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Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Tue 22 Dec 2015, 12:34 am

Today's Daily Encounter

Fathers Are a Critical Need  

"Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will
become discouraged."1

In their book, The Gift of Honor, Gary Smalley and John
Trent tell about "Keith Hernandez ... one of baseball's
top players. He is a lifetime .300 hitter who has won
numerous Golden Glove awards for excellence in
fielding. He's won a batting championship for having
the highest average, the Most Valuable Player award in
his league, and even the World Series. Yet with all his
accomplishments, he has missed out on something
crucially important to him--his father's acceptance and
recognition that what he has accomplished is valuable. 

Listen to what he had to say in a very candid interview
about his relationship with his father: 'One day Keith
asked his father, "Dad, I have a lifetime .300 batting
average. What more do you want?" His father replied,
"But someday you're going to look back and say, 'I
could have done more.'"

The number of people I've worked with over the years in
recovery work who have a deep father-wound is reason
for discouragement. They are numerous. Many sons and
daughters of so-called successful businessmen felt that
their fathers cared more about their work than they did
about them. Many kids of pastors feel the same way.
Many adult children of alcoholic fathers grew up
feeling neglected, receiving little or no emotional
support or affirmation from their dads. And I've worked
with numerous men and women who felt that their father
was never involved with them emotionally, and deep down
they felt abandoned by him.

Many a woman has looked for love in all the wrong
places, substituting sex for love in a desperate
attempt to fill the empty void caused by an emotionally
absentee father. (Many men who have a deep mother-wound
do the same thing.)

Regardless of what some would try to tell us today,
fathers have a vital role in the well-being of the
family, and therefore in the well-being of the nation.
As former President Reagan said, "As goes the family so
goes the nation."

One of the greatest things we fathers can do for our
children is to acknowledge our own father- and/or
mother-wound, and admit our inability to affirm our
loved ones emotionally. Then we need to get into a
recovery program to overcome our issues and grow
towards wholeness ourselves. Only then will we be able
to fully love and affirm the most important people in
our lives--our sons, daughters, and spouses.

Furthermore, one of the greatest needs of every one of
us is to know and experience the love and affirmation
of God, our Heavenly Father, at the very core of our
being.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to face and
overcome my father-wound so that I will be able to be
the father that my children need. Where I have failed,
please forgive me, and above all, please help me to
know and experience Your affirmation at the very core
of my being. Thank You for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."

NOTE: Be sure to read the article, "Healing a Man’s
Father Wound" at: http://tinyurl.com/9dse4

1. Colossians 3:21 (NIV).

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  Copyright (c) 2015 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2015
  ACTS International.
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Fri 30 Oct 2015, 10:50 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

The Power of Belief  

Jesus said, "According to your faith will it be done to
you."1

In younger days I used to think I was the only one who
had an inferiority complex and felt insecure. I have
long since learned that feeling insecure was part of
the human condition and I wasn't alone by any means.
Half the answer to overcoming this feeling is to admit
it and then we are free to grow and change. Sadly,
these feelings are often embedded into our mind by
others who put us down or simply didn't believe in us.

For instance, I recently read how "the famous
Psychiatrist Dr. Alfred Adler had an experience when a
young boy, which illustrates just how powerful such a
belief can be upon behavior and ability. He got off to
a bad start in arithmetic and his teacher became
convinced that he was 'dumb in mathematics.' The
teacher then advised the parents of this 'fact' and
told them not to expect too much of him. They too were
convinced. Adler passively accepted the evaluation they
had placed upon him. And his grades in arithmetic
proved they had been correct.

"One day, however, he had a sudden flash of insight and
thought he saw how to work a problem the teacher had
put on the board, and which none of the other pupils
could work. He announced as much to the teacher. She
and the whole class laughed. Whereupon, he became
indignant, strode to the blackboard, and worked the
problem much to their amazement. In doing so, he
realized that he could understand arithmetic. He felt a
new confidence in his ability, and went on to become a
good math student."

A few years ago I shared a poem I had written with a
friend and he picked it to pieces. Tragically I
believed his words and never wrote another poem for
years. What got me started again was when a gifted
artist told me how much she loved my poems. That
inspired me to write more. The fact is, we all need
someone who sees the gifts we have, who believes in us,
and encourages us to develop our gifts and use them.

Note: If interested, see poems: "Forever Friend" at
http://tinyurl.com/3z238u and "Unsung Songs" at
http://tinyurl.com/4vsnnj by yours truly.

Suggested prayer, "Dear God, thank You for the gifts
and abilities that You have given to me. Please help me
to know what these are, be well trained and skillful in
using them, believe in myself as You believe in me, and
use my gifts for Your glory. And please help me to be
an encourager of others to help them see, develop, and
use their God-given gifts for Your glory. Thank You for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's
name, amen."

1. Matthew 9:29 (NIV).

<Smile)))><

     
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Copyright (c) 2015 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2015
  ACTS International.
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Thu 29 Oct 2015, 3:20 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Exponential Growth  

"Then He [Jesus] said to His disciples, "'The harvest
truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore
pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into
His harvest.'"1

Tradition says that the man who invented the game of
chess was told by the Chinese emperor to name his own
reward. The man simply asked that a grain of rice be
placed on the first square of the chess board: two
grains on the second square, four on the third, eight
on the fourth, sixteen on the fifth, and so on, the
grains doubling each time. The emperor quickly agreed,
but was horrified when he came to the sixty-fourth
square.

The only hope of mankind for peace for today and hope
for eternity is found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. If
I tell one person about Jesus, and we both tell
another, that makes four persons sharing the Good News.
By the time I've told twenty-one people, and if all the
others do the same and so on, more than one million
people will have heard the gospel in no time.2

Jesus started the entire Christian message with a
motley band of twelve disciples. By Ascension Day it
had grown ten times to 120. "A little over a week
later, on Pentecost, it increased to over 3,000. By the
time the last of the twelve died, there were an
estimated half-million followers of Jesus Christ.

"That was at the end of the first century. By the end
of the second century, this number had increased to
almost ten million. By the close of the ninth century,
there were 100 million Christians. Today, the number
has grown to over one billion believers around the
world. None of this growth would have been possible had
Christians not been excited and supportive of missions
or prayed to 'the Lord of the harvest to send out
laborers into his harvest.'"3

Since going online in 1998 ACTS International has
received over 44,000 salvation and re-commitment to
Christ responses from around the world. These responses
have come from Daily and Weekend Encounter and our
gospel messages on the ACTS web site at
www.actsweb.org. Many more of these salvation responses
would undoubtedly come from Daily and Weekend Encounter
readers if every subscriber would forward copies to
friends, contacts and family members.

Imagine if every one of our well over
a-third-of-a-million 373,000 plus subscribers to Daily,
Weekend and Prayer Encounters would forward a suitable
copy of Daily Encounter to one other person each month
for one year, this would mean that 4,476,000+ people
would have an opportunity to receive the gospel in a
non-offensive way. And what if each Encounter
subscriber would forward a copy to one other person
each week for a year? This would mean that 19,396,000
more people would have an opportunity to receive the
gospel. If every Christian would just "keep on keeping
on" sharing God's message, the spreading of the gospel
would increase exponentially. With the invention of
e-mail and the Internet this has never ever been easier
to do.

Never have we had such an opportunity. God has given us
the message and commissioned us--you and me
included--to take it to all the world. He has given us
the methods. All He needs is His people working
together all doing their share to reach our world for
Christ. Will you make a commitment to help spread the
gospel and thereby be a part of what God is doing in
the world today?

NOTE: To make it extremely easy for you to share Daily
Encounter and ACTS Good News gospel outreach websites
in a non-offensive way with family, friends and
contacts, we have printed high quality, attractive
business witness cards. See samples online at
http://actscom.com/witness_cards.php. Try them. You'll
like them. I've given scores away and have never had
anyone not accept it--except by only one man--and he
was a Christian! Be sure to get a pack of 50 today. Be
sure to order especially a 50-pack of the "Thank You
for Your Friendly Service" witness cards. These are a
real winner. 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You for Your great
salvation which has given me the gift of eternal life
and a home in heaven to be with You forever--a life
that has been saved from eternal damnation. I am
available for You to use to be a part of Your plans and
what You are doing in the world today. Please give me a
passion for lost souls and help me to be as Christ to
every life I touch--and use me today to help spread the
gospel in whatever way I can. Thank You for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name,
amen."

1. Matthew 9:37-38 (NKJV).
2. Dorothy O'Neill, Encounter magazine (Australia),
March/April 2002.
3. Dennis Kastens, "Echoes of Eternity," from the
sermon: "Laborers Needed for the Harvest."

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
 
  Copyright (c) 2015 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2015
  ACTS International.
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Mon 26 Oct 2015, 11:30 am

Today's Daily Encounter

Character Counts  

"Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings,
because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
perseverance, character; and character, hope."1

Interestingly enough, where I grew up (quite a few
years ago now), in our grade school English classes
every story we read had a moral, and over the door of
every class room was written a motto such as, "Whatever
your hand finds to do, do it with your might,"2 that
was quoted from the Bible. We were also taught the
importance of keeping one's word. In fact, a man's word
was his honor. It was a mark of character!

Furthermore, every week during school hours students
had to attend a religious instruction class of their
choice. One had to have a letter from one's parents if
he/she were to be excused from attending.

But where have those values gone today? Cheating in
school is the norm for far too many students. Recently
we heard on TV how one teacher failed a student whom
she caught cheating on her final exam. The cheater's
parents were so outraged that this teacher was forced
to resign! Teaching at Harvard  Business School several
years ago, Chuck Colson noted that the students didn't
have a clue about ethics. Hence we reap results such as
the Enron debacle. And millions, at least in the
Western world, are spending millions every year on
getting rid of wrinkles and the like because they are
much more concerned with their external image and
appearance than inner character.

It seems for many that we have forgotten that character
counts!

According to Michael Josephson's organization,
Character Counts, "The Six Pillars of Character are:
trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness,
caring, and citizenship," to which we could add a
seventh, personal honesty.

Don Johnson, author and producer of "Afterglow," wrote,
"Financier J. P. Morgan once commented that a man's
best collateral is his character. Alfred Armand
Montapert said, 'Reputation is what folks think you
are. Personality is what you seem to be. Character is
what you really are.' House Speaker, Jim Wright, upon
his resignation, quoted Horace Greely who stated, 'Fame
is a vapor, popularity an accident, riches take wings,
those who cheer today may curse tomorrow, only one
thing endures--character.' Charles Spurgeon wrote, 'A
good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved
you, and were helped by you, will remember you when
forget-me-nots are withered. Carve your name on hearts,
and not on marble.'

"Someone has said 'character is what you'd do if you
knew no one would ever find out.' I like Samuel Smiles
words, 'Sow a thought and you reap an act, sow an act
and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a
character, sow a character and you reap a destiny.'"3

Whether we believe it or not, character does count--for
time and, if you are a Christian, for eternity!

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to always
remember that character counts and help me to so live
that my life will always bring glory and praise to Your
name. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen." 

1. Romans 5:3-4 (NIV).
2. Ecclesiastes 9:10.
3. Afterglow, www.afterglow.org

<Smile)))><<    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  Copyright (c) 2015 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2015
  ACTS International.
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Fri 23 Oct 2015, 9:13 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

More on Relationships  

"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar
and there remember that your brother has something
against you, leave your gift there in front of the
altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then
come and offer your gift."1

Of all the requests for help from Daily Encounter
readers, most have to do with impaired relationships.
One of the toughest issues to deal with seems to be in
the area of forgiving those who have hurt us.

For example another reader writes, "I have been dealing
with an issue for some time. I was hurt deeply by two
friends, but have never received an apology from them
for what they did. I am trying to forgive and forget
but haven't been able to. I have prayed about it
because I don't want to become consumed with anger, but
the pain is still there. What can I do?"

I guess most of us have been in a similar situation,
and, if not yet, sooner or later we will be. So how do
we handle this type of issue?

As the Bible encourages us, it is helpful to go to the
person who has hurt us, and share with him/her how we
feel. However, when we do this, it is important not to
go with a blame-game-attitude. This is because what
they did is their issue, but how we react and feel is
always our issue and responsibility. We need to tell
the person who has hurt us that we appreciate and value
their friendship, but that we feel very hurt. We need
to admit that our feelings are our problem; explain why
we feel hurt; and say that we would like to talk things
over so we can resolve our feelings. 

This is usually the best approach wherever
possible--and we have the courage to do it! There is no
guarantee, however, that the offending party will
respond favorably. But once we have done our part (as
long as it is in a caring and mature manner), the rest
is up to them. However, if they or we are immature, it
may make matters worse! That's always a risk to take in
seeking to resolve impaired relationships.

Either way, it is imperative that we resolve our
feelings. If we don’t, our hurt and anger may cause us
to become resentful, and affect us physically,
emotionally, and/or spiritually. If we can't resolve
our conflict the first way, and still can't resolve our
feelings and genuinely forgive, we need to talk to an
understanding pastor, or if necessary, to a qualified
Christian counselor who will help us work through and
resolve our feelings. 

However, before we do anything, we need to ask God to
reveal to us the truth of what we may be contributing
in any way to the conflict we are in. This is critical
because (as already noted) what others do to us is
their problem or issue, but how we react is always our
issue and our responsibility. Furthermore, to the
degree we overreact, if we do, that is always our
problem. Remember, too, that supersensitive people who
have unresolved hurts from the past, will inevitably
overreact in one way or another, either by exploding
and lashing out at others, or by imploding and turning
their hurt and anger in on themselves and stay hurt,
become resentful, and even physically ill.

Impaired relationships can be and are very destructive
to ourselves and others, and are the cause of many
illnesses--relational, physical, emotional, and/or
spiritual. This is why the Bible encourages us to not
allow the sun to go down while we are still angry, and
to resolve these issues as quickly as possible.

NOTE: For further help see "Forgiveness: The Power That
Heals," http://tinyurl.com/3bw3q3.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to never
forget that I live in a broken world where all people,
including myself, have frailties and are struggling at
some level to find more loving relationships. Please
help me to keep growing in Christian love and learn how
to handle every impaired relationship in a mature,
Christ-like manner, and in so doing be an example for
others to follow. Thank You for hearing and answering
my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name amen."

1. Matthew 5:23-24 (NIV).

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * *
 
  Copyright (c) 2015 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2015
  ACTS International.
avatar
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Thu 22 Oct 2015, 4:11 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Hiding from God  

"O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.... Where
can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your
presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if
I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise
on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side
of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your
right hand will hold me fast. If I say, 'Surely the
darkness will hide me and the light become night around
me,' even the darkness will not be dark to you; the
night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light
to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me
together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am
fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are
wonderful, I know that full well."1

You may have read about the strict professor
(supposedly at the University of California) who was
extremely rigid with his students. In reminding them
about their final exam for the course he was teaching,
he said they were not to begin their test until he told
them exactly when they were to commence, and after
exactly one hour they were to finish precisely at the
time he said they were to stop, and immediately bring
their test and place it on the front desk as they left
the class room. If they failed to follow his
instructions precisely, he would fail them.

So ... at the final exam all the students followed the
professor's instructions exactly as he demanded--except
for one student who kept writing after they were told
to stop. The professor demanded that he stop writing,
but he didn't. He just kept working on his final exam.
When he was finished, he brought his test to the front
desk where the furious professor was sitting.

"Why didn't you follow my instructions?" the professor
demanded. 

"Because I needed more time," the student replied.

"Don't you know I am going to fail you? What is your
name?"

"You mean you don't know my name?" the student replied.
"How could I?" the professor barked, "I have 400
students in this class!"

"Good," said the student as he slipped his test into
the pile of 399 other examination papers on the
professor's desk--and walked out of the room!

In this life we can hide all sorts of things from all
sorts of people, but we can never hide from God. He
sees all. He knows all. And He loves and accepts us
anyhow. But we can also be sure that, unless forgiven,
our sins will find us out--even if it is eventually!

Suggested prayer, "Dear God, thank You that I can never
hide from You, that You know all about me, and that You
always know where I am and what I am doing. Help me to
so live that I will never need to be afraid of Your
seeing me, and help me to take comfort in the fact that
no matter what circumstances I am in, You will never
leave me nor forsake me. Thank You for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name,
amen."

1. Psalm 139:1, 7-14 (NIV).

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  
  Copyright (c) 2015 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2015
  ACTS International.
avatar
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Mon 19 Oct 2015, 3:38 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Crabgrass  

"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness'
before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will
have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you
give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as
the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets,
to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have
received their reward in full."1

Pastor Ed Hart shared in a recent sermon, "Anyone who
has put in a lawn understands about crabgrass because
it hides there. It's there but you don't know it. Just
when you think you have mastered the perfect lawn, lush
and green, and you are sitting, taking in all that
wonderful oxygen coming off those little blades of
grass, you see it ... and you say to yourself, 'Aha!
I've caught it in time. I've got it just as it is
starting!' However, as you begin to remove the
crabgrass, you realize it's been there all the
time--forever!

"Just when we think we're doing great in the Christian
life ... we discover something about ourselves that
C.S. Lewis understood very well. In his book, Screwtape
Letters, (a book of imagined correspondence between a
major devil and his nephew, Wormwood, a junior devil),
he writes the following to Wormwood, about humility:

"I see only one thing to do at the moment--as your
patient (a young Christian) has become humble. Have you
drawn his attention to the fact? All virtues are less
formidable to us once the man is aware that he has
them, but this is especially true of humility. Catch
him at the moment when he is really poor in spirit and
smuggle into his mind the gratifying reflection, 'By
Jove, I'm being humble!' And almost immediately pride,
pride at his own humility, will appear. If he awakes to
the danger and tries to smother this new form of pride,
make him proud of his attempt. Through as many stages
as you please, but don't try this too long for fear you
will awaken his sense of humor and proportion. In which
case he will merely laugh at you and go to bed."

"Lewis caught it. It is so easy to become puffed up
about our own goodness, our good deeds, and our
self-righteousness, and to take pride in it--and it's
the crabgrass of our soul that sneaks in there. Jesus
warned us not to be like the hypocrites who do all for
an outward show, and not to take ourselves too
seriously. What we do should not be for appearance
sake. But when we see 'the crabgrass of pride' poking
up its ugly head, recognize it for what it is. Dismiss
it. Laugh at yourself and go to bed."2

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to purify
my motives and do good deeds because I love You and
those whom You love. I admit that I need much help to
do this. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Matthew 6:1-2 (NIV).
2. Edgar P. Hart, in his sermon, "Not All Is What It
Seems." First Presbyterian Church of Napa, California.
May 12, 2002.

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Sat 17 Oct 2015, 10:20 am

Today's Daily Encounter

Healing a Man's Father-Wound  

"Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead,
bring them up in the training and instruction of the
Lord."1

In spite of what some women libbers, gay and lesbian
would-be-parents, and mothers having children out of
wedlock (to justify their actions), claim about fathers
not being important for the development and well-being
of children, the fact remains, God's plan for
parenthood and family life has never changed, and the
significance of the role of fatherhood (as well as
motherhood) cannot be underestimated.

"According to Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, a father's
involvement with a child increases the child's IQ, the
child's motivation to learn, and the child's
self-confidence. In addition, children with involved
dads are more likely to develop a sense of humor as
well as an 'inner excitement.'"2

Interesting too, that Dr. Frank Minirth reports how "a
recent survey revealed how children are learning their
values: 43 percent by parents, 38 percent by
television, 8 percent by peers, and 6 percent by
teachers."3

"The Los Angeles Lakers had just completed 13 games in
10 cities in 21 days. It was particularly tough on
Dominic Harris, the 5-year-old son of Ann Harris and
Laker Coach Del Harris. Said Dominic to Del: 'I miss
you, Dad. In fact, I can't remember when I didn't miss
you.'"4

Ask a hundred men how many felt close to and affirmed
by their fathers and you will see about three or four
hands raised. Herein lies the secret of so much of our
relational and emotional distress. The father-wound
that injured our masculine soul is because we never
felt loved by our fathers. And that wound desperately
needs to be healed. (The same principles also apply to
women who carry a deep father-wound.)

Speaking personally, from early childhood I started
looking for love in the wrong places in a vain attempt
to fill the empty vacuum caused by my emotionally
absentee father.

For example, in days gone by I looked for love in the
things I did--like making beautiful things including a
dream home. I learned to move a group to tears, make
them laugh hilariously and inspire them to reach for
noble goals. I got lots of approval but none of these
things ever made me feel loved. In other words, I
mistakenly mistook approval for love.

Perhaps most delusive of all is how, from a very early
age, I looked to the opposite sex to try to make me
feel loved and to affirm my masculinity. It started
when I was a child. I still remember how I fell "madly
in love" with my second grade school teacher, looking
for love from her.

Unfortunately, no mother, wife or any other woman can
ever make a boy or a man feel secure as a man. An
attractive woman might make him feel terrific for a
brief moment of time, but she still can't make him feel
loved or that he is a man no matter how attractive she
might be. A man may even be intoxicated with passion
when he meets a beautiful woman and may want to marry
her. If he does, he (and she) may be in for a rude
awakening. Not because of her, but because of him. When
his passion subsides, he'll be faced with the pain and
reality of his own loneliness and emptiness.

And then to avoid facing his pain, he'll look to
another performance, climb another mountain, or seek
another beautiful woman ... and another ... to prove to
himself that he is a man. Or he'll seek to deaden his
inner pain through alcohol, drugs, or addictive
behaviors and even ruin his health and never get close
to the ones he loves, or he will ruin those
relationships. That is, he'll keep acting out until he
faces why he looks in the wrong places for the
father-love (and/or mother-love) he never received as a
child.

To all fathers, I trust today's Daily Encounter will
help you realize the importance of becoming emotionally
and spiritually involved in the lives of your children.
And those of us who have a father-wound, let us stop
our crazy ways of making attempts to deaden the pain of
our inner emptiness. Rather, admit the true need of our
heart, and seek the help of God and a trusted counselor
if needed to find healing of our father-wound.

NOTE: For additional help, see the complete article,
"Healing a Man's Father Wound," at:
http://tinyurl.com/9dse4.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, [for those of us who are
parents--especially fathers] please help me to be the
father You envision for me to be to my children. Help
me always to be as Christ to them, and may they grow up
knowing that they are very much loved by me as well as
by You. And [for all of us who have a deep
father-wound], please help me to face my father-wound
and lead me to the help I need for healing and recovery
so that I may become the father and family man You
desire for me to be. Thank You for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name,
amen."

1. Ephesians 6:4 (NIV).
2. Source: Victor Parachin, "The Fine Art of Good
Fathering," Herald of Holiness, February 1995, pp.
32-33.
3. Dr. Frank Minirth, "Withstanding the Tides of
Change," Today's Better Life, p. 52.
4. Lexington Herald-Leader, January 1, 1996, p. C2.

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Fri 09 Oct 2015, 11:14 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Arm-Twisting for God  

"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in
sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious
wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them."1

I first heard Joseph Bailey use the term, "Arm-twisting
for God." It is closely related to those who are cursed
with the affliction to give advice--only worse--because
they arm-twist in the name of God! It is often used by
"religious control-freaks."

Over the years I've had numerous articles sent to
me--some from excellent authors--and some from would-be
authors wanting to be published. Some of the latter
group preface their request with remarks such as, "God
(or the Holy Spirit) has given me this message and I
want him to have all the glory!" With some of this
material I can't imagine God wanting the glory. I don't
publish it--and God doesn't zap me!

On one occasion a man said to me that God told him he
was to work for me. He didn't have any qualifications
for the work we do, so I didn't give him a job. Again,
God didn't zap me!

On another occasion I was strongly rebuked by a person
who didn't understand "Jesus the Messiah" being written
in Arabic especially for Muslims. I was told the Bible
said He was to be called Jesus. I don't think the angel
spoke to Joseph and Mary in English! How about Hebrew?
I was also informed by this person that Jesus told her
I was to take this Arabic name of Jesus off my website
as I was dangerously leading people astray!

I could give many more illustrations of people
arm-twisting for God. They are usually insecure people
needing attention and wanting their own way to feel
empowered and important. At times I have said to such a
person, when they told me God told them the way I
should do things, that God hasn't told me yet, so can
we discuss it--and let's pray for truth. "But I have
the truth," one declared emphatically to me. End of
discussion!

As John Wesley advised, "Do not hastily ascribe things
to God. Do not easily suppose dreams, voices,
impressions, visions or revelations to be from God.
They may be from Him. They may be from nature. They may
be from the devil. Therefore, do not believe every
spirit, but try the spirits, whether they are from
God"2

We are told in the Bible that the test of a true
prophet of God was 100% accuracy--100% of the time, and
are warned not to heed false prophets. Also, in the Old
Testament there was severe punishment for those who
claimed to have a message from God and it wasn't from
Him. False prophets can be dangerous because they can
lead people astray and away from the truth of God.

Our best defense against
arm-twisting-for-God-false-prophets is to know what the
Bible teaches, live in harmony with God's will as found
in the Bible, and constantly ask God to lead us in the
way of truth.

Suggested prayer, "Dear God, please help me always to
live and walk in harmony with the truth as found in
Your Word, the Bible, and give me the discernment to
recognize every false prophet and any message, no
matter how appealing, that is not in the way of truth
nor from You. Thank You for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen." 

1. Matthew 7:15-16 (NIV).
2. Martin Wells Knapp, Impressions, Wheaton, IL:
Tyndale House Publishers, 1984, p. 32.

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Thu 08 Oct 2015, 9:43 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Soul-Brother/Sister  

"A friend loves at all times."1

In his book, Out of Solitude, Henri Nouwen wrote, "When
we honestly ask ourselves which persons in our lives
mean the most to us, we often find that it is those
who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures,
have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our
wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can
be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion,
who can stay with us in an hour of grief and
bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing,
not healing, and face with us the reality of our
powerlessness, that is a friend who cares."

These people I like to call soul-brothers or
soul-sisters. These are friends with whom we can trust
our very soul--warts and all. In fact, for healthy
living and loving relationships, every woman (single or
married) needs such a soul-sister. And every man
(single or married) needs such a soul-brother.

Suggested prayer, "Dear God, please help me to be, and
please give to me, such a friend. Thank You for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name,
amen."

1. Proverbs 17:17 (NIV).

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Wed 07 Oct 2015, 1:49 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Eye on Sparrows  

Jesus said, "Not even a sparrow, worth only half a
penny, can fall to the ground without your Father
knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all
numbered."1

Dr. Paige Patterson tells how the renown
African-American singer, Ethel Waters, known for her
ministry with Billy Graham Crusades, learned about life
the hard way. Ethel said that, as a child, she always
felt lost and like an outsider. She was born out of
wedlock, got into trouble continuously. Ethel described
it, "I never was really a child, was never liked or
understood by my family, never felt like I belonged,
nobody brought me up. I ran wild as a little girl, was
real bad, was leader of a street gang, and a general
hell-raiser."

Rev. Williams was preaching at a revival service to
which Ethel was invited. On the last night, Ethel
pleaded with God to speak to her, which, to her was to
be God's last chance.

The preacher spoke on the riches of Christ and His
ability to save anyone from their sins. Something
happened--Christ "spoke" to Ethel and she received
Jesus as her Savior and was soundly converted to
Christianity. From that experience she often sang the
familiar words, "Why should I feel discouraged, why
should the shadows come, / Why should my heart be
lonely, and long for heaven and home, / When Jesus is
my portion? My constant friend is He; / His eye is on
the sparrow, and I know He watches me; / His eye is on
the sparrow, and I know He watches me."2

NOTE: If you have never accepted Jesus as your Savior,
be sure to read the article, "How to Be Sure You're a
Real Christian" at: http://tinyurl.com/8glq9.

Suggested prayer, "Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You
that You not only know about the sparrows, but also
that You know everything about me--even the number of
hairs on my head--and that You care for me more than I
could ever realize. Please help me to know and
experience Your care, Your love, and Your affirmation
of me in the very core of my being. Do this for the
glory of Your name. Thank You for hearing and answering
my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Matthew 10:29-30 (NLT).
2. Civilla D. Martin, 1905.

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Wed 07 Oct 2015, 1:46 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

About Abortion  

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and
will forgive us our sins and purify us from all
unrighteousness."1

A Daily Encounter reader asks, "Do you have any
information on what effect having an abortion in one's
youth can have on one's life as an adult? I understand
that it can have far-reaching effects. Is it possible
for healing?"

Perhaps one who has had an abortion could best answer
this question, so all I can do is share my observations
and what I think. At one retreat I attended, a
non-Christian, rather loose-living, non-religious woman
shared with our group how she had had two abortions and
didn't know if she even loved the two children she now
had. As she shared with us, she sobbed her heart out.
Her past actions were certainly having far-reaching
effects in her life. As I understand it, she, like many
others who have had abortions, do suffer with long-term
grief and guilt, unless, like for any other sin, they
seek and find God's forgiveness and healing. If they
fail to resolve their guilt and grief, it will have a
negative effect on their present as well as their
future close relationships.

To be freed from guilt, whatever one's sins may be, it
is essential that we confess them to God and ask for
His forgiveness. It is also very helpful to confess our
sins and failures to a trusted friend, pastor, priest
or counselor. As James wrote in the Bible, “Therefore
confess your sins to each other and pray for each other
so that you may be healed."2 Then we need to forgive
ourselves--this, for many, can be the most difficult
thing to do, especially for those who are
perfectionists or have perfectionist tendencies.

True, some sins are going to have lasting effects in
this life and may always bring regrets, but we need to
realize that there is no sin that is so big or so bad
that God will not forgive--apart from the sin against
God's Holy Spirit which is the failure to accept God's
forgiveness! Any and all sins are an offense against a
Holy God but, because God loves us so much, He gave His
Son, Jesus, to die on the cross to pay the penalty for
all our sins--large and small! All we need to do is
confess our sins to God, repent of them, believe that
Jesus died on the cross in our place, invite Him into
our heart and life as Savior, ask for His forgiveness,
and thank Him for it.

Note: For further help, be sure to read the article,
"Forgiveness: the Power That Heals" at:
http://tinyurl.com/3bw3q3 and/or "How to Be Sure You're
a Real Christian" at: http://tinyurl.com/8glq9

Suggested prayer, "Dear God, thank You for Your great
love for me, and for giving Your Son, Jesus, to die on
the cross for all my sins. I confess my sins (name
them) to You God, and ask for Your forgiveness. Please
help me to forgive myself and all who have 'sinned'
against or hurt me. Thank You for hearing and answering
my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

See article: "Healing from Post-Abortion Syndrome" at:
www.ncfliving.org/post_abortion.php

1. 1 John 1:9 (NIV).
2. James 5:16 (NIV).

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Thu 01 Oct 2015, 7:08 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Object Constancy, Part I  

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have
loved you, so you must love one another."1

"What on earth is object constancy?" I can hear readers
asking.

It's something that we needed to have from earliest
childhood and maintain throughout life. With it we have
a much better chance of living life to the full.
Without it we will "limp along in the shadows of life"
eking out a meager existence with a sense that
something is missing--like having a feeling of
emptiness. In a vain attempt to fill this void we may
use food and become a foodaholic, or become a
workaholic keeping busy, busy, busy to avoid facing the
pain of this inner emptiness. Or we may become an
alcoholic or use drugs to deaden the pain, or keep
looking for love in all the wrong places.

Object constancy. We need it for survival. So what is
it?

When a child is first born, as long as it is wanted and
loved, it will be bonded and attached to mother in a
healthy way. Here it feels safe and secure. As the
child grows it not only needs to be weaned from
mother's breast but also, little by little, from
mother's presence so it can begin to find its own
identity. During this process, as long as it has a deep
inner sense of being loved, mother can leave the room
and baby feels fine. And as long as mother's love is
constant and baby is an object of mother's love, the
baby has object constancy. That is, it constantly feels
loved.

However, if the baby doesn't have this deep sense of
love and security, it may panic when mother leaves the
room. Or even when mother is there, without a sense of
constant love, baby will feel very insecure, and cry.
But if and when it cries repeatedly and mother isn't
there or doesn't come to comfort it, it will eventually
stop crying and turn its pain inward. It has a lack of
object constancy.

When a person grows up into adulthood without a deep
sense of object constancy, he or she is headed for
constant loneliness and relational difficulties. This
person may look to the opposite sex, use sex to get
what they mistake for love, and/or marry the wrong
person in an unconscious attempt to fill that empty
mother-void (and father-void if father's love wasn't
constant either). Sex, romantic love, and/or marriage
can never fill this void or heal this pain because the
problem is that the lack of object constancy is a
childhood issue. Romance and marriage is for adults.

Furthermore, where a person lacks object constancy, he
or she can have a very difficult time feeling God's
love too.

And where we lack object constancy how do we find
healing?

To be continued ...

1. Suggested prayer for parents: "Dear God, please help
me to be the loving parent I need to be so that all of
my children will feel secure in my love for them and
always sense Your love flowing through me to them.
Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

2. Suggested prayer for those who lack object
constancy: "Dear God, about my loneliness and the empty
void in my life, please help me to face the depth of
this loss and stop running from the pain, and lead me
to the help I need to find healing and recovery. Thank
You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in
Jesus's name, amen."

1. John 13:34 (NIV).

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Wed 30 Sep 2015, 6:00 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Carpe Diem--Seize the Day  

"If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get
anything done. Be sure to stay busy and plant a variety
of crops, for you never know which will grow--perhaps
they all will."1

Because Daily Encounter has subscribers from around the
world, I receive all sorts of requests from people the
world over. Every now and then someone wants me to help
them come to America to get an education. The best help
I can give them is to share how I did it.

In more youthful days--much more youthful--I had a very
definite sense of God's call to Christian work. I also
had a strong desire to come to America (the U.S.) to
study and get prepared for whatever it was God was
calling me to do. I was not smart enough to know that
my family was poor, but I did know that there wasn't
any way they could help me. I didn't have any money
either. But I had a will to work. I didn't ask God to
give me the money I needed to get started, but what I
did ask God for was to give me the work so I could earn
the funds I needed. Wow, the work poured in and I was
able to earn enough to pay for my fares and for my
first semester at college in the U.S.

In the summer when in Chicago, I drove a CTA city
passenger bus in the morning and evening rush hour
shifts, painted houses in between these shifts, and at
night worked as a janitor in a very large church. I
worked seven days a week. I did all sorts of other work
(some very menial), too, during the school year. It was
never easy and I often had to take any kind of work I
could get. But God provided the way and I made it
through college and grad school.

How true is the old saying, "Where there's a will
there's a way."

Furthermore, it is my personal conviction that if
anything is God's will, there's always a way to do it.
And faith says, "with God's help I will 'Carpe
Diem'--seize the day and find the way!"

Even today, many years later, I am working a second job
part time in order to support myself and keep ACTS
gospel ministry operating. But as the Apostle Paul
said, "And so, since God in his mercy has given us this
wonderful ministry [of telling his Good News to
others], we never give up."2

Is there something you have wanted to do for a long
time but have never gotten around to doing? Do you have
a sense that God is calling or wanting you to do
something but you feel it is impossible right now to
do? The best thing to do is just begin ... no matter in
how small a way. When I wanted to go to grad school for
further training for my work, I went to the grad school
administration office and told them that I was very
interested in their course and wanted to take it, but
it was impossible because I had a very sick wife, two
young children, a full time ministry and was hopelessly
busy, so I'd enroll anyhow. And I did--and completed
the course over a five-year period--one day at a time.

Ivan Turgenev said, "If we wait for the moment when
everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall
never begin." Another has said, "Beginning is half
done." And as God's Word says, "If you wait for perfect
conditions, you will never get anything done. Be sure
to stay busy and plant a variety of crops, for you
never know which will grow--perhaps they all will."3

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to discover
Your plan and purpose for my life, and show me how I
can be a part of what You are doing in the world today.
No matter what it is, give me insight to know what it
is and the courage to take the first step today towards
fulfilling this purpose. And thank You for the
wonderful privilege of being a part of Your plan. Thank
You, too, for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Ecclesiastes 11:4, 6 (TLB-NLT). 
2. 2 Corinthians 4:1 (TLB-NLT).
3. Ecclesiastes 11:4, 6 (TLB-NLT).

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  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
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  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
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  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
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  ACTS International.


Today's Daily Encounter

God So Loved  

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only
begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not
perish, but have eternal life."1

In a tribe of Indians, or so the story goes, someone
was stealing chickens. The Chief declared that, if
caught, the offender would receive 10 lashes.

When the stealing continued, he raised it to 20 lashes.
Still the chickens methodically disappeared. In anger
the Chief raised the sentence to 100 lashes.

The thief was finally caught, but the Chief faced a
terrible dilemma. The thief was his OWN mother! When
the day of penalty came, the whole tribe gathered.
Would the Chief's love override his justice? The crowd
gasped when he ordered his mother to be tied to the
whipping post.

The Chief removed his shirt, revealing his powerful
stature, and took the whip in hand. But instead of
raising it to strike the first blow, he handed it to a
strong, young brave standing at his side. Slowly the
Chief walked over to his mother and wrapped his massive
arms around her in an engulfing embrace. Then he
ordered the brave to give him the 100 lashes.

That's what JESUS did for you and me. In love He became
our substitute and died in our place to pay the penalty
for all our sins. He overcame our inability to save
ourselves by paying the price for our sins. His death
bridged the gulf between God and man and made it
possible for us to be reconciled to God and to be
restored to fellowship with Him through faith in Christ
and in His atoning death for us.2

Suggested prayer: "Dear Jesus/God, how I thank You for
loving me so much that You gave Your life to die on the
cross at Calvary to pay the penalty for every sin I
have ever committed, for Your full and free pardon, and
for the gift of eternal life for all who accept You as
their personal Savior. For this I will be eternally
grateful. In Jesus's name, amen."

NOTE: To help you to be sure you have accepted God's
forgiveness and his gift of eternal life, click on "How
to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at:
http://tinyurl.com/8glq9

1. John 3:16 (NASB).
2. Contributed by Alexandra Perros from Holland.

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  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
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  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
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  ACTS International.
  

Today's Daily Encounter

Amazing Opportunity Lost  

"Then [King] Agrippa said to Paul, 'Do you think that
in such a short time you can persuade me to be a
Christian?' Paul replied, 'Short time or long--I pray
God that not only you but all who are listening to me
today may become what I am, except for these chains.'"1

Governor Nash stepped out of his office and, for a
moment, out of his role as Governor of Ohio. He tucked
his large, black Bible under his arm and made his way
down the hallway of the State Penitentiary, in
Columbus, Ohio. As a Christian, his heart burned with
desire to share Christ with a certain young man waiting
on "death row." Guilty of first-degree murder of his
girlfriend, the condemned one sat in his cell, just
hours away from his appointment with the electric
chair. Upon seeing the elderly man with a dark suit and
Bible under his arm, he thought him to be a minister or
the prison chaplain. His anger boiled over and he
cursed as he sent the man away. A guard standing nearby
could hardly believe his eyes. "You fool," he said,
"don't you know who that was?"

"A preacher, I guess," was the reply. "No, that was the
Governor, the only one who could set you free, and you
sent him away." The young man died a few hours later,
guilty not only of murder, but of sending away his only
hope for freedom and life.2

You and I may never have committed any major crime, but
in God's sight we are all guilty sinners facing God's
judgment which is eternal separation from God in the
place the Bible calls hell--whatever and wherever that
may be. Because Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died on
the cross to pay the penalty for all your sins and
mine, he is the only one who can give us the hope of a
full and free pardon with God's gift of eternal life in
heaven forever. If you have never accepted Jesus
Christ's pardon, whatever you do don't turn him away
today and in so doing fail to accept his offer of a
full and free pardon.

In the words of William Shakespeare: "There is a tide
in the affairs of men / Which, taken at the flood,
leads on to fortune / Omitted, all the voyage of their
life / Is bound in shallows and in miseries."

NOTE: To accept God's Invitation for a full and free
pardon go to: http://tinyurl.com/6k49w or for further
help read, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at:
http://tinyurl.com/8glq9

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, how can I ever thank You
enough for giving Your Son, Jesus, to die on the cross
to pay the just penalty for all my sins. Please help me
to be sure that I have accepted Your free pardon and am
a true Christian. Thank You for hearing and answering
my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Acts 26:28-29 (NIV). 
2. Source: Roger A. Parsons, Light From The Word,
Spring 1992. Cited on http://net153.com/illustrations.

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  Copyright (c) 2015 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard

Today's Daily Encounter

Trust, Part II  

"The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can
man do to me?"1 

Yesterday we talked about fears that cause us to lack
trust. Today I want to share how I faced and overcame
my deeply buried fear (terror) and learned to trust and
love again. (To read yesterday's Daily Encounter, go to
www.actsweb.org and click on Encounter Archives in the
left column). Today we want to discuss how to overcome
fear/s and learn how to trust.

First, I acknowledged the fact that my fear was my
problem. Had I blamed anyone else for it, I would have
lost the greatest human love I've ever known.

Second, I was determined that, with God's help, I
wouldn't allow my fear to control me. And, by the way,
if we don't acknowledge our fear and "own" it, it will
control us one way or another--usually unconsciously,
such as being very angry and defensive when we are
afraid, setting ourselves up to fail, looking for love
in the wrong places, and avoiding many good
opportunities, etc., etc.

Third, I asked God to help me get to the root cause/s
of my fear and lead me to the help I needed to overcome
it. Every day I committed and trusted my life and way
to God, and I often quoted the psalm of David who, when
King Saul was hunting him down to kill him, said, "The
Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do
to me?"

Fourth, I shared my struggles with my closest friends
whom I knew wouldn't tell me to just "get over it" or
tell me that I wasn't trusting God or offer various
other bits of over-simplistic, insensitive and useless,
unsolicited advice.

Fifth, I got into two years of very intensive
counseling with in-depth therapy. It wasn't easy (in
fact it was very challenging), but with God's help, the
professional counseling, and the loving support of
understanding friends, I made it just fine. 

Because I never learned to trust as a child, I had to
learn it as an adult. As I stepped out of my comfort
zone, admitted my problem to God, to supporting
friends, and a helpful counselor, and found that they
loved and accepted me anyhow, little by little I
learned to trust and love.

Fears are real. I know. The Apostle Paul did too,
otherwise why would God have sent an angel to him when
he was in prison to tell him to "fear not?" He knew he
wasn't going to get out alive and was undoubtedly
scared to death even though he was also trusting God.

According to one Bible scholar, there are 350 "fear
nots" in the Bible--one for every day of the year.
Obviously God understands our struggle with fear and
lack of trust.

I think it was General George Washington who said to
his soldiers when they had to cross the Potomac River
with their rifles and battle gear in hand, "Trust God
but keep your powder dry!" In other words, acknowledge
and own your fears. Trust God and accept responsibility
and seek the help you need to overcome them. The only
people that God or anyone else can help are those who
admit and say, "I have a problem. I need help."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You that You
understand me and my fears (and all my weaknesses).
Please give me the courage to see and admit my fears,
and lead me to the help I need to overcome them so that
I can learn to trust and love again. And in the words
of another, 'Oh God, don't let me die without having
fully lived and fully loved.' Thank You for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Psalm 118:6 (NIV).

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  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * * 

  
  Copyright (c) 2015 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
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  ACTS International.

Today's Daily Encounter

Angels Unawares  

"Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget
to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people
have entertained angels without knowing it."1

This was certainly true for a couple in Germany who,
many years ago, were preparing their evening meal when
they heard a knock at their door. According to the
report I read, upon answering the door, standing there
in the deep winter cold, was an ill-clad youth asking
for food. The couple took him in to give him food and
shelter for the night.

Being Christians, they prayed for this rather destitute
young man. Somehow they both felt that they should take
him into their home and adopt him as their own son.
This they did. Little did they know who this stranger
was and what he would accomplish with his life.

His name? Martin Luther.

I'm certainly grateful to God for all those who "took
me into their life" and helped me to become what I am,
and to do what I am doing, today.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, I'm available again today.
Please make me usable and use me to be as Jesus to
whomever You lead me to and/or to whomever You bring
'knocking on my door.' Thank You for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Hebrews 13:1-2 (NIV).

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  Copyright (c) 2015 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2015
  ACTS International.
  

Today's Daily Encounter

Trust, Part I  

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on
your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge
him, and he will make your paths straight [or direct
your paths]."1

A Daily Encounter reader asks, "Will you please write a
daily on trust?"

Lack of trust is caused by fear. And fear comes in many
shapes and sizes. Some fears are healthy. Others are
crippling. We rightly fear driving through a red
traffic light or driving down the freeway--the wrong
way. Major fears and seemingly unfounded ones almost
always have their roots in a past fearful experience.

I used to be terrified of public speaking and this,
according to what I have read, is a common fear. I was
scared to death that when I got up to speak, I'd run
out of things to say and make a fool of myself. This
was heightened because of my insecurity. In younger
days it took me several years to get up enough courage
to ask for a date because I was afraid of
rejection--another common fear.

An even bigger fear for me was being afraid to love.
"How could this be?" you ask. "How could anyone be
afraid of the very thing we all need the most?"

The love I was afraid of was not that of friends, but
the love between a man and a woman. I was usually
attracted to gals who weren't interested in me
(romantically that is). This kept me safe. And as long
as I was just a good friend with the woman who is now
my wife, I was fine and felt safe. But once Joy started
loving me, I freaked out--big time! I panicked a blue
streak and wanted to run for my life.

Fortunately I knew it was my problem. But had I not
thought so highly of Joy, I would have run from
love--again. I also knew that if I didn't get help to
overcome my fear, I could spend the rest of my life
running from love. It took me a long time to see this.

My fear of love and inability to trust had deep roots
in early childhood. I grew up in a very dysfunctional
home. I had an absentee father (emotionally speaking)
and never felt that he loved me. My mother set me up to
be the "little husband" in the family and I felt
over-leaned on and smothered. And I also had an aunt
that killed her own baby and apparently attempted to
kill, or at least hurt, me when I was a baby. (She
committed suicide.) I also lost a little sister to whom
I was very much attached. She died when I was only
five. So in my childish mind I had come to believe that
if you love me, you will leave me, reject me, smother
me, or you may even try to kill me.

This deeply buried fear I brought unconsciously into my
adult life and spent most of my life running from love.
It was this fear that got triggered when Joy started
loving me. (By way of interest, some years ago a
psychological test showed that I had a buried terror.
At the time, I had no idea what it was.)

Many adults who were abused, abandoned, neglected, or
felt rejected in childhood also struggle with similar
or related debilitating fears.

So you ask, "How did I overcome? How did I learn to
trust?"

To be continued...

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, 'I will praise You; for I
am fearfully and wonderfully made,' and I thank You
that no one understands me as You do. Please help me to
understand myself and the causes behind some of the
irrational things I sometimes do. Help me to admit and
face all of my fears and bring them to You for Your
healing, and guide me to the help I need to overcome
them. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV).

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  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
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  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Fri 18 Sep 2015, 6:52 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Praying the Right Prayer  

"You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you
ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong
motives, that you may spend what you get on your
pleasures."1

One reason we don't get some prayers answered is
because we are praying the wrong prayer. Not
necessarily because of a wrong motive, but because we
focus our prayer on the symptom and not on the cause of
the problem or illness.

There's a well-known hymn that says, "O what needless
pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to
God in prayer." We could also sing, "O what needless
pain we bear, all because we do not pray the right
prayer."

For example, if I have a stomach ulcer or a headache, I
tend to ask God to heal my ulcer or my headache. This
is what I mean by focusing our prayer on the symptom.
While some ulcers have a biological cause, some are
caused not by what I eat but by what is eating me, and
then what I eat aggravates the problem. I've never had
an ulcer and rarely have a headache, but when I do have
a headache, it's usually because I am either mad about
something or am under a lot of stress.

If I am going to ask God for healing, I need to admit
not only the symptom, but also ask Him to give me the
insight to see, and the courage to face, anything in my
life that is causing my illness, and then ask Him for
the help to resolve it.

It is unrealistic to ask God to heal my symptoms if I
fail to face and deal with the causes. If He did, He
would be irresponsible. It is possible, however, to
exchange one symptom for another because if we don't
deal with the cause of our problem, in time it will
come out another way--probably a worse way.

I recall hearing one man claim that the moment he
became a Christian, God delivered him from his
alcoholism. He may have quit his drinking but it was
rather obvious that he was now (or still) a
rage-aholic, which quite possibly was a cause behind
his alcoholism.

This principle applies not only to physical ills but to
many other problems as well. I learned this lesson the
hard way. After many years trying to resolve a
frustrating situation I was in, I begged God to give me
the courage to face the truth of what I was
contributing to the problem. Within two weeks I saw
what an enabler I had been for so long. Once I saw the
truth, I knew exactly what I needed to do, which in the
doing resolved my part of the problem.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, with every problem,
illness, conflict, and challenge I face, help me to
pray the right prayer and see any cause behind my
sickness or problem and what I am contributing to my
situation. Help me to resolve whatever cause there
might be so that I will clear the way for Your
deliverance, healing, and freedom. Thank You for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's
name, amen."

1. James 4:2-3 (NIV).

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  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
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  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
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  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
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  ACTS International.
  


Today's Daily Encounter

Confessing the Wrong Sin  

"Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose
sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD
does not count against him and in whose spirit is no
deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long. For day and night
your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as
in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to
you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, 'I will
confess my transgressions to the LORD'--and you forgave
the guilt of my sin."1

Counselor Cecil Osborne pointed out, "When we are
hiding a deeper sin or fault we often confess a lesser
one all the more vigorously."

For instance, a friend of mine had been trying to
overcome his smoking habit for 20 years without
success. He had been judged for this by folk in his
church for as many years. When he shared his struggle
with me, I simply asked, "Why do you need to smoke?"

He looked at me with a blank stare as if to say, "Are
you crazy, what are you talking about? I don't need to
smoke!" He then mumbled a few incoherent words, turned
around, and walked away. He died a few years later of
cancer!

What I was trying to get him to see was that his
smoking wasn't the real problem. It was the presenting
problem or the symptom--the fruit of a deeper root! He
was confessing the wrong sin. True, his addiction to
tobacco was a problem but it was the symptom of a
deeper problem which he apparently didn't want to look
at.

The same is true of all addictions and many of our
negative and destructive behaviors. To overcome these
we need to be ruthlessly honest with ourselves, with
God and with at least one trusted friend or counselor.
Yes we need to acknowledge the symptoms but ask God to
reveal to us the truth about the causes behind the
symptoms. We may also need to ask God to give us the
courage to see these causes since most of us, because
of the fear of facing the unknown, don't want to see
them.

Admitting and praying about the truth is the kind of
prayer that God loves to hear and always answers. As
His Word says, "The Lord is near to all who call on
Him, to all who call on Him in truth."2

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be
willing not only to admit and confess my addictions and
sins, but also face me with the truth about any deeper,
hidden sins and faults that may be causing me to act
out in self-destructive behaviors. And lead me to the
help I need to overcome and resolve these. Thank You
for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in
Jesus's name, amen."

1. Psalm 32:1-5 (NIV).
2. Psalm 145:18 (NIV).

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  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Thu 14 May 2015, 10:59 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

The Search for Truth Part I  

The search for and avoidance of truth is as old as
mankind. At the beginning of mankind's history Satan
(the devil) distorted God's truth by telling a
part-truth--one of the most deceptive form of lies.
This resulted in mankind's fall and introduced evil
into the world.1 And when Jesus was being tried, Pilate
asked, "What is truth?"2

Today, however, in our so-called post-modern secular
world, with our political correctness insanity,
according to Kenneth D. Boa and Robert M. Bowman Jr.,
in their book, 20 Compelling Evidences That God Exists,
"Tolerance--not truth--is absolute."3 This is an
extremely dangerous way to live and a foundation of
sinking sand upon which to build a society--especially
as we keep moving our roots farther and farther away
from God, the author and essence of all truth and life.


At the root of much of the evil (including terrorism)
in today's world is the fact that men have exchanged
the truth of God for a lie. In speaking about earlier
generations God's Word says, "For although they knew
God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks
to him, but their thinking became futile and their
foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to
be wise, they became fools and exchanged … the truth of
God for a lie."4

The end result: "God gave them over to a depraved mind,
to do those things which are not proper, being filled
with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full
of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are
gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant,
boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,
without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving,
unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of
God, that those who practice such things are worthy of
death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty
approval to those who practice them."5

The reality is that without access to the truth there
is no reality, no freedom, no sense of direction, and
no hope of salvation for mankind. No wonder so much of
today's world is floating on a sea of distrust and
world-wide turmoil. May we never forget that "blessed
is the nation whose God is the LORD."6

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please send a revival of
Your Spirit and a revival of truth to our land so that
as a nation we will turn back to You and know Your
blessing and security--and let Your work begin in me.
Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen." 

To be certain your life is right with God read, "How to
Be Sure You're a Real Christian--without having to be
religious at: http://tinyurl.com/8glq9.

1. See Genesis 3:1-6.
2. John 18:38 (NIV).
3. Kenneth D. Boa and Robert M. Bowman Jr., 
    in their book, 20 Compelling Evidences 
    That God Exists, p.18.
4. Romans 1:21-23 (NIV). 
5. Romans 1:28-32 (NASB).
6. Psalm 33:12 (NIV).

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  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Sun 03 May 2015, 7:09 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

On Personal Responsibility  

"I being in the way, the Lord led me."1

Somebody has pointed out that there are two ways to
reach the top of an oak tree--you can climb it or sit
on an acorn and wait!

I was criticized for suggesting in a Daily Encounter
that I wanted Jesus to be my co-pilot. I was informed
that Jesus is to be our pilot.

I know that sounds good. However, in the Christian life
it is sometimes difficult to discern how much God does
for us and how much we need to do for ourselves. One
thing is certain, God will do for us what we are not
able to do for ourselves (that's why He sent Jesus to
die in our place to pay the penalty for all our sins),
but He won't do for us what we are quite capable of
doing and need to do ourselves. If He did, He would be
being codependent and that would keep us
over-dependent, irresponsible and immature.

God has promised to give us wisdom if we ask for it,
guidance if we seek it, and be with us wherever we go
if we ask Him to--providing we stay within the limits
of His guidelines and boundaries. The fact is, however,
that we are always responsible for the decisions we
make and the actions we take. We are in charge of our
life. 

When Abraham sent his chief servant (possibly Eliezer)2
to seek a wife for his son, Isaac, as he set out to do
this, he prayed for God to direct and help him make the
best choice. He didn't sit around waiting for "the
right person" to come along. He went looking for her.
However, as he did his part, God led him. That is why
he said, "I being in the way, the Lord led me."

Doing our part is accepting personal responsibility. As
I do this, I can rest assured God will do His part. We
will sit and wait for a long time if we expect
otherwise.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to act responsibly
in everything I do and lean heavily on You for wisdom,
guidance and direction. Thank You for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Abraham's servant, Genesis 24:27 (KJV).
2. See Genesis 15:2.

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  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
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  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
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Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
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  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  ACTS International
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Thu 30 Apr 2015, 9:26 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Godspell ... Part III  

"To all who received him [Christ], to those who
believed in his name, he gave the right to become
children of God."1

Could you imagine seeing a used car salesman give a
compelling presentation regarding a particular car you
were interested in, had you convinced that this was the
perfect car for you and had you ready to sign the
purchasing contract when he turned and walked away--and
left you standing there aghast without ever closing the
sale! That kind of salesman would be fired on the spot
if his manager saw what he did.

Sad to say, I believe some preachers are like this.
They give a good presentation of God's message but
never give listeners the opportunity to make a
commitment to accept Jesus as their Savior. I believe
there are many church members who understand the gospel
and are ready to accept Jesus but have never been
invited to do so. I say this because it is my
understanding that so many of the people who have made
this commitment to Jesus at a Billy Graham crusade are
church members. 

It isn't enough just to believe in our head that Jesus
is the Son of God and that he died on the cross for our
sins. The devil knows and believes that. True, we need
to believe this but we also need to accept God's offer
of forgiveness and gift of salvation (eternal life) by
confessing our sins to him, asking for his forgiveness,
and inviting Jesus Christ into our heart and life as
Savior and Lord. It also involves making a commitment
of our will to follow Jesus. In "salesman terminology"
this is closing the sale. 

Jesus said, "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone hears my voice and opens the door [of his/her
heart and life], I will come in and eat with him, and
he with me."2

If you have never invited Jesus into your heart and
life, asked for God's forgiveness, and made a
commitment of your life to him, I would like to give
you that opportunity today. The following prayer will
help you to do this: 

"Dear God, I confess that I am a sinner and am sorry
for all the wrongs that I have done. I believe that
Your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross to pay the
penalty for my sins. Please forgive me for all my sins.
I invite You, Jesus, to come into my heart and life as
Lord and Savior. I commit and trust my life and way to
you. Please give me the desire to be what You want me
to be and to do what You want me to do. Thank You for
dying for my sins, for Your free pardon, for Your gift
of eternal life, and for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, Amen."

If you prayed this prayer and truly meant it, please
let us know by filling in the form at:
http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php. (Be assured that
we have a strict privacy policy and will never give any
of your information to anyone.)

For further help read "God's Invitation" at:
http://tinyurl.com/6k49w and/or "How to Be Sure You're
a Real Christian" at: http://tinyurl.com/8glq9

1. John 1:12 (NIV).  2 Revelation 3:20 (NIV). 

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
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  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
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  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com

  Copyright (c) 2015 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Wed 18 Feb 2015, 11:09 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

The Mu-slim Will to Power Part II  

“The god of this age has blinded the minds of
unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the
gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of
God."1

In addressing the challenges the world is facing today
caused by radical Mu-slims, we continue yesterday’s
message by the unknown author who reminds us that: “It
is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage
any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the
fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or
tribal groups throughout Africa. It is the fanatics who
bomb, behead, murder, or honor kill. It is the fanatics
who take over mos-que after mos-que. It is the fanatics
who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape
victims and homosexuals. The hard quantifiable fact is
that the ‘peaceful majority’ the ‘silent majority’ is
cowed and extraneous. 

“Communist Russia comprised Russians who just wanted to
live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were
responsible for the murder of about 20 million people.
The peaceful majority were irrelevant. 

“China's huge population was peaceful as well, but
Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70
million people. 

“The average Japanese individual prior to World War II
was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and
slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy
of killing that included the Systematic murder of 12
million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel
and bayonet. 

“And, who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into
butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of
Rwandans were ‘peace loving’? 

“History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt,
yet for all our powers of reason we often miss the most
basic and uncomplicated of points: Peace-loving
Mu-slims have been made irrelevant by their silence. 

“Peace-loving Mu-slims will become our enemy if they
don't speak up, because like my friend from Germany,
they will awake one day and find that the fanatics own
them, and the end of their world will have begun. 

“Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians,
Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians,
Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have
died because the peaceful majority did not speak up,
take action, until it was too late. 

“As for us who watch it all unfold; we must pay
attention to the only group that counts; the fanatics
who threaten our way of life. 

“Lastly, at the risk of offending, anyone who doubts
that the issue is serious and just deletes this email
without sending it on, can contribute to the
passiveness that allows the problems to expand. 

“So, please extend yourself and send this article on
and on and on! Let us hope that thousands [even
millions]--world wide--will read this message, think
about it, and send it on. Actions speak!"2

Suggested prayer: “Dear God, as Jesus instructed us,
help us to love our enemies and even those who want to
kill us. But also help us to be very much aware of
their evil devices and be prepared and ‘arm’ ourselves
appropriately. Give us the wisdom to know what we need
to do and the courage to do it. And help us to reach
every Mu-slim and every non-Christian worldwide with
Your saving gospel message, and grant that multitudes
will turn from darkness to the glorious light of Your
truth. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully in Jesus’s name, amen."

For a comparison grid between what Christians and
Mu-slims believe go to:
http://tinyurl.com/5sy6ah

1. 2 Corinthians 4:4 (NIV).
2. Author unknown. Submitted by Frank Feracco. 

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  Copyright (c) 2014 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
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  ACTS International.

Today's Daily Encounter

The Mu-slim Will to Power Part I  

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil
prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone
to devour."1

Mark Early, president of Prison Fellowship, wrote in
BreakPoint, “The history of the last fifty [plus] years
has richly validated Friedrich Nietzsche’s argument
that man's desire to control his own destiny and to
impose his will on others is the most basic human
motivation. Nietzsche's prophecy that the ‘will to
power’ would fill the twentieth-century's vacuum of
values has been fulfilled through Hitler, Mao, Stalin,
to name only the worst tyrants."2 To this list could be
added the will to power of radical Mu-slims whose aim
is to rule and control the world--or a very large part
of it--without any qualms whatsoever on how to fulfill
this goal.

The German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
said, “What experience and history teach is this--that
people and governments never have learned anything from
history, or acted on principles deduced from it;"
Churchill paraphrased it by saying, “The only thing we
learn from history is that we never learn from
history." And as another has said, “What we don’t learn
from history we are doomed to repeat." Tragically, with
the ever increasing resurgence of radical I-slam,
history is again repeating itself. 

Preceding World War II Neville Chamberlain, Prime
Minister of England, “fought" for appeasement with
Hitler whose life was dominated by his will to power.
Chamberlain meant well but he failed because there is
no such thing as appeasement with the Hitlers and
terrorists of the world. You give in to all their
demands or they kill you. We in the West need to wake
up and learn from history. To claim that most Mu-slims
want peace will not protect or save. Radical Mus-lim’s
have a will to ultimate power and will stop at nothing
to achieve that power and control.

Reality defies the description that I-slam is a
religion of peace. I don’t know who the author of the
following article is but it exemplifies the fact that
the claim of peaceful, non-radical Mu-slims is
irrelevant at this point of time. For example: 

“A man whose family was German aristocracy prior to
World War II owned a number of large industries and
estates. When asked how many German people were true
Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward
fanaticism. ‘Very few people were true Nazis,’ he said,
‘but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many
more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just
thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the
majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then,
before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost
control, and the end of our world had come. My family
lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and
the Allies destroyed my factories.’

“We are told again and again by ‘experts’ and ‘talking
heads’ that I-slam is a religion of peace, and that the
vast majority of Mu-slims just want to live in peace. 

“Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is
entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff meant to
make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the
specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the
name of I-slam. The fact is that the fanatics rule
I-slam at this moment in history." 

To be continued …

Suggested prayer: “Dear God, please help every
Christian never to be ignorant of Satan’s devices and
always be cognizant of the fact that Satan’s goal is to
deceive and destroy all who believe in You. Help us
always to trust in You and so live that people seeing
our good works will glorify You,3 and that seeing Jesus
in us will want Him in their life as well. Thank You
for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in
Jesus’s name, amen."

For a comparison grid between what Christians and
Mu-slims believe go to:
http://www.carm.org/islam/grid.htm

1. 1  Peter 5:8 (NIV).
2. Mark Earley, BreakPoint, June 7, 2007,
www.breakpoint.org.
3. See Matthew 5:16. 

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  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Mon 16 Feb 2015, 10:34 am

Today's Daily Encounter

Weep With Those Who Weep  

"When Jesus saw her [Mary] weeping, and the Jews who
had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply
moved in spirit and troubled. 'Where have you laid him
[Lazarus]?' he asked. 'Come and see, Lord,' they
replied. Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, 'See how he
loved him.'"1

Chuck Swindoll in his book Killing Giants, Pulling
Thorns, tells about "a little girl who lost a playmate
in death and one day reported to her family that she
had gone to comfort the sorrowing mother. 

"'What did you say?" asked her father. 

"'Nothing,' she replied, 'I just climbed up on her lap
and cried with her.'" 

What did Jesus do when his friend Lazarus died? He
wept. 

Rare is the friend who knows how to weep with those who
weep. 

Also, know when to be silent. In the same book Chuck
tells about Joe Bayly who lost three of his children.
He quotes from Joe's book, The view from a Hearse. Joe
writes: "I was sitting, torn by grief. Someone came and
talked to me of God's dealings, of why it happened, of
hope beyond the grave. He talked constantly. He said
things I knew were true. I was unmoved, except to wish
he'd go away. He finally did. 

"Another came and sat beside me. He didn't talk. He
didn't ask me leading questions. He just sat beside me
for an hour or more, listened when I said something,
answered briefly, prayed simply, left. 

"I was moved. I was comforted. I hated to see him go."2

This visitor and the little girl were being as Jesus to
hurting people. May God help us all to be and do
likewise.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me a tender
and sensitive heart and help me to be 'as Jesus' to
hurting and sorrowing people. Help me to be silent when
I need to be silent, speak kindly when a tender word is
needed, and to weep with those who weep. Thank You for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's
name, amen."

1. John 11:33-36 (NIV).
2. Today's Daily Encounter is taken from I Hate
Witnessing-A Handbook for Effective Christian
Communications, by Dick Innes (2003 edition), p. 89.
Available at: www.actscom.com/store.

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  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
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  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Fri 13 Feb 2015, 10:23 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Are Non-Biblical Terms Valid?  

"There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said
to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the
estate.' So he divided his property between them. Not
long after that, the younger son got together all he
had, set off for a distant country and there squandered
his wealth in wild living."1

In response to a Daily Encounter on codependency a
subscriber enquires, "What I'm wondering is, what led
you to believe in co-dependency? The modern
psychological term 'codependence,' the meaning of which
is not an idea that I have ever found in Scripture. You
say things like this a lot and so I'm only writing this
wondering what led you to come to this
belief/conclusion." 

Actually there are many terms we use today that are not
found in the Bible. In fact you won't find the word,
Trinity, in the Scriptures but this truth is clearly
taught. You won't find anything about denominations
either, or theological terms such as eschatology (the
study of the end times), or homiletics (the study and
art of preaching), or hermeneutics (the study and
interpretation of the Scriptures), but these are all
valid terms and biblical exercises. Furthermore, the
word, Bible, isn't in the Bible either.

Codependency, among other things, is short circuiting
the logical consequences of somebody else's
self-destructive behavior. It is rescuing another from
his or her lack of personal responsibility and
mistaking need for love. It may look like love but it
isn't. It's a way of trying to fix another's problems
by avoiding facing your own. It is keeping someone
over-dependent on you instead of allowing them to take
care of their own needs and becoming dependent on God.
It's neurotic. 

While the Bible doesn't use the word "codependency" a
prime example of not being codependent is found in
Jesus's parable of the Prodigal Son who, as a young
man, wanted to do his own thing so asked his father to
give him his inheritance now. So the father gave his
son his inheritance and let him go. We know how the
story ended. The son blew his entire inheritance in
riotous living. When he hit rock bottom, did his father
send to rescue him? No. It was his hitting rock bottom
that brought him to his senses. 

It was very important that the father allowed him to
bear the consequences of his behavior. Only when the
son came to his senses and returned home with a
contrite heart, confessing his waywardness, did the
father forgive and accept him back into the family and
home--a great example for all parents and the wives of
alcoholic husbands. There comes a time when we need to
let go of a loved one and stop protecting them from the
consequences of their self-destructive behavior. 

Keep in mind too, that the deeper meaning of Jesus's
parable is about God, our heavenly Father, not being
codependent but, rather, allowing us to experience the
consequences of irresponsible and reckless behavior to
bring us to our senses and repentance.2

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to see if
in any way I am being codependent and blocking the
consequences of a loved one's self-destructive
behavior. Help me to let go of seeking to control this
person, and overcome my problem of being codependent.
Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen." 

1. Luke 15:11-13 (NIV).
2. See Luke 15:11-24.

Note: For additional help read, "Overcoming
Codependency" at http://tinyurl.com/8p4t6.

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  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * * 

  Copyright (c) 2014 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2014
  ACTS International.

Today's Daily Encounter

Happy Valentine's Day  For God so loVed the world, That he g AveHis on
LyBegottEnSoN  That whosever BelievethIn Him ShouldNot
perish, But have  Everlasting Life   
God's Valentine Greeting
    John 3:16

Cognitive Dissonance "Temptation is the pull of man's
own evil thoughts and wishes ... that lead to evil
actions."1 How true it is that "what the mind dwells on
the body acts on!"Consider, for example, how temptation
works. A seemingly innocent thought comes to mind from
anywhere of a number of directions or, at times, from
seemingly nowhere. We decide (mostly unconsciously) to
dwell on that thought and, as we do, it hooks our
emotions; and the more we concentrate on that thought,
the stronger we feel about it, and the stronger we feel
about it, the more we think about it--and then we begin
to visualize in our mind what we desire and want to do.
And then, unless we make a conscious choice to stop
thinking about it, we are just as likely to give in to
and act out the temptation.The battle is won or lost in
the mind before we ever act out the temptation.One of
many dangers in consistently giving in to temptation is
that, as another has pointed out, "If we don't live the
life we believe, we will end up unhappily believing the
life we live."We do this because as long as we don't
live consistently with what we believe, our mind
experiences what is called "cognitive dissonance"; that
is, mental disharmony. Because we can't tolerate this
mental conflict, we change our beliefs to match our
behavior and then rationalize and justify what we
do--an extremely dangerous path to follow. The end
result is what the Bible calls having a dead conscience
which ultimately leads to death--spiritual death.2
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me the desire
and good sense to live in harmony with your Word, the
Bible, and never rationalize or justify anything that
is contrary to your Word and your will. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus'
name, amen."1. James 1:14-15 (TLB).
2. See James 1:15.<Smile)))><    
  
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  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Wed 11 Feb 2015, 10:01 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Witnessing Made Simple  

"How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the
gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good
things."1

"Do you remember the Mercedes TV commercial a few years
ago that showed a Mercedes crashing into a concrete
wall during a safety test? An engineer in a white lab
coat walks over after the crash and kneels down to
examine the damage, which is minimal. A reporter then
asks the engineer about Mercedes' energy absorbing car
body. After the engineer tells all about the unique
design the reporter asks him why Mercedes doesn't
enforce their patent on the design, a design evidently
copied by several other companies because of its
success. 

"The engineer then replied matter-of-factly, 'Because
some things in life are too important not to share.'
How true this is. There are many things in life that
fall into this 'too-important-not-to-share category.'
Advances in science, in medicine, in technology. But
all of these pale in importance to that of sharing our
faith."2

As Billy Graham said, "I am convinced the greatest act
of love we can ever perform for people is to tell them
about God's love for them in Christ." 

There are many ways we can do this. Here's one very
simple way. For example, whenever I eat at a
restaurant, I always leave one of my Good News business
witness cards with the tip. And whenever a suitable
opportunity arises, without being pushy, I ask the
person I am talking to if I can give him or her one of
my cards. It is a very attractive card that invites
people to visit one of our Good News websites. The site
has many articles that speak to the felt needs of the
average person--articles that deal with overcoming
worry, stress, marriage, relationships, and the like. 

And, by the way, speaking to an individual's felt needs
is the only known sure-fire way to get people to read
any message. The website also has a highly visible link
to the clear gospel message, "How to Be Sure You're a
Real Christian … without having to be religious." The
general card I give out in the U.S. points to:
www.GoodNewsfor.com/usa. (In time we will have them for
other countries and in other languages as well.)

I've never had anyone ever refuse to accept one of
these cards. They are attractively printed and are not
in any way preachy. This is a very easy, attractive,
and non-offensive way to witness even for the most
timid person. If you live in the U.S., or have friends
who live in the U.S., I encourage you to send for a
package of 50 of the "Good News for USA" business
witness cards to give to family, friends and contacts.
They are only a web click away at:
https://actscom.com/donate.php and are available for a
donation, not only to cover the cost of printing and
postage, but also to help support the building and
maintaining of this gospel web outreach ministry.

It is true, the gospel message of Jesus Christ is far
too important not to share. Please send today for a
pack of Good News Business Witness cards so you, too,
can be involved in what God is doing in the world
today. 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, I come to you with all my
fears making myself available for You to use as a
witness for Jesus Christ. Please use me to be 'as
Christ' in some way to someone in need today, and give
me the courage to share my Christian faith in a
non-offensive and gracious way. Thank You for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name,
amen."

1. Romans 10:15 (NKJV).
2. Rev. Steve Jackson, Sermon: "Come and See."

<Smile)))><    

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Wed 11 Feb 2015, 12:18 am

Today's Daily Encounter

Music, Music, Music!  

"Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual
songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord."1

One of the biggest areas of conflict in today's church
is music. Older generation Christians tend to like the
"good old hymns" while the younger generation lean more
toward what Joy and I like to call "happy clappy"
gospel songs. So whose music is the best for worship?

Allow me to answer in a roundabout way. A few years ago
I had the opportunity to preach in the Sunday morning
services at an Anglican (Episcopal) church in Perth,
Western Australia. It was in the middle of winter and I
was so cold that a doctor's wife loaned me her
overcoat. So here I am sitting on the front pew dressed
in a woman's overcoat waiting for the service to
commence. The moment the congregation began to sing it
hit me like a thunderbolt. "Wow," I said to myself,
"surely the presence of the Lord is in this place!"

When I got up to preach, never in my life had I
experienced such incredible liberty with such an
overwhelming sense of God's presence. 

Very interesting, too, that in that service was a
professor from the University of Western Australia.
This lady had recently emigrated from China where she
grew up under Mao with the teaching that said there is
no God. This was only the second time in her life she
had ever been in a church. She told friends who were
with me that when I was preaching, she saw me encircled
by an aura of rainbow colored light. She also said she
now knew that there was a God because she felt His
presence so strongly in that service.

So what does this have to do with church music?
Everything. It's not the form of music that matters but
the attitude of the heart of those who are singing.
When preaching, I can pretty much tell on the first
line of the first song whether or not it will be easy
or hard to preach in that service because one can
easily sense whether God is in the music/singing or
not. If God is not in the music/singing, you can be
certain His Spirit is not in the rest of the service.

So the question is, is the music from the heart as Paul
stated in today's Scripture? If not, it isn't
worship--no matter how talented the singers may be. To
put it another way, is our music a sweet smelling savor
to God as an act of genuine worship, or is it nothing
more than an obnoxious effluvium as were some of the
sacrifices in the Old Testament era where the
sacrifices were merely ritualistic and not from the
heart? 

Furthermore, sometimes I ask myself the question, “In
today’s church are we taking the church to Las Vegas or
are we taking Las Vegas to the church?"  

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me at all
times to sing and make melody in my heart to You …
whether alone at home or in a church worship service.
Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen." 

1. Ephesians 5:19 (NIV).

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  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Mon 09 Feb 2015, 11:17 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Well, Well, Well  

"When Jesus noticed him [an invalid] lying there
[helpless], knowing that he had already been a long
time [thirty-eight years, in fact] in that condition,
He said to him, 'Do you want to become well? [Are you
really in earnest about getting well?]'"1

I have a friend who had polio when she was a child and
was left with a physical handicap. Many had prayed for
her healing but she was never healed. Well-meaning but
insensitive Christians told her she didn't have enough
faith, or gave some other lame excuse. It left her
feeling insecure for many years until she realized that
God doesn't heal everybody. I don't know why. In this
life we all suffer from ailments from time to time.
Some people get healed and some don't. 

Having said this, I believe that many of us could be
much healthier if we lived in harmony with biblical
principles. In Old Testament times (before modern
medicine) Jewish people were instructed by God not to
eat certain foods. This was because these foods were
disease riddled. In New Testament times God's Word
gives us two key principles for the healing of at least
some sicknesses. 

First, Jesus said to the invalid, "Do you want to
become well?" Modern medicine has shown that those who
truly want to get well are the ones most likely to do
so. They take responsibility for their recovery even
though it means a radical change of lifestyle. In other
words, we need to want to get well badly enough that we
will do whatever we can in order to get well. 

I had another friend who had tried to quit smoking for
years. He had been criticized for it and preached at
about it. Nothing worked. He came to me hoping I might
be able to help. After he shared his struggle with me I
quietly asked, "Why do you need to smoke?" He gave me
THE LOOK … mumbled a few incoherent words, turned
around and walked away. I think Jim (not his real name)
was looking for a quick fix to overcome his addiction
and save his life. He didn't want to look at possible
causes … and died of lung cancer not too long after.

Second, many ills--not all by any means--or diseases
are caused either by--or greatly aggravated
by--unresolved personal issues that cause dis-ease. For
example, the first symptom of super-charged repressed
hostility might be death by heart attack. It is also
well known that stress can be a killer. Stress can be
caused by any number of pressures--some of which we may
have no control over but many of which we do. For
instance, unresolved guilt, illicit sex, being
unfaithful in marriage, dishonesty in business,
impaired relationships, etc., etc., can all cause
big-time stress, which in turn causes dis-ease, and
even early death.

The answer for healing of dis-ease caused by these
stressors is also found in the Bible. It's simple,
though not easy: "Therefore confess your sins to each
other and pray for each other so that you may be
healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and
effective."2

Speaking personally, as I've shared before, I grew up
in a very dysfunctional family and in my twenties
suffered from painful bursitis in both shoulders and
with wretched hay fever. When I found myself in a
broken marriage and got into therapy, I discovered that
I had an awful lot of buried grief and anger from
childhood days--emotions that I had buried and was in
denial about; but when I faced, confessed and expressed
these "sins of the spirit" and resolved them, I was
healed of both bursitis and hay fever.

God's principles are not meant to take away our freedom
but to give us freedom from many ills and problems.
It's our choice as to what we do about them. Do we
really want to get well, or do we just wish to do so?

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You that in your
Word, the Bible, you give dynamic principles for
wholesome living. Give me a hunger to know what Your
Word teaches and the good sense to live in harmony with
Your will so that I will be made well. Thank You for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's
name, amen." 

1. John 5:6 (AB).
2. James 5:16 (NIV).

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Fri 06 Feb 2015, 11:27 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Learning to Be Upfront  

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will
find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For
everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to
him who knocks, the door will be opened."1

The story is told how a good friend of Henry Ford was
very upset because Ford didn't buy a large life
insurance policy from him.

When he asked why he had purchased the policy from a
total stranger and not from him, Ford replied, "You
never asked me."

When somebody wants something from me, I want them to
ask me directly, and not beat around the bush or try to
manipulate me, etc., etc.

According to the words of Jesus, God wants us to do the
same--to be direct, detailed, and determined; that is,
to ask directly for what we want--"For he who asks
receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks,
the door will be opened."

I wonder, too, how many of our personal contacts would
come to Jesus if only we asked or invited them to--even
if it is through giving or sending them an attractive
and appropriate piece of gospel literature, or sending
and recommending the web address of a suitable gospel
web site. For help see the article, "Too Important Not
to Share" at: http://www.actsweb.org/announce.php.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to be direct and
up front in all my communications with You--and my
closest friends. Help me to ask for and earnestly seek
every blessing and good gift that You long to give me.
And give me the courage to invite my friends and family
to accept You as their personal Lord and Savior. Thank
You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in
Jesus's name, amen."

1. Jesus, Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV).

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  Copyright (c) 2014 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2014
  ACTS International.
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