3 Parts of a Worshipping Heart

By Jesse Becker

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Many people followed Jesus to varying degrees while He was on earth. There were the multitudes who were curious. There were the sick, blind, and lame who needed healing. There were some who Jesus specifically chose the follow Him so He could teach them and prepare them for ministry. And then there were a few who left all they knew and all they had just to be near the Master. They lived a life of worship for their Lord. What drove them to live that way?

Slow Down, and Live!

By Jim Ramsey

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What a busy world I enjoy! (or maybe, endure!) I often jokingly tell our seniors: “Life sure gets a lot more simple at our ‘life stage doesn’t it!’” NOT! Truth is, at the age of 65+ it seems like my Daily Planner is more crowded than ever.

I was thinking of an activity that was obviously not a part of Jesus’ life as seen in the New Testament: HE never RAN anywhere! Yet HE was always where HE needed to be when HE needed to be. Could it be that if HE is my Guide in life that I might need to slow down in order to live the abundant life HE wants for me? “Abundant” can be full without being fast!

Reasons to Direct our Thinking – Part 2

By Pastor Troy Dorrell

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The Bible teaches us that we are to direct our thinking toward those things that honor God and are good for us. Part of the reason for this is that our thinking takes us somewhere. When we direct and align our thinking with the Bible and wisdom, we find life and peace. However, when we allow our thinking to become negative and worldly, we discover outcomes that diminish us and hurt others.

Reasons to Direct our Thinking Part 1

By Pastor Dorrell

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A number of years ago, we had a skunk problem at our house. Our home backs up to a field that (at that time) had a large population of the odoriferous creatures. Well, a number of them decided to take up residence under the deck in our back yard. We probably would have been willing to share our deck with them, except whenever they felt threatened or the mood hit them – they would utilize the defensive mechanism God placed within them, and they would assault us with their noxious, foul-smelling spray. They did this often enough that our house was beginning to take on the aroma of our uninvited guests. One night, when Teri and I were coming home from an emergency 2am hospital visit, we met and unintentionally cornered one of the little creatures on the back deck next to the door entering our house. He sprayed us both at point blank range. The clothes we were wearing, the Bible I was carrying, and my wife’s purse and all its contents ALL had to be disposed of because of the early-morning attack. For weeks, we continued to live unhappily with the skunks and with the smell they emanated. During that time, we tried to cope the best we could. We tried to minimize the effects with candles and air fresheners. Most of the time, we just tried to ignore it.

Wiser than the Wisest: A Lesson on Trust

By Angel Meléndez

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The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks – Proverbs 30:26

A few days ago our 10 month old son, James, was running away from my wife’s giant exercise ball. For some strange reason, James did not want to be near the ball and quickly crawled away when he looked at it. We thought it was probably because the ball was bigger than him, but, one day I took James with me to where the ball was to demonstrate that the ball was inoffensive. To my surprise, he was not scared anymore with the giant ball. The reason was simple: Although the ball was bigger than him, Daddy was bigger than the ball, and he was with Daddy.

Wiser than the Wisest: A Lesson on Preparation.

By Angel Meléndez

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There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise: The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer. – Proverbs 30:24-25

Wow! What lessons Agur learned from four small creatures, which, despite having certain weaknesses, had more wisdom to teach than many wise men. The first creatures that were carefully observed by Agur were the small ants. What Agur observed was that the ants did not have much strength within themselves.  Probably never would see them fight a bear or a lion, but their wisdom was not located in their strength. The wisdom of the ants lied in their preparation.  They prepared themselves in the summer for the winter.

What a great lesson for us! The victory does not depend upon our strength; the victory depends upon our preparation. The biggest question is: what are you preparing for in your life? Everything you do, voluntarily or involuntarily, is preparing for something – either to have victory in every area of your life, or a defeat. It is not necessary to be the strongest or the smartest, simply, you need to be prepared for victory.

Two Are Better Than One

By Pastor Dorrell

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Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. - Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

As travelers through life, God never intended that we make our journey alone. There are simply too many obstacles and challenges to navigate without the help and assistance of others. Plus, life is simply too grand not to have someone to share the joy and wonder of it all with!

The Blessing of God’s Presence

By John Mardirosian

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Have you had a question and you didn’t know where to turn for answers? Have you ever been lost, and experienced the sinking feeling in your gut that goes with it? Have you ever been unsafe, felt vulnerable, and didn’t know where to find protection?

God doesn’t want his children to feel helpless, without answers to life’s biggest questions; He doesn’t want them to feel lost, without direction, and He doesn’t want them to feel vulnerable and unprotected. He tells us in Psalms 16:11 “Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” The Lord will provide us with security, direction, and protection. We see this clearly with the children of Israel as they set out to cross the desert to the Promised Land. In Numbers 9:15-23 we see God enacting a plan to communicate with his people as they made this long journey.

1. God’s presence as a source of security.

God chose to reveal himself to his children with a cloud above the tabernacle by day and a pillar of fire above the tabernacle at night. This served as a constant visible reminder that He was with them throughout their journey. I remember as a kid how comforting it was for me to know that my dad was home from work, or that he was in the room next door when I went to bed at night. God was providing his children with this same sense of security. For us as Christians today, He has given us his Holy Spirit to indwell each believer, and our understanding of this gift should give us an overwhelming sense of security.

2. God’s presence as a source of direction.

God clearly and repeatedly tells his people in these verses that they are to rely daily on him for direction and leadership. Psalms 107:7 says, “And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.” We see that God was willing to provide direction to his people if they were willing to follow. God gives each of us daily direction through his word, through prayer, and through fellowship with the Holy Spirit. We need to take time in the course of the day to receive that daily direction.

3. God’s presence as a source of protection

In the next chapter of Scripture, Numbers 10:9 God assures his people of his continued protection. For each of us that dwell in the presence of God, we are assured of his protection. If we choose to live apart from his presence we are open to the attack of Satan, the temptations of this world, and the weakness of our own flesh.

It is important for each of us to take advantage of the security, direction, protection that is granted to us if we walk daily in God’s presence.

Exercising Regularly?

By Jim Ramsey

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For me, as well as for all seniors, an increased demand for attention to personal physical health and well-being is a big part of the “package” that comes with aging. As one who has been blessed with 10 years and 3 months of life beyond quintuple bypass surgery [April, 2006] I have certainly made an effort, with much spousal encouragement, to operate according to post-surgery dietary and exercise regimens, and though not always perfect, at least I am working at it.

Character Matters

By Pastor Troy Dorrell

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In a recent conversation with someone I was reminded of a principle that we would all do well to remember.  We were talking about some of today’s great college athletes who never fulfilled their potential.  Though exceptionally talented; they failed to succeed in both sport and life.  The reason was because “their talent took them to a place where their character could not sustain them”.  Think about that principle for a moment; talent is not enough.  Undergirding all we do is our character and if it is deficient in time it will be exposed and we will come tumbling down.  Every year we hear about athletic stars who get themselves into trouble and lose a scholarship or millions of dollars in the pro’s because of poor character.  We too can lose much when placed in positions of leadership or responsibility and then because of undeveloped character we break a trust, or talk poorly of someone, or fail to do right.  The place we held could not be sustained because we lacked what was most important…character.  Be careful not to let your talents, abilities, intelligence, or even relationships take you where your character cannot sustain you.  The friendship we have, the talents God gives, and the abilities we develop are all wonderful gifts, but all must be supported by character.   It matters!