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Friday, August 31, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT FRIDAY - CHILLIN OUT!

Having the weekend of, just chillin out!
Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – THURSDAY THOUGHTS #30… STAMINA.

He will not break off a bent reed, nor put out a flickering lamp. He will persist until he causes justice to triumph, and on him all peoples will put their hope." - Mat 12:20-21.

One day George Muller began praying for five of his friends.
After many months, one of them came to the Lord. Ten years later, two others were converted. It took 25 years before the fourth man was saved. Muller persevered in prayer until his death for the fifth friend, and throughout those 52 years he never gave up hoping that he would accept Christ! His faith was rewarded, for soon after Muller's funeral the last one was saved. - Our Daily Bread.

A recent television documentary
pointed out that the cheetah survives on the African plains by running down its prey. The big cat can sprint seventy miles per hour. But the cheetah cannot sustain that pace for long. Within its long, sleek body is a disproportionately small heart, which causes the cheetah to tire quickly. Unless the cheetah catches its prey in the first flurry, it must abandon the chase.

Sometimes Christians seem to have the cheetah's approach to ministry.
We speed into projects with great energy. But lacking the heart for sustained effort, we fizzle before we finish. We vow to start faster and run harder, when what we need may be not more speed but more staying power--stamina that comes only from a bigger heart. Motion and busyness, no matter how great, yield nothing, unless we allow God to give us the heart. – Grant Lovejoy.

Young William Wilberforce
was discouraged one night in the early 1790s after another defeat in his 10 year battle against the slave trade in England. Tired and frustrated, he opened his Bible and began to leaf through it. A small piece of paper fell out and fluttered to the floor. It was a letter written by John Wesley shortly before his death.

Wilberforce read it again: "Unless the divine power has raised you up... I see not how you can go through your glorious enterprise in opposing that (abominable practice of slavery), which is the scandal of religion, of England, and of human nature. Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. But if God be for you, who can be against you? Are all of them together stronger than God? Oh, be not weary of well-doing. Go on in the name of God, and in the power of His might."
- Daily Bread.

From the diary of John Wesley. . .
Sunday, A.M., May 5 Preached in St. Anne's. Was asked not to come back anymore.

Sunday, P.M., May 5 Preached in St. John's. Deacons said "Get out and stay out."Sunday, A.M., May 12 Preached in St. Jude's. Can't go back there, either.

Sunday, A.M., May 19 Preached in St. Somebody Else's. Deacons called special meeting and said I couldn't return.Sunday, P.M., May 19 Preached on street. Kicked off street.

Sunday, A.M., May 26 Preached in meadow. Chased out of meadow as bull was turned loose during service.

Sunday, A.M., June 2 Preached out at the edge of town. Kicked off the highway.

Sunday, P.M., June 2 Afternoon, preached in a pasture. Ten thousand people came out to hear me.

Loving Heavenly Father, I thank you for my life in Jesus Christ; Grant me Holy Spirit, stamina, to persist in all things. For your glory Lord, and for the extension of your Kingdom, in Jesus wonderful and mighty name I pray, amen!

Be encouraged!

GBYAY

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – WEDNESDAY WARRIOR. #29… Leading of the Spirit… by J.C. Macauley.

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. -Romans 8:14.

We see in the book of Acts the variety of the Spirit's leading, through an assignment given by others who have the right to make it; through a definite plan, carefully and prayerfully prepared; through an urgent invitation, to which we are conscious of an inward response; and through a supernatural breaking in upon the mind. We cannot limit the Holy Spirit to any one system or method of leading.

The Holy Spirit will take such steps in leading as are necessary in any situation. If in His eyes the earnest invitation of Spirit-filled Christians is enough to indicate the will of God, He will not give us a vision, but where conditions warrant, He will not withhold even a miraculous breaking in upon us. Too many "visions" are trivial and without purpose, and their sole effect is to make their recipients unbearably proud of their spirituality. True visions are meaningful, purposeful and humbling.

The apostle Paul also was led by the Holy Spirit. Let us remember that from the first day that Paul met Christ, his motto had been, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" It was not enough that he obey the will of God in becoming a preacher, but the whole course of his life must be ordered by the Lord.

A restraint which he could not understand, but he sensed proved to be the corridor to enlargement. Troas became for Paul an outlook point from which he viewed a larger field of labor; a listing post, where he heard the cry of need rising from another continent. He did not realize what the sequel revealed, how strategic was this moment in the advance of the gospel.

He only knew that he had the leading of the Spirit for the next step in his ministry. Two great truths must have burst upon him with tremendous force. First the impulses of the human spirit must yield to the orderings of the divine Spirit; and second, the restraints of the Holy Spirit are as much a part of His leading as His constraints. . . .

1. The Holy Spirit is given to lead God's children into all the will of God.
2. He is not confined to one or two methods of leading, but has infinite variety of operation.
3. When great issues are at stake, and the situation requires it, He will give unusual, miraculous leading.
4. The basic requirements of the leading of the Spirit are desire for, and submission to, the will of God.
5. He will lead by both constraints and prohibitions. (Life in the Spirit: As Exemplified in the Acts of the Apostles pp. 48-50).

Loving Father, guard my soul from pride, my heart from callousness, and my mind from too much focus on unimportant things and not enough on your things. Teach me in my heart, by the power of the Holy Spirit, what it means to be about my Father's business, especially in the area of obedience! I ask this in the wonderful and mighty Name of Jesus. Amen.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY - CLASSICAL TESTIMONIES… HAROLD WILDISH – MAN OF FAITH!

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…

The first time that Harold Wildish tried to preach, he was eighteen years old. His audience was a group of late night English drinkers. As soon as he began to speak, a man shouted, "Sonny, does your mother know you are here? Why, you can't even grow any hair on your face."

Suddenly a man pushed his way through the crowd. It was Harold's dad. "My wife and I knew our son was out," he said. "We would far sooner see him preaching the gospel than spending his nights drinking or carousing... I'm ashamed that a man of your age would sneer at a young fellow wanting to tell others about Christ." The result was that, as Harold went home wounded, his father led the heckler to Christ. The heckler, it turned out, had a son in prison at the time.

Converted to Christ at the age of twelve, Harold had hidden the knowledge in his heart for five years. Then he heard the words "Everyone shall give an account of himself to God," and he vowed to open his mouth for Jesus.

After completing his education, he expected God to dramatically show him what to do next. No brilliant light shone from heaven, however. In desperation, he prayed one night to know God's will before midnight. He came home to find a note propped on the mantle. Someone had written him a letter quoting the great commission (which tells Christians to go into the whole world) and with it other words encouraging him to be a missionary.

Three years later, Harold received a letter from Christians in Many Lands asking him to take the place of a man who could not go to the Amazon. He had less than five dollars (one English pound) to his name. He spread the letter on his bed and asked the Lord to supply what he needed. The next morning, he received 25 pounds in a letter from a Christian businessman. "But I must have 35," he told the Lord.

The following day, he received ten more pounds (about $49) from the same businessman. "I could not sleep last night for thinking about you," wrote the man. "I believe you must need the enclosed ten pounds." And that is how it came about that on this day, June 6, 1925, Harold Wildish stepped aboard the Amakura, bound for South America with two other mission men.

They did not win any converts for a long time. God had to deliver them from Indians who would have killed them. Seeing no success, Harold became discouraged. "Why am I here?" he asked. Shortly afterward, a young woman converted to Christ. Her father brutally beat her and left her alone in the jungle to die. Harold had to ask himself if his faith could compare with hers.

The boy who spoke so awkwardly at his first attempt, went on to become a powerful evangelist. After repeated cases of malaria forced him to leave the Amazon, he turned his attention to evangelizing the West Indies. He also wrote several books about the Christian life.

As you leave the whole burden of your sin, and rest upon the finished work of Christ, so leave the whole burden of your life and service, and rest upon the present inworking of the Holy Spirit. Give yourself up... to be led by the Holy Spirit and go forward praising and at rest, leaving Him to manage you and your day. Cultivate the habit... of joyfully depending on and obeying Him, expecting Him to guide, to enlighten, to reprove, to teach, to use, and to do in and with you what He wills. Count on His working as a fact, entirely apart from sight or feeling. Only let us believe in and obey the Holy Spirit as the Ruler of our lives, and cease from the burden of trying to manage ourselves; then shall the fruit of the Spirit appear in us to the glory of God.Quote by Harold Wildish, British Bible teacher and - missionary to Jamaica, in mid-1900s

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

PS. I have found it difficult to find out what happened to Harold, I know that he married Marion Arrol, and had a son, and became an itinerant evangelist speaking many times at Keswick Conferences in the UK, and can be downloaded as MP3’s, here.

He wrote this…The Glorious Secret,
If anyone has anymore information on what happened to Harold, I would appreciate it if you could let me know.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT MONDAY – A HEART STARTER #45.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. - 1 John 1:7.


Some years ago a former American astronaut took over as head of a major airline, determined to make the airline's service the best in the industry. One day, as the new president walked through a particular department, he saw an employee resting his feet on a desk while the telephone on the desk rang incessantly.

"Aren't you going to answer that phone?" the boss demanded.

"This isn't my department," answered the employee nonchalantly, apparently not recognizing his new boss. " I work in maintenance."

"Not anymore you don't!" snapped the president. - Today in the Word.

Responsibility for others is one of the chief causes of tension in executives. To prove this idea, an experiment was conducted some time ago with two monkeys. Scientists devised a method of giving one of the monkeys "executive" training under carefully controlled laboratory conditions.

The monkey chosen for executive training was strapped in a chair with his feet on a plate capable of giving him a minor electric shock. Then they put a light over the desk and turned the light on 20 seconds before each shock. A lever was placed by the monkey's chair. If he pulled the lever after the light came on, the light would go out and there would be no shock. The executive monkey learned to avoid the shock very quickly. The scientists then placed another monkey across the room with the same setup, except that the second monkey's lever didn't work.

However, the monkeys soon learned that the first monkey's lever would work for both, turning off the second monkey's light and protecting him from shock as well. This made the first monkey an executive, since he was now responsible for preventing shock for the second one. The first monkey was intelligent. He quickly took over, protecting both himself and his colleague from shock, responding to both lights or either light without difficulty.

There was no outward change in either monkey as the experiment continued, but after awhile the executive monkey, responding to the stress of responsibility for another, developed stomach ulcers. The second monkey's health remained unchanged. The price of greatness is responsibility. - Source Unknown.

Our Responsibility…
G. Campbell Morgan observes, "When once the Lord has been seen and crowned there is a progressive operation of the Spirit in the life of the believer. The Spirit reveals the Christ to you in some new aspect as you read His Word, as you meditate upon Him, and the moment you see Christ in some new glory, that vision makes a demand upon you. What are you going to do with it? Answer it, obey it, and the Spirit realizes in you the thing you have seen in Christ.



The Spirit is always unveiling Christ. Your responsibility and mine if we would cooperate with Him in witness is that we obey when He speaks. When Christ is seen in a new light, the light is calling you to obey its claim. Answer it and you will become the thing you have seen. Deny it and you will sink to lower levels. This is His method, line upon line, here a little and there a little, grace for grace, beauty for beauty.

Man, you have never seen Christ, nor have I. I have seen something of Him, like a blind man walking to his first vision I have seen men as trees walking. I have seen more and more of the beauty of my Lord as the Spirit has unveiled Him, but I have never seen all the glory. I could not bear it yet. So little by little the Spirit patiently leads us on. Our responsibility is that when light comes we walk in it. When the trumpet call of truth sounds in our souls we must answer it. The Spirit's office--and He never fails--is to reveal Christ. Our duty is to answer the revelation, and when we do so, the Spirit becomes more than illumination, He becomes dynamic and makes us that which we obey.

Soul of mine, answer the light. Obey the Spirit. Do not resist, do not grieve, do not quench the Spirit, and thou . . . shall be made like Him. . . the Spirit witnessing in me, I become the instrument through which the Spirit witnesses to the world. Where? Anywhere! When? Everywhen!

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 power of the Holy Spirit, to accept our responsibilities when they come about.

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 and inspirations that I have just read. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

SUNDAY SERMON ON THE BLOG – GOD’S GENEROSITY, GRACE, AND LOVE.

You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today. - Deuteronomy 8:17-18.

What do we have that wasn't given to us, either by God's generous grace, unexpected blessing, disciplining hardship, providential opportunity, or good health?

And when we stand before the throne of judgment, what will our claim to grace be? Our claimon grace is based only God's generous and loving gifts that have made us pure, holy, and whole! Nothing we possess, accomplish, or buy can give us such a claim.

Only God's generosity, grace, and love can bring heaven's greatest gifts to us.

Loving Heavenly Father, I thank you for your wonderful and extravagant blessings. All that I have, all that I am, and all that I ever hope to be, exists only because of the mercy or grace you have lavished upon me. I thank you again, in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.

Be encouraged.
GBYAY

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Friday, August 24, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT FRIDAY – A CHEERFUL HEART #67.

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…

Two Jewish gentlemen, long-time friends, happened to meet, and one noticed that the other seemed depressed."What's wrong?" he asked.

"There's terrible trouble in my family, " the first fellow said. "I sent my son to Israel so that he would come home a better Jew and believe it or not, he came home a Christian."

"It's funny that you should mention that," said the second man. "Exactly the same thing happened to me. I sent my son to Israel so that he'd become a better Jew, and he too, came home a Christian.

"They both decided to seek the advice of their rabbi. They went and told their rabbi what had happened in their families."It's funny that you should mention that," said the rabbi, "because exactly the same thing happened in our family. I sent my only son to Israel in hope that he would become a better Jew, and, believe it not, he also came home a Christian."

At that, the three men fell to their knees, and with tears streaming down their faces, addressed God the Father Almighty directly.

When each of them told the Lord their stories, they heard a voice from heaven reply: "It's funny that you should mention that . . ."
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The Brutal Truth…
A man called up a bible believing church and the church secretary answered the call. The man on the other end of the line said, "I'd like to speak to the head hog."
The secretary replied, "That wasn't a very nice thing to say about our beloved minister, Rev. Jones." Again the man replied, "I'd like to speak to the head hog, because I'm going to donate £75,000.00 to the church.
She replied, "Hold on a moment, I think the big fat pig just walked in."
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A Strange Combination…
What do you get when you cross an atheist with a Jehovahs Witness?
Someone who knocks at your door for no apparent reason.
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The Angry Atheist…
The story is told of the Atheist who accosted a preacher. "Do you believe in eternal life?"
The preacher has no time to reply.
"Well its a load of rubbish!" shouted the Atheist. "I believe in science, evolution, survival of the fittest, and when we die, that's it! No eternal life, no great judgement, and no God!" The Atheist continues his assault against the preacher repetitiously and tirelessly. "Eternal life! Eternal life! Ha! "Its all pie in the sky when you die." When I die that's it, the end, no eternal life, no nothing. He continues, until he reaches his climax, "I will be buried six feet under when I die and that's it! Nothing! Caput! When I die I am utterly convinced that that will be the end of me!"
"Well thank God for that" replies the preacher!
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Domestic Problems…
Adam was walking outside of the Garden of Eden with Cane and Abel when the boys were young.
Cane and Abel looked into the garden and viewed waterfalls, lovely birds, lush forests and fruit trees bending over because of the large amounts of fruit on them.
Then they took a long look at where they lived at. It was dry, dusty with weeds and sickly-looking trees.
"Daddy? Why don't we live in there instead of out here?" they asked innocently.
Adam said, "Well sons. Eve and I use to live in there at one time. But your mother ate us out of house and home."
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Good Sermon…
After a very long and boring sermon the parishioners filed out of the church saying nothing to the preacher.
Towards the end of the line was a thoughtful person who always commented on the sermons. "Pastor, today your sermon reminded me of the peace and love of God!"
The pastor was thrilled. "No-one has ever said anything like that about my preaching before. Tell me why."
"Well - it reminded me of the Peace of God because it passed all understanding and the Love of God because it endured forever!"
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ADVICE…
Forget each kindness that you do as soon as you have done it.
Forget the praise that falls to you the moment you have won it.
Forget the slander that you hear before you can repeat it.
Forget each slight, each spite, each sneer, whenever you may meet.
Remember every promise made and keep it to the letter.
Remember those who lend you aid and be a grateful debtor.
Remember all the happiness that comes your way in living.
Forget each worry and distress; be hopeful and forgiving.
Remember good, remember truth, remember heaven is above you.
And you will find, through age and youth, that many will love you.
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Christian Science Healing…
A leader in a Christian Science church was talking to a member of his congregation: "And how is your husband today?"
"I'm afraid he's very ill."
"No, no," corrected the leader, "You really shouldn't say that - you should say that he's under the impression that he's very ill.
" The woman nods in agreement, "Yes, I'll remember next time."
A few weeks later the leader saw the woman again. "And how is your husband at the moment?"

"Well", she replied, "he's under the impression that he's dead!"

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, August 23, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – THURSDAY THOUGHTS #29… FIRE! By E. M. Bounds.

“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. - Mat 3:11.

Zeal is a contagious, but not a popular, element. Our fathers took their tea piping hot; we take ours iced. Iced Christianity is more popular and tasteful than iced tea. We can endure in our churches enough warmth to take the chill off, but more than this is offensive. We have added many good elements to our preaching, but these cannot make up for the loss of fervor. The average mind can only be moved to action by a flame. Some men may pull through to heaven on a cold collar, but they are the exception. A dwindling flame destroys the vital and aggressive forces in church life.

God must be represented by a fiery church or he is not truly represented. God is all on fire, and his church, if it be like Him, must also be aflame with the great and eternal interests of religion. Zeal need not be fussy to be consuming and forceful. Christ was as far removed as possible from nervous excitability, the very opposite of intolerant or clamorous zeal, and yet the zeal of God's house consumed him. The lack of ardor in Christian profession or action is a sure sign of the want of depth and intensity.

The lack of fire is the sure sign of the lack of God's presence. To abate fervor is to retire God. God can tolerate many things in the way of infirmity or error. He can pardon much when one is repentant, but two things are intolerable to Him, insincerity and lukewarmness. Lack of heart and lack of heat are the things that He loathes. "I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth," is God's judgment on our lack of fire in the Church.

Fire is the motor that moves the Christian life. Christian principles that are not aflame have neither force nor perfume. Flame is the wing by which faith ascends, and fervency is the soul of prayer. Love is kindled in a flame, and fire is the air that true religion breathes. It feeds on fire. Christianity can stand anything better than a feeble flame.

Christian character needs to be set on fire. Lack of heat makes more infidels than lack of faith. Not to be in fiery earnest about the things of heaven is not to be about them at all. The fiery souls are the ones that win in the heavenly fight. Nothing short of red hot can keep the glow of heaven in these chilly times. We must grasp the live coal and covet the consuming flame.

Loving Heavenly Father, I thank you for my life in Jesus Christ; Help me Holy Spirit, set me on fire that I may produce fruit in my life. For your glory Lord, and for the extension of your Kingdom, in Jesus wonderful and mighty name I pray, amen!

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – WEDNESDAY WARRIOR. #28… LET’S RENEW OUR THINKING!

Dr. J. Elder Cumming contended that "in almost every case the beginning of new blessing is a new revelation of the character of God--more beautiful, more wonderful, more precious." - J.O. Sanders.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. - Romans 12:2.

The motor home has allowed us to put all the conveniences of home on wheels. A camper no longer needs to contend with sleeping in a sleeping bag, cooking over a fire, or hauling water from a stream. Now he can park a fully equipped home on a cement slab in the midst of a few pine trees and hook up to a water line, a sewer line and electricity.

One motor home I saw recently had a satellite dish attached on top. No more bother with dirt, no more smoke from the fire, no more drudgery of walking to the stream. Now it is possible to go camping and never have to go outside. We buy a motor home with the hope of seeing new places, of getting out into the world.

Yet we deck it out with the same furnishings as in our living room. Thus nothing really changes. We may drive to a new place, set ourselves in new surrounding, but the newness goes unnoticed, for we've only carried along our old setting.

The adventure of new life in Christ begins when the comfortable patterns of the old life are left behind. - David Roher.


Don't be fashioned by this world, don’t start to think like the devil’s children! Wow, isn't that a tough one to obey? It's a reminder to us, that what we think is one of the places of greatest spiritual warfare. Sloppy thinking is more than sloppy; it's dangerous, because we are fed messages that constantly distort God's truth, and holy values.

By the help of the power of the Holy Spirit, we can produce a spirit that should not find pleasure in the showiness and self-importance of this World; and which will regard all futile amusements and frivolities with abhorrence. We need to renew our mind to find pleasure in the things of God, by soaking in the Godly values that His word provides for us, a Holy mind with decent friends, decent conversations, and decent relationships.

All across this country, the undermining and destruction of the values that children were taught at home is going on in public schools. One of the first things a family tries to teach its children is the difference between right and wrong. One of the first things our schools try to destroy is that distinction.

The up-to-date way to carry on the destruction of traditional values is to claim to be solving some social problem like drugs, AIDS or teen-age pregnancy. Only those few people who have the time to research what is actually being done in "drug education," "sex education" or "death education" courses know what an utter fraud these labels are. For those are courses about how right and wrong are outmoded notions, about how your parents' ideas are no guide for you, and about how each person must start from scratch to develop his or her own way of behaving. - Thomas Sowell.


But rather than being exasperated by this world acting like the world, let's be transformed, by the renewal our minds, and doing what Paul said he did, take every thought, every word, captive for Christ, keeping in mind… Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here. - 2Co 5:17.

London businessman Lindsay Clegg told the story of a warehouse property he was selling. The building had been empty for months and needed repairs. Vandals had damaged the doors, smashed the windows, and strewn trash around the interior.

As he showed a prospective buyer the property, Clegg took pains to say that he would replace the broken windows, bring in a crew to correct any structural damage, and clean out the garbage.


"Forget about the repairs," the buyer said. "When I buy this place, I'm going to build something completely different. I don't want the building; I want the site."

Compared with the renovation God has in mind, our efforts to improve our own lives are as trivial as sweeping a warehouse slated for the wrecking ball. When we become God's, the old life is over, He makes all things new. All he wants is the site and the permission to build. - Ian L. Wilson.

We often think a tithe is giving ten percent of our money, but an even more vital tithe, is giving ten percent of our thought time, totally to the things of God!

Loving Father, guard my soul from pride, my heart from callousness, and my mind from too much focus on unimportant things and not enough on your things. Teach me in my heart, by the power of the Holy Spirit, what it means to be about my Father's business, especially in the world of my thoughts! I ask this in the wonderful and mighty Name of Jesus. Amen.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Monday, August 20, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY - CLASSICAL TESTIMONIES… John and Betty Stam: Martyred Missionaries.

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…

The year 1934. Americans John and Betty Stam were serving as missionaries in China. One morning Betty was bathing her three-month-old daughter Helen Priscilla Stam when Tsingteh's city magistrate appeared. Communist forces were near, he warned, and urged the Stams to flee. So John Stam went out to investigate the situation for himself. He received conflicting reports. Taking no chances, he arranged for Betty and the baby to be escorted away to safety if need be. But before the Stams could make their break, the Communists were inside the city. By little-known paths, they had streamed over the mountains behind government troops. Now gun shots sounded in the streets as looting began. The enemy beat on the Stams' own gate.

A faithful cook and maid at the mission station had stayed behind. The Stams knelt with them in prayer. But the invaders were pounding at the door. John opened it and spoke courteously to the four leaders who entered, asking them if they were hungry. Betty brought them tea and cakes. The courtesy meant nothing. They demanded all the money the Stams had, and John handed it over. As the men bound him, he pleaded for the safety of his wife and child. The Communists left Betty and Helen behind as they led John off to their headquarters.

Before long, they reappeared, demanding mother and child. The maid and cook pleaded to be allowed to accompany Betty.
"No," barked the captors, and threatened to shoot.
"It is better for you to stay here," Betty whispered.
"If anything happens to us, look after the baby."

Betty was led to her husband's side. Little Helen needed some things and John was allowed to return home under guard to fetch them. But everything had been stolen. That night John was allowed to write a letter to mission authorities.
"My wife, baby and myself are today in the hands of the Communists in the city of Tsingteh. Their demand is twenty thousand dollars for our release. . . . We were too late. The Lord bless and guide you. As for us, may God be glorified, whether by life or by death."

Prisoners in the local jail were released to make room for the Stams. Frightened by rifle fire, the baby cried out. One of the Reds said, "Let's kill the baby. It is in our way." A bystander asked,
"Why kill her? What harm has she done?"
"Are you a Christian?"
shouted one of the guards.
The man said he was not; he was one of the prisoners just released.
"Will you die for this foreign baby?" they asked. As Betty hugged Helen to her chest, the man was hacked to pieces before her eyes.

Terror in the Streets
The next morning their captors led the Stams toward Miaosheo, twelve miles distant. John carried little Helen, but Betty, who was not physically strong, owing to a youthful bout with inflammatory rheumatitis was allowed to ride a horse part of the way. Terror reigned in the streets of Miaosheo. Under guard, the foreign family was hustled into the postmaster's shop.
"Where are you going?" asked the postmaster, who recognized them from their previous visits to his town. "We do not know where they are going, but we are going to heaven," answered John. He left a letter with the postmaster. "I tried to persuade them to let my wife and baby go back from Tsingteh with a letter to you, but they would not let her. . . ."

That night the three were held in the house of a wealthy man who had fled. They were guarded by soldiers. John was tied to a post all that cold night, but Betty was allowed enough freedom to tend the baby. As it turned out, she did more than that.

Execution
The next morning the young couple were led through town without the baby. Their hands were tightly bound, and they were stripped of their outer garments as if they were common criminals. John walked barefoot. He had given his socks to Betty. The soldiers jeered and called the town’s folk to come see the execution. The terrified people obeyed. On the way to the execution, a medicine-seller, considered a lukewarm Christian at best, stepped from the crowd and pleaded for the lives of the two foreigners. The Reds angrily ordered him back. The man would not be stilled. His house was searched, a Bible and hymnbook found, and he, too was dragged away to die as a hated Christian.

John pleaded for the man’s life. The Red leader sharply ordered him to kneel. As John was speaking softly, the Red leader swung his sword through the missionary’s throat so that his head was severed from his body. Betty did not scream. She quivered and fell bound beside her husband’s body. As she knelt there, the same sword ended her life with a single blow.

Betty
Betty Scott was born in the United States but reared in China as the daughter of missionaries. She came to the United States and attended Wilson College in Pennsylvania. Betty prepared to follow in her parents’ footsteps and work in China or wherever else the Lord directed her. But China it proved to be. At a prayer meeting for China, she met John Stam and a friendship developed that ripened into love. Painfully they recognized that marriage was not yet possible. “The China Inland Mission has appealed for men, single men, to work in sections where it would be impossible to take a woman until more settled work has commenced,” wrote John. He committed the matter to the Lord, whose work, he felt, must come before any human affection. At any rate, Betty would be leaving for China before him, to work in an entirely different region, and so they must be separated anyhow. As a matter of fact, John had not yet even been accepted by the China Inland Mission whereas Betty had. They parted after a long tender day, sharing their faith, picnicking, talking, and praying.

Betty sailed while John continued his studies. On July 1, 1932, John, too, was accepted for service in China. Now at least he could head toward the same continent as Betty. He sailed for Shanghai.Meanwhile, Betty found her plans thwarted. A senior missionary had been captured by the Communists in the region where she was to have worked. The mission directors decided to keep her in a temporary station, and later ill-health brought her to Shanghai. Thus without any choice on her part, she was in Shanghai when John landed in China. Immediately they became engaged and a year later were married, long before they expected it. In October, 1934 Helen Priscilla was born to them. What would become of her now that her parents John and Betty were dead?

Pastor Lo In the Hills
For two days, local Christians huddled in hiding in the hills around Miaosheo. Among them was a Chinese evangelist named Mr. Lo. Through informants, he learned that the Communists had captured two foreigners. At first he did not realize that these were John and Betty Stam, with whom he had worked, but as he received more details, he put two and two together. As soon as government troops entered the valley and it was safe to venture forth, Mr. Lo hurried to town. His questions met with silence. Everyone was fearful that spies might report anyone who said too much.

An old woman whispered to Pastor Lo that there was a baby left behind. She nodded in the direction of the house where John and Betty had been chained their last night on earth. Pastor Lo hurried to the site and found room after room trashed by the bandits. Then he heard a muffled cry. Tucked by her mother in a little sleeping bag, Helen was warm and alive, although hungry after her two day fast.

The kindly pastor took the child in his arms and carried her to his wife. With the help of a local Christian family, he wrapped the bodies that still lay upon the hillside and placed them into coffins. To the crowd that gathered he explained that the missionaries had only come to tell them how they might find forgiveness of sin in Christ. Leaving others to bury the dead, he hurried home. Somehow Helen had to be gotten to safety.

Pastor Lo's own son, a boy of four, was desperately ill -- semi-conscious after days of exposure. Pastor Lo had to find a way to carry the children a hundred miles through mountains infested by bandits and Communists. Brave men were found willing to help bear the children to safety, but there was no money to pay them for their efforts. Lo had been robbed of everything he had.

From Beyond the Grave
But from beyond the grave, Betty provided. Tucked in Helen's sleeping bag were a change of clothes and some diapers. Pinned between these articles of clothing were two five dollar bills. It made the difference.
Placing the children in rice baskets slung from the two ends of a bamboo pole, the group departed quietly, taking turns carrying the precious cargo over their shoulders. Mrs. Lo was able to find Chinese mothers along the way to nurse Helen. On foot, they came safely through their perils. Lo's own boy recovered consciousness suddenly and sat up, singing a hymn.

Eight days after the Stams fell into Communist hands, another missionary in a nearby city heard a rap at his door. He opened it and a Chinese woman, stained with travel, entered the house, bearing a bundle in her arms. "This is all we have left," she said brokenly.

The missionary took the bundle and turned back the blanket to uncover the sleeping face of Helen Priscilla Stam. Many kind hands had labored to preserve the infant girl, but none kinder than Betty who had spared no effort for her baby even as she herself faced degradation and death.

What Happened to Helen?
Kathleen White has written an excellent and very readable biography John and Betty Stam, available from Bethany House Publishers (1988). She reports that Betty's alma mater, Wilson College in Pennsylvania, took over baby Helen's support and covered the costs of her college education. She added: "Helen is living in this country (USA) with her husband and family but does not wish her identity and whereabouts to be made known."

Are you willing to do whatever it takes and give your all to win the lost to Christ? Then like, John and Betty Stam, 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 lives of John and Betty Stam, and I pray that anyone reading this may be inspired by their testimony to give their life to you, and that you would use them in the same way, as you used John and Betty. 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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DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT MONDAY – A HEART STARTER #44.

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. - John 3:16-17.

There are two hundred and fifty-six names given in the Bible for the Lord Jesus Christ, and I suppose this was because He was infinitely beyond all that any one name could express. - Billy Sunday.

Meaning no disrespect to the religious convictions of others, I still can't help wondering how we can explain away what to me is the greatest miracle of all and which is recorded in history. No one denies there was such a man, that he lived and that he was put to death by crucifixion.

Where...is the miracle I spoke of? Well consider this and let your imagination translate the story into our own time -- possibly to your own home town. A young man whose father is a carpenter grows up working in his father's shop. One day he puts down his tools and walks out of his father's shop.

He starts preaching on street corners and in the nearby countryside, walking from place to place, preaching all the while, even though he is not an ordained minister. He does this for three years. Then he is arrested, tried and convicted. There is no court of appeal, so he is executed at age 33 along with two common thieves. Those in charge of his execution roll dice to see who gets his clothing -- the only possessions he has. His family cannot afford a burial place for him so he is interred in a borrowed tomb.

End of story? No, this uneducated, propertyless young man who... left no written word has, for 2000 years, had a greater effect on the world than all the rulers, kings, emperors; all the conquerors, generals and admirals, all the scholars, scientists and philosophers who have ever lived -- all of them put together. How do we explain that? Unless he really was who he said he was." - Ronald Reagan.

If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator; If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist; If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist; If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer; But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior. – Source unknown.

Wow! Now that our hearts are beating regularly, let’s consider what we have just read over a cup of Java, and ask the Lord to help us by the power of the Holy Spirit, to keep praying for the lost souls of humanity.

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 and inspirations that I have just read. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

SUNDAY SERMON ON THE BLOG – BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS!

Do not envy the violent or choose any of their ways. For the Lord detests the perverse but takes the upright into his confidence. - Proverbs 3:31-32.

While many are seeking a cure for the rampaging violence that destroys lives, threatens schools, and makes our streets unsafe, why has no one bothered to remind us what God's wise servant taught us centuries ago?

Let's not let any person, real or fictional, be our hero if his or her fame is built on violence. The son of Israel's most famous warrior understood this better than anyone.


Surely the Son of the Most Powerful on High said it best: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

Loving Heavenly Father, save us from the violence of our culture, and the worship of violence that pervades our land. Please give us heroes who are true peacemakers. In addition, by the power of the Holy Spirit, please give us eyes to see them, and the courage to honor them. In ask this in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.

Be encouraged.
GBYAY

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Friday, August 17, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT FRIDAY – A CHEERFUL HEART #66.

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…

The Positive Side of Life…

Living on Earth is expensive, but it does include a free trip around the sun every year.
How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on.
Birthdays are good for you; the more you have, the longer you live.Happiness comes through doors you didn't even know you left open.
Ever notice that the people who are late are often much jollier than the people who have to wait for them?Most of us go to our grave with our music still inside of us.
If Wal-Mart is lowering prices every day, how come nothing is free yet?
You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.
Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.
Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened.
We could learn a lot from crayons: some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, some have weird names, and all are different colors....but they all exist very nicely in the same box.
A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.
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TOP TEN SIGNS YOU MAY NOT BE READING YOUR BIBLE ENOUGH:

10) The Preacher announces the sermon is from Galatians ... and you check the table of contents.
9) You think Abraham, Isaac & Jacob may have had a few hit songs during the 60's.
8) You open to the Gospel of Luke and a WWII Savings Bond falls out.
7) Your favorite Old Testament Patriarch is Hercules.
6) A small family of woodchucks has taken up residence in the Psalms of your Bible.
5) You become frustrated because Charlton Heston isn't listed in either the Concordance or the Table of Contents.
4) Catching the kids reading the Song of Solomon, you demand: "Who gave you this stuff?"
3) You think the Minor Prophets worked in the quarries.
2) You keep falling for it every time when Pastor tells you to turn to First Condominium.
And the number one sign you may not be reading your Bible enough:1) The kids keep asking too many questions about your usual bedtime story: "Jonah the Shepherd Boy and His Ark of Many Colors."
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One balmy day in the South Pacific, a navy ship espied smoke coming from one of three huts on an uncharted island. Upon arriving at the shore they were met by a shipwreck survivor. He said, "I'm so glad you're here! I've been alone on this island for more than five years!"

The captain replied, "If you're all alone on the island why do I see THREE huts."

The survivor said, "Oh. We'll, I live in one, and go to church in another."

"What about the THIRD hut?" asked the captain.

"That's where I USED to go to church."
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An alcoholic became a believer, was asked how he could possibly believe all the nonsense in the Bible about miracles. "You don't believe that Jesus changed the water into wine do you?" "I sure do, because in our house Jesus changed the whiskey into furniture." - R. Stedman
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An archaeologist was digging in the Negev Desert in Israel and came upon a casket containing a mummy. After examining it, he called the curator of a prestigious natural-history museum."I've just discovered a 3,000 year-old mummy of a man who died of heart failure!" the excited scientist exclaimed.

To which the curator replied, "Bring him in. We'll check it out."

A week later, the amazed curator called the archaeologist. "You were right about the mummy's age and cause of death. How in the world did you know?"
"Easy. There was a piece of paper in his hand that said, '10,000 Shekels on Goliath'."
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A small country church was searching for a new pastor to carry on for their pastor who was retiring.After reviewing several resumes they had narrowed down their choice to a pastor who seemed to be perfect for their tiny congregation.

So they visited the prospective pastor at his current church.That morning he delivered his sermon in just five minutes! The deacons were impressed that he was able to be so quick and precise with the message.

Pleased with this they invited the prospective pastor to preach at their church so the entire congregation could meet him. He preached his "evaluation" sermon in just under twelve minutes! The deacons decided that very day that this was indeed the man that God had chosen for them. Quick, precise, right to the point and right to lunch. The new pastor received a unanimous call.

On his first Sunday at his new church the pastor arrived a little late. He took his place in the pulpit and apologized for his tardiness. At once he commenced his sermon. TWO HOURS later he concluded his sermon.

This concerned the deacons and they called the pastor in to a closed meeting that evening."When we visited you at your previous church you preached for 5 minutes. When you preached for us here as a visiting pastor you preached for 12 minutes. Now that you are our new pastor you preached for TWO HOURS. Why? What is different?"

The pastor considered their question and responded. "When you visited me at my old church I had just had several teeth pulled in preparation to get dentures. My mouth was very sore and 5 minutes was all I could do. When I visited here and preached I had just gotten my new dentures and was trying to adjust to them. 12 minutes was all I could stand. This morning I awoke late. In my rush to get to church I accidentally put in my wifes' dentures instead of my own."

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, August 16, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – THURSDAY THOUGHTS #27… SALVATION.

The thief had nails through both hands, so that he could not work; and a nail through each foot, so that he could not run errands for the Lord; he could not lift a hand or a foot toward his salvation, and yet Christ offered him the gift of God; and he took it. Christ threw him a passport, and took him into Paradise. - D. L. Moody.

Three elements of personality are involved in making a decision to become a Christian, or in making any significant decision for that matter. They are the emotions, the intellect, and the will.

For example, a young man meets a young woman. They are immediately attracted to one another. They both say to themselves, "Now there is someone I'd like to marry." At that point, if the emotions had their way, there would be a wedding.

But the intellect intervenes, questioning the impulsive emotional response. Would we be compatible? What is she really like? Can I afford to support her? Both conclude it would be better to take some more time and answer a few questions before they proceed.

So the two begin spending more time with each other. He eventually concludes that she is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. Now his intellect has sided with the emotions on the idea of marriage.

But the final and heaviest vote remains to be cast -- that of the will. It stops the march toward the altar with the questions, "Am I willing to give up this lifestyle for another? What about my freedom -- is it worth the trade? Am I willing to assume the added responsibility?"

The marriage will occur only when the will finally agrees with the emotions and the intellect. And so it is in coming to Christ. - Jim Peterson, Living Proof.


The Roman's Road to Salvation has been a traditional way of leading persons to faith in Christ for many years. Here is a brief outline of that plan…

1. Every human being is a sinner… For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. - Romans 3:23.

2. God's penalty for sin is death… For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 6:23.

3. In His great love, God has made provision for the salvation of sinners... But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.- Romans 5:8.

4. Each person must put his trust in God's Son, Jesus Christ... If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. - Romans 10:9-10.

“Lord Jesus, I thank you for dying on the cross for my sins, forgive me for my sins, fill me with your Holy Spirit. I open the door of my heart and receive you as my Lord and Saviour. Lead me to a Church that will help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to follow you all the days of my life, in your mighty name I pray. Amen"

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – WEDNESDAY WARRIOR! #27… To Kill an American!

So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. - Luke 5:7.

Written by an Australian Dentist. (HT) THE MIDNIGHT SUN.

You probably missed this in the rush of news, but there was actually a report that someone in Pakistan had published in a newspaper, an offer of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any American.

So an Australian dentist wrote an editorial the following day to let everyone know what an American is. So they would know when they found one. (Good one, mate!!!!)

An American is English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be Canadian, Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or Pakistani or Afghan.

An American may also be a Comanche, Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot, Navaho, Apache, Seminole or one of the many other tribes known as native Americans.

An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim. In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them chooses.

An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God.

An American lives in the most prosperous land in the history of the world. The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence , which recognizes the God given right of each person to the pursuit of happiness.

An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need, never asking a thing in return. When Afghanistan was over-run by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country!

As of the morning of September 11, Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan.

Americans welcome the best of everything… the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best services. But they also welcome the least.

The national symbol of America, The Statue of Liberty, welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest tossed. These in fact are the people who built America.

Some of them were working in the Twin Towers the morning of September 11, 2001 earning a better life for their families. It’s been told that the World Trade Center victims were from at least 30 different countries, cultures, and first languages, including those that aided and abetted the terrorists.

So you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General Tojo, and Stalin, and Mao Tse-tung, and other blood-thirsty tyrants in the world. But, in doing so you would just be killing yourself. Because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place.

They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American.

Thank you , Australia!

Loving Heavenly Father, I thank you for the American spirit, and I thank you that I am born again when I accepted you as my Lord and Saviour. Jesus you are the Lord of lord’s and the King of king’s. By the power of the Holy Spirit help me to be consumed with Jesus, so that I can serve you and my brothers and sisters in Christ, which 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, August 14, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY - CLASSICAL TESTIMONIES… Eric Liddell; Finishing His Race!


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…

Athletes all around the world dream of winning Olympic gold. It is the ultimate achievement, the pinnacle of success. Imagine you are at the top of your game, the best in the world, if only for a short while. But what do you do next? How do you top an experience that exhilarating? What else can command the single-minded focus and energy that was once given over to the dream of winning Olympic gold?

Few Olympians have responded to these questions as did Eric Liddell. Millions have seen the story of his Olympic triumph portrayed in the film Chariots of Fire, but the movie tells only a part of Eric's heroic story. Following his stunning victory in the Olympic 400-meter dash in Paris in 1924, Eric chose to follow God's call as a missionary in China. Here is the rest of his story...

After the Race
Eric returned from the Paris Olympics a national hero, but he did not choose to live the life of a professional athlete. The following year, at the age of 23, he returned to China, the land of his birth, to join his parents and his older brother Rob on the mission field. After 14 days on the Trans-Siberian Railway, Eric arrived at his destination. His first assignment was teaching at the Anglo-Chinese College in Tientsen. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he was also Sunday school superintendent at Union Church, where his father was the pastor.

Marriage in Mind
Before long, Florence Mackenzie caught Eric's eye. Under normal circumstances, Eric would have probably begun a traditional courtship, but circumstances were not normal. Florence was only seventeen years old (Eric was 27 at the time) and a senior in high school. Because he did not feel he could single her out, Eric befriended the whole senior class at Florence's school. This way, when he invited them to tea or an outing, his attentions to Florence would not appear suspicious.

That year, affection grew into love, and Eric asked Florence to marry him the following summer. She accepted, but the wedding would not occur for several years. That fall, Florence returned to Canada to begin her training as a nurse. While Flo was pursuing her education, Eric returned to Great Britain on furlough and was ordained as a minister in July of 1932. Following his ordination, he spent six weeks with Flo and her family in Toronto, and their wedding date was set for March 1934. By September of 1932, Eric had returned to Tientsen.

Two Names in a Hat
Two years passed quickly, and Eric and Flo were married at Union Church in Tientsen on March 27, 1934. Patricia Liddell was born about a year later, and Heather joined her older sister Patricia within two years of her parents' marriage.

Florence Liddell was fond of recounting the story of how Heather got her name. Although Eric wanted to name his daughter Heather after the purple flowering shrub that grew in his native Scotland, Flo was less than enthusiastic about the name. Eric offered to solve the dilemma by putting both his choice and Flo's into a hat. They agreed that their daughter's name would be whichever was drawn from the hat. When the name "Heather" was drawn, Flo stood by their agreement and announced that would be their daughter's name. But Eric could not keep a straight face. He reached into the hat and withdrew the other slip of paper, which also had "Heather" written on it!

What is sometimes missed in talking about Eric the athlete or Eric the missionary is his sense of humor and deep devotion to his family. His oldest daughter, Patricia, once stated that the most important thing she remembered about her parents was their great sense of joy together.

Increasing Danger in China
Although the Liddell family's happiness shone brightly for all to see, around them clouds of unrest and threats of war darkened the horizon. As China sought to control her own destiny, fighting ensued between Communist and nationalist factions. In addition to internal conflict, there was also the threat of an invasion from Japan.

The London Mission Society approached Eric about the possibility of leaving the city and ministering to those in the war-torn Chinese countryside. Siao Chang on Northern China's Great Plain was one of the hardest hit areas. Eric's brother was already working in the hospital there, and Eric agreed to join him. It was not an easy decision, however. Eric knew that it would be unsafe to bring Flo and the girls to Siao Chang, so he reluctantly parted with them.

Challenges at Siao Chang
In December of 1937, Eric boarded a boat to make the ten-day journey to Siao Chang. There, he stayed in the mission compound he had once lived in as a small boy when his parents ministered in the area. The Chinese called him by the same name they had once called his father‚ Li Mu Shi. Li was a shortened form of his last name and Mu Shi was the Chinese term for "pastor."

Upon his arrival, Eric was faced with the enormity of the task to which he had been appointed. Siao Chang was the center for mission activity in the surrounding area of over ten thousand villages. Eric's responsibilities included traveling from village to village, encouraging the Chinese Christians and holding evangelistic meetings for those who had never heard the Gospel. Eric and his interpreter, Wang Feng Chou, traveled the countryside on bicycle. Often, however, the road was rough and potholed, and it was not uncommon for Eric to return from a trip with his body covered with bruises from falls sustained on the rough roads.

Eric's influence was quickly felt in this war-torn area. Before his arrival, the London Missionary Society Hospital refused to treat Communist and Japanese soldiers for fear of angering the Chinese government. But Eric helped anyone who needed help, regardless of their affiliations. When asked why he helped "the enemy," Eric answered simply that they were loved by God. Others soon began following his example.

Parting from Family
In 1939, Eric and Flo left China on furlough. They took Heather and Patricia to meet family members in both Canada and the UK. But when they returned to China the following year, they found that unrest and violence had increased while they were gone. Siao Chang was now occupied by the Japanese military, and conditions had deteriorated considerably. It was soon evident to Eric that he and his family were not safe in China. He was shot at on the road, and when he witnessed a doctor being beaten by a Japanese soldier, he realized that even the hospital was not safe.

A mere five months after his return to Siao Chang, the Japanese ordered all foreigners to evacuate the area. Returning to Tientsen to be with his family, Eric realized that conditions were not much better there. Flo was expecting their third child, and they reluctantly decided that it would be safer for her and the girls to leave China. Eric would stay in China and continue his ministry, but the rest of his family would travel to Canada and remain there until the war ended.

Ministry in Captivity
By 1942, it seemed to Eric that he could no longer minister effectively in China. The Japanese had banned meetings of more than ten people and quarantined foreigners with electrified fences. Eric had hopes that he would soon be able to join his family in Canada, but in March of 1943, all foreigners that Japan considered its enemies were ordered to prepare for detention in the Weihsien Internment Camp. Eric never saw freedom again.

Rather than resenting his captivity, however, Eric found numerous ways to serve others, especially the young people, and make their captivity lighter. When one of the teenage girls expressed an interest in chemistry, Eric took it upon himself to organize a chemistry class. Since there were no textbooks or equipment, he spent hours sketching equipment and detailing the results of experiments they could not perform. Eric also organized athletic events for the children, and his door was always open to any of them who needed him. His fellow prisoners would remember Eric as a man who did whatever he could to help people, and they were especially impressed by the way he lived out the Sermon on the Mount.But while Eric was helping the children of Weihsien, his own children were missing him, almost as much as he was missing them.

Florence gave birth to their third daughter, Maureen, after leaving China, and it bothered Eric greatly that he never held his youngest daughter in his arms. Eric poured his heart out in his letters to his family, and he told Flo in a letter on March 27, 1944, that she seemed "very near today." Eric's oldest daughter, Patricia, often asked tearfully why her father was not with her. This question remained unanswered in her mind until she met the children her father helped in the internment camp. Many of them were separated from their parents, and as Patricia realized, God used her father to help ease their suffering.

A Final Request
In the winter of 1944, Eric's friends began to notice changes. His quick and witty repartee slowed, and he thought before speaking, something they were not used to. Eric was not one to complain, but he mentioned severe headaches with increasing frequency. It became evident that he was severely ill. He was soon confined to the infirmary, and his health quickly deteriorated. Knowing this, some of his friends who had formed a Salvation Army Band stood outside his window to play for him. Eric requested to hear Sibelius' tune "Finlandia," usually sung with the text "Be Still, My Soul." The lyrics to this song are especially poignant, considering that Eric died just a few weeks later.

Be Still, My Soul
Be still, my soul! The Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide.
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul! Thy best, thy heavenly friend,
Through thorny ways, leads to a joyful end.


Be still, my soul! The hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul! When change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Eric's Legacy
Although Eric was acclaimed as a national hero because of how he ran his Olympic race in Paris on July 11, 1924, this is not why we remember him as a hero. Dozens of other Olympians won gold in the 1924 games, and few, if any, are remembered today. The athletic heroes of yesteryear are seldom considered heroes by succeeding generations, since they are often quickly replaced by the newest sports sensation.

Eric Liddell remains a hero today because of how he ran the race of life. He did not live his life to earn prizes or the applause of other people. Rather, he lived his life and ran his race to glorify God. His legacy lives on in the people he influenced for God and the example he leaves for all of us to follow.

Are you willing to do whatever it takes and give your all to win the lost to Christ? Then like, Eric Liddell, 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 Eric Liddell, 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 Eric. 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, August 13, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT MONDAY – A HEART STARTER #43.

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. - Romans 10:9-10.

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…You’re Going Too Fast! - William Booth. (Salvation Army.)

They say we go too fast! This accusation comes from all directions. Our enemies do not like our speed and our friends are afraid of it. What do they mean? If they had complained that we did not go fast enough, I could understand them. If our enemies had argued that after all we say about the evils of sin, the terrors of the Judgment Day, and the damnation of hell, we do not believe in these things ourselves, I could understand that, and feel humbled under their indictment.

If our friends came together and said, "Why don't you increase the speed? Look at the dying millions at home and abroad. You have evidently got a wonderful way of reaching the masses. You have accomplished what no other organization has. You can adapt yourselves to all peoples and countries and climates. Why don't you push on faster? Why don’t you train more cadets-send out more officers-hunt up more criminals, drunkards and fallen women? Go faster; get up more steam!” Now, this seems to me would be the natural way of talking for both foes and friends. But no! The cry is not "Go faster” but "You go too fast!" What do they mean?

Speed is a good thing, and, if combined with safety, the faster the better. It is reckoned good in traveling. I don’t know of any train that goes fast enough for me. Time is so precious that unless it can be spent in sleeping or working, every minute of it is begrudged. My feeling whenever I am in a train is, "Now, engine driver, do your best, and fly away!"

Speed is reckoned a good thing in money-making. Who would complain if we were an Investment Company developing a profitable gold mine? The same people who complain of our speed in spreading salvation and saving men would all want to buy shares, become our partners or buy us out.

If we were a killing army, no one would complain of our going too fast on the line of victory, slaughtering Arabs, or Afghans, or Zulus, or anybody else who did not live on our side of the sea. If we killed plenty of them, burnt plenty of houses, took plenty of spoil, we should fascinate the world again as Napoleon did with the speed of his successes. Painters and poets and newspapermen would fill the whole earth with our fame.

But because God has given us a little success in saving men and women from endless damnation, and extending the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, there is a great outcry–especially from those who every morning pray "Thy Kingdom come!” -that we are going too fast; they say we are ambitious and seeking great things.

Can we go too fast, my comrades in saving souls? I will not attempt to answer that question. No soldier in the Salvation Army would ask such a question. It is an insult to the Bible–to the teachers of Christianity. I refuse to reply to it.

If anyone still wants a reply, let him ask the lost souls in Hell whose brothers and sisters are following them there. Let him go and ask the blood-washed throng in Heaven, whose eyes are wide open at last to the value of salvation. Let him anticipate the Judgment Day, and in spirit stand before the Throne and propose, if he dares, the question to God Almighty. I think from Hell, Heaven and the Great White Throne, the answer would come back; “More speed! Go faster!" If it should entail the stopping of legislature, pleasure, business, and all the employments and occupations of time, push forwards! Hurry onwards! Save the world!

Some warn us, “but there is danger with great speed.Perhaps there is, but that is not certain; and even if so, I refuse to abate the speed to avoid the risk. If this thing is worth doing, let us do it with all our might. They say, "but if you go on at this pace a smash will come”. Well, perhaps it will. Perhaps God will let the devil and those who help him smash The Salvation. Army. They smashed Jesus Christ. There were slanders and riots and injuries terminating with the Crucifixion. Then a great number looked on and said, "I told you so!" If they smash The Salvation Army, there will also be a great number looking on and telling them to do it, and saying the same thing.

However, there are no evident signs of this terrible danger. For twenty years we have gone on paying our debts, breaking up and taking possession of new ground, and holding it when occupied; and, thank God! We are more closely bound together-more wrapped up in the spirit of sympathy and unity today than ever we were before.

Is our speed really too great after all? Is not all this talk a delusion? Speed is a relative thing, and the accuracy of the estimate depends upon the standard you measure it by. The coach is a rapid vehicle compared with the old carrier's cart, but it is very slow when put alongside a royal express train. What do our objectors measure us by? Anyhow, I object to be measured by the standard of the carrier's cart.

Does salvation travel as fast as sin? See how wickedness spreads. Talk about a prairie fire – it devours everything before it. Does Salvation keep pace with our ever-growing population? Make the calculation in your most favored Christian cities, and you will find we are terribly behind in the race. Do we keep pace with the devils in energy and untiring labor? Do we go as fast as death? Oh, say no more! We'll close our ears to this cold, unfeeling, stony-hearted utterance of unbelief.

LET US GO FASTER! We must increase the speed if we are to keep pace with the yearnings of the Almighty Heart of Love that would have all men to be saved. We must go faster if we are to have a hand in the fulfillment of the prophecies. Read the sixtieth chapter of Isaiah, and think of the speed that must be reached before all that comes true. We must go faster if we would wipe out the reproach and taunts of the mocking infidels who are ever asking for living proof of God's existence. We must increase our pace before our own prayers are answered, our own expectations realized, our own relations converted, and our own consistency proved.

My comrades, the General issues the command to every country, and to every division, and to every corps, and to every soldier-to advance. The pace of the past is to be no standard for the future. We must go faster. Obstacles, difficulties, and enemies shall be swept before us, and the mouths of those who condemn us shall be forever stopped before the Lord.

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 power of the Holy Spirit, to go faster and see heaven populated by plundering hell!

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 and inspirations that I have just read. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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