I’d die if I had to do that.

00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-ThumbnailThe scripture for today, June 17 (6/17), is Matthew 6:17 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face.”

This is interesting because Jesus did not say “If, you fast,” but rather “When you fast.” It was as though he was teaching us to take for granted that we would fast ~ it would be second-nature to us. In a sense, it is, for when most people go through a sudden tragedy such as loss of a loved one, they often cannot eat.

But what about voluntary fasting? The early church sometimes fasted. Acts 13:2 says a congregation in Antioch, Syria, fasted and worshiped, then chose men to go out as missionaries. Queen Esther fasted before going to the king uninvited with a request he might not like (Esther 4:16). Isaiah 58:3 says people fasted in order to humble themselves.

Some people respond, “I’d die if I had to fast.” Perhaps that’s kind of the idea. We know we would die if we went without food long enough. So perhaps one day of fasting is a way of saying, “God, I would die for you if I had to.” Yes, fasting is a humbling experience and frightening to some people. But perhaps that is the point.

Is something important coming up that you know you will be urgently praying about? Once you skip one meal, you will have conquered your desire to eat. Then, with your brain not having to concentrate on digesting food, it will be able to focus more on that important thing happening in your life. Your prayers will be more focused. You will be more focused with your eyes more clearly on God.

So, take a shower, comb your hair, put on some nice clothes, and look like you have something important to do. Then fast.

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00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-ThumbnailSTEPHEN: UNLIKELY MARTYR did everything he could think of to convince people his religion was good.  He recruited help.  At night they would sneak pages of scriptures under rocks, inside people’s houses, nailed to statues of the gods.  They met in secret and worshiped. Then publicly they would march.  And they fasted as Queen Esther had done.  If it worked for Esther, surely it would work for Stephen and his zealous friends. Would it backfire? To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this………. https://bit.ly/2XBFXvJ

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Scripture for Tuesday 3/24

Inside-COVER-lg thumbnailThe scripture for today, March 24 (3/24), is 1st John 3:24 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.”

Some people think we can tell that we are obeying God, and he is, therefore, in us by how we feel by our emotions. But emotions are fickle. We can feel great one day and sad the next and frustrated after that, then great again. It can be confusing to rely on how we feel as to whether or not God’s Spirit lives in us.

Jesus said in John 14:17 that he was going to send us the Counselor, the Spirit of Truth. And in John 17:17, Jesus said God’s Word is Truth.

Now that makes more sense! Even in the days before the New Testament was assembled into one book, Christians were given the gift of prophecy by the Spirit of Truth, and sometimes they wrote it and circulated it.

In the meantime, the apostles went everywhere teaching, and they wrote letters that were circulated (even those we don’t know about today). Those letters that were preserved were copied and circulated everywhere.

Finally, their letters were assembled into what we call the New Testament. So, today we can still know God’s Spirit lives in us by reading the Bible ~ God’s Word ~ and putting it in our mind and heart and following it. God thought of everything. His word is clear, and that is how we know we have obeyed him, and he lives in us.

How grateful we are today for his Bible. No guessing. So, do not take it for granted. Never take it for granted.

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I pen my thoughts to encourage souls. Will you help me share today’s book with someone?          https://amzn.to/2Ugmj7Y

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Inside-COVER-lg thumbnailINSIDE THE HEARTS OF BIBLE WOMEN is stories of Bible Women who lived through the same kinds of tragedies modern women do.  Each chapter is a story but with endnotes that are really thought questions.  Also has an audio, and a teacher’s manual.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this………  https://amzn.to/2Ugmj7Y

 

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Prayer for Thursday 3/5

Rhoda Book Cover KINDLE-thumbnailI praise and magnify your Name. You are the great I AM. You are existence. Existence requires love and truth, and you are that to the ultimate. You are the pulse of the universe. When Satan destroys what you made, you make it again. When Satan makes sick what you made, you heal it. When Satan makes someone sin, you forgive. When Satan kills, you bring back to life. You are all I need to live life to the fullest. I praise and rejoice in you. Every part of my being praises you. Now and forever you are my joy and wonder.  I cannot help but worship you.

Father, I told something a friend said about another friend, not thinking about what I was doing.  Why did I say that? I did not need to. All I did was cause dissension between them. Lord, help them forget what I said so they will still be friends with each other. And forgive my unnecessary talk.

Thank you, Spirit of God, for being the Word that I read, the meaning that it carries, the response that it evokes. Your words are power. They echo through the universe with truth and life and love. Your words will never lose their magnificence. And thank you for the two new books I just read about the different ways men and women think.  Men and women complement each other. That’s the way you intended us to be and it is dynamic. And for my family and friends, I thank you. And my congregation. You bring us all together and we are one in you.

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I pen my thoughts to encourage souls. Will you help me share today’s book with someone?          https://amzn.to/2v0hi9U

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Rhoda Book Cover KINDLE-thumbnailRHODA is the last storybook in the series A CHILD’S BIBLE KIDS.  Rhoda was always joking and teasing and hardly ever serious. When she was 11 years old, her widowed mother needed help, so Rhoda went to work at John Mark’s house. Sometimes Peter came and told them about Jesus. One night there was a knock on the gate.  No one paid any attention to what silly Rhoda told them.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….  https://amzn.to/2v0hi9U

 

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Prayer for Wednesday 2/12

0-Cover-MediumI praise you, mighty God ~ mighty in truth, in love, in life. Above all lies and hatred and annihilations. You are the strongest, the highest, the greatest. You are above all, in all and through all. You are brighter than the sun you formed, deeper than the oceans you brought forth, higher than the stars you sprinkled throughout the heavens. You are holy and filled with majestic greatness. My soul soars to you, then bows low to honor you.

Thank you, my Lord, for giving me your Bible so I can understand your stubborn love and mighty truth. For sending a part of you in Jesus’ body so we could see your Word in action. For sending a part of yourself in your Spirit of Truth so I can read your Word for help in my earthly struggles. Sometimes I just do not know which way to go. I would be completely lost without your guidance. Thank you for the winter snow and icy wind, and time of rest for nature. A calm and serene time for me when nothing much is going on outside in the cold, leaving more time to read of you, meditate about you, pray to you.

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I pen my thoughts to encourage souls. Will you help me share today’s book with someone?          https://amzn.to/37rfl3z

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00-Cover-ThumbnailFUN WITH BIBLE NUMBERS has 525 math questions from both the Old and New Testament.  Some easy adding or subtracting, some more complicated multiplication.  Did you know there was over three trillion American dollars worth of gold in Solomon’s temple’s holy of holies?  Did you know Jesus walked on water 3-1/2 miles?  Full of surprises. Great for private relaxation, homeschoolers, church bulletins, party contests.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….  https://amzn.to/37rfl3z

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Prayer for Sunday 2/9

0-Michel-COVER-Kindle-ThumbnailAh, my Lord God, First Cause of all things, I praise you for being and for willing me into existence so you can love me. And for your Spirit that animates my soul and keeps me eternally alive, making me your forever child.  And for your Son,  ~ you in flesh ~ who came to me out of eternity to show me how to live.  Speaking holy Words aloud ~ Words ethereal. Words wonderful. Words down to earth so I do not need to guess who and what you are. I long to know you more, but with my finite mind, I cannot. I live in wonder of you and worship you with my puny glimpse of your indescribable holiness.

Thank you, my God, for giving me your love letter, the Bible, and telling me all that you are constantly doing ~ both the easy and the hard. Thank you for pouring your heart out to me with all the laughter and tears that flow from you to the world. For sharing yourself. For baring your own joys and sorrows as I do right and wrong.  I never tire of your letter.  Thank you for giving yourself. And, by the way, Lord, thank you for books and computers and radios and all things electronic, and time to use them to magnify you to the world.

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I pen my thoughts to encourage souls. Will you help me share today’s book with someone?          https://amzn.to/2w3kIJ7

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0-Michel-COVER-Kindle-ThumbnailMICHEL: THE FOURTH WISE MAN is biblical historical novel #6 in the series INTREPID MEN OF GOD.  Michel, a descendant of Daniel, has a dream: Restore the Garden of Eden so God will once again walk among men.  He buys the land where the Tigris & Euphrates Rivers meet and loses his estate, his wife, and his father. Then he is interrupted by a star. King Phraates demands he and nine other wise men search the world for the meaning of the star.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….  https://amzn.to/2w3kIJ7

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