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Forever Friends

1 Corinthians 15:53-55 (NLT) For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies. Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die,   this Scripture will be fulfilled:  “Death is swallowed up in victory.   O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” I spent last evening in a youth service with grieving young people. The young girl killed in a horrible tragedy had touched many and her kindness rippled through the crowd as many shared of her character even at the tender age of 16. Their sobs racked my heart. Why God? The grief counselors from the local high school were there – all believers – they talked with some, embraced others tightly and prayed with those who requested it. I was moved by the Presence of God in the midst of such sorrow and heartache. Hugging her mother, I prayed peace and strength walking through this week into her new normal. I could

Who’s Blocking the Light?

Bible Reading:  1 Thessalonians 5:1-6 You are all children of the light and of the day.  1  Thessalonians 5:5 YESTERDAY ON the way home from school, a passing truck splashed a sheet of mud across Brent’s windshield. No big deal-except Brent had let his car run out of wiper fluid. He could see so little through the smears that he almost swerved across the center line into oncoming traffic. Close call. Your culture is like that mud-splashed windshield. It doesn’t always let a lot of God’s light into your life. An environment chock-full of apathy or antagonism to­ward God, the Bible, and Christianity makes it hard for you to see God’s truth. And your true identity is one of the first things covered up by the cultural slop. How? Well, your culture blinds you to truth through the media. The TV shows and movies you watch and the Internet sites you visit splatter you with misinforma­tion about God and his people. They blind you with a view of you that is far from God’s view. Your frien

Beat the Thunder

TO BE SELF-CONTROLLED MEANS TO CONTROL YOUR WORRIES AND FEARS INSTEAD OF LETTING THEM CONTROL YOU. Bible Reading of the Day: Read Mark 4:35-41. Verse of the Day:  “When I am afraid, I will trust in you” (Psalm 56:3, NIV). “Mommy!” Jeremy screamed. He tried to peer through the darkness. The soft yellow glow of his night light had disappeared; the bright red numbers on the clock beside his bed were gone too. He could hear the wind blowing outside his bedroom window, and every once in a while lightning and thunder pierced the sky. He cried again but soon felt his mother’s presence beside him. He stretched out his arms and wrapped them around his mother as she sat on the side of his bed. She held a flashlight in her hand. “I’m scared, Mommy,” he said. “I know, sweetheart, but it’s only a thunderstorm.” “Don’t you ever get scared?” “Everybody gets scared, sweetheart,” Mom said. “But when I’m scared I pray about it and ask God to help me not be scared. Would you do that with me now

Create Joy

Psalm 51:10-12 (CSB) God, create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore the joy of your salvation to me, and sustain me by giving me a willing spirit. Could it be that in our pursuit of God through religion that it becomes our focus to avoid sin rather than to embrace a true relationship with the Lord through righteousness? The purpose of righteousness is much greater than avoiding bad things, it is the fulfillment of God’s Purpose by doing the right things. The Bible says that to those who love God – His Commands are not burdensome. (I John 5:3) There is a shift in mentality found in true repentance that is often lost by checklists of doctrine. Perfect love casts out all fear especially that of punishment which is the sole source of avoidance of sin our side of a loving relationship with Jesus Christ. (I John 4:18) For those who seek Him to know Him will find that true repentance can

Can I Get A Witness?

Hebrews 12:1-2 (NLT) Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. I love to wake up with God’s Word on my mind. Too often it is the presiding problem or to-do list for the day but when it is the Voice of God’s Spirit whispering truth to my heart – it is special on all accounts. I was dreaming about the race. The race of faith eluded to in Hebrews 12 right after the Faith Hall of Fame in chapter 11 of the same book. I was the sweaty runner leaning over to catch my breath. Dying to go on yet unable to take a step, the Spirit of God coaching me from within ca

Quarterback Jack

PRIDE INVITES DESTRUCTION; HUMILITY LEADS TO WISDOM. Bible Reading of the Day: Read Proverbs 11:2; 16:18-19. Verse of the Day:  “Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). “Come on, Coach!” Jack screamed from his seat on the bench. “Put me in! I’m a better quarterback than Glenn!” The coach didn’t seem to hear Jack’s words, but the other players did. “Give it up, Jack,” said Jason. “Coach isn’t gonna put you in, all right?” “But I’m better than Glenn,” Jack insisted. “He just won’t give me a chance!” Even Glenn, the team’s starting quarterback, heard Jack from the sidelines. He threw an incomplete pass at third down and jogged off the field as the rest of the team stayed to punt the ball to the other team. “You think you can do a better job?” Glenn asked Jack. “Yeah, I do,” Jack answered, jutting his chin out proudly. A few moments later, Jack looked up from his seat on the bench and was surprised to see Coach standing in front of him.

Obstruction Site

PRIDE OBSTRUCTS THE FLOW OF GOD’S BLESSING TO US; HUMILITY OPENS WINDOWS OF PRAYER AND BLESSING. Bible Reading of the Day: Read 2 Chronicles 7:11-14. Verse of the Day:  “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). “Are you girls all packed for the youth retreat?” Mom called to Dawn and Leslie. The girls appeared, each lugging a duffel bag. “Yeah, we’re ready,” Dawn said. “Don’t forget your music,” Mom said. Their church youth pastor had asked Dawn and Leslie to sing two duets during the weekend. “Yeah, if we forgot it, Pastor might have to ask Belinda to sing!” Dawn said. Leslie laughed. “That would be awful!” Mom opened her mouth to speak but didn’t. Then she pointed toward the family room. “Why don’t you girls watch a little TV until it’s time to leave?” Dawn and Leslie dumped their duffel bags by th

Turn to the One Who Understands

Bible Reading:  Philippians 4: 10-14 I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need. Philippians 4:13 WHEN HANNAH graduated into the high-school group at church, she never clicked-or rather, she never fit into the tight cliques of the group. She started going to another church with a friend, but she always felt like an outsider. Now Hannah has drifted away from church completely-and nobody from either church has even noticed. You aren’t abnormal if you want to have friends and be liked. Like every other human being, you have a built-in need to be significant to others. And unless you are highly unusual, at times you have faced situations that are painful because you are left out. Ridiculed. Or ignored. How you handle those predicaments either makes you stronger or sets you up for further hurt. Jesus Christ is a friend who knows what rejection feels like. Isaiah described him this way: “He was despised and rejected-a man of sorrows, acquainted with bi

The Wisdom of “Foolish” Words

Bible Reading:  1 Corinthians 1:18-20 I know very well how foolish the message of the cross sounds to those who are on the road to destruction. 1 Corinthians 1:18 CHECK OUT these statements from insurance forms-forms where drivers had to de­scribe the details of their car accident in the fewest words possible. Coming home I drove into the wrong house and collided with a tree I don’t have. A truck backed through my windshield and into my wife’s face. The guy was all over the road. I had to swerve a number of times before I hit him. I had been driving for forty years when I fell asleep at the wheel and had an accident. To avoid hitting the bumper of the car in front, I struck a pedestrian. An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my car and vanished. I was sure the old fellow would never make it to the other side of the road when I struck him. I was thrown from my car as it left the road. I was later found in a ditch by some stray cows. The pedest

Still Waiting...

Psalm 27:14 (CSB) Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart be courageous. Wait for the Lord. What are you waiting for? Who are you waiting on? Do you remember the cause of hesitation? Is it waiting or wandering? Who knows anymore? Waiting is one thing, but when you are still waiting it is an entirely different matter. Yesterday, my grandson had an appointment for a routine ultrasound. In his early stages of development, the anatomy scan revealed one kidney was not the same size as the other one. So he has had period scans to evaluate the inequality even though I believe it is just God showing the uniqueness of our design. After endlessly searching for a parking spot, my daughter and I pulled out the stroller and raced to the central registration. Of course, as any toddler would, he became fidgety and did not want to remain in the stroller but rather terrorize the waiting room. While mama filled out all his paperwork, I bounced him to sleep until I had a massive lump of baby

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