Monthly Archives: June 2013

Free Resource Bible Study: 40 Day Fast From Wrong Thinking

We’d like to share with you this 40 day, daily Bible study, from
Pastor Gregory Dickow, entitled “Fast From Wrong Thinking 40 Day Journey.” We have both been going through this daily journey of devotional/Bible study, and it is really powerful.
This is a free Bible study: You’ll just need to give your email address, and the devotional will be sent to you absolutely free of charge, one each day, for 40 consecutive days.

Think right.
Do right.

This Bible study is a daily reminder of God’s promises to us, and it uses a lot of Scripture to help you learn the concepts of how to free your mind from “Wrong Thinking.” We think you’ll be blessed, encouraged, and empowered by the truths you’ll learn as you go along, with a different step each day. We have enjoyed it, learned from it, and been blessed by it.

Again, this is being offered free. You will have to just go to Pastor Dickow’s website, leave your email address, and your “Journey” will begin the next day, with the first of 40 daily devotionals.
Be encouraged, and be blessed!

Ted and Carol
Here’s the link:
40 Day Fast From Wrong Thinking 

 

Special Video Testimony: Nik Wallenda: “Jesus” On the Line

By now, most of us have seen the video (and, many saw this live on the Discovery Channel) of Nik Wallenda walking, 1500 feet above the Snake River, across the Grand Canyon on the high wire, without benefit of safety net or teeter. It strikes me that this great achievement is already being remembered as much for Nik’s constant praying, as the walk itself.

What many of you may not have seen, or heard, is Nik Wallenda’s testimony, which includes the real reason he does this. It has as much to do with the name of Jesus as it does his family name. For that reason, we’d like to share this special video, from CBN.com, featuring a short biography of Nik, and his testimony. You’ll be both blessed and amazed.

Notes: It always amazes me how God can use anything for his glory. Even what the world would call a “daredevil stunt” can be used to witness for Him. That God is trying to communicate with us in many different ways-whatever it takes to get our attention. Think about it: When I first saw the video, the first thing that captured my attention was the constant prayer and praise being offered to Jesus, by Nik.

And … here we go … last night (Monday night), after watching game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final (on Hockey Night in America/Canadian Broadcasting Network-sorry, NBC) … I flipped channels, which is a rare opportunity to expose myself to network TV … and watched David Letterman’s Top Ten List … which was related to “What Nik Wallenda Didn’t Say.” I thought that the reason this is even a list is because we all heard what Nik said … a worldwide audience (even those at WorldWide Pants) … heard a steady “line” of prayer and praise to Jesus … Mr. Letterman made what I thought was a great statement, meant to be funny, but you could feel a certain reverence behind the grin, about “What else would you do but pray if you were 1500 feet above the Grand Canyon.” While that’s a from-memory paraphrase, just think about the thought behind that “joke.” Then, in agreement, with what seemed to be even more reverence to the thought of prayer in a difficult circumstance, Paul Shaffer agreed that prayer is a great idea when “you’re over a grand canyon.” I’ve always respected Paul Shaffer, love his Canadian roots, and you could just see that he wanted to say more, but he got it.

In our lives, we all have great “canyons” to cross, and the only option we have is prayer. Anyway, that’s what I got out of it. A great reminder, and great encouragement to … pray and praise … I don’t want to wait until I’m over a canyon, or in a foxhole, to cry out, or to praise You …

Enjoy this great video testimony from CBN.com:

And, now, just in case you didn’t see it, or to see it again, here is the best news feature I found on Nik’s walk. I wanted to find a video that had as much of his praying as possible … I thought it interesting that the US videos didn’t have much of the prayers, only a blurb here and there … but, the video feeds I saw from overseas, especially England, had much more of the praying … including Nik, in Jesus’ name, taking authority over the elements … I agree, don’t hear that much on our network television …
Enjoy this short news report from ITN studios, in London:

Nik’s Book is called “Balance: A Story of Faith, Family, and Life on the Line.” Here’s a description of the book:

Nik Wallenda shares how the support of his family and his faith in Jesus Christ keep him balanced as a death-defying stunt performer. Balance is the theme of Nik’s life: between his work and family, his faith in God and artistry, his body and soul. It resonates from him when performing and when no one is looking. When walking across Niagara Falls, he prayed aloud the entire time, and to keep his lust for glory and fame in check, Nik returned to the site of his performance and spent three hours cleaning up trash left by the crowd.

 

Special Video: Billy Graham and Every President Since WWII

Billy Graham.
“America’s Pastor.”

Here is a special video which was shared with us, highlighting Billy Graham’s work as advisor and friend to United States Presidents, and leaders around the world.
Note that every President since World War II has “had occasion and reason to call on Billy Graham.”  

Featuring comments from several U.S. Presidents, we think you will enjoy this remarkable look at a remarkable man.

We are also including a link to the Billy Graham Library, in Charlotte, NC. Just click on the image below to go directly to the Billy Graham Library.


Here is the link to the Billy Graham Library, in Charlotte, NC. Just click on the image below to go directly to the Billy Graham Library:

Billy Graham Library

 

Success: Guaranteed Christian Success in Five Words: Believe It!

Are you telling me that there is a formula for guaranteed success, as a Christian, that can be summarized in five words?
Yes!
Guaranteed?
Yes!
By the way, I don’t like the word “formula.” It makes something seem so secretive.  

Let’s say it another way: There is a five-word statement that will guarantee success as a Christian. This applies to both success as a person, and success as a church. A five word statement that, if acted upon, will guarantee success, both personally and corporately.

Here goes:
 
Know Him.
Make Him known.

That’s it. Guaranteed. This is the exact same thing that the leaders of the early church did. Beginning at Pentecost, this is, in a very few words, what they did. Yes, it’s still true: To be successful, learn about what successful people did to achieve their success, and learn from them. Period.

Know Him.
Make Him known.

Period.

We are not talking about what the world would call success. We know that all of life’s foundational principles and instructions have their beginning in Scripture. The world takes and twists these principles for personal, not spiritual gain. We are talking about being a successful Christian; what the world says doesn’t matter. What Jesus said matters:
“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36).

Know Him.
Make Him known.

Knowing Jesus changes everything.
It should change everything … about us.
It should change our behavior.
It should change our thinking.

Case in point: When you read the title of this post, how many of you equated success with finances, or money, or wealth, or all the other things the world has bombarded us with, to change what we think “success” is.
So, I looked up “success” on the Merriam-Webster online dictionary. Here’s the definition of success:

suc•cess
Definition of SUCCESS
1. obsolete: outcome, result
2. a: degree or measure of succeeding
   b: favorable or desired outcome; also: the attainment of wealth,    favor, or eminence
3: one that succeeds

Of course, the “success” we are writing of … the definition is “obsolete.” Which would mean, in today’s “world,” the meaning has been changed … which would move # 2 into the # 1 position. I guess that proves the point.

I like the “obsolete” definition: “Outcome, result.”
If we will just:
Know Him.
Make Him known.
The outcome, the result, will be guaranteed. Period.

Obsolete or not, as a Christian, what is your desired outcome, your desired result? It should be to:
Know Him-More.
Make Him known-More.

This would explain the fact that a lot of people have great wealth, possessions, power, status, or position. Yet, they have no peace or joy. Because they aren’t really successful. They have “everything,” but, without knowing Jesus, they have nothing. No joy or peace is a result of no knowledge. No knowledge of Him.

When Jesus first appeared to His disciples, after His resurrection, He “opened their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:45). It can’t be stated strongly enough that knowledge of Jesus is inseparably linked to knowing the Scriptures. The first word in “knowledge” is “know.”

Know Him.
Make Him known.
Period.
The more you know Him,
The more you will make Him known.

So, think right.
Do right.
Know Him.
Make Him known.

Next time, we are going back in, and reducing the numbers in the success equation:
We’re going to break down the “formula/statement” for success into four words, three words, two words, and then, “Success Guaranteed in One Word.”

Blessings,
Ted

Guest Post: Father’s Day Message From Our Friends at Stand For Israel

We are proud to support the ministry work of Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein,
Founder and President of International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.
Here’s a special message for Father’s Day … and, every day:
Rabbi’s Commentary – Stand for Israel.

 

Special Video Preview: Jesus-He Lived Among Us

Here is a video preview of the DVD “JESUS: He Lived Among Us” from The Voice of the Martyrs. Underneath the video is a direct link to the Voice of the Martyrs website, where you can order packs of DVDs to distribute on your own. For our friends around the world, please note that the DVDs are now also available in Arabic, Farsi, Spanish, Chinese, Korean or Russian languages.

This video is a great outreach tool that helps introduce others to the saving power of Jesus Christ while showing the potential dangers involved in following him.

Hundreds of thousands of these DVDs have been distributed within Restricted and Hostile nations, encouraging viewers to follow Christ no matter the cost.

We are proud to support the efforts of The Voice of the Martyrs.
Just click on the DVD image below to go directly to their website:

Jesus He Lived Among Us DVD

 

Success Quotes: From the Source of All Wisdom and Understanding: Part 2

OK, here we go with Part 2 of this short series on what the Source has to say about wisdom and understanding. The Source of all Truth, Wisdom, and Understanding, God’s Word. Last time, we looked at the Old Testament. As with Part 1, let’s begin with a quote from Richard.Vincent. Rose.:
“I always thought it was no coincidence that Psalms follows Job. It also can’t be another coincidence that when a Godly man goes through trials like Job … it turns into Psalms … which then turn into Proverbs … words of wisdom to help others …”

Allow me to just repeat a thought I had from part 1, which shows how important Godly wisdom and understanding is in our daily, practical lives. When the LORD is with someone, people around that person know it. We see this all through Scripture. Same with this wisdom and understanding. And, it seems they know where this wisdom and understanding comes from. The Source. They may not have it … but they recognize it.

Now, we look at the New Testament, and we really begin with the Source, Jesus. Remember when Isaiah prophesied that when the Messiah would come, “And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding …” (11:6). In one of the first descriptions of Jesus, we see that after the “child grew, He was “filled with wisdom” (Luke 2:40). Yet again, here, in the example of Jesus, we see that when you have God’s favor, the world can see it: “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man” (Luke 2:52).

Jesus, as the source of all wisdom, stated, as He was speaking of persecution which would come before the end times, said, “For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist” (Luke 21:15). Yet again, here is another example that with wisdom from God, also comes the boldness to speak the truth. And, we see again, that when someone has the Spirit of God leading them, those around them, the world-even if they are enemies of the Truth-will know it.

Later, at the church’s beginning, when the 12 Disciples were looking for church leaders, they chose “seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business” (Acts 6:3). When you are full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, it will show.

One of these chosen men, Stephen, who was “full of faith and power” (Acts 6:8), would prove this combination would be impossible not to notice-or resist:“And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake” (Acts 6:10). Remember what Jesus said about “all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist”?

What did Paul say about the combination of wisdom and knowledge? “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” (Romans 11:33).

Indeed, “For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit”
(1 Corinthians 12:8).

Paul would speak often of the difference between worldly wisdom and understanding, and Godly wisdom:
“For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent … hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” (1 Corinthians 1:19-20)?

Our prayer for you would be “That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:5). And, that you would boldly “speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth” (1 Corinthians 2:13)

Two Things: Know Jesus, for He is “Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God … Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom …” (1 Corinthians 1:24, 30).
How much wisdom has God given us? “Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence”
(Ephesians 1:8).

Make no mistake where all this wisdom and knowledge comes from: “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him” (Ephesians 1:17).

Has anyone noticed how, here as the New Testament, and in particular, the New Testament church progresses, that knowledge has “crept into” the conversation?

Why? Know Jesus. Make Him known. Hey … the first word in “knowledge” is “know.”
You want Godly wisdom? You want Godly understanding?
Know Jesus.

Wisdom and knowledge: It always begins with knowing Him: “In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). This tells me that, being hid, these treasures are there, all the time, just waiting for you to take the effort-and it is effort-to search for them, and dig them out. In order for His Word, his wisdom, to dwell in you, first you must know Him: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom” (Colossians 3:16).

For those of you that say, “Yeah, but how do we get such wisdom?”
Perhaps this is the most amazing aspect of attaining wisdom of all: Just ask:
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5).

We must be so careful not to let our pride override our humility, once we have gained this wisdom and understanding. Pride in what we know has caused so many to fail. Funny how we forget, when we receive something, that we “received it,” meaning we got it from someone else. We must never, ever, forget Who the Source is.

“Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom” (James 3:13). In other words, “If you got it, don’t flaunt it.”
Let us ever be mindful of Jesus’ example, that the One who had the most wisdom of all, was the most humble, the meekest of all.

It can’t be just a coincidence that what was said of Moses, the greatest forerunner of Jesus, was “Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth” (Numbers 12:3).  

In closing, we echo Paul’s earnest prayer for you, that first, it is the knowledge of His will for you that you’ll need first: “For this cause we also … do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding” (Colossians 1:9).

Blessings,
Ted

Pastor Appreciation Gifts

God Knows

We are in the middle of a 2-Part series (of course, part of a larger series) entitled “Success Quotes: From the Source of All Wisdom and Understanding,” and were getting ready to complete Part 2 in the series, when we discovered this, entitled “God Knows” from the “Life References” Blog … it just fits so perfectly into the theme, and also confirms a song I have been listening to, from a CD my niece and her church choir have just released, which includes the song, “God Knows.” God is the Creator, He is everything, all wisdom, understanding, and knowledge belong to Him … He created, and rules over everything … yet … He knows my name … WOW!!! … The reason this is so awesome is because it is true. God knows everything. And, He knows me. He knows and created everything. And, He knows my name! Did I mention, “WOW!!!?”
The amazing thing is that, when researching the “Life References” blog, Bro. Don also has a post that, yes, completely fits perfectly, and “conformationaly” (I may have just invented another new word) into the next post … after Part 2 of the current series …
It strikes me that my introduction is almost as long as the guest post … look around, and enjoy, and feel this post from Bro. Don and his “Life References” blog.
Blessings,
Ted
The Life Project

 

 

TLP

I don’t know how many people there are in the world these days, but the number is in the billions.  They all have their stories, their hopes, dreams, fears and joys; who can know them all?

God does!

It is hard to get one’s mind around, but it’s true; God knows everything about each one of us.  He knows your thoughts, your habits, your little secrets, your hopes and your motives.  He hears your prayers and your cries and your joy; you are never alone.

So many people feel all alone, so many people feel like nobody cares… it is really a sad state because it is not necessary.  God cares about, knows, loves… YOU!

He desires to have a relationship with all of us.  What keeps that from happening?  We do. We need to seek Him out, to let Him in and to give ourselves over to His love…

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Success Quotes: From the Source of All Wisdom and Understanding: Part 1

Today, let’s look at what is written about wisdom in the Old Testament. In this, our latest installment on success, we’ll use this quote from Richard.Vincent.Rose.:

 “It could be said, and sometimes it does appear so, that you can gain success without wisdom. That may be true. But, you sure can’t keep it without wisdom.”

So, I wanted to go to the Source. The Source of all Truth, Wisdom, and Understanding. God’s Word.

While, yes, books and books and books have been, and will continue to be written about wisdom, I wanted to just find out what God’s Word said about wisdom. In a word, lots.  However, there was something new I learned about wisdom. How, so often, here in the Old Testament, wisdom is coupled with understanding.

I noticed something else which really amazed me: How often we see “wisdom and understanding” in the same sentence and thought, but the word “knowledge” is seldom there, in the context of wisdom and understanding.
Let’s face it, “the LORD is a God of knowledge,” (1 Samuel 2:3), but I was surprised at how rarely the word was used at the same time with wisdom and understanding. Often used with wisdom, yes, but still, I was surprised it wasn’t so often there with wisdom and understanding. Perhaps, here’s why:

“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it” (Psalm 139:6). Perhaps, so often, we see that pride comes with knowledge, but if we have true wisdom and understanding, we would “have knowledge enough” to not be prideful.

I can’t explain it, but rattling around in my head is the fact that the tree in the Garden was “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” The word “knowledge” first appeared here, early in Genesis. Both the words “wisdom” and “understanding” didn’t appear until late in Exodus. We know pride comes before the fall, and, certainly the Fall of man came there in the Garden. Anyway, there is something there … perhaps for another time, or for you to think about.

 To think back on the Richard.Vincent.Rose. quote, maybe there are a lot of people who have knowledge … but not wisdom and understanding. I know that, in my life, many times I had knowledge (sometimes called “a dangerous thing, right?), but I didn’t have the wisdom and understanding to go with it. Anyway, think about that for a moment, as we move on.

Let look at some Old Testament verses using the word “wisdom.” I was really just going to write about “wisdom,” but found the word “understanding” coupled with it so often, it changed my whole study. Again, you’ll notice how often wisdom is coupled with understanding.

The book of Job has 23 references to “wisdom.”
“But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?”
Job 28:12

The answer comes only a few verses later:
“God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof … And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding …” (verses 23 and 28).

 The book of Psalms backs this up:
“My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding … The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever” (Psalm 49:3,111:10).

I always thought it was no coincidence that Psalms follows Job.

From Proverbs:
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge” (1:7).
“Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding” (3:13).
The instructions are clear:
“Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not … Wisdom is the principal thing … For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it … The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom … In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found … The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom … How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!” (Proverbs 4:5, 7, 8:11, 9:10, 10:13, 15:33, 16:16).

Solomon would later write, “For wisdom is a defense, and money is a defense: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it” (Ecclesiastes 7:12).

It is amazing that all of this ties in together, when we read Isaiah’s prophecy of Jesus: “And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD …” (Isaiah 11:2).
Then, Isaiah, looking much later through time, in chapter 33: “And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure” (verse 6).

Wisdom and understanding is tied together in the life of Daniel: King Nebuchadnezzar saw it: “And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm” (Daniel 1:20), as did Belshazzar: ” I have even heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in thee” (Daniel 5:14).

Man, how true is it that when the LORD is with someone, people around that person know it. Same with this wisdom and understanding. It seems that when someone has wisdom and understanding, people around them know it. And, it seems they know where this wisdom and understanding comes from. The Source. They may not have it … but they recognize it.

Next time, we look at the New Testament.

Blessings,
Ted