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TRIBUTE TO MY FATHER

Dear Readers,

On 7/17/2017, my father went to be with the Lord. That’s an awful lot of sevens, and that is interesting because the number 7 is often associated with perfection or completion in the Bible. What’s even more interesting is that his name, Kamal, in Arabic, means perfect.

I think he would get a kick out of that. 🙂

One of the things I remember the most about my father is how light-hearted he was and how easy it was to make him smile. Anytime I would come over, he’d grin from ear to ear like it was the first time he’d ever seen me.

As I grew older, I grew to appreciate his sweet disposition and sense of humor.  He was just one of those types of people that was a delight to be around…and he had a quick wit! One day we were at his Dr’s office for some tests. I asked him if he remembered the tech’s name. He did. He stated her name, and I said, “Baba, that’s right! You got it right!”  He smiled and said, “Of course, but I only remember the girls’ names!”

Yet this sweet, unassuming man also went through many difficulties – he moved his family to the U.S. with limited resources, cared for my mother through her illness, and persevered through his own failing health with a quiet strength. I’d often get so worried about him, only to discover that he would again surprise me with his energy and tenacity. I later came to understand that this perseverance came from a strong faith and trust in God. He lived a life that proved God’s love.

I remember once when I was going through a very difficult time in my life. He and I would take walks around the neighborhood every day after work, and I’d complain about my troubles. He’d look at me and say, “Margaret, if God will allow anything negative in your life,” – and he’d say this with emphasis – “it is for a very good reason.” He was right.

And when I had regrets, even the big ones, one of the most hopeful things he taught is that God can even use my mistakes to work together for my good and His glory.

I will always consider him a gift to us, one that I have often wondered how I could deserve.

One thing I am especially grateful and honored to have gotten from him is a love for word of God. My father was a prolific writer, and I think this interest was a strong and distinctive bond between us. I’d often joke with him about how I was most blessed of the three of his daughters to have seemed inherit this from him.

His legacy will live on in countless binders he has written, Bible Studies on every subject you can think of. He’s poured his heart into a study about the book of Galatians that’s been published in Arabic. I’m so grateful to continue his work and vow to publish it in English.

He was the spiritual leader of the family, teaching us of God’s love, even from an early age. I remember we would come home from church and he would always bring up the sermon and we’d discuss it over lunch. One day, reading from our children’s bible, he turned to each of us and told us that Jesus loved us enough to die on the cross for us. I remember that moment because it was the first time that I knew in my heart that someone had to, and I believed.

He lead me to the Lord, and without this, without the fact that he reflected Christ so much, without his demonstration of how life is to be lived, I would not be who I am today.

He was fascinated with Heaven, and often spoke of it with eager anticipation. I can’t imagine how much he is beaming from ear to ear right now, finally reunited with my mother and in the presence of God. It blows my mind that he has all of his questions answered now and is brought back into the arms of the God who created him.

Was my father perfect? If he was here today, he’d laugh and “Yes, of course, that’s my name!”  Yet although no one is perfect, Hebrews 1:14 tells us that because of Christ’s atonement for sin, one day we will all be made perfect:

For it says, “For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified”.

Just like my father is now perfected in Heaven.

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POST #100 – 100 PROMISES OF GOD

Promises

 

Dear Friends,

Well, here it is, the 100th post since “Ministry in Words” was launched  almost three years ago! It’s a blessing to have the freedom and technology available at my fingertips that allows me to share God’s goodness to so many on a regular basis. I don’t take that for granted, and I give God all the glory for allowing me to continue thus far.

So what better way to recognize God’s goodness than to list 100 of His promises? There are so many, but these are the ones that have meant the most to me lately. My hope is that you keep it as a reminder of His love:

GOD’S PROMISES OF BOLDNESS IN SHARING THE GOSPEL 

  1. When I cried to You, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul. – Ps. 138:3
  2. The Lord will be your (strong) confidence and will not allow your foot to be caught. – Pro 3:26
  3. In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence, and His children have a place of refuge. – Pro. 14:26
  4. For the Holy Spirit shall teach you in the same hour what you ought to say. – Luke 12:12
  5. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; – 1John 3:21
  6. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you- John 14:26
  7. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. – 1 Cor. 2:13
  8. For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus. – 1 Tim. 3:13

GOD’S PROMISES TO DEFEAT OUR ENEMIES

  1. The destructions of the enemy are come to a perpetual end: and their cities have you destroyed; their memorial is perished with them. – Ps. 9:6
  2. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my Ps. 18:31
  3. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies: You anoint my head with oil; my cupruns over.- Ps. 23:5
  4. O my God, I trust in you; let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me. – Ps. 25:2
  5.  By this I know that you favour me, because mine enemy does not triumph over me. – Ps. 41:11
  6. When I cry unto you, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.- Ps 56:9
  7. Through God we shall do valiantly, for He it is that shall tread down our enemies. – Ps 60:12
  8. For, lo, thy enemies, O Lord, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered. – Ps. 92:9
  9. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the – Ps. 107:2
  10. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory, (over the enemy), through our Lord Jesus Christ.- 2 Cor. 15:57
  11. Now thanks be unto God, who always causes us to triumph (over the enemy), in Christ. – 2 Cor. 2:14
  12. Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, (enemy), and has transplanted us into the kingdom of His dear Son. – Col. 1:13

 GOD’S PROMISE OF FAITH AND ABILITY 

  1. So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.- Rom. 10:17
  2. To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit. 1 Cor 12:9
  3. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. – Gal 2:20
  4. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.- Gal. 5:22
  5. For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.- Eph 2:8
  6. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.- Eph 2:10
  7. For it is God who is at work you to make you willing and able to obey His purposes.- Phil. 2:13
  8. Looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.- Heb. 12:2
  9. The God of peace make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ.- Heb. 13:21
  10. But you, my loved ones, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit. – Jude 20
  11. According as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through
    the knowledge of Him that has called us to knowledge and virtue. – 2 Peter 1:3

GOD’S PROMISES THAT EVERY FEAR IS CAST OUT 

  1. I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. – Ps. 34:4
  2. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear,though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the sea. – Ps 46:1,2
  3.  Say to them that are afraid, “Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; He will come and save you. – Is 35:4
  4. Fear not; for I am with you: be not dismayed; for I am your God: I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you; Yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness. – Is 41:10
  5. Fear not, neither be afraid: have not I told you from that time, and have declared it? You are even My witnesses. Is there a God beside Me? Yes, there is no God; I know not any. – Is. 44:8
  6. No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of Me, says the Lord. – Is 54:17
  7. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. – Matt. 6:34
  8. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid – John 14:27
  9. For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, “Abba, Father.” – Rom 8:15
  10. For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love and of a sound mind. – 2 Tim 1:7
  11. That through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. – Heb. 2:14b, 15
  12. For He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So that we may boldly say, “The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do to me.” – Heb 13:5b, 6
  13. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. – 1 Jn 4:4

GOD’S PROMISES OF FULL FORGIVENESS IN CHRIST

  1. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. – Ps. 103:12
  2. I, even I, am He that blots out your transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember your sins. – Is 43:25
  3. And she shall bring forth a Son, and You shall call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins. – Matt 1:21
  4. For this is My Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. – Matt 26:28
  5. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures. – 1 Cor 15:3
  6. In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. – Eph 1:7
  7. But now in Christ Jesus you who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. – Eph 2:13
  8. And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you. – Eph 4:32
  9.  In Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins. – Col 1:14
  10. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. – 1 Tim 1:15
  11. How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? – Heb 9:14
  12. Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live to righteousness: by Whose stripes you were healed. – 1 Pet 2:24
  13. For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God,being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit. – 1 Pet 3:18
  14. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.  – 1 Jn 1:7

GOD’S PROMISES FOR GUIDANCE 

  1. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. – Ps 32:8
  2. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. – Ps 119:105
  3. The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, 0 Lord endures forever. – Ps 138:8
  4. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. – Pro 3:6
  5. A man’s steps are of the Lord; how then can a man understand his own way? – Pro 20:24
  6. Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go. – Is 48:17
  7. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” – John14:26
  8. “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on his own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” – John 16:13

 GOD’S PROMISES  OF HOPE

  1. Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you that hope in the Lord. – Ps 31:24
  2. Behold the eye of the Lord is on them that fear Him, upon them that hope in His mercy. – Ps 33:18
  3. For in You, Lord, do I hope: you will hear O Lord my God. – Ps 38:15
  4. Blessed is the man that trusts in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is – Jer 17:7
  5. By Jesus also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. – Rom 5:2
  6. For whatsoever things were written before, were written for our learning, that we through patience of the scriptures might have hope. – Rom 15:4
  7. Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you might abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit. – Rom 15:13
  8. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling. – Eph 4:4
  9. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love: and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. – 1 Thes 5:8
  10. Paul, in hope of eternal life, which God that cannot lie, promised before the world began. – Titus 1:2
  11. We are looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. – Titus 2:13
  12. We have hope as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters into that within the veil. – Heb. 6:19

GOD’S PROMISES OF JOY

  1. You will show me the path of life: in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand there are pleasures for evermore. – Ps 16:11
  2. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. – Ps 30:5
  3. Your words were found, and I did eat them; and Your word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart: for I am called by Your name, 0 Lord God of Hosts. – Jer 15:16
  4. Blessed are you, when men shall revile you….. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven. – Matt 5:11,12
  5. These things have I spoken to you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. – John 15:11
  6. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness and peace , and joy in the Holy Ghost. – Rom 14:17
  7. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace… – Gal 5:22

GOD’S PROMISES OF JUDGEMENT

  1. The LORD executes righteousness and judgment, (justice NKJV), for all who are oppressed.- Ps 103:6
  2. He that has pity on the poor lends unto the LORD, and what he has given will He pay him again. – Pro. 19:17
  3. He that gives to the poor shall not lack, but he that hides his eyes shall have many a curse. – Pro 28:27
  4. The LORD is a God of judgment. (or justice. NKJV.) – Is. 30:18
  5. The God of our fathers has chosen you, that you should know His will, and see that Just One, and should hear the voice of His mouth. – Acts 22:14

GOD’S PROMISES OF PEACE   

  1. You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You: because he trusts in You. – Is 26:3
  2. And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever. And My people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. – Is 32:17, 18
  3. Come to me all you that labour and are heavy laden. and I will give you rest. – Matt 11:28
  4. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Let notyour heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. – John 14:27
  5. These things have I spoken to you, that in Me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. – John 16:33
  6. For the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. – Rom 14:17
  7. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. – Gal 5:22,23
  8. For He is our peace. who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of partition between us. – Eph 2:14
  9. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Phil 4:7
  10. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also you are called in one body; and be thankful. – Col. 3:15

 

Adapted from http://www.scripturepromises.com/

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Do you have any promises that hold a special meaning to you? Maybe one that stood out to you during a particularly hard time in your life? Were you made aware of any when you needed it the most?

ONE SURE-FIRE WAY TO GREAT GAIN

Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. (1 Tim. 6:6)

Contentment 2Sometimes I hear people say that if we are godly, we’ll be blessed with material gain. While we may be blessed with some wealth, I don’t think it’s necessarily as a result of any righteousness on our part. If this were so, what about the disciples? They were humble fishermen and working class men who never received worldly riches. They left their nets behind when Christ called them to follow him.

On the other hand, we can also take a look at Solomon, one of the richest men of the Old Testament. He had everything, and in the end came to realize that all the riches in his life and its personal pleasures amounted to nothing but emptiness. He had squandered them for himself. He expressed the futile attempt to be satisfied apart from God is “vanity” and “chasing after the wind.” (Eccl. 1:14).

I believe Solomon might well have approved of a story that was once told of a king who suffered from a persistent illness and was told by some wise men that he would be cured if the shirt of a contented man was brought for him to wear. The problem was that there were no contented men to be found. Finally they went to the ends of the earth and found a man who was truly content. But he had no shirt!

The Apostle Paul seemed to have gotten it right. To the church at Philippi, he expresses a heart of contentment:

I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.”  (Phil 4: 11-12).

In this text, we are reminded that to give our lives to gaining possessions reflects discontent and foolishness. It is to show that our sufficiency and security lies in things that won’t matter beyond the grave. In Job 1:21, Job says, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there.”

This Thanksgiving, let’s remember that if we have food and clothing, that alone is reason for thanksgiving to God, and as his children, He promises to provide for our needs:

Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how god clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.” (Luke 12:27)

If God has given us anything beyond that, that is certainly additional reason to be thankful and to use it for His glory, whatever the amount.

Dear friends, have you got a good way to distinguish between your wants and your needs?

Why or how do you think that hoarding or greed can become an issue?

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?

Best Buy and water line

The top picture is a line on Black Friday; the line goes around a Best Buy as they wait for the latest deals on gadgets and electronics.

The bottom picture is a line waiting for water in a drought stricken village in Africa.

Let’s all remember that everything we have is above and beyond as we celebrate this Christmas, and share with those who are in need.

A LITTLE PERSPECTIVE…

Dear Friends,

I wanted to share some statistics that have been an eye-opener to me, especially during this thanksgiving season:

If you have food on in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep…

you are richer than 75% of the world population.

If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace…

you are among the top 8%of the world’s wealthy.

If you woke up this morning with more health than illness…

you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.

If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation…

you are ahead of 500 million people around the globe.

If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death…

you are more blessed tha three billion people in the world.

If you hold your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful…

you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.

If you can read this message, you just received a double blessing in that someone was thinking of you, and furthermore,

you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.

Much-required

(Author Unknown)

FLEAS!!

Every once in a while, I read an autobiography that just resounds with me. One of the best has to be “The Hiding Place”, the life story of Corrie Ten Boom.  When I finally got around to reading it, I knew I should have done so a long time ago.

Corrie Ten Boom was a Dutch Christian who, with her family, helped the Jews escape the Nazi Holocast during World War II. To avoid detection, they build a secret room in the wall of Corrie’s bedroom where they would hide during raids. They were eventually found out by an informant and arrested.  They were taken to a concentration camp, an experience that I can only describe as hell on earth.

 “Ravensbruck was one of the worst concentration camps in Germany. The stench of burning flesh from those that were murdered without warning was a constant stare into the face of death. The food was one half pound of bread and one half liter of soup per day. The work was so hard that the women had swollen legs and were losing circulation in no time.”

Yet despite the horror, Corrie and her sister Betsie held on with an unwavering faith.  I can’t imagine the incredible character and courage it took not only to withstand this, but to persevere with so much grace. There’s story after story of God’s presence within one of the darkest times in history, but one of my favorites has to do with fleas in their barracks.  Here’s an excerpt:

The Hiding place

Many days after this prayer was forgotten, Corrie and Betsie began to have Bible study and prayer meetings in the barracks. They were timid at first, but as night after night went by and no guard ever set foot into their quarters, they grew bolder. Although the other barracks were constantly survailled, theirs were never supervised. Corrie was amazed, but perplexed.

One evening, Betsie excitedly pulled her aside. Turns out she overheard one of the guards telling another why she never stepped through the door to their room.

“It’s because of the fleas! That’s what she said, “That place is crawling with fleas!”

The guard didn’t want anything to do with them or their area, just to avoid those little bugs.

Corrie concludes, “My mind rushed back to our first hour in this place. I remember Betsie’s bowed head, remembered her thanks to God for creatures I could see no use for .” Tick-Cartoon-2

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God commands all of nature, and they can’t help but obey. This is clearly found in the creation story, as each element of the earth and everything in it was formed when He said “Let there be” (Genesis 1)

Throughout the Bible, there are great examples of animals acting at God’s bidding:

–          He prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah, redirecting him to Ninevah to bring revival to this city of over 600,000 people.  (Jonah 1:17)

–          He arranged all animals in pairs to enter Noah’s Ark, preserving them throughout the Great Flood. (Gen. 7:8-10)

–          He even spoke through a donkey, judging Balaam to only speak what God told him to speak. (Numbers 22:28-35)

In the case of the fleas, who would have ever thought that when He made the command “Go forth and multiply”, (as He must have) to all those tiny bugs that He was using them to allow the prisoners the freedom to read His word without persecution or fear? It all made sense when they discovered this mystery.

To be honest, I wish we could always see the meanings behind God’s working this clearly. God pulled back the screen just a little and allowed Corrie and all the other women to see the purpose… and they were thankful to know what He had in mind.

To be more honest, I don’t have a tenth of the faith these remarkable women had, let alone anything that compares to the trials they’ve had. Yet I never thank God for the “fleas” in my life, those circumstances or annoyances of which I see no good purpose either.

Now, if I could just witness His purpose for cockroaches!

How about you? Have you ever wondered why God has allowed the “fleas” in your life?