Newsletter Clippings
(Page Three)


Shared With You By
Kraig J. Rice
Bread On The Waters (BOW)
www.breadonthewaters.com

TABLE OF CONTENTS
(Clicking on these internal links will move you down this page)

Forgiving Your Parents By Stormie Omartian Get Ready- Get Set- Stop (re-dedication)
Some of the Benefits for Serving Christ Why Not Just Run Away From It All?
This Thing Is From Me By Laura A. Barter Snow How's Your Faith Standing The Strain?
A Father's Love By Avi Snyder Jewish Evangelism By the Editor (of that work)
The Unquenchable Bible By Reverend Robert Gee Witty The Most Interesting Story I Ever Heard
Equipped With The Sword By Muriel Larson Showing Through By Robert K. Marcho
Why Doesn't God Answer Prayers Immediately? Bringing The Answer To Life By Muriel Larson
The Six Words By David Buttram Nothing Is Hid By C.L. Barger
Put On The Whole Armour of God By David Buttram They Can't Come Back By Gladys M. Bowman
Did God send you? By Muriel Larson Persecution By David Buttram
Our Throne Rights By Sarah Foulkes Moore Sympathy for the Devil By Joel A. Freeman
God's Dream By Jamie Buckingham Tough Times Never Last, But Tough People Do
Criticize Less Praise Often By Birdie L. Etchison

Forgiving Your Parents
By Stormie Omartian

"Abuse is any unpleasant treatment that lowers self-worth— verbal abuse, neglect, a perceived lack of love— as well as beatings and molestation. If a child can't perceive his parents' love, he grows up with a self-destructive hunger for love. The needs not met in childhood will be just as strong in adulthood, but they will be expertly camouflaged.

If you were abused as a child, don't be misled into saying to yourself, "I'm a Christian— I shouldn't still hurt inside. There must be something wrong with me." The fact that you still hurt doesn't make you any less spiritual. It takes a time of healing and getting to know the love of God before total trust comes.

Forgiving your parents is a big part of the healing (and crucial to avoiding the pitfall of abusing your own children). You have to forgive the father who never protected you, the mother who mistreated and abused you, the stepfather who didn't love you, the grandfather or uncle who sexually molested you, the parent who was never there or deserted you through death or abandonment, the weak parent who shut you out emotionaily in order to drink, eat, or drug himself into oblivion, the selfish parent who reminded you that you were never wanted, or the emotionally deficient parent who didn't know how to properly nurture you.

These bitterly painful experiences will continue to hurt you if you don't ask the Lord to help you forgive. You will not only be hurt by your unforgiveness but, worse yet, you may hurt your own children. For their sake, if not your own, fully release the past.

Stairway To Wholeness:
Forgiveness leads to life. Unforgiveness is a slow death. It doesn't mean you aren't saved, and it doesn't mean you won't go to heaven. But it does mean you can't have all that God has for you and you will not be free of emotional pain.

The first step to forgiving is to receive God's forgiveness and let its reality penetrate the deepest part of our being. When we realize how much we have been forgiven, it's easier to understand that we have no right to pass judgement on one another. Being forgiven and released from everything we've ever done wrong is such a miraculous gift, how could we refuse to obey God when he asks us to forgive others as he has forgiven us? Easy! We focus our thoughts on the person who has wronged us rather than on the God who makes all things right.

Forgiveness is a two-way street. God forgives you, and you forgive others. God forgives you quickly and completely upon your confession of wrongdoing. You are to forgive others quickly and completely, whether they admit failure or not. Most of the time people don't feel they've done anything wrong anyway, and if they do, they certainly don't want to admit it to you.

Forgiveness is a choice that we make. We base our decision not on what we feel like doing but on what we know is right. I did not feel like forgiving my mother. Instead I chose to forgive her because God's Word says, "Forgive, and you will be forgiven"
(Luke 6:37). That verse also says that we shouldn't judge if we don't want to be judged ourselves.

It was hard for me to understand that God loves my mother as much as he loves me. He loves all people as much as he loves me. We may sit and compare our sins to other people's and say, "Mine aren't so bad," but God says they all stink so we shouldn't worry about whose smell the worst. The most important thing to remember when it comes to forgiving is that forgiveness doesn't make the other person right, it makes you free.

We all need parents who will love us, encourage us, nurture us, be affectionate with us, believe in us, and be interested in what we do. Those of us who did not have parents like that have needs that only God can meet. We can't go back in time and get someone to hold and nurture us, and we must not demand it from a spouse or friends because they can't do it. It has to come from our heavenly Father."

This article quoted from the
Kindred Spirit Newsletter, Dallas Theological Seminary, Spring 1992, Number 8, page 2
Stormie Omartian was an authority on health and exercise. She was the host of several exercise videos and the author of Greater Health God's Way, Stormie, and A Step in the Right Direction, from which this article is adapted.

We are not judged by
what we want to do and can't
but by
what we ought to do and don't

Get Ready- Get Set- Stop
By Moishe Rosen

"As the starting shot crackles through the air, the runners begin their race. A factory whistle hoots and workers lay aside their tools. A school bell rings, and students slam their books shut, eager for other pursuits— or reluctantly leave the playground for the confines of the classroom. A trumpet blares and the troops prepare for battle. Or do they? It all depends on the signal. Did the trumpet sound "retreat" or "advance"?

In ancient times the people of Israel moved, fought and worshiped according to the call of a trumpet. Perhaps the most important— and probably the most awesome— of such calls was the sound of the trumpet on the first day of the seventh month. That call demanded prompt and total compliance. Coming in direct command from the Almighty himself, it was an "invitation" not to be declined.

A Call To Be Reconciled:
On the first day of the seventh month, the trumpets called Israel to a solemn assembly. It was a specific time set apart for reflection and worship.
Leviticus 23:24 calls it "an holy convocation." Convening in that manner, the people of Israel were reminded of their need for reconciliation. They were to be reconciled to one another, and they were to prepare to be reconciled to God 10 days later on the Day of Atonement.

A Call To Retreat:
The trumpets called Israel to retreat. The Feast of Trumpets was a special sabbath, a time for the people to lay aside all work. They were to give themselves totally to thoughts of their Creator and their relationship with him. In a sense, the Feast of Trumpets resembled the God-ordained weekly sabbath, when all Israel rested from its labors and worshiped Jehovah. As they commemorated the completion of creation on the seventh day, they replenished their physical energies as well as their faith. Then at the Feast of Trumpets the people once again laid aside all work and, along with preparing the prescribed burnt offering, prepared themselves for the most important annual exercise of their religious lives.

A Call To Repent:
The trumpets heralded a scheduled time of penitence. As the Israelites turned away from their ordinary pursuits and set aside the distractions of their daily routine, they were to prepare their hearts for repentance. It was a period of awe as they faced their annual day of judgment. It was a time for careful scrutiny of past actions and attitudes that would lead to heartfelt sorrow for straying from God's ways. It was a time for mustering the willingness to change, without which there can be no true repentance. The height of penitence and awe was to occur on the Day of Atonement, when all of Israel was to be afflicted of soul as they waited for God's forgiveness that would signal a fresh start.

A Call To Renewal:

The Day of Atonement was a day of solemn vigil. The people prayed and watched for the emergence of the High Priest from the Holy of Holies. Only when they saw him alive and well after his awesome encounter with the Living God, were they assured of divine acceptance of the atoning sacrifice. This entailed national forgiveness for Israel and a period of renewal. With grateful hearts, the Israelites could then rejoice in God's mercy as they looked to the future.

A Modern Parallel:
We can see many parallels between ancient Israel's observances of the Feast of Trumpets and Day of Atonement and the Christian life. As the people of Israel were reminded of their own inadequacies before a holy and righteous God and their need for repentance and forgiveness, as believers we also are called to the same considerations. We are reminded, too, of the reality of Christ's return and of the last judgment, when the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall rise— when those who are in Christ shall rise to glory; yet our deeds in this life will be weighed and measured by the Righteous Judge of all the earth.

The solemnity of such thought ought to alert us, like a trumpet blast that awakens the sleeper from lethargy. God's alarm is ringing for those who will hear it. He's trying to get our attention. Through the ministry of his Holy Spirit who prods the consciousness and consciences of his people, God warns, "Wake up! Look around you! It's time for reality!"

So get ready, get set, STOP! It's high time for us as believers to consider the directions our lives have taken. Like ancient Israel at the Feast of Trumpets, let's heed God's call. He calls us first of all to retreat. We must step back from the cares and concerns that crowd our days and look to the Author and Finisher of our faith. As we seek him and his will for our lives, we will see how far short we have fallen, for "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God"
(Romans 3:23). But praise God for the remedy— the One who became flesh and dwelt among us that he might become the perfect sacrifice and atonement— our High Priest who "entered...into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us"; and was "once offered to bear the sins of many"
(Hebrews 9:24b and 28a). We need not agonize or wait to know if the sacrifice was acceptable, as did Israel awaiting the high priest on the Day of Atonement. Yashua's resurrection proved that he was alive and well and that his atonement was efficacious. We need only repent and receive God's forgiveness. He then calls us to renewal as we walk with him in the power of his Spirit. Finally, he calls us to rest in his finished work of salvation, "For he that is entered into (God's) rest, he also hath ceased from his own works"
(Hebrews 4:10a).

Appropriating all of this, we can then readjust and rededicate our lives, so that we may look forward joyfully to the sound of the Last Trumpet, when Christ shall reign."

This article quoted from
The Jews For Jesus Newsletter, 1985, Volume 11:5745, pages 1-2

Words expressed by Jesus:
"Repent, Trust, Surrender"

Some of the Benefits for Serving Christ
By Ruth Osterhus

"God is only good, and He wants everybody to be good.

The first treat that God offers us is everlasting life. It is a life that is good for us now, and later; when we die, we can live forever in heaven with Jesus. All we have to do to get this treat from God is to tell Him that we are sorry that we have done wrong and we want to be His child. He is so glad when people want to belong to His family! This is a treat that we can enjoy for the rest of our lives— and for all eternity.

When you receive Jesus into your life, He wants to give you a treat that you can enjoy every day. It is power over sin. You do not have to be naughty. When the devil wants you to say or do something bad, just say a quick little prayer to Jesus (He always hears those who talk to Him— even if they do not talk out loud, but only think the words in their hearts). He will give you strength and power to do what is right.

Another very special treat we get from God is love. If you let God's love work in your heart, you will love people and you will not even hate those people who are unkind to you. Another treat is forgiveness. Even as God forgave you, you will be able to forgive those who do wrong to you.

Kindness, obedience, truth, and real joy are other special treats we get from God. Real peace in your life is another wonderful gift from God. If you live the way God wants you to live, and share these wonderful treats with others, you will be much "happier— and so will everyone around you.

But you must choose. Do you want the devil's tricks or God's treats? I think you will choose the treats? Just bow your head and say in your heart, "Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I believe you died on the cross for my sins, and I ask you to forgive my sins and let me belong to your family. I thank you for helping me to be a Christian, I want to live to please you the rest of my life. Amen."

Then go and tell somebody else about the Lord Jesus and His wonderful treats. Go to Sunday School and Bible-clubs whenever you can.

"That if thou shall confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation"
(Romans 10:9-10).

This article exerpted from the tract titled Trick or Treat from Pilgrim Tract Society

The test of any endeavor
is endurance

Why Not Just Run Away From It All?
By David Wilkerson

"Almost everywhere I go nowadays, I hear people say, "I wish I could just run from it all." Then, after a sad pause, they add, "But I don't know where to run. I have no place to go. And I guess I'm too chicken."

Recently, while trimming my hair, my barber confessed, "Yesterday I called a few airlines for information on flights to Hawaii. I had this sudden wish to sell everything, fly to the warm sunshine of Hawaii and become a beach bum." Then, with a heavy sigh, he added, "But I couldn't get up the courage. So, I'll keep dragging myself to work, and the problems will hang on."

What about the housewife who wakes up in the morning to daydream about running away from it all? Her marriage has gone stale; she feels bored and restless; and no one seems to understand what she's going through. There are some good days, but mostly they are unbearable. She wonders if it's worth it all. She doubts she will ever be really happy- and there are fleeting moments when she says to herself, "Sometimes I feel like packing it all in and just taking off- anywhere- just to get away!"

What about the husband? How often does he dream of escaping his burdens and pressures? He gets tired of the daily routine- tired of working so hard,

while falling further behind. He feels the heavy burden of raising a family in a very complex age, and he begins to think, "How long can I carry so many people on my back? How long do I have to solve everybody else's problems? Everybody is plucking at me, and I've got nothing left. I'd like to just get away from it all."

One day the husband or wife, or both, look around and take inventory. The house is nice, the cars are fine, the living is comfortable- but it doesn't bring happiness. There is a lingering emptiness, an unexplainable kind of longing for something more out of life, out of marriage. They remember better days, past dreams and hopes, and it all seems to have given way to a mundane kind of existence that is not what they had hoped life and marriage would be like. The magic has gone, and the joy of sharing and loving is now overshadowed by problems and the cares of life. The children are loved but their problems only complicate things even more.

All of these things have a way of coming to a boiling point. There comes a time when even the most patient, tender, trusting Christian reaches a crisis that plunges the soul into feelings of helplessness and despair. Those are the times when everything seems to be going wrong, and there seems to be no end of the trouble in sight. It is then this urge to run away comes on so strong. Like David the psalmist, we inwardly cry, "Oh that I had the wings of a dove- I would fly away to a distant wilderness and escape this tempest and storm..."

The true Christian never thinks of running away to something evil or sinful. Their love for God is strong, and they would not, for a moment, grieve the Holy Spirit. But still they find themselves boxed in. There are certain things they have prayed about that demand an answer, if not a miracle. They are convinced God is faithful and that He cares for His Children and answers prayer. But, for some unexplainable reason, their prayer is not answered- at least not up to now. Hard as they try, their marriage situation does not improve. The children continue in their foolishness, and the daily problems keep mounting. Often, the financial pressure grows steadily worse, just when one crisis is passed, another one comes along. They begin to wonder if life is just one series of burdens and problems after another. And the thing they don't understand the most is this: "If I prayed, in real faith, and I did not get an answer- is it me? Am I doing something wrong? Am I failing the Lord, or is sin blocking the answer?" Or they begin to harbor a subtle grudge against God for ignoring them in their hour of need.

We would all be surprised, if not shocked, by the great numbers of good Christians who secretly harbor momentary thoughts of running away from it all. Almost everyone is hurting in one way or another. Oral Roberts told me once, "There were times I would have liked to walk away from it all. Sometimes the burdens are over-whelming but running never solves anything." The late Kathryn Kuhlman, that mightily used healing evangelist who ministered to thousands, once confided to me, "David, more than once I've thought of just walking away from everything. How nice it would be to wake up without all the responsibilties and burdens."

I, too, have had these kinds of moments when I wanted to hop on a plane and take off to some quiet, unknown place and get away from everything. Never once in my lifetime have I ever entertained a single thought of running from God or from my faith. I have never thought of running from my family or my ministry. Mostly, like so many others, I wanted to run from the demands and the busyness that tends to trap and enslave- leaving no time to grow.

So many would-be escapees are like the woman in Dallas, Texas, who confessed, "I would have left long ago, but I have no place to go. Where does a 45-year-old woman run to? And what would I do when I got there? Guess I'm just stuck here for the rest of my life."

One gentleman wrote, "I did run away- for one week! That's all I could take. The loneliness and despair only got worse. Being alone didn't help at all. I was miserable, and I realized you can never run from any problem- you have to stay and ride them out."

That is the testimony of a vast majority of those who did run away. They tell of feelings of guilt- fear- emptiness- far worse than anything they had experienced before they ran off. And the most tragic confessions come from those who wanted to go back- but couldn't. It is never the same when you go back. Things change drastically when you run away from family, from obligations, from the job. Even though you have second thoughts and decide to go back and "try again"-others change. Situations change. And just as it happened to Esau, your birthright is wrenched from your hands and given to another. If you run, don't expect to go back and find everything the same. You will never be the same; something will have been lost that can never be replaced.

When people think they have failed, their first impulse is to run. If that failure brings them shame, if they feel disgraced in any way and can no longer look someone in the face- they think only of running away. It's their way of punishing themselves, as if to say, "I'm no good. I'm a burden. The best thing for me to do is get out of everybody's way. I'm a troublemaker, so I'll leave and not disgrace anybody. I can't be loved now; I can't hold my head up; so I might as well get lost." That is the first reaction of a husband or wife caught in adultery. The exposed party weeps, cries, and then offers to get out of the way. "Okay, I know what I've done. I'm filthy, no good, worthless. You deserve better. I know you and God will never forgive me, so I'll just pack my bags and get out." In many cases, the guilty party does leave, then tells everybody, "I got kicked out. I did my best to be reconciled, but my spouse disowned me."

Young people think of running away for various reasons. Girls often run when a boyfriend breaks their heart. Heartbreak for a young woman is the most cruel and traumatic experience of all. Without God's help, it is nearly impossible for some to overcome. So they run, and keep on running- from God, from feelings of worthlessness, and from their inner hurt. Young men run from jobs and careers that are a dead end. Almost daily, I receive letters from young men seeking full-time employment "in some kind of ministry." They confess to feelings of not accomplishing anything with their lives. They feel like running and not stopping- until they can find some kind of work that satisfies their need for fulfillment. That is why I believe the majority of our runaway youth today are not running away from something, as much as they are trying to run to something worthwhile. They are searching, more than running.

Do I sound too pessimistic? Do I sound as if I think the majority of Christians are restless, bogged down in despair, faithless, and wanting to run? Do I make it sound like most marriages have gone stale and that a majority of husbands and wives are wanting out?

That is not the intent of this message. Thank God for all the happy, well-adjusted, settled Christians who have no problems, pain, or adversity. Thank God for those who enjoy marriages free from burdens and hassles. Thank God for the Christians who live, breathe, and talk faith and victory. That is the goal Christ has set for us- a life of total trust, childlike faith, and victory over all the power of the enemy. But some of us are still going through struggles. Some of us are still praying earnestly for things that have not yet come to pass. Some of us, filled with faith and victory, still endure family pressures, illnesses, heart-breaks, and trials. We, too, love the Lord and have peace with God. But we can't lie about our true feelings, and we can't hide from the battles that surround us. So don't think we are second class Christians because of those times we cry as Jesus did, "Lord, why hast thou forsaken me?" Don't think we are blasphemers or doubters because we get these fleeting thoughts occasionally about escaping from the battle. Don't accuse us of being immature or weak simply because we do not yet understand all the Word of God- or how to appropriate all the promises- or how to get every prayer answered. And please don't tell those of us who still weep and cry and hurt we must laugh, be always happy and successful. Even that saintly apostle Paul spoke of being "pressed beyond measure, insomuch that he despaired even of life."

God fully understands man's impulse to run in times of trouble and crisis. That is why He provided Israel with cities of refuge, where people in crisis could run for shelter and protection. Six cities were set aside so that any Israelite who was overwhelmed "unawares" by a problem could "run unto one of these cities that he might live"
(Deuteronomy 4:42).

Today we have something even better. God has provided us with a Strong Tower to which we can run and be helped in times of need.

"The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe."
(Proverbs 18:10).

Friend, there is no place to run- but to the Lord. David, in times of trouble, fled to the Rock. Jesus invites us to run under the shelter of His wings. When many of His disciples were forsaking Him, Jesus turned to the twelve and asked, "Will you run away, too, like the others?" Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life." Peter was convinced that Jesus was the only place to hide- the only place to rest.

Think of the poor, dejected homosexual who has just lost a "true love." He drinks to deaden his guilt and despair. He lives in fear and constant torment, lonely and fearful. He has no place to run- because he has no Christ. He has no sheltering wing, no refuge from the storm.

Think of all the perplexed husbands and wives locked into hopeless marriages- unable to communicate, unable to bridge the chasm between them. They drink; they cheat; they live in agony and mistrust. They see no hope, so they run from each other. They seek temporary relief from their problems in any way possible- pills, alcohol, infidelity- but it only makes them more depressed. They have no Savior to run to. They have no strong tower in which to escape the powers of evil. What a pity!

But not so for the child of God! We have a place we can run to! There is no place on this earth to escape our problems and pressures- He alone has what we need. To whom shall we go? Where shall we go? To Him! Can't you hear Him crying, "Come, run to Me, all you who are weary with problems and heavy laden with burdens- and I will give you rest"?

Don't try to understand what you are going through- in your life- your home- your marriage or your work. You will never understand it in a million years. When the enemy comes in like a flood, trying to swamp you and make you run in fear, flee to the secret closet of prayer and pour out your heart to the Savior. Give Him your complaints, bring forth your strong reasons, as Isaiah suggested, and let it all out in His presence. Cry a river of tears if they come. If you have no tears left, simply give up and let Him take over everything. Then stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.

Don't let the devil try to deceive you with the idea you are evil, unworthy, or demon possessed. If you have failed, if you have sinned- confess it!

Repentance is simply wanting desperately to change! You can run to the forgiving arms of Jesus and be made completely whole and go forth stronger and cleaner than ever before. And don't listen to those lies from Satan that suggest you are in a hopeless situation. Those fiery trials you are going through are common to all Christians, and God will not let you go through more than you can bear.

Here is God's message of hope:
"Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy"
(1 Peter 4:12,13). "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it"
(1 Corinthians 10:13).

This article quoted from
A tract from the Gospel Tract Society, Inc.
This tract is available for purchase from them

Take up your cross now
The crown will follow

This Thing Is From Me
By Laura A. Barter Snow

"MY CHILD, I have a message for you today; let me whisper it in your ear, that it may gild with glory any storm clouds which may arise, and smooth the rough places upon which you may have to tread.

It is short— only five words— but let them sink into your inmost soul; use them as a pillow upon which to rest your weary head:

"THIS THING IS FROM ME."

Have you ever thought of it, that all that concerns you, concerns ME, too? for "he that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of His eye."
(Zechariah 2:8).

I would have you learn, when temptations assail you, and the "enemy comes in like a flood," that this thing is from Me; that your weakness needs My might, and your safety lies in letting Me fight for you.

You are very "precious in My sight" (Isaiah 43:4). Therefore it is My special delight to educate you.

Are you in money difficulties? Is it hard to make both ends meet? This thing is from Me, for I am your purse-bearer, and would have you draw from and depend upon Me. My supplies are limitless.
(Philippians 4:19). I would have you prove my promises. Let it not be said of you, "In this thing ye did not believe the Lord your God."
(Deuteronomy 1:32).

Are you in difficult circumstances, surrounded by people who do not understand you, who never consult your taste, who put you in the background? "This thing is from Me?" I am the God of circumstances. "Thou camest not to thy place by accident; it is the very place God meant for thee." Have you not asked to be made humble? See, then, I have placed you in the very school where this lesson is taught; your surroundings and companions are only working out My will.

Are you passing through a night of sorrow? "This thing is from Me." I am the "Man of Sorrows, and acquainted with grief." I have let earthly comforters fail you, that, by turning to Me, you may obtain everlasting consolation.
(II Thessalonians 2:16, 17).

Has some friend disappointed you? One to whom you opened out your heart? "This thing is from Me." I have allowed this disappointment to come, that you may learn that:

"The best friend to have is Jesus;
He will hear you when you call,
He will keep you lest you fall,
The best friend to have is Jesus."

I want to be your Confidant. Has someone repeated things about you that are untrue? Leave them to Me, and draw closer to Me, thy shelter out of reach of "the strife of tongues," for "I will bring forth thy righteousness as the light and thy judgment as the noonday."
(Psalm 37:6).

Have your plans been upset? Are you bowed down and weary? This thing is from Me. You made your plans, then came asking Me to bless them; but I would have you let Me plan for you, and then I take the responsibility; for "This thing is too heavy for thee, thou art not able to perform it thyself alone."
(Exodus 18:18). You are only an instrument, not an agent.

Have you longed to do some great work for Me, and instead been laid aside on a bed of pain and weakness? This thing is from Me. I could not get your attention in your busy days, and I want to teach you some of My deepest lessons. "They also serve who only stand and wait."

"I want you to learn to sing:

I am not eager, bold, or strong,
All that is past:
I am ready not to do
At last! At last!"

Some of My greatest workers are those shut out from active service, that they may learn to wield the weapon of all prayer.

Are you suddenly called upon to occupy a difficult and responsible position? Launch out on Me. I am trusting you with "the possession of difficulties," and for "This thing the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thy works and in all thou puttest thy hands unto."
(Deuteronomy 15:10)

This day I place in your hands this pot of holy oil; make use of it freely, my child. Let every circumstance as it arises, every word that pains you, every interruption that would make you impatient, every revelation of your own weakness, be anointed with it! Remember, "Interruptions are Divine instructions." The sting will go as you learn to see Me in all things. Therefore "Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, for it is not a vain thing for you; because it is your life, and through "this thing" ye shall prolong your days in the land."
(Deuteronomy 32:46,47).

This article quoted from the
Faith, Prayer, and Tract League
(A similar tract is available for purchase from them)

Those who follow the crowd
Soon
Get lost in the crowd

How's Your Faith Standing The Strain?
By David Buttram

"In I Thessalonians 3:1-5, Paul asks the church, "How's your faith standing the strain in afflictions, tribulations, and temptation?"

Paul had been instrumental in starting this church
(Acts 17:5-9) and was concerned about these young Christians. We Christians should be concerned about these same things today.

How is your faith standing the strain of affliction?
Affliction is defined as a state of pain, distress, or grief; a cause of continual mental or bodily pain.

When we think of our loved ones in the free world, especially when they are having troubles and we are unable to do anything to help them, we tend to become-distressed, we suffer because they suffer, we weep because they weep. But wait! Why do we afflict ourselves? Why not turn it over to the Lord? Let Him handle our problems, for in Him we have victory. It's there for us to claim.

How is your faith standing the strain of tribulation?
Tribulation is grievous touble- severe trial or suffering.

Paul said in Romans 5:3 that "tribulation worketh patience" and in
Romans 12:12 we are to "be patient in tribulation." In
2 Corinthians 1:4, Paul tells us that God gives us "encouragement in tribulation." The word comfort in
2 Corinthians 1:4, means strength and power. So, though we may have grievous trouble, severe trials; if we endure it for His sake, He will strengthen us and give us power and we will learn patience.

How is your faith standing the strain of temptation?
What do you do when you are tempted? The easy way out is to succumb to the temptation. We are tempted everyday, many times. It has been said that your Christian life is the only Bible some people will ever read. How we react to temptation could, and often does, determine whether or not those watching us will ever become a Christian.

I Corinthians 10:13 tells us that God will not allow us to be tempted "above that ye are able." In other words, He won't put more on us than we can stand. He has given us a way to escape
(I Corinthians 10:13). The way is Jesus. Every time you are tempted, just whisper a short prayer, "Jesus help me." And when we overcome the temptation we are given a crown of life
(James 1:12).

How's your faith standing the strain?"

This article quoted from the
Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter
(This article available in tract form from them)

Mary had a little Lamb
His blood cleanses our sin white as snow

A Father's Love
By Avi Snyder

"God doesn't hate!" the young man declared. We had been discussing how God could hate the sin in our lives while he still loved us, the sinners. "God doesn't hate," he repeated. "Hate" is too strong a word. Maybe there are things that he just doesn't tolerate."

I picked up my side of the discussion. "There are things that God hates," I said. The young man started to object again, but I preempted him with an upraised hand. "Hold on a second," I said. "Let me finish. Maybe if we looked at the matter from God's perspective, we wouldn't be so quick to say to him, "You can't hate that." Who knows? Maybe we'd even be inclined to feel the same way that he feels about certain things."

"Like what?" the young man asked.

"Well, like..." I paused for a moment. Then I continued, "You know, I'm a father. I have a little girl and a baby boy."

"So?" he asked.

"My little girl is four-and-a-half years old."

"So?" he asked again.

"So, what if— God forbid— she were dying of a disease? How do you think I'd feel about that disease?"

"Maybe you'd tell yourself that there was nothing you could do about it," he answered.

"Maybe," I went along with him. "Maybe I'd even console myself by deciding that I would just make the time I still had with her very special. Only what if every time I approached her she either looked at me as though I were a total stranger, or she snarled, "Get away. I don't trust you. I don't like you. I hate you?"

"Why would she say that?" he asked.

"Suppose it was the disease," I answered. "Suppose it wasn't just killing her body. What if the pain were distorting the way she saw things. Tell me, how do you think I'd feel about that disease?"

The young man said nothing, but at that point he didn't have to say anything. I really didn't want him to. I wanted to go on, and I did.

"I'll tell you how I'd feel," I said. "I would hate the disease with every part of my being because it was killing her. It had destroyed our existing relationship and would soon steal her away from me for all eternity. Believe me, I would hate that disease very much— so much, in fact, that if I could, I'd grab her by the shoulders and plead with her, "Listen to me! You're dying, but you don't have to die. Give your disease to me, so you can be free of it once and for all. Just give it to me and let me die instead. You can do that. You can let me die, because you want to know something incredible? I won't stay dead. I'll come back, and we'll both be free of it. Then nothing will ever be able to separate you from my love. Don't die," I'd plead with her. "Please don't die!"

I paused for a moment and asked the young man, "Would I be wrong to hate that disease? Just because I hated it so much would that mean that I hated my daughter?" I shook my head and went on to answer my own question.

"No, I would hate the disease because I loved my daughter. What kind of father would I be if I didn't care that much?"

After a while, the young man left. I don't think that he understood what I was trying to tell him. But I understood. I understood a little better for having explained how deeply the Father loves each of us, and how desperately it hurts him to see the disease— our sin— working its effect on our lives. I understood just a little better the extent of the Father's love in sending his "only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

What great love! And what a Father we have! But would we want a Heavenly Father who loved us any less?"

This article quoted from the
The Jews For Jesus Newsletter, 1985, Volume 11:5745, page 6

Nothing is easy
To the unwilling

Jewish Evangelism
By Editor (of Jews For Jesus Newsletter)

"QUESTION:
I belong to ________ church, which has always been known for doing evangelistic work and sending missionaries to foreign fields, but in a recent sermon my pastor said that it is our Christian duty to love the Jewish people and not try to persuade them to become Christians. When later I privately questioned that statement, he said that Jews already have a relationship with God and don't need to be saved in the name of Christ because he saves them through the Jewish religion. Why then the need for Jewish evangelism?

ANSWER:
Jews for Jesus makes it a policy never to interfere with or damage relationships between pastors and their congregations. However, in this case we must state that in light of the clear teaching of Scripture, your pastor is mistaken about there being no need for Jewish evangelism. In light of the teaching of
John 14:6 and Acts 4:12 that Christ is the only way to salvation, his statement is merely wishful thinking. I know the denomination to which your church belongs. It has several seminaries and a history of being evangelical in nature; yet this emphasis has shifted in recent years as some within the denomination have opted for dialogue with the Jews rather than evangelism. If that is the choice your pastor has made, you may soon begin to hear other statements from him that will indicate a further departure from the historic biblical faith. Listen carefully to what you hear and compare it with the Scriptures. Perhaps you will be led of God to change churches; or perhaps your church will be led to change pastors!"

This article quoted from the
The Jews For Jesus Newsletter, 1985, Volume 11:5745, page 6

Dusty Bibles
Lead to
Dirty Lives

The Unquenchable Bible
By Reverend Robert Gee Witty

"Many adjectives describe the Bible: holy, authoritative, infallible, inerrant. This specific fifty-two-year-old Bible that I am going to tell you about deserves still another title: unquenchable.

More than half a century ago, two teen-agers cleared off a lot on San Jose Avenue in Jacksonville, Florida. During lunch break, Aubrey led his friend, Kenneth to receive Christ as his personal Savior.

The next Sunday both boys were in Sunday School together. When the teacher discovered that Kenneth didn't have a Bible, she gave him a Bible for his very own. Kenneth was very proud to have his own copy of the Bible.

After about six years, Kenneth gradually drifted away from his fellowship with Christ and slipped into a worldly lifestyle. His Bible was placed upon the dresser and never read again. During Kenneth's marriage his work, his joys and sorrows, the old Bible remained for more than fifty years on one dresser after another. The sacred message was unused and unread. Kenneth and his family honored the Bible too much to discard it but too little to read it.

Recently, and fifty-two years after the teacher gave him the Bible Kenneth was driving with his nineteen-year-old grandson.

"Grandpa, you won't have to worry about how I live anymore," his grandson told him. "I have been saved." Knowing that none of his family had attended church in years, Kenneth asked, "What do you mean that you have been saved?"

"Do you remember that old Bible that you kept up on your dresser?" the lad explained. "I read in it that if I would ask Jesus to come into my heart, He would forgive my sins and save me. So I prayed and Jesus did what He promised." When they returned home, Kenneth remembered that Aubrey was a retired preacher still living in Jacksonville. He decided to try to contact Aubrey and tell him about his grandson.

Aubrey came to Kenneth's home and talked with the both of them. After Aubrey left, the grandson said, " Grandpa, you heard what Aubrey said and you should do what I have done." Kenneth found no rest that afternoon and night. Even though he retired early, he found no sleep. God brought deep conviction. About two in the morning, he could resist no longer. He fell upon his knees by his bedside and cried out to God in repentance. Of course, peace came to his troubled soul immediately.

Two weeks later, I witnessed as Kenneth and his entire family walked the aisle of the church to take their place for Christ. I was there to bear witness to the unquenchable Bible."

This article quoted from the
Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, June 2002, page 15

"Life is teaching you some painful lessons.
But it is from adversity that strength is born.
You may have lost the inning, but I know you'll win the game"
-from P.S. I Love You

The Most Interesting Story I Ever Heard
By David Buttram

"The most interesting story I ever heard was told me by a man more than eighty years of age. We were sitting together on a projecting rock of a mountainside in Arkansas. Here is the story:

"I was down in this country during the Civil War. Yonder there were hundreds of tents where our soldiers were encamped. Measles broke out and many of the brave lads died. I was Wardmaster in charge of the tents where the measles patients were located.

"One night I passed a bunk where there was a very sick soldier lad not more than seventeen. The boy looked at me with a pathetic expression and said:

"I believe I am going to die. I am not a Christian. I never had Christian training. I did go with a friend to Sunday School just once. A woman taught the Sunday School class. She read us something out of the Bible about a man- I think his name was Nicodemus. Anyway it was about a man who went to see Jesus one night. Jesus told this man he must be born again. The teacher said all people must be born again in order to go to Heaven when they die. I have never been born again, and I don't want to die like this. Won't you please get the chaplain so he can tell me how to be born again?"

The old man hesitated for a little. "In those days I was an agnostic- at least, that is what I called myself. As a matter of fact, I wasn't anything but an old sinner. So I told the boy, "You don't need a chaplain. Just be quiet now. Don't worry, you'll be all right." I went around the ward and in about an hour I came back to the boy's bed. He looked at me out of such sad staring eyes as he said, "Wardmaster, if you won't get me the chaplain, please get me the doctor. I am choking to death." All right, my son, I'll get the doctor," I said. I found the doctor. He came and mopped out the throat of the lad so he could breathe a little easier. I knew the boy was going to die. The boy was so sweet he literally climbed into my heart. He thanked me for my kindness. He thanked the doctor for being so good to him.

In about an hour I came back expecting to find the boy dead. As the light began to fade from his eyes he looked at me and said, "There is no use, Wardmaster. I have got to die, and I haven't been born again. Whether you believe in it or not won't you find the chaplain and let him tell me how to be born again?" I looked at him for a moment and thought about how helpless he was in the grip of death. So I said, "All right, my son, I will get the chaplain."

I walked away a few paces, turned and went back to the boy's bedside. I said, "My boy, I am not going to get you the chaplain. I am going to tell you what to do myself. Now, understand, I am an agnostic. I don't know whether there is any God. I don't know whether there is any Heaven. I don't know whether there is any Hell. I don't know anything. Yes, I do. I know one thing. I know my father was a good man. I know that if there is a God my father knew Him. If there is a Heaven I know he is there. So I will tell you what my father told me. You can try it and see if it works. Now, I am going to teach you a verse of Scripture. The verse is
John 3:16."

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." My father said that I cannot save myself, but if I will believe in Jesus, He will save me.

"I asked the boy to say the verse with me. He followed with a weak and trembling voice, "For God so loved the world," "For God so loved the world," "he gave his only begotten Son," "that whosoever believeth in Him," "should not perish," "but have everlasting life," "but have everlasting life."

"Now, my boy, my father said if a person will trust Jesus he will not perish but have everlasting life."

"He closed his eyes, stretched his hands across his breast and in a whisper he quoted slowly, repeating some of the words several times: For God so loved the world...He gave His only begotten Son...that whosoever, whosoever, whosoever believeth, believeth in Him, believeth in Him."

Then he stopped and said in a clear voice, "Praise God, it works! I believe in Him! I shall not perish! I have everlasting life! I have been born again! Wardmaster, your father was right. Why don't you try it? I want to ask you to do something for me. Take a kiss to my mother and tell her that her dying son said, it works." I leaned over and kissed him and then as he drew his last breath, he said, "It works."

The old man, wiping tears out of his eyes and tears out of the wrinkles of his face, said, "The lad was right. It does work. Whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but has now everlasting life. It works. I know it works!"

This article quoted from the
Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, June 2002, page 8

"Pray" is a four letter word
That you can say anywhere
(Except in a public school)

Equipped With The Sword
By Muriel Larson

"I awoke at two in the morning and was instantly aware that a strange feeling of anxiety gripped me. I couldn't understand it. I had never felt this way before without knowing why I was anxious.

"Lord, what is the matter?" I asked. "Why am I anxious?" I thought about things that had happened or thoughts I had had during the past week. Is it because I celebrated another birthday and I'm getting older? I wondered. I thought about that, and then discarded the thought. I had lived a good and full life. I knew that when I died I would go to be with the Lord.

What then? Was I fearful for my elderly mother, or my two daughters? Well, I had put all three into the Lord's hands. My mother trusted the Lord and I knew He would take good care of her. My daughters had some problems, and I had taken them to the Lord. But still the feeling of dread persisted.

This feeling lay on me like a heavy weight. "Lord, help me!" I cried silently. Just then a Bible verse I had memorized flashed through my mind; and I said it aloud: "I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears"
(Psalm 34:4)

As soon as I said that, I felt God's sweet peace come over me. The anxiety was gone.

I have had that experience happen several times since then, but as soon as I reminded myself of that verse, I was delivered from anxiety. Using that verse is just one of the many ways in which I have learned the power of the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God
(Ephesians 6:17).

Getting Equipped With the Word of God:
The sword of the Spirit is the only offensive part of the armor of God listed in
Ephesians chapter 6. If I had not memorized
Psalm 34:4, I'm not sure I would have been equipped to banish that heavy burden of anxiety. Perhaps I would have laid there for hours with that burden. But I had memorized God's Word for all kinds of occasions, and in this instance that verse had paid off.

The Bible has many scriptures that can fortify or help us and others. Here are some particular ones:
Guilt: 1 John 1:9;
Temptation: 1 Corinthians 10:13;
Worry, Fear, Anxiety: Philippians 4:4-8;
Need: Philippians 4:19;
Depression: Matthew 11:28-29;
Confusion: Proverbs 3:5-6;
Suffering: Romans 8:18;
Calamity or Disappointment: 2 Corinthians 5:7;
Sorrow: 2 Corinthians 1:3-4;
Loss of Faith: Hebrews 11:6;
Witnessing for Christ: John 3:16; Romans 20:13; Ephesians 2:8-9.

Fortification verses can be memorized when we walk or drive to work; when we are waiting in line or a dentist's office; whenever a particular scripture helps or impresses us. Memorizing scriptures has not only helped me, but enabled me to help other people, too.

The psalmist said, "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee"
(Psalm 119:11)."

This article quoted from the
Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, January 2002, page 15

Christians are productions of God's grace
Not products of their past

Showing Through
By Robert K. Marcho

"A little girl, on her way home from church, turned to her mother and said "Mommy, the preacher said some things this morning that confused me." The mother said, "Oh! What things?" The girl replied, "Well, he said that God is bigger than we are. Is that true?" "Yes that's true," the mother replied. "He also said that God lives in us. Is that true, too?" Again the mother replied, "Yes." "Well," said the little girl. "If God is bigger than us and He lives in us, wouldn't He show through?"

If God lives in us, then there's no way of keeping Him from "showing through." That's the essence of Christian living- living in such a way that people around us will see God in our lives."

This article quoted from the
Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, January 2002, page 9

Delay does not mean Denial

Why Doesn't God Answer Prayers Immediately?
By Alexander Maclaren

"Therefore will the Lord wait, that He may be gracious unto you...and therefore will He be exalted..."
(Isaiah 30:18).

Our heavenly Father has His reasons for keeping us waiting sometimes when we pray, for He knows our heart, looks upon our heart, and knows what is best for us and others
(Hebrews 10:35-36).

1. Sometimes it may be so that more glory comes to His Name
(1 Peter 1:6-7).

2. Sometimes- and we could say usually- the delay is for our profit and good. He is planning a greater thing than our hearts can imagine, and so that our faith might become stronger and our dependence on Him greater
(Proverbs 3:5-6; Ephesians 3:20-21).

3. Sometimes it may be so that we learn more of submission and humility, and to give us the opportunity of honoring God by our steadfast confidence in Him under seeming refusals
(Matthew 15:22-28, 1 Peter 5:6).

4. Sometimes it may be that we will appreciate His blessing and answer more when we get it: anything hard-fought-for seems to have more value. We will become more earnest, more persevering, and value the prize of victory all the more
(Ephesians 6:18).

5. Sometimes it may be because of something not quite right that has to be removed, which no one else knows bout, maybe some little idol, something we do not want to give up, that we may not at first realize. God has to wait until that heart is cleansed of those things such as ingratitude, pride, envy, jealousy, covetousness, neglect of prayer and Bible reading, hindering others from being useful, peevishness, temper, self-confidence, self-pity, self-centeredness, murmuring, impatience, and others
(Psalm 66:18).

6. Sometimes it may be so that we stop relying upon others, depending upon others and things too much, rather than completely looking to God for direction and leading. The delay may be so that we recognize fully that God must come FIRST in our hearts and lives and that we obey Him
(1 John 3:21-22; Luke 6:46). The sin question and all else has to be right with God and us, so we can live a separated, consistent Christian life.

God is gracious. How wonderful for us! He wants the best for His redeemed ones. His love is greater than any of us can imagine. God is on our side
(Psalm 118:6).

Truly our God is a prayer-hearing and a prayer-answering God. George Mattheson expressed a delay this way: "There are some prayers that are followed by a Divine Silence, because we are not yet ripe for all we have asked; other prayers are followed by silence because we are ripe and ready for more than we asked."

God's ways may not always seem right to us, or they may seem perplexing, but one thing we know is that in the end, everything will come out all right, for He is Almighty, with a deep love, and He watches and cares for His own.

God's delays do not necessarily mean denials. When God seems indifferent, He is often most concerned. For God does have a purpose in all that He allows, and asks us then to trust Him, though all seems dark just now. We might think He doesn't care about us when we have to wait and we're going through trial, persecution, affliction, uncertainty, grief, sickness, and heartache. Our prayers may seem to go unheard and the heavens are silent above us, but we can always know that He looks down upon His children in deepest understanding, sympathy, and love. He is making ready to work out our deliverance in the best possible way to glorify His name and show us His grace
Psalm 46:1-7; Psalm 34:4-5).

Delays and hindrances don't mean that we are out of God's will, either
(Psalm 37:23). When we are fully yielded to Him, body and soul, mind and spirit, we know that a blessing, whatever it may be, will come from any delay. He never makes mistakes and His Word is true. He doesn't change. His Word and promises stand. We may not always understand the delays- why that dear child is not saved as quickly as we would like, or that ungodly husband who mistreats his Christian wife doesn't come to know God. Yet, we trust Him and know that He will bring it to pass when we have committed our request and need to Him and faithfully pray, love, serve, and obey Him. He is merciful and gracious, and always works out what is the best time and place for our best good and for all concerned.

The boat may be covered with the waves, and Christ sleeps on; but He will wake up before it sinks. He sleeps, but He never oversleeps, and there are no "too lates" with Him."

This article quoted from the
Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, January 2002, page 12
Alexander Maclaren, (1826-1910), was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and was regarded as one of Great Britain's most famous preachers. It was while he pastored the Baptist Union Chapel in Manchester, England that he became known as "the prince of expository preachers."

"Bait the hook according to what the fish likes,
Not what the fisherman likes" -Hemingway

Bringing The Answer To Life
By Muriel Larson

"One day Carol Frey was doing door-to-door visitation at townhouses for her church. "Are you new in the area?" she would ask each person who answered the door. Six out of ten said they were. Then she would invite them to attend her church and give them some literature.

At one house a young man engaged Carol in conversation. "I've been a Mormon," he said. "I've been a Buddhist. And I've been into all kinds of other religions and philosophies. But I'm still looking for the answer to life. Can you show me in your Bible?"

Opening her Bible, Carol turned to the Book of Romans, and showed and discussed with him
Romans 3:23 and 6:23. Then she did the same thing with
John 1:12 and Revelation 3:20, which says, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."

"You see," she said, "Jesus Christ, God's Son, invites those who are seeking to open the door of their hearts, and He will come in. He will change your life and give you His peace and joy. Then you will know that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life."

The following Sunday the young man attended Carol's church and responded to an invitation to receive Christ as his Savior at the end of the service.

"When you go visiting from door-to-door for your church," says Carol, "you never know what seeking souls you will find for Jesus!"

Let's not leave this outreach to false cultists! After all, we who know Jesus Christ as our Savior KNOW and HAVE the TRUTH. And aren't we glad that someone shared it with us?

It takes commitment to do outreach work, along with the realization that if a person doesn't come to Christ, that person will be lost for eternity. But if you have a deep concern in your heart for the lost, here are some ideas on serving the Lord and the lost in this way:

For Beginners: You can start small in this work, simply inviting people to your church and praying they will come. Plan to go at a certain time each week.

Pray for wisdom: Ask the Lord to lay on your heart someone who might go with you. Continue in prayer for wisdom and direction in your witness.

Enlist a companion. Jesus sent His disciples out two by two. This method helps you to have courage, confidence, and persistence. While one person does the talking, the other person can pray. If you're in a home and Junior is acting up, the second person can talk quietly to Junior. If the television is blaring, humbly ask if it might be turned down for a few minutes.

Enlist your pastor: Ask him for a list of prospects to visit, or a neighborhood he might like you to canvass for the church. Seek his advice and any help he might give.

Photocopy flyers: When you're canvassing and invite people to your church, distribute flyers telling the name and location of your church, the times of its services, a phone number for them to call. And give gospel tracts with them.

Enlist prayer support: Go forth in the power of the Lord and His Spirit. When we do this, His work really gets done! Also, remember, God's Word does God's work."

This article quoted from the
Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, January 2002, page 13

Wise men still seek Him

The Six Words
By David Buttram

"Dear Christian Friend:
One of the keys to a happy and fulfilled marriage is the unselfish desire to please your spouse. From this desire springs an attitude of giving and sharing that true love brings to a relationship. My dear wife is always aware of what I want and is eager to please me. Likewise, I want to make her happy by a kind word, a little gift, or a whispered, "I love you, sweetheart."

As vital as it is to please someone we love and care for in the natural realm, how much more important it is to please God. Pleasing God is the natural result of an outpouring of love and praise for what and who He is to us.

Moses gave us six actions to follow if we love the Lord: "Ye shall walk after the Lord, your God and fear him, and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him and cleave unto him"
(Deuteronomy 13:4). (Emphasis added).

To walk in the biblical sense is to move or continue in union. Therefore, we are to walk in the Spirit
(Galatians 5:16); in love (Ephesians 5:2), in the light (Ephesians 5:8);
and in Christ (Colossians 1:6-7).

To fear God is not only to show reverent fear and respectful awe of God, but also hatred of sin and all that is evil
(Proverbs 8:13). This is becoming more difficult in our permissive and tolerant society.

Keep refers to knowing and obeying all of God's commandments
(2 Timothy 3:16-17).

To obey is to hear and to be attuned to the voice of God as He speaks through His Word, His ministers, answered prayers, and that still, small voice within
(John 10:4). A sheep's ear is keenly attuned to his Master's voice.

Serve- above every other activity of our life, we should dedicate our total being to service to God
(Colossians 3:24; 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10). The yielding of both body and mind to God is our "reasonable service"- the very least we can do
(Romans 12:1-2).

Cleave- the Bible uses "cleave" in two very different senses: to split, or to cling to. It is the latter sense that applies to our relationship to God. One Bible commentator defines "to cleave" as being glued or cemented, giving the meaning of being completely united with God.

Love requires action. It is not, nor can it be, passive. Love's greatest enemy is indifference. Nothing will eat away quicker or more effectively destroy a relationship than apathy. God's harsh words about the lukewarmness of believers in the latter days should be a warning to every Christian who wants to please Him
(Revelation 3:16).

This is a Year with all its opportunities before us. There is no better time to carefully evaluate our life in light of past successes and failures. Our relationship with God should be examined under the bright light of the Holy Spirit. If the intensity of the inner fire has waned and indifference has crept into your spirit, rekindle the fire and fan the flames.

Determine to walk with Him, fear Him, keep His commandments, obey His voice, serve and cleave unto Him with a renewed fervency. The world is looking to us for answers to their many fears and problems. Can we do less than be totally prepared by being completely dedicated to loving and serving our Lord?"

This article quoted from the
Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, January 2002, page 3

Deciding not to choose
Is still making a choice

Nothing Is Hid
By C.L. Barger

"For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad."
(Luke 8:17).

First, we note in the scriptures that there is nothing hid from God. Men may cleverly cover up their sins, wickedness, and crimes for a while. They might slip around and dodge man-made laws, and may even escape the officers of the law. There are those who may fool and deceive others for a time, but anyone who thinks for a moment that their evil deeds are covered up or hidden is sadly mistaken. Those who have escaped justice and gotten by so far will eventually be caught up with. For no one is so cunning or clever as to evade a final retribution. "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper..."
(Proverbs 28:13).

Nothing escapes the all-seeing, scrutinizing eyes of the Almighty who beholds and observes everything that happens on the earth. "For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings"
(Job 34:21). And again, "The Lord looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men. From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth"
(Psalms 33:13-14).

Men have always sought to hide their sins under cover of darkness. You might succeed, to some extent, in hiding your sins from other men, but remember, it is impossible to hide anything from God. "There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves"
(Job 34:22). So we must conclude that God knows all about it- there is nothing covered, concealed, or hid from Him. "Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do"
(Hebrews 4:13) "The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good"
(Proverbs 15:3).

Not only does God see all our acts, but He also knows our hearts. "For He knoweth the secrets of the heart"
(Psalms 44:21). "For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things"
(1 John 3:20). "...I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto everyone of you according to your works"
(Revelation 2:23). And since He knows all- and you and I must appear before Him for trial (at the Judgment) then all the evidence will be presented, the whole truth will be made known and come to light. For all the secrets of men's lives will be uncovered and exposed in the great spotlight of the Judgment, when everyone (no one is excused) is called to give a strict account to God." ...every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgement"
(Matthew 12:36). "Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of hearts..."
(1 Corinthians 4:5). "In that day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel"
(Romans 2:16). "For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil"
(Ecclesiastes 12:14).

At some time or other, a just recompense of reward will be rendered to every one of us. Every one must reap the fruit of their doings, either here, or hereafter. "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap"
(Galatians 6:7).

Every person with a rational mind is held responsible and accountable to God for the good or evil they have done during their lifetime. No one can escape or evade the Judgment. "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment"
(Hebrews 9:27).

We believe that if men would stop to consider, and come to realize this startling and solemn fact, they would lead different kind of lives.

You will remember that Cain's sin of murdering his brother Abel was found out. "And the Lord said unto Cain, what hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground"
(Genesis 4:10).

Saul's sin of disobedience was found out. He was instructed by God to destroy Amalek and all that they owned, even their sheep and oxen
(1 Samuel 15:3). But Saul decided to have his men spare their king and the best of their possessions. In other words, he did not utterly destroy them. The thing was revealed to Samuel, who said to Saul. "What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?"
(1 Samuel 15:14).

Neither was David's sin of murder hid. "Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife..."
(2 Samuel 12:9).

Achan's sin of covetousness was found out. God's people are to separate themselves from evil, and so the Israelites were commanded to destroy everything in the city of Jericho. However, Achan took silver and other valuables from the defeated city and secretly hid them for himself, resulting in Israel's defeat at Ai
(Joshua chapter 7).

Ananias and Sapphira's sin of lying to God was found out. The husband and wife sold a parcel of land and then lied that they had given all the proceeds to the church, when, in fact, they had kept a portion for themselves
(Acts 5:1-11).

The Samaritan woman at the well had her sin of an immoral past revealed by Jesus
(John 4:7-18).

"... Be sure your sin will find you out"
(Numbers 32:23).

However, if you are already saved and walking in the Light of Jesus Christ, your sins have been forgiven, and you have nothing to hide and nothing of which to be ashamed
(John 3:21). "And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming"
(1 John 2:28).

But if you are a sinner, you need not despair, for your sins can be covered, blotted out, and cancelled, so that you will not have to face them at the Judgment. Yes, there is a covering for sin! It was provided by the Blood of Christ that was shed on Calvary's Cross, "...and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin"
(1 John 1:7). "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out..."
(Acts 3:19).

Admit right now that you are a sinner and ask God to forgive you for those sins. Believe that Jesus is the living Son of God who died on the Cross to pay for your sins, so that you can live with Him in Heaven for eternity.

Yes, there is only one safe place where men may hide their sins, and that is beneath the Blood of the spotless Lamb of God. "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God"
(John 3:18). "Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered"
(Romans 4:7)."

This article quoted from the
Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, January 2002, page 6
(This article is available in tract form from the Gospel Tract Society).

In the sentence of life the Devil may be a comma
But
DO NOT let him be the PERIOD!

Put On The Whole Armour of God
By David Buttram

"Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil"
(Ephesians 6:11).

Within these words rest the basics for the Christian life, the Christian walk, and the Christian stand during troubles and trials. Sometimes we think the basics are too basic to be important. But until we learn and master the basics, the advanced never fits right. And we will always have to use these fundamentals because they are basic to our spiritual battle. Believe me everything is related to the spirit world.

Take time alone if you can get quiet before the Lord, and read this to yourself. Think about the meaning and power- then read it out loud as a prayer to God, and also as a notice to the spiritual world as to your intentions and your stand.

"Dear Heavenly Father, I come boldly before You now because of the shed Blood of Jesus that made a way for me, and in His name I commit this day to You. I now forsake and confess to You, Lord, any sin in my life, in Jesus' name. And I now accept Your complete forgiveness. It is Your righteousness that cleanses me from all sin. I put aside my wants, my desires, and my ambitions."
Ephesians 6:12 says, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Thank You, Father, for providing a means by which I may stand. Now by faith I put on Your armor and stand in this fight as commanded in
verse 13.

LOIN GIRDLE OF TRUTH:
First, I put on the Loin Girdle of Truth to stand against all devices of Satan and his demons. I know they are out to steal, defile, torment, and destroy. But I know that "greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world." Father, please give me the Divine knowledge, wisdom, and discernment to detect the devil at work with his lies and secret workings. Help me hunger and follow only after truth. Help me to not yield to the devil's deceptions, even when he appears as an angel of light.

BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS:
Next, I put on the Breastplate of Righteousness. Lord, it is the righteousness of Jesus. I know I have none of my own. I am not only justified, but actually have been made righteous by the shed Blood of Jesus. I have truly been bought with His Blood. Thank You that I am no longer condemned, and I refuse to accept the devil's condemnation for failure, for I have been forgiven even as I also forgive all those who have sinned against me.

SHOES OF PEACE:
I cover my feet with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace. I am in readiness and have made my peace with You, Lord, the peace that the world can't understand. I plant and keep my feet on Your Word, which is Jesus Christ, the Rock of my salvation. I receive Your peace, for You have not given me a spirit of fear, and I refuse to receive fear, worry, unrest, bitterness, rejection, or depression, in the name of Jesus, because it is not of God and I am Your child.

SHIELD OF FAITH:
Above all I take the Shield of Faith as Paul instructed in verse 16. In using the faith that You have given me, I can and do quench all of the fiery darts of the wicked that are hurled at me. In using my faith to stand I know that You are pleased. By faith I was saved. By faith I walk. By faith I stand. By faith I am healed. By faith I live, and when it's time for me to die, I'll die standing in faith on Your Word.

HELMET OF SALVATION:
"Now, Lord, I put on the Helmet of Salvation. My mind is covered by Your salvation and the Blood of Christ that was shed for me. I let Your mind be my mind. Your thoughts shall be my thoughts. Let me say and do only what the Holy Spirit leads. I cast down the evil thoughts of the enemy. I watch for them, and see them for the evil they are. I resist them as they come. I direct my thoughts to victory in Jesus because the battle is Yours, Father."

SWORD OF THE SPIRIT:
"Lastly, I take the Sword of the Spirit, the Holy Bible. I believe the Word of God and continually confess it. It is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Father, help me stand against satanic power with Your Word."

CONCLUSION:
Dear Christian Friend: Realize who you are in Jesus. The Bible says you are an overcomer and a child of God. Therefore, begin each day by realizing you are who the Bible says you are. Pray this prayer each day until it becomes as much part of your life as brushing your teeth. You have authority and power over the enemy. God wants you to trust Him. He desires for sick people to be healed, the lost saved, and the bound set free. So read His Word faithfully, putting on God's armor. Pray, and praise, and believe God's Word as never before.

"Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breast-plate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching there-unto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints"
(Ephesians 6:13-18)."

This article quoted from the
Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, January 2002, page 8
(This article is available in tract form from the Gospel Tract Society).

"Spring is a natural resurrection,
An experience in immortality" -Thoreau

They Can't Come Back
By Gladys M. Bowman

"Loved ones are gone "...to be with Christ, which is far better"
(Philippians 1:23).

Have you ever wished that one of your departed loved ones could come back from that Other Land to tell you what to expect when your time comes to leave this world? I have, many times.

It was Christmas time. Mother called from Pennsylvania. "If you want to see Daddy again before he leaves us, you had better come home," she said. "Doctor says he won't be with us much longer."

I arrived home in three days from Oklahoma where I had been a missionary for many years.

I stood at the bedside of my dear, blind father who had slipped into a coma several days before. He looked so small, thin, pale, and seemed to be barely breathing. After two weeks of constant watching, he finally woke up. Turning his sightless eyes towards the ceiling, he exclaimed weakly, but clearly, "Oh! Mother, Father!" Then falling back limply against his pillows, he was gone.

Mother called our family doctor who came immediately. "Yes," the doctor said, after checking with his stethoscope, "he is gone."

Then we told him about Daddy's last words. He smiled and said, "I have no doubt about it. He saw them. He was closer to Heaven at that point than we who are still here on earth." "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord"
(2 Corinthians 5:8).

Have you ever heard the Parable of the Waterbugs? A colony of Waterbugs living in a pond noticed that every now and then, one of their fellow Bugs would climb slowly up a lily stalk and never be seen again.

The Bugs talked it over and all agreed that if this should ever happen to one of them, they would return to tell others all about their journey, and what to expect up yonder.

Sure enough, the day came when one of those little Bugs began to crawl slowly up the stalk.

Crawling out onto the lily-pad at the top of the water, he soon fell asleep in the warm sunshine.

When he awakened, he stretched himself, only to hear a crackling sound as his old, hard, outer shell fell off. He sensed that somehow he was different...larger, cleaner, freer. Spreading his wings, he flew up, up, up, through the air as a beautiful green Dragonfly.

Suddenly, he remembered his promise! But he couldn't go back down into that dark world of Bugs to tell his friends what to expect, because he was no longer a part of their world. Some day, they too would be able to experience this same wonderful freedom which he now enjoyed.

That's the way it is for you and me, dear ones. "For we walk by faith, not by sight"
(2 Corinthians 5:7).

The Bible tells us, "...Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him"
(1 Corinthians 2:9).

Jesus, God's Son, came down to this earth to be our Savior. He suffered, bled, and died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins, that "...whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life"
(John 3:16).

Eternal Life! Think of it. Everlasting life with God, our Savior, and loved ones who have gone on before. "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints"
(Psalm 116:15).

Take a moment now to pray, "Thank You, Jesus, for taking upon Yourself my guilt, my sins, on the Cross of Calvary. Thank You for that beautiful Home You are preparing for all who, by faith, receive You...even me!" AMEN."

This article quoted from the
Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, June 2002, page 13

"Nothing great in the world
Has been accomplished without passion" -Hegel

Did God send you?
By Muriel Larson

"Did God send you to me?" the frail little girl asked me, her eyes wide with wonder. Her question hit me right in the heart. I nodded and swallowed hard, "Yes, honey," I answered, "He did send me to you." How glad I was at that moment that I had not been scared off from fulfilling the assignment God had given me!

This was my third summer holding Bible clubs for children at camper parks. Satan was doing his best to hinder me, just as he had during the first two years. Or perhaps it was just my own timid, fearful self that was the problem. "Maybe only a few children will come," I had worried.

Then some good excuses had popped into my mind. "Perhaps allowing myself to undergo all this tension on my vacation isn't right. Ministers and their wives get completely away from their work for a few weeks. Why shouldn't I?"

Immediately I realized that such reasoning was selfish and wrong. The Lord had given me this opportunity to hold these Bible clubs. Even if just one precious child came to know the Lord Jesus, it would be worth the trouble.

In spite of my concern, twenty-three children attended the meetings on Thursday and Friday evenings. Six of these asked the Lord Jesus to be their personal Savior. Because this response was less than the previous year's response, I felt a little disappointed.

I did, that is, until I had a long talk with eleven-year-old Kathy the next morning by the lake.

Kathy came from a broken home, and was living with her grandmother. She had come to the lake with some cousins.

During club time the evening before, I had told how the Lord Jesus died on the Cross for our sins, using the Wordless Book visual aid. Kathy's eyes had filled with tears. I believe the Lord had prepared her heart to receive the Lord Jesus as her Savior, which she did that evening.

As we sat talking together, she told me, "My mother has been married five times, and my daddy is going to get married for the third time. I hated living with my mother. She drank a lot and was real mean to me. And she left me alone a lot at nights." From other things Kathy told me, I gathered that this pathetically thin child with the sad face had really had a rough life, experiencing who knows what abuse! My heart went out to her. I spoke to her about living for the Lord Jesus and taking all her problems to Him.

"Kathy," I said, "the Lord Jesus Christ has the power to change people, if they accept Him as their Savior. Why don't you pray that the Lord will send someone to your mother to talk to her about Jesus and help her come to know Him?"

That was when she had asked, "Did God send you to me?" And of course I knew He had.

For the rest of the morning Kathy followed me around like a little shadow. As I walked back to my campsite later, she tagged along with me.

"Can we have another talk like we did before?" she asked. Then she proceeded to ask me questions about Heaven and life after death.

Finally I took her in my arms and hugged her to my breast for a minute or so. "Don't ever forget that Jesus loves you," I whispered, "and I love you, too."

Then I let her go and went to my camper site to get ready to go home.

During the following week I wrote to Kathy telling her again how to live for the Lord Jesus Christ and encouraging her to be a good witness for Him.

Yes, God had sent me to the lonesome, miserable little girl, to share with her the wonderful story of His love for her in Christ. But I wonder how many more such needy children are in our church or class or neighborhood- who need the comfort, help, and salvation that only Jesus Christ can give?

If you minister to children in some way, look at the boys and girls in your class or group; look at their faces and at the way they act. If they have a lost expression on their faces, something may be wrong in their lives. They need someone to care, to show interest in them, to show them the love of Jesus. If they cause trouble in the class, always trying to get attention in some way, it may well be it's because they need attention!

I've found that when I give kindly attention to such children, they quiet down and begin to behave. For instance, I may allow the rambunctious one to have the special privilege of holding up the printed word poster for a chorus that we're going to sing. Or I may speak kindly and say something that will inspire the child to want to be on his best behavior. Often just a loving smile and friendly pat on the shoulder will give the child all the attention he or she needs!

In Jesus we have the wonderful message of hope and love that every child needs. May we bear those glad tidings to every child we touch. And may we ever obey when our Lord wants us to reach some special child!"

This article quoted from the
Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, June 2002, page 6
(Editor's note: Dr. Muriel Larson was the E-mail counselor for Christian Women Today online at that time.)

"When persecutions come, God's soldiers are put to the test and heaven is open to martyrs. We have not enlisted in an army to merely think of peace and to decline battle, seeing the Lord has taken first place in the conflict"
-Cyprian

Persecution
By David Buttram

"Dear Christian Friend:
One of the saddest prayer requests we receive is that of a believer whom non-believers are persecuting. Often we hear from wives whose husbands do not understand or tolerate why they live and serve the Lord. Many mothers write to say their children show no respect for their belief in God. Other friends tell how they undergo persecution at their job, at school, or from neighbors because they profess to belong to Christ.

On television and radio, in newspapers and magazines, and now the Internet, we see the world striking out at Christians. Sometimes the attacks are subtle, but they are becoming more blatant and offensive. However the attacks may come, they do so because the world hates our Lord and us.

The hatred the world feels toward us should not be a surprise, for Jesus spoke about it to His followers to prepare them for the persecution they would face. Take a few moments to read
John 15:18-21. In this brief passage Jesus tells that He was hated before they were and one reason is that He is the Light that convicts man of his darkness
(John 3:19). Unregenerate man loves darkness for it hides his intents and actions.

We, by our Christ-like living, also expose man's evil actions
(Titus 2:11-12) and darkness (Philippians 2:15), and they don't like it. The exposure makes sinners ill at ease and they react to save face. In their attempt to escape the Light that exposes their darkness, they say and do hurtful things.

The world is blinded by Satan "...lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them"
(2 Corinthians 4:4). This should help us know that many of the attacks are not personal, but are the results of spiritual blindness and ignorance.

Another reason the world hates us is that there is an all-out war between the powers of darkness and God. Our life on earth is not just a ride in the park or a stroll down Primrose Lane. We are in a life and death struggle described in
Ephesians 6:12. The world has a natural enmity against God, and they count us as their enemies because we are not part of the their world
(John 17:16), just as Jesus was not part of it.

Just as the world hates God and His people, so are we to hate the ways of Satan's children. We must love the sinner and care about his future. We must hold the sinner up in intercessory prayer. We must do what we can to witness and bring the sinner to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ

I know the barbs of ridicule can hurt- and hurt deeply- for I have experienced verbal abuse from sinners. The words borne of ignorance and prejudice cut deeply, but the Lord gives us the blessed assurance that He will give not just grace, but "more grace" during those painful times
(James 4:6). In this verse "more" is actually a comparative degree of megas from which we get the English "great," "huge," or "ample." Thank God for His huge, great, and ample grace!

I will close with the powerful promise of the Lord, "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith"
(1 John 5:4).

Are you going through trials and persecutions from non-Christians? Has your faith in God made you a target for the devil and his followers? If so, take courage and rely on the faith God has given you. Boldly stand on the Word of God and pray for those who would hurt and discourage you. God is still on the throne and we are victors through His Son Jesus."

This article quoted from the
Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, June 2002, page 3

Give Satan an inch
And he will be a ruler

Our Throne Rights
By Sarah Foulkes Moore

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places"
(Ephesians 6:12).

Enforcing Christ's Victory Over Satan

"What is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe...Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, ...and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church, which is his body..."
(Ephesians 1:19-23).

The Lord Jesus, risen and enthroned at God's right hand, rules "far above" any and every other force which seeks to control and govern this dark world.

Through the exceeding riches of His grace toward us through Christ Jesus, God, the Father, "...hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places"
(Ephesians 2:6) with our risen Lord. Therefore, every believer is elevated with Him to the right hand of God. In God's plan and purpose, this elevation took place at the resurrection of Jesus, through the believer's identification with Him.

For the Body of Christ to stand victoriously in this hour when satanic forces are united in full and deadly array against her, every believer must understand the necessity of accepting with Christ our place of spiritual authority. We must fearlessly bind the forces of darkness, enforcing the triumph of the Cross over them. It is absolutely essential that believers, in humility, giving honor to God, take their rightful seat in the heavenly places with Christ, far above all powers of the air, and from that seat hold them in subjection, through faith in the Name and authority of the Lord Jesus.

Every Believer's Place of Privilege and Authority

Jesus, Who has absolute command over the forces of evil, confers this authority upon His disciples, for He says. "Behold, I give you authority...over all the power of the enemy"
(Luke 10:19).

The believer whose eyes have been opened and who understands his throne rights in Christ soon learns that the power he possesses in Christ is infinitely greater than that power which his enemies possess. The powers of evil are compelled to obey the believer as he boldly and in faith exerts his authority in Jesus' Name. Every demon from Hell is subject to the believer in Christ through His Name
(Luke 10:17). They may not yield instant obedience, but the believer must speak the Word of authority and rule and over-rule against the evil forces of Satan wherever he sees them at work. The powers of darkness will bitterly oppose and resist their overthrow. They will attack with malignant hatred the believer who is enforcing the victory of the Cross over them.

The believer's refuge is under the Blood of Jesus where no force or power of the enemy can penetrate. The Cross has robbed Satan of his power. To overcome him, present the Blood on the face of every attack from the pit, whether the attack is upon your family, mind, soul, body, or circumstances. Satan is overcome by the Blood of the Lamb
(Revelation 12:11). Bind him with the Blood, it takes away all of his authority and power.

The devil is a defeated foe. Christ overcame him on the Cross. On Calvary He triumphed over the powers of darkness. We have now but to enter into His victory by faith. We do not need to fight Satan but to hold over him the accomplished triumph of the Cross. The Blood of Jesus is God's provision for overcoming the enemy. The Blood of Jesus is the token of Christ's complete victory over Satan and his evil forces.

Challenge the Enemy

The enemy's strategy is to entice the believer from his position of authority and get him angry, burdened, confused, depressed, or self-occupied. The Seat of Authority, far above the enemy, in union with Christ, is the believer's security. By faith ask God to cover every part of your conscious and sub-conscious being with the Blood of Jesus. Then say aloud, "The Blood of Jesus protects every part of me and destroys the power of the devil." A definite stand in the authority of the Lord must be taken. Absolutely refuse to give place to the devil in whatever form he manifests himself, in your home, or in your body, mind, or spirit.

Give No Place To the Devil

Anything that takes us from an attitude of worship, peace, joy, and consciousness of God's presence has a satanic source. Whenever the powers of darkness come anywhere near the borders of your home or church or personal life, in the Name and authority of Jesus Christ they must be challenged. Say out loud, "This is the devil, and I now resist him in the Name and power of the Lord Who conquered him on Calvary."

Troubles arise in families, among friends, in church. But behind all strife, conflict, misunderstanding, and confusion is Satan. To break his power, use every weapon you know by appealing to God on the grounds of Calvary and calling down God's judgment upon the adversary
(Luke 18: 7-8). The devil will only let go of his hold on men when compelled. And to us is entrusted the power to resist the devil.

"Neither give place to the devil" is a commandment of God. In the Name of the Lord and by His authority we can say "The prince of this world now cast down." We are to live Ephesians chapter Six and obey God's commandments to "Be Strong," "Put on the Whole Armor," "Wrestle," "Stand," "Withstand," "Overcome," "Take the Sword."

Boldly Claim the Victory of Calvary

God has given us power to tread down the power of the enemy
(Matthew 18:18-20). God has committed to every believer the responsibility of displacing the devil. The devil has no right to any place in any life or any church. We alone are to blame if he continues in power. Christ, through His death, rendered the devil powerless to withstand the believer who will, by faith and obedience, take the authority over the devil given to us by Christ, and use it. The devil now has no power except what we allow him.

It is our duty to oppose the devil every place we find him at work. To leave him unchallenged is to rob Jesus of the triumph of the Cross. The Lord says if we resist the devil he will flee, and it is true! He flees as God said he would when we put up a steadfast resistance to him.

Behind the dissension and strife, perplexity and confusion, in church and home today are these powers of darkness. In the authority of the Lord they must be displaced. During a large revival, opposition from a certain group became so strong that it seemed the work would be ruined. Finally, the pastor gathered together a group of praying people and asked them to stand with him under the Blood of Christ and bind the power of the enemy. After a time of prayer and praise and song they prayed aloud. "In the Name of the Lord Jesus and by His authority, we bind the strong man from stirring up these people and from attacking God's work"
(see Matthew 12:29). No further trouble was encountered. The opposition began to quarrel among themselves and their power to oppose the church was broken.

Enforcing the Redemptive Rights of This Dispensation

There are many instances to prove that in every situation where, in faith, the obedient child of God claims his throne rights in Christ and boldly exerts his authority, none are able to stand before him. A mother was grieved by her child's tendency to lie. Learning of the authority of "His Name"- quietly, but firmly, in the Name of Jesus she rebuked the lying spirits and saw her child delivered.

In another instance, a Christian worker was conscious of a tremendous power coming over his mind and paralyzing his will. He was often pressed down and confused. He did not know of the oppression of the evil spirits in the atmosphere and so did not resist the attacks, but stood passive and helpless before them. One day it came to him from God to say out loud, "This is the devil. I resist him in the Name and power of the Lord Who conquered him at the Cross." He felt instant relief from the oppression on his mind and body. His mind cleared. His will became strong to resist. His faith in the Cross of Calvary's victory extricated him from a mass of perplexing circumstances that for years had hindered his testimony and prayer life.

A devout Christian with a real salvation experience was hounded through life by trouble and misfortune. He submitted to this life-long misfortune, believing it was the chastening of God, until one day he heard a talk that clearly revealed the sinister working of the powers of darkness. Then he realized the deception. He began to take a position of authority over these powers of darkness in the Name of Christ and to challenge them. He asserted his right to obtain employment and other material blessings and to forbid these powers from obstructing his prosperity. It took three days, but the stream of satanic misfortune was broken.

The same authority is available for the release of funds for Christian work. Satan is hindering Christians by tying up funds. A Christian worker whose ministry was suffering for funds rebuked the "poverty" demons and bound the satanic hindrance to prayer. Each time her funds were held up she exercised this authority in union with Christ and released funds for her blessed work for the Master.

In these perilous days, the powers of darkness, conscious of their impending overthrow, are fiercely resisting on all fronts. The way to have the authority of Christ is to make Him Lord of our lives, and only to the extent that we do make Him Lord, are we able by faith to enter into the victory over the devil which He has obtained for us."

This article quoted from the
Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, May 2002, pages 6-7
(This article is available in tract form from the Gospel Tract Society)

When the storm clouds gather on the horizon, trust in God
We are the apple of God's eye
Will He not provide for us?
Will He not keep us safely sheltered in His hand?
Will He not hedge us in for protection against the devil?

Sympathy for the Devil
by Joel A. Freeman

"Have you ever felt sorry for the devil? Maybe just a twinge of pity? After all, he was kicked out of heaven without a second chance. Isn't it true that God was abrupt and unkind in the way He handled Satan?

Without a moment's hesitation, you probably answered the preceding questions with a resounding "No!" It didn't take long for you to respond. As an intelligent being, Satan knows that most people aren't inclined to fill their crying towels with tears because of his awful plight as the fallen prince of darkness.
end of page 29

Most people understand that Lucifer became overly conscious of his beauty in heaven and his value to God. Many are aware that pride motivated him to make the grandiose statement found in
Isaiah 14:13-14: "I will ascend to heaven and rule the angels. I will take the highest throne. I will preside on the mount of Assembly far away in the north. I will climb to the highest heavens. I will be like the Most High."

Almost everyone has read that God, refusing to co-exist with this haughty being, gave him the left foot of fellowship. As a result, Satan was booted out of heaven like a bolt of lightning. But he didn't leave alone; one third of all the angels in heaven impudently acknowledged their independence of God and followed close on Lucifer's heels.

Ever since that event in history, Satan has been boiling mad and is driven to influence humans into thinking God is not "fair" in His dealings. This is all part of his massive public relations campaign which is designed to turn creatures against their Creator.

Satan unveiled his strategy in the Garden of Eden. In fact, the unabridged edition of the "Freeman Translation" quotes Lucifer as saying, "Eve, you mean to tell me that God told you not to eat of the "no-no" fruit? Oh, that's terrible! You must feel so rejected. I can understand how you feel. I have had a lot of personal experience with God. He has a huge ego— He's only interested in a one-man show. He really isn't "fair." He is threatened by anyone who might become His equal. He probably doesn't want you to eat the fruit because of how much you'll know after the first bite. He wants to hold you back from advancement, thereby cramping your style forever. Go ahead, take a bite. You'll be enlightened with a new level of consciousness. That's it— just one teensy-weensy, itsy-bitsy bite ...."
end of page 30

Now that you know the scoop about what really went on in the Garden of Eden, it is easy to comprehend the devil's strategy in the here and now. Through precise maneuvers by his invisible host of demons, he waits until people are in a vulnerable state of mind, and then he hits them between the eyes with timeless reminders like:

• God has forgotten and forsaken you.
• God doesn't love you as much as He loves other people.
• God is a hard, cruel taskmaster.
• You have committed the unpardonable sin.
• You wouldn't be hurting so badly if God had everything under control.
• God is not "fair."

Lucifer wants to take advantage of every opportunity to attack his former boss. He slanders and curses Him at every turn, maliciously hoping to build his success by trying to defeat Christ. His evil thoughts against God are blatantly exposed in the following statements:

"I dip my forefinger in the watery blood of your impotent, mad redeemer and write over his thorn-torn brow: The true prince of evil— the king of slaves.

I gaze into the glassy eye of your fearsome Jehovah and pluck him by the beard; I lift a broadax and split open his worm-eaten skull!

Behold the crucifix: what does it symbolize? Pallid incompetence hanging on a tree ....

He who turns the other cheek is a cowardly dog! Self-preservation is the highest law.

Life is the great indulgence— death, the great abstinence. Therefore, make the most of life- here and now.

Say to thine own heart, "I am my own redeemer."
Quoted from The Satanic Bible, pages 30-35.

end of page 31

One can clearly see that Satan is not operating under the guise of a hidden agenda. He absolutely despises Jesus Christ and will seek to destroy anyone who confesses Him as their Saviour and Lord.

Recently, I was reintroduced to the reality of Satan's ongoing plan to sabotage God's character by promoting the "fairness" concept to humans. While driving across town to visit friends one rainy evening, the soaked form of a hitch-hiker suddenly appeared in the beam of my headlight.

Being a former hitchhiker, I instinctively screeched to a halt. A young man in his early twenties climbed in, thanking me profusely. His smile was framed by rather long, damp hair. We proceeded on our way, introducing ourselves and exchanging a few pleasantries. Taking advantage of the opportunity to talk with him about Jesus, I waited for a few moments and then nonchalantly inquired, "Fred, are you interested in spiritual things?"

I was not prepared for his answer. In an even tone, he informed me, "Yeah, I am. I've been studying the occult for several years now." Intrigued, I feigned naivete by asking him questions that gently probed the depth of his involvement. At first he answered in a guarded manner, but then he began to share more freely. I soon discovered the seriousness of his dedication to the devil's cause.

As we drove on, I asked Fred to explain the circumstances that led up to and followed Lucifer's grand exit from heaven. Without hesitation, he graphically described God's injustice in dealing with Satan. He went on to explain that Satan had a legitimate gripe against a God who was jealous, cruel, and "unfair" in the way He had handled the devil.

As we conversed, two predominant thoughts entered my mind. I remembered an event that occurred on a Thursday evening in 1974, an event so significant that it is indelibly etched in my memory.
end of page 32

As a group of fervent Bible college students, we were gathered for an evening of theological discussion and prayer. About 50 people were present. Suddenly the evening was shattered by the actions and utterances of a woman who had come to visit the school for a week.

I am very cautious about attributing abnormal human behavior to satanic activity, but this woman's words and actions were indicative of demonic possession. At the precise moment she reacted violently— kicking, cursing, and biting. At times she had to be restrained by two muscular men.

"You all think you're so smart," she screamed in an unearthly voice. "Well, I want you to know that we are more powerful. We are winning. We have control over the whole world."

A cold, involuntary shiver pulsated up and down my spine as the reality of Kingdom warfare hit me full in the face.

Her darkened eyes narrowed as she dramatically surveyed everyone in the room. For a brief, eternal moment our eyes locked and then disengaged. She proudly tossed her head, clearing the black, bushy hair from the sides of her sweaty face and seethed, "I hate every one of you. I hate you all."

As the night wore on, she spoke in several different voices on everything from drugs to the subject of "666," the mark of the beast. Sometimes her words came in guttural tones, others in soft and mellow voices, while others were punctuated with a combination of high-pitched shrieks.

Joel A. Freeman's (Author's) Note: In my opinion, this incident was an actual case of demon possession. The majority of cases, however, that involve individuals having bizarre psychotic breaks with reality, may actually be people suffering from a dopamine imbalance in the brain. They may hear voices or even experience visual hallucinations. Many times this is correctable by proper doses of medication. A Christian psychiatrist should be consulted.
end of page 33

One statement, however, penetrated my memory on this rainy evening in the car with the hitchhiker. One of her utterances had come in a pitifully haunting voice: "It is not "fair." You get many chances, but we got only one chance."

As I drove through the rain I also remembered the title of a rock song popularized by a musical group called The Rolling Stones. The reality of the title of the song, "Sympathy for the Devil," had a chilling effect on me. As we continued our ride, I was able to recall some of its lyrics:

"Please allow me to introduce myself:
I'm a man of wealth of taste.
I've been around for long, long years—
Stolen many a man's soul and faith.
I was around when Jesus Christ
Had His moment of doubt and faith.
I made damn sure that Pilate
Washed his hands, and sealed his fate.

Pleased to meet you,
Hoped you guessed my name.
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game....

... Just as every cop is a criminal
And all the sinners, Saints
As heads is tails, just call me Lucifer
"Cause I'm in need of some courtesy;
Have some sympathy and some taste.
Use all your well-learned politesse
Or I'll lay your soul to waste!"

As I reflected on these thoughts, Satan's strategy became much clearer. With each passing moment, Fred was verifying my suspicions as he tried to impress me as to why Satan had received the raw end of the deal. We were just warming up to the subject at hand when he suddenly interjected, "I've got to get off at this next exit."
end of page 34

In the darkness, I fumbled around in the pouch under the driver's seat and hastily pulled out a gospel tract, handing it to him. "Fred, I'm interested in your thoughts about God and Satan," I said. "Your comments tonight show that you have been thinking deeply about spiritual matters. Please accept this piece of paper from me. It will explain God's power to forgive your sins and give you a brand-new perspective about life."

I pulled the car over just after the exit ramp and asked him to have an "Elijah Showdown."

"What's that?" he quizzed, laughing slightly, with his hand on the door handle.

"Well, Fred," I continued, "There's a story in the Bible about the prophet Elijah who bragged that his God was true and that the god, Baal, was false. Elijah then proposed that two altars be built on top of a mountain and that the real God would pour fire down from the sky. The prophets of Baal took him up on the challenge with thousands of people gathered around, waiting for the fireworks."

Knowing that I had a limited amount of time, I paused momentarily to see if he was still interested or if I was boring him to tears. Sensing, perhaps, what I was doing, Fred took his hand off the door handle and responded, "Go on. Then what happened?"
end of page 35

"Well, the prophets of Baal danced around for hours and nothing happened." With his expressed interest, I slowed down a bit. "When Elijah prayed, fire instantly came down and God showed that He was the only true God." I said softly, "Fred, God wants to prove to you that He is still the only true God. Satan is real and he has a lot of power as you well know. But he has fed you a bunch of lies about what happened way back when he was kicked out of heaven. God is more powerful. Don't just take my word for it. Prove it for yourself by asking Jesus to come into your life and be your personal Saviour. His blood was poured out on the Cross so that people like you and me can receive the free gift of eternal life. I'd like to see you come on the winning side."

There was an odd silence. And then he commented, "Thanks. You've given me a lot to think about." He paused again for a few seconds, opened the door and then turned to me, saying, "Thanks for the ride."

I sped off into the rainy night, hoping that somehow our conversation had made an impact on Fred's life. I know it did on mine.

Just like Fred, King David's friend, Asaph, swallowed the "fairness" concept— hook, line, and sinker. Asaph began to think that God was unjust in His dealings with people.
In Psalm 73, Asaph compared his life with that of the wicked. According to his evaluation, the unrighteous enjoyed their lives to the fullest. They conducted unprincipled business practices and unabashedly flaunted their evil lifestyles, yet they had no glaring problems. They were so fat and prosperous that their eyes almost popped out of their sockets.

Asaph was almost sucked into Satan's "bad attitude" strategy against God until he went into the sanctuary and saw objective truth as it really was. He had become contaminated by worldly thinking and had compared his situation with the lifestyles of others. Up to this point, he didn't see the bigger picture of eternal value. But in the sanctuary, his mind became clear, and he could say, "There's none on earth I desire besides Thee, 0 Lord"
(Psalm 73:25).

end of page 36

Knowing full well that the "fairness" theme was prevalent, the apostle Paul was careful to address the issue when talking about Jacob and Esau in Romans chapter 9. Many scholars speculate regarding the reasons why God loved Jacob but hated Esau. Paul simply asked, "Is there unrighteousness (injustice) with God?" His take-it-or-leave-it answer was, "God forbid"— or in modern day English, "Heavens to Betsy, no!"

I am not a foaming-at-the-mouth, witch-hunting, there's-a-devil-in-your-closet demon chaser. But I am absolutely convinced of the fact that Satan has an organized host of commanding and commissioned officers. These foul spirits are united by the distorted belief that they can destroy the kingdom of God.

God deals with the devil somewhat like Uncle Bob plays football with a child. (Everybody knows an Uncle Bob.) He takes his nephew out in the backyard, marks off the boundaries, and they proceed with the game. After scoring several touchdowns, the child jumps up and down gleefully proclaiming, "I'm winning! I'm winning!"

Uncle Bob feigns a look of consternation and playfully responds with an "I'm not letting that happen again, you little stinker" vow. The friends and relatives watching are thoroughly enjoying the spectacle without experiencing one bit of fear for Uncle Bob and his lack of control or ability to win. They know what Uncle Bob knows: Even if the score is 236-0 in favor of the kid. Uncle Bob can win any time he pleases. That knowledge permits Uncle Bob to be confident, actually exuberant, even in the midst of apparent defeat. So it is with God.

It may sound strange, but Satan's desire is to get human beings to feel sorry for him as the underdog in his "football game" against God. Granted, it's a tough assignment for the public relations department in hell, but the way he is trying to accomplish this mammoth task is by amplifying God's apparent lack of "fairness" when earth-shaking events occur on a personal basis or on a worldwide scale.
end of page 37

The automatic result is that our childlike trust in God's character as the sovereign ruler of the universe is at best eroded, or at worst, smashed. We become disillusioned with God and then we enter into a phase whereby we frantically search for happiness without consulting God's guidance. Of course, our search for happiness does not produce the desired results, so our disillusionment with God and the people who follow Him intensifies.

Over a period of time, Satan capitalizes on our natural bent toward rationalization and bitterness, and we end up with a mere plastic shell of religion that lacks substance and power. Slowly but surely, our understanding becomes darkened, and we fall prey to man-centered ideals that leave God totally out of the picture. We are now available to accept any form of deception as truth because something is missing.

DISCUSSION GUIDE

1. As you look back on your life, think of two situations in the past two years where Satan tried to convince you that God was "unfair" during those times. Have developments since then caused you to modify your attitudes at all?

2. In retrospect, can you identify at least one positive attribute in your life that God has developed through those unpleasant experiences?

3. According to Romans 5:15, why do you think God allows hardship into a person's life?"
end of page 38

Joel A. Freeman, God Is Not Fair, Chapter 3, New Leaf Press, Green Forest, AR, April 1994, pages 29-38.
This is a very good book and I recommend that you purchase it if you can find it...

If you do not like the way you were born
Try being born again

God's Dream
By Jamie Buckingham

"From the very beginning God had a dream. The dream was for man to be restored into full fellowship with God. Jesus was the answer to that dream. All the godly men across the ages who wrote the Bible picked up snatches of that dream— and included them in their writings. Therefore, throughout the Bible— from the time of Creation until the birth of Christ— you find the biblical writers referring to this Messianic dream. Jesus, then, is the central theme of the Bible.

Abraham saw His reflection in Melchizedek, King of Salem.
Jacob called Him Shiloh.
To Moses He was the Passover Lamb and the Lifted Up One.
To Joshua He was Captain of Our Salvation.
Ruth saw Him as Kinsman-Redeemer.
Samuel portrayed Him as Our King.
David called Him Lion of Judah and the Good Shepherd.
To Solomon He was the Beloved.
Ezra and Nehemiah pictured Him as our Restorer.
To Esther He was Our Advocate.
Job said He was my Redeemer.
Isaiah described Him as a suffering servant.
Jeremiah saw Him at the potter's wheel.
Ezekiel called Him the Son of Man.
Daniel called Him the Prince and the Smiting Stone.
Hosea likened Him to a bridegroom redeeming a fallen wife.
To Joel He was the Restorer.
Amos saw Him as a Heavenly Husbandman.
To Obadiah He was Savior.
Jonah saw Him as Resurrection and Life.
Micah called Him a Witness.
To Nahum He was a Stronghold in a Day of Trouble.
Habakkuk described Him as God of My Salvation.
To Zephaniah He was a Jealous Lord.
Haggai said He was The Desire of All Nations.
Zechariah called Him the Righteous Branch.
Malachi declared Him the Sun of Righteousness.
And John the Baptist cried out: "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the World."

As you read through the Old Testament there looms on the horizon of history One Person through whom God would establish His Kingdom on earth: Jesus Christ. Micah said He would be born in Bethlehem. Isaiah said He would be born of a virgin and would be called Emmanuel. David and Isaiah told how He would die and Job prophesied of His resurrection. Others pointed out He would be introduced by a strange prophet like Elijah, that He would work miracles, speak in parables, be rejected by leaders, be a smitten shepherd, a man of sorrows, would enter Jerusalem riding on a colt, would be betrayed by a friend for 30 pieces of silver and would be led as a lamb to the slaughter. He would die with the wicked. His hands and feet would be pierced. Not a bone of His body would be broken. Lots would be cast for His garments. He would be in the tomb three days, would rise from the dead and would ascend to Heaven at God's right hand.
end of page 108

It was foretold by David, Isaiah, Daniel, and Jeremiah that the Messiah would offer a new covenant for His people. He would send the Holy Spirit. His kingdom would be of the Gentiles and would be universal and endless.

All of this was written hundreds of years before Christ's birth, at which time the angels appeared to the shepherds on the hillside saying they had good tidings of great joy.

THE MIRACLE OF COMPOSITION

Suppose one man from each nation in the earth were to work a lifetime carving a tiny piece of marble. One day all these men, none of whom had ever met or even known anyone else was carving marble, would all gather in a small village in the hills south of Jerusalem—each one bringing their tiny piece of marble with them. The man who had carved what looked like a big toe would place his little piece on the ground. Then the man who had carved feet without toes or heels would attach his pieces— and they would fit perfectly. More toes would be added, each just the right size and shape. Then the man with the heels would attach his pieces. Then the ankles, the legs, the knees— each piece fitting so perfectly not even a seam showed— until the entire statue was completed, perfect in every detail.
end of page 109

How could such a statue be accounted for unless there was someone with a blueprint who had outlined to each man exactly what he was to carve?

No wonder the angels sang of "good tidings and great joy." The Miracle of the Ages, the One the Bible is all about, had been born in Bethlehem!

Remember, God's Word is the foundation of all we know about God— and of His plan for mankind. It tells of the origin of sin and how his curse separated man from God. Even though it contains the Law of God given to Moses on Mount Sinai, we also discover how utterly impossible it was for the law to bring man the salvation he needs. Thus we find in its pages that the one purpose of God is to prepare the way for the coming of the Redeemer of the World, Jesus Christ.

Although the Bible is a library of books, it is also "the Book." It is a story, a grand story, of God's love for His people, and the price He was willing to pay to restore us into perfect fellowship with Him. While it is divine, it is also human. The thought is divine, the expression of the communication is human.

So here we have a book unlike all others. The Book, a divine revelation, a progressive revelation, a revelation of God to man communicated through men, that moves on smoothly from its beginning to its great end. Behind each event stands God, the builder of history, the maker of the ages. Eternity bounds the one side, eternity bounds the other side, and time is in between. You can study the minutest detail everywhere and see that there is one great purpose down through the ages—the eternal design of our Mighty God to redeem a wrecked world and give each of us— you and me— power for living.
end of page 110

The Old Testament is the account of God dealing with a nation— the Israelites. The New Testament is an account of God dealing with a Man— His Son. The nation was founded in order to bring the Man into the world.

God became man in the presence of His Son so we might know what God is like. If you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus, for He is the perfect revelation of God. His appearance on earth still marks the central event of all history. Even today's calendars are dated from that special time. The Old Testament set the stage. The New Testament describes the play.

And what a marvelous play it is. God is the author. Jesus Christ is the central character. The Holy Spirit is the power behind each of the characters— including the Son of God.

Jesus was a perfect man. He was kind, tender, gentle, patient and full of love. He worked miracles to feed the hungry, heal the sick, and raise the dead. Multitudes came to Him and He taught them about the Kingdom of God. But He threatened the religious people of the day— and eventually they killed Him. Yet even this had been foretold. It was necessary; for Jesus became the perfect sacrifice for our sins. By His atoning death the way was opened for all mankind to once again have fellowship with the Father.

Then, the greatest of all miracles— Jesus rose from the dead! He is alive today. He is not merely a historical figure, but a living Person— the most important fact of history, and the most vital force in the world. His friends and followers wanted Him to remain on earth after His resurrection from the dead. But He said He had to leave. He had to leave so He could send His Holy Spirit. That Spirit, He said, the same Spirit who gave Him power to rise from the dead, would come and fill each Christian from that time on— giving them power for living. Several years ago I spent time with a young woman who had been part of the Charles Manson gang. She had been convicted on seven counts of first degree murder and sentenced to die in the California gas chamber. Shortly before she was to be executed, her sentence was changed to life in prison. During that time she received Jesus Christ as her Lord and Saviour. She had subsequently led a number of young women in prison into a salvation experience with Jesus Christ.
end of page 111

When I heard about this I sought and received permission to visit her in her cell at the California Institution for Women near Chino. We became good friends during these visits, for she had truly been "born again" and was a child of God.

On one of these visits she told me how she had received Christ. The first week after she arrived in prison, she received a Bible through the mail. She tossed it to one side and didn't even look at it for more than a year. But unknown to her a large number of people were praying for her. She received several letters from strangers, telling her about God's forgiving love. Then one day she took the Bible off the shelf in her little cell, brushed the dust off the cover, and settled back to read. Knowing virtually nothing about the Bible (although she had attended Sunday school as a child), she began to read— starting with the first page.
end of page 112

It was tough reading, but she was determined to find out what the Bible was all about. When she got to the book of Exodus and read the story of the Children of Israel, she became angry. Here was the story of God's love and provision. He delivered the Israelites from captivity in Egypt, opened the sea so they could escape, protected them from harm, provided water from rocks and manna every morning. Still the people griped and complained. Why, she asked herself, would anyone who was loved as much as God loved the Israelites refuse that love and respond so selfishly?

She read on through the Psalms— those beautiful love songs by David. Time after time she had to put the Bible down because tears filled her eyes. All she had ever known from childhood was hate. That was why she joined the Manson gang and participated in those horrible murders. Now she was reading about a tender, loving Heavenly Father. She had never known such love existed.

The books by the prophets all told her of a Saviour— one who would take away her sin and give her power for living. But they didn't tell her how to find Him— just that He was coming.

In the Gospels she read the life story of Jesus. He was all she imagined Him to be— loving, tender, kind, yet a man of justice and righteousness. It was what she had longed for all her life. She read on through the book of Acts and saw how those early Christians, full of the Holy Spirit, had gone out and performed the same miracles Jesus performed. How she longed for that same power in her life. It wasn't until she finally reached the last book in the Bible that she discovered how she could be forgiven of her sins and receive power for living.

Reading through the book of Revelation, she came upon the words of Jesus, an invitation she sensed was given just to her.
"Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent."
end of page 113

She paused in her reading, letting the words sink in. Could it be she was in prison not because she was a murderer, but because God loved her and was waiting for her to repent so He could give her power for living?

She read on. "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will go in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne"
(Revelation 3:19-21).

With tears streaming down her face, she slipped off her cot in her lonely prison cell and knelt on the concrete floor. The Son of God was knocking at the door of her heart, asking to come in. Even though she was a murderer He was waiting for her to repent and ask His forgiveness. She opened the door of her heart and prayed a simple prayer. "Come in, Lord Jesus, take over my life."

Susan Atkins is still in prison, but she is a free woman. She has been set free by the Son of God. She has found new life right where she is—and she has received power to live that life through Jesus Christ.

The Bible, to Susan Atkins, was more than an ancient book. It was— and is— the Book of Life."
end of page 114

Quoted from Jamie Buckingham, Power For Living, Arthur S. DeMoss Foundation, November 1983, pages 107-114.
This is a very good book and I recommend that you purchase it if you can find it...

"Someday I hope to enjoy enough of what the world calls success so that somebody will ask me, "What's the secret of it?" I shall say simply this: "I get up when I fall down"
-Paul Harvey

Tough Times Never Last, But Tough People Do
By Robert H. Schuller

"SUMMER: 1982. For many, it was as if the clocks had rolled back to the 1930s and the Great Depression. Unemployment soared. The "severe and prolonged recession" as the media dubbed it, sent ripples across America. Negative thinking spread like a plague through all levels of society.

It was in the midst of this pessimistic national mood that I arrived at the Conrad Hilton Hotel in Chicago to speak to an audience of midwestern farmers. As head of a television ministry broadcast on 197 stations, I travel from coast to coast, giving lectures. I was particularly fascinated by this engagement, because I had been born and reared on an Iowa farm. I looked forward to touching base with people from the same soil that I'd left 40 years before.

My warm feeling of anticipation was quickly doused, though, by a couple of somber-looking farmers who met me with restrained enthusiasm. "Doctor Schuller? Thanks for coming. There are three thousand people in there waiting to hear you."

His companion interrupted. "These people are going through tough times. They don't want to hear funny stories. They don't want a pat on the back. Many are losing their farms. They need help. And more than anything, they need hope. Give it to them."

The soundman pinned a microphone to my suit and I heard the master of ceremonies introduce me. The three jokes I had prepared to warm up my audience seemed out of place now. I walked across the stage without the faintest idea of how to start. For a moment I paced quietly, trying to collect my thoughts.

"They tell me you're having tough times," I began. "Is that right?"

The question gave me time for a dramatic pause, often a lifesaver for a speaker. I thought back to my seminary training in delivering sermons. The most effective speech, we were told, is not a sermon but a witness. Share your own story.

The master of ceremonies had described me as a successful man, founder and builder of an internationally famous church, the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, Calif. What the audience did not know was that I, too, had walked the path they were now walking.

"Farming life has never been easy," I resumed. "My boyhood was spent on a small midwestern farm. My father had worked as a hired hand to save enough to buy our 160-acre farm. Then, when I was three years old, the Great Depression hit. My father clung on tenaciously, hoping to survive. That winter, though, there were times when we did not have money to buy coal.

"It became my job to climb into the hog yard, maneuver my way through the excrement, and pick up every corncob left after the hogs had consumed the kernels. Those corncobs fueled the stove in the kitchen and the potbelly stove in the living room. Little grilles in the ceilings allowed some of the heat to pass to the upstairs bedrooms.

"Those were tough times!" I told the audience.

I went on to talk about the great drought. Even as the Depression ravaged the country, the spring rains failed to come. The few precious bushels of corn that my father was able to save had to be used for seed. "Why risk planting it where it might rot and die?" I asked him. "Why not turn the seed in for cash?"

"People who never take a chance never get ahead," he said.

And so my father took all that he had left- the last kernels of corn, the last cups of oats— and planted them. Normally, Iowa farmers can expect rain at least once every other week. When the third and fourth weeks passed with no rain, I saw my father's face grow very grave. He and other farmers gathered at prayer meetings, filling the little white churches that dotted the rolling landscape. They called upon God to save their land and their crops.

Finally, there was a thunderstorm. It rained! I was jubilant, but my parents knew that the rain was inadequate. Soon the sun came out bright and hot again. My father scooped up a handful of soil. Only the top quarter-inch was wet. Below that the earth was powdery dry.

Then the winds began to blow. The sky turned dirty brown. "That's South Dakota land you're breathing, son," my father said. The dust sand-blasted the surviving rows of corn and settled on our land like drifts of snow. We had to cover our faces with a wet cloth as we walked to the outdoor toilet.

That summer, I watched the Floyd River drying up. Little pools became mud holes where squirming catfish died. We were surrounded by death. My father harvested barely half a wagon of corn, grown on a half-acre of swampy ground fed by a mysterious underground spring. It was the same amount as the seed he had sown, no more. A total loss? No. In his dinnertime prayer, my father said, "Dear Lord, I thank you that I have lost nothing this year. You have given me my seed back."

Not all the farmers had as much faith as my father did. "For Sale" signs appeared on farm after farm. Years later I asked my father how he had survived.

"I went to the bank," Dad said, "and I promised that if they would help me, somehow I would return their money. I pleaded with them to extend the mortgage. The bank believed in me and helped."

I have childhood memories of going to that bank in patched overalls, with my father. I recall seeing this slogan on a calendar in that bank: "Great people are ordinary people with extraordinary amounts of determination." My father exemplified that positive attitude. It inspired me to attempt the impossible too. For I had dreams of my own, to go to college and seminary.

Some years later, one quiet June afternoon, a tornado struck. We began to hear an awesome roar, like freight trains rumbling above the gathering clouds. "Sounds like we're in for a hailstorm," Dad murmured. At six o'clock we finished our evening meal in haste. From our front lawn we could see, across the rolling farm land, the sun being swallowed by a monstrous black storm.

Slowly the storm crept closer. The old box elder bent before mounting gusts of hot wind. Suddenly a black lump bulged out of the sky and telescoped to the ground in a long gray funnel. For a moment it hung suspended, like a slithering serpent about to strike. Dad called to my mother, "It's a tornado, Jennie! We've got to get out of here!"

A minute later we were driving crazily down the road. Two miles south, we parked our car and watched the wicked twister spend its killing power behind us. Then, as quickly as it had dropped, it lifted and disappeared.

As we started home, I wondered, "Will our house still be there?" Just over the top of the hill, we saw that everything was gone. Where only a half-hour before there had been nine freshly painted buildings, now there were none. Only white foundations remained.

There was no debris. Everything had simply been sucked up and carried away. We could hear the sickening moans of dying cattle, the hiss of gas escaping from the butane tank.

We sat in the car, dazed. My father had worked 26 years to build this farm. The mortgage was about due. I looked at him, sitting horror-stricken, white-haired, frail from overwork, his hands desperately gripping the steering wheel.

Suddenly those callused hands with their bulging blood vessels began hitting the steering wheel, and Dad cried, "It's all gone, Jennie! Twenty-six years, and it's gone in minutes." He got out of the car, ordering us to wait, and walked around the tornado-vacuumed farmyard.

Our house had been dropped, in one smashed piece, a half-mile out in the pasture. We had had a sign on the kitchen wall with the motto, - "Keep looking to Jesus." My dad found and carried to the car the broken top half: "Keep looking ..." Well, this was God's message to Dad— Keep looking! Keep looking!

My father would not give up. His faith was the hanging-on kind. Two weeks later we found a house that was being torn down in a nearby town. We bought a section of it for $50 and took it apart, piece by piece. And from these pieces we built a new little house on the old home farm. One by one, additional farm buildings were built. Within five years the mortgage was paid off. My father lived to see his farm become a success.

I looked deep into the eyes of my audience, a new generation of American farmers. "Are you burning corncobs for fuel? Have you lost everything in a tornado? Are you tempted to sell out? Then let me tell you something about tough times."

I hadn't the foggiest idea what I was going to tell them about tough times! I had painted myself into a corner. I paced back and forth, praying silently.

I was stunned to hear the next sentence come out of my mouth; I am convinced it came directly from God: TOUGH TIMES NEVER LAST, BUT TOUGH PEOPLE DO!

The place broke up with applause. Those who had lost hope and had battled depression regained that hope. They caught a new vision and began to dream again.

Are you facing tough times today? Don't quit now. Don't sell out. Dig in and hold on. And when times seem the toughest remember the slogan on that bank calendar in Iowa: "Great people are ordinary people with extraordinary amounts of determination."

READER'S DIGEST, February 1985, pages 33-36

"Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others
Without getting a few drops on yourself"
-George Bernard Shaw

Criticize Less Praise Often
By Birdie L. Etchison

"This morning my seven-year old son knocked over a full box of dry cereal. Of course, the hundreds of crunchy bits didn't land on the table where they could have been retrieved. They landed on the floor. "Oh, why are you so clumsy?" I cried out, reaching for the broom. "I'm a stupid boy," he said. I remembered he had said those same words the last time something like this happened. Stupid boy? No, he wasn't that. And I sure didn't want him thinking so. I knew what it was like to grow up with low self-esteem.

"No, you're not a stupid boy," I said, putting my arms around him. "It was my fault. I should have helped you. The box was large and hard to handle." It was like a magic light came into his eyes. It was okay now. He wasn't a stupid boy after all. What a relief! "You know, Eric, you are becoming quite a wonderful young man," I complimented.

"Oh, Mom," he snickered. But the satisfaction was apparent. "Praise, praise, praise," I murmured under my breath as I cleared the table. I must remember to be quick to praise, slow to criticize. Oh, Lord, help me to criticize less and praise often."

Quoted from the Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, January 1992, page 15.


If you have not already invited Jesus Christ to come to live inside of your heart then click on the above banner if you want to learn how to have a relationship with Jesus Christ and receive spiritual encouragement in your heart and soul.

In some small way I hope that God has been able to encourage you through these articles.
shared with you by
Kraig Josiah Rice
www.breadonthewaters.com

  • Index of Newsletter Clippings

  • Encouragement when you are hurting

  • The 7 I Wills that God has promised you

  • How to overcome discouragement

  • Keep looking to God for deliverance

  • A Bible Study About Miracles
    Do you need a miracle to happen in your life? God still works miracles. Maybe He has one for you...

  • Testimonies
    Here are various testimonies that will help you with your faith.

  • You are the apple of God's eye

  • A Sample of Gospel Tract Society tracts
    A miscellaneous evangelism note:
    Grown men in Asia read comics. This is one way to reach them with the Gospel of Christ. The Gospel Tract Society has a great new comic book printed for evangelism purposes. Be sure to order a nice supply for the evangelistic outreach in your area. See the Gospel Tract Society website for details and be sure to include a generous contribution to them when you order their material. Bread On The Waters (BOW) does not print leaflet tracts.


    Newsletter Clippings (page 4)

    Newsletter Clippings (page 2)








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    As of March 22, 2007