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The Power of Good Memories

At first Jesus’ disciples didn’t know what these prophecies meant. However, when Jesus was glorified, the disciples remembered that these prophecies had been written about Him. The disciples remembered that they had taken part in fulfilling the prophecies. John 12:16 (GW)

What is your greatest memory? Creating good memories is a powerful means to building healthy, wholesome, and lasting relationships! In a Psychology Today post published on Creating Good Memories, Cloe Madanes recalls a case study of a couple who struggled to survive a dysfunctional marriage and a conflicted relationship. Rather than cashing in their chips and walking away, this couple sought counseling and found healing by creating good memories together. Continue reading “The Power of Good Memories” »

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A Mysterious Manifestation of Jesus

It was the Lord’s Day, and I was worshiping in the Spirit. Suddenly, I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet blast. … When I turned to see who was speaking to me, I saw seven gold lampstands. And standing in the middle of the lampstands was someone like the Son of Man. Revelation 1:10; 12-13 (NLT)

The apostle John sees a manifestation of Jesus like no other he had ever seen! Even though John had spent three years with Jesus as His disciple, witnessed the transfiguration of Jesus on the Mount with Peter and James, and stood at the foot of the cross beside Jesus’ mother, John had never seen Jesus as he described Him in Revelation. He describes this mysterious manifestation as someone like the Son of Man. The experience was so alarming and awesome that John writes, “When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as if I were dead!” (Rev. 1:17 NLT)  Continue reading “A Mysterious Manifestation of Jesus” »

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Enjoying the Glory Now!

Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls1 Peter 1:8-9 (NIV)

Some have described the Christian life as pie in the sky when you die. Peter says it is much more than that – even for suffering saints. It is really steak on the plate while you wait! At first glance, the key passage above seems out of place when you consider those to whom Peter is writing and what they are going through. He is addressing Christ followers who are experiencing extreme trials. They are exiles who have been scattered from Jerusalem throughout the Roman world due to severe persecution. He says they are suffering grief in all kinds of trials. Then, he puts a new perspective on these problems by pointing to a faith that transforms our outlook when we face trials. In his comments on 1 Peter, Warren Wiersbe says that faith carries with it a present dynamic that can turn suffering into glory today, not just one day when you die. How can you enjoy the glory now?   Continue reading “Enjoying the Glory Now!” »

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A Grace Story

… last of all He (Jesus) appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. 1 Corinthians 15:8-10a (NIV)

One of the final post-Resurrection appearances of Jesus is among my favorites. All of the other apostles saw Jesus in the flesh when He lived among them and led them. Paul was in the next generation and, yet, Christ appeared to him personally on the road to Damascus. Paul was traveling there with orders from the High Priest to capture and imprison Christ followers. When he encountered Jesus on the road, it transformed his life from a persecutor of the church to an apostle of the church! That’s the power of the resurrection!  Continue reading “A Grace Story” »

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Taking Care of Business

This prayer meeting went on for several days. During this time, on a day when about 120 people were present, Peter stood up and addressed them….  Acts 1:15 (TLB)

Yesterday, we left the disciples,  united in prayer with about 120 other Christ followers, waiting for the coming gift that Jesus promised. We also discovered the secret to effective waiting is prayer – united prayer. It’s been said that you can do nothing but pray until you have prayed, but you can do more than pray after you have prayed. The disciples were being obedient to the direct command that Jesus had given them before He ascended into Heaven. They stayed in Jerusalem and waited. As they waited, they prayed together. Sometime during this prayer meeting, Peter realized there was some unfinished business that needed to be handled. With the loss of Judas, who had betrayed Christ and hung himself, Peter knew that there needed to be twelve men to witness at Pentecost to the twelve tribes of Israel. Also, these twelve men must be prepared to sit on the twelve thrones to judge the twelve tribes as promised by Jesus in Luke 22:28-30.  Continue reading “Taking Care of Business” »