What Does the Bible Say About God?

Is there a god? Nature and revelation testify there is a God. It’s in the Bible, Psalm 19:1-3, NKJV.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard.”

How many gods are there? There is only one. It’s in the Bible, Isaiah 46:9, NKJV.

“Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me.”

How do we know this god is the true God? No other God can tell the future like He can. It’s in the Bible, Isaiah 46:10, NKJV.

“I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.  I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’”

Where did this God come from? He has always been since the beginning. It’s in the Bible, 1 Timothy 1:17, NKJV.

“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”

 It’s in the Bible, Isaiah 41:4, NKJV.

“Who has performed and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? ‘I, the LORD, am the first; and with the last I am He.’”

God created the world and all that is in it. It’s in the Bible, Genesis 1:1, NKJV.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

God created human beings. It’s in the Bible, Genesis 1:26-27, Then God said,

“Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” 

It’s in the Bible, Genesis 2:7, NKJV.

“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”

What is this God like? It’s in the Bible, Exodus 34:6-7, NKJV.

“And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.’”

God is love. It’s in the Bible, 1 John 4:16, NKJV.

“And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.”

God is holy. It’s in the Bible, Revelation 15:4, NKJV.

“Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, for Your judgments have been manifested.”

God thinks of you constantly. It’s in the Bible, Psalm 139:17-18, NKJV.

“How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; when I awake, I am still with You.”

God came down to our world in the person of Jesus, so we may know what He is like. It’s in the Bible, John 1:14, NKJV.

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Why did Jesus come down to earth? It’s in the Bible, John 3:16, NKJV.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

It’s in the Bible, 1 John 4:9-10, CEV.

“God showed his love for us when he sent his only Son into the world to give us life. Real love isn’t our love for God, but his love for us. God sent his Son to be the sacrifice by which our sins are forgiven.”

Does God like other people more than me? God does not show favoritism. It’s in the Bible, Acts 10:34-35, NIV.

“Then Peter began to speak: ‘I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.’”

God does not only love good people; He loves the wicked as well. It’s in the Bible, Matthew 5:45, 46, TLB.

“For [God] gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust too. If you love only those who love you, what good is that? Even scoundrels do that much.”

God loves us like a doting father. It’s in the Bible, 1 John 3:1, NKJV.

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.”

We are to follow God’s example of love. It’s in the Bible, 1 John 4:11, NKJV.

“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

We are to be holy like God is. It’s in the Bible, 1 Peter 1:14-16, CEB.

“Don’t be conformed to your former desires, those that shaped you when you were ignorant. But, as obedient children, you must be holy in every aspect of your lives, just as the one who called you is holy. It is written, ‘You will be holy, because I am holy.’”

God’s love means that He must sometimes discipline us. It’s in the Bible, Proverbs 3:11-12, NKJV.

“My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor detest His correction; for whom the LORD loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights.”

God never gives up on us. It’s in the Bible, Jeremiah 31:3, NKJV.

“The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: ‘Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.’”

Nothing can separate us from God’s love. It’s in the Bible, Romans 8:38-39, NIV.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

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What Does the Bible Say About God’s Children?

🔹Who are God’s children? Spiritual birth makes someone a child of God. It’s in the Bible, John 1:12-13, NIV.

“To all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”

🔹God offers us the opportunity to be His children. It’s in the Bible, I John 3:1, NIV.

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him.”

🔹Christians are adopted into God’s family. It’s in the Bible, Romans 8:16, NIV.

“The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” Galatians 4:4-5, RSV. “But when the time had fully come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.”

🔹Take a lesson from the children. It’s in the Bible, Luke 18:16-17, TLB.

“Then Jesus called the children over to Him and said to the disciples, ‘Let the little children come to me! Never send them away! For the Kingdom of God belongs to men who have hearts as trusting as these little children’s. And anyone who doesn’t have their kind of faith will never get within the Kingdom’s gates.”

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What Does the Bible Say About Grace?

Salvation comes through grace—it is a gift from God. It’s in the Bible, Ephesians 2:8-9, NIV.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Everyone can receive the grace of Christ, which develops grace inside the receiver. It’s in the Bible, John 1:16, NKJV.

“And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.

God’s grace is our only hope! It’s in the Bible, Nehemiah 9:31, TLB.

“But in your great mercy you did not destroy them completely or abandon them forever. What a gracious and merciful God you are!”

Does grace do away with God’s law? It’s in the Bible, Romans 3:31, NIV.

“Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.”

Grace is not a license to sin, but power unto salvation and righteousness. It’s in the Bible, Romans 6:15-18, NKJV.

“What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!

Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?

But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.

And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness”

In the grace of Christ, is power and strength. It’s in the Bible, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, NKJV.

“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

“Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Grace is available to us at all times we need it. It’s in the Bible, Hebrews 4:16, NKJV.

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Christ’s life and sacrifce are the embodiment of both grace and truth. It’s in the Bible, John 1:14, NKJV.

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth”

Christ’s death show God’s law and grace are not enemies, but go hand in hand. It’s in the Bible, Psalm 85:10, NKJV.

“Mercy and truth have met together;  Righteousness and peace have kissed.”

God’s grace is offered to us through Christ’s death and justifies us without compromising the holy law.  Through Christ’s death, justice can forgive without sacrificing any part of its exalted holiness. It’s in the Bible, Romans 3:23-25, NKJV.

“Gor all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed”

God’s grace makes our salvation possible. It’s in the Bible, Ephesians 1:7-8, NIV.

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.”

God’s grace is patient. It’s in the Bible, Romans 2:4, TLB.

“Don’t you realize how patient He is being with you? Or don’t you care? Can’t you see that He has been waiting all this time without punishing you, to give you time to turn from your sin? His kindness is meant to lead you to repentance.”

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The Incredible Lesson From an Elderly Floor Maid

Appropriate and in sync for today, here is a quick, but inspiring true history. Is it taught in our schools?

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What Does the Bible Say About Discouragement?

🔹We can be encouraged by the example of others. It’s in the Bible, I Thessalonians 3:7, NIV.

“Therefore, brothers, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith.”

🔹Reflecting on our eternal hope in Christ offers encouragement. It’s in the Bible, I Peter 1:6, TLB.

“So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though the going is rough for a while down here.”

🔹We are encouraged through encouraging others. It’s in the Bible, Romans 1:11-12, TLB.

“For I long to visit you so that I can impart to you the faith that will help your church grow strong in the Lord. Then, too, I need your help, for I want not only to share my faith with you but to be encouraged by yours: Each of us will be a blessing to the other.”

🔹Encouragement comes from remembering how God has led in the past. It’s in the Bible, Joshua 24:16-17.

“And the people replied, ‘We would never forsake the Lord and worship other gods! For the Lord our God is the one who rescued our fathers from their slavery in the land of Egypt. He is the God who did mighty miracles before the eyes of Israel, as we traveled through the wilderness, and preserved us from our enemies when we passed through their land.”

🔹Build each other up by finding something you appreciate. It’s in the Bible, I Thessalonians 5:11, NIV.

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

🔹Consistently encourage new believers. It’s in the Bible, Acts 14:21-22, TLB.

“They helped the believers to grow in love for God and each other. They encouraged them to continue in the faith in spite of all the persecution, reminding them that they must enter into the Kingdom of God through many tribulations.”

🔹Encourage your church leaders. It’s in the Bible, I Thessalonians 5:12-13, TLB.

“Dear brothers, honor the officers of your church who work hard among you and warn you against all that is wrong. Think highly of them and give them your wholehearted love because they are straining to help you.”

🔹God offers encouragement when we’re feeling down. It’s in the Bible, Jeremiah 29:11, TLB.

“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

🔹God promises encouragement when I need it. It’s in the Bible, Psalm 138:3, TLB.

“When I pray, You answer me, and encourage me by giving me the strength I need.”

🔹For your encouragement, remember God isn’t finished with any of us yet. It’s in the Bible, Philippians 1:6, TLB.

“And I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns.”

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What Does the Bible Say About Gentleness?

🔹Christian leaders should exhibit gentleness. It’s in the Bible, I Thessalonians 2:6-7, NIV.

“We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else. As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you, but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children.”

🔹Teach with gentleness. It’s in the Bible,

II Timothy 2:24, TLB. “God’s people must not be quarrelsome; they must be gentle, patient teachers of those who are wrong.”

🔹Gentleness is a mark of wisdom. It’s in the Bible, James 3:17, TLB.

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure and full of quiet gentleness. Then it is peace-loving and courteous. It allows discussion and is willing to yield to others.”

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What Does the Bible Say About Forgiveness?

🔹God is ready and waiting to forgive anyone who asks. It’s in the Bible, Psalm 86:5, NKJV.

“For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive,
and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You”

🔹God will always be waiting for us to return. It’s in the Bible, Isaiah 44:22, ESV.

“I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you.”

🔹King David based his hope of forgiveness on God’s compassion and unfailing love. It’s in the Bible, Psalm 51:1, NKJV.

“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your loving kindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.”

🔹How great is God’s mercy? It’s in the Bible, Psalm 103:11-12, NKJV.

“For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

🔹Even when we have been unfaithful, God is faithful to forgive us if we confess. It’s in the Bible, I John 1:9, NKJV.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

🔹What if I am having trouble with forgiving someone else? It’s in the Bible, Matthew 6:14-15, TLB.

“Your heavenly Father will forgive you if you forgive those who sin against you; but if you refuse to forgive them, He will not forgive you.”

🔹Don’t accumulate grudges and keep track of them. It’s in the Bible, Matthew 18:21-22, NKJV.

“Then Peter came to Him and said, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’ Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”

🔹God forgives us many times a day, we should do the same. It’s in the Bible,  Luke 17:4, NKJV. 

“And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”

🔹Just like Jesus forgave others while being crucified, we are to forgive, whether or not others confess their faults. It’s in the Bible, Luke 23:33-34, NKJV.

“And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”And they divided His garments and cast lots.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean you excuse people’s sins. It’s in the Bible, Luke 17:3, NKJV.

“Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.”

🔹We are to forgive others as God has forgiven us. It’s in the Bible, Ephesians 4:32, NKJV.

“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

🔹There is no possibility that Jesus will turn anyone away who seeks forgiveness. It’s in the Bible, John 6:37, NKJV. “ 

All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.”

🔹Through forgiveness, Christ provides complete deliverance from the penalty of sin. It’s in the Bible, Colossians 2:13-14, ESV.

“And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.”

____________________

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Sending the Good Word of Jesus Christ Around the World This Year

My son Jack remembers doing this at his grandfather, Pastor John Osborne’s church at Lake Buchanan, Texas some years ago.

“It is a good memory because we were gifting and sharing the Word of Jesus Christ with children around the world who may have never had the opportunity,” Jack recalls. “Plus it is good to experience and share goodness in this tough world.”

Today, we are proud of Dodie because she is sharing duties of organizing this annual outreach box packing event at First Baptist Church of Medina nestled in the beautiful Texas Hill Country.

Led by Jo Walters, with Dodie, the small community is pitching in to help. Even the Medina Library is donating age appropriate books for the boxes.

In the summer of 1993, Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham received a call from a man in England asking if he’d be willing to fill shoeboxes with gifts for children in war-torn Bosnia. Franklin agreed, but figured Christmas was months away. He forgot about the promise until he received a call back around Thanksgiving asking about the gifts.

Franklin asked his friend, the late Pastor Ross Rhoads of Calvary Church of Charlotte to see if he could help with the need. A Sunday shortly afterward, Pastor Rhoads demonstrated for his congregation how to fill a shoebox with simple gifts and encouraged them to include a letter to the child as well. Within weeks, the church had 11,000 shoeboxes lining their hallways.

Due to their generosity and additional gifts from Canada, Samaritan’s Purse sent 28,000 shoebox gifts to children in the Balkans that Christmas.

Through these gifts, they communicated to children and their families what the angel said to the shepherds about Jesus’ birth: “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people” 
(Luke 2:10, ESV).

Every year since, Samaritan’s Purse has collected shoebox gifts filled with toys, school supplies, and hygiene items for children around the world. Since 1993, more than 198 million children in more than 170 countries and territories have received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox. The project delivers not only the joy of what, for many kids, is their first gift ever, but also gives them a tangible expression of God’s love.

Tens of thousands of volunteers from local churches around the world partner to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ at festive outreach events where children are surprised with these shoebox gifts.

Over the years they trained over 1.5 million volunteers from these congregations to teach The Greatest Journey, our dynamic follow-up discipleship course for shoebox recipients.

Since 2009, 30.9 million children have enrolled in this 12-lesson program to learn how to follow Christ and share Him with others. More than 14.9 million of these boys and girls have made a decision to accept Jesus as their Savior during the course. Many are now praying for and sharing their faith with family and friends. As a result of this ever-expanding witness, new churches are starting and communities are being transformed!

In 2021 alone, more than 10.5 million Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts were collected throughout Australia, Austria, Canada, Finland, Germany, New Zealand, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

In God We Trust

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How Does Being a Night Owl Affect Your Health?

People who hate to miss a sunrise may have a lower risk of some chronic health problems, like type 2 diabetes and heart disease, than people who thrive on late nights and sleeping in, a new study suggests.

Differences in so-called sleep chronotypes — or natural sleep-wake cycles that program our body’s biological clock — have long been associated with the risk of a wide range of chronic health problems, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, fertility issues, digestive disorders, and mental illness. But much of this research has focused on what happens when people can’t sleep when their body is naturally wired to do so — a common issue for shift workers.

In 2022, scientists examined data on almost 500,000 adults ranging in age from 38 to 73 who were part of the UK Biobank, an ongoing government-funded research project. All the participants were asked about their sleep habits and mental health and well-being, and they also completed a series of cognitive tests to assess brain function. A subset of about 40,000 people also had brain scans and lab tests to collect genetic information.

7 HOURS

🔹People who got about seven hours of sleep each night had better cognitive outcomes than other participants, the analysis found.

🔹Longer or shorter periods of sleep each night were associated with a reduced ability to make decisions, solve problems, pay attention, process information, and learn new things.

🔹Seven hours a night was also ideal for mental health, the study found. Too much more or less sleep than this was associated with more symptoms of depression and anxiety and worse overall well-being.

Brain scans showed that people who got about seven hours of sleep each night had fewer structural changes in regions of the brain associated with cognitive processing and memory than study participants who got too little or too much sleep.

🔹Participants who consistently got about seven hours each night, without too much deviation from this pattern, had better cognitive function and mental health than people whose sleep patterns varied a lot or who got excessive or insufficient amounts of rest.

CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS

Another 2022 study took a different approach, focusing on people who do follow their natural sleep-wake cycles, also known as circadian rhythms. Scientists studied two distinct sleep chronotypes: 24 “early birds,” who were most alert in the mornings and tended to go to bed earlier, and 27 “night owls,” who were sharpest later in the day and tended to stay up late.

Overall, researchers found that the night owls had less ability to use fat for energy, meaning that fats accumulated in the body and increased the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

These metabolic differences can be explained by how well people with different sleep chronotypes use the hormone insulin to turn glucose, or the sugars in the blood from foods we eat, into energy that cells can burn immediately or store for later.

Early Bird

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🔹The study found that the early birds used glucose more efficiently for energy than the night owls, allowing them to churn through this energy source and then burn stores of fat for energy too.

🔹By contrast, the night owls didn’t use glucose as efficiently or burn through as much of their fat stores.

“The differences in fat metabolism between ‘early birds’ and ‘night owls’ shows that our body’s circadian rhythm could affect how our bodies use insulin,” said the lead study author, Steven Malin, PhD, an associate professor in the department of kinesiology and health at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

“A sensitive or impaired ability to respond to the insulin hormone has major implications for our health,” Dr. Malin said.

🔹To get these results, researchers used advanced imaging to assess body composition, tested participants for insulin sensitivity, and used breath samples to measure fat and carbohydrate metabolism.

🔹Researchers also monitored activity levels, provided participants with all their meals to control energy intake, and conducted treadmill tests to determine their aerobic fitness levels.

🔹Early birds used more fat for energy both when they were at rest and during these exercise tests, the study found.

🔹Early birds were also more sensitive to insulin, meaning they were better at using this hormone to lower their blood sugar and more apt to burn fats for energy.

🔹Night owls were insulin resistant, meaning they needed more of this hormone to lower blood sugar levels and also tended to store more fats.

“This observation advances our understanding of how our body’s circadian rhythms impact our health,” Malin said. “Because chronotype appears to impact our metabolism and hormone action, we suggest that chronotype could be used as a factor to predict an individual’s disease risk.”

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CLICK: PARK LANE by Rebecca Taylor

What is the Most Powerful Habit?

It’s easy to create a negative belief. They come from so many sources, like first impressions, disappointment, failure, embarrassment, fear, exhaustion…

Your default may be to think something happened (or might happen). Our bad feeling becomes a negative belief: that bad things always happen.

Our negative belief changes how we act. Soon the voice in our head sounds like:

🔹”They are always difficult to be with.”

🔹“I can never get this right.”

🔹“Nobody wants to buy my stuff.”

🔹If I fail, I’ll lose everything.”

🔹“I never have enough energy.”

Dr. Martin Seligman, the father of positive psychology, tells us that when we create a negative belief, our problem goes from a small thing that happened once or twice to…

🔹PERMANENT (It isn’t going away)

🔹PERSONAL (It’s my fault)

🔹PERVASIVE (It always happens)

HERE IS WHAT I KNOW:

🔹NEGATIVE BELIEFS filter reality and filter good news out.

🔹NEGATIVE BELIEFS stomp out good thoughts before they can grow.

🔹NEGATIVE BELIEFS kill dreams and keep us small.

How do people get out of the funk?

Find something TODAY that you can be positive about, just because you can.

In God We Trust

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CLICK: PARK LANE by Rebecca Taylor

How You Can Finally Make a Real Difference In Your Life

During Sunday School Mr. Jones had Monopoly on his mind.

Every Sunday after church and a good meal, the family would gather around the table for their weekly round of the famous board game.

He absolutely loved this American pastime and knew much trivia about the game. It first originated in 1933 and is now played in 47 different languages in 114 countries.

Jones even counted the amount of money in a Monopoly game to realize it is $20,580. He also knew the longest recorded game. It lasted 70 straight days.

During World War II, escape maps, compasses, and files were inserted into Monopoly game boards smuggled into POW camps inside Germany. Real money for escapees was slipped into the packs of Monopoly money.

He must have had the game and other things on his mind when one morning Mr. Jones stood up and said “I’d like us to pray for some smiling faces in this church.” Then, in typical fashion, he added, “I think more people would want to go to heaven, if they weren’t afraid it’d be like church when they go there!”

“Church shouldn’t be fake.” he suggested. “It’s not about entertainment, comfort, or fads. Church should be a place to bring your joys and your sorrows and connect with others who want to find God and be loved. Fog machines, exotic coffee, and specialty groups will never meet those needs the way the core truths will. Let’s focus on what will not change: God, His Word, and our need to love each other.”

“I grew up in a church, back in the sixties, and we only sang hymns,” Jones continued. “Then came the contemporary praise movement in the seventies and I thought, wow this might be better than the old hymns. And we all know the rest of the story. It seems my nine-year-old granddaughter will never know the great hymns like I do. And to be honest, that makes me sad.”

“Contemporary music can mean a stronger focus on individual performance rather than group worship as a whole,” he suggested. “New music should not be forgotten as it is necessary to express current burdens of the culture in song, but we should be congregation-ready and free of commercial trappings.”

“I just want to quit worrying and pay attention to the sermon,” he continued. “There is no get out of jail free card. Do not pass Go and do not collect $200.”

“What was all of that about?” his family asked, after the services. He gathered his thoughts and explained when they arrived home.

Life, according to Mr. Jones

Life is like a game of Monopoly. You may own hotels on Boardwalk or you may be renting on Baltic Avenue, but in the end, it all goes back into the box. The next generation will be getting out all of your stuff and playing with it or fighting over it.

The Small Stuff

The small stuff is what makes up the larger picture of our lives. Many people are like you. But their perspective is distorted. They ignore ‘small stuff’ claiming to have an eye on the bigger picture, never understanding that the bigger picture is composed of nothing more than—are you ready?—‘small stuff.’

Have you ever been bitten by an elephant?  How about a mosquito? It’s the small stuff that’ll get you!

You Choose

At this very moment, you possess the power of perspective. You can choose to see your life becoming whatever you wish. If you choose, you can move the mountains in your life’s path with the eventual help of those who will come to love you and learn to respect you for what you are becoming.

Happiness and Charisma

You must become a person that others want to be around! This is far and away the greatest success secret in existence. This is the person who gets the chance. The second chance and the benefit of the doubt. You should ask yourself this question every day: What is it about me that other people would change if they could?

What is it about the way I dress that other people would change if they could?

What is it about the way I act that other people would change if they could?

What is it about the way I talk that other people would change if they could?

You WILL Make a Difference

One day, you will look back on your ‘worst time’ in your life as a fortuitous event. Even your worst times have value and can become, in retrospect, your best times. You will make a difference. Now, what kind of difference? That’s up to you.

Just keep smiling and roll the dice. When you get a chance, sing a good ‘ol gospel hymn now and then.

In God We Trust

Thanks for supporting independent true journalism with a small tip. Dodie & Jack

We are thankful to our incredible sponsors!

Please Support These American Owned Businesses

___________________________

Get Your Natural Vitamins A & D from the Sea!

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For Information

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History, Texas, Pioneers, Genealogy

From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

_________________________

CLICK: PARK LANE by Rebecca Taylor

What Does the Bible Say About Financial Advice?

Where do material blessings come from? It’s in the Bible, Deuteronomy 8:18 NIV

“But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth.”

Can money get in the way of more important things? Wealth can become the center of our life and take God’s place. It’s in the Bible, Jeremiah 9:23-24, NIV

“This is what the Lord says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord.”

Wealth can give us wrong attitudes about material things. It’s in the Bible, Luke 12:15 NIV

“Then [Jesus] said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

It is unwise to make financial success a priority. It’s in the Bible, Matthew 6:24, NIV

“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”

I Timothy 6:9, NIV

“People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.”

While it is not impossible, it is difficult for the rich to become citizens of God’s kingdom. It’s in the Bible, Mark 10:23-25, NIV.

“Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, ‘How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!’ The disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus said again, ‘Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.'”

The love of money leads to evil. It’s in the Bible, I Timothy 6:10, NIV.

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

Greed often accompanies prosperity and can lead to crime. It’s in the Bible, James 4:1-2, TLB

“What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Isn’t it because there is a whole army of evil desires within you? You want what you don’t have, so you kill to get it. You long for what others have, and can’t afford it, so you start a fight to take it away from them. And yet the reason you don’t have what you want is that you don’t ask God for it.”

It’s true, the more you give, the greater will be your reward. It’s in the Bible, Luke 12:33-34, NIV

“Sell your possessions and give to the poor: Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

What investment strategy does God recommend? It’s in the Bible, I Timothy 6:17-19, NIV.

“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”

A valuable reminder for property owners. It’s in the Bible, Leviticus 25:23, TLB

“And remember, the land is Mine, so you may not sell it permanently. You are merely My tenants and sharecroppers!”

Contentment is not related to amount of money or possessions. It’s in the Bible, Philippians 4:12-13, TLB.

“I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of contentment in every situation, whether it be a full stomach or hunger, plenty or want; for I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power.”

God asks us to return tithe [10%] and offerings to Him and in return He promises unlimited blessings. It’s in the Bible, Malachi 3:8-10, NIV.

“Will a man rob God?” Yet you rob Me. “But you ask, ‘How do we rob You?’ “In tithes and offerings.” Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”

Christ endorsed tithing. It’s in the Bible, Matthew 23:23, NIV.

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.”

How may all, rich and poor, honor God? It’s in the Bible, Proverbs 3:9, NIV.

“Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.”

If we put God first, He will take care of all our needs. It’s in the Bible, Matthew 6:33, NIV.

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

What is the financial counsel of Solomon, the wisest and richest man who ever lived? It’s in the Bible, Ecclesiastes 5:10-20, TLB.

“He who loves money shall never have enough. The foolishness of thinking that wealth brings happiness! The more you have, the more you spend, right up to the limits of your income, so what is the advantage of wealth—except perhaps to watch it as it runs through your fingers! The man who works hard sleeps well whether he eats little or much, but the rich must worry and suffer insomnia. There is another serious problem I have seen everywhere—savings are put into risky investments that turn sour, and soon there is nothing left to pass on to one’s son. The man who speculates is soon back to where he began—with nothing. This, as I said, is a very serious problem, for all his hard work has been for nothing; he has been working for the wind. It is all swept away. All the rest of his life he is under a cloud—gloomy, discouraged, frustrated, and angry… . To enjoy your work and to accept your lot in life—that is indeed a gift from God. The person who does that will not need to look back with sorrow on his past, for God gives him joy.”

What does the Scripture say about my monthly bills? It’s in the Bible, Romans 13:7-8, NIV.

“Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.”

Be cautious about countersigning loan notes. It’s in the Bible, Proverbs 22:26-27, TLB.

“Unless you have extra cash on hand, don’t countersign a note. Why risk everything you own? They’ll even take your bed!”

What reminder are we given about borrowing money? It’s in the Bible, Proverbs 22:7, NIV.

“The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.”

God expects fairness in business dealings. It’s in the Bible, Proverbs 16:11, TLB.

“The Lord demands fairness in every business deal. He established this principle.”

Honesty and fairness are always expected of those who wish to please God. It’s in the Bible, Isaiah 33:15, TLB.

“I will tell you who can live here: All who are honest and fair, who reject making profit by fraud, who hold back their hands from taking bribes, who refuse to listen to those who plot murder, who shut their eyes to all enticement to do wrong.”

It is important to work to earn a living. It’s in the Bible, II Thessalonians 3:11-12, TLB.

“Yet we hear that some of you are living in laziness, refusing to work, and wasting your time in gossiping. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ we appeal to such people—we command them—to quiet down, get to work, and earn their own living.”

In God We Trust

Thanks for supporting independent true journalism with a small tip. Dodie & Jack

We are thankful to our incredible sponsors!

Please Support These American Owned Businesses

___________________________

Get Your Natural Vitamins A & D from the Sea!

CLICK HERE for GOOD HEALTH!

For Information

Now Available CLICK Here!

History, Texas, Pioneers, Genealogy

From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

_________________________

CLICK: PARK LANE by Rebecca Taylor