Category Archives: GUEST POSTS

Posts we share from other blogs, or other online sources

“My Eyes” Video From Jay Shetty

“This message isn’t about being physically blinded.”

We feature this video from Jay Shetty.

Here’s a link to his story.
Please visit, and hear his story.

https://jayshetty.me/my-story/

There are also credits at the end of the video.
I have personally called this story, “My Eyes.”

Please watch.
With your own eyes.

Advertisements

Tortured for Christ [The Movie] – Official Trailer

We share this from “The Voice of the Martyrs:”
Visit their website at https://www.persecution.com/

The Voice of the Martyrs presents the inspiring new movie, Tortured for Christ, a cinematic retelling of the testimony of VOM founder Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, as written in his international
bestseller “Tortured for Christ.” This movie was produced to honor the 50th anniversary of the book’s 1967 release.

Filmed entirely in Romania, including in the very prison where Pastor Wurmbrand endured torture and solitary confinement, this powerful film uniquely presents the story with live action rather than interviews. The dialogue is presented in English, Romanian and Russian (with English subtitles) to hold to the authenticity of this true story.

The movie opens in theaters on March 5, 2018.
Advance tickets can be purchased at www.TorturedforChrist.com.

Guest Post and Series from Gregory Dickow Ministries

I can’t think of any better way to share the joy of new beginnings and renewal, than by sharing these free resources from Gregory Dickow Ministries.

Here’s a special Easter Message, a link to a free teaching series, and then a short video to introduce the second installment of Pastor Dickow’s “Fast From Wrong Thinking” series, which is a 40-day series, with each lesson sent to your email, daily, for 40 days.

It’s true: “Right thinking produces right living.”

Here’s the Easter Message from Pastor Dickow:

We’re celebrating the most incredible event in history: Jesus’ resurrection! This is what changed everything for you and for me, and this is the Good News that I have dedicated my life to proclaim to the world. Thank you for standing with me. Lives are being changed now and for eternity because of your prayers and support. I want you to know how much I appreciate everything you’re doing for the Gospel.

Not long ago I was in Jerusalem, and I had the opportunity to go to the Garden Tomb, the very site at which the event we’re rejoicing over this weekend took place. This empty tomb not only represents our salvation because Jesus rose from the dead, but it is a reminder of an invitation God gives us: an invitation to happiness.

You see, we live in a world of sadness, loneliness and discouragement, but when Jesus conquered sin and death He also conquered all the negative emotions that beat us down and limit us from living a life of purpose and victory. That doesn’t mean we’re never going to have troubles, but the Gospel is an invitation to happiness in an unhappy world, to joy in the midst of trials, to peace in times of fear and to a celebration of a right relationship with God.

All of our emotions come from what we believe, and if we don’t believe that God will keep His promises, or that they’ll work for others but not for us, then we feel discouraged, depressed and defeated.

But when you believe that God will keep His promises, joy and peace will be yours!

“I will watch over My word to perform it.” Jeremiah 1:12

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:13

While I was at the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem I thought about Mary’s experience there. Remember the story? She was weeping because the tomb was empty and she didn’t know where Jesus was. But then He appeared to her and asked “Woman, why are you weeping?” (John 20:1-18). He asked her that because He wanted her to be happy. He wanted her to have joy, and He is asking you the same question. Why weep when you can rejoice? Why weep when you can be happy?

Jesus had said on at least five occasions that He would be killed and rise again on the third day, and Mary was weeping because she didn’t believe it would happen. But Jesus’ resurrection not only provides for our salvation but is the proof that He does what He promised He would do!

And if Jesus could keep that promise He can and will certainly keep His promises to you!

Maybe you have bills you can’t pay. God always comes through and will supply your needs. Maybe you have a body that’s sick and in pain, but God’s Word is true and it says by His stripes you can be healed. Maybe you’re going through something that you just don’t know how to overcome, but God said you’re the head not the tail, above only not beneath. And God said what He started in your life He will finish. Perhaps you’re discouraged about one of your children who has gone away from the Lord. The Bible says you and your whole household shall be saved!

Why are you weeping?

I wonder what things are making you sad today. I wonder what’s discouraging you today. Let me tell you, it’s going to end!

Believe that God will keep His promises to you!

There are three things that cause us to be unhappy. Let’s deal with them right now.

First is Bad News, which I call wrong information. You’re hurt by what people say about you. You’re impacted by what you see going on in the world. Life is uncertain and you’re worried about what the future holds.

Where we get our ‘news’ or information from is critical. We can get the news about us from others, from the enemy, or from God. The good news that God has to say to you and about you & your future will produce joy and happiness.

Get your information from God’s Word.

Number two: Bad Memories produce unhappiness, guilt and shame. We have all fallen, failed and made mistakes. But the Bible says in Hebrews 10:17 that we’re under a Covenant of Grace because God doesn’t even remember your sins and failures. Jesus came out of the tomb but your mistakes and shortcomings are still buried there and forgotten.

Your past is over. Bad memories cannot control your life anymore.

And the third thing that robs us of happiness is Bad Focus. We’re focused on what we don’t have, what we haven’t done, and what is going wrong. God wants us to focus on what He’s already done and what He’s promised He will do. That’s when your perspective will change; and peace and joy will be the result.

Focus on what God has already done for you (Psalm 103).

________________________________________________

Note: Just by reading Psalm 103, the entire chapter, you will be blessed, as you read about all of benefits you already have, in you possession, right now! I can also promise that, if you’ll go through the entire “Fast From Wrong Thinking” series, it will change the way you think … and, by doing so … it will change your life.

Here’s the video to introduce the new “Fast From Wrong Thinking” series:

 

Notes on the Numbers: Civil War

Hi Friends:

I was doing research on another war, when I ran into the statistics for the United States Civil War, and in relation, the statistics for the Battle of Gettysburg. I’ll share these below.

This year, I have decided to study the history of one country, a different country each day, in an effort to better understand what is going on, and has been going on, throughout the world. I have concentrated my studies on countries which restrict religious freedom, and in particular, countries where religious persecution is a part of everyday life, every day, today.

On this issue of “civil war” and internal “conflicts,” it is almost impossible to find a country which hasn’t experienced involvement in war, and I’ve found, equally difficult (almost impossible), to find a country which hasn’t experienced a “civil war” at some point in their history.

We may all agree on the idea of the definition of “civil war,” as meaning “battles among fellow citizens or within a community.” I researched to see when the exact phrase “civil” first came into use. Early use typically was in reference to ancient Rome. Indeed, the Latin term “bellum civile” was first used of the Roman civil wars of the 1st century BC. The English term “civil war” was first used in 1651 to refer to the English Civil War.

I have found it very difficult to find current (2017) figures for wars and civil wars happening right now, around the globe. Most of the online information, for “total numbers” is not up-to-date, but you can get a clearer picture if you research a particular country. There are so few countries not involved, in one way or another, in a conflict, that the list of “countries not engaged in war activity” is really, really, really small. There are also so many countries with internal conflicts, civil wars, that the individual numbers are staggering.

However, there may be no greater current example of “war-torn” than what is happening in the country of Syria. Since 2011, hundreds of thousands have lost their lives in Syria. This, sadly, is just an example of what is happening in countries, “over there.” I read about Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. I see the photographs of refugee camps across the globe. And, see the children. As a teacher, in a public School, I am surrounded by so many who take for granted a free education, and the opportunities which surround them. Just going to School, having a family, being able to shop, work, and travel … just having a future that, and understand the context, is “within their control” … puts them so far ahead of so much of the population of the world. So many … I see, every day … have had no church or “religious” experience … so, the thought of the value of “religious freedom” is pretty far down the list.

Then … I think … it’s not just the kids, is it?
Is it?

That take freedom for granted. That don’t know, and, let’s face it (with sad honesty) don’t care what’s happening over there … or … really … what’s happening “over here” … I see so many, who live in this country … with all of their freedoms … yet, their lives … already … are “messed up.”
How true: No Jesus, No Peace. Know Jesus, know Peace.

“There is nothing civil about war.”
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

As I survey the situation around the world … and look around … at my surroundings … Here I am, worried about a little snow in April …Man … we don’t know … we don’t understand what “messed up” is …

Even getting the actual figures for the Civil War is not that easy. Each list I’ve found, and I’ve looked at many, all seem to have different numbers. The numbers may not all match, from different accounts, but they all, regardless if they differ in number and amount, all show how devastating a Civil War can be. And, show the cost of war. As we look at the war-torn footage from around the globe, think of how we looked, “over here,” just 150 years ago.

Here’s the list from the “bookshelf blog.” Again, every list I saw, had different numbers, but I felt this was a fair representation. Keep in mind that the “American Civil War” is the second most written about subject in human history.

And, also note, that even this list was compiled in 2013, almost 4 years ago:

July 1, 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, fought between July 1-3 in 1863. The battle is notable for several reasons: many historians recognize it as a turning point in the bitterly fought Civil War, it was one of the bloodiest battles in the Civil War (the highest casualties sustained in a single day of any U.S. war), and the cemetery at the battle’s site, the Soldiers’ National Cemetery, was immortalized by Abraham Lincoln’s brief but poetic dedication on November 19, 1863. The battle’s ferocity and short-lived intensity captured the imagination and interest of historians and war buffs for generations. Bibliographers have estimated that more than 65,000 books have been written about the Civil War — and perhaps up to 50% of those are on the Battle of Gettysburg alone. Bookshelf presents some of the notable numbers behind this legendary battle:

Number of deaths at Gettysburg: 51,112
Total number of deaths during Civil War: 620,000
Total number of casualties in Civil War: 1.5 million (620,000 killed; 476,000 wounded; 400,00 captured/missing)
Comparison to number of deaths in other U.S. wars: Revolutionary War – 16,000; WWI – 116,000; WWII – 405,000; Vietnam – 58,000 (If Civil War were fought today, there would be more than 6 million deaths
Rate of death for soldiers: 25%
Population of Gettysburg (before battle): 2,400
Population of U.S. in 1863: 33.4 million
Percentage of the loss: .15% of total U.S. population; .3% of all males
Civilians killed: 1 (Jenny Wade, a resident)
Generals killed: 9 (out of 120)
Horses killed: 3,000
Average age of soldier: 25 (age range 12-80)
Occupation of soldiers: 50% of Union soldiers and 75% of Confederates were farmers
Number of African-American soldiers: about 1,000
Range of weapons: rifles – 1,200 feet; muskets – 375 feet; cannon – 1-1.5 miles
Monthly salary: Private – $210; Colonel – $3,420; General – $5,390
Estimated wartime cost of Civil War: $2.3 billion
Comparison to cost of other U.S. wars: Revolutionary War – $100-140 million; War of 1812 – $1.5 million; WWI – 23.7 billion; WWII – 260 billion; Vietnam War – 140.6 billion
Number of Civil War soldiers buried at Gettysburg: 3,706
Number of words in Abraham Lincoln’s speech: 272
Number of words in Edward Everett’s speech: 13,607

Here’s a direct link to this list:
BOOKSHELF BLOG

 

“Relationship With The Word!”

Here’s a great post I’d like to share from the blog
“Word For Life Says,” entitled “Relationship With the Word,” keying in
on verses found in Psalm 119, and “the importance and power of His Word.”
This makes a terrific Bible study!

 

Word For Life Says . . .

lamp_and_Bible

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path,” Psalm 119:105, NKJV

“And so Betsie and I arrived in Barracks 8 in the small hours of that morning,  brining not only the Bible, but a new knowledge of the power of Him whose story it was,”Corrie Ten Boom, The Hiding Place, p. 214, Hendrickson Publishers, Copyright 1971, 1984, 2006.

The Hiding Place has been my favorite non-fiction books for years.  I am always amazed by the lives of Corrie and her family and the circumstances that God used in and through them.

The above quote was written after Betsie and Corrie were able to smuggle a Bible in one of the concentration camps.  The Bible could obviously be seen through her clothing, yet she was inspected and patted down like the rest before and after her.  She risked everything…

View original post 816 more words

Guest Post: Gregory Dickow: “I Could Succeed if I Had the Right Surroundings”

Pastor Gregory Dickow shares from his series, “Fast From Wrong Thinking.”

This goes perfectly with our “Wealth Stored for the Righteous” series, and incorporates so many of the points we have made over the past few months, including the great statement that “It’s not what surrounds you, but it’s what’s inside you that causes success.”
Amen!

I have featured lessons from Pastor Dickow in the past, and I strongly encourage you to subscribe to his “Fast From Wrong Thinking” series, as a great way to begin your day as a Bible study. I’ll include a direct link at the end:

Today we are fasting from the thought that says, “I could succeed if I had the right surroundings, the right people, or the right breaks.”

“If I just moved to a different city or had a better boss, or if someone gave me a chance, I would prosper,” they think. This way of thinking leads to blaming circumstances and other people for why things don’t get better.

LET’S CHANGE IT TODAY 

1. It’s not what surrounds you, but it’s what’s inside you that causes success. 2 Corinthians 4:16 says, “Therefore, we do not lose heart. For though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.” Notice, Paul is saying that even when things go the opposite direction on the outside, something good can be happening on the inside. And what does God say we should do on the inside? Be renewed day by day. Be filled with the Word day by day—AND THE INSIDE WILL OVERTAKE THE OUTSIDE!

2. Success or failure is created by how you think. Never forget our foundational verse, which is in Proverbs 23:7. “As a man thinks, so is he.” And Joshua 1:8 says, “. . . but you shall meditate on the Word of God day and night . . . and then you shall have good success.”

3. Understand the source of blessing. Psalm 1:1–3 says, “Blessed is the man that . . . meditates on the Word day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, whose leaf does not wither, who bears fruit in his season, and whatever he does, prospers!”

4. The root to true success is a prosperous soul. 3 John 2 says, “Beloved, I wish above all things that you would prosper and be in health, EVEN AS your soul prospers.”

5. Remember Joseph, who was thrown into a pit by his brothers and sold into slavery. Genesis 39:2 says, “But the Lord was with Joseph, and so he became a successful man.” Notice: Even though his surroundings were terrible, JOSEPH STILL BECAME A SUCCESSFUL MAN. He had a bad home environment and bad breaks, and he was surrounded by bad people, and yet still succeeded, BECAUSE GOD WAS WITH HIM.

6. We affect our surroundings and create our breaks by the thoughts we think and the choices we make. Deuteronomy 30:15, 19 says, “I have set before you life and prosperity, or death and adversity . . . Choose life!”

THINK IT AND SAY IT 

It’s not what surrounds me that determines my success; it’s what’s inside me.

My success is created by how I think. I agree with God’s thoughts and meditate on God’s Word, day and night. Success follows me. I prosper in my soul. I fill my mind with the richness of God’s Word, and therefore it spills over into every area of my life.

I AM A SUCCESSFUL AND PROSPEROUS MAN OR WOMAN, because God is with me, in Jesus’ Name!

In God’s great love,
Gregory Dickow Click here to receive the “Fast From Wrong Thinking” Series http://www.fastfromwrongthinking.com/

 

November 1: International Day of Prayer for Persecuted Church

Next Sunday, November 1st, has been designated as “International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.”

I can’t implore you strongly enough to pray, every day, for our Brothers and Sisters in Christ, around the world, who are being persecuted for their faith in Jesus. I urge you to include these men, women, and children, and their families and churches, as part of your daily prayers.
We must, every day, heed the words of Hebrews 13:3:
“Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; [and] them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.”

When we pray for those in prison for their faith, we must remember that the gospel came to us in letters written from jail.

Here’s a look at the facts, from The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission:

“Christians are the most persecuted religious group worldwide. An average of at least 180 Christians around the world are killed each month for their faith. (Source: Open Doors USA)
Christians in more than 60 countries face persecution from their governments or surrounding neighbors simply because of their belief in Christ. (Source: U.S. Department of State)
One of the worst countries in the world for the persecution of Christians is North Korea. With the exception of four official state-controlled churches in Pyongyang, Christians in North Korea face the risk of detention in the prison camps, severe torture and, in some cases, execution for practicing their religious beliefs. North Koreans suspected of having contact with South Korean or other foreign missionaries in China, and those caught in possession of a Bible, have been known to be executed. (Source: Christian Solidarity Worldwide)
In 41 of the 50 worst nations for persecution, Christians are being persecuted by Islamic extremists. (Source: Open Doors).”

I’m going to share a couple of resources with you.
First, here is a video from “The Voice of the Martyrs” to promote this year’s International Prayer event. It is the true story of Pastor Pastor Suta. Please note that this is a true story, and parts of it are tough, but it will give a glimpse into just what our Christian Brothers and Sisters are facing, every day of their lives:

Next, here is a list of Scripture Verses, from “The Voice of the Martyrs,” entitled “Persecution in the Bible.” I put it in .pdf format, so you should be able to enlarge it, and print it for personal study:
Persecution in the Bible

Here’s the same list in .jpg format:

Persecution in the Bible
As we commit ourselves to pray, every day, for our persecuted Brothers and Sisters in Christ, to renew our goal and desire to “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity,” let us also remember the words of Pastor Suta, from the video:
“When you pray for the persecuted, please remember to also pray for those who persecute.”