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Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Thu 25 Apr 2013, 10:22 am

Today's Daily Encounter
Dangerous Pets

"What happiness for those whose guilt has been
forgiven! What joys when sins are covered over! What a
relief for those who have confessed their sins and God
has cleared their record."1

I read about a girl who had a raccoon as a pet and was
warned that it was about to undergo a glandular change
that animal specialists say happens when they are about
eighteen months old. This change can make them very
dangerous.

Unfortunately, the girl didn't heed the warning,
protesting that her much-loved pet would never do
anything to harm her. She was wrong--very wrong. Soon
after, her raccoon clawed her so viciously she had to
have reconstructive facial surgery.

Unresolved personal conflicts can have a similar
effect. Some people can look very calm on the outside,
but underneath they have a reservoir of super-charged
repressed negative emotions that they never learned how
to handle creatively.

At some point something happens. Their stored-up
negative emotions are triggered--often by something as
simple as somebody making a trivial mistake--and
kaboom! They explode. Or they implode and become ill,
or may even have a heart attack.

Other people have a secret or pet sin they hang on to
telling themselves that it would never harm them. In
time, however, it becomes a habit, the root of which
they've never resolved. And then the habit gets the
better of them and becomes an addiction that ends up
badly hurting them and their loved ones.

So, whatever "pet raccoons" you and I may be harboring,
we need to be aware that they could hurt us real bad if
we don't get them out of our life.

As David said, "There was a time when I wouldn't admit
what a sinner I was. But my dishonesty made me
miserable and filled my days with frustration. All day
and all night your hand was heavy on me. My strength
evaporated like water on a sunny day until I finally
admitted all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide
them. I said to myself, 'I will confess them to the
Lord.' And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone."2

Suggested prayer: “Dear God, if there are any ‘pet
raccoons’ in my life that I am either harboring or
unaware of, please bring these to my attention and help
me to see how dangerous they are and, with your help,
get them out of my life. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Psalm 32:1-2 (TLB)(NLT).
2. Psalm 32:3-5 (TLB)(NLT).

<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) 2012 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
ACTS International.
Today's Daily Encounter
The Value of a Friend

"A friend loves at all times."1

The following description of a friend came from an
English magazine: "A true friend is one who has the
courage to disagree with us when [we are] in the wrong,
and advise us for our own good, rather than let his
sympathy or sentimentality cause him to agree."

Charles Spurgeon once said, "Friendship is one of the
sweetest joys of life. Many might have failed beneath
the bitterness of their trial had they not found a
friend."

Samuel Johnston said, "We cannot tell the precise
moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a
vessel drop by drop, there is that last drop which
makes it run over, so in a series of kindnesses, there
is at least one that makes the heart run over."

And Dr. Alfred Adler, internationally known
psychiatrist, based the following conclusions on a
careful analysis of thousands of clients: "The most
important task imposed by religion has always been,
'Love thy neighbor….' It is the individual who is not
interested in his fellow man who has the greatest
difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury
on others. It is from among such individuals that all
human failures spring."

Oh the priceless value of having at least one deep
abiding friendship. Thank God for the gift of
friendship.

Suggested prayer: "And thank you God for Jesus--the
friend of sinners. Help me also to be a friend to
fellow sinners and spread your love and forgiveness
everywhere I go. Thank you for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Proverbs 17:17 (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) 2012 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
ACTS International.
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Tue 23 Apr 2013, 10:50 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Give Me a Thankful Heart, O God
"Stand up and praise the Lord your God, who is from
everlasting to everlasting. 'Blessed be your glorious
name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and
praise. You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens
even the highest heavens, and all their starry host,
the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that
is in them. You give life to everything and the
multitudes of heaven worship you. You are the Lord
God.'"1
How easy it is to take God's blessings and provisions
for granted. I've lived in Southern California for
several years and have experienced earthquakes that
shook more than the good old terra firma I was standing
on. And frankly, the more "firma" the less "terra"!
I've seen ravaging fires that destroyed scores of
homes, riots that destroyed scores of properties, and
floods and mudslides that also caused great losses.
Southern California is little more than converted
desert, and what absolutely amazes me is where does all
the water come from to meet the needs of 16+ million
people? I've lived through several years of drought and
still there was enough water. Most of the water comes
from the most marvelous water storage system ever
created and it's not from the many man-made dams and
reservoirs, as wonderful and as necessary as these are.
It's from the snow that stores water for many months of
the year and releases it basically as it's needed. If
it weren't for the magnificent mountains and the
amazing supply of snow, Southern California would still
be a desert.
It also amazes me how so many people complain about
rainy days when we get good rains in such a dry and
thirsty land--rains that fill up the rivers, dams, and
reservoirs and store billions upon billions of gallons
of water in the form of snow over thousands of square
miles of rugged mountains--rains that keep us alive!
All God has to do is turn off the sky's faucet or blot
out the sun for long enough and every living thing
would die.
As the Levite priests said, truly God gives life to
everything.
Suggested prayer: "Thank you, God, for the incredible
blessings you provide for all of us all of the time.
May I ever be mindful of these manifold blessings that
come from your hand. And above all that you have given
me, please give me a thankful heart. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus'
name, amen."
1. Nehemiah 9:5-7 (NIV).
<Smile)))><

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Mon 22 Apr 2013, 10:48 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Blessings From Trees

"Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let
the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields
be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees
of the forest will sing for joy, they will sing before
the Lord, for he comes … to judge the world in
righteousness and the peoples in his truth."1

Imagine, if you can, living in a world without trees.
How desolate such a place would be. But trees are not
just a thing of beauty. They have a very strategic role
to play in our world. They convert light into energy
and "breathe" the carbon dioxide exhaled by man and
animals. They use this gas to help manufacture food and
in its place give off oxygen which man again breathes.
They help clean the air of dust particles, stop erosion
and restore deserts. They provide food, drink, lumber,
and innumerable other products. Just how they lift
enormous amounts of water to their highest branches and
manufacture food is still a mystery.

As the poet so eloquently put it:

I think that I shall never see
a poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose thirsty mouth is pressed
against the earth's sweet flowering breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
and lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
a nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
but only God can make a tree.
- Joyce Kilmer

Suggested prayer: "Thank you God for all the beauty and
functionality you have created in nature. May these
ever remind us of your majesty, your awesome power, and
your everlasting love. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Psalm 96:11-13 (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) 2012 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
ACTS International.
avatar
Admin
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Fri 19 Apr 2013, 7:30 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Changing Course?
"Your word [God’s Word] is a lamp to my feet and a
light for my path."1

The following was circulated in an email some time ago
but has a timely message that is good to be reminded
about.

As the large ship cruised ahead through the night
darkness, a message from ahead was received: "Make a
course adjustment to avoid a collision."

Immediately the ship responded: "I am an admiral. You
make a course adjustment."

"I am a petty officer. You make a course adjustment,"
came the reply.

"I am an aircraft carrier. You had better turn
quickly," the admiral commanded.

The petty officer responded: "I am a lighthouse. You
are the one who had better turn."2

For the Christian, God's Word is our guide through all
of life, through the good days as well as through the
dark nights. Every instruction, every commandment is
there for our protection, for our safety, for our
well-being. We disregard it to our peril. As Solomon
wrote, "Despise God's Word and find yourself in
trouble. Obey it and succeed,"3 and again, "Every word
of God proves true. He defends all who come to him for
protection."4

God's Word is the "course adjustment" lighthouse for
us. If we're heading in a dangerous direction, we are
the ones who need to heed the directions and change
course.

Suggested prayer: "Thank you God that 'Your Word is a
lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.' Give me
the good sense and the courage to always follow in your
ways so my life will never be shipwrecked. Thank you
for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in
Jesus' name, amen."

1. Psalm 119:105 (NIV).
2. Source unknown.
3. Proverbs 13:13 (TLB)(NLT).
4. Proverbs 30:5 (TLB)(NLT).

<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) 2012 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
ACTS International.
Today's Daily Encounter
You Can Never Get Enough of What You Don’t Want

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

I read an interesting quote that said, "You can never
get enough of what you don't want." I had to stop and
think about this one. Why would I ever want what I
don't want?

An over-simplification of what I believe this quote
means is that if I have a craving for chocolate
ice-cream, no matter how much vanilla ice-cream I get,
it would never satisfy my hunger for chocolate
ice-cream.

To apply this principle to a higher cause means that
sometimes we settle for less than what is best for us
because of the challenge to achieve what we truly want
to achieve if we are determined to do so.

For the Christian, God wants the very best for us. The
question for each of us is, Do we want what God wants
for us?

God wants us not only to be members of his family, but
growing members who are becoming more and more like
Christ in every way, who don't settle for anything less
than complete wholeness, complete recovery, a healthy
lifestyle, a worthwhile work (either paid or voluntary)
into which we can put our best efforts, loving
relationships, and for us to discover and fulfill his
divine purpose for our life.

It is no "chocolate ice-cream party" to achieve any of
these goals let alone all of them. The half-hearted
never make it. "Vanilla ice-cream living" is so much
easier to achieve, but it has no “nutritional"
(spiritual) value.

Are you and I settling for "vanilla ice-cream" when we
could have the gold of God's "chocolate ice-cream"
life?

Suggested prayer: "Oh God, please don't let me ever get
satisfied with an abundance of what I don't
want--anything less than all that you have planned and
envisioned for me to become and do. Please give me
faith and determination, and with your help, to achieve
all your goals for my life. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus’ 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) 2012 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
ACTS International.
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Admin
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Wed 17 Apr 2013, 10:54 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
The Impact of One Faithful Witness

Jesus said, "You are to go into all the world and
preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere."1

Many will have read about "layman Edward Kimball who
gathered the nerve to witness and win the soul of a
young shoe salesman named D.L. Moody to Christ. D.L.
Moody went on to become one of the greatest evangelists
in his day. But, do you know the rest of the story?
D.L. Moody went to England and worked a profound change
in the ministry of F.B. Meyer. F.B. Meyer, with his new
evangelistic fervor, influenced J. Wilbur Chapman.
Chapman helped in the ministry of converted baseball
player Billy Sunday, who had a profound impact upon
Mordacai Ham. And Mordacai Ham, holding a revival in
North Carolina, led Billy Graham to Christ. And the man
who started it all was a layman, Edward Kimball, who
took seriously Christ's commission to be a witness in
his world."2

And we all know the incredible way God has used Billy
Graham to reach millions of people worldwide with the
gospel.

You and I are not too likely to ever become a Billy
Sunday or a Billy Graham, but every single one of us
can be an "Edward Kimball" witness for Christ.

As the hymn writer so eloquently said, "When we all get
to heaven what a day of rejoicing that will be, when we
all see Jesus we'll sing and shout the victory." And
how wonderful it will also be to meet the ones who are
in heaven because of your and my witness for Jesus.
Only heaven will reveal who these ones are.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, I'm available for you to
us; please use me today and every day to be an
effective witness for you, and to be 'as Jesus' in some
way to every life I touch. And grant that they, seeing
Jesus in me, will want you for themselves. Thank you
for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in
Jesus' name, amen."

1. Mark 16:15 (TLB)(NLT).
2. Submitted by Deward Hurst. Cited on the Sermon
Fodder list. To subscribe please send an e-mail to
Sermon_Fodder-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

P.S. I happened to graduate from Moody Bible Institute,
the school that D.L. Moody founded. Furthermore,
several of the folk in Australia who have been involved
in the ACTS ministry in Australia came to Christ during
the Billy Graham Crusades in Australia. Furthermore, I
am now doing the website for Dr. Jerry Beavan who was
the architect of the Billy Graham international
crusades. I first heard Dr. Beavan speak in Australia
in 1958. His website is American News Commentary at:
www.evangelical-viewpoint.com/. It is absolutely
amazing what God can and will do through any one of us
when we make ourselves available for him to use for his
glory. And believe me I came from a very dysfunctional
family background and never cease to thank and praise
God for his saving, and using me.

<Smile)))><

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Tue 16 Apr 2013, 8:58 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Warning! Danger Ahead

A word from God's Word: "Blessed is the nation whose
God is the LORD. No king is saved by the size of his
army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse
[and military might] is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save."1

One of today’s great tragedies is that as a nation, the
U.S. is moving farther and farther away from God as
more and more we are pushing God out of our society.
God certainly is no longer LORD of our nation. In
removing God from our society we are removing--or have
already removed ourselves--from God’s protection. The
question today is not where is God--He is where He has
always been--but where are we?

Much of today’s national problems started, or at least
were greatly accelerated, when we banned the Bible from
public schools. As a student report stated, “In 1963,
when the Bible, the Christian’s standard of absolute
truth and morality, was banned from the schools, a
great ideological shift began. … As the American people
soon found out … Sexually transmitted diseases went up
226%. Violent crimes went up 995%. Unwed birth rates
went up 325%. Divorce went up 111%. Unmarried couples
living together went up 536%. Child abuse went up
2300%, and illegal drug use went up 6000%.... I don’t
think that we have seen the end of this, either. Our
country will collapse if Christianity is extinguished,
and therefore morality is snuffed out."2

Think too, of the relentless attacks against the U.S.
in recent years by radical Muslims whose religion,
Islam, declares itself to be a religion of peace and
yet we are vividly reminded every year how, “On
September 11, 2001, 19 militants associated with the
Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda hijacked four
airliners and carried out suicide attacks against
targets in the United States…. Over 3,000 people were
killed during the attacks in New York City and
Washington, D.C., including more than 400 police
officers and firefighters."3

True, not all Muslims are terrorists, but where is the
real outcry from moderate Muslims who oppose worldwide
terrorism attacks promulgated by Muslim terrorists?
According to a report on Wikipedia, there have been
numerous Islamic terrorist attacks since 2001. See a
partial listing of these online at:
http://tinyurl.com/8n7bvsd. It is frightening!

America, we need to awaken! As our moral decline is
accelerating, so is our moving father and father away
from God and His protection. As George Washington, in
his Farewell Address, stated, “And let us with caution
indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained
without religion… reason and experience forbid us to
expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion
of religious principle."

Suggested prayer: “Dear God, please send a great
spiritual awakening to the U.S.A. so that our eyes will
be open to see the direction this once great Christian
nation is heading. Help us to see and face the truth,
for only the truth will set us free. And let your work
begin in me. Thank you for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus’ name, amen."

1. Psalm 33:12, 16-17 (NIV).
2. “The Bible: In and Out of School," Jessica S.
http://tinyurl.com/9pp86xg. Jessica quotes the
following source for her statistics:
http://tinyurl.com/9altkvy, and states that author,
Dr. Hovind, got them from Wallbuilders
(http://www.wallbuilders.com/).
3. History.com website at:
http://www.history.com/topics/9-11-attacks.

<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) 2012 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
ACTS International.
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Admin
Admin

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Mon 15 Apr 2013, 9:32 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Resurrection from Death

"But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He
is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.
So you see, just as death came into the world through a
man [Adam], now the resurrection from the dead has
begun through another man [Jesus Christ]. Just as
everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone
who belongs to Christ will be given new life. But there
is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as
the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ
will be raised when he comes back."1

"Max Lucado in his book, Six Hours One Friday, tells
the story of a missionary in Brazil who discovered a
tribe of Indians in a remote part of the jungle. They
lived near a large river. The tribe was in need of
medical attention. A contagious disease was ravaging
the population. People were dying daily. A hospital was
not too far away--across the river--but the Indians
would not cross it because they believed the river was
inhabited by evil spirits. And to enter its water would
mean certain death.

"The missionary explained how he had crossed the river
and was unharmed. But they were not impressed. He then
took them to the bank and placed his hand in the water.
They still wouldn't go in. He walked into the water up
to his waist and splashed water on his face. It didn't
matter. They were still afraid to enter the river.
Finally, he dove into the river, swam beneath the
surface until he emerged on the other side. He raised a
triumphant fist into the air. He had entered the water
and escaped. It was then that the Indians broke into a
cheer and followed him across.

"Isn't that what Jesus did? He entered the river of
death and came out on the other side so that we might
no longer fear death, but find eternal life in Him."2

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that Jesus,
after he died on the cross to pay the penalty for all
my sins, arose from the grave. Because of this your
Word assures me that if I have accepted Jesus Christ as
my personal Savior, I will also rise from death to live
with you in heaven forever. Please help me to be sure
that I am a real Christian and follower of Jesus
Christ. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."

Note: If you are not sure that you will be raised from
death, please read "How to Be Sure You're a Real
Christian" at: www.actsweb.org/christian.

1. 1 Corinthians 15:20-23 (NLT).
2. SermonCentral.com at:
http://www.sermoncentral.com/articleb.asp?article=Easter-Illustrations-PowerPoints#illustrations

<Smile)))><

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Fri 12 Apr 2013, 7:30 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
His Opportunity to Change the World
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,
where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in
and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in
heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where
thieves do not break in and steal. For where your
treasure is, there your heart will be also."1

Some years ago when Apple Computer fell on hard times,
Apple’s co-founder and chairman, Steven Jobs, went from
California to New York City. “His purpose was to
convince PepsiCo’s John Sculley to move west and run
his struggling company. As the two men overlooked the
Manhattan skyline from Sculley's penthouse office, the
Pepsi executive started to decline Jobs's
offer. ‘Financially,’ Sculley said, ‘you'd have to give
me a million-dollar salary, a million-dollar bonus, and
a million-dollar severance.’ Flabbergasted, Jobs gulped
and agreed--if Sculley would move to California. But
Sculley would commit only to being a consultant from
New York.

“At that, Jobs issued a challenge to Sculley, ‘Do you
want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared
water, or do you want to change the world?’ In his
autobiography, Oddesy, Sculley admits Jobs's challenge
‘knocked the wind out of me.’ He said he'd become so
caught up in his future at Pepsi, his pension, and
whether his family could adapt to life in California
that an opportunity to ‘change the world’ nearly passed
him by. Instead, he put his life in perspective and
went to Apple."2

Let me ask you a question, “Do you want to spend the
rest of your life selling “sugared water"--or doing
what you are doing today for the rest of your life? Or
do you want to help change at least your world?"
There’s nothing wrong with selling sugared water … or
doing a million other things; but there’s nothing
earth-changing about many of these undertakings either.
The question is, “Is what you are doing making a
difference in someone’s life--or that of many
lives--and that for eternity? Do you want to join hands
with Jesus Christ and help make an impact on your
world? If your answer is yes, he may call you to be a
prayer intercessor, to give sacrificially, to change
your profession, or he may call you to leave your
comfort zone to go out into the world of Christian
service.

Whatever you choose to invest your life in, be sure
that what you are doing is investing in people’s lives
for all eternity, and in so doing, storing treasure in
heaven.

Suggested prayer: “Dear God, thank you for the
tremendous opportunity to serve you while here on
earth. Please help me to see what is the best way for
me to do this so my life is invested in eternal
values--and so I am storing treasure in heaven. Thank
you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in
Jesus’ name, amen."

1. Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV).
2. Leadership, Spring, 1991, Vol. XXII, No. 2, p. 44.

<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.

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Thu 11 Apr 2013, 10:07 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Diamonds in the Rough
"We proclaim him [Jesus Christ], admonishing and
teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may
present everyone perfect [complete and mature] in
Christ."1

It is true that God loves and accepts us as we are, but
he loves us too much to leave us as we are.

God's design for each one of us is that we become the
person he envisioned us to be--not only to receive
forgiveness for our sins and the gift of eternal life,
but also to grow and become mature, to be made whole,
to resolve any and all impaired relationships, and to
learn to love and accept ourselves, others, and God
more fully.

Forgiveness and eternal life are gifts from God. There
is nothing we can do to earn them. We receive them by
faith in Jesus Christ. But growth and maturity are a
life-long process. These are our responsibility. When
we begin, we are like diamonds in the rough. To be
polished takes a lot of time and hard work.

As Stuart Briscoe said, "The same sun that melts wax
hardens clay." In the same way God's discipline hardens
some folk and they become bitter; in others it produces
gentleness, a loving spirit, growth and maturity. God's
will is the latter but the choice is ours.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, in every trial please help
me to see what I need to learn, what I need to change,
and how I can keep growing to become the person you
have envisioned for me to be. And please give me the
grace and courage I need to submit to your molding.
Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Colossians 1:28 (NIV).

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Today's Daily Encounter
Love's Most Amazing Story ... Part III

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is
eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."1

As already noted, sin is much more than external acts.
It is our damaged inner condition that results in our
wrong or sinful acts. Our sinful nature contaminates
everything we do. It not only shows itself in external
acts, but also twists our motives and damages our
emotions. It is behind every broken home, every empty
life, every sorrow and grief. The disease of sin
weakens nations, produces sick societies, and causes
physical, mental and spiritual suffering. It causes men
and nations to fight, kill and destroy. And as the
Bible says, its end result is death.

We need to understand that God is not opposed to nor
outraged by our breaking his commandment for his sake,
but primarily for our sake. As Cecil Osborne also said,
"Adultery (or any other sin) is not wrong because it is
forbidden in the Ten Commandments; it is forbidden in
the Ten Commandments because it is destructive of human
personality. God is against whatever is destructive to
us. His love for us is so great that he cannot see us
destroying ourselves without suffering himself. It is
the suffering of God, symbolized by the cross, which is
involved in sin. We suffer in our sins. Christ suffered
because of them. His suffering becomes redemption for
us when we are able to confess the right sins with true
contrition."

Because Christ himself was sinless, only he could die
to pay the penalty for and thereby save us from our
sins. We simply cannot save ourselves. No matter how
good (or bad) we are, we are all afflicted with the
terminal disease of sin for which Jesus Christ is the
only cure.

I read once about a drowning boy who was struggling
frantically to save himself. On the bank his distraught
mother pleaded with a man to save her son, but the man
made no move. When the boy weakened and gave up the
struggle to save himself, the man then jumped into the
stream and rescued him.

"Why didn't you save my boy sooner?" the mother asked.

"I couldn't as long as he struggled," the man replied.
"He would have dragged us both to death. When he gave
up the struggle to save himself, it was easy to rescue
him."

We, too, need to give up the struggle to save ourselves
from our sin. Only Christ can do that. As we confess
our sins to him and thank him for dying on the cross
for us, he gives us his free pardon and the gift of
eternal life. Why not pray to ask Christ to do this for
you today? For help to do this, click on the God's
Invitation link at: www.actsweb.org/invitation.php.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you love me
so much that you gave your Son, Jesus, to die on the
cross in my place to save me from the penalty and
consequences of my sin. And Jesus, I believe you are
the Son of God and thank you for dying in my place to
save me from my sins. I accept you as my personal Lord
and Savior. Please forgive me for all my sins. Thank
you for doing this and for giving me your gift of
eternal life in heaven. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."


Please note: For further help be sure to read, "How to
Be Sure You're a Real Christian," at:
www.actsweb.org/christian and discover how to know for
certain that your sins are forgiven, and that you have
God's gift of eternal life.

1. Romans 6:23 (NIV).

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Tue 09 Apr 2013, 8:49 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Love's Most Amazing Story ... Part II

"Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man,
though for a good man someone might possibly dare to
die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."1

The question is asked, "If God loves us
unconditionally, why is he so vehemently opposed to our
sin?" It is because sin is so completely destructive of
human personality. It totally destroys those whom God
loves--us. Nevertheless, God still loves the sinner.
That's why he gave his Son, Jesus Christ, to die for
us. And now, through Christ's death God can save us
from our self-destructive sin.

Sometimes we view God as a hard taskmaster running
around with a "big stick" waiting to rap us on the
knuckles if we break his commandments. In fact, one
person I knew felt that if he committed certain sins,
God would actually kill him.

This false view of God is usually formed in childhood.
If, for example, we had a very punitive earthy father
or mother, we tend to feel that God, the Heavenly
Father, is exactly the same. But God isn't like that at
all. In fact, we can totally ignore or reject him, and
he will still keep on loving us.

Sometimes we falsely see sin only as specific acts that
God happens to oppose. But sin is much more than this.
We tend to see only the external acts, but God sees the
heart, too. He is just as concerned with sins of the
spirit--pride, jealously, lust, greed, envy, hatred,
false motives, emotional dishonesty, resentment and
other super-charged negative emotions (including the
ones we have repressed and consequently denied)--as he
is with such things as murder, rape, and stealing. In
fact, many of our external sins are the symptoms of our
inner, hidden sins that are equally or some even more
destructive than the ones we can see.

In his excellent book, The Art of Understanding
Yourself, Dr. Cecil Osborne wrote, "It is extremely
naive to think of sin simply as an isolated act--a lie,
a theft, immorality, dishonesty, etcetera--for sin is
all that is less than perfection. It is rejecting
God--'falling short' of the perfection which God
envisioned for us. Sin is being impaired, not simply
performing a wicked act. It is having impaired
relationships and attitudes. It is being less than
whole. It is having mixed motives. Sin is the clever
rationalization by which we seek to escape from facing
ourselves. It can consist in responding to a set of
rigid moralistic 'oughts' rather than obeying the
spirit of God which dwells within us," and then feeling
very self-righteous about our pious attitude and
behavior.

To be concluded…

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to grasp
the destructiveness of sin and understand why you are
so opposed to it. Help me to see my sinfulness, confess
it to you, and ask for your forgiveness. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus'
name, amen."

1. Romans 5:7-9 (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.

* * * * * * *
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Mon 08 Apr 2013, 5:09 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Love's Most Amazing Story ... Part I
"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down
his life for his friends."1

Karl Barth, famous though controversial, contemporary
Swiss theologian, was a great thinker, a prolific
writer, and a professor at several European
universities. On one occasion he was confronted by a
reporter who wanted a brief summary of his twelve thick
volumes on church dogmatics. Barth could have given an
impressive intellectual reply, but didn't. Quoting from
the popular child's hymn, he simply said, "Jesus loves
me this I know, for the Bible tells me so."

And there is no greater proof of this love than when
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, gave his life for us.

As Jesus said, "Greater love has no one than this, that
one lay down his life for his friends." His own love,
however, went much further than this. He laid down his
life for his enemies as well as his friends.

Imagine the torturous agony Christ must have endured
when nailed to the cross. This was the price he paid to
die for our sins. Added to his physical suffering was
his sense of utter rejection by being forsaken, not
only by his few remaining friends, but also by God. "My
God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Jesus cried out
in utter despair from the cross.2

But so great was his love even for those who caused his
excruciating pain--those who nailed him to the cross,
thrust a spear into his side, mocked him, spat in his
face--that in the midst of this inhuman torture he
prayed, "Father, forgive them for they do not know what
they are doing."3

Referring to this prayer, Thomas Carlyle said, "The
sublimest words that ever fell from human lips."

Human love is often conditional. If we are what others
want us to be, and do what they want us to do, we are
loved. If not, we are often rejected. Fortunately,
God's love is never conditional. It is never based on
who we are or what we do or have done--good or bad. God
loves us simply because we are his creation.

To be continued…

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, how can I ever thank you
enough for loving me even though I am a sinner? Help me
to understand the depths of your love for me and, as a
result, surrender and dedicate my life to live for you.
Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen. "

1. John 15:13 (NIV).
2. Mark 15:34.
3. Luke 23:34.

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Sat 06 Apr 2013, 11:46 am

Today's Daily Encounter
How's Your Aim?

"Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been
faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of
many things. Come and share your master's happiness."1

Somebody has facetiously said, "Blessed be he who
aimeth at nothing for he shall surely hit it!"

On the same theme, Bill Bernbach made the following
insightful comment: "If you stand for something, you
will always find some people for you and some against
you. If you stand for nothing, you will find nobody
against you and nobody for you!"

It is true, if we aim for and stand for right, for
justice, for integrity, for truth, and are committed to
doing the will of God, there will always be opposition.
Chances are the more worthy our cause, the greater will
be the opposition--and the temptation to
discouragement.

However, when we get to the end of life's journey, how
rewarding it will be to have the Savior welcome us to
Heaven with the words, "Well done, good and faithful
servant, enter into the joy of your Lord!"

What Jesus will say to us when we meet him face to face
will totally depend on what we are doing and how we are
living today. We have that opportunity now. As a
favorite one-liner puts it, "It is choice, not chance,
that determines our destiny."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, grant that I will so live
that when I meet you face to face, I will hear your
wonderful words, 'Well done, good and faithful servant,
enter into the joy of your Lord!' Thank you for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."

1. Matthew 25:21 (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.

* * * * * * *
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Thu 04 Apr 2013, 5:38 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
The Baffling Call of God

"The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: 'Go
to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it,
because its wickedness has come up before me.'"1

What does it mean for the word of the Lord to come to
us? That is; how does God call people today? Quite
probably it is different for everyone who has ever been
called of God for special service.

Speaking personally, I could count on one hand the
times that I have felt that God challenged me "with a
'special word' from the Lord." No, I've never heard an
audible voice from heaven, nor have I ever seen any
"writing on the wall." The first occasion was when I
was in the hospital following a minor accident on a
construction site. I was all stitched up and feeling
pretty sore when I turned on my bedside radio and "just
happened" to pick up the only religious program on air
for that entire day. The moment my radio came on these
were the very first words I heard: "If I should stand
before the Master tonight, would I empty handed go?"

Wham! It felt like an invisible arrow had pierced my
heart. For 2-3 years I had been struggling with "the
still small voice within" drawing me towards Christian
service and ministry. I just hadn't recognized it as
the call of God. As I look back, however, had God not
been calling me, I would never have been struggling
with it. But on that hospital bed there was no more
doubt in my mind. I "heard" God's call loud and clear
and prayed, "Okay, God, you win. I know what I need to
do." That was the day I made the decision to go back to
college to train for Christian service. For some of us
God has to hit us over the head with a "4 by 4" as it
were in order to get our attention.

True, God doesn't call everyone to be a Jonah, a
missionary, a pastor, or a specialized Christian
worker, but he does call every one of us to be a
faithful servant and witness for Jesus.

So, if you should stand before the Master tonight,
would you empty handed go? Or would you hear God's
welcome, "Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter
into the joy of your Lord?"

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you have
called me to be a faithful servant and witness for you.
Please help me to be faithful in service and effective
in my witness, and please use me in some way to help
bring others to you so that when I meet you face to
face I will not be empty handed. Thank you for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."

1. Jonah 1:1-2 (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.

* * * * * * *
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Wed 03 Apr 2013, 8:23 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Mountaintop Experiences

"Then Moses climbed Mount Nebo from the plains of Moab
to the top of Pisgah, across from Jericho. There the
LORD showed him the whole land [the Promised Land]…."1

On this day, April 3, 1968, on the eve of his
assassination, Martin Luther King delivered his last
sermon at Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee. His
closing remarks were: "Well, I don't know what will
happen now; we've got some difficult days ahead. But it
really doesn't matter with me now, because I've been to
the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I
would like to live a long life--longevity has its
place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just
want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to
the mountain. And I've looked over, and I've seen the
promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want
you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to
the promised land. So I'm happy tonight; I'm not
worried about anything; I'm not fearing any man. Mine
eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord."2

Dr. King certainly had a mountaintop experience. Many
years before, Moses also had a mountaintop experience.
God showed him the land he was promising to the nation
of Israel and commissioned Joshua to "arise, go, and
possess" this Promised Land. Was it easy to do this?
No, not at all. Following Martin Luther King's
mountaintop experience it was left to his followers to
"arise, go, and possess" the promised land that Dr.
King saw. Was it easy for them? No, not at all.

Jesus had a mountaintop experience too. It was at
Calvary where he, seeing the whole world lost in sin,
gave his life as a sacrifice for all. After his
resurrection, he gave his followers a vision/dream
too--actually a commission. It was, "Go into all the
world and preach the Good News to everyone,
everywhere."3 Now it's up to us to "arise, go, and
possess" the vision God has for the world--reaching
people with the gospel message--one person at a time!
Will it be easy? No, not at all. However, knowing this
is God's vision and his will, with his help there will
always be a way to fulfill it.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, open my eyes that I will
clearly see your vision to reach everybody in the world
with the saving gospel message of Jesus Christ. And
help me to arise and do my part. Also, help me to be as
Jesus to every person in my world and grant that they,
seeing Jesus in me, will want him for themselves. Thank
you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in
Jesus' name, amen."

Note: For a simple and effective way to reach people
with the gospel, please see our Global Communications
Outreach website at:
www.actsweb.org/people_power02.php.

1. Deuteronomy 34:1 (NIV).
2. Martin Luther King, speech, "I've Been to the
Mountaintop," Memphis, Tennessee (3rd April, 1968).
http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAmountaintop.htm

3. Mark 16:15 (NLT).

<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.

* * * * * * *
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Mon 01 Apr 2013, 10:46 pm


Today's Daily Encounter
Taste and See

"Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the
man who takes refuge in him."1

"Back when Beth and I lived in Altadena, California,"
writes Pastor Tod Bolsinger, "just down the street from
us was a bakery called 'Patticakes.' It was one of
those amazing places where everything looks as good as
it tastes and virtually every breakfast item included
chocolate. But make no mistake, nothing there was
cheap. Everything was delicious, beautiful and
frightfully expensive.

"I remember sitting there one morning eating a
chocolate muffin and drinking a latte while a young
couple came in to get a quote for a wedding cake. The
owner pulled out a book that featured articles from Bon
Appetite praising her wedding cakes, showed them
spectacular professional photographs of cakes she had
made in the past, and then finally the price sheet.

"I watched this all and smiled. The bride was looking
at the groom pleadingly. Her face saying, 'Honey,
wouldn't this be beautiful? This is exactly the kind of
wedding cake I have always wanted.' He looked like he
was choking. Being a guy, I know what he was thinking
as he looked at that price sheet, 'A cake? How about a
killer big screen TV? It's about the same amount of
money.' But he was a smart boy; he kept his mouth shut,
even as he tried to calculate how many months’ salary
would be gobbled down by people in less than 15
minutes.

"And right at the very moment when the unspoken tension
was the highest, the bakery owner appeared with a tray
of assorted pieces of wedding cake that they could
sample. Two bites later, eyes rolled back in his head
in chocolate induced ecstasy, the cheapskate groom was
ordering this cake for everyone he had ever met.

"You see the difference was in the tasting. Once we
taste what we really want, the cost is not the issue."2

How equally true this is with God. When we come to him
through Jesus Christ, confess our sins to him, and ask
for his forgiveness, we can truly taste and see how
good God really is.

As David, the Psalmist, wrote, "What happiness for
those whose guilt has been forgiven! What joys when
sins are covered over! What relief for those who have
confessed their sins and God has cleared their record.
I said to myself, 'I will confess them [my sins] to the
Lord.' And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone."3

Dear reader, if you have never tasted the goodness of
God, I urge you to come to him today, confess your sins
to him, ask for his forgiveness, and invite God's Son,
Jesus Christ, into your heart and life. For help,
please read the article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real
Christian," and you, too, can experience the same
relief and peace that David tasted. It’s at
www.actsweb.org/christian.

Again, as David said, "Taste and see that the LORD is
good; blessed is the man [and woman] who takes refuge
in him."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, how can I ever thank you
enough for giving your Son, Jesus, to die on the cross
in my place so all my sins can be forgiven, and so I
can receive your gift of eternal life to be with you in
Heaven forever. Thank you for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Psalm 34:8 (NIV).
2. Tod Bolsinger, Tod Bolsinger's Blog, "It Takes a
Church," http://bolsinger.blogs.com.
3. Psalm 32:1-2, 5 (TLB)(NLT).

<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.

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Sun 31 Mar 2013, 11:04 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
The Fool-ishness of Atheism

"The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God,'"
and "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of
knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction."1

Joy and I live close to the heavily trafficked
Interstate I-5 Freeway in Southern California.
Overlooking this freeway close to where we live is a
church that has erected a large cross located for all
freeway travelers to see. I said to Joy today when
passing by this cross, "How long will it be before the
ACLU, or some other anti-Christian extremist, do
everything possible to have this cross condemned and
removed from public view? Such attacks on Christian
symbolism here in the U.S. are becoming regular fare
across the nation in the daily news.

Much of this anti-Christian attitude began with the
banning of Bible reading and prayer in the public
schools when, in June of 1963, the Supreme Court voted
in favor of atheist, Madeline Murray O'Hare, who
claimed that such was against the constitution of the
United States of America.

"From that day to this, not only has prayer been
outlawed, God's very name has been declared anathema to
the United States Constitution, and forbidden to be
mentioned in any federal, state, county, city or
municipal context. Further decrees have revealed the
depths of the ouster that initial edict has fostered.
Not just prayer is forbidden in the public forum.
Display of the cross is forbidden. The Ten Commandments
are forbidden. The Bible is forbidden. Nativity plays
are forbidden. Even the mere mention of the names,
'God' or 'Jesus', in schools are forbidden. More than
that, anything even suggestive of those names is
forbidden."2

Five months after the American Supreme Court ruled in
favor of Madeline Murray O'Hare, John Kennedy,
president of the U.S.A. was assassinated. Months later
the U.S. was plunged into the Vietnam War where over
200,000 Americans were wounded, maimed or killed. And
on Good Friday in April of the following year, "the
United States suffered its worst earthquake and tidal
wave in recorded history, a 9.2 behemoth that shattered
Alaska and sent massive tidal waves roaring across the
Pacific coastline…."2

Think, too, of the ever-increasing moral decline that
has taken place in the U.S. since June of 1963. Ten
years later in 1973 the Roe v. Wade landmark Supreme
Court case legalized abortion throughout the U.S. Since
then abortion for almost any reason has become, not
only acceptable, but legalized--including murderous
partial-birth abortion. Gay marriage has been made
legal in several states and even approved by some
supposed Christian denominations--something that is
forbidden in the Word of God.

As the late Chuck Colson so wisely stated, "By
rejecting Christianity and its moral framework, Western
liberal democracies are in grave peril of collapsing
upon themselves. They will no longer be able to
preserve human rights and liberties. What comes next is
tyranny."3

Tragically, as a nation, so many have forgotten and/or
ignored the fact that, as God's Word declares, "Blessed
is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people He has
chosen as His own inheritance."4

Keep in mind, too, that while this principle, I
believe, applies to all nations, it is referring
specifically to the nation of Israel, and we now have
political leaders here in the U.S.A. who are
anti-Israel. I am not justifying everything Israel has
done any more than trying to justify everything that
the U.S. and my own country of Australia has done, but
never let us forget that God promised Abraham, the
father of the Israeli nation, saying, "I will make you
a great nation; I will bless you And make your name
great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those
who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and
in you all the families of the earth shall be
blessed."5

Furthermore, the Christian and moral decline in the
U.S. has been further attacked by atheists who are also
doing all in their power to tear down and destroy the
very foundation that made the U.S. for so many years
such a great Christian nation--a foundation that was
based solidly on the Bible and on Judeo-Christian
ethics, standards and principles. What they are doing
is blind, irresponsible insanity. Symbolically
speaking, as a nation we are cutting off our nose to
spite our face.

America wake up … Christians wake up … stand up and be
counted and help spread the gospel message of Jesus
Christ--the only hope of our sin-sick country and
world. For a simple and effective way to do this,
please consider joining with ACTS as a People Power for
Jesus partner. For more information click on
http://www.actsweb.org/people_power/.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please open the eyes of my
understanding to see what is happening, not only in the
United States, but in the world in which I live. Today,
with your help, I rededicate and re-commit my life to
you. I am available, please use me to be a part of your
plans and what you are doing in the world today as
opposed to do what Satan is doing through his
followers--and allowing to be done through apathetic
Christian believers who do nothing. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus
name, amen."

Note: If you prayed this prayer and truly meant it,
please let us know by filling in the form online at:
http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php.

1. Psalm 14:1 (NKJV) and Proverbs 1:7 (NIV).
2. "The Day America Spurned God,"
http://goodnewspirit.com/america-spurnsgod.htm
3. Chuck Colson, BreakPoint, Dec 28, 2011.
4. Psalm 33:12 (NKJV).
5. Genesis 12: 2-3 (NKJV).

<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.

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Fri 29 Mar 2013, 1:02 am

Today's Daily Encounter
Lest We Forget

"But He [Jesus] was wounded for our transgressions, He
was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for
our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are
healed."1

Today is Good Friday, the day we remember with profound
appreciation that it was for this day that Jesus came
to earth … to die in our place on that cruel Roman
cross to save us from the terrible consequences of
sin--a disease far deadlier than AIDS or any other
disease that is a physical death sentence.

Today, we also remember that Jesus Christ was not an
ordinary man. True, he was a man but he was and is the
Son of the Living God--the Great Creator who became our
Savior--the one who laid aside his external garments of
deity, stepped out of the Ivory Palaces of Heaven,
clothed himself in a garment of human flesh and came to
earth to pay the redemption price for our sin. He died
on the cross in your place and mine. In so doing he
provided the only cure for the deadly disease of sin
whose sentence is spiritual and eternal death.

Today, we remember, too, that without Jesus as our
Savior, we would be headed for hell from which there is
no escape beyond the grave. Wherever and whatever hell
is we can be sure of this, it is eternal disconnection
from God the author of all love and life--cut off
forever from all love and all loving relationships.
Such consequences are unthinkable.

And today we need to remember that Jesus died for us
because he loved us far more than we can even begin to
understand. As another has said, Jesus would rather go
to hell for us than to go to heaven without us! This he
did when he died on the cross in your place and in
mine.

Jesus gave his life that we might live. In thanksgiving
to him for his unspeakable gift, may we give our life
to live for him--to help spread the gospel so that
others might also live. For without Jesus, people are
lost forever!

If you have never thanked Jesus for dying on the cross
to pay the price for your sins, I urge you to do this
today, and accept Jesus as your Savior and receive
God's forgiveness and the assurance of a home in heaven
forever. To help you be sure to read the article, "How
to Be Sure You're a Real Christian--without having to
be religious at: www.actsweb.org/christian and/or
"God's Invitation" at:
http://tinyurl.com/gods-invitation.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, how can I ever thank you
enough for loving me enough to give your Son Jesus to
die on the cross in my place to pay the penalty for all
my sins? And dear Jesus I do thank you from the depths
of my heart for what you did for me. Please help me to
live a life of thanksgiving to you always in all ways.
Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Isaiah 53:5 (NKJV).

<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.

* * * * * * *
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Thu 28 Mar 2013, 12:08 am

Today's Daily Encounter
The Impact of One Faithful Witness

Jesus said, "You are to go into all the world and
preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere."1

You may have read about "layman Edward Kimball who
gathered the nerve to witness and win the soul of a
young shoe salesman named D.L. Moody to Christ. D.L.
Moody went on to become one of the greatest evangelists
of his day. But, do you know the rest of the story?
D.L. Moody went to England and worked a profound change
in the ministry of F.B. Meyer. F.B. Meyer, with his new
evangelistic fervor, influenced J. Wilbur Chapman.
Chapman helped in the ministry of converted baseball
player Billy Sunday, who had a profound impact upon
Mordacai Ham. And Mordacai Ham, holding a revival in
North Carolina, led Billy Graham to Christ. And the man
who started it all was a layman, Edward Kimball, who
took seriously Christ's commission to be a witness in
his world."2

And we all know the incredible way God has used Billy
Graham to reach millions of people worldwide with the
gospel.

You and I are not too likely to ever become a Billy
Sunday or a Billy Graham, but every single one of us
can be an "Edward Kimball" witness for Christ.

As the hymn writer so eloquently said, "When we all get
to heaven what a day of rejoicing that will be, when we
all see Jesus we'll sing and shout the victory." And
how wonderful it will also be to meet the ones who are
in heaven because of your and my witness for Jesus.
Only heaven will reveal who these ones are.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, I'm available for you to
use … please make me usable and use me today and every
day to be an effective witness for you and to be 'as
Jesus' in some way to every life I touch. And grant
that they, seeing Jesus in me, will want you for
themselves. Thank you for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Mark 16:15 (TLB)(NLT).
2. Submitted by Deward Hurst. Cited on the Sermon
Fodder list. To subscribe please send an e-mail to
Sermon_Fodder-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

P.S. I happened to graduate from Moody Bible Institute,
the school that D.L. Moody founded.

<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.

* * * * * * *

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Tue 26 Mar 2013, 2:23 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
"Keeper of the Stars"
"He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives
favor from the LORD."1

Many ask the question, does God choose our life partner
or is it up to us to make our own choice? My answer is
"yes" and "no" in that God will give us wisdom and
guidance if we seek it, but we are responsible for
choosing the one we marry--at least this is so in
Western culture.

There are a few country and western songs that I really
like, one of which is by Tracy Byrd. It's "The Keeper
of the Stars." Tracy (in my mind at least) is referring
to God even if his theological terminology doesn't come
out of a seminary course.

In his song Tracy says:

It was no accident me finding you
Someone had a hand in it
Long before we ever knew
Now I just can't believe you're in my life
Heaven's smilin' down on me
As I look at you tonight.

I tip my hat to the keeper of the stars
He sure knew what he was doin'
When he joined these two hearts
I hold everything
When I hold you in my arms
I've got all I'll ever need
Thanks to the keeper of the stars.

It was no accident me finding you
Someone had a hand in it
Long before we ever knew.2

The someone Tracy is referring to, in his words, is the
"Keeper of the stars."

This is how I feel towards Joy, my wife--who has indeed
helped make my life Joy-full. I also feel like
"heaven's smilin' down on me."

Some would argue that finding a wife or husband for
them has not been a good experience. In fact, it's been
the opposite. What few fail to realize, however, is
that no matter what kind of person we married, there
were reasons in us why we were attracted to that person
in the first place. And if we will take a long hard
honest look at what we contributed to the failure of
our marriage, God will use this to help us grow and
become a much healthier person. And that's a good
thing. The fact is that only emotionally healthy happy
people find healthy happy partners, and have healthy
happy marriages.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you want me
to become whole in every area of life so that I can
enjoy and appreciate the abundant life of love, joy and
peace (you promised your followers), and to find loving
relationships. Please help me so to grow and become
whole. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Proverbs 18:22 (NIV).
2. Tracy Byrd, "Keeper of the Stars."
http://tracybyrd.musiccitynetworks.com/ Copyright. Used
by permission.

<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.

* * * * * * *
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Tue 26 Mar 2013, 2:21 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
A Parent's Influence
"Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do
not forsake your mother's teaching. They will be a
garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your
neck."1

I took a piece of plastic clay
And idly fashioned it one day;
And as my fingers pressed it still,
It moved and yielded at my will.

I came again when days were past,
The form I gave it still it bore,
And as my fingers pressed it still,
I could change that form no more.

I took a piece of living clay,
And gently formed it day by day,
And molded with my power and art,
A young child's soft and yielding heart.

I came again when days were gone;
It was a man I looked upon,
He still that early impress bore,
And I could change it never more.

- The Bible Friend

Basically, we raise not necessarily the children we
want, but more so the children that we the parents are.
Therefore, one of the greatest gifts that we parents
can give to our children, after showing them the way to
Jesus, is to model the kind of person that God wants us
to be so that they, seeing that in us, will want the
same for themselves.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to model
for my children the kind of person you want me to be so
that my children will see you in me and want the same
for themselves. Thank you for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Proverbs 1:8-9 (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.

* * * * * * *
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Sat 23 Mar 2013, 9:31 am

Today's Daily Encounter
God Is Not Co-Dependent

"Faith without deeds [action] is dead."1

It is amazing how many email messages I receive from
people who can't understand why God allows certain
things to happen--many of which are things that the
individuals themselves caused to happen. One lady was
convinced that God chose her "terrible husband" as she
put it. An unmarried couple couldn't understand why God
allowed them to fall pregnant! Amazing.

The reality is that God isn't co-dependent. He won't
short-circuit the consequences of our choices and
actions, nor will he deliver us from the effects of our
destructive behaviors. Neither will God do anything for
us that we can and need to do for ourselves.

Ron Clarke from Tasmania wrote, "I know that the
expression 'God helps those who help themselves' is not
biblical but it is not that far removed from God's Word
that says, "Faith without deeds is dead." I have always
admired the statement by Sophocles (496-406 B.C.),
considered one of the greatest of all Greek dramatists,
that said, "Heaven ne'er helps the man who will not
help himself."

As John Powell put it, "Some people treat God as if he
were a giant Bayer's aspirin. 'Take God three times a
day and you won't feel any pain!'"

Faith doesn't work that way. We are all responsible for
the choices we make and the actions we take. True, we
are saved by faith and not by works/deeds. However, our
deeds/actions prove whether or not our faith is valid.
Whatever we are capable of doing for ourselves we need
to do--and be willing to help those who cannot help
themselves.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me always to
be responsible and act in a mature manner. And please
show me if there are any areas in my life where I am
not acting in this way. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. James 2:26 (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.

* * * * * * *
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Thu 21 Mar 2013, 7:46 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Come and Dine
"Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that
you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let
them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach
them to your children and to their children after them.
Remember the day you stood before the LORD your God at
Horeb, when he said to me, 'Assemble the people before
me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me
as long as they live in the land and may teach them to
their children.'"1

Mark Early in BreakPoint shares "why Miriam Weinstein's
new book, The Surprising Power of Family Meals, is so
valuable" for family health and quality
living--especially for the children.

"As other authors have done, Weinstein tells us fewer
and fewer families are taking the time to eat dinner
together. Then she delves into the reasons why we
should eat with our families, looking at various
studies on the benefits of family dinners. Believe it
or not, researchers have carefully studied
dinnertime--from the kind of conversation that goes on
around the table, to the lifelong effect that regular
mealtimes have on children's eating habits.

"The research indicates that many young adults with
eating disorders never had a regular dinnertime when
they were growing up. They literally never learned how
to eat a proper meal.

"Weinstein tells us that when the National Center on
Addiction and Substance Abuse studied ways to keep kids
from destructive behaviors, family dinners were 'more
important than church attendance, more important even
than grades at school.' The Center has repeated that
study several times since then, 'and every year, eating
supper [dinner] together regularly as a family tops the
list of variables that are within our control.'

"The point is family meals aren't just about food. As
Weinstein puts it, 'Supper is about nourishment of all
kinds.' That includes physical, emotional,
intellectual, and spiritual nourishment."2

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help us to make
eating time in our home a time that will always produce
warm memories for all our children, and by all who dine
with us. Please help us to make our home a house of
blessing to all who enter therein. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus'
name, amen."

1. Deuteronomy 4:9-10 (NIV).
2. Mark Earley in BreakPoint, November 22, 2005.
www.BreakPoint.org.

<Smile)))><
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Thu 21 Mar 2013, 12:00 am

Today's Daily Encounter
Leading By Example
"Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care,
serving as overseers--not because you must, but because
you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for
money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those
entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock."1

General Eisenhower would demonstrate the art of
leadership with a piece of string. He'd put it on a
table and say: "PULL it and it will follow wherever you
wish. PUSH it and it will go nowhere at all. It's just
that way when it comes to leading people. They need to
follow a person who is leading by example."2

People who lord it over others are control freaks. They
are insecure people who only feel secure when they are
controlling others--or think they are. And whether they
are seeking to lead a church, a class, a team, their
family, or just one other person--or as a
politician--they are not being effective leaders but
pushers. Secure people will want to avoid this type of
person. The only way to be an effective leader is to be
a "puller." That is, to lead by example.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be a
true follower of Jesus and to lead others to you by my
example; that is, by modeling the person you want me to
be, so that others seeing your direction of my life
will also want to be a follower of Jesus. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus'
name, amen."

1. 1 Peter 5:2-3 (NIV).
2. Michael P. Green, Illustrations for Biblical
Preaching, Grand Rapids: Baker, 1989, p. 216.

<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.

* * * * * * *
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Tue 19 Mar 2013, 6:32 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
The Positive Side of Negative Experiences

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ the Father of compassion and the God of all
comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that
we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we
ourselves have received from God."1

As a young man Demosthenes, the famous Greek orator,
had a speech impediment that made him feel shy and
insecure. His father left him a wealthy estate, but
according to Greek law at the time, to claim his estate
he had to establish his right of ownership through
public debate. Because of his inability to speak
clearly and prove his ownership he lost his
inheritance.

Motivated by his loss and through dogged determination
Demosthenes overcame his speech impediment to become
one of the great orators of ancient times. Nobody
remembers who got his inheritance but the story of
Demosthenes has been told to countless numbers for
centuries.

Back in college days I recall one of my professors
saying that it takes twenty years to make a preacher
and that the most effective ministers are those whose
lives are tempered by suffering. "Nonsense," I said to
myself at the time. I was wrong.

Pain, disappointment, sorrow, suffering, and sadness,
and not success, are what can make a person more
understanding, gentle, kind, understanding, accepting,
loving, and real--if we allow this to happen and not
become bitter.

The prophet Ezekiel understood the suffering of the
Israelites in exile because he sat where they sat for
seven days--and was overwhelmed.2 It's only when we sit
where others sit that we can fully understand their
suffering, without which we will be limited in our
effectiveness as witnesses for Christ and as
communicators of the gospel.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me not to
avoid my pain but to face it, embrace it, own it, and
bring it to you for your healing touch and use it to
make me more sensitive to the suffering of others and
minister to them in their pain. Thank you for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."

1. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV).
2. Ezekiel 3:15.

<Smile)))><
Copyright (c) 2012 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
ACTS International.
Today's Daily Encounter
The God-Shaped Vacuum

"His [God's] purpose in all of this was that the
nations should seek after God and perhaps feel their
way toward him and find him--though he is not far from
any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist."1

Years ago Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) insightfully said,
"What else does this craving, and this helplessness,
proclaim but that there was once in man a true
happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty
print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with
everything around him, seeking in things that are not
there the help he cannot find in those that are, though
none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled
only with an infinite and immutable object; in other
words by God himself."

This is true and vital but I would dare to suggest that
it doesn't present the entire picture for, as Pascal
also said, "There is a God-shaped vacuum [or cup, as I
like to put it] in the heart" of all of us, there is
also a people-shaped cup. And while our God-shaped cup
needs to be filled with the love of God, our
people-shaped cup needs to be filled with the love of
people.

If either one of these cups is empty, life can feel
void and meaningless. And then we seek to fill the void
within and deaden the pain of our empty lives with
things, endless activities, seeking approval,
super-busyness, illicit sex, alcohol, drugs and stuff,
stuff, and more stuff and, at least here in the West,
we are left longing in the midst of a land of plenty.

The fact is that God has created us for relationships
both with himself and each other. It has been
rightfully said that 80 percent of life's satisfaction
comes from the quality of our relationships. Without
loving relationships we limp along in the shadows of
life and will most likely die long before our time.
While it may not be desirable, we can live without
romantic love but we cannot live healthily without
healthy loving relationships with at least one or
two--and preferably more--other persons.

Furthermore, without a meaningful relationship with
God, there is a deep sense of spiritual emptiness of
the soul. When God created mankind, he created us with
the capacity to communicate with him, to be connected
to him in spirit. The tragedy is that when sin entered
the human race, we were separated or disconnected from
God. But because God loved us he sent his Son, Jesus,
to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for
all our sins so we could be fully forgiven and be
reconnected to God and then, through Jesus, get our
God-cup or god-shaped vacuum filled.

Note: To begin a spiritual connection/relationship with
God, be sure to read the article, "How to Know God and
be sure you're a real Christian without having to be
religious" online at: www.actsweb.org/christian.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to develop
healthy, loving relationships both with you and with
others. And please reveal to me if there are any
barriers in my life that might be hindering either one
of these relationships. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Acts 17:27-28 (TLB)(NLT).

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Fri 15 Mar 2013, 2:08 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Prophetic Confirmation

According to an article in Christian Victory, Holiday
Inn had a plan to erect a hotel on the Mount of Olives.
They sent engineers to survey the hotel site to make
preparations for building. Their conclusion was that it
couldn't be done as they found that there was a
geological fault under the Mount that is causing it to
split.

Some 2,500 years ago the Bible, as stated by the
prophet Zechariah, said that this split (possibly
caused by a great earthquake) will take place when
Jesus Christ returns to earth to put down all evil and
rule and reign forever. As the Bible says, "Then the
Lord will go out fully armed for war, to fight against
those nations. That day his feet will stand upon the
Mount of Olives, to the east of Jerusalem, and the
Mount of Olives will split apart, making a very wide
valley running from east to west, for half the mountain
will move toward the north and half toward the south."1

Christ's first coming is an indisputable fact of
history. We can be just as certain of his second coming
because he promised that if he went away he would
return. Numerous prophecies regarding his first coming
were fulfilled in minutest detail. We can be just as
certain that all the prophecies regarding his second
coming will also be fulfilled in minutest detail.
Zechariah's prophecy and the evidence of the geological
fault under the Mount of Olives is just one more
confirmation of the validity of God's Word and the hope
we have of Christ's return for his own. The important
thing is to be ready because when we least expect it,
Christ will come.

His coming will be somewhat like the earthquakes in
California or anywhere else, we know they are going to
come, but they strike without warning. The important
thing is to be prepared ahead of time. By way of
interest, we actually had an earthquake here in
Southern California on the very morning I was editing
this Daily Encounter.

If Christ should come today, would you be ready? You
can be by confessing your sins to him and inviting him
into your heart and life as personal Lord and Savior.
For help see "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian"
at: www.actsweb.org/christian. See also "What If There
Is a Heaven?" at: http://tinyurl.com/g9ugp.

As Jesus said, "In my Father's house are many mansions
… I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I
go … I will come again and receive you unto myself that
where I am, there you may be also."2

Suggested prayer: Dear God, thank you for the promise
that Jesus is coming back again to take all his true
followers to be with him and you forever in heaven.
Thank you, too, for this wonderful hope. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus'
name, amen."

1. Zechariah 14:3-4 (TLB)(NLT).
2. John 14:2-4.

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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) 2012 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
ACTS International.
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