EASTER STORY

Easter Story

Allen Meets Jesus
By Toni Smothers

I was running some errands in town yesterday when I came across a mentally challenged young man named Tim. Everyone around knew him. He was usually a very cordial young man – just a bit simple.

Tim was swinging a picnic basket as he walked. “Going on a picnic Tim,” I asked.

“Nope, caught me a bunch of baby chicks; want’a see?” On the bottom of the basket, there were three little, dainty, trembling, yellow chicks looking near scared to death.

I stopped Tim and asked him, “What are you going to do with those little fellas Tim?”

“Take ‘em to my house to play,” he answered. “I’m gonna see if they can roll around, maybe … or pull some of those pretty, fluffy feathers out to play with. I dunno, play some fun games with ’em. I’m gonna have lots of fun with ’em I bet.”

“Don’t you think they might get hurt Tim? What will you do if you hurt them by accident?”

“Oh, I won’t do that. Besides, they’re just plain little chicks. Who cares about plain ole chicks?” said the simple boy. “What’s the difference? They ain’t good for nothing and they mostly die anyway.”

I tried to think of what to say to Tim to make him give me those chicks. “Want to make a trade, Tim?”

“Huh??!!! Why? You don’t want them chicks. They’re just plain ole chicks. They don’t do anything but poop and they’re all skinny and little.”

“How about it?” I asked again. “I’ll trade you an ice-cream cone for them.”

“Really? Boy, I sure would like an ice-cream cone!” Tim said as he handed over the basket.

I went with him a few blocks to the ice-cream store and bought him his cone. He was happily licking his treat as he walked away – all thought of the little chicks totally forgotten.

I carried them back to the nearest farm down the road, and sure enough, there were several adult chickens squawking about. I carefully placed each chick on the other side of the fence, pretty certain that was their home. I was their hero; the little chicks were free and all it cost me was an ice-cream cone.

I couldn’t help telling the story to my seven-year-old son, Allen, because I thought there was a good lesson to be learned from the story of Tim and the chicks. Jesus set us free too – but instead of an ice-cream cone, He paid for our freedom with His life. So after supper, when bedtime rolled along, I scooped my son up into my lap and said, “How’d you like to hear a little story?”

“Sure,” he replied excitedly. Allen always loves to hear a good story.

First I showed him the basket and told him about Tim and the chicks. After that I really had Allen’s attention, so I wanted to take the opportunity to teach him something deeper than just my saving some chicks at a pretty cheap price. So, I made up a parallel story to teach him a little bit more about our real Savior.

I began, “One day a mean and dangerous man named Sin and a rather gentle young man named Purity were having a conversation. Sin had just come from abusing a young family and was bragging. “What fun – I just caught the boy by the ankle and caused him to break his leg. I got the Dad while he was running to help his boy. He tripped over the skate in the driveway and busted up his nose and chin pretty bad. Then, the best part of all, the young mother flew out the front door across the yard and tripped on a rock. She hurt her hip, but the best, best part is, she’s pregnant, so – you guessed it… She’s definitely going to lose her unborn baby! Got ‘a love it! That was really fun.”

“Why’d you want to do all those cruel things,” Purity asked?

Sin answered with a snicker, “Oh, I’m not done with them! I’m gonna teach them, and lots of others too, how to ruin their marriages, how to belittle each other and be prejudiced and backstabbing. I’ll teach them about war and revenge and pain. Let them be burdened with addiction to all kinds of harmful substances. I’ll make sure they learn how to kill each other, maybe even start a war or two. I’m really gonna have fun!”

“And what will you do when you get done with them?” Purity asked.

“Oh, I’ll torture some of them … kill all of them for sure,” Sin boasted.

“What can I do to make you stop?” Purity asked.

“Oh, why should you care about those people? They‘re absolutely no good and never will be. Why, I’ve already made most of them hateful. They’ll just hate you, spit on you, curse and kill you. You don’t have any reason to want those people!!”

“What can I trade you that you will accept?” He asked again.

Sin looked at Purity and got really mad. “You’re a fool – give me your life if you want to be the big hero! And be sure that if you agree, you will die very painfully!”

Purity said, “I agree. It is finished!”

“Eventually He paid up and died a terrible death on the cross, just like Jesus did for us.” I told Allen.

I picked up the basket that held those little chicks. We both looked inside, and it was empty. “Those little chicks are free, just like us sweetie.” I said.

“I sure hope Purity didn’t really die.” The concern in Allen’s voice was very real.

“Oh, but that’s what the story is all about, Allen. Purity is just a story name. He’s just like Jesus, who really did die for us. He protected us from Sin and saved us with his own life.”

A tiny tear rolled down Allen’s sweet cheek. “I think Jesus is my best friend.”

“Mine too.” I said.

***


Let’s all try to start this New Year remembering that Jesus truly wants to be our very best friend. He is as close to us as our own breath. His love is always available and each and every one of His beloved family, which means you and me, are so important to Him that He gave His very life to prove it.

I hope that you all had a Blessed Easter and that you will have a Spirit-filled New Year!

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Can A Believer Loose His Salvation?

                               Can A Believer Loose His Salvation?

Once a person trusts Christ as their Savior can they lose this relationship? Is the salvation that Jesus offers conditional? If it is unconditional, then there is nothing we can do to lose it. If it is conditional, then there is something or some things that we can do to lose it. The real question for Christians is – What Does the Bible Say? As the Scripture is carefully studied, we find that a true believer in Jesus is safe and secure eternally. The following relevant passages make this issue pretty clear.

1. Never Perish

Jesus said those who believe in Him will never perish.

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.” (John 10:27,28)

These verses could not be stronger. Those who trust Jesus will never perish. Jesus said nobody will take believers out of His hand. This is because believers are securely held in the arms of God the Father.

2. Eternal Life

The Bible promises eternal life to all who believe in Christ. The often quoted verse in the Bible says: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”. (John 3:16)

The promise of eternal life is not true if it can be lost. There is, however, only one condition stated in this promise: if a person believes in Jesus, they shall have everlasting life. Everlasting means forever.

3. Possession of the Believer

Those who believe in Jesus already possess eternal life.

“I tell you the truth; whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life”. (John 5:24)

Salvation, therefore, is not something that is far off in the future—it is a present possession of the believer. Salvation is not looked upon as a day-to-day thing. We do not keep ourselves saved day after day. Scripture treats our salvation as something that is secure forever.

4. Eternal Life Defined

So, eternal life has already begun for the believer. The Bible defines eternal life as knowing Christ.

“Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3)

4. Nothing Shall Separate

The Bible says nothing shall separate us from Christ.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril or sword . . . For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35, 38,39)

This passage makes it clear that nothing will be able to separate Christ from those who have trusted Him. Nothing! This includes the believer separating themselves from Christ. If you turn your back on Christ, He always awaits your return. Isn’t that incredible? 

5. Christ Remains Faithful

“That is why I am suffering. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12)

The Apostle Paul stresses the fact that once you have committed yourself to Christ, He is able to keep that which we have committed.

6. He Keeps Us from Falling

“To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy”… (Jude 24)

The idea here is that He is the one who keeps us from falling, we are not keeping ourselves. We have no power.

7. Kept By God’s Power

The Bible says that we are kept by God’s power, not our own.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:3-5)

8.We Have Been Glorified

The Bible already speaks of us as being glorified:

“And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified.” (Romans 8:30)

9. It Is A Gift

Salvation is a gift. A gift is often confused with something earned. No one can earn their salvation; it is God’s gift to us.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8,9)

Salvation has been given to us by Christ. The fact that we had nothing to do with earning it can not be stressed too much!

10. We Are Joined To Christ

Once a person has been born again by the word and the Spirit of God, he receives new life in Christ. God puts Christ’s righteousness in the place of the sinner’s account, which totally cleanses him before God.

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

“But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.” (1 Corinthians 1:30)

11. Christ’s Sacrifice Is Adequate

The sacrifice of Jesus Christ was more than adequate for our salvation.

“For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:14)

There is nothing that can be added or taken away from His sacrifice.

12. He Will Complete What He Started

The Bible says it is God’s power that saves us:

“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)

He started the salvation process, He will finish it.

13 .Kept By God’s Power

Furthermore, that which keeps us saved is God’s power, not our own.

“…who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:5)

We did not save ourselves; we do not keep ourselves saved.

14. We Are A New Creation

We are identified with Christ as a new creation, clean and equipped for service. We can then begin to live out God’s plan for our lives.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

“And raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:6)

15. Christ Paid The Penalty Once

Jesus Christ has paid the penalty once and for all for sins. God will not demand payment for a second time. The Bible says: Since Christ has died for our sins we will never have to die for them!

Questions To Be Answered –

If someone believes salvation can be lost, then there are a number of questions that must be asked. What sin or sins would cause you to lose it? How do you know when you’ve lost it? If you lose it, can you get it back? Do you have to get baptized again? What does the Bible mean when it promises eternal life for those who believe? How long is eternal life? Finally, if a person can lose their salvation, then how can you explain what John wrote:

“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:13)


If a person could lose their salvation then no one could know, from moment to moment, whether they are saved or not
. Yet the Bible says that we can know. This is because once a person truly trusts Christ as Savior, they cannot lose that salvation.

Summary:

Once a person trusts Christ as Savior they become His child forever. Because He saves and keeps us, nothing shall separate us from His presence.

I do agree that John 10:27-28 says it all. We are forever His, friends. Happily for us, His precious love is totally unconditional. I deliberately found so many verses to quote on this subject so that you can hereafter know that you’re saved by the love and grace of our Lord Jesus. This is not merely my opinion. This is what Jesus promised us. Controversial or misguided thinking will always exist. That’s okay, it will keep you from taking the things you believe for granted. But remember, whenever you have a question, go to the Word for your answer. You will find what you need to know in the Bible.

We worship a risen, living Savior who has promised to give immortality to all who believe in His name. No longer do we need to stumble in the fog and darkness of hopelessness. He is risen – A light shines brighter than the noonday sun, offering hope to everyone who has been born again. Jesus promised, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.” (John 11:25–26)

    Happy Easter everyone!

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Hard Times, Marriage God

Hard Times, Marriage & God
By Toni Smothers

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)

Well, I’m not sure how you feel about the above verse, but I have to admit that it strikes me as just a bit tough for the average person to embrace the concept of perseverance through many trials as a “good” thing – Especially the young, newly-wed average person. Trials and marriage do go together, but when they mold together into a seemingly indivisible bond right at the threshold, boy does the fuzzy-lovey-dovey stuff take a beating.

When perseverance jumps right up to be counted, many of us fragile Christians can fall away in droves. It seems pretty natural to feel resentful when the poop falls directly into your own lap. In harsh times we usually fight, take flight or blame – And its so easy to blame God just as soon as things get less than blissful on the home front. After all, things should go smoothly because we’re good Christian people, right? (Does anyone actually believe that?)

My 24-year-old son graduated from college, then continued to complete his masters, married his 23-year-old childhood sweetheart, started his career with a wonderful opportunity at a great job and moved out of state to begin his new career and marriage. Sure seemed to be strolling down easy street – Are you waiting to hear the blissfully romantic music playing softly in the background? Well, forget that – No sooner had they settled into their perfect little, third floor, one-bedroom apartment, than my son, began to have vague fatigue problems.

He is very expert at pool and enters tournaments often as his hobby. He paid for most of his college expenses with those tournament winnings so he has always exhibited good competitive ability. Suddenly, he’s finding it too difficult to stand up so long as is necessary if you tend to win. This is definitely peculiar for a 24 year old, lean and adroit young man.

Additionally, he began having difficulty mounting those three levels of stairs. (You guessed it, no elevator at his apartment complex.) Still, three flights of stairs is hardly a challenge for most people far older and less fit than he.

Then came some abnormal vision problems. This is all happening within the first few months of his new marriage and job. He is eventually compelled to see the first doctor, who ordered a bunch of tests, then sent him to the next doctor, who also ran the gamut of diagnostic procedures, until Wade was finally referred to the neurologist.

My son has Multiple Sclerosis. The experts do not know what causes it and there is no known cure. Certain types of MS have been treated quite successfully in the past decade and a great deal has been discovered about medications that can cause remissions and keep the severer symptoms of the disease at bay almost indefinitely. However, that is only true of three of the four types of MS.

Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, the kind Wade has, is in a category all its own. There is no current remedy available. They are experimenting with certain mega-steroid medications and chemotherapies, but nothing has caused a remission in that particular type of MS as yet and the side effects of some of the experimental drugs are almost as devastating by themselves as the disease!

God specializes in pain and He can use it in unforeseen ways. If both partners in a marriage are willing to face a painful reality in their lives together, it can foster an even stronger bond of intimacy and commitment as time passes. God may not choose to heal Wade. But He can use the MS to work miracles in their lives and perhaps in the lives of others not yet even known to them.

I have to tell you that I hate this MS with a passion but I am so grateful that my son and his gentle bride, know that God is with them. They are angry, don’t misunderstand, and they have sworn and cried and shaken their fists more than once in God’s direction. But our heavenly Father understands. He feels their disillusionment, their anguish and despair.

They became transparent in their pain – Brutally honest with each other, discussing what would happen as the MS progresses and how they would cope as it worsened. And you know what is the neatest thing about all this? God sticks with us even in the pits. He finds a way, unique to each of his children, to penetrate into each one’s heart of hearts and sweetly whisper, “I’m here for you. I will never leave you. I will help you get through even this… because there is no one in the world I love more than you.”

Undoubtedly, their tears will flow and dry repeatedly, but they have a strong foothold on how to deal with life’s worst. It’s as simple and as awesome as faith. And because of that magnificent, compelling belief, their marriage vows will stand. They truly do believe that all things work together for good for those who love the Lord. That’s not some overrated cliché – that’s the Word of God and their lifeline – The piercing light at the end of the tunnel, wherein lies the greatest power of all… Hope eternal.

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https://www.weddingsbydavidandtoni.com/

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Hey Good Looking – Nobody’s Looking

By Toni Smothers

Colossians 3:12-14 tells us about some pretty gorgeous attire. “Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” 

Did you notice that phrase, “over all?” (Not to be confused with “overalls” – that’s an entirely different look!) Well, Christian comedy aside, God instructs us all to put on love. It’s not something we fall into, like a free-fall off a cliff into the ocean. And love doesn’t fall on us, like a bucket of cold water over the head. Putting on love is a deliberate decision. It’s like choosing what to wear and then dressing for the day.

There are personal things to remember when getting ready. Things that you’d rather others not see. You know, unmentionables, like underwear or deodorant. (Gosh, I can’t believe I just mentioned those!)  But, and this is the super-neat part, the child of God gets to put on “God’s love” and wear it so that His love is the very first thing that others see when they look at you. Understand, your figure or fashion sense is so insignificant compared to your obvious happiness. Your sparkle, laughter and smiles are the features that attract others.   

Knowing all this intellectually, and ignoring the God sparkles for now; I have been known to stand almost comatose like a kid in a cocoon, carefully contemplating the contents of my closet. Besides being an outrageously contrived tongue-twister, this contemplation is not always a happy task for me. I bet you’ve already guessed that my clothes are a bit snug lately, so it often takes longer than I’d like to find an outfit that comes even remotely close to fitting my “current version.” No matter how long I moon over them, those too small clothes do not magically transform into larger ones. Just knowing that makes me respond with a little discontent. On some level of thought, (albeit irrational), my peevishness makes perfect sense to me.

I know, it sounds pretty weird, but since I’m the worst pack-rat in existence, it seems like there should be some value in those irritating garments that mock me. After all, some of those tiny clothes are authentic antiques. Funny thing is, many of them are back in style again. Yeah, well, a lot of good it does me. I can’t get my big toe into most of them. (Twisting and contorting is quite the unsightly sight, if you know what I mean.)

All right, I admit it, there’s no rational explanation I can offer for hanging on to those old clothes. It’s probably got to do with fond memories, (or delusions), of a perfect “Barbie-doll” body. Not to worry, though: Pride has a way of simmering down when thrown into the refiner’s fire. God’s not especially into our clothes, but He does want to supernaturally transform us through faith in Jesus. We can evolve, incrementally, into more loving people who shine with the joyful assurance that God grants whoever would earnestly seek him.

Whoever you are, whatever shape you are currently in, you can still rely on His perfect love every time. You see, when it’s from God, there are no physical qualifications or strings attached. He gives freely to all His children. And, (drum roll), His love even comes in an expandable fit!

Yeah, come to think of it, His garment of salvation grows right along with me. Christ’s unmatchable act of sacrifice wraps around me no matter what, so that even in my swollen state, (head included), He’s got me covered. It’s a most luxurious fit. But the absolutely incredible part is that my Savior calls me His own “beautiful bride!” You gotta love it!  

In Isaiah 61:10, the bible tells us what the well-dressed child of God is sporting these days: “He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness.” I know one thing, I’ve never had to squirm and fight my way into God’s garments. (You know, I’ve always suspected that spandex is not of God!)

Anyway, my garments of salvation and my robe of righteousness came straight from God, through the death and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ. It’s Jesus’ robe I get to wear. I must say, I feel like a real winner in it.

Love is the ultimate accessory. It just kind of pulls it all together. Christ’s robe to cover me, God’s great love within me and His Holy Spirit to fill me, these garments surpass anything I could ever come up with. (And it certainly beats the skinny, “Twiggy” look.)

With or without the thunder thighs, try Jesus on for size. We’re talking one really great fit!

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DOES EVIL EXIST

EVIL

By Toni Smothers

The university professor challenged his students with this question.

Did God create everything that exists?

A student bravely replied, Yes, he did!”

“God created everything?” The professor asked.

“Yes sir”, the student replied.

The professor answered, “If God created everything, then God created.

evil since evil exists, and according to the principal that our works

define who we are then God is evil”.

The student became quiet before such an answer.  The professor was

quite pleased with himself and boasted to the students that he had proven

once more That the Christian faith was a myth.

Another student raised his hand and said, “Can I ask you a question

professor?”

“Of course”, replied the professor.

The student stood up and asked, “Professor, does cold exist?”

“What kind of question is this? Of course it exists. Have you never

been cold?”  The students snickered at the young man’s question.

The young man replied, “In fact sir, cold does not exist.  According to

the laws of physics, what we consider cold is in reality the absence of

heat.  Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or

transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit

energy.   Absolute zero (- 460 degrees F) is the total absence of heat;

all matter becomes inert and incapable of reaction a that temperature. 

Cold does not exist. We have created this word to describe how we feel

if we have no heat. The student continued, “Professor, does darkness

exist?”

The professor responded, “Of course it does”.

The student replied, “Once again you are wrong sir,  darkness does not

exist either. Darkness is in reality the absence of light. Light we can

study, but not darkness. In fact we can use Newton’s  prism to break

white light into many colors and study the various wavelengths of each

color. You cannot measure darkness. A simple ray of light can break into

a world of darkness and illuminate it. How can you know how dark a

certain space is? You measure the amount of light present. Isn’t this

correct ? Darkness is a term used by man to describe what happens when there

is no light present.”

Finally, the young man asked the professor. “Sir, does evil exist?”

Now uncertain, the professor responded, “Of course as I have already

said. We see it every day. It is in the daily example of man’s inhumanity

to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the

world.  These manifestations are nothing else but evil.”

To this the student replied, “Evil does not exist sir, or at least it

does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is

just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the

absence of God.    God did not create evil. Evil is not like faith, or

love that exist just as does light and heat. Evil is the result of what

happens when man does not have God’s love present in his heart. It’s

like the cold

that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there

is no light.”

The professor sat down.

The young man’s name — Albert Einstein

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Be Brave and Speak Out

DAILY DEVOTION 3/8/20210

Be Brave and Speak Out

BY TONI SMOTHERS

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 53:1-12

Scripture Quote: Remember what I told you: A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. John 15:20(NIV)

We know that people all over the world are persecuted and killed because of their faith. In our country, Christians are a group that certain factions would stamp out completely, if they could. Our schools have no more prayers offered. Our educators teach that a “big bang” somehow conjured up life, but that Christianity and creationism are synonymous with ignorance. History is gradually being rewritten, diminishing the founding father’s deep dependence on God. Many of this generation’s children are raised with no exposure to Jesus or any firm sense of morality. Christians need to step up and make a difference. Jesus was tortured and murdered for us, yet we’re afraid to speak about our faith to the person that we know might be unreceptive? Are we truly concerned that we could turn someone away from God with our awkward attempts? Does that even make sense when a person’s eternal destiny is in dire jeopardy! Know that the power of the Holy Spirit can help us to have the courage to be a witness to the Word and to testify about our own salvation – We can trust Him to enable us.

Today’s meditation: Be bold and without excuse – Proclaim the Gospel.

Memory Verse: Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Acts 4:29 (NIV)

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The Prayer Of Salvation

The Prayer Of Salvation You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer.

  • Prayer is talking with God.

God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. The following is a suggested prayer:

“Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.

Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? If it does, pray this prayer right now, and Christ will come into your life, as He promised.

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DID YOU KNOW

You’regonna say “I didn’t know that!” at least 5 times. 

Really neat stuff here :

Alaska



More than half of the coastline of the entire

United States is in Alaska.



Amazon



The Amazon rain forest produces more than 20% of the world’s oxygen supply


The Amazon River pushes so much water into the Atlantic Ocean that, more than one hundred miles at sea off the mouth of the river, one can dip fresh water out of the ocean. The volume of water in the Amazon river is greater than the next eight largest rivers in the world combined and three times the flow of all rivers in the United States.



Antarctica



Antarctica is the only land on our planet that is not owned by any country. Ninety percent of the world’s ice covers Antarctica This ice also represents seventy percent of all the fresh water in the world. As strange as it sounds, however, Antarctica is essentially a desert; the average yearly total precipitation is about two inches. Although covered with ice (all but 0.4% of it, ice.), Antarctica is the driest place on the planet, with an absolute humidity lower than the Gobi desert.



Brazil

Brazil got its name from the nut, not the other way around.



Canada



Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world combined Canada is an Indian word meaning ‘ Big Village’.



Chicago



Next to Warsaw, Chicago has the largest

Polish population in the world.



Detroit

Woodward Avenue in Detroit, Michigan, carries the designation M-1, so named because it was the first paved road anywhere.

  Damascus, Syria


Damascus, Syria, was flourishing a couple of thousand years before Rome was founded in 753 BC making it the oldest continuously inhabited city in existence.



Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey, is the only city in the world 
located on two continents.



Los Angeles

The full name of Los Angeles is: l Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula

— and can be abbreviated to 3.63% of its size: L.A



New York City

The term ‘The Big Apple’ was coined by touring jazz musicians of the 1930s who used the slang expression ‘apple’ for any town or city. 

Therefore, to play New York City Is to play the big time – The Big Apple. 

There are more Irish in New York City 
than in Dublin, Ireland;
more Italians in New York City
than in Rome, Italy;
and more Jews in New York City
than in Tel Aviv, Israel.



Ohio

There are no natural lakes in the state of Ohio,

everyone is man-made



Pitcairn Island

The smallest island with country status is Pitcairn in Polynesia, at just 1.75 sq. miles/4,53 sq. Km.



Rome

The first city to reach a population of 1 million people 
was Rome, Italy (in 133 B.C.)


There is a city called Rome on every continent.



Siberia

Siberia contains more than 25% of the world’s forests.



S.M.O.M.



The actual smallest sovereign entity in the world 
Is the Sovereign Military Order of Malta S.M.O.M)
It is located in the city of Rome, Italy, and has an area of two tennis courts. 

And, as of 2001, has a population of 80, 20 fewer people than the Vatican. 
It is a sovereign entity under international law,
just as the Vatican is.



Sahara Desert

In the Sahara Desert, there is a town named Tidikelt, Algeria, 

that did not receive a drop of rain for ten years. 

Technically, though, the driest place on Earth 
is in the valleys of the Antarctic near Ross Island.
There has been no rainfall there for two million years



Spain

Spain literally means ‘the land of rabbits’.



St. Paul, Minnesota

St. Paul, Minnesota, was originally called Pig’s Eye 
after a man named Pierre ‘Pig’s Eye’ Parrant who set up the first business there.



Russia

The deepest hole ever drilled by man is the Kola Superdeep Borehole, in Russia. 

It reached a depth of 12,261 meters (about 40,226 feet or 7.62 miles.) It was drilled for scientific research and gave up some unexpected discoveries, one of which was a huge deposit of hydrogen – so massive that the mud coming from the hole was boiling with it.



United States

The Eisenhower interstate system requires that one mile in every five must be straight. These straight sections are usable as airstrips in times of war or other emergencies.



Waterfalls

The water of Angel Falls (the world’s highest) in Venezuela drops 3,212 feet (979 meters.) 

They are 15 times higher than Niagara Falls.

I have always said, you should learn something new every day. Unfortunately, many of us are at that age where what we learn today, we forget tomorrow.

But, give it a shot anyway.

Virus-free. www.avg.com

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GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN

Ministry isn’t just sitting all day in prayer or reading your Bible, this job takes work. You have to get out and talk to people; you need to feed your own spirit; you minister to others help out in communities, and more.

Ephesians 4:11-13
Christ chose some of us to be apostles, prophets, missionaries, pastors, and teachers,so that his people would learn to serve and his body would grow strong. This will continue until we are united by our faith and by our understanding of the Son of God. Then we will be mature, just as Christ is, and we will be completely like him. (CEV)

2 Timothy 1:6-8
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. (NIV)

2 Corinthians 4:1
Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. (NIV)

2 Corinthians 6:3-4
We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. (NLT)

2 Chronicles 29:11
Let’s not waste any time, my friends. You are the ones who were chosen to be the Lord’s priests and to offer him sacrifices. (CEV)

There is a great deal of responsibility in ministry. As a Christian we are all called to be a minister of his word, you are an example to others. People are looking to see what you do in situations because you are God’s light to them. You need to strive be above reproach and yet approachable at the same time

Peter 5:3
Don’t be bossy to those people who are in your care, but set an example for them. (CEV)

Acts 1:8
But the Holy Spirit will come upon you and give you power. Then you will tell everyone about me in Jerusalem, in all Judea, in Samaria, and everywhere in the world. (CEV)

Hebrews 13:7
Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow the example of their faith. (NLT)

1 Timothy 2:7
For which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. (NKJV)

1 Timothy 6:20
O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge. (NKJV)

Hebrews 13:17
Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you. (NIV)

2 Timothy 2:15
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. (NIV)

Luke 6:39
He also told them this parable: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit?” (NIV)

Titus 1:7
Church officialsare in charge of God’s work, and so they must also have a good reputation. They must not be bossy, quick-tempered, heavy drinkers, bullies, or dishonest in business. (CEV)

There are times that you will think I can’t do this. You will have to have a strong heart to face those times head on and do what you need to do for God.

2 Timothy 4:5
As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist,fulfill your ministry. (ESV)

1 Timothy 4:7
But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness. (NASB)

2 Corinthians 4:5
For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. (NIV)

Psalm 126:6
Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them. (NIV)

Revelation 5:4
I cried hard because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or see inside it. (CEV)

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The God Void


by Toni Smothers


Life was mute – Few rainbows.
And there were only puny, fleeting sunsets.
No time to notice anything, too many goals.
Too busy – Numb to love’s ever-flowing rhythm.
Trees and flowers swayed, giving beauty to each day.
So what?
God’s perfect truth, His essence – Was a distant myth.
My frozen granite heart knew better.
Life was for self, snatching moments, surviving.
The entire world cannot comfort one heart void of hope.
So what?
Busyness is foolishness – More unstable than whirlwinds.
Worse even than plain falsity, wherein dwells the Devil.
Funny – The evil one knew me well enough to swear he’d won me with his shiny dime.
So What?
So everything – At least according to the Lord.
The One God, Almighty – The author of it all – Creator extraordinaire!
He sent his answers well before I asked for them.
Turns out that I’m more precious than I’d ever dreamt – Jesus told me so.
Why did He care so much that he could not abide my anguish?
Why indeed?
Why had my God claimed me? If ever there was a good reason to ask, “Why me?” I know none better.
But claim me he did – His own, from the very first – Never to be lost again!
Remarkable!
He sweetly sailed thru every grief, searched me, and still He took me to Himself.
A place beyond rainbows, beyond sunsets, and far past shiny dimes.
Thank God!
Thank God for His perfect love, which sweetens all of life.
Its music plays a chorus within all hearts to hear.
Eyes see each sight and sound beam bright with promise.
And Grace and mercy transform all who would come –
Yes, even you – If you only will draw near!

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