pat your stomach and say, "Oh you've got to be faster than that."
Put decaf in the coffee maker for three weeks. Once everyone has withdrawn from caffeine addiction, switch to espresso.
--------------
TENDENCY HYPOCRISY…
Anyone who has ever taught or attempted to lead others
knows the tendency in all of us toward exaggerating our depth of character while treating leniently our flaws. The Bible calls this tendency hypocrisy. We consciously or subconsciously put forward a better image of ourselves than really exists. The outward appearance of our character and the inner reality (that only God, we, and perhaps our family members know) do not match.

C.S. Lewis explains the conflict in The Four Loves: Those like myself, whose imagination far exceeds their obedience, are subject to a just penalty; we easily imagine conditions far higher than any we have really reached. If we describe what we have imagined we may make others, and make ourselves, believe that we have really been there. - Paul Borthwick.
---------------
GRACE…
One blistering hot day
when they had guests for dinner, Mother asked 4-year old Johnny to return thanks.


"But I don't know what to say!" the boy complained. "Oh, just say what you hear me say" his mother replied.

Obediently the boy bowed his head and mumbled, "
Oh Lord, why did I invite these people over on a hot day like this?"

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

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – THURSDAY THOUGHTS #8… GOD’S RESOURCES.

Hetty Green was once one of the richest women in America. When she died in 1916, her estate was estimated at nearly $100 million. Yet she was miserly to an extreme, living in cheap boardinghouses, wearing tattered clothes, and riding in a carriage that had once been used as a henhouse! - Source Unknown.

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:19.

Last week I had to go to the Dentist for the third time in a month. The Dentist is situated in a very busy part of the city, and parking is of a premium. I was frustrated as it was getting near to the time of my appointment, and here I was going around in circles looking for a parking spot, finally I found one, and slid into the spot quickly, and locked my car, only to realise that the ticket machine was at the other end of the street, and I really was pushed for time.

I thought to myself, I need to run, which is an effort for me (whenever I feel like exercise, I usually lie down till the feeling goes away,) just as I took off, this old lady who was in the parking bay next to me, grabbed me by the arm, and asked me if I was going to purchase a ticket. I thought that she was going to ask me to buy her a ticket.


“Yes, would you like me to get you a ticket as well?”

“No! I have one already and I am leaving, there is just over an hour left, and it would be a shame to waste it. Would you like it?”

I could have kissed her right there on the street, but being a Pastor, and having trouble with my teeth, I checked myself, and gave her a hug instead. She looked at me very strange as I went on my way laughing out loud. Needless to say when I walked into the Dentist, and saw the patients, my smile disappeared quickly from my face! But I could not help but marvel at God’s resources, even in the very little things.

A poor old widow, living in the Scottish Highlands, was called upon one day by a gentleman who had heard that she was in need. The old lady complained of her condition, and remarked that her son was in Australia and doing well.

"But does he do nothing to help you?" inquired the visitor.

"No, nothing," was the reply. "He writes me regularly once a month, but only sends me a little picture with his letter."

The gentleman asked to see one of the pictures that she had received, and found each one of them to be a draft for ten pounds.

This is the condition of many of God's children. He has given us many "exceeding great and precious promises," which we either are ignorant of or fail to appropriate. Many of them seem to be pretty pictures of an ideal peace and rest, but are not appropriated as practical helps in daily life. And not one of these promises is more neglected that the assurance of salvation. An open Bible places them within reach of all, and we may appropriate the blessing which such a knowledge brings. - Moody's Anecdotes.


Loving Father, I thank you that you have provided for me in every way. Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to appropriate your blessings. I ask this in the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus. Amen.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – WEDNESDAY WARRIOR! #8… WE NEED A PENTECOSTAL REVIVAL! Part 1.

Although the apathy of some Christians and the wickedness of society are discouraging, we should pray and remain confident. William Wilberforce was a great Christian philanthropist and vigorous opponent of the slave trade in England during the early 1800s. As he surveyed the terrible moral and spiritual climate of his day, he did not lose hope.

He wrote,
"My own solid hopes for the well-being of my country depend, not so much on her navies or armies, nor on the wisdom of her rulers, nor on the spirit of her people, as on the persuasion that she still contains many who love and obey the gospel of Christ. I believe that their prayers may yet prevail."

Within a few years after he made this statement, the country he loved experienced one of the greatest revivals in modern times, bringing salvation to thousands and producing widespread social changes. - Source Unknown.

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: "Aren't all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!" Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, "What does this mean?" Acts 2:1-12.

O for a passionate passion for souls,
O for a pity that yearns!
O for the love that loves unto death,

O for a fire that burns!
O for the pure prayer-power that prevails,
That pours itself out for the lost!
Victorious prayer in the Conqueror's Name,
O for a PENTECOST!

- Amy Wilson Carmichael.

I live on the Gold Coast of Australia. It is the Capital for tourism, where 6 million people flood into our area in any given year, visiting our beautiful beaches, Theme Parks (Movie World, Wet & Wild, Sea World, Dream World, and our own, Aussie Outback Spectacular), also our beautiful Hinterland forests which are only 30 minutes from the beaches.
Most of the tourist’s live in luxury high rise accommodation, enjoying the wonderful night life, restaurants and nightclubs, spending billions of Dollars in the process. But none of this affects our Churches or Spiritual life. The Gold Coast is a hedonistic paradise, far removed from the heavenly paradise.

We desperately need a Holy Spirit driven Pentecostal revival here. I don’t mean an Assembly of God revival, a Baptist revival, a Charismatic revival, a Reformed revival, a Roman Catholic revival, a Presbyterian revival, or any other denominational revival; we need a Holy Spirit Pentecostal revival!

What is a true "Pentecostal" revival? The picture of Acts is often a far cry from what we see in many Pentecostal churches. First let's look at what it is not. A Pentecostal revival is not:
A revival of programs
A revival of human personalities
A revival of pomp and circumstance.

A Pentecostal revival is a… Revival Of Passion!
When they came down out of the upper room on the day of Pentecost, they didn't come down whispering, they didn't hide in the shadows, no, they came down with a revived passion. True passion always comes out in the speech and actions of the passionate.

If people do not see and hear Jesus in us, then our passion is lacking. They came out preaching and talking about Jesus, it’s all about Jesus, and He is our Lord, our Healer, our Baptiser and Saviour! On the day of Pentecost, the passion would not be contained or concealed in an upper room, it had to make its way, like a river, into the city, and eventually, all the world.

A few years ago, when Latin America was experiencing phenomenal growth in the Pentecostal churches, Roland Vaughn said the reason was not because of education, or facilities, or finances, or programs; "the reason they are growing," he said, "is because the people have a passion for God."

James, in his Epistle, said true and undefiled religion is to minister to the needs of widows and orphans. True religion has enough compassion to do something about the plight of the outcast of society; true religion has enough passion to care, and to create ministries which will make a change in people's lives.
There is no Christianity without compassion, and there is no "com-passion" without passion.” Christ was often moved with compassion to minister to the masses. Compassion moves us; it motivates and compels us to do something. This is far from the placid figure portrayed in modern media, Jesus was a passionate man, He was also moved with passion to rebuke the religionists, and to clear the temple of money changers.

Paul told Timothy in
2 Tim 1:6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.

A passionless church is a church that has left its first love, it is a church that is neither flowing with cool refreshing streams nor the hot therapeutic springs, but is lukewarm, half-hearted, empty, apathetic and complacent. Don't let the passion die; don't lose your first love!

I have but one passion; it is He, He only. - Count Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf.

Oh that the Spirit would blow across this sinner’s paradise, and fan the flame within the followers of Jesus, implanting in us a passion for the lost, a passion for prayer, a passion to praise, a passion for Jesus in all of His splendour!

Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit to be a mighty warrior for you, and for the extension of your Kingdom, help me to realise that revival begins in me, fuelled by the teachings of Jesus, and in the power of the Holy Spirit. I ask this in the wonderful Name of Jesus. Amen.
Next Wednesday… Part 2.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY - CLASSICAL TESTIMONIES… MARY SLESSOR... Scottish missionary to Calabar (Nigeria) Africa.

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 testimonies which have brought great blessing and glory to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. These are of 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 testimonies as I was…

Mary Slessor's heart thumped within her. "Oh, reverend, I couldn't do that." "But why?" he asked. "You speak to children all the time. I've heard you. You know the Scriptures well. Surely you won't mind going up on the platform to speak to our adult Fellowship on 'The common people heard Him gladly'." Mary glanced shyly around the meeting hall.

"Perhaps I may speak to them just as I am, reverend? I mean right here. To as few as want to listen."

So on the floor of the meeting hall that February night of 1874 Mary spoke to the Fellowship gathered around her - nervously avoiding eye contact with men. She elaborated on the Twelfth Chapter of Mark and how Jesus was confronted first by the learned Pharisees, and next by the aristocratic Sadducees, before once again he and his good news were received with joy by the common people. "Very well explained, Mary," enthused the reverend. "I'm only repeating that which I read in the Gospel," said Mary shyly.

She left the hall to scurry home. There were few about in the dark winter-chilled slums of Dundee, Scotland, but the few who were about were known well enough by her to worry her. She still ached from her refusal to speak from the platform. She had a hundred reasons to be self-conscious. At 25 she was unmarried. She was short. She had a face peppered with freckles. Her hair was carrot red. She was poor. She had no formal education. And she carried her dead father's shame. He drank himself to death. Who was she - the daughter of a drunk - to rise above the others to speak? Yet her timidity made her heart ache.

"Oh Lord, how I wanted to be like Doctor Livingstone," she sighed. The great Scottish missionary David Livingstone was Mary's hero. She had read Missionary Travels, hardly stopping to breathe, a second time, a third time. He was a Scot, just like her. He was second oldest of seven children, just like her. He had been poor, just like her. He had even worked in a textile mill many years, just like her! How many times had she told herself, 'We share so many similarities. Why then can not I be a missionary just like him? Yes, to Africa just like Livingstone!'

And yet here she was. When Livingstone was 26 he was in London, finishing his medical degree and missionary studies just before leaving for Africa! Mary at 26 still laboured on a loom in the factory, terrified of men, frightened to even speak… She was to frightened to speak! Oh! How God used this woman to bring Christ to Nigeria!

Here is her Biography...
Born: December 2, 1848, near Aberdeen, Scotland. 2nd of 7 siblings.
Father: Shoemaker.
Raised Presbyterian.
Childhood distinctions: Timid, impressionable.
Never married.
1858... Family moved to Dundee.
1859... Father, 3 siblings died over next four years.
1859... Began part-time in weaving mill.
1862... Worked full-time.
1864... Became very active in church.
1876... Accepted for training by Presbyterian mission society, sailed for Calabar (part of what is now Nigeria).
1880... Opened Old Town mission.
1882... Took in first twin babies.
1885... Assigned to Creek Town.
1886... Reconnoitered murderous Okoyong area.
1888 ...Settled at Ekenge among Okoyong, began several years of incredible adventure.
1891... On furlough to Scotland recognized as outstanding missionary, began writing articles touting abilities of Africans. 1892... Appointed Vice-Counsel to administer justice to Okoyong.

1896... Relocated to Akpap.
1898... took four of her 'children' on furlough to Scotland.
1903... Left Akpap to begin ministry among Aros and Ibibios.
1906... Broke with mission society, took judgeship.
1907... Major decline in health.
1910... Opened mission in Ikpe.
1914... Feted in Nigeria with Silver Cross.

Died January 13, 1915.

Are you willing to do whatever it takes and give your all to win the lost to Christ? Then like Mary Slessor, put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water, and dare to follow Jesus wherever He leads you?

Loving Father, I thank you for the life of Mary Slessor, and I pray that anyone reading this may be inspired by her testimony to give their life to you, and that you would use them in the same way as Mary. By the power of the Holy Spirit, help me to be a person of like faith, that I may bring glory to your name. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged.
GBYAY

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Monday, March 19, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT MONDAY – A HEART STARTER #26

After William Carey was well established in his pioneer missionary work in India, his supporters in England sent a printer to assist him. Soon the two men were turning out portions of the Bible for distribution. Carey had spent many years learning the language so that he could produce the scriptures in the local dialect. He had also prepared dictionaries and grammars for the use of his successors.

One day while Carey was away, a fire broke out and completely destroyed the building, the presses, many Bibles, and the precious manuscripts, dictionaries, and grammars. When he returned and was told of the tragic loss, he showed no sign of despair or impatience. Instead, he knelt and thanked God that he still had the strength to do the work over again. He started immediately, not wasting a moment in self-pity. Before his death, he had duplicated and even improved on his earlier achievements. - Source Unknown.


Blessed are those who persevere under trial, because when they have stood the test, they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. - Jam 1:12.

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 Challenge…

During WWI one of my predecessors at Tenth Presbyterian Church, Donald Grey Barnhouse, led the son of a prominent American family to the Lord. He was in the service, but he showed the reality of his conversion by immediately professing Christ before the soldiers of his military company. The war ended. The day came when he was to return to his pre-war life in the wealthy suburb of a large American city.

He talked to Barnhouse about life with his family and expressed fear that he might soon slip back into his old habits. He was afraid that love for parents, brothers, sisters, and friends might turn him from following after Jesus Christ. Barnhouse told him that if he was careful to make public confession of his faith in Christ, he would not have to worry. He would not have to give improper friends up. They would give him up.

As a result of this conversation the young man agreed to tell the first ten people of his old set whom he encountered that he had become a Christian. The soldier went home. Almost immediately--in fact, while he was still on the platform of the suburban station at the end of his return trip--he met a girl whom he had known socially. She was delighted to see him and asked how he was doing. He told her, "The greatest thing that could possibly happen to me has happened." "You're engaged to be married," she exclaimed. "No," he told her. "It's even better than that. I've taken the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior." The girls' expression froze. She mumbled a few polite words and went on her way.


A short time later the new Christian met a young man whom he had known before going into the service. "It's good to see you back," he declared. "We'll have some great parties now that you've returned." "I've just become a Christian," the soldier said. He was thinking, That's two! Again it was a case of a frozen smile and a quick change of conversation. After this the same circumstances were repeated with a young couple and with two more old friends.

By this time word had got around, and soon some of his friends stopped seeing him. He had become peculiar, religious, and -- who knows! -- they may even have called him crazy! What had he done? Nothing but confess Christ. The same confession that had aligned him with Christ had separated him from those who did not want Jesus Christ as Savior and who, in fact, did not even want to hear about Him. - J.M. Boice, Christ's Call To Discipleship, Moody, 1986, p. 122-23.


THE WORLD NEEDS PEOPLE...
who cannot be bought;

whose word is their bond;
who put character above wealth;
who possess opinions and a will;
who are larger than their vocations;
who do not hesitate to take chances;
who will not lose their individuality in a crowd;
who will be as honest in small things as in great things;
who will make no compromise with wrong;
whose ambitions are not confined to their own selfish desires;
who will not say they do it" because everybody else does it";
who are true to their friends through good report and evil report, in adversity as well as in prosperity;
who do not believe that shrewdness, cunning, and hardheadedness are the best qualities for winning success;
who are not ashamed or afraid to stand for the truth when it is unpopular;
who can say "no" with emphasis, although all the rest of the world says "yes." - Charles Swindoll.

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 strength in Him, and also for the power of the Holy Spirit, that helps us in challenging times.

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 taking on board some of the advice that I have just read, and to stand fast in challenging times. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

SUNDAY SERMON ON THE BLOG – GENEROUS GRACE AND INCREDIBLE LOVE.

Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the "law" that requires faith. For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from observing the law. - Romans 3:27-28. TNIV

God's Salvation leaves us no room for boasting, for we could not live up to the righteous demands of the Law.

When we are broken and sinful, God purchases our salvation by sending Jesus, and allowing Him to pay the debt for our sin.

We have nothing to boast about, except the overwhelmingly generous grace of God, and the incredible sacrificial love of our Saviour, Jesus. Hallelujah! What a Saviour!


Loving Father, I thank you for redeeming me from the righteous judgment of the Law. Thank you, Jesus, for paying the debt for my sins. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for cleansing me and making me holy. Thank you, Lord, for your generous grace and incredible love. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged.
GBYAY

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT - SATURDAY'S INFO BLOG.

DOES SLAVERY STILL EXIST?

Britain, through the efforts of William Wilberforce, abolished the slave trade in 1807. America did the same in 1865. This month as we celebrate 200 years of freedom since the abolishment of slavery in Britain , we may think that slavery has well and truly disappeared from this world. or has it?

The ugly truth is that modern-day slavery is very much alive and thriving right under our noses. Although it is always hidden from view, modern-day slavery is widespread and remains a serious global issue. What's more troubling is the fact that a lot of these slaves are children.

What is slavery?

Few of us have ever seen a 'real' slave before. A slave, by definition, is anyone who is forced to work through mental or physical threat, owned by an 'employer' who uses or threatens abuse, bought and sold as a property and suffers restrictions on freedom of movement.

It may come as a shock but 27 million people around the world fit that description. These are ordinary people - sons, daughters, mothers and fathers - who end up in horrific circumstances such as:

Bonded labour
This category includes people who have been tricked into taking a loan out of desperation, sometimes to buy medicine for a sick child. To repay the loan, they are forced to work long hours, up to 365 days a year. They are given basic food and shelter but they may never be able to pay off the debt, which can be passed on to the next generation. Sadly, it means children are born into a life of slavery.

Forced labour
Adults and children who are illegally recruited by individuals or companies and forced to work under threat of violence or other severe penalties.

Early or forced marriage
In some countries, young women and girls are forced to get married at a young age, against their wishes. Many find themselves in a life of servitude, often accompanied by physical violence.

Human trafficking
Children, women, even men, from impoverished communities are sold and treated like commodities, transported in secret across international borders into various forms of labour and prostitution.

Why does slavery still exist?

The reason is always money and greed. Labour costs money, but it's a lot cheaper to steal people's labour than pay them. The demand for labour in factories, agriculture, domestic help, mining, even prostitution and pornography, finds its supply in the countless communities where families struggle to survive in crushing poverty.

Using deception, abduction or force, human traffickers exploit the situation, and many vulnerable people, especially children, end up as human cargo destined for a life of slavery far from home.

Slavery must be stopped.

William Wilberforce is an inspiration as one who never gave up the fight to abolish slavery in England.Governments, non-government organisations and human rights agencies around the world are working together to combat slavery. However, there is still much more that needs to be done.

Slavery can be stopped, just like the trans-Atlantic slave trade 200 years ago. Campaigning efforts by individuals can help turn the tide. William Wilberforce is an inspiring example of one man's crusade that helped change the world. Wilberforce is an unsung hero in world history. A British Member of Parliament in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Wilberforce led the fight to end slavery in Britain.

His story has now been made into the movie Amazing Grace, scheduled for release in Australia later this year. When it comes take the opportunity to see it and be inspired as you see how one man's compassion for his fellow human beings led to a new chapter in history.

Source: Action News Online (World Vision)

Be encouraged.
GBYAY

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Friday, March 16, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT FRIDAY – A CHEERFUL HEART #50

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…

Drawbacks to working in a cubicle…
1) Being told to "Think Outside the Box" when I'm in the darn box all day!
2) Not being able to check E-mail attachments without first seeing who is behind me.
3) Fabric cubicle walls do not offer much protection from any kind of gun fire.
4) That nagging feeling that if I just press the right button, I will get a piece of cheese.
5) Lack of roof rafters for the noose.
6) My walls are too close together for my hammock to work right.
7) 23 power cords, 1 outlet.
8) Prison cells are not only bigger, they have beds.
9) When tours come through, I get lots of peanuts thrown at me.
10) Can't slam the door when you quit and walk out.
11) If you talk to yourself it causes all the surrounding cubicle inhabitants to pop their heads over the wall and say "What? I didn't hear you."
12) If your boss calls you and askes you to come into his office for a minute the walk there is like a funeral march... people hand you tissues as you pass and refuse to make eye contact.
13) You always have the feeling that someone is watching you, but by the time you turn to look they're gone.
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Office Skills…
"So tell me, Mrs. Smith," asked the interviewer, "have you any other skills you think might be worth mentioning?"
"Actually, yes," said the applicant modestly. "Last year I had two short stories published in national magazines, and I finished my novel."
"Very impressive," he commented, "but I was thinking of skills you could apply during office hours."
Mrs. Smith explained brightly, "Oh, that was during office hours."
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Salvation…
Three elements of personality are involved in making a decision to become a Christian, or in making any significant decision for that matter. They are the emotions, the intellect, and the will.

For example, a young man meets a young woman. They are immediately attracted to one another. They both say to themselves, "Now there is someone I'd like to marry." At that point, if the emotions had their way, there would be a wedding. But the intellect intervenes, questioning the impulsive emotional response. Would we be compatible? What is she really like? Can I afford to support her? Both conclude it would be better to take some more time and answer a few questions before they proceed. So the two begin spending more time with each other. He eventually concludes that she is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. Now his intellect has sided with the emotions on the idea of marriage.

But the final and heaviest vote remains to be cast -- that of the will. It stops the march toward the altar with the questions, "Am I willing to give up this lifestyle for another? What about my freedom -- is it worth the trade? Am I willing to assume the added responsibility?" The marriage will occur only when the will finally agrees with the emotions and the intellect. And so it is in coming to Christ. - Jim Peterson.
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The perfect job…
My first job was working in an orange juice factory, but I got canned...couldn't concentrate.
After that I tried to be a tailor, but I just wasn't suited for it...mainly because it was a so-so job.
Then I tried to be a chef -- figured it would add a little spice to my life, but I just didn't have the thyme.
Next I tried working in a muffler factory but that was too exhausting.
I managed to get a good job working for a pool maintenance company, but the work was just too draining.
I attempted to be a deli worker, but any way I sliced it, I couldn't cut the mustard.
Then I worked in the woods as a lumberjack, but I just couldn't hack it, so they gave me the ax.
Next was a job in a shoe factory; I tried but I just didn't fit in.
So then I got a job in a workout center, but they said I wasn't fit for the job.
After many years of trying to find steady work I finally got a job as a historian until I realized there was no future in it.
I studied a long time to become a doctor, but I didn't have any patience.
My best job was being a musician, but eventually I found I wasn't noteworthy.
I became a professional fisherman, but discovered that I couldn't live on my net income.
My last job was working at Starbucks, but I had to quit because it was always the same old grind.
SO I RETIRED AND FOUND I'M PERFECT FOR THE JOB!
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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

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – THURSDAY THOUGHTS #7

Let nothing disturb thee; Let nothing dismay thee; All things pass; God never changes. Patience attains All that it strives for; He who has God Finds he lacks nothing; - Source Unknown.

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. - John 10:10.

I was listening to someone on the television yesterday, and they said… “There has never been a better time to be alive than there is at the present moment!” I must say I totally agree with him, but not from his perspective, but from the fact, that Jesus said He came that we may have more abundant lives.

ABUNDANT LIFE
A little boy who lived far out in the country in the late 1800s had reached the age of twelve and had never in all his life seen a circus. You can imagine his excitement, when one day a poster went up at school announcing that on the next Saturday a traveling circus was coming to the nearby town.

He ran home with the glad news and the question, "Daddy, can I go?" Although the family was poor, the father sensed how important this was to the lad. "If you do your Saturday chores ahead of time," he said, "I'll see to it that you have the money to go."'

Come Saturday morning, the chores were done and the little boy stood by the breakfast table, dressed in his Sunday best. His father reached down into the pocket of his overalls and pulled out a dollar bill-the most money the little boy had possessed at one time in all his life. The father cautioned him to be careful and then sent him on his way to town.

The boy was so excited; his feet hardly seemed to touch the ground all the way. As he neared the outskirts of the village, he noticed people lining the streets, and he worked his way through the crowd until he could see what was happening. Lo and behold, it was the approaching spectacle of a circus parade!

The parade was the grandest thing this lad had ever seen. Caged animals snarled as they passed, bands beat their rhythms and sounded shining horns, midgets performed acrobatics while flags and ribbons swirled overhead.

Finally, after everything had passed where he was standing, the traditional circus clown, with floppy shoes, baggy pants, and a brightly painted face, brought up the rear. As the clown passed by, the little boy reached into his pocket and took out that precious dollar bill. Handing the money to the clown, the boy turned around and went home.

What had happened? The boy thought he had seen the circus when he had only seen the parade!

Are you experiencing all that God has for you? The Christian life is a marvelous adventure, an exciting journey. Many people-including Christians-seem to be content to float in a sea of mediocrity, settling for second best. Do you want the abundant life that Jesus promised? Do you want to live life to its fullest? Then aim higher.

Don't set your sights too low. Determine to become all that God created you to be. Give yourself to Christ, follow Him completely, and allow the Holy Spirit to work in you and through you. You ain't seen nothin' yet! - Hot Illustrations For Youth Talks Wayne Rice, Zonderzan, pp. 56-57.

Jesus came that we may have abundance; abundance of grace, peace, love, joy, life, blessings, and salvation. Hallelujah! Praise the mighty name of Jesus.

Loving Father, I thank you for my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who came to give me an abundant life. Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit to appropriate my abundant life of grace, peace, love, joy, life, blessings and salvation! In Jesus wonderful name I pray! Amen!

Be encouraged.

GBYAY

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