Recommended Reading: WHAT IS MY PURPOSE?

What Is My Purpose?: 8 Simple Steps to Find Your Purpose and Live a Life You Love (Finding Your Purpose Book) by [Foster, Simon]

What Is My Purpose?: 8 Simple Steps to Find Your Purpose and Live a Life You Love

Have you ever wondered if life has any meaning? Are you here just to survive a little? Is this life meaningless for you?

What if we were created for a purpose?

The ambition to discover the purpose of life is nearly as old as mankind. You have the striving desire to demonstrate yourself and others that you actually do have a purpose and that you are very good at it.

Unfortunately, many of us just waste our time wondering but never doing anything to discover life’s purpose or the true meaning of life.

Start taking action now and get the benefits of discovering your life purpose, the true meaning of your life and discover your personal mission.

By doing it you will start finally moving on the right direction to enjoy every second of a new self-designed meaningful life.

Awesome Gift Idea All Year for the Young & Elder too!

AS ALL OF YOU REALIZE, I RARELY “ASK” YOU TO LISTEN TO ANYTHING!
PLEASE LISTEN TO THIS. I HAVE MYSELF BOUGHT THE BIGGER BUNDLE, BUT THIS ISN’T A SALES PITCH, THIS IS ABOUT OUR CULTURE, WHAT SATAN IS DOING TO OUR KIDS VIA AMUSEMENT.
http://lamplighter.net/c/christmasfamilyspecial/
Last Sunday I heard this program… there are so many mom’s who are Spiritually sensitive, and a few Dad’s too… and I wished I could connect immediately with you and say, you have got to hear this guy! But, I couldn’t. So I have gone to great lengths, trying to search the radio programs for this in the archives, and finally I wrote to the speakers company itself. I not only heard from a worker there within less than 12 hours, today I received a note from the speaker himself. (you may read it below) This human knows the Word, and feels that “the day” is very soon coming for Jesus return…. This non-profit company is printing books and making CD’s to get God’s truth out there NOW… It is urgent! Pay attention to his definitions of words! This is most fascinating. We are like sheep! we are so easily lead by the “crowd”! We are allowing this Culture to take us into the la-la land of amusement, exactly as some of you have heard me say before…I am not gonna tell ya! YOU, have got to take a listen!! Hey there Grandma’s! …..Here is a low cost gift for the kids at Christmas this year but it is worth its weight in spiritually influential gold! And if you know any book lovers… get it for them too! As I said.. I am gonna read these books too! and wait until you read what Mark says to me in the end of his note! GO AHEAD… LISTEN NOW… TURN IT UP SO YOUR WHOLE HOUSE LISTENS!!!!!
HEY RICK! I have something here I want you to hear!

De Etta:
Thank you for contacting us. Someone may have already gotten back to you but I wanted to personally send you a note. We are not sure what program you listened to, but my hunch is that is was the broadcast from thie following link:”
http://lamplighter.net/c/christmasfamilyspecial/
This second link is from our daily radio broadcast. If it isn’t either of these, please let me know. The first one, I believe is the one you will want to share with you people.
Blessings to you! ps. if you ever need any recommendations about the books or audios, let me know. I love to connect people with the right story. And btw, most of our readers are adults!

Mark Hamby
President
www.lamplighter.net

A L I F E S T Y L E O F S E R I O U S N E S S . . . . . PAUL TRIPP

Paul Tripp Ministries, Inc.

A LIFESTYLE OF SERIOUSNESS

This is the fourth and final devotional from Hebrews 10:19-31. If you’ve missed any in the past, you can always catch up at http://www.PaulTripp.com/Wednesday.

“For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins […] It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:26-31)

I don’t have the space to unpack all these verses, but it’s crucial that we see how sin is talked about in this passage. Sin is not described as a breaking of some abstract law; sin is presented as a direct affront to the Triune God.

Look at the words used in these verses: “trampled underfoot the Son of God” […] “profaned the blood of the covenant” […] “outraged the Spirit of grace.” That’s serious language.

We live in a culture that doesn’t take sin seriously anymore. We call it “powerful advertising” – we ignore, minimize, laugh at, and sometimes even praise what God calls sin. We’ve fallen into the trap of thinking that sin isn’t so bad after all.

Brothers and sisters, we need to take sin incredibly seriously. Yes, the penalty for sin has been paid, but you can still be a Christian and ruin your life because you don’t take seriously the consequences of your sin.

Galatians 6:7 says, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” There is a direct correlation between the choices of your heart and the quality of your life.

Perhaps even more importantly, you can’t celebrate the beauty of the gospel until you recognize the ugliness of sin. Jesus becomes so much more precious when you realize just what He has rescued you from.

I would encourage you today – take seriously the consequence of your actions, and take seriously the ugly nature of your sin. Your life and your Savior grow in beauty as you do.

God bless

Paul David Tripp
REFLECTION QUESTIONS:

Why might a law feel “easier” to break if its abstract instead of personal?

How does our culture ignore, minimize, laugh at or praise sin?

How did you ignore, minimize, laugh at or praise sin this past week?

How have you seen a direct correlation between the choices of your heart and the quality of your life?

How does Jesus become more precious as you take sin more seriously?

Aside

This extraordinary Bible is the result of 40 years of study by the most widely viewed and respected Bible teacher in the world today. This legacy resource will be the standard for decades to come.

 

A 2,200 page one-of-a-kind study tool — featuring insightful and practical content:

 

  • Unique Introductions    view >
    For every one of the 66 books of the Bible, we have developed a unique and captivating introduction that will open readers’ eyes to the experiences and the background of the Biblical writers through whom the Holy Spirit breathed.
  • 8,000 individual study notes    view >
    Accompanying the Scripture text in this Bible are more than 8,000 study notes. Where there’s a relevant issue or key point to be made in the text, you’ll find a note at the bottom of the page that explains it.
  • Hundreds of enriching sidebars    view >
    word studies, historical insights, & more. There are hundreds of sidebars positioned within the text that offer additional insight and application beyond the notes. To make these segments even more useful for readers, we have created a sidebar index for the entire Bible. A quick glance will direct you to the biblical topic of your choice.
  • 50+ full-page articles    view >
    There are hundreds of sidebars positioned within the text that offer additional insight and application beyond the notes.
  • Words of Jesus in red letter print    view >
  • Colorful maps, charts, and tables    view >
  • Easy-to-read type    view >
  • Thorough cross-reference system to guide you through the Bible    view >
  • Topical index    view >
  • 80+ page general concordance    view >
  • Available in 6 unique styles    view >

 

 

The Keys to a Successful Life

I grew up with the Bible being at the center of everything we did in our family. My father was a pastor, a teacher of the Word; and when he went to heaven, I was given all of his sermon notes and Bibles. They were well-worn and often used. My mother lived out God’s Word in her hospitality, her parenting, and in so many other ways. As a part of my legacy from my parents, I understood that the Bible was the key to a successful life.

I have now been preaching and teaching the Bible for over 40 years. And there’s still so much in it that I haven’t yet had time to even study. I remember when I graduated from seminary, somebody told me, “David, you’re going to fish out of this pond for the rest of your life. And they were right. After all this time, I still can’t get enough of it. And it still is teaching me.

I spend many hours each week preparing to teach the Word, and I am constantly discovering new insights that guide my life. Things I’ve never noticed before. It is the only fully inspired Book ever written. It is authoritative. And because of that, I have great confidence when I teach from it. As long as I am faithful to the text, it remains God’s Word — God speaking to us.

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What It Says. What It Means. What It Means For You.

I want people to understand what the Bible says, what it means, and what it means for them. These three things are central in my thinking when I prepare to preach, and they serve as the framework for the structure of this entire Bible.

First, I want to help people understand what the Bible says—and particularly, what it said in its original context. If the text was originally written as a letter, for instance, what would those original recipients have understood? I want to be true to the text. The first thing anyone should do is read the Bible for what it is and for what it says.

Second, it’s important to talk about what Scripture means. How do I interpret what I’m reading? Obviously, there’s room for some opinion, but overall the Bible is a self-interpreting book; we interpret one passage by another passage. A student of the Word of God should never stray too far from “what it means.”

Third, I ask, “What does it mean for me?” and then I try to help God’s people understand what it means for them. In many of the notes and special features of this Bible, practical application is a key component. Application is at the heart of my approach to ministry and to the Word, and it is what helps seal the Word in people’s lives, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit uses words of application to bring the Bible’s teaching home to the heart.

If people walk away from the Bible and they know what it says, and they know what it means, but they don’t know how it works in their own life, they will see no change. I try to take Scripture the extra mile so that people will understand how it works in their lives. This philosophy is evident throughout The Jeremiah Study Bible.

 

The Jeremiah Study Bible

 

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More information and details about the Jeremiah Study Bible

Aside

goTandem

Everyday Rain

I grew up wealthy enough to know how to have a good time. Sunny days beckoned shopping in outdoor malls, lunch at local restaurants and grabbing some ice cream afterwards. A free concert in the park was nice, but couldn’t replace days of browsing at a book store and getting coffee on my way to buy some new shoes.

Moses says to Israel, as they anticipate finding a home in the Promised Land:

“So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, so that as long as the sky remains above the earth, you and your children may flourish in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors” (Deuteronomy 11:18-21).

Ecclesiastes tells us, as do various proverbs, to enjoy our friends and food during our short existence. But for me, my enjoyment of those things stole away pleasures like walking through cool, wooded paths and thinking about God’s power and creativity. Pleasures like the strength of my little sister’s arms around me before I fly away again to a place far from her.

I think in this section of Deuteronomy Moses is telling the people how important it is to remember God’s words, his laws and promises, throughout the ordinary experiences of their day. I think he’s telling Israel to find God in the most common places and to use those findings to bring their hearts closer to him.

Seeing God in ordinary places will look different for everyone. Some of us will recite the Bible to our children; others will simply talk about truth we observe. Some of us will buy plaques with Bible verses, or write them on post-its, or copy them in journals. The point isn’t how we remind ourselves to find God in the trees and in the everyday rain, but whether or not we do at all.

June

View this message in goTandem >>

I must have Relationship with God to know what he wants me to do in issues not addressed…

Today's Turning Point
Thursday, March 20


Nothing to Fear

And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day.
Jude 1:6

Recommended Reading
2 Peter 2:4-11

It has been said, "Everything in the Bible is true, but not all truth is in the Bible." The Bible is not an encyclopedia containing all known truth. It is the record of the revelation of God — the story of redemption. It provides all we need to know about some subjects, like how to be reconciled to God. But it doesn’t tell all we’d like to know — and someday will know — about other subjects. Jude 1:6 is an example of the tip of a theological iceberg that begs for a fuller revelation.

listen_black.jpg

We would like to know more about Satan’s rebellion in which many angels participated. We would like to know more about how and where those angels are being kept in "chains under darkness" until the final judgment. And we would like to know the differences between these incarcerated angels and the demons that apparently are free to roam the earth.

When we find hints in Scripture about subjects not fully revealed, we are reminded that God keeps Satan and fallen angels on a short leash, that evil will one day be punished, and those who are secure in Christ have nothing to fear (Romans 8:35-39).

I more fear what is within me than what comes from without.
Martin Luther
Read-Thru-the-Bible
Judges 20-21

David Jeremiah's Website

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When Suffering Enters Your Door

When Suffering Enters Your Door by Paul David Tripp
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Are you in a moment of suffering right now? Are you close to someone facing hardship?The Bible says that suffering should not take us by surprise; it is the universal experience of every human being. But many Christians are confused and unprepared when suffering enters their door.

I’m excited to announce that we recently released a new video curriculum to deal with these issues. When Suffering Enters Your Door is a four-session study that provides biblical answers to practical questions like, “Why does God allow suffering?” “How do I suffer well?” and “How do I help someone in the middle of a trial?”

WATCH AN EXCERPT

We want to get this curriculum into your hands, so we are offering the suffering material for 50% off the retail price. You can purchase the DVD for only $24.95 or download the digital video for only $19.95.The curriculum comes with a free leader’s guide and discussion guide, making it ideal for small groups, bible studies, and training courses.

GET YOURS TODAY

Are you prepared for when suffering enters your door? It is my prayer that this curriculum will ready your soul and equip you to be an agent of comfort.God bless

Paul David Tripp

Copyright © 2014 Paul Tripp Ministries, All rights reserved. CONTACT US:Paul Tripp Ministries, Inc.
7214 Frankford Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19135 info

215-338-4000

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Recommended reading for Men: Fight: Winning the Battles That Matter Most

Fight: Winning the Battles That Matter MostFight: Winning the Battles That Matter Most
by Craig Groeschel

Author and pastor Craig Groeschel helps you uncover who you really are – a man created in the image of God with a warrior’s heart – and how to fight the good fight for what’s right. You will find the strength to fight the battles you know you need to fight – the ones that determine the state of your heart, the quality of your marriage, and the spiritual health of your family.

Craig will also look at examples from the Bible, including our good buddy Samson. Yep, the dude with the rippling biceps and hippie hair and a thing for Delilah. You may be surprised how much we have in common with this guy. By looking at his life, you’ll learn how to defeat the demons that make strong men weak. You’ll become who God made you to be: A man who knows how to fight for what’s right. And don’t you dare show up for this fight unarmed. Learn how to fight with faith, with prayer, and with the Word of God It’s time to fight like a man. For God’s Sake, FIGHT.

Still a Hot Deal? Click Here to find out!

recommended reading: The Big Story: How the Bible Makes Sense out of Life

The Big Story: How the Bible Makes Sense out of LifeThe Big Story: How the Bible Makes Sense out of Life
by Justin Buzzard

What is your story?

When strangers meet today they often ask not, “What do you do?,” but “What is your story?” Everybody has a story. And everybody on the planet believes some larger story in order to make sense of the smaller story of their life. We want our lives to fit within a larger plot-complete with a sense of history, conflict resolution, forward movement, and future.

So, the better question to ask is, “What sort of story are you in?”

Most people believe false stories that leave them disillusioned, enslaved, and hopeless. Secular stories of chasing success and religious stories of doing good works can both leave us feeling exhausted and empty. Only Christianity, only the old and ongoing story of the Bible, offers a story that’s big enough to make sense of both the beauty and brokenness in our lives and in our world. At the center of this story is a God who disturbs our life in order to set us free.

Still a Hot Deal? Click Here to find out!

Recommended reading: The Jeremiah Study Bible

This extraordinary Bible is the result of 40 years of study by the most widely viewed and respected Bible teacher in the world today. This legacy resource will be the standard for decades to come.

A 2,200 page one-of-a-kind study tool — featuring insightful and practical content:

  • Unique Introductions    view >
    For every one of the 66 books of the Bible, we have developed a unique and captivating introduction that will open readers’ eyes to the experiences and the background of the Biblical writers through whom the Holy Spirit breathed.

  • 8,000 individual study notes    view >
    Accompanying the Scripture text in this Bible are more than 8,000 study notes. Where there’s a relevant issue or key point to be made in the text, you’ll find a note at the bottom of the page that explains it.

  • Hundreds of enriching sidebars    view >
    word studies, historical insights, & more. There are hundreds of sidebars positioned within the text that offer additional insight and application beyond the notes. To make these segments even more useful for readers, we have created a sidebar index for the entire Bible. A quick glance will direct you to the biblical topic of your choice.

  • 50+ full-page articles    view >
    There are hundreds of sidebars positioned within the text that offer additional insight and application beyond the notes.

  • Words of Jesus in red letter print    view >

  • Colorful maps, charts, and tables    view >

  • Easy-to-read type    view >

  • Thorough cross-reference system to guide you through the Bible    view >

  • Topical index    view >

  • 80+ page general concordance    view >

  • Available in 6 unique styles    view >

  • The Jeremiah Study Bible - Hardcover
    PRICE $50
    QTY
    The Jeremiah Study Bible - Black Soft-Touch LeatherLuxe
    PRICE $75
    QTY
    The Jeremiah Study Bible - Purple & Gray Soft-Touch LeatherLuxe
    PRICE $75
    QTY
    The Jeremiah Study Bible - Charcoal & Burgundy Soft-Touch LeatherLuxe
    PRICE $75
    QTY
    The Jeremiah Study Bible - Gray & Teal Soft-Touch LeatherLuxe
    PRICE $75
    QTY
    The Jeremiah Study Bible - Black Genuine Leather

    PRICE $90
    QTY

  • I am going to order the Teal and Gray! I love this man’s sermons and would love to read his notes on various subjects!

Book for women: Your Beautiful Purpose

Your Beautiful PurposeYour Beautiful Purpose by Susie Larson

Popular Radio Host Shows Women How to Embrace God’s Unique Call for Their Life

Listeners to Susie Larson’s radio show and women she meets at events across the country tell her the same thing: I want to do something meaningful for God, but I don’t know what to do, or how.

Drawing on her own hard-earned experiences, Larson shows readers how to overcome insecurities, busyness, and other obstacles in order to focus their gifts and passions on their unique God-assignment. With biblical insights and inspiring stories from a variety of women, this action-oriented guide will speak to every woman who has felt a nudge from God – from the visionary who wants to end poverty to the empty-nest mom who feels called to help the young single mother next door.

Spiritual Book Reading

Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know

Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should KnowChristian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know by Wayne Grudem

Theology is important because what we believe affects how we live. If you’re a relatively new believer in Jesus, or if you’re a more mature Christian looking for a quick brush-up on basics of the faith, Christian Beliefs is for you. This readable guide to twenty basic Christian beliefs is a condensation of Wayne Grudem’s award-winning book on systematic theology, prized by pastors and teachers everywhere. He and his son, Elliot, have boiled down the essentials of Christian theology for the average layperson and made them both clear and applicable to life.

You will learn about the Bible, the characteristics of God, what it means that we are created in the image of God, what God has done for us in Christ, the purpose of the church, and much more. Each chapter includes questions for personal review or group discussion.

Still a Hot Deal? Click Here to find out!

Think it Not Strange

Think it Not Strange

thinkitnotstrange.jpg

I was thinking about Thanksgiving the other day and I read something that stopped me.  It was this: “The pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts … nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.” Boy, doesn’t that say a lot!

Think about it.  Our forefathers—the courageous men and women, who came to this country on the Mayflower, had a pretty tough go of things.  And in spite of a huge loss of life and incredible hardship they kept their faith and thanked God, when all they had was a sorry place to live and the hope that they would grow or kill enough food to eat.  Others had been wiped out before them and they might be next, but they gave thanks anyway.

Just think about that for a moment and then think about your life.  We’ve all had pain in our lives, and maybe you have experienced hurt and suffering that is beyond what we think anyone should have to go through; yet we are called to pause and give thanks to God for Him and His incredible blessings no matter what our circumstances.   Read what the apostle, Paul, wrote: Be joyful; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus – 1 Thessalonians 5:16

Just the other day I was listening to a man who was facing prison time and all that would come and go with it.  When he sat down to dinner and asked God to bless the food, he realized that this was the first time in his life, he had thanked God for his food and been truly grateful for it.  Surely we don’t have to be facing time in prison to be thankful for what God provides for us everyday. 

For 25 years we really have been truly grateful to God for allowing us here at New Life to provide the ministry we have to fellow strugglers.

And you know, there has never been a time in our 25-year history that all of us at New Life have sensed, felt, and experienced a greater need for our ministry.  People get in trouble, experience hurt, and come face to face with the fact that what they trusted in and depended on is not there for them anymore.  

So, when the challenges, the fiery trials, and the tough times in life come your way, the apostle Peter reassures you that it is not unusual or unexpected: Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you – 1 Peter 4:12

I want to encourage you with this verse to allow a very old phrase to become part of your meditation during tough times: Think it not strange! Think it not strange when it all falls down or all falls apart. Think it not strange when your plans for the future seem impossible. Think it not strange that your faith, your faithfulness, and your generosity have not protected you from the realities of this fallen world. And . . . think it not strange that at the point of your greatest fear, pain, insecurity, desperation and loss, God wants you to support what He is doing.

Maybe you are like me, and you have found that giving God a portion of some excess brings very little satisfaction.  But when I give sacrificially, when it makes no sense, when I could make a strong case to not give, that is when my gift produces far more than I ever dreamed. When you give like that, that’s when your gift is more meaningful to God, it’s more meaningful to whom you choose to give it to, and it will prove to be more meaningful to you.

Two of the most meaningful gifts New Life has ever received were not the two largest gifts we ever received. One was a gift of $4.73.  It was from someone who called and told us  that was all he had left in his bank account; but that the radio program just had to stay on the air, so he was sending all he had. Boy was that humbling!  And it was meaningful to each and every staff member at New Life.  It’s had an impact on us like you can’t imagine! It made me so grateful that our President, Larry Sonnenburg, will stretch that $4.73 better than anyone I know.

The gift from the lady who wanted to commit to giving monthly to New Life also had a tremendous impact on us.  She knew that we ask for a minimum gift of $30 a month to become a member of Club New Life.  But all she could afford to give on a monthly basis was $2.  She knew it wouldn’t qualify her to be a Club New Life member, but she asked us to set her up within our automatic giving plan for her to give New Life $2 a month. These gifts were a great reminder to us that God doesn’t look at the size of the gift, but He looks at your heart and the sacrifice.

So . . . I am asking you to do two things:

1.  Acknowledge to God that you know there are going to be some amazingly good things that will come from the hurt and pain you might be going through.   And thank Him in advance, in the midst of your struggle, for the good that is yet to come . . . that is about to come if you’ll just persevere and endure.  You will, “Think it not strange!”

2.  Respond to God’s calling for you to give when it is toughest.  Not out of your excess, but give sacrificially when it makes the least sense, when it hurts the most. Think it not strange that this is exactly the time that God wants you to respond to His eternal plans rather than to your temporary earthly circumstances.

If you make a gift in response to this Thanksgiving greeting and challenge, I’ll thank you with a gift of The 7-Minute Marriage Solution Devotional Bible.

Thank you for partnering with us!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Founder

Chapter 10: Single Sexuality

Chapter 10: Single Sexuality

If you find yourself tempted, ask God to speak to your heart. Ultimately, He’s who you’ll have to answer to. And if you place your trust in Him, I know that you will find Him faithful; faithful to you and faithful to His plan for you life. Don’t miss Him and miss His best for you.

If you become involved in a sexual relationship with someone you are not married to, or even if you decide to begin dating before you are divorced, you’ll likely start realizing that you are hiding from just about everyone. We talked about Adam and Eve in the garden, after they had given in to their temptation, tried to “hide” from God. If you truly believe that God is in this, why are you hiding? Why are you hiding from family, hiding from friends who care about you- you’re probably even trying to hide from God.

We talked a little before about rebounding, even in the Finance video discussion. Rebounding from the pain and trying to make ourselves feel better by buying stuff; clothing, jewelry, a new car. It’s often the same situation with our newly single sexuality. We’ve been rejected by the one person who promised that they wouldn’t– the one person that we counted on to be by our side. Wasn’t I (fill in the blank) enough? And it cuts us to the core. But what we really need, despite the recommendations of others, is to focus on ourselves and get comfortable in our singleness, be open to what God is teaching us, heal up from this hurt, and leave all that baggage behind, rather than bringing that into a new relationship.

Here’s my point- indulgence in a sexual relationship outside of marriage results in, most important to this discussion, a screwed-up relationship with God. Sure, you reject the friends and family that disagree with you, and have counseled against this, and eventually you’ll find other “friends” who won’t challenge you in your walk– friends who “just accept you”- yes, it’s easy to find replacements like that; the path of least resistance and all. “I’ll surround myself with people who make me feel good about my sin.” Nobody would admit to that, but thats what we do. These sorts of “friends” are all around us. But, you won’t be able to silence God’s voice. How long can you ignore that?

I don’t know how long I could hold out, either, so please know that we have a real heart of compassion for you. But please also know that I’m praying for you all that God’s grace would abound to you and that YOU would abound in grace, too.

The Gentle Ways of the Beautiful Woman…. Freedom, Fullness and Fruitfulness

 

A portion of Nancy Lee Demoss radio program

Nancy: I’ve seen these older women, some of whom are bitter, cantankerous, ornery . . .

Anne: Which is why little, old ladies get kicked around, because we don’t have an image of a godly, older woman who is an example to others and who walks with Jesus and has joy in her heart.

I love the verse in, I think it’s the 78th Psalm. I wouldn’t want to swear to it. It’s the left side of the page, if that will help you. It says that she will not rest until she has taught the younger generations the works of the Lord, proclaiming that God is good (see v. 4).

Nancy: Yes, it is Psalm 78:1-4

Anne: I think if we can proclaim, if we’ve even become paraplegics, our legs don’t work, our arms don’t work, if we can still speak, we can do that.

Nancy: Anne, talk to us about beyond aging, death itself. You have a chapter in this book, The Gentle Ways of the Beautiful Woman, and it’s a chapter about being equally at ease with life and death. You don’t read many chapters in books today about how to face dying without fear, with confidence in the Lord.

Anne: This chapter says that one of the keys to that is getting to know the Lord one-on-one. If everything in your life has been the group, everything is the family, everything is church, everything is multiple, if we are not used to being alone with the Lord . . . death is a one-on-one thing. The group gets cut out. The family gets cut out.

The dearest ones around you get cut out in that experience. He must be supreme. He’s got to be priority one or it would simply be too painful to be cut off from the others as something that’s going to happen, but it would be more painful.

Also, it would be so unfamiliar to us. We would not know how to handle one-on-one experiences with the Lord the way sickness is. No matter who loves you or how much they love you, they cannot take your sickness for you, and you realize you’re one-on-one with the Lord.

This is what either brings glory to that situation or it’s just a bad-news thing. I mean, pain is pain, but Jesus is the transforming power. He makes all the difference.

Nancy: Yes.

Okay, you tell us to learn how to live in constant readiness for death. What does that mean, and how do you do it?

Anne: Well, for one thing, you do it simply because if we’re twenty years old, Jesus may come, and He will just come in an instant and snatch up believers to be with Himself. So all of us must be ready for that moment.

If it does not come, if He chooses to wait so that we do experience death, then we need to be in constant readiness for that.

I’m thinking of the 139th Psalm that says “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (v. 16). And if He has planned a long life or a short life, it’s the quality of the life that counts. It’s living it with Him. It’s being in readiness to go or to stay.

Paul says, “To me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21). And then he tosses that around in Philippians chapter 1. He says, “Well, I’d really rather go, but I may have to stay for the sake of ministry for a while.”

I kind of feel that way. I am so excited about dying. I kid you not. Maybe I’ll go so fast I won’t know, just from one to the other. But however God has planned for it, if it’s through pain, well, hey, I’m not the first, and God will give grace.

Somebody said, “Do you have dying grace?” I think somebody asked Charles or John Wesley this. And he said, “No, but I’m not dying yet.” We have the grace that we need for the moment that we’re living.

Nancy: And the fact is, for every one of us, soon, in light of eternity, we will face death.

Anne: Sooner than we think.

Nancy: We need to be living in constant readiness, not just for the dying process or moment, but for what comes beyond that. That is the moment when we’ll give account to Christ. We will face Him, and I know, Anne, that you want to face Him with joy.

Anne: It gives motivation. We’re not going to be here forever. Our unsaved neighbors will not be here forever. We need to say what we need to say now, not later. We need to live “as dying men to dying men,” Wesley said.

 
to see the whole radio transcript go to Nancy Lee Demoss website and look up radio program for Nov. 29, 2013. Nancy Interviews Ann Ortlund who has written the  book : THE GENTLE WAYS OF THE BEAUTIFUL WOMAN.

What are You Feeding Your Soul?… Which Wolf is winning?…

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DATING and the Single Parent

Dating and the Single Parent – Save $14

Dating and the Single ParentDating and the Single Parent by Ron L. Deal

Single parents who are dating or want to begin a dating relationship wonder, How will dating affect my children and my parenting? They probably have figured out that “dating in a crowd” is complicated. Now they’re looking for help.

Ron Deal, who has counseled single parents and remarried couples for many years, helps single parents – as well as those who date them – navigate the potential pitfalls involved. He gives perspective on when a relationship may be harmful to the children as well as how it can be a blessing to all. Always at the forefront is the goal of strengthening families. Includes questions for individual or group study.

Are you Feeding the right Wolf?

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The Two Wolves Within

An old Cherokee told his grandson
‘Two wolves rage within us,

One is Evil, it has many names:
Anger, envy, jealousy,
Sorrow, regret, greed,
Arrogance, self-pity, guilt,
Resentment, inferiority, lies,
False-pride, superiority and ego.

The other is Good, it has many hues:
Joy, peace, love, hope,
Serenity, humility, kindness,
Benevolence, empathy, generosity,
Truth, compassion and faith.’

The grandson thought for a minute
And asked: ‘Which Wolf wins?’
The Cherokee simply replied:
‘The one you feed!’
Author: Zoya Zaidi
Aligarh (UP), India
Copyright©: Zoya Zaidi

 

Aside

Barriers to Real…….

James MacDonald – Senior Pastor – Harvest Bible Chapel

You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them.
—Exodus 20:4-5

When we allow anything to accumulate on the table of our heart and mind, occupying our time and attention in a worshipful way—that’s a problem. But sweeping all of those things off the table so only God remains as the object of our worship aligns with our ultimate reality. We are for Him, breathing for Him, living for Him, and spending our lives for Him. God in the center of our attention is the essence of worship.

The second commandment reminds us we have a capacity for creating idols and false gods: “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them.” Creating an idol isn’t just carving or molding an image. More often it’s placing godlike values on something that can’t possibly accomplish what only God can do. Whenever we worship what is created instead of our Creator, we end up with nothing but trouble. The warning in this commandment is one of the reasons we come to church: to sweep our idols off the table.

So what most often distracts our worship from God? We asked 100 people and here are the top five answers:

5. Our families. We can let our children or our spouse get in the place of God. Our families are our God-given primary responsibility; that’s why they can never come before Him. If we make them more important than God, we’ve failed in what He wants us to do for them!

4. Money and posessions. We easily worship things instead of God. Jesus said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth . . . For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21). When we worship God, we treasure Him and recognize His worth, but if we set our hearts on our treasure—our money, our posessions—it displaces God and we’re in trouble.

3. Sports figures and celebrities. We worship people when we think “Oh, if only I could be like him.” That’s worship. Do we recognize the convicting accuracy of a television program named American Idol? People are worshiping other people.

2. Our careers and accomplishments. We trust these fragile, temporal achievements to give our lives meaning and significance—the very qualities only God can supply.

1. Ourselves. We turn our needs and wants into our highest pursuit. When we won’t allow anyone, not even God, to get in the way of what we desire, we’re worshiping the idol in the mirror.

The discipline of worship is a deliberate act where we sweep clean the table of our hearts and remove all the false gods who would claim our worship. We gather with others in God’s presence and ask Him to burn away every worthless thing that would crowd out His rightful place. That’s worship at its best and it’s where God shows up in glory.

Read the five idol categories again. Where have you allowed something or someone to slip into God’s place in your life? Don’t hesitate—confess it and set that idol aside. Ask God to trigger a warning when the idol tempts you again. Thank Him for being the one true God in your life.

Barriers to Relationship….

Why are relationship struggles so disappointing?


Why are relationship struggles so disappointing? Why do the problems we have with other people affect us so powerfully? Why is relational disappointment one of the hardest disappointments for all of us to face? Let me suggest some reasons.

1. You were created to be a social being:

You and I were never designed to live in isolation. We weren’t wired to be distant from and unaffected by the people around us. In fact, since we were created in God’s likeness, desire for and participation in community is a fundamental part of our humanity. The God who made us in his likeness not only does community, he is a community!

To deny this aspect of your daily life would literally be to deny your humanity. There would be something dramatically wrong with you if you removed yourself completely from other people. What this means is that the hurts of relationships cut deep. In a real way they touch the essence of who God made you to be, and because of this they’re not to be taken lightly.

2. We all enter our relationships with unrealistic expectations:

Somehow, someway, we’re able to deceive ourselves into thinking that we’ll be able to avoid the difficulties that attend any relationship in this broken world. In the early days of a relationship we work to convince ourselves that we’re more righteous, and the other person more perfect, than they and we actually are.

This causes us to be shocked when an unexpected but inevitable difficulty gets in the way of the bliss that we had convinced ourselves we had finally found. Here’s where the Bible is so helpful. It’s very honest about the messiness and disappointment that everyone deals with in every relationship they have.

3. We all seek identity in our relationships:

What does this mean? It means that we tend to look for fundamental personal meaning, purpose and sense of well-being from other people. In doing this, we turn people into our own personal messiahs, seeking to get from them what no other human being is ever able to deliver. That other person is not supposed to be the thing that gets you up in the morning. They’re not to be what makes life worth living for you.

When they’re in this place, you’ve given them too much power and you’re asking of them something that no flawed human being can ever pull off. On the other hand, when you’re getting your foundational sense of well-being from the Lord, you’re then able to step into the inevitable messiness of relationships this side of heaven, and be neither anxious nor self-protective.

4. Our relationships are more about our little kingdoms than the kingdom of God:

Without being aware of it, our relationships are often about what we want out of our lives rather than what God wants for our lives. So we have an “I love you and have a wonderful plan for your life” approach to relationships with other people. Often we’re disappointed with a relationship at the very moment when God is producing through this relationship exactly what he wanted to produce. Our problem is that our agenda doesn’t agree with God’s!

So, there are reasons for our disappointments but there’s grace for them as well. The God who will take us where we didn’t plan to go in order to produce in us what we couldn’t achieve on our own will also give us the grace to hang in there as he uses the messy disappointment of relationships to change and grow us and others.

God bless

Paul David Tripp

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Reflection Questions

Reflect on two or three significant relationships in your life. Evaluate the spiritual health of these relationships by asking yourself the following three questions:

  1. How might you be asking these relationships to fuel your personal identity? Why is this dangerous?
  2. How self-serving are you in these relationships? Where you can be more self-sacrificing?
  3. How can you make these relationships more about the Kingdom of God?