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A CULTURE OF DECADENCE

The more decadent a culture gets, the more they have a need for what they don’t have at all, which is innocence, so you end up with kiddie porn and a perverse obsession with youth.” ― Joni Mitchell I’m not fond of opinion polls, so you can imagine...

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Behold the Empty Tomb

"I am pressed to admit that I don't have the capacity to understand the bloodied horrors of a cross and the wild exhilaration of an empty tomb. But at the point that I think I completely understand God... I have lost Him. Therefore, I much prefer to simply marvel." -...

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TIME TO CHEER UP!

In my own life I know that my state of cheerfulness is a reliable gauge of my level of spiritual enlightenment at that moment. The more cheerful, happy, contented, and satisfied I am feeling, the more aware I am of my deep connection to the Spirit.” ― Wayne Dyer I...

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THE QUESTION OF TIME

I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo.  "So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of...

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Here's the Latest: IT'S TIME TO GET SERIOUS

by Dr Joseph A Cerreta

Now is the Time

Art, unlike life, permits do-overs: the illusion that one can get things right with craft and persistence." — Kahn ManTime Have you ever heard the term "Do Over"?  Here is the dictionary definition: do-over : a new attempt or opportunity to do something after a...

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A Crisis of Hate

Throughout your life, people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, because in the end, hate in your heart will consume you.” ― Will Smith History is beset with acts of violence committed by depraved, disturbed and...

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Who Needs The Church?

There is a movement bubbling up today that goes beyond cynicism and celebrates a new way of living, there is coming a generation that stops complaining about the church that it sees and becomes the church that it dreams of." - Shane Claiborne Religion's not your...

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The Voice of Conscience

Between the radiant white of a clear conscience and the coal black of a conscience sullied by iniquity lie many shades of gray - where most of us live... Not perfect but not beyond redemption." - Sherry L. Hoppe Pangs of conscience. Yikes, there's a quagmire waiting...

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Suffering The Silence of God

I believe in the sun when it's not shining, I believe in love even when I feel it not, I believe in God even when he is silent.” – Author Unknown – I got a little tearful today.  In public, no less. Relaxing by the Gulf waters here on Florida’s West Coast, I was...

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A Rebel with a Cause

Drinking beer is easy. Trashing your hotel room is easy. But being a genuine Christian, now that's a tough call. Actually, that's called rebellion." - Alice Cooper - I am a bit of a rebel. Some say it's in my genes. Actually, I can be rebellious in dress trousers too...

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The FEAR of CHRISTmas

May the spirit of love which comes at Christmas fill our homes and our lives and linger there long after the tree is down and the lights are put away for another year. - Thomas S. Monson A long time ago in a stable far, far away… Multitudes of people around the world...

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Traveling the Narrow Road

The narrow path that 'Uncommon' people will take, that the Lord wants you to go down, that really is the ultimate way to go." - Coach Tony Dungy - Traveling unfamiliar roads can provide many opportunities to enjoy new sights, sounds, and experiences. However, aimless...

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Escaping the Fear Factor

The wise man in the storm prays to God, not for safety from danger, but for deliverance from fear.   It is the storm within which endangers him most, not the storm without."   - Ralph Waldo Emerson I am not a motion picture aficionado.   In fact, I cannot even recall...

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Show Me Some Love

Throughout your life, people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, because in the end, hate in your heart will consume you." - Will Smith In the 1983 Sci-Fi film Star Wars Episode VI: Return of The Jedi, there is a...

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The Tyranny of Discontent

Mankind, by the perverse depravity of their nature, regards that which they have most desired as of no value the moment it is possessed, and torment themselves with fruitless wishes for that which is beyond their reach." - Francois Fenelon Charles Dickens was a 19th...

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We’re All Going to Fail

Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing." - Denis Waitley There is an anonymous old adage that...

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There Be Squalls Ahead

In a storm of struggles, I have tried to control the elements, clasp the fist tight so as to protect self and happiness. But stress can be an addiction, and worry can be our lunge for control, and we forget the answer to this moment is always yes because of Christ." -...

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A Man Called Jesus

Christianity is not about building an absolutely secure little niche in the world where you can live with your perfect little wife and your perfect little children in your beautiful little house where you have no gays or minority groups anywhere near you. Christianity...

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Surrounded by the Shadow of Death

Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. -  Paul VI " 4  Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4 KJV) The fish was motionless...

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Songs of the Mocker

It is most remarkable that Abraham Lincoln, when he saw so much that was vulnerable in the leadership of the Christian Church, did not move to the opposite error and become a mocker.- Elton Trueblood - With all of the exotic wildlife here in Florida, our official...

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Worried Half to Death

If you ask me what the single most important key to longevity is, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension... - George Burns It is real, it is out there, and it could kill you!   It is waiting...watching... and you might be its next victim.   Let's...

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Happy, Happy – NOT

There once was in man a true happiness of which now remains to him only the mark and an empty trace, which he in vain tries to fill from all his surroundings... But these are all inadequate, because the infinite abyss can only be filled by an infinite and immutable...

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What’s Done is Done

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and...

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A Christmas Expose

Want to keep Christ in your Christmas? Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, forgive the guilty, welcome the unwanted, care for the ill, love your enemies, and do unto others as you would have done unto you.” - Steve Maraboli Christmas time is here.   Some say that...

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The Saga of Even and So

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through the experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. - Helen Keller - Horatio Gates Spafford was a prominent American lawyer, a devout Christian and a...

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On The Giving of Thanks…

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. -William Arthur Ward   I have always been intrigued by the extraordinary life of a man known simply as Jesus. He was not of this...

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The Strong Delusion

These bickerings of opposite parties, and their mutual reproaches their declamations, their sing-song, their triumphs and defiance, their dismal prophecies, are all delusion”  - John Adams - Everyone has told a lie.   On that point I hope we can all agree.   “Not me...

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Surrounded by MADNESS

Those who keep saying that the voice of the people is like the voice of Almighty God should not be listened to, since the unruliness of the crowd is always very close to madness. - Alcuin of York Madness.   Having looked the word up in a variety of modern lexicons, I...

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What Matters Most

What really matters in life is how God sees me. He is not concerned with outward appearance; He is concerned about the state of a man's soul. - Billy Graham Something just wasn't quite right.   I could tell.   Billy (not his real name) was usually Mr. Charisma,...

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Silencing My Tell-Tale Heart

Guilt upon the conscience, like rust upon iron, both defiles and consumes it, gnawing and creeping into it, as that does which at last eats out the very heart and substance of the metal.” - Bishop Robert South The American writer Edgar Allan Poe is perhaps best known...

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Freedom To Forget The Past

Memories have huge staying power, but like dreams, they thrive in the dark, surviving for decades in the deep waters of our minds like shipwrecks on the sea bed.” ~ J. G. Ballard ~ Mark Twain once remarked, “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no...

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Offended? Get Over It!

If all the printers in all the world were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed.” - Benjamin Franklin - Florida in July is..., well... it is hot.   Okay, at times it is really hot.   Thankfully,...

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One Nation Under God?

I do not believe that the Constitution was the offspring of inspiration, but I am as satisfied that it is as much the work of a Divine Providence as any of the miracles recorded in the Old and New Testament.”   - Benjamin Rush - (at the signing of the Declaration of...

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Why all the HATRED?

Throughout your lifetime, people will make you mad,   They will disrespect you and treat you badly. Let God deal with the things people do, because in the end, hate in your heart will consume you.” - Will Smith In the 1983 Sci-Fi film Star Wars Episode VI: Return of...

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Moving Beyond The Past

People make mistakes all the time. That's how we learn and grow. If there's patience and love, and you care for people, you can work them through it, and they can find their greatest heights.” - Pete Carroll Have you ever made a dumb mistake? Acted inappropriately?...

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I’m a Goin’ Fishin’

My teaching at this time will be very simple, but I hope it will be highly practical; for my longing is that none of you, that love God, would be reluctant to go fishing for him.”   - Charles Spurgeon I'm a coastal junkie.   The sea is in my veins.   Today my writers...

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Difficult Times Ahead

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” - Martin Luther King, Jr. - Ahoy Mates! I caught my reflection in the water just now.   I'm sitting at a favorite...

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The Fantasy of World Peace

e world The Apocalypse (end of times) speaks powerfully of trouble ahead with storm warnings that carry a booming jolt of truth. The warning is clear: prepare to meet thy God...” ~ Billy Graham ~ I had a dream recently.   The world was at peace.   No wars.   No...

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Exploring My Depravity

It is possible to be highly educated and at the same time morally depraved.   There is, in fact, a certain kind of moral depravity that only the highly educated can attain, because it requires sophisticated skills of rationalization and self-deception.”  - Iain W....

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The United States of SODOM

If God doesn't soon bring judgment upon America, He'll have to go back and apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah!" - Ruth Graham   It seems to me dear reader that, to borrow a phrase from Bob Dylan, “Times they are a changing”.   But, many of the cultural shifts may not...

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Show Me The Facts…

All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in fact, logic and argument than others.”  - Douglas Adams - I prefer to deal with facts.   Black and white.   Yes or no.   Good or Evil.   True or false.   Male or...

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All You Need Is LOVE

Unconditional love really exists in each of us. It is part of our deep inner being. It is not so much an active emotion as a state of being. It's not 'I love you' for this or that reason, not 'I love you if you love me.' It's love for no reason, love without an...

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We Suffer, We Die- But Why?

When your time comes to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home.”...

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The Torment of Worry

There is nothing that wastes the body like worry, and one who has any faith in God should be ashamed to worry about anything whatsoever.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi ~ He was vigorously pounding the pulpit. I was daydreaming. The commotion drew me back into the sermon which had...

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Living in Laodicea

I was being called to surrender the very citadel of my “self”. I was completely in the dark. I did not really know what repentance was or what I was required to repent of. It was indeed the turning point of my life.” - Bede Griffiths - The ancient city of Laodicea was...

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THE CHOICE OR THE GIFT?

You are heir to a heavenly fortune, the sole beneficiary of an infinite spiritual trust fund, a proverbial goldmine of sacred abundance beyond all common measure or human comprehension. But until you choose to exercise your rightful inheritance of this blessed gift,...

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Lying To Myself

What do you mean, Phib?" asked Miss Squeers, looking in her own little mirror, where, like most of us, she saw - not herself, but the reflection of some pleasant image held in her own brain.” - Charles Dickens - I recently came across some research conducted a number...

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Surrounded by IDIOTS

Idiots are not responsible for what they do. The real guilt falls on the rational people who sit on their hands while the morons run wild. You can opt out if you want to. Play it safe. But if you do, don't complain when the roof comes down.” - Jack McDevit In a...

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Innocence Lost and Found

Something has spoken to me in the night...and told me that I shall one day die, I know not where. Saying: "[Death is] to lose the earth you know for greater knowing; to lose the life you have, for greater life; to leave the friends you loved, for greater loving; to...

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The WAR over Christmas

We venture to assert, that if there be any day in the year, of which we may be pretty sure that it was not the day on which the Savior was born, it is the 25th of December. Regarding not the day, let us, nevertheless, give thanks to God for the gift of His dear Son.”...

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The Perils of Wealth

The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but it is in his integrity and in his ability to affect those around him positively.” -- Bob Marley -- Wealth. I like that word. It's mysterious. Really, who defines wealth? Or should the question be, what...

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On Giving Thanks…

It is possible to be highly educated and at the same time morally depraved.   There is, in fact, a certain kind of moral depravity that only the highly educated can attain, because it requires sophisticated skills of rationalization and self-deception.”  - Iain W....

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Revive US Once More

"To all my non-believing, sort-of-believing, and used-to-be-believing friends: I feel like I should begin with a confession. I am sorry that so often for you the biggest obstacle to God has been Christians." - Shane Claiborne Twice each year, Florida is invaded. Not...

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HELPLESSLY HOPELESS

To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless." - Gilbert K. Chesterton Whatever happened to HOPE? Surveying the populous landscape, I see so...

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THE DEATH OF ME

The terrible thing, the almost impossible thing, is to hand over your whole self - all your wishes and precautions - to Christ." - C. S. Lewis As a Christian, I have always struggled with the necessity of dying to myself. Like most people, I want what I want when I...

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The illusion of TIME

"Time is the most undefinable yet paradoxical of things; the past is gone, the future is not come, and the present becomes the past even while we attempt to define it, and, like the flash of lightning, at once exists and expires." - Charles Caleb Colton My obsession...

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WHY SO DOWNCAST ?

"Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God,for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God." - Psalm 42:5 It's hard to maintain a positive outlook in such a negative world. Doom, gloom, death and destruction are served up piping...

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THE STORMS OF LIFE

The great test of life is to see whether we will hearken to and obey God's commands in the midst of the storms of life. It is not just to endure storms, but to choose the right ways while they rage." - Henry B. Eyring Rabbi Harold Kushner tells of a personal tragedy...

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TOO MANY CHOICES

I often think about, 'How do we return to a simpler way of living? Is there some way that we can start to think of each other as human beings again, instead of worshiping money, instead of worshiping electronics, instead of worshiping getting ahead just for me?" -...

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JUST CALL ME A FOOL

"I am a great and sublime fool. But then I am God's fool, and all His works must be contemplated with respect." - Mark Twain Aristotle was an ancient Greek philosopher and scientist who lived from 384 - 322 BC. He studied for 20 years at the legendary Academy in...

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The Anxiety Syndrome

ISIS... Global Warming... Terrorism... Economic Collapse... Racism ... Airport Security ... Riots ... Murder ... Retirement ... College So how is your ANXIETY level? That's what I thought. Let's talk. Anxiety is sometimes defined as uneasiness associated with vague or...

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ABANDONED BY GOD ?

Have you ever felt forsaken? I sure have. I've doubted God and even wondered if He really exists. I've become angry and cursed His name when my prayers were not answered (or more truthfully, when I didn't like the answer). I've walked through many a valley and spent...

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LIVING IN A DANGEROUS WORLD

Time, like water, is fluid.   Today it seems to stand still.   I‘m sitting at the sponge docks in Tarpon Springs enjoying lunch and watching a sentinel pelican preening on the piling.   It‘s another idyllic moment here in Florida. And then a startling blast from a...

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WHO NEEDS CHURCH ANYWAY?

"Hypocrites in the Church?   Yes, and in the lodge and at the home.     Don't hunt through the Church for a hypocrite.     Go home and look in the mirror.   Hypocrites?     Yes.     See that you make the number one less." - Billy Sunday Why do people go to church...

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JUST HANG IN THERE BABY

"My life really sucks” I hear that a lot from people that I meet. Many seem to live with endless drama and uncertainty; hanging onto emotional and spiritual sanity by a thread. Some complain about being trapped in the status quo. Others are exhausted, anxious, and...

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The Road Less Traveled

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I... I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. - Robert Frost Traveling on unfamiliar roads can provide many opportunities to enjoy some new sights, sounds, and experiences. However, aimless wandering is...

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LIVING and DYING in INFINITE TIME

Each day is a step we make towards eternity and we shall continue thus to step from day to day until we take the last step, which will bring us into the presence of God. - Catherine McAuley Eternity is frequently defined as duration without beginning or end. Some call...

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THE DARKENED HEART OF A FOOL

I was sitting in a restaurant having lunch in mixed company when someone asked, “What is your candid opinion of our current president.” I paused for a moment and then replied, “He is smart and very persuasive, but he is also a fool”. Reaction was swift. “Don‘t you...

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NOW THAT WORRIES ME!

"I believe God is managing affairs and that He doesn't need any advice from me. With God in charge, I believe everything will work out for the best in the end. So what is there to worry about?" - Henry Ford The year was 1833. A pair of Presbyterian ministers, John Jay...

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SOMETHING TO BELIEVE

“So take care how you listen more will be given to the man who has something already, but the man who has nothing will lose even what he thinks he has.” - Jesus They call them Buzzwords. Trendy phrases that have come into vogue in popular culture. We hear them every...

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Who’s In Charge Here?

It matters not how straight the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll. I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.”  - William Ernest Henley I have always been prone to self-reliance. To me, such autonomy was the fourth virtue (right...

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7 Priorities for a New Year

See “the world” for what it is. 15-17”Never give your hearts to this world or to any of the things in it. A man cannot love the Father and love the world at the same time. For the whole world-system, based as it is on men‘s primitive desires, their greedy ambitions...

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The Story of Even & So…

10 ”The Lord has made me very grateful that at last you have thought about me once again. Actually, you were thinking about me all along, but you didn‘t have any chance to show it. 11(Even so) I am not complaining about having too little. I have learned to be...

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UNDER CONSTRUCTION

My life. Your Life. His Life. Her life. That‘s how we sound. We talk about life like we own it. “It‘s MY life and I will live it as I please”.     Really? I hate to wreck your day but, you own nothing. We arrive on this earth with zilch and on our departure, no...

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What Ever Happened To Hope?

12 "Hopes deferred make the heart sick; but when dreams come true at last, there is life and joy" (alt: “it is a tree of life.”) Proverbs 13:12 (The Living Bible) Unfulfilled hopes make us feel sick inside. You could interpret Proverbs 13:12 as “Hope deferred is...

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GOD Doesn’t Make Junk!

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."  - Ephesians. 2:10 I was sitting around a table at an outdoor restaurant with a group of acquaintances. There was this one guy in...

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God Has Really Let Me Down

What? God let you down? Some of you just got so uptight. Performing intellectual cartwheels through all of your theological platitudes. "Why dear brother, God can never let us down.” “God‘s ways are simply not our ways.” “We must never question God.” “Just keep...

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A Little Knowledge…

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.  So is a lot. - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955) Perhaps Albert Einstein was right. Some say that ignorance is bliss. The less you know, the less you are responsible for. And I suppose there is some truth to this philosophy. But...

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