Thursday, October 28, 2010


Being a Christian is just like a pumpkin.

First, God picks you from the pumpkin patch and brings you in from the field. The Bible says He selects us out of the world. We are in the world, but no longer of the world.

He then washes all the "dirt" off the outside that we received from being around all the other pumpkins. All the outside influences of our former life must be cleaned up. Old things are passed away and all things are become new.

Then, He carefully removes all the "yucky stuff" called "sin" out from the inside. Sin will not have such internal power.

He then changes us from the inside out by the Power of His Word. That's why it is important to go the church and learn about God's Word.

He carefully removes all those seeds of doubt, hate, greed, and fear. He replaces them with the seeds of faith, hope and love. After Jesus is invited inside, you begin to experience the changing power of God's love in your life.

Then He carves a new smiling face. Our countenance is changed by the power of His presence in our life. We then become so grateful. It can even show on our face.

When we light the candle inside the pumpkin, it reflects the light from inside out. So too, when Jesus, who is called the Son of Light, lives inside of us, He shines through our life for all to see. We can let His light reflect through us to reveal His presence. "Let your light so shine before men that they may be able to see your good works and glorify your Father, who is in heaven."

--author unknown

AllWorship Prayer



"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."1

Robert Munger writes about an American traveling in Syria who became acquainted with a shepherd. Each morning he noticed the shepherd taking food to a sheep that had a broken leg. As he looked at the animal, he asked the shepherd, "How did the sheep break its leg? Did it meet with an accident, fall into a hole, or did some animal break its leg?"

"No," said the shepherd, "I broke this sheep's leg myself."

"You broke it yourself?" queried the surprised traveler.

"Yes, you see, this is a wayward sheep; it would not stay with the flock, but would lead the sheep astray. Then it would not let me near it so I had to break the sheep's leg so that it would allow me, day by day to feed it. In doing this it will get to know me as its shepherd, trust me as its guide, and keep with the flock."2

Sometimes, just sometimes, when we insist of going our own stubborn way and leading others astray, the Shepherd of the fold, may have to "break our leg" too for our own good and that of others.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me the good sense to not only know what is the right thing to do but the courage to do it, so that I won't need to experience painful discipline. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Hebrews 12:11 (NIV).
2. Robert Boyd Munger in Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations by Paul Lee Tan.


NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon Click HERE.

Or if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, please click HERE to note this.

Acts International

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


When we have been wounded by the Church, our temptation is to reject it. But when we reject the Church it becomes very hard for us to keep in touch with the living Christ. When we say, "I love Jesus, but I hate the Church," we end up losing not only the Church but Jesus too. The challenge is to forgive the Church. This challenge is especially great because the Church seldom asks us for forgiveness, at least not officially. But the Church as an often fallible human organization needs our forgiveness, while the Church as the living Christ among us continues to offer us forgiveness.

It is important to think about the Church not as "over there" but as a community of struggling, weak people of whom we are part and in whom we meet our Lord and Redeemer.


Henri Nouwen Society

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


A of Daily Encounter by Dick Innes

"Here are six things God hates, and one more that he loathes with a passion."1

So what are the six-plus-one things that God hates?
1. eyes that are arrogant,
2. a tongue that lies,
3. hands that murder the innocent,
4. a heart that hatches evil plots,
5. feet that race down a wicked track,
6. a mouth that lies under oath,
7. a troublemaker in the family.2

The fact is that God hates all evil because it is diametrically opposed to his nature which is perfect holiness. Another reason God hates evil is because it is destructive to those whom God loves: us!
Furthermore, we too are to hate evil; that is, the actions of evil people. As God's Word instructs his people, "Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts."3 In other words we are to love the things God loves and hate the things God hates--naturally, for the right, not selfish motives. What is more, if God didn't hate evil, he wouldn't be God and he wouldn't be good. And if you and I don't hate evil, we can be sure that we don't love righteousness.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to become more and more God-like in my daily living and hate all evil, and never be guilty of committing the seven things that you loathe and all other evil practices. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Proverbs 6:16 (The Message).
2. Proverbs 6:17-19 (The Message).
3. Amos 5:15 (NIV)


A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet. He held up a sign which said: "I am blind, please help." There were only a few coins in the hat.

A man was walking by. He took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat. He then took the sign, turned it around, and wrote some words. He put the sign back so that everyone who walked by would see the new words. Soon the hat began to fill up. A lot more people were giving money to the blind boy. That afternoon the man who had changed the sign came to see how things were. The boy recognized his footsteps and asked, "Were you the one who changed my sign this morning? What did you write?"

The man said, "I only wrote the truth. I said what you said but in a different way." I wrote: "Today is a beautiful day but I cannot see it." Both signs told people that the boy was blind. But the first sign simply said the boy was blind. The second sign told people that they were so lucky that they were not blind. Should we be surprised that the second sign was more effective?

Moral of the Story: Be thankful for what you have. Be creative. Be innovative. Think differently and positively. When life gives you 100 reasons to cry, show life that you have 1000 reasons to smile Face your past without regret. Handle your present with confidence. Prepare for the future without fear. Keep the faith and drop the fear. The most beautiful thing is to see a person smiling. And even more beautiful is knowing that you are the reason behind it.

-- Author Unknown

WeekEnd Encounter


Paul said:" I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile."Rom1:16

Paul said:" but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile." Rom2:10

Paul said:" I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:"The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob."Rom11:25-26

Jesus said:" But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of earth."Acts1:8

Let us pray for the Jews. The Church must pray for the Jews because all these while we have neglected to pray for the needs of the Jews. We did not consider the desires of God - First for the Jew!

Monday, October 25, 2010


“‘What do you want me to do for you?’ Jesus asked him” (Mk. 10:51). The blind man had been crying out aloud, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” (v. 48). The cry had reached the ear of the Lord; He knew what he wanted, and was ready to grant it him. But before He does it, He asks him: “What do you want me to do for you?” He wants to hear from his own lips, not only the general petition for mercy, but the distinct expression of what his desire was. Until he speaks it out, he is not healed.

There is now still many a supplicant to whom the Lord puts the same question, and who cannot, until it has been answered, get the aid he asks. Our prayers must not be a vague appeal to His mercy, an indefinite cry for blessing, but the distinct expression of definite need. Not that His loving heart does not understand our cry, or is not ready to hear. But He desires it for our own sakes.

Such definite prayer teaches us to know our own needs better. It demands time, and thought, and self-scrutiny to find out what really is our greatest need. It searches us and puts us to the test as to whether our desires are honest and real, such as we are ready to persevere in. It leads us to judge whether our desires are according to God’s Word, and whether we really believe that we shall receive the things we ask. It helps us to wait for the special answer, and to mark it when it comes.

Is Our Prayer Vague?

And yet how much of our prayer is vague and pointless. Some cry for mercy, but take not the trouble to know what mercy must do for them. Others ask, perhaps, to be delivered from sin, but do not begin by bringing any sin by name from which the deliverance may be claimed. Still others pray for God’s blessing on those around them, for the outpouring of God’s Spirit on their land or the world, and yet have no special field where they wait and expect to see the answer.

To all the Lord says: And what is it now you really want and expect Me to do? Every Christian has but limited powers, and as he must have his own special field of labor in which he works, so with his prayers too. Each believer has his own circle, his family, his friends, his neighbors. If he were to take one or more of these by name, he would find that this really brings him into the training-school of faith, and leads to personal and pointed dealing with his God.

As long as in prayer we just pour out our hearts in a multitude of petitions, without taking time to see whether every petition is sent with the purpose and expectation of getting an answer, not many will reach the mark. But if, as in silence of soul we bow before the Lord, we were to ask such questions as these—What is now really my desire? Do I desire it in faith, expecting to receive? Am I now ready to place and leave it in the Father’s bosom?—then we should learn so to pray that God would see and we would know what we really expect.

It is for this, among other reasons, that the Lord warns us against the vain repetitions of the Gentiles, who think to be heard for their much praying (see Mt. 6:7). We often hear prayers of great earnestness and fervor, in which a multitude of petitions are poured forth, but to which the Savior would undoubtedly answer: What do you want Me to do for you?

Family and Business “Letters”

If I am in a strange land, in the interests of the business which my father owns, I will certainly write two different sorts of letters. There will be family letters giving expression to all the intercourse to which affection prompts; and there will be business letters, containing orders for what I need. And there may be letters in which both are found.

The answers I receive will correspond to the letters. To each sentence of the letters containing the family news I do not expect a special answer. But for each order I send I am confident of an answer whether the desired article has been forwarded.

In our dealings with God the business element must not be lacking. Along with our expression of need and sin, of love and faith and consecration, there must be the pointed statement of what we ask and expect to receive. It is in the answer to these that the Father loves to give us the token of His approval and acceptance.

Andrew Murray



"He [Jesus, the Christ] 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

David Seamands tells the story about an old farmer who was in an automobile wreck. Along came an amateur lawyer who inspected the bashed fenders and battered doors and said to the farmer, "Man, you ought to collect some damages for this." The puzzled farmer wisely replied, "Damages? I've collected enough damages already. What I need are some repairs!"2

And isn't that what we all need—repairs; that is, healing of our sin-sick soul?

The question constantly being asked is: "If God is a God of love, why does he allow such damages or suffering in the world?" "Why does he allow children to starve?" "Why does he allow terrorism to continue?" "Why does God allow all the problems in the world to continue? When will Jesus return to take all God's children to Heaven and end all this misery here on earth at least for his children?"

I don't know when Jesus will return but with the ever increasing conflict between militant Muslims (Islam) and the Jews, Christians and Westerners (the infidels), the stage could be being set for the final world conflict that will signify the imminent return (or immediately follow the return) of Jesus to earth to take his children home to glory—where God will wipe away all tears and where all sadness, suffering, and sickness will be no more.

In the meantime, however, we happen to live in a broken, sin-sick world where we suffer not because God left us but because we, the human race, left God and consequently reap the results that sin produces. As a result, we desperately need the healing of our soul provided through the punishment, crucifixion, and death of Jesus Christ who died in our place on the cross in order to pay the penalty for our sins so that we could receive God's free pardon and the gift of eternal life.

While we still live in this sin-sick world, we will continue to see all the pain and suffering that a sin-sick world produces. However, once we accept God's gift of salvation, he will heal our sin-sick soul and give us peace in the midst of this suffering world knowing that our sins are forgiven, that our soul has been healed, and that we are on our way to Heaven.

The critical question is not why does God allow suffering, but rather, why don't we turn back to God and receive his full and free pardon? If you haven't accepted God's pardon, be sure to see No. 3 below and read "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian—without having to be religious."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to find healing for my sin-sick soul and for my damaged emotions so I will experience the abundant life you have planned for all your children. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Isaiah 53:5 (NKJV).
2. David Seamands in his taped message, Damaged Emotions, a copy of which can be purchased at


Acts International


Sunday, October 24, 2010


We are blessed to have two types of peace: the peace of God and peace with God.

When Christ shed His blood at Calvary, He paid the price for our peace and reconciliation with God. But in addition to no longer being separated from our Creator, when we walk with Christ in faith, we can experience the peace of God-no matter what is swirling around us.

It's an incredible privilege, knowing that God never forsakes us and being in His presence continuously. We cannot see Him, but we can still know with certainty that He is near as we enjoy His fellowship through prayer and Bible meditation.

God's peace is available to all who will receive Him and allow Him to be an intimate part of their lives. He wants to teach us how to walk in perfect peace. He longs to spend time with us and to be all we need in every situation. He can handle all of our cares and pressures.

Have you drawn near to God? Have you leaned on Him with all your needs and concerns? Are you ready to enjoy His peace?

Lord, thank You for the peace of knowing You. Give me grace to walk more closely with You today and enjoy Your peace more deeply. Amen.

--author unknown

AllWorship <:))))><

Friday, October 22, 2010


As Jesus was one human person among many, the Church is one organization among many. And just as there may have been people with more attractive appearances than Jesus, there may be many organizations that are a lot better run than the Church. But Jesus is the Christ appearing among us to reveal God's love, and the Church is his people called together to make his presence visible in today's world.

Would we have recognized Jesus as the Christ if we had met him many years ago? Are we able to recognize him today in his body, the Church? We are asked to make a leap of faith. If we dare to do it our eyes will be opened and we will see the glory of God.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


The Church is the people of God. The Latin word for "church," ecclesia, comes from the Greek ek, which means "out," and kaleo, which means "to call." The Church is the people of God called out of slavery to freedom, sin to salvation, despair to hope, darkness to light, an existence centered on death to an existence focused on life.

When we think of Church we have to think of a body of people, travelling together. We have to envision women, men, and children of all ages, races, and societies supporting one another on their long and often tiresome journeys to their final home.


"Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?" declares the LORD. "Do not I fill heaven and earth?"1

Tim Timmons and Stephen Arteburn in their book, Hooked on Life, tell about a middle-aged woman who made her way into an apartment building to the twelfth floor. As she arrived at her intended destination, she rang the doorbell impatiently. The door opened mysteriously, and she was welcomed by the smell of incense and smoke. She entered and was greeted by a slightly dressed young girl who announced her presence with the sounding of a huge gong. With this the young girl said, "Do you wish to see the all-knowing, all-powerful, the wonderful one, Maharishi Narru?"

"Yeah," the woman said. "Tell Sheldon his mother is here!"

We laugh at such folly in others, while at the same time, most of us to some degree hide behind some kind of phony facade. It may not be as absurd as what we have just read about, but when it comes to trying to hide from God, that's impossible. God knows all. He sees all. He knows who I am . . . where I am . . . why I am here . . . where I am going . . . what I am doing . . . and what I am not doing. No matter how I try, I cannot hide from God! No way. Period!

As David wrote in the Psalms, "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."2

The best thing is to tell God who you are, where you are, what you want, what you don't want, what you are afraid of, what you don't want to give up, etc., etc. Only when we get honest with ourselves and real with God, can he (or anyone else) help us.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please open my eyes so I can see any way in which I may be deceiving myself, or running from your perfect plan and will for my life. Help me to be honest with myself and honest with you—knowing that the best thing in the world for me is the purpose you have for my life. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Jeremiah 23:24 (NIV).
2. Psalm 139:7-10 (NIV).


Acts International


The two main sacraments, baptism and the Eucharist, are the spiritual pillars of the Church. They are not simply instruments by which the Church exercises its ministry. They are not just means by which we become and remain members of the Church but belong to the essence of the Church. Without these sacraments there is no Church.
The Church is the body of Christ fashioned by baptism and the Eucharist. When people are baptised in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and when they gather around the table of Christ and receive his Body and Blood, they become the people of God, called the Church.

Henri Nouwen Society

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."1

You've no doubt heard about the three birds that are sitting on a telephone wire. Two of them decide to fly south. How many are left? One? No. It's three. This is because deciding to fly south isn't the same as doing it.

It's a bit like the difference between a want and a wish. I may want to lose some extra pounds and decide to do it, but don't do anything about it. This makes my desire and decision to lose weight nothing more than a wish.

In life it's not what I say, wish, or decide that counts. It's what I do. Action always needs to follow one's decision. Otherwise it is meaningless.

Have you been wanting to make amends with a friend whom you hurt or who has hurt you, or with whom you had a difference? Have you been meaning to visit a shut-in elderly person, make a phone call, send a card, or write a letter to a friend in need, buy flowers for your wife or special friend? Then don't delay. Do it today.

As Michael Josephson said, "Good intentions are simply not enough. Our character is defined and our lives are determined not by what we want, say or think, but by what we do.

And as God's Word says, "Do not merely listen to the word [God's Word, the Bible], and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be a doer of your word and not just a listener. Help me to be a proactive person and make good things happen and not be an uninvolved bystander. And help me to always practice what I preach. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. James 1:22 (NIV).


NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon Click HERE.

Or if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, please click HERE to note this.

Acts International - Daily Encouragement


As we gather around the Eucharistic table and make the death and resurrection of Jesus our own by sharing in the "bread of life" and the "cup of salvation," we become together the living body of Christ.

The Eucharist is the sacrament by which we become one body. Becoming one body is not becoming a team or a group or even a fellowship. Becoming one body is becoming the body of Christ. It is becoming the living Lord, visibly present in the world. It is - as often has been said - becoming the mystical Body of Christ. But mystical and real are the same in the realm of the Spirit.

Henri Nouwen Society - Daily Meditation

Monday, October 11, 2010


"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."1

"A national news program conducted a study of fifty people who have lived over 100 years and still lead active, happy lives. . . . The researchers specifically looked for similarities in diet, exercise, lifestyle and habits that could contribute to their longevity and quality of life. What they found was amazing.

"Through an extensive interviewing process, the news team found that some of the participants in this study had what would be considered good diets. An equal number of people were not as healthy in their food choices. Exercise and other areas of lifestyle were also not found to be a common thread throughout the group.

"However, two things were overwhelmingly consistent among over 90 percent of those studied. What were these consistent traits? Nine out of ten said that throughout their entire lives they awoke every morning with an attitude of gratitude for one more day of life and that they saw each day as a precious gift. Secondly, nine out of ten stated that they felt life was too short to hold grudges or spend time complaining, and they forgave people quickly and refused to dwell on negative thoughts."2

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, when I am faced with a challenge, a setback, a disappointment, a loss, pain, or a difficult circumstance over which I seem to have no control, please help me to genuinely say thank you for the opportunity to grow and for the lessons to be learned, and help me to 'hear' what wisdom and guidance you always give to a grateful heart. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV).
2. Larry DiAngi, "Going Beyond Common Miles," The Magic Is in the Extra Mile, 11-12. Cited on KneEmail, Mike Benson, Editor,


NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon Click HERE.

Or if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, please click HERE to note this.

Acts International - Daily Inspiration

Saturday, October 9, 2010


When we gather for the Eucharist we gather in the Name of Jesus, who is calling us together to remember his death and resurrection in the breaking of the bread. There he is truly among us. "Where two or three meet in my name," he says, "I am there among them" (Matthew 18:20).
The presence of Jesus among us and in the gifts of bread and wine are the same presence. As we recognise Jesus in the breaking of the bread, we recognise him also in our brothers and sisters. As we give one another the bread, saying: "This is the Body of Christ," we give ourselves to each other saying: "We are the Body of Christ." It is one and the same giving, it is one and the same body, it is one and the same Christ. -

Henri Nouwen Society


When we gather for the Eucharist we gather in the Name of Jesus, who is calling us together to remember his death and resurrection in the breaking of the bread. There he is truly among us. "Where two or three meet in my name," he says, "I am there among them" (Matthew 18:20).
The presence of Jesus among us and in the gifts of bread and wine are the same presence. As we recognise Jesus in the breaking of the bread, we recognise him also in our brothers and sisters. As we give one another the bread, saying: "This is the Body of Christ," we give ourselves to each other saying: "We are the Body of Christ." It is one and the same giving, it is one and the same body, it is one and the same Christ. -

Henri Nouwen Society

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."1

Ravi Zacharias shared how "during the Cold War, a Christian from the U.S. was visiting Romania. It was a gray, cold day, and all the faces around him reflected that gray, cold atmosphere. But in the midst of the gloom, the Christian man heard someone whistling a tune. It was an old hymn, 'The Great Physician now is here, the sympathizing Jesus.'

"The Christian man spotted the whistler and began walking alongside him. Because Christians were persecuted by the government, he took care not to publicly identify his allegiance. He simply began whistling the same tune. The Romanian man stopped, a big smile spreading over his face. He pointed to heaven. So did the American man. He pointed to his heart. The American did too. Then he reached out and grabbed the American in a big bear hug. Neither man could speak the other's language, but they knew instantly that they were brothers in the faith.

"How did these two men from opposite ends of the world, from different cultures and different languages, come to worship a Jewish carpenter? Because someone told the story of Jesus to someone else, who told it to someone else, who told it to someone else, until it reached Jerusalem, and Judea, and Samaria and all the ends of the earth."2

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please use me today in some way to communicate your love, and in so doing, be a powerful witness to your saving grace in my life. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

Note: To help reach out to others with the saving gospel message of Jesus Christ, please join with us as a People Power for Jesus Partner at:

1. Acts 1:8 (NIV).
2. Ravi Zacharias, Deliver Us From Evil (Nashville: Word Publishing, 1997), pp. 103-104.


Acts International - Daily Encounter

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


When the two disciples recognised Jesus as he broke the bread for them in their house in Emmaus, he "vanished from their sight" (Luke 24:31). The recognition and the disappearance of Jesus are one and the same event. Why? Because the disciples recognised that their Lord Jesus, the Christ, now lives in them ... that they have become Christ-bearers. Therefore, Jesus no longer sits across the table from them as the stranger, the guest, the friend with whom they can speak and from whom they can receive good counsel. He has become one with them. He has given them his own Spirit of Love. Their companion on the journey has become the companion of their souls. They are alive, yet it is no longer them, but Christ living in them (see Galatians 2:20).

Henri Nouwen's Society - Daily Meditation

Monday, October 4, 2010

Parable of the Candles

There was a blackout one night. When the lights went out, I fumbled to the closet where we keep the candles for nights like this ... I lit four of them.

I was turning to leave with the large candle in my hand when I heard a voice, "Now, hold it right there."

"Who said that?"

"I did." The voice was near my hand.

"Who are you? What are you?"

"I'm a candle."

I lifted up the candle to take a closer look. There was a tiny face in the wax.

"Don't take me out of here!"


"I said, Don't take me out of this room."

"What do you mean? I have to take you out. You're a candle. Your job is to give light. It's dark out there."

"But you can't take me out. I'm not ready," the candle explained with pleading eyes. "I need more preparation."

I couldn't believe my ears. "More preparation?"

"Yeah, I've decided I need to research this job of light-giving so I won't go out and make a bunch of mistakes. You'd be surprised how distorted the glow of an untrained candle can be ...."

"All right then," I said. "You're not the only candle on the shelf. I'll blow you out and take the others!"

But right then I heard other voices, "We aren't going either!" I turned to the other candles, "You are candles and your job is to light dark places!"

"Well, that may be what you think," said the first one, "You may think we have to go, but I'm busy ... I'm meditating on the importance of light. It's really enlightening."

"And you other two," I asked, "are you going to stay too?"

A short, fat, purple candle with plump cheeks spoke up. "I'm waiting to get my life together, I'm not stable enough."

The last candle had a female voice, very pleasant to the ear. "I'd like to help," she explained, "but lighting the darkness is not my gift ... I'm a singer. I sing to other candles to encourage them to burn more brightly."

She began a rendition of "This Little Light of Mine." The other three joined in, filling the closet with singing.... I took a step back and considered the absurdity of it all. Four perfectly healthy candles singing to each other about light but refusing to come out of the closet.

Here is a question for you, when was the last time you shared the gospel to someone? This world is full of darkness, with many people stumbling around trying to find their way. You can be a light for them, and believe me, there's a light waiting for you. It can all happen with something as sharing the faith, to just a smile across the room, to a quick hello to a forgotten friend.

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your father which is in heaven" (Matthew 5:14-16)

Max Lucado

Drip . . . Drip . . . Drip

"Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter."1

Less than a decade ago an openly gay Episcopalian priest was appointed as a bishop in the Episcopal Church—many church members were appalled while others rejoiced. Also, until the court stepped in and put a temporary halt to it, the Mayor of San Francisco became a law unto himself and married numerous gay couples. Many were appalled while others rejoiced.

About this situation Steven Higginbotham wrote: "The door has been cracked opened with regard to the definition of marriage in allowing homosexuals to marry, so now a polygamist in Utah, who has five wives, is appealing bigamy convictions brought against him on the basis of this court ruling. This man's lawyer is arguing that the decriminalization of homosexual sex is no different than polygamy."2

So what will come next? Will fornication and adultery also be approved because people can't help to whom they are attracted? Or what about pedophiles? Will their seduction of children be accepted because they can't help whom they are attracted to? Will they claim that they were born this way and this therefore justifies their behavior?

That could never happen here we say. Don't bank on it. Our parents would have sworn that gay marriage would never have been accepted here either. According to Wikipedia Encyclopedia, "Nationwide, five states [in the U.S.] have legalized same-sex marriage as a result of a court ruling, while three others have done so through a vote in their respective state legislatures."3

No society crashes overnight. It's like the proverbial drip . . . drip . . . drip of water that eventually wears away the stone, or like the "umpteenth" blow of the hammer that breaks the rock in two. Little by little it's the relentless drip . . . drip . . . drip by those who oppose all that is godly to justify what they want that ends up having people (including some church people) call good what God calls evil.

What we fail to realize is that we cannot break God's laws. We can oppose them. We can vote against them. We can disregard them, but we cannot break them. What we break is ourselves against them. As God's Word says, "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil." It has been said that the only thing we learn from history is that we don't learn from history.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help those of us who claim to be Christian, which includes me, know what your Word teaches and stand firm upon it and not be lured into the trap of so called 'political correctness' and thereby conform to the standards of the world about us. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

NOTE: To support the Institution of Marriage; the Preservation of Religious Liberty; and the Sanctity of Life for future generations, please read and sign the Manhattan Declaration at:

1. Isaiah 5:20 (NIV).
2. Steve Higginbotham, "Yesterday's Fringe, Today's Center," South Green Street Church of Christ Weekly Newsletter, Vol. 23, No. 2, Jan. 12, 2004. Cited in KneEmail #594: at
3. as of February 2, 2010.


Acts International - Daily Encounter

Friday, October 1, 2010


"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me."1

A party of tourists was on its way to Palestine and their guide was describing some of the customs of the East.

He was explaining how in England, for example, a shepherd follows the sheep, but in the East the shepherd leads the way and the sheep follow him for they know his voice.

When the tourist group reached Palestine one of the first sights they saw was a flock of sheep not being led by the shepherd but being driven along by the man. The guide, being perplexed, stopped to talk to the shepherd.

"How is it that you are driving these sheep?" he asked. "I have always been told that the Eastern shepherd leads his sheep."

"You are quite right, sir," replied the man. "The shepherd does lead his sheep. But you see I'm not the shepherd. I'm the butcher."2

With so many religious voices today vying for the hearts and minds of adherents, we need to be certain that we know Jesus, the true Shepherd, recognize his voice and follow him. Remember that there are many false prophets that are nothing but "butchers" in sheep's clothing.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to know for certain that I am committed to Jesus, the true Shepherd. Help me never to stray from him, always know his voice, and follow him. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. John 10:27 (KJV).
2. Church of God Evangel.


Acts International - Daily Encounter