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Thread: Test

  1. #161
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    Some of you just got quite a bit of snow. Do you plan to build a snowman with your kids? It's another teachable moment!

    Snowman

    Heb 2:1 We must pay more careful attention . . . to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.


    We need to pay attention to the Bible like a light shining through the darkness (2 Pet 1:19). Paying attention to the Bible helps us avoid many of life’s “storms.” That’s because God designed His laws to help keep us happy and out of unnecessary trouble.

    However, sometimes storms and troubles come that we can’t avoid. God’s word helps then, too. It helps us “weather” those storms more successfully (Rom 15:4, Prov 4:13). Without God’s word, we are like a defenseless pile of snow that withers down and drifts away on a windy day.

    So, do you want to avoid as many of life’s storms as possible? Do you want to keep from drifting away during unavoidable storms? Pay careful attention to the Lord and stand firm forever!

    Prov 10:25 When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever.
    Prov 3:1-2 My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity.
    2 Pet 1:19 And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
    Rom 15:4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
    Prov 4:13 “Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.”

    "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21
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  2. #162
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    Pollyanna

    Eleanor Porter wrote Pollyanna, a wonderful story about a girl who played a “glad game” that her minister father had taught her. It was a game of always trying to find something to be glad about, no matter what the circumstances.1 In the story, Pollyanna influenced many others for good by teaching them to be happier, too.

    There are over 600 references in the Bible that have to do with joy, rejoicing, being glad, being happy or a combination thereof. Here are just a few examples.:

    1. Psalm 68:3 says, “But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.”
    2. Paul told us in Romans 12:12 to “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
    3. Jesus told us in John 15:10-11 “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love . . . I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
    4. He also told us in Luke 10:20 to “ . . . rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
    5. And 1 Thessalonians 5:16 says, "Be joyful always."

    As the first of the resurrected, Jesus even showed us that although we are sad when our believing friends and loved ones die, that sadness will be replaced by joy. Why? Because, as believers, we will see them again in heaven (1 Thes 4:13-14)! The Lord wants us to be happy now and eternally--so count your blessings, be very “glad” and smile!

    Ps 118:24 This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
    Phil 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
    1 Thes 4:13-14 Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.


    1 Eleanor H. Porter, Pollyanna (Uhrichsville, OH: Barbour and Co., Inc., 1993) 22-23.

    "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21
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  3. #163
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    I posted the link to RR founder Todd Strandberg's "What is Imminency" article a while back
    [ http://www.raptureready.com/rr-imminency.html ], but I was looking at his article again today and in it he explains the word "maranatha." Given that it is a common greeting for those looking forward to the Rapture, it seemed like an interesting thing to zero in on today for those who may not have read the article before:

    Maranatha

    One the strongest cases one can make for the early Church expecting an imminent return of Christ is to note their use of the word maranatha, which was used as a greeting in those days. When believers gathered or parted, they didn't say "hello" or "goodbye"; they would say "Maranatha!"

    I've encountered some writings that say Maranatha is Hebrew and Greek, but it is actually an Aramaic expression. In fact, it is made up of three Aramaic words: Mar, which means "Lord"; ana, which means "our"; and tha, which means "come."

    So when you put it together, maranatha means "Our Lord, come." It perfectly conveys the concept that the Lord could come at any moment. Maranatha is used once in the Bible by Paul as part of a curse. In 1 Corinthians 16:22, Paul said, "If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema. Maranatha." The word "anathema" means "banned," so Paul was saying, "Let him be banned from our Lord's coming."

    The interesting thing about maranatha is that it comes in the form of a petition. When a Christian in the early Church would make this statement, he was actually petitioning the Lord to come. This obviously implies the belief that it was possible for Jesus to answer the appeal.

    If members of the first-century Church believed that certain events needed to take place before the Savior could return, they would have been silly to greet each other with "maranatha." They lived nearly 2,000 years ago, and yet they seem to have had a deeper awareness of imminency than many of today's Christians.

    "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21
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  4. #164
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    Face the Rear: An experiment in peer pressure

    When I was in college, I learned about a psychology study done years ago called "Face the Rear." You know how when people enter an elevator they normally turn around and face the door? Researchers wanted to see what people would do if, when someone entered an elevator, everybody was facing the back of the elevator. As it turns out, typically, the new person would follow suit and "face the rear" like everyone else, even though they were used to the custom of facing the door.

    I had a chance to demonstrate this in Sunday school one day. We lined up chairs to represent the borders of the elevator car. I had some of the kids stand inside the "elevator," facing the rear. Without explanation, I asked the good-natured pastor (who had been in the other room) to help me demonstrate something and to come in and walk into the "elevator" with the kids. As expected, he faced the rear like them. (and, yes, he was okay with the experiment)

    It gave me a chance to explain peer pressure to the kids. If you want to explain to your children how to deal with peer pressure, selecting some of the below verses might help:

    -Peer pressure can be a major factor in the temptation to do wrong (Rom 16:17-18).
    -That’s one of the many reasons why we should choose our friends carefully (Prov 13:20, 2 Cor 6:14-15, Prov 18:24).
    -Knowing what the Scriptures say about various rules can help immensely in dealing with others who want you to do wrong (2 Pet 1:3-4, Ps 119:11).
    -Don’t let others lead you astray (1 John 3:7, Prov 1:10, Is 3:12, Prov 4:14).
    -Try not to be a “hotheaded, reckless fool” or respond to a stupid dare or taunting (Prov 14:16, Prov 22:3).
    -Don’t feel like you should do something just because others are doing it (Rom 12:2).
    -Make up your mind that you want better things for yourself than what these “blind guides” are trying to lead you into (Matt 15:14, Acts 2:40, 1 Tim 5:22).
    -If you find yourself in a bad situation, look for a way of escape. (1 Cor 10:13)
    -Be proud that you are a Christian, even if foolish people try to tease you about your faith. (1 Pet 4:14, 16; Prov 14:9)

    Rom 16:17-18 I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.
    Prov 13:20 He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.
    2 Cor 6:14-15 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial ? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?
    Prov 18:24 A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
    2 Pet 1:3-4 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
    Ps 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
    1 John 3:7 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.
    Prov 1:10 My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them.
    Is 3:12 Youths oppress my people . . . O my people, your guides lead you astray; they turn you from the path.
    Prov 4:14 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil men.
    Prov 14:16 A wise man fears the LORD and shuns evil, but a fool is hotheaded and reckless.
    Prov 22:3 A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.
    Rom 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.
    Matt 15:14 “Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit."
    Acts 2:40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation."
    1 Tim 5:22 Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.
    1 Cor 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out [some versions say "escape"] so that you can stand up under it.
    1 Pet 4:14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
    1 Pet 4:16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
    Prov 14:9 Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour.



    We'll throw in some quotes for an added bonus:
    -More than anything the United States needs effective citizens competent to do their own thinking. W. M. LEWIS
    -The strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. HENRIK IBSEN
    -Sometimes a majority of opinion only means all the fools are on the same side. UNK

    "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21
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  5. #165
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    Green Grass and Barbed Wire

    ____Have you ever seen a bull or a cow standing in a huge field of lush grass with its head stuck through the fence eating the grass on the other side? It’s kind of funny, right? They are a good parallel to people who are always looking for something better, when what they already have is just as good if not far better than what is available elsewhere!
    ____This goes along with the saying “the grass looks greener on the other side.” It is a matter of perspective. If you are standing in grass and look at the same kind of grass in the distance, it can look darker and more lush. However, once you walk over to the spot you were looking at, if you pay attention, you realize it wasn’t any better after all!
    ____Life is not perfect and no matter what situation we are in, there will be some kinds of problems. Many people change their circumstances and then find that their new situation has more problems than the old one! This is not to say you should not reach for success to improve yourself, like getting a better education or a better job. But when God gives you good things (like, for instance, a loving family or good Christian friends) cherish them. Value them. Take good care of them. And thank the Lord for them.
    ____Be smarter than the cows. Don’t stick your head through the fence and get all torn up on the barbed wires of life!

    Ezek 34:18 Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture? . . .
    Phil 4:12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
    Prov 5:15 Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well.
    1 Tim 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.

    "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21
    ______

  6. #166
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    Signs of the Times, Birth Pains and Signs in the Heavens

    Yesterday I was thinking about the meteors and asteroids of late, and thinking about the passages that speak of signs in the sky, birth pangs, etc., and went looking for the passages. This heavenly activity is made even more interesting with the solar max and the expectation that solar flares/CMEs are likely to get worse. Thought I would post the main passages I could find or think of and save those thinking about the same things having to look them up.

    Heavenly Lights: Also for Signs
    Gen 1:14-15 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

    Signs of the Times, Birth Pains and Signs in the Heavens

    Matt 24:3-14 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. "Tell us," they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?" Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ, ' and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

    Luke 21:7-12 "Teacher," they asked, "when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?" He replied: "Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am he,' and, 'The time is near.' Do not follow them. When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away." Then he said to them: "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven. [KJV: fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven] But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name.

    Luke 21:24-27 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

    Luke 17:20-35 Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.” Then he said to his disciples, “The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. Men will tell you, ‘There he is!’ or ‘Here he is!’ Do not go running off after them. For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other. But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all. It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. On that day no one who is on the roof of his house, with his goods inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. Remember Lot’s wife! Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.”


    [see also Mark 13]

    "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21
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  7. #167
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    Rewarded accordingly

    As I was searching for which verse(s) to put with my selected quote today for the quote thread, I noticed something I hadn't noticed before. Although there are a number of verses that talk about rewards in Heaven, I didn't realize quite how many verses talk about the Lord rewarding us according to what we had done and in such a similar manner. It just struck me as interesting and I thought I would share that today.

    An added thought. I wonder if in repeating this several times, the Lord was trying to encourage us all that much more to "press on toward the goal," to produce good fruits and to advance the kingdom (Phil 3:13-14, 1 Cor 9:24-27, John 15:16, Matt 28:19-20).

    Ps 62:12 and that you, O Lord, are loving. Surely you will reward each person according to what he has done.
    Jer 17:10 "I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve."
    Jer 32:19 great are your purposes and mighty are your deeds. Your eyes are open to all the ways of men; you reward everyone according to his conduct and as his deeds deserve.
    Matt 16:27 “For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.”
    Rom 2:6-8 God "will give to each person according to what he has done." To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.
    2 Cor 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
    Rev 22:12 "Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.”
    Last edited by Tiger Lily; February 20th, 2013 at 09:36 PM. Reason: add more/change a little

    "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21
    ______

  8. #168
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    Memories

    What if you have loved ones who are nonbelievers? I have some, too, and that worries me immensely--what about their eternal happiness? And what about all those of us believers who love those people? How could we possibly enjoy heaven if some of our loved ones were not there? Oh that all our family and friends would become believers in Christ! When our time here was completed we could keep our happiest times and leave whatever sorrows and imperfections we have outside the gates of Heaven as we "rise up and walk" into that rich welcome of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ and of our believing loved ones.

    But what of those we cannot hope to be reunited with because of their lack of belief? I asked a pastor about that once. He offered his view of how he hoped the Lord might address that dilemma. He told me he liked to think that maybe there will be some form of "blessed blackout" and that we wouldn’t remember nonbelieving loved ones. There are some Bible passages that seem to support that way of thinking.

    Job 18:17 The memory of him perishes from the earth; he has no name in the land.
    Job 24:20 The womb forgets them, the worm feasts on them; evil men are no longer remembered but are broken like a tree.
    Eccl 9:5 For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even the memory of them is forgotten.
    Is 26:14 They are now dead, they live no more; those departed spirits do not rise. You punished them and brought them to ruin; you wiped out all memory of them.
    Is 65:17 "Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.
    Ezek 21:32 “‘You will be fuel for the fire, your blood will be shed in your land, you will be remembered no more; for I the LORD have spoken.'"

    "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21
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    Age: Increasing Expectation of Joy

    Lovely childhood, fair of face,
    Strong and lithe and full of grace,
    Seems so quickly starts to fade
    As our debt to time is paid.
    Each new wrinkle, gray hair found,
    Glasses, sickness, age spot, pound,
    Caries, tooth loss, purple vein,
    Weakness, heartburn, muscle pain.......

    Well.......

    These all make us yearn for that wonderful day
    When youth will return beyond Heaven's doorway.
    Then in the presence of the Almighty Lord,
    Will also come love and eternal reward.
    So fear not time's toll, though it may annoy,
    Each day brings us closer to infinite joy!

    _______________by T. Lily

    "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21
    ______

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    Another one to help with young folks

    The Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat

    ____The poem “The Duel” by Eugene Field was first published in the late 1800’s. It is about two unhappy stuffed animals: a gingham dog and a calico cat. There was so much tension between them that they had not even been able to sleep. The onlookers in the house were worried, upset and scared, knowing something bad was coming. The dog barked. The cat meowed. Their “yelling” at each other advanced to fighting with “tooth and claw.” Finally they tore each other apart completely! How sad!1
    ____Similarly, people-fights hurt those involved and scare the onlookers, too. It is much better to peacefully work things out, forgiving and accepting each other (Matt 6:14-15). We should try to gently talk about what is bothering us, instead of holding everything in (like a balloon ready to pop) or yelling (like it actually popped!).
    ____Some families make every effort to do things together and to get along well. Often they hold Bible studies together, too. These families are a lot smarter than the gingham dog and calico cat: they know not to let the sun go down on their anger (Eph 4:26-27)! Some families even set aside time each week to just “clear the air.” They talk, see if things are going smoothly and see if anything can be made better.
    ____Want to learn some good communication suggestions? See the extra lesson below for some talking tips that may help.

    Gal 5:15 If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
    Rom 15:7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
    Eph 4:31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
    Matt 6:14-15 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
    Eph 4:26-27 "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.
    Luke 6:31 “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
    Prov 12:18 Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
    Prov 26:18-19 Like a madman shooting . . . deadly arrows is a man who deceives his neighbor and says, “I was only joking!”
    2 Tim 2:24-26 And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
    Prov 18:13 He who answers before listening--that is his folly and his shame.
    James 1:19-20 . . . Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.
    Prov 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
    Eccl 10:4 . . . calmness can lay great errors to rest.
    Eph 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

    1 Eugene Field, The Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat (Chicago: Follett Publishing Company, 1945, 1956)

    An Extra Lesson: Talking Tips

    (1) Remember the Golden Rule (Luke 6:31).
    (2) Compliment others on their successes and strong points--they will feel better and will also want to do better (ex: “You did a good job today!”).
    (3) Use good manners (ex: “please,” “thank you,” “you’re welcome,” “excuse me,” “after you”).
    (4) Avoid name-calling or pointing out a person’s weaknesses or flaws (ex: “Dummy!” “you’re so ugly”--Prov 12:18).
    (5) Avoid saying mean things and then claiming you were only joking (which still hurts--Prov 26:18-19).
    (6) Avoid saying “no offense, but....” (which also still hurts).
    (7) If you must point out someone’s shortcomings in order to help them avoid sinning, do so gently (2 Tim 2:24-26).
    (8) Don’t use “you always” or “you never” comments (ex: “you’re always late,” “you never help me”). It’s hurtful and makes people feel like they can’t do anything right.
    (9) Try telling others how you feel using “I” language (ex: “I feel angry”), instead of blaming-type “you” language (ex: “you made me angry”).
    (10) Let others know you appreciate them (ex: “thank you, I appreciate your doing that for me”).
    (11) Be patient--don’t interrupt (Prov 18:13). Give the other person a chance to talk (James 1:19-20).
    (12) Always speak gently, calmly and respectfully (Prov 15:1, Eccl 10:4).
    (13) Be willing to apologize and admit you’re not perfect (ex: “I made a mistake,” “I was wrong,” “I’m sorry,” “please forgive me”--Eph 4:2).
    (14) Remember, if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all!

    "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21
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    Training youths to recognize wolves in sheep’s clothing

    ____False prophets are ministers or other people who often act like or claim that God said something He didn’t say. They may also purposely distort (change, lie about, add in or leave something out of) the Bible. They may do these things to gain more money, power, fame, followers or for other ungodly reasons (2 Pet 2:1-3).
    ____Like many bad people, it can be hard to tell if they are bad just by looking at them. Appearances can be deceiving. They often pretend to be nice like sheep to fit in with the rest of God’s flock, but underneath they really are dangerous like wolves (Is 29:13). They teach wrong things and lead many astray (Gal 1:6-8, 2 Pet 3:16-17). We need to stay far away from people like this. In fact, we are not even to let them into our house (2 John 1:10-11).
    ____Sometimes people lose faith in God if they see such a minister or other false Christian who is bad. However, Jesus warned there would be many false messengers, especially as we get closer to His Second Coming (Matt 24:11, 24:23-24). Here is an important point to remember: just because a messenger is bad, doesn’t mean God’s message is bad! Using false prophets to try to make God look bad is just one of the many, many tricks Satan uses to try to lead people away from God.
    ____So how can you tell the good ministers from the bad? Study your Bible so you become familiar with God’s word. When you get older, make sure that the minister you choose believes the Bible and that everything he is preaching agrees with the Bible. Many good ministers will also encourage you to verify their sermons yourself. They may say things like, “Don’t take my word for it. Look it up in your Bible.” Pay attention to whether your minister also practices what he preaches, lives a godly life (1 John 2:4-6, 3:7-8, 3:10, Titus 1:16), produces good fruit (Luke 6:44-45, Gal 5:22-23, Matt 7:20), does not hurt others and does not ask people to do anything wrong. If your minister does not do the will of God, find another minister (Matt 7:21-23). Good ministers obey God (John 14:15), they do not claim He said something He didn’t say, they teach responsibly, they lead responsibly and they do not distort His word (James 3:1)!

    Matt 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”
    Acts 20:29-30 . . . savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.
    2 Cor 11:13-15 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.


    [continued below]

    "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21
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    [continued from above]

    An Extra Lesson: The Good CEO and the Bad Employee

    ____A lot of people are turned off to Christianity because of some bad thing a fake Christian did or said. This is very sad. The message in the Bible is good. The problem is, there are a lot of bad messengers out there doing harm to the Lord’s name and making His plan for salvation look bad. Below is a thinking exercise that helps show why people should try to look past that type of unhappy, negative experience and investigate the true God of the true Bible…..especially when their eternal soul is what is at stake!
    ____Okay, pretend you know a great father who is the chief executive officer of a large, successful company whose main product is something that helps save lives. The dad worked tirelessly preparing for the presentation of the product, building up the company, developing a good reputation and setting up a good distribution system for the product. The product, by the way, is free--it has already been paid for at a huge cost by the father’s only son, who is also deeply involved in the family business. The father and son have set up some excellent rules for operation of the company and for their many thousands of trusted employees to follow. This company policy helps ensure the employees do a good job, are completely honest, represent the company well and ultimately help save lives.
    ____Now, let’s say a bad person manages to trick people into thinking he is trustworthy and gets hired at the company to work with potential new customers. He somehow figures out a way to hurt or cheat the customers. The customers are understandably angry and disappointed.
    ____What should the customers do? Should they assume the father and son are bad people, too? Should they also assume the company and the product are bad? Should they be mad at the company and its leaders, refusing to have anything more to do with the product that could have saved their life? Or should they go directly to the company, ask for a copy of their company policy, see what the company is really about and find a better representative of the company to work with? You decide.

    What This Modern Parable Represents

    The Father, the Chief Executive Officer of the Company - God, our Heavenly Father.
    The Product That Can Save Lives - Eternal salvation through Jesus.
    The Son Who Paid the High Price for the Product - Jesus, who paid with His life.
    Trusted Employees - Ministers, Sunday school teachers, Christian writers and anybody who teaches the Bible or demonstrates Christianity by word, deed or example; someone who somehow brings others closer to the Lord and/or helps save people’s eternal souls by leading them to a saving faith in Jesus.
    Bad Employee - “Wolf in sheep’s clothing,” bad minister, false teacher, false prophet, fake Christians, people who claim to be good Christians but who have fallen into sin; someone whose bad teaching, bad actions or bad example, hurts others, leads others into sin, leads them away from the Lord, or somehow discourages them from accepting the Lord.
    New Customers - People who have not yet accepted Jesus.
    Company Policy - The Bible.
    Better Representative - A better minister or Sunday school teacher at a better church, etc.; a true, Bible-believing, Bible-acting Christian like one of the “Trusted Employees” above, who brings others closer to the Lord and to salvation in Jesus.

    "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21
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    For fence-sitters

    Many people die suddenly without warning and will wish they had not delayed choosing Jesus. Please don’t delay. Don’t be a fence-sitter. Choose Jesus now before it’s too late. Unfortunately, not making a choice is tantamount to rejecting Jesus......one must choose Jesus if one wants to go to Heaven.

    -We’re all invited to a heavenly feast, but we must R.S.V.P. UNK
    -Make your eternal reservations now--“smoking” or “nonsmoking”? UNK
    -Life has many choices. Eternity has two. What’s yours? UNK
    -To be almost saved is to be totally lost. UNK

    Deut 30:15-18 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. . . .
    Deut 30:19-20 This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life . . .
    1 Kings 18:21 Elijah went before the people and said, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him." But the people said nothing.
    Ps 95:6-8 Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts . . .
    Eccl 9:12 Moreover, no man knows when his hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so men are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them.
    Is 38:18 For the grave cannot praise you, death cannot sing your praise; those who go down to the pit cannot hope for your faithfulness.
    Luke 11:23 “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters.”
    John 5:24-25 "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life."
    2 Cor 6:2 . . . Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
    Heb 4:7 Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts."

    "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21
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    Verses for Fathers

    -I have always said, I always say, that the studious perusal of the sacred volume will make better citizens, better fathers, and better husbands. THOMAS JEFFERSON

    Gen 18:19 “For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just . . . "
    Deut 6:6-7 These commandments . . . are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road . . .
    Ps 68:4-5 Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds--his name is the LORD--and rejoice before him. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.
    Ps 78:4 . . . we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done.
    Ps 112:1-3 Praise the LORD. Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who finds great delight in his commands. His children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever.
    Prov 4:1-2, 4-5 Listen, my sons, to a father's instruction; pay attention and gain understanding. I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching. . . . Lay hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands and you will live. Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them.
    Prov 10:1 A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son grief to his mother.
    Prov 15:5 A fool spurns his father's discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.
    Prov 20:7 The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after him.
    Prov 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
    Is 38:19 The living, the living--they praise you, as I am doing today; fathers tell their children about your faithfulness.
    Matt 7:11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
    Eph 6:4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction [KJV: nurture and admonition] of the Lord.
    Col 3:21 Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
    1 Thes 2:11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.
    2 Tim 2:1 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.


    Dedicated to the memory of my Dad. I miss you, Daddy. I hope to see you again soon. Maranatha

    "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21
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    Truth

    Searching for truth? Some questions to think about:

    -If something is printed in a newspaper or in a textbook, does that make it true?
    -If the majority of the population believes something is true, does that make it so?
    -If a large group of professors teaches theory as fact, does that make it factual?
    -If a statistic is repeated often enough, does that make it accurate?
    -If “everybody does it,” does that make it okay?
    -If a criminal act does not hurt anyone, does that make it legal?
    -If murder is allowed by law, does that make it all right?
    -If you decide to make up your own reality, is it still reality?

    God’s Word is the ultimate reference book. Anyone searching for truth and wisdom will be well-rewarded by searching for it in the Bible.

    -Gradually I came to see that I could use the Bible, which had so baffled me, as an instrument for digging out precious truths . . . HELEN KELLER
    -Prophecy is God's chief evidence that the Bible is His word. HAL LINDSEY
    -Ones brain is not limited like a hard drive. It has no max capacity. While one is yet living, we can always learn more.......we can always change our mind and.......we can always correct false assumptions. ANON

    Lam 3:40 Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD.
    John 8:31-32 . . . Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
    John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
    John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
    Acts 17:11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
    Gal 4:16 Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?
    1 John 2:20-21 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth.
    1 John 4:6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.
    1 John 5:9-12 We accept man's testimony, but God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his son. Anyone who believes in the son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
    2 Tim 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
    Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

    "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21
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    Humor
    How could we ever survive, especially these days, without a sense of humor? Here is a small collection of quotes and verses on the ins and outs of good humor.

    -Genuine humor is always kindly and gracious. It points out the weakness of humanity, but shows no contempt and leaves no sting. UNK
    -Jests that give pains are no jests. M. DE CERVANTES
    -Our five senses are incomplete without the sixth--a sense of humor. UNK
    -Every survival kit should include a sense of humor. UNK
    -A sense of humor can help you overlook the unattractive, tolerate the unpleasant, cope with the unexpected, and smile through the unbearable. UNK
    -Humor is like a needle and thread--deftly used it can patch up just about everything. UNK

    The Clown's Prayer
    “Lord, as I stumble through this life, help me to create more laughter than tears, dispense more happiness than gloom, spread more cheer than despair. Never let me become so indifferent that I will fail to see the wonder in the eyes of a child or the twinkle in the eyes of the aged. Never let me forget that my total effort is to cheer people, make them happy and forget at least for a moment all the unpleasant things in their lives. And, Lord, in my final moment, may I hear You whisper: "When you made My people smile, you made Me smile."

    Prov 12:18 Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
    Prov 12:25 An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.
    Prov 14:13 Even in laughter the heart may ache, and joy may end in grief.
    Prov 15:4 The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.
    Prov 15:28 The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.
    Prov 15:30 A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.
    Prov 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
    Prov 26:18-19 Like a madman shooting firebrands or deadly arrows is a man who deceives his neighbor and says, “I was only joking!”
    Rom 14:16 Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil.
    Eph 5:4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
    Matt 25:40 " . . . whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."

    "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21
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    Teaching children about bullying

    Bullies are people who are mean to others. Typically they are mean to people smaller or weaker than themselves (Ps 10:2). What they don’t realize is, sooner or later, they will be paid back for their meanness and arrogance (self-importance) (Obad 1:15, Gal 6:7-8). In other words, bad deeds boomerang. Maybe someone bigger than they are will be mean to them. Or maybe they will get caught doing bad things and get in trouble. Maybe they will become unpopular. Whatever. Somehow, somewhere, sometime, something bad will happen that will pay them back. And the payback is often worse than what they did in the first place!

    Keep in mind, too, that not all bullies hit. Some bullies wound others with such things as mean words, blackmailing, stealing, smooth talking manipulation (using others for personal gain, unfair control of others, etc.) or some other kind of harmful action.

    Don’t be a bully. If you ever find yourself tempted to be one, get help. Often bullies hurt or insult other people because they don’t like themselves and they think hurting others might make them feel superior. If you talk to your parents, a counselor or your pastor, they may be able to help you understand and deal with any bad feelings that might be bothering you. Do your best to treat other people kindly. “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Gal 5:13-14).

    [Note: If someone is bullying you or hurting you in any way, tell your parents, your teacher, a minister or someone else who can help. That way they can stop the bully from hurting you. Remember too, that since bullies typically don’t confine themselves to hurting one person, bringing the bullying to the attention of a helpful adult may also prevent the bully from hurting someone else.]

    Obad 1:15 . . . “As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head.”
    Gal 6:7-8 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
    Luke 6:25 . . . “Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep.”
    Col 3:25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism.
    Ps 10:2 In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak, who are caught in the schemes he devises.
    Gal 5:13-14 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

    "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21
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    Fold-and-cut Gospel origami message

    I've seen a similar fold-&-cut Gospel message, but this one shows more: 1 big and 2 little crosses, "life," "hell," the spear that pierced the Lord's side, the lots that were cast for the Lord's clothing and a "pocket" to put the presentation in.



    For those of you who prefer a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8W2aSIJDx4

    "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21
    ______

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    Here's a similar version that has a story to go along with it about a ticket to Heaven:



    For those who prefer a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KAF_tvcntk

    "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21
    ______

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    -It is a great thing to be even the least in Heaven, where all are great, for all shall be called the children of God . . . T. A. KEMPIS



    [see more on next page; I added this quote here to keep the next two posts together]

    "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21
    ______

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