Category | Devotional

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Mary is the ultimate example of a life yielded to God's purpose.

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While you might not think of your Christian life as a football game, the Bible does use sports to teach about spiritual truths. In Biblical times they might not have had American football games or superbowls but they did have athletic competitions. The sports may be different, but you'll find some things in common with American football if you read the scriptures carefully. You'll find running, a prize, winning and losing, competition, training, goals, fighting or struggle, opposition, spectators, obstacles and hindrances, focus and rules. Even so, there tons of lessons we can learn from football.

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Failure is an event not a person. Whatever resolution you may have failed to keep can be started again and again, at any time if it is for all the right reasons.

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“Those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.” – Mark 8:35

What are the prizes in life worth winning? This is the question that haunts me.

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Relationships are critical for youth. We can't survive without relationships some casual, some close, and some intimate. It's important to have shared moments and experiences and simply to be present for another person. This communion with other people is a celebration of life and God.

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“Whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple – truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.” – Matthew 10:42

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Had a chuckle a couple of weeks back when this image of a dead raccoon was painted over on the Franklin Road in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, USA. Reminded me of this menu that was circulating on the internet many years ago.

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The athletic feats of the Olympics continue to astound us. The excellent displays of speed, strength, agility, and determination continue to inspire us. But there are few who are as amazing and inspirational as the less-than-perfect Olympians. We thought we’ve seen it all. A leg-less runner pretty much topped the list. Until we heard of a blind archer. Read on…

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Downhill from Here

Jean-Claude Killy, the French ski champion, did more than work hard at his sport.

When he made his nation’s ski team in the early 1960s, he was determined to be the best. He decided vigorous training was the key. Up at dawn each day, he ran up mountains with his skis on – a very painful activity.

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The Dream of a Lifetime

Canoe racing was added to the Olympics at the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris, France.

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“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”  
Hebrews 12:1

There is no better feeling in the world than the joy of winning a race you were never expected to

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The Olympic Games celebrates the athlete at their best. It is the pinnacle of human sporting achievement and you’re likely to see every Olympian striving to give their most perfect performances, many after years of challenging training. But today, our focus shifts to one particular athlete that has caught our attention. One that isn’t quite so picture perfect. We want

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This coming 4th of July, we want to remember Florence Chadwick and celebrate her determination some 60 years before. It wasn’t the day of her greatest triumph, it wasn’t her most glorious moment. It was the time of her greatest defeat. It was also the time she decided never to give up ever again. As we celebrate Independence Day, let

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You may never have heard of Kieran Behan before. In fact, if you don’t follow gymnastics, you probably wouldn’t know he won a few medals in gymnastics last year. You may not even think his performance was all that special in the field of competitive sports. Yet, what is truly remarkable about Kieran isn’t his achievements – it’s the story

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Jeremy Lin became an inspiration to many youth and adults when he took the New York Knicks to several impressive victories after previously sitting on the bench for most of his career. When sidelined and with him now in the spotlight, he has in both instances professed his praise and dependance on God, through the good and bad, the

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Scripture: Jacob – Genesis 32

As a youth, you probably remember the story of Jacob’s ladder many times.

Jacob was sneaky. Deceitful. Conniving. Crafty. Dishonest. Selfish. His name means “Heel Grabber.” He came out of the womb wanting that which did not belong to him, holding onto his brother Esau’s heel.

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A Typical Kampung House

During the early days of Singapore, the headman of a “kampung” (a small cluster of houses akin to a small village) lived in a nice house with his children. He and his family were happy, with many nearby neighbors who were true “friends.”

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We are all too familiar with getting a hole in a sock. It’s common to children, youth, and even adults. It’s part of the journey of life along with the missing sock that gets sucked into the black hole of the watching machine, leaving behind an unwanted orphaned sock, forever abandoned. At least we can mend the hole in a

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A change of planes in LA, a stopover in Japan, and the tourist arrived in Singapore, like thousands before him. The flight was smooth, but the next part of the journey was a bit of a shock. “Marina Sands” the tourist requested. The taxi driver, accelerated into traffic, driving on a different side of the road behind a steering wheel

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Congratulations. I am giving you a brand new car. It’s reliable, efficient, and runs well. It can take you anywhere you need to go.

Are you excited?

But there are a couple conditions.

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Why

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By Bob Perks famous for his “I Wish You Enough” newsletter. Join it. You’ll love it.


 

I think of all the questions we ask, “Why?” may be the the most powerful.

We ask it of God…”Why?”

Then we wait patiently expecting an answer.

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A youth sat frightened on the edge. It was only yesterday that she was taken from the valley to the mountaintop and now she was being asked to step out again. She was being asked to leave her most recent camp-out. Now she was being asked to leave her perch and abseil down the side of the cliff.

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In the Beginning, the Garden

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By Rob Heverling (robhev@yahoo.com)

Psalm 100:5
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Have you ever received something and didn’t deserve it.

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Scripture: Luke 2:1-5, 52

Although God was the real Father of Jesus, Jesus also needed an earthly “stepfather.”

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by Bob Perks

This holiday season I have been on a special mission.
I call it “In search of the Waltons at Christmas.”

So many people seem to be struggling this year
with family relationships. I have overheard them in the
malls and department stores.

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Scripture: Matthew 1:22-23 and Isaiah 7:14

Emmanuel – “God with us”

What a comforting thought. For the birth of Christ is representative of “God with us.”

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Scripture: Revelation 22:13

As we look forward to the excitement of Christmas in a child’s eyes, this is also a time to look back and reflect on the meaning of Christmas, as it has developed over the years.

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Scripture: Zechariah 2:10

“Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion; for lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord.”

What a wonderful promise we are reminded of each Christmas!

For we know that God, through Christ, has come and is coming again to establish his Kingdom on Earth.

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Scripture: Micah 5:2,4-5

In Joshua I5, the cities of the land were divided among the tribes of Israel. Bethlehem, however, was too small and insignificant to be mentioned. Although it was “too little to be among the clans,” God selected it to hold the honor of being the birthplace of the Messiah.

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Scripture: Isaiah 11:1 and Jeremiah 23:5

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Scripture: Isaiah 9:6-7

King and Father

When Isaiah spoke about government, he had in mind the person of a king. The king carried the burden of authority upon his shoulders as he ruled over a nation. Yet Isaiah used titles that we would not readily ascribe to kings. One of those titles was the Everlasting Father. What did he mean

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Scripture: Psalm 24

Why can’t we see God?

That’s a question most parents have heard; and while the theological prohibitions are obvious, I suspect most of us hold some mental picture of the Majesty of God and Heaven.

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Sripture: Psalm 17:6-8

From the poetry of David we have a rich heritage that leads us to some of the most effective ways to worship God.

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Scripture: Psalm 147:4-5

Praise to the Gracious and Mighty God

In Psalm 147, the grace of God was revealed when he restored his people, who had been in exile from their homeland, to Israel. Yahweh was the one who, by his grace, healed the shattered in heart, attending their painful sorrows.

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Scripture: Psalm 145:1-3

Dear God,
I will exalt You as my God and King, l will praise your name forever and ever. Every day I will praise You and exalt Your name forever and ever. Great are You Lord and most worthy of praise; Your greatness no one can understand…
Yours for eternity,
David

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Scripture: Luke 2:14

Let’s try to imagine going back in time to that glorious event when the heavenly host met with the shepherds. We read that the glory of the Lord shone around them. This manifestation of God’s glory was so sudden and so extraordinary that these shepherds were terrified.

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Scripture: Luke 2:25-32

I wonder if we’ll spend Christmas in Singapore or at home this year?
The kids will be disappointed if we can’t buy them the presents they have been wanting…
It’s only a few more weeks till Christmas and we haven’t planned out the meal or even figured out exactly how we will spend it.
We have so

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Scripture: Matthew 1:18-20

During the Christmas season, music, food, decorations, and traditions bring back cherished memories of Christmas with your family as a child. There are special tree ornaments and the nativity scene. The image of “baby Jesus” being cared for by Joseph and Mary filled us with wonder.

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mary.jpgQuestions, questions, questions. Our lives are filled with questions we ask of God. How will I find the right husband or wife? Where should I go to college? Why am I not enjoying life more? How should I serve God? How can I live for God in my job? Will I make it? How long will I be in Singapore?

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Luke 1:67-79

“Praise be to our most precious Lord Jesus Christ, for he has come to redeem his people. ”

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Read: Luke 1:46-55

Mary certainly knew the scriptures. By any count, in this short hymn of praise to her Lord, Mary quotes from at least eight Old Testament passages, and alludes to about a half-dozen others.

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Luke 1:41-45

What a glorious and impossible moment! Two cousins, Mary and Elizabeth, are visiting. Elizabeth, barren, too old to have a child, is pregnant! Mary, a virgin, is also pregnant! This could only be possible through the majesty and glory of Almighty God.

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Luke 1:13-15

Zacharias, a man in his old age and Elizabeth his wife, a woman well along in years, had never been able to bear children. Now here is an angel, none other than Gabriel (who in his own words stood in the presence of God) telling Zacharias that his wife would bear a son.

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Questions, questions, questions.

Luke 1:34-38

Our lives are filled with questions we ask of God. How will I find the right husband or wife? Where should I go to college or university? Why am I not enjoying life more? How should I serve God? How can I live for God in my job? How long will I be in this

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“I’ve discovered something” I said.

“See, even as we get older we continue to learn,” he replied with a chuckle.

I took my dog, Phil, to the vet yesterday. When the doctor came into the room he was limping.

“Should I ask how you are doing?” I said.

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Matthew 12:30 “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.

I love playing games, not all the time but sometimes. It’s easy to get burned out playing them too much so I try to only play them once in a while.

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1 Samuel 17:45-47 ‘David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your

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3 Nails + 1 Cross = Salvation 4 All

by Robbie Heverling
Used by Permission

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Early one morning I rushed straight into the day,
too much to do, no time to pray.

Problems overcame me, heavier each task,
“Why doesn’t God help me?” He answered, “You didn’t ask.”

I wanted great joy, but the day grew quite bleak.
“Why didn’t God show me?” He said, “You didn’t seek.”

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So I bought her for 15 shekels of silver and five bushels of barley (Hosea 3:2, HCSB)

Amos was the prophet of God’s wrath in the Old Testament; Hosea by contrast is the prophet of love. Amos addressed the conscience; Hosea addressed the heart. The truth came to Amos in the desert; it met Hosea on his own doorstep.

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What a comfort it is to know that our Lord prays for His own. It is of great comfort to even the very young child to know that his parents love him and care for him so much that they pray to their Heavenly Father about him. The following suggestions might be helpful as you think of praying for your

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There are many reasons why God shouldn’t have called you. But don’t worry. You’re in good company.

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Michael Phelps won 8 Gold Medals in the Beijing Olympics

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How to know you are growing older?

  1. Everything hurts, and what doesn’t hurt, doesn’t work.
  2. Your little black book contains only names ending in M.D.
  3. You get winded playing chess.
  4. You join a health club and don’t go.
  5. You look forward to a dull evening.

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It was said that flight was impossible… until the Wright brothers attained it.

In the physical world there may be limits, but often the limits persist only in the mind of man. When someone looks beyond and dares to challenge the impossible, that barrier we call the “impossible” disperses and we discover things were not as impossible as they seemed.

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As a teen, your bedroom is a mirror on which your personality and passions are reflected. Though it may be small it is your domain. Its Yours! Your room becomes your mansion, your castle. Inside you are King of your palace, at least until you are dethroned by parents telling you to clean it, pick it up. Three aquariums, a

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God wants to include each of us in His plan for the world. But how will we respond? When we look at the events of the Christmas story we can see a few possible responses.

DOUBT – Zechariah (Luke 1:5-22)

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Dear Heavenly Father, Make me a better parent. Teach me to understand my children, to listen patiently to what they have to say and to answer all their questions kindly.

Keep me from interrupting them, talking back to them and contradicting them. Make me as courteous to them as I would have them be to me.

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“This blessed life is not an attainment, but an obtainment. The soul must fully recognize it is God’s gift in Christ Jesus and cannot be gained by any efforts or works on our own. God can bestow the gift only upon the fully consecrated soul, to be received by faith and great thankfulness.

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If you tear down a sparrow’s nest the bird will soon build the nest again in the same place as it was before. However, if you pull the nest down a couple times, the sparrow will seek a new place–a location that is higher up, and beyond your destructive reach.

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Imagine that I gave you a new car. It’s a nice car, it runs well. You’d be excited wouldn’t you? A nice new car to drive around. But there are a few conditions.

  1. You can only have the car one morning a week. The rest of the time

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Jonah is one of my favorite Bible characters.

Out of his comfort Zone
Jonah was faithfully serving God, living among his own people and sharing God’s words for them. Then God suddenly asks him to do something that was a little outside the norm.

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“It is finished.” The implication of the Greek word is “This is complete.” It is accomplished, fulfilled, completed. Then you can put an exclamation point after the phrase. There is no question mark. Redemption is complete. You can’t add to it. You can’t subtract from it. It doesn’t need something added to it. Jesus accomplished perfect redemption for men. He

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“Into thine hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.” (Lk 23:46)

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At times in Christ’s life, we see both His humanity and His divinity. When Jesus said that He was thirsty…we see His humanity.

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My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
This phrase feels very familiar. I wonder how many times we have asked God the same question. Where are you? Where were you when this happened in my life? Why did you abandon me in my greatest time of need? Why don’t you do something? I am hurting here! Where is

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“Woman, your son; Son, your mother.”
Jesus is in the middle of incredible pain and yet he is thinking about others. So many times when we are in pain we seem to take it out on others. Not Jesus!

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Today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)

“Today”
Jesus makes a huge promise to the sinner next to him on the cross. Today you will be with me in paradise. Immediately. Instantly. Now. Not tomorrow. Not in a hundred years. Not in a in a thousand years. Not in a in a million years. Not at the

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“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)

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The life of Jesus is bracketed by two impossibilities:
a virgin’s womb and an empty tomb.

Jesus entered our world through a door marked “No Entrance”
and left through a door marked “No Exit.”

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In a few days time, Chinese people in Singapore and over the world will be celebrating the start of the Chinese New Year.

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Last night, I watched another episode of “Heroes”.

For those of you who haven’t heard of the series, it tells the interrelated stories of a an ever growing group of individuals who possess a special genetic marker that manifests itself as unique, special superhuman abilities. “Ordinary people discovering extraordinary abilities.”

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Someone once described a football game as twenty-two men on the field badly in need of rest being watched by seventy-two thousand people in the stands badly in need of exercise.

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We are often quick to make judgments about people. We say that we believe in forgiveness and the transforming power of God, but then so often, the church acts as if we do not believe it. People who make mistakes are forever labeled by their mistakes. We believe God forgives and forgets, but while we say we forgive them, we

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THANKS, FORGIVING DAY

“It’s happening already!” he said to me.
“What?”
“The last I looked it was July 4th and now suddenly it’s the holiday season,” he said smiling.
“I’m not ready for this at all,” I told him.
“Oh, it may have come too fast, but I’m always ready for my ‘Thanks Forgiving Day!'”
“You mean Thanksgiving Day?”
“Oh,

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I came across the following one day…

Articles of incorporation of the Springfield Militia

  1. This Company shall be known as the Springfield Militia.
  2. In case of war, this company shall immediately disband.

(From the Civil War SongBook, published circa 1965)

 

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While living in Singapore I have loved the ethnic variety of the food. One of my favorite foods is Chili Crab. The crab, from which the delicious food is made, is a very unique creature whose entire life is characterized by change. As the crab matures, it breaks out of its hard crusty shell and begins the process of forming

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I recently bought a new pair of sports sandals. Actually I really needed a new pair quite some time ago but was perfectly content with the old ones. They served me well. We've been to a lot of places together. In work and play, we have been constant companions. We've been to relaxing tropical beaches and on rigorous hikes. We've

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To this day, one of my favorite cartoons is the Warner Bros “Road Runner” series. Some days I feel like the Road Runner and some days I feel like the Coyote.

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The Bible says,
“A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.” -Proverbs 15:13

A cheerful heart is good medicine. Laughter, as an expression of joy, is essential to our physical and emotional well-being. Dr. Hendrie Weisinger’s manual on anger management, “Dr. Weisinger’s Anger Work-Out Book”, warns that if our daily total is less than fifteen laughs,

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If you were describe yourself as a vessel what would it be? Why?
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  • A vase
  • A bowl
  • A cup
  • A jug
  • A glass
  • A can
  • A plastic bag
  • A jar
  • A wok
  • A pot
  • A pan

 

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If you were to describe your life as a spice or seasoning, what would it be?
What seasoning does your life bring to the world? Why?

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If you were to describe your life as a light, which might you choose and why?

  • A lighthouse
  • A floodlight
  • 100 watt light bulb
  • A flashlight
  • A flashlight with dead batteries’
  • A penlight
  • A bonfire
  • A campfire
  • A candle

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In “Shepherd Leadership”, authors McCormick and Davenport remind Christian leaders to allow for second chances and gently restore the fallen. They write:

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“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

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If you were to describe your life as a fragrance to the world, what would it be? Why?

  • Boy’s Locker room
  • A rose
  • Incense
  • Fish market
  • Fresh baked bread
  • Cinnamon and Spice
  • Sewer
  • Freshly picked peach
  • Durian
  • Socks
  • Potpourri

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A master went on a long journey and called his servants together and gave each a certain amount of money –a talent. One got five talents, the other two, the last only one. After a long period the master returned and saw what they had done. ‘The one with five had five more, the one with two had two more,

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“Ladies and gentlemen! Step right up and direct your attention to the high flying acrobats in the big top! “
No circus is complete without the daring young men and women of the flying trapeze. People are fascinated, not because it is difficult to hang onto the bar, but because of that one second when the performer lets go of

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A number of years ago in Northern Virginia, an old man stood by a river bank waiting to get across. Since it was bitterly cold and there was no bridge, he would have to “catch a ride” to the other side.

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For half a lifetime he wandered the empty night, alone and hopeless, until a simple melody pierced the darkness and caught his attention. Making the melody was a young man, a musician, with a sensitive ear, and an even more sensitive heart. The musician walked the same street, but he walked, not by sight, but by sound. As he encountered

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“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18, niv).

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When an old farmer was asked about his spiritual well being, he described his Christian experience by saying, “Well, I’m not making much progress, but I’m well-established!” One spring when he was hauling some logs, his wagon wheels sank down to the axles in mud. He tried everything he could, but he couldn’t remove the wagon from of the mud.

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Have you ever wondered why a pigeon walks so funny? According to an interesting article in the Detroit Free Press, a pigeon walks the way it does so it can see where it’s going. Because it can’t adjust its focus as it moves, the pigeon actually has to bring its head to a complete stop between steps in order to

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Do you feel uneasy when it comes to religion and spirituality? Do issues of faith and morality create fear?

The women who went to the tomb on the first Easter Sunday were terribly frightened by what they found–or
rather, by what they ‘didn’t’ find, for the tomb was empty (Matt 28:6)!

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“There is a quiet place far from the rapid pace
Where God can soothe my troubled mind.
Sheltered by tree and flow’r there in my quiet hour
With Him my cares are left behind.
Whether a garden small or on a mountain tall,
New strength and courage there I find.
Then from this quiet place I go prepared to face

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A youth goes into a store and sees a shiny object. She asks the clerk, “What is that shiny object?” The clerk replies, “That is a thermos.” The youth then asks, “What does it do?” The clerk responds,?”It keeps hot things hot and it keeps cold things cold.”
The youth says, “I’ll take it!”
The next day, she walks into

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The LORD was with Joseph, and he was a successful man (Genesis 39:2)

The Life of Joseph

The fact that this verse refers to a cocky youth who has just been betrayed and sold into slavery by his own brothers seems a contradiction.

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A man, after 25 years with same company, doing the same old job and drawing the same old salary, decided to approach his boss for a raise and a promotion. While talking to his boss, he was outlining his justification for such a request. “After all,” he concluded, “I’ve had a quarter of a century of experience.”

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