Newsletter-What to Leave Children

What to Leave Children
 

“The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.” -Proverbs 20:7
 

Anxiety about our family is natural, but we shall be wise if we turn it into care about our own character. If we walk before the Lord in integrity, we shall do more to bless our
descendants than if we bequeathed them large estates. A father’s holy life is a rich legacy for his sons.

The upright man leaves his heirs his example, and this in itself will be a mine of true wealth. How many men may trace their success in life to the example of their parents!

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Newsletter-“Fear” A Four Letter Word

“Fear” A Four Letter Word
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
More than once since I committed this verse to memory I have had to embrace it as truth and pray that I not give in to a “spirit of fear.” I have come to believe that the word “fear” really is a four-letter word and should be considered profanity. Wouldn’t it be great if we could somehow have it censored from all of our thoughts and feelings, like bleeping out a bad word? But instead, fear is very much a part of our reality, even more so than we realize or want to admit. I know there are times when being fearful can be a good thing, such as being afraid of doing something that might bring harm or danger.
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Newsletter-Prayer and Peace

PRAYER AND PEACE
Read the Scripture: 1 Samuel 1:1-2:11
At first glance it would appear that this is a kind of bargaining prayer of Hannah’s – that she is offering to give the boy back to the Lord only if the Lord will give him to her first so she can enjoy him. It is possible to read this account that way, but, if we look closely at it, we can see what is really happening here, for I am sure this is not the first time that Hannah has prayed at Shiloh for a son. All along she dreamed of having a son of her own, a little boy to love and cuddle, to teach him to walk, to read stories to, to watch him grow to manhood to become a strong, clean, fine young man, the pride of her life. She wanted him for herself, and she prayed often for that, but her prayer was not answered.
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Newsletter-Silencing the Voice of Self-Doubt

Silencing the Voice of Self-Doubt
Philippians 1:6
Being confident of this very thing that He who hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
There is an enemy that tries to defeat every one of us at times. It’s the enemy of self-doubt. You know what I’m talking about. Perhaps you got that new job, or you have a new direction to take and self-doubt says, “You just can’t do that,” or “You’re not smart enough.” But maybe you’ve been at a task a long time and you’re weary and the voice of self-doubt shouts, “You don’t have enough strength,” or “You’ll never make it!”
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Newsletter-Untouchable Life

Untouchable Life
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection. I am life. The person that believes in me will have life again after he dies. And the person that lives and believes in me will never really die. Martha, do you believe this?” John 11:25-26

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Newsletter-The Great Motive

Paul says this is the great motive of his life. He is not referring to the resurrection, he is referring back to verse 10. Not that I have exhausted the riches of knowing Christ. Not that I yet know all the power of his resurrection, or have been perfected so that I no longer need the fellowship of his sufferings. No, but I press on to lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has laid hold of me. What he literally says, as the Phillips translation renders it is: grasping ever more firmly that purpose for which Christ grasps me. Laying hold of that for which he laid hold of me.
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Newsletter-Passover

“On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn-both men and animals-and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt. – Ex. 12: 12-13 NIV

I am not often aware of this power of blood to become a barrier to God’s judgement.  There are too many other things I worry about.  I spend too much time under the false assumption that salvation is in part due to my actions:  Singing the right worship songs, witnessing to the right number of people, being faithful in my devotions and tithes and offerings.  But these are only symbols of my love, there is no saving grace in them.

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Newsletter-They Shall Be My people

This section of 2 Corinthians, from 6:14-7:1, makes an abrupt change in tone, language and subject-matter from the verses that directly surround it – 6:13 and 7:2 both refer to Paul’s request that the Corinthians open their hearts to him. This is clearly a digression, marked with rhetorical questions. What does God have to do with idols?
Throughout this letter, Paul expresses his love for the Corinthians. He also shares his concern about them possibly following charismatic, but misleading teachers. There seems to be a rift between Paul and the Corinthians because of a a troubling situation and a distressing letter, which we do not have, and that fact that he has not been able to visit in a while. He seems eager to repair this rift and also to encourage the Corinthians to not lose heart in him or his teachings, even though he is not present. He wants to warn them against spending too much time with, or giving too much credence to, teachings that are idolatrous or fanciful versions of Christianity.
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Newsletter-The Help Of Friends

The Help Of Friends
One day Jesus was teaching the people. The Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there too. They had come from every town in Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. The Lord (God) was giving Jesus the power to heal people. There was a man that was paralyzed (crippled). Some men carried him on a mat. The men tried to bring him and put him down before Jesus. But there were so many people that the men could not find a way to Jesus. So the men went up on the roof and lowered the crippled man down through a hole in the ceiling. They lowered the mat {into the room} so that the crippled man was lying before Jesus. Jesus saw that these men believed. Jesus said to the sick man, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
Sometimes Jesus sees the faith of the person who needs to be healed and blesses them based upon their faith. Sometimes faith is not mentioned and doesn’t appear to be an issue in his healing ministry.
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Newsletter- Flavoring the World, and Dispersing Darkness

Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.
“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
What are you doing with your life? It is a question I think we all ask ourselves at various points in our life. It is the question behind children’s dreams and stories about what they will do and be when they get big. Young people wrestle with this question as they plan their future, choose schools, pick careers, make a new home for themselves. Those of us who are older sometimes look back on the past and wonder what we have done with our life. The difficulties, challenges, and losses of life often bring us face to face with this question. It is really a question about meaning, significance, purpose. In that question God is drawing us to himself. It is a question with which we will always struggle until we begin to seek meaning, significance, and purpose on God’s terms and for the love of others.
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