Wednesday 4/17 ~ How deep are your roots?

The scripture for today, April 17 (4/17), is Mark 4:17 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Thumbnail“But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the Word, they quickly fall away.”

We may be mentally prepared for persecution out in the world. But what about persecution among our friends who we attend worship with all the time? They can turn on us too.

Perhaps you have discovered a “new” truth and are trying to get members of your congregation to believe it. If members get the feeling you are trying to prove them wrong and make them look bad, they will turn on you, much like people do a “whistleblower” in the business world.

On whose side will you stand? Your friends’ so you can continue to be friends with them, or God’s? It’s easy to let things slide and pretend that “new” truth no longer exists so you can keep your friends. How deep are your roots? Who shall you worship? Your friends or your God? What is more important? Your comfort in this life or your eternity?

Image result for "Buy the book" button redSTEPHEN: UNLIKELY MARTYR starts out as a teenage coward who runs from every confrontation and hides his beliefs.  Through tragedies, he gradually matures until one day he is confronted with the leaders of his old religion who demand, follow our creeds or die. So, he died. To BUY NOW, click a picture or paste this: https://amzn.to/2GnzJqq

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Tuesday 4/16 ~ Mercy when you need it

The scripture for today, April 16 (4/16), is Hebrews 4:16 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

Anyone who has lived very long has committed some sin they hope no one ever finds out about. Some people have committed many such sins. Because of that one “big” sin or the constant repetition of a particular sin, do you punish yourself by putting words in God’s mouth? Do you say, “God could never forgive me for that”? Perhaps you can never forgive yourself, but God is greater than you.

Jesus told Peter we must forgive our brothers 70 times 7. If kept literally, that would mean we’d have to forgive the same sin 490 times. It is figurative for forgiving all the time. 1st Corinthians 13, the “love chapter” of the Bible, says, “Love…keeps no record of wrongs.” Do you hold grudges?

Alexander Pope said, “To err is human, to forgive is divine.” In addition to forgiving yourself and others, can you reach out to help people who cannot forgive themselves? Are you strong enough to imitate God? Are you strong enough to find enough mercy and grace in your heart to forgive? There, indeed, is divinity in forgiveness.

Image result for "Buy the book" button redIn the midst of excruciating torture, Jesus uttered, “I forgive you.” THEY MET JESUS: SHADOW OF DEATH tells the story of ultimate forgiveness of his enemies (that includes us).  Read about all the people involved in his death and the beholders of his coming back to life in this historical novel.  To BUY NOW, click a picture or paste this: https://amzn.to/2GcZcmy

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Monday 4/15 ~ Could you die for it?

The scripture for today, April 15 (4/15), is 1st John 4:15 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-“And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.”

The New Testament was written by people who walked and talked with Jesus. They saw his miracles, they heard his amazing words. They were eye witnesses.

Several first- and second-century manuscripts still exist that were passed down from some who actually knew the eye witnesses. A few were even written during the late lifetime of the last living apostle, John. The Bible has more existing ancient manuscripts (over 5000) than any historical writing in the world.

Read the New Testament. It was written by inspired men with a passion that would not let them stop talking about this Jesus. He consumed their life when he was on earth, and consumed their spirit after he left.

Through the centuries, men and women have given their lives so that you today may have the writings (New Testament) of those eye witnesses in our own language and read it for yourself. Many were ridiculed and tortured terribly and then died a long excruciating death so that the apostles’ testimony could live on.

Do not take for granted your New Testament ~  the words of Jesus’ eye witnesses. Jesus lived and died for you. Those witnesses, in a sense, also lived and died for you. Read what they testified to. Then, live, and if necessary, die for it.

Image result for "Buy the book" button redPAUL: THE UNSTOPPABLE loved people’s souls so much, after they beat him for telling them about Jesus, he got up and told them again. Such stubborn love.  Follow him from his robust youth to bent and worn-out old age.  To BUY NOW click a picture or paste this: https://amzn.to/2Gg3ppw

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Dear God

To brighten your day.

Mitch Teemley

Introducing-your-children-to-god

Actual Kids’ Letters to God

Dear God…

“Instead of letting people die and having to make new ones, why don’t You just keep the ones You already made?” ~Jane

“In school they told us what You do. Who does it when You are on vacation?” -Christi

“Please send me a pony. I never asked for anything before, You can look it up.” ~Bruce

“Is it true my father won’t get in Heaven if he uses his bowling words in the house?” -Anita

“If You watch me in church Sunday, I’ll show You my new shoes.” ~MickeyD.

“Who draws the lines around the countries?” ~Jennifer

“It rained for our whole vacation and is my father mad! He said some things about You that people are not supposed to say, but I hope You will not hurt him anyway.” ~Your friend (But I am not going to tell you who…

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Sunday 4/14/19 ~ Listen. Do you hear them?

The scripture for today, April 14 (4/14), is Esther 4:14b as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-Thumbnail“And who knows but that you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Today’s scripture is about a reluctant young lady who won a beauty contest and was chosen to be the queen of Persia. Time has passed, and now a command has just gone out to kill all Jews. Queen Esther was a Jewess but had not told anyone at the royal court. She could continue to hide her nationality and let all her people die, or she could try to intervene with the king. She was the only Jew the king would have listened to. So, realizing she could be killed too, she spoke on behalf of her people. They were saved.

There are always situations in life in which you are the only one who can accomplish something very needed. Perhaps you are the only adult standing near a strange child about to run out into a busy street. Perhaps you are tall and a short person needs to reach something at the store. Perhaps you know a particular language and others around you need you to explain something to them. Perhaps someone called a wrong number on the telephone and reached you instead.

As you go through life, there are situations in which you are the only one who can handle them. Do you? Do you watch for those situations, or do you walk around in your own little world?

Listen! It’s the silent cries of people only you can help. Do you hear them?

SImage result for "Buy the book" button redTEPHEN: UNLIKELY MARTYR was difficult for me to write. He was a young deacon with a wife and children, a sought-after speaker, a miracle worker. What motivated him to be the one to go into the Sanhedrin’s chamber that day and speak so powerfully, they would kill him to shut him up? I walked the floor for two days and cried before I could write those final scenes where he struggled alone to make the big decision, then carry it out. Come along with me as we try to walk in young Stephen’s shoes.  To BUY NOW, click a picture or paste this:  https://amzn.to/2Bowxf8

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