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Thursday, May 31, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – THURSDAY THOUGHTS #16… Jesus Gives Perfect Peace.

I walked out on the hill just now. It is exalting, delicious, to stand embraced by the shadows of a friendly tree with the wind tugging at your coattail and the heavens hailing your heart, to gaze and glory and give oneself again to God--what more could a man ask? Oh, the fullness, pleasure, sheer excitement of knowing God on earth!

I care not if I never raise my voice again for Him, if only I may love Him, please Him . . . . If only I may see Him, touch His garments, and smile into His eyes--ah, then, not stars nor children shall matter, only Himself.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God (Colossians 3:15-16). – Jim Elliott.

Loving Father, I thank you for the perfect peace that Jesus gives to me; Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to remind myself daily of it’s availability. 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, May 30, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – WEDNESDAY WARRIOR! #16… JUSTIFICATION.

My friend Dr. Roy Gustafson has the finest illustration of justification I have ever heard. It seems that there was a man in England who put his Rolls-Royce on a boat and went across to the continent to go on a holiday. While he was driving around Europe, something happened to the motor of his car. He cabled the Rolls-Royce people back in England and asked, "I'm having trouble with my car; what do you suggest I do?"

Well, the Rolls-Royce people flew a mechanic over! The mechanic repaired the car and flew back to England and left the man to continue his holiday. As you can imagine, the fellow was wondering, "How much is this going to cost me?" So when he got back to England, he wrote the people a letter and asked how much he owed them. He received a letter from the office that read: "Dear Sir: There is no record anywhere in our files that anything ever went wrong with a Rolls-Royce." That is justification.

Did Christ finish His work? How dangerous it is to join anything of our own to the righteousness of Christ, in pursuit of justification before God! Jesus Christ will never endure this; it reflects upon His work dishonorably. He will be all, or none, in our justification. If He has finished the work, what need is there of our additions? And if not, to what purpose are they? Can we finish that which Christ Himself could not complete? Did He finish the work, and will He ever divide the glory and praise of it with us? No, no; Christ is no half-Savior.

It is a hard thing to bring proud hearts to rest upon Christ for righteousness. God humbles the proud by calling sinners wholly from their own righteousness to Christ for their justification. - John Flavel.

"The question is asked: How can justification take place without the works of the law, even though James says: 'Faith without works is dead'? In answer, the apostle distinguishes between the law and faith, the letter and grace. The 'works of the law' are works done without faith and grace, by the law, which forces them to be done through fear or the enticing promise of temporal advantages. But 'works of faith' are those done in the spirit of liberty, purely out of love to God. And they can be done only by those who are justified by faith.

"An ape can cleverly imitate the actions of humans. But he is not therefore, a human. If he became a human, it would undoubtedly be not by virtue of the works by which he imitated man but by virtue of something else; namely, by an act of God. Then, having been made a human, he would perform the works of humans in proper fashion.

"Paul does not say that faith is without its characteristic works, but that it justifies without the works of the law. Therefore justification does not require the works of the law; but it does require a living faith, which performs its works." - Martin Luther.


I do not come because my soul is free from sin and pure and whole and worthy of Thy grace; I do not speak to Thee because I've ever justly kept Thy laws and dare to meet Thy face.

I know that sin and guilt combine to reign o'er every thought of mine and turn from good to ill;I know that when I try to be upright and just and true to Thee, I am a sinner still.

I know that often when I strive to keep a spark of love alive for Thee, the powers within Leap up in unsubmissive might and oft benumb my sense of right and pull me back to sin.

I know that though in doing good I spend my life, I never could atone for all I've done;But though my sins are black as night, I dare to come before Thy sight because I trust Thy Son.

In Him alone my trust I place, come boldly to Thy throne of grace, and there commune with Thee. Salvation sure, O Lord, is mine, and, all unworthy, I am Thine, for Jesus died for me. - Martin Luther.

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 to help me remember that it is not by might, not by power, but by the Holy Spirit, that you graciously allow me to minister in the name of Jesus, and for His glory. I ask this in the wonderful name of Jesus, my Lord and Saviour, Amen!

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY - CLASSICAL TESTIMONIES… Dr. Thomas Barnardo.

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…

On the evening of September 19, 1905, sixty-year-old "Dr." Thomas Barnardo complained that his head felt heavy. Asking his wife to allow him to rest it on her for a moment, he slipped out of this life. 1,500 boys appeared at his funeral along with many poor people and rough men who sobbed openly. For Thomas had been a friend to neglected children. At his death, about 8,000 were living in homes he had founded.

Born in Ireland, Thomas was a restless boy who bored easily and would not stick to his lessons. Failing his exams, he had to leave school at sixteen and was apprenticed to a wine merchant. That year he was converted to evangelical Christianity. At once, he began visiting homes telling others about the gospel and teaching the Bible in "ragged schools" (charity schools for impoverished children). He joined the Plymouth Brethren.

Hearing about the work of Hudson Taylor in China, he was fired with enthusiasm for it and found the means to attend medical school in London so that he could prepare for the mission field. While living near the hospital, he continued slum work. His message was not always welcomed: once he had a couple of his ribs broken by opponents and at other times he was roughed up in other ways.

But Thomas was persistent. Once again he donated time to work in a ragged school. It was after one evening's lesson that he met (according to his account) a young fellow named Jim Jarvis who was evidently reluctant to leave. It turned out that Jim had no home.
"Well, but where did you sleep last night?"

"Down in Whitechapel, sir, along the Haymarket in one of them carts as is filled with hay; and I met a chap and he telled me to come here to school, as perhaps you'd let me lie near the fire all night."

Although still attracted toward his goal of becoming a missionary in China, Thomas increased the scope of his work among London's neglected youth. In response to an article he wrote, he was offered money to continue his London work. Eventually he gave up the China plan and developed his successful East End Juvenile Mission among neglected young people.

This included schools, meal programs, a job agency, homes for boys, homes for girls, and homes for the feeble-minded. An innovative marketer, Thomas came up with original ways to raise funds. One was before and after photographs of every child who entered his homes. These were printed and sold in packs. Another was to form a league of middle class youth to raise contributions for his schemes. Generally his ideas outran his funding, but he would not obey the limits placed on him by his boards. However, he knew how to milk stories like Jim's for all they were worth. The details of his stories changed according to his needs.

Not all of Thomas' methods would stand muster today. For example, he shipped large numbers of children to Canada and Australia. Although he meant well, many suffered severely in the relocation.

Wrapped up in his noble cause and always in need of more funds to spread the work, Thomas left himself open to charges of dishonesty. He inflated his figures and altered stories. Accusations were proven against him (but not in court). They seem to have barely fazed him and he struggled for the poor until the day of his death. Thousands owed a better existence to him.


Are you willing to do whatever it takes and give your all to win the lost to Christ? Then like, Dr. Thomas Barnardo, 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 Thomas Barnardo, 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 you used Thomas. 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, May 28, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT MONDAY – A HEART STARTER #33.

A rather pompous-looking deacon was endeavoring to impress upon a class of boys the importance of living the Christian life. "Why do people call me a Christian?" the man asked. After a moment's pause, one youngster said, "Maybe it's because they don't know you." - Source Unknown.

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. - Mat 23:27.

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 HYPOCRISY…

Some years ago a remarkable picture was exhibited in London. As you looked at it from a distance, you seemed to see a monk engaged in prayer, his hands clasped, his head bowed. As you came nearer, however, and examined the painting more closely, you saw that in reality he was squeezing a lemon into a punch bowl!

What a picture that is of the human heart! Superficially examined, it is thought to be the seat of all that is good and noble and pleasing in a man; whereas in reality, until regenerated by the Holy Ghost, it is the seat of all corruption. "This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather that light." - Moody's Anecdotes.


The Queen Mary was the largest ship to cross the oceans when it was launched in 1936. Through four decades and a World War she served until she was retired, anchored as a floating hotel and museum in Long Beach, California.

During the conversion, her three massive smokestacks were taken off to be scraped down and repainted. But on the dock they crumbled. Nothing was left of the 3/4 inch steel plate from which the stacks had been formed. All that remained were more than thirty coasts of paint that had been applied over the years. The steel had rusted away.

When Jesus called the Pharisees "Whitewashed tombs," He meant they had no substance, only an exterior appearance. - Robert Wenz.


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.


Wow! Now that our hearts are beating regularly, let’s consider what we have just read over a cup of Java, and ask the Lord to help us to be the same person that He created us to be, all the time.

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. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

SUNDAY SERMON ON THE BLOG – RUN TO JESUS!

Lord my God, I take refuge in you; save and deliver me from all who pursue me, or they will tear me apart like a lion and rip me to pieces with no one to rescue me. - Psalm 7:1.

Who or what is pursuing you?

Is it a past mistake? Is it an old enemy? Is it your conscience? Is it a nagging sense of guilt? Is it someone who wants to do you physical harm? Is it a physical illness? In the middle of all the storms and struggles of life, where do you go to find peace and security?

There is only One who can be a true and lasting refuge. Just One!

Loving Heavenly Father, you are my refuge and source of strength when my courage is gone and my soul is weary. Lord, destroy all the forces and powers and enemies that pursue me, that seek to take me captive and draw me away from you. I ask this in the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus. Amen.

Be encouraged.
GBYAY

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Friday, May 25, 2007

PRAYER NEEDED!

Please pray for the parents of John Schroeder (Blogotional) who were in an accident... Read here.

GBYAY

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DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT FRIDAY – A CHEERFUL HEART #56.

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.

A Priest is driving down to New York to see a show, and he's stopped in Connecticut for speeding. The state trooper smells alcohol on his breath, sees an empty wine bottle on the floor, and asks, "Sir, have you been drinking?"

The Priest replies, "Just water."

The trooper asks, "Then, why do I smell wine?"

The Priest looks down at the bottle and exclaims, "Good Lord, He's done it again!"
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7 Reasons churches don't ask clown ministries to return:

1. They force people to smile during the 8 am service.

2. It's hard to say with dignity, "The sermon today will be given by Brother Umpa-Doody."

3. Whoopee cushions inevitably appear under pew cushions

4. Sermons take a lot longer when they are in pantomime.

5. Dribble glasses used during the communion service.

6. They have to pay janitors extra to get all of the silly string off the ceiling.

7. The kids pop their balloons during closing prayer.
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At a Wednesday evening church meeting a very wealthy man rose to give his testimony.

"I'm a millionaire," he said, "and I attribute it all to the rich blessings of God in my life. I can still remember the turning point in my faith, like it was yesterday: I had just earned my first dollar and I went to a church meeting that night. The speaker was a missionary who told about his work. I knew that I only had a dollar bill and had to either give it all to God's work or nothing at all. So at that moment I decided to give my whole dollar to God. I believe that God blessed that decision, and that is why I am a rich man today."

As he finished it was clear that everyone had been moved by this man's story. But, as he took his seat, a little old lady sitting in the same pew leaned over and said: "Wonderful story! I dare you to do it again!"
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"I hope you didn't take it personally, Reverend," an embarrassed woman said after a church service, "when my husband walked out during your sermon."

"I did find it rather disconcerting," the preacher replied.

"It's not a reflection on you, sir," insisted the churchgoer. "Ralph has been walking in his sleep ever since he was a child."
--------------

FAITH
In April 1988 the evening news reported on a photographer who was a skydiver. He had jumped from a plane along with numerous other skydivers and filmed the group as they fell and opened their parachutes. On the film shown on the telecast, as the final skydiver opened his chute, the picture went berserk.

The announcer reported that the cameraman had fallen to his death, having jumped out of the plane without his parachute. It wasn't until he reached for the absent ripcord that he realized he was freefalling without a parachute.

Until that point, the jump probably seemed exciting and fun. But tragically, he had acted with thoughtless haste and deadly foolishness. Nothing could save him, for his faith was in a parachute never buckled on.

Faith in anything but an all-sufficient God can be just as tragic spiritually. Only with faith in Jesus Christ dare we step into the dangerous excitement of life.
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An elderly woman walked into the local country church. The friendly usher greeted her at the door and helped her up the flight of steps. "Where would you like to sit?" he asked politely.
"The front row please." she answered.
"You really don't want to do that", the usher said. "The pastor is really boring."
"Do you happen to know who I am?" the woman inquired.
"No." he said.
"I'm the pastor's mother," she replied indignantly.
"Do you know who I am?" he asked.
"No." she said.
"Good", he answered.
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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, May 24, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – THURSDAY THOUGHTS #15… GOD’S PROMISES.

You can't break God's promises by leaning on them! - Source Unknown.

A promise from God is a statement we can depend on with absolute confidence. Here are 12 of the 800 promises for the Christian to claim…

God's Presence --
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." - Heb. 13:5.

God's Protection -- After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward. - Gen. 15:1.

God's Power -- So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. - Isa. 41:10.

God's Provision -- I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs. - Isa. 41:18.

God's Leading -- When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. - John 10:4.

God's Purposes -- "I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward everyone according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve." - Jer. 17:10.

God's Rest -- "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. - Matt. 11:28.

God's Cleansing -- If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. - 1 John 1:9.

God's Goodness -- For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. - Psalm 84:11.

God's Faithfulness -- For the sake of his great name the LORD will not reject his people, because the LORD was pleased to make you his own. - 1 Sam. 12:22.

God's Guidance -- He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. - Psalm 25:9.

God's Wise plan -- And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. - Rom. 8:28.

Loving Father, I thank you for the promises that are available to me; Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to remind myself daily of them. 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, May 23, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – WEDNESDAY WARRIOR! #15… How To Preach Without Converting Anybody!

Preach on every doctrine that centers the attention on man rather than Jesus. Teach every doctrine that makes man the center of God's attention rather than God the center of man's devotion. Tell people only what God will do for them. Avoid preaching about the necessity of a radical change of heart, through the truth revealed to the heart by the agency of the Holy Spirit.

Let your supreme motive to be popular with all people, then, of course, your preaching will be suited for that purpose, and not to convert souls to Christ. Avoid preaching doctrines that are offensive to the carnal mind, so that no one should say to you, as they did of Christ, "This is a hard saying, who can hear it?"

Make no distinct points, and do not disturb the consciences of your hearers so that they may become truly alarmed about their souls. Avoid all illustrations, repetitions, and expressive sentences that may compel people to remember what you say. Avoid all heat and enthusiasm in your delivery, so that you never make the impression that you really believe what you say.

Make appeals to the emotions, and not the conscience, of your hearers. Be careful not to testify from your own personal experience of the power of the gospel, so that you never should produce the conviction upon your hearers that you have something which they need. Do not stir up uncomfortable memories by reminding your hearers of their past sins.

Denounce sin in a general way, but make no reference to the specific sins of your present audience. Do not make the impression that God commands your listeners here and now to obey the truth. Do not let them think that you expect them to commit themselves right on the spot to give their hearts to God. Give the impression that they are expected to go away in their sins, and to consider the matter at later time of their convenience.

Preach salvation by grace; but ignore the condemned and lost condition of the sinner so that he never should understand what you mean by grace, and know his need of it. Preach the gospel as a remedy or a cure, but conceal or ignore the fatal disease of the sinner. Do not speak of the spirituality of God's holy law (by which comes the knowledge of sin), so that the sinner never should see his lost condition and repent. Make no appeals to the fears of sinners; but give them the impression that they have no reason to fear.

Preach Christ as an infinitely friendly and good-natured being. Ignore those scathing rebukes of sinners and hypocrites which so often made His hearers tremble. Do not rebuke the worldly tendencies of the church, so that you should never hurt their feelings, and finally convert some of them. Admit, either obviously or casually, that all men have some moral goodness in them; so that sinners should never understand that they need a radical change of heart, from sin to holiness.

Say so little of hell that your people will think that you do not believe in its existence yourself. Make the impression that, if God is as good as you are, He could not send anyone to hell. Make no disagreeable reference to the teachings of self-denial, cross-bearing, and crucifixion to the world, so that you should never convict and convert some of your church members.

Do not rebuke extravagance in dress, so that you should never make an uncomfortable impression on your vain and worldly church members. Encourage lots of church socials, and attend them yourself. Aim to make your hearers pleased with themselves and pleased with you, and be careful especially not to wound the feelings of anyone.

Make sure you avoid preaching to those who are present. Preach about sinners, but not to them. Say "they," and not "you," so that anyone should never take your subject personally, and apply it to their own life, Securing the salvation of their soul. Preach that the new birth is something God deposits in people, not a fundamental change in the ultimate purpose of our lives.

Never tell people that they must cease from serving self and serve God and do His will. Never tell them that repentance is man's ability and responsibility to turn from his sin to God! Teach them to delay turning away from all known sin toward God.

Preach predestination in such away that results in fatalism and apathy on the part of all people. Make each person believe that God has already determined who shall be saved, and nothing can change His will. You never want anyone to think that their actions can make any difference.

Preach that man is totally unable to obey God. Teach him that no one can turn to God, but he must wait upon God to turn (change) him. Make sure that no one realizes his true responsibility requiring him to repent in order to be saved. You never want anyone to know that man can turn from sin to God but the real problem is that he will not!

Preach that every one is born a sinner and a criminal. Teach that every baby is born guilty before God. You never want anyone to consider the fact that man is born morally innocent. You do not want anyone to know that he becomes a sinner because, in his rebellion, he has refused to love God with all his heart according to the light and has selfishly sought his own happiness above all else. Preach that a person can be saved without making Jesus his lord.

Teach that holiness is just an option and not a requirement of the gospel. Teach them that they can be Christian without becoming true disciples. Preach eternal security in such away that requires no perseverance in faith or continuance in holiness on the part of the believer. Make every person think he has his ticket to heaven that is all paid for so that he will always safely scoff at all calls for repentance and righteous.

Teach Christians that sin is a normal and natural part of their every day life and that they can never truly expect to ever overcome sin through the power of Christ.

Preach that no Christian needs to do anything. Teach them that they are safe and heaven bound even if their lives are disobedient and rebellious. - Charles G. Finney.

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 to help me remember that it is not by might, not by power, but by the Holy Spirit, that you graciously allow me to minister in the name of Jesus, and for His glory. I ask this in the wonderful name of Jesus, my Lord and Saviour, Amen!

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY - CLASSICAL TESTIMONIES… Althea Brown.

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…

Althea Brown Edmiston (1874-1937), African American missionary to Africa, was the daughter of Robert and Molly Suggs Brown of Russelville, Alabama. In 1876 the family moved to Rolling Fork, Mississippi. In the fall of 1892, she left Mississippi to study at Fisk University for the next nine years.

After graduating from Fisk, she applied to be a missionary in the American Presbyterian Congo Mission and left for Africa in August 1902. In the Congo, she was made mistress of the Maria Carey Home for Girls, a day school in Ibanche. She survived the destruction of the mission at Ibanche during the Bakuba uprisings in the Congo in 1904.

On this day, November 2, 1904, the missionaries at Ibanche station in The Congo (Zaire), trembled for their lives. After making strong "medicine" that was supposed to deflect bullets, King Lukenga ordered that the hearts of all traders and the heads of all missionaries be brought to him, and every dwelling of a white person burned. In issuing this order, he was acting in rebellion to the internationally recognized Congo government.

A runner brought a branch dripping red to Ibanche, and said it was the blood of a Christian killed by rebel arrows. Warriors were on the march, burning Christian villages as they advanced. By evening, fierce fighting surrounded the mission compound. Night fell. "None of us expected to see the rising of another sun. Every breath we took was a prayer for deliverance or of fitness to stand before the King [God]," wrote Althea Brown later.

Althea Brown was an African-American who had learned patient trust in her God. When, without linguistic training, she accomplished the amazing feat of preparing a Bakuba grammar, she had to wait twelve years before anyone would publish it!

An honors student and beloved teacher, she left her native United States in order to tell the Bantu about Christ. On either side of the Atlantic, she was an example of applied faith, loving others and making things better for everyone through determined effort. She had even made and sold fudge in college to cover her expenses! She acquired any skill necessary for success, whether to learn a language or sew a dress.

But her efforts seemed destined to end that night. "The hours until dawn seemed endless. Then we sang the doxology."

During the day, the fighting eased off. There was a second long night of fear, until, on the following day, a few Congolese soldiers, well-armed, but fearful of attack, escorted the women and children to a safer town. "There must have been five hundred of us. It was a pathetic sight. Small children four and five years old were walking and even bearing burdens. The native soldiers, fearing an attack along the road ordered us to march at full speed."

Fleeing to Luebo, she met and later married Reverend Alonzo L. Edmiston on July 8, 1905. They had two children Sherman Lucius Edmiston (b. 1906) and Alonzo Leaucourt Edmiston (b. 1913). The Edmistons made their home at the newly rebuilt village of Ibanche. In 1906 she returned to America because their child had become ill, her husband joined her a year later and they settled in Tuscaloosa, Alabama until 1911.

After raising enough money, they returned to Africa, but left their son in America. He too became ill, so she took him to America and left both children with relatives so that she could return to her mission work. They came back to America in 1920 to raise money for the mission and returned to Africa in 1921, taking their children with them. Althea Brown Edmiston wrote the first dictionary of the Bakuba language. She died in 1937 in Africa of sleeping sickness and malaria.

Are you willing to do whatever it takes and give your all to win the lost to Christ? Then like, Althea Brown, 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 Althea Brown, 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 you used Althea. 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, May 21, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT MONDAY – A HEART STARTER #32.

Many years ago during a Knicks-Bullets playoff game, one of the Bullets came up from behind the great Walt Frazier and punched him in the face. Strangely, the referee called a foul on Frazier. Frazier didn't complain. His expression never changed. He simply called for the ball and put in seven straight shots to win the game, an amazing display of productive anger. If you want to get huffy about it, it was a great moral lesson as well. - U.S. News & World Report.

Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. - Romans 12:19.

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 REVENGE…

When we are wronged in some way, our natural inclination is to fight back, to get even. Needless to say, this reaction, though thoroughly human, is almost always in error. "Forgiveness," said Epictetus, "is better than revenge, for forgiveness is the sign of a gentle nature, but revenge is the sign of a savage nature."

A dramatic example is the experience of a Hungarian refugee -- to protect his privacy we'll call him Joseph Kudar. Kudar was a successful young lawyer in Hungary before the uprisings in that country in 1956. A strong believer in freedom for his country, he fought Soviet tanks in the streets of Budapest with his friends. When the uprising failed, he was forced to flee the country.

When Kudar arrived in the U.S. he had no money, no job, no friends. He was, however, well educated; he spoke and wrote several languages, including English. For several months he tried to get a job in a law office, but because of his lack of familiarity with American law, he received only polite refusals.

Finally, it occurred to him that with his knowledge of language he might be able to get a job with an import-export company. He selected one such company and wrote a letter to the owner.

Two weeks later he received an answer, but was hardly prepared for the vindictiveness of the man's reply. Among other things, it said that even if they did need someone, they wouldn't hire him because he couldn't even write good English.

Crushed, Kudar's hurt quickly turned to anger. What right did this rude, arrogant man have to tell him he couldn't write the language! The man was obviously crude and uneducated -- his letter was chock-full of grammatical errors!

Kudar sat down and, in the white heat of anger, wrote a scathing reply, calculated to rip the man to shreds. When he'd finished, however, as he was reading it over, his anger began to drain away. Then he remembered the biblical admonition, "A soft answer turneth away wrath."

No, he wouldn't mail the letter. Maybe the man was right. English was not his native tongue. Maybe he did need further study in it. Possibly this man had done him a favor by making him realize he did need to work harder on perfecting his English.

Kudar tore up the letter and wrote another. This time he apologized for the previous letter, explained his situation, and thanked the man for pointing out his need for further study.

Two days later he received a phone call inviting him to New York for an interview. A week later he went to work for them as a correspondent. Later, Joseph Kudar became vice president and executive officer of the company, destined to succeed the man he had hated and sought revenge against for a fleeting moment -- and then resisted.- Bits & Pieces.

A couple of years ago, a member of my church's vocal team, and I were invited by a Christian leader named Yesu to go to southern India. There we would join a team of people from various parts of the U.S. We were told that God would use us to reach Muslims and Hindus and nonreligious people for Christ. We all felt called by God to go, but none of us knew what to expect.

When we arrived, Yesu met us and invited us to his home. Over the course of the next few days, he told us about his ministry. Yesu's father, a dynamic leader and speaker, had started the mission in a Hindu-dominated area. One day a Hindu leader came to Yesu's father and asked for prayer. Eager to pray with him, hoping he would lead him to Christ, he took him into a private room, knelt down with him, closed his eyes and began to pray.

While he was praying, the Hindu man reached into his robe, pulled out a knife and stabbed him repeatedly. Yesu, hearing his father's screams, ran to help him. He held him in his arms as blood poured out onto the floor of the hut. Three days later, his father died.

On his deathbed he said to his son, "Please tell that man that he is forgiven. Care for your mother and carry on this ministry. Do whatever it takes to win people to Christ." - Bill Hybels.

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 and He alone, will sort out the situations where we have been wronged.

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. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

SUNDAY SERMON ON THE BLOG – PURE LOVE!

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. - Romans 5:8.

God didn't wait till we were “good enough” to bring us His Salvation. Instead, He came when we were most lost, and needed His grace the most.

But then, that's what love really means by God's definition… For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16.

It's more than something declared or felt, it's something radically demonstrated.

Loving Heavenly Father, I thank you, for demonstrating your love in such powerful, radical, and sacrificial way. By the power of the Holy Spirit, help me to share this love, with those who don’t know you yet. I ask this in the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged.
GBYAY

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Friday, May 18, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT FRIDAY – A CHEERFUL HEART #55.

How to tell if a Catholic is driving too fast...


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.

Adam was walking around the garden of Eden feeling very lonely, so God asked him, "What is wrong with you?" Adam said he didn't have anyone to talk to.

God said that He was going to make Adam a companion and that it would be a woman. He said, "This person will gather food for you, cook for you, and when you discover clothing she'll wash it for you. She will always agree with every decision you make. She will bear your children and never ask you to get up in the middle of the night to take care of them. She will not nag you and will always be the first to admit she was wrong when you've had a disagreement. She will never have a headache and will freely give you love and passion whenever you need it.

Adam asked God, "What will a woman like this cost?"

God replied, "An arm and a leg."
Then Adam asked, "What can I get for a rib?"
The rest is history…
---------------
A funeral service is being held in a church for a woman who had just passed away. At the end of the Service, the pall-bearers are carrying the casket out when they accidentally bump into a wall, jarring the casket. They hear a faint moan.

They open the casket and find that the woman is actually still alive. She lives for ten more years and then dies.

A ceremony is again held at the same church and at the end of the ceremony, the pall bearers are again carrying out the casket.


A s they are walking, the husband cries out, "AND WATCH OUT FOR THAT WALL!"
----------------
A state trooper sees a vehicle on the interstate doing 33 miles an hour and pulls the car to make sure everything is all right. When he approaches the driver he discovers that it is a nun."Excuse me, sister. But are you alright ?" He asked.


She replies, "Oh, yes officer. We're just fine. Was I doing something wrong?"

The officer says, "Well sister, you were traveling way under the speed limit and I was concerned that you might be having car trouble or something."

"But officer", the nun interrupts, "I saw a sign there about a mile back that said 33, and I know I wasn't going any faster than that."

Chuckling, the trooper says, "Sister, that was a state highway route marker, this is State Route 33, not the speed limit. The speed limit signs have a MPH at the bottom."

"Oh, now don't I feel foolish!", replied the nun turning red.

"That's ok, but please try to be more careful, I would hate to see you get hurt", finished the officer. Then as he turns to say good-bye to the nuns in the back seat, he notices for the first time that they are trembling violently and quite pale.

"Sister, what is wrong with your friends? Can I escort you to a hospital ?"
"Oh, no, they're all right. We just turned off of Route 150."
--------------------
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.
----------------
"There will be a meeting of the Board immediately after the service," announced the pastor.

After the close of the service, the group gathered at the back of the auditorium for the announced meeting. But there was a stranger in their midst. He was a visitor who had never attended their church before.

"My friend," asked the pastor, did you understand that this is a meeting of the Board?"

"Yes," said the visitor, "and after that sermon, I'm about as bored as you can get!"

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, May 17, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – THURSDAY THOUGHTS #14… The Cross is a Radical Thing! by A.W. Tozer.

The cross of Christ is the most revolutionary thing ever to appear among men.

The cross of the Roman times knew no compromise; it never made concessions. It won all its arguments by killing its opponent and silencing him for good. It spared not Christ, by slew Him the same as the rest. He was alive when they hung Him on that cross and completely dead when they took him down six hours later. That was the cross the first time it appeared in Christian history.

After Christ was risen from the dead the apostles went out to preach His message, and what they preached was the cross. And wherever they went into the wide world they carried the cross, and the same revolutionary power went with them. The radical message of the cross transformed Saul of Tarsus and changed him from a persecutor of Christians to a tender believer and an apostle of the faith. Its power changed bad men into good ones. It shook off the long bondage of paganism and altered completely the whole moral and mental outlook of the Western world.

All this it did and continued to do as long as it was permitted to remain what it had been originally, a cross. Its power departed when it was changed from a thing of death to a thing of beauty. When men made of it a symbol, hung it around their necks as an ornament or made its outline before their faces as a magic sign to ward off evil, then it became at best a weak emblem, at worst a positive fetish. As such it is revered today by millions who know absolutely nothing about its power.

The cross effects its ends by destroying one established pattern, the victim's, and creating another pattern, its own. Thus it always has its way. It wins by defeating its opponent and imposing its will upon him. It always dominates. It never compromises, never dickers nor confers, never surrenders a point for the sake of peace. It cares not for peace; it cares only to end its opposition as fast as possible.

With perfect knowledge of all this Christ said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." - Luke 9:23 (NIV)

So the cross not only brings Christ's life to an end, it ends also the first life, the old life, of every one of His true followers. It destroys the old pattern, the Adam pattern, in the believer's life, and brings it to an end. Then the God who raised Christ from the dead raises the believer and a new life begins.

This, and nothing less, is true Christianity, though we cannot but recognize the sharp divergence of this conception from that held by the rank and file of evangelicals today. But we dare not qualify our position. The cross stands high above the opinions of men and to that cross all opinions must come at last for judgment. A shallow and worldly leadership would modify the cross to please the entertainment-mad saintlings who will have their fun even within the very sanctuary; but to do so is to court spiritual disaster and risk the anger of the Lamb turned Lion.

We must do something about the cross, and one of two things only we can do--flee it or die upon it. And if we should be so foolhardy as to flee we shall by that act put away the faith of our fathers and make of Christianity something other than it is. Then we shall have left only the empty language of salvation; the power will depart with our departure from the true cross.

If we are wise we will do what Jesus did: endure the cross and despise its shame for the joy that is set before us. To do this is to submit the whole pattern of our lives to be destroyed and built again in the power of an endless life. And we shall find that it is more than poetry, more than sweet hymnody and elevated feeling. The cross will cut into where it hurts worst, sparing neither us nor our carefully cultivated reputations. It will defeat us and bring our selfish lives to an end. Only then can we rise in fullness of life to establish a pattern of living wholly new and free and full of good works.

The changed attitude toward the cross that we see in modern orthodoxy proves not that God has changed, nor that Christ has eased up on His demand that we carry the cross; it means rather that current Christianity has moved away from the standards of the New Testament. So far have we moved indeed that it may take nothing short of a new reformation to restore the cross to its right place in the theology and life of the Church. – A. W. Tozer.

Loving Father, I thank you for the cross and for my salvation. I thank you that Jesus paid the price for my sins; 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, May 16, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – WEDNESDAY WARRIOR! #14… WORLDLINESS.

Dr. J. Wilbur Chapman told of a distinguished minister, Dr. Howard, from Australia who preached very strongly on the subject of sin. After the service, one of the church officers came to counsel with him in the study. "Dr. Howard," he said, "we don't want you to talk as openly as you do about man's guilt and corruption, because if our boys and girls hear you discussing that subject they will more easily become sinners. Call it a mistake if you will, but do not speak so plainly about sin.

"The minister took down a small bottle and showing it to the visitor said, "You see that label? It says strychnine -- and underneath in bold, red letters the word 'Poison!' Do you know, man, what you are asking me to do? You are suggesting that I change the label. Suppose I do, and paste over it the words, 'Essence of Peppermint'; don't you see what might happen? Someone would use it, not knowing the danger involved, and would certainly die. So it is, too, with the matter of sin. The milder you make your label; the more dangerous you make your poison!"


What good will it be for you to gain the whole world, yet forfeit your soul? Or what can you give in exchange for your soul? - Matthew 16:26.

The Bible defines worldliness by centering morality where we intuitively know it should be.
Worldliness is the lust of the flesh (a passion for sensual satisfaction), the lust of the eyes (an inordinate desire for the finer things of life), and the pride of life (self-satisfaction in who we are, what we have, and what we have done). Worldliness, then, is a preoccupation with ease and affluence. It elevates creature comfort to the point of idolatry; large salaries and comfortable life-styles become necessities of life.

Worldliness is reading magazines
about people who live hedonistic lives and spend too much money on themselves and wanting to be like them. But more importantly, worldliness is simply pride and selfishness in disguises. It's being resentful when someone snubs us or patronizes us or shows off. It means smarting under every slight, challenging every word spoken against us, cringing when another is preferred before us. Worldliness is harboring grudges, nursing grievance, and wallowing in self-pity. These are the ways in which we are most like the world. - Dave Roper.


"If I had a brother who had been murdered, what would you think of me if I ...daily consorted with the assassin who drove the dagger into my brother's heart; surely I too must be an accomplice in the crime. Sin murdered Christ; will you be a friend to it? Sin pierced the heart of the Incarnate God; can you love it?" - C.H. Spurgeon.

The course of rebellion against God may be very gradual,
but it increases in rapidity as you progress in it; and if you begin to run down the hill, the ever-increasing impetus will send you down faster and faster to destruction. You Christians ought to watch against the beginning of worldly conformity. I do believe that the growth of worldliness is like strife, which is as the letting out of water. Once you begin, there is no knowing where you will stop.

I sometimes get this question put to me,
concerning certain worldly amusements, "May I do so-and-so?" I am very sorry whenever anyone asks me that question, because it shows that there is something wrong, or it would not be raised at all. If a person's conscience lets him say, "Well, I can go to A," he will very soon go on to B, C, D, E, and through all the letters of the alphabet. . .

When Satan cannot catch us with a big sin,
he will try a little one. It does not matter to him as long as he catches his fish, what bait he uses. Beware of the beginning of evil, for many, who bade fair to go right, have turned aside and perished amongst the dark mountains in the wide field of sin. - C.H. Spurgeon.

Some years ago, musicians noted that errand boys in a certain part of London all whistled out of tune as they went about their work. It was talked about and someone suggested that it was because the bells of Westminster were slightly out of tune. Something had gone wrong with the chimes and they were discordant. The boys did not know there was anything wrong with the peals, and quite unconsciously they had copied their pitch.

So we tend to copy the people with whom we associate;
we borrow thoughts from the books we read and the programs to which we listen, almost without knowing it. God has given us His Word which is the absolute pitch of life and living. If we learn to sing by it, we shall easily detect the false in all of the music of the world. - Donald Grey Barnhouse.

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 to help me remember that it is not by might, not by power, but by the Holy Spirit, that you graciously allow me to minister in the name of Jesus, and for His glory. I ask this in the wonderful name of Jesus, my Lord and Saviour, Amen!



Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY - CLASSICAL TESTIMONIES…A. B. Simpson.

A friend... said, "You were healed by faith." "Oh, no," I said, "I was healed by Christ." What is the difference? There is a great difference. There came a time when even faith seemed to come between me and Jesus. I thought I should have to work up the faith, so I laboured to get the faith. At last I thought I had it; that if I put my whole weight upon it, it would hold. I said, when I thought I had got the faith, "Heal me." I was trusting in myself, in my own heart, in my own faith. I was asking the Lord to do something for me because of something in me, not because of something in Him. - A. B. Simpson

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 a young Canadian from a Scottish Presbyterian family, Albert Simpson was raised to respect God. In his education, God's justice and hatred for sin was emphasized but the love of God did not come across. When he was fourteen, young Albert became very sick and suffered what appeared to be a nervous breakdown. He was an average child in both obedience and scholarship, but the strain of studying so hard seemed to have taken a toll on him. His doctor told him not to look at a book for another year. How many teenagers today would love to hear that prescription!

Following his collapse, Albert called for his father. "Pray for me," he begged. "I'm dying, and I'm afraid to face God." Later, Albert Simpson wrote about this experience: "I had no personal hope in Christ. My whole religious training had left me without any conception of the simple gospel of Jesus Christ. The God I knew was a being of great severity." Following his father's prayer, Albert tried to pray, but he did not have the faith or encouragement to simply ask for salvation. That night he feared to go to sleep, lest he should lose a moment in his search for God.

He kept trying to find the peace of God as his health slowly returned. Endeavoring to be religious, at one point he decided to become a minister, as perhaps that would please God. Young Albert was desperate to have the peace of God, and yet he knew that his sins separated him from God. Finally Albert found an old volume in his pastor's library, entitled: Marshall's Gospel Mystery of Sanctification.

In that book was an amazing statement: "The first god work you will ever perform is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Until you do this, all your works, prayers, tears and good resolutions are in vain." This went along with the Bible book of Ephesians chapter two and verse eight: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God."

He finally realized his need was not to work for salvation, but merely to accept the work that Jesus Christ had already done. Albert fell to his knees, crying, "Lord, I dare to believe that Thou wilt receive me and save me because I have taken Thee at Thy Word." Albert Simpson's whole life changed from that point. A few days later he wrote: The Dedication of Myself to God. In this document he said: "Thou hast subdued my rebellious heart by Thy love. Take it now and use it for Thy glory." Although before his conversion he felt he must enter the ministry to make God happy, now he wanted to preach the gospel because of the joy that filled his own heart.

In 1865 A. B. Simpson graduated from college in Canada and was called to pastor large churches in Hamilton, Ontario and then Louisville, Kentucky. In both cities, God filled church auditoriums and public halls as A. B. Simpson proclaimed to thousands the availability of a new life through accepting God's love. In New York City he pastored the Thirteenth Street Presbyterian Church for two years and then resigned, telling his congregation: "You want a conventional church for respectable Christians. I want a multitude of publicans and sinners."

He rented a hall in a poor part of the city, and from a beginning congregation of seven, built the church that would be the foundation of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. From its beginning with a heart for taking the gospel to the souls of men, the CMA went on to become the most actively missions-minded evangelical denomination in America, reaching out with missionaries around the globe proclaiming that the peace of God and a new life is available to anyone as a free gift through the love and sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Are you willing to do whatever it takes and give your all to win the lost to Christ? Then like, A. B. Simpson, 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 A. B. Simpson, 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 Albert. By the power of the Holy Spirit, help me to be a person of like faith, that I may bring glory to you. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged.

GBYAY

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Monday, May 14, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT MONDAY – A HEART STARTER #31.

During the 1982 war in the Falkland Islands between England and Argentina, the Royal Navy's 3,500-ton destroyer HMS Sheffield was sunk by a single missile fired from an Argentine fighter jet. It caused some people to wonder if modern surface warships were obsolete, sitting ducks for today's sophisticated missiles.

But a later check revealed that the Sheffield's defenses did pick up the incoming missile, and the ship's computer correctly identified it as a French-made Exocet. But the computer was programmed to ignore Exocets as "friendly." The Sheffield was sunk by a missile it saw coming and could have evaded. - Today in the Word.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. – John 3:16-18.

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 WARNINGS…


Some years ago a fearful railroad wreck took a dreadful toll of life and limb in an eastern state. A train, loaded with young people returning from school, was stalled on a suburban track because of what is known as a "hot-box." The limited was soon due, but a flagman was sent back to warn the engineer in order to avert a rear-end collision.

Thinking all was well, the crowd laughed and chatted while the train-hands worked on in fancied security. Suddenly the whistle of the limited was heard and on came the heavy train and crashed into the local, with horrible effect.

The engineer of the limited saved his own life by jumping, and some days afterwards was hailed into court to account for his part in the calamity. And now a curious discrepancy in testimony occurred. He was asked,
"Did you not see the flagman warning you to stop?"

He replied, "I saw him, but he waved a yellow flag. I took it for granted all was well, and so went on, though slowing down."

The flagman was called, "What flag did you wave?"

"A red flag, but he went by me like a shot."

"Are you sure it was red?"

"Absolutely."

Both insisted on the correctness of their testimony, and it was demonstrated that neither was color-blind. Finally the man was asked to produce the flag itself as evidence. After some delay he was able to do so, and then the mystery was explained. It had been red, but it had been exposed to the weather so long that all the red was bleached out, and it was but a dirty yellow!

Oh, the lives eternally wrecked by the yellow gospels of the day, the bloodless theories of unregenerate men, that send their hearers to their doom, instead of stopping them on their downward road! - H.A. Ironside.

I was in the north of England in 1881, when a fearful storm swept over that part of the country. A friend of mine, who was a minister at Evemouth, had a great many of the fishermen of the place in his congregation. It had been very stormy weather, and the fishermen had been detained in the harbor for a week.

One day, however, the sun shone out in a clear blue sky; it seemed as if the storm had passed away, and the boats started out for the fishing ground. Forty-one boats left the harbor that day. Before they started, the harbor-master hoisted the storm signal, and warned them of the coming tempest. He begged of them not to go; but they disregarded his warning, and away they went. They saw no sign of the coming storm.

In a few hours, however, it swept down on that coast, and very few of those fishermen returned. There were five or six men in each boat, and nearly all were lost in that dreadful gale. In the church of which my friend was pastor, I believe there were three male members left. Those men were ushered into eternity because they did not give heed to the warning. I lift up the storm signal now, and warn you to escape from the coming judgment! - Moody's Anecdotes.


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 and His Word, gives us plenty of warnings regarding our Salvation, and to where we will spend eternity.

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. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

SUNDAY SERMON ON THE BLOG – PURE RELIGION!

Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him—his name is the LORD. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. - Psalm 68:4-5. TNIV

Every time I read the above scripture, I can't help but think of what James, the brother of Jesus said: Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. - James 1:27.

The principles which James specifies are:


(1) That pure religion will lead to a life of practical kindness;
(2) That it will keep us unpolluted from the world.

If these things are found, they show that there is true Godliness. If they are not, there is none.

Without a doubt, Jesus showed clearly, that this was the Father's heart in His ministry. Now it is up to us to continue it!

Loving Heavenly Father, may my life, my compassion, and my ministry reflect your heart for those who need care and protection and love. By the power of the Holy Spirit, give me eyes to see this need more clearly, and a heart to respond more positively, so that your love may be demonstrated through me. I ask this in the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged.
GBYAY

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Friday, May 11, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT FRIDAY – A CHEERFUL HEART #54.


Jewish Olympic Swimmer!
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.

Everything I need to know about life, I learned from Noah's Ark...
One : Don't miss the boat.
Two : Remember that we are all in the same boat.
Three : Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built theArk.
Four : Stay fit When you're 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.
Five : Don't listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
Six : Build your future on high ground.
Seven : For safety's sake, travel in pairs.
Eight : Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
Nine : When you're stressed, float a while.
Ten : Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic byprofessionals.
Eleven : No matter the storm, when you are with God, there's always a rainbow waiting.
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Deep within a forest a little turtle began to climb a tree. After hours of effort he reached the top, jumped into the air waving his front legs and crashed to the ground. After recovering, he slowly climbed the tree again, jumped, and fell to the ground. The turtle tried again and again while a couple of birds sitting on a branch watched his sad efforts. Finally, the female bird turned to her mate. "Dear," she chirped, "I think it's time to tell him he's adopted."
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A customer was bothering the waiter in a restaurant. First, he asked that the air conditioning be turned up because he was too hot, then he asked it be turned down cause he was too cold, and so on for about half an hour. Surprisingly, the waiter was very patient, he walked back and forth and never once got angry. So finally, a second customer asked him why he didn't throw out the pest. "Oh, I really don't care or mind," said the waiter with a smile. "We don't even have an air conditioner."
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Sandy began a job as an elementary school counselor and she was eager to help. One day during recess she noticed a girl standing by herself on one side of a playing field while the rest of the kids enjoyed a game of soccer at the other. Sandy approached and asked if she was all right. The girl said she was.

A little while later, however, Sandy noticed the girl was in the same spot, still by herself. Approaching again, Sandy offered, "Would you like me to be your friend?" The girl hesitated, then said, "Okay," looking at the woman suspiciously. Feeling she was making progress, Sandy then asked, "Why are you standing here all alone?" "Because," the little girl said with great exasperation, "I'm the goalie!"
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Spurgeon was a character. His style was so loose he was criticized again and again for bordering on frivolity in the Tabernacle pulpit. Certain incensed fellow clergymen railed against his habit of introducing humor into his sermons. With a twinkle in his eye, he once replied: "If only you knew how much I hold back, you would commend me... This preacher thinks it less a crime to cause a momentary laughter than a half-hour of profound slumber." - C. Swindoll.

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, May 10, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – THURSDAY THOUGHTS #13… ATONEMENT.

Who can estimate the value of God's gift, when He gave to the world His only begotten Son! It is something unspeakable and incomprehensible. It passes man's understanding. Two things there are which man has no arithmetic to reckon, and no line to measure.

One of these things is the extent of that man's loss who loses his own soul. The other is the extent of God's gift when he gave Christ to sinners... Sin must indeed be exceeding sinful, when the Father must needs give His only Son to be the sinner's Friend! - J.C. Ryle.

But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. – Romans 3:21-26.

Em Griffin writes, in Making Friends, about three kinds of London maps: The street map, the map depicting throughways, and the underground map of the subway. "Each map is accurate and correct," he writes, "but each map does not give the complete picture. To see the whole, the three maps must be printed one on top of each other. However, that is often confusing, so I use only one 'layer' at a time.

"It is the same with the words used to describe the death of Jesus Christ. Each word, like redemption, reconciliation, or justification, is accurate and correct, but each word does not give the complete picture. To see the whole we need to place one 'layer' one top of the other, but that is sometimes confusing--we cannot see the trees for the whole! So we separate out each splendid concept and discover that the whole is more than the sum of its parts."
- John Ross.

I read about a small boy who was consistently late coming home from school. His parents warned him one day that he must be home on time that afternoon, but nevertheless he arrived later than ever. His mother met him at the door and said nothing. At dinner that night, the boy looked at his plate. There was a slice of bread and a glass of water. He looked at his father's full plate and then at his father, but his father remained silent. The boy was crushed.

The father waited for the full impact to sink in, then quietly took the boy's plate and placed it in front of himself. He took his own plate of meat and potatoes, put it in front of the boy, and smiled at his son. When that boy grew to be a man, he said, "All my life I've known what God is like by what my father did that night." - J. Allan Peterson.

We trample the blood of the Son of God if we think we are forgiven because we are sorry for our sins. The only explanation for the forgiveness of God and for the unfathomable depth of His forgetting is the death of Jesus Christ. Our repentance is merely the outcome of our personal realization of the atonement which He has worked out for us. It does not matter who or what we are; there is absolute reinstatement into God by the death of Jesus Christ and by no other way, not because Jesus Christ pleads, but because He died. It is not earned, but accepted.

All the pleading which deliberately refuses to recognize the Cross is of no avail; it is battering at a door other than the one that Jesus has opened. Our Lord does not pretend we are all right when we are all wrong. The atonement is a propitiation whereby God, through the death of Jesus, makes an unholy man holy. - Oswald Chambers.


Loving Father, I thank you for my salvation. I thank you that Jesus paid the price for my sins, 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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