called to be free
space God is not an impersonal force to be used to make people behave in certain ways, but a personal Savior (Jesus) who sets us free to live a free life.  Eugene Peterson 
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Submit Yourselves To God
James, Chapter 4 -- NIV
"You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not 
ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask 
with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures." [More]

Broken Cars and Broken Dreams
By Anabel Gillham
Give your burdens to the Lord.
He will carry them

- Psalm 55:22 TLB
 

You have seen me tossing and turning through the night.
You have collected all my tears
and preserved them in Your bottle!
You have recorded every one in Your book

- Psalm 56:8 TLB
[More]

Do I Know Him?
Anabel Gillham
"My determined purpose is that I may know Him, that I 
may progressively become more deeply and intimately 
acquainted with Him . . . ."   Philippians 3:10 AMP 

Campbell McAlpine makes these observations:
 
"You cannot love someone you do not know."
"It is imperative to establish beyond all doubt that 
the supreme focus of our thought and study 
(and action)-the deepest desire of our hearts, 
is a personal knowledge of a personal God."
[More]

What is Prayer?
Anabel Gillham
Now there was a certain man at Caesarea named Cornelius,
a centurion of what was called the Italian cohort, a devout man,
and one who feared God with all his household, and gave many
alms to the Jewish people and prayed to God continually.    
- Acts 10: 1-2
[More]

Jesus Took on the Status of a Slave
Philippians 2: 1-16, The Message

"Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

"Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn't claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.

"Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father."
[More]

Why Jesus? Answers for the skeptic.
Audio presentation by best selling author Lee Strobel
Former investigative reporter and legal editor at the Chicago 
Tribune, author Lee Strobel takes us through his own 
personal journey of faith to find the truth about Jesus Christ. 
Listen to Lee in his own words. Click here for the audio message. [More]

Do You Ever Feel Like You're Being Sifted Like Wheat?
Greg Smith
Did you know that Satan wants to sift you like wheat?
His plan is to separate you from faith in Jesus.
And it might seem like he sometimes succeeds.
But Jesus is still defending us. Still intervening for us.
Still praying so our faith will not fail... [More]

Resting in God's Promises
Anabel Gillham, www.lifetime.org

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Though the earth should change,
And though the mountains slip into
the heart of the sea;
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its
swelling pride. Selah.
Psalm 46:1-3

What does this mean to me--today?
How can I grasp it and say "this is mine?"
Step by step--let’s claim it together.
God is my place of safety, my fortress, my hiding place, my shelter. Therefore, I am safe.

I accept this Truth as mine.

He is the Source of my power, my Enabler, my ability to perform and my ability to persevere. He is my tenacity, my strength. My very Life. I am not to meet any crisis in my own strength.

I accept this Truth as mine.

He is a very present help. He is here. And He isn't so involved with gigantic world problems that He doesn’t have time for mine. He is interested. He is never away from me, especially when I am in need, hurting, weary, perplexed, or in a troublesome setting of any kind. I am never by myself. He is always with me and He understands.

I accept this Truth as mine.

Now, because I have accepted this as Truth, because I believe this, I will not fear. Fear only for myself? No, I will not fear for those who are dear to me, either. So I will not allow anything that might result in my experiencing apprehension, anxiety, or confusion to cause me alarm—because I can depend on Him.

I accept this Truth as mine.

Even if the earth around me (my environment) should be thrown into a state of upheaval, and even if the very mountains quake (those things I presumed to be unshakable), and even if the sea around me (the world and its multitudes) should become hostile and fierce and cause violent unrest, I will not fear.

I WILL NOT FEAR. This does not mean that my emotions won’t go haywire, that my knees will never get weak, that my heart will never beat like a trip-hammer, or that my hands will never tremble. I cannot control my emotions or the effect they have on my body. I control my thoughts and rest in His promises.

I accept this Truth as mine.

When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Thy consolations delight my soul.
Psalm 94:19

[More]

Close to the Father
By Anabel Gillham, Lifetime Guarantee

He was traveling on a bus in Israel and, as would be expected, his comprehension of the conversations going on all around him was limited, to say the least. And then a man boarded with his son.

He was a little child, and he crawled up into his daddy's lap for the ride. They started laughing and playing together. And then the little boy reached up, took hold of his daddy's beard, and started shaking it kind of like a wet dog shakes, and he was saying, "Abba Abba Abba" -- a word our friend understood.

Do you know what Abba means? It's the Greek word for "Father." It "approximates to a personal name," kind of like "Papa." It is "the word framed by the lips of infants" and by older children "expressing [their] love and intelligent confidence" in their father.*

Jesus came, talking to God and about God. But He didn't call Him Jehovah. Or Elohim. Or Adonai. Or El Shaddai. Or any other of the names that the people called God. No, Jesus came and called Him Abba, Papa, Daddy, Father.

In the book of Matthew, Jesus addresses God 43 times as Father. He took an awesome God, a fearful God, an unapproachable God, a God who was known to strike out when He was not obeyed, the God of the Old Testament . . . and He introduced us to a loving Father.

How we have structured and formalized (and, in so doing, ostracized) the Father that Jesus wanted us to know! For our conversation with Him to be "pleasing," we have been told we must "look just right," assume just the right posture, be in the right place at the right time, say just the right things, use the prerequisite Thee's and Thou's -- and that only then will He really consider honoring our prayers.

* * *

Oh, God! Dear heavenly Father. That we would build such ominous barriers separating us from You, making You into the untouchable God of Eli and Jeremiah. You are our Father. You love us. You care for us. You don't want to see us hurt. You have given us everything that we need to live here in this world of godlessness. A world that has no use for You. A world where evil and cruel people hurt and maim and kill. A world where Your creation is crying out for release from the bondage of sin.

Jesus didn't approach You as "Almighty God," though that is who You are. He didn't approach You as El Elyon, the Most High, though that is who You are. He didn't approach You as Jehovah Jireh, though that is who You are. He approached You as Your Son, Your beloved Child. And He called You . . . Abba.

For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!"
Romans 8:15

And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!"
Galatians 4:6

[More]

Amazing Love.... by Kristin Wallace
Kristin Wallace

Several months ago, my daughter was going through a stage where she repeatedly asked me, “Mommy, do you love me?” I would reply, “Of course, I love you.” Then she would ask again with a little more detail, “Mommy, do you love me when I do something bad?” And I would reply, “Of course, I love you,” and I would add “No matter what.” And she would repeat it back to me and smile as she started to understand, “You love me, no matter what?” Now I would add more to my statement and say, “ I love you no matter what, forever and always.” Reassured, she would give me a big hug and go play. Twenty minutes later we would go through the whole conversation again. Gradually, she asked less often as she gained more confidence that my answer was still the same.

I think we often find ourselves asking God the same questions. “Lord, do you love me? God replies, “Of course, I love you.” “Lord, do you love me less when I do bad things?” God replies, “I love you, no matter what you do. My love is not based on anything you do, and I will love you forever and always.”

We may find ourselves asking God these questions over and over until it gradually sinks in. Someday we will ask them less often, but still want to hear God’s answers of reassurance. Nothing we do can change God’s love for us. His love is unconditional and will continue for all eternity. Now that is Amazing Love!

Ephesians 2: 4-9:  "But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." [More]


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