The Great RIPOFF!

THE GREAT RIPOFF...Do you think you've gotten the bad end of this Christian life...is satan trying to rip you off?To assume that the Christian lifestyle doesn’t involve suffering is a mistake. The Bible says in Romans 5, verse 3 that “we can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us – they help us learn to endure” (NLT- quotation marks are mine). Think about this! As followers of Christ, we should actually grow stronger spiritually when we face problems and trials; i.e., when we suffer. I agree that it’s not a lot of fun, but God’s ultimate plan is to help us grow through suffering. Therefore, we must remember that when we endure suffering (trials), we are not alone. The Lord is with us. So, let’s remember what the psalmist said, “God is our refuge and strength, [He’s] always ready to help [you] in times of trouble.” (NLT-Psalms. 46:1 Quotations marks are mine)

In a World of Unrelenting Changes - God Provides Stability

Living in a world that is rapidly changing is not easy. We pray and hope for a good outcome in 2012 for ourselves and our country, yet it is difficult to be positive when unemployment is soaring and our national debt is now nearly 16 trillion. Families are on the brink of disaster, suicide is at an all time high, and people are crying out, “Where is God when we need Him?” Things are so bad that it would be easy to “curse God and die” as Job was instructed by his wife (Job 2:9) when things seemed hopeless. But certainly that is not a solution for us as believers in Christ; and  we do have a  steadfast hope (I Pet. 1:3).

 

Misrepresent or Represent...When Fathers Lose Their {Spiritual} Strength..They Are Good for Nothing!

The United States of America has drifted far from its founding principles where fathers played a significant role in both the home and the church. Today there are few homes where fathers teach their children to reverence God. Even worse, too many youngsters are reared by a single female parent, growing into adulthood without the faintest idea of what a  father really is. America will never again be great unless its fathers return to their rightful place of responsibility. Only then will individual and national respect be regained, and the greatness of past years recaptured as, once again, fathers become prominent figures within the family unit. 

 

Churches today are filled with embittered people who grew up in homes without a father, or one in which the ‘father figure’ was cruel, harsh, and unfair. A godly  father will instruct his children in the ways of the Lord (Deut. 6:6-7). Yet only a personal relationship with the living Christ can transform a wayward man who ignores his God-ordained duties into one guided by the Spirit. 

 

Are You Prepared for the Storm?

Being prepared for a storm is very important. To illustrate this point, permit me to tell you a story: Some years ago, a television news camera crew was on assignment in southern Florida filming the widespread destruction of Hurricane Andrew. The camera panned the area where, amid the devastation and debris, one lone house was still standing on its foundation. The owner was cleaning up the yard when a reporter approached him and said, “Sir, why is your house the only one still standing? How did you manage to escape the severe damage of the hurricane?” “I built this house myself,” the man replied. “I also built it according to the Florida state building code. When the code called for 2x6 roof trusses, I used 2x6 roof trusses. I was told that a house built according to the Florida code could withstand a hurricane (storm). Well, may I say, ‘I did, and my house did.’ It could be that no one else around here followed the code.” This story gives us a good example of how one may survive a storm … be prepared!

Are You A Servant Leader

Are you a servant leader or a leader who wants to be served? James Hunter in his book “The Servant” presents a powerful picture of what it really means to be a servant/leader. He shares: “Leadership is ultimately rooted in our will. Not forcing our will on others, but demonstrating our will to serve.

SpringTIME

It’s time for Spring! God has not only blessed us with seasons on this earth, but He has also blessed us with seasons in our lives. Each season, whether earthly or in our personal lives, is only limited by TIME.

TIME is a gift from God. God is the Creator of time. God’s greatest gift to us is Jesus, but I believe the next best gift is time … time to serve our Lord, time for family, time to work, time to play, time to laugh, time to labor, and I could go on and on. We need to learn that every day is a gift from God. Has it ever occurred to you that for you to cease living, God would not have to take your life? All God would have to do is stop giving time to you.

Here is a great illustration concerning time: Imagine if your banker called and told you that an anonymous donor was depositing $1,440 into your bank account every day, 7 days a week – with one stipulation. The stipulation is that you have to spend all that money on that day. There will be no balance carried over to the next day. Each evening, the bank would cancel whatever sum you fail to use. Did you know that every morning a gracious God, who loves you, deposits into your bank of time 1,440 minutes? The same stipulation applies because God does not allow any of our time to be carried over on credit to the next day.

Time gives everyone equal opportunity. Paul says, “Making the most of every opportunity.” Each second that ticks away comes with opportunity.

 

Time is temporal. Psalm 90:12 (NIV) “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Wisdom is the art of spending time wisely. How do we spend our time wisely? Tune into God through prayer. Identify the priorities of your day. Motivate yourself to do it now. Energize yourself with God’s power, not your own.

 

Visitors & Fellow Worshippers … Bearing Another's Burden

In reality, churches are unique organisms, each having its own personality. Thus, while one church body appeals to certain people, another person is more suited to the church down the street. One reason for this is because people want to identify in some way and feel a connection with the church they attend. They need to feel they “fit” in a particular body of believers, knowing this is where their particular gifts and talents will be welcomed and utilized.

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