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Pray for China

Would you be willing to pray for your persecuted brothers and sisters during the Olympics?

The eyes of the world will soon be on the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing China. And as we recognize this historic and international event and watch it on our TV, it is also a great time to be reminded of our brothers and sisters in this vast nation who are persecuted for their faith and belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. Will you join other believers in interceding for them at this time?

Please don’t respond to me…just say, YES and pass this along to a praying friend as you encourage them to join you and others in prayer.


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I would like for you to think back to some moment in the past when someone made a mistake which impacted you either directly or indirectly.  What about the person in line ahead of you at the bank who waits until they are at the window before beginning to fill out their deposit slip – Or you are in the 10 items or less line and the person ahead of you is over the limit by 20 – Or the driver in front of you does not move quickly enough or cuts in front of you to make a turn – Or someone makes a comment about you or something you are involved in which is incorrect and hurtful.

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You are seeking to live life to the fullest,
To completely enjoy each day that God gives,
But breakthroughs in our Christian walk,
Seldom comes when all is going smoothly.

God seems to choose your dark times,
The problems, pains, and temptations,
Through those sufferings and disappointments,
He invades the struggles of your daily walk.

Laboring under trials and tribulations,
Place your trembling hand in God’s hand,
The very situations that causes the most anguish,
In His light become treasured memories.

God is now reaching out to you,
In your places of weakness and strain,
You’ll find your humble afflictions are dignified,
By His immeasurable grace.


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Fathers Day Reflection

Christian Father’s

•    Father’s Day is the one day we honor the Father’s in our lives, including those Grand and Great, as well as the other men who, while they are not related to us biologically, were and continue to be a significant part of our lives.

•    The blessing of having loving, caring, and Christian fathers cannot be over-estimated.

•    Their guidance in our lives is essential to us as we grow into the men and women God desires for us to be.

•    It is interesting that for far too many years we had a hard time believing that our Fathers’ really understood what was going on in this world.

•    After all, they are out of the loop and not up to speed in modern day activities and trends.

•    But as we grow older we begin to realize that they really did understand and had we listened more we would have avoided some of the problems we had to deal with.

•    As someone once said – The older I get the smarter my dad becomes!

•    Although there will be millions of telephone calls to Dad’s this Father’s Day – along with cards, meals and gifts – the best way to honor our Fathers and all the other men who have made an investment in our lives is to conduct ourselves in a manner that upholds their best aspirations for us.

Heavenly Father’s Day

•    True honor is found not in what we do or say on one day, but in the daily way in which we live our lives and the choices we make.

•    There is another Father’s Day I want to consider in addition the holiday we will celebrate each year – for you see every day should be a Heavenly Father’s Day!

•    Just as there are attributes of our earthly fathers’ which make them unique in our lives and call forth our love and gratitude, so too, there are unique characteristics of our Heavenly Father that we should constantly recall in our daily Heavenly Father’s Day celebration and worship.

1.    Here are just a few, beginning with His provision for each day of our lives:

•    Psalm 118:24 This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

•    Each day is a day to rejoice and be glad for the Lord has made it uniquely for us!

•    I know we all have those days when we wonder – what was God thinking today?

•    But even on those days we can have an assurance that God understands and will make a way for us even when there appears to be no way.

2.    Another quality of our Heavenly Father is His ability, provided we accept His efforts, to help us as we seek to develop into the disciples He desires for us to be.

•    Our earthly Fathers do their best to help us develop into adults with well balanced values and ideals, as well as the skills to maximize our opportunities and abilities to accomplish our goals.

•    But as much as they love us, their wisdom and ability is limited.

•    But when we have submitted our lives to our Heavenly Father and are willing to accept His guidance and direction, we allow Him to take these vessels of clay and mold them into the perfect shape for our journey through life.

•    Isaiah 64:8 Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.

•    Just as we rebel and try to ignore our earthly fathers when we are growing up, we also do this to God as He seeks, by His loving touch on our lives, to create in us the heart of a disciple.

•    Perhaps the reason we ignore God’s direction in our lives for so long is that we have this idea that submitting our lives to Him will result in our having less than we think we should in this life.

•    But the opposite is true as Jesus taught the disciples:

•    Matthew 7:11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

•    The gifts of God are all good and once we fully realize this we will never want to miss out on receiving those gifts from our Heavenly Father.

3.    Finally there is one over-riding attribute of our Heavenly Father that should create within our hearts a continuous Heavenly Father’s Day celebration – His unmerited, awesome love:

•    John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

•    I pray that on this Father’s Day you will give the gift of your complete love and commitment to your Heavenly Father because you fully realize that He has given you the ultimate gift – eternal life through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Honor Your Father

•    Make sure you take time to honor your Father and all the other men who have played a role in your life, not just tomorrow but consistently through out the year.

•    Most importantly, pray about the attributes of our Heavenly Father we have discussed tonight and others that you have learned, and make sure that you are living your life each day in a manner which honors Him for all He has done for you!


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The Invisible Mom

It started to happen gradually.

One day I was walking my son Jake to school. I was holding his hand and we were about to cross the street when the crossing guard said to him, “Who is that with you, young fella?”

“Nobody,” he shrugged.

Nobody? The crossing guard and I laughed. My son is only 5, but as we crossed the street I thought, “Oh my goodness, nobody?”

I would walk into a room and no one would notice. I would say something to my family – like “Turn the TV down, please” – and nothing would happen. Nobody would get up, or even make a move for the remote. I would stand there for a minute, and then I would say again, a little louder, “Would someone turn the TV down?” Nothing


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A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).


False Contentment

Having many companions may give the appearance of someone who is content and surely not lonely.  But what each of us desires is a relationship with someone who really knows and understands us, who appreciates our strengths and understands our weaknesses, is willing to listen, ready to help and can always be relied upon.  This is the type of person the writer of Proverbs describes as a friend who is closer than a brother.


Are You Lonesome Tonight?

If your answer is yes to the question – Are You Lonesome Tonight? Remember this – Jesus Christ loves you!  The Son of God gave His life that you might have an eternal, personal relationship with Him.  Jesus, while on this earth, experienced all the stresses ands strains of life including loneliness, therefore He knows exactly how you are feeling and wants to replace any feeling of emptiness or being alone, with the fullness of His presence through the Holy Spirit.  The old hymn says it all – “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”!


Peace, Joy and Contentment

Knowing that we are never alone because Jesus is with us should bring us great peace, joy and contentment, but we also need friendships in this life. 


Illustration: I love the illustration I heard some time ago of the little boy who had scary dreams and frequently called out for his parents to come to his aid.  Whenever this happened the parents would talk with him about not being afraid since Jesus was always there with him, he just could not see Him with his eyes.  One night though, the little boy said to them – I know Jesus is always here but tonight I need someone with skin on!


Jesus is the perfect and eternal friend who is essential in our lives, but while we are still on this earth we also want friends with “skin on”.  This past week you have most likely come into contact with someone who was truly lonely and it may have been someone who would appear to have it all together and more friends than they could count.  But many times what we see are companions and not that true “friend who is sticks closer than a brother or sister”. One of the lost gifts in this world is that of true friendship and hospitality. 


Listen to how it is described in First Peter as found in “The Message” by Eugene H. Peterson: Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes! (1 Peter 4:7-11).


The old adage, to have a great friend we must first be a great friend, flows directly from Jesus teaching that we should treat others as we would like to be treated.  I pray that you will make the effort and take the time this week to be the friend that someone you know really needs.  In doing this you will not only fulfill God’s will for your life by being a blessing to others, but you will also burn away any shadow of loneliness from your own life.  

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Iraq in Bible History

1. The Garden of Eden was in Iraq.
2. Mesopotamia, which is now Iraq, was the cradle of civilization!
3. Noah built the ark in Iraq.
4. The Tower of Babel was in Iraq
5. Abraham was from Ur, which is in Southern Iraq!
6. Isaac’s wife Rebekah is from Nahor, which is in Iraq!
7. Jacob met Rachel in Iraq.
8. Jonah preached in Nineveh – which is in Iraq.
9. Assyria, which is in Iraq, conquered the ten tribes of Israel.
10. Amos cried out in Iraq!
11. Babylon, which is in Iraq, destroyed Jerusalem.
12. Daniel was in the lion’s den in Iraq!
13. The three Hebrew children were in the fire in Iraq (Jesus had been in Iraq also as the fourth person in the Fiery furnace!)
14. Belshazzar, the King of Babylon saw the “writing on the wall” in Iraq.
15. Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, carried the Jews captive into Iraq.
16. Ezekiel preached in Iraq.
17. The wise men were from Iraq
18. Peter preached in Iraq.
19. The “Empire of Man” described in Revelation is called Babylon, which was a city in Iraq!

Israel is the nation most often mentioned in the Bible. But do you know which nation is second? It is Iraq! However, that is not the name that is used in the Bible. The names used in the Bible are Babylon, Land of Shinar, and Mesopotamia. The word Mesopotamia means between the two rivers, more exactly between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. The name Iraq means country with deep roots. Indeed Iraq is a country with deep roots and is a very significant country in the Bible.

No other nation, except Israel, has more history and prophecy associated with it than Iraq.

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