Friday, December 2, 2011


The Bible on Polygamy and Same-Sex Marriage
"A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach."1

1. Polygamy

A Daily Encounter subscriber from Africa asks, please let us know what the Bible teaches about polygamy as here in Africa it is taken for granted even by some Christians.

It is true that in Old Testament days it was not uncommon for men to have more than one wife; this was true of both King David and King Solomon. In some instances if a woman's husband died, the brother of the husband who died was to take his late-brother's wife to be his wife even if he was already married (See Deuteronomy 25:5). This was to preserve his brother's family line. It is my understanding, too, that in other instances men had more than one wife so that some women wouldn't be forced into prostitution, slavery or starvation in order to survive.

In the New Testament, however, 1 Timothy 3:2, 12 and Titus 1:6 give "'the husband of one wife' in a list of qualifications for spiritual leadership…. While these qualifications are specifically for positions of spiritual leadership, they should apply equally to all Christians. Should not all Christians be 'above reproach…temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money' (1 Timothy 3:2-4). If we are called to be holy (1 Peter 1:16), and if these standards are holy for elders and deacons, then they are holy for all."2

Furthermore, in Ephesians 5:22-33 wherever the Apostle Paul is giving instructions to husbands and wives his directives are always in the singular; that is, they are never plural in either multiple wives or husbands.

2. Same-Sex Marriage

Another prominent question that many are asking today is what does the Bible have to say about same sex marriage?

"While the Bible does address homosexuality, it does not explicitly mention gay marriage/same-sex marriage. It is clear, however, that the Bible condemns homosexuality as an immoral and unnatural sin. Leviticus 18:22 identifies homosexual sex as an abomination, a detestable sin. Romans 1:26-27 declares homosexual desires and actions to be shameful, unnatural, lustful, and indecent. First Corinthians 6:9 states that homosexuals are unrighteous and will not inherit the kingdom of God. Since both homosexual desires and actions are condemned in the Bible, it is clear that homosexuals 'marrying' is not God's will, and would be, in fact, sinful.

"Whenever the Bible mentions marriage, it is between a male and a female. The first mention of marriage, Genesis 2:24, describes it as a man leaving his parents and being united to his wife. In passages that contain instructions regarding marriage, such as 1 Corinthians 7:2-16 and Ephesians 5:23-33, the Bible clearly identifies marriage as being between a man and a woman. Biblically speaking, marriage is the lifetime union of a man and a woman, primarily for the purpose of building a family and providing a stable environment for that family."3

The Bible makes it clear that marriage, which is ordained by God, is to be between a man and a woman. Same-sex marriage is thus a perversion of God's plan for marriage. (Genesis 2:21-24; Matthew 19:4-6).

And as Ronald Reagan so wisely said some years ago, "As goes the family so goes the nation."

In My Genes. Many gay and homosexual people claim that their attraction to and desire for the same sex is in their genes so there is nothing they can do about it but give in to it. This may or may not be true but the fact is that sin is in my genes (actually in everybody's genes), as the Bible says, "For I was born a sinner—yes, from the moment my mother conceived me" Psalm 51:5 (NLT). But does this give me the right and an excuse to do what I hunger or "passion" to do? Of course not. Such would be absurd and end up destroying just about everyone.

Keep in mind, though, while God loves all sinners—including you and me—he hates all sin because sin is totally destructive to those whom he loves: you and me. Christians are to do the same; that is we are to love all sinners but not accept any actions that God's Word labels as sin. We are also called to be the "salt of the earth" and as such we need to take a stand against all sin and evil and live as well as speak the truth.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for your Word, the Bible, which gives all mankind clear instructions for every area of living—all of which is for the protection and good of all mankind. Please give me the desire to learn what your Word teaches and the desire, will and help to live accordingly. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. 1 Timothy 3:2 (NKJV).
2. From Got
3. From Got


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

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Having Reverence and Respect for the Body

In so many ways we use and abuse our bodies. Jesus' coming to us in the body and his being lifted with his body in the glory of God call us to treat our bodies and the bodies of others with great reverence and respect.

God, through Jesus, has made our bodies sacred places where God has chosen to dwell. Our faith in the resurrection of the body, therefore, calls us to care for our own and one another's bodies with love. When we bind one another's wounds and work for the healing of one another's bodies, we witness to the sacredness of the human body, a body destined for eternal life. <:))))><

Henri Nouwen Society

Friday, November 11, 2011


I don't know how you feel to see that single parenthood life is becoming more admirable and an alternative to marriage, and the church seems to be getting more and more comfortable with it. Financial independence seems to be the only required ingredient to a family unit. Is God as comfortable as we seem to be?

A friend's marriage was falling apart for many genuine painful reasons but one day she made a decision to involve God to help. She prayed to God to save her husband and make him a pastor.

She spent six continuous months in serious prayers until God answered her desire and today her husband is a good pastor, a wonderful husband and father.

But before God changed the husband, God dealt with this friend first. She quit complaining and determined that she was to do her part as unto God.

God is not blind, brethren. God transformed her attitude to one of not fault finding or revenging. She saw her husband as one in need of God, not one full of faults.

May God help us realize that much as we would like to own our marriages, marriage is as sacred as life since it is not a man's idea, but God's.

If we honor God seriously and care for His institution, we will be concerned and view our marriages not as our own, but God's property.

Before we give up on our marriages, have we taken time to involve the Initiator of it all on a serious note?

May God help us individually to make a decision to work on our marriages with God as the interested party.

In marriage, we sign up to succeed, and the beauty of it all is that one can refer to the Initiator for help.

And God is very much wiling to help and is able to sustain a victorious marriage, helping us to understand that love does not give up!

by Mumbi Vickie Ngangu

Thursday, November 10, 2011

10, 2011

Wilberforce: The Great Parliamentarian Reformer

"Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God."1

To be politically correct many would say that Christians should keep out of the political arena. But think about William Wilberforce (1759–1833), the British politician who became the leader of the movement to abolish the inhumane slave trade. His life is a prime example of Christian political activism par excellence.

When he first became a committed Christian, however, he seriously considered withdrawing from parliament, but John Newton (a former slave trader himself) and author of one of the world's best known hymns, "Amazing Grace, " convinced Wilberforce to remain in parliament, as God had placed him there for a useful purpose. It turned out that as a politician Wilberforce had a much greater influence on the social ills of his day, and campaigned fervently for decades to help, with other Christian leaders, end the slave trade. He was actually dying when he received word of his success re the end of the slave trade.

Wilberforce said, "God Almighty has set before me two great objects, the suppression of the slave trade and the reformation of manners."

To this task this one man committed his entire life … and helped greatly to change a great part of the world. Would that we had such parliamentarian reformers today! There is a desperate need for them. Furthermore, you and I may never become another Wilberforce, but with God's help each one of us can make a lasting and eternal impact on the world in which we live and circulate. Will YOU volunteer today to be one of these persons? Remember, we Christians are called by Christ to be the salt (purifying effect) of the earth.2

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me in whatever role my life is invested to be actively involved in being 'salt of the earth,' and thereby help in a positive way to be a purifying effect in every area of life here on earth. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Romans 13:1. (NIV).
2. Matthew 5:13.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011


,這就是永生。」(約十七3) 過去我們都是在
我們的神,因為我們是照祂形像所造的。 林大中

Monday, May 2, 2011


Jesus said to them, 'Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News to all creation'. (Mark 16)

I feel like praying that my life might become simple enough for me to be able to say 'yes' when Jesus looks at me with love and invites me to leave everything behind and follow him.

Henri Nouwen

LORD, help your servants to proclaim your message with all boldness

And now Lord... help your servants to proclaim your message with all boldness. (Acts 4)

We seldom fully realize that we have to choose how, where and with whom to live. We act as if we were simply dropped down in creation and have to decide how to entertain ourselves until we die. But we were sent into the world by God, just as Jesus was. Once we start living our lives with that conviction, we will soon know what we were sent to do.

Henri Nouwen

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday - April 22, 2011

Like a sapling he grew up in front of us, like a root in arid ground. Without beauty, without majesty (we saw him), no looks to attract our eyes; a thing despised and rejected, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering, a man to make people screen their faces; he was despised and we took no account of him. And yet, ours were the sufferings he bore, ours the sorrows he carried. (Isaiah 52)

The enormous anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane is the anguish of Jesus who yearns for the love of his friends, but they don't realize it. He longs to give them love but they haven't opened themselves to receive it. This is the enormous anguish of God who is only love...who leaves people free to accept or reject that love.

Henri Nouwen

Thursday, March 10, 2011


A Lenten Prayer

The Lenten season begins. It is a time to be with you, Lord, in a special way, a time to pray, to fast, and thus to follow you on your way to Jerusalem, to Golgotha, and to the final victory over death.

I am still so divided. I truly want to follow you, but I also want to follow my own desires and lend an ear to the voices that speak about prestige, success, pleasure, power, and influence. Help me to become deaf to these voices and more attentive to your voice, which calls me to choose the narrow road to life.

I know that Lent is going to be a very hard time for me. The choice for your way has to be made every moment of my life. I have to choose thoughts that are your thoughts, words that are your words, and actions that are your actions. There are not times or places without choices. And I know how deeply I resist choosing you.

Please, Lord, be with me at every moment and in every place. Give me the strength and the courage to live this season faithfully, so that, when Easter comes, I will be able to taste with joy the new life that you have prepared for me.


Henri Nouwen

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Clergy flameout is not necessary and may be preventable

By Bill Ellis
Special to ASSIST News Service
SCOTT DEPOT, WV (ANS) -- Twenty-four hours after a snowstorm in Teays Valley, WV, I walked out to the highway to pick up the Saturday morning Charleston Gazette-Mail newspaper, the largest in the state.

Back at the kitchen table and a cup of hot chocolate, I opened the paper to a well-written story by Ron Orozco of McClatchy Newspapers, "Churches confront issue of 'clergy burnout'."

Orozco's thought-provoking story centered around Fresno, CA, one of my favorite areas in the United States.

There are negatives, but many positives as well. I do not know of anything burning out that was not at one time on fire and burning brightly. I will consider those of the clergy family.

Clergypersons are the spiritual leaders, ministers, preachers, teachers and shepherds. Paul wrote to the faithful in Ephesus, "And He gave some apostles . . . and some pastors and teachers" (Ephesians 4:11). The Bible also refers to them as "Ambassadors for Christ" (2 Cor. 5:20).

To "burn out" means, we can safely assume, that something or a person was once on fire.

A man or woman senses their "call to the ministry" with the deep conviction that this "is what God wants me to do." After some years of preparation, whether it be little or as it is more often in our day, involving a bachelor's degree and then a graduate degree of 45-90 semester hours of graduate study -- the day of ordination may arrive.

How does this person of such tremendous possibilities "flameout" or "burnout" after years in the ministry? If I were the speaker for a pastor's conference or seminar for professional and business leaders, as I have been many times, here are a few things I would emphasize to prevent "burnout".

1. They may have heard too many sermons on the piety of "wearing out and not rusting out" in God's work. Sounds good, but may be a little on the stupid side of ministry.

2. Married clergy members who become distracted by those of the opposite sex are headed for disaster.

3. Successful clergy persons, like many narcissistic athletes and politicians, read too many of their own headlines.

4. They want to do things Jesus did not do. They want to be present before they are even called. Always being on the job 24-7 does not convey much more than an abundance of ignorance.

5. Churches and pastors should see to it that the pastor eats, sleeps, exercises, reads, studies, relaxes as is becoming to healthy and spiritual people. How about a "weigh-in" each month for the pastor? Deduct five dollars from the weekly check for every pound he is overweight?

6. Churches should be aware that it is much less expensive to keep a pastor healthy and functioning positively and successfully than it is to go through a church and leadership wreck. "Humpty Dumpty" falls are often beyond repair. All the superintendents and bishops cannot put it back together again.

7. Churches should make certain that pastors are on complete vacation with their families at least six weeks of each year. If a pastor's parents are living, send him home to Mom and Dad twice each year no matter how far away they live. A week with parents helps the "greatest preacher" among us get his feet back on the ground. He is still a little boy trying to grow up in their house. Putting your feet three times a day under Mom's table will do more than visiting the counselor's office or the psychiatrist's couch.

Samuel Butler defined a clergyman as "A human Sunday." A clergyman is also a human Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Pastors are human and they need lots of help from other humans so all can succeed and be faithful to the very end.


When God makes a covenant with us, God says: "I will love you with an everlasting love. I will be faithful to you, even when you run away from me, reject me, or betray me." In our society we don't speak much about covenants; we speak about contracts. When we make a contract with a person, we say: "I will fulfill my part as long as you fulfill yours. When you don't live up to your promises, I no longer have to live up to mine." Contracts are often broken because the partners are unwilling or unable to be faithful to their terms.

But God didn't make a contract with us; God made a covenant with us, and God wants our relationships with one another to reflect that covenant. That's why marriage, friendship, life in community are all ways to give visibility to God's faithfulness in our lives together.

Henri Nouwen's Society


1) Prayer is not a "spare wheel" that you pull out when in trouble. It is a "steering wheel" that directs us in the right path throughout life.

2) Do you know why a car's windshield is so large and the rear view mirror is so small? Because our past is not as important as our future. So, look ahead and move on.

3) Friendship is like a book. It takes few seconds to burn, but it takes years to write.

4) All things in life are temporary. If going well, enjoy it; it may not last forever. If going wrong, don't worry; it may not last long either.

5) Old friends are like gold! New friends are diamonds! If you get a diamond, don't forget the gold! Because to hold a diamond, you always need a base of gold!

6) Often when we lose hope and think this is the end, God smiles and says, "Relax, it's just a bend, not the end!"

7) When God solves your problems, you have faith in His abilities; when God doesn't solve your problems, He has faith in your abilities.

8) A blind person asked St. Anthony: "Can there be anything worse than losing eye sight?" He replied: "Yes, losing your vision."

9) When you pray for others, God listens to you and blesses them; and sometimes, when you are safe and happy, remember that someone has prayed for you.

10) Worrying does not take away tomorrow's troubles. It takes away today's peace.

--author unknown AllWorship

Thursday, March 3, 2011


There is much emphasis on notoriety and fame in our society. Our newspapers and television keep giving us the message: What counts is to be known, praised, and admired, whether you are a writer, an actor, a musician, or a politician.

Still, real greatness is often hidden, humble, simple, and unobtrusive. It is not easy to trust ourselves and our actions without public affirmation. We must have strong self-confidence combined with deep humility. Some of the greatest works of art and the most important works of peace were created by people who had no need for the limelight. They knew that what they were doing was their call, and they did it with great patience, perseverance, and love.


Henri Nouwen Society

Friday, February 11, 2011

Another Second Chance

I have another second chance to to stop being self-centered, and treat every human being with love.
To stop expecting to receive and start giving.
To stop hiding my sins from God and start living fully in Him.
To listen more and talk less.
To enjoy the world more in Thanksgiving to God, the creator of it all
To take my eyes off my watch and listen to God's timing and leading.
To stop criticizing and show more love in acts and in prayer.
To be less forgetful and be more committed.
To be less angry and swallow my pride.
To share with the world what I have inside.
To stop hating and be more loving.
To give a little more of my precious time to the needy around me.
To give more encouragement and a lot more compliments.
To do a lot less judging for the log in my eye is bigger than my neighbor's speck.
To get my priorities in order and straight.
To stop hopelessly chasing after the wind.

From this point on, I begin to seek God more.
To find my way back to the God's humble grace.
Never again to lose my place.
Oh God, I thank you for giving me another second chance.

--author unknown


Consolation is a beautiful word. It means "to be" (con-) "with the lonely one" (solus). To offer consolation is one of the most important ways to care. Life is so full of pain, sadness, and loneliness that we often wonder what we can do to alleviate the immense suffering we see. We can and must offer consolation. We can and must console the mother who lost her child, the young person with AIDS, the family whose house burned down, the soldier who was wounded, the teenager who contemplates suicide, the old man who wonders why he should stay alive.

To console does not mean to take away the pain but rather to be there and say, "You are not alone, I am with you. Together we can carry the burden. Don't be afraid. I am here." That is consolation. We all need to give it as well as to receive it.

Henri Nouwen Society <:))))><

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Returning to God's Ever-Present Love

We often confuse unconditional love with unconditional approval. God loves us without conditions but does not approve of every human behavior. God doesn't approve of betrayal, violence, hatred, suspicion, and all other expressions of evil, because they all contradict the love God wants to instill in the human heart. Evil is the absence of God's love. Evil does not belong to God.

God's unconditional love means that God continues to love us even when we say or think evil things. God continues to wait for us as a loving parent waits for the return of a lost child. It is important for us to hold on to the truth that God never gives up loving us even when God is saddened by what we do. That truth will help us to return to God's ever-present love.


Henri Nouwen

Monday, February 7, 2011


What can we say about God's love? We can say that God's love is unconditional. God does not say, "I love you, if ..." There are no ifs in God's heart. God's love for us does not depend on what we do or say, on our looks or intelligence, on our success or popularity. God's love for us existed before we were born and will exist after we have died. God's love is from eternity to eternity and is not bound to any time-related events or circumstances. Does that mean that God does not care what we do or say? No, because God's love wouldn't be real if God didn't care. To love without condition does not mean to love without concern. God desires to enter into relationship with us and wants us to love God in return.

Let's dare to enter into an intimate relationship with God without fear, trusting that we will receive love and always more love.

Henri Nouwen Society

Friday, February 4, 2011


Kindness is a beautiful human attribute. When we say, "She is a kind person" or "He surely was kind to me," we express a very warm feeling. In our competitive and often violent world, kindness is not the most frequent response. But when we encounter it we know that we are blessed. Is it possible to grow in kindness, to become a kind person? Yes, but it requires discipline. To be kind means to treat another person as your "kin," your intimate relative. We say, "We are kin" or "He is next of kin." To be kind is to reach out to someone as being of "kindred" spirit.

Here is the great challenge: All people, whatever their color, religion, or sex, belong to humankind and are called to be kind to one another, treating one another as brothers and sisters. There is hardly a day in our lives in which we are not called to this.

Henri Nouwen Society


A successful businessman was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over the business.

Instead of choosing one of his directors or his children, he decided to do something different. He called all the young executives in his company together.

He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. I have decided to choose one of you."

The young executives were shocked, but the boss continued. "I am going to give each one of you a seed today--one very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO."

One man named Jim was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed. Every day, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow.

Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew.

Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing.

By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn't have a plant and he felt like a failure

Six months went by--still nothing in Jim's pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim didn't say anything to his colleagues; however, he just kept watering and fertilizing the soil. He so wanted the seed to grow.

A year finally went by and all the young executives of the company brought their plants to the CEO for inspection.

Jim told his wife that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But she asked him to be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick to his stomach, it was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right.

He took his empty pot to the board room.

When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful--in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed; a few felt sorry for him!

When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives.

Jim just tried to hide in the back.

"My, what great plants, trees and flowers you have grown," said the CEO. "Today, one of you will be appointed the next CEO!"

All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered the Financial Director to bring him to the front. Jim was terrified. He thought, "The CEO knows I'm a failure. Maybe he will have me fired."

When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed. Jim told him the story.

The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim.

He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, "Behold your next Chief Executive Officer! His name is Jim."

Jim couldn't believe it. Jim couldn't even grow his seed.

"How could he be the new CEO?" the others said.

Then the CEO said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today.

"But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead--it was not possible for them to grow.

"All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you.

"Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it.

"Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive Officer!"

If you plant honesty, you will reap trust.

If you plant goodness, you will reap friends.

If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.

If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment.

If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective.

If you plant hard work, you will reap success.

If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation.

So, be careful what you plant now. It will determine what you will reap later.

--author unknown

Thursday, February 3, 2011


We are all wounded people. Who wounds us? Often those whom we love and those who love us. When we feel rejected, abandoned, abused, manipulated, or violated, it is mostly by people very close to us: our parents, our friends, our spouses, our lovers, our children, our neighbors, our teachers, our pastors. Those who love us wound us too. That's the tragedy of our lives. This is what makes forgiveness from the heart so difficult. It is precisely our hearts that are wounded. We cry out, "You, who I expected to be there for me, you have abandoned me. How can I ever forgive you for that?"

Forgiveness often seems impossible, but nothing is impossible for God. The God who lives within us will give us the grace to go beyond our wounded selves and say, "In the Name of God you are forgiven." Let's pray for that grace.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


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

Henri Nouwen


A good counselor doesn't tell people what they should or shouldn't do. He helps them see for themselves what they need to do.

What I want from a friend when I am feeling in the pits, is someone to listen to me with their heart, to give me their presence, and accept me as I am, and let me know that they care—not try to fix me—or someone who will weep with me when I weep. Such friends may be rare but they are worth their weight in gold.

Quote from Dick Innes - Acts International

Monday, January 31, 2011


Recently, an NFL coach when being interviewed, was asked what he thought he would do if his team got to the Super Bowl.

His response was that he was not concerned about the Super Bowl, but about the next game at hand. He said it is the journey to the Super Bowl that one needs to enjoy instead of worrying about the major event before it was time.

In Genesis 1, God could have easily created the whole universe at once but He instead chose to go through a seven-day process, each day stopping to compliment and celebrate what he had created..saying it was good!

He is God who determines the end from the beginning; yet even with such knowledge, He chose to go through the process.

Many times in life, we tend to worry about the future and live our lives, missing the "now" moments.

Yet God has secured our future in Him and let's us go through a process to refine us and make us more like Him.

Maybe it's time for us to sit back and enjoy the "now" moments God has given us.

The breath you just took; your friend, family, or spouse; the job you have right now; the day you are living in right now; and many more.

Life is better lived when you live it giving thanks for your "now" moments because those moments are already here.

The past is gone, the future is not certain, but "now" is here!

Our final outcome is already determined but our reward depends on how we go through the process.

Enjoy the journey!

--by Philip Mafunga

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


"Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed."1

A Daily Encounter reader from South America writes: "My name is Juan and I am writing for help. I have a 'cannon' within that is destroying my life—it is the cannon of uncontrollable lust. I'm married but am unable to control myself. I have been unfaithful, each time telling myself it's the last time, yet again and again I fall. I've tried all within my will to stop but just can't. I've lost all sense of self-worth and just go through the motions of life. I love God and I miss the sweet fellowship I once used to enjoy. How do I stop from destroying myself and my family? Please help me."

Thank you, Juan, for the courage to admit that you have a problem with lust. This is the first step in the recovery from any problem. Next, while it may be difficult to do, it is important to admit that when lust causes one's life to be out of control, he is a sex addict.

Third, understand that many, if not most, addictions start as a means to avoid facing the pain of some inner unresolved issue. It is the "fruit of a deeper root."

Fourth, I urge you not only to confess your sin to God which you have said that you have done many times, but also to a trusted, safe male friend—one who will never betray your confidence—and keep yourself accountable to him. As God's Word says, "Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed."1

Fifth, I understand that you have already confessed your sexual sins to God, but you also need to earnestly ask God to help you to see if there are any unresolved issues in your life that are driving you to act out in lust and sexual sins. For example, lust that controls us is often a result of repressed love, so you may still unconsciously be looking for the "mother love" you never received as a child. Or you could be unconsciously angry at your mother and taking out your anger on other women. Whatever is the root cause of your problem God knows what it is so I encourage you to ask God to show you what it is.

Sixth, if possible, it could be a great help for you to become a member in a SA (Sex Anonymous) group, just like AA (Alcohol Anonymous), SA is organized to help people to be freed from their addiction.

Seventh, I also strongly encourage you to get some fine Christian counseling to help you discover and resolve the hidden cause or causes of your sex addiction.

Finally, the first thing every day be sure to commit and trust your life and way to God. He can make a much better job of your life than you can. Following is a suggested prayer:

"Again, today, Dear God I commit and trust my life and way to you. Please guide me in the way I need to go, help me to overcome my problem with lust and sexual sins, and become the man of God you want me to be. Also, I am available, please use me today to be 'as Jesus' in some way to every life I have contact with. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."

NOTE: I have quite a few articles on recovery so I suggest you go to and read some of these articles. Especially read the article "Lady of the Night" and "Adultery: Caught in the Act," Parts I and II.

1. James 5:16 (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.

Daily Encounter - Acts International


Once there were three trees on a hill in the woods.

They were discussing their hopes and dreams when the first tree said, "Someday I hope to be a treasure chest. I could be filled with gold, silver and precious gems. I could be decorated with intricate carvings and everyone would see the beauty."

Then the second tree said, "Someday I will be a mighty ship. I will take kings and queens across the waters and sail to the corners of the world. Everyone will feel safe in me because of the strength of my hull."

Finally, the third tree said, "I want to grow up to be the tallest and straightest tree in the forest. People will see me on top of the hill and look up to my branches, and think of the heavens and God and how close to them I am reaching. I will be the greatest tree of all time and people will always remember me."

After a few years of praying that their dreams would come true, a group of woodsmen came upon the trees. When one came to the first tree he said, "This looks like a strong tree, I think I should be able to sell the wood to a
carpenter," and he began cutting it down. The tree was happy because he knew that the carpenter would make him into a treasure chest.

At the second tree, the woodsman said, "This looks like a strong tree, I should be able to sell it to the shipyard." The second tree was happy
because he knew he was on his way to becoming a mighty ship.

When the woodsmen came upon the third tree, the tree was frightened because he knew that if they cut him down, his dreams would not come true. One of the woodsmen said, "I don't need anything special from my tree, I'll take this one," and he cut it down.

When the first tree arrived at the carpenters, he was made into a feed box for animals. He was then placed in a barn and filled with hay. This was not what he had prayed for.

The second tree was cut and made into a small fishing boat. His dreams of being a mighty ship and carrying kings had come to
an end.

The third tree was cut into large pieces and left alone in the dark.

The years went by, and the trees forgot about their dreams.

Then one day, a man and woman came to the barn. She gave birth and they placed the baby in the hay in the feed box that was made from the first tree. The man wished that he could have made a crib for the baby, but this manger would have to do. The tree could feel the importance of this event and knew that it had held the greatest treasure of all time.

Years later, a group of men got in the fishing boat made from the second tree. One of them was tired and went to sleep. While they were out on the water, a great storm arose and the tree didn't think it was strong enough to keep the men safe. The men woke the sleeping man, and He stood and said "Peace" and the storm stopped. At this time, the tree knew that it had carried the King of Kings in its boat.

Finally someone came and got the third tree. It was carried through the street as the people mocked the man who was carrying it. When they came to a stop, the man was nailed to the tree and raised in the air to die at the top of a hill. When Sunday came, the tree came to realize that it was strong enough to stand at the top of the hill and be as close to God as was possible, because Jesus had been crucified on it.

Each of the trees got what they wanted, just not in the way they had imagined but in ways greater than they had dared to hope.

--Author Unknown


Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Do you want to get more people praying? My best suggestion is to glean from your own conversations and relationship with God and start sharing the good things you find there. How are you seeing Him respond to the things you share with Him and the requests You make of Him? What new things does He invite you into as you spend time listening to Him? What peace and hope are you discovering as you release your concerns—and those of the people you pray for—to Him? How is your relationship with Him deepening and becoming more personal as you talk with Him as your loving Friend and Father? What vision from Jesus’ heart is He putting on yours so you can intercede before the Father with Him?

I think if you do this you will find two important things happening: first, your own prayer life will grow ever more vital and second, others will see what you enjoy with God and want to deepen their conversations with Him, too.

Cynthia Bezek - Pray!


From the Apostle Paul: "But this precious treasure—this light and power that now shine within us—is held in perishable containers, that is, in our weak bodies. So everyone can see that our glorious power is from God and is not our own. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don't give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going."1

I suppose there are times when all of us feel overcome by problems and feel like quitting. I've been there, but couldn't find anything better than my Christian faith to quit to. Today I thank God for the courage to keep going, not knowing that God was allowing trials to strengthen my faith and to help me grow.

If you feel like giving up and quitting, perhaps the following poem will encourage you to hang in, hang on, but never hang up when the going gets tough.

Don't Quit

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh.
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is strange with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow –
You may succeed with another blow!
Success is failure turned inside out –
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell just how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far.
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit–
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.2

I also like a quote that Robert Schuller has used: "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." Or as the title of one of his books says, Tough Times Never Last. Tough People Do.

God never forsook the Apostle Paul who faced incredible trials and opposition. And he will never forsake you or me as long as we place our trust in him.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you will never forsake or abandon me. Please help me always to put my trust in you and your faithfulness regardless of my circumstances, knowing that in the end my faith and trust in you will be justified. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 (NLT).
2. Anonymous


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.

Daily Encounter - Acts International

Monday, January 17, 2011


Jesus said, "Heaven can be entered only through the narrow gate! The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for all ... who choose its easy way. But the Gate-way to Life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it."1

Some years ago Bishop Fulton J. Sheen was scheduled to speak at the town hall in an unfamiliar city. He decided to walk, and on the way got lost. He saw some boys so asked them the way to City Hall.

"What are you going to do there?" asked one of the boys.

"I'm going to give a lecture," replied the bishop.

"About what?"

"On how to get to heaven. Would you care to come along?"

"Are you kidding?" said the boy, "You don't even know how to get to City Hall!"

How tragic that so many people are lost, not on their way to any human address but on the way to their eternal destination. So many believe, as I once did, that if I did enough good things to outweigh the bad things I had done, that would get me into God's heaven.

Not so, I'm afraid. Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father [God] except through me."2 This is because, no matter how good we may be by human standards, every one of us is born with the "dis-ease of sin." And if God allowed sin's disease into heaven, it would destroy heaven as it has earth.

The only way to God and heaven is not through our good works but by accepting God's Son, Jesus Christ, as our personal Lord and Savior. Jesus died to pay the penalty of our sin so he could deliver us from the effects of sin's disease which is eternal death and separation from God--the source of all love and life.

Because of what Jesus did, God now offers you and me a free pardon for all our sins. All we need to do is admit we are sinners, thank Jesus for dying on the cross in our place for our sin, invite him into our life as personal Lord and Savior, and accept his forgiveness, his gift of eternal life, and a home in heaven forever. This is God's special Christmas to all who believe.

Had there been any other way to be in a right relationship with God and heaven, then God never would have had to send his Son to die on the cross for us. So, if you have never accepted God's gift of forgiveness and eternal life, and would like help to do that right now, be sure to read: How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian without having to be religious at:

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for your great Christmas love gift to the world and for giving your Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for my sins. I believe and ask you to forgive all my sins. And Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross in my place and I invite you into my heart and life as Lord and Savior. Help me to live for you always in all ways. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

A sample of Daily Encounter by Dick Innes

Thursday, January 13, 2011


We have adopted the convenient theory that the Bible is a Book to be explained, whereas first and foremost it is a Book to be believed.

There is a world of difference between knowing the Word of God and knowing the God of the Word.

Leonard Ravenhill


When we feel we have nothing left to give
And we are sure that the song has ended
When our day seems over and the shadows fall
And the darkness of night has descended.

Where can we go to find the strength
To valiantly keep on trying?
Where can we find the hand that will dry
The tears that the heart is crying?

There's but one place to go
And that is to God.
And dropping all pretense and pride,
We can pour out our problems without restraint
And gain strength with Him at our side.

And together we stand at life's crossroads
And view what we think is the end.
But God has a much bigger vision;
He tells us it's only a bend.
For the road goes on and is smoother
And the pause in the song is a rest
And the part that's unsung and unfinished
Is the sweetest and richest and best.
So rest and relax and grow stronger
Let go and let God share your load.
Your work is not finished or ended
You've just come to a bend in the road.

Helen Steiner Rice


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

We Are Priceless


A well known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill.

In the room of 200, he asked, "Who would like this $20 bill?"

Hands started going up.

He said, "I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this."

He proceeded to crumple the dollar bill up.

He then asked, "Who still wants it?"

Still the hands were up in the air.

"Well," he replied, "What if I do this?"

And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe.

He picked it up, now all crumpled and dirty.

"Now who still wants it?"

Still the hands went into the air.

"My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20.

"Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value in God's eyes.

"To Him, dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless."

Psalm 17:8 states that God will keep us, "as the apple of His eye."

The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we are but by WHOSE we are!

--Author Unknown