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Shipwrecked Faith!

I hear the effects of the shipwrecked faith, but I wonder how strong their faith really was and is Stand firm….”Plant your feet, Stand your ground and hold on to your faith.”
-John Monroe Parker, my grandfather was a wise man.

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1 Timothy 1:18-20
This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare,  having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck,  of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.

Paul encourages Timothy to fight the good fight, and to keep his conscience clear. Then, there is a warning, and we find that our faith is able to be shipwrecked if we are not willing to stand firm in our faith. Temptation will come, and by the leading of the Holy Spirit our conscience is made aware of the sin trying to enter and corrupt us. In this way our propensity to sin is revealed to us, and we are made aware of the choices we ought to make. We are able to make the right choice, to fight the good fight, to flee from sin, because of Jesus Christ. Stand firm today! Do not allow sin to entice you and drag you away! Jesus is greater than any impulse or temptation you face.

Verse/Commentary courtesy of ‘Verse-A-Day’ android app.
http://www.verse-a-day.com/Apps

“Are You Ready?”

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A Prayer Stop Poem: “Are You Ready?”
Twas the night before Jesus came and all through the house,
Not a creature was praying, not one in the house.
Their Bibles were lain on the shelf without care,
In hopes that Jesus would not come there.
The children were dressing to crawl into bed,
Not one ever kneeling or bowing a head.
And Mom in her rocker with baby on her lap,
Was watching the Late Show while I took a nap.
When out of the East there arose such a clatter,
I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash!
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But angels proclaiming that Jesus was here.
With a light like the sun sending forth a bright ray,
I knew in a moment this must be THE DAY!
The light of His face made me cover my head,
It was Jesus returning just like He had said.
And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth,
I cried when I saw Him in spite of myself.
In the Book of Life which He held in His hand,
Was written the name of every saved man.
He spoke not a word as He searched for my name;
When He said “It’s not here” my head hung in shame.
The people whose names had been written with love,
He gathered to take to His Father above.
With those who were ready He rose without a sound,
While all the rest were left standing around.
I fell to my knees, but it was too late,
I had waited too long and thus sealed my fate.
I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight;
Oh, if only I had been ready tonight.
In the words of this poem the meaning is clear,
The coming of Jesus is drawing near.
There’s only one life and when comes the last call,
We’ll find that the Bible was true after all!
(Author Unknown)

Apple Crisp

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It’s that time!

Apple Crisp
5 apples, peeled and sliced (or 5 cups Freeze-Dried Granny Smith Apples, rehydrated)
½ cup of sugar
½ TB flour
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ cup water

Combine all ingredients into a 9×13 pan. Combine the following ingredients in a separate bowl.

1 cup quick cooking oats
1 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
½ cup melted butter.

Sprinkle over top the apples. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Think Like a Judge

He summons the heavens above, and the earth, to judge His people.
-PSALM 50:4

Have you ever asked the question, “Why does God allow tragedy to happen?” Or, “Why do good people suffer?” “Why cancer?” “Why murder?” “Why deceit and brokenheartedness?” God is the recipient of so many of our “Why?” questions. But the heavens declare the righteousness of God as our judge. He cannot rule wrongly. He is completely just. There’s an old story in which God is accused of living a very sheltered life. All the people of the world are standing before Him awaiting judgment, and they are complaining. “You’re not qualified to judge us,” they claim. A German Jew pulls up her sleeve and says, “I was in a Nazi concentration camp where we were beaten and tortured and killed. What could you know about that?” Another man, an African, spoke up. “Do you see these rope burns? I was hanged for my black skin, and my brothers suffocated on slave traders’ ships. What could you know about that?” Soon all the suffering people of the world began to murmur against the judgment of God. “You don’t know what it’s like,” they cried. “You’ve never been where we’ve been. You live in Heaven, where you sit upon your throne. You’re not qualified to judge those of us who have suffered, because you have lived a sheltered life.” Then they described the kind of God who would be qualified to judge them: “He would be an ordinary man with no special power to help himself; the legitimacy of his birth would be questioned. He would advocate an unpopular cause, one so radical that he would be hated and condemned by worldly authorities. He would be asked to communicate something that no man had seen, heard, tasted or touched. He would be betrayed by his friends, indicted by a crooked jury, tortured and put to death, feeling absolutely forsaken by all.” When all the requirements for a God who might judge were read and agreed upon, the masses grew silent. No one moved. No one spoke. They realized that God had already served the sentence they had prescribed. God’s credentials to be our judge are impeccable. His ways are perfect. His justice is pure. And when we can see Him face to face and ask Him every “why?” we’ve ever wondered, the answers won’t matter anymore.

Maria H: Amen! I can’t wait to meet him.

Cathy Rodgers: Sound like the ultimate Judge that He is. We have been summoned to His bench! We are not always ready to hear what the answer to our Why’s, but His answer will come! He has the most compassionate heart for those who do His will. He loves us in ways that nobody else can or dies or will do.

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We are the Apple of His eye.

Ordained by God

Christian divorces…99% chance one of them is NOT the Christian that they claim to be.

Then they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” and she said, “I will go.”
-GENESIS 24:58

Those who are single are always interested in knowing how married couples chose their mates. “How do you know the one who’s right for you?” they ask. With the divorce rate nearing 50%, and with Christian couples divorcing at a rate nearly equal to the general population – it’s a good question. As someone said, it’s better for your plane to have mechanical problems on the ground, trying to take off, than in the air, trying to land. In other words: do your serious checking up front! Your aim is to say one “I do,” and in the process, you’ll say many “I don’ts.” The story of Isaac’s selection of Rebekah as his wife is recorded in Genesis 24. It seems archaic, but it contains some excellent principles. Isaac sought a wife with enough similarities to his background to be compatible, and enough differences to be interesting. He sought a God-fearing, kind, chaste woman…and one to whom he was attracted. And prayer was an integral part of the process. All these are excellent guidelines, I believe. A columnist in my hometown has another suggestion that I think is a good one. He called it “The Window Washing Test.” Leon Hale recommends that every couple seriously contemplating marriage should wash the windows on a house with at least seven rooms. Let one person work the inside, and the other the outside. The first part of the day will probably go fine. “You missed a spot, sweetie. It’s on your side.” “Oh, you’re right. It is.” But by late afternoon, Hale said, you’re hot, tired, and thirsty. Your patience is running low. “It’s on your side,” one might say. “No, it’s on yours. You’re just not rubbing hard enough,” the other would respond. Soon you’re shouting through the window. Hale concluded that if you can wash windows for a day with someone, and at the end of that day you can still laugh and smile and embrace – you just may be on to something.

Cathy Rodgers Smart lady! When God triggers two people path to merge into one, divorce has no place in it. Not a option.

THE IMPOSTER OR “THE IDENTICAL”

A classic case of house divided! Godly movies – vs – A popular singer is no contest!

http://www.wnd.com
CHRISTIANS SABOTAGE GOSPEL IN HOLLYWOOD

Exclusive: Drew Zahn wonders when church will get serious about culture war

… the identical

Looking at Western civilization over the last 150 years, it’s easy to see that darkness does not come from the influx of more darkness, but from the absence of light.

In the United States in particular, whether it was because of Victorian piety or Darwinian confusion, Christians have historically and increasingly picked up their Bibles and left the culture, little by little … to rot.

Once upon a time, American presidents, scientists, philosophers, judges and artists proudly proclaimed their noble professions were done only to the glory of God. But beginning sometime in the 1800s, the church crawled into their pews, locked the doors and abdicated, in near sequential order, art, theater, law, higher education, music, movies and media. We burned books instead of writing them, condemned the theater instead of captivating others through it, mocked music instead of singing it and actually started to believe the revisionist malarkey about “separation of church and state.” Shoot, we actually enforced it by separating ourselves.

Is it any wonder, then, the culture today, from Hollywood to D.C., is filled with darkness? Where, after all, did the light go?

The answer, I fear, is under a bushel.

Take, for example, the tragedy that is occurring right now in Hollywood. While far too many Christians (you’ll see their comments below when you scroll down) complain about and condemn the “godlessness” of the movie industry, a genuine candle of Christian values has been lighting the darkness, reforming and redeeming Hollywood from the inside out for the last 25 years, only to find the people under the bushel doing their best to blow it out.

Accustomed only to the language of the pew, Christian moviegoers have demonstrated in 2014 – “the year of the Bible” as it’s been dubbed in Hollywood – that they’ll only turn out in droves for the movies that scream Christianity (i.e., the sadly mediocre “God’s Not Dead”), while films that could actually penetrate the culture with a Christian message seem to get no traction in the church at all.

In other words, make it churchy or we won’t come – thus sabotaging the tremendous cultural megaphone for the gospel that is the movie industry and guaranteeing the separation of church and … well, everything else.

Case in point is the star-studded faith film that came out this weekend, “The Identical.”

The moviemakers spent tens of millions marketing this film – a budget most Christian movies could only dream about – through churches, Christian radio and other key outlets. The movie stars big Hollywood names like Ashley Judd, Seth Green and Ray Liotta. It features a stunning soundtrack put together by Motown legends. It also delivers a profoundly Christian message in the context of a story that you don’t have to be a pew-sitter to love.

In other words, it’s just the kind of film that could take Christ outside the church walls. All it needs to succeed and to see more films like it made, to see the candle become a blaze in our culture, is for Christians to go see it. That’s it.

And yet, theater receipts now reveal, “The Identical” has become one of the biggest box office busts of 2014. Despite being the only widely released new film of the week, despite showing in nearly 2,000 theaters (or roughly 10 times the number of locations of a typical, independent Christian film), “The Identical” couldn’t even crack the Top 10 movies of the week.

The church simply stayed home and left its brothers and sisters in the arts out to dry … again.

The film itself, admittedly, has some flaws. Lead actor Blake Rayne, while an excellent singer and performer on stage, needs more nuance and gravitas as a thespian. The story as a whole needed to explore its themes and struggles more, instead of simply following the lead character to his inevitable, happy ending. It needs more conflict and danger to increase its suspense and drama.

But the story itself, about two identical twins separated at birth – one to become a rock star, the other a preacher’s son who only dreams about getting on stage – is a powerful look at what it means to seek after God’s call in your life and how to follow your dreams and your faith at the same time. It’s bolstered by positive themes of family, forgiveness and self-sacrifice. The movie’s original music is toe-tapping fun, keeping the ride entertaining along the way. This is a movie I’ll remember and think about next week, next month, next year.

Is it a little sugar-coated? Yes, but not cheesy – if you’ll allow me to mix my food metaphors. This isn’t a “Christian” film trying to make a splash; it’s a quality, Hollywood film about characters of faith living through 40 years of trials and triumphs.

Audiences of all faiths could enjoy “The Identical,” learn from it and have the opportunity to see how Christ, specifically, brings strength and purpose to life.

They could, anyway, if only someone would go and actually see it. And more such opportunities could also be made, more candles shining in the darkness, if only the bushel-dwellers would take seriously their opportunity to make a real impact on the culture around them.

Hollywood, right now, is practically handing the megaphone over to the church, but the church must come out of its doors and take the opportunity. There are filmmakers who are stepping up the challenge; but in order to make this work, the ticket buyers need to step up, too.

Content advisory:

“The Identical,” rated PG, contains two, minor profanities and no obscenities.
The movie is very light on sexuality, which consists of a some cleavage, a bare-chested guy, a scene with some women in bathing suits, a wedding kiss, some mildly suggestive dancing and a joke about “being fruitful and multiplying.”
Violence is also light, consisting of some brief war news footage, a scuffle that ends in a punch and the wreckage of a plane crash.
The film contains many religious references, including snippets of sermons, Christian hymns and church scenes, a handful of Scripture quotations, a baptism, prayer and several discussions about God. It’s not overwhelming or “preachy,” however, but fairly natural, as it’s about a pastor’s family and his son’s struggle to find God’s will for his life. There is no overt occult content.
Top 12 Hard To Watch Movies

Fox News star jumps into ‘gay’ Christianity (You can’t be “Gay” and be a Christian)

Notice anything wrong? Loads!

Blended Families

A blended family is a marriage where one or both spouses bring children with them from a previous marriage or relationship. Fifty percent of all families today are blended families.

These kinds of families come with unique challenges, because there are dynamics present from Day One in a blended family that are not present in other families. That’s one reason blended families tend to have a higher divorce rate.

But blended families can be successful families. In fact, Jesus came from a blended family—He didn’t share the same father as His siblings.

A successful blended family must disarm the day-one dynamics that come with the marriage. These are unique to remarriage situations.

One problem is when one spouse retains feelings toward an ex-spouse.

These may be feelings of love or feelings of hate. That’s what happens when two souls have been joined in marriage or in a sexual relationship. That bond is not easily separated.

In one blended family, a spouse might look back too fondly on a previous relationship, remembering only the good things. In another family, a spouse might harbor resentment from the previous relationship. Negative thoughts  torment them.

Neither situation is healthy. Those thoughts must be taken captive. Focus instead on the person you are married to right now. Thank God for them. Forgive everyone in your past, and live in the present.

A second problem is lowered trust and higher expectations. This is a difficult combination. People who have had their hearts broken may go into marriage with too much suspicion and too little good will.

They don’t want to be hurt again, and at the same time, they may have higher expectations of their new spouse. This spouse won’t treat me like my last one did, they think. Those high expectations can set up the new spouse for failure.

Marriage is trust. Any mistrust needs to be dealt with before blending two families together. You can’t let the scars of the past dictate the tenor of your new marriage. Submit those past emotions to God and ask for healing.

Parenting is another day-one challenge for blended families. Biological parents can be very protective of their children, especially around step-parents. This is a leading cause of divorce. In a blended family, you share more than debts and assets. You share ownership of the children. Both parents must be equals.

The New Testament talks about a kind of love called agape. It means love by choice, and it is the greatest love on earth—the kind of love you decide to have. Step-parents can choose to love their stepchildren just as much as a biological parent, regardless of emotions or circumstances.

The final problem is priority. In traditional marriages, the relationship comes first, followed by children. In blended families, the children are present before the relationship. But remember that children are a temporary assignment. Marriage is the nucleus of the family—it lasts longer than children.

In all things, including parenting, your marriage must come first. Children are more secure when the see their parents are happily married.

Are you in a blended family? If so, pay particular attention to the potential problems listed above. These unique challenges can be overcome. God is on your side. With His help, your blended family can flourish.

For more about this topic, watch this week’s show!

Blessings,  Jimmy Evans

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