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Friday, March 28, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT FRIDAY – A CHEERFUL HEART #85.


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…

Iron Phone…
A guy walks into work, and both of his ears are all bandaged up. The boss says, "What happened to your ears?"

He says, "Yesterday I was ironing a shirt when the phone rang and shhh! I accidentally answered the iron."

The boss says, "Well, that explains one ear, but what happened to your other ear?"

He says, "Well, heck, I had to call the doctor!"
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Goody, goody gum drops…
There once was four men all from foreign countries, and none of them spoke a hint of english. The first man like to listen to the opera and learned to sing, "Me!me!me!me!" the second guy got a job at a restaurant and learned to say, "Forks and knives! Forks and knives!" The third guy Got a job at a candy store and learned to say, "Goody, goody gum drops!" And the fourth man was quite lazy and sat in front of the tv all day and learned to say, "Plug it in, plug it in!" of the commercial.

One day the four friends were walking down the road, when they come across a dead woman laying on the side walk, a police officer runs up to them and asks, "Do you know who killed this woman?" the first man then sang, "Me! Me! Me! Me!" The police man then continues, "What did ya kill er with?' And the second man replied, "Forks and knives, forks and knives!" The police man, then asked, "You're going to jail!" and the third man said, "Goody, goody gum drops!” and then the police officer threatened, "We're going put you in the electric chair!" and the third, and laziest man replied, "Plug it in, plug it in!"
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The Boxer…
A boxer named Mongo Wogchops successfully returns to the ring after losing both his legs in a car accident. His professional record now stands at 10 wins without defeet!

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Final Request…
Two men, sentenced to die in the electric chair on the same day, were led down to the room in which they would meet their maker. The priest had given them last rites, the warden had given the formal speech, and a final prayer had been said among the participants.

The warden, turning to the first man, solemnly asked, "Son, do you have a last request?"

To which the man replied, "Yes sir, I do. I love dance music. Could you please play the Macarena for me one last time?"

"Certainly," replied the warden.

He turned to the other man and asked, "Well, what about you, son? What is your final request?"

"Please," said the condemned man, "kill me first."
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Brown Pants…
There once was a captain who captained a ship that controlled the WHOLE Gulf of Mexico. One day, the captain saw a ship coming toward them. He told his first mate, "Get me my red shirt!" The mate did as he was told and brought the captain his shirt. The captain put the shirt on, and fought the battle. The captain’s ship won, and the other ship retreated. The captain of the ship gave the first mate the shirt back to put in safe keeping.

The next day, the Captain saw TWO ships coming. He said, " First mate, bring me my red shirt!" The mate once again brought the shirt, and the captain put it on and won the battle. The day after that, the captain saw five ships coming toward them. The captain ordered for his red shirt, and he won the battle.

After the battle with the seven ships, the First mate was amazed. “Captain, is that a magical red shirt you are wearing? Everytime you have worn it, we have won our battles!" The captain replied "no, I wear the red shirt so that if i get wounded, none of our crew will see any blood. If they saw that their captain was hurt, they would not fight as valiantly as they would, because they were afraid." "aahh that makes sense" the mate replied.

A week later, the captain saw 50 ships coming toward them. The first mate asked the captain if he wanted his red shirt, but the captain said “NO, get me my brown pants."
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Thanksgiving Divorce…
A man in Phoenix calls his son in New York the day before Thanksgiving and says,” I hate to ruin your day, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing; forty-five years of misery is enough.

"Pop, what are you talking about?" the son screams.

We can't stand the sight of each other any longer," the father says. "We're sick of each other, and I'm sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Chicago and tell her."

Frantic, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone. "Like heck they're getting divorced," she shouts, "I'll take care of this,"She calls Phoenix immediately, and screams at her father, "You are NOT getting divorced. Don't do a single thing until I get there. I'm calling my brother back, and we'll both be there tomorrow. Until then, don't do a thing, DO YOU HEAR ME?" and hangs up.

The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wife. "Okay," he says, "they're coming for Thanksgiving and paying their own way."
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Faith Spot…
During an especially trying time in the work of the China Inland Mission, Hudson Taylor wrote to his wife, "We have twenty-five cents--and all the promises of God! - W. Wiersbe.
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The Poison Wife…
A man goes to see his Rabbi."Rabbi, something terrible is happening and I have to talk to you about it."

The Rabbi asks, "What's wrong?"

The man replied, "My wife is poisoning me."

The Rabbi, very surprised by this, asks, "How can that be?"

The man then pleads, "I'm telling you I'm certain she's poisoning me, what should I do?"

The Rabbi then offers, "Tell you what. Let me talk to her, I'll see what I can find out and I'll let you know."The next day the Rabbi calls the man and says, "Well, I spoke to your wife on the phone yesterday for over three hours. You want my advice?"

The man anxiously answers, "Yes."

"Take the poison," says the Rabbi.
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WE ARE REMINDED THAT BEING CHEERFUL KEEPS US HEALTHY… IT IS SLOW DEATH TO BE GLOOMY ALL THE TIME!

Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to remind myself that Jesus died to set me free, help me Lord to live that life, and be determined in Him to have a cheerful heart, in Jesus wonderful Name I pray, amen!

HAVE A GREAT AND GODLY WEEKEND!

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – THURSDAY THOUGHTS #49… MOUNTAIN MOVING FAITH.

Lord, I've never moved a mountain and I guess I never will. All the faith that I could muster wouldn't move a small ant hill. Yet I'll tell you, Lord, I'm grateful for the joy of knowing Thee, and for all the mountain moving down through life You've done for me.

When I needed some help you lifted me from the depths of great despair. And when burdens, pain and sorrow have been more than I can bear, you have always been my courage to restore life's troubled sea, and to move these little mountains that have looked so big to me.

Many times when I've had problems and when bills I've had to pay, and the worries and the heartaches just kept mounting every day, Lord, I don't know how you did it. Can't explain the wheres or whys. All I know, I've seen these mountains turn to blessings in disguise.

No, I've never moved a mountain, for my faith is far too small. Yet, I thank you, Lord of Heaven, you have always heard my call. And as long as there are mountains in my life, I'll have no fear, for the mountain-moving Jesus is my strength and always near. - Source Unknown.


Loving Heavenly Father, I thank you for my beautiful life in Jesus Christ; Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to trust in my Lord and Saviour, Jesus, to move my mountains. 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, March 26, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – WEDNESDAY WARRIOR! #49. It is Finished… A.W.Pink.

How terribly have these blessed words of Christ been misunderstood, misappropriated and misapplied! How many seem to think that on the cross the Lord Jesus accomplished a work which rendered it unnecessary for the beneficiaries of it to live holy lives on earth. So many have been deluded into thinking that, so far as reaching heaven is concerned, it matters not how they walk provided they are "resting on the finished work of Christ." They may be unfruitful, untruthful, disobedient, yet (though they may possibly miss some millennial crown) so long as they repudiate all righteousness of their own and have faith in Christ, they imagine they are "eternally secure."

All around us are people who are worldly-minded, money-lovers, pleasure-seekers, Sabbath-breakers, yet who think all is well with them because they have "accepted Christ as their personal Saviour." In their aspiration, conversation, and recreation, there is practically nothing to differentiate them from those who make no profession at all. Neither in their home-life nor social-life is there anything save empty pretensions to distinguish them from others. The fear of God is not upon them, the commands of God have no authority over them, the holiness of God has no attraction for them.

"It is finished." How solemn to realize that these words of Christ must have been used to lull thousands into a false peace. Yet such is the case. We have come into close contact with many who have no private prayer-life, who are selfish, covetous, dishonest, but who suppose that a merciful God will overlook all such things provided they once put their trust in the Lord Jesus. What a horrible perversion of the truth! What a turning of God’s grace "into lasciviousness"! (Jude 4). Yes, those who now live the most self-seeking and flesh-pleasing lives, talk about their faith in the blood of the Lamb, and suppose they are safe. How the devil has deceived them!

"It is finished." Do those blessed words signify that Christ so satisfied the requirement of God’s holiness that holiness no longer has any real and pressing claims upon us? Perish the thought. Even to the redeemed God says, "Be ye holy, for I am holy" (1 Pet. 1:16). Did Christ "magnify the law and make it honorable" (Isa. 42:21) that we might be lawless? Did He "fulfill all righteousness" (Matthew 3:15) to purchase for us an immunity from loving God with all our hearts and serving Him with all our faculties? Did Christ die in order to secure a divine indulgence that we might live to please self? Many seem to think so. No, the Lord Jesus has left His people an example that they should "follow (not ignore) His steps."

"It is finished." What was "finished? The need for sinners to repent? No indeed. The need for turning to God from idols? No indeed. The need for mortifying my members which are upon earth? No indeed. The need for being sanctified wholly, in spirit, and soul, and body? No indeed. Christ died not to make my sorrow for, hatred of, and striving against sin, useless. Christ died not to absolve me from the full discharge of my responsibilities unto God. Christ died not so that I might go on retaining the friendship and fellowship of the world. How passing strange that any should think that He did. Yet the actions of many show that this is their idea.

"It is finished." What was "finished?" The sacrificial types were accomplished, the prophecies, of His sufferings were fulfilled, the work given Him by the Father had been perfectly done, a sure foundation had been laid on which a righteous God could pardon the vilest transgressor of the law who threw down the weapons of his warfare against Him. Christ had now performed all that was necessary in order for the Holy Spirit to come and work in the hearts of His people; convincing them of their rebellion, slaying their enmity against God, and producing in them a loving and obedient heart.

O, dear reader, make no mistake on this point. The "finished work of Christ" avails you nothing if your heart has never been broken through an agonizing consciousness of your sinfulness. The "finished work of Christ" avails you nothing unless you have been saved from the power and pollution of sin (Matthew 1:21). It avails you nothing if you still love the world (I John 2:15). It avails you nothing unless you are a "new creature" in Him (2 Cor .5:17).

If you value your soul, search the Scriptures to see for yourself; take no man’s word for it.

Loving Father, I thank you for Christ in my life. Help me by the power of your Holy Spirit, to glean the principles contained in this essay, that I may be a better disciple for you, and for the extension of your kingdom. In the wonderful name of Jesus I pray, amen!

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY - CLASSIC TESTIMONIES… James Hannington.

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.

James Hannington did not consider himself a hero. Yet it is impossible for us to view him in any other light. After an adventurous childhood (which included blowing off his thumb with black powder) he became an Anglican minister. Although highly successful with his church work, he left England to carry the gospel to Uganda in 1882.

His first attempt to reach the African nation failed. Consumed by fevers, he often had to be carried. When he walked, he tied his hands around his neck to relieve the agony in his arms. Yet he made humorous sketches of his plight.

In 1885, after recuperating in England, he tried again, approaching Uganda from the North East. This proved to be a mistake. Uganda's suspicious king lumped him with the Germans who were grabbing territory in that direction. He sent a thousand Ugandan soldiers to intercept Hannington. On October 21, 1885, they took him prisoner. They allowed him a little freedom early in his captivity and he walked out to look at the Nile.

His journal tells what happened next: "...suddenly about twenty ruffians set upon us. They violently threw me to the ground, and proceeded to strip me of all valuables. Thinking they were robbers I shouted for help, when they forced me up and hurried me away, as I thought, to throw me down a precipice close at hand. I shouted again in spite of one threatening to kill me with a club.

Twice I nearly broke away from them, and then grew faint with struggling and was dragged by the legs over the ground. I said, 'Lord, I put myself in Thy hands, I look to Thee alone.' Then another struggle and I got to my feet and was then dashed along. More than once I was violently brought into contact with banana trees, some trying in their haste to force me one way, others the other, and the exertion and struggling strained me in the most agonizing manner. In spite of all, and feeling I was being dragged away to be murdered at a distance, I sang 'Safe in the Arms of Jesus' and laughed at the very agony of my situation.

My clothes were torn to pieces so that I was exposed; wet through with being dragged on the ground; strained in every limb, and for a whole hour expecting instant death, hurried along, dragged, pushed at five miles an hour, until we came to a hut..."

After exhibiting him as a trophy for a week, his tormentors speared him to death on the 29th. We know most of this detail because one of the Ugandans kept Hannington's journal and sold it to a later expedition.

Are you willing to do whatever it takes, and give all you have, to win the lost to Christ? Then like, James Hannington, 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 James Hannington, 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 James. 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, March 23, 2008

THE EMPTY TOMB!


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Friday, March 21, 2008

GOOD FRIDAY.




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Thursday, March 20, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – THURSDAY THOUGHTS #49…Easter.

Some of us stay at the cross,
some of us wait at the tomb,
Quickened and raised with Christ
yet lingering still in the gloom.

Some of us 'bide at the Passover feast
with Pentecost all unknown,
The triumphs of grace in the heavenly place
that our Lord has made His own.

If the Christ who died had stopped at the cross,
His work had been incomplete.
If the Christ who was buried had stayed in the tomb,
He had only known defeat.

But the way of the cross never stops at the cross,
and the way of the tomb leads on
To victorious grace in the heavenly place
where the risen Lord has gone.

-Annie Johnson Flint.

Loving Heavenly Father, I thank you for my beautiful life in Jesus Christ; Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to celebrate my Lord and Saviour’s death and resurrection. 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, March 19, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – WEDNESDAY WARRIOR! #48. Biblical Illiterates.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. - 2 Tim 2:15.

Although we are a smaller nation than the United States, I believe that the statistics given below are indicative of Australia’s Biblical Illiteracy…

Pollster George Gallup Jr. has long referred to America as a "nation of biblical illiterates." Only four in 10 Americans know that Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount. A majority of citizens cannot name the four Gospels of the New Testament. Only three in 10 teenagers know why Easter is celebrated. Two-thirds of Americans believe there are few, if any, absolute principles to direct human behavior. A new poll by the Barna Research Group suggests that religious illiteracy has increased.

For example, three out of four Americans (and nearly half of "born-again" Christians) believe the Bible teaches that "God helps those who help themselves." George Barna argues that self-reliance is not only not scriptural, but that it contradicts revelation. Only God determines a person's destiny, the pollster notes. To believe otherwise "exposes our false theological cornerstone — that we are the center of things, that it is up to us to determine our destiny, and that God is merely our assistant ...


A similar number of born-again Christians deny the existence of the Holy Spirit and Satan. One in five denies Jesus' physical resurrection and believes he was a sinner.

Earlier surveys of mainline Protestants revealed that barely half of Lutherans, Methodists, and Presbyterians believe in the devil, but 56 percent of Lutherans and 49 percent of Methodists believe in UFOs. One-third of Methodists and Presbyterians have faith in astrology. While nearly three-fourths of all Americans believe in hell, hardly any believe it to be their likely destination in eternity.

The new Barna poll is intended to help Christian pastors and groups focus their ministries. The sheer number of "errant theological positions" among believers underscores "the magnitude of the challenge facing churches today," Barna notes.

University of Wisconsin historian Thomas Reeves indicts popular religious belief and service. "Christianity in modern America is, in large part, innocuous," he writes.
"It tends to be easy, upbeat, convenient, and compatible. It does not require self-sacrifice, discipline, humility, an otherworldly outlook, a zeal for souls, a fear as well as love of God. There is little guilt and no punishment, and the payoff in heaven is virtually certain."

Former Secretary of Education William Bennett concludes that "We have become the kind of society that civilized countries used to send missionaries to."

These are harsh judgments. Perhaps we have been so busy pursuing the American Dream of the good life that we have neglected to nurture the faith on which the Dream is founded. If so, our only fault is inattention. If at the millennium our common faith has faltered, or has shriveled for lack of nourishment, or has been supplanted by sentimentality, at least we have not succumbed to cynicism. Faith has not been lost, only misplaced. As a people, we can retrieve it together. - David Yountd, Beggaring Belief.


Loving Father, I thank you for Christ in my life. Help me by the power of your Holy Spirit, to glean the principles contained in this essay, that I may be a better disciple for you, and for the extension of your kingdom. In the wonderful name of Jesus I pray, amen!

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY - CLASSIC TESTIMONIES… Charlotte Tucker.

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.

Charlotte Tucker was 54 years old when she went to India as a missionary. She did so at her own expense. Born May 8, 1821, she was daughter of Henry St. George Tucker, former director of the East India Company. Wealthy and gracious, she published many children's books under the name "A Lady of England." She had not been able to go to India earlier in her life because, for eighteen years, she had the care of her aging parents and of nephews and nieces whose father had been killed during a mutiny in India.

Her nephews and nieces said, "No one could play games like Aunt Char; she seemed younger than the youngest of us." She also liked to dance with them or read Shakespeare aloud while knitting. No one wanted to see her go.

Before leaving England, Charlotte studied Hindustani, afraid she would not be able to learn a new language at her age. As soon as she arrived in India, she put her limited knowledge of the language to work, stammering out words and phrases such as, "The Lord Jesus is here; He gives blessing."

Consequently, she mastered Hindustani within a year. Her plan was to work in the Zanenas, the women's enclosures. And she did. By her death eighteen years later, she had access to 170 homes. She also assisted for many years at a boys' school.

In order to fit in with the Indians, she determined to "Orientalize" her mind. Thus at her first church service, she sat on the floor with the native Christians. That was always her way. She would even have adopted the sari as her dress if the other missionaries had not forbidden it.

So glowing was her testimony, especially when she played music and sang, that Indian Christians would walk for miles just to behold her shining face. Everyone called her "Auntie."

Every year she took a one month vacation. During it she would write a story or two--meditations on Christ's teachings--parables and allegories which proved particularly apt for Indian readers. Titles like Eight Pearls of Blessing or The Bag of Treasure enjoyed brisk sales which increased after her death in 1893.

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

Be encouraged.
GBYAY

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Monday, March 17, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT MONDAY – A HEART STARTER #68.

Well folks, the weekends over, and it’s back to work for those who live in the Southern Hemisphere, for those who don’t, please continue to enjoy your weekend, but remember, Mondays coming! And as we know by experience, Mondays can be very sluggish, especially after a lovely weekend, where we managed to spend some quality time with our families and friends, and suddenly it’s back to the grind.

I thought by way of encouragement, that we could have a ‘Heart Starter’ from the word of God, rather than the six cups of coffee, or whatever it takes, to get started for the rest of the week!

Our ‘Heart Starter’ today is, Power From On High - What Is It? - Charles Finney. Conclusion…

I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high." - Luke 24:49.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." - Acts 1:8.


When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. – Acts 2:1-4.

To the honor of God alone I will say a little of my own experience in this matter. I was powerfully converted on the morning of the 10th of October. In the evening of the same day, and on the morning of the following day, I received overwhelming baptisms of the Holy Ghost, that went through me, as it seemed to me, body and soul.

I immediately found myself endued with such power from on high that a few words dropped here and there to individuals were the means of their immediate conversion. My words seemed to fasten like barbed arrows in the souls of men. They cut like a sword. They broke the heart like a hammer. Multitudes can attest to this. Oftentimes a word dropped, without my remembering it, would fasten conviction, and often result in almost immediate conversion. Sometimes I would find myself, in a great measure, empty of this power. I would go out and visit, and find that I made no saving impression. I would exhort and pray, with the same result. I would then set apart a day for private fasting and prayer, fearing that this power had departed from me, and would inquire anxiously after the reason of this apparent emptiness. After humbling myself, and crying out for help, the power would return upon me with all its freshness. This has been the experience of my life.

I could fill a volume with the history of my own experience and observation with respect to this power from on high. It is a fact of consciousness and of observation, but a great mystery. I have said that sometimes a look has in it the power of God. I have often witnessed this. Let the following fact illustrate it. I once preached, for the first time, in a manufacturing village. The next morning I went into a manufacturing establishment to view its operations. As I passed into the weaving department I beheld a great company of young women, some of whom, I observed, were looking at me, and then at each other, in a manner that indicated a trifling spirit, and that they knew me. I, however, knew none of them. As I approached nearer to those who had recognized me they seemed to increase in their manifestations of lightness of mind. Their levity made a peculiar impression upon me; I felt it to my very heart.


I stopped short and looked at them, I know not how, as my whole mind was absorbed with the sense of their guilt and danger. As I settled my countenance upon them I observed that one of them became very much agitated. A thread broke. She attempted to mend it; but her hands trembled in such a manner that she could not do it. I immediately observed that the sensation was spreading, and had become universal among that class of triflers. I looked steadily at them until one after another gave up and paid no more attention to their looms. They fell on their knees, and the influence spread throughout the whole room. I had not spoken a word; and the noise of the looms would have prevented my being heard if I had. In a few minutes all work was abandoned, and tears and lamentations filled the room.

At this moment the owner of the factory, who was himself an unconverted man, came in, accompanied, I believe, by the superintendent, who was a professed Christian. When the owner saw the state of things he said to the superintendent, "Stop the mill." What he saw seemed to pierce him to the heart.

"It is more important," he hurriedly remarked, "that these souls should be saved than that this mill should run." As soon as the noise of the machinery had ceased, the owner inquired: "What shall we do? We must have a place to meet, where we can receive instruction." The superintendent replied: "The muleroom will do." The mules were run up out of the way, and all of the hands were notified and assembled in that room. We had a marvelous meeting. I prayed with them, and gave them such instructions as at the time they could bear. The word was with power. Many expressed hope that day; and within a few days, as I was informed, nearly every hand in that great establishment, together with the owner, had hope in Christ.

This power is a great marvel. I have many times seen people unable to endure the word. The most simple and ordinary statements would cut men off from their seats like a sword, would take away their bodily strength, and render them almost as helpless as dead men. Several times it has been true in my experience that I could not raise my voice, or say anything in prayer or exhortation except in the mildest manner, without wholly overcoming those that were present. This was not because I was preaching terror to the people; but the sweetest sounds of the gospel would overcome them.

This power seems sometimes to pervade the atmosphere of one who is highly charged with it. Many times great numbers of persons in a community will be clothed with this power, when the very atmosphere of the whole place seems to be charged with the life of God. Strangers coming into it, and passing through the place, will be instantly smitten with conviction of sin, and in many instances converted to Christ. When Christians humble themselves, and consecrate their all afresh to Christ, and ask for this power, they will often receive such a baptism that they will be instrumental in converting more souls in one day than in all their lifetime before. While Christians remain humble enough to retain this power the work of conversion will go on, till whole communities and regions of country are converted to Christ. The same is true of ministers. But this article is long enough. If you will allow me, I have more to say upon this subject.


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 be filled with power from on high.

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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Friday, March 14, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT FRIDAY – A CHEERFUL HEART #84.


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…

Lottery…
A woman came home, screeching her car into the driveway, and ran into the house. She slammed the door and shouted at the top of her lungs, 'Honey, pack your bags. I won the lottery!'

The husband said, 'Oh my God! What should I pack, beach stuff or mountain stuff?'

'Doesn't matter,' she said. 'Just get out.'
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Marriage…
Marriage is a relationship in which one person is always right, and the other is a husband.
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Polish Eye Test…
A Polish immigrant went to the DMV to apply for a driver's license. First, of course, he had to take an eye sight test.

The optician showed him a card with the letters 'C Z W I X N O S T A C Z.


''Can you read this?' the optician asked.

'Read it?' the Polish guy replied, 'I know the guy.'
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ICU Puzzle…
In a hospital's Intensive Care Unit, patients always died in the same bed, on Sunday morning, at about 11:00 am, regardless of their medical condition.

This puzzled the doctors and some even thought it had something to do with the supernatural. No one could solve the mystery as to why the deaths occurred around 11:00 am Sunday, so a worldwide team of experts was assembled to investigate the cause of the incidents.

The next Sunday morning, a few minutes before 11:00 am. , all of the doctors and nurses nervously waited outside the ward to see for themselves what the terrible phenomenon was all about. Some were holding wooden crosses, prayer books, and other holy objects to ward off the evil spirits.

Just when the clock struck 11:00, Pookie Johnson, the part- time Sunday sweeper, entered the ward and unplugged the life-support system so he could use the vacuum cleaner.
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Terrorist…
Iraqi terrorist Khay Rahnajet didn't pay enough postage on a letter bomb. It came back with 'Return to Sender' stamped on it.

Forgetting it was the bomb; he opened it and was blown to bits. God is good!
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Food one-liners…
The snack bar next door to an atom smasher was called "The Fission Chips.

"On April Fools Day, a mother put a fire cracker under the pancakes. She blew her stack.

A new chef from India was fired a week after starting the job. He keep favoring curry.

A couple of kids tried using pickles for a Ping-Pong game. They had the volley of the Dills.

The four food groups: Fast, Frozen, Instant, and Chocolate.

A friend got some vinegar in his ear, now he suffers from pickled hearing.

Overweight is something that just sort of snacks up on you.

Sign in restaurant window: "Eat now - Pay waiter.

"I thought you were trying to get into shape?I am. The shape I've selected is a triangle.
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Question and answer…
Q: Did you hear about the Irishman who was tap dancing?
A: He broke his ankle when he fell into the sink.

Q: What's Irish and sits outside in the summertime?
A: Paddy O'Furniture!

Q: What are the best ten years of an Irishman's life?
A: Third grade.

Q: How do you sink an Irish submarine?
A: Knock on the hatch.

Q: How can you identify an Irish pirate?
A: He's the one with patches over both eyes.
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Faith Spot…
Faith is not a distant view but a warm embrace of Christ. - John Calvin.
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WE ARE REMINDED THAT BEING CHEERFUL KEEPS US HEALTHY… IT IS SLOW DEATH TO BE GLOOMY ALL THE TIME!

Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to remind myself that Jesus died to set me free, help me Lord to live that life, and be determined in Him to have a cheerful heart, in Jesus wonderful Name I pray, amen!

HAVE A GREAT AND GODLY WEEKEND!

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – THURSDAY THOUGHTS #48… BLAME.

People who are out to find fault seldom find anything else. - Traditional.

All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame them, it will not change you. The only thing blame does is to keep the focus off you when you are looking for external reasons to explain your unhappiness or frustration.

You may succeed in making another feel guilty of something by blaming them, but you won't succeed in changing whatever it is about you that is making you unhappy. - Wayne W. Dyer.

Loving Heavenly Father, I thank you for my beautiful life in Jesus Christ; Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, not to blame anyone for my situation or circumstance, but to seek your wisdom for the answers to them. 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, March 12, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – WEDNESDAY WARRIOR! #47. WORLDLINESS.

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

The course of rebellion against God may be very gradual, but it increases in rapidity as you progress in it; and if you begin to run down the hill, the ever-increasing impetus will send you down faster and faster to destruction.

You Christians ought to watch against the beginning of worldly conformity. I do believe that the growth of worldliness is like strife, which is as the letting out of water. Once you begin, there is no knowing where you will stop. I sometimes get this question put to me, concerning certain worldly amusements, "May I do so-and-so?" I am very sorry whenever anyone asks me that question, because it shows that there is something wrong, or it would not be raised at all. If a person's conscience lets him say, "Well, I can go to A," he will very soon go on to B, C, D, E, and through all the letters of the alphabet. . .

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


Loving Father, I thank you for Christ in my life. Help me by the power of your Holy Spirit, to glean the principles contained in this essay, that I may be a better disciple for you, and for the extension of your kingdom. In the wonderful name of Jesus I pray, amen!

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY - CLASSIC TESTIMONIES… Thomas Guthrie.

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.

" He was the only father I ever had." The boy was talking of Thomas Guthrie, a man who cared deeply for children.

Thomas Guthrie was born in Brechin, Scotland, July 12, 1803. He was just twelve when he entered the University of Edinburgh. For ten years he studied a wide range of subjects, including medicine and science. After leaving school, he became a pastor.

At his first church, in Arbirlot, he not only taught the gospel, but doctored the sick and helped his people establish a savings institution.

When Guthrie transferred to Edinburgh, he was shocked at the bad behaviour of the children. The population of the towns had shot far ahead of the "means of education and religious instruction." Too often, the state-paid ministers were more interested in gambling, drinking and plays than in caring for souls. "There needs no other evidence of the fact that a lack of real faith exists among some who claim to be religious, than the cold, callous, and heartless indifference with which many bear the sins and look upon the sorrows of their fellow-creatures. They could not do so if they were baptized into the nature as well as the name of Jesus Christ," wrote Thomas indignantly. [Some of the quotes in this story have been modernized.]

He made a tour of his district and reported appalling conditions. "I wandered...whole days without ever seeing a Bible, or indeed any book at all. I often stood in rooms bare of any furniture; where father, mother, and half a dozen children had neither bed nor bedding, unless a heap of straw and dirty rags huddled in a corner could be called so. I have heard the wail of children crying for bread, and their mother had none to give them..."

"I have known a father turn his step-daughter to the street at night--bidding the sobbing girl who bloomed into womanhood, earn her bread there as others were doing. I have bent over the foul pallet of a dying lad to hear him whisper how his father and mother --who were sitting half drunk by the fireside--had pulled the blankets off his body to sell them for drink. I have seen children whitened like plants growing in a cellar...when they cry they are not kissed but beaten...I don't recollect of ever seeing a mother in these wretched dwellings bouncing her infant, or of hearing the little creature crow or laugh as he leapt with joy. There, infants have no toys; and mothers smiles are rare as sunshine."

Thomas Guthrie opened "ragged schools" and fed the children who attended. He had a hand in every good work, fighting alcoholism, improving housing, calling for better work laws. He was one of the preachers who joined in creating the Free Church. Its pastors became directly dependent upon their people rather than living off the state as civil servants. When many were thrown out of their parsonages and suffered severely, Thomas raised over £100,000 (over $1,000,000 in today's money) in less than a year to build parsonages for them.

In addition to his social work, he preached faithfully. Hundreds of lives were salvaged through the efforts of this Godly man. His work became widely known and he appeared before a Committee of the House of Commons on 'criminal and destitute juveniles'. His book The Gospel in Ezekiel sold more than 50,000 copies, an indication of his popularity. He felt that alcohol brought about many of the problems in society and he became a total abstainer in 1845 as well as being heavily involved in the Forbes-Mackenzie Act which reduced public house opening hours. His 1857 work, The City: its sins and sorrows described why he set out on the path he did. In 1862 he became Moderator of the Free Church General Assembly and retired in 1865.


Thomas died in 1873, and is buried in the Grange Cemetery in Edinburgh. There is a Memorial statue in front of Edinburgh Castle.

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

Loving Father, I thank you for the life of Thomas Guthrie, 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 Thomas. By the power of the Holy Spirit, help me to be a person of like faith, that I may bring glory to your name. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged.

GBYAY

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Monday, March 10, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT MONDAY – A HEART STARTER #67.

Well folks, the weekends over, and it’s back to work for those who live in the Southern Hemisphere, for those who don’t, please continue to enjoy your weekend, but remember, Mondays coming! And as we know by experience, Mondays can be very sluggish, especially after a lovely weekend, where we managed to spend some quality time with our families and friends, and suddenly it’s back to the grind.

I thought by way of encouragement, that we could have a ‘Heart Starter’ from the word of God, rather than the six cups of coffee, or whatever it takes, to get started for the rest of the week!

Our ‘Heart Starter’ today is, Power From On High - What Is It? - Charles Finney. Part 1…

I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high." - Luke 24:49.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." - Acts 1:8.

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. – Acts 2:1-4.

The apostles and brethren, on the Day of Pentecost, received it. What did they receive? What power did they exercise after that event? They received a powerful baptism of the Holy Ghost, a vast increase of divine illumination. This baptism imparted a great diversity of gifts that were used for the accomplishment of their work.

It manifestly included the following things: The power of a holy life. The power of a self sacrificing life. (The manifestation of these must have had great influence with those to whom they proclaimed the gospel.) The power of a cross bearing life. The power of great meekness, which this baptism enabled them everywhere to exhibit. The power of a loving enthusiasm in proclaiming the gospel. The power of teaching. The power of a loving and living faith. The gift of tongues. An increase of power to work miracles. The gift of inspiration, or the revelation of many truths before unrecognized by them. The power of moral courage to proclaim the gospel and do the bidding of Christ, whatever it cost them.

In their circumstances all these enduements were essential to their success; but neither separately nor all together did they constitute that power from on high which Christ promised, and which they manifestly received. That which they manifestly received as the supreme, crowning, and all-important means of success was the power to prevail with both God and man, the power to fasten saving impressions upon the minds of men. This last was doubtless the thing which they understood Christ to promise. He had commissioned the Church to convert the world to Him. All that I have named above were only means, which could never secure the end unless they were vitalized and made effectual by the power of God. The apostles, doubtless, understood this; and, laying themselves and their all upon the altar, they besieged a Throne of Grace in the spirit of entire consecration to their work.

They did, in fact, receive the gifts before mentioned; but supremely and principally this power to savingly impress men. It was manifested right upon the spot. They began to address the multitude; and, wonderful to tell, three thousand were converted the same hour. But, observe, here was no new power manifested by them upon this occasion, save the gift of tongues.

They wrought no miracle at that time, and used these tongues simply as the means of making themselves understood. Let it be noted that they had not had time to exhibit any other gifts of the Spirit which have been above named. They had not at that time the advantage of exhibiting a holy life, or any of the powerful graces and gifts of the Spirit. What was said on the occasion, as recorded in the gospel, could not have made the impression that it did, had it not been uttered by them with a new power to make a saving impression upon the people.

This power was not the power of inspiration, for they only declared certain facts of their own knowledge. It was not the power of human learning and culture, for they had but little. It was not the power of human eloquence, for there appears to have been but little of it. It was God speaking in and through them. It was a power from on high--God in them making a saving impression upon those to whom they spoke. This power to savingly impress abode with and upon them. It was, doubtless, the great and main thing promised by Christ, and received by the apostles and primitive Christians. It has existed, to a greater or less extent, in the Church ever since. It is a mysterious fact often manifested in a most surprising manner. Sometimes a single sentence, a word, a gesture, or even a look, will convey this power in an overcoming manner.

To the honour of God alone I will say a little of my own experience in this matter. I was powerfully converted on the morning of the 10th of October. In the evening of the same day, and on the morning of the following day, I received overwhelming baptisms of the Holy Ghost, that went through me, as it seemed to me, body and soul.

I immediately found myself endued with such power from on high that a few words dropped here and there to individuals were the means of their immediate conversion. My words seemed to fasten like barbed arrows in the souls of men. They cut like a sword. They broke the heart like a hammer. Multitudes can attest to this. Oftentimes a word dropped, without my remembering it, would fasten conviction, and often result in almost immediate conversion. Sometimes I would find myself, in a great measure, empty of this power. I would go out and visit, and find that I made no saving impression. I would exhort and pray, with the same result. I would then set apart a day for private fasting and prayer, fearing that this power had departed from me, and would inquire anxiously after the reason of this apparent emptiness. After humbling myself, and crying out for help, the power would return upon me with all its freshness. This has been the experience of my life… Conclusion next week.

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 be filled with power from on high.

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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Friday, March 07, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT FRIDAY – A CHEERFUL HEART #83.


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…

Exhausted Blonde…
An exhausted blonde dragged herself in to the doctor's office. "Doctor, there are dogs all over my neighborhood. They bark all day and all night, and I can't get a wink of sleep."

"I have good news for you," the doctor answered, rummaging through a drawer full of medications. "Here are some new sleeping pills. A few of these and your trouble will be over."

"Great," the blonde answered, "I'll try anything."

A few weeks later the blonde returned looking even worse. "Doc, your plan is no good. I'm more tired than before!"

"I don't understand how that could be", replied the doctor, shaking his head. "Those are the strongest pills on the market."

"That may be true," answered the blonde, "but I'm still up all night chasing those dogs and when I finally catch one they won't swallow the pill.”
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Funny Blonde Waitress…
A trucker came into a truck stop cafe and placed his order. He said, "I want three flat tires, a pair of headlights and a pair of running boards."

The new blonde waitress not wanting to appear stupid went to the kitchen and said to the cook, "This guy out there just ordered three flat tires, a pair of headlights and a pair of running boards. What does he think this place is... an auto parts store?"

"No," the cook said. "Three flat tires mean three pancakes, a pair of headlights is two eggs sunny side up, and running boards are two slices of crisp bacon."

"Oh, OK!" said the blonde. She thought about it for a moment and then spooned up a bowl of beans and gave it to the customer.

The trucker asked, "What are the beans for, Blondie?

She replied, "I thought while you were waiting for the flat tires, headlights and running boards, you might as well gas up!!
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The Perfect Husband?

Several men are in the locker room of a golf club. A cell phone on a bench rings and a man engages the hands-free speaker function and begins to talk. Everyone else in the room stops to listen.

MAN: "Hello"
WOMAN: "Honey, it's me. Are you at the club?
"MAN: "Yes"
WOMAN: "I'm at the mall now and found this beautiful leather coat. It's only $1,000. Is it OK if I buy it?"
MAN: "Sure, go ahead if you like it that much."
WOMAN: "I also stopped by the Mercedes dealership and saw the new 2007models. I saw one I really liked."
MAN: "How much?"
WOMAN: "$80,000."
MAN: "OK, but for that price I want it with all the options."
WOMAN: "Great! Oh, and one more thing. The house we wanted last year is back on the market. They're asking $950,000."
MAN: "Well, then go ahead and give them an offer, but just offer $900,000."
WOMAN: "OK. I'll see you later! I love you!"
MAN: "Bye, I love you, too."

The man hangs up. The other men in the locker room are looking at him in astonishment. Then he smiles and asks: "Anyone know whose phone this is???!!!"
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One Liner’s…
"99 percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name""

A day without sunshine is like, night."

"Honk if you love Peace and Quiet"

"Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine."

"As long as there are tests, there will be prayer in public schools"

"Sometimes I wake up grumpy; Other times I let her sleep"

"The gene pool could use a little chlorine."

"I didn't fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian."

"When there's a will, I want to be in it!"

"Warning: Dates in Calendar are closer than they appear."

"Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at math."

"Very funny, Scotty. Now beam down my clothes."

"Why is 'abbreviation' such a long word?"

"Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?"
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Faith Spot…
My husband, Ron, once taught a class of mentally impaired teenagers. Looking at his students' capabilities rather than their limitations, Ron got them to play chess, restore furniture and repair electrical appliances. Most important, he taught them to believe in themselves. Young Bobby soon proved how well he had learned that last lesson.

One day he brought in a broken toaster to repair. He carried the toaster tucked under one arm, and a half-loaf of bread under the other. - Edna Butterfield.
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WE ARE REMINDED THAT BEING CHEERFUL KEEPS US HEALTHY… IT IS SLOW DEATH TO BE GLOOMY ALL THE TIME!

Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to remind myself that Jesus died to set me free, help me Lord to live that life, and be determined in Him to have a cheerful heart, in Jesus wonderful Name I pray, amen!

HAVE A GREAT AND GODLY WEEKEND!

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – THURSDAY THOUGHTS #47… LOVE.

In his book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote, "Do not waste your time bothering whether you 'love' your neighbour act as if you did. As soon as we do this, we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. If you injure someone you dislike, you will find yourself disliking him more. If you do him a good turn, you will find yourself disliking him less."

Loving Heavenly Father, I thank you for my beautiful life in Jesus Christ; Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to love my neighbour. 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, March 05, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – WEDNESDAY WARRIOR! #46. The Call of Christ.

TO BE CALLED TO FOLLOW CHRIST is a high honour; higher indeed than any honour men can bestow upon each other.

Were all the nations of the earth to unite in one great federation and call a man to head that federation, that man would be honoured above any other man that ever lived. Yet the humblest man who heeds the call to follow Christ has an honour far above such a man; for the nations of the earth can bestow only such honour as they possess, while the honour of Christ is supreme over all. God has given Him a name that is above every name.

This being true and being known to the heavenly intelligences, the methods we use to persuade men to follow Christ must seem to them extremely illogical if not downright wrong.Evangelical Christians commonly offer Christ to mankind as a nostrum to cure their ills, a way out of their troubles, a quick and easy means to the achievement of personal ends. They use the right words, but their emphasis is awry. The message is so presented as to leave the hearer with the impression that he is being asked to give up much to gain more. And that is not good, however well intentioned it may be.

What we do is precisely what a good salesman does when he presents the excellence of his product as compared with that of his closest competitor. The customer chooses the better of the two, as who would not? But the weakness of the whole salesmanship technique is apparent: the idea of selfish gain is present in the whole transaction.

Jesus Christ is a Man come to save men. In Him the divine nature is married to our human nature, and wherever human nature exists there is the raw material out of which He makes followers and saints. Our Lord recognizes no classes, high or low, rich or poor, old or young, man or woman: all are human and all are alike to Him. His invitation is to all mankind.

In New Testament times persons from many and varied social levels heard His call and responded: Peter the fisherman; Levi the publican; Luke the physician; Paul the scholar; Mary the demon possessed; Lydia the businesswoman; Paulus the statesman. A few great and many common persons came. They all came and our Lord received them all in the same way and on the same terms.

From any and every profession or occupation men and women may come if they will. The simple rule is that if the occupation is good, continue in it if you so desire; if it is bad, abandon it at once and seek another. If the call includes detachment from all common pursuits to give full time to the work of the gospel, then no profession or occupation, no matter how good or how noble, must keep us from obeying the call.

The activities in which men engage may be divided into two categories: the morally bad and the morally neutral. The activities of the burglar, the gambler, the dictator, the procurer, the dope addict, the gangster and all who prey upon society are bad; nothing can make them better. The call of Christ is away from all such. This is not to be questioned or debated, but accepted without delay and acted upon at once.

But the majority of our human activities are not evil in themselves; they are neutral. The laborer, the statesman, the housewife, the doctor, the teacher, the engineer-such as these engage in activities that are neither good nor bad. Their moral qualities are imparted by the one who engages in them. So the call of Christ is not away from such things, for they may be sanctified by the prayer and faith of the individual, and thus turned into a positive good.

One thing is certain: the call of Christ is always a promotion. Were Christ to call a king from his throne to preach the gospel to some tribe of aborigines, that king would be elevated above anything he had known before. Any movement toward Christ is ascent, and any direction away from Him is down.

Yet though we recognize the honour bestowed upon us, there is no place for pride, for the follower of Christ must shoulder his cross and a cross is an object of shame and a symbol of rejection.

Before God and the angels it is a great honour to follow Christ, but before men it is not so. The Christ the world pretends now to honour was once rejected and crucified by that same world. The great saint is honoured only after he is dead. Rarely is he known as a saint while he lives. The plaudits of the world come too late, when he can no longer hear them; and perhaps it is better that way. Not many are selfless enough to endure honour without injury to their souls.

In those early Galilean days Christ's followers heard His call, forsook the old life, attached themselves to Him, began to obey His teachings and joined themselves to His band of disciples. This total commitment was their confirmation of faith. Nothing less would do.

And it is not different today. He calls us to leave the old life and to begin the new. There must never be any vacuum, never any place of neutrality where the world cannot identify us. Peter warming himself at the world's fire and trying to seem unconcerned is an example of the kind of halfway discipleship too many are satisfied with. The martyr leaping up in the arena, demanding to be thrown to the lions along with his suffering brethren, is an example of the only kind of dedication that God approves. – A. W. Tozer.

Loving Father, I thank you for the call of Christ in my life. Help me by the power of your Holy Spirit, to glean the principles contained in this essay, that I may be a better disciple for you, and for the extension of your kingdom. In the wonderful name of Jesus I pray, amen!

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY - CLASSIC TESTIMONIES… Elizabeth Fry.

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.

"You are born to be a light to the blind, speech to the dumb and feet to the lame."


Eighteen-year-old Elizabeth Gurney heard this prediction with wonder.
Had not her friend Deborah Darby gone too far? Members of the Society of Friends, commonly called "Quakers," accepted that the Holy Spirit spoke to them through one another. But Deborah's words seemed overly bold for an age which did not allow women much scope of action. Earlier that same year Elizabeth had fallen under conviction in a meeting led by a Quaker from the United States. So deep had been the impression that she had wept in the carriage most of the way home where she confided to her diary, "Today I have felt that there is a God." Yet no compelling sense of purpose had come to her.

Nor did it now. Nonetheless, she made herself useful where she could, starting a Sunday School with one boy. It quickly grew to eighty. She provided the poor with food and clothes and read to them from the Scriptures. When banker Joseph Fry proposed marriage the following year, she hesitated, hoping for illumination from the Lord. As nothing specific was forthcoming, she accepted the offer. She bore him ten children. Not until after the tenth was born did Elizabeth glimpse her mission.

In 1817 her brother-in-law Thomas Fowell Buxton, a Member of Parliament, suggested she visit the women's section of Newgate prison. Crime was on the rise. English prisons were overcrowded. Perhaps some remedy was possible.


Friends cautioned Elizabeth not to go. The female prisoners were so violent that they would snatch clothes off visitors' backs, heckle them and steal their valuables. The governor of Newgate himself dared not approach them. But the mother of ten determined to take action. This was just the challenge she craved. Having visited a prison before, she wasn't to be frightened off. Had not the Lord commanded us to remember those in prison? She entered Newgate, refusing even to take off her watch, which, incidentally, was not stolen.

Nothing had prepared her for what she found. Hundreds of drunken, rag-clad women crowded into four rooms built for half their number. Innocents awaited trial side by side with hardened prostitutes and thieves. Children, whose only fault was to have nowhere else to go, might have envied barnyard animals their stables. Babies born in prison squalled in nakedness.
The turnkeys (who made their income "shaking down" prisoners) sold a few amenities- and even sold booze. Bathing utensils were scarce. Lice swarmed in clothes and hair. The daily ration of food was one small loaf of bread per person. There were no medicines. Sick women were dumped on dirty straw without so much as a bed. Death by "prison fever" (Typhus) was common.

Discipline was nonexistent. Bullies ran the wards. Fights and curses erupted freely. Many of the women strutted around in men's clothes. Even the tough male prisoners, who mingled with the women during the day, were appalled at their behavior.

Elizabeth made her appeal through the babies. Surely the women desired better than this squalor for their little ones! Indeed they did! But they had no income, no education, no discipline, no hope. Elizabeth promised help and they listened respectfully, recognizing her plain dress as a religious uniform.

Drawing on her own resources and the funds of others, Elizabeth gathered supplies and formed committees. She organized classes in knitting and sewing. Soon the women were able to sell their piecework, earning a little money for soap and food. After fierce haggling she obtained a room for a school. The best educated among them was designated to teach. Each day Fry read aloud to them from the Bible, hoping that the salvation story would sink into their minds and convert them. A few sought Christ's pardon and lived with new peace.


The Quakeress convinced the prison authorities to appoint matrons in place of male turnkeys for the women. With steely determination, she enforced rules upon all, rules which the prisoners themselves voted on. She had them elect leaders to keep order among themselves. Soon Newgate's female wards evidenced unprecedented decorum. The transformation was so extraordinary that world leaders heard of it and consulted her.

At that time many convicts were transported from England to Australia. The system was especially brutal to women for the ships were not fitted to accommodate them. Destitute when at last they reached Australia, many women resorted to prostitution to survive. Elizabeth agitated for reforms. Meantime, for twenty years, she and her committee visited every transportation ship before it sailed, ensuring that the women had cloth and thread so they might make articles on the long voyage which they could sell in the colony when they arrived. Thanks in large part to her efforts, the transportation was exposed as an inhumane institution and, shortly after her death, outlawed.

Elizabeth's reforms prompted other advances. Theodore Fliedner, a young German pastor, imported her ideas to Germany. To succor needy ill women, he trained nurses. Elizabeth, impressed by the idea, founded the Institute of Nursing Sisters to work among the poor. The nurses were given rudimentary training at Guy's Hospital. One of these sisters nursed Elizabeth in her last illness. She died at age 65. Her actions, spurred by faith, fulfilled Deborah Darby's vision: she had become a voice for prisoners who could not speak for themselves.

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

Be encouraged.
GBYAY

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Monday, March 03, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT MONDAY – A HEART STARTER #66.

Well folks, the weekends over, and it’s back to work for those who live in the Southern Hemisphere, for those who don’t, please continue to enjoy your weekend, but remember, Mondays coming! And as we know by experience, Mondays can be very sluggish, especially after a lovely weekend, where we managed to spend some quality time with our families and friends, and suddenly it’s back to the grind.

I thought by way of encouragement, that we could have a ‘Heart Starter’ from the word of God, rather than the six cups of coffee, or whatever it takes, to get started for the rest of the week!

Our ‘Heart Starter’ today is, Consumed with Christ…

"If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple." Luke 14:26.


The Greek word for hate means "to love less by comparison." Jesus is calling us to have a love for Him that is so all-inclusive, fervent and absolute that all our earthly affections cannot come close. If we had that red-hot, all-consuming, intense and joyous love for Christ, we would not need outlines, diagrams and instructions telling us how to pray; we would pray because our hearts would be on fire with love for Him.

We would not grow bored trying to fill up an hour praying ambiguously for needs all over the world; Christ would be the object of our prayers, and our prayer time would be precious. We would spend hours behind closed doors, expressing the overflowing admiration and sweet love that flood our hearts for Him. Reading His Word would never be a burden; we wouldn't need formulas on how to finish the Bible in a year.

If we loved Jesus passionately, we would be drawn magnetically to His Word to learn more about Him. And we would not become bogged down with endless genealogies and end-time speculations. We would want only to know Him better-to see more of His beauty and glory so that we could become more like Him.

Think about it: Do we know what it is like to come into His sweet presence and ask nothing? To reach out to Him only because we are grateful that He loves us so completely? We have become selfish and self-centered in our prayers: "GIVE US, MEET US, HELP US, BLESS US, USE US, PROTECT US"

All this may be scriptural, but the focus remains on us. We go to His Word for answers to our problems, for guidance and comfort, and this also is right and commendable. But where is the love-motivated soul who searches the Scriptures diligently, who wants only to discover more and more about his beloved Lord? - David Wilkerson.

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 be consumed with Christ Jesus.

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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