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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Wed 18 Dec 2013, 5:34 pm


And Joseph went up from Galilee, from Nazareth, to the city of David, in
order to register, along with Mary, who was with child. And it came about
that while they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.â€
Luke 2:4-6

Caesar Augustus gave a decree that a census was to be taken. The law touched
the most common of people in the most obscure places. It reached Joseph and
Mary at a most inopportune time, tucked away in Galilee. Mary was nine
months pregnant. Nonetheless, a journey to Bethlehem became necessary so
that they might comply with the law and register for the census. Did they
strain against such news? I would think so. Was God in it? Absolutely.

Prophetic words from ages past foretold that a Savior would arise out of
Bethlehem. God used Caesar’s mouth, a census, and a difficult journey for a
pregnant woman to fulfill prophetic words.

God is in the ordinary events of my day, too. When I am hit with
unemployment, sickness, an unexpected move out-of-state, I can despair
thinking that God has turned His back momentarily and that I am just being
tossed by the wind. Little do I know that these events are like the ‘census’,
steering me on to the next thing God has for me. The seemingly catastrophic
event is a rudder “ getting me to Bethlehem. I can't see it at the time but
I need to remember that my trust in God need not be shaken.
Not then, not ever.

Oftentimes, I have cried out, I can't believe this happened to me!Yet,
where I am, and who I am today, have depended on those unexpected events. I
have absolute confidence in You, God. In Jesus name, Amen

For more from Christine Wyrtzen and Jaime Wyrtzen Lauze, please visit

Welcome to the Illustrator
Today's Bible Verse:
"For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon
his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting
Father, Prince of Peace." ( Isaiah 9:6)

By Answers2Prayer

Christmas Through A Zimbabwean Child's Eyes

Children in Zimbabwe are no different from their counterparts around the
world when it comes to Christmas. They are full of anticipation and hope.

As children from the city, we spent most of our Christmas holidays in our
ancestral village, having travelled a long distance to be with extended
and to partake of all the good food prepared for us. Christmas was also a
time to wear new clothes to church.

I remember as a child meeting a young village boy on Christmas morning while
I walked home from church with my aunt and sister. He lived with his mother,
grandmother, and two younger siblings and attended the village school. He
was barefoot but running really fast, and as he approached us, he slowed
and we exchanged Christmas greetings. He stopped, and with a great deal of
excitement, he shared his Christmas story with us. They had run out of salt
on Christmas Day! So he had been sent to borrow some salt from a neighbour
for his grandmother. It is common in Zimbabwe for families to send their
to a neighbour for a cup of sugar, corn meal, or salt.

We girls from the city marvelled at the simple joys of Christmas that
brought forth such excitement in him. His daily chores on Christmas Eve were
no different
from any other day. He let out the cows from the cattle pen, fetched
drinking water from the communal well and gathered firewood before joining
other children
for a bath in the river. Come evening, they went around the village sharing
the joy of Christmas through song. On Christmas Day, he helped his mother
grandmother prepare an elaborate Christmas dinner. He always wished for
relatives from the city who would bring all sorts of goodies for him and his
to enjoy.

On the other hand, Christmas in the village for my sister and me was a mere
adventure that was quickly forgotten once we were back in the hustle and
of the big city. This young village boy, who had very little, looked
content, happy, and bubbling with energy and joy. He was to us the real face
and spirit
of Christmas.

One congregation that I know of has started an initiative that aims to
replace consumption with compassion by urging its members to consider
donating one
quarter of their Christmas budget towards the building of a village well.

Jesus reminded us of our responsibilities towards each other when He said:

"You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its
saltness be restored?" (Matthew 5:13a NRSV)

Prayer: Gracious Lord, create in us a new heart for You to dwell in. Bless
all the children around the world now and at Christmastime. May Christ's
a gift of life to mankind, remind us of Your unconditional love and grace.
In Jesus' name, we pray, Amen.

Margaret Zondo
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Mon 16 Dec 2013, 9:21 pm

A New Thing – The Shepherds

Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)
18 “Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.

Luke 2:10-17 (NIV)
10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of
great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a
Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign
to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel,
praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace
to men on whom his favor rests.” 15 When the angels had left them and gone
into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and
see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 16 So
they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in
the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what
had been told them about this child,

It was not a new thing for an angel to appear with a message but one thing
was new in the message that the single angel brought to the shepherds. The
message an angel had brought in the past had been for one person or one
group of people. This message was the Good News for all the people. Another
new thing in this account is the baby being found in a manger.

What did the shepherds do when they heard what the angel said? They trusted
the message and did what the angel told them to do. They looked in the
mangers of Bethlehem until they found a baby. After that, they went out
praising God and telling everyone what they had seen and Who they had seen.
They did not know any theology but just what had been told to them and what
they had seen. That is what they told others

This message is a message for all peoples. Like the shepherds, we need to
tell all peoples the Good News of Jesus Christ. WE need to tell them just
what we know. WE don’t have to know all the whys and wherefores, we just
need to tell them what we have been told and what we have experienced.

I saw the results of a survey on a Christian web site of atheists about what
might reach them. The one thing they thought might turn them to Jesus Christ
was testimonies of Jesus and how He has worked in someone’s life.

Jesus commands us to go teach disciples. This may be a new thing god wants
you to do.

May we obey what the psalmist has told us to do:

Psalm 9:11 (NIV)
11 Sing praises to the LORD, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations
what he has done.

By Dean W. Masters

Owner of the Master's List.
Unedited redistribution approved

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Sun 15 Dec 2013, 9:42 pm

by David Wilkerson
[May 19, 1931 – April 27, 2011]

The disciples had no idea what was in their hearts but Jesus did, and He
brought them to a place of testing that exposed it all. He told the twelve to
get into a boat and cross the sea, knowing full well that a storm would soon
envelop them.

Now, these men thought they were trusting followers of the Master. After all,
they had seen thousands fed with just a handful of fish and a few loaves of
bread. So, as they stepped into the boat, they probably thought they would
never doubt Jesus again.

It is one thing to see miracle-working power in your pastor’s life, and quite
another to experience it for yourself. Now, as the winds began blowing and the
waves rose higher, the disciples’ test came. Soon the boat filled with water,
and the men started bailing as fast as they could. In just minutes, however,
they knew their ship was going to sink.

Listen to what emerged from these men’s hearts in their time of testing:
“Lord, don’t You care that we’re all about to die? We’re going down!
Help us, Jesus. Are You God or not? Don’t You care about us?"

Jesus’ very own disciples were tempting Him! Indeed, they spoke almost the
very same words to Jesus that the Israelites had spoken to Moses: “They
tempted the Lord, saying, Is the Lord among us, or not?” (Exodus 17:7).

Yet, all along Jesus knew what He was doing. He could have commanded the winds
and waves to cease long before they did. Such power was always present in Him.
But, instead, He allowed His disciples to be tested in a literal, life-or-death

“His disciples went down unto the sea, and entered into a ship, and went over
the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them.
And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. . . . They see Jesus
walking on the sea . . . and they were afraid. But he saith unto them, It is I;
be not afraid. Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately
the ship was at the land whither they went” (John 6:16-21).

Isaiah 2:11 Human pride will be brought down,
and human arrogance will be humbled.
Only the LORD will be exalted
on that day of judgment.

Welcome to the Illustrator
Today's Bible Verse:

"While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave
birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in
a manger, because there was no guest room available for them." (Luke 2:6-7)
By Answers2Prayer
No Room 4 You. Christmas for the Broken-Hearted, Part 1

In our day and age, especially in the Western world, pregnant women don't
need a reservation to deliver their baby. They are welcomed to a special
of a hospital, and are well cared for. Imagine being in Mary's shoes. No one
had room for her and the delivery day was imminent! Jesus truly was not
on our planet. At His birth, or even throughout His entire life (See John
1:11). Instead of a sanitary room, delivery had to take place in a manger,
animals being the only witnesses.

But then, in life there are many places that make us feel unwelcome. Some
places only welcome us if we have the necessary funds, like amusement parks
kids. Have you ever noticed how small the layout of the admittance gate is?
Narrow is the road to admittance! Notice also the fence with barbwire on the
top that surrounds the entire park, just like a prison. And we are supposed
to have fun in such circumstances!

Scrutiny is tough as well: no ticket, no entry, no matter how desperate you
are. If you have a ticket, you still have to go through security. First a
detector, followed by a manual security check. Are we truly welcome in
amusement parks?

On the other hand, Jesus did not come to earth to have fun, but to save, so
that we could experience eternity in true peace and happiness. No fence and
barbwires required! Still to be born in a manger was his only reception in

How different Bethlehem is today. It now has about six large, comfortable
hotels, which are a low-priced alternative to lodging in Jerusalem. There is
now room in Bethlehem!

But even though the rooms are much less expensive than in Jerusalem, there
is a hidden cost: Bethlehem is completely enclosed by the ill-famed security
fence, a bit like the Western amusement parks. No taxi will drive you there.
You have to disembark and walk through on foot in hot, sweltering weather.
Luckily the checkpoint is operated by bored young soldiers who seem more
interested in their phones than anything else. No one has any trouble
through, especially tourists.

Once through, you find yourself surrounded by men offering their services as
tour guides and taxi drives all at the same time. That's where we become
confused. It's true that a ride is the best way to get to know Bethlehem,
but if you don't know where you are going, you may end upon a very long,

Like anywhere in the Middle East, prices have to be negotiated before taking
services. If you have no experience with that, you are in big trouble!

One of the thrills of taking a ride is that the driver will tell interesting
stories of his own. That's where you start to appreciate the culture.
a visit to the Church of Nativity is a must, an impressive edifice
containing a peculiarly small door (Maybe in reference to Matthew 7:14),
where a gold
star is embedded on the floor to indicate the exact spot where Jesus was
born. It seems the stable has changed into an immense church! Unless this is
the right spot . . .

Outside the church you find yourself in Manger Square where you will find
restaurants, cafes, guesthouses, an information centre, and let us not
a mosque. Beyond Manger Square is the Old City, typified by cobblestone
streets (My favorite!), lined with numerous souvenir shops, and eventually
end up in the bustling Arab market.

Interestingly enough, many Palestinians are concerned about having a
negative reputation abroad. But truly they have nothing to worry about. Most
are eager to give a warm welcome to anyone they encounter. Quite often
tourists are invited for tea or coffee (Sorry no Sprite!) By shopkeepers,
you can truly get to know the friendliness of these people who love to chat,
or if you so desire, to entertain deep discussions. True it's good for
but more often than not, tourists find themselves invited at the homes of
these shopkeepers and are introduced to other friends as well.

Strange that in a place where there was no room for Jesus, hospitality is
the norm today. Anyone would feel right at home there. Maybe they have
something from the One who was born in a manger . . .

Rob Chaffart
Who will you invite for Christmas?
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Thu 12 Dec 2013, 9:14 pm

What Day Was He Born?
The Day Jesus Was Born

Someone has said, "This coming December 25th most parents will be lying to
their children about old St. Nick. Some of us will be celebrating the birth
of our Savior. But was he really born on this day? Was Jesus really born on
December 25th? Virtually every month on the calendar has been proposed by
biblical scholars. So why do we celebrate his birth in December?

The tradition for December 25th is actually quite ancient. Hippolytus, in
the second century A.D., argued that this was Christ's birthday. Meanwhile,
in the Eastern Church, January 6th was the date followed. But in the fourth
century, John Chrysostom argued that December 25th was the correct date and
from that day till now, the Church in the East, as well as the West, has
observed the 25th of December as the official date of Christ's birth.

In modern times, the traditional date has been challenged. Modern scholars
point out that when Jesus was born, shepherds were watching their sheep in
the hills around Bethlehem. Luke tells us that an angel appeared to "some
shepherds staying out in the fields [who were] keeping watch over their
flock by night" (2:8).

Some scholars feel that the sheep were usually brought under cover from
November to March; as well, they were not normally in the field at night.
But there is no hard evidence for this. In fact, early Jewish sources
suggest that the sheep around Bethlehem were outside year-round. So you can
see, December 25th fits both tradition and the biblical narrative well.
There is no sound objection to it.

Now admittedly, the sheep around Bethlehem were the exception, not the rule.
But these were no ordinary sheep. They were sacrificial lambs. In the early
spring they would be slaughtered at the Passover.

And God first revealed the Messiah' s birth to these shepherds--shepherd s who
protected harmless lambs which would soon die on behalf of sinful men. When
they saw the baby, could they have known?

Continue reading

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Thu 12 Dec 2013, 9:12 pm

'In the Accessible Church'

By Tait Berge
Special to ASSIST News Service

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO (ANS) -- When someone using a wheelchair shows up at
church, how do you respond? Do you know what to do, how to act, what to say?
Do you feel awkward? My pastor at International Anglican Church in Colorado
Springs, felt awkward. Now he says his congregation wouldn't be complete
my being part of our body.

Tait Berge with his service dog

I was born with cerebral palsy. However, in many respects, my life story
really began when I was 23. I had been living in an apartment two years and
community college for a journalism degree. Whatever obstacles my disability
presented I overcame with hard work and determination.

But 1996 was different. I started to ask questions such as "Why am I here?"
"What&# 39;s the purpose of my life?" and "Why did God give me this disability?"

Through Bible study and prayer, I discovered my disability wasn't a mistake.
My first major encounter happened after reading Exodus 4:11: "The Lord said
to him, 'who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute?
Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord?'"

I cried when I read those words. When realizing God knew me before I was
born (Psalm 139) and had a plan for my life (Jer. 29:11), I began letting go
my tough guy, get-through- anything attitude and gave my life to Him. That
was when I knew beyond any doubt He had ordained my disability.

I use a wheelchair, my speech is difficult to understand, and yet Jesus says
I'm supposed to give glory to God. This blows my mind. I often struggle
a physical disability, and have depressive episodes and anxieties. Yet God
uses my disability for His glory?

I don't understand it, yet my friends at church tell me it's true. When
hearing me sing, they say they sense the Lord's presence. When seeing me in
for communion, my priest says God is with me and thinks the church wouldn't
be the same without me. The church is more complete when people with
become part.

Book cover

This is the back-story of my latest book, "In the Accessible Church." At the
urging of my wife, I wrote it to show how my church not only accepts my
but also encourage me to live my faith.

I write about my earliest memories of attending church with my family and
finding a new church home after several years attending a larger church. I
my years at the larger church, but wanted something fresh. It had been the
hardest and best decision of my life.

What I have is a community who loves Jesus, worships authenticity, and
serves faithfully. The people at International Anglican Church from the
start accepted
me with open arms as their own. I'm able to be the man God made me to be.
There's nothing I can't do there. I'm a reader. I teach Sunday school. My
is not the issue-the Lord Jesus is.

My readers say they love the last two chapters where I write about the nuts
and bolts of having someone affected with disability attend a church. It's
always a partnership. The disability should always be secondary. That
person-in a wheelchair, blind, or has a developmental disability-is a child
of God.
He or she needs the love of Jesus Christ and is affected by the same disease
you have, which is sin.

Because of their need for a savior, people affected by disability need
access to churches. That doesn't mean buildings or programs or a perfect
I'm perfectly happy parking my chair by the pew or reading from the pulpit.
I also don't advocate for big disability programs. A successful disability
ministry is where people affected by disability serve.

This book is for church leaders who believe the Lord loves people with
disabilities, but might not be aware people with disabilities have so much
to offer.
I am sharing my experience to encourage and teach churches how to
incorporate people with disabilities into the workings of church. It is
important for
people with disabilities to serve and not just be served. This book will
help leaders see how the body of Christ is more complete when including
The body of believers at my church has not only taken me in as one of their
own, but also encouraged me to become a better disciple. They don't see my
disability. They see a fellow Christian. My friends don't help me out of
duty. They do it out of love.

My book is available in print though Amazon and Lulu or as an eBook on the
Barnes and Noble's Nook and iBook formats. The read is quick. The message is
simple. Yet, hopefully this message will inspire you and your church family
to help fulfill the Great Commission to an extremely overlooked people
the disabled
------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
Tait Berge is the Church Relations Director for Mephibosheth Ministry (
www.mephiboshethmin istry.org) ,
an organization that encourages churches to include people with special
needs in their congregation. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in
Leadership and
Ethics from Nazarene Bible College. Born with cerebral palsy, Tait believes
the Lord ordained his disability. He knows the Lord is using it to glorify
Him and prays He will continue to use Tait in mighty ways. Tait lives in
Colorado Springs and attends International Anglican Church (
www.iac-cs.org) .
He has written three books. Please visit
www.taitberge. com
for more information about Tait and his ministry. He can be contacted by
e-mail at
taitBerge510@ comcast.net
See all ASSIST News articles at www.assistnews.net
------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
This story is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily
reflect the views of the ASSIST News Service or ASSIST Ministries.
------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
** You may republish this story with proper attribution.
Dean Masters, owner of the Masters List

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Wed 11 Dec 2013, 8:52 pm

Love Worth Finding Ministries
If You Keep Your Eyes on Jesus…

“And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart
shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.”
John 16:22

When I was a boy and living on the Florida coastline, my brother and I were
a little disappointed when a hurricane passed us by because of the
we experienced leaning into the wind and tasting the salty air! I can
remember waves sometimes reaching fifty feet in the air. What a sight! But
did you
know there has never been a storm to move the ocean floor?

There will be storms that will course across the surface of our lives with
raging torment, but the child of God can know a deep-down joy that nothing
take away. If you keep your eyes on Jesus, He will bring a joy that no man
can take from you.

Oh, thank God for the steadfastness of His power, love, and mercy. Is your
joy full in Christ today despite the winds of adversity
Today's Message
Devotions taken from the messages of Adrian Rogers.

© 2013 Love Worth Finding Ministries | PO Box 38300 - Memphis, TN 38183-0300
The email address this message was sent from does not accept replies. If
you would like to send a comment, challenge, prayer or praise, please visit

May God continue to strengthen and encourage you by the Love Worth Finding
Dean Masters, owner of the Masters List

Now to Him who is able to keep you from falling, and to make you stand in
the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our
Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and
authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. Jude 1:24-25
Revealed to Shepherds, Hidden from Herod

“And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven,
the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and
see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us
” Luke 2:15


What is the great need in the world today? Is it information? We’re
drowning in a sea of information. If information is what we need, God would
have sent an educator. Is it technology? If technology had been the need,
God would have sent a scientist. Is it money? Do you think your problems
would be solved if you had more money? If money were the need, God would
have sent an economist. Is the need more leisure? Maybe God should have sent
an entertainer.

No. Our great need is salvation. And so God sent a Savior.

I’m amazed (and blessed) that He sent the message to humble shepherds. Old
Herod, the King, never did quite get it. He never did understand. But humble
shepherds understood the message. Why? Because “God has hidden these things
from the wise and the prudent and has revealed them unto babes.” (Luke


Do you want to understand who Jesus Christ is today? Then lay your
intellectual pride in the dust, come to Him and say, “Lord, reveal this
truth to me.” Sing it and follow it: “O come let us adore Him, Christ the

Devotions taken from the messages of Adrian Rogers.

© 2013 Love Worth Finding Ministries | PO Box 38300 - Memphis, TN 38183-0300

The Wonder in His Name

“…and his name shall be called Wonderful…” Isaiah 9:6


What is in the name of the Lord Jesus? There is wonder in His name. Do you
stand in awe of the Lord Jesus Christ? Or have you become oblivious? Do
you not get excited when you think of Jesus? If you don’t, you’ve lost the
wonder. You have calluses on your soul.

Oh friend, Jesus is wonderful. Wonderful in His birth. Wonderful in His
life. Wonderful in His teaching. Wonderful in His miracles. Wonderful in
His death. Wonderful in His resurrection. And yes, wonderful in His
second coming. His name is wonderful.

I heard of a man riding on a train one time, looking out the window. He was
saying, “Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful”. And the
man sitting next to him asked, “Why do you think everything is wonderful?”
He said, “I’ve been blind and I’ve just had surgery and I’m seeing things
that I had long since forgotten how beautiful they are. And they are
wonderful to me.”


Friend, if Jesus is not wonderful to you, open your spiritual eyes. See just
how wonderful Jesus is. There is wonder in His name.
Devotions taken from the messages of Adrian Rogers.

© 2013 Love Worth Finding Ministries | PO Box 38300 - Memphis, TN 38183-0300

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Sat 07 Dec 2013, 12:27 am

The Humility of Being Human
by Katherine Britton

"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in 
very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 
but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in 
human likeness." -
Philippians 2:5-7

I'm a Christmas carol snob, I guess, as I scorn most songs written in the 
past 30 years. I do have notable exceptions, however, when the lyrics go 
beyond the kitsch of "All I Want for Christmas Is You" and other such 
piffle. We have more than enough American Christmas songs, but there's 
always room for a thoughtful reflection in the canon of carols. So yes, I 
make an exception for the CCM favorite "Welcome to Our World." Here are some 
of the lyrics:

Hope that you don't mind our manger
How I wish we would have known
But long awaited Holy Stranger
Make yourself at home
Please make yourself at home

Fragile finger sent to heal us
Tender brow prepared for thorn
Tiny heart whose blood will save us
Unto us is born
Unto us is born

So wrap our injured flesh around You
Breathe our air and walk our sod
Rob our sin and make us holy
Perfect Son of God
Perfect Son of God
Welcome to our world

So many Christmas songs focus on the joy of the season, and rightfully so. 
It's a joyous time, both culturally and spiritually. But occasionally I need 
to view the holiday from a different perspective - that is, from the 
viewpoint of heaven. From God the Son's perspective, becoming human was - to 
put it mildly - a huge demotion. Christmas began with an act of submission 
and humility on the part of the Son. The Creator consented to become one of 
the creation, with all of our blood, sweat, and tears.
From the heavenly perspective, the Incarnation arrived with sorrow, as part 
of the Godhead separated himself physically from the Father. Christmas 
signals an arrival into our world, but a departure, however brief, from a 
greater world.

Jesus's demonstrated humility is just one of the reasons the Incarnation 
should inspire such awe in us. Yes, the Incarnation dignified a downtrodden 
humanity. But the Incarnation also required sacrifice we can't begin to 
describe. All this before the ultimate shame of the cross.

The Puritan Thomas Watson meditated on Christ's humility with these words:

"He came not in the majesty of a king, attended with [a bodyguard], but he 
came poor; not like the heir of heaven, but like one of an inferior descent. 
The place he was born in was poor; not the royal city Jerusalem, but 
Bethlehem, a poor obscure place. He was born in an inn, and a manger was his 
cradle, the cobwebs his curtains, the beasts his companions; he descended of 
poor parents.... He was poor, that he might make us rich.... He lay in the 
manger that we might lie in paradise. He came down
from heaven, that he might bring us to heaven."

Intersecting Faith & Life: As you consider the joy of this holiday season - 
whether you're anticipating the unwrapped smiles, lighting the Advent 
wreath, singing carols, making cookies, or whatever - take time to consider 
the counterpoint. Our joy is Christ's first sacrifice.

Tactics for the Thirsty Soul

Psalm 42:1–11

Recommended Reading:
Psalm 63:1–11; Luke 22:39–46

Isn’t it amazing how the Bible talks about the soul? Scripture not only 
portrays what the successful, victorious and satisfied life feels like, but 
Word also offers many examples of people who battle for their faith and grow 

In this psalm the songwriter longs deeply for God. Taunted by his enemies, 
his soul knows deep despair and turmoil. But rather than caving in to the 
of adversity, the desperate follower cries out to God. How does he wage this 

First, the songwriter honestly expresses his feelings to God. Rather than 
denying his pain, he pours out his soul (see
Psalm 42:4)
and brings his frustration and sense of abandonment to God (see verse 9). 
Second, he engages his own memory. The songwriter recalls blessed times of 
with the people of God (see verse 4), and—more significantly—he remembers 
God himself (see verse 6). Third, the songwriter talks to himself. Or, 
more accurately, he addresses his own soul. He repeats the refrain: “Put 
your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (
Psalm 42:11).
Although his adversaries taunt him and continually tell him lies, the 
psalmist aggressively counters their negative slurs with his own message of 
in God.

Finally, note that the songwriter wrote about his struggles. The fact that 
his words still exist today indicates that he battled for his soul by giving
expression to his grief and hope.

If you’re engaged in a battle to make your faith real and are growing tired 
of the conflict, don’t give up the fight. Long for God. Thirst for him. If
you feel comfortable doing so, record your struggles on paper or in a file 
on your computer. When you pursue God, Scripture promises that you’ll find 
Pray for God to flood your soul with relief. And don’t forget to challenge 
yourself in the same manner of the psalmist in
Psalm 42:6
To Take Away
list of 3 items
• Do you ever long for God so much that you feel yourself dying of thirst to 
experience his presence and refreshment?
• Have you ever “preached” to your own soul? If you were to do so now, what 
would you say to yourself?
• When have you sensed relief from your thirst for God? How can you repeat 
that experience?

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Thu 05 Dec 2013, 1:00 am

Search Carefully
Karen Ehman

"Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About 
that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, 
is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have 
come to worship him.'"
Matthew 2:1-2

Our family has a tradition we've kept running for over 20 years. Every 
December, we pick a night to enjoy barbecue chicken pizza and peppermint 
stick ice
cream. Then we pile in our old tan Buick and venture off to look at the 
area's Christmas lights. A snow flurry is always a plus and makes the bright 
dance in the distance.

When our kids were young, they'd each pick a story character to look for in 
the decorations. They'd keep a running tally of what they saw amongst the 
displays. Kenna might look for snowmen, Mitchell for reindeer. And Spencer 
loved to discover a green Grinch or two. Whoever picked the most frequently
spied character won a small prize.

Our family tradition evokes sweet memories for this mom. However, there was 
one troubling aspect of our yearly adventure. No matter how hard we 
we rarely discovered a nativity display with the Christ child lying in a 

Yes, secular characters brought giggles to our wide-eyed, pajama-footed 
children, but the main person of the holiday—the whole point of 
Christmas—was seldom
to be found. We did locate a few homes that displayed a nativity, but we had 
to search diligently for them.

As we go through December we, can easily be inundated with responsibilities. 
While trying our best to "get it all done," it is easy to miss the Christmas
Child. We scurry and scamper to put on a big bash while practically ignoring 
the One whose birthday it really is.

Let's purpose that this year we'll search for Jesus carefully and diligently 
just as the wise men did in
Matthew 2:1-2:

"Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About 
that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, 
is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have 
come to worship him.'" (NLT)

These wise men left their daily duties, homes, and studies and went out of 
their way, traveling many, many miles on camelback through the dry desert, 
find Jesus. Like these men, we need to break away from our routines and 
busyness to take time to look for the Christ Child.

It might mean stopping in the midst of shopping to sit quietly in our car, 
praying that God will help us center our thoughts on Jesus more than holiday
tasks. Or perhaps it will require us to put down our to-do list in order to 
pick up our Bible to read and absorb the account of Jesus' miraculous birth.

However it looks, let's search carefully for the Christ Child. He's there in 
the middle of the hustle and bustle. When we find Him, let's not keep the
wonder of His love to ourselves. We can share it. Serve others. Bless 
intentionally. And lift our eyes (and those of our children too) off of 
and on to the real reason for Christmas.

Dear Lord, help me to intentionally seek and find You just like the wise men 
did. May I share the love You give with those I encounter this season. In
Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources
Do You Know Jesus?

Need a fresh dose of peace in the midst of the Christmas craziness? Sign up 
for Karen Ehman's free resource
From Chaos to Calm: The LET. IT. GO. Christmas Challenge.
For five days you will be emailed biblical encouragement and practical ideas 
to help make your holidays less about stressing and more about blessing!

Everyday Confetti
is a new book from Karen Ehman and Glynnis Whitwer, to be released in 
January. Pre-order your copy from Proverbs 31 Ministries and you will be 
sent a
free PDF with great organizing tips.

Reflect and Respond:
What fond traditions do you have of Christmas as a child? How can you build 
new traditions today that center on Christ and teach others to do the same?

Grab your kids or some friends and head off on an adventure of blessing. 
Call a homeless shelter or nursing home to ask what needs they have, whether 
be coats, blankets, food, cheer, etc. Whatever you do, leave a handwritten 
note for the recipient that declares, "Jesus came to earth briefly to live 
us so that we could go to heaven to live forever with Him. Merry 

Power Verses:
Jeremiah 29:13,
"You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart." (ESV)

Luke 2:11-12,
"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ 
the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in
swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." (ESV)

© 2013 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31. org

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Sun 01 Dec 2013, 8:29 pm

The Last Days
by Sarah Phillips
"And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth 
distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, 
men fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world; 
for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son 
of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things 
begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption 
is drawing near."
Luke 21:25

Most of us don't love to wait. We want to get on with things. Tie things up 
neatly so we can move on to the next thing. We often forget that in some 
cases, the opportunity to wait is an expression of God's mercy.

You see, this Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent. It came quickly this 
year. I was so busy preparing for Thanksgiving, I almost forgot about 
Advent. Thankfully, our reliable pastor will be decked out in purple this 
Sunday, scripture readings and hymns ready to go.

Advent isn't really an event so much as a season set aside to wait for an 
event. We can choose how we want to practice Advent. We can see it as a 
burden, an afterthought, or a hindrance. Or we can see its greater 
application to all of life. We can recognize it for what it is: a reminder 
to stop, clear away some of the normal "stuff" of life, and remember that 
throughout our life here we are waiting for something big, something that 
needs our attention and preparation: The second coming of Christ.

Many times I've heard fellow Christians express the desire for the day to 
just get here already. Can't we just end the wars and suffering… the 
waiting… and get on with Christ's return? Many pick apart the Scriptures, 
looking for details, for signs, that Christ is coming soon. Groups form and 
debates rage about the finer details of the end times.

While I am sure God appreciates our interest in and desire for his arrival, 
I am not so sure we really know what we're asking for when we say we wish he 
would hurry up and appear.

Think about it. Are we really ready? Is the world really ready? If you had 
to stand before Christ tomorrow, would you be ready? I don't mean "ready" as 
having correctly predicted the dramatic events that would unfold during the 
end times. I mean would your life reflect service to him? Love of him? 
Submission to him?

Mine wouldn't. At least not to the extent that it should. I'd like a few 
days, or um decades, to straighten things out. And to the best of my humble 
abilities, help a few more of those living in the dark find the light.

Suddenly, waiting doesn't seem too bad. God's plan to give me and the rest 
of the world a little more time doused with a lot of his grace doesn't seem 
so frustrating.

After reading the above dramatic passage from Luke at an Advent Sunday 
service past, our pastor did not delve into prophecy or speculation about 
the last days. He backtracked a little, and instead opted to focus on the 
here and now. He challenged us to avoid the "drowsiness&qu ot; that comes with our 
everyday cares and concerns. He challenged us to become disciplined people, 
Christians whose lives are truly transformed by Christ instead of by the 
seductive "spirit of the age." He held up examples of fellow
Christians who came before us and conquered their own contemporary 

He reminded us that we will each have our own "last day" even if our lives 
here do not witness the Last Day.

That's what Advent is really about… grace today for whatever may come 
tomorrow. It's about God's incredible patience and love for children who 
have much to learn and need plenty of precious time to allow for stumbling 
along the way. As for the final days, set aside the speculation and leave 
that to God's perfect timing. He'll know when we're ready.

Intersecting Faith & Life: A disciplined prayer life opens our lives to 
God's transforming graces. Set aside a little extra time every single week, 
from now until Christmas, to spend time in prayer.

Further Reading

Jeremiah 33:14-16

Psalms 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14

Luke 21:25-28, 34-36

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Fri 29 Nov 2013, 6:05 pm

Lincoln Thanksgiving
Thu Nov 28, 2013 7:46 am (PST) . Posted by: "Dean Masters" It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon
the overruling power of God; to confess their sins and transgressions in
humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to
mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy
Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose
God is the Lord.

We know that by His divine law, nations, like individuals, are subjected to
punishments and chastisements in this world. May we not justly fear that
the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be a
punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end
of our national reformation as a whole people?

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have
been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in
numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown.

But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which
preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and
we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these
blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.
Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to
feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to
the God that made us.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently
and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole
American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of
the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are
sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of
November as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who
dwelleth in the heavens.
--Abraham Lincoln - October 3, 1863

Dean Masters, owner of the Masters List

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Thu 28 Nov 2013, 12:34 am

Facing a Crisis of History
Luke 12:49-57
Jesus told His disciples that He had not come to bring peace, but division. 
He told them that He was bringing a baptism of fire to the earth, warning 
the crowd to flee the wrath to come.

This was the great moment of crisis in history. It was a time of urgency 
that swept the earth with the appearance of Jesus. Jesus' coming to this 
planet in the fullness of time was a time of division, judgment, and 

It was a time of personal choosing, when eternal destinies were at stake. 
Everyone who encountered Jesus had to make a choice, to stand with Him or 
against Him. Thus, since the time of Jesus' first appearance, the world has 
been gripped in a kind of crisis that will continue until the last great 
crisis, the last judgment.

How do men encounter Jesus today, thus facing their own crisis of history? 
Jesus is in heaven, but men and women encounter Him through His people, the 
church. The church is His body and His herald. The fiery baptism Jesus came 
to bring fell in one sense at Pentecost to ignite the tongues of His people 
so that they might bring the crisis of decision to all men.

Knowing these things should make us urgent in our proclamation of His name 
and make us insistent that the generation of our day be exposed to the Lord 
of lords.

Coram Deo: Living in the Presence of God

What are you doing to proclaim His name to this generation? Pray about the 
role God would have you fill.

For Further Study

Luke 12:49-53: "I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were 
already kindled! But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how 
distressed I am till it is accomplished! Do you suppose that I came to give 
peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. For from now on 
five in one house will be divided; three against two, and two against three. 
Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against 
daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against
daughter-in- law and daughter-in- law against her mother-in-law. "

The mission, passion and purpose of Ligonier Ministries and Dr. R.C. Sproul 
is to help people grow in their knowledge of God and His holiness. For more 
information, please visit
or call them at 800-435-4343.
© R.C. Sproul. All rights reserved.


Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 
because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 
must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking 
James 1:2-4

James, in his letter to the early Christians, lists the qualities that many 
kinds of trials develop in us.

She stood outside the doorway of the church intrigued by the love and joy 
displayed by those inside. The missionary had asked her to come in, but she 
politely declined. This was a hostile area in the Philippines, and her 
father had strictly forbidden her to have anything to do with “those 

Unknown to the little Filipino girl, the missionary was praying fervently 
for her soul. Finally one Sunday morning, the little girl accepted the 
to attend the Sunday school class. There she also opened her heart to Jesus 
and became a child of God. The missionary presented her with a beautiful 
dress, representing the fact that Jesus had washed all her sins away.

The next Sunday the little girl was nowhere to be found. Concerned for the 
girl, the missionary travelled to her home village. Arriving at her home, 
found the young, new believer lying in the dirt. Her white dress was torn, 
filthy, and soaked in blood. The girl’s father hadn’t shared the missionary’s
joy in his daughter’s new-found faith. In a drunken rage he had beaten her, 
repeatedly kicked her, and left her to die.

The missionary gently lifted the fragile girl and carried her back to the 
church where a doctor rushed to help. But there was nothing he could do. He 
the ragged dress and cleaned her up, but her injuries were too severe. The 
missionary stayed with her, trying to comfort her during her final hour.

Upon regaining consciousness the little girl made an unusual request. She 
insisted on holding in her hand the white dress the missionary had given 
They explained that it was torn and soaked with blood and dirt. With the 
simple faith of a child she whispered, “I just want Jesus to know that I was 
to bleed for Him.”

RESPONSE: Today I acknowledge that struggles and trials are exactly what I 
need in my life. Without them, I would be crippled. I would never fly!

PRAYER: Lord, cause my suffering to make what I really believe to be evident 
to others.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS)
A daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks
© 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Mon 25 Nov 2013, 11:34 pm

Always Be Ready to Give an Answer 
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an
answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with
meekness and fear.” 1 Peter 3:15 

Be ready to give an answer when someone asks you about your faith. In
seminary, we call this “apologetics.” Contrary to what you might think, this
does not mean you are to apologize for your faith! Instead, “apologetics”
comes from the Greek word that means “to give a defense, as in front of a

Can you defend your faith? It is not enough for you to demonstrate your
faith; you must also defend your faith. If you ran into someone who was
dying, and he asked you to share your faith with him, could you? You need to
be ready. 

You need to also be reasonable. You need to study God’s Word and know what
it says about salvation, sin, heaven, and hell. Are you ready? 

If not, get ready today. There’s no better time. 

Devotions taken from the messages of Adrian Rogers. 

© 2013 Love Worth Finding Ministries | PO Box 38300 - Memphis, TN 38183-0300

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Mon 25 Nov 2013, 1:20 am

This is too hard for me!
(Alexander Smellie, "The Hour of Silence" 1899)

"Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram 
caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and 
it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. And Abraham called the name 
of the place: Jehovah-Jireh- -the Lord will provide!" Genesis 22:13-14

And what does He provide?

The Lord will provide BREAD when I am hungry. It seems natural to begin 
there. He has a care for my body as well as for my soul. He is certainly not 
that I should have wealth or distinction or the means of indulgence and 
display. But, if I trust Him, I shall get enough for comfort--if not enough 
plenty; enough to rid me from unworthy worry--if not enough to free me from 
wholesome dependence and continuous faith. Every modest and present need, He
is sure to satisfy.

The Lord will provide HELP when I am helpless. Is it the discipline of my 
own inner life? Is it to escape this enticing world? I am sufficient for 
of these things.
Sometimes my road is rough,
sometimes it is steep,
sometimes it is dark,
sometimes it is slippery.
My heart whispers discouragement, and says, "This is too hard for me!" But, 
when I come to the place, I find that God Himself has solved my 
and puts to flight my fears!

Best of all, my Lord will provide SALVATION when I am burdened with sin. It 
was a lamb for sacrifice which Jehovah-Jireh prepared on the bare summit of
Moriah. And in fullness of time, on the green hill of Calvary, close beside 
mount Moriah--a better Lamb died by divine appointment and made 
for my iniquity! In the presence of such a sacrifice, how full my joy should 
be! Jesus, the precious Lamb of God . . .
breaks every fetter,
unbars every door,
forgives every debt!

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Sun 24 Nov 2013, 12:03 pm

Global Prayer Digest People of the Day
Youth in Iran
Oct 18, 2013 01:00 am

Today's Devotional
2 Timothy 2:2 "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many 
witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach 
This principle of personal multiplication is the key means of creating a 
movement. Paul intended that church planters should be trained through the 
of personal multiplication. As Paul trained Timothy to establish new 
churches, Timothy was to equip others to do the same. The same situation 
today in Iran. There faithful witnesses are usually in their 20s, and they, 
like young Timothy, are sharing Christ with others!

Pray that the Holy Spirit will empower reliable Iranians to share their 
faith for generations to come.

Today's People Group
“No jobs, no spouse, and no political voice-these are the raw ingredients of 
youth frustration,” according to Elam whose mission is to strengthen and 
the church in Iran and beyond. Young people between the ages of 15 and 29 
make up 35 percent of Iran’s population, and 70 percent of them are 

The problem is not a lack of education. Iran’s youth are well educated and 
Internet savvy. With just a few clicks they can see what their peers in 
countries are enjoying. With no jobs, most can’t marry or leave home. Their 
frustration is often manifested in politically motivated violence, drug use,
and illicit sex. When no future beckons, the young often decide to extract 
as much pleasure as possible from the present.

But there is another choice, and many are turning to Jesus Christ. They are 
disillusioned with their religious system and the empty promises of 
leaders. Jesus promises to meet their basic needs, give them inner freedom, 
and something to live for. The churches are growing, and many of the 
are young, some of whom have grown so swiftly in their faith that they are 
already leading fellowships of people in their 20s and planting churches.

Pray that the current church planting movement among Iran’s youth will 
affect all people groups in their nation. Pray for physical and spiritual 
for believers in a society where it is deemed both criminal and traitorous 
to be a follower of Jesus Christ.-JS
See: (http://www.elam.com/articles/Youth-Frustration-/)
Learn more at
Joshua Project.
read more
Like Youth in Iran on Facebook
|Copyright © 2013 U.S. Center for World Mission, All rights reserved.
Dean Masters, owner of the Masters List

Bad Rap, Bad Advice
By Skip Heitzig

Life isn’t fair, as Job discovered. He lost his children, his position, and 
his health. This is a guy who was at the top of the heap in riches, but now 
he’s sitting on top of a heap of ashes, scraping himself with broken 
pottery. It’s at this point that his wife steps in to give him some advice. 
“Then his wife said to him, ‘Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse 
God and die’” (Job 2:9).

I believe Job’s wife has suffered at the hands of many a scholar and many a 
preacher, myself included. She’s gotten a bad rap.

I think she’s been treated unfairly because most people miss that little 
word “then” in verse 9. And it’s important. After all, these weren’t just 
Job’s kids that died, they were hers as well. In one day, this woman lost 
ten children, and her husband is diseased with no hope for his future. That 
would devastate any woman, any mother, any wife. THEN she blurts out what 
she feels as her husband is suffering and she’s not able to help him.

Of course, that doesn’t take her completely off the hook. Blaspheming God is 
never a good idea under any circumstance, and Job rightly rebukes her. When 
she says, ‘Curse God and die,’ she doesn’t know that this is exactly what 
Satan said Job would do if God took away all that Job had: “He’ll curse You 
to Your face” (see Job 1:11, 2:5). So when she says, ‘Curse God and die,’ 
Satan and all of his demons are cheering.

Here’s the principle: Good people can give bad advice. And this is a great 
example of that. In fact, I’ll take it a step further: Satan can work 
through people dear to you.

When Jesus told his disciples that He was going to go to Jerusalem to suffer 
and die, Peter’s immediate reaction was to say, “Far be it from You, Lord” 
(Matthew 16:22). Peter was a well-meaning friend, but his advice was bad. 
And Jesus rebuked him because the reason He came to the earth was to die on 
the cross.

On the other hand, Abraham heeded Sarah when she told him to have a child 
with her handmaid because she couldn’t conceive. When we’re suffering and 
somebody very close to us gives us well-meaning but bad advice, we are 
tempted to listen to them because we love them. The temptation is more 

The point is, people do not always have a divine viewpoint. They may love 
you, they may mean well for you, but they may not always think like God 
thinks. There’s only one source for a divine viewpoint—and it’s not a 
preacher, or a counselor, or a Christian book. It’s THE book, the Bible. God’s 
Word is the divine viewpoint for all of life.

No matter what advice you get, make sure to filter it through the truth of 
His holy Word!

Copyright © 2013 by Connection Communications. All rights reserved.

What Are You Thankful For?
by Ryan Duncan, Crosswalk.com Entertainment Editor

“I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with 
thanksgiving.” –
Psalms 69:30

A while back, there was an episode of The Simpsons in which the family is 
celebrating Thanksgiving. When the time came to say grace, Bart Simpson 
bowed his head and said,

“Dear God, we paid for all this stuff ourselves, so thanks for nothing.”

The first time I saw this clip on TV I remember feeling a mix of emotions. 
On one hand, I was angry that such cynicism was being shown toward God and a 
day celebrating thankfulness. On the other hand, I couldn’t help but relate 
to Bart a little. I was at a time in my life when everything seemed out of 
control. I had no money, my life felt like it was stuck in neutral, and my 
future was looking pretty bleak. Why should I be thanking God for anything?

If you’ve ever been in my situation, I want to point you toward a passage of 
scripture that helped me put things in perspective,

“On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. 
And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a 
distance and lifted up their voices, saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on 
us." When he saw them he said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the 
priests." And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw 
that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell 
on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a
Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, "Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? 
Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" 
And he said to him, "Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.’” –
Luke 17:11-19

It’s easy to spend our lives worrying and obsessing over the problems of 
life. It’s also easy to overlook a blessing in times of need, or forget to 
be thankful when troubled times have been put to rest. Be sure you don’t 
become one of the nine lepers, who were so happy to be cured that they 
forgot who cured them. This Thanksgiving, I encourage you to spend time 
remembering what God has done in your life.

Intersecting Faith and Life

Whatever your situation may be, count your blessings and take a moment to 
thank God for them.

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Fri 22 Nov 2013, 11:11 pm

by David Wilkerson
[May 19, 1931 – April 27, 2011]

The apostle Paul says, “I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last,
as it were appointed to death [handed over to death]: for we are made a
spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men” (1 Corinthians 4:9).

Simply put, when godly saints full of the Christ-life are led into death
situations, it's never a private matter. Scripture says we are on display to
three different intelligences: angels, devils and humankind.

At times you may feel all alone in your struggle, but you are not involved in
some secret battle taking place in a dark corner. On the contrary, three realms
are watching you with great interest. Devils are watching you, angels are
watching you, and people are watching you. And they are all wondering, “How
is this servant of God going to respond to his trial?”

What are such spectacle-trials all about? Why must we go through these deaths?
What is in us that God is after? Our heavenly Father knows that certain
unredeemed areas in our lives hinder the full manifestation of Christ's life in
us. He knows our stumbling blocks, our fears, our ambitions, our
lusts—everything that blocks a full shining forth of Jesus. So He allows us
to be put into “death situations” to rid our hearts of these hindrances.

If your hindrance is a fear of man, God may lead someone into your life whose
presence paralyzes you with fear. Everything that person says or does adds to
your fear, until it becomes unbearable. 

I have seen such fear cause physical pain to God's saints. Some have ended up
hyperventilating over the "hard person" in their life, literally losing their
breath. Why does God allow such a man or woman to become involved in your life?
It happens because your loving Father is handing you over to death. He's telling
you, “Your fear of man hinders the precious flow of the Christ-life in you,
thus it cannot produce life in others. This fear in you must end. You have to
die to it!”

Your cry to Him may be, “Lord, get me out of this!” But God responds, “No
I'm going to let death do its work. I have arranged all of this so the life of
Jesus might be manifest in you!”
Isaiah 2:11 Human pride will be brought down, 
and human arrogance will be humbled. 
Only the LORD will be exalted 
on that day of judgment.

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Thu 21 Nov 2013, 11:54 pm

Posted by: "Dean Masters" Read
1 Corinthians 12

The apostle Paul describes the spiritual gifts given to the church by God 
and administered by the Holy Spirit.

Gifts and Fruit

It is sobering to realize that the fruit of the Spirit did not include how 
well I could preach or how effective I was at giving altar calls. Nowhere in
the Bible could I find a Scripture that said, “By their gifts you will know 
them†(trust me, I searched the whole Bible). I realized that there could be
no doubt that I had been examined by the Lord and found lacking. Deep within 
me, I came to accept the fact that I had a long way to go in my spiritual
walk. We all have areas relating to our soul muscle that need to be 

I had obvious gifts in my life—and I put them to good use in a growing 
church. I took all too seriously
1 Corinthians 12:31,
which tells us to “eagerly desire the greater gifts.†Now that’s not 
necessarily a bad thing, as the gifts of the Spirit are given by God to 
the Church, but when we seek them at the expense of the deep and often 
unseen internal work of God, that’s when it becomes a problem. In my case, 
externally I was moving in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, my soul couldn’t 
sustain me. The fruit of the Spirit were absent in my life, and as a result,
my world fell apart.

Sadly, all too often I hear of destinies that have been sabotaged because 
Christians have been focused on developing the gifts of the Holy Spirit in 
lives rather than seeking the fruit. They have mistaken a gift given to them 
by God, which they have done absolutely nothing to merit, as evidence of 
maturity. They have convinced themselves that the manifestation of the gift 
is an accurate measure of their success as a Christian. They could not have
been more wrong.

When the gifts of the Spirit on a person’s life are greater than the fruit 
of the Spirit in a person’s life, that life will begin to crumble. The 
of an unbalanced life may be health issues or an inability to have close 
relationships, depression, addictions, eating disorders, promiscuity, 
and so much more. This kind of fruit is the outcome of a weak soul muscle.

But here’s the great news: As we grow in relationship with God, and our soul 
muscles gain strength, we have God’s power working within us to bring about
our transformation into the image of Christ that each one of us—and, more 
important, God—desires.

Point to Ponder

God has given us great and wonderful gifts. As we grow in our commitment to 
Christ and the fruit of the Spirit become manifest in our lives, these gifts
play out beautifully on God stage.
Undaunted by Christine Caine
Today's reading is adapted from
The Core Issue
by Christine Caine

October 12, 2013
For Generating a Gentle Spirit
by Charles R. Swindoll

block quote
If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become 
boastful, challenging one another, envying one another. Brethren, even if 
is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a 
spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not
be tempted. Bear one another' s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of 
Christ. ---Galatians 5:25-6:2
block quote end

We are very thankful, Father, that in the process of our spiritual growth 
You remind us of the importance of gentleness: Your Word not only instructs 
in what we're to do, it also shows us how to do it. We remember what Paul 
wrote to the Thessalonians . . . he gently dealt with them as a mother with 
nursing child. Help us, Father, to have that kind of gracious, gentle 
spirit---especially those of us who tend to be impatient with others who are 
as quick on their feet . . . or those of us who are healthy and lack 
compassion for others who are not as strong . . . or those of us who find 
in accomplishments but lack empathy for others who are not as productive. 
It's so easy for all of us---if not verbally, at least in our minds---to 
to look down on others, to complain and to compare. May we, through Your 
Spirit's power, become more like our gentle Savior, who promised, "My yoke 
easy and My burden is light." Like our Master and Lord, may our encounters 
with others be easy and bring light. Meet our needs in a very special way, 
our need for a gentle and quiet spirit.

In the name of Your gracious Son. Amen.

See also Matthew 5:5; 11:29-30; Galatians 5:22-23; 1 Thessalonians 2:7.

Excerpted from
The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 1,
Copyright © 2010 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
Share with a Friend
© 2013 Insight for Living. All rights reserved

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Wed 20 Nov 2013, 11:32 pm

Faith Like a Little Child
by Debbie Holloway, Crosswalk.com Family Editor

"Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a 
child will not enter it at all"
(Mark 10:15).

Most of the times I have heard this quote from Jesus used, it has been a 
reminder to have simple faith. Christians tend get caught up in theological 
squabbles, and when it gets intense usually someone will chime in at some 
point with a reminder that the bottom line is to have childlike faith.

And while obviously divisiveness is to be avoided among brethren, sometimes 
I think we forget what children are actually like when we use the phrase 
“childlike” to describe desired attitudes or attributes. As someone who been 
around children my whole life, I’ve recently had some thoughts on relating 
this verse to the truth about how (most) children behave.

1. Children require relationship.

If a child is told to do something with no context or established 
relationship, it is very likely said child will simply be scared, angry, or 
will even fight. Each one of us is on the journey to build a relationship 
with God through Christ, but we are each at a different step in the journey. 
To expect someone without a relationship with God to “have childlike faith” 
with what they’re struggling in would be a silly as expecting to convince a 
stranger’s child to do something they did not want to do.
Children know less than adults, naturally, but children will very rarely 
follow you instructions unless they know your face.

2. Children never stop asking questions.

Unfortunately, being told to have faith like a child is often a response 
given to a hard question. Kind of a wet blanket, huh? But it’s so misguided, 
because children naturally ask a million questions a minute! Now obviously 
as they grow older they learn tact (and often learn from endless shushings 
to ask fewer questions), but innately, children are open to learning and 
want to learn. They want to know the stories behind traditions, the logic 
behind chores, and they want to rip the mystery off why
we do things the way we’ve always done them. If we are to “be like a little 
child,” we must never lose our drive to ask questions.

3. You must earn the trust of children.

When I was a very young child, a man in my church body used to make a habit 
of teasing and tickling the children in the congregation. Most children 
liked him and didn’t mind his antics, but I was an incredibly sensitive 
toddler – one who rarely felt at home away from my mother’s arms. I needed 
my personal space, and very much resented the intrusions of this 
(admittedly, very well-intentioned) parishioner. At one point when he 
accosted me, I am told by my family that I calmly ordered him to “never
touch me again.” He had not earned my trust with his particular brand of 
playfulness, and therefore I was not OK with him being inside my bubble. 
(*disclaimer: don’t worry, I grew out of this sensitivity. This poor man did 
not remain my arch-nemesis! )

This phenomenon can be seen every Sunday morning when children are dropped 
off in the nursery and crying fits ensue. Is it because they are bad kids? 
Of course not! It’s because they have itty bitty reasoning capabilities, and 
all they know instinctively is that they’ve been dumped into the arms of 
someone who has not earned their trust.

And yet so often we, as adult Christians, are asked to put our trust in the 
hands of pastors, teachers, or specific caricatures of God before they have 
actually earned our trust. If we raise a concern with how a pastor leads a 
congregation, or with how someone in position of leadership interprets the 
Bible, we are far too often shushed and told to just trust, follow, and 

But if we are to be like little children in God’s Kingdom, surely we ought 
to place our trust where trust is earned! We should be telling each other to 
look for fruits of the spirit, look for love and truth, and follow those 
roads. If someone feels discomfort, pain, or abuse from a source of 
authority, telling them, “you must have childlike faith,” is quite a faulty 

Intersecting Faith and Life: How does the metaphor of God as “father” and us 
as “children” help us learn how to think of him, and interact with each 
other? What does accepting the Kingdom of God “like a little child” look 
like to you?

Further Reading

Luke 18:17

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Sat 16 Nov 2013, 11:14 pm

God isn't fair!
He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to 
our iniquities. Psalms 103:10 (NKJV)

If there was ever a sentence or scripture in the Bible that you should 
highlight, circle, and underline, it's this one! If there's one truth to 
walk away from God's Word with, it's that He hasn't dealt with us according 
to our sins.

Let's refresh our minds of this fact: When Adam sinned in the Garden of 
Eden, he brought on horrific consequences to each of his descendents. By 
disobediently partaking of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and 
Evil, he set himself and the race that would flow from him at irreconcilable 
odds with Almighty God.

Sin entered into the human condition, and from that point on, mankind would 
no longer fall into the "innocent" ; category of heaven's ledger but instead 
into the "guilty" category. In fact, the Bible describes us as "enemies of 
God" and "children of wrath" (Romans 5:10, Ephesians 2:3). Whether we saw 
ourselves that way or not, that's how God viewed us in our sinful 
condition—a rebellious race deserving of eternal punishment.

This backdrop is what makes Psalm 103:10 so indescribably amazing. As guilty 
as we were and as deserving as we were to receive judgment, God determined 
not to give us what we earned. He determined not to punish us according to 
what our sins deserved, which was a hopeless fate beyond human description.

No, instead He did something we did not and could not deserve. He sent His 
perfect son to absorb the shockwaves of our sin and completely cover them in 
His righteousness. None of this was "fair" in the strict sense, and we can 
be glad that God wasn't fair to us, but went way beyond fairness by being 
way more gracious than we deserved.

Thank you, Lord, for being "unfair" towards us when it comes to the 
unfathomable grace You've poured upon us.

Think about it…

What does this passage reveal to me about God?
What does this passage reveal to me about myself?
Based on this, what changes do I need to make?
What is my prayer for today?
Preaching Daily
Resources by pastors for pastors from Preaching.com

The Thumbtack of Faith
By Toby J. Sumpter | Oct 12, 2013 12:00 am


At bottom, the difference between faith in God and all other alternatives is 
a choice: to believe or not to believe. But this is no blind leap of faith.

Faith is not irrational.

Faith is not insanity.

Faith is not stepping into the void.

Faith is sanity.

Faith is choosing to see what is actually there.

Faith is the choice to embrace life, the world, God.

Certainly, faith is not exhaustive knowledge or complete understanding. 
Faith believes certain things that are unseen. But we do not believe the 
things based on nothing. Faith is not a shot in the dark. Faith is not a 
good guess.

Faith sees the stars and gapes in wonder. Faith sees a little baby in her 
mother’s arms and blinks back tears of astonishment. Faith sees even evil, 
atrocities and aches with revulsion. But these realities do not add up to 
nothing. They are parts of a story, lines in a poem, and the punch line is 
a good and loving Creator, and a world bracing with beauty, slashed and 
cracked with evil and sin.

That’s not a stretch. That’s right there in your face, every day.

Suppression Insanity

That means that the choice to not believe, the choice to turn away from God 
is the suppression of these truths (Romans 1:18). In other words, it is not
a rational decision. It is a form of insanity.

But to say that refusing to believe in God is insanity is not the same thing 
as saying it is not understandable. It is an understandable mistake. It’s
understandable because it’s the kind of decision that requires telling the 
truth. And truth telling has a way of shining light into the corners of 
lives that is highly uncomfortable. This is why our rejection of the light 
is often multilayered. People build complex psychological and emotional 
to the truth. They are still culpable. They are still responsible, but it’s 
understandable because there’s sin down in those corners. It’s dark down 

The Creator

To admit that the world has a Creator is to admit that this world has a 
reason, a purpose. To admit that there is a Designer is to admit that there 
a moral order, a functional order, a right and a wrong, a better and worse 
way to live life. To admit that this world was created is to admit that you
have a responsibility for how you have treated others, how you have lived. 
And the standard for judging your actions is not you. It’s outside of you. 
everybody knows instinctively that they have fallen short of the glory they 
were made for.

So for many, it’s simply unthinkable to believe in God, to believe in a 
Creator. It’s unthinkable because that would demand thinking certain 
thoughts that
might lead to other conclusions that would eventually imply guilt and 
responsibility for that guilt. It’s easier to maintain a vague guilt, a 
vague notion
of nobody’s-perfect, and all against the infinite void of evolutionary 
chaos, which keeps everything sufficiently blurred — we can’t be certain who’s 
at fault, so don’t worry about it too much.

As it turns out there’s a pretty sizable army of these relativistic warriors 
at the moment. The universities are filled with English and Philosophy 
that function as the drill sergeants for this host of guilt-soothers. And 
the science labs serve up the mysteries, the sacraments of unbelief, 
that students practice scientific methodologies without actually pressing 
them into the corners. Pretend the world is ordered. Pretend that logic is 
Pretend that observable phenomena communicate the grace of certainty.

But not too much.

Don’t Ask

Don’t ask questions about where it all came from. Don’t ask about beauty. 
Pretend that the little baby in its mother’s womb is just a mass of 
It could be a tumor. And if you feel that you are a woman trapped inside a 
man’s body, that’s okay too. No matter that the only scientifically 
phenomenon is the fact that you’re a sexual predator. We will pass laws, and 
soon you will be able to use whatever locker room you like.

This is insanity, and that’s why faith has the upper hand. Faith is honest 
about the world. Choosing to believe the latest version of your 
science textbook, choosing to believe the high priests of atheism, choosing 
to believe in vague evolutionary relativism is choosing not to see, choosing
not to think, choosing to ignore what is right there in front of everyone.

We don’t know which chapter of the story we’re in. We may have another fifty 
or two hundred years of this kind of cultural insanity. But be assured, we
are not playing on equal footing. It’s not like we all squint into the void, 
and some of us believe in God and His Word and His way of life and some of
us squint into the void and say it’s a lot more complex and muddled and who’s 
to say?

No, we’re not squinting into the void. We’re looking at waterfalls gushing 
with life. We’re watching the sun sink into a vast ocean, bleeding with 
We’re watching the magical glory of a woman, making another person inside of 

A Fortress of Balloons

Which means the citadels of unbelief are a facade. We’re not up against a 
fortress of steel, we’re up against a fortress of balloons. And though they 
down at us through peer-reviewed spectacles, using words like ‘reason’ and 
‘logic’ and ‘studies-show,’ we can pull out the thumbtack of faith.

Faith sees the world as it actually is. Faith sees the beauty. Faith sees 
the glory. Faith sees the art, the story, the goodness, and yes, faith sees 
evil in the face of it all and knows that something has gone wrong and we 
have all become part of the problem.

But when the gospel comes, when Jesus comes, He isn’t talking about some 
other universe, some kind of alien heaven. He’s talking about this world. He’s
talking about this beautiful place, and He’s come to forgive our sins, to 
heal the brokenness, to raise the dead, to restore the glory. And faith sees
that. And that’s how faith overcomes the world (1 John 5:4).

How to Step Out in Faith to Help Change the World

Whitney Hopler

Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of 
Caroline Barnett' s book,
Willing to Walk on Water: Step Out in Faith and Let God Work Miracles 
Through Your Life
(Tyndale House, 2013).

The pervasive problems of our broken world – from poverty to crime – can 
seem overwhelming. But God can and does use individual people to help solve 
the world’s problems. You are part of the miracle that God is looking for to 
help change the world. If you make yourself available to God, He will work 
through your life in miraculous ways to bring healing and hope to people in 

It all starts with taking the step of faith involved in saying “yes” when 
God calls you to follow Him. Stepping out to do what seems impossible can be 
scary – like trying to walk on water – but God will help you keep walking 
because everything is possible for Him.

Here’s how you can step out in faith to help change the world:

Start by simply finding a need you can help meet close to home. Look around 
your local community and notice problems that especially bother you and 
motivate you to want to do something to help solve. Pray about those 
problems, asking God to direct you to the one He most wants you to deal with 
right now. Once you’ve identified a specific cause, plan a simple way to 
start working on it. Among the many possibilities: babysitting for a single 
mom in your neighborhood, mowing the lawn of a local elderly
person, giving rides to the grocery store or medical appointments to someone 
you know who doesn’t have a car, mentoring a student in need, volunteering 
at a local homeless shelter or hospital, or participating in a local food 
bank drive.

Look for needs you can help meet throughout the world. Look beyond your 
local community to the greater world and consider what needs God may be 
leading you to help meet there. Research an area of injustice that makes you 
particularly upset – from hunger to sex trafficking – and ask God to guide 
you to specific ways you can take action to help alleviate that injustice, 
such as by supporting charities that are working for that same cause or 
contacting legislators to work for law changes that relate
to your cause.

Keep your motives in check. When you think you sense God leading you to 
serve in a specific way, check your motives by asking who it will help, who 
will receive glory, and why you believe you should do it. Then spend some 
time studying the Bible to see if your desires line up with what God’s Word 
says about God’s love compelling you to serve others. Afterward, if you feel 
at peace, move forward boldly to use your influence and initiate positive 

Trust God to give you whatever you need to do the work He calls you to do. 
God will provide what you need to accomplish whatever tasks He wants you to 
perform. Trust Him to do so one day at a time. Since God’s provision comes 
after you start walking in faith, go ahead and keep taking steps of faith, 
expecting God to give you everything you need along the way.

Incorporate service into your life. Be assured that God won’t call you to 
serve others at the expense of other areas of your life; He will help you 
develop a habit of serving others in ways that fit well into your other 
commitments (such as to your family and your job). Make your goal simply 
being faithful in your particular season of life, and ask God to show you 
what that looks like. Determine which activities are and aren’t priorities 
for you. Then evaluate and eliminate the current activities
that don’t contribute to what matters most to you. Also be sure to make time 
regularly to unwind and recharge by doing activities you personally enjoy; 
that will help strengthen you so you can keep serving others well.

Consider how you might partner with others to serve together. Contact other 
people in your community (from other churches to government agencies) that 
are working for the same cause you’re working for and figure out how you can 
best work together.

Walk with confidence. Place your confidence in what God can do for you, 
rather than in what you can do for God. Stay focused on God and His 
unlimited power instead of on yourself and your own limited efforts; 
remember that anything is possible with God. Don’t let feelings of guilt, 
shame, brokenness, fear, insecurity, and regret over your sin make you feel 
unworthy to serve others as God leads you. Instead, make a habit of 
confessing and repenting of your sin so you can walk confidently with the
forgiveness and grace that God will give you when you do. Remember that God 
loves you completely, and that no one other than God should decide your 
value. Also keep in mind that the only qualification you need to serve 
others is an ability to love God and other people.

Expect to be blessed yourself when you answer God’s call to bless others. 
God – who is a loving father, not a harsh taskmaster – notices and 
appreciates your efforts to serve people in need. God will bless you while 
He is blessing other people through your work serving them. When you serve 
others, you can learn to: stand firm and steady, stop complaining, remember 
God’s goodness, get a better perspective, stop feeling entitled, leave the 
past behind, believe that God will take care of you, always
be teachable, and respect your leaders.

Fear only God. You don’t need to fear anything or anyone except for God 
Himself. Fearing God means having a healthy respect for His awesome power, 
and doing your best to honor and obey God in everything you do and say. When 
you fear God, He will give you the peace you need to overcome any lesser 
fear, so you can keep stepping out in faith as the Holy Spirit leads you to 
change the world for the better.

Adapted from
Willing to Walk on Water: Step Out in Faith and Let God Work Miracles 
through Your Life,
copyright 2013 by Caroline Barnett. Published by Tyndale Momentum, an 
imprint of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Ill.,
www.tyndalemomentum .com.

Caroline Barnett has a passion for inspiring women of the church to find 
their God-given cause. In her role at the Dream Center in Los Angeles, 
California, Caroline has changed people’s lives through a wide range of 
outreach ministries -- from starting a food truck ministry that currently 
feeds more than 50,000 people each month to founding Project Prevention, a 
program designed to keep impoverished families together. Caroline is married 
to Dream Center founder and New York Times bestselling author
Matthew Barnett; they live with their two children in Los Angeles. I'm part 
of the Career Network Ministry and would like to add you to my professional 
network on LinkedIn.

Whitney Hopler, who has served as a Crosswalk.com contributing writer for 
many years, is author of the new novel Dream Factory, which is available in 
both paperback and ebook formats. Visit her website at: whitneyhopler.naiwe.com.

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Thu 14 Nov 2013, 11:38 pm

Ron Hutchcraft Ministries - A Word With You
A Word With You
Search A Word With You
Daily Devotional
How to Walk Through the Wreckage - #6980

There's one vacation spot our family always wanted to go back to-Colonial 
Williamsburg in Virginia. As you walk through this bustling, restored 
capital, suddenly you say, "Whoa, it's not "now" anymore." You feel like 
you're in the 1770s again. I mean the buildings, and the gardens, and the 
rooms carry this charm that even children can sense. But it wasn't always 
that way.

This was the capitol of Virginia in Revolutionary War times, but over 150 
years a lot of buildings changed, deteriorated and were torn down. Then 
came the Rockefellers in the 1930s. A local minister had dreamed of the town 
being restored to its former beauty and to the glory that it once had. And
that was the beginning of a whole new episode in the history of Colonial 
Williamsburg. It was really something rundown until someone committed his 
to restoring it.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "How to 
Walk Through the Wreckage."

Our word for today from the Word of God comes from the Old Testament prophet 
Joel. It's in chapter 1, verse 4. "What the locust swarm has left the great
locusts have eaten; what the great locusts have left the young locusts have 
eaten; what the young locusts have left other locusts have eaten." What 
getting here is an image here of total destruction in the land.

It's symbolic, because verse 6 says, "A nation has invaded my land, powerful 
and without number; it has the teeth of a lion, the fangs of a lioness. It
has laid waste my vines and ruined my figs trees. It has stripped off their 
bark and thrown it away, leaving their branches white." What the Bible was
talking about here is a devastating past; maybe like yours.

And then comes the hope. Chapter 2, verse 25, "I will repay you for the 
years the locusts have eaten-the great locust and the young locust, the 
other locusts
and the locust swarm." Then he says, "Then you will know that I am in 
Israel; that I am the Lord your God and there is no other. Never again will 
my people
be ashamed." Boy, here is the promise of a great restoring work.

Time and neglect had done a lot of damage to old Colonial Williamsburg. But 
then someone with a lot of resources committed themselves to restoring it.
And that commitment made all the difference. In many ways that's Joel's 
picture here. God has seen the wreckage of the past, and He knows sometimes 
that you have that sort of Humpty-Dumpty feeling: All the kings horses and 
all the kings men can't put you together again. But the King can.

A Christian psychiatrist once told me, "Ron, I think only a Christian can 
dare to truly face his or her past." Yes, because you're not facing it 
You're facing it with a Savior, the healer, the carpenter who rebuilds what 
others have given up on. There is a Savior who will walk with you through 
memories and help heal them, who will put them in perspective, who can 
loosen their grip on you. That Savior can give you a brand new identity; not 
the victim any more, but the victor. He can turn your pain into sensitivity 
for the similar pain of others. And then He can make you a make-a-difference
person for those who are walking through that same valley. Something deeply 
healing happens when you take Jesus Christ into each painful episode from 
past. The Bible says, "He' s carried all our grief and sorrows."

You do not have to be trapped in the wreckage of the past any longer. Jesus 
stands poised with His infinite resources to tackle the damage you could 
fix and to restore you to a new beauty that you never thought possible.

And listen with me to the words from a hymn that captures that restoring 
miracle. It says, "Down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter, feelings 
buried that grace can restore. Touched by a loving heart, wakened by 
kindness, cords that are broken will vibrate once more." That's what Jesus 
can do for you this very day.
Creative Commons License
© Ronald P. Hutchcraft • Distributed by Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc.
"A Word With You" by Ronald P. Hutchcraft is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 United 
States License.
Based on a work at
www.Hutchcraft. com/A-Word- With-You.

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Sun 10 Nov 2013, 10:55 pm

Posted by: "Dean Masters" GPS DISCERNMENT

2 Samuel 23:11-12

Next to him was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. When the Philistines 
banded together at a place where there was a field full of lentils, Israel’s 
troops fled from them. But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the 
field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the LORD brought 
about a great victory.

Following God closely involves your ears and your will.

Our family’s first airplane flight was from San Francisco to Chicago, with 
our three young kids in tow. We then rented a car that conveniently included 
a GPS feature. With a voice telling us when to turn and how far to travel, 
how could we go wrong? Our destination, Iowa, was entered into the program 
and we began to carefully follow the verbal instructions. Have you ever had 
that troubling sense in your stomach that you are heading in the wrong 
direction? And it increases with each turn? I wanted
to ignore that feeling, trying to convince myself that we could not be that 
far off course. Fortunately, my wife verbalized her concern (although I was 
not excited to hear it at the time), and her intuition was correct.

Exhausted parents navigating through the third largest city in our country 
late at night (with faulty directions and a backseat of very tired kids) is 
not an ideal start to a family vacation! There was the additional stress of 
knowing we still had four more hours of driving ahead of us once we were 
back on track. I swallowed my pride and pulled into a gas station to ask for 
directions. Who would ever want to do that? Yes, the GPS had led us astray. 
Has this ever literally happened to you? Or have
you ever followed well-intentioned advice that was misleading you?

Every day you make choices about which of the competing voices will capture 
your attention. A man named Shammah was following God when the crowd was 
following their fears. The Philistines had the Israelites on the run when 
Shammah sensed he needed to defend his field of lentils (2 Samuel 23:11-12). 
Confidence in God grows when you know you are acting in alignment with His 
Word. Determination increases when your cause is worth the effort. Do not be 
surprised when God confirms a new direction and asks
you to persevere. No one had more sheer determination and perseverance than 
Jesus (
2 Thessalonians 3:5).
Rely on Him when you feel like giving up prematurely or taking a destructive 
shortcut. Jesus is the One we imitate and is the source of our strength.

What are the most helpful adjustments to your routine during a time of 

For more from Pastor Jesse Bradley and Activate Media Ministries, visit


And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses 
entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.
2 Timothy 2:2

Camping experiences for me were always positive experiences. There you must 
live and practice your Christian faith twenty-four hours a day. And that 
impacts the other campers.

Around the world, Open Doors sponsors camps—especially for discipleship 
training for young people. Twenty-three- year-old Roton is one of those 
youths who
attended a camp in Bangladesh in early 2011 for young believers from Muslim 
background (MBB). He said, “To attend this camp, I traveled for seven hours.
I walked thirteen kilometers before getting on the bus. It was exhausting, 
but I wanted to know more about Jesus.”

In a brief encounter with Open Doors during the camp, Roton shared that he 
felt pressure when he was just a new follower of Christ. “Many times, my 
friends would ask me why my family and I became Christians. They wanted to 
know how much [money] we got for converting. They asked me if the people who
converted me stepped on the Koran or ate pork. I lost all my Muslim friends; 
everyone hated me and my family.”

Roton’s father was the first believer in the family, and boldly shared his 
faith with others. He read from the Koran, searching for portions that 
Jesus. Later on, however, his eye sight deteriorated to the point of 
blindness. So, he asked young Roton to read to him every day some passages 
from the
Koran that specifically talked about Jesus.

“I just followed what I was told to do. In the beginning, I was reading for 
my father. But after few days, I realized that I was becoming more curious
to find the truth myself. Because of the witness of the Koran, I found 
myself believing Jesus as the Holy one, the Messiah. I became a Christian 
soon after;
I gave my life fully to Jesus,” Roton testified.

Discrimination soon followed Roton’s new found faith. His religion teacher 
mistreated him. When the school principal learned of his conversion, he was
watched and compelled to recite Muslim prayers. People questioned him about 
Jesus Christ, but all that Roton knew about Christ he learned from the 
passages he read for his father. It was time to learn more. Instead of 
succumbing to the religious pressure he experienced, Roton—with 
encouragement from
his father—set out on a journey to learn more about his Lord and Savior.

“I am so happy to be in this MBB youth camp. It’s my first. I saw that I am 
not alone! Many work together for Christ. In this camp, I discovered Jesus
in the Old Testament. I will read the Old Testament more—together with the 
New Testament—so that I am prepared to answer questions people ask me. 
I want to study in a Bible school, so that I can help others who are on the 
same road as I am.”

RESPONSE: Today I will pass on to others all that I have learned and 
experienced in my relationship with Jesus.

PRAYER: Pray for young believers around the world who are in the process of 
developing their knowledge and discipleship in following Jesus. Pray too for
camp leaders and trainers.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS)
A daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks

© 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Sun 27 Oct 2013, 4:23 pm

Are You God or Not?

Posted: 19 Sep 2013 09:55 PM PDT

When John, while imprisoned, heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by 
his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Expected One, or shall we look 
someone else?”

Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and 
see: the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and 
deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to 
them. And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.” (Matthew 11:2-6,

I read this passage of scripture and identify with John the Baptist. Often I’ve 
sat imprisoned by need, wondering if You were going to be the Savior I
needed right then.

Jesus, You surprise us at times. You do not work as we expect or as we hope. 
You perplex and disturb us.

But when we stand back and watch what You do, it is always love. It is 
always redemption and healing and restoration.

Thank You, Lord. Help us to keep trusting You through our ignorance and 
Dean Masters, owner of the Masters List

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Fri 25 Oct 2013, 7:44 pm

The FAX of Life
Title: Be Sure to Read the Whole Book!
Date: For the Week of September 15, 2013

I wish my earliest Bible reading, Sunday School in my youth, and even my 
training at university level had included more of the Old Testament. 
back over that formative period of my life, I somehow drew the conclusion 
that the first two-thirds of my Bible was second-class Scripture. Since it 
ultimately replaced by the New Testament, why not focus on the really 
important part? Why bother with the Old Testament when I was a New Testament 

If God really is unchanging - the same yesterday, today, and forever - both 
Old and New Testaments must be continuous and thematic. We believe in one
God, right? Scripture quoted by Jesus and the apostles to teach us about God 
and his will was our Old Testament. We believe it is the Word of God, right?

The story begun in the Old Testament is fulfilled and brought to its grand 
climax in Jesus. But Jesus explicitly said he had not come to abolish or 
what had come before. So why had I been so careless with it? I have come to 
realize that I cannot know the God who was incarnate in Jesus of Nazareth 
from the story whose roots are in Abraham, Israel, and the Old Testament 

"But aren't Christians 'grace and faith' people instead of a 'law' crowd?" 
asks someone. That's what I always heard back in those young and formative
years. And I think it was that perspective - today I would call it a 
"caricature&qu ot; - that led me to think reading the Old Testament wasn't really 
all that important.

The Bible is a single volume with a single central character and theme. The 
written Word of God points readers to Jesus of Nazareth for the sake of 
us salvation by grace through faith in him. It is a single consistent 
narrative. And the last pages are best read with the perspective of the 
opening ones in mind.

The perfect display of God's grace in Jesus is set in the Bible's rich 
narrative of grace to Israel. Yahweh creates and blesses this good world, 
Abraham and his offspring (i.e., Israel) to be the shining exemplar of faith 
to all people, rescues Israel from oppression in Egypt, calls that rescued
group to be his covenant community, and graciously preserves it through both 
the opposition of its enemies and its own failures. That narrative is the
story of all human history and every human life. Its climactic moment comes 
in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

If I had realized all this much earlier than I did, I would have known more 
stories than Noah's Ark, David and Goliath, and Daniel in the Lions' Den.
Okay, maybe a few more! But reading the Old Testament as the opening acts to 
a single, grand story of God's redeeming grace was a late discovery. And 
As John wrote in opening his Gospel (1:17), the fullness of grace and truth 
we discover in Jesus brings to completion the story Moses began writing in

Would you read any other good book of 500 pages by starting on page 335? 
This one is the Good Book and certainly deserves as much from its readers.

For back issues and other resources please visit
www.RubelShelly. com
----Follow our blog -
The FAX of Life is a free weekly service from Rubel Shelly. Since you are 
receiving this "FAX" via e-mail you have either requested to be added to 
the mailing list 
Dean Masters, owner of the Masters List

Some have said that Israel herself is a sign. 
What does this mean? What is the significance 
of the "regathering&q uot; of Israel? 

The Jew himself is God's timepiece and the key that unlocks every door of
prophecy. This is because God has a special love for Israel. Deuteronomy
7:6-8 declares, "For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD
thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all
people that are upon the face of the earth. The LORD did not set his love
upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people;
for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you." God
chose Israel "to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations
that are upon the earth" (Deuteronomy 14:2). This is the first great insight
I want you to grasp-that God chose the people of Israel simply because He
loved them. No more, no less. David was so enraptured with the truth of God
s love for Israel that he exclaimed in 1 Chronicles 17:22, "For thy people
Israel didst thou make thine own people for ever; and thou, LORD, becamest
their God." As we progress with this question, it will become abundantly
clear why to this day Israel itself is a major sign of Christ's imminent

The Lord God Jehovah told the people of Israel that their country was to be
located "in the midst of the land" (Ezekiel 38:12), or more literally, in
the "navel of the earth." Its capital city, Jerusalem, was to be situated in
the center of the nations (Ezekiel 5:5); and in that capital city the Lord
was to put His name forever, and forever, declaring that His eye and His
heart would be there perpetually (1 Kings 9:3). There the Lord promised to
establish the throne of David forever (2 Samuel 7:16) and finally to give
that throne to His own divine and eternal Son. Luke 1:31-33 states, "Behold,
thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his
name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest:
and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he
shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall
be no end." Are you beginning to see how much God loved Israel and its
people? However, it was not all love, sweetness, and light. 

God also warned the children of Israel of an imminent worldwide dispersion
if they thumbed their noses at Him in disobedience. He went so far as to
tell them that His Son would delay His rule if their hearts became wicked
and hardened. To see if God is a God of His word, let us look at the
prophetical utterances to see if they really took place. Scripture tells us
that Israel was, in fact, driven out of its land and scattered among the
nations of the earth because of its widespread disobedience. During this
worldwide dispersion, God visited the Gentiles, "to take out of them a
people for his name" (Acts 15:14). In the meantime, Israel existed many days
without a king, without a prince, without a sacrifice, without an image,
without an ephod (a sacred garment of gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine
twined linen worn by the priest), and without teraphim (Hosea 3:4). Devout
religious Jews cry vehemently at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem because they
have been without all of these things for centuries-just as God declared
they would be without them. Since all these prophecies have come to pass
according to prophetical utterance, and since God has shown His mighty power
in bringing each utterance to fulfillment, let us now consider the
predictions in upcoming questions and answers to see if His coming is near. 

The Regathering of Israel 

The second part of the question is, "What is the significance of the 
regathering&# 39; of Israel?" Scores of Bible passages clearly indicate that the
reestablishment of Israel in its ancient homeland will take place when
Messiah is ready to return to earth. The Messiah is none other than the Lord
Jesus Christ of Luke 1:32. Deuteronomy 30:3 states, "The LORD thy God will. 
. return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God
hath scattered thee." In similar language, Isaiah 11:12 tells us, "And he
shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of
Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of
the earth." Again, Acts 15:16 declares, "After this." After what? Look at
verse 14: God "did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his
name." This has been occurring since Cornelius, the first Gentile convert,
received Christ in Acts 10. God says, "After this [after the Gentiles have
had their opportunity] I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of
David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I
will set it up" (Acts 15:16). 

An important historical note: In A.D. 70, Titus the Roman general smashed
Jerusalem and drove the Jews into their dispersion. This is called "the
diaspora," or worldwide dispersion of the Jews. From that hour until 1948,
the Jews had no homeland to call their own. Instead, the nations of the
world hated them, mistreated them, and labeled them, as we noted earlier, 
wandering Jews." God, however, said that He would bring His people back to
their own land and that this regathering would happen near the time when
Messiah would set up His kingdom on earth: "And I will plant [Israel] upon
their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I
have given them, saith the LORD thy God" (Amos 9:15). 

God has put the Jews in their land to stay forever. Is it not interesting
that the Arab nations refused to recognize Israel when it became a nation in
1948? The Arabs were determined to drive Israel into the sea and obliterate
her memory from the face of the earth. However, God had other-and
better-plans and, in the end, God's way always wins the day. He said in the
verse just quoted that Israel would remain in its land forever after He
planted the nation there. Therefore, in 1974 the Egyptians, Syrians, and
others negotiated with Israel, recognizing for the first time that Israel
was indeed a nation and in its land to stay. Have you studied the
extraordinary message in Ezekiel 37, which alludes to this event, and which
further describes the prophet' s vision of the dry bones? Here is a portion
of this amazing passage: 

The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the
LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones.
And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many
in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. And he said unto me, Son of
man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest. Again
he said unto me. Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry
bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones;
Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: And I will
lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with
skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am
the LORD. So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was
a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone
And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the
skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. Then said he unto
me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind. Thus
saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon
these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the
breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an
exceeding great army. Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the
whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope
is lost: we are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them.
Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves
[Gentile nations],and cause you to come up out of your graves [the Gentile
nations], and bring you into the land of Israel. (Ezekiel 37:1-12) 

There is no secret here. Verse 11 proclaims: "These bones are the whole
house of Israel." In 1948, the Jews put up a flag-the six-pointed Star of
David. After being scattered throughout the earth for nearly nineteen
hundred years, they had finally become a nation! The current population of
Israel is more than five million-consisting of Jews who have returned from
120 nations of the world, speaking more than eighty-three languages. While
in Israel, I spoke to a Jew who had recently returned from Spanish Morocco.
As I sat with him on a bus going from Arab Israel to another part of the
country, we talked about the black Jews who were just then returning to
Israel from Ethiopia. He quickly said, "Yes, we have come from all nations."
When the Ethiopian Jews left Jerusalem nineteen hundred years ago, they said
"We will never go back to our homeland until it is time for Messiah to
return." Today these Jews from Ethiopia-called Falashas-have returned in
massive numbers. They have also come from Russia and Ukraine-the final sign
(see Jeremiah 3:17-18). For these reasons alone, I can say with full
conviction-and trust you can also-that Jesus Christ's return to this earth
is near, even at the door. 

Jerusalem has always been under the heel of the 
Gentiles. When will ownership of Jerusalem 
return to the Jews: And when will the Tribulation 
period ultimately fall on believers? 

We find further dramatic signs of Christ's return in Luke 21:24 - 28. Jesus
said: "And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away
captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the
Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. And there shall be
signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth
distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's
hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are
coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then
shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your
heads; for your redemption draweth nigh" 

This portion of Scripture pinpoints the time of Christ's statement in utmost
simplicity. In modern grammar, the Savior declares, "There is an hour coming
when My people, the Jews, shall control Jerusalem. At this moment of time,
there shall also be signs in space coupled with a trouble-filled world. When
all of these events occur simultaneously, look up because My return to earth
is very near." Jerusalem had been under the heel of the Gentiles. In fact,
the Gentiles controlled the city for twenty-five centuries, but in our
lifetime a miracle happened. Jerusalem was captured by the Jews in a six-day
war fought June 5-10, 1967-one of the most important signs ever concerning
Christ's return predicted in Luke 21:24. But there's more. Jesus added in
verse 25 that signs would occur in the sun, moon, and stars. Think of this.
Twenty-five months after Jerusalem was captured by the Jews, June of 1967,
Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon in July of 1969. Coincidence? Hardly. 

Signs of Judgment by Fire 

As we have already learned, the period of time that follows the Rapture and
precedes Christ's return to earth is called the Tribulation (Revelation
7:14). The Rapture is described in Revelation 4:1 and the Revelation-Christ
s return to earth to receive His church in Revelation 19:11. The chapters
between the two events constitute the Tribulation Hour-a seven-year period
of judgment. Christ referred to this period in the statement, "As it was in
the days of Lot...Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is
revealed" (Luke 17:28, 30). The fire that burned Sodom and Gomorrah was
all-consuming- the result of wickedness and of turning a deaf ear to the
Almighty. Bad as it was for Sodom and Gomorrah, their fate is nothing
compared to the coming human devastation that will afflict the people of
earth during the Tribulation Hour. Jeremiah 30:7 declares, "Alas! For that
day is great, so that none is like it." Daniel 12:1 states, "There shall be
a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation." Jesus also
declared in Matthew 24:21, "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was
not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be."
Included in this horrendous portrayal is a world on fire- similar to the
judgment of Lot's day. The Bible says, "The flaming flame shall not be
quenched" (Ezekiel 20:47). Again, "The whole land shall be devoured by the
fire of his jealousy" (Zephaniah 1:18). "For, behold, the day cometh, that
shall burn as an oven" (Malachi 4:1). "And the third part of trees was burnt
up, and all green grass was burnt up" (Revelation 8:7). "By these three was
the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the
brimstone" (Revelation 9:18). 

A stockpile of nuclear explosives jams the weapons arsenals of the world
today. Reports indicate that the amount is equivalent to one ton of TNT for
every person alive. Recently, India and Pakistan conducted nuclear
explosions, and the world teeters on the brink of destruction. Think of the
mass devastation that shall be unleashed on this world during the
Tribulation Hour! But God's people will escape this catastrophic judgment.
Revelation 3:10 declares, "I also will keep thee from [ek-out of] the hour
of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell
upon the earth." 

Breaking Christian News and Prayer Alert: Scientists 
Prove" God Exists 

Scientists "Prove" God Exists 
Teresa Neumann (Oct 24, 2013) 
Using mathematical equations and computers. Hmm. What will atheists say now? 
(Berlin, Germany)—Theologians, philosophers, and Christian "brainiacs&quo t; in
general, must be smiling at news that two scientists—Christoph Benzmüller of
Berlin's Free University and Bruno Woltzenlogel Paleo of the Technical
University in Vienna—have "formalized a theorem regarding the existence of
God penned by mathematician Kurt Gödel." 
According to Der Spiegel, Gödel, who died in 1978 and reportedly enjoys a
reputation among today's scientists as an "Einstein" ; in his own right, "left
behind a tantalizing theory based on principles of modal logic that a higher
being must exist." 
In other words, Gödel believed God's existence could be proved
Enter Benzmüller and Woltzenlogel, quoted as saying they used computers to
formalize the complicated theorem. "It' s totally amazing that from this
argument led by Gödel, all this stuff can be proven automatically in a few
seconds, or even less on a standard notebook." 

Paraguay' s Congress Kneels and Prays During Parliament Session 
Teresa Neumann (Oct 24, 2013) 
"A nation that honors God will always be honored by God." -Nick Vujicic 
(Paraguay)—When Paraguay' s Congress invited Nick Vujicic—the Christian
motivational speaker who was born with no arms or legs—to speak, they had no
idea he would have them kneel in prayer and intercede for their nation.
(Photo: Facebook/Nick Vujicic) 
In his speech, Vujicic said, "I want to encourage you to kneel before the
Lord right now and let's pray. Lord, we thank you for the future of this
country. We commit Paraguay into your hands. Forgive our sins and heal our
"Lord," he continued, "we pray for miracles, that you lead this government,
bless the president and everyone who makes the laws. We uplift the media. We
uplift the education system and national security and thank you, Lord, for
every business. We ask, God, that we would be pure and help us be the people
you want us to be." 
According to a Christian Post report, Vujicic had led several youth
conferences prior to his congressional appearance, with nearly 12,000 making
professions of faith. 

Gospel for Asia's Help for those Affected by Cyclone Phailin in India 
GFA Staff (Oct 24, 2013) 
Pray for rains to stop, and the Lord's help for continued relief efforts. 
(India)-Rains continue to batter the countryside of India in the aftermath
of Cyclone Phailin, as hundreds of thousands of families find themselves
displaced and without electricity. 
Recently, a Gospel for Asia (GFA) Compassion Services team was able to
travel to one of the districts in Odisha that were the most affected by the
cyclone. They provided relief materials to 440 families. 
After surveying affected villages and identifying the most needy families,
Compassion Services teams are preparing to distribute relief packets to 2
000 families Tuesday through Thursday in six districts of Odisha. 
Relief packets include 22 pounds of rice and 2.2 pounds each of dal, sugar
and salt, some tea leaves, cooking oil, a bar of bath soap and a bar of
washing soap. 
Weather forecasts predict more rain for the inundated state. 
Additionally, correspondents reported a house church and a temporary church
building in the area were damaged by the cyclone. 
Last Week: 
Heavy rains caused by Cyclone Phailin have killed 15 people and damaged the
homes of 95 believers in the Indian state of Bihar. Strong winds and
uprooted trees also caused power outages lasting up to 36 hours in several
Dakshina Nadig, a regional pastor in Bihar, reported the death of one
Believer' s 7-month-old daughter due to exposure to the severe cold, wind and
rain. Nine Gospel for Asia pastors' homes collapsed from the extreme weather
and other affected believers are staying with friends, in schools or in
makeshift tents made from tarps. 
In Andhra Pradesh, a GFA Compassion Services team performed its first survey
of the initial damage from Cyclone Phailin in several villages, discovering
many destroyed homes, crops and power lines. A seashore village reported the
loss of more than $16,000 worth of nets, boats and dry fish. 
In one village, the government evacuated nearly 2,000 residents after
shutting down power as a precaution. Now that most of the village' s
electricity poles and transformers have been lost, however, locals will have
to wait more than 20 days for electricity to be restored. 
Please pray for: 
• No hindrances while the teams minister and provide aid. 
• The Lord's help for continued relief efforts. 

"Love Boat" Captain Now an Ambassador for Christ 
Teresa Neumann (Oct 24, 2013) 
"I' ll go any place to give my testimony." -Gavin MacLeod 
(Los Angeles, CA)—Those of a certain age will remember actor Gavin MacLeod
as the handsome, silver haired, comically charming Captain Stubing of the
hit televisions series "The Love Boat." 
Now 82, MacLeod has just released a memoir entitled, "This is Your Captain
Speaking: My Fantastic Voyage Through Hollywood, Faith & Life." 

A Religious News Service report on the book's release states, "He writes
about how his star-studded career was interspersed with a faith walk that
began as a Roman Catholic, detoured through the New Age movement in the
1970s, and ended up firmly planted in the Pentecostal faith. That path
included depression, alcohol and divorce, but he credits God's forgiveness
with carrying him through." 

In his book, MacLeod also details the amazing marital reconciliation with
his second wife, which resulted in the couple co-hosting a "Back on Course"
program for couples experiencing problems in the marriage. 

"Love Boat" Captain Now an Ambassador for Christ 
Teresa Neumann (Oct 24, 2013) 
"I' ll go any place to give my testimony." -Gavin MacLeod 
(Los Angeles, CA)—Those of a certain age will remember actor Gavin MacLeod
as the handsome, silver haired, comically charming Captain Stubing of the
hit televisions series "The Love Boat." 
Now 82, MacLeod has just released a memoir entitled, "This is Your Captain
Speaking: My Fantastic Voyage Through Hollywood, Faith & Life." 

A Religious News Service report on the book's release states, "He writes
about how his star-studded career was interspersed with a faith walk that
began as a Roman Catholic, detoured through the New Age movement in the
1970s, and ended up firmly planted in the Pentecostal faith. That path
included depression, alcohol and divorce, but he credits God's forgiveness
with carrying him through." 

In his book, MacLeod also details the amazing marital reconciliation with
his second wife, which resulted in the couple co-hosting a "Back on Course"
program for couples experiencing problems in the marriage. 

Ten Sleepy Virgins: Are You Ready for Christ's Return? – 
Sermon 5 of 9 from the The Last Days According to Jesus series by Dr Ray
Pritchard, Keep Believing Ministries 
Matthew 25:1-13 
November 2001 – Here is a nighttime wedding where everything seems to go
wrong. The groom shows up so late that the bridal party falls asleep by the
side of the road. When the groom finally arrives at midnight, half the
bridesmaids have forgotten to bring enough oil for their lamps and end up
banned from the celebration. As the story concludes, the rejected
bridesmaids are standing outside the door asking for admission, but to no
avail. They have been shut out from the wedding banquet. It is a sad,
strange ending to what should have been a most joyful occasion. Other than
that, it was a perfectly normal wedding! 
This passage is a parable Jesus told to illustrate a certain truth about his
Second Coming. The parable itself is a little masterpiece, with each detail
adding a piece of crucial information. As I have studied this parable, I
have been struck by one phrase in verse 10: “And the door was shut.” There
is an awful finality about those words. It means that the door was shut and
locked and would not be opened again. Those on the inside were safely inside
those on the outside could never get in no matter how hard they tried. 
There is a “door” that leads to heaven. It is the door of God’s grace, held
open by the bloody cross of Jesus Christ. For 2,000 years that door has been
open to the entire world, and it is open even today. Over the door are these
wonderful words: “Whosoever will may come.” Anyone, anywhere, anytime can go
in that door and find new life, salvation, forgiveness, freedom, and eternal
Not Open Forever 
Today the door is open but our text reminds us that the door will not be
open forever. As I type these words, a siren goes off not far away,
reminding me that life is short and very uncertain. Perhaps the door of
opportunity has just been shut through death. And we can be certain that
death does shut the door of God’s grace for once we die, the only thing left
is to face God in judgment (Hebrews 9:27). There is no “second-chance”
beyond death for those who had no time for Jesus in this life. Once you die,
the door is shut forever. Either you go through the door while you are alive
or you will never go through at all. 
Jesus uses this parable of the ten virgins to remind us that the door will
be shut once and for all when he returns to the earth. In order to catch the
impact of this story, we need to know something about first-century Jewish
wedding customs. In those days you got married in three stages. First, there
was the formal engagement, which was almost always arranged by the parents.
Some months later (up to a year or more) came the formal religious ceremony
in the bride’s home. That would be something like our modern wedding
ceremony. Third, there was a wedding banquet (or feast) at the groom’s home.
That banquet took place sometime after the formal ceremony, usually at night
It might happen the same day or it might take place a week or so later. And
in certain cases that “banquet” could last up to seven days. So it was quite
an elaborate affair that cost a lot of money, and therefore it was a major
social event that everyone wanted to attend. When it was time for the
banquet, the groom would take his bride and together they would walk to the
groom’s house. The road before them would be lit with lamps held aloft by
the wedding party. The bridesmaids would take part in this ceremony of
welcoming the bridegroom (and the bride, though she is not mentioned in the
parable) as he prepared to come for the banquet. It would be a major breach
of etiquette for anyone in the wedding party not to be by the road ready to
welcome the bridegroom. 
And that’s the background of this story. The formal ceremony having already
taken place, the ten virgins (the bridesmaids) are by the road waiting for
the groom to appear. Their lamps are lit as they anxiously await his coming.
When he is delayed, they all fall asleep. At midnight someone shouts the
good news, “Behold, the bridegroom is coming!” The virgins wake up and
prepare to relight their lamps, which had gone out while they slept. Five of
the virgins had brought extra oil and so could relight their lamps. Five had
no extra oil. When the first group asked to borrow some from the other five
virgins, they were refused. While they went off to buy some oil, the
bridegroom appeared and the five virgins whose lamps were lit went in with
him to start the party. The door was shut by the time the other five virgins
returned. Here is the sad end of the story, “Later the others also came.
‘Sir! Sir!’ they said. ‘Open the door for us!’ But he replied, ‘I tell you
the truth, I don’t know you’” (Matthew 25:11-12). Jesus makes a simple
application to his Second Coming in verse 13, “Therefore keep watch, because
you do not know the day or the hour.” 
That’s the story. It’s a little slice of life from a wedding that went
haywire. The focus of the story is on the ten virgins. Five were wise and
five were foolish. Five had oil and five didn’t. Five were ready and five
weren’t ready. Five entered the wedding banquet and five were refused. All
of this is meant to teach us that some people will be ready and others won’t
be ready when Jesus returns to the earth. 
I. Alike in Many Ways 
One of the most striking facts about this story is how similar the ten
virgins appear on the surface: 
� All had been invited the banquet and all had responded positively. 
� All ten had gone out to wait for the bridegroom. 
� All of them had their lamps with them. 
� All the virgins wanted to see the bridegroom. 
� All were in the right place at the right time for the right reason. 
� All of them wanted to go to the wedding banquet. 
� All had some oil in their lamps at the beginning. 
� All fell asleep while waiting for the bridegroom. 
� All were awakened by the midnight cry. 
� All ten virgins got up to prepare their lamps. 
� All appeared to be equally prepared for the bridegroom’s coming. 
That last statement is crucial. Let’s suppose that we were to ask the ten
virgins to stand in front of us in no particular order. Could you pick out
the five foolish virgins? Answer: no, and neither could I. We could argue
about it and say, “Number 2 looks a little bored. Maybe she’s a foolish
virgin.” Or, “Look at Number 6. She’s chewing gum. How wise can she be?” Or,
“I know Number 10. There’s no way she’s a wise virgin.” But it wouldn’t make
any difference. I submit to you that there was no way to tell in advance who
was wise and who was foolish. To the untrained eye, they would all look the
II. One Crucial Difference 
And yet there was one crucial difference. You couldn’t see it by casual
observation because it wasn’t a matter of dress or outward appearance. I
imagine that all the bridesmaids dressed alike and looked alike. But there
was something else, something not readily visible that separated these young
girls from each other forever. Five were wise and entered the wedding
banquet. Five were foolish and were summarily excluded. 
What made the difference? Verse 5 offers an important clue: “The bridegroom
was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.”
Where was the bridegroom and why was he late? The text doesn’t say because
the reason doesn’t really matter. If the wedding was last Friday, then
perhaps he was at the Atlanta airport when that football fan ran past
security to retrieve his camera and ended up shutting down the airport for
hours and delaying flights all over the eastern U.S. Maybe it was something
like that. Or perhaps he had business to attend to or maybe his parents were
ill. Perhaps he had travelled to a distant city and was hurrying home as
fast as possible. It had to be something important because the delay was in
no way due to any reluctance to get married. We know that because when he
finally shows up at midnight, instead of postponing the party (as most
people would do), he orders that the party should begin right then. 
And that brings us to the key point of the parable. Five of the virgins
figured out that he might be late in arriving so they brought some extra oil
with them. That’s why they were prepared when he finally showed up. The
other five virgins evidently never thought about the possibility that he
might be delayed. Or if they thought about it, they dismissed it as so
unlikely that it wasn’t worth worrying about. Either way, they weren’t
prepared when he suddenly arrived at midnight. 
Before we feel sorry for them, please consider this. The foolish virgins
knew the bridegroom was going to get married, they knew he would come to the
banquet, and they knew they needed oil for their lamps. It’s not a matter of
a lack of information or having the wrong information. All ten virgins
started with the same facts. The five foolish virgins had everything they
needed to know. And still they were not ready! 
Two other questions and we can move on. First, if they apparently managed to
buy some oil after midnight (as the story seems to imply), why were they not
let in at that point? The answer is: They waited too late! No doubt their
intentions were good, but good intentions were not enough. Once the door was
shut, it would not be opened again no matter how long they stood outside or
how loud they shouted. 
Second, what does the oil represent? The best answer seems to be that it
represents the inward preparation of the heart for the Lord’s return. Or we
might say it represents true conversion. In the Old Testament, oil often
stands for the presence of the Holy Spirit. We might then say that oil
represents the indwelling power of the Spirit that accompanies true
conversion. The five wise virgins represent those whose hearts have been
truly changed by the power of the Holy Spirit. The five foolish virgins
represent religious people who come under the conviction of the Spirit but
are never truly converted. 
III. Lessons for Modern Churchgoers 
From this little parable we can draw a number of important spiritual lessons
As we think about these things, let’s remember that this is a story for
“insiders,” for church members and religious people of all denominations. It
is for those who claim some attachment to Christ and who profess some
allegiance to him. 
A) The True Nature of the Visible Church 
Every Sunday two churches gather at 931 Lake Street in Oak Park: an outward
church and an inward church. The outward church is everyone who comes to
Calvary. It consists of members, regular attenders, friends, visitors, and
the great mass of peripheral people who rarely attend but still consider
this church as their church. As such, the visible contains the truly
converted and the unconverted. It consists of some who know the Lord, some
who are seeking the Lord, some who attend but are lethargic, and others who
are nothing more than religious hypocrites. 
The inward church is the “invisible” church made up of those true believers
in Christ who worship here week-by-week. The point of Christ’s parable is to
remind us that just because you go to church doesn’t mean you are truly born
again. People come to church for all sorts of reasons, some good and some
not so good. People come because of family ties, to see their friends, to
get out of the house, because they like the music, in order to impress
people, or because of a feeling of guilt or obligation or because they think
they can gain favor with God by being in church. Not all of those things are
evil in themselves but any of them or all of them can be excuses that keep
you from coming to Christ for salvation. 
Going to church is good; coming to Christ is better. 
Being baptized is good; being born again is better. 
Giving money is good; giving your heart to Jesus is better. 
Being religious is good; knowing Christ as Savior and Lord is better. 
You could be Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Catholic, Mennonite, Presbyterian
Episcopal, Church of Christ, Charismatic, or a member of Calvary Memorial
Church and still not be a true Christian. To some people that is a shocking
thought, but it is true nonetheless. Church membership identifies you with
the visible church of Christ, but only true saving faith makes you a member
of the invisible church of those know the Lord. 
B) The Impossibility of “Borrowed” Faith 
One striking feature of the parable occurs when the foolish virgins ask the
wise virgins to borrow some of their oil. The refusal may seem selfish and
unkind unless you understand the situation. To loan the oil would mean that
no one would have enough oil. And the larger point is clear. No one can
“borrow” another person’s faith. You can’t get into heaven by living near a
saved person. One day you will stand before the Lord and he will say, “Why
should I let you into my heaven?” What answer will you give? 
“My mother was a godly woman,” you might say. “And that’s why she’s in
heaven,” the Lord will reply, “but what about you?” 
“My dad was an elder,” you say. “Fine, but that’s not why he’s in heaven,
and anyway his eldership won’t do you any good,” the Lord replies. 
“I went to Moody Bible Institute.” Substitute “Southwestern Baptist
Seminary” or “Trinity Seminary” or “Torchbearers” or “YWAM training” or
“Wheaton College” or “French Evangelical College” or whatever school you
favor. The outcome will be same. You can’t “borrow” faith from the school
you attended. Salvation is always a personal affair. You can’t go to heaven
by hanging onto someone’s coattails. You must believe in Jesus on your own,
for yourself, not relying on the faith of those around you. 
C) The Coming End of the Day of Grace 
Recall the solemn words of verse 10: “And the door was shut.” No door stays
open forever. The foolish virgins forgot to bring extra oil and then went
out to buy some oil. By the time they got back, the door was closed. It was
too late! 
Today the door of salvation is wide open to one and all. When you die, the
door will close. When Christ comes back to the earth, the door will close.
What will you do then? 
Some people act as if they’re going to live forever. After September 11, I
wonder how anyone could think that way. Did you know that at least three
people who were in the World Trade Center on September 11, and got out alive
died in the plane crash in Queens, New York last Monday? Think about that.
You escape the worst terrorist attack in American history only to die on a
plane bound for the Dominican Republic. What is your life? It is a vapor
that appears for a while and vanishes away (cf. James 4:13-17). No one knows
what tomorrow may bring. Perhaps you will live another 20 years or 20 months
or 20 days or 20 minutes. Who knows? 
About four years ago a friend from Dallas came to Oak Park for a visit. He
attended the church I pastored in Garland, Texas during his student days at
Dallas Seminary. After earning his Ph.D. he returned to the faculty at the
seminary. When I saw him, he looked great. A few weeks later he was
diagnosed with a brain tumor that turned out to be malignant. He survived a
difficult surgery and lengthy recovery period and seemed to be getting
better. This week I heard that his cancer has returned and that he has an
infection in his skull. No one knows what the future may hold for him. I
hope and pray for a complete recovery but there are no guarantees. Not for
him, not for any of us. 
Do not say, “Someday I’ll come to Christ.” Come now. Don’t wait for “someday
” Do not say, “I’ll repent later.” If you wait, you may harden your heart
and never come at all. Come now. 
D) The Danger of Self-deception 
Finally, we see in this story a warning about the danger of self-deception.
What a sad scene as the five foolish virgins plead at the door: “Let us in,
sir. You invited us. We’re sorry we were late. We didn’t realize you would
be delayed. Please let us in. We meant no disrespect.” From inside comes the
solemn reply: “I never knew you.” 
Consider those young women. They thought they were his friends to the very
end. They were never his enemies and they thought they were ready to meet
him but they weren’t. In the same way many religious people will be
tragically surprised in that day when they present outward righteousness and
inward emptiness only to hear the Lord say, “I never knew you.” 
I am struck even more by the fact that these five virgins are never called
sinners. They are never accused of gross immorality. By outward appearance,
they seemed ready to meet the bridegroom. It is clear that they truly wanted
to see him. That is part of the tragedy. If they were visibly sinful women,
we could understand their being shut out of the banquet, but between them
and the five wise virgins, there is little to choose. Outwardly, they are
all the same. But inwardly there was a huge difference. The five foolish
virgins were not ready, they could not borrow oil and they could not beg
their way in. These women did nothing—and that was their problem. They did
everything right but the one thing that mattered most, and that is why they
were shut out of the banquet. 
Some people will miss heaven and it will be no one’s fault but their own.
You won’t be able to blame your father or your mother or your friends or
your ex-husband or your ex-wife or your in-laws or those hypocrites at
church. If you miss heaven and wonder why, look in the mirror and you will
have your answer. 
Some people will find out the value of Christ too late. They will suddenly
realize how wrong they’ve been, but the door will already be shut. The world
will one day declare that the followers of Christ made a wise decision.
Today the door of salvation is wide open. Someday it will be shut forever.
Make sure you are on the right side of the door when that day comes. Amen. 
Stealth Attack 
Scorched earth tactics and cruel hatred are the characteristics of your
spiritual enemy. Protect yourself against Satan’s plan to destroy your life

Get more details revjoe2701@comcast.net 
Yehowah (the FATHER) bless you and protect you. YEhowah (the SON) deal
kindly and make HiS face to shine upon you and be gracious to you! YEhowah
(the HOLY SPIRIT) lift up HiS countenance and bestow HiS favor upon you and
grant you friendship and peace." [Numbers (B'Midvar) 6. 24 - 26 Tanakh,
Shalom Alechem B'Shem Yeshua HaMashiach. 
(Peace be unto you in the name of Yeshua the Messiah Who is Jehovah Shalom,
The Prince of Peace!) Amen! 
Yevarech Otka YaHoVeH 
(YHVH Bless you!) 
"Know God, know eternal life! No God, know eternal damnation" The fool says
in his heart 'There is no God.'

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

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C.S. Lewis Daily
Today's Reading

This signature on each soul may be a product of heredity and environment,
but that only means that heredity and environment are among the instruments
God creates a soul. I am considering not how, but why, He makes each soul
unique. If He had no use for all these differences, I do not see why He
have created more souls than one. Be sure that the ins and outs of your
individuality are no mystery to Him; and one day they will no longer be a
to you. The mould in which a key is made would be a strange thing, if you
had never seen a key: and the key itself a strange thing if you had never
a lock. Your soul has a curious shape because it is a hollow made to fit a
particular swelling in the infinite contours of the Divine substance, or a
to unlock one of the doors in the house with many mansions. For it is not
humanity in the abstract that is to be saved, but you—you, the individual
John Stubbs or Janet Smith. Blessed and fortunate creature, your eyes shall
behold Him and not another’s. All that you are, sins apart, is destined, if
you will let God have His good way, to utter satisfaction. The Brocken
spectre ‘looked to every man like his first love’, because she was a cheat.
God will look to every soul like its first love because He is its first
love. Your place in heaven will seem to be made for you and you alone,
you were made for it—made for it stitch by stitch as a glove is made for a

The Problem of Pain
Compiled inA Year with C.S. Lewis

The Problem of Pain. Copyright © 1940, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright
restored © 1996 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with
permission of HarperCollins Publishers. A Year With C.S. Lewis: Daily Readings from His
Classic Works. Copyright © 2003 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights

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Arabs Realizing Israel Is Not the Enemy' 
Ryan Jones (Oct 18, 2013) 
"Many nations in the area have a strong desire to eliminate the influence of
Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaida. This is an important development,
even historic." –Benjamin Netanyahu 
One of the very few positive outcomes of the regional crises engulfing the
Middle East is that a number of Arab states are beginning to realize that
Israel is not the true enemy. 
"For the first time in Israel's existence, there is an understanding in the
Arab world, that Israel is not the enemy of the Arabs. On many issues, we
are united," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the opening of the
Knesset' s winter session earlier this week. 
Netanyahu noted that the hijacking of pro-democracy revolutions in Egypt,
Syria and elsewhere had turned many of the Arab states against the same
Islamist regimes and groups that most threaten Israel. 
"Many nations in the area have a strong desire to eliminate the influence of
Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaida," the prime minister said. "This
is an important development, even historic." 
An unnamed government source later revealed to Israel's Ynet news portal
that Netanyahu' s remarks were not just flowery rhetoric, but a veiled
announcement that Israel and several Arab states, some of which have no
official diplomatic ties with the Jewish state, are now actively cooperating
on various fronts. 
With America increasingly seen as an unreliable ally, Arab states are
looking for a strong anchor nation with which they can coordinate their own
battles against Islamic extremism and Iranian hegemony. 
Many have found that ally in Israel, even if the bulk of the unprecedented
cooperation must happen in secret. 

Huge Massacre in North Korea's Killing Fields 
Jeremy Reynalds (Oct 18, 2013) 
"…confirmed testimony from camp survivors going back to the late 1990′S, and
charges of human experimentation in North Korea continue to be further
substantiated by more recent accounts, including those of North Korean
chemists, former security officials and former prisoners." –Robert Park 
(North Korea)—The disappearance of at least some 20,000 prisoners of
conscience from North Korea's Camp 22-a massive concentration camp-is a huge
massacre of an already brutalized population. 
The camp was geographically larger than Los Angeles and thought to have once
held between 30,000 to 50,000 prisoners. 
According to a story by Robert Park published in Forbes and the Chicago
Tribune, satellite photographs indicate that guard posts, interrogation and
detention facilities at the camp had been razed last year. By that time,
those accused and exploited had been reduced to about 3,000. 
While an estimated 7,000-8,000 prisoners are believed by some observers to
have been taken away at night via train to similar slave labor/death camps
No. 16 (located in a secluded mountain area in Hwasong County), and No. 25
(near the city of Chongjin), the rest remain unaccounted for. 

In an August report, David Hawk of the Washington DC -based Committee for
Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) commented on Camp 22's rapid depopulation
"If even remotely accurate, this is an atrocity requiring much closer
investigation. " 
Park said North Korea's reasons for shuttering this camp should not surprise
On the basis of testimony from former camp guards Ahn Myong-chol and Kwon
Hyuk, worldwide attention has been focused on the horrors which took place
daily at Camp 22; a literal killing field. 
Park said perhaps most shocking amid the revelations of the DPRK's
inhumanity provided by Ahn and Kwon's lengthy and detailed confessions, are
claims of human vivisection, and chemical and biological weapon experiments
on prisoners. They include the murdering of whole families in gas chambers. 
The 2004 BBC This World documentary "Access to Evil" showed eyewitness
testimonies and hard evidence (such as DPRK documents) suggesting that
widespread human experimentation was taking place inside North Korea's
prison camps. 

The BBC's Olenka Frenkiel spoke at length with Kwon, the former chief of
management at North Korea's Camp 22 and former military attaché at the North
Korean embassy in Beijing, in addition to victims, North Korean officials,
activists and outside observers. 
Park said Kwon told Frenkiel, "I watched a whole family being tested on
suffocating gas and dying in the gas chamber: parents, one son and a
daughter. The parents were vomiting and dying, but until the very last
moment they tried to save the kids by doing mouth-to-mouth breathing. For
the first time it hit me that even prisoners are capable of powerful human
When asked how he felt about the children who were being murdered in such a
cruel manner, he candidly replied, "It would be a total lie to say I felt
sympathy for the children dying such a painful death. In the society and the
regime I was under, I just felt they were enemies. So I felt no sympathy or
pity for them at all." 
Park said the film confirmed testimony from camp survivors going back to the
late 1990's. Charges of human experimentation in North Korea continue to be
further substantiated by more recent accounts, including those of North
Korean chemists, former security officials and former prisoners. 
In 2002, RENK, an established Tokyo-based NGO, interviewed Dong Chun-ok who
was a former nuclear researcher at the Yongbyon Nuclear Research Center
where she said research for chemical weapons took place in addition to
nuclear development. 
She stated that in the research laboratories in Hamhung, chemical and
biological weapon experiments took place on "prisoners or felons by using
Park said another North Korean defector who was forcibly repatriated from
China in 2004, Kang Byong-sop, had claimed to be the chief electrical
engineer at a chemical factory in South Hamgyong. He said he had smuggled
out official "letters of transfer" for inmates from Camp 22 to be sent to
the chemical complex for the "human experimentation for liquid gas." 
Kim Sang-Hun, a retired U.N. Official and chairman of the Database Center
for North Korean Human Rights told the Los Angeles Times that he had known
members of Kang's family for years. After carefully examining the papers,
which carried the official stamp of North Korea's State Security Agency, he
was "absolutely convinced [the letters] are genuine." 
Kang is believed to have been hunted and arrested with Chinese-North Korean
collaboration on the Chinese-Laotian border with his wife and youngest son
after smuggling the documents out of North Korea. He was forced upon
repatriation to give a complete retraction and point-by-point counter-story,
and has not been heard from since. 
Park said his other son, Kang Seong-kuk, was reported at the time to have
narrowly escaped an abduction attempt by North Korean agents in Thailand. 
Kim Sang-Hun told Al Jazeera in 2009 that "Human experimentation is a
widespread practice… The program is now a commonly known fact in the North
Korean public." 
Park said Im Chun-yong, a former member of North Korea's elite special
forces claimed to Al Jazeera for the same report that, "If you are born
mentally or physically deficient… the government says your best contribution
to society… is as a guinea pig for biological and chemical weapons testing."

His then commander was said to have given up his 12-year-old daughter who
was mentally disabled, while another of his colleagues who was guarding a
testing facility witnessed "a number of people" murdered via "poisonous gas"
in a "glass chamber." 
In May 2013, Park wrote, Joanna Hosaniak of the Citizens Alliance for North
Korean Human Rights (NKHR) headquartered in Seoul delivered a report stating
North Korea was presiding over chemical and biological weapon experiments on
disabled children. That was based on recent testimony from a high-level
North Korean government official who defected in 2012 and corroborated by a
former DPRK police officer. 

Park said the U.N. Commission of Inquiry, chaired by Australia' s former High
Court Judge Michael Kirby, is now underway. 

After hearing numerous testimonies from North Korea's victims who were able
to escape, Kirby was moved to tears and told reporters, "An image flashed
across my mind of the Allied soldiers, Russian, American, British, at the
end of the Second World War, and the discovery of prison camps in the
countries that had been occupied by Nazi forces." 
Park said a "full-fledged international inquiry" will be incomplete without
careful examination of all existing forms of evidence which suggest that the
Democratic People's Republic of Korea continues to (in the words of a June
13 White House statement on chemical weapons in Syria), cross "clear red
lines that have existed within the international community for decades." 
Robert Park is a former prisoner of conscience and human rights activist who
entered North Korea on Christmas Day 2009 to protest against genocide and
crimes against humanity taking place within the country. 

Brethren...let us lift up North Korea and other communist bloc countries
where religious freedom is not available and where people are being killed,
maimed and experimented upon by unscrupulous probationers. Also that the
Gospel might be able to penetrate the darkness that exists there to the end
that the masses might find Christ and His light in that darkness of ugliness
and sin. Pray for leaders to come to Christ. 
Bro. Joe Diaz 
Founder, His Love Extended Ministries International Circa 2000 
Yehowah (the FATHER) bless you and protect you. YEhowah (the SON) deal
kindly and make HiS face to shine upon you and be gracious to you! YEhowah
(the HOLY SPIRIT) lift up HiS countenance and bestow HiS favor upon you and
grant you friendship and peace." [Numbers (B'Midvar) 6. 24 - 26 Tanakh,
Shalom Alechem B'Shem Yeshua HaMashiach. 
(Peace be unto you in the name of Yeshua the Messiah) Who is Jehovah Shalom,
The Prince of Peace! Amen! 
Yevarech Otka YaHoVeH 
(YHVH Bless you!) 
"Know God, know eternal life! No God, know eternal damnation" The fool says
in his heart 'There is no God.'

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Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Fri 18 Oct 2013, 8:02 pm

Fear the Lord … But Don’t Be Afraid
Deuteronomy 10:12-22

Recommended Reading

Psalms 33:18-22
Hebrews 12:22-29
Revelation 1:9-18

In his autobiography, Blessings in Disguise, the late actor Alec Guinness 
wrote that as he was walking up Kingsway in the middle of an afternoon, he 
had an impulse to start running. He ran until he reached a little church. He’d 
never been there before, but he caught his breath and knelt to pray. For the 
next ten minutes he “was lost to the world.”

Guinness explained the compulsion as a “rather nonsensical gesture of love,” 
an outburst of thanksgiving. He ran to the church and fell on his knees in 
prayer not long after March 24, 1956, the day he had converted to 
Christianity after years of being an atheist.

Guinness, in a move reflective of the movement of the Holy Spirit in his 
life, learned in part what “fearing God” is all about. Although Scripture 
uses the word “fear,” God doesn’t want us to be afraid of him. Instead, he 
wants us to realize how magnificent, awe-inspiring and deserving of our 
worship he is.

Interestingly, knowing that God desires our worship also helps us understand 
just how special we are to him. This can lead us into a more active 
relationship with God. God always expresses his love in some kind of action 
toward us, and he desires that we return our loving expressions in action, 
as well as in trusting his leading and following his commands for our life.

God’s love, coupled with our sense of awe and reverence, leads us to action. 
It led Alec Guinness to run down the street and then fall on his knees in 
thanksgiving and adoration. Perhaps you’ve only recently come to know about 
God’s grace revealed through Jesus Christ. Perhaps you’ve been his devoted 
follower for years. Or perhaps you’re just looking for a fresh experience of 
God in your life. What actions will you take today to express your “fear of 

Don’t be afraid to go for it!

To Take Away
• Describe in your own words what it means to fear God.

• How does knowing that God desires our worship help us understand how 
special we are to him?

• What actions can you take to express your love to God?
This devotion is from the
NIV New Men's Devotional Bible
by Zondervan. Used with permission.

The Guidance of God
Our society seems to take one misstep after another. People around us are 
wandering aimlessly through life, not knowing what they truly believe or 
whom they should follow. Politicians and community leaders have strayed off 
course as they have ignored the divine wisdom and guidance of God in order 
to follow their own human principles.

God wants to show us how to live abundant and joyful lives. He desires to 
lead the way for us through life, steering us away from temptation and 
sheltering us in the storms. He wants to give us guidance in our decisions. 
We are not to live as the world does, chasing after every new philosophical 
trend. Instead we are to live confidently knowing that the only One we need 
to follow is God.

Sometimes as Christians we allow ourselves to become obsessed with 
discerning God's will. We pour over the fine details, examining every 
possible option, worried that one wrong step will send us out of God's 
favor. We doubt past decisions that did not turn out the way we had hoped. 
We doubt our ability to discern God's will. We waste time regretting and 

Instead of obsessing over our choices, we should focus on our complete 
willingness to obey the will of God when He shows it to us. We need to first 
be in a place of submission before God, willing to follow wherever He leads. 
We build that type of obedience by spending regular time with God in prayer 
and in His Word.

The psalmist declared, "He guides the humble in what is right and teaches 
them his way" (Psalm 25:9). If we focus on humbly obeying God, we can trust 
that He will guide us on the right paths. For many Christians, this is 
easier said than done. In theory, we all claim to want to be obedient to 
God, but in reality we hold on to our own plans. We are willing to accept 
God's will for us when it suits us, but we balk when He points in a 
direction outside of our comfort zones. We pray for Him to show us
His will, secretly hoping it will be something we desire. We claim 
obedience, but remain latched on to our own wants.

Sometimes God's plans for us do not make sense. Sometimes they are 
uncomfortable or even painful. But if we truly walk in obedience to God, we 
will find contentment whatever circumstances He may bring. We can rejoice 
even in the times of teaching, training, and testing. We can trust that even 
if we make a misstep, our sovereign God can lead us back into His will.

The psalmist discovered the joys and benefits of obedience to God: "Oh, how 
I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.…I have more understanding 
than the elders, for I obey your precepts. I have kept my feet from every 
evil path so that I might obey your word. I have not departed from your 
laws, for you yourself have taught me. How sweet are your words to my taste, 
sweeter than honey to my mouth! I gain understanding from your precepts; 
therefore I hate every wrong path. Your word is a lamp
to my feet and a light for my path" (Psalm 119:97, 100-105).

Unlike the worldly culture around us, we are not rudderless. We have God's 
guiding Holy Spirit to show us the best course. But first we must surrender 
completely to following His will and His commandments, even when they do not 
match our personal desires. We must spend regular time in prayer learning 
His voice and His heart. The more we know God, the easier it will be to 
discern His voice from our own self-serving thoughts. If you are resistant 
to giving God full control of your life, confess this
to Him in prayer. Pray for His help in developing a humble and obedient 
heart in you. Pray that He will awaken the hearts of Christians across the 
country so they will also seek to obey His guidance.

"We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands." --1 John 2:3

Enjoy 365 Biblical daily devotional emails from Michael Youssef by
registering for My Devotional today.

We are Leading The Way for people living in spiritual darkness, at home and 
around the world, to discover the light of Christ as we passionately 
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What a Friend We Have in Jesus
Tuesday, September 10, 2013

“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his 
friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I 
call you
slaves…but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from 
My Father I have made known to you.” – John 15:13-15 NASB

Joseph Scriven faced real tragedies. Born in Ireland on this day in 1819, as 
a young man he fell in love. But, tragically, on the night before he was to
be married, his fiancée drowned.

Later, after moving to Canada, Scriven fell in love again and became 
engaged. But his second fiancée also died before they were married.

We can imagine how these painful experiences might have made him bitter. But 
Scriven instead became devoted to serving others and sharing the love of 
He gave freely of his possessions and always was ready to help those who 
were in need.

In 1855, when he learned that his mother was ill, Scriven wrote a poem for 
her called, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” This later became a powerful 
where Scriven described what Jesus meant to him: “What a Friend we have in 
Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!”

Because of the difficult experiences he had faced, he could write with 
conviction, “What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!” He knew 
God could bring peace to troubled hearts who seek Him: “O what peace we 
often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry 
to God in prayer.”

Instead of becoming discouraged when we face trials, temptations, or 
troubles, Scriven wrote that we simply should “take it to the Lord in 

Today, remember that Jesus is your friend. Take your problems to Him. Talk 
with Him. Spend time with Him. He loves you!

Today's Inspiration Prayer
Father, I know that you are the God of miracles and wonders. Thank You that 
Your Word is true. I will stand on Your Word in my life. In Jesus’ name. 

Further Reading: John 15

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