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Everyone Counts . . . 1 5/5 (1)

On a quiet street I took to work over the years stood a small, frame house. Nothing about it was impressive or eye-catching. The paint peeled and the roof sagged from years under the hot, West Texas sun.
However, it was moved to a museum. Why?
George and Barbara Bush once lived there. One of the little boys who ran and played in the small yard was George W. Bush. The father and son both later became presidents of the United States of America!
Who would have thought people of prominence and power would come from such humble circumstances?
 
As we work for the Lord, we meet many people. Some seem ideal prospects. They’re such good people, they would make perfect Christians!
Others appear hopeless. We wonder if there is any use picking the filthy child up for Sunday school or inviting a dysfunctional family to a church picnic. Yet how can we know? The least likely person we meet may become a missionary or great soul winner.
Imagine a pebble tossed into a pond. It ripples outward toward the shore. The same is true when one lost soul is saved. That person’s influence will affect their family members, co-workers, and acquaintances who will in turn impact others who will touch countless others.
We cannot pick and choose who God draws. It is not His will that anyone is lost. (See II Peter 3:9.) Our job is to be conduits of His love to those in our sphere of influence. We must make the gospel available to everyone. (See Revelation 22:17.)
We may wonder who will stick, if an addict could possibly be delivered from his vices, or if an abusive parent can change. But God can do anything. (See Luke 1:37.)
We can feel helpless in the face of the enormous task Christ set before us. (See Mark 16:15.) We cannot save anyone and may become disheartened when our best efforts seem futile.
When a seed is planted, we cannot see when it begins to take root or sprout. Only when its tender shoots break through the soil do we see anything. So it is with a soul. A person may experience a change of heart long before it is apparent.
We rarely glimpse the big picture. Many people may impact a single life over a period of years, but it is God who ultimately saves them. (See I Corinthians 3:6.) We do our part, realizing only God can change a heart and life.
Hang on. Don’t give up. Keep loving and reaching, hoping and praying. Only eternity will reveal the impact of a life lived with the intent of touching others for the kingdom of God.
The above article was written some years ago by Bonnie Peacock who was passionate about souls. The message is still relevant to our lives today. Every soul does count!
(From: PURE Newsletter – UPCI Ladies Ministries)

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They say: “Study on True Happiness Reveals Results Consistent with Scripture” 2 3/5 (1)

A recent study conducted by Harvard University researched the way to be truly happy, and the findings ended up being consistent with what the Bible says about true happiness.

According to ChristianToday.com, the study was conducted over a long period of time–75 years–and collected data from the lives of 268 Harvard students from different backgrounds.

George Vaillant, a psychiatrist and head researcher of the study from 1972 to 2004, recently published the findings, three of which in particular reinforce what the Bible says about happiness.

First, the study found that being truly happy involves “finding a way of coping with life that does not push love away.”

This is reminiscent of 1 Corinthians 13:13 which says: “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

It also reminds us that the ultimate love was displayed when God sent His Son Jesus to die for the sins of the world.

Second, the study revealed that deep and meaningful relationships bring much more true happiness than shallow, disposable ones.

This reminds us that God is a personal God and wants a daily close relationship with His followers. He also desires for us to be at peace and in fellowship with others.

Third, the study revealed that money does not bring lasting happiness. On the contrary, contentment is much more conducive to true happiness.

This is consistent with Scripture in many places, when it says the love of money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10) or when it says, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’” (Hebrews 13:5).

(Information from: christianheadlines – “Study on True Happiness Reveals Results Consistent with Scripture”)

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“…Strong Nations Require Deep Christian Foundations…” 1 No ratings yet.

In Matthew 7, toward the end of His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told a story about the need for a solid foundation. In this telling, we read about two very different men who were each building a house. Same supplies. Same goal. Yet two very different foundations.

One man built his house on the shaky and uncertain foundation of sand. The other man built his house on the solid foundation of rock. The test of these foundations happened quickly when the storms hit. The winds raged and the rains fell, beating against these two houses. The foundation that had been built upon the sand quickly crumbled, while the house on the strong foundation remained intact. (Matthew 7:24-27).

In this parable, the rock referred to the man who heard the Word of God and applied it. The sand referred to the man who also heard the Word of God, but did not apply it.

This parable represents anything we build either with wisdom (hearing and applying the Word of God) or foolishly (without applying the Word of God). In the Bible, a house can represent a number of things: a life, family, a church, and even a nation (such as the house of Israel).

Thus, if and when we seek to build our nation on anything other than the stable foundation of the wisdom of God, what we build will not last when life’s trials and challenges come upon us. Rather, we will spend all of our time and money focusing on the fissures.

(Info from: http://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/tony-evans-strong-nations-require-deep-christian-foundations.html)

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“Prayer for the 2016 UPCI General Conference” 2 No ratings yet.

The 2016 UPCI General Conference will convene September 27 – September 30, 2016 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, Indiana. The theme is “FOLLOW.” We anticipate a dynamic conference with the Shekinah glory of God in our midst!

For the upcoming General Conference, a special day of prayer has been designated on Wednesday, September 21 (UPCI World Day of Prayer) and special fasting designated on Tuesday, September 20 through Thursday, September 22. Please join with us in these three days of corporate fasting.

Please consider and complete one of the following types of fasts: The Normal Fast (Eliminating solid foods, but drinking only water or liquids for 3 days); The Daniel Fast (Intaking only vegetables and drinking liquids for 3 days); The Partial Fast (Fasting one or two meals a day for 3 days – may be suitable for those with medical conditions, children, as applicable, etc.). Please prepare, and then participate in this three-day fast, as led by the Spirit. Pastors and their church congregations are particularly urged to participate in this important consecration.

Special Pre-Service Prayer
WNOP pre-service prayer, led by ministers and intercessors, will convene in the auditorium on Tuesday (6:30 pm – 7:00 pm) and Wednesday through Friday (6:45 pm – 7:00 pm): A special prayer focus will be led by Raymond Woodward during prayer on Thursday, including the distribution of new prayer guides to the audience that are entitled, “GREATER WORKS.”

Pray for:

David Bernard, General Superintendent, and Jerry Jones, General Secretary, and for all Assistant General Superintendents, Division Leaders, Directors, Coordinators, District Superintendents and Secretaries, administration, staff, leadership and the entire ministerial body and all churches of the UPCI. Pray for God’s purpose to be fulfilled.
the success of all business meetings, services, and events at General Conference. Pray God’s will be done in all decisions and He guides, blesses and uses the Ministry greatly.
God to continue to bless our organization with faithful laborers and with the finances and resources necessary to continue to further advance His kingdom.
the entire Body of Christ and for His divine plan to be wrought. Pray Spirit-led prayers.
ALL to go well with every aspect of General Conference. Pray for all speakers, musicians, singers, altar workers, greeters, conference workers, etc., and for everyone involved in the conference agenda. Pray that God would greatly anoint and use all.
the Word of God to go forth with power and authority and to be confirmed with signs following. Pray that God would perform healing, miracles, signs, and wonders.
God’s people worldwide to greater advocate and demonstrate in the name of Jesus. Pray for many people to be filled with the Holy Ghost and baptized in the name of Jesus.
for an ultimate outcome of great revival, restoration, and harvest worldwide!

Flo Shaw
International Coordinator
World Network of Prayer
(From: wnop Newsletter)

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“China: Christian Children Forbidden from Attending Church” 4 No ratings yet.

Christian children in China have reportedly been banned from attending church, according to ChristianToday.com.

Texas-based Christian humanitarian organization China Aid reports that all children under the age of 18 in China are barred from receiving any religious education, including even in government-sanctioned churches.

Specifically, children have been banned from attending Hauqui, a house church in Guizhou province. The government has also threatened parents of the children that their children will not be allowed to attend college if they continue to bring them to church services.

In addition, legal action will be taken against anyone who brings a minor to a church service.

“They intend to cleanse us and ask us to join the Three-Self Church [China’s state-approved church],” stated Mou, a Huaqui Church leader.

Huaqui Church has also been prevented from holding services for the past two weeks. “Huaqui is in a dark place,” said Mou.

The Chinese government, under President Xi Jinping, has been becoming increasingly hostile toward Christianity and any religion that is not overseen by the government. More than 1,500 churches have either been demolished or have had their crosses taken down in China’s so-called “beautification” campaign.

(Info from: http://www.christianheadlines.com/blog/china-christian-children-forbidden-from-attending-church.html)

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“Football Coach Fired for Faith Shares Importance of Prayer.” 4 No ratings yet.

A high school football coach who was fired for praying at football games recently shared why prayer is so integral to his life.

In an article published in The Washington Times, Joe Kennedy, former football coach of Bremerton High School in Bremerton, Washington, shares his journey of discovering how powerful prayer truly can be.

Kennedy writes that he spent time as a child in foster homes. Oftentimes, as a kid his prayers to God were more like “falling on my knees, fists in the air, cursing at the God I didn’t even know.”

Later, at a Christian boys’ home, Kennedy grappled with his doubts about God, and pondered the unconditional love he saw in those who mentored him.

Kennedy says he gave his life to the Lord while in the boys’ home, but it wasn’t until later in life that his relationship with God truly became transformative.

He served a time with the Marines and then retired from the military. When his wife and kids persuaded him to go to church with them, “I knew it was time to get serious about my walk with God, and I did,” he says.

“[W]hen you pray and thank God for what he’s already done in your life, things start making sense. You can see where the pieces of your life fit into his big picture. Your life has purpose,” Kennedy writes.

Kennedy says all those experiences were used by God to help him mentor and coach the young men on the football team at Bremerton High School.

And when the time came for him to either stand up for his faith or back down, he knew what was most important.

Kennedy was suspended, and ultimately let go as football coach of Bremerton High School because of his refusal to stop offering a private prayer at the 50-yard line after football games.

Although he regrets that he can no longer coach the young men on the team, Kennedy says he remains thankful to the Lord.

(Info from: http://www.christianheadlines.com/blog/football-coach-fired-for-faith-shares-importance-of-prayer.html)

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West Texas County to Remove Cross Decals from Police Vehicles 3 No ratings yet.

They say…
An atheist organization has forced a west Texas county to remove all cross decals from patrol vehicles.

According to SRNNews.com, the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) filed a lawsuit against Brewster County which claimed the presence of cross decals on Brewster County government vehicles was a violation of of the Constitution.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott disagreed that the display of the cross decals is a violation of the separation of church and state.

“[C]rosses neither establish a religion nor threaten any person’s ability to worship God, or decline to worship God,” stated Abbott.

However, after the lawsuit, Brewster county agreed to ban all political, commercial, religious, and personal symbols from government vehicles. The leaders of the rural county also agreed to pay the FFRF $22,000 for legal fees and court costs.

(Info from: http://www.christianheadlines.com/blog/west-texas-county-to-remove-cross-decals-from-police-vehicles.html)

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They say: “Few Protestant Pastors, Churches Prioritize Prison Ministries” 2 No ratings yet.

Most Protestant pastors go to jail, at least for a visit, and want to help prisoners and their families.

But their churches often lack the training or finances to run an effective prison ministry.

Those are among the findings of a new phone survey of 1,000 Protestant senior pastors from Nashville-based LifeWay Research.

Researchers found widespread support among pastors for the idea of prison ministry. Eighty-three percent of pastors have visited a correctional facility. And almost all believe churches should help families of those incarcerated (97 percent) and provide care for those getting out of jail (95 percent).

However, many pastors have little contact with those who have been incarcerated. Half of pastors say no one from their congregation has been jailed in the past three years. A third have seen one or two people from their church go to jail. One in 6 (17 percent) says three or more attendees have been jailed in that time.

About a third of pastors (31 percent) say no former inmates attend their church. Another third (36 percent) have one or two former inmates in their congregation. A third (33 percent) have three or more former inmates in their church.

Overall, few pastors have contact with many inmates or former inmates as a normal part of their ministry, said Scott McConnell, vice president of LifeWay Research. So prison ministry isn’t a priority.

“When half the pastors haven’t had someone from their church sent to jail, then prison ministry isn’t on their ministry radar,” McConnell said.

The report comes at a time when incarceration rates in the United States remain at record levels. More than 2.2 million Americans are held in state and federal prisons or local jails, according to the Institute for Criminal Policy Research. That’s more than in any other nation in the world.

More than a third (36 percent) of inmates in state and federal prisons are African-American, according to the Department of Justice.

Those statistics have led to concerns about the high number of inmates and charges of racial disparity.

(Info continues at: http://www.christianheadlines.com/blog/few-protestant-pastors-churches-prioritize-prison-ministries.html)

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“8 Ways To Read The Bible” 2 No ratings yet.

I can’t count how many times since being a believer the past 10 years I often forget or stray away from the Bible. It’s not that I’m against it (of course I’m for it), but due to my sin…I just naturally stray away and choose other things over it. God has recently reminded me yet again of the importance of His Word, how it’s active and living, and how by simply reading it and spending time with Him, that makes all the difference in the world.

I think it’s very helpful to follow Jesus one day at a time. Each day requires faith and trust that He is at work and He produces the results, not us. Each day is a reminder of the Gospel and how we are forgiven for all eternity. Each day is a new day for God to speak to us through His Word to show us how to carry ourselves for that given day and for whatever trials are upon us.

We can’t stray away from the Bible. God literally speaks to us through His Word. We need this each and every day and let me please encourage you to pick it up and get started. Maybe even return to it if you’ve strayed away yourself. Here are 8 ways to read the Bible:
Begin Reading This Very Day

The way to do a thing is to do it; and the way to read the Bible is actually to read it! It can’t just be about meaning, or wishing, or resolving, or intending, or thinking about it, which will barely move the meter for you. You actually have to read it for yourself.

There’s not a perfect method for this, just like how there’s not a perfect method for prayer. If you can’t actually read it for yourself, maybe you can listen to it for yourself or have someone read it to you. Either way, having the Bible pass through your eyes or ears is the main point. The Word is living and active and give it a chance to be living and active for you.

Read With An Earnest Desire To Understand It

Sometimes we read over Scripture, turn the pages, and close it thinking we have done our duty for the day, without actually understanding what we read. This will turn the Bible simply into a task for you to check off your list and you’ll never give the chance to actually learn it.

Try to ask yourself, “what is this about or what is the meaning of this?” Pray for understanding. If we can’t learn about what we’re reading in the Bible, we’ll miss huge points.

Read With Child-Like Faith And Humility

(Info continues from: http://www.beforethecross.com/devotionals/8-ways-to-read-the-bible/)

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Study: Prayer Reduces Temptation to Drink Alcohol 1 No ratings yet.

A new study has shown that prayer helps reduce cravings of recovering alcoholics.

According to CBN News, the study was conducted by New York University’s Langone Medical Center. The results were published in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse.

The study measured the results of prayer on 20 long-term members of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).

The subjects participating in the study were shown images of alcoholic drinks and of people enjoying them. The images caused all study participants to crave alcohol.

The study participants were then given newspapers to read to try to overcome their cravings. Their desire for alcohol remained the same, however.

The participants were then told to recite the AA prayer called “The Serenity Prayer,” which says, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

When they were praying, the study participants’ alcohol cravings were reduced.

“Our findings suggest the experience of AA over the years had left these members with an innate ability to use the AA experience – prayer in this case – to minimize the effect of alcohol triggers in producing craving,” said senior study author Marc Galanter, MD, professor of psychiatry and director of the Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse at NYU Langone.

Info continues at: christianheadlines.com – Study: Prayer Reduces Temptation to Drink Alcohol

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Many are converting to Christianity in North Africa, and Bibles are being smuggled in despite the risk. 1 No ratings yet.

According to ChristianToday…persecution charity Open Doors, founded by Christian missionary Brother Andrew who smuggled Bibles into communist countries during the Cold War, has been smuggling Bibles into North Africa to meet a growing interest in Christianity.

The specific North African country remains unidentified for security reasons. A 24/7 prayer meeting has been going on in the country since 2003, and the fruit of the prayer effort is being seen in a major way.

U.K. Open Doors volunteer Holly (whose name has been changed for security reasons) shared how the church is growing exponentially in the country and how the need for Bibles is also growing:

“There are church leaders who only have a few pages of scripture that they own,” she said. “The church is growing so rapidly and people are just coming to know Jesus so quickly, they need to get Bibles in as quickly as they can and as many as they can. And not just Bibles, but also training materials for pastors and church leaders.”

Holly went on to share about the miraculous ways God is protecting those who are smuggling Bibles into the country. Security officials checked every bag except the one with the Bibles and training materials, Holly says.

(Shared information from:  christianheadlines -Bibles Smuggled into North Africa to Meet Growing Need of Church)

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This Thank you Jesus (TYJ) Site Blog. 2 No ratings yet.

This Thank you Jesus (TYJ) Site is a Christian (Acts 2:38 KJV) Network created to honor God: Jesus for his daily provisions and blessings in our lives.

This is a Pentecostal Apostolic Christian Network from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the United States. It is mainly about Caring and Sharing the Christian Bible Gospel from Acts 2:38 with others worldwide. In addition, we hope to help others receive Salvation, guidance and help in their belief in God.

This Christian Network is also about caring, sharing, help and encouragement for everyone in God: Jesus Faith. We will also post Christian related News or Information that may have some impact on the daily lives of Believers (and Friends) in serving God: Jesus. Read: Luke 12:4-5 and Luke 14:1-35 KJV in the Bible.

The Website/Owner believes in only one true and real/genuine God: Jesus.

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Welcome to our TYJ Site. 5 No ratings yet.

This Thank you Jesus (TYJ) Site is a Christian (Acts 2:38 KJV) Network created to honor God: Jesus for his daily provisions and blessings in our lives.

This is a Pentecostal Apostolic Christian Network from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the United States. It is mainly about Caring and Sharing the Christian Bible Gospel from Acts 2:38 with others worldwide. In addition, we hope to help others receive Salvation, guidance and help in their belief in God.

This Christian Network is also about caring, sharing, help and encouragement for everyone in God: Jesus Faith. We will also post Christian related News or Information that may have some impact on the daily lives of Believers (and Friends) in serving God: Jesus. Read: Luke 12:4-5 and Luke 14:1-35.

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