Category Archives: GUEST POSTS

Posts we share from other blogs, or other online sources

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:

Our Christian Gift Store
Our YouTube Channel
Our Facebook Page

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

Our Christian Gift Store
Our YouTube Channel
Our Facebook Page

“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!

Our Christian Gift Store
Our YouTube Channel
Our Facebook Page

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/

Our Christian Gift Store
Our YouTube Channel
Our Facebook Page

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.”

Our Christian Gift Store
Our YouTube Channel
Our Facebook Page

 

Guest Bible Study: Gregory Dickow: God’s “Will”

I have been enjoying Pastor Gregory Dickow’s latest “Fast From Wrong Thinking” series, which is a series of individual Bible studies to help change the way we think, and the way we “view things.”
His first series was a “40 Day Fast From Wrong Thinking,” and, so far, this latest series is on “Day 95.” It has helped me a lot, and I have used this as part of my daily Bible study since its start. Really Good!

So, if it helps and blesses me, then I trust it will do the same for you.

I wanted to share this particular “day” with you, as it seems to go so well with our own short series, “Wealth Stored for the Righteous.” Basically, to be thankful for what you ALREADY HAVE!!!

At the end, I put a direct link, if you’d like to sign up. I love the way the study moves through, and includes promises and verses, from all over the Bible … so, it’s a great way to start the day …

1. Put first things first. God’s will is His Word. (Testament means will.) It’s not a mystery. If you left a will for your loved ones, it would focus on what you are doing for them, rather than what they need to do for you. FOCUS ON WHAT GOD HAS DONE. Read the will or the testament, as if it were listing what NOW belongs to you, since Jesus died and rose again (Hebrews 9:14–20.)

2. The will of God begins with a state of being, not a state of doing. Our focus should be on what God said we ARE and what God said we HAVE. Then that will produce what God wants us to DO. When you know you ARE what God says you are, and you HAVE what God says you have, then you will DO the will of God. The right decisions will be the by-product of the right thinking.

3. As you fill your heart up with the Word of God, He will lead you safely into His will! Psalm 119:9–11 says, “I have hidden your Word in my heart that I might not SIN against Thee.” Sin = missing the mark. You won’t MISS the will, or the mark, when you hide the Word in your heart!

4. The “will” of God is activated in our life through the giving of thanks. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks, for this is the WILL OF GOD for you, in Christ Jesus.” Notice, He doesn’t say, “Give thanks FOR everything,” but rather, “give thanks IN everything.” No matter what you are facing right now, the will of God is to give thanks IN the midst of it.

5. The will of God is bigger and broader than most people think. At a large airport, there are several runways that a plane can safely land on. Get rid of the mind-set that there’s only one runway, and you might miss it and crash! There are several runways in the will of God, and therefore many options that are equally acceptable to God, based on His Word.

THINK IT AND SAY IT
I am not going to miss God’s will for my life! His Word is His will, and I accept and embrace His Word as the cornerstone of my life.
I AM what God’s Word says I am, and I HAVE what God’s Word says I have. He will keep me in His Will, as I keep His Word in my heart.
I choose a life of thanks and praise, which puts me in the middle of God’s will AND brings God’s will into the middle of my situation, in Jesus’ Name!

Here’s a direct link to Gregory Dickow’s online ministry, and the “Fast From Wrong Thinking” Series:
What happens is this: If you sign up for the series, you will get an individual study for each day, to “attack/change” a certain mind-set. One of the things I like is that I get the series, and nothing more … when I view “today’s” lesson, it has the lesson only … and not a group of links … Please allow this study to help you!
Fast From Wrong Thinking Bible Study Series
Our Christian Gift Store
Our YouTube Channel
Our Facebook Page

Guest Post: Gregory Dickow on Healing and Prayer

We all know what it’s like to experience pain.
Whether it’s the physical pain of sickness or injury; the emotional pain of losing someone we love; the mental pain of anguish or anxiety or worry; the spiritual pain of losing our faith or being shipwrecked in our hope or being disappointed in a promise that doesn’t seem to be showing up in our lives; the pain of broken relationships … we have all experienced or are experiencing one of these pains today. Or you’ve witnessed this kind of pain in the lives of those that you come in contact with daily.

We live in a broken world and hurting world. But in all that pain and suffering:
God has an answer for every pain you’ve ever felt.
God has a solution, a remedy and a healing for every pain you’ve ever experienced! No one wants to keep hurting. Yet people try to deal with their suffering and pain without God’s help. We go to other sources, people and remedies, when it is God who wants to be our Healer, and only He that truly can.

He is Jehovah Rapha — the God who heals. He wants to be the One we look to. God says, “I am the Lord that heals you” (Exodus 15:26). This world is hurting. And when a person is hurting, they can hardly think of anything else. When we are hurting, we often bring pain to others.
The answer to your pain and hurting is to FIND the REMEDY in God’s TOUCH, in God’s HEALING, in what Jesus DID FOR YOU on The Cross.

He Himself bore our pain in His body and carried away our sicknesses and diseases. “By His stripes we were healed” (Isaiah 53:4-5). He bore our pain and so He knows what it’s like to hurt. He felt every rejection you’ve ever felt. He felt every temptation you’ve ever felt. He felt every betrayal you’ve ever felt. And then He took your pain and mine and all of our pain combined and nailed it to the Cross. He was wounded for our transgressions, and by His stripes we were healed! Isn’t that amazing? We have a Savior that knows what you feel and experience.

He knows what it’s like to hurt.
He knows what it’s like to feel pain.
He knows what it’s like to be tempted.
He knows what it’s like to suffer.
He knows what it’s like to be betrayed.
He knows what it’s like to be despised and hated.
He knows what your pain feels like because He has felt it Himself.And He wants you to know that He took that pain and sorrow upon Himself. There’s no reason for you to BEAR IT when He HAS BORNE IT FOR YOU.

Now it’s time to feel what life is like beyond the pain.Are you ready to be healed and to be a healer?
Whenever you’re hurting, call on God.
Whenever you’re suffering, pray.
Whenever you feel down and out, ask for God’s help.
Whenever you feel defined by your past, let God redefine you.
Whenever you feel you’re going backwards, call on God to move ahead.
Whenever somebody has wronged you, forgive them.
Whenever somebody has hurt you, call on God to help you.
When you’ve caused hurt, call on God to heal you and those you’ve hurt.

David said, “I love the Lord because He hears my cry” in Psalm 116:1. One of the reasons why I love the Lord is because He hears me when I’m in pain. James 5:13 says “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray.” When you’re suffering, pray. When you feel pain, PRAY. Psalm 30:2:“O LORD my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me.” God HEARS and He HEALS.God does not want you to settle for the pain that He has already paid for by nailing His Son to the Cross. He has borne it for you. He wants to heal you of it.

Part of the blessing of God is for HIM to heal you; and then use you to bring healing to others who are hurting still. God wants you to
GIVE UP YOUR PAIN TO GOD, and ASK HIM TO LET YOU IMPACT OTHERS, with HIS HEALING HAND. We can’t remove the burdens of this broken world in our own ability. We need the anointing of the Holy Spirit to heal the pain. You can live beyond the pain! Today, ask the Lord to heal you; and give you the power bring healing to the hurting around you.
Ask God to Help You Stop Hurting and Start Healing TODAY.

Click on the link below to go directly to the Gregory Dickow Ministries Blog:

logoOur Christian Gift Store
Our YouTube Channel
Our Facebook Page