Old Things Passed Away… Completely New Attitude

With a brand new year approaching, the new attitude of an inmate I spoke with today is a fitting meditation…

Today, after preaching to the inmates at a correctional facility, I had the pleasure of being approached by one of the inmates. Rather than divulge his full name, which I’m sure he wouldn’t mind, I will just call him “PW”. He is a young man in his early twenties at the most.

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PW came to me to share with me how his life has been impacted by the sermons I have been delivering. He told me of how he was once involved in all sorts of sin. It was all he knew–his way of life. The “tatted” remnants of a wild and unruly youth reach out from under the sleeves and climb up through the collar of his chambray shirt.

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God’s Word Completes You: No Need To Be Puzzled About Life

I have the honor and privilege of preaching to those in prison on the last Sunday of 2013. With New Year’s Day approaching, I decided to share with the inmates of Rustburg Correctional Facility something that I have set for myself as sort of a resolution for 2014. I believe it can benefit you too.

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“All scripture is given by inspiration of  God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” ~II Timothy 3:16-17

As we prepare to complete 2013, I feel it is appropriate that we reflect on the past year, see where we may have lacked in our intimacy with the Lord and determine that from this moment we will live a more complete Christian life now and throughout the coming years. With this thought in mind, I would like to direct your attention to a particular passage in the Psalms that speaks to such a resolution.

It is Psalm 119:49-56. This particular passage in Psalm 119 is significant as it is the seventh letter of the Hebrew alphabet “Zay-een”. We know that biblically speaking, seven is usually the number of completion. So for a title today, I offer you the fact that God’s Word Completes You: There Is No Need To Be Puzzled About Life”.

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Why I Chose To “Duck” Out Of The Phil Robertson Debate

It was very tempting to continue in the conversation about the backlash Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson is still experiencing as a result of his choice of words in a recent GQ Magazine interview. But I felt that it was something that was far from over and would likely last well on into the New Year.

photo courtesy of A&E television network

So after weighing my options and considering that Christmas (the most wonderful time of the year, particularly for Christians) was upon us, I refused to let anything short of bloodshed or murder keep me from celebrating Jesus, family, friends, and giving—not to mention that ’tis still the season to be jolly!

As I see it, the Robertson’s have their own family dilemma to prayerfully consider… 

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5 Suggestions for Finding More Christmas Joy

Ron Edmondson, Pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church, Lexington, KY put together a very thoughtful and timely post that I found to be quite helpful to me as I approach this Christmas. Read more by Ron at his website.

But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David. Luke 2:10-11

As I read the Scriptures, the ability to have joy is a gift. We may not always be “happy” with our circumstances, but we can have joy. With the equivalence of hope, joy is a condition of our heart beyond the situations life may bring. It was “good news of great joy” the angels announced at the birth of Christ.

For many, however, living in the reality of joy at Christmas is harder than other times of the year. Memories of loved ones, financial struggles, health issues, and relationship woes often make for a very difficult celebration. How do we find the joy of Chrismas? (You may want to read my previous post 10 Ways to Overcome a Sense of Christmas Loss. This post comes from another angle.

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Like Christian Life Tip #003

Remember that it is the Lord’s power to restore you. Yet it is your place to realize and accept that He wants to.

Mary Knows… Do You?

Mark Lowry is a Liberty University alum and the writer of this amazing Christmas song! I love my school, my job, my ministry–Liberty University. Mary knows, Mark knows, I know… Do you know about that baby boy? I picked Cee-Lo Green’s version of the song because I really love the depictions from the TV mini-series The Bible. Enjoy… And MERRY CHRISTMAS!

“Gleaning” For The Philippines This Christmas

This Christmas, as you prepare to celebrate the Savior’s birth in your own ways, please consider giving to the devastated people of the Philippines through one of the most trusted charitable organizations in America, Gleaning For The World.

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The following is a snippet from a Forbes.com article on the 200 Largest U.S. Charities. Of the list, only five organizations have a 100% charitable commitment ratio. Guess who is one of that five?

Charitable commitment: This figures out how much of a charity’s total expense went directly to the charitable purpose (also known as program support or program expense), as opposed to management, certain overhead expenses and fundraising.  The average this year is 86%, unchanged from the previous two years. Five charities on our list have 100% ratios here: Brother’s Brother Foundation, Gleaning for the World, Kingsway Charities, Matthew 25: Ministries, and Operation Compassion. You can read the rest of the article by clicking here.

What this means is that whenever you donate to Gleaning For The World, you are utilizing one of the best ways to make sure that your contribution goes directly to helping those in need–in this case the victims of Superstorm Haiyan in the Philippines. So please consider giving a Christmas gift that will surely count for time and eternity. I gave before, and I am preparing to give some more. This is a charity you can trust!

CLICK TO HELP FAMILIES IN THE PHILIPPINES

Right now, you have the power to send your love halfway around the world this Christmas. The people of the Philippines will be blessed this holiday by your generosity!

Destroy The Mr. Hyde Inside: Stop Feeding The Sin Within

The film “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” tells the story of Dr. Henry Jekyll, a kind English doctor in Victorian London who is certain that within each man lurks impulses for both good and evil. So in an effort to prove his hypothesis, he creates a potion which he drinks that causes the evil side of him to come out.

image of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

I submit to you that along with many other things like the illegal use of drugs and alcohol, social media is becoming that same type of potion for many people around the world.

There is a familiar cliché’ that says “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” And I’ll be the first to admit, that I can’t beat ‘em! But there is something I can do.

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Aha!: Exposing Three Tricks Satan Might Be Using On You Right Now

It is said that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. If that idea were applied to the Devil, one would have to say that you can probably teach “that old serpent” new tricks, but why would he want to learn them?

After all, it was a few basic tricks that Satan, “that old serpent” (Gen. 3; Rev. 12:9), used to cause the entire world to fall hopelessly into sin. It was those few tricks that are responsible for all of the wickedness we see to this very day. Somebody also said, “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it!” Surely Satan would agree.

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Bored, Lonely Or Both? Overcoming Two Subtle Spirits Of Our Age

War, selfishness, increase in crime, growing prison populations, unfair treatment of each other, marital disunity, sexual immorality, lust for wealth, fame, and the things money can buy, as well as the inevitable disappointment they usually deliver are all characteristics of the spirit of the age in which we live.

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These issues exist in sharp contrast to the admonitions given in Hebrews 13:1-5, where we are told:

Let brotherly love continue.  Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers… Remember those who are in prison… and those who are mistreated… Let the marriage bed be undefiled… Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have…

And behind all of this is a spiritual disconnection from the true source of life–Jesus Christ.

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