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Nov 29, 2012

Unbleached Pumpkins

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Strength For The Day

My granddaughter recently finished a scientific school project appropriate to the season; and she learned a valuable spiritual truth in the process. Using five pumpkins, which she hollowed and carved with typical Halloween faces, she left one pumpkin untouched by any preservative, while the other four were treated with various “preservatives. Then she observed what happened as they sat in the sun. She was amazed that once the bacteria began its work (pretty quickly) how fast the pumpkin minus any preservative completely collapsed in on itself. The one sprayed with bleach lasted the longest and in fact was still firm when she threw it away. Her mother, our daughter, was struck by the spiritual analogy of how sin does its work inside of us and how quickly sin left to itself rots the person bringing collapse and destruction more quickly than we think it will happen. Unfortunately, far too many people do not see this analogy from what is observed in carved pumpkins. However, for those who observe human nature including their own with unvarnished eyes, the observation is not pretty; indeed it is downright ugly. If it was a matter as trivial as pumpkins decomposing, no big deal. But where a human life and his or her forever are concerned it is catastrophic.
A friend just shared with me that young people are now putting vodka in eye droppers, taking them to school, and then during the school day are putting drops in their eyes to get a rush-high in school, regardless of the fact that this stupidity is causing blindness. As in all other desires to “get high using chemical or other substances the physical, mental, societal, and spiritual destruction is devastating. Even this present day scourge of abusing substances, whether alcohol, chemical, sexual, or monetary, it always originates with un-bleached sin; sin left to fester untouched by an antidote. As James says, these are desires that give birth to sin; sin grows and festers and gives birth to death. It is the natural, unbreakable law of progression minus an antidote. Teens do not fall into substance abuse by mere accident, or randomly; sin is present, doing its work, and enticing choices; choices not only to follow the “cool crowd and abuse, but choices to be selfish, choices to rebel against the inner voice that says the chosen behavior is wrong, choices to go with the flow against conscience and satisfy a desire illegitimately. Sin never stops working toward its end, except when the antidote is applied.
The antidote is simple, but you cannot lift even a little finger to apply it by yourself. Jesus said, “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Yet our struggle, when deeply entangled in the enticements of sin, seems impossible to break.  Still, the Antidote says to you, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Rest still involves a choice, a choice of faith, to believe Jesus, the Antidote for sin, and prove your resolve by following Him and practicing what He says. “If you say you do not have sin, you are just deceiving yourself, and do not know the truth. But if you confess your sins, Jesus is faithful and just and will forgive your sins and purify (bleach) you from all unrighteousness (spiritual bacteria).
Are you a hollowed out unbleached pumpkin sitting in the sun with a smiley face carved into you? What me worry? You can know for certain unbleached sin will insure your collapse, and sometimes it comes with such a rush you can do nothing about it. Today is not too late to apply bleach.


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Nov 26, 2012

Q&A with Glenda: Laziness

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Work Ethic. Drive. Success. Motivation. Are these characteristics that you see in youth today?  How about in your child?    Unfortunately, today, laziness is the norm.
Watch the video below to see what Glenda has to say about laziness.


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Nov 15, 2012

Does Thanksgiving Bring Tears To Your Eyes?

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When thanksgiving is felt in every bone and sinew of your body, it causes your eyes to tear up. This is the passion of being overwhelmed with true thanks-giving, when our hearts “well up and the natural overflow are freely flowing tears.
We had the privilege of visiting Prince Edward Island (PEI) this fall. The northern edge of PEI by the ocean is the exquisite setting of the beloved series of books by Lucy Maude Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables. We walked through and around the house, Green Gables, and its lovely surroundings. My daughters loved these stories of the life of fictional character Anne Shirley, who was mistakenly, because she was a girl not a boy, taken in as an orphan. Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert had wanted a boy to help with the farm work, but instead in an act of Providence not luck, which Matthew acknowledged later on, an unusual, very talkative, and imaginative 11 year old red-haired girl showed up at the train station. Marilla, an older, crusty, straight laced spinster living with her brother, Matthew, a quiet man of soft heart, and strong work habit, had their life forever changed by Anne. The delight she brought into their lives in their later age is palpable on every page of the beloved story.
Near the end of the first book, Matthew dies of a heart attack, and Marilla is forced to consider selling her wonderful home, Green Gables. However, Anne, who has grown into her late teens and gone away to teacher’s school where she wins a coveted scholarship to continue her studies in a four year college, turns down the scholarship to stay at home, teach the Avonlea school, and be with Marilla at Green Gables.  Marilla responds to Anne then, when her heart is so overwhelmed with thanksgiving, that her tongue is moved to speak, which is not akin to her personality in the past. “We’ve got each other, Anne. I don’t know what I’d do if you weren’t here—if you’d never come. Oh, Anne, I know I’ve been kind of strict and harsh with you maybe—but you mustn’t think I didn’t love you as well as Matthew did, for all that. I want to tell you now when I can. It’s never been easy for me to say things out of my heart, but at times like this it’s easier. I love you as dear as if you were my own flesh and blood and you have been my joy and comfort ever since you came to Green Gables.
If you are a past reader of this series, tears most probably came to your eyes at this moment, as in others, especially if you had been engrossed in the entire story prior to this; so too with the Apostle Paul and his beloved brothers and sisters in Thessalonica.  Paul is not averse to tears of joy and thanksgiving, for his heart has been expanded by the Holy Spirit to swell with love for his children in the faith; but notice to whom his thanks for them is given? “For what thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God?
Just as Paul longed to do, see them face to face, so shall you be with loved ones face to face this Thanksgiving, or wish that you were. But your thanksgiving is misplaced if you give it to them alone, or to yourself, as some are wont to do. Paul knows, as we should know, love and longing for others, joy and comfort which comes from being loved by children, spouse, and friends, and also loving them in return, would never be if it were not for the amazing love and providence of God, and the mercy and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, which makes all this possible. This would never be unless God had loved and Jesus had died. This Thanksgiving, as throughout the year, give thanks to God with tears; tears not of sorrow, but tears of joy and comfort, because His mercies are new every morning! Great is your faithfulness!
As we celebrated the season of Thanksgiving, leave a comment below and let us know what you are thankful of…


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Millennium Cross on a top of the Vodno mountain hill above Skopje, Macedonia
Nov 08, 2012

Promises To Pray Over Your Child

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I heard God’s beautiful whisper tonight as I was putting my kids in the bed. This is what He said to me, “Why do you wait until your kids fall asleep before you pray over them? I want you to pray over them while they are awake. Pray over them out loud so that they hear you talking to Me. Let them hear you lift them up in prayer, let them hear you trust Me with their lives, let them hear the promises I have for My children, let them know that I am their hope and salvation, and let them hear that you believe that the most important thing in life is to further My Kingdom. Let them know how much I love them and that loving other people, no matter what, is My great purposes for their lives.”
I ask my kids to say my prayers every night before bedtime and I pray with them but they are always short and sweet and to the point. I always wait until they fall asleep to spend a lot of time praying over my children. It is my job as their parent to teach them how pray and to teach them that praying is not something to check off right before bedtime. Prayer is the core of our relationship with God. No more short and sweet and to the point prayers before bedtime, it is time for my boys and I to have conversations with God, together as a family.
Pray these promises over your children (put their name in the blank):
Isaiah 54:13 – That __________ will be “taught of the Lord” and great will be their peace.
Psalm 119:11 – That __________ will hide God’s Word in their hearts.
Colossians 1:9 – That God will fill __________ with the knowledge of His will so that they can walk in a way that’s pleasing to Him and that their life will bear fruit.
Ephesians 1:17-19 – I pray that __________ heart will be flooded with light so that they can understand the wonderful future God has promised to those He calls.
Proverbs 3:5-6 – That __________ will trust in the Lord with all their hearts and not lean on their own understanding.
Phil. 4:6-9 – That __________ will not worry or be afraid but that they will pray about everything, and that the peace of God will guard their hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Psalm 5:12 – I pray that God’s favor will surround them like a shield whether at school or work or play.

I am thankful for God’s word and that He has entrusted me with these precious lives…Let us not take our responsibilities as a parent lightly.
by Brooke Outland (a friend of the ministry)

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Nov 08, 2012

Signs of the Times

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“America is great because she is good; if she ceases to be good, she will cease to be great. Alexis de Tocqueville’s two centuries old prophecy has been fulfilled. America is no longer great, because she by and large has ceased to be good. Truth has stumbled in the streets. God and His Word are scoffed. Leaders and their followers publicly and brazenly live out ungodly desires. The majority of the citizenry, legitimate or illegitimate, now elect men and women to office who openly disdain God in both word and deed. What God hates is celebrated. Infant life is wantonly slaughtered for convenience. Laws are no longer meant to be obeyed by those in power, who freely do what they desire without restriction. The centuries-honored constitution is now only a recommendation to be redefined and thrown aside at will. Judges follow their own intuition without being bound by law. Hate speech laws passed to protect sin threaten the free communication of God’s truth.
None of this should be a shock. You have been forewarned in no uncertain terms. But for what purpose? Your encouragement, first of all! God is not caught off guard, nor overcome by such behavior. Neither should you be. He has made provision for you not to be taken in or taken over in these last times. For as Jude warns, some of the scoffers and supporters of those who practice such things are even among you. They are professing Christians. By their vote, by their willingness to join in this blasphemy with an excuse of doing what they think is “right (just a difference in policies they say), they not only affirm those who perpetuate such godlessness, they attack their alleged brothers and sisters who are standing firm for the path of righteousness. Their “reward is certain and it is not a pretty picture. Woe to them! Jude declares. (See Jude 11-13) This forewarning then is for those who will not join with them in their rebellion for the sake of fellowship. What fellowship is there between light and darkness? For them the “gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.(Jude 13) Actions in this past election have put many at risk of receiving the penalty in Jude’s warnings.
But what kind of response from you to what you have just seen and what you continue to see in this generation? Take action of first importance for yourself. “Build yourself up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit! (Jude 20) It is tempting to be angry, frustrated, and stirred to lash out. Put the energy instead into strengthening your own faith, in heart affection for God and knowing Him more, whom to know is life eternal. (John 17:3) And instead of despair, pray in the Holy Spirit for those you know who are participating in this godlessness. You are called to have mercy on those who doubt, and if possible, snatch them from the fire. But as the following verse warns, do not support their actions, or by silence acquiesce with them in their sin; “with fear hate even the garment stained by flesh as you interact with them in their rebellion against a Holy God. (Jude 21-22)
Decide, in these last times, to “keep yourself in the love of God with labored-at-patience waiting upon Jesus’ mercy. He alone is able to keep you from stumbling and present you blameless before the presence of the glory of God with great joy. This ought to be your response to November 6!


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