A Soft Answer Turns Away Wrath

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

I recently saw a video of a youth baseball game where two parents from opposing teams got into what started out as a screaming match but then quickly turned into a bleacher-emptying brawl. What started out as harsh words quickly escalated into a full-blown street fight! Now most likely you haven’t been involved in a brawl at the ballpark lately, but maybe, just maybe, you were tired one day and spoke sharply to your spouse and it turned into a full-fledged argument; or maybe you unfairly criticized a co-worker causing them to develop bitterness and resentment toward you; or perhaps you screamed at your child causing them to get mad and kick the cat on the way to their room. We have all spoken harsh words to others and have most likely suffered negative consequences as a result. The writer of Proverbs gives us a very simple solution to this problem. He says to reply with “a soft answer”. When we respond or interact with others, we should always do so with gentleness, kindness and respect regardless of how they are speaking to us. Most of the time, doing this will deescalate the situation and bring about the desired results. So next time someone lashes out at you or speaks to you unkindly, try responding to them with gentleness and kindness. Who knows? They may be having a bad day and your gentleness and kindness could be just what they need!

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God’s Great Love for Mankind

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

The old saying goes, “don’t just tell me you love me, show me”. The truth is most people don’t just want someone to say “I love you”, but they want them to display their love in actions as well. This is just what God has done and continues to do for mankind. He not only tells us in the Scriptures that He loves us, but He demonstrates His love in many ways every day. He gives us the grace to live each day, He gives us beautiful blue skies and bright sunshine to remind us of His glory, He encourages us when we are down, carries us through hard times, puts food on our table, gives us friends and families and the list goes on and on. But this month when we celebrate Easter, we are reminded of the greatest display of God’s love for us. Some 2000 years ago on Calvary’s mountain Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was slain on the cross to pay for the sins of all who would believe on Him. Even while we were still sinners, in rebellion against God Himself, He sent Jesus to die in our place and then three days later raised Him from the dead. God loved sinful man so much that He provided a way to reconcile man to Himself through the life, death and resurrection of Christ. So remember as you celebrate Easter, it’s ultimately not about eggs and bunnies, but about God’s grand display of love for sinful man.

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Easter – April 2019

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

The old saying goes, “don’t just tell me you love me, show me”. The truth is most people don’t just want someone to say “I love you”, but they want them to display their love in actions as well. This is just what God has done and continues to do for mankind. He not only tells us in the Scriptures that He loves us, but He demonstrates His love in many ways every day. He gives us the grace to live each day, He gives us beautiful blue skies and bright sunshine to remind us of His glory, He encourages us when we are down, carries us through hard times, puts food on our table, gives us friends and families and the list goes on and on. But this month when we celebrate Easter, we are reminded of the greatest display of God’s love for us. Some 2000 years ago on Calvary’s mountain Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was slain on the cross to pay for the sins of all who would believe on Him. Even while we were still sinners, in rebellion against God Himself, He sent Jesus to die in our place and then three days later raised Him from the dead. God loved sinful man so much that He provided a way to reconcile man to Himself through the life, death and resurrection of Christ. So remember as you celebrate Easter, it’s ultimately not about eggs and bunnies, but about God’s grand display of love for sinful man.

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10 Great Quotes from Preachers and Missionaries

1. Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. Martin Luther
2. “The preaching that this world needs most is the sermons in shoes that are walking with Jesus Christ.” ~ D.L. Moody
3. “If you have no joy, there’s a leak in your Christianity somewhere.” ~ Billy Sunday
4. “Do not have your concert first, and then tune your instrument afterwards. Begin the day with the Word of God and prayer, and get first of all into harmony with Him.” ~Hudson Taylor, Missionary to China
5. “We have a God who delights in impossibilities.” ~ Billy Sunday
6. “The shortest distance between a problem and a solution is the distance between your knees and the floor” ~Charles Stanley
7. “Whenever anything disagreeable or displeasing happens to you remember Christ crucified and be silent.” —John of the Cross
8. Expect great things from God! Attempt great things for God! —William Carey, Missionary to India
9. If the Lord be with us, we have no cause of fear. His eye is upon us, His arm over us, His ear open to our prayer—His grace sufficient, His promises unchangeable.—Attributed to John Newton (wrote Amazing Grace)
10. “God uses [people] who are weak and feeble enough to lean on Him.” ~Hudson Taylor

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10 Bible Verses About Love

10 Bible Verses About Love (ESV)

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
1 Corinthians 16:14 Let all that you do be done in love.
1 John 4:8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Colossians 3:14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
1 Peter 4:8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.
John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
Mark 12:29-31 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
1 Corinthians 13:13 So now faith, hope, and love abide,….. but the greatest of these is love.

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He Makes All Things New

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Revelation 21:5

I love this time of year because the idea of an approaching new year lends itself to a “reset” in our lives. The old year has faded away and the New Year is ahead of us complete with a clean calendar and the expectations of something new and fresh on the horizon.
The Revelation, the last book of the Bible, also talks about a “reset”. But this is more than just the passing of one year into the next. It is speaking of the “Grand Reset” at the end of the age when Christ will return, do away with evil once and for all and make all things brand new. I, for one, am looking forward to this time with great anticipation and longing.
You may be thinking, that’s all well and good, but this “Grand Reset” is probably way in the future, even beyond my lifetime! However, the good news is that God doesn’t just wait to the end of time to bring newness into our lives. He does that the moment we submit to Him and follow Him through Christ Jesus. He begins to work in us to give us a purpose filled path for our life, a new pattern of thinking, a more noble way of acting, and a kinder way of speaking.
The reality is though, that sometimes, life throws us a curve or we go through situations that trip us up and we may fall back into the old patterns that God had begun to take out of our lives or we may veer off the path He has chosen for us. But, when these old patterns begin to take root or when me make a wrong turn in life, God in His amazing grace, infinite mercy and abounding love calls us back to Himself where He renews His work in us and begins to once again reshape us into His image and get us on the right path. In essence, He is bringing newness and a fresh start into our lives.
So, as we think about the past year, maybe there were some things that blindsided us or maybe we faced some difficult situations that we allowed to negatively affect us and get us off the right path. If we did, let us rest in the truth that God is in the business of bringing newness into our lives and will give us a fresh start in the New Year.

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He Makes All Things New

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Revelation 21:5

I love this time of year because the idea of an approaching new year lends itself to a “reset” in our lives. The old year has faded away and the New Year is ahead of us complete with a clean calendar and the expectations of something new and fresh on the horizon.
The Revelation, the last book of the Bible, also talks about a “reset”. But this is more than just the passing of one year into the next. It is speaking of the “Grand Reset” at the end of the age when Christ will return, do away with evil once and for all and make all things brand new. I, for one, am looking forward to this time with great anticipation and longing.
You may be thinking, that’s all well and good, but this “Grand Reset” is probably way in the future, even beyond my lifetime! However, the good news is that God doesn’t just wait to the end of time to bring newness into our lives. He does that the moment we submit to Him and follow Him through Christ Jesus. He begins to work in us to give us a purpose filled path for our life, a new pattern of thinking, a more noble way of acting, and a kinder way of speaking.
The reality is though, that sometimes, life throws us a curve or we go through situations that trip us up and we may fall back into the old patterns that God had begun to take out of our lives or we may veer off the path He has chosen for us. But, when these old patterns begin to take root or when me make a wrong turn in life, God in His amazing grace, infinite mercy and abounding love calls us back to Himself where He renews His work in us and begins to once again reshape us into His image and get us on the right path. In essence, He is bringing newness and a fresh start into our lives.
So, as we think about the past year, maybe there were some things that blindsided us or maybe we faced some difficult situations that we allowed to negatively affect us and get us off the right path. If we did, let us rest in the truth that God is in the business of bringing newness into our lives and will give us a fresh start in the New Year.

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Well Done

God will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped his people and continue to help them (Hebrews 6:10).

During the recent hurricane and its aftermath, I personally witnessed some of the most selfless and loving acts imaginable. In the hours before the hurricane, many of our staff left family and homes behind, unsure if they would ever see either again, to ride out the storm here at the facility. Even as they were concerned about the well-being of their own families and property, these dedicated men and women, with a sense of duty, sacrificially cared for those who could not care for themselves.

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Isaiah 25:4

You have been a tower of refuge for the poor, Oh Lord, a tower of refuge for the needy in their distress, you are a refuge from the storm and a shelter from the heat. For the oppressive acts of ruthless people are a storm beating against a wall.