Prayer and Meditation for Friday, December 6, 2013


Prayer and Meditation for Friday, December 6, 2013

Originally posted on Peace and Freedom:

Friday of the First Week of Advent Lectionary: 179

Reading 1 Is 29:17-24


Thus says the Lord GOD: But a very little while, and Lebanon shall be changed into an orchard, and the orchard be regarded as a forest! On that day the deaf shall hear the words of a book; And out of gloom and darkness, the eyes of the blind shall see. The lowly will ever find joy in the LORD, and the poor rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. For the tyrant will be no more and the arrogant will have gone; All who are alert to do evil will be cut off, those whose mere word condemns a man, Who ensnare his defender at the gate, and leave the just man with an empty claim. Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of the house of Jacob, who redeemed Abraham: Now Jacob shall have…

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In Suffering: The Secret of Joy

If you read through very many of VOM’s newsletters, there are sometimes heartbreaking stories — ones that can be difficult to read because of the pain these dear Christians had to endure. Oftentimes though, there will also be pictures of these Christians smiling or they make statements that almost make them seem happy.

This poses a question: How is it possible to be happy in the
midst of suffering?
I would argue that it may not be possible to be happy in the midst of suffering. I recently found out that the English word happy comes from the word “happenstance,” meaning what is currently happening. Essentially, being “happy” is dictated by whatever happens to be happening at that time — happenstance.

Instead, I would argue that what we see in the faces of our brothers and sisters and what we hear them speak of comes from joy, not happiness. Joy, unlike happiness, is not something dictated by circumstances. In fact, it is not necessarily an emotion. Joy comes from being in fellowship with Jesus Christ. Our brothers and sisters who seem strong in the face of persecution use their joy as their source of strength, like we see in Nehemiah 8:10, “…The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Therefore, when you lose your joy, you can also lose your
strength, but when you find your joy in Christ, you find your strength.This does not mean that there will never be times of grieving or loss; we were created to feel things deeply. Jesus wept at the death of his friend, Lazarus (John 11:35) and withdrew to a solitary place upon hearing that his cousin, John the Baptist, was beheaded (Matthew 14:13). But even the worst of circumstances do not have the power to steal our joy when we are grounded in the power and saving grace of Jesus Christ. This is why Paul says in 2 Cor. 7:4, “In all our troubles, my joy knows no bounds.”

Imagine if the scripture in James 1:2-3 read this way: “Consider it pure happiness, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds.” That would be ridiculous and impossible. But instead, it states, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds, for we know that the testing of our faith produces perseverance.”
There is a distinct difference between happiness and joy. Seek to build up a habit of seeking joy, rather than happiness, in your life. That way, the next time you face a trying circumstance, you will still find yourself on a solid foundation.

YOUR TURN: Are your days ever dictated by happiness instead of joy? What can you do to pursue joy instead of emotions that can be fickle?


Easter Hope

Originally posted on Hope4usnow's Blog:


Titus 2:12-14 

12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope-the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

May the Hope of Easter fill your hearts full!

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Originally posted on Darrell Creswell - A Study of Christian Grace:

My destiny in my hand Bible GodNo matter who you are, or your social status, one thing can be guaranteed – there will be conflict in your life. In the lives of believers there is supposed to be conflict. The reason is, we are spiritually created beings made by God to rely on Him and call on Him in a time of crisis. That is His nature for us, that He might be the rescue and answer to conflict in our lives. We are made to carry out nothing without Him.

When in time of crisis you are overtaken by fear and anxiety whispering in your ear– fear not. When you have those kinds of thoughts let me tell you now that is the enemy talking. That is all he has is threats. The enemy will say to you, you might get cancer; you might get divorced; you might lose your job, you are going to…

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Colton Dixon: I Used ‘Idol’ to Reflect God’s Glory

American Idol” finalist Colton Dixon is proving you don’t have to win to be successful. He has a chart-topping album and is currently touring with the Grammy-winning Christian band Third Day.

He recently paid a visit to our CBN News studio where he talked about his fans, his music, and his message.

Dixon, who made it to the Top 10 of “American Idol” in 2012, shared what it was like to be eliminated and offered encouragement to contestants who are voted off.

“Being eliminated was awful,” he said with a laugh. “You don’t realize what’s going on until you’re backstage and then you’re kind of like, ‘Wait a second, I just got voted off.'”

“I definitely encourage those who are still on,” he continued. “I mean I was seventh and I have an album out. You’ve got Jennifer Hudson, Chris Daughtry – none of these people won, but they’re doing so well. So I just want those who are still on to get ready to start working – as soon as they’re eliminated or when they start working.”

Dixon said people who question why a Christian would be on a show called “American Idol,” may be taking it a little too seriously. He said his goal is to give God the glory no matter what.

“I think they’re over thinking it. It is a show called ‘American Idol,’ but why not make God the idol in that? Why not reflect the focus back on Him? That’s all I was trying to do when I was on the show. So why would you not go inside those kinds of places?” he said.

Dixon’s fans, who he calls “messengers,” are all about sharing his vision of faith.

“It’s amazing – I can’t even begin to describe how awesome that is,” Dixon told CBN News. “I remember when it started they wanted to name my fans, which I thought was pretty cheesy.”

“But I was like, ‘I believe we’re all messengers, called by God to go make disciples of many nations and I’m thinking, ‘That’s perfect!’ he said. “So just seeing my fans pray for one another, reach out. There are so many of my fans that are going through a rough time and it’s amazing to see my fans come together as a family and really support one another.”

His debut album “A Messenger” has been well received since its release earlier this year and the song “Never Gone” has been especially popular.

Students at a Catholic school in San Antonio, Texas, liked it so much they are performing it in their annual guitar program.

Angela Miller, a current ‘Idol’ contestant, recently performed the tune on the show.

“Angela Miller, who’s on ‘Idol’ right now, killed ‘Never Gone.’ It was so good, man it was awesome. (I) might have gotten a little teary-eyed,” Dixon said.

“That just got me thinking, ‘I remember seeing her YouTube cover of it way back when and I was like, ‘Let me check out YouTube and see what else is out there.’ And there’s some really good stuff out there, so I’m like, ‘Why not do something fun with it, put a contest out there,'” Dixon continued.

“They don’t necessarily have to sing,” he said. “If you want to do drums or whatever – I don’t know — be creative send those in to YouTube and we’ll have the fans select a winner. I’ll choose the top three – and we’re just having fun with it and seeing what’s out there.”

Dixon said it’s just his way of giving back because he has been given so much.


Mark Burnett: ‘Weird Things Happened’ During Filming of ‘The Bible’

Mark Burnett, producer of the History Channel’s “The Bible” miniseries, which has skyrocketed to record-breaking ratings since its premiere on Sunday, said in a previous interview that “weird things happened during filming” of the show, and he believes “the hand of God” was helping to complete the series.

Burnett’s miniseries gained a whopping 14.8 million viewers for its season premiere on Sunday, making it the no. 1 cable television event of the year.

Before the series premiered, however, Burnett predicted the show’s success in a recently published interview with Entertainment Weekly, saying that a number of strange incidences happened during filming which possibly pointed to divine intervention.

“It will be, over the next 40 or 50 years, the most watched thing that Roma and I have ever made,” Burnett told EW in a January interview, referencing the production efforts put into the series by himself and his wife, Roma Downey of “Touched By An Angel.”

“I really believe what I’m going to tell you right now. The hand of God was on this … the edit came together perfectly, the actors came together perfectly, it just comes to life,” Burnett continued.

Burnett went on to give several examples of strange incidences that happened on set, telling EW: “Weird things happened during filming.”

“Everybody would look at each other like, ‘Whoa,'” he added.

As the producer told EW, one such incident happened when the crew was filming a night scene between Jesus and Nicodemus.

Reportedly, when Jesus referenced the Holy Spirit as being like the wind, a huge gust of air blew across the entire crew for 20 seconds, which was filming the scene on a very still night in the Sahara desert.

In another incident, the set’s snake wrangler, who usually recovered one or two snakes per day on set to protect crew members, found 48 cobras and vipers hidden near the scene of the cross, where the crew was to film Jesus’ crucifixion.

The third incident, according to Burnett, happened when the crew was filming a baptism scene in a giant Sahara reservoir and part of Jesus’ detailed costume, which took months to create, floated away.

According to Burnett, a young boy from miles away returned the costume days later.


Originally posted on Vestea Evangheliei:

David Wilkerson-“A Call to Anguish”(Chemarea la suferinta)

The expression of a heart that is completely sold out to the Creator of the Universe and His people. The expression of a man whose heart is broken with compassion for those whose lives are ruined with sin and the vain temptations of life in our American culture. These are the thoughts of a man who knows the heartbeat of The King of Kings and longs to bring freedom and light and truth to those who have yet to make peace with The Almighty through the atoning death and blood of Jesus, Yahushua Ha Mashiach (Hebrew name).

Anguish is extreme pain, distress, or sorrow. Whatever happened to anguish in the house of God? You don’t hear about it in this pampered age. More of the world is coming into, and taking over, the church than the church is impacting the world. So many…

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