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January 30, 2018, 3:46 PM

January 31, 2018

“Then the Jews demanded of Him, “What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this’”?  John 2:18

     We spend much of our time proving our identity.  We fill out forms and paperwork to identify ourselves.  We present our driver’s license and other picture identification so that people will know us.  Yet, family members identify us in a different way.  They know what we look like and how we talk.  They also know our personality and can even tell when we’re not feeling well.  We know their voices even when we cannot see them.  We know our family members simply because they are family.

     The passage above tells us that the Jews, particularly the religious leaders, were constantly taunting Jesus to prove His authority.  They were constantly looking for what they understood as miraculous signs from Jesus.  Do you ever find yourself looking for miraculous signs?  If God would just show me a sign, then I would know what to do.  Many times we are looking for signs rather than simply spending more time with God.  Remember, He doesn’t need your driver’s license or some other picture identification to recognize you.  He created you, knows every hair on your head and knows you better than you could ever know yourself.  We must learn to spend more time with Him because it is through that relationship that we come to know Him better, know and listen for His voice, and obediently follow Him as He guides us.

     We must understand that God doesn’t have to prove anything to us.  He offers to us His mercy and grace, and that is sufficient.  He never intends for us to look for proof in order to serve Him.  God’s way is simple, yet we seem to make it so difficult.  Trust God, spend quality time with Him and serve others.  You will be amazed at how He begins to speak with you and show you His desire for your life.  The Jews looked for proof of His authority and miraculous signs.  God expects us to know Him by faith and to grow in our relationship with Him.  May you be blessed abundantly this week as you diligently listen for His voice rather than looking for miraculous signs.

                                                                                                                                                     We love you,

                                                                                                                                                     Brad and Virginia

January 22, 2018, 3:47 PM

January 24, 2018

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105
 How many times have we read and heard that verse?  We have all probably memorized that passage at some point in our lives.  In fact, those words have been put to music and we sing them from time to time.  However, do we really take the time to heed the message?  The Word of the Lord is a light brightly shining to show us the way to live.  When the lamp brightens our path, we can clearly see the next step to be taken.  Making right steps (decisions) is in direct correlation to the time we spend in God's Word.

More than likely, Bible reading and study will not develop overnight.  We must train ourselves to make the most of every opportunity we have to delve into God's Word.  You can be assured the enemy will try to foil every attempt you make to be in the Scriptures.  Why?  Because he knows the Scriptures will keep you close to God and His ways.  Once we know and experience God's ways, the ways of the world become less and less attractive to us.  Do you have a specific time for Bible reading and study?  Do you have a particular plan to follow for daily reading?  There is a great reading plan included in each week's newsletter.  By following that plan you can accomplish reading the entire Bible in one year.
However, do not read just for the sake of reading.  Take the time to pray before reading that the Holy Spirit will speak to you and teach you the truths He desires to share with you for the day.  You may only read a verse or two at a time then meditate on those verses allowing God to speak to you.  We are so blessed to be able to have the Bible in our possession, to read it as often as we like and to gain valuable wisdom from within its pages.  As you read more frequently and with greater depth, you will be amazed at the ways God will speak to you.  As Christians in America, we have no excuse at all for not spending quality time with God and His Word daily.  May your paths be brightly lit this week as you commit to spend more time in the Bible and with our Heavenly Father!

                                                                                                                      We love you,
                                                                                                                      Brad and Virginia

January 16, 2018, 11:15 AM

January 17, 2018

“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.  Then you will be prosperous and successful.”  Joshua 1:8


It is sad that we become so fascinated with the “big stuff”.  We get so caught up in the things that make the headlines that we frequently overlook simple people in simple surroundings becoming real heroes.  More than likely, when we stand before Jesus one day, it will be the simple things we did for others that we are commended for rather than newsworthy things we thought were so grandiose.  God works through the small things to allow us to know Him better.  God will often speak through a sunset, a butterfly or even a flower along the road.  Success literally means living each day growing closer to the One who loves us more than anyone else.

                Far too many people are enamored with the world’s definition of success.  They are striving to accomplish this so-called success overnight.  God’s Word clearly warns us about becoming overly obsessed with gaining worldly wealth.  Proverbs 23:4-5 says, “do not weary yourself to gain wealth, cease from your consideration of it.  For wealth certainly makes itself wings like an eagle that flies toward the heavens”.  Therefore, we can see that worldly wealth is not the true definition of success.  Someone once asked another for the secret to success.  Read carefully the amazing answer to that question.  “Success is summed up in two words: right decisions.  How do you make right decisions?  One word: experience.  And how do you get experience?  Two words: wrong decisions.”  Makes a lot of sense doesn’t it?

                What about you?  What is your definition of success?  Are you making right decisions?  Success is being obedient to our Father even when He calls us to do the simple, seemingly mundane things.  We want to focus on the “important” things.  Yet, when we understand it, everything God calls us to do is an “important” thing.  How much of our time is spent on things that matter in the Kingdom?  God has a different perspective of success than does the world.  God uses ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things because He is all powerful.  He often uses the little things to make a huge impact on others and gives us the opportunity to be a part of it.  He is looking for His people to follow obediently even in the everyday, simple things because that is where we usually experience true success.  We pray you are having a very blessed week as you uncover the real secret to success!

                                                                                                                                                     We love you,

                                                                                                                                                     Brad and Virginia

January 8, 2018, 4:28 PM

January 10, 2018

“The Lord detests lying lips, but He delights in people who are trustworthy.”  Proverbs 12:22
     Who are you?  That may sound like a strange question but one we all should be asking.  There are those who live every day trying to be someone else.  They fail to make the most of their God-given uniqueness and focus on the traits of others.  More than likely, if we were someone else for just a day, we would be begging to return quickly.  God has created us and gifted us in order to fulfill the purpose He has for us.  Sadly, many never realize God created them for so much more.  Regardless of where you've been or where you are today, what you do from this point is what really matters.
     We must remember to serve God where He has placed us and build trust among those around us.  As they see our lives they begin to experience our truthfulness.  Vince Lombardi once said, “trust is earned through patient investment and a consistent track record, and it can be destroyed in an instant”.  We must take those words to heart.  If our actions contradict what we say, our trust may become irreparably destroyed and used as an excuse not to be taken seriously.  People, including children, can spot a fake from a mile away!  Once they experience fraud and dishonesty they quickly turn away.
     Whether we like it or not, we are being observed every day.  If we profess to be a Christian, we must be a Christian in every aspect of our life.  Our conduct matters all day long whether in public or private.  If we are willing to compromise our principles in private, we become much more vulnerable to compromising them in public.  The more we compromise, the more we stray from the truth.  There is a word that should describe every Christian.  That word is REAL!  It is our uncompromising desire and responsibility to strive to be like Jesus.  If you are not where you need to be, do not strive to be like someone else just because their life appears to be better than yours.  Stay in communication with God asking Him to reveal the awesome purpose for which He created you.  Then, trust Him to accomplish through you what no one else can do.  May your week be wonderfully blessed as you serve God without compromise.

                                                                                                                     We love you,
                                                                                                                     Brad and Virginia

January 2, 2018, 3:20 PM

January 03, 2018

“For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose.” Philippians 2:13

     It is the beginning of a new year.  Most people tend to look back at the past year and remember the difficult times rather than thanking God for the blessings.  When we look at the past year do we see areas that need improvement?  The beginning of the year is a great time to ask ourselves some tough questions.  Consider the difficult times from the previous year.  Were there some bad decisions that led to the difficult times?  If so, how can those issues be corrected?  A very well-known quote says this: “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it”.  There are those who seem to repeat the same bad decisions over and over and continually suffer difficult circumstances.

     In our culture, we are usually taught that failure is always a bad thing.  However, failure can actually be a good friend to us.  It is through failure that we learn very important life lessons.  We are oftentimes able to learn much more from our failures than from our successes.  The new year is a great time to seek and examine God’s purpose for our life.  Ralph Waldo Emerson asked the question: “What is my job on the planet?  What is it that needs doing, that I know something about, that probably won’t happen unless I take responsibility for it?”  As a Christian, we must ask a similar question.  What is God’s job for me on this planet? 

     One of the most wasteful experiences would be to live without understanding our need for Jesus and without real purpose and direction in life.  Proverbs 29:18 says, “where there is no vision, the people perish”.  Too many today, especially Christians, are running for the sake of running with no clear, concise purpose or goal.  For most of us, the beginning of the year is a good time to slow down, spend more time with God and His Word, and seek to understand the purpose for which He has called us.  Living recklessly will move us away from God, away from the purpose He has for us, and into difficult times and places we do not need to experience.  There is a great reason for your place on this planet!  However, the only way to realize it and understand it is through a growing relationship with our Heavenly Father.  May this be the year that you understand God’s concise purpose for your life and continue the journey of obedience in fulfilling His plan.  Happy New Year!

                                                                                                                                                      We love you,

                                                                                                                                                      Brad and Virginia

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