Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Temptation and Ways of Escape

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


"But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust."1

Temptation. It befalls all of us. It can come directly from the devil, a devil's advocate, through a friend, or from my own self.

We are all open to temptation for, like a lawn bowl that has a bias (weight) on one side that causes it to curve away from the goal, we have a bias that, unless guarded, causes us to go astray and miss the mark of God's goal for us. The bias is our sin nature that we are all born with.

So how do we defend against temptation?

First and foremost, as author Max Lucado suggests in his book, On the Anvil, there are two very simple strategies for protecting ourselves from sin and temptation. The first is to recognize Satan. So often, we are lured into a sin because it looks so attractive, so fulfilling, so right at the time. So we find ways to rationalize our actions and make excuses for our attitudes. Instead, we must be like Jesus in the desert and call Satan by name. No more sugar-coating the truth. Don't try to water down the power of sin. Call it what it is.

Second, we can guard against some temptations by making sure we get legitimate needs met in legitimate ways. For instance, after fasting for forty days, Jesus was hungry. This is when Satan tempted Jesus to turn stones into bread. Satan always has a way to tempt us at our weakest and/or neediest point. For another example, some singles when they are lonely, instead of getting their companionship needs met in healthy ways, turn to sex as a poor substitute for love.

Third, realize that God's salvation begins at the point where we accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord of our life—and as we grow in wholeness and maturity. As Jesus often asked, "Do you want to be made whole?" Wholeness is a requirement for wholesome living, for only to the degree that we are made whole will our lifestyle, our actions, our thoughts (the beginning point of temptation), our behavior, and our relationships be wholesome.

Fourth, walk with God. Growing in wholeness is a life-long process, so in the meantime to avoid giving in to temptation, we need not only to make sure we get our needs met in healthy ways, but also to walk with God. That is, we need to know what His Word teaches by reading and studying it faithfully, and we need to commit and trust our life to God every day, and seek His guidance and help to live a life that will glorify Him in all that we are and do.

Fifth, be filled with God's Spirit who gives us the insight to recognize temptation for what it is and the power to overcome its onslaughts.

Sixth, pray. Sometimes a simple prayer such as, "Help, God, Help," or stating firmly, "Jesus Christ is Lord," can be the best antidote against falling prey to temptation's alluring charms.

Lastly, when we do give in to temptation and sin, remember that God says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."2 The important thing is to get up, put things right where needed and possible, and go on.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You that You have provided a way of escape from giving in to temptation for me through Your so great salvation. Help me to keep growing in faith, love, maturity and wholeness, and fill me with Your Holy Spirit so that I will have the strength to overcome every temptation. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. James 1:14 (NASB).
2. 1 John 1:9 (NKJV).


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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Video Message From Dr. Mike Murdock To Wisdom Key 3000 Family Worldwide

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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Anchored On Christ, the Solid Rock

Thursday, December 17, 2015


"And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock."1

The Stone House in Portugal. Now that’s a foundation built on solid rock!Photo Credit: LIGHTER SIDE REAL ESTATE.

Back in 1992, Hurricane Andrew destroyed thousands of homes in South Florida. Yet in an area where the wreckage looked like a war zone, one house remained standing, still firmly anchored to its foundation. When a reporter asked the homeowner why his house had not been blown away, he replied, "I built this house myself. I also built it according to the Florida state building code. When the code called for 2"x6" roof trusses, I used 2"x6" roof trusses. I was told that a house built according to the code could withstand a hurricane—and it did."2

I can identify with this builder because in former years I was a builder by trade and built my own home at the top of the Adelaide hills in Australia where the winds blow furiously. I not only built according to the local building codes, but went the second mile. Instead of using 2"x8" rafters I used 3"x8" and instead of using large nails to secure these, I used large coach screw/bolts, and so on. I lost a few roofing tiles on one occasion in a wild storm, but never was there any other damage.

As Jesus reminds us, it pays to build solidly on a solid foundation. He was referring to building our lives according to His code as found in His Word, the Bible. Those who do will not be swept away by the storms of life and adverse circumstances that threaten to destroy us.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to build my life on 'Christ, the Solid Rock' and live according to Your instructions as found in Your Word, the Bible. I thank You that if I do this, I have Your guarantee that with Your help I will be able to stand firm in all of life's storms. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Matthew 7:25 (NASB).
2. Tom Moore, cited in KneEmail,


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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Use It or Lose It

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Use It or Lose It

"The LORD said to him [Moses], 'What is that in your hand?' And he said, 'A staff.'"1

I have read how in 1872, at the age of 16, Booker T. Washington (born a slave and then became the foremost black educator of the late 19th and early 20th centuries) decided he wanted to go to school. He walked 500 miles to Hampton Institute in Virginia, and presented himself to the head teacher. Washington later recalled, "Having been so long without proper food, a bath, and change of clothing, I did not make a very favorable impression upon her, and I could see at once that there were doubts in her mind about me."

Finally she said to him, "The adjoining recitation room needs cleaning. Take the broom and do it." A lesser person might have been insulted by being assigned menial work. But Washington recognized immediately that this was his big chance. He swept that room three times and dusted it four times. He even cleaned the walls and the closets. Then he reported to the head teacher that the job was finished. She examined that room like a drill sergeant. She even took a handkerchief and rubbed it across the top of a door. When she could not find a particle of dirt, she said, "I guess you will do to enter this institution."

As a 16-year-old, Washington could not do many things. But he could clean a room. And he did it gloriously. Extraordinary living begins with using what we have. What gifts and graces do you have that you have not fully activated?2

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You that You use ordinary people to do ordinary things in extraordinary ways, as well as using ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Please use me for whatever it is You have gifted me to do and want me to do—be it large or small—and thereby help make my world a better place in which to live. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Exodus 4:2 (NASB).
2. Bill Bouknight,, July 2002


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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

And God Gave Me the Xiaomi Mi4 I Asked For

I cannot deny Almighty God JEHOVAH the glory that He alone deserves and He will never share His glory with anybody.

It was last month that I was introduced to the Xiaomi smartphones, Redmi 2 and Mi4 online and I fell in love with the awesome Mi4 even before I saw it physically. I prayed, and wished to own one Mi4, because of the 1080p + Ultra HD 4k video camera that I can use to shoot my "Sights and Sounds of Lagos" series for mobile streaming on Afrinolly and later on cable TV networks. So, I went down on my knees and with my hands lifted up in praise and worship, I asked Almighty God JEHOVAH for a Xiaomi Mi4 with the expectation of buying one asap. But two weeks later, JSP Communications Limited invited me to meet with the famous Mr. Apple of Africa, Rutger Jan van Spaandonk, Chairman of Mobile in Africa (MIA) who is popularly known by most people simply as “RJ”, Executive Director of Core Group Africa, the sole distributors for Apple in Africa. He met with me and some selected top Nigerian journalists and bloggers, including the lovely big and beautiful Moji Delano and Mrs. Funke Osae-Brown of The Luxury Reporter (TLR) at the Lagos Sheraton in Ikeja. He showed us awesome features of the Xiaomi Redmi 2 and Mi4 with a multimedia presentation and later we had lunch and took pictures before leaving. I published my report on my popular blogs, Nigerians Report Online and TALK OF THE TOWN By Orikinla. Then last Friday, I got a call from the Nigerian head office of JSP to meet with their top executives and I chose to meet with them yesterday.
I went to their office and they gave me a brand new Mi4 signed and sealed by Xiaomi with love from China. Wow!
Exactly what I asked Almighty God JEHOVAH for!
Praise God, HALLELUJAH. Once again, Baba God has proved His faithfulness and loving kindness to me. He saved me the N55, 000 I would have spent to purchase the Mi4, one of the smartest smartphones in the world today.
I thank God.

My Mi4 sitting pretty.

Mi 4's 13MP Sony IMX 214 CMOS sensor can record 4K videos at 30 frames per second (3840 x 2160 pixels) in real time, and at 1080p resolution. Film a mini masterpiece or record your travels abroad, then admire your work with your friends and family on Mi TV, which also supports 4k video.

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Friday, December 11, 2015

Little Things—Big Consequences

Friday, December 11, 2015

Little Things—Big Consequences

"Catch the foxes for us,
The little foxes that are ruining the vineyards,
While our vineyards are in blossom."1

Not too long ago we had the opportunity to have a vacation in Hawaii where, of course, there are many beautiful beaches. At one particular picturesque beach where the grandkids were snorkeling, close by was a rocky section. Here was a warning sign painted with large bold red lettering that simply said, "Dangerous beach. When in doubt, don't."

All too often in similar situations some daredevils tempt fate and alas, too late, they realize that they made a drastic mistake and have been hurt badly or even lost their life.

"When in doubt, don't" is a handy motto to apply to every area of life—especially so in the area of relationships, morals and ethics.

Many a person has started on a downward path in an extremely small way saying to him/herself, "A little lie won't hurt; a little cheating won't be noticed; a little immoral slip isn't going to make any difference; one cigarette won't affect me; and one drug is meaningless.

What they don't realize is that all too often little things lead to big things—either for good or bad. As a kid, I attended a tiny church in my hometown. I started serving God as a young teenager by picking up the hymnals after both church services on Sundays. Just a little thing, but one thing led to another, to another, and to another—until for the last four decades I have had the privilege of reaching multiplied thousands with the gospel around the world, first through a literature ministry and for the last decade via email and the Internet.

The same principle applies to evil deeds. I imagine that the accountants at Enron, Arthur Andersen, WorldCom, etc., started in a very small way adjusting the books; here a small adjustment; there a small adjustment; next a little bigger adjustment; and so on until their companies collapsed.

My former broker in Australia who handled my retirement fund—30 years of savings—stole my entire fund several years ago as well as those of at least eight other clients. He either hid all this money or spent it because, when he was ordered by the judge to pay up, he declared bankruptcy. It was only a short time before he started stealing that a large gambling center was opened not far from his office. My best guess is that he possibly started to gamble in a small way; began to lose money; then more money; then he stole from one client; lost more money; then stole from another client; and so on until he got caught. He has now spent some of his best retirement years in jail.

When will we ever learn that sin has its own destructive pathway and that whatever we sow we reap—if not now, it will be later in eternity—unless we repent of our sins and turn to the Savior? The best advice is that which is painted on a sign on a rocky Hawaiian beach, "When in doubt, don't!"

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to always live in harmony with life's principles as found in Your Word, the Bible. And, grant that our nation will realize that these are eternal and universal truths that cannot be broken without dire consequences. Grant that we will confess our sins and waywardness and turn back to You. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

 1. Song of Solomon 2:15 (NASB).


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God's Good News

Thursday, December 10, 2015

God's Good News

"I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes."1

The word "gospel" means good news—the Good News of God's salvation, without which mankind would be doomed for eternal damnation and separation from God, the author of all love and life.

But why is the gospel God's Good News?

First, the gospel is not a message about religion but a message about God's eternal love and purpose for all mankind. Religion wants to fix us from the outside in. God wants to fix us from the inside out. The first can become an impossible burden. The latter is what brings freedom.

Also, it's important to realize that no matter what we have ever done or have failed to do God loves us with an everlasting love and has a wonderful purpose for our lives—for this life and the next! As Jesus said, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."2 And again, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."3

Second, the gospel is a message about sin, something we are all guilty of. As the Bible says, "We have all sinned and fallen short of God's standard."4 Sin, however, is not only doing harmful acts. It is anything that falls short of the standard of perfection that God envisioned for us. This includes unforgiveness, pride, jealousy, mixed motives, etc. Most of us, too, are guilty of sins of omission; that is, not doing what we know we should and could do.5

However, a common misconception about God is that he is out to punish us for our sins. The fact is we bring sin's punishment on ourselves because sin has its own natural consequences. If we try to break the universal law of gravity, for instance, we can't. It will break us. Neither can we break God's universal moral law. When we try to, it breaks us. And besides its painful effects in this life—suffering, sorrow, sadness, sickness and spiritual death—its ultimate and tragic consequence is eternal death and separation from God.6

Third, the gospel is a message about God's remedy. Because sin has separated or disconnected us from God, we have been left with a "God-shaped" vacuum or spiritual emptiness within. As St. Augustine put it, "You have made us for yourself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you." The world's many religions are all evidence of man's endless search to find God and fill this vacuum. However, because God loves us so much, he sent his own sinless son, Jesus Christ, to save us from our predicament.7 Christ did this by dying on the cross in our place to pay the consequence of and ransom price for our sins—death. Thus, Jesus Christ is God's only provision for our sin. He is the only way back to God and the only door to eternal life.8

Finally, the gospel is a summons to faith and repentance. If you were found guilty of a serious crime and were condemned to death, would you accept a free unconditional pardon, if offered? Because Jesus Christ died on the cross in our place, God now offers you complete acquittal, forgiveness, and the gift of eternal life. All you need to do is confess and repent of your sinfulness, believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that he died for your sins, and invite him into your life as Savior and Lord.

The following prayer will help you do this. "Dear God, I confess that I am a sinner and am sorry for all the wrongs I have done. I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for my sins. Please forgive me for all my sins and I invite You, Jesus, to come into my heart and life as Savior and Lord. I commit and trust my life to You. Please give me the desire to be what You want me to be and the desire to do what You want me to do. Thank You for dying for my sins, for Your forgiveness and free pardon, for Your gift of eternal life, and for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."

 If you prayed this prayer and genuinely meant it, please let us know by clicking on and we will send you a free copy of the eBrochure, How to Grow.

NOTE: This article is condensed from, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian (without having to be religious)" on our ACTS web site at:

1. Romans 1:16 (NIV).    2. John 3:16 (NIV).    3. John 10:10 (NIV).    4. Romans 3:23.    5. James 4:17.    6. Romans 6:23.    7. See Ephesians 2:8-9.    8. See John 14:6 and Romans 5:8.


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The "O" Factor

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The "O" Factor

"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him [Jesus] the iniquity [sin] of us all."1

In his book, The Renewal Factor, Robert Waterman writes: "During the investigation that followed the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger, an engineer at Morton Thiokol testified that he advised his superiors that weather conditions at Cape Kennedy were too cold to guarantee the safety of the space craft's O-ring sealants. He urged them to delay the launch. Management pressed for more explanation: How cold was too cold—forty degrees? Thirty-seven degrees? Could they launch at forty-one degrees? The engineer resisted pinning down an exact temperature that was dangerous. He didn't have the facts to be that precise. All he could tell his superiors was that the weather predicted for launching time was 'away from goodness.'"2

Sad to say, his warning went unheeded.

In such a day as this, especially here in the United States, with the questionable practices of corporations such as Enron, WorldCom, Xerox, Tyco, Arthur Andersen, and some church leaders, we cannot help but state emphatically how we have strayed far away from goodness—and the whole nation is suffering the consequences. People have lost their life savings and retirement funds—confidence in the stock market has suffered greatly—and political parties are blaming the opposition party for the great debacle when the bottom line issue is a moral crisis of leadership. And that may apply as much to some politicians as it does to some greedy corporate leaders!

Indeed, we have strayed far from goodness and replaced it with greed and a moral crisis.

As Christians, let us heed the word of the Apostle Paul to Timothy, "I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these [principles] and so have shipwrecked their faith."3

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, how true is Your word, 'All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way.' But thank You that You gave Your Son, Jesus, to die for our sins and become our Savior. Grant that our nation, which has strayed far from goodness—and from You—will confess and repent of our sins and turn to You—the only hope of our salvation. And let Your work begin in me. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Isaiah 53:6 (KJV).
2. Robert H. Waterman, Jr., The Renewal Factor (New York: Bantam Books, 1987), p. 50.
3. 1 Timothy 1:19 (NIV).


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Friday, December 04, 2015

My Gift to the Queen

Photo Credit: SLIDESHARE.

Friday, December 4, 2015

My Gift to the Queen

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it for me.'"1

I have read that Queen Mary made a regular visit to Scotland every summer, and how, on "one occasion she was strolling with a group of school children. Suddenly the sky turned gray and thick, and dark clouds appeared. The queen stopped at a nearby house and asked if she might borrow an umbrella. She told the lady of the house, 'I'll send it back to you tomorrow.'

"The lady was reluctant about lending a good umbrella to a total stranger, but she remembered that she had an old one up in the attic. One rib was broken and there were several ragged holes in it, but she nevertheless turned it over to this lady at her front door with a weak apology.

"The next day there was another knock at the door. This time, when she opened it, a man in gold braid stood with a big envelope in hand. 'The queen sent me,' he said, 'and asked me to thank you for the umbrella.' For a moment the woman stood motionless—speechless, but then burst into tears. Finally she cried, 'Oh! What an opportunity I missed that I didn't give her my best!'"

How embarrassing! But how often, I wonder, do I give Jesus my second best—or even my leftovers?

In younger days—much less tactful ones—when I was the pastor of a small church, as we didn't have a janitor, I was cleaning the church. The vacuum cleaner we had was next to useless and I said to myself, "I'll bet one of the members gave this to the church because it wasn't any good to them."

I reported this thought to the church officers at our next meeting. Oops! Deathly silence followed!. I was right. It was a gift from one of the key families in the church! But we did get a new vacuum cleaner!

Let's not give Jesus the King of kings our broken umbrellas, nor our leftovers—whether it's time, talents, gifts, or money. Let's give him our first-fruits—not our last-fruits.

In the words of the old hymn: "Give of your best to the Master; Give him first place in your heart; give him first place in your service; Consecrate every part. Give him the best that you have."2

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, in thanksgiving for Your great love-gift to me and Your so-great salvation, grant that I will always have the grace to give You the best that I have to give. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Matthew 25:40 (NIV).
2. Mrs. Charles Barnard.


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Monday, November 30, 2015

Turning Stress into Success

Stress. Photo Credit: BELOVED BRANDS.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Turning Stress into Success, Part I

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight [direct your paths]."1

A "friend" invoices you for considerably more than his original quote. A family member is taken seriously ill and is in the hospital for months. Responsibilities and expenses soar. At the same time, you're in the middle of a major building project at your business for which you are responsible—and your loan falls through.

The result? Stress!

I know because these things all happened to me in the course of a single year. Stress is a normal part of contemporary living. We all have our share. Ignore it and it can take years off our lives. Accept it and deal with it creatively and we can turn our stress into success.

How can we do this?

First: Realize that some stress is helpful. It provides motivation. For instance, if it weren't for the stress of having to pay our bills—and eat—we may not want to go to work.

Second: Be aware that stress is only troublesome when it continues for too long or if there is too much of it.

I read about a ten-ton-limit bridge that had been serving a community very well for over fifty years. During the course of those years it had carried millions of tons of weight. But one day the driver of a logging truck ignored the ten-ton load limit sign. The bridge collapsed. Life is like that. All of us can carry our ten-ton load day after day, year after year, but only one load at a time. Overload us and we collapse, too.

Most readers will probably be familiar with the research Thomas Holmes has done on stress. He found that too much change at one time was the greatest cause of stress. An accumulation of 300 or more "life changing units" in any one year may mean an overload of more stress than an individual can carry. On his scale, death of a spouse equals 100 units, divorce 73, marital separation 65, marriage 50, major changes in finances 38, and so on (see note below). So in tough times, try not to make unnecessary changes.

Third: Recognize symptoms as early as possible.

Writing in Eternity magazine (now out of publication) Fred Stansberry talked about "stress-related diseases such as cancer, arthritis, heart and respiratory diseases, migraines, allergies and a host of other psychological and physiological dysfunctions which are increasing at an alarming rate in our Western culture."

Other symptoms of stress have been listed as, "tense muscles; sore neck, shoulders and back; insomnia, fatigue, boredom, depression, listlessness, dullness; lack of interest; drinking too much; eating too much or too little; diarrhea, cramps, flatulence, constipation; palpitations-heart-skip; phobias; twitches; restlessness and itching."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to do all I can to lessen my load and lower my stress level and learn to trust You in all situations—so that I can reasonably relax in the midst of the storms of my life. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

 NOTE: "Test Your Level of Stress" at:

1. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV).


Success. Photo Credit: MARKET ONE EXECUTIVE.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Turning Stress into Success, Part II

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."1

To overcome stress, as we said yesterday, first realize that some stress is helpful. Second, be aware that stress is only troublesome when it continues for too long or if there is too much of it. And, third, recognize symptoms as early as possible.

Fourth. Identify causes. As already mentioned, change is one of the chief causes of stress. An accumulation of life's everyday annoyances can also build up a significant stress level—perhaps even more than one single traumatic event. As the old saying puts it:

It's the little things that bother us,
and put us on the rack;
you can sit upon a mountain,
but you can't sit on a tack.

Whatever the cause of your stress is, identify it so you can do something about it.

Fifth. Seek a practical cure.

1. The starting point to turn stress into success is to lessen your load. Fifty percent of the cure can come from writing down all your cares and responsibilities in order of priority, then eliminating the least important.

2. Remember that Superman and Superwoman exist only in comic books and films. Everybody has a breaking point, so recognize yours and call a halt before you reach your limit.

3. With stress come pent-up feelings. Get them "off your chest" by sharing them with a trusted friend or counselor. This brings some immediate relief and helps you to think and plan more objectively.

4. Stop fighting situations that can't be changed. As one father told his impatient teenager, "If you would only realize and accept the fact that life is a struggle, things would be so much easier for you." Learning to live with and get on top of struggles is what helps us grow and mature.

5. Try to avoid making too many major life changes during the course of a single year.

6. If you hold resentment towards another person, resolve your difference right away. Never "let the sun go down while you are still angry."2

7. Make time for rest and relaxation. Learn to "come apart and rest awhile before you come apart."

8. Watch your diet and eating habits. When under stress we tend to overeat—especially junk food which increases stress. A balanced diet of proteins, vitamins, and fiber, without white sugar, caffeine, too much fat, alcohol and nicotine, is essential for lowering stress and its effects.

9. Get plenty of physical exercise. This keeps you healthier and helps burn up excess adrenaline caused by stress and its accompanying anxiety.

10. The ultimate answer to turning stress into success is to learn to trust God and live in harmony with His will for your daily life. As our Scripture verse for today says, "Don't worry about anything, instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs and don't forget to thank Him for His answers. If you do this you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand."1

God's peace comes through accepting, and trusting to God, those circumstances that can't be changed, however difficult they may be. Perhaps this is what Christ meant when He spoke of taking up our cross daily and following Him. Certainly He fully accepted His cross and trusted His situation to God and thereby was totally vindicated.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, again today, I commit and trust my life and way to You. Please help me to live in harmony with the principles for daily living as found in Your Word, the Bible. And help me to remember even in my darkest hours, that my times are in Your hands and, like David, help me to trust and not be afraid. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

 NOTE: "Test Your Level of Stress" at:

1. Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT).
2. See Ephesians 4:26 (NIV).


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Give Me a Thankful Heart

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Give Me a Thankful Heart

Give Thanks. Photo Credit: SHARE FAITH.

"Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! / For His mercy endures forever. / Oh, give thanks to the God of gods! / For His mercy endures forever. / Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords! / For His mercy endures forever."1

In The Chicago Daily News Harold Ruoff wrote, "I read about a postal worker who opened and read the mail which came to the Dead Letter Office in Washington addressed to Santa Claus. In the three months before Christmas, there were thousands of letters asking for something. In the months after Christmas, there was only one card addressed to Santa Claus thanking him. How quick we are to ask and receive. How slow we are to speak the magic word—thanks!"

I'm not suggesting that we give thanks to Santa Claus, but one of my constant prayers is that God will give me a thankful heart for every blessing that he has so freely given to me—and for the innumerable blessing he gives to us that I am not even aware of.

This one thing I know, when I think of my background, if it weren't for the grace of God, I don't know where I would be today. I know I wouldn't be where I am with the wonderful privilege of being able to share the Christian message and gospel with so many people around the world via email and the Internet.

Furthermore, even though I came from a very dysfunctional family background, there is one thing that I will be eternally grateful for, and that is that my parents took me to church and Sunday school where I heard the gospel message and there found Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior.

So today, while it is Thanksgiving Day in the U.S.A., wherever you and I are, let us make it a day of thanksgiving in our hearts especially for God's great love gift to the world—the gift of his Son, Jesus, who gave his life on the cross so that you and I could have our sins forgiven and receive a full and free pardon and the gift of eternal life in Heaven to be with God forever.

"Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for your everlasting love—that you love me no matter what I have ever done or have failed to do—and that your mercy endures forever. In appreciation for your dying for me help me always to live for you. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name. Amen."

1. Psalm 136:1-3 (NKJV).

P.S. Be sure to say thank you to God and to someone every day!


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Miners Rescued

Nine coal-miners of Quecreek. Photo Credit: HELLO GIGGLES.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Miners Rescued

"And then he [Jesus] told them, 'Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere.'"1

It's hard to even begin to imagine what the nine coal-miners felt in Quecreek, Pennsylvania, back in 2002 when they were trapped 244 feet below the surface in the 50-degree cold while struggling for survival in a pocket of air in the flooded coal-mine. Thinking they were doomed, several wrote farewell notes to their loved ones. Miner Blaine Mayhugh, 31, asked his boss for a pen when the water in the shaft kept rising. "I want to write my wife and kids to tell them I love them," he said. Then, fearing their death, the miners tied themselves together so all of their bodies would be found if they drowned. It must have been a terrifying experience.

What a relief it was when we learned of their amazing rescue and thanked God for the team who worked feverishly day and night for three days to save the trapped miners—and marveled how they not only found exactly where the men were trapped, but also how they were able to rescue all nine miners.

The New York Times (July 29, 2002) described how a wave of exultation swept out from the floodlit rescue scene as the first words resounded up from below with the news that all the missing miners had survived their ordeal. People were weeping and cheering at village roadsides and television sets at the news that the disastrous flood deep underground had left no fatalities among the harried night crew that disappeared on Wednesday deep in the Quecreek mine.

If only the church as a whole and today's Western Christians had the same commitment to rescue those who are bound for a lost eternity in darkness without God and without hope.

Here in ACTS International, while we are just a tiny organization, we are among those who are doing everything in their power to reach the lost for Christ. Never before has the church had the technology that makes it possible to reach so many--by so few--for so little comparative cost.

But like so many others who are doing this work all we lack is the support. God has given his church the life-saving message, the methods to communicate it to untold thousands of people worldwide, but we just don't have the sufficient means.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please move among the hearts of Your people to join with and support the rescue teams who are on the front line of action seeking to win the lost to Jesus. Help me to realize the full impact of the unthinkable doom of those who are lost in darkness who, without Your gift of salvation, are doomed for eternal damnation and will be lost forever without hope. And grant with Your help that I will do my part in obeying Your commission to help take the gospel to everyone, everywhere. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

P.S. To see how you can help ACTS share the gospel see

1. Mark 16:15 (NLT).

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Christianity Vs. Religion

 Worshipers at a South African Roman Catholic Church. Photo Credit: ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Christianity Vs. Religion

"In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son [Jesus], whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe."1

Karl Barth was lecturing to a group of students at Princeton. One student asked the renowned German theologian, "Sir, don't you think that God has revealed himself in other religions and not only in Christianity?" Barth's answer stunned the crowd. With a modest thunder he answered, "No, God has not revealed himself in any religion, including Christianity. He has revealed himself in his Son [Jesus]."2

People by nature are religious in that every person is born with a sense of a divine being, and at some point each person decides whether to accept that belief, enquire into it, or reject it. Many choose the belief (as the saying goes) that "all roads lead to Rome," and all religions lead to God. Not true.

In one sense religion is man's search for God primarily through his own efforts, or through a man-made religion. On the other hand, Jesus (or real Christianity) is God's search for man. And that makes all the difference in the world. Because we are all sinners, it is impossible for us to save ourselves through our own efforts or any man-made religion. This is why God, in His eternal love for us, sent His own Son, Jesus, to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for all our sins. Mankind's salvation is thus found in Jesus Christ alone. There is no other way.

Narrow? Yes. But had there been any other way, why would Jesus have come to earth as a man to die an excruciating death on a Roman cross to pay the penalty for our sins? As Jesus said, "Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it."3

So the important question is not, are you religious? Or, do you belong to a Christian denomination, or are you a member of a Christian church; rather, it is, have you accepted Jesus as your Savior? Is your trust in Him and Him alone for your eternal salvation? As Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father [God] except through me.4

If in doubt, be sure to read the article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian—without having to be religious" at:

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You for Your 'so great salvation' provided through the death of Your Son, Jesus, on the cross for my sins and to give to me the gift of eternal life. And Jesus, because You died for me, help me to live for You always in all ways. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Hebrews 1:1-2 (NIV).
2. Rev. John H. Pavelko, "Avoiding a Troubled Heart."
3. Matthew 7:14 (NIV).
4. John 14:6 (NIV).


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Friday, November 06, 2015


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Beware of African Juju of Sorcery and Witchcraft

Photo Credit: Muhammad Umar
"Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft."
~ ◄ Deuteronomy 18:10 ►
New International Version

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Winning Over Worry and Anxiety: The Testimony of J.C. Penney

 In a J.C. Penney publicity photo, Penney fits shoes to young customers. Many of the company’s children’s shoes were made in Hamilton. Photo courtesy of the JCPenney Company records, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Winning Over Worry and Anxiety, Part III

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."1

I have read how, in 1929, business tycoon J.C. Penney was in the hospital because of his severe anxiety. One night he was sure he was going to die, so he wrote farewell letters to his wife and son.

But he survived the night, and hearing singing the next morning in the chapel, felt drawn to go in. A group was singing, "God will take care of you," after which followed Bible reading and prayer.