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How to Trust When You're Troubled

June 15, 2009
by Charles R. Swindoll

Some of you are facing what could easily be called an unsolvable problem. It’s you I hope to encourage today. Often the situations with no human answers form the basis upon which God does some of His best work.

This is illustrated beautifully in the life of Job, who, in my opinion, is a living example of unsolvable problems. Job’s biography includes a clipboard full of questions about suffering.

Is God fair? Is this situation just? What is a person to learn when going through deep waters of suffering?

In Job, we have a unique and rare look within the veil of heaven and behind the scenes on earth.

The LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.” The LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.” (Job 1:7-8)

What would God say about you if He were to address Satan right now and tell him about your life? “Have you considered _______,” and then He calls your name. As he describes you, what would He say? With some of you, it might fit very closely to what He said about Job—“blameless and upright.”

Job’s life was a wonderful model of courageous living. Job trusted God in the good times. Now the scene was set to determine if Job would trust God in humanly impossible situations.

The next chapter of Job’s life is a dark one. He endured loss like few have known. His home . . . destroyed. His family . . . perished. His health . . . ruined. His finances . . . wiped out. His friends . . . questioned his godly reputation.

In the long process of working through his questions and struggles, Job finally resolved to trust God—no matter what. He had worshiped. He had humbled himself. He had sat in silence. He finally responded to his wife, “I accept what God has sent. I have accepted good, now I accept adversity.” Read that once more. It is the secret of his stability.

I find three real reasons Job could respond like this. First, he looked up and was comforted by God’s sovereignty. He saw more than God’s actions; he saw His heart. He accepted what God gave and took away. He saw God’s sovereign love, and he said to his wife, “Should we not receive both without question?”

Job also looked ahead and was reminded of God’s promise. In chapter 19, Job said,

“I know that my Redeemer lives, / And at the last He will take His stand on the earth.” (19:25)

Job was reminded of God’s promise that at the end all will be made right. Looking ahead, he felt spurred on.

Lastly, Job looked within and was shaped by God’s instruction. Job 42:6 states that he looked at his life, and he repented “in dust and ashes.” He saw that God had instructed him in his suffering and illness as in no other way. He said, in effect, “Lord, for the first time, I honestly can say, ‘I give myself to You as never before.’”

It’s a courageous thing for a believer to give himself to a sovereign God while facing impossible situations. Perhaps that’s exactly what you need to do right now. I recall what a wise and surrendered person once prayed:

Lord, I am willing to receive what Thou givest. I am willing to lack what Thou withholdest. I am willing to relinquish what Thou takest. I am willing to suffer what Thou inflictest. I am willing to be what Thou requirest. Lord, I’m willing.

My friend, if your days have been difficult and nights have been like a tunnel, dark and long, find your comfort in God’s sovereign control and everlasting love. Your Savior knows your breaking point. The bruising and crushing and melting you are enduring are designed to reshape you, not ruin you. Your strength and courage increase the longer He lingers over you. Remembering Job’s secret can make all the difference.

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A worthy read and reminder about God's love from a brother in Christ Marty Kessler who is a gospel preacher in Oklahoma.

Have a great day!


For my fellow Bible students..... 

The Bible teaches that we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.  The very thought of standing before the one who knows me as I actually am, is terrifying, because I know I’ve done a lot of stupid, ungodly things for which I have no excuse.

But I am not afraid.  I am not afraid because of his son’s cross.

“…..having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross”, Colossians 2:13-14

I am not afraid because he takes my weak, faltering faith and counts it as his own righteousness.

“But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness…..”, Romans 4:5

I am not afraid because God loves me in spite of my past.  His love for me is not dependent on me being good, because I can’t.  Instead, his love is based solely on his eternal goodness, and therefore completely reliable.

“And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us.  God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.  By this, love is perfected with us, that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.  We love, because He first loved us”, 1st John 4:16-19.

Life without fear is freedom.


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DB and LAD:  This follows along with your posts above.  And DB, great post, by the way!



Turning Point, with Dr. David Jeremiah

Monday, 5/21


Thought Therapy


Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7


It begins with a thought. Peter thought he would drown and looked away from Jesus. Moses thought he was inadequate and looked away from God’s calling. The disciples thought the soldiers were more powerful than Jesus and fled into the night. Every one of our actions flows from a thought: conscious or subconscious. Often our thoughts are automatic and reactionary.


What area of your life do you want to improve? Just take a moment and think about that. In what area would you most like to grow? With God’s help, you can improve your one corner of the universe. What it really takes is the power of God in our lives, and there is a passage of Scripture on this very subject.


 It takes effort to examine the thoughts running on repeat in our minds. A thought repeated becomes a belief.


This explains why God’s first words to His people time and time again are, “Don’t be afraid.” He knows our fears and anxious thoughts. He only asks that we bring them to Him and replace them with the truth of His power, love, and wisdom. Although each of us will face challenges and deep loss, God invites us to trust Him. As we do, our anxious thoughts are replaced with His peace. He is with us. He loves us. He is working on our behalf.


Faith does not eliminate questions. But faith knows where to take them.

Elisabeth Elliot

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TURNING POINT with Dr. David Jeremiah    June 1, 2018

Invisible Trajectory

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13, NIV


Traveling to another country can be exhilarating and exhausting. Seasoned travelers learn to take unexpected delays and opportunities in stride: this is part of the experience. Novice travelers often feel overwhelmed and anxious, unsure of how to proceed. Whether we are seasoned or novice travelers on our journey with Christ, we can access Him immediately through prayers for wisdom, guidance, and help.


Recommended Reading: Philippians 3


The moment we accept Christ, our hearts are fused with His love and we are put on an invisible trajectory toward heaven. Nothing can separate us from His love. We learn to hold our positions and possessions lightly, knowing that our value and security come from Christ.


As we learn to trust Him, we are filled with hope and begin to experience the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. He transforms us, comforts us, and gives us strength.

As we walk with Christ, our eagerness for His return increases. He is our firm foundation and the home we desperately long for: the place where we are known, loved,

and united with Him.


My home is in heaven. I’m just traveling through this world.

Billy Graham


Edited by Linda Garren

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Thursday, June 7


The Spin of Grace


Nevertheless the Lord your God would not listen to Balaam, but the Lord your God turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the Lord your God loves you.

Deuteronomy 23:5


God turns curses into blessings. In His great redeeming purposes for us, He works every situation for the good of those who love Him. This is the spin of grace. God’s ways, though mysterious, are marvelous.

In the book of Numbers, the king of Moab hired a pagan soothsayer named Balaam to curse the Israelites. But whenever Balaam tried to utter his curses, only blessing came from his mouth. Centuries later, Nehemiah reminded the exiles who were repopulating Jerusalem of this story, saying, “Our God turned the curse into a blessing” (Nehemiah 13:2).


We need to develop the confidence that while God’s plans may be mysterious, they are ultimately for our good. A host of enemies seek to unravel our lives, and the devil finds every opportunity to curse us with problems. Sometimes the circumstances of life seem against us. But through the power of Christ, God moves to redeem all our problems, sooner or later, both in time and eternity. He does it because He loves us.


As Psalm 109:28 says, “Let them curse, but You bless.”


God is His own interpreter / and He will make it plain.

William Cowper

Edited by Linda Garren

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TURNING POINT with Dr. David Jeremiah

Monday, June 11


Times and Seasons

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven. 

Ecclesiastes 3:1


Legendary folk singer Pete Seeger wrote a song in the late 1950s that became a classic folk-rock hit in the 1960s: “Turn! Turn! Turn!” Many fans were unaware that most of the lyrics were taken from the first eight verses of Ecclesiastes 3 (KJV). Seeger wrote the song as an anthem to world peace, focusing on Solomon’s last words: “A time of war, and a time of peace,” (verse adding his own final refrain, “I swear it’s not too late.”

Solomon’s plea was for more than just peace. It was a plea to recognize that there is a time and a season for everything in God’s plan and purpose. The point is not to understand the timing of every season and circumstance in life, but to trust God when they arrive: “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). The apostle Paul didn’t get upset when God changed his missionary plans (Acts 16:6-10). He trusted God and adjusted as God gave direction, as should we.

Tell God today: “Lord, I trust You for this season of my life and every season that is to come.”

All the care in the world will not make us continue a minute beyond the time God has appointed.

J. C. Ryle

Edited by Linda Garren
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Happy Fathers Day to all Parkkies!  May you be a great example to your kids (and grown children) in dealing with life's challenges large and small.  

The article below reminds us of the great responsibilities parents have from a biblical perspective.  The Lord shows the way in his word.


Children are the most vulnerable creatures on earth. In the Encyclopedia of Biblical and Christian Ethics, the following astute observation is found:

“The human infant is by far the most helpless of all young mammalian life and consequently requires an inordinate amount of care if it is to be nurtured successfully” (Harrison 1992, 302).

Sadly, many are not nurtured successfully. Some are the consequence of procreative irresponsibility, and many more are left to rear themselves.

Children are plugged into the social engineering of a godless pop culture. Adolescent sex symbols are encouraged and popular TV sitcoms represent a lifestyle of self-indulgence — an “ideal” bed-swapping environment in which the motto is, “Oh my God, let’s have a baby.”

When Paul addressed a Greco-Roman culture in which child-rearing left much to be desired, he revealed a divine truth that transcends time.

God’s plan for parents will always meet the needs of children — in any age and culture.

Human wisdom does, however, find its way into the hearts of even Christian parents. Let us evaluate our thinking in light of God’s Word.

Parenting God’s Way

The apostle wrote, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right” (Eph. 6:1).

In this clear statement, Paul conveys the divine will that there is a specific relationship between children and parents. Children are to obey their parents, because God has designed the home with this order.

Children are those who need nurturing, for they are developing. They require instruction and correction (Eph. 6:4).

Children are not peers at this stage. There is an authority—subjection relationship in God’s family plan.

This authority is delegated by God, and a parent must exercise that authority with respect to God who gives it.

No parent can demand, with intrinsic authority, this or that of a child. Too many parents act as if they are “the Creator” and the child is “the creature.”

Parenthood is a gift from God (Ps. 127:3). And so, faithful parents exercise limited, God-given authority for a God-given purpose.

Paul also taught that God’s domestic arrangement involves a special role for parents — authority in action. They must communicate instructions and the apply correction.

Children are to listen and obey. Parents must assume the role decreed by God. They must provide instruction and correction, training their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4; cf. Matt. 15:19).

When parents are not parents, children still grow up, but their spiritual development is compromised.

Paul reminds us that the Christian family includes spiritual responsibilities. The parent-child relationship and the exercise of the parental role are designed by God to mature a person who is sensitive to spiritual realities — a person who accepts his own spiritual responsibilities.

Children need to learn “what is right” (Eph. 6:1). They must learn that obedience to the Lord is the ultimate motivation for all behavior (Eph. 6:1).

This is accomplished by parents who regularly teach their children to obey out of a sense of duty to the Lord.

Obedience is not mere compliance. Obedience means listening and doing what is required for the right reasons.

According to the Lord, this is best taught early. Wouldn’t you agree?

So that we may help our children learn to obey the Lord from the heart — the seat of behavior — we must teach them obedience from the earliest of years.

This spiritual quality is taught by the parents who:

  1. Give clear expectations, some of which are morally inflexible.
  2. Provide consequences to disobedience that are fair and clear.
  3. Show consistent follow-through with rewards and punishment.
  4. Demonstrate a concrete example in that parents themselves are obedient to the Lord.

Parental responsibility means helping your kids go to heaven. It takes time, attention, and divine insight.

Be there for your children. Be a Christian parent.

  • Harrison, R. K. (editor). 1992. Encyclopedia of Biblical and Christian Ethics. Revised Edition. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Ephesians 6:1; Ephesians 6:4; Psalm 127:3; Matthew 15:19
Jackson, Jason. "Parents, Obey Your Father." ChristianCourier.com. Access date: June 17, 2018. https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/1190-parents-obey-your-father

©1998 – 2018 by Christian Courier Publications. All rights reserved. ISSN: 1559-2235


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“I can’t. You must. I’m yours. Show me the way!”


Prayer of saint Oscar Romero



Edited by LAD

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TURNING POINT with Dr. David Jeremiah                          Tuesday, June 26


Lord, You Know


Lean not on your own understanding.

Proverbs 3:5


“There are things we know we know,” Donald Rumsfeld said. “We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don’t know we don’t know… it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones.”


Recommended Reading: Proverbs 3:1-6

When it comes to the ways of God, there is much we do not know. When God asked Ezekiel if the dry bones could live, Ezekiel simply said, “Lord God, You know” (Ezekiel 37:3). When the heavenly being asked John, “Who are these arrayed in white robes?” in Revelation 7:13, John replied, “Sir, you know.”


Sometimes we need to say, “Lord, You know.” The Bible tells us not to lean on our own understanding, which means we shouldn’t be too confident in our ability to figure everything out. Knowing what we don’t know is the beginning of humility, and humility is a precursor to wisdom.


If you’re struggling to understand a particular “why” or “what if” or “if only” in your life, give it to God and trust Him with all your heart. Learn to say, “Lord, You know.”


The answers we need will be found, not in explaining our circumstances, but in understanding God’s character.

Bryan Chapell, in The Hardest Sermons You’ll Ever Have to Preach


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  PLEASE PRAY!!  This is such a heart-wrenching situation, and time is running out in an effort to rescue 12 precious young Thai boys and their soccer coach from 1 mile inside a very perilous part of a cave in Thailand where they have been stranded but were finally recently found. After much planning and tireless work--from all around the world--the rescuers are so close to starting the actual rescue, but there is the imminent threat of Monsoon rains which could complicate or postpone the rescue (for months!).  If you've been following the rescue over the last few days since the team was found, you may feel as attached to them as I.  The pictures of them emaciated but smiling just pierces the heart.  The following site contains the most recent progress/challenge report as well as daily reports of the perilous rescue operation as it has developed:


Sorry that this article did not paste as intended; it includes other news as well, rather than the daily reports about the rescue operation.  I had so much trouble getting the cut and paste to work from the site I had intended to send.  I've given up.  I'm sure if you do a general search in your browser regarding the rescue, you will come across the daily reports and can access them.


Edited by Linda Garren

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Thank the Lord that all the 13 were rescued from the cave!  It was a nail-biting few days. 

Now we need to keep in mind the devastation in Japan, remembering to pray for the families ad friends of those lost in the flood there.

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Eric Metaxas, author and radio host, tackles this question in today's video.


Edited by Linda Garren
(Forgot to include topic title...) ​🙃

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The Day I Fervently Asked Jesus To Come Back

How a friend's tragic death gave me a new perspective on hope.
Caleb Kaltenbach /June 21, 2018
The Day I Fervently Asked Jesus to Come Back
Image: Jake Blucker / Unsplash

When I was young and single, I moved to Southern California to work at a church. I didn’t know many people in the area, but eventually I became friends with a couple of guys from the church, and the three of us rented a house together. Having a bachelor pad was fun—late nights, tons of jokes, and inappropriate pranks galore.

After a couple of years, one of my roommates got married and moved about 15 minutes away from our bachelor pad. I wasn’t surprised—he was the opposite of me in almost every way you could think: tall, good looking, lots of hair, in shape, tan, and he even worked for the Drug Enforcement Administration as an agent. Once he got married, eventually the other roommate and I went our separate ways.

About a year later, one evening near the end of October, I got one of those late-night phone calls that no one wants to receive. My roommate who had gotten married had been killed in a motorcycle accident. He had been riding his motorcycle down a residential street that evening when another driver made an illegal U-turn. My roommate’s motorcycle T-boned the car, throwing him from his bike and hurling him into eternity. It was horrific.

I arrived at the accident scene about 30 minutes after the call. Much of the site had been cleaned up already, but my friend’s bike was still in the middle of the street. It was absolutely destroyed. Friends who had gotten the same call started arriving. After a while, many of us went down the street to his house. His young widow was at home, understandably crying her eyes out. The setting of the house gave the false impression that he’d be right back. His drink was still on the counter, clothes were laid on the bed for tomorrow, the TV was on, and his book was in his chair. I half expected him to walk in the door, but I knew that wasn’t going to happen.

I sat in his house with 15 other people for about three hours. No one really said anything. There were lots of hugs and sobbing, but no conversations. Every person in that room was a follower of Jesus, so we prayed. We weren’t even sure what to pray, but we prayed.

A couple of weeks later, we had the memorial service and graveside observance. I still remember the graveside as if it were yesterday. I’ve attended many gravesides, but I’ve never seen as many people stay for the entire covering of the casket as did for my roommate’s. It was as if none of us wanted to leave, because if we left, we were submitting to the reality that he was gone from the earth.

Imagining the Last Day

Before I left the graveside, my eyes looked beyond the freeways of Hollywood and fixated on the hills behind Burbank. Clouds began forming behind the hills and started moving almost on top of them. I don’t know how clearly you can picture it, but it was a dramatic scene that touched my already emotional heart. I fervently asked Jesus to come back. But I knew there was a good chance that my timing wasn’t his.

I did, however, gain a perspective of hope that day. As I gazed at the hills, I was reminded that the power of God will be seen in supreme majesty when Jesus returns to bring justice, order, and redemption to this world. Closing my eyes, I remembered Paul’s description of Jesus’ return:

The trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” (1 Cor. 15:52–54)

Imagining what it would be like on the last day when my roommate would be brought into his new God-given body provided hope. I still have that hope because I believe my God is powerful enough to bring Jesus back from the dead and will do the same for those who follow him. As much as I loathe death, I know that it won’t have the last laugh. God’s greatness deserves our trust and willingness to align our lives with his power. The hope he gives extends beyond the circumstances of society and the inconsistency of our lives. Only he has the power to give us such hope.

The Bible gives us a powerful promise that one day a greater tomorrow will arrive and we will all live in it. The power of God points us to a hope that is found in what he will do in the greatest tomorrow we can imagine! So whatever tomorrow delivers, whether it’s good news or tragedy, we will make it through because God holds tomorrow and will walk with us into tomorrow. He created and prepared tomorrow.

So often, though, it’s a challenge to believe this. We struggle to remain truly convinced that God is all powerful, has a plan for redemption, and is guiding us into a better tomorrow. When horrible things happen in our world, we’re far from certain that God can work them out for the good. Sometimes I have to stop and ask myself: If I believe God is sovereign and owns tomorrow, why doesn’t my life always reflect it?

To be sure, I understand that there are some who have clinical depression and other diagnosed disorders. But overall I believe that my worry can be a barometer of my faith and trust in God. I always wonder how my life would be different if I truly lived as if God already has my path planned. I’m sure there’s a good chance you’ve wondered the same thing about yourself.

In those moments when worry starts to rise and faith starts to fall, I must remind myself to go back and read about the power of God. Whether those are verses that describe God or stories in the Bible that build my trust in his power despite overwhelming odds, I’m comforted when I get done reading about his faithfulness.

Along with reading about God’s power, I have to be consistent in my daily prayer time. If I’m not spending time talking with God and listening for him, how in the world will I trust him? Similarly, I set aside some time to think about and remember all the times in the past when God has been faithful to me. He’s seen me through some pretty dark hours. When I can decrease the worry and increase my faith, it allows me to remember that God is in control and already has a plan for tomorrow. But the problem with worry is that it doesn’t only decrease my faith; it compromises the influence I can have in the lives of others. Having high faith and low worry takes my eyes off myself so I can do what God wants me to do: graciously offer hope to people today.

The Depth of Hope

With a God who has our back, we’ve got little to worry about. Paul assured us of the uselessness of worry when he wrote Philippians 4:6–7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

God has tomorrow under control because he’s the wisest and most capable being in existence. He is fully loving, gracious, and merciful, and he is personally involved in the lives of his followers. His unequaled power has important ramifications not only for our lives but also for our interactions with society.

We can boldly and graciously offer hope to people today because God has created and prepared tomorrow, and he will walk with us into it. Since God is supreme and has all power, we should refuse to grant fear the luxury of controlling our next steps.

We desperately need hope. When we talk about the word hope, we usually equate it to wishful thinking. We’ll say things such as, “We hope they accept our bid on the house we want” or “I hope I get the job I interviewed for.” In our culture, hope has become synonymous with wishing or aspiring. But that wasn't always the case.

The word hope has more depth in the Bible. The authors of the Bible understood the word hope to be the expectancy of a promised outcome or the waiting period before a promise was carried out. Writers such as Paul also believed that hope originated from God and was assured by his supremacy and the strength of his integrity. That’s why Paul said in Romans 5:5 that hope doesn’t shame us. The hope that society longs for is found in God, who walks with us in life. The hope he offers will counter our fear and worry about the future. Our expectant hope is that God has the path laid out before us, will journey with us, and already knows what tomorrow holds.

Many people today are mired in worry and struggling to find sources of hope. We see disturbing trends in society that look irreversible, and we feel powerless to recover the values we’ve lost. But even here we can have hope, not because a future elected official or a boycott or a social crusade might reverse the situation, but because God is working out what is best in his time. He has promised the restoration of all things according to what is right, and he will do it.

With boldness and grace as our allies, let’s confidently point people in the direction of what hope has to offer: God himself. He himself is the focal point that we look to when we’re fatigued, upset, saddened, or troubled about the coming days. Hope reminds us that our best days are ahead, not behind us. Surrender tomorrow to God—he’s already been there.


Caleb Kaltenbach is a pastor in California and author of Messy Grace: How a Pastor with Gay Parents Learned to Love Others Without Sacrificing Conviction (WaterBrook). This article is adapted from his latest book, God of Tomorrow: How to Overcome the Fears of Today and Renew Your Hope for the Future

Edited by Linda Garren

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Thanks Linda,

I have heard it preached that for the faithful Christian, the last day on earth is truly the best day of their life because the passage from this imperfect sin sick world to an eternal life in heaven.  Hard to get one's mind wrapped around the concept of eternity and perfection with the human mind.

How is your summer going?  Is your msg inbox full?

Edited by Dancing Bear

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Hi, db.  Nice to hear from you.  Would love to hear how you are doing.  I'm doing just ok.  Terrible apathy that can't seem to climb out of.  After reading through some of the posts lately, it helps to keep in balance in my mind that the Lord has provided so much to me and has gotten me through some much more difficult things than this.  I'm ever so thankful for His blessings, and that there is a reason for this "season" in my life.  Will do some emptying of my in-box right now.

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Good morning, Linda. I will pray for you and with you that the Light and Love of God will continue to comfort you today and every day.  Amen.


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Thank you, Dianne.  You are just so sweet.  I so appreciate you!  And I like what you will be praying for me. Thank you. The most important thing to me is to be close to the Lord, and I know that's an important thing in your life, too. You've certainly had your share and more of difficult situations, and I'm so glad you look to Him for strength and comfort.

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TURNING POINT with Dr. David Jeremiah

Thursday, July 26

Snap Shot


Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.

Ephesians 6:18


We take pictures in our minds and it takes us mere seconds to frame a judgment. Part of this is brain efficiency—our brains need structure and simplicity to function well. If we are not careful we can walk through each day like a sleep walker, never fully present or paying attention to the people and opportunities around us, or worse yet, never seeking God during our day to day life.

Recommended Reading: Psalm 36:5-10


When we intentionally slow down and set rhythms in place to connect with God, we begin to sense His Spirit and presence throughout the day. We notice the nudge to call a friend and ask how they are doing. We breathe in the scent of nature and slow our footsteps as we exit work, thanking Him for vibrant color and an evening of rest. We pause before turning on music to talk to God.


Instead of relegating God to a specific time each day, intentionally seek to weave your awareness of Him throughout your day. He is present and waiting for you to invite Him into each moment of your unfolding life.

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TODAY'S TURNING POINT with Dr. David Jeremiah / August 4, 2018

The Great Outdoors—Fields

Isaac went out to meditate in the field in the evening.
Genesis 24:63

Recommended Reading: Genesis 24:62-67

Summer provides a great time to stroll through a field—maybe a park, meadow, or backyard.  Beneath you, grass; around you, flowers or crops; above you, blue skies or starry nights.  Jesus often preached in the fields of Galilee, and in the fields of Judah, the shepherd boy David composed some of his psalms.  Boaz and Ruth met in the fields of Bethlehem.  In 1 Corinthians 3:9, Paul compared the Church to “God’s field…God’s building.”

Isaac found solitude and serenity in the fields of Genesis 24. His day’s work finished, he went out to think and pray, and to meditate.  He was heir of God’s promises, the boy nearly slain on Mount Moriah, the son of a deceased mother and aged father.  Isaac found his strength walking in the fields with God.  (And at the end of his walk he also found a wife!)

This summer, get outdoors. Take time to meditate on Scripture and pray to the Lord. Grab some solitude and serenity.

[Isaac] went out to take the advantage of a silent evening and a solitary place for meditation and prayer--those divine exercises by which we converse with God and our own hearts.
Matthew Henry


Edited by Linda Garren

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The Holy Spirit's Power and Presence in Times of Crisis

January 11, 2011
by Colleen Swindoll Thompson

Holy Spirit article

Are you going through a severe test? Maybe you have lost your appetite or you haven’t slept well for weeks or months. Fear and panic have replaced quietness and peace. You experience loneliness, discouragement, and isolation, complicated by unending physical or emotional pain. You’ve prayed and asked others to pray as well. And still, there is no relief.

I experienced this kind of gnawing disquiet several years ago. I was enduring not one but several significant trials, which intensified weekly. On one of the lowest days in my life, I walked to a hill close to where I lived, slumped down on the sticks and twigs, and began to cry. Staring over the hills, I wept . . . then sobbed, until my hands and face were soaked. The sorrow turned into sighs and groans of anguish that no words could describe.

In those several hours, the Holy Spirit was at work, providing a calm and quiet stillness as the Spirit interceded on my behalf. As I walked back to my home, nothing about the trials had changed, but I had changed. I had experienced the intimate ministry of the Holy Spirit. When our prayers and words cease to express the full measure of our pain, the Spirit provides reassurance, consolation, and relief by interceding on our behalf.

Romans 8:26–27 promises:

In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Yes, I found this great promise to be true, especially in my darkest trials. Have you experienced Christ’s powerful care given through the Holy Spirit in your soul?

The Web site of Insight for Living has articles about the Holy Spirit (see “Let’s Get Reacquainted with the Spirit” and “The Spirit Who Is Not a Ghost”). I encourage you to read them and to learn about the powerful, consoling presence of our God.


About the author


Colleen Swindoll Thompson

Colleen Swindoll Thompson holds a bachelor of arts degree in Communication from Trinity International University as well as minors in psychology and education. Colleen serves as the director of Reframing Ministries at Insight for Living Ministries. From the personal challenges of raising a child with disabilities (her son Jonathan), Colleen offers help, hope, and a good dose of humor through speaking, writing, and counseling those affected by disability. Colleen and her husband, Toban, have five children and reside in Frisco, Texas.


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Monday, December 3

The Everlasting Light


Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?

John 7:42


Bethlehem is mentioned more than 35 times in the Old Testament. It was the birthplace of David and became known as the City of David. It’s also the birthplace of the Son of David, Jesus. Through Bethlehem flows the lineage and descent of the Savior, as the prophet Micah predicted: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2).



Recommended Reading: Micah 5:1-4


When Jesus was born, there were three major continents known to scholars—Europe, Asia, and Africa. Asia was chosen, but Asia has many countries. Micah selected one country, Israel, with three districts—Judea, Galilee, and Samaria. Judea was chosen, but Judea had thousands of villages. Yet seven hundred years before Christ, Micah pinpointed the very town of His birth—Bethlehem.


This is one of more than three hundred predictions about Christ from the Old Testament. If you ever harbor nagging doubts about the truthfulness of Christianity, spend some time in the Old Testament and look at what it says about Jesus.

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Monday, December 17

Immanuel—With You Today


Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

Isaiah 7:14


On March 23, 1930, missionary Frank Laubach began a life-long experiment of practicing the presence of God. He wrote in his journal: “Can we have that contact with God all the time? All the time awake, fall asleep in His arms, and awaken in His presence, can we attain that? Can we do His will all the time? Can we think His thoughts all the time?” He wrote, “I choose to make the rest of my life an experiment in answering this question.” As he cultivated this habit, it transformed him. He later wrote, “Things which I did with a strain before, I now do easily and with no effort whatever. I worry about nothing and lose no sleep…. Even the mirror reveals a new light in my eyes.”




Recommended Reading: Isaiah 7:13-14


We can enjoy God’s continual presence because the name Immanuel means “God with us.” His prophetically given name indicates the pouring out of God’s personal presence, like a waterfall, descending from highest heaven to lowest earth, giving us access to the flood of His nearness.


Live consciously in His presence today! Think of Him. Listen to Him. Talk to Him. Remind yourself of His closeness. The One called Immanuel said, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20).


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