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