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Thursday, April 26, 2007

DOWN AND OUT, BUT NOT OVER!


I am sorry for not being able to post as my Modem blew up, and they said it will be next week before I can get a replacement. But not to worry, I am enjoying the break, and I am sure you are too! :) Pray for me!

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Monday, April 23, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT MONDAY – A HEART STARTER #30.

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.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. - James 1:2-3.

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!

As you will have realised earlier, our ‘Heart Starter’ today is TRIALS…

One man's life provides a dramatic answer to the question, can God indeed bring positives out of troubled times? This young man's name is David, and he is an awesome picture of God's using difficulties for good. For years he viewed trials as something that affected only his external world, and any blow to what he owned or how he looked would discourage him and leave him feeling cheated.

Today, David travels around the world, talking with people about how he discovered that no matter what happens to the outside, it's the internal life that trials really touch. Just like what happened in Jerry's life (whose story we shared in the last chapter), the bigger the trial, the more potential to see God's power and peace at work in the inner person.

During the Vietnam War, David went through rigorous training to become part of the ultra elite special forces team the Navy used on dangerous search-and-destroy missions. During a nighttime raid on an enemy stronghold, David experienced the greatest trial of his life. When he and his men were pinned down by enemy machine-gun fire, he pulled a phosphorus grenade from his belt and stood up to throw it. But as he pulled back his arm, a bullet hit the grenade, and it exploded next to his ear.

Lying on his side on the bank of a muddy river, he watched part of his face float by. His entire face and shoulder alternately smoldered and caught on fire as the phosphorus that had embedded itself in his body came into contact with the air. David knew that he was going to die, yet miraculously he didn't. He was pulled from the water by his fellow soldiers, flown directly to Saigon, and then taken to a waiting plane bound for Hawaii.


But David's problems were just beginning. When he first went into surgery -- the first of what would become dozens of operations -- the surgical team had a major problem during the operation. As they cut away tissue that had been burned or torn by the grenade, the phosphorus would hit the oxygen in the operating room and begin to ignite again! Several times the doctors and nurses ran out of the room, leaving him alone because they were afraid the oxygen used in surgery would explode! Incredibly, David survived the operation and was taken to a ward that held the most severe burn and injury cases from the war.

Lying on his bed, his head the size of a basketball, David knew he presented a grotesque picture. Although he had once been a handsome man, he knew he had nothing to offer his wife or anyone else because of his appearance. He felt more alone and more worthless than he had ever felt in his life. But David wasn't alone in his room. There was another man who had been wounded in Vietnam and was also a nightmarish sight. He had lost an arm and a leg, and his face was badly torn and scarred.

As David was recovering from surgery, this man's wife arrived from the States. When she walked into the room and took one look at her husband, she became nauseated. She took off her wedding ring, put it on the nightstand next to him, and said, "I'm so sorry, but there's no way I could live with you looking like that." And with that, she walked out the door. He could barely make any sounds through his torn throat and mouth, but the soldier wept and shook for hours. Two days later, he died.

That woman's attitude represents in many respects the way the world views a victim of accident or injury. If a trial emotionally or physically scars someone or causes him to lose his attractiveness, the world says "Ugly is bad," and consequently, any value that person feels he has to others is drained away. For this poor wounded soldier, knowing that his wife saw no value in him was more terrible than the wounds he suffered. It blew away his last hope that someone, somewhere, could find worth in him because he knew how the world would perceive him.

Three days later, David's wife arrived. After watching what had happened with the other soldier, he had no idea what kind of reaction she would have toward him, and he dreaded her coming. His wife, a strong Christian, took one look at him, came over, and kissed him on the only place on his face that wasn't bandaged. In a gentle voice she said, "Honey, I love you. I'll always love you. And I want you to know that whatever it takes, whatever the odds, we can make it together." She hugged him where she could to avoid disturbing his injuries and stayed with him for the next several days.

Watching what had happened with the other man's wife and seeing his own wife's love for him gave David tremendous strength. More than that, her understanding and accepting him greatly reinforced his own relationship with the Lord.

In the weeks and months that followed, David's wounds slowly but steadily healed. It took dozens of operations and months of agonizing recovery, but today, miraculously, David can see and hear. On national television, we heard David make an incredible statement. I am twice the person I was before I went to Vietnam. For one thing, God has used my suffering to help me feel other people's pain and to have an incredible burden to reach people for Him. The Lord has let me have a worldwide, positive effect on people's lives because of what I went through. I wouldn't trade anything I've gone through for the benefits my trials have had in my life, on my family's life and on countless teenagers and adults I've had the opportunity to influence over the years.

David experienced a trial that no parents would wish on their children. Yet in spite of all the tragedy that surrounded him, God turned his troubled times into fruitful ones. - Gary Smalley and John Trent, Ph.D., The Gift of Honor, pp. 56-58.


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 His help when we are under extreme trials.

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 you are always with me in every difficult time. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

SUNDAY SERMON ON THE BLOG – PURE PRAISE!

Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. - 1 Chronicles 29:11. TNIV

Praise is letting God know we recognise Him for who He is, what He has done, and what He is doing.

But more than informing God of His greatness, majesty and splendour, praise is rejoicing before Him in His magnitude, and recognising that not only is His grace without comparison, His majesty, might, holiness, faithfulness, righteousness, mercy, love, forgiveness and justice, are without comparison. Hallelujah!

Praise is grateful celebration that He is almighty God, and even more importantly, that He is our God.


Loving Father, you are truly worthy of my pure words, pure thoughts, and pure dreams. I worship and submit to you, and I rejoice that you are who you are. I celebrate what you have done, and yet I long for what you are yet to do. You are magnificent, my Father and my God. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus, and because of His matchless love, I praise you. Amen.

Be encouraged.
GBYAY

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Friday, April 20, 2007


IN LOVING MEMORY OF THE VT VICTIMS...


- Ross Abdallah Alameddine, 20,

Christopher James Bishop, 35,

Brian Roy Bluhm,

- Ryan Christopher Clark, 22,

- Austin Michelle Cloyd,

- Jocelyne Couture-Nowak,

- Kevin P. Granata,

Matthew Gregory Gwaltney, 24,

- Caitlin Millar Hammaren, 19,

- Jeremy Michael Herbstritt, 27,

- Rachael Elizabeth Hill, 18,

- Emily Jane Hilscher 19,

- Jarrett Lee Lane, 22,

- Matthew Joseph La Porte, 20,

Henry J. Lee,

- Liviu Librescu, 76,

- G. V. Loganathan, 51,

- Partahi Mamora Lumbantoruan, 34,

- Lauren Ashley McCain, 20,

- Daniel Patrick O'Neil, 22,

- Juan Ramon Ortiz-Ortiz, 26,

- Minal Hiralal Panchal,

- Daniel Alejandro Perez,

- Erin Nicole Peterson,

- Michael Steven Pohle, Jr.

- Julia Kathleen Pryde, 23,

- Mary Karen Read, 19,

- Reema Joseph Samaha, 18,

- Waleed Mohamed Shaalan,

- Leslie Geraldine Sherman,

Maxine Shelly Turner,

Nicole White, 20.

R.I.P.

OUR GOD, OUR PRAYERS, AND OUR CONDOLENCES ARE WITH ALL THEIR FAMILIES AND LOVED ONES.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – THURSDAY THOUGHTS #12… PRAYER.

The moment you wake up each morning, all your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists in shoving it all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other, larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. - C.S. Lewis.

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and human beings, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. – 1 Timothy 2:1-6.

Roger Simms, hitchhiking his way home, would never forget the date--May 7. His heavy suitcase made Roger tired. He was anxious to take off his army uniform once and for all. Flashing the hitchhiking sign to the oncoming car, he lost hope when he saw it was a black, sleek, new Cadillac. To his surprise the car stopped. The passenger door opened. He ran toward the car, tossed his suitcase in the back, and thanked the handsome, well-dressed man as he slid into the front seat.

"Going home for keeps?" "Sure am," Roger responded. "Well, you're in luck if you're going to Chicago." "Not quite that far. Do you live in Chicago?" "I have a business there. My name is Hanover." After talking about many things, Roger, a Christian, felt a compulsion to witness to this fifty-ish, apparently successful businessman about Christ. But he kept putting it off, till he realized he was just thirty minutes from his home. It was now or never. So, Roger cleared his throat, "Mr. Hanover, I would like to talk to you about something very important."

He then proceeded to explain the way of salvation, ultimately asking Mr. Hanover if he would like to receive Christ as his Savior. To Roger's astonishment the Cadillac pulled over to the side of the road. Roger thought he was going to be ejected from the car. But the businessman bowed his head and received Christ, then thanked Roger. "This is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me."

Five years went by, Roger married, had a two-year-old boy, and a business of his own. Packing his suitcase for a business trip to Chicago, he found the small, white business card Hanover had given him five years before. In Chicago he looked up Hanover Enterprises. A receptionist told him it was impossible to see Mr. Hanover, but he could see Mrs. Hanover. A little confused as to what was going on, he was ushered into a lovely office and found himself facing a keen-eyed woman in her fifties.

She extended her hand. "You knew my husband?" Roger told how her husband had given him a ride when hitchhiking home after the war. "Can you tell me when that was?" "It was May 7, five years ago, the day I was discharged from the army." "Anything special about that day?" Roger hesitated. Should he mention giving his witness? Since he had come so far, he might as well take the plunge. "Mrs. Hanover, I explained the gospel. He pulled over to the side of the road and wept against the steering wheel. He gave his life to Christ that day."

Explosive sobs shook her body. Getting a grip on herself, she sobbed, "I had prayed for my husband's salvation for years. I believed God would save him." "And," said Roger, "Where is your husband, Mrs. Hanover?" "He's dead," she wept, struggling with words. "He was in a a car crash after he let you out of the car. He never got home. You see--I thought God had not kept His promise."

Sobbing uncontrollably, she added, "I stopped living for God five years ago because I thought He had not kept His word!" - J. Kirk Johnston.

I asked God for strength that I might achieve.
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked God for health that I might do greater things.
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy.
I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for--but everything I had hoped for...
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am among all men most richly blessed.
- An unknown Confederate soldier.

Loving Father, I thank you for my salvation. Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to help others come to know you and your saving grace, 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, April 18, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – WEDNESDAY WARRIOR! #12… IT’S TIME TO BE REFRESHED!

"Many do not recognize the fact as they ought, that Satan has got men fast asleep in sin and that it is his great device to keep them so. He does not care what we do if he can do that. We may sing songs about the sweet by and by, preach sermons and say prayers until doomsday, and he will never concern himself about us, if we don't wake anybody up. But if we awake the sleeping sinner he will gnash on us with his teeth. This is our work - to wake people up." – Catherine Booth.

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. - Acts 3:19-21. TNIV

We need to understand that all of us, at sometime, become stale in our walk with Christ, and we need to be refreshed! There are many reasons that this happens, but I don’t want to focus on why it happened, but on how we can be refreshed again, that we may become stronger and more active for His glory and for the extension of his Kingdom!

A person can be a Christian for many years yet remain spiritually immature. Therefore it's possible for a new believer to be far more grown up in the Lord than someone who has been saved for 40 years. Some of the older Christians don’t realise that they are in a backslidden state, and it’s only the mask of religion that keeps them in the Church.

To these people I say, God wants you for His own! He is a jealous God, and wants you to come back to Him! So repent and receive His promise.


A good example of this is found in an incident described by Ethel Barrett in her book; It Only Hurts When I Laugh. She said that when D.L. Moody became a Christian, he developed such a hunger for God's Word, spent so much time reading it, and was so quick to obey it that he became a "menace" to some believers.

His rapid spiritual growth was an embarrassment to certain people who, though they had been saved for years, never grew up in Christ. Week after week in the church Moody attended, he would share a new experience he had with the Lord. Finally, some of the older saints who just couldn't stand feeling humiliated by his exemplary life, went to Moody's uncle and urged him to quiet down his nephew.

Ethel Barrett drew this conclusion about Moody: "His robust spiritual health and bounding energy disturbed their napping; he was just too much. So, while they were sucking their thumbs, he was growing until he left them far behind; he grew more in a few years than they did in thirty."

The Promise of a Personal Refreshing…

This is a promise to every believer who is immature, those who have run dry, those who are discouraged and downhearted, who are run down, who feels that there is a great distance between themselves and God! Let us remind ourselves that God has never broken a promise!

Booker T. Washington describes meeting an ex-slave from Virginia in his book Up From Slavery, "I found that this man had made a contract with his master, two or three years previous to the Emancipation Proclamation, to the effect that the slave was to be permitted to buy himself, by paying so much per year for his body; and while he was paying for himself, he was to be permitted to labor where and for whom he pleased.

"Finding that he could secure better wages in Ohio, he went there. When freedom came, he was still in debt to his master some three hundred dollars. Notwithstanding that the Emancipation Proclamation freed him from any obligation to his master, this black man walked the greater portion of the distance back to where his old master lived in Virginia, and placed the last dollar, with interest, in his hands.In talking to me about this, the man told me that he knew that he did not have to pay his debt, but that he had given his word to his master, and his word he had never broken. He felt that he could not enjoy his freedom till he had fulfilled his promise." – Douglas E. Moore.

Once we understand the promise, then there is...

A Pathway To A Personal Refreshing!
We need to return to a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus, and turn away from our complacency, our compromise and our contrariness! in order to avoid any of this, we need to refresh ourselves in His word...

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. - John 1:1-5.

It is important to realise that we can have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, God almighty! How is it possible to have and retain this relationship? We have a helper, the Holy Spirit...

But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment - John 16:7-8.

It is the life lived in Christ that refreshes us, and the Holy Spirit guides us into all truth, He will keep us on the correct pathway...

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. - John 16:13-14.

" I had an overwhelming experience of the Lord's presence. I felt so powerfully overcome by the nearness of the Holy Spirit that I had to ask the Lord to draw back lest He kill me. It was so glorious that I couldn't stand more than a small portion of it." - Mordecai Ham.

When we repent and renew our commitment, to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, then the process of refreshing begins. We are refreshed by His Spiritual presence, refreshed in His strengthening power, refreshed in His sweet love, and a refreshing of soul-winning passion, is released in us! Hallelujah! What a mighty God we serve!

Loving Father, I repent of anything that is in me, which is not of you, wash me in the precious blood of Jesus. I receive your forgiveness. I commit my life afresh to you, and ask you by the power of the Holy Spirit, to help me begin the process of my refreshing, I ask this in the wonderful name of Jesus, my Lord and Saviour, Amen!

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY - CLASSICAL TESTIMONIES… Edward Kimball.

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. Enjoy…

Usually when a man comes to a shoe store, he is looking to buy something. One of the greatest transactions that was ever made in a shoe store occurred on day when a man came to make sure the clerk had the opportunity to receive a gift.

Edward Kimball was a faithful Sunday School teacher who was somewhat timid. For a year a young man had attended his class each Sunday morning. Most of the class members were students at Harvard, but this boy was fresh off the farm and was not an accomplished student. Now at the age of eighteen, Dwight was beginning to get interested in the Bible.

Mr. Kimball felt that God wanted him to present the gospel to Dwight, but as he approached the store, he decided to wait for another opportunity. He was halfway down the block before he was able to build up his courage to go back to the shoe store and talk to the young star-salesman. As he found him in the back, wrapping shoes, Mr. Kimball said: "I want to tell you how much Christ loves you."


Unbenownst to Mr. Kimball, Dwight had recently become earnest in a desire to improve himself, even signing this resolution in blood. Thus, God brought the Sunday School teacher to talk to him at just the right time. God used the testimony of the gospel contained in His Holy Word. Dwight listened to the good news of God's love that was so great that Jesus, the God-man, died on the cross to pay for Dwight's sins, and then rose again from the dead to offer him the gift of eternal life.

Dwight bowed his head and said yes to God. He later told of his feelings that day: "I was in a new world. The birds sang sweeter. The sun shone brighter. I'd never known such peace."

Later, after moving to Chicago to be a salesman, young Dwight became a Sunday School teacher himself. He organized a Sunday School, recruiting both the students and the teachers. God so blessed his efforts that Dwight Moody left the business world to work full time for the Lord. By the time his life work was over, he had made such an impact on both America and England that he was described as: "the greatest evangelist of the nineteenth century."

All this because God chose to reach a shoe salesman through the witness of a timid Sunday School teacher, Edward Kimball.

Are you willing to do whatever it takes and give your all to win the lost to Christ? Then like, Edward Kimball, 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 Edward Kimball, 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 you used Edward 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, April 16, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT MONDAY – A HEART STARTER #29.

A New York family bought a ranch out West where they intended to raise cattle. Friends visited and asked if the ranch had a name. "Well," said the would-be cattleman, "I wanted to name it the Bar-J. My wife favored Suzy-Q, one son liked the Flying-W, and the other wanted the Lazy-Y. So we're calling it the Bar-J-Suzy-Q-Flying-W-Lazy-Y." "But where are all your cattle?" the friends asked. "None survived the branding." - D.A.C. News.

So leave the corruption and compromise; leave it for good," says God. "Don't link up with those who will pollute you. I want you all for myself. - 2 Corinthians 6:17. (MSG)

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!

As you will have realised earlier, our subject today is COMPROMISE…


Back in 1931, Irving Thalberg of MGM decided he wanted to buy the film rights to Tarzan, written by Edgar Rice Burroughs. So Thalberg sent Sam Marx to negotiate with Burroughs, telling Marx not to spend more than $100,000, an extraordinarily large sum in those days. Marx contacted Burroughs and asked how much he wanted for the film rights. "$100,000," said Burroughs. When Marx offered him $25,000, Burroughs walked out of the meeting.

However, Marx and Burroughs continued to negotiate throughout the summer. Burroughs eventually settled for $40,000. After signing the contract, Burroughs admitted that he had wanted MGM and Thalberg to make the picture so badly, they could have had it for nothing if they had insisted. "Mr. Burroughs," replied Marx, "If you had held out, you would have gotten $100,000!" - Source Unknown.

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.

Compromise is simply changing the question to fit the answer. - Merrit Malloy.

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 compromise is never the answer… you are. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

SUNDAY SERMON ON THE BLOG – JESUS CAME!

They were all filled with awe and praised God. "A great prophet has appeared among us," they said. "God has come to help his people." - Luke 7:16. TNIV

Jesus came to do the work of God.

Jesus came as the Son of God.
Jesus came to reveal God.
Jesus came and people praised God.
Jesus came so people could see God.

Do you know Jesus?
If you do, do you know him as well as you should?


Loving Father, we thank you for revealing yourself, your love, your grace, and your Salvation in Jesus. We thank you for visiting our world and making us your children. To you, O Lord, belongs all glory and praise. In the mighty, and wonderful name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

Be encouraged.
GBYAY

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Friday, April 13, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT FRIDAY – A CHEERFUL HEART #53

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...

Drive Through ATM Procedures…
Please note that Banks are installing new "Drive-through" teller machines. Customers will be able to withdraw cash without leaving their vehicles. To enable customers to use this new facility the following procedures have been drawn up.


MALE PROCEDURE
1. Drive up to the cash machine.
2. Put down your car window.
3. Insert card into machine and enter PIN.
4. Enter amount of cash required and withdraw.
5. Retrieve card, cash and receipt.
6. Put window up.

7. Drive off.

FEMALE PROCEDURE
1. Drive up to cash machine.
2. Reverse back the required amount to align car window to machine.
3. Set parking Brake, Put the window down.
4. Find handbag, remove all contents onto passenger seat to locate card.
5. Turn the radio down.
6. Attempt to insert card into machine.
7. Attempt to insert card into machine.
8. Open car door to allow easier access to machine due to its excessive distance from the car.
9. Insert card.
10. Re-insert card the right side up.
11. Dig through handbag to find diary with your PIN written on the inside back page.
12. Enter PIN.
13. Press cancel and re-enter correct PIN.
14. Enter amount of cash required.
15. Check make up in rear view mirror.
16. Retrieve cash and receipt.
17. Empty handbag again to locate wallet and place cash inside.
18. Place receipt in back of checkbook.
19. Re-check make-up again.
20. Drive forwards 2 feet.
21. Reverse back to cash machine.
22. Retrieve card.
23. Re-empty hand bag, locate card holder, and place card into the slot provided.
24. Give appropriate one-fingered hand signal to irate male drivers queuing behind.
25. Restart stalled engine and pull off.
26. Drive for 2 to 3 miles.
27. Release Parking Brake.
-----------------
Speeding…
A police officer pulls a guy over for speeding and has the following exchange:


Officer: May I see your driver's license?
Driver: I don't have one. I had it suspended when I got my 5th DUI.
Officer: May I see the owner's card for this vehicle?
Driver: It's not my car. I stole it.
Officer: The car is stolen?
Driver: That's right. But come to think of it, I think I saw the owner's card in the glove box when I was putting my gun in there.
Officer: There's a gun in the glove box?
Driver: Yes sir. That's where I put it after shot and killed the woman who owns this car and stuffed her in the trunk.
Officer: There's a BODY in the TRUNK?!?!?
Driver: Yes, sir.

Hearing this, the officer immediately called his captain. The car was quickly surrounded by police, and the captain approached the driver to handle the tense situation:


Captain: Sir, may I see your license?
Driver: Sure. Here it is. It was valid.
Captain: Whose car is this?
Driver: It's mine, officer. Here's the owner's card. The driver owned the car.
Captain: Could you slowly open your glove box so I can see if there's a gun in it?
Driver: Yes, sir, but there's no gun in it. Sure enough, there was nothing in the glove box.
Captain: Would you mind opening your trunk? I was told you said there's a body in it.
Driver: No problem. Trunk is opened; no body.
Captain: I don't understand it. The officer who stopped you said you told him you didn't have a license, stole the car, had a gun in the glovebox, and that there was a dead body in the trunk.
Driver: Really? Ain't that something? And I'll bet the lying sucker told you I was speeding, too ...
---------------
SUBSTITUTION…
In his book Written In Blood, Robert Coleman tells the story of a little boy whose sister needed a blood transfusion. The doctor explained that she had the same disease the boy had recovered from two years earlier. Her only chance for recovery was a transfusion from someone who had previously conquered the disease. Since the two children had the same rare blood type, the boy was the ideal donor.

"Would you give your blood to Mary?" the doctor asked. Johnny hesitated. His lower lip started to tremble. Then he smiled and said, "Sure, for my sister." Soon the two children were wheeled into the hospital room--Mary, pale and thin; Johnny, robust and healthy. Neither spoke, but when their eyes met, Johnny grinned.

As the nurse inserted the needle into his arm, Johnny's smile faded. He watched the blood flow through the tube. With the ordeal almost over, his voice, slightly shaky, broke the silence. "Doctor, when do I die?' Only then did the doctor realize why Johnny had hesitated, why his lip had trembled when he'd agreed to donate his blood. He's thought giving his blood to his sister meant giving up his life. In that brief moment, he'd made his great decision.

Johnny, fortunately, didn't have to die to save his sister. Each of us, however, has a condition more serious than Mary's, and it required Jesus to give not just His blood but His life. - Thomas Lindberg.
---------------
The End is Near...
A priest and pastor from the local parishes are standing by the side of the road holding up a sign that reads, "The End is Near! Turn yourself around now before it's too late!"
They planned to hold up the sign to each passing car.
"Leave us alone you religious nuts!" yelled the first driver as he sped by.
From around the curve they heard screeching tires and a big splash. "Do you think," said one clergy to the other, "we should just put up a sign that says 'Bridge Out' instead?"

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, April 12, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – THURSDAY THOUGHTS #11…REDEMPTION.

Back in 1830 George Wilson was convicted of robbing the U.S. Mail and was sentenced to be hanged. President Andrew Jackson issued a pardon for Wilson, but he refused to accept it. The matter went to Chief Justice Marshall, who concluded that Wilson would have to be executed.

"A pardon is a slip of paper," wrote Marshall, "the value of which is determined by the acceptance of the person to be pardoned. If it is refused, it is no pardon. George Wilson must be hanged." For some, the pardon comes too late. For others, the pardon is not accepted. – Source unknow
n.

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 13:3.

A story told by Paul Lee Tan illustrates the meaning of redemption. He said that when A.J. Gordon was pastor of a church in Boston, he met a young boy in front of the sanctuary carrying a rusty cage in which several birds fluttered nervously. Gordon inquired, "Son, where did you get those birds?" The boy replied, "I trapped them out in the field." "What are you going to do with them?" "I'm going to play with them, and then I guess I'll just feed them to an old cat we have at home."

When Gordon offered to buy them, the lad exclaimed, "Mister, you don't want them, they're just little old wild birds and can't sing very well." Gordon replied, "I'll give you $2 for the cage and the birds." "Okay, it's a deal, but you're making a bad bargain." The exchange was made and the boy went away whistling, happy with his shiny coins. Gordon walked around to the back of the church property, opened the door of the small wire coop, and let the struggling creatures soar into the blue.

The next Sunday he took the empty cage into the pulpit and used it to illustrate his sermon about Christ's coming to seek and to save the lost -- paying for them with His own precious blood. "That boy told me the birds were not songsters," said Gordon, "but when I released them and they winged their way heavenward, it seemed to me they were singing, 'Redeemed, redeemed, redeemed!"

You and I have been held captive to sin, but Christ has purchased our pardon and set us at liberty. When a person has this life-changing experience, he will want to sing, "Redeemed, redeemed, redeemed!" - Our Daily Bread.

Tom carried his new boat to the edge of the river. He carefully placed it in the water and slowly let out the string. How smoothly the boat sailed! Tom sat in the warm sunshine, admiring the little boat that he had built. Suddenly a strong current caught the boat. Tom tried to pull it back to shore, but the string broke. The little boat raced downstream.

Tom ran along the sandy shore as fast as he could. But his little boat soon slipped out of sight. All afternoon he searched for the boat. Finally, when it was too dark to look any longer, Tom sadly went home.

A few days later, on the way home from school, Tom spotted a boat just like his in a store window. When he got closer, he could see -- sure enough -- it was his! Tom hurried to the store manager: "Sir, that's my boat in your window! I made it!" "Sorry, son, but someone else brought it in this morning. If you want it, you'll have to buy it for one dollar."

Tom ran home and counted all his money. Exactly one dollar! When he reached the store, he rushed to the counter. "Here's the money for my boat." As he left the store, Tom hugged his boat and said, "Now you're twice mine. First, I made you and now I bought you." - Good News Publishers.

Loving Father, I thank you for my redemption. Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to help others come to know you and your redemptive power, 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, April 11, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – WEDNESDAY WARRIOR! #11… Psalm 24.

“Revivals begin with God's own people; the Holy Spirit touches their heart anew, and gives them new fervor and compassion, and zeal, new light and life, and when He has thus come to you, He next goes forth to the valley of dry bones…Oh, what responsibility this lays on the Church of God! If you grieve Him away from yourselves, or hinder His visit, then the poor perishing world suffers sorely!” – Andrew A. Bonar.

One of my readers once said… “Praise the Lord that God almighty is not moved by the masses, but to the faithful few who bend their knee and believe for a mighty move of God across our city.” How true his statement is! We hear of the masses of people who pray and yet we see little results. I am not saying that nothing happens, but it seems that God does answer the prayers of a desperate few! This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. - Psa 34:6.

I am reminded of two old ladies, Peggy & Christine Smith, who prayed and God promised them a revival that Hebridean Islands in Scotland in 1949 -1952. The Scripture that was prayed to usher in the Revival was Psalm 24…

The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters. Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? Those who have clean hands and a pure heart, who do not put their trust in an idol or swear by a false god. They will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God their Savior. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, God of Jacob.

Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is he, this King of glory? The LORD Almighty— he is the King of glory.


Here is the account of what happened in the, Hebridean Revival

In a small cottage by the roadside in the village of Barras lived two elderly women, Peggy and Christine Smith. They were eighty-four and eighty-two years old. Peggy was blind and her sister almost bent double with arthritis. Unable to attend public worship, their humble cottage became a sanctuary where they met with God. To them came the promise: "I will pour water upon him that is thirsty and floods upon the dry ground," they pleaded this day and night in prayer.

One night Peggy had a revelation, revival was coming and the church of her fathers would be crowded again with young people! She sent for the minister, the Rev. James Murray MacKay, and told him what God had shown her, asking him to call his elders and deacons together for special times of waiting upon God.

In the same district a group of men praying in a barn experienced a foretaste of coming blessing. One night as they waited upon God a young deacon rose and read part of the twenty-fourth Psalm:
"Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? Those who have clean hands and a pure heart"

Turning to the others he said: "Brethren, it seems to me just so much humbug to be waiting and praying as we are, if we ourselves are not rightly related to God."

Then lifting his hands toward heaven he cried: "Oh God, are my hands clean? Is my heart pure?" He got no further, but fell prostrate to the floor. An awareness of God filled the barn and a stream of supernatural power was let lose in their lives. They had moved into a new sphere of God realization, believing implicitly in the promise of revival.

But before leaving Peggy and her sister, another story must be told which further illustrates the holy intimacy of this woman with her Lord. When the movement was at its height Peggy sent for Evangelist Duncan Campbell, asking him to go to a small, isolated village to hold a meeting. The people of this village did not favor the revival and had already made clear their policy of noninvolvement.

Duncan explained the situation to Peggy and told her that he questioned the wisdom of her request. "Besides," he added, "I have no leadings to go to that place." She turned in the direction of his voice, her sightless eyes seemed to penetrate his soul. "Mr. Campbell, if you were living as near to God as you ought to be, He would reveal His secrets to you also." Duncan felt like a subordinate being reprimanded for defying his general.


He humbly accepted the rebuke as from the Lord, and asked if he and Mr. MacKay could spend the morning in prayer with them. She agreed, and later as they knelt together in the cottage, Peggy prayed: "Lord, You remember what you told me this morning, that in this village you are going to save seven men who will become pillars in the church of my fathers. Lord, I have given your message to Mr. Campbell and it seems he is not prepared to receive it. Oh Lord, give him wisdom, because he badly needs it!"

"All right, Peggy, I'll go to the village," said Duncan when they had finished praying. She replied, "You'd better!" "And God will give you a congregation." Arriving in the village at seven o'clock they found a large bungalow crowded to capacity with many assembled outside. Duncan gave out his text: "The times of this ignorance God winked at, but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent." When he had finished preaching, a minister beckoned him to the end of the house to speak again to a number of people who were mourning over their sins - among them, Peggy's seven men!

“Praise the Lord that God almighty is not moved by the masses, but to the faithful few who bend their knee and believe for a mighty move of God across our city.”

You may not live in a City, but you can still be a warrior and pray for your community, your City, your country, just like Peggy and Christine Smith.

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.


Be encouraged!


GBYAY

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY - CLASSICAL TESTIMONIES… Dr. John R. Rice.

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…

As John's mother lay dying, this godly woman made a passionate plea for each of her children to meet her in heaven. These last memories of his mother so impressed the five-year-old boy that he never forgot them. John's family always attended church, even before his mother's death. Four years later, after listening to a sermon on "The Prodigal Son", nine-year-old John R. Rice went forward in the First Baptist Church of Gainesville, Texas to claim Christ as his Saviour.

When he asked his father if he could be baptized, his father replied: "When you are old enough to really repent of your sins and be regenerated, then will be time enough to join the church." John wondered what was wrong. He knew he had repented and trusted Christ, but maybe, as his father said, he was too young to be truly saved. Finally, at the age of twelve, he read in John 5:24 the promise of salvation, and knew that he had received God's gift that day when he was nine.

John was a hard worker on his father's ranch, and also a good student in school. At twenty, between studying and ranching, John R. Rice knelt under a chaparral bush one day and committed his future to the Lord, to follow God's leading whatever it might be. He graduated from Baylor University in 1920. After this, he married and began graduate studies at Chicago University.

During his adult years he had been faithful in church attendance, often leading singing for special revival services. He had also preached in jails and on street corners, and been actively engaged in winning souls wherever he went. One night, kneeling to pray with a drunk at the Pacific Garden Rescue Mission in Chicago, John R. Rice decided that there was no greater joy than to lead a person to the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. He abandoned his plans of teaching and politics and surrendered to preach, based on Romans 12:1-2.

After seminary training Brother Rice became an assistant pastor, then a pastor, then an evangelist. Out of one of his crusades, a church was organized and he pastored it for seven years. During that time they had seven thousand saved and seventeen hundred baptized. He began the Sword of the Lord newspaper during that pastorate, then re-entered the field of evangelism. During World War II Dr. Rice pioneered citywide evangelistic crusades, laying the foundation for the highly effective crusades of the 1950's. Then, in 1948, he left the citywide revival work to concentrate on the newspaper and area-wide meetings, with a new emphasis: to stir preachers to reach the people.

Dr. Rice was a prolific writer. At his death in 1980, he had over two hundred titles in print, with a circulation of sixty million copies. Twenty-five thousand people had written to tell him they had been saved through his publications. Today his hymnbooks are used in fundamental churches across the nation. The Sword of the Lord newspaper and Sword publications continue to carry on the crusade to win this world for Christ. Yet, even with all of his success in preaching and writing, he considered soulwinning "the most important business in the world." He stated that personal contact and personal invitation had a part in winning nine out of ten of the multiplied thousands he had seen come to Christ.

"The Twentieth Century's Mightiest Pen", "the Titan of Soul-winning", yes, but it might not have happened if not for a mother who was burdened for her children's salvation.


Are you willing to do whatever it takes and give your all to win the lost to Christ? Then like, John R. Rice, 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 John R. Rice, 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 you used John. 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, April 09, 2007

EASTER MONDAY HOLIDAY!


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Sunday, April 08, 2007

UP FROM THE GRAVE HE AROSE!!!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Go here to sing!

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Friday, April 06, 2007

WERE YOU THERE WHEN THEY CRUCIFIED MY LORD?


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

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

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

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – THURSDAY THOUGHTS #10…LOOK TO JESUS!

I would propose that the subject of the ministry of this house, as long as this platform shall stand, and as long as this house shall be frequented by worshipers, shall be the person of Jesus Christ. I am never ashamed to avow myself a Calvinist; I do not hesitate to take the name of Baptist; but if I am asked what my creed is, I reply, "It is Jesus Christ."

My venerated predecessor, Dr. Gill, has left a [theological heritage] admirable and excellent in its way. But the [legacy] to which I would pin and bind myself forever, God helping me... is Jesus Christ, who is the arm and substance of the gospel, who is in Himself all theology, the incarnation of every precious truth. - C.H. Spurgeon.

Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. - Hebrews 12:2. TNIV

Where can a troubled teenager go to find peace?

One fifteen-year-old boy decided that he would try to find a relationship with God. Although he came from a line of ministers, he felt that the load of his sins was greater than that of others. In trying to find God, he finally determined to attend every church in town. After months of visiting different churches, one cold winter day he decided to try one some distance from his home.

On his way, he was caught in a howling snow storm. He noticed the little place called the Artillery Street Primitive Methodist Church. This English boy had not been eager to attend it, because he had heard that the people sang so loud that it caused headaches! With the storm so bad he felt he had little choice, so he entered.

After several minutes of waiting, a tall, thin man made an embarrassed announcement: "Looks as if our minister was held up by the weather. Reckon you'll have to put up with me." Charles listened as this awkward man, unused to preaching, did his best to communicate a Bible truth. He chose as his text the verse: "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth" (Isaiah 45:22).

Charles felt that this was a most unlikely man to be able to help him in his search for God, but he listened as the man spoke. "The text says 'Look!" Now some of ye are lookin' to yourselves, but it's no use lookin' there. Ye may say, "Wait for the Spirit's workin'.' But I say, 'Look to Christ!"

As the preacher continued, he began shouting: "Look unto Me!" I'm sweatin' great drops of blood! I'm hangin' on the cross!" Then the unlikely preacher looked down at Charles and said: "Young man, you look miserable." As he lifted up his hands, the preacher shouted: "Young man, look to Jesus Christ! Look! Look!"

Charles Spurgeon later said: "I saw at once the way of salvation. I looked until I could have almost looked my eyes away. The darkness rolled away, and I saw the sun. I felt I could spring from my seat and shout with the wildest of these Methodist brethren: "I am forgiven!"

The teen decided to start doing something for Christ. He began to give out tracts, and when these ran out he wrote gospel messages on slips of paper, then dropped them on the streets, hoping someone would find them. The next year he began to teach a Sunday School class, and at the age of seventeen was called to pastor the Waterbeach Chapel.

A short time later he was called to London to pastor the New Park Street Baptist Church. Before he was twenty-one, Charles Spurgeon was being called "the boy wonder of England." When he was twenty-three, he preached one day to a crowd of 23,645 people in one service.

For dozens of years Charles Haddon Spurgeon preached to 5,500 people each Sunday, while thousands had to be turned away. He founded an orphanage, a Bible college and became a prolific writer. Today his sermons are still widely read, and he is known as "The Prince of Preachers."

All of this, because one unknown man was willing to encourage a teenage boy to: "Look to Jesus."

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


Loving Father, Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to keep looking to Jesus. 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, April 04, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – WEDNESDAY WARRIOR! #10… WE NEED A PENTECOSTAL REVIVAL! The conclusion.

When Scottish theologian John Baillie taught at Edinburgh University, he made it a practice to open his course on the doctrine of God with these words: "We must remember, in discussing God, that we cannot talk about Him without His hearing every word we say. We may be able to talk about others behind their backs, but God is everywhere, yes, even in this classroom. Therefore, in all our discussions we must be aware of His infinite presence, and talk about Him, as it were, before His face." - SourceUnknown.

No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.' – Acts 2:16-21. TNIV

In the past two weeks in, Part 1, and, Part 2, 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; but that we need a true 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 and Charismatic 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 His PASSION, a revival of His POWER, and…

A REVIVAL OF HIS PRESENCE
The early believers lived in His presence; they continuously walked in the Spirit...
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. - John 14:16-17.

The Holy Spirit, will live with those who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour, until the end of time. His Spiritual Gifts and Grace would daily encourage their lives. The gift of the Holy Spirit is imparted upon the followers of Christ, and not on the world. This is the Grace that God grants to His chosen. As the source of holiness and happiness, the Holy Spirit will live and operate in every believer for ever.

The Holy Spirit just doesn't want to visit us on Sundays, or when we have a revival. The Holy Spirit was sent to “abide” with us. He wants to take up residence within our heart and soul, continually bearing witness with our spirit, that we are the Children of God. We cannot be satisfied with going through the motion, we must long for the presence of the Lord; He is the only genuine source of revival.

Finney wrote how God gave him mighty infillings of the Holy Spirit "that went through me, as it seemed, body and soul. I immediately found myself endued with such power from on high that a few words dropped here and there to individuals were the means of their immediate conversion. My words seemed to fasten like barbed arrows in the souls of men. They cut like a sword. They broke the heart like a hammer. Multitudes can attest to this...

Sometimes I would find myself in a great measure empty of this power. I would go and visit, and find that I made no saving impression. I would exhort and pray with the same results. I would they set apart a day for private fasting and prayer...after humbling myself and crying out for help, the power would return upon me with all its freshness. This has been the experience of my life."
- W. Duewel.

The Psalmist said in Ps 27:4 One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.

A Pastor tells of visiting a church in California and finding a stirring red and orange banner on the wall. "Come Holy Spirit. Hallelujah!" it declared in words printed under a picture of a fire burning. The Pastor was also interested in the sign directly underneath the banner which said: "Fire extinguisher." So much for that Church's commitment to spiritual renewal.

Are all these attributes of a Pentecostal revival part of our lives? If not, then we need revival. Let us pray to experience the Passion, the Power, and the Presence of God, for a true Pentecostal Revival in our lives.

Oh, that the Holy 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! A true Pentecostal Revival is for righteous living, and for winning the lost to Christ! Hallelujah! Praise the wonderful name of Jesus!

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.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY - CLASSICAL TESTIMONIES…GLADYS AYLWARD (1902 - 1970)

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…

Missionary to China…
Gladys Aylward stands out as an example of how God can use someone of meager means and abilities when they give themselves over to the leading of the Holy Spirit.


Born into a working class family in Edmonton, London on February 24, 1902. Daughter of a mailman and oldest of two sisters and 1 brother. Unlike many famous Christians in history, she didn't excel scholastically or set her self apart based on her exhaustive knowledge of the Bible and the classic languages, rather her early life was marked with a propensity for play acting and a willingness to serve. God prepares those He calls for the roles they are to play and these propensities would come to be contributing factors in her success as God put them to good use.

Though raised in the Anglican Church, she was not a particularly religious person in her early years and her "adequate" education and working class social position left her with few options. She became a parlor maid at the age of only 14. Her call to missions came about when she attended a revival at when she was 18 in which the preacher expounded on giving ones life over to the service of the Lord.


The message struck a cord in her heart and an awakening desire to serve on the missionary field began to blossom. Having spent the last four years serving others surely gave her a unique insight to a servant's heart. She gave her life to Christ willing to be used in whatever way He sought fit. Some sources indicate that her decision to pursue a missionary assignment to China may have come about from having read a magazine article about China, a nation where millions of people had never heard the Gospel.

She continued her work as a parlor maid with little chance to realize her calling. In her mid-twenties, she applied and was given a probationary position with the China Inland Mission Center in London but this endeavor didn't bear fruit. At the age of 26 her probation ended in failure. She had fallen short of their expectations and was rejected for service as a missionary to China. However, no one can frustrate the will of God or reject for service those who are called of God
"For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. (Rom 11:29)

Determined to follow God by whatever means available, she continued to work and to save her money and after four years, at the age of 30, her opportunity came in the person of an aging missionary, Mrs. Jeannie Lawson,1 who was looking for a young assistant to carry on her work. Gladys was accepted but Mrs. Lawson didn't have the means to assist her with the passage to China. Adding to the difficulties, save as she might, Gladys lacked the funds to travel by ship, the preferred method of travel to distant lands. So she put her affairs in order and with only her passport, her Bible, her tickets, and two pounds nine pence, set off for a perilous, overland journey to the inland city of Yangchen, in the mountainous province of Shansi, a little south of Peking. An area where few Europeans visited and the people didn't trust foreigners.

The two women set about planning the best way to attract an audience to hear the message of Jesus. Knowing that the city in which they lived was an overnight stop for mule caravans and that the building in which they lived has once been an Inn, they determined to do some repairs and restore its original purpose offering food and care for the mules along with hospitality, food and a warm bed for the drivers at a fair price. It is reported that Gladys would run out and grab the halter of the lead mule and lead it into their courtyard. The other mules followed and the drivers went along for the ride.

In the evenings after serving a meal and before bed, the women would gather their guests and tell them stories about a man named Jesus. In this fashion, the Gospel message began to be proclaimed, not only at their Inn but by the drivers who carried the stories with them to other stops along their journey. It also served to open Gladys' mind to the new challenge of learning the language as she sat and listened to these stories, participating as she was able. She spent many hours each day learning to communicate in the vernacular of the locals until she finally was competent, something the China Inland Mission Center thought beyond her ability.

Shortly after this, her mentor, Mrs. Lawson fell and was seriously injured leading to her death a few days later. Gladys, along with the Chinese cook, who was a Christian, determined to continue the work. Fluent in the language, she began to share the Gospel in surrounding villages and through circumstance, became aware of the many unwanted children. Her missionary work turned in a different direction, care for these unwanted little ones. But her care wasn't limited to children only. During those years China was under attack by Japan and many Chinese soldiers were wounded. So she added their numbers to those for whom she provided succor. Her Inn became a refuge for 20 orphans and as many as 30 to 40 injured soldiers at a time.

The war intensified and her children charges now numbered around 100. She had become a citizen of China in 1936 and her activities in support of the local populace, including a bit of spying on the Japanese made it unsafe to remain in Yangchen. Being warned of a bounty for her capture, dead or alive, by Colonel Linnan a member of the local Chinese resistance, she gathered up the children and narrowly escaped the city.

Unable to use roads or transportation, she was forced to lead her children, on foot, over the mountains to the safer province of Sian some 100 miles distant. The trek took twenty seven days in which they had to endure the elements and many hardships. She herself had become ill en route and when they finally arrived safely, she collapsed. The doctors were amazed by the feat as she was suffering from typhus, pneumonia, a relapsing fever, malnutrition, and supreme exhaustion.

She regained some strength but never recovered totally from her illness yet this didn't stop her from continuing her ministry, now located in Sian. She started a church and once more she was sharing the Gospel in the villages, prisons and among the sick and helpless. Her ministry continued until 1947 when the new Communist regime told control. Gladys and other missionaries had to leave China and her choice of destination was decided because she had a burden for the spiritual condition of her native England.

She wrote, "England, seemingly so prosperous while other countries passed through terrible suffering at the hands of Communist domination, had forgotten what was all important - the realization that God mattered in the life of a nation no less than in that of an individual."


In 1958, after ten years in England, she left for Taiwan and started another orphanage. She remained here for the rest of her life serving God by serving His children. She died January 3rd, 1970.

She was known as 'Ai-weh-deh', (Virtuous One) by the Chinese who grew to love this foreigner they initially distrusted. She lived her life before God and for God and is an example of what He can accomplish using the least of us.

She gained some fame among Westerners in 1957 when the move 'Inn of the Sixth Happiness' was released. Although it was…
"a well-produced, heartwarming movie starring the great actress Ingrid Bergman it was a thorn in the side of Gladys Aylward. She was deeply embarrassed by the movie because it was so full of inaccuracies. Hollywood also took great liberties with her infatuation with the Chinese Colonel Linnan, even changing him into an Eurasian. But Gladys, the most chaste of women, was horrified to learn the movie had portrayed her in 'love scenes'. She suffered greatly over what she considered her soiled reputation."

Are you willing to do whatever it takes and give your all to win the lost to Christ? Then like, Gladys Aylward, 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 Gladys Aylward, 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 Gladys. 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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