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Friday, November 30, 2007

Do you believe in the bible?

Your Inner Power of Apotrophy

By Jason Witt

When you receive the Seal you become a little garden plot, and you nourish the crop in your garden by apotrophy, where you are the earth itself feeding the flower from within yourself.

The crop undergoing apotrophy is feeding from something--your fertile soil. And your fertile soil is feeding away from itself and into something completely different--the crop you bear.

You have what it takes inside you to become this garden and feed the seed. You have the innate ability for you have what is required inside you already, even without any help from God.

That is right. You have what your crop requires inside you even without any help from God. Not that you need to go without God's help. But you need to realize what power is within you.

All the nutrients needed to provide for your garden are within you. And when a little seed begins to grow in that garden, its roots will probe into your thoughts looking for what it needs to survive.

Your thoughts will bring the nourishment to that little seed and it will grow. In time it will come to full flower and bear fruit. It is all possible with your thoughts which provide the nutrients.

Now your feelings also help your garden grow. Your feelings can enable you to have many of the kinds of thoughts that will grow as good things. Yet if you are often in pain it can hinder the progress of your garden.

The Holy Spirit will come to live within you. And this will comfort you. So your feelings will reinforce good thoughts in your mind. When you are comforted, you are ready to change the way you think.

But you must know that not everything in the garden is a pleasing plant. There will be weeds sown by the enemy. And you will have negative thoughts like doubt and fear which will feed those plants like they want.

Just as you tend a garden to grow vegetables you can tend the garden of your mind. You can uproot the negative plants. You can pull the weeds. But often you need to do it daily, sometimes many times within the day.

Because apotrophy works with anything you want to grow. You have the necessary nutrients within your mind. And your thoughts bring those nutrients up to whatever is growing, whether it is good or something negative.

So you can bear fruit. And you can do it without the help of God or anyone else. You can change your thoughts and think about certain things more while cutting out other thoughts. You can choose. You have the power.

But you do want to include God. When you are sealed you belong to God so you do not exclude Him. And though you are able to grow your garden independently, God's help makes everything much easier.

God sows good seed in you. A lot of good seed. So you can depend on God to help you engender a good garden. And God will also help you to change the constitution of your soil.

Is your soil sandy or rocky? Does it have much clay in it? What is causing you to provide less than ideal for your garden? God can change that. And He can change some of your thoughts and where they come from.

God wants you to provide for your plants with apotrophy. He wants you to become a little garden so you can grow them. And so you can do it, He wants you to receive the Seal.
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And now Jason invites you to get your FREE report Are You Making These Mistakes as a Christian?And visit to learn about being sealed here.
Jason Witt

One Real Test Of Our Character

By Sandy Shaw

Jesus is alone with His disciples, as they rest and recover from a demanding time of service and ministry. It is always wise to take time to recuperate following a draining period. Jesus is always interested in after care.

Jesus rises from prayer to ask a question. "What are the people saying about me?" Did He not know? These faithful and called disciples give the most favourable comments, editing out any unfavourable remarks.

Some think you are John the Baptist, or Elijah, or one of the prophets. There are those who regard you to be Jeremiah. Many out there consider you to be unique. Now, that was a mighty compliment to be thought of as being Jeremiah. It is a phrase frequently repeated today. "He is a right Jeremiah".

What an honour to be called that, provided it is accurate, because that means you are speaking what God wants you to say. Jeremiah was a remarkable man - a prophet who spoke what Almighty God wanted him to say - and it was seldom popular. But that can be what a man is asked to do with his life.

Then Jesus comes with the big question. It is massive! Now, never mind what they are saying.

"Who do you say I am?" Jesus confronts and challenges them and us.

Peter answers, "You are the Christ, the Son of God." You are the Messiah we have been waiting for. You are the anointed one, anointed by the Father.

Jesus is very pleased with Peter's reply, because He realised Peter had not worked this out for himself. God the Father had revealed this truth to Peter.

What would be your reply?

Jesus commanded them not to let men know what they knew. Sometimes we are encouraged to share everything and at other times we are commanded to say nothing, or at least keep it within the fellowship, because people could not receive or accept it.

To say nothing at times can be a real test of character, and as difficult as having to speak and testify.

When Jesus tells you to speak, speak, and when He tells you to be quiet, do so.

Sandy Shaw

Sandy Shaw is Pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship, Chaplain at Inverness Prison, and Nairn Academy, and serves on The Children's Panel in Scotland, and has travelled extensively over these past years teaching, speaking, in America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, making 12 visits to Israel conducting Tours and Pilgrimages, and most recently in Uganda and Kenya, ministering at Pastors and Leaders Seminars, in the poor areas surrounding Kampala, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.
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He broadcasts regularly on WSHO radio out of New Orleans, and writes a weekly commentary at http://www.studylight.org entitled "Word from Scotland" on various biblical themes, as well as a weekly newspaper column.

His M.A. and B.D. degrees are from The University of Edinburgh, and he continues to run and exercise regularly to maintain a level of physical fitness.

Sandy Shawsandyshaw63@yahoo.com

Lucine Light--how God Enlightens your Garden

Author: Jason Witt

"Let there be light!" This was the first lucine command. And God saw the light that it was good. This is how God sees the person who has received the Seal--in the light. And that is good.

When God created the earth first there was just darkness. Then He created the light and separated the light and darkness. This became the morning of the first day. And God saw that the light was good.

When you receive the Seal in your forehead God will see it as good. You will be in the light. Indeed, the light will be in you. You will shine forth with the inner light of the person who has God living within.

Why is receiving the Seal likened to the creation of the earth? Because the Seal is a little garden plot, a miniature earth. It is the place where you begin to bear fruit.

You receive the Seal in your forehead. So your mind becomes that little garden. And that is your soul. You have a little soul garden where you can bear fruit, even if you start out with a tiny garden.

You may start out with a garden so small it only fits one seed. That is not so bad--one seed can be best nursed to fruition without any attention given to any other, lavishing all care upon just the one.

And your garden may grow in size. You may have the impression of a plow instead of a single side. That plow will prepare you for the sowing of many seeds so you will bear much fruit in abundance.

Light is needed to grow things. Sunlight is a wonderful renewable energy source God has given us here on earth. And the light He gives to our Seal garden is "renewable" too. He always gives more.

You will shine with lucine brightness when you are sealed. You will shine from within so that you are like a complete ecosystem. You will have an inner sun as well as the hospitable conditions of your earth.

Jesus is that sun for you. He is your lucine source of energy to grow with. Whatever you grow will green up in the light Jesus provides. And the Father and the Holy Spirit help you grow too.

The Father has set His Seal upon you. That is how you have become a fertile ground. And the Holy Spirit is the water necessary for all life. Together God provides the three things necessary for life--soil, water, and light.

So you are a little ecosystem fully capable of producing life. And fully sustainable with the Presence of God providing everything you need not only to produce more but to grow the size of your garden.

Conceivably your garden could grow to the size of the whole earth. But there are limits to what God has given you. He made the earth of limited size. And you do not need the whole thing.

But there are much broader limits to the lucine gifts of Jesus Christ. Just like the sun will never extinguish its gift of light during your lifetime, you will never exhaust the supply of lucine light Jesus gives.

And that means you will never be done growing new things and producing more fruit for God's purposes to be done in the world. That is, if you receive the Seal so you become that little garden in the lucine light.
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And now Jason would like to invite you to get your FREE report Are You Making These Mistakes as a Christian? and visit to learn about being sealed hereJason Witt

Your Operary Service--a Work of Faith

Author: Jason Witt

What is your operary service? When you are Christian, truly serving God is trusting the message of the sealed person. And when you trust that message you too receive the Seal. First you trust, and then you are trusted by others.

A multitude of people followed Jesus, watching His healings and listening to His teachings. Jesus felt compassion for them because they had not eaten for a while.

So Jesus took a few loaves of bread and fishes and passed them around to the multitude of five thousand people. Magically the food was multiplied when it was passed around, so everyone was able to eat.

This is one of the well-known miracles of Jesus. But what happened after He did it is not as well-known. But it is important because this is when Jesus Himself teaches about the sealed person.

The multitude Jesus had fed sought Him afterwards. He was not pleased. They were seeking Him not because they believed in the miracles, but because they had eaten of the food. And He told them so.

They should not work for such bread, he told them, because it does not last. They should work for the bread which lasts forever, and the son of man would give them that bread, for the son of man was sealed.

The people were interested but not sure what to do. So they asked Him. What should they do to "work" the works of God? And Jesus told them: believe the one God has sent.

This is why God sent the sealed person--so you can believe. It is meant to increase your faith. And so you believe the right things, not the wrong things. And so you too become sealed.

When you believe the sealed person you believe Jesus. And when you believe Jesus you believe God. God sent Jesus to save the world. And God also sent the sealed person so you might believe.

The sealed person is Christian. Jesus Christ is the Savior of the sealed, God is the Father, and the Holy Spirit often the Presence of God. You know this message. And it is how you have access to Jesus.

You may think you have access to Jesus without the help of anyone else, a kind of direct connection to God. And you may believe you should have a personal relationship with Jesus.

These are noble beliefs. But if you truly do know Jesus like this, then you will understand how Jesus taught you to believe the message the sealed person brings to you. If you believe Jesus you will believe this teaching of His.

Because you do not always have access to Jesus as you would like. The truth is this is the generation of the devil, who is desperate to bring as many souls to destruction as possible.

But you can win the victory over the devil and the mark of the beast. You can be sealed instead. First you believe the message of the sealed person. This is your operary work in the beginning.

And when you are sealed, your operary work will also include teaching others the message about the Seal and about salvation through Jesus Christ. Many people will need to believe you to do their own operary work.
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And now Jason would like to invite you to get your FREE report Are You Making These Mistakes as a Christian? and visit to learn about being sealed hereJason Witt

Victory in the Battle

By Vivian Gordon

This is a subject that has been very close to my heart lately. In the natural it appears that all is lost. My husband and I will be losing our home shortly due to an unjust justice system. His recent job layoff has only compounded the situation. It's as if we don't hardly exist, except that the bills still find us. It can be an un-nerving time but I have been digging my heels into the solid Rock, which is Jesus Christ. It's silly to think I can bring my pathetic case before the Lord and tell Him this just isn't fair. Not when He agreed to be put to death on my behalf. Was that fair? Instead, I am building up my faith in order to know that I already have the victory even as we speak. God has been speaking volumes on this subject to me as of lately. Every message I hear reverts back to "Trust Me, Have faith in Me." I must say, it sounds easy, but it has been the most difficult thing to grasp and believe!

My last article spoke about Moses and Joshua working together for the victory. As Moses sat on the rock, which is Christ, he rested under God's authority. As long as he kept the rod held upright, Joshua got the victory over the Amalekites in the valley. Aaron who represents Christ as the High Priest, and Hur who represents the Holy Spirit were by Moses' side the whole time. If we want the victory in our battles, we also need Christ and the Holy Spirit at our side. Without them, we have no hopes of ever defeating this very real and very dangerous adversary, Satan.

So, what exactly is this kind of faith and how do we get it and how will we know we have it? God's Word is expicit about this subject. If we just look in between the pages of this book and allow God to speak to us, He can give us all the strength, wisdom and knowledge we will ever need to gain our victory on earth. But make no mistake, even though He promises to never leave us, in fact He tells us the battles are His, He will not wave a magic wand and make it all go away. While we are going through the storms, He is ever teaching us valuable lessons for our own good. Depending on our obedience to humble ourselves the tests can last a long time. But, it's comforting to know that He has our best interest at hand and will work everything out for His glory. This is the main theme...it's all for Him and all about Him.

For many, they say life is a mystery. But God reveals that mystery to us if we will only take the time to read it. In the book of Ephesians, Paul writes a section on the appreciation of the mystery. The mystery is the faith he has in Christ Jesus. Paul begins that an attitude of submission is how it begins. This is our humbleness and humility.

"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:14-19

Spiritual power is a mark for every Christian believer who submits to God's will. This takes diligent study and discipine of His Word to understand it and also live it. This building up of the inner man is what gives us strength even though our bodies may be weak. So, this is how we get this kind of faith. We submit to God and believe in Christ as our Savior.

How then do we know if we have this kind of faith? Paul says that we will be rooted and grounded in love. This kind of faith doesn't require head knowledge, but rather heart knowledge. God fills us up with His love. What is God's love like? Well, again in John's first epistle, he informs us that with God, we won't be afraid.

"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love because He first loved us." 1 John 4:18,19

Once again, this is mature love that is marked by confidence in the face of judgement. It can't be attained through an immature nature in assuming a sinless perfection. No one is sinless and no one is perfect on their own. God's love will banish all fears. This love through faith is what keeps us strong during the battles that would otherwise consume us.

We discovered what this kind of faith is and how to get it. But how will we know if we really have it? God doesn't leave us guessing about anything. He dedicated 66 chapters to the insight of Who He is. This is why it requires serious and diligent time with Him in study and prayer. God is multi-faceted and will not fit into our wildest imaginings. But, He will give us an insight into Who He is. Again, John in his first epistle lets us in on another mystery.

"For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world~our faith." 1 John 5:4

We will know we have this faith because we have overcome the world. In the Greek the word for "overcome" means to conquer, to have victory, to have superiority, or conquering power. And the next verse says that the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God is the one who overcomes the world. This is wonderful news! I can honestly say, "I am victorious!"

So to recap all of this is to say that when we believe in Christ with all our heart, mind and soul, He gives us a love that has no fear. Since we now have no fear, we are victorious over the battles we face. When God's Word says, "I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me", He meant it.

Now as I continue going through this battle, I have faith in Christ by humbley submitting to His will for my life, and because I have accepted Him, He has given me His perfect love to be victorious in overcoming all obstacles that the enemy has put in my path. The battle is long and tiring, but I am not afraid. He renews my strength every day.

Are you facing hard times? Have you called upon Jesus to save you? If not because you don't know how, it's easy if you mean it. 1. Ask God to forgive your sins. Tell Him how sorry you are. 2. Invite His Son Jesus into your heart. Tell Him you want Him to be your FORGIVER and your LEADER. 3. Thank the Lord for His grace and mercy. If you did this and truly meant it, you are now in God's family. Welcome home! Now tell another Christian and learn what you need to do next.

Tackle life's problems by trusting God's promises.

Scripture taken from New American Standard Bible

Vivian Gordon writes articles pertaining to God's instructions and the examples He has given us in order to grow on this Christian walk with Him. She hopes that they can inspire the Christian to grow spiritually and maturely in their lives.
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Supporting Christian Communication Online http://www.churchwebsitedesign.org.uk A Christian based organization that seeks to encourage clergy and church leaders to identify the potential in developing an online church community. This project provides support and advise on ways that the internet can enhance the work of your church and also provides the tools to meet your needs.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Handy Guide to Major English Translations of the Bible

By Hwang Keum-ok

In this article I would like to mention some of the most important English translations of the Bible. I am going to indicate the type of translation it is, and make a few other helpful remarks as necessary. I hope that you find it useful in choosing a Bible translation for your own personal reading and study --

The Amplified Bible -- The Amplified is a specialty translation produced by The Lockman Foundation, and makes use of a special system of punctuation to indicate various shades of meaning that may not be apparent to most English-speaking readers of the Bible.

The Contemporary English Version -- The CEV is a product of the American Bible Society. It is not a literal, word for word translation, but uses every day English to communicate biblical truth.

The Douay-Rheims Bible -- The Douay-Rheims Bible is a traditional Catholic Bible, written around the same time as the King James Version which is familiar to Protestants. The DRB is still used by many English-speaking Catholics today, especially traditionalist Catholics.

The English Standard Version -- the ESV is a relative newcomer, which used the RSV as its base text. It is more literal, but is nicely balanced -- and is fast gaining favor among evangelical Protestant Christians.

The Good News Bible -- The GNB, sometimes called Today's English Translation, is another contemporary language Bible which was sponsored some years back by the American Bible Society, and which still remains popular in certain circles, especially in larger, mainline denominations.

The Holman Christian Standard -- The HCSB is a more literal Bible from Broadman and Holman publishers which also attempts to strike a balance in the direction of being very understandable. It has a small, but dedicated following.

The New Jerusalem -- The NJB, a revision and updating of the Jerusalem Bible, is a contemporary translation that displays an excellent literary style. Published by Random House in the United States, it is also a popular choice among contemporary Catholics.

The King James Version -- What could we say about the King James Version -- since the 1700s at least this Bible has exercised a mammoth influence within Christendom. Multitudes of people still read -- and love -- the KJV; however many today find its antiquated language a barrier to understanding and are seeking alternatives.

The New American Bible -- The NAB is the standard Bible translation for Catholics in the United States today. It is an enormously important translation, as all Catholic Mass Scripture texts in this country use this translation. Oversight for it belongs to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The New American Standard -- The NASB first appeared in the early 1970s, and quickly established itself among Protestant evangelicals as an extremely literal translation. It is sponsored by the Lockman Foundation.

The Revised English -- The REB is an updating and revision of the New English Bible (NEB), which also appeared in the 1970s for the first time. The REB also has an excellent literary style; however many people feel that it is slanted theologically. It is a popular choice among mainline Protestants in this country and also in the United Kingdom.

The New International Version -- The New International Version is a very popular among Evangelical Protestants. Not as "literal" as some others, it is currently one of the best-selling Bibles among English-speaking people worldwide.

The New King James -- The NKJV is an updating of the King James version and first appeared in the 1980s. The translators have tried to update the older vocabulary of the KJV. It is a popular choice among evangelical Christians.

The Revised Standard -- The RSV (and its successor the NRSV) is the principal Bible translation of mainline Protestant churches in the US today. The RSV is also available in a special Catholic edition (the RSV-CE) which has received ecclesiastical approval for use by Catholics. The oversight for it remains with the National Council of Churches.

Please note: I have not attempted at all to list every possible English Bible currently being published -- just some of the more popular and influential ones. Also note that the author of this article does not endorse any particular translation over any others...
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If you need help with your Bible study -- or would just like to know what Bible study tools and methods are available, then you'll want to stop by http://www.bible-study-methods.info Bible Study Methods -- where you can find more information on Bible Translations, Bible Study Tools and Methods, and a Bible Software Guide.

Christmas Craft For Holiday Family Gathering

Author: Roger Thompson

In many countries, it is a long-held tradition to gather with the family during the days leading to Christmas to make Christmas crafts. As early as the 18th century, society women gathered with their friends to make Christmas crafts. They made, among other things, such items as small Christmas stars and paper packages, which could contain sugar almonds and other delicacies.

Family gatherings at the holidays are a combination of celebrating the new and remembering the old. The families share their different holiday greetings, memories and dreams for one another and themselves as they reflect and celebrate life. A delightful Christmas craft to make for your next holiday greeting are holiday photo coasters. These easy to make Christmas crafts are a delightful way to decorate your holiday table, use for place card holders and share images from holidays gone by.

The first step to take when making this easy to make Christmas craft is to gather photos of each family member, if possible gather picture of visits with Santa, Christmas morning and kids under the Christmas tree. Using the old and new photos for Christmas d├ęcor is a great way to combine the magic of the holiday both for the young and the old. Children love to see childhood pictures of their mom, dad, aunts, uncles and grandparents. Seeing their relatives in the same childhood situations as they are experiencing make the idea of their parents as children much more real. In addition, these delightful childhood photographs will bring up fun and interesting stories of childhood memories for the older relatives that the children might not have ever heard before.

The next step is to gather the supplies and equipment necessary to make these Christmas crafts. To make Christmas crafts such as photo coasters, you will need 1/8" Plexiglas cut into 3 ½ " square, allowing two squares per coaster. You will need to make copies of the different Christmas photos that you gathered, making sure not to damage the original copies. You will also need 3/8" foil tape and self adhesive felt circles. The process of creating each holiday coaster is very easy. Clean all the squares of Plexiglas; making sure that each is dry prior to production. Crop the photo to fit into the square, writing names and dates on the back of each photo as you go. Position the photo exactly as you want it to appear within the coaster when completed, and then cover with the second square.

Hold the squares firmly together using small binder clips to make sure that neither the photo nor the squares move. Holding the square firmly in your palm, slightly peel the foil tape and begin to apply it to the square, moving slowly wrapping it around the front and back Plexiglas square equally, removing each binder clip as you attach the foil tape. Smooth the tape and slowly keep working your way around the square, smoothing the corners as you move along. When you reach the end corner, make sure that the tape is smoothed out, using a wooden spoon handle to help remove any air bubbles that might remain. When done, attach four felt circles just under the inside corners of the photograph.
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Roger Thompson writes for Leading Portal for Home Improvement,cash back rewards,weight loss & hoodia

Spanish Audio Bible

By Susan Slobac

A Spanish audio Bible is a great way to bring the Bible to life for anyone who speaks Spanish or is bilingual. One of the most important benefits of audio Bibles are that they now come in many different formats that can be used in a variety of settings that printed versions are not. For example, you can listen to an online audio Bible on your computer while you are taking your lunch break. You can listen to an MP3 audio Bible on your iPod while you are at the gym, on bike ride, or going for a run. You can even sign up to get daily Podcast audio Bible downloads that concentrate on a favorite reading or psalm in the Bible. There are many different formats and options to choose from if you have access to a CD player, MP3 player or a computer with an internet connection.

Access to the Bible has not always been this easy. Until the 15th Century, hardly anyone had a copy of the Bible and the scriptures were only read in Latin when parishioners attended church. When the Bible was first mass-produced on a printing press 1455, it opened up the door for the Bible to be bought by people who had the means to afford it.

Since that time, many different Christian organizations have worked hard to make sure that Bible translations have been completed for hundreds of different languages of cultures spanning the globe. In fact, Spanish audio Bibles and Bibles on CD are now regularly used to help spread the Word of God to underdeveloped regions Central and South America. Since many of the people who live in small villages cannot read, live readings of the Bible and taped audio Bibles are the only way they can hear it. When volunteers bring villagers audio Bibles for listening groups, it is even possible for some of them to learn how to read by following along in printed versions. Many volunteers decide to volunteer for that reason alone.

If you are interested in using audio Bibles to increase the time you spend learning the lessons of the Bible, you can easily do so today. There are also many websites that allow you to donate Spanish audio Bibles and players so they can be used to help teach the Bible to those who might never hear it otherwise - that is truly a gift from God that will be appreciated by all.
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Susan Slobac listens to the Spanish Audio Bible in order to practice her language skills. She has also learned that this version of the Audio Bible is commonly used for outreach programs in Central America. Using the MP3 audio Bible and the Bible on CD is one way to share the vast amounts of Bible translations that have been recorded.

Joseph The Just

By Steve Wickham

HEROES OF COMPASSION (EMPATHY) are known for their unbending commitment to humankind. There is a faithfulness and trustworthiness that goes with people of this kind. Of all virtues though, perhaps it is the virtue of Justice (or Righteousness) that supersedes all others in champions of compassion.

Joseph was the epitome of a Tzaddik[1]. No matter the circumstances, Joseph never let them get the better of him; he never exacted revenge on his wicked brothers-instead "transforming all of Jacob's children, particularly Judah, to make them his worthy covenant partners."[2]

He is serendipitously caught up in webs of intrigue, and found in awful situations, and somehow not only does he survive, but he thrives. Given to dreams and their interpretation, his knack of blessing the right people at the right time puts him in the enviable position of prime minister of Egypt.

Throughout the story, he maintains his integrity, even though to do this he has to manipulate his family. With his brothers he effectively "refines them to love one another"-an act in cooperation with Providence[3]. The whole story is summarised: "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives."[4]

The fate of Israel forever turned on the faithfulness of Joseph. It is said of Joseph that he was "indebted to no one, and that made him a free man; who owed his success only to his natural gifts; and, who through his use of his natural gifts transformed exile into a kingdom, misery into splendour, and even humiliation into mercy."[5]

His ethical brilliance is striking when knocking back Potiphar's wife-given that "sexual promiscuity was a perennial feature of all slave societies."[6] He is often punished twice, yet knows his Lord is by his side.

Andrews sees Joseph as a sort of example of Christ's compassion; a just brother and leader, and someone who transcended and sacrificed himself, beyond what anyone would have, or could have, hoped. Indeed, a hero of empathy and compassion, with a vision far beyond his own person.

References:
[1] Dave Andrews, Christi-Anarchy: Discovering a radical spirituality of compassion (Tafina Press, NSW, Australia, 1999), p. 83. A Tzaddik is a righteous man based on the Hebrew word "Tzedek," or Justice. The Jewish hero is not the swashbuckling warrior, but rather conquers evil inclinations, towards pride, power and oppression, and practices righteousness and humility, and who is, like God, always on the side of the oppressed. A Just Person; an Example of Righteousness.

[2] Bruce K. Waltke, Genesis: A Commentary (with Cathi J. Fredricks, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2001), p. 491.

[3] Waltke, Ibid., p. 494.

[4] Genesis 50:20 NIV.

[5] Elie Wiesel, Messengers of God (Simon and Schuster, New York, 1977), p. 155. Cited in Andrews, p. 84.

[6] N. Sarna, Genesis. (Jewish Publication Society, Torah Commentary: Philadelphia, 1989), p. 273. Cited in Waltke, p. 520.

Steve Wickham is a safety and health professional (BSc) and a qualified Christian minister (GradDipDiv). His passion in vocation is facilitation and coaching; encouraging people to reach their potential.

Steve's interest in psychology is matched by years of experience in the psychology of safety in workplaces. His highest goal is doing God's will, in enhancing his life, and the lives of others.
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Progress or Apocalypse?

Author: Aaron Taylor

The can that I am about to pry open is a gigantic one, far greater than what will meet the eye at first. The implications deal directly with the belief system of millions of people in our nation and around the world, in particular as it relates to the Christian faith. Read carefully and think about it for a while before jumping to quick conclusions.

If we look at America today, it seems that we have two very different Christianities. One version of Christianity believes in societal progress and the other does not. Just to be clear, those Christians who believe in human progress are usually called Catholics, liberals, postmillenialists, kingdom-now, sometimes they are even called humanists. One of the newest forms of this line of thinking is the Emergent Church movement (a highly controversial movement within evangelicalism at the moment). The bottom line is that there are Christians who believe that Jesus came to the world to introduce a set of values (often called kingdom values) to institute a process of change that will eventually overthrow the works of darkness and restore creation to its original intent.

Those who think this way have good reason to think this way. After all, it was Jesus who went about preaching "the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Since the Apocalypse did not happen in the first century A.D. (at least for the entire world) it is reasonable to say that Jesus was instituting God's reign of overthrowing evil by overthrowing evil in the hearts of men. Jesus also saw His mission in terms of Isaiah 61, which was (and is) to "set at liberty those who are oppressed." Isaiah also prophesied concerning Jesus, "of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end." This certainly speaks of linear progression. I know of very few Christian scholars who would not say that Christ's inauguration as king did not begin with Pentecost. Lastly, consider what the Apostle John said in his epistle, "because the true light is shining and the darkness is passing away." Again, this speaks of progress. It would be very strange for me as a Christian to believe that Jesus would take the time to give the world the Sermon on the Mount if He didn't believe it would have an impact on society when actually lived out. I call this dimension of Christianity the kingdom dimension.

The second group of Christians in America and around the world are those who hold to an apocalyptic view of Christianity. They say that this world is going to be destroyed (in a catastrophic way in fact) so the best that we can hope for is to rescue people from this present evil age by getting as many people as possible to confess Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Those who think this way also have good reasons to think this way. The Apostle Peter talks about the earth being destroyed by fire. The Apostle Paul said of Jesus, "who gave Himself for our sins that He might deliver us from this present evil age." Even the most liberal interpretation of the Book of Revelation can hardly look over the obvious teaching that the end of this present age will not be a picnic for planet earth. To lend even greater credibility to this idea, despite those who say this worldview leads to trashing the environment and a shirking of social responsibility, this view also is in agreement with science. The law of entropy intitiated at the Big Bang guarantees that "the form of this world is passing away" just as the Scriptures teach.

So who is right? The answer is both. To hold a kingdom view of Christianity is to believe that by following the teachings of Jesus, one can make a real and tangible difference in the world in which we live. Holding an apocalyptic view keeps us from believing that mankind is capable of creating a utopia without God's direct intervention (as many socio-political movements have painfully discovered throughout history). As long as we are on this side of eternity, the wheats and the tares will grow side by side until God intervenes and throws the tares in the fire. In the end, only the wheat will endure. While not forgetting that we need to anticipate His coming, let's occupy until He comes.
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Aaron Taylor is an author and a speaker. Aaron blogs at http://www.aarondtaylor.blogspot.com

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

It's Better to Give Than to Receive - Part-2

By CD Mohatta

In the first part of this article we learned that giving is better than receiving. This is not only from religious point of view but human psychology. When you give you feel joy that is unparalleled. The joy of giving is many many times more than joy of receiving. We also learned different ways of giving and about people we are in need. All of us do not have time to give though they have the will and the sources. We learned about different ways these people can give without much trouble. Let us discuss more.

When a family chooses a family to shop for, they in turn become that family's Angel. Many families would not have a Christmas without those people who open up their hearts, care and share with those less fortunate. People, by spreading goodwill, show they believe it "IS better to give than to receive" and are putting their words into actions.

Just like the Angel trees, there are also Secret Santa trees, where people can share the toys they bought for their children with children who might not get a visit from Santa. Sometimes people, without children, choose names off the Santa tree to purchase toys for children they want to buy gifts for and sponsor.

Many people and organizations sponsor Secret Santa for children in families who are either poor, temporarily out of work, or have other special needs. Some of these organizations are police and fire departments, social services, churches, and schools. Secret Santa, Angel Trees, Toys for Tots are all ways that people can share their holiday spirit and show their belief in the saying, "it's better to give than receive".

Giving to somebody who is in need is a joy. Watch the small on the face of a poor child when they get clothes or toys. The smile is invaluable. You will get immense joy watching a grateful family who will have a great Christmas because of generosity.
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Social network users, click for Myspace Comments. You can also use Christmas myspace graphics. For Christmas Layouts- click Christmas Myspace Layouts to add to your profile.

It's Better to Give Than to Receive - Part-1

By CD Mohatta

Around Christmas, our thoughts turn to buying gifts, writing Christmas cards, planning the holiday meals and getting ready for Santa Claus to magically appear and bring gifts to the children. For many it is a time when the phrase, "it's better to give than receive" becomes a very large part of their lives. Where did the phrase come originate? How do people honestly honor their feelings in regard to the phrase? The phrase comes from Acts 20:35 in the Bible. "I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive."

Many people have grown up hearing that said and have taken it to heart by honoring their teachings and showing great feeling in helping those in need. During the holiday season, more than any other, people are reminded to share with those less fortunate. Some people don't have the time to spend helping others but instead donate money to worthy causes like adopt-a-family and food for the hungry.

Other people use their time to actually buy for those who have less by participating in programs like adopt-a-family and other church programs. There are opportunities to give gifts to women in homeless shelters and provide gifts for their children. Other opportunities include buying gifts for those men and women in prison, such as toiletries and basic clothing like socks, toothbrushes and paste, deodorant and such personal items that are allowed by the prison system.

Christmas trees are displayed in stores where many Christmas presents are purchased during the season. Angel trees have paper angel hanging as decorations, with each angel bearing the name of a local family who would not have a Christmas without a stranger's help. The specific needs, wants, suggestions and sizes are listed on each angel with a specific family that is available for shoppers to pick. After looking at different families and choosing which family the shopper wants to buy for, the paper angel is removed from the displayed Christmas tree.
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Social network users, click for Myspace Comments. You can also use Christmas myspace graphics. For Christmas Layouts- click Christmas Myspace Layouts to add to your profile.

God Grant Me The Serenity

By: Alice Beyah

God grant me the serenity
To except the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can
And the Wisdom to know the difference

Change: To alter; to make or become different; to replace with another. When we want a change it’s often for someone else. We want to change our spouse, our children, our co-workers, etc. Actually we can only change ourselves, and that’s the hardest change to make.

In the prayer above, we ask for ‘serenity’ to except the things we cannot change. Serenity comes from the word serene which means clear, quiet, calm, tranquil, and peaceful. Therefore, we are to be patient with that which we cannot change. We must learn to live with it or them, accept and/or move on.

At the same time we should change ourselves. A lot of time, what we want to change in others is what we need to change in ourselves. At any given time, the condition/situation we find ourselves in is because of something we did or did not do. God does not change our condition until we change ourselves.

So how do we change ourselves? First, as in the prayer, we ask for courage, the ability to conquer fear or despair; bravery; valor. What? The ability to conquer FEAR!? We all have some form of FEAR which holds us back from accomplishing the things we want to. Sometimes we allow FEAR to paralyze us, to stop us cold in our tracts. We allow it to rob us of many Blessings. This little four letter word, if we allow it to, will control our every movement, our lives and everything we do.

In order to change, we must first get rid of our fears, one at a time. Yes, one at a time because we can have many! So how do we let go of fear? We must let go and let God. In other words, there’s nothing bigger or greater than the higher power (God) we rely on. If we have faith, then our faith should sustain us. Being fearful, however, doesn’t mean that we don’t have faith. It could be that our faith isn’t strong enough yet. To strengthen our faith we have to be willing to do that which causes us discomfort. In other words, we have to get out of our comfort zones and do what’s necessary to get the job done.

Fear can harm us in many ways. It can cause:

* Un-necessary stress
* Illness
* Procrastination
* Indecisions
* Clutter
* Immobility
* Self-doubt
* Lack of courage

This list can go on and on. I’m sure most of us know what I mean. Therefore, we take it one step at a time. Start on the little things that need change and work our way to the bigger ones. With patience and persistent perseverance we will get the wisdom and courage to know the difference in what we can and cannot change.
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Alice Beyah, Life Style Mentor and Successful Entrepreneur, is helping many become the next success story. Whether you're looking to create an extra few thousand dollars per month, be an ex-corporate executive, or the next millionaire Mom, Alice can assist you to create a second stream of income and greater peace of mind. visit : Living My Dreams

Elijah-quality Faith

Author: Patrick Roberts

Elijah said, "How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow Him." The same thing goes for Christ-followers: How can we follow Him as Lord unless we know Him as Lord? If we know Him as Lord, it will be irresistible for us to honor Him as Lord. There's no way around it.

The most dependable way to confirm that Jesus is Lord is to obey His direct commands right away and then continue thus until further notice. A genuine desire to obey Christ is useful; this way we'll stop and listen long enough to know what it is He is commanding us.

Obeying Christ is the method God prescribes to get to know Him better.

When we obey Christ we are expressing our sincere faith in Him. This is the most substantial way to say, "Yes, Lord, we trust that You know what You're talking about."

There is also no more substantial expression of our desire to learn more from Him than to act on what He is already saying to us. As we find out from experience that He is faithful and He knows what He is doing, we will continue with increasing eagerness to accept whatever grace He sees fit to give us.

Daily obedience is pure worship. Obeying Him, knowing Him, and worshiping Him are all very nearly the same thing... or, at least, we can't have one without the others. Knowing, worshiping and obeying Christ are unavoidably related to each other; they are all linked to our daily lifestyles.

We will worship the Lord better as we get to know His indescribable Fullness. We may know certain people better than others, but we must know the Lord more deeply than we have ever known any mortal if we want to worship Him effectively.

This should also encourage us to be open and truthful with Christ, because in so doing He will also open up His divine thoughts to us. This is another way of saying that Christ desires the whole package from us... infinitely more than pre-measured religiosity.

From the little glimpse of Christ I have seen thus far, I gather that He is pleased with a reality-embracing people. In other words, if we know the Inventor of this reality then we should also embrace whatever He defines as reality.

No longer should fear or insecurity dictate our estimations of the Almighty if we know Him even a little bit. The slightest glimpse of Him should teach us all that we need to know... that the Lord is God.

We will obey Christ best when we embrace a humble, expectant, unshakable confidence in His Divinity. His greatness should be common sense to us, to the point that we're not so shocked by His ability to shatter every barrier that shuts us out from His kingdom on earth. The Spirit of God is the One who can and will teach us the secret of powerful purity and ground-breaking faith.
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by Patrick Roberts. Find his book and additional resources at www.BooksByPatrick.com

Patrick is an average Christ-seeker. His goal is to turn people to Jesus Christ. www.BooksByPatrick.com

Why Worry When You Can Pray?

By L. Kazan

Sometimes good comes from the worst situations. It had been a time in my life that was filled with loss, and yet I had been rewarded with a partial scholarship to the Aspen Writers' Conference. This annual event had been magical for me in the past, but this year proved a challenge.

People attend writing conferences hoping to be discovered or to connect with others who understand the often reclusive and interior writer's life. Upon arrival, I quickly found myself shunned. Apparently, I had angered the wrong person, and she had spread rumors about me. I was labeled a problem person, and to be avoided. Most of my life I had been considered "too sensitive." Growing up in a turbulent home, I'd learned to perceive possible threats before they materialized. But living a defensive life was tiring, and I had committed to change.

I accepted Edgar Cayce's assertion that our relationship with our Creator is paramount, and that there is a higher justice than what we might perceive. Cayce said, "Why worry when you can pray?" Now I had a concentrated opportunity to test that. I prayed to feel God's presence within me, and to reflect that in the world. I asked to be less my "personality," and more the presence of Spirit. I knew I could effectively counterattack my "rival" with words, but the results of that activity didn't reflect love and kindness, which were my ideals. I asked that I be accurately seen, and the truth revealed.

Aligned with Spirit, I was also aligned with gentleness and calm. Within days, people began to see who I was, as opposed to what they'd been told. Rather than fighting, I had become clear about what I stood for, and what behavior was acceptable for me. Emerson said something to the effect, "Who you are stands over you and thunders so loudly that I cannot hear what you are saying to the contrary." In fact, the lies began to turn back on the one who spread them.

It was painful for me to feel hated and rejected in this small community where I had hoped to find solace from the grief I'd been experiencing. However, I knew I had to reach for something higher, something I could respect, and something that would last.

I recalled Cayce's assertion, "Thoughts are things. Mind is the builder." I monitored my thoughts. I wanted a better life than what I was experiencing, and I knew that had to start from within. If I could connect so strongly with a higher power, or even a higher concept, no one could take that from me.

My "rival" had sought to uplift herself by destroying me, but I wasn't destroyed. I chose consciousness instead. I strengthened my spiritual muscles, and left the results in God's hands. It was a template for the life I was now going to lead.
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Lorrie Kazan is a member of the Association for Research and Enlightenment panel of cooperating psychics.

These Are Words I Never Want To Hear

By Sandy Shaw

Isaiah prophesies this powerful and piercing message in Chapter 1, but it did not penetrate the hearts of the people of God to whom it was addressed.

Isaiah saw such sin in the nation of Israel. Those people who were called by God to show us Gentiles the way, had turned away from Him. He saw individuals who were so wounded and bruised and hurt. He saw how the 10 tribes of Israel in the north had been overrun.

Isaiah is the man who speaks to Judah and Jerusalem. He is God's mouthpiece.

Isaiah speaks about the insincerity in the Temple, and how God was weary of all that was going on - verses 12 to 18.

I never want to hear words like that, coming from the mouth of God. Then comes this appeal from God - verses 18 to 20 - which could also be read as a very real warning. Wash - sort things out - become willing and obedient, and you will be blessed and not devoured.

A lot was going on - from the outside it looked all right - but God saw things differently.

Sin was rampant in the nation and in the lives of the people who came to worship, and we have God's thoughts here. This is what God thought of what He saw. "I cannot bear to be present in your services."

God then draws Isaiah's attention to the condition of the city, and he speaks boldly and courageously. There are times when Jesus draws our attention to something. There are times when the Holy Spirit shows us a specific matter with which we have to deal. Sometimes we can almost wish to run away.

God gives these people the choice - you choose - how do you want to live? But know this - what happens to you will be determined by your answer. That is strong prophetic preaching.

God is for ever setting before His people - choices - and challenges - and opportunities. That happens each time we come to His Word.

Sandy Shaw

Sandy Shaw is Pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship, Chaplain at Inverness Prison, and Nairn Academy, and serves on The Children's Panel in Scotland, and has travelled extensively over these past years teaching, speaking, in America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, making 12 visits to Israel conducting Tours and Pilgrimages, and most recently in Uganda and Kenya, ministering at Pastors and Leaders Seminars, in the poor areas surrounding Kampala, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.
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He broadcasts regularly on WSHO radio out of New Orleans, and writes a weekly commentary at http://www.studylight.org entitled "Word from Scotland" on various biblical themes, as well as a weekly newspaper column.

His M.A. and B.D. degrees are from The University of Edinburgh, and he continues to run and exercise regularly to maintain a level of physical fitness.

Sandy Shawsandyshaw63@yahoo.com

Spiritual Giftings (and Fruitings)

Author: Patrick Roberts

Anyone can read the Bible and discover that Christ equips the different members of His church for different purposes. There are even a few lists that the apostle Paul rattles off in his letters, some describing "spiritual gifting" and others describing "spiritual fruiting."

In response to these lists, religious experts have devised a variety of methods for intellectually deducing one's spiritual giftings and fruitings. Some of these methods include choosing your spiritual feeling about certain statements (such as "strongly agree" or "strongly disagree") or choosing whatever number the survey statements make you think of (such as the number "1" or the number "2"). After a churchgoer has faithfully answered the spiritual survey, he can then plot the numbers on a graph and see if his answers make either a spiritual line or a spiritual bell curve. Seminary students are required to graph their spiritual gifts on a 3-D spiritual graphing calculator, which is why seminaries include at least a few semesters of calculus in their master's programs. Of course this is for advanced students only; average churchgoers have only enough time to learn simple spiritual graphs, which they usually bring home and stick on their refrigerators with a magnet. This is one of the most widespread methods for discovering churchgoers' spiritual inclinations these days.

Over the years I have tried a variety of methods for calculating my spiritual giftings and fruitings. The most enlightening point of view I have discovered about these things is that Christ's followers don't need any mathematical calculations or surveys or even graphing calculators to find out about these things. This makes sense in light of the fact that calculus and especially 3-D graphing calculators had not been invented during New Testament times.

I will now tell you the secret. Having delved deep into the original Greek and Aramaic of the New Testament I have finally discovered the long-lost, secret method that the early church utilized to find out about their spiritual inclinations: Jesus told them.

As for the lists we find in the New Testament, the most enlightening, common factor among these lists is that none of them are the same.

Apparently, the Holy Spirit doesn't bother to adhere to a particular list for every situation or, at least, the New Testament believers were unaccustomed to such an idea. And I doubt that each church had its own separate list of spiritual gifts, so that, once you left a particular area, then you left the jurisdiction of that list. All this to say, we who follow Christ should listen to Him to find out about our spiritual roles within His church. If He made us the way we are, then He is best qualified to tell about these things. This should be basic.

If God did have a comprehensive List that He wanted all His churches to follow forever, then Paul, with his widespread experience, would have probably known about it. However Paul, the great list-giver, never gave the same list twice. He even referred to himself as a few other things besides apostle, including preacher, teacher, evangelist and speaker of different languages. And he advised his general audience at Corinth to seek prophetic gifting, not just those who were more prophetically inclined than others. He seems inclined toward Spirit-led flexibility. If someone asked Paul, "What is the best spiritual gift?" he would probably reply, "The ability to humble yourself and submit to whatever the Spirit makes you, whenever the Spirit makes you."

Of course everyone has different capacities. Everyone is purposefully limited, we've already gone over that. All I'm trying to say is... relax. Take a deep breath, and stop trying so hard to find your name in the Christian Directory of Spiritual Endowments. Nor should you try to know God by reading the Christian Encyclopedia of Everything There Is to Know About the Omnipotent Spirit of God. Don't worry so much about pre-fabricated lists and explanations to define what kind of creature you are in Christ. Just ask Him and let Him educate you. Determine to obey Christ and let the chips fall wherever He may.

Biblical records do not quantify the work of God's Spirit, but rather, quite the opposite.

It is highly unlikely that New Testament believers would have tried to measure spiritual gifts based on some canonized list or spiritual slide-rule because they had the Real Deal, the Spirit of God Himself. It made sense to them, as it should to us now, that they could only know spiritual truth so far as the Spirit explicitly instructed them. Therefore, if God hasn't changed anytime in the last two thousand years, then we also ought to esteem ourselves according to our open, active relationship with God's Spirit.

Do you believe that the Spirit of God literally teaches His people whatever they need to know about living in Christ in the world? If yes, then you might worry less about lugging all your theological textbooks wherever you go. What is all this business about dwelling in Christ? Does this also apply to us?
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by Patrick Roberts. Find additional resources at www.BooksByPatrick.com

Patrick is an average Christ-seeker. His goal is to turn people to Jesus Christ. www.BooksByPatrick.com

Praising God In Prayer

Author: Kalisti Juma

Lord God you are my only God
Diligently I seek you
My mind longs for you
My mind thirsts for you as if I am in a desert without water.

Lord with you I am safe as I have seen your power and your glory in Jesus Christ.
Because your love is better than life
I will sing your praises
I will praise you as long as I live
And your name I will lift up with my hands
My mind is satisfied with your rich wisdom
And with singing lips I will praise you all my life

When I rest I am thoughtful of you and through the night I meditate on your ways.
Because you are my guide through life I rest from the troubles of this world, I trust in you to protect me. Those who come against me will not prevail they will become victims to their own spite and greed.

Lord I will rejoice and praise your name as you are God.
Through Jesus Christ alone is salvation.
Praise be to the Lord my God.

Trusting God

Lord let not the evils of this world worry me.
Do not let me desire the things that cause me to sin.
The things of the world soon fade they are but illusions.

Lord let me trust in you alone and let me do good in your name.
I ask for you to protect my family and me and I know by the asking we will enjoy the safety of your protection.

I will praise you Lord and your are able to give me the desires of your heart.

Let me daily come close to you Jesus in prayer. Let your light shine for me, let others see I belong to you!

Let me be still before you; grant me patience to wait for you.
Let not anger take hold of me. Let me not worry as this leads to sin.
Let my hope be in you as this is is where success is found.
In you alone is peace found.

May I be satisfied with what I have and to be close to you; than that I lust after the things of the world.
For worldly things do not last; but with you is eternity in paradise.

The sinful borrow but do not repay their debts. Your children Lord give generously.
Lord make my steps through life firm and when I stumble I will not fall because you steady me with your hand.

Let me turn from evil and do good.
Lord you love the just and will standby the faithful.
Protect me Lord, give me wisdom. Let my tongue speak only good. Let your ways be in my heart and my walk through life steady.

Lord grant me patience and strengthen me in your ways.
Let me embrace peace.
Salvation come only through you Lord Jesus.
You are my stronghold in times of trouble.
Deliver me from evil and let my refuge be in you my father and my God.

Forgiven for my Sins

From the cross of Calvary your grace calls to me and
deals with my sin,
washes me clean,
renews my spirit,
strengthens my body,
lights a fire within me,
focuses my every thought, utterance and deed and
teaches me of your inexpressible love for me.

How Great Thou Art
Lord without you I am an outcast and lonely
without you I am filled with shame
with you I see my Father-God and friend
without you I hide and tremble in fear
with you I open my mouth in petition and praise
without you I am lost in a consuming fire
with you all is love and my soul is at peace
without you is the gaping blackness of hell and eternal anguish
in Jesus the gates are barred
without you is the horror of failure
with Jesus is the glory of a boundless horizon
without you terror and dismay consume me
with you ever accusation turns into joy and peace
and everything from you is enjoyed with thanksgiving

Praise be to you for your grace and for the gift of Jesus Christ
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Tunaweza is a Christian based organization working in Kenya and Tanzania. More information at http://www.tunaweza.com prayers and work, stories and prayers from East Africa

Praying For Protection

Author: Kalisti Juma

Oh Lord I pray to you, I cry out to you with a great urgency. Hear me Lord as I pray. I lift up my hands in worship. May my prayers come before you as a sacrifice, may my prayers be acceptable before you.

Help me Lord to only speak well of everyone and to keep my mouth on guard and not to gossip. Let evil ways not tempt me Lord nor may I be drawn to do wicked things. Let me not keep company with ungodly people and grant me grace and love not to offend anyone.

Bring to me godly people who will keep me accountable and may I accept this as a blessing. Advice from a godly person I will not reject.

My prayers today I ask to be kept safe from the evil of this dark world and of the spiritual world. May those who seek to do me harm be blessed by you and may they in their blessing forget about me.

Let my eye look to you for everything Lord. Keep me safe and may I shelter in your protection. Allow me to pass safely through the troubles of this world and keep me from harm. To you Lord God be the glory and majesty my father and my God.

Many people slander you my God forgive them in their folly. Many claim to do good but are corrupt. As you look from heaven Lord to seek those who look for you, strengthen us against the corruptions of this world. Living in the world yet keeping us untainted from the evils of the world.

Lord Jesus society is turning away from you - there is corruption everywhere - few look for you my Lord.

People are ambitious grasping for money and worldly success, willing to destroy one another for mere possessions. No one looks to you.

Your people are attacked; protect us Lord through these times of trails and tribulations. Let us, your people, not worry for we have you Lord God.

In you Lord we have great fortunes. In you Lord we will live eternal in your glorious presence. Lord empower us in this life to do your will and to proclaim to the world your son Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

There is so much sin in the world yet no one cares to seek forgiveness. And Lord how many sins do I need to repent of! It is my sin of passion that I must seek forgiveness.

The shame and horror of this is an evil in my life.

Now I decide not to let my passions take hold of me and I come to you to give me strength to accomplish this. Many I see give into their passions and are overcome by them giving many excuses for their ways and justifying their sin as not sin at all.

Lord God help me to sing your praises and to share in the inexpressible joy of a heart trusting in you alone.

Help my stubbornness because I don't always praise you as I should. Yet my soul rests in your goodness and loving-kindness.

Lord help me in my backsliding, my resistance my forgetfulness of you my Lord and God. Evil corruptions urge me to stand in opposition to you.

Help me to proclaim your goodness with a submissive heart. May I look inwardly and ask, am I truly born again, is my spirit as a child in my approach to you, are my wants and needs a stumbling block to others, are my joys fruit of faith,
does my confidence in Christ spring from love, and does it purify my soul.

Let you love shine in my prayer and in my public life, wrap my heart in your love, hold me Lord and never let me go.

There is so much darkness still in me, scourge this out and live in me and cause me to long for perfect holiness.

Help me to proclaim your goodness with a submissive heart.
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Tunaweza is a Christian based organization working in Kenya and Tanzania. More information at http://www.tunaweza.com prayers and work, stories and prayers from East Africa.

Preparing for the Coming of the Messiah

Author: Randy Gilbert

People today are striving to find the truth about why they are here, what is their calling , who is God and what does He expect, and most of all, what comes next. They thirst for the answers to life's most important and elusive questions. Many people have forgotten the message of love Jesus gave us. They don't realize that His second coming will soon be fulfilled, revealing the answers to all these questions.

Perry Ennis, author of Prepare for the Coming of Messiah: A Message of Love, Restoration, Warning and Hope says, "We are in the last generation, and the world events that are fulfilling end time prophecies are happening very quickly. It is very important that we understand what is going on, so we can prepare for the difficult times ahead."

During the 1960's, Ennis lived a hippie lifestyle, partying, experimenting with drugs, and losing all faith in God. He became depressed and suicidal, not knowing where to turn for help. A stranger found him during these desperate times, giving him love and compassion, reintroducing Ennis to God and His words of hope. Ennis asked Jesus to come into his heart, and his ministry as a teacher of the end time prophecies was revealed to him.

He is passionate about bringing God's truth about the end times to the people of the world, helping them prepare for the fulfillment of the greatest prophecy of all time.

Ennis says, "Know more than anything that our creator God loves all of us more than we can comprehend. He has great plans and kingdom ministry work for each of us to do." In order to prepare for the end times and undertake God's plan for us, we must develop an intimate relationship with Him: believe in Him, love Him, respect Him, worship Him, and follow God's instructions. Accept Jesus as the Messiah, and our loving relationship with God will endure throughout eternity.

The truth about the end times is revealed in scripture. The proof that these prophecies and scriptures are true can be seen in the accounts written by various prophets, Kings, and disciples.

An example of such proof is from Psalms22:16, 16For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. King David wrote this psalm 700 years before the Romans used crucifixion as an inhuman form of execution, yet David knew the details of this form of punishment.

Another example demonstrating the truth of prophecies is seen in Psalms 16:9-11. 9Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. 10For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 11Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Here, King David speaks in the words of Jesus, thanking God for protecting him and not condemning him to the world of the dead. This prophecy reveals the truth of Jesus' resurrection.

The confirmation of these readings is seen 1070 years after King David wrote the psalms by John 20:27-29. 27Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28And Thomas answered and said unto him, My LORD and my God.

The Bible is filled with such confirmations and fulfillments of prophecy recorded by eye witnesses. The scriptures are right in front of us, waiting to reveal the truths human beings have been thirsting for since the beginning of mankind.

The signs of the end times are found in the scriptures:
- The most prominent prophecy to be fulfilled will be the coming regional war on the Middle East in which Israel will be the first to strike. They will defeat the enemy with the help of the USA and Yahweh. This war fulfills the prophecy in Isaiah 11/17. 1The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap. Damascus is one of the most ancient cities in the world and the capital of Syria.

- Watch for men claiming to be the Messiah. Be aware of the prophecy of false Messiahs to guard yourself from belief in their falsehoods as revealed in Matthew 24:4-5. 4And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

- Be aware of the rogue asteroid scheduled to impact the earth in 2012. This would be the fulfillment of the four trumpet prophecies. Revelations 8. 8The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, 9a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

All of these prophesied events will lead to the great war mentioned in Ezekial 38-39. Take a proactive stand and educate yourself in what the scriptures have to say about the end times. Find the way to prepare and be ready, understanding the truth of the approaching tribulation.

Find the faith to get closer to Jesus, believing that He will be there for you. He will never abandon you, but be with you forever. We can experience the peace He offers by walking with Him, and following his word.

Act in a proactive way, praying all the time. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal your mission in the world. Pray for Jesus' love to come into your heart, so you can administer to His people. Follow His word and you will reach God's kingdom.
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Dr. Proactive, Randy Gilbert enjoys producing the "Inside Success Show". He presents his inspirational interview with Perry Ennis, http://www.Messiahiscoming.net based upon the strategies from his book. Hear the interview for free: http://www.insidesuccessradio.com/Guests/Perry.Ennis

How My Friend Met An Angel At Church This Week And His Message For Her

By Matthew Robert Payne

My prayer for Mary.

Let me pray for you:

Father I ask that you open Mary's spiritual eyes. I pray that you give her the ability to sense and angel's presence in the room and then the faith to look with her spiritual eyes and see the angel. I pray that she has the courage to wave to the angel and for her to see the angel wave back as confirmation that she really is seeing him. I pray specifically by the faith within me that as she goes to church this week that an angel would appear next to her in the aisle. I pray as she worships the Lord that she feels the angel appear the her right or left whatever aisle she is close to, and when she FEELS the angels anointing next to her that by faith by looking with her heart in her mind she might see the angel. I pray that the angel might not only appear but have a special message for her that she can remember and type and tell me.

I ask this by faith Lord knowing that the angel is already on his way.

In Jesus name I ask.

Amen.

Now Mary go to church. Sit next to an aisle seat even if you don't ordinary sit there. By the time the second worship song has started the angel will be next to you. Wave to him and watch him wave back and then ask him for his message. Then when you get home tell me what he said to you if it isn't to personal.

This is going to happen, so be cool and relaxed.

I open Mary's spiritual eyes by faith today Lord. Amen

Mary's email to me after Sunday at church

Okay, I tried it. During the second worship song, I asked the Lord to show me the angel, and he was on my right in the aisle and he had big wings and was dancing to the worship music, moving his arms as if he was conducting music or something. He kept looking over at me and smiling real big, and I heard the name "Jason" so I figured that was his name. I didn't want to wave at him first, because I thought I'm gonna look silly, but after awhile I kind of waved with my hand really shyly, and I saw he kind of looked over at me like did she wave? So I kind of waved again, and he waved back, and it was a really unique wave; I wish I could show you. Then he came over to me and gave me a friendly hug with a big smile on his face, and real quietly I asked him if he had a message for me for the Lord. This is what I heard in my mind: I heard, "I'm going to whisper it in your ear," and then I heard him say, "The Lord God loves you very much. Deepen your faith."

I was so happy!

And then I looked up the name Jason on the internet and found out it means "healer!"

I can't say I felt the angel's presence. I just went by what the Holy Spirit showed me; I'm going to practice seeing angels more. It's fun and makes me so happy to be able to talk to angels. I have a couple questions though. Can they read our minds? Do they talk to us in our hearts or more out loud?

I also feel like God is going to allow me to work with them in the future so I'm really excited about that.

Marys two questions,

Can they read our minds? Do they talk to us in our hearts or more out loud?

Angels have access to the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of God knows everything. So that you can think a question about the angel and the angel can hear your question that you are thinking and answer you.

Angels like Jesus communicate direct to the heart of a person, or from spirit to spirit. You don't normally hear and angel with an audible voice but he speaks direst to your heart/mind whatever is working for you. The spirit of a man is in his intuition, so its in the intuition that you hear an angel speak Jesus like speaking to Jesus.

So do you want your eyes opened at church this week?

Why don't you visit the prophecy page on our website and ask Mary to pray for you to open your spiritual eyes. Or perhaps you might want Mary to bring you a message off God for you. Come meet Mary a lady that meets and talks to angels!
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Matthew is one of two people that operate a site at http://www.escapeministries.net Escape ministries is a place where people can be ministered to over the internet, by reading articles, watching videos and receiving personal prophetic words. James and Matthew invite you to visit today to look at some of the articles they have collected and watch some of the video teachings they are setting about to produce for you. You are encouraged to sign up for our monthly newsletter or simply email James or Matthew with any of your comments. We hope that you might bookmark it and come back to visit often as we pursue our mission statement that is found on our home page.

Matthew fully endorses the teachings of David Servant and if you haven't already read what David has written on ezine articles Matthew suggests that you follow this link to his website and read what this prolific writer and teacher of the Word has got to say. You can find him at http://www.shepherdserve.org

How The Pecans Saved Christmas

By Patricia Hubbard

(A story about Christmas and the SINGLE LIFE...)

We all know that the real meaning of Christmas is that Christ was born into our existence, as the promised, new King of Kings, and Savior of mankind, the reason for Christianity's formation. But in December, 1974, the secular element of a Christmas in South Carolina, looked to be a problem for me and my family.

It was going to be a real test of faith for me, my three boys, Chris, Gerald and Joe and their older sister, Theresa.

Their father had decided to absent himself from the family circle for reasons I will not discuss here. My job as a Nursery School/Kindergarten Teacher was hardly enough to keep food on the table much less spread out to buy gifts and extra holiday decorations and foods.

Trying to focus on the needs of my two classes of rambunctious 4 and 5-year-old children and follow the guidelines that were expected of me, left little energy to give to my own children. They were all teenagers, except the youngest and he was closing in on the rest of them.

They were reasonably, good kids. Their grades were decent and they basically stayed out of trouble. Our home, with the pecan tree laden lot, between us, and the next-door neighbor, became the neighborhood hangout. Tackle football and a basketball court was the draw. That was helpful to me because I usually knew where my children were.

As October wore on, guilt, worry, and a feeling of anguish ate away at this mother's heart. What was I going to do about Christmas? I prayed, but it felt as if God did not know me. My children's father could not be found, and I had no hope that he would contribute anything to our financial needs, even if we found him. He had been gone for months and I had no clue of how to find him. Nothing changed. I felt abandoned.

My emotional overload must have been showing because my Supervisor called me into her office around the first week of November. Now, what? Was I being let go? In my heart, I knew that was not true, because I was a good teacher and loved by my students and parents, but the mind has a way of going off in tangents when fear rules.

"Joanne" asked, "How many pecan trees do you have in your yard?

I wondered what that had to do with anything. "Eight," I told her.

She said, "For days, you have been giving pecans to the teachers here at the school, by the bag full. Why don't you sell them?"

"Sell them?" I considered the idea.

"Yes, you could sell them to your newspaper customers on your route. Everybody in the South makes pecan pies and other pecan desserts during the holidays. You could put little ads in your newspapers to call you with the order and you could deliver them on the route."

Because of her, I had learned of the availability of the rural, newspaper route. For additional income, the boys and I delivered 150 newspapers after school every day. That money was a great help to me. The boys looked on it as a "fun job." They made it a competition of who could pitch the papers the farthest up the dirt, driveways. They had fun and I had free help on the job.

I realized that Joanne had spent some time thinking this through. She was not only a good boss she was a wonderful person and friend. Tears flooded my eyes in response to her generous caring for me, and my family. I noticed her eyes overflowed too. I thanked her again and again for the hope she had given me. Joanne was my Christmas angel!

The children and I had a family conference that evening. I explained that as far as I could see there would be no Christmas gifts this year. They understood, but the edges of disappointment showed. "But, Joanne gave me an idea..." I said. "We have pecan trees. If you are willing to work for it, we may have some money. For all the pecans you gather and if we can sell them on the paper route, the four of you will be able to divide the money we collect for the sales." They were excited and ready to move. "Can we start now? Joe, the youngest asked."

For some reason the trees had been extra bountiful that year, I felt there was hope.

Every afternoon they were in the yard with buckets and tins picking up pecans. When their friends found out about the plan, they too, joined in "the hunt." The grocery bags were filled to the brim. Orders began to come in, and calls from some other customers came. Joanne spread the word to the parents at the school and they too turned in orders.

By a week before Christmas we had sold 200 pounds of pecans, at 50 cents a pound. $100 dollars split four ways meant $25 for each of my children. In 1974 that was a satisfying amount of money for children to have in their hot little hands, to spend as they wished. The spirit of Christmas finally crept into my heart and I admitted that God had indeed, heard my prayers. We went Christmas shopping after all. They all spent their money in a fashion that pleased their personal selves.

Because of lack of funds, for decorations, our Christmas tree was a long, green ribbon fashioned into the shape of a tree, taped to the wall. Homemade decorations were applied and cardboard bricks that I borrowed from the Kindergarten, made the fireplace for the stockings to be placed. We thought we were pretty creative and liked our "Charlie Brown" kind of Christmas.

Today, my children are parents themselves, but we still reminisce and enjoy talking about the year of the mysteriously, plentiful pecans and how we had one of the most memorable Christmas' ever, because of the love and generosity of my boss, our customers, our friends and neighbors. We all agree, it was a good Christmas!

We all learned that Christmas is about giving, not necessarily things, but giving of self. It is about friendship and caring, loving acceptance, and remembering why Christ came into the world. His lesson was about loving unconditionally. We find Joy when we forget our own selfish desires for the love of another.

Christmas for the newly single could be lonely, depressing or full of anger but then it is a personal choice to find a better way to spend the holidays. If you are single and will be alone for the holidays, find a cause to work on, Seek out a family who needs joy and figure out how YOU can bring it to them. Social Ministries, Social Services or Catholic Charities will be happy to steer you in the right direction. Try to emulate the Christ of yore and offer yourself, your time, your love, for the love of another human, child of God. If you have children, bring them into the experience. Let them learn first hand about the joy of giving.
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For more tips and tools on how to survive divorce and loss and make healthy relationship choices you are invited to visit http://www.butterflyintonewlife.com or http://www.squidoo.com/alone Patricia Hubbard has Facilitated a Support Group for Separated, Divorced and Widowed people for the past 11 years.

Obey God In the Basic Things First

By Patrick Roberts

It is reasonable shat we should strive toward obedience in a place that is already familiar to us where the task is more fitting for our spiritual infancy before we take on a task that is vastly more difficult (i.e. where there is radically different culture and language and all sorts of hostile governments). Not to say obedience is easy in the United States, on the contrary, it is in many ways very difficult. But the difficulties of seeking out Christ here in the U.S. are appropriately suited for the fledgling faith that abounds here. The fear of another person's opinion is our main threat, even though this is hardly any threat at all. By our crippling fear of men we can recognize the infancy of our faith.

Being a good steward was meant to be difficult. That is to say, being a good steward was meant to be as difficult as God intends it to be, which happens to be far beyond what we could ever handle on our own. He will place us in circumstances that are impossible for us so that there is no other way to handle them but by His supernatural grace. God's purpose in making our lives impossible is to minimize us and maximize His Son in us. This should be practical, empowering truth, leading us to trust in Christ's competence over our own, taking action in His name only.

At the same time, being a good steward is supposed to be feasible. I don't mean that it should seem like we can accomplish any spiritual goal on our own. But the Spirit of God will grow us up from where we are to actively trust Him more and more, expanding our spiritual minds to think bigger and our spiritual eyes to see further. Such is the nature of growth, that it begins from ground level and moves up from there. Things tend to start small before they grow up and get bigger.

God designed us to mature gradually. His incremental design applies to both our physical and spiritual lives so we cannot escape its built-in humbling effect. Whomever God causes to grow up spiritually does not take the next step of maturity except through much trial and hardship.

It would be a troublesome source of overconfidence for us to instantly arrive at whatever place our whims dictated. If a child had the ability to transport himself magically to the top of every staircase he needed to climb, then his legs would never get any exercise.

We need not fear Christ's answer to the question, "Lord, what is our role? What is our purpose?" We should want to find out God's true answer for regarding these things.

We need not fear His real-life commands because He will continue to be our All no matter what. Our calling as Christ-followers will always be simple: Trust in and obey Christ.

As for massive movements of the Spirit and glorious, heavenly visions and planting millions of organic churches, I do not know about these things. But I do know at least a few basic truths. For example, the Lord is abundantly present to teach all those who are willing to be taught.

As for now, I will not presume to know anything more than the few basic truths that God's Spirit has taught me unequivocally. It would be a misrepresentation of God to "fake it 'til I make it" and it would be deceptive to myself and others if I claimed to be something that I am not.

I'm not saying this to lower your standards, but rather to encourage you to seek out Christ more zealously than ever. I'm not advocating stunted faith, I'm encouraging you to obey God's real commands. If we represent Him, we will do so however He has makes us able. That is what representation is. Either we're representing God directly or we are representing ourselves under deceptive pretenses.

Let's take a chance at obeying Christ by waiting for Him to teach us directly. Let's stop imagining ourselves into a faith we've heard about in other people living in other places and times. It would be a disservice to the Author of all faith to try and manufacture some plastic version of another person's faith. When Paul says, "imitate our faith," he means "follow our example by trusting and obeying Christ." It's not our place to decide what kind of faith Christ should author in us, just like we have no say in how much grace God gives each one of us.
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by Patrick Roberts. Find his book and additional resources at www.BooksByPatrick.com
Patrick is an average Christ-seeker. His goal is to turn people to Jesus Christ. www.BooksByPatrick.com

Jesus Was a Man (part 5)

Author: Ernie Fitzpatrick

It’s time to bring this series to a close by asking what sort of a MAN Jesus was. Seems fair doesn’t it? Let me begin by bringing up what’s NOT SAID in II Cor. 5:19. First what it DOES SAY is that God was IN Christ reconciling Himself to the world. So therefore what it does not say is that Jesus WAS God! Fundamentally how could Jesus BE GOD and still be HUMAN, a MAN at the same time. I know that religion just simply says, as many Creeds did and do, that Jesus was fully human and fully divine. Just BELIEVE! Let’s try and UNDERSTAND as much as possible as well.

How could Jesus so boldly proclaim (John 14:9) that whoever had seen Him, had seen the Father?

Let me use two terms that say it better than English can. Jesus was TOTUM DEI (everything there is of God), but He was not TOTUS DEUS (God through and through). As the writer of Hebrews said in 1:3, “Jesus was the express IMAGE of God”- likeness, like God, but not God! Jesus was a man, as John A.T. Robinson put it, “Jesus was completely and utterly a MAN like the rest of us, in origin, nature, and destiny and yet He was God’s creative, self-expressive activity from beginning, fully, and finally.”

But, let’s get “canonized” on this point!

Hebrews 2:11 says that Jesus (as a priest) had to come from the “common stock“, and later on (Hebrew 5:1) we read that He had to be “taken from among men“. Why is the so much of the church afraid of the humanity of Jesus? Tell me why that is!

Jesus wasn’t something that we’re not (super human, Batman, Superman, Spider man)! If only we could embrace this principle. Maybe then we could be more confident that we can FOLLOW HIM as He continually asks us to do. Jesus was a MAN in whom God perfectly came through. Jesus wasn’t PERFECT, but He became PERFECTED (Heb. 5:8 in the REB).

Oh yes, we CAN do this!

Jesus, the MAN, became the CHRIST, which means we see a clue as to God’s actions and presence in Him. If Jesus IS the Christ (and He IS), then He tells us something about humanity, but more than humanity, all of nature. Jesus laid the foundation, He is the cornerstone, the First Fruit, and it’s now up to us to build the superstructure on THAT foundation.

As Paul said, God was IN Jesus reconciling Himself to us, but the GOOD NEWS is that He’s not exclusively at work in Jesus.

Got it?

If not, GET IT! (http://www.lrchouston.com)
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ernie@lrchouston.com

Jesus Was a Man (part 4)

Author: Ernie Fitzpatrick

Like you and I, Jesus was a product of the process of life. He had genes just like you and I! He was subject to the same environmental forces that we are. He grew weary and tired. When He was sad, He cried. Here’s how the church pictures Jesus, “The little Lord Jesus no crying He makes….” The truth is, that a better statement would be something like this, “Tears and smiles like us He knew.” It’s a truth that the world can relate!

Listen, to be a member humanity that I hail from (and you as well): to be a member of the species known as homo sapien sapien, means having the genes and chromosomes that have been shaped by natural causes for millions of years- if not tens, or hundreds of millions.

Hey, let me offend all the more!
You can’t pull a MAN (or woman) out of a hat like a magician would a rabbit. And especially if that man is to be a genuine man (flesh to redeem flesh), He can only come by the process that we do and have. (http://www.lrchouston.com)

While Matthew is only one of two people who speak of His virgin birth, Matthew also went to great lengths to show that “on the human level” Jesus was born of the stock of David.

The religious right misses this vital point.

Matthew went to great lengths to affirm Jesus at the level of humanity and at the level of the Spirit. The point of view of Jesus is not to be understood only on the Spirit level (virgin birth), but at the human level where we live (heredity and environment). And that’s what this series of commentaries are trying to build.

We’ll get to the “divinity part” later.
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ernie@lrchouston.com

Jesus Was a Man (part 3)

Author: Ernie Fitzpatrick

Pope Leo put it this way, “It is as dangerous an evil to deny the truth of the human nature in Jesus as to refuse to believe that His glory is equal to that of the Father.” And then John Knox would add, “Unless it is agreed that Jesus as truly man, it does not greatly matter what else can be said of Him.” In other words, it is better to over emphasize His humanity than it is His deity, which is what the church has done.
like God at least says something, and something important. To say that Jesus was not man, but like man is to condemn his entire life as a charade.”

Are you getting the drift here?

It’s nonsense to say that Jesus was fully human unless we interpret His life as though He were (are you ready?) fully human!. I like Marcion in many ways, but his docetism was way off the charts for me. In Christianity, Docetism (from the Greek- to seem) is the belief that Jesus’ physical body was an illusion- the opposite of the point I’m stressing. (http://www.lrchouston.com)

Justin Martyr put it this way, “Jesus had the body, soul, and spirit of a man. All the parts are found, and the specimen is judged to be a fair representative of the species in question. ”

Bottom line, while Jesus rose from Son of man to Son of God, he came as no cosmic visitor, but rather as one of us! And therein we have HOPE!
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ernie@lrchouston.com