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Friday, June 29, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT FRIDAY – A CHEERFUL HEART #60.


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.

Bloopers in Church Bulletins…
Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.

The ushers will come forward and take our ties and offerings.

The rosebud on the altar this morning is to announce the birth of David Alan Belzer, the sin of Reverend and Mrs. Julius Belzer.

The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the church basement on Friday at 7 p.m. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.

Don't let worry kill you off - let the church help.

Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person(s) you want remembered.

Let us join David and Lisa in the celebration of their wedding and bring their happiness to a conclusion.

Helpers are needed! Please sign up on the information sheep.

Diana and Don request your presents at their wedding.

The concert held in Fellowship Hall was a great success. Special thanks are due to the minister's daughter, who labored the whole evening at the piano, which as usual fell upon her.

The outreach committee has enlisted 25 visitors to make calls on people who are not afflicted with any church.

Low Self-Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 to 8:30p.m. Please use the back door.

The 1991 Spring Council Retreat will be hell May 10 and 11.

The audience is asked to remain seated until the end of the recession.

Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community.
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Little five year old Johnny was in the bath tub, and his mom was washing his hair. She said to him, "Wow, your hair is growing so fast! You need a haircut again."
Little Johnny replied,
"Maybe you should stop watering it so much."
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Little Girl to her friend: "I'm never having kids. I hear they take nine months to download."
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The Fiance…
After Leslie brought home her fiance to meet her parents, her father invited the young man into his study to find out more about him.

"What are your plans?" he asked Joseph.
"I'm a scholar of the Torah," Joseph replied.
"Well, that's admirable," Leslie's father replied. "But what will you do to provide a nice house for my daughter?"
"I will study, and God will surely provide for us," Joseph explained.
"And how will you buy her a nice engagement ring?"
"I will study hard, and God will provide for us."
"And children?"
asked the father. "How will you support children?"
"Don't worry, sir, God will provide,"
replied the fiance.

The conversation continued in much the same fashion. After Joseph and Leslie had left, her mother asked her father what he found out.

The father answered, "Well, he has no job and no plans, but the good news is that he thinks I'm God."
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ADMIRATION…
A young couple who had just witnessed a Bill Cosby performance went backstage hoping to get the comedian's autograph in their newly born son's baby book. An aide took the book to Cosby, and when it was returned the couple excitedly looked for his signature. They couldn't find it, and they left the theater disappointed. Days later, however, the mother found it on one of the inside pages. Under "Baby's first sentence" was written "I like Bill Cosby."
-----------
Talking Clock…
A young man moved away from his parents to become a student. Proudly showing off his new apartment to a couple of his friends late one night, he led the way to his bedroom where there was a big brass gong.

"What's that big brass gong?" one of the guests asked.
"It's not a gong. It's a talking clock," the man replied.
"A talking clock? Seriously? Asked his astonished friend.
"Yup," replied the student.
"How's it work?" the 2nd guest asked, squinting at it.
"Watch," the student replied. He picked up a hammer, gave it an ear-shattering pound and stepped back.

The three stood looking at one another for a moment. Suddenly, someone on the other side of the wall screamed: "You idiot, it's ten past three in the morning!"
-------------
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, June 28, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – THURSDAY THOUGHTS #20… THE BIBLE.

The Bible is like a telescope. If a man looks through his telescope he sees worlds beyond; but if he looks at his telescope, he does not see anything but that. The Bible is a thing to be looked through to see that which is beyond; but most people only look at it and so they see only the dead letter. - Phillip Brooks.

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.

My doctor had recommended surgery and referred me to a specialist. Arriving early for my appointment, I found the door unlocked and the young surgeon, deeply engrossed in reading, behind the receptionist's desk. When he didn't hear me come in, I cleared my throat. Startled, he closed the book, which I recognized as a Bible. "Does reading the Bible help you before or after an operation?" I asked. My fears were dispelled by his soft, one-word answer: "During." - Eleanor Schmidt.

George Muller, who was known for his strong faith, confided. "The first 3 years after conversion, I neglected the Word of God. Since I began to search it diligently, the blessing has been wonderful. I have read the Bible through one hundred times and always with increasing delight!"

John Bunyan, who wrote Pilgrim's Progress, testified, "Read the Bible, and read it again, and do not despair of help to understand something of the will and mind of God, though you think they are fast locked up from you. Neither trouble yourself, though you may not have commentaries and expositions; pray and read, and read and pray; for a little from God is better than a great deal from man." - Daily Bread.

I would recommend you either believe God up to the hilt, or else not to believe at all. Believe this book of God, every letter of it, or else reject it. There is no logical standing place between the two. Be satisfied with nothing less than a faith that swims in the deeps of divine revelation; a faith that paddles about the edge of the water is poor faith at best. It is little better than a dry-land faith, and is not good for much. - C.H. Spurgeon.

A former park ranger at Yellowstone National Park tells the story of a ranger leading a group of hikers to a fire lookout. The ranger was so intent on telling the hikers about the flowers and animals that he considered the messages on his two-way radio distracting, so he switched it off. Nearing the tower, the ranger was met by a nearly breathless lookout, who asked why he hadn't responded to the messages on his radio. A grizzly bear had been seen stalking the group, and the authorities were trying to warn them of the danger.

Any time we turn out the messages God has sent us, we put at peril not only ourselves, but also those around us. How important it is that we never turn off God's saving communication! - Harold M. Wiest.

Loving Heavenly Father, I thank you for my life in Jesus Christ, and I thank you for the Bible; Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to share it with others. 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, June 27, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – WEDNESDAY WARRIOR! #20… IN THE MASTER’S SERVICE!

"Servant" in our English New Testament usually represents the Greek doulos (bondslave). Sometimes it means diakonos (deacon or minister); this is strictly accurate, for doulos and diakonos are synonyms. Both words denote a man who is not at his own disposal, but is his master's purchased property. Bought to serve his master's needs, to be at his beck and call every moment, the slave's sole business is to do as he is told. Christian service therefore means, first and foremost, living out a slave relationship to one's Savior… Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Cor. 6:19-20.

What work does Christ set his servants to do? The way that they serve him, he tells them, is by becoming the slaves of their fellow-servants and being willing to do literally anything, however costly, irksome, or undignified, in order to help them. This is what love means, as he himself showed at the Last supper when he played the slave's part and washed the disciples' feet.

When the New Testament speaks of ministering to the saints, it means not primarily preaching to them but devoting time, trouble, and substance to giving them all the practical help possible. The essence of Christian service is loyalty to the king expressing itself in care for his servants… “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” - Matt. 25: 31-46.

Only the Holy Spirit can create in us the kind of love toward our Savior that will overflow in imaginative sympathy and practical helpfulness towards his people. Unless the spirit is training us in love, we are not fit persons to go to college or a training class to learn the know-how or particular branches of Christian work. Gifted leaders who are self-centered and loveless are a blight to the church rather than a blessing. - James Packer, Your Father Loves You.

Loving Heavenly Father , help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to be the servant that you desire me to be, so that I can serve you and my brothers and sisters in Christ, that it will bring glory to your name, and advance your kingdom here on earth. I ask this in the wonderful name of Jesus, my Lord and Saviour, Amen!
Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY - CLASSICAL TESTIMONIES… Josephine Butler (1828-1906)

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…

Six-year-old Eva Butler was excited. Mom and dad were home. She rushed to the staircase to greet her parents--and lost her footing. In front of her mother's horrified eyes, she fell over the banister onto the hard tile floor to her death. Josephine would never erase that haunting sight from her memory. "It was pitiful to see her, helpless in her father's arms, her little drooping head resting on his shoulder and her beautiful golden hair all stained with blood, falling over his arm!"
But rather than retire into a half-mad world of grief and nostalgia, she turned her attention outward. "I became possessed with an irresistible urge to go forth and find some pain keener than my own, to meet with people more unhappy than myself."

She started to work with the prostitutes of Liverpool. Many had become street women out of desperation. Josephine was a beautiful upper-class woman, well-to-do with many connections. She opened a home to reclaim lost women. As she learned more about their condition, she became increasingly indignant at the unfair laws of a system that refused women the right to vote. Women should not be denied the vote because they are different than men, she argued. They should be given the vote precisely for that reason, because their needs are different. She became a champion for women.

Josephine, who had undergone a strong conversion experience as a teenager, needed the strength of faith in her lifelong battle for laws favorable to women. She took on the Contagious Diseases Acts that aimed to stop the spread of venereal disease. Under these laws, any woman in designated military towns could be forcibly inspected for venereal disease. The law was completely unfair. Men were not examined. Any woman, however pure, could be denounced to the authorities and forced to get a certificate. Her reputation ruined, the woman might actually be forced into the sex trade.

"This legalization of vice, which is the endorsement of the 'necessity' of impurity for man and the institution of slavery of woman, is the most open denial which modern times have seen of the principle of the sacredness of the individual being," Josephine declared. She warned that if a woman's rights could be stolen, so could anyone's.

When she stood up to speak against outrageous practices, Josephine was slandered. Her enemies heckled and harassed her. They smeared her with dung. A mob smashed the windows of a hotel where she was staying, trying to get at her and threatening to set it on fire. She fled through unfamiliar streets and hid behind piles of soap and candles in a shop. Another time, she hid in a hayloft while her opponents lit a fire to smoke her out. Her husband's college job was threatened but he encouraged her on. When his wife sheltered fallen women in their home, he treated them like high society ladies.


Far from retreating, Josephine expanded her activities. "...I felt very weak and lonely," she admitted. "But there was One who stood by me." She fought similar laws in Europe. In an age that tried to cover up sexual problems, she had the courage to address them openly. She fought against forced prostitution and appealed to governments not to license whorehouses. A government should never be in the sin business, she said.

While fighting government-sponsored prostitution, she always stood beside the prostitutes. If Christ forgave such women, so should we, she argued. Josephine succeeded in getting some hateful laws repealed and helped rouse public sentiment to pass a bill that raised the age of consent from thirteen to sixteen. However, she was largely forgotten when she died on December 30, 1906.

Are you willing to do whatever it takes and give your all to win the lost to Christ? Then like, Josephine Butler, 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 Josephine Butler, 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 Josephine. 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, June 25, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT MONDAY – A HEART STARTER #36.

When Queen Victoria was a child, she didn't know she was in line for the throne of England. Her instructors, trying to prepare her for the future, were frustrated because they couldn't motivate her. She just didn't take her studies seriously. Finally, her teachers decided to tell her that one day she would become the queen of England.

Upon hearing this, Victoria quietly said, "Then I will be good." The realization that she had inherited this high calling gave her a sense of responsibility that profoundly affected her conduct from then on. - Source Unknown.

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 RESPONSIBILITY…

James Alexander Thom, on the fear of responsibility: Have you ever had to paint some roof trim, high up? You get halfway up that 36-foot extension ladder and you start wondering about the ladder, its footing and your body weight. You stop and hug the ladder, looking neither up nor down. Your left leg begins a ridiculous but uncontrollable shuddering. At length you conquer that particular rung and inch your way to the next, then the next. Finally you're at the top, clinging for your life. How can you take one hand off the ladder to use the paintbrush? But you do. Tight as a fiddle you begin. The sky is clear. The sun is nice. The thirsty wood soaks up the paint. You whistle and think positive thoughts and do a good job and forget about the height.

You've learned an important lesson of life from this. No matter what higher responsibility you take on, its scary, very scary, until you start working. - Nuggets.

In 1 Samuel 17 we have the thrilling story of David, the modest shepherd boy who slew Goliath, the arrogant giant of Gath. The drama of that event so occupies our attention that the spiritual lessons contained in the more minute details may escape our notice. Today, therefore, I'd like to consider the importance of the expression "five smooth stones." Why more than one stone? Wasn't David a man of faith? Did he doubt that God would give him perfect timing and aim as he used his trusty sling to take on the enemy of the Lord? (Certainly he needed only a single small pebble to accomplish his mission.

But wait, there were at least four other giants (see 2 Sam. 21:15-22). They might rally to Goliath's defense if something went wrong. Perhaps David had prepared for them. Trusting the Lord implicitly, he chose one stone for the champion of the Philistines and just enough to be ready for any others if they attacked.

Why did he choose "smooth stones? " Well, you can shoot much more accurately with the proper ammunition. He had faith, but he also used sanctified common sense. He didn't foolishly say, "The Lord is going to do it anyway, so I'll just pick up any old jagged rocks." No, he recognized human responsibility as well as Divine providence and selected shiny, round stones that would speed straight to the mark. - Our Daily Bread.

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 by the Holy Spirit, to face up to our responsibility in every difficult and tedious situation.

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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Saturday, June 23, 2007

SUNDAY SERMON ON THE BLOG – JESUS EXHALTED!

The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross. - Acts 5:30.

Peter is making clear that his faith in Jesus didn't just begin with Jesus, it began with the Patriarchs, the great Jewish fathers.

The God who blessed them also raised Jesus from the dead, even though Jesus had been executed in the most atrocious and humiliating way possible for a faithful Jew. He was nailed to a cross, wholly illegal, and a sign of being cursed under Jewish Law.

Praise God! He raised Jesus from the dead, exalted Him, and made him our Saviour and our Lord.

Loving Heavenly Father, I thank you for showing your power over evil, sin, hate, jealousy, and death. And I thank you that Jesus was raised from the dead and exhalted. In the wonderful name of Jesus, my Lord and Saviour, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, I offer my praise and thanksgiving. Amen.

Be encouraged.
GBYAY

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Friday, June 22, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT FRIDAY – A CHEERFUL HEART #59.

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.

Never Judge a Book by it's Author…
Is O. J. Guilty?.............. Howard I. Know

Animal Illnesses............. Ann Thrax French Overpopulation.........Francis Crowded
Fallen Underwear .............Lucy Lastic
Downpour! ....................Wayne Dwops
Cloning ......................Ima Dubble
Irish Flooring ...............Lynn O'Leum
I Lived in Detroit ...........Helen Earth
Inflammation, Please .........Arthur Itis
Handel's Messiah .............Ollie Luyah
House Construction ...........Bill Jerome Home Unemployed ...................Anita Job
Off to Market ................Tobias A. Pigg
Holmes Does it Again .........Scott Linyard
Home Alone IV ................Eddie Buddyhome
Lewis Carroll ................Alison Wonderland
Leo Tolstoy ..................Warren Peace
The L. A. Lakers Breakfast ...Kareem O' Wheat
Neither a Borrower ...........Nora Lender Bee
The French Chef ..............Sue Flay
Tight Situation ..............Leah Tard
The Scent of a Man ...........Jim Nasium
Why Cars Stop ................M. T. Tank
Wind in the Willows ..........Russell Ingleaves
Look Younger .................Fay Slift
Mountain Climbing ............Andover Hand
It's Springtime! .............Theresa Green
No! ..........................Kurt Reply
And Shut Up! .................Sid Downe
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Bill, an experienced sky diver, was getting ready for a jump one day when he spotted another man outfitted to dive wearing dark glasses, carrying a white can and holding a seeing-eye dog by a leash.


Shocked that the blind man was also going to jump, Bill struck up a conversation, expressing his admiration for the man's courage. Then, curious, he asked, "How do you know when the ground is getting close?"


"Easy," replied the blind man. "The leash goes slack."
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A little boy opened the big and old family Bible with fascination, and looked at the old pages as he turned them.
Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible, and he picked it up and looked at it closely. It was an old leaf from a tree that had been pressed in between the pages.
"Momma, look what I found," the boy called out.
"What have you got there, dear?" his mother asked.
With astonishment in the young boy's voice, he answered: "I think it's Adam's suit!"
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Father Murphy walked into a pub and said to the first man he met, "Do you want to go to heaven?"
The man replied, "I do Father."
The priest said, "Then stand over there against the wall."
Then the priest asked a second man, "Do you want to go to heaven?"
"Certainly, Father," was the man's reply.
The priest said, "Then stand over there against the wall."
Then Father Murphy walked up to O'Toole and said, "Do you want to go to heaven?"
O'Toole said, "No, I don't Father."
The priest said, "I don't believe this. You mean to tell me that when you die you don't want to go to heaven?"
O'Toole said, "Oh, when I die, yes. I thought you were getting a group together to go right now."
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New in Church…
After the service a young couple talked to a church member about joining the church. He hadn't met the husband before, and he asked what church he was transferring from.

After a short hesitation, he replied,” I am transferring from the Municipal Golf Course."
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Attraction of Sin…
Several years ago
our family visited Niagara Falls. It was spring, and ice was rushing down the river. As I viewed the large blocks of ice flowing toward the falls, I could see that there were carcasses of dead fish embedded in the ice. Gulls by the score were riding down the river feeding on the fish. As they came to the brink of the falls, their wings would go out, and they would escape from the falls.

I watched one gull which seemed to delay and wondered when it would leave. It was engrossed in the carcass of a fish, and when it finally came to the brink of the falls, out went its powerful wings. The bird flapped and flapped and even lifted the ice out of the water, and I thought it would escape. But it had delayed too long so that its claws had frozen into the ice. The weight of the ice was too great, and the gull plunged into the abyss.

The material possessions of this world can entrap us if we become too attached to them. They will take us to our destruction if we cannot give them up. And as George Sweeting observed, "Oh, the danger of delay!"
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The Sermon Preparation...
A boy was watching his father, a pastor, write a sermon.
"How do you know what to say?" he asked.
"Why, God tells me."
"Oh, then why do you keep crossing things out?"


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, June 21, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – THURSDAY THOUGHTS #19… Sharing The Gospel.

In the midst of a generation screaming for answers, Christians are stuttering. - Howard Hendricks.

Catherine Booth
was the "mother" of the Salvation Army. "Wherever Catherine Booth went," said Campbell Morgan, "humanity went to hear her. Princes and peeresses merged with paupers and prostitutes."

One night, Morgan shared in a meeting with Mrs. Booth; and a great crowd of "publicans and sinners" was there. Her message brought many to Christ. After the meeting, Morgan and Mrs. Booth went to be entertained at a fine home; and the lady of the manor said, "My dear Mrs. Booth, that meeting was dreadful"

"What do you mean, dearie?" asked Mrs. Booth.

"Oh, when you were speaking, I was looking at those people opposite to me. Their faces were so terrible, many of them. I don't think I shall sleep tonight!"

"Why, dearie, don't you know them?" Mrs. Booth asked; and the hostess replied, "Certainly not!"

"Well, that is interesting," Mrs. Booth said. "I did not bring them with me from London; they are your neighbors!" - Source Unknown.

I stood on a grassy sward, and at my feet a precipice broke sheer down into infinite space. I looked, but saw no bottom; only cloud shapes, black and furiously coiled, and great shadow-shrouded hollows, and unfathomable depths. Back I drew, dizzy at the depth.

Then I saw forms of people moving single file along the grass. They were making for the edge. There was a woman with a baby in her arms and another little child holding on to her dress. She was on the very verge. Then I saw that she was blind. She lifted her foot for the next step and it trod air. She was over, and the children over with her. Oh, the cry that I heard.


Then I saw more streams of people flowing from all quarters. All were blind, stone blind; all made straight for the precipice edge. There were shrieks as they suddenly knew themselves falling, and a tossing up of helpless arms, catching, clutching at empty air. But some went over quietly, and fell without a sound.

Then I wondered, with a wonder that was simple agony, why no one stopped them at the edge. I could not. I was glued to the ground, and I could not call; though I strained and tried, only a whisper would come. Then I saw that along the edge there were sentries set at intervals. But the intervals were far too great; there were wide, unguarded gaps between. And over these gaps the people fell in their blindness, quite unwarned; and the green grass seemed blood-red to me, and the gulf yawned like the mouth of hell.

Then I saw, like a little picture of peace, a group of people under some trees, with their backs turned towards the gulf. They were making daisy chains. Sometimes when a piercing shriek cut the quiet air and reached them it disturbed them and they thought it a rather vulgar noise. And if one of their number started up and wanted to go and do something to help, then all the others would pull that one down. "Why should you get so excited about it? You must wait for a definite call to go! You haven't finished your daisy chains yet. It would be really selfish," they said, "to leave us to finish the work alone."

There was another group. It was made up of people whose great desire was to get more sentries out; but they found that very few wanted to go and sometimes there were no sentries set for miles and miles of the edge.


Once a girl stood alone in her place, waving the people back; buther mother and other relations called, and reminded her that her furlough was due; she must not break the rules. And being tired and needing a change, she had to go and rest for awhile, but no one was sent to guard her gap and over and over the people fell, like a waterfall of souls.

Once a child caught at a tuft of grass that grew at the very brink of the gulf; it clung convulsively, and it called -- but nobody seemed to hear. Then the roots of the grass gave way and with a cry, the child went over, its two little hands still holding tight to the torn-off bunch of grass. And the girl who longed to be back in her gap thought she heard the little one cry, and she sprang up and wanted to go; at which they reproved her, reminding her that no one is necessary anywhere; the gap would be well taken care of, they knew.

And then they sang a hymn. Then through the hymn came another sound like the pain of a million broken hearts wrung out in one full drop, one sob. And a horror of great darkness was upon me, for I knew what it was --the Cry of the Blood.

Then thundered a Voice, the Voice of the Lord. "And He said, What hast thou done? The voice of thy brothers' blood crieth unto Me from the ground."

The tom-toms still beat heavily, the darkness still shuddered and shivered about me; I heard the yells of the devil-dancers and the weird wild shriek of the devil-possessed just outside the gate. What does it matter, after all? It has gone on for years; it will go on for years. Why make such a fuss about it?

God forgive us! God arouse us! Shame us out of our callousness! Shame us out of our sin! - Source Unknown.

Loving Father, I thank you for my life in Jesus Christ; Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to share the gospel others. 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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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – WEDNESDAY WARRIOR! #19… FAITH!

When a traveler in the early days of the west, came to the Mississippi, he discovered there was no bridge. Fortunately it was winter and the great river was sheeted over with ice. But the traveler was afraid to trust himself to it, not knowing how thick it was. Finally with infinite caution, he crept on his hands and knees and managed to get halfway over. And then he heard--yes he heard singing from behind. Cautiously he turned, and there, out of the dusk, came another traveler, driving a four-horse load of coal over the ice, singing as he went! – Source Unknown.

When Hudson Taylor went to China, he made the voyage on a sailing vessel. As it neared the channel between the southern Malay Peninsula and the island of Sumatra, the missionary heard an urgent knock on his stateroom door. He opened it, and there stood the captain of the ship. "Mr. Taylor," he said, "we have no wind. We are drifting toward an island where the people are heathen, and I fear they are cannibals."

"What can I do?" asked Taylor. "I understand that you believe in God. I want you to pray for wind." "All right, Captain, I will, but you must set the sail." "Why that's ridiculous! There's not even the slightest breeze. Besides, the sailors will think I'm crazy." But finally, because of Taylor's insistence, he agreed. Forty- five minutes later he returned and found the missionary still on his knees. "You can stop praying now," said the captain. "We've got more wind than we know what to do with!" – Source Unknown.

Faith honors God and God honors faith! A story from the life of missionaries Robert and Mary Moffat illustrates this truth. For 10 years this couple labored faithfully in Bechuanaland (now called Botswana) without one ray of encouragement to brighten their way. They could not report a single convert. Finally the directors of their mission board began to question the wisdom of continuing the work. The thought of leaving their post, however, brought great grief to this devoted couple, for they felt sure that God was in their labors, and that they would see people turn to Christ in due season.

They stayed; and for a year or two longer, darkness reigned. Then one day a friend in England sent word to the Moffat's that she wanted to mail them a gift and asked what they would like. Trusting that in time the Lord would bless their work, Mrs. Moffat replied, "Send us a communion set; I am sure it will soon be needed." God honored that dear woman's faith. The Holy Spirit moved upon the hearts of the villagers, and soon a little group of six converts was united to form the first Christian church in that land. The communion set from England was delayed in the mail; but on the very day before the first commemoration of the Lord's super in Bechuanaland, the set arrived.

To live by faith is to live joyfully, to live with assurance, untroubled by doubts and with complete confidence in all we have to do and suffer at each moment by the will of God. We must realize that it is in order to stimulate and sustain this faith that God allows the soul to be buffeted and swept away by the raging torrent of so much distress, so many troubles, so much embarrassment and weakness, and so many setbacks. For it is essential to have faith to find God behind all this. - Jean-Pierre de Caussade.

Loving Father, forgive me for my lack of faith at times, in my walk with Christ. I receive your forgiveness. I commit my life afresh to you. By the power of the Holy Spirit, help me to demonstrate the faith of God in my life. I ask this in the wonderful name of Jesus, my Lord and Saviour, Amen!

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY - CLASSICAL TESTIMONIES… John Newton, God’s Amazing Grace!

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…

“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound...” So begins one of the most beloved hymns of all times, a staple in the hymnals of many denominations, New Britain or “45 on the top” in Sacred Harp. The author of the words was John Newton, the self-proclaimed wretch who once was lost but then was found, saved by amazing grace.

Newton was born in London July 24, 1725, the son of a commander of a merchant ship which sailed the Mediterranean. When John was eleven, he went to sea with his father and made six voyages with him before the elder Newton retired. In 1744 John was impressed into service on a man-of-war, the H. M. S. Harwich. Finding conditions on board intolerable, he deserted but was soon recaptured and publicly flogged and demoted from midshipman to common seaman.

Finally at his own request he was exchanged into service on a slave ship, which took him to the coast of Sierra Leone. He then became the servant of a slave trader and was brutally abused. Early in 1748 he was rescued by a sea captain who had known John's father. John Newton ultimately became captain of his own ship, one which plied the slave trade.


Although he had had some early religious instruction from his mother, who had died when he was a child, he had long since given up any religious convictions. However, on a homeward voyage, while he was attempting to steer the ship through a violent storm, he experienced what he was to refer to later as his “great deliverance.” He recorded in his journal that when all seemed lost and the ship would surely sink, he exclaimed, “Lord, have mercy upon us.” Later in his cabin he reflected on what he had said and began to believe that God had addressed him through the storm and that grace had begun to work for him.

For the rest of his life he observed the anniversary of May 10, 1748 as the day of his conversion, a day of humiliation in which he subjected his will to a higher power. “Thro’ many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; ’tis grace has bro’t me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.” He continued in the slave trade for a time after his conversion; however, he saw to it that the slaves under his care were treated humanely.

In 1750 he married Mary Catlett, with whom he had been in love for many years. By 1755, after a serious illness, he had given up seafaring forever. During his days as a sailor he had begun to educate himself, teaching himself Latin, among other subjects. From 1755 to 1760 Newton was surveyor of tides at Liverpool, where he came to know George Whitefield, deacon in the Church of England, evangelistic preacher, and leader of the Calvinistic Methodist Church. Newton became Whitefield’s enthusiastic disciple. During this period Newton also met and came to admire John Wesley, founder of Methodism. Newton’s self-education continued, and he learned Greek and Hebrew.

He decided to become a minister and applied to the Archbishop of York for ordination. The Archbishop refused his request, but Newton persisted in his goal, and he was subsequently ordained by the Bishop of Lincoln and accepted the curacy of Olney, Buckinghamshire. Newton’s church became so crowded during services that it had to be enlarged. He preached not only in Olney but in other parts of the country. In 1767 the poet William Cowper settled at Olney, and he and Newton became friends.

Cowper helped Newton with his religious services and on his tours to other places. They held not only a regular weekly church service but also began a series of weekly prayer meetings, for which their goal was to write a new hymn for each one. They collaborated on several editions of Olney Hymns, which achieved lasting popularity. The first edition, published in 1779, contained 68 pieces by Cowper and 280 by Newton.

Among Newton’s contributions which are still loved and sung today are “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds” and "Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken,” as well as “Amazing Grace.” Composed probably between 1760 and 1770 in Olney, "Amazing Grace” was possibly one of the hymns written for a weekly service. Through the years other writers have composed additional verses to the hymn which came to be known as Amazing Grace...



Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)

That sav’d a wretch like me!

I once was lost, but now am found,

Was blind, but now I see.


’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,

And grace my fears reliev’d;

How precious did that grace appear,

The hour I first believ’d!

Thro’ many dangers, toils and snares,

I have already come;’

Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,

And grace will lead me home.

Newton was not only a prolific hymn writer but also kept extensive journals and wrote many letters. Historians accredit his journals and letters for much of what is known today about the eighteenth century slave trade. In Cardiphonia, or the Utterance of the Heart, a series of devotional letters, he aligned himself with the Evangelical revival, reflecting the sentiments of his friend John Wesley and Methodism.

In 1780 Newton left Olney to become rector of St. Mary Woolnoth, St. Mary Woolchurch, in London. There he drew large congregations and influenced many, among them William Wilberforce, who would one day become a leader in the campaign for the abolition of slavery. Newton continued to preach until the last year of life, although he was blind by that time.

He died in London December 21, 1807. Infidel and libertine turned minister in the Church of England, he was secure in his faith that amazing grace would lead him home.

Are you willing to do whatever it takes and give your all to win the lost to Christ? Then like, John Newton, 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 Newton, 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, June 18, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT MONDAY – A HEART STARTER #35.

I look at a stone cutter hammering away at a rock a hundred times without so much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the 101st blow it splits in two. I know it was not the one blow that did it, but all that had gone before. - Reader's Digest, Jacob Riis.

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 PERSEVERANCE…


An elderly lady was once asked by a young man who had grown weary in the fight, whether he ought to give up the struggle. "I am beaten every time," he said dolefully. "I feel I must give up."

"Did you ever notice," she replied, smiling into the troubled face before her, "that when the Lord told the discouraged fishermen to cast their nets again, it was right in the same old spot where they had been fishing all night and had caught nothing?" - Source Unknown.

"I often wish that I could lie down and sleep without waking. But I will fight it out if I can." So wrote one of the bravest, most inspiring men who ever lived, Sir Walter Scott. In his 56th year, failing in health, his wife dying of an incurable disease, Scott was in debt a half million dollars. A publishing firm he had invested in had collapsed. He might have taken bankruptcy, but shrank from the stain. From his creditors he asked only time. Thus began his race with death, a valiant effort to pay off the debt before he died. - Source Unknown.

In 1972, NASA launched the exploratory space probe Pioneer 10. According to Leon Jaroff in Time, the satellite's primary mission was to reach Jupiter, photograph the planet and its moons, and beam data to earth about Jupiter's magnetic field, radiation belts, and atmosphere. Scientists regarded this as a bold plan, for at that time no earth satellite had ever gone beyond Mars, and they feared the asteroid belt would destroy the satellite before it could reach its target.

But Pioneer 10 accomplished its mission and much, much more. Swinging past the giant planet in November 1973, Jupiter's immense gravity hurled Pioneer 10 at a higher rate of speed toward the edge of the solar system. At one billion miles from the sun, Pioneer 10 passed Saturn. At some two billion miles, it hurtled past Uranus; Neptune at nearly three billion miles; Pluto at almost four billion miles. By 1997, twenty-five years after its launch, Pioneer 10 was more than six billion miles from the sun.

And despite that immense distance, Pioneer 10 continued to beam back radio signals to scientists on Earth. "Perhaps most remarkable," writes Jaroff,
"those signals emanate from an 8-watt transmitter, which radiates about as much power as a bedroom night light, and takes more than nine hours to reach Earth."

The Little Satellite That Could was not qualified to do what it did. Engineers designed Pioneer 10 with a useful life of just three years. But it kept going and going. By simple longevity, its tiny 8-watt transmitter radio accomplished more than anyone thought possible.

So it is when we offer ourselves to serve the Lord. God can work even through someone with 8-watt abilities. God cannot work, however, through someone who quits. - Craig Brian Larson.


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 by the Holy Spirit, to persevere in every difficult and tedious situation.

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, June 17, 2007

SUNDAY SERMON ON THE BLOG – AMAZEMENT AND AWE!

Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.” - Luke 5:26.

Jesus forgave a man who was lame, and then showed He had authority to forgive, by healing him.

As exciting and important as this healing was, the most important thing was the response of those who witnessed it; they praised God out of a sense of amazed awe. They recognised that Jesus had come to minister as God's very presence.

When we understand who Jesus is and what He has done for us, and will continue to do for us, we do the same thing today; we offer our praises with a sense of amazement and awe.

Loving Heavenly Father, I venerate your name, and thank you for your grace which you so lavishly poured out on me through your Son and my Saviour, Jesus, in whose wonderful name I offer this praise. Amen.

Be encouraged.
GBYAY

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Friday, June 15, 2007

CHILLIN OUT FOR THE WEEKEND!


I am taking a wee break from blogging this weekend, see you on Monday!

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – THURSDAY THOUGHTS #18… FRIENDSHIP.

A British publication once offered a prize for the best definition of a friend. Among the thousands of answers received were the following:

"One who multiplies joys, divides grief, and whose honesty is inviolable."
"One who understands our silence."
A volume of sympathy bound in cloth."
"A watch that beats true for all time and never runs down."

The winning definition read: "A friend is the one who comes in when the whole world has gone out."
- Bits & Pieces.
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. - John 15:13.

In our dealings with those caught in sexual lust, mercy is incomplete unless we do as Jesus did; call it sin. We have winked, giggled, made alibis, or ignored sin all too long. A friend in deed is one who says quietly, but firmly, "What you're doing friend is sin. It is harmful to you and to others. It is destructive to God's dream for you.” – Source unknown.

What is a friend? Friends are people with whom you dare to be yourself. Your soul can be naked with them. They ask you to put on nothing, only to be what you are. They do not want you to be better or worse. When you are with them, you feel as a prisoner feels who has been declared innocent. You do not have to be on your guard. You can say what you think, as long as it is genuinely you. Friends understand those contradictions in your nature that lead others to misjudge you. With them you breathe freely.

You can avow your little vanities and envies and hates and vicious sparks, your meanness’s and absurdities, and in opening them up to friends, they are lost, dissolved on the white ocean of their loyalty. They understand. You do not have to be careful. You can abuse them, neglect them, and tolerate them. Best of all, you can keep still with them. It makes no matter. They like you. They are like fire that purges to the bone. They understand. You can weep with them, sing with them, laugh with them, and pray with them. Through it all--and underneath--they see, know, and love you. A friend? What is a friend? Just one, I repeat, with whom you dare to be yourself. - C. Raymond Beran.

How to be a good friend…
1. When you are with friends, be aware of their likes and dislikes.
2. Remember friend's birthdays and anniversaries.
3. Take interest in and cultivate relationships with your friend's children.
4. Become need sensitive
5. Keep in touch by phone.
6. Express what you like about your relationship with another person.
7. Serve your friends in thoughtful, unexpected ways.
- Common Ground.

Around The Corner, by Henson Towne…

Around the corner I have a friend,
In this great city that has no end.
Yet days go by and weeks rush on,
And before I know it a year is gone,
And I never see my old friend's face;
For life is a swift and terrible race.

He knows I like him just as well
As in the days when I rang his bell
And he rang mine.
We were younger then--
And now we are busy, tired men--
Tired with playing a foolish game;
Tired with trying to make a name.

"Tomorrow," I say, "I will call on Jim,
Just to show that I'm thinking of him."
But tomorrow comes--and tomorrow goes;
And the distance between us grows and grows.
Around the corner!--yet miles away...

"Here's a telegram, sir." "Jim died today."
And that's what we get--and deserve in the end;
Around the corner, a vanished friend.

Loving Father, I thank you for my life in Jesus Christ; Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to be the best friend ever, for others. 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, June 13, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – WEDNESDAY WARRIOR! #18… Fascinated with Jesus!

The goal of Scripture is an intensely personal love for Jesus possessing your whole being. The goal of redemption is your love-relationship, your love-life with Jesus. Christian living is living in love with Jesus. Prayer communion is looking lovingly into Jesus' eyes, thrilling to Jesus' voice, resting in Jesus' arms.

Christ's passionate lovers have bejeweled the history and heritage of the church. No Christian is greater than his love. Few today realize the intense devotion to Christ in the early church and in our sainted martyrs. The Holy Spirit can develop in us just as ardent devotion as He did in those days.

A. W. Tozer once said, "The great of the kingdom has been those who loved God more than others did." Those who have really looked into the face of Jesus cannot but be captivate by His love. Too often our love for Jesus is sadly impersonal. We believe in His Person, we worship His Person, but we relate to Him far too impersonally. There is too much distance, a tragic remoteness in our fellowship. True, He is our infinitely holy God and we are but sin-deformed creatures before Him. He is our Sovereign King, and we bow before His majesty.

But He is also our Savior who loved us with such everlasting love that He forsook heaven's throne to become the incarnate Son of Man, to die for us, to redeem us for Himself and make us the special and eternal object of His love. Indeed, He came to make us collectively His bride and personally His beloved. Let's humble ourselves before Him. Let's confess how cool and casual we too often have been in our expression of love to Him. Let's ask the Holy Spirit to give us a new baptism of love for Jesus. We need the Spirit's help to love, Jesus as we should. Perhaps we have had too little of the Spirit's fullness to enable us to love with the personal ardor Jesus desires.
All other passions build upon or flow from your passion for Jesus. A passion for souls grows out of a passion for Christ. A passion for missions builds upon a passion for Christ. When Hudson Taylor was once asked what was the greatest incentive to missionary work, he instantly replied, "Love of Christ." William Booth's passion for helping the underprivileged, the derelicts of society, and for world evangelization was built upon his passion for Christ.

The most crucial danger to a Christian, whatever his role, is to lack a passion of Christ. The most direct route to personal renewal and new effectiveness is a new all-consuming passion for Jesus. Lord, give us this passion, whatever the cost! – Wesley S. Duewel.

Loving Father, forgive me for the lack of passion for Christ in my life, wash me in the precious blood of Jesus. I receive your forgiveness. I commit my life afresh to you. By the power of the Holy Spirit, instill the passion for Christ back in my life. I ask this in the wonderful name of Jesus, my Lord and Saviour, Amen!

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY - CLASSICAL TESTIMONIES… William Borden – God’s Man Through and Through!

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…

In the early years of the 20th century two men died within a year of each other. Both deaths were noted by newspapers around the world. Both claimed to be committed followers of Jesus Christ. Both were fabulously wealthy. Both lives had moved and affected scores of others. But there were striking differences. One of the men, J. P. Morgan died at seventy-five years of age having accumulated over 100 million dollars of personal worth during his lifetime.

The other man died in his 25th year and left behind the remainder of a personal fortune inherited as the heir to the Borden milk dynasty. Unlike Morgan, his will left most of what remained of his fortune to the work of Christ in addition to what had already been given to God’s work during his lifetime. One of the many memorial services commemorating his life was observed at Moody Church where he had been a member.


A friend who attended wrote these words to his mother:2 Chronicles 16:9 has been in my mind ever since Friday evening. God is ever intently looking for those whose hearts are right toward Him, that in and through them He may “show himself strong.” And oh, the joy of his heart when He finds such a one!”

As William grew in knowledge of God, he lived up to that knowledge; as he learned more of God’s will, he obeyed that will. He followed the Lord wholly. As with absorbing interest the great company listened to what God had wrought, one could not but feel that the fire of a holy purpose was lighted in the hearts of some of those young men and women.

The life in question was that of William Whiting Borden, a young wealthy American who had given away most of the large fortune he had inherited and had dedicated himself to the work of the Gospel as a missionary to the Muslim communities in China. His name and his story are still familiar to many, and though his life and service to Christ were cut short in his 25th year, his story continues to stimulate others to Christian ministry. Perhaps the most familiar account of his life is Mrs. Howard Taylor’s Borden of Yale. It is still in print and can be obtained from Bethany House Publishers in Minneapolis, MN. The book is well written and moves the reader quickly to the pertinent spiritual points of Borden’s life. It is brief enough to be read in an afternoon but thorough enough to be remembered for a lifetime.

My heart was stirred as I read each chapter and I found myself agreeing with the words of Kenneth Taylor who wrote the foreword to the book…

“This book you have in your hands, Borden of Yale, changed the course of my life. I read it one Sunday afternoon during a college vacation, now so many years ago, at a time when I was filled with selfish ambitions and, conversely, a list of negative goals – things I certainly did not want as careers. At the top of this list was being a missionary. . . . Spiritually speaking, had it not been for this book, my life would have been a spiritual shambles.”

Born November 1, 1887 Borden was raised in Chicago by Christian parents. Even as a very young boy, William had an unusual interest in God’s Word and came to Christ at an early age. After finishing his initial education at The Hill School, Borden embarked on a journey around the world. Stirred by the pervasive spiritual darkness he witnessed first hand in places like Japan and China, he wrote to his mother and expressed that God had called him to give his life to reach the lost in foreign lands.

Upon returning to America, Borden enrolled at Yale in the Fall of 1905. During his student years he threw himself into his studies, college life, and spiritual service to others. He was an excellent student, an above average athlete, and was involved in starting both a student prayer meeting and a rescue mission for the homeless.

After his death many of his classmates from Yale expressed gratitude for the impact his life made on theirs. After graduating from Yale, Borden was accepted at Princeton Seminary where he began preparing in earnest to go abroad and reach the Muslims in China for the Gospel. He was accepted as a candidate by the China Inland Mission during his second year at Princeton. During and immediately after his seminary years, William took every opportunity to speak on behalf of his beloved Student Volunteer Movement and influenced many to give themselves to foreign missions.

In 1913 Borden departed for Cairo, Egypt where he planned to study Arabic in order to better reach the Muslims he was hoping to win in China. Upon arriving he took up residence at the local Y.M.C.A. and immediately sought out a Bible study going on for Moslem foreigners from all over the world. Imagine his joy to meet a student from the very province in China he was hoping to reach. His enthusiasm and his commitment to the cause of Christ were contagious and he labored tirelessly to advance the cause of Christ in Egypt while he prepared to go to China.

However, in April of 1913 just months after arriving at Cairo, he contracted a severe case of spinal meningitis and within weeks went home to be with Christ. His mother and family arrived in Cairo hours after his death and were able to be in attendance with the small group that met for his funeral. Borden committed all his wealth to the cause of Christ and had spared no reserves for himself. He set his face toward China and there was no turning back. It is certain that upon hearing Christ’s “well-done” Borden had no regrets for how he had invested his life and wealth.

As I finished the final page, I found myself stirred by the example of a young man I never had the opportunity to meet or hear speak. Yet the story of his life and joyful sacrifice for Christ communicated a passion and commitment that convicted me almost a century after his death. Nor was my response unique. Others have been deeply stirred for Christ by the story of his life in general and by its recounting in this book in particular. Ken Taylor introduced the book and perhaps his words can best conclude this review…

“God may not use this particular book to help you in the same way it helped me, but by whatever means, I pray that you will come to the same conclusion I did, that the path of God is the only path for you.”

Are you willing to do whatever it takes and give your all to win the lost to Christ? Then like, William Borden, 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 William Borden, 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 William. 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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Sunday, June 10, 2007

SUNDAY SERMON ON THE BLOG – DISCIPLESHIP VALUES.

Everyone will hate you because of me, but those who stand firm to the end will be saved. - Matthew 10:22.

Jesus' words are very strong! His emphasis is for a reason. Christians need to realise that they are not going to be the dominant culture. Discipleship can be hard and demanding; most folks want things simple and easy.

The values that disciples are called to put into place in their lives are not going to be the dominant cultural ones. "So be ready!" Jesus is telling us. "Be ready to face criticism and rejection." But while we know it may be an uphill battle to change the hearts of men and women, we can be God's tool to bless others and to lead them closer to him!

And for us, salvation in all its glory awaits us at the end of the journey.

Loving Heavenly Father, forgive me for the times I have grown impatient with the world around and started seeing it as the enemy rather than as the target of your grace. By the power of the Holy Spirit, give me the wisdom and the courage to balance my understanding of the world, with your passion to redeem it. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged.
GBYAY

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Friday, June 08, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT FRIDAY – A CHEERFUL HEART #58.

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 kindergarten teacher gave her class a "show and tell" assignment of bringing something to represent their religion.

The first boy got in front of the class and said, "My name is Benjamin and I am Jewish and this is the Star of David."

The second boy got in front of the class and said, "My name is Mary. I'm am Catholic and this is the Crucifix."

The third boy got in front of the class and said, "My name is Tommy and I am Baptist and this is a casserole."
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There was a little old cleaning woman that went to the local church. When the invitation was given at the end of the service, she went forward wanting to become a member. The pastor listened as she told him how she had accepted Jesus and wanted to be baptized and become a member of the church.

The pastor thought to himself, "oh my, she is so unkempt, even smells a little, and her fingernails are not clean. She picks up garbage, cleans toilets - what would the members think of her." He told her that she needed to go home and pray about it and then decide.

The following week, here she came again. She told the pastor that she had prayed about it and still wanted to be baptized. "I have passed this church for so long. It is so beautiful, and I truly want to become a member."

Again the pastor told her to go home and pray some more. A few weeks later while out eating at the restaurant, the pastor saw the little old lady. He did not want her to think that he was ignoring her so he approached her and said, "I have not seen you for a while. Is everything all right?"
"Oh, yes," she said. "I talked with Jesus, and he told me not to worry about becoming a member of your church."

"He did?" said the pastor.

"Oh, yes" she replied. "He said even He hasn't been able to get into your church yet, and He's been trying for years."
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Things You Never Hear in Church…

Hey! It's MY turn to sit on the front pew!
I was so enthralled, I never noticed your sermon went over time 25 minutes.
Personally, I find witnessing much more enjoyable than golf. I've decided to give our church the $500.00 a month I used to send to TV evangelists.
I volunteer to be the permanent teacher for the Junior High Sunday School class.
Forget the denominational minimum salary: let's pay our pastor so he can live like we do.
I love it when we sing hymns I've never heard before!
Since we're all here, let's start the worship service early!
Pastor, we'd like to send you to this Bible seminar in the Bahamas.
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Children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Christian school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. Someone had written a note and placed it next to the apples. It read, "Take only one, God is watching."
Moving through the line, to the other end of the table, was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies.

One little boy wrote his own note and snuck it next to the cookies, "Take all you want, God is watching the apples."
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Assurance of Salvation…

Sometime when you're in an airport, observe the difference between passengers who hold confirmed tickets and those who are on standby. The ones with confirmed tickets read newspapers, chat with their friends or sleep. The ones on standby hang around the ticket counter, pace and smoke, smoke and pace. The difference is caused by the confidence factor.

If you knew that in fifteen minutes you would have to stand in judgment before the Holy God and learn your eternal destiny, what would your reaction be? Would you smoke and pace? Would you say to yourself, "I don't know what God's going to say--will it be 'Welcome home, child,' or will it be 'Depart from me; I never knew you'? - Bill Hybels
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A middle-aged woman has a heart attack and is taken to the hospital. While on the operating table she has a near death experience. During that experience she sees God and asks if this is it. God says no and explains that she has another 30 years to live.

Upon her recovery she decides to just stay in the hospital and have a face lift, liposuction, breast augmentation, tummy tuck, etc. She even has someone come in and change her hair color. She figures since she's got another 30 years she might as well make the most of it.

She walks out of the hospital after the last operation and is killed by an ambulance speeding by. She arrives in front of God and complains, "I thought you said I had another 30 years."

God replies, I didn't recognize you."
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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, June 07, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – THURSDAY THOUGHTS #17… Changed Lives In Christ.

Longfellow could take a worthless piece of paper, write a poem on it, and instantly make it worth thousands of dollars -- and it's called genius.

Rockefeller could sign his name to a piece of paper and make it worth millions of dollars -- and it's called riches.

A mechanic can take material worth only five dollars and make it worth five hundred -- and it's called skill.

An artist can take a fifty-cent piece of canvas, paint a picture on it, and make it worth thousands of dollars -- and it's called art.

Jesus Christ can take a worthless, sinful life, wash it in His blood, put His Spirit in it, and make it valuable to God -- and that's called sanctification.

The Lord is in the business of taking rough, raw material and using it, transforming men by His power to be the extension of His work in the world. – Source unknown.

Loving Father, I thank you for my changed life in Jesus Christ; Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to remind myself daily of it’s benefits and blessings. 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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