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November 22, 2016, 12:00 AM

November 23, 2016


“Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.  Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song.”  Psalm 95:1-2

    The Psalms are filled with praise and thanksgiving to God.  As we read passages such as the one above, we reflect upon the many ways God has truly blessed us.  As the psalmist, we should praise God and glorify Him continually.  A thankful heart is one true characteristic of a Christian because it reveals God’s presence in our lives.  In our culture, it is very easy to take for granted the many blessings of God. 

    The enemy will use any number of strategies to turn our hearts and minds away from what God has given.  Remember, his goal is to bring chaos and discontentment to our lives.  One of the enemy’s favorite tactics is to get our minds away from God’s many provisions and to focus our attention on things we do not possess.  Rather than contentment and thanksgiving, our human tendency is to take for granted the things that we already enjoy.  This sounds very similar to the way things happened in the Garden of Eden, doesn’t it?  The enemy convinced Adam and Eve that what God had provided was not enough.  He continues to use that same strategy to bring a sense of discontentment which leads to ingratitude.

    It is very easy to become dissatisfied with what we have because we have been blessed with so much.  Particularly, at this time of the year, we hear the question: What are you thankful for?  As Christians, our thoughts should immediately focus on Jesus.  You see, the wrath of God was poured out on Jesus for the sins of mankind.  Who put Jesus on the cross?  Some will say the Roman government and their soldiers while others will say the Jewish leaders.  However, we know that it was God’s plan from the beginning to place Jesus on the cross.  He would be the One to take the penalty for our sins.

    If God never blessed us in any other way, we can thank Him and praise Him forevermore because He has given us life even when we deserved death.  The next time satan tries to manipulate your situation and tell you all the things you do not have, take a few moments to reflect upon the cross and thank God that He has given real life that can never be taken away.  In Jesus, we truly have everything we need.  May you have a blessed Thanksgiving as you “praise God from Whom all blessings flow”!

                                                                                                We love you,

                                                                                                Brad and Virginia

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November 15, 2016, 12:00 AM

November 16, 2016


“We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, His power, and the wonders He has done.” Psalm 78:4

            What a difference a week makes!  We truly witnessed a miracle and the promises of God fulfilled.  However, it is not the time to get back to “business as usual”.  It appears God has given Christians in America another opportunity to be intentional about sharing our faith.  Let’s face it, we have not been doing such a good job of sharing the Gospel and showing people the love of Christ.  We have failed to share within our families and, as such, there is a generation that, for the most part, does not understand a relationship with Almighty God.  We must have a heart moved to sincere dependence on God and heart that will not shrink away from our duty.

            We must continue in diligent prayer for President-elect Donald Trump and for those who will work closely with him because the future of our nation is at stake.  The outcome of this election was the result of the fervent and diligent prayers of God’s people.  God will bless America to the extent that we are moving toward Him rather than allowing our culture to dictate the future direction.  God’s plan has always been for each generation to teach the one coming behind them.  Look carefully at the passage above.  Do children see parents living the Christian life?  Do they hear and see parents diligently calling out to God because they realize their very sustenance is found in Him?

            We, as Christians, have a huge responsibility!  There is so much to be done in our nation.  Right now, our nation is divided in several areas.  The only One who will truly bring peace and unity is Jesus.  Without Him, and without a sincere effort among Christians to be His witnesses, we will lose the nation that means so much to us.  The enemy absolutely hates the outcome that we have experienced and we can be sure that he will be fighting every step of the way.  We must not let him hinder our focus or allow him to take us out of the game thereby rendering us useless in the Kingdom.  We need to continue dedicated and fervent prayer as the battle will definitely heat up around us.  May you be blessed as you unashamedly share the Good News this world so desperately needs to hear!

                                                                                                                                              We love you,

                                                                                                                                              Brad and Virginia                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

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November 8, 2016, 12:00 AM

November 9, 2016


“But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living.  But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”  Joshua 24:15

    When you read this, the election will be over and the presidential race will have been decided (maybe).  Regardless of the outcome of the election, we continue to serve God and present the love of Jesus wherever we go.  I recently read a devotion that was very encouraging as we move through these chaotic times.  We are not to lose sight of whose we are and the reason for which we live this life.  The following is a devotion written by Brian Doud, a retired minister from Ohio.

            “Johnnie wrote his sweetheart, Emily, a note: I’d climb the highest mountain, I’d swim a shark-infested  ocean, I’d go through fire for you.  All my love, Johnnie.

    P.S.  I’ll be over tonight --- if it isn’t raining.

            Maybe Johnnie wasn’t as committed as he thought he was.  And aren’t we like that?  We’ll trust the Lord…if everything else is working out OK.  The people of Joshua’s day were worshipping the Lord … and everything else.  That’s like a Christian ‘living for the Lord’ but checking her horoscope to see if it’s safe to go on a trip.  Trusting God plus anything is hardly trusting God at all.  God refers to Himself as ‘jealous’ (Exodus 34:14).  Committing to Him, as one’s highest loyalty, is the important thing.  We could simply say it like this: The sovereign Lord wants our undivided attention, and it’s for our best, of course.  For why would anyone want to wander aimlessly through life, attaching to one thing and the next in hopes of ultimate satisfaction?  Better to be committed, right?”

 

    It is the most rewarding experience to be committed to Almighty God!  In these days, you and your faith will be challenged.  Don’t give in to the hype of the “modern” world.  Read, study and know what the Bible says.  Then, base your values and beliefs on Scripture.  Hold on to what you know to be the truth and thank God along the way that your minds have been opened spiritually.  “For the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:4 ESV) May you have a blessed week as you thank God for eyes wide open!

 

                                                                                                We love you,

                                                                                                Brad and Virginia

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November 1, 2016, 4:11 PM

November 2, 2016


“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  2 Chronicles 7:13-14

          We are a week away from the most critical election in recent history and it is the responsibility of every Christian to get out and vote.  We hear the media spin and the constant reports regarding both candidates.  We must not take these reports at face value to determine our decision but delve deeper into the truth to find out exactly where the candidates stand on the critical issues facing our nation and impacting us individually.  We must also look at the running mate of each candidate to find out their stance on the issues as well.  Please read carefully the political party platform of each candidate and determine if the party’s stance on the issues are in agreement with your values and beliefs.  Do your homework, study to find out about each candidate, pray specifically for God’s direction and please take the time to vote.

          We know that the economy, healthcare and world events are very important topics during this election season.  However, for us as Christians, our religious liberties are also very much at stake.  Remember, some of the first business of the new President will be to nominate a Supreme Court judge.  This President could possibly have the opportunity to nominate two or more judges to the Supreme Court during his or her tenure.  Decisions of the Supreme Court will affect us for a very long time because the judges serve for a lifetime.  We have seen in recent years the impact the Supreme Court has had on our morality, values and beliefs.  So, this election will have a far-reaching impact on our nation.

          What does all this mean for us?  We know that the god of this world has blinded the eyes of so many people.  We should not allow ourselves to be pushed into a corner, to remain silent about the issues or think we have no reason to vote.  We should be actively involved in the process while continuing to tell others the Good News of Jesus.  God is still in full control regardless of the outcome.  Look again at the passage above.  There are four things that God requires of those who know Him in order to see needed changes.  We must humble ourselves, pray, seek God’s face and turn from our wicked ways.  God will accomplish His part if we are faithful with ours.  If Christians decide not to vote, you can be assured of the future direction of our nation!

                                                                                                                                              We love you,

                                                                                                                                              Brad and Virginia




October 26, 2016, 10:31 AM

October 26, 2016


“Like the nations the LORD destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the LORD your God.” Deuteronomy 8:20

    We are now less than two weeks away!  We are closing in on the most important election in recent history, if not in the history of our nation.  The candidates for President have dramatically different views about our future.  Yet, even amid such serious times, there still seems to be a sense of unconcern among many people.  Where are we?  What are we doing?  Are we really concerned about the direction of our nation?  Remember, it is not just about us but also what your children and grandchildren will face in the days to come.  You would think that our churches would be filled and our altars full as Christians humbly cry out to God.  Hopefully, that is going on in some places but it doesn’t appear to be widespread in every church.  The pastors I know have not commented about the overflowing crowds and the overwhelming desire to seek God.

    The enemy has certainly not slowed down in his efforts to cast his influence upon the understanding of mankind.  The world for sure, and sadly our own nation, seems to be expanding the anti-God, anti-Bible and anti-religion sentiment.  One real issue of this election seems to about religious freedom.  However, in many ways, religious freedom has been a contributor to our current situation.  How?  First, let me say that I am all for religious freedom.  Yet, it seems that with religious freedom, as with all freedom, comes an attitude whereby we take it for granted.  We see that attitude very clearly in several areas in our nation.  Maybe we have become much too passive and God is allowing persecution to jolt us back to the real priorities for life.

    As we look to our election in a couple of weeks, please be in constant prayer for our nation.  Folks, we are falling at an alarming rate and it all stems from neglecting our Christian roots and heritage.  Please make every effort to vote.  From what I have seen and read, there were some 40 million Christians who failed to vote in the last election.  That is shameful!  How can we expect to make any impact if we fail to exercise our right to vote?  These are very troublesome times, but we know that God is still in full control.  What does he desire from us?  The same that He desired of His chosen nation Israel.  “He has shown you, O man, what is good.  And what does He require of you?  To act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.”  (Micah 6:8) The truth is so easy to understand that even children can comprehend it.  Either we walk with God and experience His blessings or we abandon God and are destroyed.  Which path are we currently following?  May your week be blessed as we follow God in all our ways and pray exceedingly for our nation!

                                                                                                                                We love you,

                                                                                                                                Brad and Virginia


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