God Is With Us

There is something marvelous about knowing God.

Knowing his identity.

Knowing the colossal, incredible love He has for you.

Knowing the arrangement He has for your life.

That makes you… well, extraordinary.

I have discovered that:

His effortlessness and delicate benevolent actions make every one of us the more delicate.

His unending adoration encourages us to love others much more.

His safeguarding us from the pit of gloom influences us to need to protect others from a similar destiny.

However, we don’t “protect them.” God does that in His opportunity.

God does that in His chance.

Be guaranteed, He needs none to die. (See 2 Peter 3:9)

What’s more, recollect, you are managing the lost.

You can talk a decent talk all you need, however, they need to see you show others how it’s done.

It is safe to say that you are Fulling The Great Commission?

Each Christian is a pioneer in his own right. In that capacity, you are engaged to:

Sparkle the light on Jesus.

Lead the best approach to Jesus.

Plant the seed for Jesus.

Be a steadfast observer of what Jesus has done in your life.

All things considered, that is our Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20:

What’s more, Jesus came and addressed them, saying, “The sum total of what expert has been given to Me in paradise and on earth. Go in this manner and make supporters of the considerable number of countries, purifying through water them for the sake of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, instructing them to watch everything that I have told you; and lo, I am with you constantly, even to the finish of the age.” Amen

I trust it is God’s wonderful love that makes us more delicate to the situation of the individuals who still don’t know Jesus’ identity or that Jesus came with the goal that you may have life, and have it all the more richly. (See John 10:10)

A valid example:

Recently, I have been getting remarks on my online journals… writes that are years old.

The remarks are worldwide, originating from as far away as England, Australia, and Africa.

Why now? It is safe to say that we are exploring new territory with our blog entry SEOs that Google puts them higher in their pursuits?

Or then again, is God at work in individuals’ lives?

God is His own Search Engine Optimization, you know.

Which is awesome on the grounds that…

1. There are times I believe I should enjoy a reprieve from blog composing. All things considered, I have composed 70 of them over the most recent 3 years. I can go ahead to different things, let another person assume control. In any case, at that point, I see what individuals compose. Maybe God is stating, “Ani, the gather is abundant however the specialists are few (see Matthew 9:37), so don’t stop now. Take a gander at how these websites are influencing individuals.”

2. These online journals truly have any kind of effect in individuals’ lives. Some are harming profoundly. Some are grieved and look for an answer. Others need consolation that God does without a doubt love them. In any case, others question how to love God, and if God cherishes them.

It would be ideal if you keep every one of these individuals in your petitions. Many are battling.

Perhaps they need to know Jesus’ identity and look for His fact.

Perhaps these words are simply a warm cover on a cool night.

It doesn’t make a difference in the reason.

What makes a difference is individuals, God’s kin, is tended to by His Word and through the Holy Spirit.

Vexed, in torment, in lose hope, sorrowful, heathens needing consolation and absolution … these are the general population God sends to our online journals.

I pondered internally, these are similar individuals Jesus met when He strolled the Earth.

These are the general population He came to mend.

Finding A Blog Through God’s Divine Intervention

I have positively no uncertainty these perusers found these sites through God’s perfect intercession.

I figure you will concur after you read a portion of these remarks.

You can visit the web journals being referred to by tapping on the titles.

Check whether you spot yourself in any of the accompanying remarks.

Assuming this is the case, rest guaranteed God cherishes you enough to work in your life.

I was profoundly moved by perusing Dave’s remark.

Which one of us has not battled with the inquiry, “Does God exist?”

Now and then it’s a virtuous answer that says a lot of truth.

1. FROM DAVE on the blog “The Reason Why God Wants You to Be Like a Little Child”:

“I am 76 and for my entire life, I’ve been profoundly disapproved however unfit to trust that God exists. Humankind appears to have influenced an awesome hash to up of their convictions and thoughts of what God is. This idea came into my brain: ‘To trust in God is silly’. Astoundingly, this refrain in the Bible came straight into my considerations… ‘be as meager youngsters to know me’. I comprehended out of the blue what that implied. … A light minute that has changed my life.”

2. FROM JANICE on the blog “Do You Know the Different Ways That God Can Heal?”:

“This has truly helped me. I have encountered recuperating by God calling home his hireling my mother. She was wiped out and I implored alongside others for mending yet understood her recuperating stopped by leaving this old body and getting the better and brighter one God had for her. Presently I have a companion who malignancy has assumed control over her body. I don’t comprehend what God is doing. In any case, implore that he will have his direction.”

3. FROM GR on the blog “Is Sin Drowning Out the Voice of God in Your Life?”:

“This article was difficult to peruse… yet it was precisely what I expected to hear. It influenced me to understand that in spite of the fact that I am an adherent, I have not enabled Jesus to be Lord and focus in all parts of my life. I am that Christian who “has one foot on the planet and the other in Jesus.” That is the reason I am confronting a trouble at the present time and why God appears to be quiet with respect to it. The Spirit drove me to this article since I discovered it unintentionally and I expected to hear. I will reflect on this today and tomorrow morning. Much thanks to you.”

4. FROM VIRGINIA on a similar blog entry:

“On the off chance that you don’t feel Gods nearness in your life, this is on account of you are closing Him out by protecting yourself in wrongdoing”… I cherish this expression … I’m so grateful for this article. I’m youthful only 19 … an age which is extremely hard to take after Christ, however, I’m happy He saved me … however, I have been feeling so far off from Him … your article has helped a ton … I’d ask for you keep me in supplications coz the excursion isn’t so natural … Remember, the individuals who stay reliable until the point that the end will enter the kingdom … God favors you.”

5. FROM MARY on a similar blog entry:

“Much obliged to you such a great amount for your petitions! I have been put something aside for just about 13 years. In the first place, I would hear God conversing with me at that point time passed and I didn’t get notification from Him any longer. In any case, He told me that He is dependable with me notwithstanding when I didn’t feel like He was there.

“When I turned into another Christian 13 yrs back I didn’t get into chapel like I ought to need to develop in my association with the Lord since I have a non-Christian spouse that does not need me to go to chapel. So I was not ready to develop in the Lord like I ought to have. I think when preliminaries came and I shouted out to the Lord for help yet didn’t get notification from Him or see an addressed supplication. I lost trust and confidence in Him. Likewise, I got the opportunity to trust He didn’t love me. This article of yours has opened my eyes to the actuality that He loves me however regardless I require many petitions for an association with the Lord. Much obliged to you for your supplications.

God needs us to petition Him and take our considerations to Him.

Songs 55:22 instructs us to “Cast your weight on the Lord, and He will maintain you; He will never allow the equitable to be moved.”

6. FROM MA’KAEL on the blog “For what reason Would God Ever Want to Love a Sinner Like Me?”:

“I would have never figured I could ever observe those words from God. That was something I needed to hear for as long as I can remember.”

God cherishes every single one of us enough to send His Son, Jesus, to have our spot on the cross.

He paid the value that our wrongdoings would be pardoned … until the end of time.

7. FROM JUAN on a similar blog entry:

“Express gratitude toward God for this disclosure He has given you. Much obliged for sharing as I expected to peruse this. I have much to be appreciative for. This will influence me to refocus on the entirety of my activity.”

8. FROM MANDY on a similar blog entry:

“I simply read this. I have faith in God and I have acknowledged Christ as my hero yet I abhor myself, I loathe my life. I have numerous endowments however I additionally know the torment and mishandle and demise and things that a great many people know and I battle fiscally and battle with extreme uneasiness and I walk the lines of living God and needing to be Christ’s girl to needing the world to acknowledge me. However, the world appears to continually dismiss me. I’m sad in case I’m meandering I simply feel like I continue getting more established and I can’t get my life altogether or make sense of my motivation. I committed numerous errors in my past and all I need is a typical life. Not this life of cutting and sorrow and nervousness. I will be in my forties soon.”

(I addressed Mandy in an any longer answer. Yet, Christians ought to get it. We are on the planet, however, we are not of the world).

9. FROM PAULETTE on the blog “The Truth About Spiritual Outages and How to Fix Them”:

“Wonderful word, thank you for sharing. I posted it on Facebook. The Lord dropped control blackout in my soul. I looked into the definition then I discovered your instructing. Truly welcome it. Much obliged to you by and by. God favors you and keep you.”

10. FROM AHENKAN on the blog “How to Avoid the Dangers of Molding God Into Your Image”:

“Much obliged to you for helping me to remember the genuine gospel. Knowledge is an extraordinary blessing. Acclaim to our God.”

11. FROM SIBONGILE on the blog “How to be the Tip of the Spear in Spiritual Battles”:

“This is ground-breaking, particularly in our African culture they don’t know precisely how to keep the murkiness under control. They consider physical appearance and character that is worthy to spectators and not diving deep and grounded in the expression of the main Savior Jesus Christ.”

Key Takeaway

There is something great that happens to a man who makes an association with Jesus.

You can guess by a considerable lot of these remarks.

You can, at last, comprehend God’s plentiful love for YOU.

When you personally know Jesus, you have no uncertainty He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

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The Marriage Struggle is Real

In the Gospel of Matthew, after Jesus teaches about the bond of marriage, the disciples respond with their conclusion, “It’s better not to marry” (19.10). Jesus doesn’t disagree. In 1 Corinthians, after Paul answers questions about marriage, he adds, “If you do not have a wife, do not seek to get married. But if you do get married, it is not a sin” (7.28).

Try writing that verse at the bottom of your next Valentine’s Day card. Everybody seems to know that the Bible is anti-divorce; verses like these make the Bible sound anti-marriage, too. It’s not a sin to get married, Paul says, but it’s probably better if you never do.

Why does he hold such a tepid view of Christian marriage? Two reasons, and the first is spiritual. It’s not that Paul thinks marriage isn’t a good thing—for some people, at least. It’s that marriage for Paul is clearly not the most important thing—not even for married people (7.29). Serving Christ is best. Even if you are married, he says, you mustn’t focus only on your marriage; pleasing the spouse matters, but pleasing Christ matters most. Your life is not about marriage—it’s about Christ. The second reason Paul points believers away from marriage is practical. He explains, “Those who get married at this time will have troubles, and I am trying to spare you these problems” (7.28).

In other words, marriage is hard. It can be a lot of trouble, which comes as a surprise, since the bridal magazines and wedding planners never tell a couple what it means to promise “for worse.” When things actually get worse, the lovers are bewildered. If the misery lasts for very long, the pain can become overwhelming. Many wives and husbands finally end the marriage just to relieve the pain, having also never been told that divorce brings its own form of pain.

Don’t say Paul didn’t warn you. Simply speaking, marriage involves pain, because life involves pain. Of course as a society, our pain tolerance is very low. Our great-grandparents came through World Wars and the Great Depression, but we can’t get through a normal day without some form of medication or escape. The wedding vows handed down from previous generations are honest about the old sources of pain in marriage: poverty and sickness.

Those external threats were what couples used to fear—the threat of debilitating illness, the challenge of putting food on the table. Truly, little irritations don’t matter when you don’t know where the next meal will come from, or when you have Nazis. Lacking such fears, married couples now have the luxury and liberty to turn against one another over issues less-related to death and life— internal threats related to relational dysfunction or bad habits. For the man and woman who can’t even keep their friendship alive, the marriage struggle is real.

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Halloween has arrived and that implies things are absolute creepy unnerving. It’s a season when we’re trying our points of confinement around what alarms us. However, we ought to see what alarms us all year.

We’re accustomed to considering dread something that causes us recognize risk. In case we’re stunt or treating with our children and a raggedy scarecrow ends up being more than what it appears – we shout and chuckle, hearts dashing as the neighbors fill their packs with scaled down pieces of candy.

This is halfway the designed developmental battle or flight reaction coded into our very bones yet it is additionally, more strikingly, an impression of how we’ve been instructed to consider and react to our surroundings.

Dread Can Be a Sign of Opportunity

Because we some of the time feel frightful doesn’t really imply that something is inalienably terrible.

Haven’t you at any point been anxious about something great? Maybe you were near somebody you appreciated and were anxious about disclosing to them you loved them? Those “butterflies” are the equivalent natural reaction activated by a scowling skeleton. The dread or nervousness we face at such times continues as before, the main thing that changes is the unique circumstance and view of the sensation.

Along these lines, in the event that you can instruct yourself to consider dread to be an indication that something is changing instead of an immediate result of that change, you enable yourself to get engaged by your dread. Or on the other hand, as Ian Robertson puts it, “stress can turn into a wellspring of positive vitality that can help your presentation.” If you can re-train yourself to consider dread alarming you to transform, you can utilize dread as a superpower – it can support you and your business become increasingly spry and effective in the long haul.

Development Isn’t Comfortable

Change is continually happening to you and around you whether you understand it or not. Which implies, as a delayed state, comfort doesn’t exist interminably. For a business that is at the pinnacle of its industry, that implies if the earth starts to move, they could either be responsible for that change and lead the charge or be compelled to respond to that change and trust in the best.

In all actuality, as we’ve expounded on previously, development doesn’t occur when we’re agreeable.

At the point when we’re in our customary range of familiarity, we’re attempting to misleadingly support a condition of balance. It’s a glad spot where we have a sense of security and secure. Be that as it may, that minute is transitory, and the more we attempt to remain agreeable precisely where we are without changing a thing, the more we coincidentally go in reverse. We will not change or develop and, in this manner, wind up enabling outer powers to change things for us.

Seth Godin expounded on this on his blog, expressing:

When … dread dies down, it will be past the point of no return. When you’re not scared of what you were wanting to begin/say/do, another person will have just done it, it will as of now be said or it will be immaterial. The explanation you’re apprehensive is that there’s influence here, something may occur. Which is actually the sign you’re searching for.

At the point when our temper rise since we notice something is moving, we can decide to consider that to be as a chance.

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Making A Life Good Choices

Have you at any point known about the paperclip try? It’s a significant exercise in how to use sound judgment throughout everyday life.

Essentially, scientists took a gathering of youngsters and asked them what number of employments they could think of for a paperclip. The kindergarten understudies could think of around 100 employments. The specialists at that point tried those children again as they grew up to perceive how the outcomes may contrast. The more established they got, the less uses they could envision until they were grown-ups and could think of just 10-15.

The general population leading the analysis trusted conventional training, with a need on finding the ‘right’ answer, coincidentally smothered different reasoning. Different reasoning is the capacity to think about numerous potential choices. School doesn’t for the most part instruct you to think about the majority of the choices. Simply make the ‘right’ decision as fast as could be expected under the circumstances.

For what reason do Those Paperclips Make a difference?

Dissimilar reasoning is a significant component of imagination. Imagination is a vital capacity, for specialists, however for us all. Innovativeness enables you to know about numerous alternatives, pick the one that is directly for you, and after that make a move to make something out of your choice. The key here is tied in with monitoring numerous choices. Individuals who you see as being imaginative, in concocting stunning thoughts, in carrying on with a real existence you may appreciate, are regularly individuals who have by one way or another held their disparate reasoning capacities.

They have that uncanny capacity to use sound judgment for themselves, not as a result of karma, but since of the capacity to see every one of the alternatives… or possibly a lot more choices.

Step by step instructions to Make Good Choices

On the off chance that you realize you fall into that ordinary gathering of individuals who can just concoct 10-15 different ways to utilize a paperclip, I have a tip for you. A procedure you can do anyplace, whenever, to help use sound judgment. It’s a basic method to deliberately extend yourself into dissimilar reasoning. All you need is something to compose with and a bit of paper.

Practice this procedure with basic choices first. On the off chance that you are the one to choose where to go for supper challenge yourself not to go to a similar old reserve. When you go out on the town to shop for new garments challenge yourself not to get one more dark cardigan. When you are picking where to go on a wonderful summer day challenge yourself not to consequently go to a similar shoreline or park you generally go to. As you practice this procedure with straightforward choices first, it will make utilizing the procedure simpler when it comes time to settling on greater life choices.

Stage 1: Diverge

On one side of the paper, record 10 potential answers for your concern. Not 8. Not 9. Continue working until you can discover 10 potential arrangements. They don’t all should be commonsense. They simply should be arrangements.

Stage 2: Map

On the opposite side of the paper, draw a medium estimated circle and put a dab in the middle. The dab speaks to you. The circle speaks to your customary range of familiarity. Record every one of your potential arrangements on this guide, situating it dependent on how agreeable you are with the arrangement. The things that you are entirely alright with (and were likely increasingly self-evident) will be near the speck. The thoughts that you extended to concoct (and are likely increasingly awkward to consider) will be outside of the circle.

Stage 3: Consider

Take a gander at your guide. Before you really settle on a decision, take a couple of minutes to think about what you’ve quite recently made. The best arrangement is likely not the one you are most alright with. It’s additionally not the one you are least OK with. Chances are, the best arrangement is some place in the center. So as to develop and encounter new things, you must get settled with hanging out at the edge of your customary range of familiarity. What arrangements do you find in that space? What are you willing to consider?

Stage 4: Choose

I will never disclose to you what decision is the correct decision. No one but you can do that. After this entire exercise, you may even now take a gander at the conspicuous decision nearest to you and let it all out. Also, that is OK. You may likewise extend into the decision at the edge of your customary range of familiarity or even a smidgen past. That is OK as well.

Careful discipline brings about promising results

What is significant in settling on decisions along these lines is rehearsing your disparate reasoning. You may in any case settle on the decision you would have made without it. At any rate you will realize you have thought about the alternatives first. As you practice dissimilar reasoning you will prepare your cerebrum to utilize along these lines of reasoning all the more effectively and all the more regularly. This will open up new conceivable outcomes for you now and long into what’s to come.

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Humility Devotion

quietude is that uprightness which should the establishment for all others.

Here is the reiteration:

O Jesus! accommodating and humble of heart, Hear me.

From the longing of being regarded, convey me, Jesus.

From the longing of being cherished…

From the longing of being lauded…

From the longing of being respected …

From the longing of being commended …

From the longing of being wanted to other people…

From the longing of being counseled …

From the longing of being affirmed …

From the dread of being mortified …

From the dread of being disdained…

From the dread of enduring reproaches …

From the dread of being calumniated …

From the dread of being overlooked …

From the dread of being criticized …

From the dread of being wronged …

From the dread of being suspected …

That others might be cherished more than I… Jesus, concede me the elegance to want it.

That others might be regarded more than I …

That, in the supposition of the world, others may increment and I may diminish …

That others might be picked and I put aside …

That others might be applauded and I unnoticed …

That others might be liked to me in all things..

That others may wind up holier than I, gave that I may move toward becoming as sacred as I should…

So be it.

This petition is soliciting that we be conveyed from these feelings of trepidation and fallen wants dependent on vanity, pride and unreasonable self esteem with the goal that just God’s musings and endorsement matter to us.

What this reiteration does not mean is an idea of false quietude, as the holy people caution us about. False quietude would mean, for instance, that we intentionally come up short our tests in a misrepresentation of “lowliness” to be the dumbest and “last” instead of first. Or then again attempting to deliberately deny or make light of that you’re a decent craftsman or performer. God has plainly given you that blessing and ability, so use it and use it for His greatness, putting forth a strong effort. Or on the other hand, in the event that you need to be conveyed of the dread of loathed (as the reiteration asks), it doesn’t imply that we purposefully search out chances to be disdained.

Quietude is an ideals that is intended to be unfathomably freeing and liberating on the grounds that “lowliness is truth,” as St. Teresa of Avila said in her life account.

“You will know reality and reality will set you free.” [John 8:32]

The only thing that is important is the means by which we are before God. We’re not intended to be captives to human sentiments, human regard, and human endorsement. We’re not intended to be captives to ourselves and our fallen wants. It’s everything nothing contrasted with Who truly matters.

In his book of contemplations for the ritualistic year, Divine Intimacy, Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalene immovably says:

Numerous spirits might want to be unassuming, however few want mortification; many request that God make them humble and intensely appeal to God for this, yet not very many need to be embarrassed. However it is difficult to pick up quietude without mortifications; for similarly as contemplating is the best approach to secure learning, so it is by the method for embarrassment that we achieve modesty.

For whatever length of time that we just want this righteousness of quietude, however are not willing to acknowledge the methods thereto, not are we on the genuine street to procuring it. [Divine Intimacy, contemplation #110]

In St. Francis de Sales’ book Introduction to the Devout Life, he noticed how it is so natural to say,”Oh Lord, I am nevertheless residue and meriting nothing” since we see our wrongdoings. As the Psalmist says…

“For my spirit is bowed down to the residue; my body sticks to the ground.” [Psalm 44:25]

… But then when we really get treated all things considered, we may promptly end up irritated and feel resentful, along these lines showing our absence of lowliness. St. Francis says it’s smarter to take mortifications from others than pre-appoint it or articulate our dishonor ourselves in light of the fact that there is more legitimacy and genuine ethicalness included. [Introduction to the Devout Life, Part II, Ch. 5, Interior Humility].

During my time of asking the Litany of Humility, I’ve seen enough shrouded pride uncovered to me that it has lead me to add on to this reiteration. Indeed – add on! Since self esteem and pride can take such a large number of various structures.

For instance, in my first year of marriage and being moved into our new home together, we would have our families come over. I recollect how troublesome it was for me at first to change into a “serving position” as a host. I felt so irritated that everybody was out there giggling and having a discussion and here I was “slaving ceaselessly” passing up quite a bit of it. It was a genuine battle for me, as senseless as it sounds. (I currently giggle at how conceited that reasoning was!) I attached onto the Litany:

From the longing of being served… convey me, Jesus.

That was just the principal thing I included. (Marriage and youngsters have this entertaining method for uncovering your self esteem. In any case, I imply that in a most thankful manner!) Since at that point, I’ve included more, contingent upon which region of pride and self esteem that I was battling through…

From the dread of being undervalued… convey me, Jesus.

From the dread of being overlooked… convey me, Jesus.

From the craving of being viewed as lovely… .convey me, Jesus. (against vanity)

From the longing of looking for encouragements… convey me, Jesus.

What’s more, truly, it continues endlessly. Regardless I ask these equivalent “attached” summons in my customary reiteration of quietude, to say the least.

I exceptionally suggest attaching your very own summons in this reiteration. What territory of self esteem, vanity or pride would you say you are battling with the present moment? Do you locate a concealed delight in being insubordinate in some little way – regardless of whether it’s taken a “sting” at somebody or conflicting with their authentic wishes in some little way? … “From the longing of being insubordinate/defiant… .convey me, Jesus.” Do you find you’re somewhat poor or clingy in a companionship? “From the craving of feeling required… convey me, Jesus.”

Appeal to God for light from the Holy Spirit; see what your shortcomings and aggravations are. You’ll discover more prominent inside opportunity the more you appeal to God for modesty and the more you acknowledge the mortifications God sends your direction. As St. James lets us know, “God opposes the glad yet offers effortlessness to the modest” (James 4:6).

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How Autumn Will Help You To Increase Your Spiritual Retreat?

Moves between seasons can help our capacity to do otherworldly withdraw. For example, in pre-winter, we encounter a characteristic regrouping; a significant number of us plan as energetically amid September as we do in January at the new year. Regularly, this is a period of appraisal on numerous levels.

Pre-winter is additionally a period of grow dim prompting winter lethargy. Those of us who live in atmospheres that turn chilly and fruitless feel an unmistakable desire to lighten up our homes and settle in for longer evenings. We sense the organic desire to rest more hours and the otherworldly tendency to twist internal.

Here’s the way harvest time can upgrade your profound withdraw, regardless of whether it’s few days away or a couple of hours at home.

The diminishing scene can move you to give up. Those late spring blossoms are no more. Maybe an occupation, relationship, or objective is experiencing a kind of death in your life. You may watch leaves falling and ask, “Master, what is falling far from me at this moment—something that has reached a proper time of closure?” A developed tyke leaving for school or marriage or work states away—would you be able to permit that falling without end to occur? A job you have played, and played well, for quite a long time is moving presently—would you be able to give it a chance to fall?

The harsher climate can send you to God for safe house. In some cases it takes a chilly, muddled rainstorm to venture profound into us and shake us from our lack of interest or refusal. You’re hurrying to get over the parking garage to the withdraw house, conveying garments and books and diaries, and the sky opens, and there’s literally nothing you can do. Once inside your room, you simply come apart. This has little to do with the tempest outside yet everything to do with the profound strife you’ve been maintaining a strategic distance from for a considerable length of time. Since you’ve dove into the hurt and fierceness, you at long last have a legit petition for God. Truth be told, you’re happy the blasting breeze and rain are causing so much racket, since that implies nobody will hear your cries and raised voice. You can swing to God and be as urgent as you should be.

Longer evenings can lead you into more reliable quiet and reflection. This is particularly valid in the event that you are withdrawing far from home and have no entrance to media. At the point when the day finishes, and it’s dull at a young hour at night, you either ask or rest. Supplication may incorporate perusing or journaling or drawing or sewing, however it occurs in a sort of shut in calm that can develop profound and supportive.

Another nature of air can rouse new considerations and crisp feelings. Say thanks to God we are physical! That fresh, fiery pre-winter air deals with us straightforwardly. The reasonable sky and sharp skyline—and the immersed shades of trees and grasses—stir us physically, inwardly, and profoundly. On the off chance that we give ourselves an opportunity to ingest the new light and smells, we will feel ourselves restored. We may produce new thoughts, new plans, and new seek after how everything will turn out.

I admit that I am one-sided; harvest time has dependably been my most loved season and the season in which my innovative blessings flourish best. You may be to a greater extent a late spring individual. However, get whatever this season brings to the table. As you think about the late spring’s exercises and your expectations for the months to come, set aside some opportunity to appreciate the air, the shading, and the delicate, early murkiness.


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Fifteen Miles from Heaven

Moses E. Lard, the well-known gospel preacher of the nineteenth century, kept a preaching appointment at Richmond, Missouri in 1853. As he was hitching his horse near the meeting house, a black man named Dick, a brother in Christ, approached him and introduced himself. He told Lard that he once belonged to the church at a place called “Stanley’s,” where an “old brother Warriner” used to preach but, after Warriner’s death, the church there ceased meeting, depriving Dick for a long time of the privilege of assembling with the saints. Yet, his faith in Christ had remained steadfast. “I have come fifteen miles today to hear you preach,” he said, “and I have brought with me my young master, Thomas. I think he would be a Christian if he knew how.” After being introduced to Thomas, Lard went into the house to begin the services. He strongly believed in divine providence and wondered to himself if God’s hand were in the presence of Dick and his master. The audience was large, but not a Christian there had come fifteen miles, a considerable distance in that day. But here was a bondservant who, after working hard all week, had traveled that far to attend the meeting. Lard was still thinking about Dick’s words as he entered the pulpit to begin his lesson. “Thomas was in the congregation – a circumstance which I determined not to forget for the next hour and a half,” he later recalled. And through his speech, he kept steadily in mind “a plain, honest boy of sixteen.” The simple sermon, deliberately delivered in the “plowman’s phrase” that had been Lard’s early dialect, accomplished its purpose. When the invitation was extended, Thomas went forward and gave the preacher his hand. “Poor Dick was as near Heaven then, as he will ever be again until he reaches that blessed abode. He could not sit, he could not stand, he did not shout but clapped his hands, while tears ran over those toil-worn cheeks. He meekly occupied a distant comer of the house, and, I felt, if angels delight to gather around the heart that is full of gratitude to Christ, surely they must have had a strong pleasure in folding their wings in that comer just then.” Thomas was baptized into Christ that evening. A little more than two weeks later, at the request of Dick and Thomas, Lard went to the community near their home to preach for two days in the shade of some large trees. There a modest stand and some crude seats had been erected to accommodate the services. Resolved to make the most of the limited time, the first day Lard preached two-and-a-half hours to a large audience of “an honest, agricultural people, blessed with pertinent common sense and sound hearts.” The sermon made a favorable impression on most of those present. The next day the audience, undiminished in size, gathered again to hear another equally long sermon. At the close, four men came forward to confess Christ. The excitement was such that Lard thought it would be unwise to leave the people in the present mood in order to meet another appointment where nothing might be accomplished. So he decided to stay. The third night eight more confessed their faith in Christ, and before the meeting closed, forty had been baptized for the remission of their sins. Furthermore, those who remained of the old Stanley’s church came to take seats in the assembly of the saints. On the Lord’s day, the brethren, old and new, met at a convenient place a mile distant to organize a New Testament church. They invoked the protection of God and resolved to be faithful in His service. “A table was then spread, and on it were placed the emblematic loaf and cup. The supper was then eaten in memory of the Master, a song sung, and the services of the hour closed” (Lard’s Quarterly, Sept. 1863, pp. 23-25). The church, known as South Point, was located in Ray County, Missouri. It came into existence primarily because a chattel slave who was also a bondservant of Christ loved both of his masters enough to travel fifteen miles to hear the gospel. That journey may have been the difference between heaven and hell for Thomas and for many others as well. God, in the exercise of His providence, very often uses what to us may seem to be an insignificant act of faith to accomplish His purposes. Heaven, indeed, my sometimes be just “fifteen” miles away. – by Earl Kimbrough

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It is probably sound advice that, when a car leaves you stranded, you should return the favor. Few people would keep a car that cannot be depended upon to work as needed. There may be a parable here.

Remember that David described himself and his fellow Israelites as “…his people, and the sheep of his pasture” (Psalm 100:3). In other words, they belonged to God and were to serve according to the pleasure of His will. Recall that those rebuilding the wall with Zerubbabel identified themselves as “…the servants of the God of heaven and earth…” (Ezra 5:11). They were determined not to let anyone or anything stop them from finishing their God-appointed tasks.

Jesus used the analogy of sheep to represent his disciples. He said that His sheep (followers) will hear His voice and follow Him (John 10:3, 16, 27). Later, when Peter answered the council’s command for the apostles to stop preaching in the name of Jesus, he said, “…Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 5:19, 20). Peter was determined to follow the instructions of the Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4).

As members of the local church, we are sheep who make up the flock (Acts 20:28). We are at the same time servants of Christ (Acts 4:29). We must ask ourselves, “Can the Lord depend on me?” Can He depend on me to be present at feeding time (every service and Bible class)? Can He depend on me to stand up for His truth when it is under attack? Can He depend on me to give as He has made me prosper? Remember that it was Jesus who asked, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46). He is relying on all of us to be about His business.

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Changing Our World One Person at a Time!



For some time now, a frequent topic in sermons, prayers, and conversations has been the fact that our world seems to be in so much pain as we live out our sinfulness in hatred, violence and selfishness. As disciples of Jesus, we are called to provide a different way of life. Although as sinners our witness is sometimes clouded, I sincerely believe that most of us want to do our best to be servants of Christ and to make a positive impact on the world. So often we hesitate putting ourselves out there because we think we have to do something really big. The truth is that like Jesus, our ministry normally happens one person, one encounter at a time. While Jesus’ ministry eventually impacted the entire world, here on earth he most often cared for people one person at a time. He sat and talked with the Samaritan woman at the well, healed the blind beggar, sought out the woman who had touched the hem of his garment, and brought his friend, Lazarus, back to life. As a result of each of these healings, hopefully, the one who was healed also turned around and demonstrated God’s persistent love to someone else. Jesus’ example speaks to us today. I am privileged to share with you the true story of an encounter experienced by one of our church members, Erin Sherlock. In August, Erin headed off to college in North Carolina after having grown up here at Grace. Erin was one of our young people with whom I went to the ELCA Youth Gathering in Detroit in the summer of 2015. Here’s what happened to Erin. As she was walking through the college cafeteria late one evening, Erin noticed a person she did not know. He was sitting with his head down and rubbing his eyes. Instead of walking out of the room, Erin approached the person, asking if he was okay and if he needed someone to talk to. The person readily accepted the invitation to talk. Erin describes it this way, “I sat right down and took off my backpack. Ready to listen, he let everything out. I talked. He talked. He cried. I cried.” Mid-conversation he said he wanted to die. But they continued to talk. At the end of the conversation, when Erin stood up to leave, the young man said, “Is it weird if I ask for a hug? “ Erin replied, “Not at all. Bring it on.” During the hug he whispered three life changing words, “You saved me.” Here’s Erin’s own reflection on this experience: “I’ve wanted to change the world for as long as I can remember. I’ve wanted to go abroad and serve. I’ve wanted to become a public speaker. When I thought of changing the world I always thought of making a huge impact. But [this experience] taught me you can change the world in the smallest of ways. I clearly changed this guy’s perspective on life so greatly he didn’t want to die anymore. October, 2016 October, 2016 Grace Notes is also available online at www.gracelc.org/news/grace-notes Page 2 Moral of the story, go out and change the world – it only takes one person to make a huge impact. And don’t be afraid to go up to people and make yourself vulnerable to their life and yours as well.” Well said, Erin. Well done, good and faithful servant! Your Grace family is proud of you as is your biological family! My friends in Christ here at Grace, thank you for your support of the youth ministry and Christian Education and worship ministry of our congregation. Our work together in this congregation is preparing people like Erin Sherlock to go out into this crazy world with faith and compassion. The next time you put money in your church envelope, say a prayer of thanksgiving for the ministry we are doing together. No matter what your age, please take advantage of the many ministries we have here in our congregation. We live in a tough world, so we need to be prepared to go into the world knowing that the Holy Spirit will be at work through us. Thanks be to God for the opportunities that are placed before us. Together we make a huge difference, one person at a time!


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Simply Christians

Many people are growing disenchanted with present religious forms which originated in the middle ages and have become meaningless. There is displeasure with denominational structures and dogma. Some, because of such views, have even decided that “Christianity” is not relevant today. We believe they have made that decision because they are not sufficiently acquainted with the Scriptures to be able to distinguish between the gospel of Christ and what men over the centuries have attempted to add to it.

If some of these things have troubled you and you have felt a yearning to return to the simple, uncomplicated religion of Christ, stripping away all the nonessential elements of religion and simply abiding by the truths of Christ, truths which transform the soul and bind it to God, let us suggest that it can and has been done.

The Bible, God’s word to man, presents Jesus Christ as the Son of God. He was foreshadowed and predicted in the Old Testament which God used to govern His people until Christ should come and establish the New (Jer. 31:31-33; Gal. 3:19, 23-24). That New Testament reveals the religion of Christ. By studying it we learn all there is to know of the way of Christ.

We learn that among the followers of Christ there existed no denominational organizations whatever. All began at a later time. In the New Testament we see people hearing the gospel and obeying the conditions of God’s grace. Being thus saved, they were added to the Lord’s people, the church (Acts 2:36-47). As the gospel spread, we find them assembling together in congregations in various localities. Each congregation was under its own elders (Acts 14:23) and no one else on earth. These elders could not make laws and be masters. They were given the responsibility of tending and caring for the congregation as shepherds would a flock (Acts 20:17, 28; I Pet. 5:1-3). The only headquarters those disciples knew was heaven, where their head, Jesus Christ, was and is (Eph. 1:22-23).

Their worship was something in which to participate, not something to watch. On the first day of the week, for instance, they would eat the Lord’s supper and hear preaching (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:23-29), they would all sing (Eph. 5:19), they would all pray with various ones leading (1 Cor. 14:15-16), and they would share in their mutual responsibilities by sharing their prosperity (1 Cor. 16:1-2). We find no contributions being collected on any other day than the first day of the week and no hierarchy taxing them or telling them how much to give. They had no organizations clamoring for their support. They gave as they individually purposed in their own hearts (2 Cor. 9:6-7). In all this they were all necessarily involved for each saved person was a priest (Rev. 1:5-6). No one could perform his service or worship for another.

They lived godly lives. They cared for their poor. They taught others. They sent out preachers to teach others in far communities. With simplicity of faith and fervor there was no need of centralization. Without organized machinery, the gospel was preached to the whole of civilization in a short time (Col. 1:23). These disciples of Christ were known as Christians (Acts 11:26; Acts 26:28; I Pet. 4:16). They wore no sectarian names. Their religion was not materialistic or sensual. They did not seek to impress men with pious ceremony, rather, they sought to impress God with the only thing that has ever impressed Him contrite obedience (2 Sam. 15:22). Their appeal was not social or recreational. They offered the gospel, for they knew it was God’s power to save (Rom. 1:16), and any other appeal was beneath them.

Many sigh, “Oh, if only such could be today.” But it is! Free men and women over the earth have despaired of denominationalism, seeing in it neither necessity nor relevance but only a cause of division. They desire the simplicity of what Christ authored, and their number is increasing. How many have taken such a stand? Who knows! They are related and connected only in Christ and not in some organization with machinery to keep a tally. We will not try to number them. What is important, though, is that a group of such people meet within minutes of where you live.

They are just Christians. They worship and serve God in the same way the early disciples did. Christ is their only creed and the Scriptures their only guide. They are not members of any human organization, they are simply a congregation, or church, of Christ. They, in turn, would like to share Christ with you and with all the world.

You too can be just a Christian and serve God without belonging to any denomination, bound by denominational laws or obligations. If such freedom appeals to you, please contact us.

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