My Sermons & Spiritual Insights

I grew up basically in church activities, school and playing in all the nature around me. I learned about God through the example my parents set, in all the Bible stories my mother read to us each night, my grandmother Hazel Byrn's Sunday School classes and through my grand-father John Byrn's life and preaching. Grandfather served as our Pastor for 23 consecutive years during the time I was growing up. His example inspired me to want to serve God, a desire with years of preparation became a reality in 1963, you can read my spiritual journey under the Text Sermons section of this page.




(Enoch Hill Community of Christ)



The very end of the message is missing.

(Enoch Hill Community of Christ)



(Grandview Community of Christ)

(see full GOD IS NEAR text sermon to follow)


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What a beautiful setting Brother Alan has created for this first Sunday of Lent GOD IS NEAR, HERE, IN THIS VERY ROOM!  
Let us take comfort that God is aware of us also!
D&C 38:2a But, behold, verily, verily I say unto you, that mine eyes are upon you: 2b I am in your midst and ye can not see me, but the day soon cometh that ye shall see me and know that I am; for the veil of darkness shall soon be rent, 
we must be aware this veil of darkness is real, though we labor against it with our might.
Proverbs tells us our minds can be clouded
2 Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost; 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
                     Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death.                       Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death.

As children bring their broken toys
With tears for us to mend.
I brought my broken dreams to God
Because He was my Friend.     

But then instead of leaving Him
In peace to work alone,
I hung around and tried to help
With ways that were my own.

At last I snatched them back and cried,
"How could You be so slow"-
"My child," He said, "What could I do? 
You never did let go."
Author: Unknown

We think we have some power over people, places, things and situations in our life!  That is part of that veil of darkness... It seems right to us that we should have some control, that we can fix that which is broken. . .but it is an illusion and the end of such thinking are the ways of death. The only real power that we have is over ourselves - it is a gift from God! Realizing this millions of people pray humbly The Serenity Prayer written by Friedrich Oetinger, an 18th century theologian. American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971) was so touched by it that he shared it with Bill Wilson, one of the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous. 

The Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity 
To accept the things I cannot change; 
Courage to change the things I can; 
And wisdom to know the difference. 

Living one day at a time; 
Enjoying one moment at a time; 
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; 
Taking, as He did, this sinful world 
As it is, not as I would have it; 
Trusting that He will make all things right 
If I surrender to His Will; 
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life 
And supremely happy with Him 
Forever and ever in the next.
Though I am well past 3 score and ten years in age, and should know better, I still have not completely learned to Fully Rely On God and follow the example set by Jesus.  I’ve had trouble letting go and letting God, but Praise be to God for the Holy Scriptures. That which was given to Oliver Cowdery in 1829 comforts me still: DC 16:1c  behold, I give unto you a commandment, that you rely upon the things which are written; for in them are all things written co
ncerning the foundation of my church, my gospel, and my Rock;                           
The Apostle Paul’s message to the men of Athens on Mars Hill comes back to me in great power

Acts 17:23-28 has become an important part of my litmus test for proving to myself that God is near. I suggest it to you as well.  Paul writes For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.

24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
25 Neither is worshiped with men's hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
27 That they should seek the Lord, if they are willing to find him, for he is not far from every one of us; 28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.


Moses presented an even greater challenge in Deuteronomy 30:19 

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live;  20 That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him; for he is thy life, and the length of thy days; that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.                                                           

[Cleave used 45x - God desires us to come and be in close contact with Him and to resist separation from Him]


We have chosen to use our call to worship as a springboard to witness of God’s nearness.

Jeremiah 46:27  “But fear not thou, O my servant Jacob, and be not dismayed, O Israel; for, behold, I will save thee from afar off, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and be in rest and at ease, and none shall make him afraid.”


Being at rest and at ease are among our spiritual callings in these latter days. I pose these questions first to myself then you today.  

  • Does my life show that I live and move and have my being in God, do I truly love God, obey Him and cleave unto him or am I still wanting to have life on my terms and do things my way?  
  • Do my personal fears rob me of being at rest and at ease in the Lord, in spite of my knowing that He has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind? ( 2 Timothy1:7)


My desire is to firmly establish in our minds, by multiple testimonies,  that God truly Is Near to every one of us.  We are, after all,  His Offspring!  As God’s people who have taken upon ourselves His name we occupy a preferred place in the Heavenly Father’s heart!  He loves each one of us like we were His only child and He loves being with us so much that He and His Son will make THEIR home within us if we love Him with our whole heart, might, mind and strength!    

John 14:23 Jesus answered (a man named Judas, not Iscariot) and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.


Borrowing from Jeremiah 46:27 our theme today becomes




We will use the letters in “At Ease”  to stress 5 areas

from our daily lives that witness that God IS Near.

What does it mean to be At Ease?  One familiar meaning is a drill command authorizing soldiers to relax in a prescribed position but not to talk or leave their places. God is marshalling His Army from those who are so convinced that He is Near that they are living their lives selflessly in total consecration and obedience to God’s will.  They are “At Ease” anxiously occupying their places of service, always at the ready to respond  when marching orders come.






The AT in AT EASE represents ATTENTION, it also expresses the fact that God is ALWAYS THERE.  God longs for and seeks our attention, and not only our attention but for us to have an intimate relationship with Him.  The Book of Commandments and the Times and Seasons Vol 4 give a very powerful rendition of D&C 22:23b

there is no end to my works, neither to my words; Behold this is my work to my glory, the immortality and eternal life of man.  

God’s Glory is definitely connected to our immortality and eternal life. This is why God called Israel His People.  What an awesome God we serve. I have come to believe that God is either ALL or Nothing.  For me, He is my ALL in ALL. He puts everything, including His Only Begotten Son, on the line for us!  God sent forth prophets to get Israel’s attention.  These prophets admonished, warned, directed, encouraged, interceded, taught and counseled Israel. The prophet’s work was twofold: to receive the divine message and to deliver that message faithfully. So they brought the word of God to the people of God and called the people to respond.   It was vital that they respond - their very lives were at stake. As Proverbs 29:18 says Where there is no vision, the people perish; but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.   


Hear these poignant examples of the prophet’s calling Israel to Attention:

Joshua 24: 15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom  ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

1st Kings  18:21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.

Esther 4:13 Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews. 14 For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed; and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

2 Nephi 5:70 Hearken unto me, ye that follow after righteousness: Look unto the rock from whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit from whence ye are digged.

DC 42:1b again I say unto you, Hearken and hear and obey the law which I shall give unto you;

DC 63:1a Hearken, O ye people, and open your hearts, and give ear from afar; and listen, you that call yourselves the people of the Lord, and hear the word of the Lord, and his will concerning you; 

To Choose & to Hearken are divine imperatives - choose is found 363x and hearken 420x in the 3 books. Hearken means to apprehend, to pay heed or give attention.  


6:1Let us not be confused on this point.  To be AT EASE does not mean to be like the 5 foolish virgins.  The prophet Isaiah admonished the careless daughters in 32:11 Tremble, ye women that are at ease; be troubled, ye careless ones; strip you, and make you bare, and gird sackcloth upon your loins.  The prophet Amos denounced such behavior:  Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, which are named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came!  The Book of Mormon makes it very personal in 2Ne 12:30: Therefore, wo be unto him that is at ease in Zion.  Our great calling still lies before us to seek and establish the cause of Zion . . .the call to Mt Zion has not changed.






Forms our extremity may take:


"Man's extremity is God's opportunity."

-John Flavel, British Evangelist, 1630-91

John 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.


WHY Will The Lord Come To Us?

Gen 6:50 Behold, Satan hath come among the children of men, and tempteth them to worship him; and men have become carnal, sensual, and devilish, and are shut out from the presence of God.

3Ne 8:51 For Satan desireth to have you, that he may sift you as wheat; therefore ye must always pray unto the Father in my name; and whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you.

1Pe 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour;

Ephesians  6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.


The greatest insight of my life is that God has spared me, preserved me and convicted me for this moment, that by the foolishness of preaching and teaching that others might believe and have faith as I do that He is Very Near to everyone of us and the Time for us to prepare for His return is so short!  The God I trust is a God of Miracles!  Isaiah  proclaims it in chapter 29:25 “For behold, I am God; and I am a God of miracles; and I will show unto the world that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and I work not among the children of men, save it be according to their faith.”

My Testimony:

Birth - Fall in Ditch - Beverly’s Brick - Chicken Coop - 2x4 Lumber

plus pneumonia 18+ times and other life threatening sickness







2nd Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

2nd Nephi  7:40 Therefore cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves; to choose the way of everlasting death, or the way of eternal life.

1st Samuel  2:3 Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.

John  14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

D&C 58:6d Verily I say, Men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; for the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves.

Micah 6:8 He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Mormon  3:33 And if it so be that ye believe in Christ, and are baptized, first with water, then with fire and with the Holy Ghost, following the example of our Savior according to that which he hath commanded us, it shall be well with you in the day of judgment. Amen.






Though Serenity is not used in the 3 books its synonym Peace is found 590x


Psalms  34:14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

John  14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

John  16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Ephesians  2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

Genesis  6:64 Therefore it is given to abide in you, the record of heaven, the Comforter, the peaceable things of immortal glory, the truth of all things, that which quickeneth all things which maketh alive all things, that which knoweth all things, and hath all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth, justice and judgment.

DC 117:13 Let contentions and quarrelings among you cease. Sustain each other in peace, and ye shall be blessed with my Spirit, in comforting and strengthening you for my work.

DC 138:3a Let the church again be admonished that the task of establishing Zion presses heavily upon us. b Barriers and hindrances to the achievement of this goal should be removed as speedily as possible and practicable.  c To lay securely the foundations for Zion and her buildings the work should be accomplished in peace and harmony. Unity should prevail. 






134 References

Ezekiel  22:14 poses an important question “Can thine heart endure, or can thine hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with thee? I the Lord have spoken it, and will do it.”

Matthew  10:19 And ye shall be hated of all the world for my name's sake; but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

Matthew  13:21 But he that received seed into the good ground, is he that heareth the word and understandeth and endureth; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundred-fold, some sixty, and some thirty.

Hebrews  6:15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

D&C 85:38c and above all things, clothe yourselves with the bonds of charity, as with a mantle, which is a bond of perfectness and peace; pray always, that you may not faint until I come; behold, and lo, I will come quickly, and receive you unto myself. Amen.

James  5:11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

2nd Peter  3:13 Nevertheless, if we shall endure, we shall be kept according to his promise. And we look for a new heavens, and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.

2nd Nephi  6:42 But, behold, the righteous, the saints of the Holy One of Israel, they who have believed in the Holy One of Israel; they who have endured the crosses of the world, and despised the shame of it; they shall inherit the kingdom of God, which was prepared for them from the foundation of the world: and their joy shall be full for ever.

2nd Nephi  13:30 Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.

Omni  1:47 Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth, ye will be saved.

3rd Nephi  7:10 Behold, I am the law, and the light; look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live, for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life.

3rd Nephi  12:29 And it shall come to pass, that whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name, shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father, at that day when I shall stand to judge the world.

Moroni  8:29 And the first--fruits of repentance is baptism; and baptism cometh by faith, unto the fulfilling the commandments; and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins; and the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart, cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer, until the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God.


Summarizing then



and are fully


to do His will in our







Who knoweth whether (we) art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

~Esther 4:13

The Spirit of our Lord has labored with me in a mighty way to prepare and present this message. I have felt a burden for it like no other I have ever given in my 52 years of service.  For many weeks now I have heard and felt in my soul “The Trumpet Shall Sound” from Messiah.  


I so wanted to attend the rehearsal of Messiah to experience in person this aria.  Because of my illness, the Lord has brought it to me, at every turn of my preparation experience sounding it again and again. . .Surely not as powerful and glorious as the sound of the last trump will be but it has got my attention and has convicted me of my need to repent and change while I still have time to do so!

The Trumpet Shall Sound

Bass Aria from Handel’s Messiah taken from 1 Corinthians 15:52b-53

Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep,

but we shall all be changed in a moment,

in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.

The trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be

raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and

this mortal must put on immortality.  

taken  from  1 Corinthians 15:52b-53

But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.Ezekiel  33:5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him.


The Holy Ghost Bears Witness

D&C 83:7a And now I give unto you a commandment to beware concerning yourselves, to give diligent heed to the words of eternal life; for you shall live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God.  7b For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ;  7c and the Spirit giveth light to every man that cometh into the world; and the Spirit enlighteneth every man through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit;  7d and everyone that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit, cometh unto God, even the Father; 7e and the Father teacheth him of the covenant which he has renewed and confirmed upon you, which is confirmed upon you for your sakes, and not for your sakes only, but for the sake of the whole world: 

When I read these words from a brother in the faith, it was like God whispering them to my very soul . . .

God Calls, We Respond

“This is the fundamental dynamic of the spiritual life. Our response to God occurs now. We are not to be inhibited by our own weakness and failure. We are not to ponder our unworthiness. God is pouring his limitless love and his gifts down upon each one of us, “like the light rays from the sun.” God is working in our lives now and we are to respond now.  What more can we do to respond to this love?”              

~Brother David L. Fleming

Our God is a God of Miracles


Miracles Are Coming  
Miracles are coming, Coming through your way.          

Miracles are coming, In this and every day.                     

For our God is a God of miracles, Sing Allelu;            

through your faith, His miracles

are coming, coming to you.

       Alle Alleluia, Alleluia a, Alle Alleluia, Alleluia a;  

Praise the Lord, Praise His Holy name,              

Praise Him today,  and obey His great commands and serve Him, Yes, serve Him always.   


Tag:  Miracles Are Coming


MSPIRITUAL JOURNEY: Experiences, Reflections and Testimony of Jesus Christ

I had a complicated home birth in the very small Irish Village of Byrneville, in Harrison County, centrally located in southern Indiana.  I was like John Boy of the Waltons and grew up in touch with the earth and the wood lots, tilling the soil, raising animals, chickens, and making mud pies. I learned many lasting lessons. There is nothing as grounding and wonderful as walking barefoot on the newly plowed ground. It puts you in oneness with God and Nature. The smells and sights of the seasons are each distinct and delightful. I loved long walks in the country, laying in piles of leaves in the fall, seeing new shoots of life reborn in spring. I adore drives down tree-shaded back roads, finding covered bridges and rippling brooks and enjoying their laughing sounds.  I was happy to live long enough to have enjoyed all those things. But I was told by family and friends that I had a very difficult start to my life. I was born in my grandfather John's home, around 3 am June 30, 1941.  At 10-1/2 pounds, my lungs were still not fully developed and I was in what we today call respiratory distress. The country Doctor Baker who delivered me told my parents that he had used all his skill but he believed that I would not live to see the light of day.  By the grace of God, I did live, but not well, because the damage to my lungs was so great that I had pneumonia 12 times before I was 2 years of age. I was sick more often than well during this beginning of my life.

I have many rich memories from age 4 or 5 on. Particularly, I remember my grandfathers preaching and sitting in my grandmother's Sunday school class as she read Bible stories and I remembered particularly many of the bible scriptures my grandparents shared telling us to be perfect, if we would serve God. I have walked a long arduous journey in my life, leading me to the edge of the abyss into which I fell with each of my 4 mental and emotional breakdowns each which threatened me with death and/or madness.  I have to use great care even now when I focus upon what was because it has great power to draw me back into never-ending obsessive spirals reliving the pain that my focusing on perfection caused. My only hope is to profit from the past by focusing upon the present moment choosing the best, most creative, and delightful people, places, things and situations that each will add to or increase the sparkle moments and pizzazz of my life. I don't remember my grandmother or grandfather explaining what the Bible meant for us to actually do to be perfect, so in my immature mind I believed that it meant that to please God I had to be perfect in all my actions, that I could not, could never, make a mistake. No matter how hard I tried, the failures always came, and that taught me that there had to be something wrong with me, that I was broken, not whole and very simply was not good enough to please God.  So I began the life of a classic overachiever trying every day and in every way I could to prove that I was worthy of the very space I occupied. Perfectionism was a defect that proved very deadly for me as my striving with every ounce of my strength to be perfect almost killed me.  I felt so unworthy and worthless that my self-image and esteem did not mature. I isolated my undeserving self completely as a result. I knew that I had to sacrifice my wants, my normal wishes, my everything in order to serve God and only God, and never follow my own personal desires. It was by this dedicated service that I hoped perhaps I could buy my space in the world and thus earn God's love. There was little time for anything fun. Even when I was trying to have fun, it was always there, the belief that it was wrong, that  I was simply not worthy of any part of it.  As a result, I could not have a girlfriend nor do many of the social things that other young people did. My lot in life was to keep my nose to the grindstone, to be just the smart kid, the go-to-guy, where classmates could get homework answers. My classmates always voted me to be a class officer because everyone knew I would do the work!

My life was a vicious cycle, from as long ago as I can remember to when I finally found recovery in, a 12 step program for compulsive eaters.  I had not been able to close the doors to the past, accept what happened, really ever forgive myself, those others involved and move on.  My persistent temptation is to slip back and revisit and relive those long ago things, often keeping me from staying focused and living in the "now or the present moment".  I seem to be addicted more and more to drama and suffering and I remember those painful experiences as if they occurred yesterday and, by that memory, I perpetuated the payoff I got of feeling a victim by agonizing and suffering anew.  I have never been able to live up to the expectations that I felt were held out for me and ones that I set for myself.  My perception of life was that there was perfection all around me in my sisters, parents, extended family, teachers, church friends and try as I might I could never quite live up to those levels of perfection that I thought God required of me.  I could not admit or understand the humanness of my parents, extended in-laws and other authority figures, so I began to fear them. I could not see the stresses they labored under to provide a living for the 4 of us, with some semblance of stability and happiness.  I did not understand why my father because of his strong work ethic was often not home during the weeks of my formative years; gone to work before I got up and not home till after I had gone to bed.  Perhaps this is why I have almost no memories of him holding me or playing with me.  I have a few pictures which say that he did but many of those early ones were lost in the fire which destroyed our home when I was 6. Most of my memories are of my mother's care of me.  In some ways I feel I was robbed at an early age of a normal childhood free of responsibility.  My parents asking me to watch out for my 3 younger sisters was taken as my life's purpose and duty rather than a simple temporary request. I feel that I began care-taking at that early age of 5 or 6.  My helping was linked with serving God by honoring my parents and was the thing that a good boy would do.  I misunderstood the Biblical injunction to be perfect and set myself on that as a life mission.  My religious training introduced me to the adversarial influences of Satan and I began to struggle with those temptations. When I was not a good boy I was so disruptive that a neighbor who babysat us often called me Demon because I was always into things to get attention, like mixing mustard into the sugar bowl. I am told "the demons on the table" was often heard in the community.  As I grew older, I feel this negative influence stole from me my birthright, the life and abundance that God really desired for me to enjoy, stealing from me the feelings of worthiness, well being, and a good acceptance of myself which I was God ordained that I enjoy.  If people told me good things about myself I learned to "poison the positive", to discount them or poo-poo them and those things would pass through my ears and then disappear, without changing me or affecting me for good.  Later, if someone told me I was a very good boy, that they loved me, or that I was attractive or a good man… I didn't feel that way after a short while. Those compliments and positive encouragements embarassed me and didn’t stick in me, or add to me or become a part of me.   No "truth" about me stayed with me long enough so I could form an identity about myself that matched how God and others saw me. I was not able to form habits of thought that reinforced me and built me up because self-abasement ran so strong in my thinking.  By the time I was a freshman in high school, I scored in the 100th percentile in self-abasement on a standardized test.  I had become a master at self-sabotage, and I was my own worst enemy!   The scripture says, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." - John 10:10  I was not able to enjoy any abundance or the peace and happiness that my fellows enjoyed and I became more and more isolated and self-loathing with the passing of time.  I escaped as often as I could without bringing notice to myself and lost myself in fantasy and daydreams to replace the healthy social contact that others had but which I could not have because of my negative perfectionist mind set and stinking thinking had become "normal" for me.

I have always taken my response to the Lord seriously. In a nutshell I believe that my responsibilities to God are simple: 1) Choose God as my Heavenly Father and live within His Will and His Word; 2) Seek Jesus Christ and live as His disciple; 3) Love all those who God gives me to love; 4) Bear others burdens and 5) Seek 1st the Kingdom of God. Serving God and sharing with God’s people, the Saints, is a priority for me from an early age. This would come into greater focus when I accepted a calling to ministry at age 22 as an Aaronic Priest in 1963 in the RLDS Community of Christ, and 7 years later a calling to the office of Elder in 1970. I have served God and the church in many capacities over the years, including pastor, associate pastor, counselor, youth minister, music minister, Bible & Scripture teacher, coach, scoutmaster, congregation financial officer and Christian education director. I believe by loving and serving others and by bearing one another’s burdens, we fulfil the law that Christ has given us. I yearn for spirituality, strive to live the life of a disciple and love to study and teach the Holy Scriptures. I believe that people come to faith in God and a relationship with Jesus Christ in many ways, but basically through 4 channels: Worship or Spiritual Experiences, Service or Involvement, Friendship or Fellowship and through Truth Propositions or Scriptures. My attraction to my faith is through Truth Propositions or Scriptures and Spiritual Experiences. I am a fundamental believer who accepts the Bible and the Holy Scriptures to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; I also believe what the Apostle John said

John 21:25 "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen."

I believe that there are other books recording things that Jesus did in existence, the Book of Mormon, a second testimony of Jesus Christ, being one of those important books. I believe these books and others not yet discovered are given to us by inspiration of God, and are therefore profitable to us for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness.


My birth family and I always ate our meals together at the kitchen table. Someone always said a prayer of blessing upon the food, for whatever it was that we had to eat. I remember my father at the head of the table always ending his prayers with “We beg the Christ”. I did not realize until much later in my life that we are all beggars before our Lord Jesus Christ. My father taught me by his example the true meaning of humility.      

My religious faith and trust in the goodness, grace and mercy of God has not come easily. From accepting early on that perfection was what God expected of me and eventually finding that perfection was a struggle I could not win, I retaliated not against God but against myself. I self-talked myself into the failure that I "knew" I was, repeating over and over that I was inferior, unworthy, and deserving of punishment. With that self-abasing war waging within me there was also the germination of seeds planted early on that I was a unique child of the King and that I would be His servant one day. This became a powerful innate drive which caused me to "prepare" in spite of feeling so unworthy for what seemed then impossible and something that I questioned would ever come. But come it did, not at my own choosing or in my timing but at God's.     

I feel that more hearts are healed by acceptance and helping people come into the presence of the Lord and by being there with them than by most other approaches. I have seen the ways the Lord has used me change or deepen over the years; a gift of prayer and eventually preaching came with increasing earnestness and preparation on my part, the sensitivity to anoint with oil and lay on hands for blessing the sick (James 5) and the willingness to make myself vulnerable in bearing burdens has been part of my growth. It has been a long road in ministry for me since 1963. I began my walk as His servant purely in faith praying that he would lead and provide the victory and allow me to be an instrument in His hands.     

We RLDS are called to priesthood ministry by the Hebrews 5:4 pattern (“And no man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.” Aaron was called of God by the administrative authority of his day, namely Moses, God's prophet, for the reason given in     

Exodus 4:10 “And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.”

Aaron was called to "speak" for Moses. This is what Hebrews 5:4 means. No matter how badly I might have wanted to be an ordained minister for God, I could not take this honor unto myself. My calling had to wait for several years until an experienced pastor or presiding elder in my local church received God’s assurance of my calling into the service of the Lord. The calling to ministry came finally through an older pastor Brother Floyd Gatrost, more experienced in the ways of the Lord. In 1963 at an early Sunday morning Prayer Service, this pastor rose and looked at me and said that he had evidence that God had a calling for me to minister as a priest in His church and would I accept this calling? I see that moment in my mind's eye as vividly as if it occurred yesterday. I had to choose.

Because of that war which was within me I had a clearer choice. I was 22 and had suffered a lifetime from self-abasement and inferiority and I knew its end was despair and death.  As Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”     

I had also experienced the Spirit of God as it worked in the lives of others that I loved and as it prompted me to do good, walk humbly and judge righteously. I knew that His spirit brought forgiveness and new life so I accepted the calling, not from knowledge but from faith. I was voted on by my home church as common consent is necessary and was accepted by them as an Aaronic Priest, to minister for the Lord Jesus Christ. Shortly thereafter I was set apart or ordained by the laying on of hands of those in authority to serve as a priest in His church.

That calling, accepted on faith, lead me to pray to God, to literally beg the Christ, for a confirmation or a testimony of the rightness and divinity of my calling. By that time I had the support of a whole faith community of family and friends in Byrneville who had always "known" I would someday be a minister in the Church of Jesus Christ. This coupled with my own long time desire to serve the Lord combined to give me the courage to exercise what Pascal called "faith, the great wager of betting one's life on God". I still did not have a personal testimony of the rightness or divinity of my calling. But, perhaps that is how it always move out in faith and meet the fact that God is there. I have learned that there is a definite order in spiritual things. It is little understood by many who believe that if they feel something deeply, they should act on that feeling. I have come to understand that always there is God; He is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. Call Him Nature, a Higher Power, the Universe, the Innate or Inborn Goodness if you must, there is still the FACT that God Is and that, for me, is the beginning of spirituality. I believe FAITH always follows and it comes next naturally by our begging the Christ and our betting our very existence upon God. FEELING or the blessing, the sense of rightness or confirmation, is the last to come for it is the testimony of the FACT that is I AM THAT I AM.     

My search for my testimony lead me to serve in a variety of ways; as a youth minister, counselor, teacher, pastor and a friend of the saints. God never answers us on our timetable but always upon His. We forget that we are limited and boxed in by time but God knows no past or future, He is all knowing, eternally present and one eternal round.     

That confirmation came to me finally, but only after 10 years of what I label "faithing", which literally is begging the Christ by experimenting, falling at the Master's feet, bearing others burdens and flinging myself onto the frontiers of ministry for the sake of youth, music ministry, pastoral care and for the cause of the Kingdom of God. John Flavel (1627 - 1691) wrote 'man's extremity is God's opportunity'. I had reached my extremity when my testimony came. It came to me not in the form I had expected but as an open vision, rather than in a dream, whisper or by hearing the still small voice of God speak audibly to me. I learned once again the significance of Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.”     

In 1973 near Easter weekend, I developed a high fever 103+ and the doctor sent me on to the hospital in LaGrange, Indiana and I was put in isolation suffering from a deep seated pneumonia. I was in an oxygen tent, one of those old plastic tents where moisture condensed and ran down in streaks. Some would say that what soon followed on this Good Friday afternoon was just delirium, a simple delusion because of the high fever. I prefer to believe that God allowed the high fever to get my attention, to cause me to put total trust in Him, and to beg for His help. I remember that I felt no pain, no coughing, no aching or malaise and no fear but I was aware of the number of doctors, nurses and others who came in and out of my room obviously concerned for my wellbeing. I remember lying on my side in the darkened room and looking through the plastic tent at the open doorway and the light of the hallway. The edges of the doorway began to blur and widen and my view became as if it were a movie screen. I saw what the Spirit confirmed was the face of my Lord Jesus Christ. His long hair was parted down the middle and his beard was forked in the manner of the Nazarites that I had read about. I was filled with His love and acceptance and at the same time His Spirit impressed itself upon my mind and caused me to remember a text from the gospel of Matthew 25 beginning with verse "34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee a hungered, and fed thee or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."     

Matt 25:40 penetrated my very soul and the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the promised Comforter bore witness to me of its truth and relevance to me. I knew now that my adventure in faith, my betting my life and ministry on God, was acceptable in my Lord's sight, that my calling to minister for Him was divine and that all of the youth, men, women, children and babies that I had cared for in Jesus' name were each a type and shadow for Jesus Christ. When I had ministered to them I had been ministering to Him. What a joy, a great joy I experienced, I finally understood: My Lord Jesus had accepted me He had always accepted me with all my imperfections, feelings of unworthiness, struggles and desires. Tears of joy flowed freely from my eyes now, even like the drops of moisture which condensed and ran down the inside of that oxygen tent.     

What marvelous peace I felt. The open vision continued as the image of Jesus’ face divided into two images and those two divided into two images and they each continued to divide so that my range of vision was filled with small images of the face of Christ, what appeared now as pinpoints of light. The screen, all I could see, was white in its brilliance. The Holy Ghost rested on me bringing to remembrance John 4:35 "There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest."  I was caused to understand why the Lord commanded his disciples in Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.  I saw for the first time that the world is waiting, some even languishing, to be harvested for the Lord and that it was my opportunity as well as any who would minister for the Lord, to thrust in our sickles and reap while the day lasts.     

I will not, nor do I ever want to, deny this experience for it brought to me the peace that passeth all understanding and it convinced and convicted me that when I accepted my calling to the priesthood and committed myself to Jesus Christ to practice my faith and trust only in God and live the gospel of Jesus Christ so that what I had embraced was truly the power of God unto salvation!     


I was taught and believe whole heartedly in James 5:13 "Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. 14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him 16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."       

Administration to the sick is one of the eight sacraments practiced in the RLDS Community of Christ. The sacrament of administration to the sick based upon James 5 has also been known to be practiced for people seeking spiritual, emotional or mental healing as well as physical healings. My parents were members of the RLDS Church and believed in calling for the elders in all these cases.     

"Old Doc Baker told dad I'd die before the sunrise caught his eye" is a lyric from a biographical song I wrote called Corn Creek. Dr. G.D. Baker from the neighboring village, Crandall, Indiana, was in attendance at my birth in the home of my grandfather. My grandfather Elder John Ransom Byrn, who I was named after, was pastor of our little white church in vale in Byrneville. Doctor Baker told my father that my lungs were not fully developed and he feared that I would not be able to breathe sufficiently to hold onto to life. He told them he had used all his skill but that he believed that I would die before sunrise, and they needed to prepare for that. My parents asked my grandfather to administer to me and he gave me the anointing of olive oil as a newborn, laid his hands on me and prayed that God would spare my life. The blessing came, a real and miraculous blessing, the prayer of faith saved me from my sick little body. I have received many such blessings in my life over the years. The Lord came as my Savior in that experience but He chose not to heal me and because of those weak lungs I suffered pneumonia 10+ times before I was 2 years old. I have been hospitalized many times in my life with pneumonia and bronchitis as well as other bronchial-sinus infections. God has been gracious to me, has blessed and preserved me through these times and other afflictions and even accidents including falling and being knocked unconscious due to blows to the head. More than six times, I have had severe head trauma and could have died from anyone of them and yet I live by the grace and providence of God.      

God has revealed Himself to me many times through the power and means of the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Through the Son’s Holy Spirit, I have received comfort and direction and may times spiritual insight. I have learned that I can live my life so that my spirit can become a holy spirit through which the Holy Ghost can manifest itself. Often spiritual insight comes in the form of psalms, hymns or spiritual songs at times with both words and music given to me to share with God’s people. This I believe is in harmony with Scripture:     

Colossians 3:16: "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."

Ephesians 5:19: "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;"

A good example of this occurred in 1974. I had gone to bed on a Saturday night after an exhausting week teaching at Howe Military School and pursuing a very active district youth ministry. Sometime near midnight I felt an urging (some might call it a nudge) from what I knew to be God and I awakened abruptly but allowed my exhaustion to over-ride my intellect and I fell back into a deep sleep, much like Jesus' disciples when He asked them to pray with Him in the garden but they could not stay awake. The prompting of the Spirit fortunately came again about 2 AM and I yielded to it and made my way into the living room and sat down with pencil and paper, my guitar near at hand. These are the words that I wrote exactly as God gave them to me that morning and the melody was given to me shortly thereafter:     

God Will Go Before Us

God will go before us,

In this and every day.

Our every need provided,

If we but walk His way.

God will go before us,

His Son walks by our side

And His Spirit, our Comforter,

His life is our guide,

His Spirit is our Comforter,His life is our guide,

A-men and Amen.


God Of All Living

November 10, 2019 Grandview Community of Christ, Special Veterans Day Service.

All Veterans were invited to attend this special service. 

                          I began my message with my poem of gratitude for all who have served.                                          Lord, Help Me to Remember to thank a Vet today!
and ma de do without any power. 
never thinking of those who bled 
and enjoyed a long hot shower, 
I woke up in my fresh clean bed 
                                              Lord Help Me to Remember to Thank a Vet Today                                                             

Lord, Help Me to Remember to thank a Vet today!
never once fearing attack from a terrorist mob. 
driving a smooth highway free of perilous scars 
for the easy commute to my job, 
I got into my choice of late model cars 

Lord, Help Me to Remember to thank a Vet today!
or that a pipe bomb might seal my fate. 
and took no thought of an artillery barrage 
and casually received my ticket at the gate, 
I pulled into my parking garage 

Lord, Help Me to Remember to thank a Vet today!
or be interrogated or suffer from radioactive decay. 
never having to submit papers or feel disgrace 
passing friends and colleagues along the way, 
I made my way into my work place, 

Lord, Help Me to Remember to thank a Vet today!
or donning battle dress in searing heat to end a feud. 
never giving sweat and blood to a dictator's ambitions 
with coffee breaks and time off for hot food, 
I worked all day long in civilized conditions 

©2011 John Aldon Utz
Lord, Help Me to Remember to thank a Vet today! 
in stealth with no sound but the mourning dove. 
yet they could be torn from me without shalom 
and my little ones run into my arms for love, 
I am greeted with the loving, "Daddy's home" 

     I stand in awe of you my brothers and sisters and feel privileged to share with you today. You have stood your post diligently, often in harms-way, and sometimes under extreme battle conditions, always willing to give your all. Many of your brothers and sisters gave the ultimate sacrifice. We honor all of you today!  You stood your post and you fought for each other and ultimately for all of us. It is your sacrifice, service and the freedoms we know that inspires our message today.

     Veterans, friends, your sacrifice and service casts a long shadow which points us to actions for freedom taken by many other ordinary men and women who rose up, took their stations and stood their posts. These men and women were paying attention to the urgency of their times. They were at attention, on guard, and stood fast for God and the Lord Jesus. Their courage and love, like yours, inspires us and challenges us to do the same!

     Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
 There are 5 of these Heroes of the Faith which come to mind:

     Judges 4:4 And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time . . . And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah ,. . . ; and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.  Deborah and Barak deliver Israel from Jabin and Sisera -- Jael killeth Sisera. Deborah was God’s servant to help rescue Israel from their cycle of sin.

     1Kings 18:21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.

     Esther tells the prophet Mordecai 4:16 Go gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day; I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish.

     Isaiah 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

     We know what it means to be on guard, to watch and be ready to protect our loved ones. God blesses us for those efforts, yet many are often short-sighted preferring family, friends and church, those they are comfortable with, over many others whose needs are much greater.

     "She calls out to the man on the street, 'Sir, can you help me?
The Phil Collins song “Another Day in Paradise’ testifies to this condition:  

     Starts to whistle as he crosses the street, Seems embarrassed to be there.
     He walks on, doesn't look back, He pretends he can't hear her
     It's cold and I've nowhere to sleep, Is there somewhere you can tell me?'

     Oh think twice, it's another day for you and me in paradise,

     You and me in paradise, think about it!"
     Oh think twice, 'cause it's just another day for you,

     Our God waits for a people who will break away from self-sufficency and embrace with heart, might, mind and strength God-sufficiency.  3Nephi 2:97 challenges us that God’s calling is to be disciples of Jesus Christ, the Son of God . . . to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.”  We Need Heed the Prophets Calling.

     Jesus Christ will surely come.  Are we prepared to receive Him?  God’s people are called to be diligently ready to do battle, to be Onward Christian Soldiers! Marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before!  Jesus tells us in Matt 10: 30 Think not, that I am come to send peace on earth; I came not to send peace, but a sword. . . 33 And he who taketh not his cross and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.  34 He who seeketh to save his life shall lose it; Matthew 16:25 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.  Matthew 10:19 And ye shall be hated of all the world for my name's sake; but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. Matthew 24:49 And what I say unto one, I say unto all men; Watch, therefore, for ye know not at what hour your Lord doth come.
     Habakkuk 2:1 I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. 2 And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. 3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie; though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

     Moses challenges us in Deut 31:6  Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them; for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

DC 61:6c And now verily I say unto you, and what I say unto one I say unto all, Be of good cheer, little children, for I am in your midst, and I have not forsaken you, and inasmuch as you have humbled yourselves before me, the blessings of the kingdom are yours.
DC 38:2b I am in your midst and ye cannot see me, but the day soon cometh that ye shall see me and know that I am; for the veil of darkness shall soon be rent, and he that is not purified shall not abide the day: wherefore, gird up your loins and be prepared.
DC 28:2b lift up your hearts and be glad, for I am in your midst, and am your advocate with the Father; and it is his good will to give you the kingdom;
     God has always spoken to His people through His prophets and angelic messengers and does so even in these latter days. Some of His words are recorded in our Doctrine & Covenants:

Am I now willing that You should have all of me, good and bad?  
         The Alcoholics Anonymous 7th Step Prayer can be modified to pose very important and significant questions for all of us:  Heavenly Father,
     The urgent call of this hour is to be God’s obedient people, to live our life as disciples of Jesus Christ, doing His Will not ours.  Sadly many churches are filled with people who just want to take it easy, and they say to each other nonchalantly “it’s so nice here in the pew where there’s nothing much to do, if we want we’ll have an hours-worth for free, to the music and the prayers, we’ll whittle away our cares and together dwell in sweet eternity.”  They do not realize that Jesus sees them all and weeps over their complacency. They neither see the signs of the times nor feel any urgency at all about their response to God, they are lukewarm at best. God tells us of His displeasure in such actions Revelation 3:16 So then because thou are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.

Do I pray every day that You now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to You, my fellows and the cause of the Kingdom?  

Do I ask for your strength, as I go out from here, to do Your bidding?

IF WE CANNOT ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS WITH A RESOUNDING “YES”, WE HAVE NO PROMISE.  Scripture TELLS US OF THE JEOPARDY WE PLACE OURSELVES IN, and When God repeats himself in the Holy Scriptures we can know it is important!  DC 81:3b I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say, but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise. AND Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25 states emphatically There is a way that seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death.

In 1Corinthians 1:21 the Apostle Paul gives us hope when he tells us that though the world by wisdom knew not God, but it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

     May we all yield to that prompting of God’s Holy Spirit which is within each of us, stop our willful disobedience of God’s commandments and be numbered among those who are diligently and wisely watching for the Lord’s return, each one anxiously engaged in becoming the cause of Zion.

     In 1974, I was awakened from a deep sleep twice. At first, I shrugged it off, I was so exhausted, but I heeded it when aroused again. The Lord placed upon my heart these words and music which I needed to hear at that time and I believe they will be a comfort for all of us this morning:

      Thank You Heavenly Father for the urgency to respond, to watch and to live so that we are the cause of Thy Kingdom, the reason for the Lord Jesus Christ’s return.  In Jesus Name We Pray, Amen.
     God will go before us in this and every day; Our every need provided if we but walk His way. God will go before us, His Son walks by our side, And His Spirit our Comforter, His life is our guide, His Spirit is our Comforter, His life is our Guide, Amen and Amen.

                                                              ●▬▬▬▬๑۩۩๑▬▬▬▬▬●                                                                                                                                                  Jesus, the Beloved                                                                                     

January 8, 2017, Grandview Congregation

Jesus is the Beloved Son “dear to the Father’s heart and dearly loved”     
This morning we lift up the Beloved Nature of our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray we can draw closer to Him as we share in His scriptures, look once again at how His sacrifice touches our lives and the callings that He sets before us.

On the occasion of the rebellion of Satan                                                                                                                                            Genesis 3:3 But behold, my beloved Son, which was my beloved and chosen from the beginning, said unto me: Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever.
Confirmed to John the Baptist                                                                                                                                                                Matthew 3: 45 And Jesus when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water; and John saw, and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon Jesus. 46 And lo, he heard a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear ye him. 
Added Resources if Needed:  Confirmed to Joseph Smith Jr  Vol 1 Church History 2:9
The Beloved Son Does The Father’s Will
Luke 2:49 And he said unto them, Why is it that ye sought me? Knew ye not that I must be about my Father's business? 
DC 18:2o I am Jesus Christ; I came by the will of the Father, and I do his will.
John 5:31 For I can of mine own self do nothing; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father who hath sent me.
Added Resources if Needed:  Jesus grew from grace to grace – DC 90:2a + Heb 5:7
Jesus Fulfills All Righteousness
3 Nephi 5:12 And behold I am the light and the life of the world, and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things, from the beginning.
Matthew 3:41 And then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan, unto John, to be baptized of him; 42 But John refused him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and why comest thou to me? 43 And Jesus, answering, said unto him, Suffer me to be baptized of thee, for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness.
Added Resource if Needed:  Matt 12:14 & Luke 24:43 & Acts 5:29-32
God’s Desire For His Chosen People
These scriptures show God’s yearning and great desire for a faithful holy people unto Himself. God Chose Israel . . .
Psalms 135:4 For the Lord hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure.  
Deuteronomy 7:6 For thou art a holy people unto the Lord thy God; the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself
1 Peter 2:9 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light;
Added Resource if Needed: Ex 19:5 
In spite of God’s especial Choosing, sending Judges and Prophets to call His people to Obedience, throughout the generations, Israel has sadly been a stiff-necked people. The word Stiff-Necked is repeated 35x in the 3 Books, showing ancient Israel to be Stubbornly persistent in wrongdoing. This cycle of sin is described vividly in the book of Judges and in Nehemiah 9:26 and Romans 10:21 
Added Resources if Needed:  2 Chronicles 30:8 + Jarom 1:8                                                                                                                “Be A Beloved Instrument of God’s Desire”
A Faithful Willing People
2 Nephi 13:7 And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water to fulfill all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water.
Galatians 3: 26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Jesus Christ. . . 29 And if ye are Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. 
If we would be Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise, we would model our lives after God’s desires for His chosen people.  As Latter Day Israel we too are called to be a special, peculiar and holy people unto the Lord.
DC 4:1b “O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind, and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day”; 
Added Resources if Needed:  Ephesians 1:3
“Be A Beloved Instrument of God’s Desire”
Keenly Aware Of His Presence
DC 28:2b lift up your hearts and be glad, for I am in your midst, and am your advocate with the Father; and it is his good will to give you the kingdom; 
DC 61:6c And now verily I say unto you, and what I say unto one I say unto all, Be of good cheer, little children, for I am in your midst, and I have not forsaken you, and inasmuch as you have humbled yourselves before me, the blessings of the kingdom are yours. 
Added Resources if Needed:
DC 38:2b I am in your midst and ye can not see me, but the day soon cometh that ye shall see me and know that I am; for the veil of darkness shall soon be rent, and he that is not purified shall not abide the day: wherefore, gird up your loins and be prepared. 
DC 50:8f and the Father and I are one; I am in the Father and the Father in me; and inasmuch as ye have received me, ye are in me, and I in you; wherefore I am in your midst; 
“Be A Beloved Instrument of God’s Desire”
One With His Son
Acts 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
DC 50:8f and the Father and I are one; I am in the Father and the Father in me; and inasmuch as ye have received me, ye are in me, and I in you; wherefore I am in your midst; 
2 Corinthians 6: 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

“Be A Beloved Instrument of God’s Desire”
3 Nephi 9:30 Father, I pray not for the world, but for those whom thou hast given me out of the world, because of their faith, that they may be purified in me, that I may be in them as thou, Father, art in me, that we may be one, that I may be glorified in them.
3 Nephi 9:23 And now Father, I pray unto thee for them, and also for all those who shall believe on their words, that they may believe in me, that I may be in them as thou, Father, art in me, that we may be one.
DC 34:1b I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was crucified for the sins of the world, even as many as will believe on my name, that they may become the sons of God, even one in me as I am in the Father, as the Father is one in me, that we may be one. 
Added Resources if Needed:  John 17:21 +

Love One Another.  
1 John 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
Alma 19:114 Do not endeavor to excuse yourself in the least point, because of your sins, by denying the justice of God, but do you let the justice of God, and his mercy, and his long suffering, have full sway in your heart; but let it bring you down to the dust in humility.
DC 36:7b and in the garden of Eden gave I unto man his agency; and unto your brethren have I said, and also gave commandments, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father;
Added Resources if Needed:  Mosiah 2:27 + 1 John 4:12 + 
John 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Romans 13:8 Therefore owe no man anything, but to love one another; for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law
Jesus modeled God’s pattern for ministry: healing the sick and teaching the Kingdom of God. He would heal the sick to attract people’s attention and to demonstrate His love and mercy, and then He would teach them the Kingdom. Jesus teaching the Beatitudes is a good example in Matt 5:1-14
God Will Go to Any Lengths for His Chosen People
Psalms 136:1 Oh Give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good;for his mercy endureth forever. (IV &KJV)                                         Psalms 136:1 Oh Give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good;for his steadfast love endures forever. (NRSV)  
In one of Arthur Oakman’s sermons he mentions a story of a little girl who climbed on her mother’s knee. “Mommy she said, you are the most beautiful woman in the world. I love you, I love your hair, your skin, your eyes, but mommy, your hands they are terribly ugly. And they were.  So the mother said to the little girl, when you were very small you accidently set your bed on fire. I heard your screams, and rushed into the bedroom and beat out the flames with my hands. That is why they are like they are.  The little girl said nothing, climbed down from her mother’s knee, said her prayers and went to bed.  A few days later the same process was repeated. Mommy, you are the most beautiful woman in the world, your eyes, your skin, your hair and you know something, Mommy, she said, the most beautiful thing about you is your hands! Love had changed a thing of ugliness into a thing of beauty. This is what love always does.  This is what Jesus did.  He took in His own body all the ugliness that men could do and changed the hideous symbol of crucifixion into a throne of glory. ~Arthur Oakman                                                                                  I cannot hear in the Messiah the words of Isaiah sang and not be visibly moved. 
Isaiah 52:14 "As many were astonished at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men;" 
John Gill's Exposition of the Bible [John Gill is the first major writing Baptist theologian.  (1697-1771) 
As many were astonished at thee
Not so much at the miracles he wrought, the doctrines he taught, and the work he did; or at his greatness and glory, at his exaltation and dignity, though very wonderful; as at his humiliation, the mean appearance he made, the low estate he was brought into; the sufferings and death which he underwent. These words are placed between the account of his exaltation and humiliation, and may be thought to have respect to both; and indeed it is astonishing that one so great as he was, and is, should become so low as he did; and also that one that was brought so low should be raised so high: 
his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men;
though fairer than the children of men, as he was the immediate workmanship of the divine Spirit, and without sin; yet, what with his griefs and sorrows he bore, and troubles he met with; what with (His) watchings and fastings, with laborious preaching, and constant travelling about to do good; what with His sweat and blood, with buffetings and scourgings, never was any man's face more marred, or his form more altered, than his was.
                                                                       Words are the substance of our thoughts.                                                                                                                                                          "I hold it true that thoughts are things,                                                                          Endowed with bodies, breath, and wings,
                                                                               And that we send them forth to fill,                                                                                                                                                                    The world with good results - or ill."                                                                                                                                                                            ~Ella Wheeler Wilcox                                                                                                         "Most of the shadows of life are caused by standing in our own sunshine." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Son-Shine is a gift to all of us from Jesus, the Beloved.  
My Testimony is that I have used my words and my thoughts against myself and have created my fears of failure and rejection, oppressive guilt because of my failures and sins and feelings of unworthiness and shame.  Most of the shadows, melancholy and depression I have suffered and the pain I have endured over the span of my life were caused because I was standing in my own sunshine. 
Added Resources if Needed:  DC 102:2d and my people must needs be chastened until they learn obedience, if it must needs be, by the things which they suffer.
Son-Shine is a gift to all of us from Jesus, the Beloved Son. ~John Utz
Eccl 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven; 
I bear witness today that God was willing to go to any lengths for me, to bring me back to the Center Place in 2014 after 13 years away.  God allowed sickness that was not unto death, but for the glory of God (John 11:4) to overwhelm me during that time.  At 365 lbs., I just wanted to die, I wanted the pain to end. I ate compulsively to deaden the pain, but in spite of my bondage to that addiction and myself, God placed people in my life and circumstances were created in which doors were opened which led me to my loving Judy Gibbs' home in May 2014. I went to a 12 step meeting at a Church in Lees Summit and a friend at that meeting told me about a compulsive eating group which met on a different day in that very same room. I joined June 26, 2014. Nothing happens in God’s world by mistake.  God is simply at work going to any lengths necessary for you and me. God will do for us what we could never do for ourselves, if we chose Jesus as Lord, strive to know Him and ask the Father with an honest, open and willing heart.  I stand before you today at 200 lbs with the certain knowledge that Jesus loves me, and that I am our Father God’s Happy Thought!  I rarely dared to dream such a thing without excuses and qualifications let alone come to believe it with my whole heart, might, mind and strength.  I know I have grieved Jesus with wasted years of self-abasement and self-will. I know that Jesus has wept many tears over me, because I would not yield or exercise even a particle of faith nor could I see Him standing right in front of me with His arms wide open. I know today with every fiber of my being that I am unconditionally loved and unconditionally forgiven. My daughter has always known this, and tells me daily that she loves me. My families’ gift for my 75th birthday is a prized 4x6 index card with their signatures and the words                                                                    You’re Loved Always, Forever and Ever, Remember That!
                   I will praise thee (Lord); for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are thy works;  ~Psalms 139:14                      



Jesus' adversaries sought to trap him in a similar questions.                                                                                                                                     

Matthew 22:17 gives us a typical example:  Tell us, therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? 18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Ye hypocrites! why tempt ye me? Show me the tribute money. 19 And they brought unto him a penny. 20 He said unto them, Whose image is this, and superscription? 21 They said unto him, Caesar's. Then said he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar, the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things which are God's.

Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly and because of that His ministry focused upon preaching the Kingdom of God and Healing the Sick. He followed this pattern religiously, even unto the cross, His ultimate act of healing for a sinsick world. His priority was always to do the will of the Heavenly Father who sent Him.  He showed us the example and established the pattern for us to follow. DC  52:4b tells us why. . .And again, I will give unto you a pattern in all things, that ye may not be deceived; for Satan is abroad in the land, and he goeth forth deceiving the nations;  Following this pattern was re-emphasized in the Book of Mormon 3 Nephi 8:49 Behold I am the light; I have set an example for you. 50 And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words unto his disciples, he turned again unto the multitude, and said unto them, Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye must watch and pray always, lest ye enter into temptation; 51 For Satan desireth to have you, that he may sift you as wheat;

Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan; for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.  Jesus knew His adversary well, Lucifer, was a son of the morning. When Satan, the Devil himself, tempted Jesus, Luke 4:8 records

Jesus yearned for all His children to Consider What Is God's.  He sat and wept over Jerusalem because they would not!  36Matt 23: Then Jesus began to weep over Jerusalem, saying, 37 O Jerusalem! Jerusalem! Ye who will kill the prophets, and will stone them who are sent unto you; how often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and ye would not.

Even Jesus' disciples did not always Consider What Is God's.  Matthew 16 gives us an example of Satan's influence on Peter . . . 22 From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples, how that he must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders, and chief priests, and Scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. (This was incomprehensible to the Apostle Peter and verse 23 says)

23 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord; this shall not be done unto thee.  24 But he turned and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan; thou art an offense unto  me; for thou savorest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. 25 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.  

Mark 10:11Another example of the disciples failing to consider is in  And they (the people who thronged around Jesus) brought young children to him, that he should touch them; and the disciples rebuked those that brought them. 12 But when Jesus saw and heard them, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God. 13 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. 14 And he took them up in his arms, and put his hands upon them, and blessed them.

Jesus gives the fullness of this basic teaching in the Book of Mormon, in which is the fullness of the gospel (DC 42:5a)

3 Nephi 8: 52 Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed. 53 And behold, ye shall meet together oft, and ye shall not forbid any man from coming unto you when ye shall meet together, but suffer them that they may come unto you, and forbid them not; 54 But ye shall pray for them, and shall not cast them out; and if it so be that they come unto you oft, ye shall pray for them unto the Father, in my name; therefore hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. 55 Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up -- that which ye have seen me do.

Last Sunday Brenda blessed us with her signing ministry, and gave us the sense of the scriptures as Ezra, the Scribes and the Levites did in Nehemiah 8. We were challenged to begin each day with the

Mission Prayer: God, where will your Spirit lead us today? Help me be fully awake and ready to respond.  Grant me courage to risk something new and become a blessing of your love and peace.  Amen.

Today's Theme really is an Divine Imperative, requiring the attention and action of all of us who would walk the path of a disciple.  Lest we become like Peter, a sheep who had gone astray, each one of us must live always Considering What Is God's

I have taken comfort in that which is written. . .it has been my greatest blessing when I have understood the sense of the scripture and implemented it wisely in my life but like Peter my greatest detriment and even a cursing has come when I have not understood the sense but have tried to live the meaning I perceived to be true.  I failed to heed the insight from Proverbs 14:12 (16:25) which cautions us against this very thing: "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death."

As a very young child I heard my grandmother Byrn teach us to Be Perfect if we would serve the Lord.  There are in fact 21 scriptures in our 3 books telling us to Be Perfect and I am sure she read many of them.  Sadly though I did not understand the sense or the true meaning of those scriptures and I began to try as hard as my 4 yr old mind would allow me to Be perfect in all my actions, because that is what I thought Jesus wanted me to do.

"And it came to pass" that Perfectionism became the dominant theme of my life. When I failed again and again I reasoned that I wasn't trying hard enough and that caused me to begin feeling that I wasn't good enough, which led into self abasement then self loathing, depression and despondency.  I have realized that Emerson was correct, "Most of the shadows of life are caused by standing in our own sunshine."

I share this only to emphasize that we have this treasure in earthen vessels so when we Consider What Is God's we must always look at ourselves, our brothers and sisters, and our children with the greatest love and compassion.  Our calling is clear.  We must never use our word against ourselves or any other BUT always in the direction of truth and love.  Galatians  6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.   Paraphrasing Mosiah  9:39 And now, as (IF) ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are (THEN BE) willing to bear one another's burdens, that they may be light; Section 10 gives added guidance:

DC 10:6  And now, verily, verily I say unto thee, Put thy trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good; yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously; and this is my Spirit. 7a  Verily, verily I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy,  7b  and then shall ye know, or by this shall you know, all things whatsoever you desire of me, which is pertaining unto things of righteousness, in faith believing in me that you shall receive.

for he (GOD) is not far from every one of us;  For in him we live, and move, and have our beingTODAY  I KNOW that God is doing for me what I have never been able to do for myself . . .  (Acts 17:27&28)                                          "; For we are also his offspring."


The Father sends us angels who we call friends, who make up the hedge and stand in the gap for us (Eze 22:30). . . . Many of you here have stood in the gap for me, with wisdom, love and support.  I share Wisdom from such another friend, Betsy, whose words have given me strength . . .she writes

Remember that transitions are hard,

even the good ones, so be kind to yourself,

be patient, and express those feelings!

Don't keep any of it to yourself.

Find some new rocks to talk to. find some flowing water

where you can scream and howl if you need to.

And you can always talk to me.

It's all part of your journey, Sir John.

Take a deep breath and as you exhale slowly

say "Present Moment" and then just be:

There.  In the place where you are.

In whatever environment.  Be Present and Alive to what is.

This is the path to Peace, the path to God.  Amazing Grace.

~ the words of Betsy Lenora 2014


When we live in the Present Moment  

we find that Jesus IS There waiting for us.

Section 38 describes the Reality of that Moment:

38:2a  But, behold, verily, verily I say unto you, that mine eyes are upon you:  2b  I am in your midst and ye can not see me, but the day soon cometh that ye shall see me and know that I am; for the veil of darkness shall soon be rent, and he that is not purified shall not abide the day: wherefore, gird up your loins and be prepared.  2c  Behold, the kingdom is yours and the enemy shall not overcome.

                                          2 Peter  1:4 tells us we are given exceeding great and precious promises;                                              that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature,


The Spirit says,

God will go before us,

In this and every day;

Our every need provided,

If we but walk His way;

God will go before us,

His Son walks by ourside

And His Spirit, our Comforter,

His life is our guide.

His Spirit is our Comforter,

His life is our guide,


and Amen.

©1974   John Aldon Utz          



If there was ever a day when this message needed to be preached, spoken of, written about, surely it is  today. . .

for deeply personal reasons I need to hear, understand and pay heed to the words and scriptures that we shall share today.


DC 52:4b Satan is abroadAnd again, I will give unto you a pattern in all things, that ye may not be deceived; for  in the land, and he goeth forth deceiving the nations;

Genesis 6:50 SatanBehold,  hath come among the children of men, and tempteth them to worship him; and men have become carnal, sensual, and devilish, and are shut out from the presence of God.

demonSATAN comes at us under many names Angel of Light, Antichrist, Beelzebub, King of Hell, Lucifer, Mephistopheles, Prince of Darkness, archfiend, , the Evil Spirit and the devil 

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Ephesians 6:11-16 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; ...

Should be watchful against.

2 Corinthians 2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

Psalms 70:4 rejoice and be gladLet all those that seek thee  in thee; and let such as love thy salvation say continually, Let God be magnified.

Psalms 90:14 rejoice and be gladOh satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may  all our days.

Psalms 118:24 rejoice and be gladThis is the day which the Lord hath made; we will  in it.

Encourage = advance, further, promote; inspire with confidence; give hope or courage to

Psa 31:23 O love the Lord, all ye his saints; for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer. 24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.

6Isa 41: They helped everyone his neighbor; and everyone said to his brother, Be of good courage. . .8 But, thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.

9 Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. 10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee; be not dismayed; for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. 11 Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded; they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish.

Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
29 For him whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to his own image, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover, him whom he did predestinate, him he also called; and him whom he called, him he also sanctified; and him whom he sanctified, him he also glorified. 31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can prevail against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?  . . . 33 Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 35
 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
DC 110:22a Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory!

Seemeth heavier every day.
And the cross we have to carry
By the roughness of the way
When our souls are much discouraged,
(I Sam. 7:12)

He hath blessed us hitherto.—Selected.
Oh 'tis well to remember
Hides the Father's face from view,
When some cloud that over-shadows,

Helping Others

D. L. Moody says, "It is very easy to preach when others are all the time praying for you." In an illustration, he says, "You have heard the story, I suppose, of the child who was rescued from the fire that was raging in a house away up in the fourth story. The child came to the window and as the flames were shooting up higher and higher, it cried out for help. A fireman started up the ladder of the fire escape to rescue the child from its dangerous position. The wind swept the flames near him, and it was getting so hot that he wavered, and it looked as if he would have to return without the child. Thousands looked on, and their hearts quaked at the thought of the child having to perish in the fire, as it must do if the fireman did not reach it. Someone in the crowd cried, `Give him a cheer!' Cheer after cheer went up, and as the man heard them he gathered fresh courage. Up he went in-to the midst of the smoke and the fire, and brought down the child to safety."

In the day when rewards are given, the one who did the cheering in the service of the Lord "shall in no wise lose his reward" (Matt. 10:42).

Help to save the millions dying, Help just a little.
"Brother, for Christ's Kingdom sighing,  Help a little, help a little;

Beloved, if you cannot do much, you can at least be among the ones that "helped everyone his neighbor; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage."

—Gospel Herald.Oh the skies that we may brighten Helping just a little."
"Oh the wrongs that we may righten Oh the hearts that we may lighten;


Resources to draw on:

19 Ways to Encourage Others

Stacy WiebeWritten by     Learn how to develop an encouraging heart

Encouragement goes straight to the heart.In fact, the word itself comes from a combination of the prefix “en” which means “to put into” and the Latin word “cor” which means heart.

Knowing what a big difference encouragement makes in your own life, what can you do to help others “to take heart” when the going gets tough and way feels long?

Become aware of what encourages you, and do those same things for others.

Learn individuals’ “love language”-the special way in which they feel most valued. In his book, The Five Languages of Love, Gary Chapman explains that not everyone’s emotional needs are met in the same way, and that it’s important to learn to speak others’ love language. The five love languages are: words of affirmation, spending quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service and physical touch.

If an encouraging thought comes to mind, share it! It may not have the same effect if you wait. Don’t let shyness hold you back. Instead, form a new habit: “Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today…” (Hebrews 3:13).

When you introduce someone, add a few words of praise for the person’s abilities, accomplishments, about how they’ve helped you or about the nature of your relationship. It’s encouraging to be praised in front of others.*

When someone is discouraged or hurting, offer specific, practical help. If you ask, “How can I help?” the person might be at a loss to answer. It’s better to ask, “Would it help if I…(specific action) or say, “I would like to…(specific action)?*

Remind fellow Christians of the specific promises of God and characteristics of God. We may know something with our mind, but need to be reminded in our heart. The Apostle Peter wrote, “I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have” (2 Peter 1:12).

Write someone a note to tell them that you’re praying for them. Tell them what you’re praying. You can pray specific Scriptures for individuals such as Romans 15:13, “[I pray that] the God of hope [will] 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.”

Make celebration a more regular part of your relationships. Celebrate others’ victories, large and small-with a note, with coffee together, with a special meal, a congratulatory phone call or just a high-five!

Be specific when you offer words of praise; it makes your encouragement more credible and concrete “You did a great job at…” “I really appreciate that you…” “I was really impressed that you…”

Encourage other believers with a reminder of Christ’s coming. It redirects our thinking to an eternal perspective and ultimate deliverance from the sin and death. “We who are still alive and are left will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words” (1 Thessalonians 5:17b-18).

Realize the power of presence. Just being there is encouraging! When you’re with others, you’re telling them that they’re important. The Apostle Paul closed his letter to the church at Colosse promising to send his friend Tychius “that he may encourage your hearts” (Colossians 4:8b).

If you’re part of a church, Bible study or fellowship, be committed to showing up. Your simple presence encourages others that they are part of a community of faith and that they are not alone. That’s why the writer of Hebrews says, “Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-and all the more as we see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).

If someone you know is working on a large project, send her a single flower to encourage her at the beginning of the project, and a full bouquet when it’s done.*

Use encouragement as an outreach. If anyone should be known for being an encourager, it should be the Christian. Write a letter of appreciation to people at work, your apartment manager, your child’s teacher or your doctor. Often when we interact with these people, we are asking for their services. Take time just to say thank you!*

If you really want to encourage someone who gives you excellent service, write a letter of commendation to the person’s boss.*

We could learn something from the way team athletes freely pat, touch and high-five each other in competition. Touch is a powerful encouragement. Be sure to be sensitive in this area, though. Ask someone if you can hug her first. And be careful to be above reproach with persons of the opposite sex.

When you see someone making positive changes in their lives, affirm them. “You seem to have a really great attitude about…” “It may be that I’m just starting to take notice, but I see that you’re…” “Do you think that you are becoming more…?”

Tell people how they’ve encouraged you!


Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you. ~William Arthur Ward.

Oakland TribuneAn elderly widow, restricted in her activities, was eager to serve Christ. After praying about this, she realized that she could bring blessing to others by playing the piano. The next day she placed this small ad in the : "Pianist will play hymns by phone daily for those who are sick and despondent--the service is free." The notice included the number to dial. When people called, she would ask, "What hymn would you like to hear?" Within a few months her playing had brought cheer to several hundred people. Many of them freely poured out their hearts to her, and she was able to help and encourage them. ~Source Unknown. 

Bits & PiecesThe American painter, John Sargent, once painted a panel of roses that was highly praised by critics. It was a small picture, but it approached perfection. Although offered a high price for it on many occasions, Sargent refused to sell it. He considered it his best work and was very proud of it. Whenever he was deeply discouraged and doubtful of his abilities as an artist, he would look at it and remind himself, "I painted that." Then his confidence and ability would come back to him. ~, September 19, 1991, p. 9. 

Recently, I heard a touching story which illustrates the power that words have to change a life -- a power that lies right in the hands of those reading this article. Mary had grown up knowing that she was different from the other kids, and she hated it. She was born with a cleft palate and had to bear the jokes and stares of cruel children who teased her non-stop about her misshaped lip, crooked nose, and garbled speech. With all the teasing, Mary grew up hating the fact that she was "different". She was convinced that no one, outside her family, could ever love her ... until she entered Mrs. Leonard's class.

Mrs. Leonard had a warm smile, a round face, and shiny brown hair. While everyone in her class liked her, Mary came to love Mrs. Leonard. In the 1950's, it was common for teachers to give their children an annual hearing test. However, in Mary's case, in addition to her cleft palate, she was barely able to hear out of one ear. Determined not to let the other children have another "difference" to point out, she would cheat on the test each year. The "whisper test" was given by having a child walk to the classroom door, turn sideways, close one ear with a finger, and then repeat something which the teacher whispered. Mary turned her bad ear towards her teacher and pretended to cover her good ear. She knew that teachers would often say things like, "The sky is blue," or "What color are your shoes?" But not on that day. Surely, God put seven words in Mrs. Leonard's mouth that changed Mary's life forever. When the "Whisper test" came, Mary heard the words: "I wish you were my little girl."

Dads, I wish there was some way that I could communicate to you the incredible blessing which affirming words impart to children. I wish, too, that you could sit in my office, when I counsel, and hear the terrible damage that individuals received from not hearing affirming words -- particularly affirming words from a father. While words from a godly teacher can melt a heart, words from a father can powerfully set the course of a life.

John Trent, Ph.D., Vice President of Today's Family, Men of Action, Winter 1993, p. 5.If affirming words were something rarely spoken in your home growing up, let me give you some tips on words and phrases that can brighten your own child's eyes and life. These words are easy to say to any child who comes into your life. I'm proud of you, Way to go, Bingo ... you did it, Magnificent, I knew you could do it, What a good helper, You're very special to me, I trust you, What a treasure, Hurray for you, Beautiful work, You're a real trooper, Well done, That's so creative, You make my day, You're a joy, Give me a big hug, You're such a good listener, You figured it out, I love you, You're so responsible, You remembered, You're the best, You sure tried hard, I've got to hand it to you, I couldn't be prouder of you, You light up my day, I'm praying for you, You're wonderful, I'm behind you, You're so kind to your (brother/sister), You're God's special gift, I'm here for you. ~ 


IMITATE GOD’s GENEROSITY (11-8-19 Grandview)

In like manner, we are called to carry generosity, as well as kindness, charity, forgiveness, shalom and many other positive character traits. It is by exercising and living out these qualities that we best imitate God.   The God we worship is an awesome God very worthy to be imitated:

" one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof,

even so shall another come; and there is no end to my works, neither to my words.

Behold this is my work to my glory,

to the immortality and eternal life of man."

~Times & Seasons Vol. 4 Chapt. 5:73

God is willing to go to any lengths to accomplish His Purposes for us!  In the meridian of time God gave His Only Son for all for us . . .

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish; but have everlasting life.”

~John 3:16

We are witnesses of God’s purpose . . . We are called to embrace His Gospel, the Plan of Salvation and to teach those principles:

DC 42:5a And again, the elders, priests, and teachers of this church shall teach the principles of my gospel which are in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, in which is the fullness of the gospel;

and not only that

The Book of Mormon clearly defines our calling:

3 Nephi 2:97 Behold I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.

Our Work and Our Purpose then is to


We are an important part of the  Restoration.

This Marvelous Work and a Wonder

is a wondrous gift and a precious treasure,  

and it is entrusted to you and to me.


2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.


This is a good reminder that


We fully rely on God (FROG)

And if we do so we will obey & claim God’s promises:

I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say,

but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise. “

~DC 81:3b

This is important to us because we want to be

with the Lord when our race is run.

“And when I go, I will prepare a place for you,

and come again and receive you unto myself;

that where I am, ye may be also.”

~ John 14:3


We look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith

Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;

who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,

despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.


That same Joy is set before us and begins with how we relate with and serve each other!

We are called according to the gifts we have been given and

We follow the pattern set for us by Jesus.  Jesus preached the Kingdom and did only what the Father gave him to do!


And When Jesus was tempted by Satan He responded “IT IS WRITTEN”

JESUS knew God’s Word because He HAD PREPARED HIMSELF as a RABBI

The Mishnah (Mish-nu – oral interpretations of the scriptures) describes the educational process for a young Jewish boy in Jesus' time.  At five years old [one is fit] for the Scripture, at ten years the Mishnah (oral Torah, interpretations) at thirteen for the fulfilling of the commandments, at fifteen the Talmud (making Rabbinic interpretations), at eighteen the bride-chamber, at twenty pursuing a vocation, at thirty for authority (able to teach others) This clearly describes the exceptional student, for very few would become teachers but indicates the centrality of Scripture in the education in Galilee. It is interesting to compare Jesus' life to this description. Though little is stated about his childhood we know that he "grew in wisdom" as a boy (Luke 2:52) and that he reached the "fulfilling of the commandments" indicated by ones first Passover at age twelve (Luke 2:41). He then learned a trade (Matt. 13:55, Mark 6:3) and spent time with John the Baptist (Luke 3:21; John 3:22-26) and began his ministry at -about thirty- (Luke 3:23). This parallels the Mishnah description quite closely.

“It is written” is in fact found 109 times in the 3 books


It is to His scriptures that we must look for His Word.

What does that require of us?


These are like the 5 fingers on the hand you use to reach for your Holy Scriptures!

Psalms 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

DC 16:1c . . ., behold, I give unto you a commandment, that you rely upon the things which are written; for in them are all things written concerning the foundation of my church, my gospel, and my Rock;

DC 52:4b I will give unto you a pattern in all thingsAnd again, , that ye may not be deceived; for Satan is abroad in the land, and he goeth forth deceiving the nations;

DC 81:3b I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say, but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.

Paraphrasing Emerson’s Quote

Though we travel the world over to find God’s Word,

we must carry it with us or we find it not!



“I will not leave you comfortless;

I will come to you.”

~John 14:18

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

~John 14:26

Our 3 Books of Scripture ARE a most important and definitive source for God’s Word.  However, like the words of a favorite hymn:

We limit not the truth of God to our poor reach of mind, to notions of our day and place, crude, partial, and confined: No, let a new and better hope within our hearts be stirred: O God, grant yet more light and truth to break forth from your Word.

truth is independentAll  in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also, otherwise there is no existence.  ~DC 90:5b

These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace;

  Zechariah 8:16 


ye shall know the truthAnd , and the truth shall make you free.

~John 8:32

We accept Truth from whatever source it comes from, be it from God, Inspired Men and Women, the Spirit of Truth, Angelic Ministry and other Heavenly Messengers, by Prophesy or by Visions.




My Moment Of Truth: See My Spiritual Journey


Be Ready For God

I Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts; and be ready always to give an answer with meekness and fear to every man that asketh of you a reason for the hope that is in you:

DC 32:3e wherefore, be faithful, praying always, having your lamps trimmed and burning, and oil with you, that you may be ready at the coming of the Bridegroom; for, behold, verily, verily I say unto you, that I come quickly; even so. Amen.

DC 50:8g and I am the good Shepherd (and the stone of Israel: he that buildeth upon this rock shall never fall), and the day cometh that you shall hear my voice and see me, and know that I am. Watch, therefore, that ye may be ready. Even so. Amen.

It seems almost too simple to be true, but acceptance -- accepting things exactly as they are -- can be the key that unlocks the door to happiness. After John 3:16, it may be one of the most referenced passages in literature.
God has a plan for your life and if it involves a little pain and frustration now and then, so be it. We have to KNOW that God has a plan for us. That is the main key.  Alcoholics Anonymous' Big Book page 449  "And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation -- some fact of my life -- unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God's world by mistake."   


Today in the WordBritish sculptor Sir Jacob Epstein was once visited in his studio by the eminent author and fellow Briton, George Bernard Shaw. The visitor noticed a huge block of stone standing in one corner and asked what it was for.   "I don't know yet. I'm still making plans."  Shaw was astounded. "You mean you plan your work. Why, I change my mind several times a day!"  "That's all very well with a four-ounce manuscript," replied the sculptor, "but not with a four-ton block."  , April 5, 1993.

Source Unknown.Plan ahead, it was not raining when Noah built the ark.  

Bits & PiecesThe class of noisy boys in a German primary school was being punished by their teacher. They were assigned the problem of adding together all the numbers from 1 to 100. The boys settled down, scribbling busily on their slates -- all but one. This boy looked off into space for a few moments, then wrote something on his slate and turned it in. His was the only right answer.   When the amazed teacher asked how he did it, the boy replied, "I thought there might be some short cut, and I found one: 100 plus 1 is 101; 99 plus 2 is 101; 98 plus 3 is 101, and, if I continued the series all the way to 51 plus 50, I have 101 50 times, which is 5,050."   After this episode, the young scholar received special tutoring from his teacher. The boy was Karl Friedrich Gauss, the great mathematician of the 19th century.   , April 30, 1992.

W. Wiersbe, Hudson Taylor had definite convictions about how God's work should be done. We can make our best plans and try to carry them out in our own strength. Or we can make careful plans and ask God to bless them. "Yet another way of working is to begin with God; to ask His plans, and to offer ourselves to Him to carry out His purposes."   Wycliffe Handbook of Preaching and Preachers, p. 243. 

Genesis 6

60 For no unclean thing can dwell there, or dwell in his presence; for, in the language of Adam, Man of Holiness is his name; and the name of his Only Begotten is the son of Man, even Jesus Christ, a righteous judge, who shall come in the meridian of time.
61 Therefore I give unto you a commandment, to teach these things freely unto your children, saying, that by reason of transgression cometh the fall, which fall bringeth death; and inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so become of dust a living soul;
62 Even so ye must be born again, into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten; that ye may be sanctified from all sin; and enjoy the words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come; even immortal glory.
63 For, by the water ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified; and by the blood ye are sanctified.
64 Therefore it is given to abide in you, the record of heaven, the Comforter, the peaceable things of immortal glory, the truth of all things, that which quickeneth all things which maketh alive all things, that which knoweth all things, and hath all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth, justice and judgment.
 And now, behold, I say unto you, This is the plan of salvation unto all men, through the blood of mine Only Begotten, who shall come in the meridian of time.


DC 52:4b And again, I will give unto you a pattern in all things, that ye may not be deceived; for Satan is abroad in the land, and he goeth forth deceiving the nations;

Titus 2:2 - Titus 2:12

2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.
3 The aged women, likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
6 Young men likewise exhort to be sober-minded.
 In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,
8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.
9 Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again;
10 Not purloining, but showing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.
11 For the grace of God which bringeth salvation to all men, hath appeared;
12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

Alma 9:42 Now if it had not been for the plan of redemption, which was laid from the foundation of the world, there could have been no resurrection of the dead; 43 But there was a plan of redemption laid, which shall bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, of which has been spoken. . .45 And thus the plan of redemption would have been frustrated, and the word of God would have been void, taking none effect. . .49 And they began from that time forth to call on his name; therefore God conversed with men, and made known unto them the plan of redemption, which had been prepared from the foundation of the world; 52 Therefore God gave unto them commandments, after having made known unto them the plan of redemption, that they should not do evil, the penalty thereof being a second death, which was an everlasting death as to things pertaining unto righteousness; 53 For on such the plan of redemption could have no power, for the works of justice could not be destroyed, according to the supreme goodness of God. 54 But God did call on men, in the name of his Son, (this being the plan of redemption which was laid,) saying: If ye will repent, and harden not your hearts, then will I have mercy upon you, through mine only begotten Son.

Be ready, God wants you. . .Daniel 1-3
Info: Around 605bc there was a king of Babylon by the name of Nebuchandnezzar. He went around invading countries, towns, villages and taking all the people he thought were useful back to Babylon. He took all the intelligent, good looking, strong people. He left only the poor and weak and they took whatever land was left. On this specific raid he captured, among many others 4 boys. These 4 young men did not know it but what they were about to do, and more importantly what they were NOT going to do would be talked about for centuries to come. These young men got together and decided that they were going to stick together in their decisions and not change. Even when death was placed before them they showed that Faith can definitely move mountains.


In discussing the issue of meeting real needs with the sermon, Donald Miller compares preaching to shooting quail:  (This is a lesson I learned hunting with Grandfather John Byrn)  "If you aim for all the birds, you hit none, but if you aim for one, you are likely to get several. The basic spiritual needs of men are quite similar ... often times the needs of individuals are best met in crowds."



Acts 2:42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 And fear came upon every soul; and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. 44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. 46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

1Psalm 23: The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. I Peter 2:19 20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. 21 For even hereunto were ye called; because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps; 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth; 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously; 24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes ye were healed. 25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. John 10:1 2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice; and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. 4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him; for they know his voice. 5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him; for they know not the voice of strangers. 6 This parable spake Jesus unto them; but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them. 7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheepfold. 8 All that ever came before me who testified not of me are thieves and robbers; but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door; by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

 Hearken unto me, O Jacob, and Israel, my called; for I am he; I am the first, and I am also the last. I Nephi 6:6:1920 Mine hand hath also laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens; I call unto them, and they stand up together. 21 All ye, assemble yourselves, and hear; who among them hath declared these things unto them? The Lord hath loved him; yea, and he will fulfill his word which he hath declared by them; and he will do his pleasure on Babylon, and his arm shall come upon the Chaldeans. 22 Also, saith the Lord: I the Lord, yea, I have spoken; yea, I have called him, to declare, I have brought him, and he shall make his way prosperous. 23 Come ye near unto me; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was declared, have I spoken; and the Lord God, and his Spirit hath sent me. 24 And thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I have sent him, the Lord thy God who teacheth thee to profit, who leadeth thee by the way thou shouldst go, has done it. 25 O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandment! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea; 26 Thy seed also had been as the sand; the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof: his name should not have been cut off nor destroyed from before me. 27 Go ye forth of Babylon, flee ye from the Chaldeans, with a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter to the end of the earth; say ye, The Lord hath redeemed his servant Jacob.

Doctrine and Covenants 162:1a. Listen, O people of the Restoration—you who would become a prophetic people, embodying in your life together the ministries of the Temple. Listen to the Voice that speaks from beyond the farthest hills, from the infinite heavens above, and the vast seas below.  b. Listen to the Voice that echoes across the eons of time and yet speaks anew in this moment. Listen to the Voice, for it cannot be stilled, and it calls you once again to the great and marvelous work of building the peaceable kingdom, even Zion, on behalf of the One whose name you claim.


How to Grow Spiritually Every Day By Kathy Bruins 

Each day can be filled with opportunities, relationships, disappointments, hope, healing, and many other things. It’s important to take note and meditate on what your day held for you. There is a spiritual exercise called the Examen that provides insight to those who seek what purpose they have in life, and how they can grow from it. This is a very gratifying exercise that can be done in 15 minutes a day.

Things You’ll Need:

Optional items: Bible, journal, pen, candle to light

Find a quiet place where you can be alone.
Step 1: Light a candle
 if you like for atmosphere. Have your Bible, paper or journal, pen or pencil on hand in case you would like to write anything down. Sometimes in recording parts of the day, you can see a pattern. The pattern may be one that you want to change. Perhaps it is a pattern that shows how God is working in you. Remember that you are in God’s presence. You always are, but during prayerful times like this, you give special attention to God. You become vulnerable to God. This is where the best work happens in our lives.

Pray for remembrance of your day. Try to replay your day through your mind. What were your thoughts and feelings as each scene replays? Slowly reflect each moment, because they are all important. There is purpose in each moment of your life. In remembering your day, think about what made you the happiest. Then what made you the saddest. What situations occur that give you these emotions? The events that made you the happiest, why did they? Thank God for those moments. The events that made you sad, why did they? Is it a circumstance that can be changed? Is God calling you to do something in this situation?
Step 2:

When did you show love? When didn’t you? Did you help someone in need with pure motives? Did you miss an opportunity to show love, because feelings got in the way, or you were busy? How can you make the most of the opportunities given you to show love? Where did you fail? When did you succeed? It’s important to recognize the challenges in life and how we respond to them. What can we learn from our failures? How can we celebrate our successes?
Step 3:

When did you feel like you truly belonged? This could be in relation to school, work, family, friends, or God. When did feel most like you didn’t belong? Being a part of something is so important. Feeling accepted and loved helps us feel valued. The truth is that everyone has value, but sometimes we don’t feel like it. Where was God in my day? We know that God is always there, but as you examine your day, what evidence did you see of God’s working in your life? Give God thanks for that work.
Step 4:


A Good Way to Start Each Day   Lorne Sanny

"armor checklist"Why have a checklist?   Because the Christian life is one of conflict. You and I are in a battle. The question we must answer is, "Am I fit for the battle?"  Soldiers used to prepare for combat by putting on armor. We, too, can put on "armor." Ephesians 6:13 says "Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." Here is the
I have discovered that for me Ephesians 6:13-18 is a good daily checklist.  

 you can use each morning to see if you are fit for the day's battle:
TRUTH. "Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth . . . " (v. 14)


So I ask myself, Am I meditating on some Scripture today? Am I seeking to apply the Word of God to my life? Am I testing any bright ideas I have against the Word of God? Does the Word of God direct and rule my life? That's my first check.
I believe this means to have a mind that is saturated with the Word of God. " . . . thy law is true" (Ps. 119:142).

. "Having put on the breastplate of righteousness . . ." (v. 14)

As I begin a new day, do I have a conscience void of offence toward God and man? If not, I will find the Spirit of God is hindered in my life. He will be hindered in helping me make the decisions I must make today, hindered in the work I must do.
Is all known sin confessed? Can I look everybody straight in the eye today or must I drop my gaze when I meet certain ones? Is my conscience clear?

TESTIMONY " . . . and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace . . ." (v. 15)

I feel this simply means a Bible-based testimony "And they have conquered him (the accuser) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony . . . " (Rev. 12:11)
Am I on the alert today for an opportunity to share a word of testimony with somebody, Christian or non-Christian? A Bible-based testimony is a weapon, an offensive weapon against Satan.

FAITH " . . . above all taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one." (v. 16)

Acts 27:25 says, "So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told." And the most practical way for me to operate on this checkpoint is to ask myself, What promise or promises from God am I going to claim and seek to live by today? I'm going to act in faith on these.
Usually I find that these promises were given me during periods of protracted time alone with God. If you don't have something like this, get some before long. These promises will better equip you for the battle . . . something solid to fall back on when the going gets rough.

SALVATION "And take the helmet of salvation . . ." (v. 17)

Salvation is past, present, and future, isn't it? We were saved, we are being saved, and we will be saved. Someone has said, "We were saved from the penalty of sin, are being saved from the power of sin, and will be saved from the presence of sin."
Am I today entering more fully into the salvation that is in Christ? Going away from self, self-centeredness, and selfish motives?

SCRIPTURE " . . . and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." (v. 17)

I feel this means a specific "saying" from the Scripture that you can apply in some instance during the day. This is precisely what Jesus did in the wilderness. He had a specific verse of Scripture to quote. Am I equipped today with some specific sayings?
You know what I've found? When I get too many sayings I get confused. I can use only one or two or three. Therefore, it's wise not to get too many for the day.

PRAYER "Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints." (v. 18)

That's what I do to stay in shape for the battle. Why not give it a try for a few days.
He needed help. And here is how he coped with it: "Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud; and he shall hear my voice" (Ps. 55:17).
In Psalm 55:10, David says that his enemies are after him day and night. How could he extricate himself from all those conspiring against him?


Mother's Sacrifice

A teacher asked a boy this question: 'suppose your mother baked a pie and there were seven of you-your parents and five children. What part of the pie would you get"? "A sixth,? replied the boy. "I'm afraid you don't know your fractions,? said the teacher. 'remember, there are seven of you.? "Yes, teacher,? said the boy, "but you don't know my mother. Mother would say she didn't want any pie. '  Bits and Pieces, June, 1990, p. 10

Beta vs VHS

In its January 25, l988 issue, TIME provided an insight on selfishness and its corollary, sharing. Speaking about the introduction of the videocassette recorder, the article said, "The company had made a crucial mistake. While at first Sony kept its Beta technology mostly to itself, JVC, the Japanese inventor of the VHS (format), shared its secret with a a raft of other firms. As a result, the market was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the VHS machines being produced."   This drastically undercut Sony's market share. The first year, Sony lost 40 percent of the market, and by 1987 it controlled only 10 percent. So now Sony has jumped on the VHS bandwagon. While it still continues to make Beta-format VCRs, Sony's switch to VHS, according to TIME, will likely send Beta machines to "the consumer-electronics graveyard." Even in a cut-throat business, sharing has its rewards.

Michael Jordan On Teamwork

- Des Moines Register as reported from PreachingTodayJordan held fast to the no-shoot rule, even with the outcome of the scrimmage on the line. He was passed the ball with his team trailing by one and less than five seconds left, but he didn't take the open shot and passed the ball back.  How many Christians act as spectators of the ministry, when God has called them to be participants?   
When Michael Jordan re-entered the NBA in 2001, there was a new and unusual rule enforced during a Washington Wizards basketball scrimmage: a no-shooting rule for Jordan. In one exhibition match, Jordan's teammates stood around and waited for him to perform. The following day, Jordan and coach Doug Collins put a stop to that.  Jordan said, "Everybody wants to sit back and watch. But one [reason] why we became successful in Chicago was…we had to play as a unit instead of just watching.  "What makes me more effective is other guys stepping up and being a threat. If I'm the only threat, then I'm doing all the work. Obviously that's not going to work."


Christian Growth

Pastoral RenewalI met a young man not long ago who dives for exotic fish for aquariums. He told me that one of the most popular aquarium fish is the shark. He explained that if you catch a small shark and confine it, it will stay a size proportionate to the aquarium you put it in. Sharks can be six inches long yet fully matured. But if you turn them loose in the ocean, they grow to their normal length of eight feet.  That is like what happens to some Christians. I have seen some of the cutest little six-inch Christians who swim around in a little puddle. You can look at them and comment on how fine they are. But if you were to put them out into a larger arena—into the broad view of a whole creation—they might become great.  God help us not to be confined to a little puddle out of insecurity, but instead to see that Jesus Christ is Lord of all. He made us, and if we will both have internal integrity and relate ourselves to the larger structures in the ways he has ordained, we will be able to serve him according to a holistic vision of his purpose on the earth.  , February 1985, p. 111


North Pole Expedition

One of the early explorers to the North Pole charted his journey hourly to ensure that he stayed on course through the white wasteland. At one point a strange phenomenon began to occur. When he checked his position, his instruments indicated that even though he had been moving north, he was actually farther south than he had been an hour before. Regardless of the speed at which he walked toward the Pole, he continued to get farther from it. Finally he discovered that he had ventured onto an enormous iceberg that was drifting in one direction as he was walking in the other. You see, there is a world of difference between activity and progress. This is as true on our Christian’s journey toward heaven as it is on a North Pole expedition. There is a big difference between activity and progress in spiritual growth.  It’s often hard to recognize spiritual advance over a week’s time or maybe even a month’s time. Trying to determine the progress of a soul is like looking at the growth of an oak. We can’t actually see it growing at the moment, but we can compare it to where it was some time ago and see that there has indeed been growth. How can we know that we are we more like Jesus than we were a year ago at this same time? How do we know that we are making real progress and not merely deceiving ourselves with activity?


A man, after 25 years with one company, was still doing the same old job and drawing the same salary. Finally he went to his boss and told him he felt he had been neglected. “After all,” he said, “I’ve had a quarter of a century of experience.”  “My dear fellow,” sighed the boss, “you haven’t had a quarter of a century of experience, you’ve had one experience for a quarter of a century.”  Source unknown

Good Timber

Never became a forest king But lived and died a scrubby thing.
That stood out in the open plain And always got its share of rain,
The tree that never had to fight For sun and sky and air and light,

Never became a manly man, But lived and died as he began.
Who never had to win his share Of sun and sky and light and air,
The man who never had to toil To heaven from the common soil,

By sun and cold, by rain and snows, In tree or man, good timber grows.
The farther sky, the greater length; The more the storm, the more the strength;
Good timber does not grow in ease; The stronger wind, the tougher trees;

Of many winds and of much strife — This is the common law of life.
And they hold converse with the stars Whose broken branches show the scars
Where thickest stands the forest growth We find the patriarchs of them both;

Douglas Malloch, Quoted in Resource, Sept./Oct., 1992, p. 7

Seven Rules for Growth 

A person who is “born again” starts a new life similar to that of a newborn infant. Seven rules that promote good health in babies are adapted and applied to a Christian’s spiritual growth.

1. Daily Food. Take in the “pure milk of the word” through study and meditation.  2. Fresh Air. Pray often or you will faint. Prayer is the oxygen of the soul.  3. Regular Exercise. Put into practice what you learn in God’s Word.  4. Adequate Rest. Rely on God at all times in simple faith.  5. Clean Surroundings. Avoid evil company and whatever will weaken you spiritually.  6. Loving Care. Be part of a church where you will benefit from a pastor’s teaching and Christian fellowship.  7. Periodic Checkups. Regularly examine your spiritual health. Source unknown

Masterplanning: Behind the scenes of an Arizona circus, Bobb Biehl started chatting with a man who trains animals for Hollywood movies: "How is it that you can stake down a ten-ton elephant with the same size stake that you use for this little fellow?" I asked, pointing to a baby elephant who weighed three hundred pounds. "It's easy . . . " the trainer said. "When they are babies, we stake them down. They try to tug away from the stake maybe ten thousand times before they realize that they can't possibly get away. At that point, their 'elephant memory' takes over and they remember for the rest of their lives that they can't get away from the stake."  Humans are sometimes like elephants. When we are teenagers, some unthinking, insensitive, unwise person says, "He's not very good at planning," or "She's not a leader," or "Their team will never make it," and zap, we drive a mental stake into our minds. Often when we become mature adults, we are still held back by some inaccurate one-sentence "stake" put in our minds when we were young. Today you are an adult capable of much more than you realize. You are far more capable than you were even twelve months ago, and next year you will be able to do things you can't imagine doing today."   Bobb Biehl, .

When Pablo Casals reached 95, a young reported threw him a question: "Mr. Casals, you are 95 and the greatest cellist that ever lived. Why do you still practice six hours a day?" And Mr. Casals answered, "Because I think I'm making progress."   


Deliver Us

"Deliver" can mean carry out or perform, save from sins,

bring to a destination, free from harm or evil, pass down

Exodus 14:19–31;Scriptures:  Psalm 114; Romans 14:1–12; Matthew 18:21–35/18:21–34 IV; Jacob 1:7–8a; Doctrine and Covenants 39:1 

DC39:1a Hearken and listen to the voice of him who is from all eternity to all eternity, the great I AM, even Jesus Christ, the light and the life of the world; a light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not; 1b the same which came in the meridian of time unto my own, and my own received me not; 1c but to as many as received me, gave I power to become my sons, and even so will I give unto as many as will receive me, power to become my sons.

THIS IS HOW GOD DELIVERS US. . .with power to become his sons

seek the Lord, if HOW do we become His sons?   Acts 17 tells us v27 That they should haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:  28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; This is a both public and a private effort thing…IT IS a life changing experience where we become "Fishers of men" and the "Light of the world."  


Secret Christians 

An old grizzled lumberjack was on vacation during the off season and attended church with his family. During the sermon he came to believe in Jesus Christ and at the close of the service made a public profession of his faith. The pastor warned him that living a life for Christ among the other lumberjacks was going to be difficult.

A year later the lumberjack was home again and his pastor asked him how it went. "Oh, no problem. They never guessed that I was a Christian."

Sadly, many of us are tempted to follow the same rule. Keep your head low and do not risk provoking others by professing your faith. This is not what Christ had in mind when he told the disciples they would be "Fishers of men" and the "Light of the world."

14 Matt 5:Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

13 I CAN DO ALL THINGS through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Questions: 1. Have you ever felt “delivered” by God? From what did you need to be delivered? Why? 

1973 I experienced Satan's power in a sexual obsession I had, I went stayed with Florence//////

Proverbs 2:16 To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words;
Matthew 6:14
 And suffer us not to be led into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Psalms 18:2
 The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

Experience of the NEED for Deliverance  with Hatti ...karballi

15Mark 9: And one of the multitude answered, and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, who hath a dumb spirit that is a devil; and when he seizeth him, he tearethim; and he foameth and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away; and I spake to thy disciples that they might cast him out, and they could not.  
21 And immediately the father of the child cried out, and said, with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. 22 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, I charge thee to come out of him, and enter no more into him. 23 Now the dumb and deaf spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him; and he was as one dead, insomuch that many said, He is dead. 24 But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose. 25 When Jesus was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out?
26 And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing but by prayer and fasting.
Matt 17:15 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a man kneeling down to him, and saying, Lord, have mercy on my son; for he is lunatic, and sore vexed; for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.  16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. 17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation! how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you? Bring him hither to me. 18 And Jesus rebuked the devil, and he departed out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. 19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief; for, verily, I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove to yonder place, and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
21 Howbeit, this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

ILLUSTRATION: Faith for my deliverance is not faith in God. Faith means, whether I am visibly delivered or not, I will stick to my belief that God is love. There are some things only learned in a fiery furnace.

Oswald Chambers in Run Today's Race. 

2. How has God’s continuing faithfulness impacted your life?  


3. How does your congregation demonstrate faithfulness to one another and to God? 


2 SAMUEL Chapter 5:16) Elishama, Eliada and Eliphalet?    Who are these seemingly obscure characters of the Bible? These are the last 3 sons of king David. (David was the man whom God used to kill Goliath, writer of many of the psalms, the man who sinned so greatly, but repented so deeply, and the one whom Scripture calls “a man after God’s own heart.”

Elishama means “God hears.” Eliada means “God knows.” Eliphalet means “God delivers.” David is basically summing up his life and what he has learned in his relationship with God. It’s a truth that is just as real today. God hears. God knows, and yes, God does deliver!

Elishama, Eliada and Eliphalet

Elishama, Eliada and Eliphalet, proclaim a message we should never forget. Through all your supplications and prayers, Just remember that our God surely hears Though you may seek for an answer day after day, Rest assured child, it’s already on its’ way.  And when it seems you can’t stand, and no hope is shown, Don’t doubt, his trial by God is known. He won’t put on you more than you’re able to bear, But He’ll give you the strength to persevere Sometimes things may seem bleak And your faith may quiver, Hold on to the calm assurance That our God does deliver. Just like ol’ Daniel in the lions’ den, He will rescue you again and again.  Yes, trials will come, and trials deeper yet, But Elishama, and Eliada and Eliphalet!

ILLUSTRATION: John Paton was a missionary in the New Hebrides Islands. One night hostile natives surrounded the mission station, intent on burning out the Patons and killing them. Paton and his wife prayed during that terror-filled night that God would deliver them. When daylight came they were amazed to see their attackers leave. A year later, the chief of the tribe was converted to Christ. Remembering what had happened, Paton asked the chief what had kept him from burning down the house and killing them. The chief replied in surprise, "Who were all those men with you there?" Paton knew no men were present--but the chief said he was afraid to attack because he had seen hundreds of big men in shining garments with drawn swords circling the mission station. Today in the Word, MBI, October, 1991, p. 18. 

ILLUSTRATION:  The most famous play in Rose Bowl history occurs in 1929 when Georgia Tech beats California 8 to 7. Anyone who knows anything about football will tell you that something unusual must have happened for Georgia Tech to have scored 8 points. It wasn’t a two point conversion after Georgia Tech’s touchdown; Tech missed their PAT and would have lost the game if not for one play that made all the difference in the outcome of the game. Cal’s center Roy Riegels recovered a quarterback fumble and ran 65 yards before being tackled at the one yard line by his teammate Benny Lom. Lom says, “I shouted but he couldn’t hear me because of the crowd noise.” What do you think Benny was shouting as the two players ran towards the goal line? “TURN AROUND! YOU’RE GOING THE WRONG WAY” would be a pretty good guess. “Wrong way Roy” forced his team to have to punt from their end zone. Tech blocked the punt scoring a 2 point safety that secured their victory.   As we run through the game of life we too can find ourselves “running the wrong way.” The Bible says, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes” (Proverbs 12:15 KJV). God sees when we start to “run the wrong way.” God doesn’t just watch us run toward death and destruction, but in His great love God will send us a message.

Mal 1:1 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. 2 I have loved you, saith the LORD.
Malachi delivered God’s timeless message of repentance; it is a message which is needed just as much today as when Malachi first spoke these words to a nation who had lost their way. Through His messenger, God reveals the wayward condition of the heart of man calling them to repent and turn back to God.
God sends messengers that we call prophets. . . MalachI was one, his name means “my messenger,” he was sent by God to the nation of Israel who was again headed the wrong direction. Malachi’s message was like those God had sent to His people before. “Repent! Repent!” Literally Malachi told God’s people “Turn around! You’re going the wrong way.”

Mal 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the LORD, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. 2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: 3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.

ILLUSTRATION: There was a group of women in a Bible study on the book of Malachi. As they were studying chapter three, they came across verse three, which says: "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." This verse puzzled the women and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out about the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible study.  That week this woman called up a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest in silver beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver. As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.  The woman thought about God, holding us in such a hot spot -- then she thought again about the verse, that He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.  She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed. The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?" He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy--when I see my image in it."   If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has His eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.

Amos 7:6 And the Lord said, concerning Jacob, Jacob shall repent of his wickedness; therefore I will not utterly destroy him, saith the Lord God.
Joel 2:13
 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and repent, and turn unto the Lord your God; for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and he will turn away the evil from you.

Ezekiel 18:30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, everyone according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.
Jeremiah 26:3
 If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, and repent, I will turn away the evil which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings.
IXOUS - The Fish  

You see the symbol of the fish all the time on the rear of cars, trucks, briefcases, lapel pins, entrances to houses, logos on businesses, etc. Often the symbol contains five Greek letters, IXOUS. It is pronounced “ichthus.” What does the fish represent?    Because of intense persecution of believers in the early church, when two complete strangers met they would enter into a conversation, and after a few minutes one of them would take his foot and draw an arch on the ground. It would be the top or bottom half of the fish symbol. If the other person were a Christian, he would take his foot or finger and complete the other half of the symbol of the fish. Then the other person would put the first of five Greek letters inside the fish. After writing the letter “I,” the other person would write “X,” and then the other person “O” and vice versa until the two had written the word “IXOUS” inside the fish symbol. The Greek word “IXOUS” means “fish,” and is the normal word for fish in the Gospels (Matt. 7:10; 14:17; Mark 6:38; Luke 5:6; 11:11; John 21:6, 8, 11).  However, the early Christians gave the word for “fish” an even greater meaning. It became the acronym for four of the great truths of Christianity.

IesousI represents An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and told him that his fiancée Mary, “will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). To Mary on another occasion the angel said to her, “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus” (Luke 1:31). The Hebrew form His name was Jehoshua, meaning “Yahweh saves,” “Jehovah saves.” He was named after His father in heaven. Jehovah, Jesus will save His people from their sins., which is the Greek word for “Jesus.”

X stands for Xristos, meaning “Christ.” The word means “anointed.” Jesus is God’s “Anointed One.” “Christ” is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word for “Messiah.” “He is Christ the Lord,” the angels said to the shepherds after Jesus was born (Luke 2:11). Peter declared, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16).

O stands for Theos which is translated “God.” Jesus the Messiah is God (John 1:1-3; Col. 1:15-20; 2:9).

U represents Uios translated “Son.” Jesus is “the Son of God.” “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:1-3). The angel told Mary the only way to account for her pregnancy is the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35).

S stands for Soter, meaning “Savior.” “Today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). He is the promised “Savior of the world” (John 4:42). The idea is a deliverance, saving from disaster, rescue from a hopeless situation, breaking the chains of bondage. In deed, the Bible tells us, “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone who will “believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:31).

Selah! The next time you see the sign of the fish and the letters IXOUS remember that Jesus is the Christ, the very Son of God, and our Savior. “Jesus” is the perfect man, incarnate of God among men, fully human and fully God. He is the “Christ,” the Anointed One of God, the Messiah. He is the unique, only begotten, eternal “Son of God.” There are children by adoption into God’s kingdom, but no one like “the Son of God.” He is our “Savior” who voluntarily went to the cross and died in our place to save us from our sins. He gives us eternal life through the power of His shed blood. Have you put your trust in Him to save you for all eternity?  

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006 


SEEK THE LOST HH Sermon 9-15-19
Psalms 126

6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
4 Turn again our captivity, O Lord, as the streams in the south.
3 The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.
2 Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongues with singing; then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them.
1 When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.
We conclude our message with this short video
5a Behold, thou hast a gift, or thou shalt have a gift if thou wilt desire of me in faith, with an honest heart, believing in the power of Jesus Christ, or in my power which speaketh unto thee; 5b for, behold, it is I that speak; behold, I am the light which shineth in darkness, and by my power I give these words unto thee. 6 And now, verily, verily I say unto thee, Put thy trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good; yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously; and this is my Spirit. 7a Verily, verily I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy
Section  10
Micah  6:8 He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue; 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5 And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; 6 And to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; 7 And to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2nd Peter  1
God has equipped us to seek the Lost
Hear Am I, send me! 
We are called to Hearken to the Lord’s still calling and make that response He longs to hear. MAY OUR RESPONSE BE LIKE ISAIAH’S
Mosiah 1: 119 For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been, from the fall of Adam, and will be, for ever and ever; 120 But if he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man, and becometh a saint, through the atonement of Christ, the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.
Proverbs 1:29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord; 30 They would (have) none of my counsel; they despised all my reproof. 31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. 32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. 33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.
Ezekiel 18:32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God; wherefore turn ye and live.
2nd Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise and coming, as some men count slackness; but long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
1st Corinthians 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
Yet our loving Heavenly Father continually searches for His children.
God is willing to go to any lengths to save His Children. Since Adam and Eve disobeyed in the garden, God has been actively engaged in recovering His chosen people Israel. Our 3 standard books of scripture teaches us the cycle of sin: pattern of sin, bondage, God sends messengers and repentance occurs and they turn back to God, then the messenger Judge, Prophet dies and the people fall back into sin and the cycle continues. We see the pattern repeating itself even in this present day. 
Jesus, throughout his time on earth, was concerned for the lost.  Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. 
(Lost in the Church) tells of others who are lost due to ignorance, lack of awareness Or denial.
Mark 7: 19 And he said, That which cometh out of a man, defileth the man.  20 For from within, out of the hearts of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness;  21 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.
Romans 1: 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful; 32 And some who, knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, are inexcusable, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
What does God mean by lost?
Notice that man is presented in three conditions—lost, sought, found.  Our text speaks of a lost sheep, a lost coin and later in the chapter a lost son. The sheep and the coin are sought and found by their owners, the son by the God’s Spirit reaching out to the son impressing on him to return to his father.
Spurgeon goes on to say the three parables recorded in this chapter are not repetitions; they all declare the same main truth, but each one reveals a different phase of it. The three parables are three sides of a vast pyramid of gospel doctrine, but there is a distinct inscription upon each.
Luke 15 IS FULL OF GRACE and truth. Its three consecutive parables (Parable of the lost sheep, and also the ten pieces of silver -- Parable of the prodigal son) have been thought to be merely a repetition of the same doctrine under different metaphors, and if that were so, the truth which it teaches is so important that it could not be rehearsed too often in our hearing. Moreover, it is one which we are apt to forget, and it is well to have it again and again impressed upon our minds. The truth here taught is just this—that God’s mercy stretches forth his hand to misery, His grace receives men as sinners, that it deals with demerit, unworthiness, and worthlessness; that those who think themselves righteous are not the objects of divine compassion, but the unrighteous, the guilty, and the undeserving, are the proper subjects for the infinite mercy of God; in a word, that salvation is not of merit but of grace. This truth I say is most important, for it encourages sinners to return to their Father; but it is very apt to be forgotten, for even those who are saved by grace too often fall into the spirit of the elder brother, and speak as if, after all, their salvation depended on the works of the law.
Charles Spurgeon in his sermon The Lost Silver Piece taught
2 Corinthians 13:1 1 This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.
4b And again, I will give unto you a pattern in all things, that ye may not be deceived; for Satan is abroad in the land, and he goeth forth deceiving the nations;
Section  52
2 key principles, basic assumptions in scripture study, that we should rely upon. These principles are clearly shown in our text:
Luke 15:4 What man of you having a hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine, and go into the wilderness after that which is lost, until he find it? 5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbors, and saith unto them, Rejoice with me; for I found my sheep which was lost. 7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, who need no repentance. 8 Either, what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? 9 And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and neighbors together, saying, Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I had lost. 10 Likewise I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repenteth.



What a powerful theme we have this day!  Have we all not been shaped by the Cross?   Let's look at some who were shaped by the cross from the past and then finally come full circle back to this morning  and our testimony!

Title : Parsons Bible Dictionary
A COMMON MODE OF PUNISHMENT AMONG HEATHEN NATIONS IN EARLY TIMES. IT IS NOT CERTAIN WHETHER IT WAS KNOWN AMONG THE ANCIENT JEWS; PROBABLY IT WAS NOT. THE MODES OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT ACCORDING TO THE MOSAIC LAW WERE, BY THE SWORD (Ex. 21), strangling, fire (Lev. 20), and stoning (Deut. 21). This was regarded as the most horrible form of death, and to a Jew it would acquire greater horror from the curse in Deut. 21:23. [[ 22And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: 23His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance. ]]

This punishment began by subjecting the sufferer to scourging. In the case of our Lord, however, his scourging was rather before the sentence was passed upon him, and was inflicted by Pilate for the purpose, probably, of exciting pity and procuring his escape from further punishment (Luke 23:22; John 19:1). The condemned one carried his own cross to the place of execution, which was outside the city, in some conspicuous place set apart for the purpose. Before the nailing to the cross took place, a medicated cup of vinegar mixed with gall and myrrh (the sopor) was given, for the purpose of deadening the pangs of the sufferer. Our Lord refused this cup, that his senses might be clear (Matt. 27:34). The spongeful of vinegar, sour wine, posca, the common drink of the Roman soldiers, which was put on a hyssop stalk and offered to our Lord in contemptuous pity (Matt. 27:48; Luke 23:36), he tasted to allay the agonies of his thirst (John 19:29). The accounts given of the crucifixion of our Lord are in entire agreement with the customs and practices of the Roman in such cases. He was crucified between two “malefactors” (Isa. 53:12; Luke 23:32), and was watched by a party of four soldiers (John 19:23; Matt. 27:36, 54), with their centurion. The “breaking of the legs” of the malefactors was intended to hasten death, and put them out of misery (John 19:31); but the unusual rapidity of our Lord’s death (John 19:33) was due to his previous sufferings and his great mental anguish. The omission of the breaking of his legs was the fulfillment of a type (Ex. 12:46). He literally died of a broken heart, a ruptured heart, and hence the flowing of blood and water from the wound made by the soldier’s spear (John 19:34).

Saints and friends Jesus said many poignant words when He yet hung upon the cross

Luke 23:34 Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.    Luke 23:43 Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.   John 19:26-27 Woman, behold thy son!  Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother!  V28 I Thirst  V30 It is Finished

The most famous one

Matt 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

47 Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.
And straightway one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.
The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.


Don Miguel Ruiz is a Toltec master and author.  

The Toltecs expanded the cult of Quetzalcoatl, the "Soveriegn Plumed Serpent," and created a mythology around the figure. In Toltec legend, Quetzalcoatl was the creator of humanity and a warrior-god that had been driven from Tula, but would return some day. The Toltecs also originated the Central American ball-game, which was played on a large stone court with a rubber ball. The game was primarily a religious ritual celebrating the victory of god-heroes over the gods of death; as a religious ritual, it involved the human sacrifice of the loser.
Ruiz says in his 4 agreements teaches:

agreement 1

Be impeccable with your word - Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

agreement 2

Don’t take anything personally - Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

agreement 3

Don’t make assumptions - Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

agreement 4

Always do your best - Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

JESUS WAS ALWAYS IMPECCABLE WITH HIS WORDS. . .The one word "sabachthani" makes all the difference according to George Lamsa....Lamsa believed that the text of the Gospels was corrupt, and that it is not a quotation but should read /Eli, Eli, lemana shabaqthani, which he translates as: "My God, my God, for this I was spared!" An accompanying footnote in Lamsa's English version of the Bible explains Jesus's meaning as "This was my destiny."

I believe that Jesus himself was shaped by the Cross...HE ROSE TO THE OCCASION, HE EMBRACED HIS DESTINY AND DID NOT FALTER

We all have our afflictions of the flesh and our burdens to bear.  I know that recent weeks have been a struggle for me with  painful sleep deprived nights,  emotional upheavals, deeper depression, weight gain, enough "stinking thinking" and anxious obsessions to last me a lifetime, and to top it off a bad drug withdrawal.  It is easy to feel yourself nailed to a cross in the midst of such traumas BUT in our worst moments there is no way we can ever know the pain that our Lord Jesus bore for our sakes.

Never doubt my friends, WE ARE shaped by the Cross...Just the thought of it alone gives us pause when we consider our own sufferings

No matter what its source or intensity, there’s something about suffering that simplifies life and draws us back to the basics. Invariably, especially during a time of intense trial, I go back to my theological roots. I go back to what I really believe. I return to the essentials such as prayer and dependence, like getting quiet and waiting on God. I remind myself, God is sovereign … this is no accident.  He has a plan and a purpose.  --Charles Swindoll

“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:2-4

God is interested in maturing you. A Danish proverb says, “Give to a pig when it grunts and give to a child when it cries, and you will have a fine pig and a bad child.” Tribulation brings patience, and patience makes us mature.  Is there something you are waiting on? Is there something you are struggling with? Give it to Jesus. Trust in His timing and His provision.  ~Adrian Rogers

This is one of the best explanations of why God allows pain and suffering that I have seen...
A man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed.
As the barber began to work, they began to have a good conversation.
They talked about so many things and various subjects.
When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the barber said: "I don't believe that God exists."
"Why do you say that?" asked the customer. "Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn't exist.
Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people?  Would there be abandoned children?  If God existed, there would be neither
suffering nor pain. I can't imagine a loving God who would allow all of these things." 
The customer thought for a moment, but didn't respond because he didn't want to start an argument.
The barber finished his job and the customer left the shop. Just after he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked dirty and unkempt. The customer turned back and entered the barber shop again and he said to the barber: "You know what? Barbers do not exist."
"How can you say that?" asked the surprised barber. "I am here, and I am a barber. And I just worked on you!"  "No!" the customer exclaimed. "Barbers don't exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside."
"Ah, but barbers DO exist! That's what happens when people do not come to me."
"Exactly!" affirmed the customer. "That's the point! God, too, DOES exist!  That's what happens when people do not go to Him and don't look to Him for help. That's why there's so much pain and suffering in the world."


After the conversion, so-called, of Constantine the Great (313 AD), the cross first came into use as an emblem of Christianity. He pretended at a critical moment that he saw a flaming cross in the heavens bearing the inscription, “In hoc signo vinces”, i.e., By this sign thou shalt conquer, and that on the following night Christ himself appeared and ordered him to take for his standard the sign of this cross. In this form a new standard, called the Labarum, was accordingly made, and borne by the Roman armies. It remained the standard of the Roman army till the downfall of the Western empire. It bore the embroidered monogram of Christ, i.e., the first two Greek letters of his name, X and P (chi and rho), with the Alpha and Omega.



If you were to look at Rembrandt's painting of The Three Crosses, your attention would be drawn first to the center cross on which Jesus died. Then as you would look at the crowd gathered around the foot of that cross, you'd be impressed by the various facial expressions and actions of the people involved in the awful crime of crucifying the Son of God. Finally, your eyes would drift to the edge of the painting and catch sight of another figure, almost hidden in the shadows. Art critics say this is a representation of Rembrandt himself, for he recognized that by his sins he helped nail Jesus to the cross. ~Source Unknown. 

There are no crown-wearers in heaven who were not cross- bearers here below. ~Charles Haddon Spurgeon. 

BUT WE ALL HAVE CHOICES, DON'T WE? We can choose to respond to the Cross OR NO

The Hound of Heaven by Francis Thompson


I FLED Him, down the nights and down the days;


I fled Him, down the arches of the years;


I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways


Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears


I hid from Him,




Where Is God?

“Where is God?” inquired the mind:
“To His presence I am blind. . . .
I have scanned each star and sun,
Traced the certain course they run;

I have weighed them in my scale,
And can tell when each will fail;
From the caverns of the night
I have brought new worlds to light;

I have measured earth and sky
Read each zone with steady eye;
But no sight of God appears
In the glory of the spheres.”

But the heart spoke wistfully,
“Have you looked at Calvary?”

- Thomas C. Clark, Quoted by John Gilmore in Probing Heaven, Key Questions on the Hereafter, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1989, p. 97

by Randy Simpson

Just suppose God searched through heaven,
And couldn't find one willing to be;
The supreme sacrifice that was needed,
To buy eternal life for you and me.

Had it not been for a place called Mount Calvary,
Had it not been for the old rugged cross;
Had it not been for Man called Jesus,
Then forever my soul would be lost.

I'm so glad He was willing to drink that bitter cup,
Though He prayed, "Father, let it pass from me."
I'm so glad He didn't call heaven's angels,
And "From my hands pull these nails that torment Me."

Had it not been for a place called Mount Calvary,
Had it not been for the old rugged cross;
Had it not been for Man called Jesus,
Then forever my soul would be lost.

Then forever my soul would be lost.

“On a hill far away stood an Old Rugged Cross,

The emblem of suffering and shame;

And I love that old cross where the dearest and best

For a world of lost sinners was slain.”

‘The Old Rugged Cross’ song was written by George Bennard, who lived from 1873-1958. "The Old Rugged Cross" is still the most frequently requested hymn; and the most popular spiritual song of the past 100 years. Within thirty years of its original publication in 1913, more than twenty million copies of "The Old Rugged Cross" had been sold, outselling every other musical composition of any kind! What is it that makes this gospel song so popular?

‘The Old Rugged Cross’ was written in response to a deep personal need in Bennard’s own life. Born in Youngstown, Ohio, on February 4, 1873, George Bennard was raised in a loving coalminer family, the only son among four daughters. When George was only sixteen years old, his father died, leaving George to care for his mother and four sisters. After a period of time with the Salvation Army, George became a traveling speaker for the Methodist church, holding meetings in Canada and in the northern and central United States.

After a very painful time in New York, Bennard went back home in 1913 to Michigan. His mind returned again and again to Christ's agony on the cross. During this time, Bennard read Galatians 6:14 in which the Apostle Paul states: "May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." Bennard became convinced that the cross was not merely a symbol of Christianity, but the very heart of it. He realized that the cross was not gold-covered, but rather a rough, splintery thing, stained with gore.

The words, "the old rugged cross," came into his mind and then the notes of a melody ran through his head. Several weeks later, after a period of prayer, the poetry of the verses began to flow from his pen almost unbidden. "I saw the Christ of the Cross as if I were seeing John 3:16 leave the printed page, take form and act out the meaning of redemption," he said later.

After writing this hymn, George Bennard went on to travel and preach for another forty years.. Thanks to being chosen by Billy Sunday (the Billy Graham of those days), everyone began singing this unforgettable song. Years later, Johny Cash himself recorded this song. Although Bennard wrote 300 other hymns, none of them became as popular as his first.

Dr. Alistair McGrath of Oxford comments, “Those great old hymns -- such as Rock of Ages, The Old Rugged Cross and When I survey -- remain wonderful statements of the centrality of the cross...They express the power of the cross so much better than I can ever hope to do. As George Bennard put it in 1913:

“To the old rugged cross I will ever be true;

Its shame and reproach gladly bear;

Then he'll call me some day to my home far away,

Where his glory forever I'll share.”



On a hill far away, stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suff'ring and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.

Oh, that old rugged cross so despised by the world
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left his glory above,
To bear it to dark Calvary.

In the old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see;
For 'twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
To pardon and sanctify me.

To the old rugged cross I will ever be true,
Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then he'll call me some day to my home far away,
Where his glory forever I'll share.

So I'll cherish the rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down'
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.


Taken from HYMNS OF FAITH & INSPIRATION, Ideals Publications Incorporated, Nashville, Tennessee, 1990, pgs 88-91.




George M. Lamsa feels He didnot say this, that it is a Fact this is what George Lamsa teaches.  (August 5, 1892 – September 22, 1975) was an Assyrian author. He was born in Mar Bishu in what is now the extreme east of Turkey. A native Aramaic speaker, he translated the Aramaic Peshitta (literally "straight, simple") Old and New Testaments into English.

Lamsa was a member of the Assyrian Church of the East. He was a strong advocate of one of that Church's beliefs: Peshitta primacy (a form of Aramaic primacy). His hypothesis was that for the New Testament, the Peshitta was the original text, and the Greek version was translated from it. In support of this, he noted that Aramaic was the language of Jesus and the earliest Christians,[1] because of the historical fact that, according to Lamsa, "Aramaic was the colloquial and literary language of Palestine, Syria, Asia Minor and Mesopotamia, from the fourth century B. C. to the ninth century A. D." [2]

Lamsa further claimed that while most of the Old Testament was written in Hebrew, the original was lost and the present Hebrew version, the Masoretic text, was re-translated from the Peshitta.[citation needed]

Lamsa produced his own translation of the Bible in the form of The Holy Bible from Ancient Eastern Manuscripts, which is commonly called the Lamsa Bible.[citation needed]

A notable difference between Lamsa's translation and other versions of the New Testament occurs in the fourth of the        Words of Jesus on the cross – Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani. This is regarded by more conservative scholars as a quotation in Aramaic of the opening of Psalm 22, which in English is "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" This is similar to how the psalm appears in the Aramaic Peshitta Old Testament and it appears in earlier Aramaic Targums. The Lamsa Bible Matt 27:46 reads Eli, Eli, lemana shabakthani! My God, my God, for this I was spared!  That speaks to me as I feel Jesus new what he had to face and yet willingly went.



See Thru Children's Eyes

There are hostile elements in our cultures today, and children are the most vulnerable victims. Children make up the largest percentage of our world’s poor, hungry, marginalized, abused, homeless, sick, and, most of all, powerless. Do we turn away from cultural pressures, meaningless pursuits, overconsumption, and corruption to devote our work, money, time, and allegiance to creating a world that ensures the welfare of children? This is what Children’s Sabbath is all about: advocating for children’s rights and thus making the world a better place. The National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths (USA), now in its sixteenth year, seeks to inspire people of faith to respond to children’s needs.

President Steve Veazey has stated that the vulnerable are our lens for measuring how we are doing. How are we doing with our children and the children of the world? What would a child in Haiti say to us? a child in Ethiopia? a child from the inner city or from a rural community? What counsel would a child from our own congregation give us? On Children’s Sabbath we are encouraged to see how we are doing through children’s eyes. What would the children say about how we are doing in making the world a better place for them?

How Are We Doing?

Let's take some time to reflect on this question as I share some illustrations

of our life and world as seen thru the eyes of children. . .within them are many lessons we can learn

A Christian school teacher asked her class to look at TV commercials and see if they could use them in some way to communicate ideas about God.

God is like... BAYER ASPIRIN He works miracles. == God is like... a FORD He's got a better idea. == God is like... COKE He's the real thing. == God is like... HALLMARK CARDS He cares enough to send His very best.  == God is like... TIDE He gets the stains out that others leave behind. == God is like... GENERAL ELECTRIC He brings good things to life.  == God is like... SEARS He has everything. == God is like... ALKA-SELTZER Try him, you'll like Him. == God is like... SCOTCH TAPE You can't see him, but you know He's there. == God is like... DELTA He's ready when you are. == God is like... ALLSTATE You're in good hands with Him. == God is like... VO-5 Hair Spray He holds through all kinds of weather. == God is like... DIAL SOAP Aren't you glad you have Him? Don't you wish everybody did? == God is like... the U.S. POST OFFICE Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet nor ice will keep Him from His appointed destination.

Things We Can Learn From KIDS: You can be anything you want to be when you grow up.  Nobody can pedal the bike for you.  If You wait until you’re really sure, you’ll never take off your training wheels.  Nobody notices when your zipper is up, but everyone notices when your zipper is down.  Sometimes you have to take the test before you’ve finished studying.  If you’re going to fight, use pillows.  Before you trade sandwiches, check between the bread.  You have to eat a lot of cereal before you find the free toy.  If you want a kitten, start out asking for a horse.  You don’t have to own a swing to enjoy it.  It doesn’t matter how fast you’re running with the ball if you’re going in the wrong direction.  Sometimes the biggest apple has the biggest worm.  Every castle has a dungeon.  A little kiss can make a big difference.  ~Really Important Stuff My Kids Have Taught Me by Cynthia Copeland Lewis, quoted in MSC Health Action News, Jan./Feb. 1997, p. 7

How Are We Doing?


before her, behind her—an adhesive pair.
Wherever she moved, they were always right there— holding onto her skirts, hanging onto her chair,
I saw a young mother, with eyes full of laughter, and two little shadows come following after.

for you only have shadows when your life’s filled with sun!” 
“It’s good to have shadows that run when you run,  that laugh when you’re happy and hum when you hum —
She smiled as she shook her pretty young head,  and I’ll always remember the words that she said:
“Don’t you ever get weary as, day after day, your two little tagalongs get in your way?”

~“Shadows” by Martha Wadsworth, quoted in Family Matters


When the 10-year-olds in Mrs. Imogene Frost’s class at the Brookside, N.J. Community Sunday School expressed their views of “What’s wrong with grownups?” they came up with these complaints:

1. Grownups make promises, then they forget all about them, or else they say it wasn’t really a promise, just a maybe.  2. Grownups don’t do the things they’re always telling the children to do—like pick up their things, or be neat, or always tell the truth.  3. Grownups never really listen to what children have to say. They always decide ahead of time what they’re going to answer.  4. Grownups make mistakes, but they won’t admit them. They always pretend that they weren’t mistakes at all—or that somebody else made them.  5. Grownups interrupt children all the time and think nothing of it. If a child interrupts a grownup, he gets a scolding or something worse.  6. Grownups never understand how much children want a certain thing—a certain color or shape or size. If it’s something they don’t admire—even if the children have spent their own money for it—they always say, “I can’t imagine what you want with that old thing!”  7. Sometimes grownups punish children unfairly. It isn’t right if you’ve done just some little thing wrong and grownups take away something that means an awful lot to you. Other times you can do something really bad and they say they’re going to punish you, but they don’t. You never know, and you ought to know.  8. Grownups are always talking about what they did and what they knew when they were 10 years old—but they never try to think what it’s like to be 10 years old right now.  ~For Families Only, J.A. Petersen, ed., Tyndale, 1977, p. 253

How Are We Doing?

Don’t Forbid Them

For bigger folk ‘tis true do need Him but little ones are safe, you know.”
“Oh my son, but you’re too little wait until you older grow,
“May I give myself to Jesus? Let Him wash my sins away?”
Said a precious little laddie to his Father one bright day

For I didn’t think it mattered, little ones are safe, you know.”
“Ah—the big ones are, my Father but the lambs, I let them go
“Are the sheep all safely sheltered safe within the fold, my son?”
Said the Father to the laddie as a storm was coming on,

And forbid them not,” said Jesus “Of such shall my Kingdom be.”  ~Author unknown
Ere the evil days come nigh them “Let the children come to Me
Little hearts that now are yielded may be hardened then too late.
Oh my brother, oh, my sister; have you too made that mistake'

a day wasted

Silas Shotwell, in Homemade, September 1987. Charles Francis Adams, 19th century political figure and diplomat, kept a diary. One day he entered: "Went fishing with my son today--a day wasted." His son, Brook Adams, also kept a diary, which is still in existence. On that same day, Brook Adams made this entry: "Went fishing with my father--the most wonderful day of my life!" The father thought he was wasting his time while fishing with his son, but his son saw it as an investment of time. The only way to tell the difference between wasting and investing is to know one's ultimate purpose in life and to judge accordingly. ~

How Are We Doing?


* No matter how hard you try, you can't baptize cats.

* When your Mom is mad at your dad, don't let her brush your hair.
* If your sister hits you, don't hit her back. They always catch the second person.
* Never ask your 3-year-old brother to hold a tomato.
* You can't trust dogs to watch your food.
* Reading what people write on desks can teach you a lot.
* Don't sneeze when someone is cutting your hair.
* Puppies still have bad breath even after eating a tic tac.
* School lunches stick to the wall
*You can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.
*The best place to be when you are sad is in Grandma's lap.

WHAT Are We Doing?

We need to look at what the Bible says about parenting:

Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons; Parents must teach God’s truth (Dt. 4:9  32:46 And he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law.

Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him. Parents must lovingly discipline children because they are immature and need guidance (Prov. 22:15 ; 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Parents should not exasperate their children (Eph. 6:4  

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: Parents’ wise decisions bring blessing to their children (Dt. 30:19-20 20 That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.  

Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.Parents who are godly teach their children to obey (Eph. 6:1; 1 Tim. 3:4  One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (re bishop)

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.   ~Parents who faithfully train their children can be confident that their efforts are not in vain (Prov. 22:6 JDB, Our Daily Bread, Sept.-Nov. 1997, page for October 12

What we do is so important!

Children’s Greatest Fears

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University reported that 30 years ago, the greatest fears of grade school children were: 1) Animals, 2) Being in a dark room, 3) High places, 4) Strangers, 5) Loud noises.

Today, kids are afraid of the following: 1) Divorce, 2) Nuclear war, 3) Cancer, 4) Pollution, 5) Being mugged.

Back to the Bible Today, Summer, 1990, p. 5

60% of all divorces involve children. Approximately 1,000,000 children each year are affected by divorce."  4/1980

Copyright © 1972 by Dorothy Law Nolte
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.

By Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.
Children Learn What They Live


A Prayer

From the secret, hidden peril.
Keep them from the powers of evil,
We are praying for our children.
Hear the words our hearts are saying.
Father, hear us, we are praying.

Father, Father, keep our children.
From the sting of faithless sadness,
From the worldling’s hollow gladness,
Father, hear us for our children.

Lead them home at eventide.
And wherever they may bide,
Father, Father, be thou near them.
Through life’s bitter battles cheer them.
Through life’s troubled waters steer them.

—Amy Carmichael



Rom 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

 "I will thoroughly furnish you unto all good works."  (2 Timothy 3:17)

Exodus 19:5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people; for all the earth is mine;

Jeremiah 42:6 Whether it be good, or whether it be evil, we will obey the voice of the Lord our God, to whom we send thee; that it may be well with us, when we obey the voice of the Lord our God.

Isa 50:10 Who [is] among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh [in] darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God.

Jer 7:23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.


Many people today are like Ex 5:2 WhoAnd Pharaoh said, is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.

Rom 3:3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?

John 10:26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

Acts 28:24 And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.

Hebrews 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard [it].

1Pe 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, [even to them] which stumble at the word, being disobedient

Rom 2:8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,


Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.


For those of you who do not know Beth Moore, she is an outstanding Bible teacher, writer of Bible studies, and is a married mother of two daughters.  This is one of her experiences: April 20, 2005, at the Airport in Knoxville , waiting to board the plane, I had the Bible on my lap and was very intent upon what I was doing. I'd had a marvelous morning with the Lord.  I say this because I want to tell you it is a scary thing to have the Spirit of God really working in you.  You could end up doing some things you never would have done otherwise.  Life in the Spirit can be dangerous for a thousand reasons not the least of which is your ego.  I tried to keep from staring, but he was such a strange sight.  Humped over in a wheelchair, he was skin and bones, dressed in clothes that obviously fit when he was at least twenty pounds heavier.  His knees protruded from his trousers, and his shoulders looked like the coat hanger was still in his shirt.  His hands looked like tangled masses of veins and bones.  The strangest part of him was his hair and nails.  Stringy, gray hair hung well over his shoulders and down part of his back.  His fingernails were long, clean but strangely out of place on an old man.  I looked down at my Bible as fast as I could, discomfort burning my face.  As I tried to imagine what his story might have been, I found myself wondering if I'd just had a Howard Hughes sighting.  Then, I remembered that he was dead.  So this man in the impersonator maybe? Was a camera on us somewhere?  There I sat; trying to concentrate on the Word to keep from being concerned about a thin slice of humanity served on a wheelchair only a few seats from me. All the while, my heart was growing more and more overwhelmed with a feeling for him.  Let's admit it.  Curiosity is a heap more comfortable than true concern, and suddenly I was awash with aching emotion for this bizarre-looking old man.  I had walked with God long enough to see the handwriting on the wall. I've learned that when I begin to feel what God feels, something so contrary to my natural feelings, something dramatic is bound to happen.  And it may be embarrassing.  I immediately began to resist because I could feel God working on my spirit and I started arguing with God in my mind.  "Oh, no, God, please, no." I looked up at the ceiling as if I could stare straight through it into heaven and said, "Don't make me witness to this man.  Not right here and now. Please.  I'll do anything.  Put me on the same plane, but don't make me get up here and witness to this man in front of this gawking audience. Please, Lord!"  There I sat in the blue vinyl chair begging His Highness, "Please don't make me witness to this man.  Not now.  I'll do it on the plane."  Then I heard it...  "I don't want you to witness to him.  I want you to brush his hair."   The words were so clear, my heart leapt into my throat, and my thoughts spun like a top.  Do I witness to the man or brush his hair? No-brainier.  I looked straight back up at the ceiling and said, "God, as I live and breathe, I want you to know I am ready to witness to this man. I'm on this Lord.  I'm your girl!  You've never seen a woman witness to a man faster in your life.  What difference does it make if his hair is a mess if he is not redeemed?  I am going to witness to this man." Again as clearly as I've ever heard an audible word, God seemed to write this statement across the wall of my mind.  "That is not what I said, Beth. I don't want you to witness to him.  I want you to go brush his hair."  I looked up at God and quipped, "I don't have a hairbrush.  It's in my suitcase on the plane.  How am I supposed to brush his hair without a hairbrush?" God was so insistent that I almost involuntarily began to walk toward him as these thoughts came to me from God's word: "I will thoroughly furnish you unto all good works."  (2 Timothy 3:17)  I stumbled over to the wheelchair thinking I could use one myself. Even as I retell this story, my pulse quickens and I feel those same butterflies.  I knelt down in front of the man and asked as demurely as possible, "Sir, may I have the pleasure of brushing your hair?"  He looked back at me and said, "What did you say?"  "May I have the pleasure of brushing your hair?"  To which he responded in volume ten, "Little lady, if you expect me to hear you, you're going to have to talk louder than that."  At this point, I took a deep breath and blurted out, "SIR, MAY I HAVE THE PLEASURE OF BRUSHING YOUR HAIR?"   At which point every eye in the place darted right at me.  I was the only thing in the room looking more peculiar than old Mr. Longlocks. Face crimson and forehead breaking out in a sweat, I watched him look up at me with absolute shock on his face, and say, "If you really want to." Are you kidding?  Of course I didn't want to.  But God didn't seem interested in my personal preference right about then.  He pressed on my heart until I could utter the words, "Yes, sir, I would be pleased. But I have one little problem.  I don't have a hairbrush."  "I have one in my bag, " he responded.  I went around to the back of that wheelchair, and I got on my hands and knees and unzipped the stranger's old carry-on, hardly believing what I was doing.  I stood up and started brushing the old man's hair.  It was perfectly clean, but it was tangled and matted.  I don't do many things well, but must admit I've had notable experience untangling knotted hair mothering two little girls.  Like I'd done with either Amanda or Melissa in such a condition, I began brushing at the very bottom of the strands, remembering to take my time not to pull.  A miraculous thing happened to me as I started brushing that old man's hair. Everybody else in the room disappeared.  There was no one alive for those moments except that old man and me.  I brushed and I brushed and I brushed until every tangle was out of that hair.  I know this sounds so strange, but I've never felt that kind of love for another soul in my entire life.  I believe with all my heart, I - for that few minutes - felt a portion of the very love of God.  That He had overtaken my heart for a little while like someone renting a room and making Himself at home for a short while.    The emotions were so strong and so pure that I knew they had to be God's. His hair was finally as soft and smooth as an infant's.  I slipped the brush back in the bag and went around the chair to face him. I got back down on my knees, put my hands on his knees and said, "Sir, do you know my Jesus?"  He said, "Yes, I do." Well, that figures, I thought.  He explained, "I've known Him since I married my bride.  She wouldn't marry me until I got to know the Savior."  He said, "You see, the problem is, I haven't seen my bride in months.  I've had open-heart surgery, and she's been too ill to come see me.  I was sitting here thinking to myself, what a mess I must be for my bride." 

Only God knows how often He allows us to be part of a divine moment when we're completely unaware of the significance.  This, on the other hand, was one of those rare encounters when I knew God had intervened in details only He could have known.  It was a God moment, and I'll never forget it. Our time came to board, and we were not on the same plane. I was deeply ashamed of how I'd acted earlier and would have been so proud to have accompanied him on that aircraft.  I still had a few minutes, and as I gathered my things to board, the airline hostess returned from the corridor, tears streaming down her cheeks. She said, "That old man's sitting on the plane, sobbing.  Why did you do that? What made you do that?"   I said, "Do you know Jesus?  He can be the bossiest thing!" 

And we got to share.   I learned something about God that day.  He knows if you're exhausted, you're hungry, you're serving in the wrong place or it is time to move on but you feel too responsible to budge.  He knows if you're hurting or feeling rejected.  He knows if you're sick or drowning under a wave of temptation.  Or He knows if you just need your hair brushed.  He sees you as an individual.  Tell Him your need!   I got on my own flight, sobs choking my throat, wondering how many opportunities just like that one had I missed along the way, all because I didn't want people to think I was strange.  God didn't send me to that old man.  He sent that old man to me. 

John 1:14 "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  We Have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." 

 Life shouldn't be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather, to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly shouting, "Wow! What a ride!  Thank You, Lord!"   Be Blessed!

by John Oehser
Tony Dungy Makes Super Bowl Stop to Speak at Athletes in Action Breakfast

Note from Randy: Nanci and I attended the Athletes in Action breakfast spoken about in the following article. Tony's message was perhaps the most powerful Holy Spirit-anointed presentation by any celebrity, sports or otherwise, I have ever heard. The richness, the depth, the pain and joy of it were beyond words.

DETROIT, Mich.-They were there for breakfast, and they were there to cheer New York Jets running back Curtis Martin. And it was Martin who received the Athletes in Action Bart Starr Award Saturday morning, but the hundreds who gathered in the fourth-floor ballroom at the Marriott Renaissance in Detroit, Mich., on the morning before Super Bowl XL were clearly touched by the featured speaker.  That speaker was Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy.  Two hours into the breakfast, emcee Brent Jones introduced Dungy, who was welcomed with a lengthy standing ovation. Dungy thanked the crowd, shared an anecdote about Martin, then told the crowd he was going to speak for about 15 minutes.  "It's great to be here," Dungy told the crowd, then adding with a laugh, "I just wish I wasn't here in this capacity so many times of being just that close to being in the game and just being an invited speaker.  My goal is to have our team here one day and have a couple of tables with all of our guys here. Because we have a special group of young men, a great group of Christian guys. It'd be wonderful to have them here so you could see their hearts and what they're all about.  "It hasn't quite happened yet, but we're still hoping one day it will."  He told them he was going to talk about lessons he had learned from his three sons. The crowd fell silent. Then Dungy spoke.  And although this was a breakfast-and although at many such events speakers speak over the clinking of glasses and murmurs from semi-interested listeners-for most of the 15 minutes the room was silent except for Dungy's voice.  He spoke of his middle son, Eric, who he said shares his competitiveness and who is focused on sports "to where it's almost a problem." He spoke of his youngest son, Jordan, who has a rare congenital condition which causes him not to feel pain.  "He feels things, but he doesn't get the sensation of pain," Dungy said. The lessons learned from Jordan, Tony Dungy said, are many.  "That sounds like it's good at the beginning, but I promise you it's not," Dungy said. "We've learned a lot about pain in the last five years we've had Jordan. We've learned some hurts are really necessary for kids. Pain is necessary for kids to find out the difference between what's good and what's harmful."  Jordan, Dungy said, loves cookies.  "Cookies are good," Dungy said, "but in Jordan's mind, if they're good out on the plate, they're even better in the oven. He will go right in the oven when my wife's not looking, reach in, take the rack out, take the pan out, burn his hands and eat the cookies and burn his tongue and never feel it. He doesn't know that's bad for him."  "Jordan," Dungy said, "has no fear of anything, so we constantly have to watch him."  The lesson learned, Dungy said, is simple.   "You get the question all the time, 'Why does the Lord allow pain in your life? Why do bad things happen to good people? If God is a God of love, why does he allow these hurtful things to happen?'" Dungy said. "We've learned that a lot of times because of that pain, that little temporary pain, you learn what's harmful. You learn to fear the right things.  "Pain sometimes lets us know we have a condition that needs to be healed. Pain inside sometimes lets us know that spiritually we're not quite right and we need to be healed and that God will send that healing agent right to the spot.  "Sometimes, pain is the only way that will turn us as kids back to the Father."  Finally, he spoke of James.   James Dungy, Tony Dungy's oldest son, died three days before Christmas. As he did while delivering James' eulogy in December, Dungy on Saturday spoke of him eloquently and steadily, speaking of lessons learned and of the positives taken from the experience.  "It was tough, and it was very, very painful, but as painful as it was, there were some good things that came out of it," Dungy said.  Dungy spoke at the funeral of regretting not hugging James the last time he saw him, on Thanksgiving of last year.   "I met a guy the next day after the funeral," Dungy said. "He said, 'I was there. I heard you talking. I took off work today. I called my son. I told him I was taking him to the movies. We're going to spend some time and go to dinner.' That was a real, real blessing to me."  Dungy said he has gotten many letters since James' death relaying similar messages.  "People heard what I said and said, 'Hey, you brought me a little closer to my son,' or, 'You brought me a little closer to my daughter,''' Dungy said. "That is a tremendous blessing."   Dungy also said some of James' organs were donated through donors programs.  "We got a letter back two weeks ago that two people had received his corneas, and now they can see,'' Dungy said. "That's been a tremendous blessing."   Dungy also said he received a letter from a girl from the family's church in Tampa. She had known James for many years, Dungy said. She went to the funeral because she knew James.  "When I saw what happened at the funeral, and your family and the celebration and how it was handled, that was the first time I realized there had to be a God," Dungy said the girl wrote. "I accepted Christ into my life and my life's been different since that day."  Added Dungy, "That was an awesome blessing, so all of those things kind of made me realize what God's love is all about."   Dungy also said he was asked often how he was able to return to the Colts so quickly after James' death. James died on December 22, and Dungy returned to the team one week later. Dungy said the answer was simple.   "People asked me, 'How did you recover so quickly?''' Dungy said. "I'm not totally recovered. I don't know that I ever will be. It's still very, very painful, but I was able to come back because of something one of my good Christian friends said to me after the funeral.  "He said, 'You know James accepted Christ into his heart, so you know he's in heaven, right?' I said, 'Right, I know that.' He said, 'So, with all you know about heaven, if you had the power to bring him back now, would you?' When I thought about it, I said, 'No, I wouldn't. I would not want him back with what I know about heaven.'  "That's what helped me through the grieving process. Because of Christ's Spirit in me, I had that confidence that James is there, at peace with the Lord, and I have the peace of mind in the midst of something that's very, very painful.  "That's my prayer today, that everyone in this room would know the same thing." (Article originally appeared Saturday, February 4, 2006, "Spreading His Message," )

Arabian horses go through rigorous training in the deserts of the Middle East. The trainers require absolute obedience from the horses, and test them to see if they are completely trained. The final test is almost beyond the endurance of any living thing. The trainers force the horses to do without water for many days. Then he turns them loose and of course they start running toward the water, but just as they get to the edge, ready to plunge in and drink, the trainer blows his whistle. The horses who have been completely trained and who have learned perfect obedience, stop. They turn around and come pacing back to the trainer. They stand there quivering, wanting water, but they wait in perfect obedience. When the trainer is sure that he has their obedience he gives them a signal to go back to drink.  Now this may be severe but when you are on the trackless desert of Arabia and your life is entrusted to a horse, you had better have a trained obedient horse. We must accept God's training and obey Him. 

Source Unknown.

Roger Staubach who led the Dallas Cowboys to the World Championship in '71 admitted that his position as a quarterback who didn't call his own signals was a source of trial for him. Coach Landry sent in every play. He told Roger when to pass, when to run and only in emergency situations could he change the play (and he had better be right!). Even though Roger considered coach Landry to have a "genius mind" when it came to football strategy, pride said that he should be able to run his own team.  Roger later said, "I faced up to the issue of obedience. Once I learned to obey there was harmony, fulfillment, and victory."  Source Unknown.

The cost of obedience is nothing compared with the cost of disobedience. ~Richard Baxter

Lord, it belongs not to my care Whether I die or live;

To love and serve Thee is my share, And this Thy grace must give.

If life be long I will be glad, That I may long obey;

If short--yet why should I be sad To soar to endless day?

Christ leads me through no darker rooms Than he went through before;

He that to God's Kingdom comes, Must enter by this door.

World War II was at its height. Forces were engaged in what was known as, "The Battle of the Bulge" -- or "The Christmas War of 1944." The fighting was fierce in the bitter cold and snow.  The Allied Forces bombed and established control of a strategic area. The commanding officer turned to several of his men and said, "Sweep across that field, and kill all German soldiers still entrenched in the snow. I want no prisoners. Absolutely none!"  One of the American soldiers selected gives his account of what happened next. "As I walked, I immediately shot and killed two wounded and suffering soldiers." He continues, "Then, suddenly I approached a tall, young guy with a broad Teutonic forehead.   "He was leaning against a tree. He wasn't wounded -- simply exhausted. He had no food, no water, no comrades in sight, no ammunition. Fear, fatigue, defeat, and loneliness overwhelmed him. He spoke English with a beautiful vonderful- vorld-type accent.  "When I noticed a little black Bible in his shirt pocket," he reminisces, "we started to talk about Jesus and salvation. Wouldn't you know it, that lanky German soldier turned out to be a born-again Christian who deeply loved the Lord.  I gave him water from my canteen; I even gave him crackers. Then, we prayed and read God's Word together. And we wept together too."  His voice began to tremble, as tears splashed down his cheeks. His face began to reflect anguish.  "It seems like only yesterday. We stood a foot or so apart, as he read a Psalm from his German Bible. Then, I read Romans 12 from my King James translation. He showed me a black- and-white picture of his wife and daughter."   The soldier took a deep breath. "You see, in those days, I was a young man in my early twenties. I had just graduated from a Christian college in Illinois and hadn't had time to sort out my thoughts on the war.   "Maybe that's why I did what I did. "I bid my German brother farewell, took several steps away, then returned to the soldier. Romans 13, the 'thou shalt not kill' commandment, the promises of eternal life, the Prince of Peace, the Sunday school distinction between killing and murder, the irrationality of war -- all swirled in my mind.  "When the German soldier saw me returning, he bowed his head and closed his eyes in that classic prayer posture. Then it happened. I said three crisp sentences that I still repeat once or twice a week when I have nightmares about the war, 'You're a Christian. I am too. See you later.'   "In less than a second, I transformed that defenseless Christian soldier into a corpse." 

Jon Johnston, Courage - You Can Stand Strong in the Face of Fear, 1990, SP Publications, pp. 155-157.

It is the old choice which still is presented to every soul; the old crisis which reappears in every experience. Caesar, or Christ, that is the question: the vast, attractive, skeptical world, with its pleasures and ambitions and its prodigal promise, or the meek, majestic, and winning figure of Him of Nazareth?  The election remains for each of us. And the moment of the election, in the shaded and solemn "Valley of Decision," will be memorable in our history, when suns for us have ceased to shine! 

Source Unknown.

Where our Captain bids us go, 

'Tis not ours to murmur no;

He that gives the sword and shield  

Chooses too the battlefield  

Where we are to fight the foe.

Source Unknown.    



Be Filled (Resources)

Illustration: D. L. Moody 1....Speaking to a large audience, D.L. Moody held up a glass and asked, “How can I get the air out of this glass?”  One man shouted, “Suck it out with a pump!”  Moody replied, “That would create a vacuum and shatter the glass.”  After numerous other suggestions Moody smiled, picked up a pitcher of water, and filled the glass. “There,” he said, “all the air is now removed.” He then went on to explain that victory in the Christian life is not accomplished by “sucking out a sin here and there,” but by being filled with the Holy Spirit.   Moody Bible Institute’s Today in the Word, September, 1991, p. 30


Genesis 6:34 Open thy mouth, and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance; for all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good.

Numbers 14:21 But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.

Psalms 71:8 Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honor all the day.

Matthew 5:8 And blessed are all they that do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost.

Luke1:13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias, for thy prayer is heard, and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.

14 Thou shalt have joy and gladness, and many shall rejoice at his birth;

he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and .

Ephesians 3:19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 5:8   For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

9   (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

10   Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

11   And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

12   For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

13   But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.

14   Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

15   See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

16   Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

17   Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

 Ephesians 5:18  And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

3 characteristics or consequences of being filled

several different translations: 

18   And be not drunken with wine, wherein is riot, but be filled with the Spirit; [ASV]

"Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit" (NIV).  "Don't be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control youThe New Living Translation gives a slightly different wording:." Finally, we have this paraphrase by Eugene Peterson in The Message"Don't drink too much wine. That cheapens your life. Drink the Spirit of God, huge draughts of him." : I especially like the phrase: "Drink the Spirit of God." That's very picturesque, isn't it?


19   Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

20   Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

21   Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.


significance is repeated in Colossians 3:15   And let the peace of Christ rejoice in your hearts, wherein also you are called in one body: and be ye thankful.  16   Let the word of Christ dwell in you abundantly, in all wisdom: teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual canticles, singing in grace in your hearts to God.

17   All whatsoever you do in word or in work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

A Spirit filled Christian will have joy in the heart, thankfulness, and humility towards others, or submission. These are the marks of a Spirit filled Christian. The passage does not talk about any other experiences.
A person referring to those who teach that a Christian must always have a happy smile once said, “Where the sun always shines, there is a desert.” That is true. A person without suffering is a shallow Christian. The great saints of the ages have suffered. The great preacher C. Spurgeon suffered greatly with depression between his messages. The saints in Hebrews 11:35-38 suffered great torture.

Hebrews 11:35   And others had trial of mockeries and stripes, moreover also of bands and prisons.

36   They were stoned, they were cut asunder, they were tempted, they were put to death by the sword, they wandered about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being in want, distressed, afflicted:

37   Of whom the world was not worthy; wandering in deserts, in mountains, and in dens, and in caved of the earth.

38   And all these being approved by the testimony of faith, received not the promise;

The prophet Jeremiah is called the weeping prophet. This passage is talking about melody and joy in the heart and not necessarily on the face. It is also talking about humility on the inside that causes wives to submit to their husbands (Eph. 5:22), husbands to love their wives Eph. 5:25-28), children to obey their parents (Eph. 6:1), and slaves to obey their masters (Eph. 6:5).

In the sixteenth century, one of the controverted issues was the relationship between the Word and the Spirit. The reformers, based on the teaching of Scripture, taught that the Holy Spirit was dispensed via "means of grace," or the Word and the Word-based Sacraments. Others, whom Martin Luther termed "enthusiasts," taught that the Holy Spirit operated directly, without means.


The Spirit and the Word.... walk in the Spirit will of necessity be a walk in accordance with the Word the Spirit has inspired. The parallel between Eph. 5:18-21 and Col. 3:15-17 is significant. The same results are said to flow from being filled with the Spirit in the first case, and being filled with the Word in the second.  To remain filled with the Spirit, and thus enjoy His continuing sanctifying work, will mean continuing to be filled with the Word. The relationship is obvious.  J. O. Sanders, Enjoying Intimacy with God, Moody, p. 91

If you want to be filled with the Spirit, direct your heart and mind to the things of the Spirit and not to the things of the flesh. Hide the Word of God in your heart, meditate upon the Word and promises of God, and... cultivate the practice of singing hymns and psalms and spiritual songs.Spirit-filled Christians. Christians who read and meditate upon God's Word and fill their hearts with hymns and songs of praise to God are  Their lives reflect the fruit of the Spirit. They manifest love, are filled with joy, and I've in peace.


Among the great prayers of the Bible, this stands as the most comprehensive of the Apostle Paul's

Ephesians 3:14   For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

15   Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

16   That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

17   That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

18   May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

19   And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

20   Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

21   Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Donald E Demaray is the Fisher Professor of Preaching at Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky. He has authored and edited several books, including Near Hurting People (Light and Life Press).

Q What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit?

A Everything is filled with something. Take a gas tank for example. Fuel in a car provides energy to go places. The sure sign of the Spirit-filled person is that he is willing to go places and do things for God. Carnal Christians are self-serving, protective, and not very willing. And they're not really free! Self-liberation and the motivation to help God with His work are by-products of sanctification.

So a Spirit-dominated homemaker loves her husband and children with tenderness, assists in family management with joy, and finds innovative ways to make life interesting.

Are you filled with self or God?


Q Is sanctification and being filled with the Holy Spirit the same thing?

A Sanctification means separating from the world for God and declaring that you belong to Him. Saint suggests one who is "sanctified," one who identifies with Christ. The practical result of sanctification is readiness to do God's assignments, to use your individual gifts to help Him build the kingdom. When you dedicate yourself to God for this productive and separated living, the Holy Spirit fills you.


Q How do I become sanctified or filled with the Holy Spirit?

A The bottom line is surrender. In fact, if you were to summarize the posture of sanctification in a single word, that term would have to be surrender. Jesus taught that if you want to save your life, you must lose it; but if you hang on to your life, you miss happiness.

E. Stanley Jones never tired of discussing this message of surrender. Take, for example, his daily devotional book, Abundant Living. Or read his autobiography, Song of Ascents. 

When you depend on God rather than yourself, you have surrendered. One writer on sanctification uses the analogy of a Christian who pushes, rather than drives, his "salvation" car. That Christian even finds protective coverings for his hands to keep them from blistering! Then one day he hears the Spirit of Christ say he doesn't have to work so hard. He can let the motor do the work !

"Let go and let God" we often say. Exactly. Sanctification never comes by works, but by the active grace of God.

But there's a hitch. Submission is not all that easy, especially if an I-can-take-care-of-everything myself attitude has attached itself to your life-style. Many have become honest enough to acknowledge what they need to do, but possess little power to surrender. God gives that power. He gives it when you become honest: Lord, I know what I need to do but cannot yield without your help I cannot let my old securities go; the very thought of such an act shakes me up. Take me as I am. Be my New Security and I will follow You. When you pray like that, God knows you've stopped playing games.


Q If I seek it earnestly, will I know when I am filled ? How?

A Know that God seeks you before you seek Him. When you are in sync with His desires, you know His filling. You will recognize the signs by the inner witness of the Spirit, a deep, settled peace. You will also know by your fruit: you will do good things to help God make a bad world good. Significantly, you will see answers to your prayers, too.



Colossians 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

Mosiah 2:17 And now, if you believe all these things, see that ye do them.

be filled with the love of God18 And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God,  19 Or if ye have known of his goodness, and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceeding great joy in your souls, 20 Even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long suffering towards you unworthy creatures, 21 And humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel; 22 And behold, I say unto you, that if ye do this, ye shall always rejoice, and , and always retain a remission of your sins; 23 And ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true. 24 And ye will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably, and to render to every man according to that which is his due. 25 And ye will not suffer your children, that they go hungry, or naked; 26 Neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers; he being an enemy to all righteousness; 27 But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another;

Alma 17:22 Yea, and from that time, even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

Alma 18:15 And also see that ye bridle all your passions, that ye may be filled with love; see that ye refrain from idleness; do not pray as the Zoramites do, for ye have seen that they pray to be heard of men, and to be praised for their wisdom.

3 Nephi 5:53 And blessed are all they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost.

3 Nephi 9:44 And he said unto them, He that eateth this bread, eateth of my body to his soul, and he that drinketh of this wine, drinketh of my blood to his soul, and his soul shall never hunger nor thirst, but shall be filled.

3 Nephi 12:29 And it shall come to pass, that whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name, shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father, at that day when I shall stand to judge the world.

3 Nephi 14:3 And come unto me, and be baptized in my name, that ye may receive a remission of your sins, and be filled with the Holy Ghost, that ye may be numbered with my people, who are of the house of Israel.

Moroni 7:53 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son Jesus Christ, that ye may become the sons of God, that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is, that we may have this hope, that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.


Topic: Filling, of the Holy Spirit

Charles Finney...Finney wrote how God gave him mighty infillings of the Holy Spirit “that went through me, as it seemed, body and soul. I immediately found myself endued with such power from on high that a few words dropped here and there to individuals were the means of their immediate conversion. My words seemed to fasten like barbed arrows in the souls of men. They cut like a sword. They broke the heart like a hammer.  Multitudes can attest to this...Sometimes I would find myself in a great measure empty of this power. I would go and visit, and find that I made no saving impression. I would exhort and pray with the same results. I would then set apart a day for private fasting and prayer...after humbling myself and crying out for help, the power would return upon me with all its freshness. This has been the experience of my life.” Touch the World Through Prayer, W. Duewel, OMS, p. 232

D. L. Moody 2...Moody was to have a campaign in England. An elderly pastor protested, “Why do we need this ‘Mr. Moody’? He’s uneducated, inexperienced, etc. Who does he think he is anyway? Does he think he has a monopoly on the Holy Spirit?”  A younger, wiser pastor rose and responded, “No, but the Holy Spirit has a monopoly on Mr. Moody.”   Source unknown

D. L. Moody 3...D. L. Moody said, “I believe firmly that the moment our hearts are emptied of pride and selfishness and ambition and everything that is contrary to God’s law, the Holy Spirit will fill every corner of our hearts. But if we are full of pride and conceit and ambition and the world, there is no room for the Spirit of God. We must be emptied before we can be filled.”

Quote...“May not a single moment of my life be spent outside the light, love and joy of God’s presence and not a moment without the entire surrender of my self as a vessel for Him to fill full of His Spirit and His love.” - Andrew Murray...Source unknown...Taking The Guesswork Out of Applying The Bible, J. Kuhatschek, IVP, pp. 153ff


Chapter - Spiritual Illumination...Spiritual illumination enables us to discern the spiritual reality where the human concept appears to be. Spiritual sense discerns the reality of that which is appearing as concept.  The development of spiritual consciousness begins with our first realization that what we are beholding through the senses of sight, hearing, taste, and smell is not the reality of things. Disregarding appearances entirely, the first ray of spiritual illumination brings us hints of the divine, the eternal and immortal. This in turn makes the appearance even less real to us, thereby admitting even greater illumination.  Our progress Spiritward is in proportion to the illumination which enables us to behold more and more of Reality. Because the human scene is entirely a misconception through misperception, any thought of helping, healing, correcting, or changing the material picture must be relinquished in order that we may see the ever-present Reality.  Spiritual illumination comes to us in a measure with our first investigation of truth. We believe that we are seeking good, or truth; whereas the light has begun to shine in our consciousness compelling us to take the steps we have since taken. Every increase of our spiritual understanding was more light appearing and dispelling the darkness of sense. This inflow of illumination will continue until we come to the full realization of our true identity as "the light of the world." Without illumination, we struggle with the forces of the world; we labor for a living; we struggle to maintain our place and position; we compete for riches or honors. Often we war with our own friends and even find ourselves at war with ourselves. There is no security in personal possessions even after the battle to acquire them has been won.  Illumination first brings peace, then confidence and assurance; it brings rest from the world's contests, and then all good flows to us through Grace. We see now that we do not live by acquiring, gaining, or achieving. We live by Grace; we possess all as the gift of God; we do not get our good, because we already have all good. "Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine."  The pleasures and successes of the world are as nothing compared with the joys and treasures which now unfold to us through spiritual sense. In the light of truth, the greatest earthly happiness and triumph are as nothing, whereas the treasures of Soul have a glory unknown and unfathomed by sense.  Possessing the divine Light within him, man gains his freedom from the world and security from all earthly or human dangers. This period holds terrors and fears for many. The spiritually illumined will recognize that because no good can come or go, that because spiritual activity is always of the nature of fulfillment, that because their illumination has revealed the reality of things, they are anchored in Soul, in God-consciousness, in spiritual peace, security, and serenity.  We will fear no change in the outer picture because the outer is but the reflection of the allness within. Safe in the realization that we are individual though infinite spiritual consciousness embodying all good, we need give no consideration to the evidence of the senses.  Spiritual illumination reveals the harmony of being and dispels the evidence of material sense. It does not change anything in the universe for this is a spiritual universe peopled with children of God, but the illumination changes our concept of the universe.  This is but the beginning of this vast subject, and while we are discussing it, let us keep thought removed as far as possible from the world of sense and anchored in the conscious awareness of spiritual reality.  Always there have appeared men bearing the divine message of the presence of God and of the unreality of evil: Buddha of India; Lao-Tze of China; Jesus of Nazareth. These and many others brought the light of Truth to men, and always men have interpreted this Light as the messenger, failing to see that what they were beholding as a man "out there" was the light of Truth within their own consciousness.  In worshiping Jesus, men lost the Christ. In devotion to Jesus, men failed to apprehend the Christ. In seeking good through Jesus, men failed to find the omnipresent Christ in their own consciousness.  In every case, the messenger appearing to man is the advent of the Christ in individual consciousness, and when so understood, freedom from personal sense and personal limitation has been attained.  Jesus said, "If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you." Was this not clear enough for all to understand? If you do not look away from the personal sense of salvation, mediation, and guidance, you will not find the great Light within your own consciousness.  Spiritual illumination does not come from a person, but from the impersonal Christ, the universal Truth, the illumined consciousness of your Self.  Illumined consciousness dispels the personal sense of self with its problems, ills, age, and failures. It reveals the real Self, the I that I am, unlimited, unfettered, untroubled, harmonious, and free. This Selfhood is revealed as we retire within ourselves each day and there learn to "listen" and to watch. Likewise, instead of anxious care about the work of the day or the events of the future, we let the Soul, or our divine Spirit, go ahead of us to smooth and prepare the way; we let this divine Influence remain behind us to safeguard every step from the illusions of sense.

Illumined consciousness always knows that there is an infinite, all-powerful Presence prospering every act and blessing every thought. It knows that all who touch us on life's highway must feel the benediction of our thought.

When consciousness is afire with Truth and Love, it destroys all sense of fear, doubt, hate, envy, disease, and discord -- and this pure consciousness is felt by all whom we meet, and it lightens the load they carry. It is impossible to be "the light of the world" and not dispel the darkness of those about us.

Realize that all the good you experience is the shining forth of your own consciousness even when it appears to come from, or through, some other individual. Recognize every evil appearance as a false perception of harmony and therefore not to be feared or hated, and this will result in the disappearance of the illusion and the showing forth of reality. Only illumined consciousness can look upon an evil appearance and perceive the divine reality. Only the Christ in consciousness can strip error of its seeming reality and rob it of its sting.

     Spiritual illumination reveals that we are not mortals--not even human beings--but that we are pure spiritual being, divine consciousness, self-sustaining life, all-inclusive mind. This light destroys the illusions of personal sense.

Illumination dissolves all material ties and binds men together with the golden chains of spiritual understanding; it acknowledges only the leadership of the Christ; it has no ritual or rule but the divine, impersonal, universal love, no other worship than the inner Flame that is ever lit at the shrine of Spirit. This union is the free state of spiritual brotherhood. The only restraint is the discipline of Soul; therefore, we know liberty without license; we are a united universe without physical limits, a divine service to God without ceremony or creed.

The illumined walk without fear -- by Grace.

     To know that we are the fulfillment of God, that we are that place in consciousness where God shines through, is to be spiritually minded. The realization that every individual is the presence of God, that all that is, is God appearing, is spiritual consciousness. The understanding that what we see, hear, taste, touch, or smell through the five physical senses is but the finite concept of reality, and in no wise related to the spiritually real, is spiritual sense.

Christ-consciousness beholds God everywhere shining through the mist of personal sense. It recognizes no sinner to be reformed, no sick to heal, no poor to enrich. Spiritual illumination dispels the false concepts or images of finite sense and reveals all being as God appearing.

The light in individual consciousness reveals the world of God's creating, the universe of reality, the children of God. In this light, the mortal scene disappears, and the world of concepts, "this world," gives place to "My kingdom" -- the reality of things seen as they are.

Likewise, there is always the sense of an inner companionship. We feel an inner warmth, a living presence, a divine assurance. Sometimes we feel a strong hand in ours or behold a smiling face over our shoulder. We are never alone and we know it. This sweet Presence gives us an inner rest; It enables us to relax from the strain of the world and brings us the joy of peace. In truth, It is a "peace, be still" to every problem or strain of human existence. It is a healing influence within us, and yet It is felt by all those about us.

     This inner Presence of which we are aware is Truth Itself interpreting Itself to us as presence, power, companion, light, peace, and healing influence--as the Christ. The consciousness of this inner Being is the result of our greater spiritual illumination, of our cultivated spiritual consciousness. This Truth is the God who healeth our diseases, and It goes ever before us to make smooth our path in life. This Truth is wealth and appears as our abundant supply. No human circumstance or condition can lessen our income and wealth while we abide in this consciousness of the presence of Love.

Establish this truth within you, and it becomes your real being, knowing neither birth nor death, youth nor age, health nor disease--but only the eternality of harmonious being. This truth dispels every illusion of sense and reveals the infinite harmony of your being; it dispels mortality and reveals your immortality. Whatever in your thought is unlike this divine Presence, Truth Itself, must yield in order that you may drink the pure water of Life and eat the spiritual meat of Truth.

To free our hearts from the errors of self--self-will, false desires, ambition, and greed--is to reflect the light of Truth as the perfect diamond reflects its own inner light.

About 500 B.C. it was written: "It easily happens that a man, when taking a bath, steps upon a wet rope and imagines that it is a snake. Horror will overcome him, and he will shake from fear, anticipating in his thought all the agonies caused by the serpent's venomous bite. What a relief does this man experience when he sees that the rope is no snake! The cause of his fright lies in his error, his ignorance, his illusion. If the true nature of the rope is recognized, his tranquility of mind will come back to him; he will feel relieved; he will be joyful and happy. This is the state of mind of one who has recognized that there is no personal self, that the cause of all his troubles, cares, and vanities is a mirage, a shadow, a dream."

So again, illumination reveals that there is no error, that what appears as the snake -- sin, disease, discord, death -- is reality itself misperceived by finite sense. Then discords are not to be hated, feared, or resented, but reinterpreted until the true nature of the rope -- reality -- is discerned through spiritual sense. The snake--disease or discord--is merely a state of mind, with no corresponding external reality. It must be understood that no illusion is, or ever can be, externalized.

Spiritual illumination may be attained by living constantly in the consciousness of the presence of perfection, by the continual translation of the visible picture into the reality. We are being faced with discordant appearances all through our days and nights, and these must immediately be translated through our understanding of the "new tongue," the language of Spirit.

Every incident of our daily experience offers fresh opportunities to use our spiritual understanding, and each use of the spiritual faculties results in greater spiritual perception, which in turn reveals more and more of the light of Truth. "Pray without ceasing. . . . And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Translate the pictures and incidents of daily existence into the new tongue, the language of Spirit, and consciousness will expand until translation occurs without even taking thought. It becomes a habitual state of consciousness, a constant awareness of Truth.

Only in this wise can we find our lives unfolding harmoniously from the center of our being without taking conscious thought. Instead of our existence being a continual round of "demonstrations," it becomes the natural, harmonious, joyous unfoldment of good. Instead of repeated efforts to make good come to us, our every good unfolds to view from the depths of our own being without conscious effort, either physical or mental. We are no longer dependent on person or circumstance, nor even on our personal effort. Spiritual illumination enables us to relax our personal efforts and rely more and more on Divinity unfolding and revealing Itself as us.

     Spiritual sense is not engaged with human good, and yet this Christ-consciousness reveals the harmony of being in what appears as our human experiences and in forms available to our present circumstance. Although "my kingdom is not of this world," yet "your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things," and He supplies your wants even before you ask.

And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.

The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.

Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?

And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?

If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?

Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

If then God so clothe the grass, which is today in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?

And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.

For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.

But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Luke 12:22-32

2. The Keys of the Kingdom  Ronald K. Smith

The keys of the kingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth, and from thence shall the gospel roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands shall roll forth, until it has filled the whole earth. DC 65:1b

Key number five is the verse already quoted about the priority of the kingdom.

#5. Build the Kingdom.

Key #5. Seek ye first to build up the kingdom of God, and to establish his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:38 (33)

#4. Have the Spirit.

Key #4. The kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Romans 14:17

The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Here is a simple, clear definition of the kingdom of God! The kingdom is not the physical things, the meat and the drink, but it is the righteousness, the peace, and the joy that comes from the Holy Ghost.

22 Galatians 5:   But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23   Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.


#3. Keep the commandments.

Key #3. O God, the eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them, that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen. DC 17:22d

According to this prayer, partaking of the bread symbolizes the fact that we are willing to take upon us the name of Jesus, to always remember him, and to keep all his commandments. In return, we will always have his Spirit to be with us.

The good news of the gospel is as simple as that. If we do these three things, God's spirit will be with us always. When that happens, we will begin to have the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. And when that happens, when righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost fill us, then we are part of the kingdom of God!

So there it is. Since taking the name of Christ and remembering Him always are commandments, the bottom line is that we are part of the Kingdom of God only when we keep the commandments of God. Only then can His will be done on earth as it is done in Heaven.

The hard part, of course, is keeping all the commandments. Who even knows them all? As faithful Latter Day Saints, we have more commandments than any other Christians. We have three books full of them! Is there any hope for us? For me, the key insight came from the very first section of the Doctrine and Covenants.

#1. Find the promises.

Key #1. Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled. DC 1:7

According to this passage, the commandments are made up of two sorts of things: prophecies and promises.

#2. Prove the promises.

Key #2. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. I Thessalonians 5:21

In order to prove the promises, we must meet the condition. Then the blessing is received. As we begin to receive the blessings of the Spirit, we will have the fruit of that Spirit in our lives, which is righteousness, peace, and joy. And this is the Kingdom.


The Greeks had a race in their Olympic games that was unique. The winner was not the runner who finished first. It was the runner who finished with his torch still lit. I want to run all the way with the flame of my torch still lit for Him.

J. Stowell, Fan The Flame, Moody, 1986, p. 32.




Be Ready For God

I Peter 3:15be ready But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts; and  always to give an answer with meekness and fear to every man that asketh of you a reason for the hope that is in you:

DC 32:3ebe ready wherefore, be faithful, praying always, having your lamps trimmed and burning, and oil with you, that you may  at the coming of the Bridegroom; for, behold, verily, verily I say unto you, that I come quickly; even so. Amen.

DC 50:8gbe ready and I am the good Shepherd (and the stone of Israel: he that buildeth upon this rock shall never fall), and the day cometh that you shall hear my voice and see me, and know that I am. Watch, therefore, that ye may . Even so. Amen.

God has a plan for your life and if it involves a little pain and frustration now and then, so be it. We have to KNOW that God has a plan for us. That is the main key.  Alcoholics Anonymous' Big Book page 449  "And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation -- some fact of my life -- unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God's world by mistake."   
It seems almost too simple to be true, but acceptance -- accepting things exactly as they are -- can be the key that unlocks the door to happiness. After John 3:16, it may be one of the most referenced passages in literature.


British sculptor Sir Jacob Epstein was once visited in his studio by the eminent author and fellow Briton, George Bernard Shaw. The visitor noticed a huge block of stone standing in one corner and asked what it was for.   "I don't know yet. I'm still making plans."  Shaw was astounded. "You mean you plan your work. Why, I change my mind several times a day!"  "That's all very well with a four-ounce manuscript," replied the sculptor, "but not with a four-ton block."  Today in the Word, April 5, 1993.

Source Unknown.Plan ahead, it was not raining when Noah built the ark.  

The class of noisy boys in a German primary school was being punished by their teacher. They were assigned the problem of adding together all the numbers from 1 to 100. The boys settled down, scribbling busily on their slates -- all but one. This boy looked off into space for a few moments, then wrote something on his slate and turned it in. His was the only right answer.   When the amazed teacher asked how he did it, the boy replied, "I thought there might be some short cut, and I found one: 100 plus 1 is 101; 99 plus 2 is 101; 98 plus 3 is 101, and, if I continued the series all the way to 51 plus 50, I have 101 50 times, which is 5,050."   After this episode, the young scholar received special tutoring from his teacher. The boy was Karl Friedrich Gauss, the great mathematician of the 19th century.   Bits & Pieces, April 30, 1992.

W. Wiersbe, Hudson Taylor had definite convictions about how God's work should be done. We can make our best plans and try to carry them out in our own strength. Or we can make careful plans and ask God to bless them. "Yet another way of working is to begin with God; to ask His plans, and to offer ourselves to Him to carry out His purposes."   Wycliffe Handbook of Preaching and Preachers, p. 243. 

Genesis 6

60 For no unclean thing can dwell there, or dwell in his presence; for, in the language of Adam, Man of Holiness is his name; and the name of his Only Begotten is the son of Man, even Jesus Christ, a righteous judge, who shall come in the meridian of time.
61 Therefore I give unto you a commandment, to teach these things freely unto your children, saying, that by reason of transgression cometh the fall, which fall bringeth death; and inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so become of dust a living soul;
62 Even so ye must be born again, into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten; that ye may be sanctified from all sin; and enjoy the words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come; even immortal glory.
63 For, by the water ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified; and by the blood ye are sanctified.
64 Therefore it is given to abide in you, the record of heaven, the Comforter, the peaceable things of immortal glory, the truth of all things, that which quickeneth all things which maketh alive all things, that which knoweth all things, and hath all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth, justice and judgment.
65 And now, behold, I say unto you, This is the plan of salvation unto all men, through the blood of mine Only Begotten, who shall come in the meridian of time.


DC 52:4b And again, I will give unto you a pattern in all things, that ye may not be deceived; for Satan is abroad in the land, and he goeth forth deceiving the nations;

Titus 2:2 - Titus 2:12

2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.
3 The aged women, likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
6 Young men likewise exhort to be sober-minded.
7 In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,
8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.
9 Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again;
10 Not purloining, but showing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.
11 For the grace of God which bringeth salvation to all men, hath appeared;
12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

Alma 9:42plan Now if it had not been for the  of redemption, which was laid from the foundation of the world, there could have been no resurrection of the dead; 43plan But there was a  of redemption laid, which shall bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, of which has been spoken. . .45plan And thus the  of redemption would have been frustrated, and the word of God would have been void, taking none effect. . .49plan And they began from that time forth to call on his name; therefore God conversed with men, and made known unto them the  of redemption, which had been prepared from the foundation of the world; 52plan Therefore God gave unto them commandments, after having made known unto them the  of redemption, that they should not do evil, the penalty thereof being a second death, which was an everlasting death as to things pertaining unto righteousness; 53plan For on such the  of redemption could have no power, for the works of justice could not be destroyed, according to the supreme goodness of God. 54plan But God did call on men, in the name of his Son, (this being the  of redemption which was laid,) saying: If ye will repent, and harden not your hearts, then will I have mercy upon you, through mine only begotten Son.

Info: Around 605bc there was a king of Babylon by the name of Nebuchandnezzar. He went around invading countries, towns, villages and taking all the people he thought were useful back to Babylon. He took all the intelligent, good looking, strong people. He left only the poor and weak and they took whatever land was left. On this specific raid he captured, among many others 4 boys. These 4 young men did not know it but what they were about to do, and more importantly what they were NOT going to do would be talked about for centuries to come. These young men got together and decided that they were going to stick together in their decisions and not change. Even when death was placed before them they showed that Faith can definitely move mountains.

Be ready, God wants you. . .Daniel 1-3





===>>Probability of Prophecies Fulfilled---In his book, Science Speaks, Peter Stoner applies the modern science of probability to just eight prophecies regarding Christ. He says, “The chance that any man might have ...fulfilled all eight prophecies is one in 10 to the 17th. That would be 1 (with 17 zeroes) or 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000.” (one hundred quadrillion).  Stoner suggests that “we take 10 to the 17th silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover all of the state 2 feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly... Blindfold a man and tell him he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up [that one marked silver dollar.] What chance would he have of getting the right one?”  Stoner concludes, “Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing those eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man,...providing they wrote them in their own wisdom.”  ~Source unknown

The Good News is that the prophets did not write in their own wisdom!

2 PETER 1 : 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but HOLY MEN OF GOD spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
Text: Galatians 4:4-7 4:4 But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his son, made of a woman, made under the law, 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.  4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 4:7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

 We are in the 4th day of Christmas. . .celebrating the greatest gift, that "God sent the Son"

===>>The Bible calls Him, “the unspeakable gift!---Long ago, there ruled in Persia a wise and good king. He loved his people. He wanted to know how they lived. He wanted to know about their hardships. Often he dressed in the clothes of a working man or a beggar, and went to the homes of the poor. No one whom he visited thought that he was their ruler. One time he visited a very poor man who lived in a cellar. He ate the coarse food the poor man ate. He spoke cheerful, kind words to him. Then he left. Later he visited the poor man again and disclosed his identity by saying, “I am your king!” The king thought the man would surely ask for some gift or favor, but he didn’t. Instead he said, “You left your palace and your glory to visit me in this dark, dreary place. You ate the course food I ate. You brought gladness to my heart! To others you have given your rich gifts. To me you have given yourself!” The King of glory, the Lord Jesus Christ, gave himself to you and me. . .the unspeakable gift. ”

....Galations 4 tells us that he first came in the fulness of time.  What does it mean, 'the fullness of time?" It means the right time, the appointed time, God's perfect time.

Paul Maier, The First Christmas, wrote that God had a good sense of timing, since conditions prevailing in the Mediterranean world could not have been more favorable for the spread of Christianity....the Greeks had given their world a universal language through which Jesus' message could spread easily and quickly. The Roman empire had organized the whole Mediterranean basin into one vast communications network, almost perfectly geared to foster the spread of Christianity, since its missionaries could travel from city to city without fear of piracy at sea or brigands by land. Rome had also spread the welcome blanket of peace across the world, the Pax Romana, a time in which the new faith could thrive."

 , Galations uses the words "sent forth". . .these imply that the Son already existed in heaven before he was sent (J.B.LightfootEnglish theologian and Bishop of Durham, the Epistle St. Paul to the Galatians p.168) Which means he preexisted. This means he came from God, not Mary as his source of being. His humanness came from Mary in time. At the right time, God's time

I John 4:9-14 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.  4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins.  4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.  4:12 No man hath seen God at any time, except them who believe. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.  4:13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.  4:14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.

===>>C. S. Lewis suggests Become a Dog?  Lying at your feet is your dog. Imagine, for the moment, that your dog and every dog is in deep distress. Some of us love dogs very much. If it would help all the dogs in the world to become like men, would you be willing to become a dog? Would you put down your human nature, leave your loved ones, your job, hobbies, your art and literature and music, and choose instead of the intimate communion with your beloved, the poor substitute of looking into the beloved’s face and wagging your tail, unable to smile or speak? Christ by becoming man limited the thing which to Him was the most precious thing in the world; his unhampered, unhindered communion with the Father.

We will soon make our way thru the 12 days of Christmas and we will "break up Christmas for another year  and be left with the memories....for some, OK for many people they are left with the press of bills coming due. . .On Memorial Day of 2001...I wrote new lyrics for the song Simple Gifts that we perform in the Corydon Dulcimer Society. . .the first verse of  my "Holiday Gifts"  captures the commercialization of Christmas. . .

Tis the holidays again and we're really in the spirit

giving thanks for the turkey and all that came with it.

Then we shopped `till we dropped at the local strip mall,

less than 30* days to Christmas, love those bargains get them all!

When true frugality is strained

we scrape and spend we will not be ashamed;

We will give and give `twill be our delight

as our credit card debt goes way out of sight!

The Remains of the Day and the focus of these many is not upon the Gift of the SON and how precious that is to them in their everyday lives but the hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars that were spent on that they could not afford and money spent they did not have to spend.

The essence of our message this morning is not so much that God Sent His Son . . . as important as that is, nor is it that we should not just celebrate for a day or remember the event for a short season   . . . BUT THAT WE SHOULD KNOW WITH EVERY FABRIC OF OUR BEING THAT

ACTS 17GOD SENDS HIS SON to us in this AND EVERY present moment and that God Sends the Son 24 hrs a day / 7 days a week  IF we are willing to seek Him & find Him.    : 24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25 Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; 26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; 27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: 28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

===>>"The mystery of the humanity of Christ, that He sunk Himself into our flesh, is beyond all human understanding."    ~ Martin Luther

So the call of the new born Son is the same as the call of the crucified Christ and the triumphant risen Lord of Lords and King of Kings. . . The Challenge is the same to seek Him and find Him. . .The Scripture is replete with this CALLING:

10 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that SEEK THE LORD.
11 SEEK THE LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.
19 Now set your heart and your soul to SEEK THE LORD your God; arise therefore, and build ye the sanctuary of the LORD God,

14 And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to SEEK THE LORD.
12 And they entered into a covenant to SEEK THE LORD God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul;
13 That whosoever would not SEEK THE LORD God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.

HOW IMPORTANT IS THE SON IN OUR LIVES?  Would we be able to meet this test of Scripture...that we would be put to death for not seeking the Lord?

10 The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that SEEK THE LORD shall not want any good thing.
3 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that SEEK THE LORD.
4 SEEK THE LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore.

Perhaps this will help, one final illustration of why God Sent the Son!

===>>This is one of THE best stories to explain why Christ came that  I've ever seen.   What a good analogy!     There was once a man who didn't believe in God, and he didn't hesitate to let others know how he felt about religion and religious holidays. His wife, however, did believe, and she raised their children to also have faith in God and Jesus, despite his disparaging comments.  One snowy  eve, his wife was taking their children to  a service in the farm community in which they lived.  They were to talk about Jesus' birth. She asked him to come, but he refused.  "That story is nonsense!" he said. "Why would God lower Himself to come to Earth as a man? That's ridiculous!"  So she and the children left, and he stayed home. A while later, the winds grew stronger and the snow turned into a blizzard. As the man looked out the window, all he saw was a blinding snowstorm. He sat down to relax before the fire for the evening. Then he heard a loud thump. Something had hit the window. He looked out, but couldn't see more than a few feet.  When the snow let up a little, he ventured outside to see what could have been beating on his window. In the field near his house he saw a flock of wild geese. Apparently they had been flying south for the winter when they got caught in the snowstorm and couldn't go on. They were lost and stranded on his farm, with no food or shelter. They just flapped their wings and flew around the field in low circles, blindly and aimlessly. A couple of them had flown into his window, it seemed.  The man felt sorry for the geese and wanted to help them. The barn would be a great place for them to stay, he thought. It's warm and safe; surely they could spend the night and wait out the storm.  So he walked over to the barn and opened the doors wide, then watched and waited, hoping they would notice the open barn and go inside. But the geese just fluttered around aimlessly and didn't seem to notice the barn or realize what it could mean for them. The man tried to get their attention, but that just seemed to scare them, and they moved further away. He went into the house and came with some bread, broke it up, and made a bread crumb trail leading to the barn. They still didn't catch on.  Now he was getting frustrated. He got behind them and tried to shoo them toward the barn, but they only got more scared and scattered in every direction except toward the barn. Nothing he did could get them to go into the barn where they would be warm and safe. "Why don't they follow me?!" he exclaimed. "Can't they see this is the only place where they can survive the storm?"  He thought for a moment and realized that they just wouldn't follow a human. "If only I were a goose, then I could save them," he said out loud. Then he had an idea. He went into barn, got one of his own geese, and carried it in his arms as he circled around behind the flock of wild geese. He then released it. His goose flew through the flock and straight into the barn--and one-by-one, the other geese followed it to safety.  He stood silently for a moment as the words he had spoken a few minutes earlier replayed in his mind: "If only I were a goose, then I could save them!" Then he thought about what he had said to his wife earlier. "Why would God want to be like us? That's ridiculous!"  Suddenly it all made sense. That is what God had done. We were like the geese--blind, lost, perishing. God had His Son become like us so He could show us the way and save us.  As the winds and blinding snow died down, his soul became quiet and pondered this wonderful thought.  Suddenly he understood why Christ had come.  Years of doubt and disbelief vanished with the passing storm. He fell to his knees in the snow, and prayed his first prayer:  "Thank You, God, for coming in human form to get me out of the storm.

GOD SENDS THE SON so that we might return to our rightful inheritance...our dwelling place.  There is only one address for each of us and it is spelled G-O-D

Psa 90:

1 Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.

Phil 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

1 Cor 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

The Serenity Prayer

and wisdom to know the difference.
courage to change the things I can;
to accept the things I cannot change;
God grant me the serenity

Forever in the next.
and supremely happy with Him
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
if I surrender to His Will;
Trusting that He will make all things right
as it is, not as I would have it;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Living one day at a time;

--Reinhold Niebuhr 


Have A Just Heart

Just-Used especially of what is legally or ethically right or proper or fitting; "a just and lasting peace"; "a kind and just man"; "a just reward"; "his just inheritance"; Fair to all parties as dictated by reason and conscience; Free from favouritism or self-interest or bias or deception; conforming with established standards or rules; Free from favouritism or self-interest or bias or deception; Of moral excellence "a just cause"

The story of Joseph forgiving his brothers for selling him into slavery is a wonderful story. Joseph was testing the hearts of his brothers to see if they had changed. He organizes the planting of his silver cup in Benjamin’s sack and then accuses him as a thief who must become Joseph’s slave as a punishment. Will the brothers abandon Benjamin like they abandoned him? In today’s passage Joseph discovers that their hearts are different, bursts into tears, and grants all his brothers complete forgiveness from his heart. Joseph then says that God has enabled things to work out so that he might be a means of saving and blessing his family.

 Genesis 45:1–15;Scriptures: 1 Then Joseph could not refrain himself before them all that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren. 2 And he wept aloud; and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard.  3 And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence.  4 And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. 5 Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither; for God did send me before you to preserve life. 6 For these two years hath the famine been in the land; and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest. 7 And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. 8 So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God; and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt. 9 Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt; come down unto me, tarry not; 10 And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children's children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast; 11 And there will I nourish thee; for yet there are five years of famine; lest thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty. 12 And, behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth that speaketh unto you. 13 And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen; and ye shall haste and bring down my father hither. 14 And he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck. 15 Moreover he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them; and after that his brethren talked with him.

Joseph is a forshadowing of Jesus. Jesus is also rejected but becomes the means of salvation for those who did him wrong. As Joseph forgives his brothers from his heart, so God in Jesus forgives us completely and utterly from God’s own heart. We are not treated according to our deserts but according to God’s loving grace. We should treat each other in the same way. A grace-filled heart is a just heart.

Psalm 133; 1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!  2 It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard; that went down to the skirts of his garments; 3 As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion; for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

Romans 11:1–2a, 29–32; 21 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.  God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Know ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh complaint to God against Israel, saying, 3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.

3029 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.  For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief; 31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

Matthew 15:9–27 IV; 9 And he called the multitude and said unto them, Hear, and understand. 10 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth the man. 11 Then came his disciples and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? 12 But he answered and said, Every plant which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. 13 Let them alone; they be blind leaders of the blind; and if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. 14 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable. 15 And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding? 16 Do ye not yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast into the draught? 17 But those things which proceed out of the mouth, come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. 18 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 19 These are things which defile a man. But to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man. 20 Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. 21 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. 22 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. 23 He answered, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  24 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. 25 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs. 26 And she said, Truth, Lord; yet the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the master's table. 27 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith; be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

In the story of the Canaanite woman, Jesus tests the woman’s faith. At first he simply refuses to answer her request to heal her demon-possessed daughter. Next the disciples urge him to send her away. Jesus then states that he is to only minister to those who are of the lost sheep of Israel. She is completely the shunned and rejected outsider. In fact, as a Cananite, she belonged to the ancient enemies of Israel—the people displaced by the Israelite invasion of the Promised Land. When the woman kneels before him and calls him Lord, he insults her again by saying it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs. Her quick reply is even dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table. She not only has a heart for her daughter’s needs, she now reveals beyond argument a heart full of faith. Jesus responds in healing her daughter as requested.

II Nephi 11:54–59; 5554 For the right way is to believe in Christ and deny him not; for by denying him, ye also deny the prophets and the law.  And now behold I say unto you, that the right way is to believe in Christ, and deny him not; and Christ is the Holy One of Israel: 56 Wherefore ye must bow down before him, and worship him with all your might, mind and strength, and your whole soul, and if ye do this, ye shall in no wise be cast out. 57 And inasmuch as it shall be expedient, ye must keep the performances and ordinances of God, until the law shall be fulfilled which was given unto Moses. 58 And after Christ shall have risen from the dead, he shall shew himself unto you, my children, and my beloved brethren; 59 And the words which he shall speak unto you, shall be the law which ye shall do.

Doctrine and Covenants 34:1 1a Listen to the voice of the Lord your God, even Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, whose course is one eternal round, the same today as yesterday and for ever.  1b I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was crucified for the sins of the world, even as many as will believe on my name, that they may become the sons of God, even one in me as I am in the Father, as the Father is one in me, that we may be one.


A socialist once came to see Andrew Carnegie and soon was railing against the injustice of Carnegie having so much money. In his view, wealth was meant to be divided equally. Carnegie asked his secretary for an assessment of everything he owned and at the same time looked up the figures on world population. He did a little arithmetic on a pad and then said to his secretary. "Give this gentleman l6 cents. That's his share of my wealth."   Source Unknown.

Supreme Court Justice Horace Gray once informed a man who had appeared before him in a lower court and had escaped conviction on a technicality, "I know that you are guilty and you know it, and I wish you to remember that one day you will stand before a better and wiser Judge, and that there you will be dealt with according to justice and not according to law." Surprised while burgling a house in Antwerp, Belgium, the thief fled out the back door, clambered over a nine-foot wall, dropped down the other side, and found himself in the city prison.  Oops: The Book of Blunders, 1980.

"The problem is we want justice for everyone else and mercy for ourselves."  Kent Crockett's Sermon Illustrations, 

Vigilantes were self-appointed law enforcement groups which sprang up on the American frontier. One writer says that “vigilantism was [often] carried out by citizens who were moderate and orderly in their application of force,” but he notes that the danger of mob rule was also present. Just ask the poor fellow whose grave at Boot Hill Cemetery in Arizona bears this epitaph: “Lynched by mistake.”  Today in the Word, November 19, 1995, p. 26.

One Sunday morning, the pastor noticed little Alex was staring up at the large plaque that hung in the foyer of the church. The seven-year-old had been staring at the plaque for some time, so the pastor walked up, stood beside the boy, and said quietly, “Good morning Alex.”  “Good morning pastor” replied the young lad, focused on the plaque. “Pastor McGhee, what is this?” Alex asked.  “Well son, these are all the men who have died in the Service,” replied the pastor. Soberly, they stood together, staring at the large plaque. Little Alex’s voice barely broke the silence when he asked quietly, “Which one, the 9:00 or the 10:30 service?” Source Unknown

A mother once approached Napoleon seeking a pardon for her son. The emperor replied that the young man had committed a certain offense twice and justice demanded death. "But I don't ask for justice,? the mother explained. "I plead for mercy.?  "But your son does not deserve mercy,? Napoleon replied.  "Sir,? the woman cried, "it would not be mercy if he deserved it, and mercy is all I ask for.? "Well, then,? the emperor said, "I will have mercy.? And he spared the woman's son.  ~Luis Palau, "Experiencing God's Forgiveness,? Multnomah Press, 1984


Central Ideas

1. Families can forgive and find reconciliation even after years of separation.

2. Faith is possible for all people, no matter their race or ethnicity.

Questions for the Speaker

1. Who do you need to forgive in your family for the wrong they did? How can you be a means of blessing to them now?

2. Does the worth of all persons extend to those who have wronged you?

3. Who in your neighborhood are the outsiders, the ones who are despised or feared? Whose cry for help do you need to hear and extend the invitation to become full members of the family of Jesus?    




DEFINITION: Kindness in welcoming guests or strangers; a greeting or reception; acknowledgement or expression of good will.

UNIVERSAL GREETING to practice radical hospitality is recorded in

Luk 2:"8": And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. "9": And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. "10": And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  "11": For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  "12": And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  "13": And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,  "14": Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Rev. Richard Nugent, Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington:  The word “hospitality” is derived from the Latin hospitare which means “to receive as a guest.” At the simplest level, our hospitality can be reserved to our family, friends, and acquaintances whom we welcome into our homes and offices. But at a deeper level, the concept of hospitality can be extended to everyone we meet in life since everyone can be viewed as a guest in the context of our personal space and time. Therefore hospitality, as a spiritual practice, is fundamentally concerned with “how” we welcome those we encounter into the experience of our own lives.

Debra L. Brady, Modesto First UMC: What do I mean by radical? In one sense, radical means something that is drastically different from ordinary practices; something way beyond normal... In another sense, radical means arising from the source. We use the word radical in mathematics, chemistry and plant biology. . .In our context, I like to think of radical hospitality as that which is rooted in the life of Christ and which radiates to others in ways that far exceed their expectation for being loved and included.

Radical Hospitality is a mark of our discipleship

Deuteronomy 10:17 For the Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward; 18 He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. 19 Love ye therefore the stranger; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. 20 Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name.

A representative passage from the Hindu tradition reads: The husband and wife of the house should not turn away any who comes at eating time and asks for food. If food is not available, a place to rest, water for refreshing one’s self, a reed mat to lay one’s self on., and pleasing words entertaining the guests – these at least never fail in the houses of the good (Apastamba Dharma Sutra 8.2).

Today, in the Middle East, being a gracious host is expected and is a primary requirement of Islam.  In the Koran, we read: “Be kind to parents, and the near kinsman, and to orphans, and to the needy, and to the neighbor who is of kin, and to the neighbor who is a stranger, and to the companion at your side, and to the traveler… Surely God loves not the proud and boastful such as are niggardly, and bid other men to be niggardly, and themselves conceal the bounty that God has given them.” Qur'an 4.36-37

Matt 25:"34": Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: "35": For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: "36": Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.  "37": Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? "38": When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? "39": Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? "40": And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Luke 15
Intro Parable of the lost sheep, and also the ten pieces of silver -- Parable of the prodigal son.
1 Then drew near unto him, many of the publicans, and sinners, to hear him. 2 And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners and eateth with them. 11 And he said, A certain man had two sons; 12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods which falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. 13 And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. 14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land and he began to be in want. 15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks which the swine did eat; and no man gave unto him. 17 And when he came to himself he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee; 19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son; make me as one of thy hired servants. 20 And he arose and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. 21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. 22 But the father said unto his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his finger, and shoes on his feet; 23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat and be merry; 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. 25 Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came, and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant?   27 And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because hath he received him safe and sound. 28 And he was angry, and would not go in; therefore came his father out and entreated him. 29 And he answering, said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment; and thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends; 30 But as soon as this thy son was come, who hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. 31 And he said unto him, Son thou art ever with me; and all that I have is thine. 32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad; for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; was lost, and is found.

Debra L. Brady goes on in her message with this story appropriate for our coming to the Lord's Table today. . .

There is a Middle Eastern proverb that Jesus probably knew. It says: I saw them eating and I knew who they were. It does not make much sense in our own age of fast food and family suppers around the television, but in Jesus’ day what you ate and with whom you ate it were critical matters. 

This was especially true among the Jews, for whom eating together was -- literally -- a religious experience. To eat together was to celebrate their faith, which included very specific rules about what happened around the table. Cleanliness was paramount: clean food, clean dishes, clean hands, clean hearts. A proper Jewish meal was a worship service in which believers honored God by sanctifying the most ordinary details of their lives. 

Jesus offended a lot of people with his unconventional understanding of hospitality. He ignored the finger bowl by his plate. He ate whatever was put in front of him. He thought nothing of sitting down to eat with filthy people whose lives declared their contempt for religion. People saw him eating and they knew who he was: someone who had lost all sense of what was right, who condoned sin by eating with sinners and who might as well have spit in the faces of the good people who raised him. 

In those days, sinners fell into five basic categories:

people who did dirty things for a living (such as pig farmers and tax collectors), people who did immoral things (such as liars and adulterers), people who did not keep the law up to the standards of the religious authorities (such as you and me), and then outsiders Samaritans and gentiles. 

So if I were putting together a sinners’ table, say at Ryan's Restaurant, it might include an abortion doctor, a child molester, an arms dealer, a garbage collector, a young man with AIDS, a Mexican chicken plucker, a teenage methamphetamine addict, and an unmarried woman on welfare with five children by three different fathers. Did I miss anyone? Don’t forget to put Jesus at the head of the table, asking the young man to hand him a roll, please, and offering the doctor a second cup of coffee before she goes back to work. 

If this guest list offends you even a little, then you are almost ready for what happens next. What happens next is that the local ministerial association comes into the restaurant and sits down at a large table across from the sinners. The religious authorities all have good teeth and there is no dirt under their fingernails. When their food comes, they hold hands to pray. They are all perfectly nice people, but they can hardly eat their salads and sandwiches for staring at the strange crowd in the far booth. 

The chicken plucker is still wearing her white hair net, and the garbage collector smells like spoiled meat. The addict cannot seem to find his mouth with his spoon. But none of those is the heartbreaker. The heartbreaker is Jesus, sitting there as if everything were just fine. Doesn’t he know what kind of message he is sending? Who is going to believe he speaks for God if he does not keep better company than that? I saw them eating and I knew who they were. 

In our gospel lesson today, Jesus seems to understand the man with two sons who cannot get his family to sit down at the same table, either. The younger son is so warped by his sense of unworthiness that he is prepared to eat the rest of his meals in the bunkhouse with the hired hands. The older son is so inflated by his sense of entitlement that he will not eat with anyone who has not earned a place at the table. Both sons suffer from the illusion that they can be in relationship with their father without being related to each other. What is a father to do? 

What this father does is to prepare a meal for both of them and let them figure out what to do about each other. This is fairly easy for the younger son, who is so glad to be back at the table again that he is not about to cause trouble for his older brother or anyone else. It is more difficult for the older son, who isn’t even told when dinner is ready. By the time he shows up and finds out who has come slithering home, he is convinced that he has been displaced. It is as if there were only two chairs at the table, as if no one father could love two such different sons. In spite of his father’s assurance that everything the old man has is his, the story ends with the older son standing in the yard, while the father goes back inside to sit down with the sinner. 

Any way you look at it, this is an alarming story. It is about hanging out with the wrong people. It is about throwing parties for losers and asking winners to foot the bill. It is about giving up the idea that we can love God and despise each other. We simply cannot, no matter how wrong any of us has been. The only way to work out our relationship with God is to work out our relationship with each other. 

Like I said, Jesus told this story to the ministerial association that was complaining about his dinner parties. He told them he could not hear them all the way across the restaurant, that they should come over and pull up some chairs. Because he saw them eating and he knew who they were — so clean, so right, so angry — he wanted to help them too, so he said, "Come meet my friends. Dessert is on me!" And as far as I know, Jesus is still waiting to see how the story ends.  

The book Radical Hospitality, was written by Father Daniel Homan and Lonni Collins Pratt (Father Daniel Homan, a Benedictine monk & Lonni Collins Pratt, a journalist & retreat leader)

It states, "Hospitality, rather than being something you achieve, is something you enter. It is an adventure that takes you where you never dreamed of going. It is not something you do, as much as it is someone you become. You try and you fail. You try again. You make room for one person at a time, and each of these choices of the heart stretches your ability to receive others. This is how we grow more hospitable - by welcoming one person when the opportunity is given to you."

The Rule of St Benedict has brought wisdom and comfort to believers for over 1500 years. One of its main practices is listening, being really present for other human beings. This leads naturally into hospitality, which in monasteries has meant giving guests the space to pray and to rest, to enter silence or to speak in intimate terms about their journey of faith. was my experience in my 3-1/2 days of silence at the Abbey of Gesthemani, a time that I spent with God Alone.   

Friends, I welcome you now to the Lord's Table. Our Lord Jesus Christ is here waiting for us.  There is room for the little children, the teenagers, for husbands and wives, there are special seats for widows and those who grieve, for the sick and afflicted, for all our family and our friends, for butchers and bakers and candle stick makers, for builders, stone masons and metal workers, for farmers and craftsmen and all who rest from their labors, for those who serve and have served and for those who only stand and wait. . .there is even room for me, with all my sins.  May we hear His loving invitation, may we feel His gentle touch, may we accept His forgiveness as we partake of the symbols of His broken body and shed blood and may we experience the renewal of our minds and bodies with strength to walk the path of a disciple is my prayer, in Jesus Name. Amen.




1Cor 11:23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come.


Mat_26:17, Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?  18, And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.  19, And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover.

Prepare the Table has a personal and private aspect also, it has parallels to preparing the table at home. . .these are things that we do and think about when we come to the Lord's Table:

1-Wash your hands! Spiritually we come clean with the Lord. Self examination (let a man examinine himself) helps us remember to we need to be washed behind the ears, the eyes, the tongue. . .sometimes we are tempted to feel so unworthy that we allow the emblems to pass us by without partaking. . .We must remember NO ONE is Worthy but because of Christ we are eligible and HE says COME and EAT!

82- Don't Spoil Your Appetite. . .in fact Hone your appetite. . .Psa 34:   O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.   I Corinthians 10:21   Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils.  COME to the BANQUET.


3- Don't Gobble Your Food. . .This is NOT FAST FOOD . . .this is a time to savor . . .HOW DO WE SHOW THIS?.......................

BE RESPECTFUL Psa 46:10   Be still, and know that I am God:

BE THANKFUL  Psa 100:4   Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

BE ONE  1Cor10:17   For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.



Prepare the tableIsa 21:5 , watch in the watchtower, eat, drink; arise, ye princes, and anoint the shield.

Prepare the table--namely, the feast in Babylon; during which Cyrus opened the dykes made by Semiramis to confine the Euphrates to one channel and suffered them to overflow the country, so that he could enter Babylon by the channel of the river. Isaiah first represents the king ordering the feast to be got ready. The suddenness of the irruption of the foe is graphically expressed by the rapid turn in the language to an alarm addressed to the Babylonian princes, "Arise,"
watch in . . . watchtower--rather, "set the watch." This done, they thought they might feast in entire security. Babylon had many watchtowers on its walls.
anoint . . . shield--This was done to prevent the leather of the shield becoming hard and liable to crack. "Make ready for defense"; the mention of the "shield" alone implies that it is the Babylonian revellers who are called on to prepare for instant self-defense. HORSLEY translates, "Grip the oiled shield."

Isa 22:13 And behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen, and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine: let us eat and drink; for to morrow we shall die.

The anointing of the shield goes back as far as the Assyrians and the Babylonians.  The Assyrians became world rulers, and they did it by a superior weapon!  The weapon that the Assyrians used to conquer the world was called the broad sword.  The broad sword was different from all the other swords they had before. Because people defended themselves with a shield, the only way you could hit them was if you caught them with their shields down, you attacked from the back, or you had something strong enough to pierce the shield. Because they began using metal shields, people looked for new weapons to cause greater damage.  This was a sword that was a long bladed sword with a real wide blade made out of spring steel. This sword was distinctly different from other swords because it helped people overcome another soldiers shield. Instead of trying to pierce a shield, the Assyrian army took the broad sword and they slapped the shield with the side of the blade, (like this) and when they slapped it with the side, this long blade of spring steel wrapped around the shield, and with a little twist of the wrist it went around behind and would cut off an arm, cut off a leg and disable the shielded soldier. And the world was ruled by the Assyrians because of the use of the broad sword.  Now everyone tried to figure out how to conquer the Assyrians.

The shield simply absorbed the blow.  What is one step up from the broad sword?  The Babylonians discovered a new weapon under King Nebuchadnezzar that defeated the broad sword. This is what it was: they took a common shield, a metal shield, and took some lamb skin and wrapped it around the edges of their shield, layer upon layer and then fastened it. And then, they anointed it with oil and it became very soft. Now, when an Assyrian soldier slapped the broad sword against their shield that had an inch of lambskin layered and anointed, there was a dull thud and nothing happened. Now we know that the Babylonians were conquered. The prophet Daniel gives us an image and he talks about the Babylonian empire and tells that they were conquered by the Medes and the Persians.  Now the way that the Medes and the Persians conquered the Babylonians was something very surprising. Strangely enough, the thing that the Medes and the Persians used to conquer the Babylonians was again the broad sword.

The same thing that had been used before!! But you say how could it work?  The Babylonians had discovered that they could dull the blow.  You see - there is something very unique about lambskin, anointed. that is, that as soon as you hang it up and it's not anointed, the oil dries out and it becomes hard.  The Babylonians, after they had conquered the world, began to celebrate, and they got kind of dull in their military preparedness. In Daniel 5 it describes the exact events that were taking place when the Babylonian empire fell.  Looking here in Daniel we are seeing the description of what is happening.  The Babylonians have conquered the world, and now they are simply having a drunken feast - including the desecration of temple vessels of gold and silver to drink from. God proclaims judgement!  If the Babylonians had bothered to periodically put a fresh touch of oil (anointing) upon their shields, they would have been ready.  But when they came out with their shields, those shields that they had learned to defeat the broad sword with, not having anointed the shield - the lambskin did absolutely nothing. And again they were slaughtered on that particular night and they were conquered.

The significance is this: the scriptures describe the shield in the Brit Hadashah (New Testament) as the shield of faith.

Ephesians 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:


We need a tenderness and an anointing before God on a continuing basis.




When nothing seems to stir you below the surface. No fear of a mighty and righteous God  No real desire for Holiness

(Lev 11:44, 19:2 Be Holy, for I Am Holy)


Jarom 1:9 And as many are not stiff-necked, and have faith, have communion with the Holy Spirit, which maketh manifest unto the children of men, according to their faith.

I COR 1:25   Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

26   For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

27   But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

28   And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

29   That no flesh should glory in his presence.

30   But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

31   That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.


We can sometimes take substitutes for the anointing of God, or settle for less than God's best. Don't do it!!   God is faithful and will accomplish exceedingly abundantly more than we ask or think.  The anointing is central to everything. Without the anointing all preaching, teaching, singing, or dancing is just empty rituals. Human imitations of God's glory never make it.

Psalm 127:1 "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it."


God's standards are still the same! Some people, or even religious organizations may redefine their standards, but God has not changed.

Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.


Our Daily Bread.Several centuries ago, a Japanese emperor commissioned an artist to paint a bird. A number of months passed, then several years, and still no painting was brought to the palace. Finally the emperor became so exasperated that he went to the artist's home to demand an explanation. Instead of making excuses, the artist placed a blank canvas on the easel. In less than an hour, he completed a painting that was to become a brilliant masterpiece. When the emperor asked the reason for the delay, the artist showed him armloads of drawings of feathers, wings, heads, and feet. Then he explained that all of this research and study had been necessary before he could complete the painting. ~ 

Moody MonthlyWe are told that when John Huss was arrested and informed that he would be burned to death for his faith, he purposely practiced holding his hand over fire to prepare for his final test. He burned himself in preparation. He wanted to be faithful to the end. ~, April, 1990, p. 76.

Kenneth A. Brown, Nat Wyeth, engineer and inventor, on his brother, artist Andrew Wyeth: Andy did a picture of Lafayette's quarters near Chadds Ford, Pa., with a sycamore tree behind the building. When I first saw the painting, he wasn't finished with it. He showed me a lot of drawings of the trunk and the sycamore's gnarled roots, and I said, "Where's all that in the picture?" "It's not in the picture, Nat," he said. "For me to get what I want in the part of the tree that's showing, I've got to know thoroughly how it is anchored in back of the house." I find that remarkable. He could draw the tree above the house with such authenticity because he knew exactly how the thing was in the ground. ~Inventors at Work. 

Baseball Game of Grace

Bob was caught up in the spirit where he and the Lord stood by to observe baseball game. The Lord's team was playing Satan's team. The Lord's team was at bat, the score was tied zero to zero, and it was the bottom of the 9th inning with two outs. They continued to watch as a batter stepped up to the plate whose name was Love. Love swung at the first pitch and hit a single, because Love never fails. The next batter was named Faith, who also got a single because Faith works with Love. The next batter up was named Godly wisdom. Satan wound up and threw the first pitch; Godly Wisdom looked it over and let it pass, because Godly Wisdom does not swing at Satan's pitches. Ball one. Three more pitches and Godly Wisdom walked, because Godly wisdom never swings at Satan's throws. The bases were loaded. The Lord then turned to Bob and told him He was now going to bring in His star player. Up to the plate stepped Grace. Bob said he sure did not look like much! Satan's whole team relaxed when they saw Grace. Thinking he had won the game, Satan wound up and fired his first pitch. To the shock of everyone, Grace hit the ball harder than anyone had ever seen. But Satan was not worried; his center fielder, the Prince of the air, let very few get by. He went up for the ball, but it went right through his glove, hit him on the head and sent him crashing on the ground; then it continued over the fence for a home run! The Lord's team won.  The Lord then asked Bob if he knew why Love, Faith, and Godly Wisdom could get on base but could not win the game. Bob answered that he did not know why. The Lord explained, "If your love, faith and wisdom had won the game you would think you had done it by yourself. Love, faith and wisdom will get you on base, but only My grace can get you home. My grace is the one thing Satan cannot stop."

Surviving in the Kalahari Desert

The bushmen of the Kalahari were made famous in the movie "The Gods Must Be Crazy". These bushmen for many years were able to survive where no one else could. They possessed an almost magical ability to survive the harsh circumstances of the Kalahari desert. In an era before anyone knew how to locate and dig a bore, just how did a person survive in an area where there is no surface water? The Kalahari bushmen had some ingenious methods. One of them was to collect ostrich eggs and then, during the wet season, fill them with water and seal them. The ostrich eggs would then be buried and recovered during the dry season. It was this type of planning and preparation that enabled the Kalahari bushmen to survive where no one else could.      Source: Scott Higgins, using information from National Geographic, Feb 2001      


Stand in Holy Places

Revelation given through Joseph Smith, Jr., March 7, 1831, at Kirtland, Ohio. In connection with this manifestation Joseph wrote: "To the joy of the Saints who had to struggle against everything that prejudice and wickedness could invent, I received the following":

[Sec 45:1a] Hearken, O ye people of my church, to whom the kingdom has been given, hearken ye, and give ear to him who laid the foundation of the earth, who made the heavens and all the hosts thereof, and by whom all things were made which live and move and have a being.

3e Ye say that ye know that the end of the world cometh; ye say, also, that ye know that the heavens and the earth shall pass away; and in this ye say truly, for so it is; but these things which I have told you shall not pass away until all shall be fulfilled.

3f And this I have told you concerning Jerusalem; and when that day shall come, shall a remnant be scattered among all nations, but they shall be gathered again; but they shall remain until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

4a And in that day shall be heard of wars and rumors of wars, and the whole earth shall be in commotion, and men's hearts shall fail them, and they shall say that Christ delayeth his coming until the end of the earth.

4b And the love of men shall wax cold, and iniquity shall abound; and when the time of the Gentiles is come in, a light shall break forth among them that sit in darkness, and it shall be the fullness of my gospel;

4c but they receive it not, for they perceive not the light, and they turn their hearts from me because of the precepts of men;

4d and in that generation shall the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled; and there shall be men standing in that generation that shall not pass, until they shall see an overflowing scourge, for a desolating sickness shall come over the land;

4e but my disciples shall stand in holy places, and shall not be moved; but among the wicked, men shall lift up their voices and curse God, and die.

4f And there shall be earthquakes, also, in divers places and many desolations; yet men will harden their hearts against me, and they will take up the sword one against another, and they will kill one another.

5a And now, when I the Lord had spoken these words unto my disciples, they were troubled;

5b and I said unto them, Be not troubled, for when all these things shall come to pass, ye may know that the promises which have been made unto you shall be fulfilled;

EnsignMormon President Harold B. Lee, “Stand Ye in Holy Places,” , Oct 2008, 44–49

cannot light a fire in another soul unless it is burning in your own soul.You cannot lift another soul until you are standing on higher ground than he is. You

WHO--shall stand in Holy places?

Psalm 24:3-5 Who may ascend the hill of the LORD ? Who may stand in his holy place?  He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.

Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Ephesians 1:4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.

1 Peter 1:15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

WHAT--are Holy places? and the related Why must there be Holy places?

Amidst the bustle of the secular world, with its certain uncertainty, there must be places that offer spiritual refuge, renewal, hope, and peace. There are indeed such places. They are both holy and sacred. They are places where we meet the divine and find the Spirit of the Lord.

Holy places have always been essential to the proper worship of God. For Latter-day Saints, such holy places include venues of historic significance, our homes, sacrament meetings, and temples. Much of what we reverence, and what we teach our children to reverence as holy and sacred, is reflected in these places. The faith and reverence associated with them and the respect we have for what transpires or has transpired in them make them holy. The importance of holy places and sacred space in our worship can hardly be overestimated.

sacrificeGreat personal preparation is required for us to receive the spiritual benefit of standing in holy places. Holy places and sacred space are also distinguished by the sacrifice they require. Elder M. Russell Ballard has taught that "the word  means literally 'to make sacred,' or 'to render sacred' "

Holy places include any places where we are living righteously, prepared to see his face, and accept him. Holy places include any place where we are associating with righteous and wholesome people or where we are sharing the gospel and our love with those who need it. It would especially include our sincere presence in a temple room performing sacred ordinances, worshiping in a sacrament meeting, or at home with our families or friends doing righteous things.~~John K. Carmack, “Stand Ye In Holy Places,” LDS Business College Devotional Lecture, Nov. 13, 1996
As we recall the commandment to stand in holy places, we should remember that beyond the temple, the most sacred and holy places in all the world should be our own dwelling places. Our homes should be committed and dedicated only to holy purposes. In our homes all of the security, the strengthening love, and the sympathetic understanding that we all so desperately need should be found.~~James E. Faust, “Who Shall Ascend into the Hill of the Lord?” Ensign, Aug. 2001, 2
Those ‘holy places’ are our temples, stakes, wards, and homes. ~~“A Prophet of Certitude: Counsel from President Ezra Taft Benson,” Ensign, July 1994, 28






There are so many ways to keep the shielding seventh commandment firmly in place. Instructively, for instance, David’s fall, at least in part, was facilitated because he was not where duty lay: “It came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, … David tarried still at Jerusalem” (2 Sam. 11:1). Then, as you know, came the lustful view from the roof and all the sadness that followed. Implicit, therefore, in the instruction “Stand ye in holy places” is to avoid indulgent tarrying.~~Neal A. Maxwell, “The Seventh Commandment: A Shield,” Ensign, Nov. 2001, 78

1. at the time when kings go forth to battle--The return of spring was the usual time of commencing military operations. This expedition took place the year following the war against the Syrians; and it was entered upon because the disaster of the former campaign having fallen chiefly upon the Syrian mercenaries, the Ammonites had not been punished for their insult to the ambassadors.
David sent Joab and his servants . . . they destroyed the children of Ammon--The powerful army that Joab commanded ravaged the Ammonite country and committed great havoc both on the people and their property, until having reached the capital, they besieged Rabbah-- Rabbah denotes a great city. This metropolis of the Ammonites was situated in the mountainous tract of Gilead, not far from the source of the Arnon. Extensive ruins are still found on its site.



~Gary Kunz testmony


 I remember also a little boy (3-4 years old) that visited the cemetery once a week to see "grandma";

he would go to the store on the way, his mom would buy several balloons, when they arrived at the graveside, he would talk to her (grandma) and let the balloons go one at a time, watching them until they could no longer be seen; it was then that he thought all was well and was content for that day


DON'T WE ALL (Author Unknown)
I was parked in front of the mall wiping off my car. I had just come from the car wash and was waiting for my wife to get out of work. Coming my way from across the parking lot was what society would consider a bum. From the looks of him, he had no car, no home, no clean clothes, and no money. There are times when you feel generous but there are other times that you just don't want to be bothered. This was one of those "don't want to be bothered times."  "I hope he doesn't ask me for any money," I thought.  He didn't.   He came and sat on the curb in front of the bus stop but he didn't look like he could have enough money to even ride the bus. After a few minutes he spoke. "That's a very pretty car," he said. He was ragged but he had an air of dignity around him. His scraggly blond beard keep more than his face warm.  I said, "thanks," and continued wiping off my car.  
He sat there quietly as I worked. The expected plea for money never came. As the silence between us widened something inside said, "ask him if he needs any help." I was sure that he would say "yes" but I held true to the inner voice.  "Do you need any help?" I asked.  He answered in three simple but profound words that I shall never forget. We often look for wisdom in great men and women. We expect it from those of higher learning and accomplishments.  I expected nothing but an outstretched grimy hand. He spoke the three words that shook me.  "Don't we all?" he said.  I was feeling high and mighty, successful and important, above a bum in the street, until those three words hit me like a twelve gauge shotgun.  Don't we all?

I needed help. Maybe not for bus fare or a place to sleep, but I needed help. I reached in my wallet and gave him not only enough for bus fare, but enough to get a warm meal and shelter for the day.  Those three little words still ring true. No matter how much you have, no matter how much you have accomplished, you need help too. No matter how little you have, no matter how loaded you are with problems, even without money or a place to sleep, you can give help. Even if it's just a compliment, you can give that. You never know when you may see someone that appears to have it all. They are waiting on you to give them what they don't have. A different perspective on life, a glimpse at something beautiful, a respite from daily chaos, that only you through a torn world can see.  Maybe the man was just a homeless stranger wandering the streets.  Maybe he was more than that.  Maybe he was sent by a power that is great and wise, to minister to a soul too comfortable in themselves.  Maybe God looked down, called an Angel, dressed him like a bum, then said, "go minister to that man cleaning the car, that man needs help."  Don't we all?


We are to be of the world but not in the world. This can be illustrated by noticing the submarine. It is in the water but not of the water. If it is on the ground (out of the water) it is of no purpose... it is not accomplishing its mission. But when it is in the water it must be insulated (not isolated) from the water. If the water ever gets into the submarine then there is cause for alarm and emergency. We must be insulated from the world but not isolated from the world. -- Wayne Sams

The founder of Kraft Foods was an outstanding Christian. Mr. Kraft spent the last few winters of his life in Miami. He had an invitation to address a convention in San Francisco, and the newspapers of Miami made note of it. The night before he left for San Francisco, the telephone rang. A woman's voice, filled with sadness, said, "Mr. Kraft, I see by the paper that you are going to San Francisco tomorrow. I want to ask a favor. My son is in Alcatraz for life I write him and send his gifts, but he has never responded. Would you please go see him, and ask him just to write me a note? Kraft agreed to the lady's request. He went to the prison and was granted permission to visit the young man. He started down the corridor to where it turned right, to the visiting room. Just as he made the turn, a big hand shot out in front and clamped him by the chest, and a voice said, "Stand perfectly still, Mr. Kraft, don't move for a moment." Kraft said he heard a buzzing sound... then a voice said, "OK, Mr. Kraft, you're clean." Offended, he asked, "What do you mean, 'I'm clean?' Of course I am!" "I mean," said the guard, "that you don't have anything that you should not take to the visitor's room." The guard told Kraft what he had in his pocket. He went on down the hall thinking to himself, "Suppose Christ would stop me around the next corner and say, "'Stand still, Kraft, let me see if your heart is clean inside.'" Said James Kraft, "I stopped where I was and asked God to examine me."

The story is told of a woman in northern England who hung out her washing and was so proud of its whiteness. She thought it glistened! Then snow came making a beautiful blanket of white. Seeing her clothes and the snow side by side, she exclaimed, "What can a poor woman do against God's almighty snow?" "So, in the white radiance of God's holiness, we are led to exclaim, 'What can any man or woman do against the purity of God Almighty?" \reference{Isa. 6:4-5}{Isaiah 6:4-5} Gary Bowell p. 36

"Holiness does not consist in mystic speculations, enthusiastic fervours, or uncommanded austerities; it consists in thinking as God thinks, and willing as God wills."

John Brown, Nineteenth-century Scottish theologian, quoted in J. Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness, p. 51. 

How Do People View You??

Oliver Wendell Holmes once said that he might have entered into the ministry if it weren't for the fact that so many of the preachers he knew looked and acted much like undertakers!!      

John Eldredge, in his book, Wild At Heart, made the point that when you look around the church today at the Christian male, you see that he is at best ... bored.
When people look at you, they form a perception of Christianity. Let them see a strong, adventurous Jesus in you!!!
We Are Standing On Holy Ground-Bill Gaither
Verse 1
When I walk through the doors I sensed His presence
And I knew this was a place where love abounds
For this is a temple the God we love abides here
Oh we are standing in His presence on holy ground
We are standing on holy ground
For I know that there are angels all around
Let us praise Jesus now
For we are standing in His presence on holy ground
Verse 2
In His presence I know there is joy beyond all measure
And at His feet sweet peace of mind can still be found
For when we have a need He is still the answer
Reach out and claim it for we are standing on holy ground
We are standing on holy ground
For I know that there are angels all around
Let us praise Jesus now
For we are standing in His presence on holy ground
Let us praise Jesus now
For we are standing in hHis presence on holy ground




fig tree shall not blossomTEXT:  Habakkuk 3:17 Although the , neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: 18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. 19 The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet(female red deer), and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments. (KJV)

Habakkuk said, "We’ve got troubles, but I think I’ll just thank God anyhow!"

We have several loved ones that have trouble this morning. . .you know many of them, including our beloved Linda and Irma and a friend that I have not met as yet named Luke Dishman all are fighting cancer and for there very lives; their families and friends-BethAnn, Steve and Avery; Al and Ben and Bonnie Jaggers need our prayers . . .

Who would join me in ofering a short prayer for their needs?

* You wake up face down on the pavement. * You call suicide prevention and they put you on hold. * You see a 60 Minutes news team waiting in your office. * Your birthday cake collapses from the weight of the candles. * You turn on the news and they're showing emergency routes out of the city. * Your twin sister forgets your birthday. * You wake up to discover that your waterbed broke and then realize you don't have a waterbed.
You know you’ve got trouble when....
We all have troubles from time to time.

Illustration:  Forgive Me When I Whine

Today upon a bus, I saw a lovely maid with golden hair; I envied her -- she seemed so gay, and how, I wished I were so fair; When suddenly she rose to leave, I saw her hobble down the aisle; she had one foot and wore a crutch, but as she passed, a smile. Oh God, forgive me when I whine, I have two feet -- the world is mine.  And when I stopped to buy some sweets, the lad who served me had such charm; he seemed to radiate good cheer, his manner was so kind and warm; I said, "It's nice to deal with you, such courtesy I seldom find"; he turned and said, "Oh, thank you sir." And then I saw that he was blind. Oh, God, forgive me when I whine, I have two eyes, the world is mine.  Then, when walking down the street, I saw a child with eyes of blue; he stood and watched the others play, it seemed he knew not what to do; I stopped a moment, then I said, "Why don't you join the others, dear?" He looked ahead without a word, and then I knew he could not hear. Oh God, forgive me when I whine, I have two ears, the world is mine.  With feet to take me where I'd go; with eyes to see the sunsets glow, with ears to hear what I would know. I am blessed indeed. The world is mine; oh, God, forgive me when I whine. ~Source Unknown.



I Chronicles 16:1 So they brought the ark of God, and set it in the midst of the tent that David had pitched for it; and they offered burnt sacrifices and peace offerings before God.

2 And when David had made an end of offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord.

3 And he dealt to every one of Israel, both man and woman, to every one a loaf of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine.

4 And he appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the ark of the Lord, and to record, and to thank and praise the Lord God of Israel;

5 Asaph the chief, and next to him Zachariah, Jeiel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Mattithiah, and Eliab, and Benaiah, and Obed-edom; and Jeiel with psalteries and with harps; but Asaph made a sound with cymbals;

6 Benaiah also and Jahaziel the priests with trumpets continually before the ark of the covenant of God.

7 Then on that day David delivered first this psalm to thank the Lord into the hand of Asaph and his brethren.

8 Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.  9 Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works.


Illustration: "In 1636, amid the darkness of the Thirty Years' War, a German pastor, Martin Rinkart, is said to have buried five thousand of his parishioners in one year, and average of fifteen a day. His parish was ravaged by war, death, and economic disaster. In the heart of that darkness, with the cries of fear outside his window, he sat down and wrote this table grace for his children: 'Now thank we all our God / With heart and hands and voices;/ Who wondrous things had done,/ In whom His world rejoices. /Who, from our mother's arms,/Hath led us on our way/ With countless gifts of love/ And still is ours today.'" 



Psalms 30:12 To the end that my soul may give glory to thy name, and sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee forever.

Psalms 50:14 Offer unto God thanksgiving, and pay thy vows unto the Most High;

Psalms 69:30 I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.

Psalms 75:1 Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks; for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare.

Psalms 106:47 Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise.

Psalms 136:26 Oh give thanks unto the God of heaven; for his mercy endureth forever.

Psalms 147:7 Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God;


Illustration: In his book FOLK PSALMS OF FAITH, Ray Stedman tells of an experience H.A. Ironside had in a crowded restaurant. Harry Ironside (1876-1951) was an American Bible teacher, pastor, and author. Authored more than 60 volumes as well as many pamphlets and articles on Bible subjects. For 18 of his 50 years of ministry, he was pastor of the Moody Memorial Church in Chicago.  Just as Ironside was about to begin his meal, a man approached and asked if he could join him. Ironside invited him to have a seat. Then, as was his custom, Ironside bowed his head in prayer. When he opened his eyes, the other man asked, "Do you have a headache?" Ironside replied, "No, I don't." The other man asked, "Well, is there something wrong with your food?" Ironside replied, "No, I was simply thanking God as I always do before I eat."  The man said, "Oh, you're one of those, are you? Well, I want you to know I never give thanks. I earn my money by the sweat of my brow and I don't have to give thanks to anybody when I eat. I just start right in!"   Ironside said, "Yes, you're just like my dog. That's what he does too!"   ~Ray Stedman, Folk Psalms of Faith.



Daniel 2:23 I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee; for thou hast now made known unto us the king's matter.



Amos 2

Intro God's wrath against Moab, upon Judah, and upon Israel -- God complaineth of their unthankfulness.

1 Thus saith the Lord; For three transgressions of Moab, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he burned the bones of the king of Edom into lime;

2 But I will send a fire upon Moab, and it shall devour the palaces of Kirioth; and Moab shall die with tumult, with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet;

3 And I will cut off the judge from the midst thereof, and will slay all the princes thereof with him, saith the Lord.

4 Thus saith the Lord; For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have despised the law of the Lord, and have not kept his commandments, and their lies caused them to err, after the which their fathers have walked;

5 But I will send a fire upon Judah, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem.


Amos 4:5 And offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven, and proclaim and publish the free offerings; for thus do ye, O ye children of Israel, saith the Lord God.


Illustration: It is gratitude that prompted an old man to visit an old broken pier on the eastern seacoast of Florida. Every Friday night, until his death in 1973, he would return, walking slowly and slightly stooped with a large bucket of shrimp. The sea gulls would flock to this old man, and he would feed them from his bucket. Many years before, in October, 1942, Captain Eddie Rickenbacker was on a mission in a B-17 to deliver an important message to General Douglas MacArthur in New Guinea. But there was an unexpected detour which would hurl Captain Eddie into the most harrowing adventure of his life.  Somewhere over the South Pacific the Flying Fortress became lost beyond the reach of radio. Fuel ran dangerously low, so the men ditched their plane in the ocean...For nearly a month Captain Eddie and his companions would fight the water, and the weather, and the scorching sun. They spent many sleepless nights recoiling as giant sharks rammed their rafts. The largest raft was nine by five. The biggest shark...ten feet long.   But of all their enemies at sea, one proved most formidable: starvation. Eight days out, their rations were long gone or destroyed by the salt water. It would take a miracle to sustain them. And a miracle occurred. In Captain Eddie's own words, "Cherry," that was the B- 17 pilot, Captain William Cherry, "read the service that afternoon, and we finished with a prayer for deliverance and a hymn of praise. There was some talk, but it tapered off in the oppressive heat. With my hat pulled down over my eyes to keep out some of the glare, I dozed off."   Now this is still Captian Rickenbacker talking..."Something landed on my head. I knew that it was a sea gull. I don't know how I knew, I just knew. Everyone else knew too. No one said a word, but peering out from under my hat brim without moving my head, I could see the expression on their faces. They were staring at that gull. The gull meant food...if I could catch it."  And the rest, as they say, is history. Captain Eddie caught the gull. Its flesh was eaten. Its intestines were used for bait to catch fish. The survivors were sustained and their hopes renewed because a lone sea gull, uncharacteristically hundreds of miles from land, offered itself as a sacrifice. You know that Captain Eddie made it.  And now you also know...that he never forgot. Because every Friday evening, about sunset...on a lonely stretch along the eastern Florida could see an old man walking...white-haired, bushy-eyebrowed, slightly bent. His bucket filled with shrimp was to feed the remember that one which, on a day long past, gave itself without a manna in the wilderness.  ~Paul Aurandt, "The Old Man and the Gulls", Paul Harvey's The Rest of the Story, 1977, quoted in Heaven Bound Living, Knofel Stanton, Standard, 1989, p. 79-80.



Romans 1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ, that you all are steadfast, and your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.

Romans 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye are not the servants of sin, for ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

I Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

II Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and makest manifest the savor of his knowledge by us in every place.

Ephesians 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

Philippians 4:6 Be afflicted for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

I Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but, as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

I Thessalonians 5:18 In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

II Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth;

Hebrews 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name.

Revelation 11:17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come:" because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.


Illustration: In Budapest, a man goes to the rabbi and complains, "Life is unbearable. There are nine of us living in one room. What can I do?"   The rabbi answers, "Take your goat into the room with you."  The man was incredulous, but the rabbi insists. "Do as I say and come back in a week."   A week later the man comes back looking more distraught than before.  "We cannot stand it," he tells the rabbi. "The goat is filthy."  

The rabbi then tells him, "Go home and let the goat out. And come back in a week."  A radiant man returns to the rabbi a week later, exclaiming, "Life is beautiful. We enjoy every minute of it now that there's no goat -- only the nine of us."  ~George Mikes, How to be Decadent, Andre Deutsch, London.


There are so many things to be thankful for, an author and columnist

Russel Shaw noted the following,  last Thanksgiving:


Be thankful for your eyes, which you are using to read. For there are so many - including my best buddy from my twenty-something years- whose eyes have died.

Be thankful for your mind, which enables you to reason. For there are so many who have never learned how to reason, but to react.

Be thankful for your power to believe. For so many who believe they believe merely follow.

Be thankful for the roof over your head in the room where you now read these words. For so many are homeless.

Be thankful for the electrical current that powers the computer you are now on. For there are many in the world who do not have electricity.

Be thankful for your ears, which feed verbal and mass communication into your brain for processing. For there are so many whose ears have died.

Be thankful for your hands, which navigate your keyboard. For there are so many whose hands can no longer move without pain.

Be thankful for those who love you, but cannot be with you today. For their messages may be in emails you can retrieve when you choose to shrink this browser window, and bring up your email utility.

Be thankful for the smells which are coming from the kitchen. For there are so many who hunger.

Be thankful for your life. For there are so many who live no more.

THANK GOD FOR Guys like Hur

Exodus 17:8 Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. 17:9 And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek; tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand. 17:10 So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.  17:11 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.  17:12 But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.  17:13 And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.


without he and aaron holding Moses arms the battle would have been lost.


Hur wasn't a great leader like Moses. He wasn't a great General like Joshua. He wasn't a great High Priest like Aaron. He wasn't a warrior like those in the army. He was just Hur. The Bible does tell us later that Hur was a man of influence among the people, Ex. 24:14. Rumor even has it that he was Miriam's husband. However, on this day, there was one thing Hur could do and he did it willingly, actively and faithfully. He could hold up hands and he did the best job he could!


Well done thou good and faithful servantCan you see a fellow named Hur as he walks wearily towards his tent to rest. No one pats him on the back, no one tells him that he did a good job. In fact, only a couple of people know what he did that day. To the people, he is invisible, but in his heart, he is overjoyed because he knows that what man does not, God does! While no one in camp is telling Hur that he did a great job that day, the Father in Heaven makes note of Hur's sacrifice and whispers, "!"

John Milton (1608-1674) One of the greatest poets of the English language, best-known for his epic poem PARADISE LOST 1667 . . .The year 1652 was one of many personal losses for Milton. In February, Milton lost his sight. This prompted him to write the sonnet "When I Consider How My Light is Spent."  ..blindness helped him to stimulate his verbal richness. "He sacrificed his sight, and then he remembered his first desire, that of being a poet," . . .After the Restoration of Charles II in 1660, Milton was arrested as a noted defender of the Commonwealth, but was soon released. Milton paid a massive fine for his opposition. . .Milton escaped from more punishment after Restoration, but he became a relatively poor man. The manuscript of Paradise Lost he sold for £5 (5.00 British Pounds = 10.19 U.S. Dollars) . . .His late poems Milton dictated to his daughter, nephews, friends, disciples, and paid amanuenses.(transcription). . .

Milton died peacefully of gout in November 8, 1674.  He was buried beside his father in the church of St Giles, Cripplegate. It has been claimed that Milton's grave was desecrated when the church was undergoing repairs. All the teeth and "a large quantity of the hair" were taken as souvenirs by grave robbers.


On His Blindness ("When I Consider How My Light is Spent.")

When I consider how my light is spent

Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,

And that one talent which is death to hide

Lodg'd with me useless, though my soul more bent

To serve therewith my Maker, and present

My true account, lest he returning chide,

"Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?"

I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent

That murmur, soon replies: "God doth not need

Either man's work or his own gifts: who best

Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state

Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed

And post o'er land and ocean without rest:

They also serve who only stand and wait."

John Milton



The Cause of Zion Summons Us!

Key definitions  - Cause & Summons

Cause:  Webster----> 1 a : a reason for an action or condition : MOTIVE b : something that brings about an effect or a result c : a person or thing that is the occasion of an action or state; especially : an agent that brings something about d : sufficient reason 2 a : a ground of legal action b : CASE 3 : a matter or question to be decided 4 a : a principle or movement militantly defended or supported b : a charitable undertaking

Efficient cause, the agent or force that produces a change or redult. -- Final cause, the end, design, or object, for which anything is done. -- Formal cause, the elements of a conception which make the conception or the thing conceived to be what it is; or the idea viewed as a formative principle and coöperating with the matter. -- Material cause, that of which anything is made. -- Proximate cause. See under Proximate. -- To make common cause with, to join with in purposes and aims. Macaulay. Syn. -- Origin; source; mainspring; motive; reason; incitement; inducement; purpose; object; suit; action.

1. a person or thing that acts, happens, or exists in such a way that some specific thing happens as a result; the producer of an effect:

2. the reason or motive for some human action:

3. good or sufficient reason: to complain without cause;

4. Law.

a. a ground of legal action;  

b. a case for judicial decision.

5. any subject of discussion or debate.

6. a principle, ideal, goal, or movement to which a person or group is dedicated:

7. the welfare of a person or group, seen as a subject of concern:

8. Philos.

a. the end or purpose for which a thing is done or produced.

b. Aristotelianism.any of the four things necessary for the movement or the coming into being of a thing, namely a material (material cause), something to act upon it (efficient cause), a form taken by the movement or development (formal cause), and a goal or purpose (final cause).

9. make common cause, to unite in a joint effort; work together for the same end:

Cambridge Interntl Dict Eng  the reason that something happens.....a socially valuable principle which is strongly supported by some people

Summons: A request to be present, An order to appear in person at a given place and time, A writ issued by authority of law

Cambridge Interntl Dict Eng gives summons as an Order; Gather your Bravery, Courage or Strength as in summon up.....

DC 6:3a Now, as you have asked, behold, I say unto you, Keep my commandments, and seek to bring forth and establish the cause of Zion:

DC 10:3a Now as you have asked, behold, I say unto you, Keep my commandments, and seek to bring forth and establish the cause of Zion.

DC 11:3b Keep my commandments, and seek to bring forth and establish the cause of Zion.

DC 19:1- 19:Intro SECTION 19 Revelation given through Joseph Smith, Jr., the prophet, on the day the church was organized, April 6, 1830, at Fayette, Seneca County, New York, before or, possibly, during the organization meeting, and is addressed to both Joseph and the church. It refers to the organization in the past tense and gives instruction concerning the ordination of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery as though this were yet to be consummated. The ordinations did take place at the organization meeting, after the other brethren participating had indicated their willingness to accept Joseph and Oliver as their teachers and leaders.

19:1a Behold, there shall be a record kept among you, and in it thou shalt be called a seer, a translator, a prophet, an apostle of Jesus Christ, an elder of the church through the will of God the Father, and the grace of your Lord Jesus Christ;

19:1b being inspired of the Holy Ghost to lay the foundation thereof, and to build it up unto the most holy faith;

19:1c which church was organized and established, in the year of your Lord eighteen hundred and thirty, in the fourth month, and on the sixth day of the month, which is called April.

19:2a Wherefore, meaning the church, thou shalt give heed unto all his words, and commandments, which he shall give unto you, as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me;

19:2b for his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith; for by doing these things, the gates of hell shall not prevail against you;

19:2c yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name's glory.

19:2d For thus saith the Lord God, him have I inspired to move the cause of Zion in mighty power for good; and his diligence I know, and his prayers I have heard:

19:2e yea, his weeping for Zion I have seen, and I will cause that he shall mourn for her no longer, for his days of rejoicing are come unto the remission of his sins, and the manifestations of my blessings upon his works.

19:3a For, behold, I will bless all those who labor in my vineyard, with a mighty blessing, and they shall believe on his words, which are given him through me, by the Comforter, which manifesteth that Jesus was crucified by sinful men for the sins of the world; yea, for the remission of sins unto the contrite heart.

19:3b Wherefore, it behooveth me, that he should be ordained by you, Oliver Cowdery, mine apostle; this being an ordinance unto you, that you are an elder under his hand, he being the first unto you, that you might be an elder unto this church of Christ, bearing my name;

19:3c and the first preacher of this church, unto the church, and before the world; yea, before the Gentiles; yea, and thus saith the Lord God, lo, lo! to the Jews, also. Amen.

DC 136:3c Only in the peace of fraternity and the unity of those caught up in the spirit of Zionic redemption can the work of the Lord be accomplished. To this task let the church devote its energies.

DC 137:6b Remember and keep the commandments, be alert to keep out of the church and from its members those forces which make for disunity, and in harmony and saintly accord be about the task of freeing Zion from her bondage.

DC 138:3a Let the church again be admonished that the task of establishing Zion presses heavily upon us.

DC 138:3c To lay securely the foundations for Zion and her buildings the work should be accomplished in peace and harmony. Unity should prevail.

DC 140:5a The church is admonished again that all movements toward Zion and the gathering and temporalities connected therewith are within my law, and all things should be done in order,

DC 140:5c The work of preparation and the perfection of my Saints go forward slowly, and Zionic conditions are no further away nor any closer than the spiritual condition of my people justifies;


Establishing The Cause of Zion has been tried and found difficult BY ever so many people and it has been left undone....

The fundamental question is why?

Might I suggest the 5  basic  human weaknesses.

1. Carelessness

Isaiah 32:9 Rise up, ye women that are at ease; hear my voice, ye careless daughters; give ear unto my speech. 10 Many days and years shall ye be troubled, ye careless women; for the vintage shall fail, the gathering shall not come. 11 Tremble, ye women that are at ease; be troubled, ye careless ones; strip you, and make you bare, and gird sackcloth upon your loins.

II Chronicles 29:11 My sons, be not now negligent; for the Lord hath chosen you to stand before him, to serve him, and that ye should minister unto him, and burn incense.

II Peter 1:12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.

2. Laziness

DC 124:7c as they shall in uprightness, faithfulness and diligence discharge their duties acceptably to God, or shall in carelessness, slothfulness, or wickedness fail in their calling and ministry therein;

Mosiah 7:1 And now it came to pass that Zeniff conferred the kingdom upon Noah, one of his sons; therefore Noah began to reign in his stead; and he did not walk in the ways of his father.  2 For behold, he did not keep the commandments of God, but he did walk after the desires of his own heart.  3 And he had many wives and concubines.  4 And did cause his people to commit sin, and do that which was abominable in the sight of the Lord.  5 Yea, and they did commit whoredoms, and all manner of wickedness.  6 And he laid a tax of one fifth part of all they possessed; a fifth part of their gold and of their silver; and a fifth part of their ziff, and of their copper, and of their brass and their iron; and a fifth part of their fatlings; and also, a fifth part of all their grain.  7 And all this did he take, to support himself, and his wives, and his concubines, and also, his priests, and their wives, and their concubines; thus he had changed the affairs of the kingdom.  8 For he put down all the priests that had been consecrated by his father, and consecrated new ones in their stead, such as were lifted up in the pride of their hearts.  9 Yea, and thus they were supported in their laziness, and in their idolatry, and in their whoredoms, by the taxes which king Noah had put upon his people; thus did the people labor exceedingly to support iniquity.

Proverbs 15:19 The way of the slothful man is as a hedge of thorns; but the way of the righteous is made plain.

Romans 12:11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

Hebrews 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

DC 58:6f But he that doeth not anything until he is commanded, and receiveth a commandment with doubtful heart, and keepeth it with slothfulness, the same is damned.

DC 87:5e Set in order your houses; keep slothfulness and uncleanliness far from you.

DC 104:44b He that is slothful shall not be counted worthy to stand, and he that learns not his duty and shows himself not approved, shall not be counted worthy to stand. Even so. Amen.

3. Indifference

Alma 27:13 And it came to pass that Moroni was angry with the government, because of their indifference concerning the freedom of their country.

4. Forgetfulness

Psalms 88:12 Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?

Hebrews 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers; for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

James 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

5. Temptation

Matthew 26:38 Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing; but the flesh is weak.

Luke 8:13 That which fell on the rock are they, who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and they have no root, but for a while believe, and in a time of temptation fall away.

I Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

I Timothy 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

James 1:12 Blessed is the man that resisteth temptation; for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

I Peter 1:6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations;

II Peter 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished;

Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

1 Nephi 3:125 And the mists of darkness are the temptations of the devil, which blindeth the eyes, and hardeneth the hearts of the children of men, and leadeth them away into broad roads, that they may perish, and are lost;

Alma 17:66 Preach unto them repentance, and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ: teach them to humble themselves, and to be meek and lowly in heart; teach them to withstand every temptation of the devil, with their faith on the Lord Jesus Christ;

Alma 16:238 And that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you; yea, and I also exhort you my brethren, that ye be watchful unto prayer continually, that ye may not be led away by the temptation of the devil, that he may not overpower you, that ye may not become his subjects at the last day: for behold, he rewardeth you no good thing.

Mormon 4:94 Be wise in the days of your probation; strip yourselves of all uncleanness; ask not, that ye may consume it on your lusts, but ask with a firmness unshaken, that ye will yield to no temptation, but that ye will serve the true and living God.

DC 30:4c Pray always, lest you enter into temptation, and lose your reward. Be faithful unto the end, and lo, I am with you.

DC 61:6e Pray always that you enter not into temptation, that you may abide the day of his coming, whether in life or in death. Even so. Amen      




Scriptures: Acts 10:44–48; Psalm 98; I John 5:1–6; John 15:9–17; Alma 5:33; Doctrine and Covenants 163:3b–4c

In I John the writer gives testimony of a true faith that is victorious and expresses the love of God toward humanity. The love shed forth by God through his son, Jesus Christ, gives us faith and helps us grow and live a victorious life in relationship with our God and in fellowship with the saints. This love helps us have a clear and defined conviction of where we are and in whom we have believed, and, because of that, we should keep the commandments and remain in his love. We are victorious because we have power to change our life, our attitude, the community, and the church and its future.


Believing in Christ increases our faith and we continue to persevere in him, succeeding in being better every day, seeking always a relationship with our God, and enjoying the happiness that he gives us through his love. In accordance with the story in Acts, Peter and Cornelius lived situations where one could see God’s authority manifested through the Holy Spirit. As children of God, and because we have a testimony of God’s transforming work in our lives, we have a mission to carry out here on earth. We are given the power to speak to others about his word, so they might live the victory he gave us by his love. When we do this, we are God’s children and are obedient to his voice.


Central Ideas


   1. To keep a close relationship with God, we need experiences with the Holy Spirit as a guide in our life.

   2. As we remember who we used to be, then see our lives change by God’s love, we become a joyful people, seeking to proclaim the peace of Jesus Christ.



Jude1:17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; 18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.  19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.  20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,  21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

1John 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

The Case for ChristianityColin Chapman, in , quotes Ugandan bishop Festo Kivengere's account of the 1973 execution by firing squad of three men from his diocese: February 10 began as a sad day for us in Kabale. People were commanded to come to the stadium and witness the execution. Death permeated the atmosphere. A silent crowd of about three thousand was there to watch. I had permission from the authorities to speak to the men before they died, and two of my fellow ministers were with me. They brought the men in a truck and unloaded them. They were handcuffed and their feet were chained. The firing squad stood at attention.

As we walked into the center of the stadium, I was wondering what to say. How do you give the gospel to doomed men who are probably seething with rage? We approached them from behind, and as they turned to look at us, what a sight! Their faces were all alight with an unmistakable glow and radiance.

Before we could say anything, one of them burst out: "Bishop, thank you for coming! I wanted to tell you. The day I was arrested, in my prison cell, I asked the Lord Jesus to come into my heart. He came in and forgave me all my sins! Heaven is now open, and there is nothing between me and my God! Please tell my wife and children that I am going to be with Jesus. Ask them to accept him into their lives as I did."

The other two men told similar stories, excitedly raising their hands, which rattled their handcuffs. I felt that what I needed to do was to talk to the soldiers, not to the condemned. So I translated what the men had said into a language the soldiers understood. The military men were standing there with guns cocked and bewilderment on their faces. They were so dumbfounded that they forgot to put the hoods over the men's faces!

Ray Stamps.The three faced the firing squad standing close together. They looked toward the people and began to wave, handcuffs and all. The people waved back. Then shots were fired, and the three were with Jesus. We stood in front of them, our own hearts throbbing with joy, mingled with tears. It was a day never to be forgotten. Though dead, the men spoke loudly to all of Kigezi District and beyond, so that there was an upsurge of life in Christ, which challenges death and defeats it. The next Sunday, I was preaching to a huge crowd in the home town of one of the executed men. Again, the feel of death was over the congregation. But when I gave them the testimony of their man, and how he died, there erupted a great song of praise to Jesus! Many turned to the Lord there.   


Creepers of Sin

Walking through a park, I passed a massive oak tree. A vine had grown up along its trunk. The vine started small--nothing to bother about. But over the years the vine had gotten taller and taller. By the time I passed, the entire lower half of the tree was covered by the vine's creepers. The mass of tiny feelers was so thick that the tree looked as though it had innumerable birds' nests in it.

Now the tree was in danger. This huge, solid oak was quite literally being taken over; the life was being squeezed from it. But the gardeners in that park had seen the danger. They had taken a saw and severed the trunk of the vine--one neat cut across the middle. The tangled mass of the vine's branches still clung to the oak, but the vine was now dead. That would gradually become plain as weeks passed and the creepers began to die and fall away from the tree. How easy it is for sin, which begins so small and seemingly insignificant, to grow until it has a strangling grip on our lives. And yet, Christ's death has cut the power of sin. Yes, the "creepers" of sin still cling and have some effect. But sin's power is severed by Christ, and gradually, sin's grip dries up and falls away.

J. Alistair Brown. 


Alma 5:33 For I perceive that ye are in the paths of righteousness: I perceive that ye are in the path which leads to the kingdom of God;

DC 163:3b. Above all else, strive to be faithful to Christ’s vision of the peaceable Kingdom of God on earth. Courageously challenge cultural, political, and religious trends that are contrary to the reconciling and restoring purposes of God. Pursue peace.  c. There are subtle, yet powerful, influences in the world, some even claiming to represent Christ, that seek to divide people and nations to accomplish their destructive aims. That which seeks to harden one human heart against another by constructing walls of fear and prejudice is not of God. Be especially alert to these influences, lest they divide you or divert you from the mission to which you are called.  4 a. God, the Eternal Creator, weeps for the poor, displaced, mistreated, and diseased of the world because of their unnecessary suffering. Such conditions are not God’s will. Open your ears to hear the pleading of mothers and fathers in all nations who desperately seek a future of hope for their children. Do not turn away from them. For in their welfare resides your welfare.  b. The earth, lovingly created as an environment for life to flourish, shudders in distress because creation’s natural and living systems are becoming exhausted from carrying the burden of human greed and conflict. Humankind must awaken from its illusion of independence and unrestrained consumption without lasting consequences.  c. Let the educational and community development endeavors of the church equip people of all ages to carry the ethics of Christ’s peace into all arenas of life. Prepare new generations of disciples to bring fresh vision to bear on the perplexing problems of poverty, disease, war, and environmental deterioration. Their contributions will be multiplied if their hearts are focused on God’s will for creation.

Acts 10:44-48 (King James Version)

44While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.  45And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.  46For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,  47Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?  48And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

Psalm 98

1O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.  2The LORD hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen.  3He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.  4Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.  5Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm.  6With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King.  7Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.  8Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together  9Before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.

1 John 5

1Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.  2By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.  3For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.  4For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.  5Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?  6This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.

John 15:9-17 (King James Version)

9As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.  10If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.  11These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.  12This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  14Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.  15Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.  16Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.  17These things I command you, that ye love one another.


DC 100:7avictory All  and glory is brought to pass unto you through your diligence, faithfulness, and prayers of faith.

DC 101:13evictory And inasmuch as ye are humble and faithful and call on my name, behold, I will give you the .

DC 110:22avictory Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the !

Mosiah 8:35victory And thus God breaketh the bands of death; having gained the  over death; giving the Son power to make intercession for the children of men:

Mosiah 8:80victory And if Christ had not risen from the dead, or have broken the bands of death, that the grave should have no , and that death should have no sting, there could have been no resurrection.

Mosiah 8:81victory But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no , and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.

I Corinthians 15:54victory So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in .

I Corinthians 15:55victory O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy ?

I Corinthians 15:57victory But thanks be to God, which giveth us the  through our Lord Jesus Christ.


Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor

Hemmorhaging Nirvana

'I am trillions of cells sharing a common mind--I am life!'

Robert C. Koehler

Tribune Media Services

March 15, 2007

One morning in late 1996, Taylor, a research scientist who worked at the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center (a.k.a., the Brain Bank), awoke with a sharp pain behind her left eye, and soon enough — as her speech and motor functions failed her, as she melted into what she called a euphoric stupor and lost all sense of where “Dr. Jill” ended and the rest of the universe began — she realized this was no ordinary headache. It was, she later learned, a blown AVM: the rupture of a congenitally deformed vein-artery connection deep inside her brain. She was in the first stage of a potentially killer stroke — and she was alone in her apartment and had lost the capacity to think or act rationally or even communicate with the outside world.

You want a guided tour of the human brain? My guess is that you probably can’t do better than “My Stroke of Insight,” Harvard-trained neuroanatomist Jill Taylor’s extraordinary account of the cranial hemorrhage that shut down her left brain when she was 37 years old. But the book’s value — its preciousness — lies less in the plain-language, enthusiastic science it offers us, than in the door it courageously opens to the mystery of the brain’s right hemisphere and the pulsing miracle of life and the vast universe that is our home.

“Oh my gosh, I’m having a stroke! I’m having a stroke! And in the next instant, the thought flashed through my mind, this is so cool!”

She writes further,

Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor has lived Victory Through Love!
“Wow, what a strange and amazing thing I am. What a bizarre living being I am. Life! I am life! I am a sea of water bound inside this membranous pouch. Here, in this form, I am a conscious mind and this body is the vehicle through which I am ALIVE! I am trillions of cells sharing a common mind. I am here, now, thriving as life. Wow! What an unfathomable concept! I am cellular life, no — I am molecular life with manual dexterity and a cognitive mind!”

New York Times BestsellerHer book,  My Stroke of Insight is a  and is published by Viking Penguin Group.

is about the wonder of being human and as such is a plea and a prayer that we strive to be equal to how big we really are. What a piece of work is man — 50 trillion cells functioning in purposeful harmony. The two hemispheres of our brain are yoked opposites: limit-setting rationality (time, judgment, ego) in perpetual interplay with the eternal and unbounded now. Together, and only together, do these two halves of our awareness make our human destiny.

But I realized, "But I'm still alive! I'm still alive, and I have found Nirvana. And if I have found Nirvana and I'm still alive, then everyone who is alive can find Nirvana." And I pictured a world filled with beautiful, peaceful, compassionate, loving people who knew that they could come to this space at any time. And that they could purposely choose to step to the right of their left hemispheres and find this peace. And then I realized what a tremendous gift this experience could be, what a stroke of insight this could be, to how we live our lives. And it motivated me to recover. 



Two and a half weeks after the hemorrhage, the surgeons went in and they removed a blood clot the size of a golf ball that was pushing on my language centers. Here I am with my mama, who is a true angel in my life. It took me eight years to completely recover. 

So who are we? We are the life force power of the universe, with manual dexterity and two cognitive minds. And we have the power to choose, moment by moment, who and how we want to be in the world. Right here, right now, I can step into the consciousness of my right hemisphere, where we are. I am the life-force power of the universe. I am the life-force power of the 50 trillion beautiful molecular geniuses that make up my form, at one with all that is. Or, I can choose to step into the consciousness of my left hemisphere, where I become a single individual, a solid. Separate from the flow, separate from you. I am Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor: intellectual, neuroanatomist. These are the "we" inside of me. Which would you choose? Which do you choose? And when? I believe that the more time we spend choosing to run the deep inner-peace circuitry of our right hemispheres, the more peace we will project into the world, and the more peaceful our planet will be. 

And I thought that was an idea worth spreading.



An obvious answer we would say



Genesis 7:40 And in the garden of Eden gave I unto man his agency; and unto thy brethren have I said, and also gave commandment, that they should love one another; and that they should choose me their Father.
DC 90:5c Behold, here is the agency of man, and here is the condemnation of man, because that which was from the beginning is plainly manifest unto them, and they receive not the light.

Gen 6:33 And the Lord said unto Enoch, Go forth, and do as I have commanded thee, and no man shall pierce thee.
34 Open thy mouth, and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance; for all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good. 35 Say unto this people, choose ye this day to serve the Lord God who made you.

DC 22:9b for God said unto me, Worship God, for him only shalt thou serve.


God has always made it known that we should serve Him

1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, Go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Let my people go, that they may SERVE me.

Our theme is a significant one and one that bears reflection and ultimately require an answer by each of us in our own hearts.

Deut 4 warns us

14 And the LORD commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it. 15 Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves;

16 Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female,
17 The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air,
18 The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth:
19 And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and SERVE them,

23 Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which the LORD thy God hath forbidden thee.

28 And there ye shall SERVE gods, the work of men's hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell. 29 But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

JOSHUA 24  repeats our calling and choice
14 Now therefore fear the LORD, and SERVE him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and SERVE ye the LORD.
15 And if it seem evil unto you to SERVE the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will SERVE; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will SERVE the LORD.

We see this challenge to choose echoed again in

1 KINGS 18
21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? IF THE LORD BE GOD, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.

10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou SERVE.
24 No man can SERVE two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot SERVE God and mammon.


Many are familiar with the word Mammon, which translates from Aramaic to "riches." Some translate Mammon as greed or avarice, but most often, the word Mammon is used to personify riches, or greed. Although some consider it to be a lost Syrian god, no evidence of a Syrian god or demon by the name of Mammon exists. Later, Mammon was used as a demon in Piers Plowman and in John Milton’s Paradise Lost.

For many, Mammon is evil, whereas one must “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s,” also from the Gospel of Matthew. Essentially, do what you must, pay taxes, feed your family, and et cetera. However, give God his full share by leading a spiritual life.

1Tim 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

IS America the land of the free and the home of the brave OR the land of greed and home the depraved?

Our constitution entitles us to the right to the pursuit of happiness:  What does this mean to you? What should it mean? Where does the pursuit of comfort, entertainment, and security fit into your life, mine?  IS our focus on ourselves? Then we have become our own god. . .Where is our focus: on God or upon ourselves. . .and if upon ourselves are we not fundamentally at odds with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which tells us to deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and follow Him!

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?” (2 Cor. 6:14-15).


Willingness to Serve
Franklin Roosevelt's closest adviser during much of his presidency was a man named Harry Hopkins. During World War II, when his influence with Roosevelt was at its peak, Hopkins held no official Cabinet position. Moreover, Hopkins's closeness to Roosevelt caused many to regard him as a shadowy, sinister figure. As a result he was a major political liability to the President. A political foe once asked Roosevelt, 'Why do you keep Hopkins so close to you? You surely realize that people distrust him and resent his influence." Roosevelt replied, 'Someday you may well be sitting here where I am now as President of the United States. And when you are, you'll be looking at that door over there and knowing that practically everybody who walks through it wants something out of you. You'll learn what a lonely job this is, and you'll discover the need for somebody like Harry Hopkins, who asks for nothing except to serve you." Winston Churchill rated Hopkins as one of the half-dozen most powerful men in the world in the early 1940s. And the sole source of Hopkins's power was his willingness to serve. Discipleship Journal, Issue 39 (1987), p. 5 

On His Blindness

5WHEN I consider how my light is spent E're half my days, in this dark world and wide, And that one Talent which is death to hide, Lodg'd with me useless, though my Soul more bent To serve therewith my Maker, and present  My true account, least he returning chide, Doth God exact day-labour, light deny'd, I fondly ask; But patience to prevent That murmur, soon replies, God doth not need Either man's work or his own gifts, who best 10 Bear his milde yoak, they serve him best, his State Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed And post o're Land and Ocean without rest: They also serve who only stand and waite.

How to Serve

Serve in sincerity and truth Joshua 24:14 Sincerity of purpose Col. 3:24 Perfectness of walk Thess. 1:9 Unblemished life Acts 26:7 Thoroughness Rom. 12:1 Uprightness of heart Rom. 12:2 Undefiled conduct Luke 1:17 Soundness of motive Rom. 7:6 Wholeness of being Heb. 12:28

From the Book of 750 Bible and Gospel Studies, 1909, George W. Noble, Chicago 

Joshua 24:14 Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.
Col 3:24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
1Thess 1:9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;
Acts 26:7 Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews.

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Luke 1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

Rom 7:6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

Heb 12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:

A Servant's Heart
A businessman I know once asked his Bible study group, 'How can you tell if you have a servant attitude?" 'By the way you react when you are treated like one," was the reply. It's not easy to find an attitude like that. But for a disciple, servanthood is one of the keys to growing in Christlikeness. Describing His own ministry, Jesus said: 'For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45).When we give Jesus Christ His rightful place as Lord of our lives, His Lordship will be expressed in the way we serve others. Therefore, one of the best ways we can demonstrate our love for God is by showing love for our fellow man. We demonstrate love for others by helping them, by sharing their problems, and by doing what we can for them. II Corinthians 4:5 says, 'For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake." Another way of displaying servanthood is in evangelism. In I Corinthians 9:19, Paul says, 'For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all...." Why does he say that? '...that I might win the more, 'he continues. Paul knew that he would win more friends by being a servant. Although he was free from all men, he voluntarily decided to serve those he wanted to influence for Jesus Christ. Take a look at Acts 27:14-28:10. Paul was under arrest, traveling under Roman guard. The passage describes the day when the veteran missionary was shipwrecked on the island of Malta,a very cold day. There in Acts 28:3, the Holy Spirit takes care to say that 'Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks...." The Apostle Paul went out and gathered firewood. He did his part. He wasn't going to wait for the others to do it. Servanthood then, is an attitude. It is also the mark of a leader. Think of Jesus Christ in Philippians 2:6, 7 ', though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant." Why should we serve? For Jesus' sake. Pick up a bundle of sticks...for Jesus' sake. Look on the things of others...for Jesus' sake. Be liberal with your time and ideas...for Jesus' sake. Serve one another...for Jesus' sake. Lorne Sanny, Daily Walk, April 1982 

Will Serve God Without My Eyes
In his book 70 X 7, The Freedom of Forgiveness, David Augsburger tells of General William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, who had lost his eyesight. His son was given the difficult task of telling his father there would be no recovery. 'Do you mean that I am blind?" the General asked. 'I fear we must contemplate that," his son replied. The father continued, 'I shall never see your face again?" 'No, probably not in this world." 'Bramwell," said General Booth, 'I have done what I could for God and for His people with my eyes. Now Shall do what I can for God without my eyes." 70 X 7, The Freedom of Forgiveness, David Augsburger 


Character Definitions of Humility  (
*Humility is recognizing that God and others are actually responsible for the achievements in my life
*Pride is believing that we have achieved what in reality God and others have achieved for us
*To Serve Humbly means you are marked by meekness or modesty in behavior, attitude, or spirit; not arrogant or prideful.  
To serve humbly is really our purpose: Micah 6:8 He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

1P 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility; for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.  6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.

Colossians  3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any; even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.  14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.  15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.  16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.  17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

As I prepared I read an article on  Bible Humility | Jacob W. Byers 
"These texts teach that we can put on this beautiful garment of grace, by which we are made presentable in the hand of God to represent Christ before men. God provides the garment; we must put it on and wear it. When a citizen enlists to become a soldier, he is provided with a uniform, furnished by the government. If he will be a soldier, he must expect to wear a soldier’s uniform. God provides His soldiers, not with any particular shaped or colored literal garment, but with the garment of humility; that is the very best adapted to our needs. Nothing else can possibly cover the nakedness of the self, or soul life, and render us fully acceptable before Him. It is not only our most beautiful adornment in His sight, but when once we become perfectly adjusted to it, it becomes the most comfortable, convenient, delightful, and healthful article of apparel to our spiritual being that we ever wore; and above all, it proves to be to us, in the time of battle, an impenetrable coat of mail. 

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
2 Corinthians 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;)

No sword, spear, nor missile of the enemy has ever pierced humility. Therefore we all should be the more eager to put it on, and keep it on; for it is indispensable to our safety and protection."  I have seen some specimens of ancient coats of mail that were exceedingly bunglesome and heavy, which must have rendered the warrior very weak in everything but the defensive; 

1Sam 17:4 And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.
5 And he had a helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass 6 And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders.  7 And the staff of his spear was like a weaver's beam; and his spear's head weighed six hundred shekels of iron; and one bearing a shield went before him.  8 And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me.

26 And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?
37 David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with thee.
38 And Saul armed David with his armor, and he put a helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail.
39 And David girded his sword upon his armor, and he assayed to go(Make an effort to accomplish something); for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him.
40 And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand; and he drew near to the Philistine.

but the beautiful garment of humility is easy and light and is equally helpful in the offensive and defensive. Without it we are both helpless and useless in our Christian warfare.
Matthew 11:29 Then spake Jesus, saying, Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  30 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls; for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.  7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Helaman 2:31 Nevertheless, they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God.
George Bowen of Bombay, missionary, scholar,  writes, “Whatever hinders us from receiving a blessing that God is willing to bestow upon us is not humility, but the mockery of it. A genuine humility will ever feel the need of the largest measures of grace, and will be perfected just in the degree in which that grace is bestowed. The truly humble man will seek to be filled with all the fullness of God, knowing that when so filled there is not the slightest place for pride or for self.”

The Dalai Lama says, "In contemporary life, humility is more important than ever. The more successful we become, both as individuals and as a family, through our development of science and technology, the more essential it becomes to preserve humility. For the greater our material achievements, the more vulnerable we become to pride and arrogance." 

Nelson Mandela wrote that "To be humble means to know what your place is... nothing more, nothing less that what you are.  "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves "Who am I to be, brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?". Actually, who are you not to be?. You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. there's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.  We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us, it's in everyone, and, as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same: as we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." . 

I always wanted to serve God,from as early as I can remember. . .

Graceland Experience: Homecoming P&T  Ned Jacobson program Section 10:6 And now, verily, verily I say unto thee, Put thy trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good; yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously; and this is my Spirit.  7a Verily, verily I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy,  7b and then shall ye know, or by this shall you know, all things whatsoever you desire of me, which is pertaining unto things of righteousness, in faith believing in me that you shall receive.

Jesus taught,
"Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." -Matthew 5:3
So, why does the kingdom of heaven belong to the humble? Because, when you humble yourself and put the needs of other’s before your own, it is then God’s responsibility to take care of you. He will give you favor with Him and with man (Proverbs 3:3-5).  He will step in and clothe you in true honor, instead of this world’s empty pride.

And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.- Proverbs 29:23   Our society has created an "every man for himself" and "me first" mentality. But, do you still esteem others greater than yourself (Philippians 2:3). 
Philippians  2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus;
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God;
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men;
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name;
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Or have you too bought in to the idea that your own well being is more important than everyone else’s. Ask God to show you how to be humble, so that He Himself can exalt you.

A large part of how to be humble and meek is learning how to forgive. But, before you can forgive others, you have to truly receive the forgiveness that God has for you in Christ Jesus.  Learn how to see yourself as Jesus describes in the Beatitudes - "Pure in heart".

I am Father God's Happy Thought . . .

Jesus offered an example of humble action by washing the feet of His disciples. This was a task normally done by servants. When He came to Peter, this man had other ideas.
John  13:8 Peter saith unto him, Thou needest not to wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.  9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.  10 Jesus saith to him, He that has washed his hands and his head, needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit; and ye are clean, but not all. Now this was the custom of the Jews under their law; wherefore, Jesus did this that the law might be fulfilled.  11 For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.  12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?  13 Ye call me Master and Lord; and ye say well; for so I am.  14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.  15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.  16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.  17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

1st Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8 Charity never faileth; but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face; now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Joel  2:27 And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and none else; and my people shall never be ashamed.  28 And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions;  29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my Spirit.  30 And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.  31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come.  32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered; for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.

2nd Timothy  4:6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
Robert I, known as Robert the Bruce, was the king of the Scots who secured Scotland's independence from England. This is a true story of how this great man learned humility: Robert the Bruce, a young soldier, found himself in a terrible battle during the Scottish Reformation around 1300. The enemy was soundly defeating this young man's army. He and his comrades found themselves hastily retreating from the battlefield in defeat, running away in fear of their very lives. The enemy gave chase. This young man ran hard and fast, full of fear and desperation, and soon found himself cut off from his comrades in arms. He eventually came upon a rocky ledge containing a cave. Knowing the enemy was close behind, and that he was exhausted from the chase, he chose to hide there. After he crawled in, he fell to his face in the darkness, desperately crying to God to save him and protect him from his enemies. When he looked up from his despairing plea for help, he saw a spider beginning to weave its web at the entrance to the cave. As he watched the delicate threads being slowly drawn across the mouth of the cave, the young soldier pondered its irony. He thought, "I asked God for protection and deliverance, and he sent me a spider instead. How can a spider save me?" His heart was hardened; knowing the enemy would soon discover his hiding place and kill him. And soon he did hear the sound of his enemies, who were now scouring the area looking for those in hiding. One soldier with a gun slowly walked up to the cave's entrance. As the young man crouched in the darkness, hoping to surprise the enemy in a last-minute desperate attempt to save his own life, he felt his heart pounding wildly out of control.
As the enemy cautiously moved forward to enter the cave, he came upon the spider's web, which by now was completely strung across the opening. He backed away and called out to a comrade, "There can't be anyone in here.  They would have had to break this spider's web to enter the cave. Let's move on."
Years later, this Robert I wrote about that ordeal. What he observed has stood by me in times of trouble, especially during those times when everything seemed impossible. He wrote: "Where God is, a spider's web is as a stone wall. Where God is not, a stone wall is as a spider's web."


The Guiding Hand

When Stanley was about to cross Africa for the first time, many of the strong men of his party burst into tears as they set out. They were not cowardly, but they were overcome by the thought of the terrific hardships which they knew lay before them.

Every human life is a journey as difficult and perilous; and we might well shrink from it, had we no Guide. What absolute madness it is to set out alone! I have read the story of a conceited young captain who would not wait off the shore for a pilot to come on board, to take him through the narrows of the harbor. "I am my own pilot," was the proud reply to all remonstrance, and he promised to be in the harbor by day-break. He was cast ashore, dead, amid the fragments of his wrecked vessel. Such has been the fate of many a man who would be his own pilot amid the rocks and shoals of life.

When travelers climb dangerous places in the Alps, they are fastened to their guide. They have become a part of him. They may slip and fail, but he will not. So may we be bound to our omnipotent Guide; and, thus united with wisdom and security, we may travel through life without a tremor of fear.—Amos R. Wells, in The S. S. Banner.

WE NEED A GUIDE, NOT GUIDANCE : I opened a concordance to look up the word "guidance," expecting to find a long list of verses promising guidance from God. Guidance wasn’t there, but instead the word "guide" and a number of verses promising that God Himself would be the guide of His people. People who are blind need guide dogs, not guidance dogs! Even if dogs were capable of talking, how unsatisfactory it would be if they were mere bystanders, shouting warnings to the blind from a distance: "Careful now! You’re approaching a hole. Watch out for the curb!"

Duncan Campbell was at a conference when he had a strong feeling to go to the Hebrides.

Duncan Campbell (13 February 1898 - 28 March 1972) was a Scottish Evangelist, who is best known for being a leader in the Lewis Awakening or Hebrides Revival, a mid-20th century religious revival in the Scottish Hebrides.

When he arrived, he made his way up to the church where the cleaner was going about his work. "What's happening here?" he asked. "We have a speaker tonight," replied the cleaner. "What is his name?" "Duncan Campbell." "But I'm Duncan Campbell! How did you know I was coming?" "How did you know to come?" The fishing fleet went out in the morning, and they all returned to shore. They just had to get to church.

Guidance is like being on a train: the Father is the owner, the Son is the driver, and the Holy Spirit is the conductor who tells you when you need to change trains.

A good compass always points to true north, no matter what. God's Word is our life compass. We should use it to make sure that we're pointing in the right direction.

God didn't tell the Israelites the whole plan in one hit for capturing the Promised Land. He just told them to cross the Jordan River. Then, once they'd done that, He told them how to capture Jericho, then how to capture Ai, then the Amorite kings, and so on. It was one step at a time, and it forced them to trust Him.

Life is like a mountain railroad, With an engineer so brave, We must make this run successful From the cradle to the grave, Watch the curves, the fills the tunnels, Never falter, never fail, Keep your hand upon the throttle And your eye upon the rail

Oh, blessed Savior, thou wilt guide us Till we reach that blissful shore Where the angels wait to join us In God's grace forever more

As you roll across the trestle Spanning Jordan's swelling tide You behold the union depot Into which your train will glide There you'll meet the superintendent God the Father, God the Son With a hearty, joyous greeting Weary pilgrim, welcome home

In Italy, there is a harbor that can only be accessed via a narrow channel lined with dangerous, narrow rocks. In the middle of the night, it is extremely difficult to steer a ship safely through. Maritime authorities recognized the danger and placed three special lights throughout the harbor to guide vessels at night. Captains are not to steer their ships from one light to the next. Instead, each light must be perfectly lined up with each other. If a captain can see separate lights in the distance, he is off course, as all three must line up perfectly. Getting God's guidance is similar.

There are no Scriptures that use “two or three witnesses” as a tool to find out whether or not they are to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading, or as a substitute for knowing God’s voice. “Two or three witnesses” are ALWAYS used to establish the truth of an accusation, NEVER to prove if the Lord is speaking or not. “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.” —2 Corinthians 13:1

“But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.“ —Matthew 18:16

“One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.“ —Deuteronomy 19:15

These witnesses were to prove an accusation…… BUT WHAT OF THE WITNESSES TO GOD AS GUIDE?


God's primary means for giving us guidance is the Holy Scriptures. DC 32:3d And the Book of Mormon, and the Holy Scriptures, are given of me for your instruction; and the power of my Spirit quickeneth all things; John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth; for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak; and he will show you things to come. DC 15:1a Behold, I say unto you, that you must rely upon my word, DC 16:1c and if you know that they are true, behold, I give unto you a commandment, that you rely upon the things which are written; for in them are all things written concerning the foundation of my church, my gospel, and my Rock;

The Bible is our rule book of faith and practice. If we know and understand the scriptures, we will be well on our way to having His guidance. He never guides His people contrary to the clear principles of His written Word.

Second, guidance comes from a knowledge of God Himself. We need to know what pleases Him and what displeases Him. There is no substitute for walking with God, sharing with Him, and talking to Him daily.

162 references to abominations Genesis 6:28 And for these many generations, even since the day that I created them, have they gone astray, and have denied me, and have sought their own counsels in the dark; and in their own abominations have they devised murder, and have not kept the commandments which I gave unto their father Adam.

Proverbs 6:16 These six things doth the Lord hate; yea, seven are an abomination unto him; 6:17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 6:18 A heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 6:19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

Attributes of God – The Characteristics Wisdom: “Wisdom is the ability to devise perfect ends and to achieve these ends by the most perfect means.” In other words, God makes no mistakes. He is the Father who truly knows best, as Paul explains in Romans 11:33: “Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand His decisions and His ways!” Infinitude: God knows no boundaries. He is without measure. This attribute by definition impacts all of the others. Since God is infinite, everything else about Him must also be infinite. Sovereignty: This is “the attribute by which He rules His entire creation.” It is the application of His other attributes of being all-knowing and all-powerful. It makes Him absolutely free to do what He knows to be best. God is in control of everything that happens. Man still has a free will, and is responsible for his choices in life. Holiness: This is the attribute that sets God apart from all created beings. It refers to His majesty and His perfect moral purity. There is absolutely no sin or evil thought in God at all. His holiness is the definition of that which is pure and righteous in all the universe. Wherever God has appeared, such as to Moses at the burning bush, that place becomes holy just for God having been there. Trinity: Though the actual word is not used in the Bible, the truth of God revealing Himself in three persons is included. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all called God, given worship as God, exist eternally, and are involved in doing things only God could do. Although, God reveals Himself in three persons, God is One and cannot be divided. All are involved completely whenever One of the Three is active. Omniscience: “God possesses perfect knowledge and therefore has no need to learn. God has never learned and cannot learn.” Omniscience means all-knowing. God knows everything, and His knowledge is infinite. It is impossible to hide anything from God. Faithfulness: Everything that God has promised will come to pass. His faithfulness guarantees this fact. He does not lie. What He has said in the Bible about Himself is true. Jesus even said that He is the Truth. This is extremely important for the followers of Jesus because it is on His faithfulness that our hope of eternal life rests. He will honor His promise that our sins will be forgiven and that we will live forever with Him. Love: Love is such an important part of God’s character that the apostle John wrote, “God is love.” This means that God holds the well-being of others as His primary concern. For a full definition of love, read 1 Corinthians 13. To see love in action, study the life of Jesus. His sacrifice on the cross for the sins of others is the ultimate act of love. God’s love is not a love of emotion but of action. His love gives freely to the object of its affection, those who choose to follow His son Jesus. Omnipotence: Literally this word means all-powerful. Since God is infinite and since He possesses power, He possesses infinite power. He does allow His creatures to have some power, but this in no way diminishes His own. “He expends no energy that must be replenished.” When the Bible says God rested on the seventh day, it was to set an example for us and our need for rest, not because He was tired. Self-existence: When Moses asked who he was talking to in the burning bush, God said, “I AM THE ONE WHO ALWAYS IS.” God has no beginning or end. He just exists. Nothing else in all the universe is self-caused. Only God. In fact, if anything else had created Him, that thing would be God. This is a difficult concept for our minds since everything else we will ever encounter comes from something other than itself. The Bible says, “In the beginning, God.” He was already there. Self-sufficiency: The Bible says that God has life in Himself (see John 5:26). All other life in the universe is a gift from God. He has no needs and there is no way He can improve. To God, nothing else is necessary. He does not need our help with anything, but because of His grace and love, He allows us to be a part of advancing His plan on earth and being a blessing to others. We are the ones who change, but never God. He is self-sufficient. Justice: The Bible says that God is just, but it is His character that defines what being just really is. He does not conform to some outside criteria. Being just brings moral equity to everyone. When there are evil acts, justice demands there be a penalty. Since God is perfect and has never done evil, no penalty would ever be necessary; however, because of His love, God paid the penalty for our evil deeds by going to the cross Himself. His justice needed to be satisfied, but He took care of it for all who will believe in Jesus. Immutability: This simply means that God never changes. It is why the Bible says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Mercy: “Mercy is the attribute of God which disposes Him to be actively compassionate.” Since God’s justice is satisfied in Jesus, He is free to show mercy to all those who have chosen to follow Him. It will never end since it is a part of God’s nature. Mercy is the way He desires to relate to mankind, and He does so unless the person chooses to despise or ignore God at which time His justice becomes the prominent attribute. Eternal: In some ways, this fact about God is similar to His self-existence. God always has been and will forever be, because God dwells in eternity. Time is His creation. It is why God can see the end from the beginning, and why He is never surprised by anything. If He were not eternal, God’s promise of eternal life for those who follow Jesus would have little value. Goodness: “The goodness of God is that which disposes Him to be kind, cordial, benevolent, and full of good will toward men.” This attribute of God is why He bestows all the blessing He does on His followers. God’s actions define what goodness is, and we can easily see it in the way Jesus related to the people around Him. Gracious: God enjoys giving great gifts to those who love Him, even when they do not deserve it. Grace is the way we describe that inclination. Jesus Christ is the channel through which His grace moves. The Bible says, “The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” Omnipresence: This theological term means “always present.” Since God is infinite, His being knows no boundaries. So, clearly He is everywhere. This truth is taught throughout the Bible as the phrase “I am with you always” is repeated 22 times in both the Old and New Testaments. These were even Jesus’ words of assurance just after giving the challenge to His disciples to take His message to the entire world. This is certainly a comforting truth for all who follow Jesus.

Attributes of God – The Conclusion This is the description of the God of the Bible. All other ideas about God are, according to the Bible, false gods. They are from the imagination of mankind. By learning the attributes of God, you may praise God for who He really is and for how each of His attributes impacts your life in a positive way.

A third key to God's guidance is found in the book of Proverbs, where we read: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding: in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." DC 10:6 And now, verily, verily I say unto thee, Put thy trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good; yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously; and this is my Spirit.

"But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6). This means that you are not only to know God, but to trust Him implicitly. Every aspect of your life is to reflect His sovereignty over you. "In all your ways acknowledge Him," means in your work, in your family, in your personal life, in your thought life, in your recreation, in everything you do, you acknowledge that God is in control of you. Then, lean not on your own understanding. If you think you know all the answers, if you have everything all figured out, then you are leaning on your own understanding. If you trust God, acknowledge Him in the way that you live, and do not lean on your overconfidence or past experience. Let Him guide you.

You must have knowledge of the scriptures, a personal knowledge of God, and the knowledge that you are living each day in tune with Him, expecting His guidance. Finally, to have His guidance, you need to be filled with His Spirit. The Bible says, "As many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God."