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September 2008
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November 2008

Bailout

Our country's financial markets are in a mess and many investors are living in fear about what might become of their retirement dollars.  We are definitely in uncharted waters with respect to our economic times.  The government has attempted to correct the problem with an unprecedented bailout plan.

However, there is something we should fear more than the economic instability of today.  Fortunately for this fear, there is a tried and true solution.  Check out Sharon's post Bailout, over at Truth Talks for more insights. 

Hope to see you there!


Hope For Troubled Times

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. - Romans 15:13 NKJV

I turned the TV off last night in my hotel room right after the presidential candidate debate ended, feeling sorry for both McCain and Obama because one of them will be taking over leadership of a country in turmoil.  The U.S. economy's future is uncertain and because of the uncertain economy, one has to wonder how strong our national security efforts could really be in the face of growing hostility towards the U.S. overseas. 

Many people are living in fear and despair without hope.  Just this week, a 45 year old Los Angeles man killed five members of his family and himself because he felt his financial situation was hopeless. 

As Christians, we are called to provide hope to a world in crisis.  This doesn't mean throwing a bible verse or salvation tract in front of someone in the middle of their searing pain.  However, it does mean that we need to stay close enough to God so that the joy of the Lord shows through to others from our lives, even if we too are concerned or fearful about the times we are in.  When we do this, our hope for the future - a guaranteed future filled with the glories of heaven-will be contagious.  After we show our love and hope to those around us, it is then that we might have the chance to share the source of that hope.

The Apostle Paul prays that our God of hope will fill us with all joy and peace in believing.  We can live in abundant hope because of God's power in our lives.  All we've got to do is stay plugged in to the source.  Let's be the hope of the world.

To ponder:

  1. 1) Who in my life needs comforted in these uncertain times?
  2. 2) How much hope do I have to give?
  3. 3) How well do I know the God of hope?  What can I do to know Him more each day?

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Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.


What Does the Bible Say About Suicide?

Suicide is a bigger killer across the the United States than homicide, yet it gets little attention.  In addition, there are also many popular assumptions about that fate of the victim that are contrary to the truth of scripture. 

Check out my post "Suicide and the Bible" over at Truth Talks to discover how you can provide hope to those who mourn because of the tragedy of suicide.

Hope to see you there.


What's Your Motive?

I am finally on the last book of the Left Behind book series, "Kingdom Come".  In it, I'm finding interesting the storytelling surrounding the Judgment Seat of Christ and how all of our works will be judged by Jesus someday.  God is more concerned with our heart condition than our sacrifices.  He wants us to do things for Him, not for ourselves.

We can see one reminder of God's viewpoint from the prophet Zechariah in Zechariah 7:5-6 when God asks the people: "When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months during those seventy years, did you really fast for Me - for Me?  When you eat and when you drink, do you not eat and drink for yourselves?"

As I read this passage I have to ask myself come questions as well.  Questions like, "Why am I really doing the things I do?  What is my motive?".  In 1 Cor 3:12-15, God's Word says clearly that one day God will examine all of our "works" and see what the motive was behind it.  Our good deeds could be regarded as wood, hay or straw or as gold, silver and precious stones depending on our motive.  Those deeds done with a sincere heart and pure motive will not be trashed in the "fire" of God's judgment because they will be as precious stones to Him.   How will your works stand the heat?  Maybe its time to do a little self-assessment.

Questions to ponder:

1) When I attend that prayer meeting, bible study or ministry meeting, am I doing it for God or some other motive?

2) When I study my Bible, am I doing it for just knowledge (pride) or to really hear from God?

3) When I do a friend a favor, do I do it begrudgingly or with a true spirit of giving?

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Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.


Rewarded by Faith

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.~He 11:6 NKJV

Every time I think I have faith in what God can do, I find out a little bit more how little faith I have.  Faith is an interesting "beast".  To get more of it, we have to first have it.  We have to trust God with the "impossible", or at least what seems that way to our feeble minds.  If we have trouble letting God have control, God sometimes takes control away from us to allow us to learn to trust Him.

I gained an additional measure of faith this past weekend as I delivered a women's retreat on Friday and Saturday and presented the message to a Sunday school class the following Sunday.  God saw to it that I wouldn't over prepare, as is my usual case, by allowing me to experience sickness and some time-consuming family issues within the two weeks preceding the events.  But God came through and I sense that both events were successful.

A powerful Christian life is all about faith, all about belief that God can do the impossible in us and through us, wherever we are.  Think about the feats recorded in Hebrews 11 accomplished by those who had great faith in their God, our God.  The author of Hebrews says in Hebrews 4:32-33:

And what more shall I say?  For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

These faithful men and women were just ordinary people who allowed an extraordinary God to work in their lives.  When we diligently seek Him, He will reward us for our efforts more than we can even imagine.  This is convicting to me as I think of what God could do if I just let Him control everything instead of taking control myself.  How will you let God take control today?  What will you let Him do in your life? 

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Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.