Sunday, March 30, 2014

Perfect Trust

Perfect TrustPerfect Trust by Charles R. Swindoll
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This "little" book [only 79 pages] has more wisdom per page than any book I have every read. Please read the following quotes below and ask God to give you that Perfect Trust in Him!

He empties himself in order to be full. He admits he is wrong so he can be declared right. He goes down in order to get up. He is strongest when he is weakest, richest when he is poorest, happiest when he feels the worst. He dies so he can live. He forsakes in order to have He gives away so he can keep.   ~A.W. Tozer describing a Christian with perfect trust in the Savior

Many, many years ago, Felix of Nola was escaping his enemies, and he too, took temporary refuge in a cave. He had scarcely entered the opening of the cave before a spider began to weave its web across the small opening. With remarkable speed, the insect completely sealed off the mouth of the cave with an intricate web, giving the appearance that the cave had not been entered for many weeks. As Felix’s pursuers passed by they saw the web and didn’t bother to look inside. Later, as the godly fugitive stepped out into the sunlight, he uttered these insightful words:  Where God is, a spider’s web is a wall; where He is not, a wall is but a spider’s web.  ~Charles Swindoll

Helen Rosevere was a British medical missionary in the Congo years ago during an uprising. Her faith was strong and her trust was confident, yet she was raped and assaulted and treated brutally. Commenting later, she said, “I must ask myself a question as if it came directly from the Lord, ‘Can you thank Me for trusting you with this experience even if I never tell you why?’” What a profound thought. God has trusted each of us with our own set of unfair circumstances and unexplained experiences to deal with. Can we still trust in Him even if He never tells us why?   ~Charles Swindoll

The secret to responsible trust is acceptance. Acceptance is taking from God’s hand absolutely anything He gives, looking into His face in trust and thanksgiving, knowing that the confinement of the hedge we’re in is good and for His glory. Even though what we’re enduring may be painful, it’s good simply because God Himself has allowed it.  ~Charles Swindoll

Faith is not belief without proof, but trust without reservation.  ~Elton Trueblood

Strength comes from choosing to fully trust, pray, and praise. Our circumstances may not change, but in the process we change.  ~Charles Swindoll

We continually encounter hardships. People disappoint us. We disappoint ourselves. But God is constant and compassionate. We are not alone. He cares. Against all reason, the transcendent God loves us so much that He has committed Himself to us.  ~Charles Swindoll

The more impossible the situation, the greater God accomplishes His work. ~Charles Swindoll

Remarkably his [Job’s] first response to God was the response of worship.  ~Charles Swindoll

He [Job] worshipped. And not because he understood what was happening to him, but in spite of all that was happening to him. Not only did Job worship, he accepted what God had sent into his life. That is wisdom. That is perfect trust.  ~Charles Swindoll

It’s the nature of the beast within us to keep going back to the familiar rather than to strap on faith and face the future.  ~Charles Swindoll

We want the safety of yesterday even though we know it’s not where God would have us.  ~Charles Swindoll

When a person does something, it has the man or woman look about it. It drips with humanity. You can follow the logic of it and see the meaning behind it.  ~Charles Swindoll

And when God steps in, His working is like the difference between a skyscraper and a star.  ~Charles Swindoll

“Do not lean on your own understanding.” That means don’t bring in the crutches and lean on them, those crutches that you have designed and made to handle such situations. Stay away from them. Don’t lean on them; lean on God.  ~Charles Swindoll

I don’t have to explain or defend the will of God. My job is simply to obey it.  ~Charles Swindoll

Things will happen that seem to be totally contradictory, but these are God’s arrangements. It was a wonderful day when I finally realized I don’t have to explained or defend the will of God. My job is simply to obey it.   ~Charles Swindoll

Anxious. Intriguing word. It literally means, “to be divided” or “distracted.” It conveys the idea of being so mentally ill at ease that you cannot do what you need to do because you are so distracted in your thinking.  ~Charles Swindoll

One of the problems with worry is that it keeps you from enjoying what you have.  ~Charles Swindoll

Worry is assuming responsibilities that you cannot handle. They truth is, they are responsibilities that God never intended for you to handle, because they are His.  ~Charles Swindoll

Another problem with worry is that it makes you forget your worth. Worry makes you feel worthless, forgotten, and unimportant.  ~Charles Swindoll

Worry is a complete waste of energy. It solves nothing.  ~Charles Swindoll

Worry erases the promises of God from your mind.  ~Charles Swindoll

Worry is characteristic of the heathen, not the Christian.  ~Charles Swindoll

Faith is like lighting the torch that passes from one person to the next. You can’t light the torch of another if yours isn’t burning.  ~Charles Swindoll

You may be going through a trial so overwhelming that it’s borderline unbearable. You want to see the end of the tunnel. Which is only natural, because once we see that little speck of light, we feel we can make it through to the finish. But God’s tunnels are often twisting, too complex and dark to see the light for many days. In such settings He says, “In that dark, twisting, seemingly endless period of time, trust Me. Stop running scared! Stop fearing!”  ~Charles Swindoll

Pressed out of measure and pressed to all length;
Pressed so intently it seems beyond strength.
Pressed in body and pressed in soul;
Pressed in the mind till the dark surges roll;
Pressed by foes, pressure by friends;
Pressure on pressure, till life nearly ends.
Pressed into loving the staff and the rod;
Pressed into knowing no helper but God.    ~Annie Johnson Flint

You see, this people [Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, etc.] Simply believed that God existed in the situation they were faced with, and they trusted Him rather than themselves. The result? God said, “That pleases Me.” They were men and women just like you and I, which is the most encouraging part of all. We don’t find golden haloes, or perfect backgrounds, or sinless lives, we just find people. People who failed, who struggled, who doubted, who experienced hard times and low times in which their faith was eclipsed by doubt. But their lives were basically characterized by faith.   ~Charles Swindoll

Faith does not change my circumstances; faith changes me. Faith may not bring in the tuition check when I need it, but faith will give me what it takes to hang on.  ~Charles Swindoll

Trusting God doesn’t alter our circumstances. Perfect trust in Him changes us.   ~Charles Swindoll

You see, when we talk about perfect trust, we’re talking about what gives us roots, character, the stability to handle the hard times. Trusting God doesn’t alter our circumstances. Perfect trust in Him changes us.   ~Charles Swindoll

You know one of the most encouraging things about faith? It pleases God.  ~Charles Swindoll

He’s building our character through the process of waiting. Perfect trust is a character building process.  ~Charles Swindoll

Strength comes from choosing to fully trust, pray, and praise. Our circumstances may not change, but in the process we change.  ~Charles Swindoll

I encourage everyone to read this book!

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag

America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and FlagAmerica by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag by Sarah Palin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Because a local bookstore when out of business I was able to buy several books for a dollar. This was one of the ones. Sarah Palin is a very interesting person. I admit I had never heard of her until she was nominated as a VP candidate. I agree with her on almost all the things (policies) she says, however there is something about her, which I cannot put my finger on that makes me not like her 100%. This book is a good one to help to get to know how she feels on lots of issues. I have some quotes below that I enjoyed reading.

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States when men were free.   ~President Ronald Reagan

As usual, the Gipper absolutely hit the nail on the head. The difference, with our Constitution, is those three little words: We the people.

It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter [the Declaration of Independence]. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.  ~President Calvin Coolidge

It is the veteran, not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion.
It is the veteran, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the veteran, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the veteran, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to assemble.
It is the veteran, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the veteran, not the politician, who has given us the right to vote.
It is the veteran, who salutes the flag, who serves under the flag, and whose coffin will be draped by the flag.   ~a poem Sarah's uncle e-mailed to her

When WW II ended the United States had the only undamaged industrial power in the world. Its military might was at its peak - and we alone had the ultimate weapon, the nuclear bomb with the unquestioned ability to deliver it anywhere in the world. If we had sought world domination who could have opposed us? But the United States followed a different course - one unique in all the history of mankind. We used our power and wealth to rebuild the war-ravaged economies of all the world including those nations who had been our enemies.  ~President Ronald Reagan to then-Soviet premier Leonid Brezhnev. It was written shortly after Reagan had just gotten out of the hospital following the 1981 assassination attempt. (this is just a portion of the letter)

Having a family gives you a gift that you might not recognize at first. It teaches you that the sun doesn't rise and set around you. It forces you to realize something that will take you far in life, if you let it: It's not about you. In our house, we pitch in and help each other out. Whether it's work, or school, or sports, or competing in the Iron Dog snow machine race, it's a family goal. If it's important to one of us it's important to all of us. And if it challenges one of us, it gets support from all of us.

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.   ~Helen Keller

... we have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.  ~President John Adams wrote this letter to the Massachusetts militia in 1798, at a time when the United States was on the verge of war with France.

The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time. The hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them.   ~President Thomas Jefferson

The same week that Congress submitted the Establishment Clause as part of the Bill of Rights for ratification by the States, it enacted legislation providing for paid chaplains in the House and Senate. ... The day after the First Amendment was proposed, the same Congress that had proposed it requested the President to proclaim "a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed, by acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the many and signal favors of Almighty God." ... President Washington offered the first Thanksgiving Proclamation shortly thereafter, devoting November 26, 1789, on behalf of the American people "to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that is, that was, or that will be ..." thus beginning a tradition of offering gratitude to God that continues today. ... The same Congress also reenacted the Northwest Territory Ordinance of 1787, 1 Stat. 50, Article III, of which provided: "Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged." ... And of course the First Amendment itself accords religion (and no other manner of belief) special constitutional protection.
... Nor have the views of our people on this matter significantly changed. Presidents continue to conclude the Presidential oath with the words "so help me God." Our legislatures, state and national, continue to open their sessions with prayer led by official chaplains. The sessions of this Court continue to open with the prayer "God save the United States and this Honorable Court." Invocation of the Almighty by our public figures, at all levels of government, remains commonplace. Our coinage bears the motto, "IN GOD WE TRUST." And our Pledge of Allegiance contains the acknowledgment that we are a Nation "under God."  ~Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia from one of his famous dissents, in a case in which the Supreme Court ruled that the Ten Commandments could not be displayed at the McCreary County Courthouse in Whitley City, Kentucky.

Although the Pledge of Allegiance has been around since 1892, the words "under God" weren't added until 1954. They were added by bipartisan legislation after the minister at President Eisenhower's church said, in a sermon in which the president was present, "There [is] something missing in the pledge, [something that is] the characteristic and definitive factor in the American way of life." According to an article I found from that time, Congress was deluged with mail in favor of the change. Churches, veteran's groups, labor unions, and newspapers all got behind it. Not surprisingly, Congress approved the change by a unanimous vote.

Ronald Reagan made this point in the way only he could in his famous "evil empire" speech. Lost in all the hoopla over the American president using these words to describe the Soviet Union is the fact that Reagan's speech was devoted mostly to exploring the faith in American life. The difference between our system of government and the Soviet system - one acknowledges God and the other doesn't - has significance beyond religion, Reagan reminded us. The way the two countries treated faith, he said, had direct consequences for how they treated their people. Where there was God, there was freedom. Where He was not recognized, there was tyranny.

In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for divine protection. - Our prayers, Sir were heard & they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending providence in our favor.
To that kind of providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth - that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?   ~Benjamin Franklin beseeching his fellow delegates at the Constitutional Convention

That night and the next morning virtually all of the participants watched, in their hotel rooms, the address to the nation by the President of the United States concerning the murderous attacks upon the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, in which thousands of Americans had been killed. The address ended, as Presidential addresses often do, with the prayer "God bless America." The next afternoon I was approached by one of the judges from a European country, who, after extending his profound condolences for my country's loss, sadly observed, "How I wish that the Head of State of my country, at a similar time of national tragedy and distress, could conclude his address 'God bless ______.'  It is of course absolutely forbidden.   ~Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia telling of hearing of the 9/11 attacks when he was in Rome attending an international conference of judges and lawyers

Fifty-seven years earlier [this was written in 2010), in 1944, another president - a Democrat president - had prayed with America in its time of need. On the evening of June 6, 1944, as Allied troops battled and died on the beaches of France following the Normandy invasion, FDR led the nation in prayer.

Here is what Roosevelt said:
My Fellow Americans:

Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our Allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.

And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest -- until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home -- fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them -- help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too -- strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keeness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment -- let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace -- a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God.

Amen.  ~ President Franklin D. Roosevelt - June 6, 1944

As you can see there is a lot of history recorded in this book. If you are a Flag waving American then you will enjoy this book!

You can enjoy listening to Roosevelt's prayer below:

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Theodore Boone: The Accused

Theodore Boone: The AccusedTheodore Boone: The Accused by John Grisham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is one of Grisham's books he wrote for teenagers, but I still enjoyed it. The book is a series called Theodore Boone. The series is about a teenager whose parents, both Mom and Dad, are lawyers. Theodore knows that when he grows up he will also become a lawyer so he practices when he can. One of the side drama in both books I have read is Theodore acts as a lawyer in what is called the "pet" law room. This is a place people work out their disagreements when pets are involved. Because Theodore's parents are lawyers he knows a lot of other lawyers as well as policemen, and judges. These contacts help in the cases he gets involved. He often is allowed to attend the courthouse to watch high profile cases with the blessing of his principal at school.

If you enjoy Grisham's books and would like an easy read I highly recommend this series.

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Sycamore Row

Sycamore Row (Jake Brigance, #2)Sycamore Row by John Grisham
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book has a tie in to another Grisham book, A Time To Kill. Many characters are the same in each novel. The "young" lawyer who was the hero in the first novel is back to be a hero in this novel. The story in this book is about a man, Seth Hubbard, who commits suicide, but before doing so he writes a handwritten will cutting out his family and leaving 90% to his housekeeper of two years. Of course, he had had another will drawn up by a prestigious law firm that had his family getting most of his money. The estate is valued at over 20 million dollars. This majority of the book is the battle to prove the hand written will is valid. The jury is burdened with answering the following five questions:

Did Seth Hubbard execute a valid holographic will on October 1, 1988?
Did Seth Hubbard understand and appreciate the nature and effect of what he was doing when he executed his holographic will?
Did Seth Hubbard understand and appreciate who the beneficiaries are to whom he had given gifts in his holographic will?
Did Seth Hubbard understand and appreciate the nature and amount of his property and how he wanted to dispose of it?
Was Seth Hubbard unduly influenced by Lettie Land (the house keeper) or anyone else when he executed his holographic will on October 1, 1988?

If you enjoy lawyer/law novels then you will definitely enjoy this book. By the way you need not read A Time To Killin order to enjoy this book, even though it might add to your enjoyment.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

God's Not Dead!

My family recently saw the movie, God's Not Dead. The movie is about a freshman in college who decides to take a stand in one of his college classes to debate his Professor on the issue of God's reality in our life. His decision not only goes against his professor's belief but seemingly everyone in the class as well as his girlfriend, his parents, and many others. Even those who believe in Christ, thinks this freshman should take the easy way out and either drop the class or just let the professor believe that he (the freshman) agrees with the professor. The movie is very moving, challenging, and motivating. It made me examine my life and ask myself the question, "What am I doing to expand Christ's kingdom" and "Am I willing to go against the flow and do what He calls me to do." I encourage all believers to go see this movie. At the end of the movie they challenge everyone to text all contacts on your phone the message "God's Not Dead!"  I posted the message on my Facebook page after the movie and so far I have 44 "likes." I challenge the readers of this blog to either text your contacts that message or post it on your Facebook page or use another method to get this message out. The movie features the music group "Newsboys" and their popular song "God's Not Dead." I have posted the song below as well as the trailer for the movie.

Matthew 10:32-33
Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

Luke 12:48

For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

Mark:  You prayed and believed your whole life. Never done anything wrong, and here you are. You're the kindest person I know. I am the meanest. You have dementia. My life is perfect. Explain that to me!

Mark’s mother: Sometimes the devil allows people to live a life free of trouble because he doesn't want people turning to God. Their sin is like a jail cell, except it is all nice and comfy and there doesn't seem to be any reason to leave. The door's wide open. Till one day time runs out and the door slams shut and suddenly it's too late to get out.

Only a real risk can test the reality of a belief.” C.S. Lewis

The Family

The Family
Braves Game 2012