Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39   Entries 96-100 of 192
November 28, 2017, 12:37 PM

november 29, 2017

“No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.” 2 Timothy 2:4
     There are times we must take a serious look at our lives to determine how well we are following God's plan.  We live in times of constant distraction, oftentimes put in place by our adversary.  As Christians in America, we are constantly bombarded by situations determined to entangle us.  Could our “Christmas Season” actually be a diversion tactic brought about by the enemy to cause us to lose focus on the urgency of the times?  Could our endless appetite of everything “end times” be a way the enemy uses to divert our attention away from spreading the Gospel?  If anything, concentrating on “end times” should make us more aware of our calling.
     God has all kinds of ways to bring us into a reality check.  As I receive emails and letters from missionary friends, it burdens me to realize how distracted we've all become.  In reading a newsletter of prayer requests from a friend in India, his requests were much different than ours.  His prayer requests were for things like: the publication and distribution of a daily devotional book written in the Hindi language, a boldness for Christians and churches in India facing various persecutions, for home-churches and prayer-cell groups to be effective and instrumental in bringing many people to Christ while praising God for six Christians who have been released from jail after being charged with trying to convert tribal people.
     Then, what if we compare that with the things we celebrate during this season.  We find ourselves concerned with shopping, gifts, parties, and of course special “Christmas” programs to make sure we cover all the bases.  What has happened to us?  It seems much the same thing that happened to Israel.  We find ourselves worshiping the blessings rather than the One who provides them.  Is it any wonder we see families, morality and values crumbling all around us?  We must wake up!  The spiritual battle is raging more than ever and the enemy's plan is to keep us entangled by the “civilian” affairs so that we are unable to please God.  May we all be awakened to the urgency to keep our eyes, minds, hearts and actions focused on Jesus throughout this season and always!
                                                                                                                                                                 We love you,
                                                                                                                                                                 Brad and Virginia

November 21, 2017, 10:58 AM

November 23, 2016

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe.”  Ephesians 1:18-19

What’s missing?  We so often find ourselves on the “fast track” only to realize we are steadily slipping away from the things that really matter.  We fill our lives with the “must haves” of this world only to find they are not really fulfilling.  We still feel something is missing.  We may be in worship and Bible study every week but still experience an empty space in our life.  However, feeling as though something is missing is actually a good start toward opening our eyes to the truth.  As we seek to grasp what is really missing, we must ask ourselves an important question.  Am I truly experiencing fellowship with God?

          Our life has a way of quickly getting out of control and then we find ourselves on a path away from fellowship with our Father.  The enemy has a plan for our destruction and knows that steering us away from God is the quickest way to bring us down.  A sad fact in our society is that Christians are some of the most miserable and downtrodden people on the planet.  It is generally (not always) because we have ventured out on our own rather than steadily and obediently following God.  As a result, we can even lose the real meaning of our “worship” on Sundays.  How do we prepare for worship each week?  Do we come each Sunday with our hearts focused on God, yearning to praise and adore Him while seeking to be His obedient followers?

          We are entering what many call the “Christmas Season”.  However, as Christians we know that the “Christmas Season” is every day all year long.  Could I give you some heartfelt advice for this time of year?  Please do not try to fill what’s missing in your life with this world’s “must haves”.  You will only find yourself more miserable and probably in debt.  If there is something missing, it may very well be that God does not have the proper place in your life.  Something else may be missing too.  We may fail to show our gratitude for the things we already have.  God has richly blessed us all!  May we seek those things that truly bring happiness, fulfillment, and joy to our lives rather than the empty promises of a world in chaos.

                                                                                                                                                          We love you,

                                                                                                                                                          Brad and Virginia

November 14, 2017, 10:54 AM

November 14, 2017

“All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.”  2 Corinthians 4:15            

How often do we miss Thanksgiving?  Sure, we get a day off, eat turkey, and watch ballgames but are we truly thankful?  Our culture has become obsessed with Halloween and then the focus becomes Christmas.  Of course, the celebration of Christmas has become so secularized that we miss the real meaning of the season (yes, Christians too).  However, that is a topic for another time.  Why celebrate Thanksgiving?  It’s just the real start date for Christmas shopping … right?  Although this year the advertising is already all about “black Friday” prices before “black Friday”.  That is sad.  We will never understand or celebrate Thanksgiving until we experience thanks-living and that comes from a life of contentment.

            Over the past few weeks I have been reading some very interesting articles about Thanksgiving.  This week I would like to share a few thoughts and quotes from some of the articles.

            “Thanksgiving only becomes thanks-living when joy in the blessings given from above overflows into the blessings given all around.”

            “Thanksgiving only becomes thanks-living when the thanks for His vertical, coming-down grace is expressed as a horizontal, reaching-out grace.”

            “Thanksgiving only becomes thanks-living when thanksgiving to God overflows into a joy of giving.”

            “The joy of giving thanks is ultimately expressed in the joy of giving.”

            “Grateful people search for the good while everyone else finds the bad.”

            “In the midst of the negative experiences of life, grateful people actively seek the positive, identify it, and recount it for others to hear.”

            “Life would be radically different if we lived in a constant state of gratitude.”


            As we approach Thanksgiving, let us not get carried away by the rush to Christmas.  Enjoy what Thanksgiving is all about.  Yes, we have entered the “season of giving” but shouldn’t that be the case throughout the year?  May we truly experience the joy of giving not because we are obligated to someone or feel the need to return a favor but because we desire to give to those who are neglected, lonely or hurting.  We probably all have more than we could possibly use so let’s share with others and experience a season of thanks-living!


                                                                                                We love you,

                                                                                                Brad and Virginia

November 7, 2017, 2:33 PM

November 8, 2017

“Submit yourselves, then, to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”  James 4:7
     Sunday morning we learned that our enemy does not like us, desires to draw us away from God and see that we live miserable lives.  Satan continually works his plan today just as he did with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  The key element to his strategy is to get us away from worshiping God.  He does this by making sure there is a plethora of distractions to fill our life.  His distractions usually involve worry, money, and pleasures in some form.  What happens next?
     As Satan's plan progresses, thoughts begin to drift away from obedience to God toward fulfilling our own desires.  Do you remember how Sarah developed her own plan for Abraham to have children because she was convinced that she was too old?  Satan still works the very same way.  He provides just the right set of circumstances so that the temptation is huge.  The choice is all ours to make, but with all the other factors in place and the looming temptation, a correct decision becomes extremely difficult.
     We've all faced it!  You may be facing similar circumstances today and on the verge of a wrong, potentially devastating decision.  This is not where God would have you to be.  Recognize the warning signals of drifting away from God's plan.  Look carefully at the passage above.  Submit to God as you recognize that you cannot battle Satan all alone.  Call on God, worship Him, surround yourself with Christian friends and participate in corporate worship to help hold you accountable.  Resist the enemy's strategy realizing that he only desires to destroy your life.  Run to the Father because He is always eager to keep you safe.
                                                                                                                 We love you,
                                                                                                                 Brad and Virginia

October 31, 2017, 10:59 AM

November 1, 2017

“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine on us.”  Psalm 67:1

     How often have we heard those words as a benediction?  We all pray for God's blessings and protection daily.  However, as usual, the enemy desires to deceive us.  Why do we ask for God's blessings?  More than likely, it is because we desire to enjoy a life free from problems and difficult circumstances.  Yet, that is not the real reason we should ask for God's blessings.  The remainder of this psalm specifically shares with us the reason we should desire to be blessed.  We are blessed so that God's ways may be known on earth (v. 4).
     So, we have a huge responsibility when we ask for God's blessings in our own life, for our family and for our church.  Whatever God gives us and shares with us is to be used to glorify His name and to tell others about Him.  We have been duped by the enemy thinking that everything God gives us is to be exclusively used for our benefit.  It is the psalmist's plea that all the nations would praise God, be glad and sing for joy.  He recognizes that this will happen only as God's people share their blessings with others.  From this psalm we also recognize God's sovereignty in the world.  God rules all the people of the earth justly and guides the nations of the earth.  The sad thing, people do not or will not recognize that God is in control.  Man, with his knowledge and ingenuity, cannot fathom God who is over all and controls every step.
     Has God blessed you?  How are you using those blessings to serve and glorify Him?  Are we using our blessings to share with others or strictly for our benefit?  There is a world full of hurting and lost people and God has blessed us beyond measure for a purpose.  If we were called on today to give an accounting of what we've done with our blessings, how would we answer?  I'm afraid I would certainly be lacking in what I should have done.  How about you?  Our life has purpose and meaning.  Our blessings are to be used to fulfill God's purpose for our life.  Our prayer is that the motive for the blessings we desire is so that we can better proclaim Jesus to the world and help others understand the need to know Him and praise Him.  May you be blessed abundantly this week so that you may in turn share those blessings to a lost world.
                                                                                                                                      We love you,
                                                                                                                                      Brad and Virginia

Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39   Entries 96-100 of 192