Hello, Weekend!


Daily Prayer for April 20

Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt

Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. Isaiah 65:24, NIV

Our great God, still hidden and yet so evident and near, we thank you that you are at work in us before we think of asking. We thank you that you hold us by the hand and lead us before we are aware of it. Stay with us in this way and awaken our hearts at the right moment, that we are not surprised by the painful things we experience but can be prepared at all times to watch and pray, trusting that we are not forsaken in the constant strife on this earth. Grant us hope, O God, that the time is coming when all people will hear the proclamation, “See, a new heaven and a new earth, because you have learned to see God’s honor in everything.” Amen.



Doing Life Together

The Journey from Fear to Faith


Jenna was offered a job. She prayed and felt a peace about taking it. During her first few months, she began to notice a great deal of organizational dysfunction including a boss who was not so kind. Fear gripped Jenna. Did she make a mistake? Should she have taken this job? She knew the position was important to her career path, but was full of self-doubt and fear. There were a number of obstacles to overcome.

Taylor started her new job at the same time and place as Jenna. She noticed many of the same problems as Jenna and also encountered the unkind boss. Same place, same problems, but Taylor had a very different reaction. She was filled with hope, not fear. What accounted for the very different reactions to the same workplace problems?

  1. Taylor remembered the promises of God. She too prayed but wasn’t fearing her future. She was confident that God led her to this position and would be faithful to help her work through the difficulties. She might even win over the unkind boss! Taylor could have second guessed herself and focused on the uncertainty and problems. Instead, she employed Psalm 34 and believed God would deliver her from all her fears. She needed the job and knew God had opened this door. Her lens for viewing the job was one of trusting God’s faithfulness and not giving in to fear.
  2. Taylor saw the problems and some of them were big. But no job is without difficulties. She needed to stay strong. She named her fears and reminded herself that nothing was too difficult for God. Conflict would come, but she could handle that conflict with God’s help. Whatever the obstacles, she would move in faith, not fear, trusting God to help her.
  3. Taylor trusted in God’s power, not her own. She said to herself, “God’s got this! Fear can’t win. God is on my side. If God is for me, who can be against me?” The Lord will fight for her as promised in Scripture. Taylor was not meant to fight her battles alone. The battle is the Lord’s and He goes before her. Knowing she could face anything with God’s help gave her hope.

Do you look at your future with fear—a terrible boss, a bad diagnosis, a troubled marriage, etc.  and  think, “ I have to make this happen or take care of this on my own?” Or do you think, “God is on my side and is powerful to help me overcome?” It is the Lord who directs our paths and makes our future. Move in faith, not fear. Be hopeful. We serve a big God, awesome in power!



A Prayer to Put on the Armor of God
By Debbie McDaniel

“Do not be afraid of them; the LORD your God himself will fight for you.” (Deut. 3:22)

We may forget at times but one thing is true – this world is a battlefield. Day by day, hour by hour, we face a spiritual war and an enemy who’s real. He wants nothing more than to bring defeat, for his main aim is to steal, kill, and destroy.

God has a plan for our lives. The enemy has a plan for us too. We just have to decide which voice we’re going to listen to, and who we’re going to choose to follow each day. And chances are, if we don’t make a determined choice to follow God, we may eventually fall into the evil one’s trap.

God has given us his Word and Spirit, powerful and true, so we’ll have the wisdom and protection to stand against the enemy. We focus today on putting on His armor, staying alert, and praying that God will equip believers everywhere to “stand strong.”

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions, with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” (Eph. 6:10-18)

Pray with me: Dear God, today we put on the full armor to guard our lives against attack. We put on the belt of truth to protect against lies and deception. We put on the breastplate of righteousness to protect our hearts from the temptations we battle. We put the gospel of peace on our feet, so we’re ready to take your light wherever you send us this day. We choose to walk in the peace and freedom of your Spirit and not be overcome with fear and anxious thoughts. We take up your shield of faith that will extinguish all the darts and threats hurled our way by the enemy. We believe in your power to protect us and choose to trust in you. We put on the helmet of salvation, which covers our minds and thoughts, reminding us we are children of the day, forgiven, set free, saved by the grace of Christ Jesus. We take up the sword of the Spirit, your very Word, the one offensive weapon given to us for battle, which has the power to demolish strongholds, alive, active, and sharper than any double-edged sword.

We ask for your help in remembering to put on your full armor every day, for you give us all that we need to stand firm in this world. Forgive us God for the times we’ve been unprepared, too busy to care, or trying to fight and wrestle in our own strength.

Thank you that we never fight alone, for you are constantly at work on our behalf, shielding, protecting, strengthening, exposing deeds of darkness, bringing to light what needs to be known, covering us from the cruel attacks we face even when we’re unaware. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.



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Do I Answer a Fool? Or Do I Not?

by Bob McCabe

In Proverbs 26:4 we are commanded not to answer a fool, but in the very next verse we’re commanded to answer a fool. On the surface I am in a quagmire since both commands seem to be in conflict with each other. So do I or do I not answer a fool? This raises a larger issue about how to apply the various sayings found in the book of Proverbs.

One of two broad categories of proverbs is known as prescriptive proverbs (the other is descriptive). A prescriptive proverb does more than simply tell about the way life is. It seeks to characterize an attitude or an action in order to influence behavior (Klein, Blomberg, Hubbard, Introduction to Biblical Interpretation, 313–14). The focus of this post is to describe three types of prescriptive proverbs that will assist in applying them.

1. A prescriptive proverb that allows for exceptions is a generalization. At the minimum, there are two categories of generalizations. First, some proverbs allow for limitations in various circumstances. The example we initially saw in Proverbs 26:4-5 is certainly an example of this. There are contexts when we should avoid answering a fool lest we look like the fool; however, there are other settings when we should answer the fool so that he does not look wise in his own eyes. We must use godly discernment in determining which proverb to follow. In addition, wise planning with proper advice is praised in Proverbs 15:22. However, this is balanced by Proverbs 19:21, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” (Parsons, “Guidelines for Understanding and Proclaiming the Book of Proverbs,” BSac 150 [1993], 160). The foolishness “bound in the heart of a child” in Proverbs 22:15 may provide a hindrance to the proverb in Proverbs 22:6 (Zuck, “A Theology of the Wisdom Books and the Song of Songs, in A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament, 234). Second, other proverbs are generalizations because they are bound to the dispensation of law. For example, Proverbs 10:22 says, “The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, without painful toil for it.” The blessings of wealth were promised to obedient Israelites in Deuteronomy 28:8-14. This type of promise has temporal limits since it is not made to believers in the New Testament. At times, a generalization may even be limited in the dispensation of law. An example of this is Proverbs 10:30, “The righteous will never be uprooted, but the wicked will not remain in the land.” When this text says the righteous will not “be uprooted,” the sage is referring to righteous Israelites not being uprooted from the land of Israel. However, there were exceptions to this, viz., Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. While we recognize this type of exception, my point is that the “land” emphasis in this proverb reflects that its was written under the dispensation of law and its direct application pertains to those living under the law, though its application allowed for exceptions.

2. A prescriptive proverb that has no exceptions is a moral absolute. This will often be true in proverbs dealing with an action or characteristic of God. Proverbs 11:1 says, “The Lord detests dishonest scales, but accurate weights find favor with him.” Another example is Proverbs 14:31, “Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.” The instructional material in Proverbs 5against adultery by maintaining a proper marital relationship is a moral absolute. It upholds the moral absolute, “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14).

3. A prescriptive proverb may contain both a moral absolute and a generalizationProverbs 3:1-2 is an exhortation to honor one’s father with a promise of long life and peace. The command to honor one’s parents is a moral absolute; however, the promise about long life is only a generalization, for Jesus Christ was the embodiment of honor to His earthly parents, yet He was crucified in His early thirties. “God in His sovereignty may make an exception as in the case of Jesus” (Parsons, 161, n. 72).

May God grant us discernment as we apply the wisdom of Proverbs.

Sculpture of Saint Conrad of Parzham | photo by Andreas Praefcke

Saint Conrad of Parzham

Saint of the Day for April 20

(December 22, 1818 – April 21, 1894)


Saint Conrad of Parzham’s Story

Conrad spent most of his life as porter in Altoetting, Bavaria, letting people into the friary and indirectly encouraging them to let God into their lives.

His parents, Bartholomew and Gertrude Birndorfer, lived near Parzham, Bavaria. In those days, this region was recovering from the Napoleonic wars. A lover of solitary prayer and a peacemaker as a young man, Conrad joined the Capuchins as a brother. He made his profession in 1852 and was assigned to the friary in Altoetting. That city’s shrine to Mary was very popular; at the nearby Capuchin friary there was a lot of work for the porter, a job Conrad held for 41 years.

At first, some of the other friars were jealous that such a young friar held this important job. Conrad’s patience and holy life overcame their doubts. As porter, he dealt with many people, obtaining many of the friary supplies and generously providing for the poor who came to the door. He treated them all with the courtesy Francis expected of his followers.

Conrad’s helpfulness was sometimes unnerving. Once Father Vincent, seeking quiet to prepare a sermon, went up the belltower of the church. Conrad tracked him down when someone wanting to go to confession specifically requested Father Vincent.

Conrad also developed a special rapport with the children of the area. He enthusiastically promoted the Seraphic Work of Charity, which aided neglected children.

Conrad spent hours in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. He regularly asked the Blessed Mother to intercede for him and for the many people he included in his prayers. The ever-patient Conrad was canonized in 1934. His Liturgical Feast Day is April 21.


As we can see from his life as well as his words, Conrad of Parzham lived a life that attracted others because of a special quality, something Chesterton alluded to when he wrote, “The moment we have a fixed heart we have a free hand.” If we want to understand Conrad, we have to know where he fixed his heart. Because he was united to God in prayer, everyone felt at ease in Conrad’s presence.




How to Be a Friend of God

By Skip Heitzig

Did you know Abram was called the friend of God (see 2 Chronicles 20:7Isaiah 41:8James 2:23)? Why was this?

Soon after God changed Abram’s name to Abraham, we readan unusual story in Genesis 18 about three visitors who unexpectedly came to Abraham, one of whom was the Lord in some human form. From this story, let’s look at the four attributes it takes to be a friend of God.

1. It takes spontaneity. “Then the Lord appeared to [Abraham] by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day. So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing by him” (Genesis 18:1-2). During the heat of the day in ancient times, nobody did anything; having three visitors was the last thing Abraham would’ve expected. But if you’re going to be God’s friend, you need to get used to the fact that He can alter the direction of your life and change your plans anytime He wants to; He has editing rights over your story. So learn to be flexible.

2. It takes humility. “When [Abraham] saw [the men], he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the ground, and said, ‘My Lord'” (vv. 2-3). Abraham was a man of great influence, but in God’s presence, he bowed down and showed Him respect. I get a little miffed when people refer to God as “The Big Man Upstairs.” He’s God! If you’re going to have a friendship with Him, it better include worship and humility as you recognize who He is and who you are in His presence.

3. It takes ministry–serving God. In verses 3-8, Abraham invited the Lord and the other two men to stay for a generous meal made out of the finest ingredients. And he served them personally and immediately, even at ninety-nine years old on a hot day with over 300 servants who could’ve done the job instead. If you want to be God’s friend, you need to be involved in some form of ministry, giving Him the very best of your time, talents, and energy.

4. It takes conformity to His will. After the meal, the men said to Abraham, “‘Where is Sarah your wife?’ So he said, ‘Here, in the tent.’ And [the Lord] said, ‘I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son.’ … Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age…. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself” (vv. 9-12)–a laugh of unbelief. But God said, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (v. 14).

At this point, Sarah did not believe God’s promise and was not willing to walk in conformity to His will–but Abraham was. Part of being the friend of God is being willing to obey what He says. As Jesus said, “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you” (John 15:14). Abraham demonstrated that.

Friend of God is a beautiful title. It boggles the mind that any human being could be the friend of a God who needs nothing and has no equal. But it’s a delight all the same, knowing that we can follow in Abraham’s footsteps and experience firsthand Jesus’ words in John 15:15: “No longer do I call you servants…but I have called you friends.”




Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord. – Lamentations 3:40
I took a course in seminary and the professor told us that we could ask him anything we wanted, that his life was an open book. He would answer any question about anything. I didn’t believe him, but as the semester went on, I witnessed transparency in this man unlike anything I’d ever witnessed before.
My upbringing was such that “transparency” wasn’t even in our dictionary. My parents never came out and said it, but what was modeled was that it was o.k. to fudge on the truth if it meant letting others know that everything was o.k. in the Arterburn household.
It can be difficult to be real and open and honest, but if I want to continue growing and learning and being open to the awesome things God is doing, I have to at all costs keep myself accountable and let others know exactly where I am, what I’m feeling, what I’m concerned about; in short, just where I am emotionally. When I don’t do that, that’s where the journey into isolation begins for me, and I head off into an unhealthy emotional state.
I want to be honest and exhibit integrity at all times. I want to be someone that others can trust and turn to knowing there will be no judgment. And I want others to come to me in the same way.
What keeps us from this transparency in life? I know one thing that hinders transparency is pride. Satan has used this since Adam and Eve to put a wedge between man and God. That’s why we have to put on the whole armor of God. Our battles are spiritual. Don’t let pride get in the way of God’s call for you to live a transparent life.
“Eyes so transparent that through them the soul is seen.” – Theophile Gautier (1811-1872)

From A Jane Austen Devotional

Judging Others Hastily

Mr. Bingley was good looking and gentlemanlike; he had a pleasant countenance, and easy, unaffected manners. His brother-in-law, Mr. Hurst, merely looked the gentleman; but his friend Mr. Darcy soon drew the attention of the room by his fine, tall person, handsome features, noble mien; and the report which was in general circulation within five minutes after his entrance, of his having ten thousand a year. The gentlemen pronounced him to be a fine figure of a man, the ladies declared he was much handsomer than Mr. Bingley, and he was looked at with great admiration for about half the evening, till his manners gave a disgust which turned the tide of his popularity; for he was discovered to be proud, to be above his company, and above being pleased; and not all his large estate in Derbyshire could then save him from having a most forbidding, disagreeable countenance, and being unworthy to be compared with his friend.

Mr. Bingley had soon made himself acquainted with all the principal people in the room; he was lively and unreserved, danced every dance, was angry that the ball closed so early, and talked of giving one himself at Netherfield. Such amiable qualities must speak for themselves. What a contrast between him and his friend! Mr. Darcy danced only once with Mrs. Hurst and once with Miss Bingley, declined being introduced to any other lady, and spent the rest of the evening in walking about the room, speaking occasionally to one of his own party. His character was decided. He was the proudest, most disagreeable man in the world, and every body hoped that he would never come there again. Amongst the most violent against him was Mrs. Bennet, whose dislike of his general behaviour was sharpened into particular resentment by his having slighted one of her daughters.

—Pride and Prejudice

Two wealthy gentlemen enter the picture early in Pride and Prejudice: Mr. Bingley, pleasant and friendly; Mr. Darcy, handsome and aloof. Though Darcy is at first spoken of in hushed tones for his handsomeness and wealth, his disdainful attitude toward everyone at the ball becomes evident, and the opinion spreads like wildfire that he is “the proudest, most disagreeable man in the world.” How fitting that of all who are repulsed by his behavior, it is Mrs. Bennet who takes the greatest offense—because Darcy slighted one of her daughters.

Darcy’s character is quickly stamped with the seal of Pride. This all-too-human tendency to judge others in haste— to form a “prejudice” based not upon fact but on superficial observation—is one of the central themes of the novel. While Mrs. Bennet is clearly guilty of rash judgment, Darcy and even Elizabeth also commit the same offense. The real problem in criticizing and judging others is that it blinds us to our own sin by keeping us focused on others’ shortcomings. This ultimately prevents us from right relationship with Christ. We are instructed, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?” (2 Corinthians 13:5 nkjv).

The next time you find yourself judging another, be quick to first examine your own heart and behavior. Weed out the sin you find there first. Let your example and guide be Jesus, who always demonstrated a pure and humble heart toward others.

Put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. – Ephesians 4:24 NKJV




What Jesus Did! ‘A Great Crowd of People’

Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do. Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!”

Key Thought

“Be careful what you pray for; you just may get it!” My experience with major outreach efforts of churches has been mixed. Some of them have gone bust — much prayer, planning, and effort with not much visible result. Others have seen such overwhelming and unanticipated response that we were left scrambling to handle all the “opportunities” that God placed upon us. Let’s confess something about our plans to do great things for God: God already knows what he is going to do. The issue isn’t God; it’s our faithfulness. God can and will make us more than we are for special times of ministry and mission. That’s not only his promise to us; it’s his track record through the centuries. So when presented with great opportunities, let’s not resort to the greatest killer of all: “We can’t.” Instead, let’s go to God and pray fervently for his guidance, our faith, and our willingness to work for his glory.

Today’s Prayer

Father, you are God who is able to do far more than I can even dream. However, I confess that my abilities to execute challenging plans and see beyond my own limitations can make me hesitant to seize the great opportunities you place before me. Give me a clearer and broader vision of your will, your work, and your power. Give me a more willing heart to work hard and dream larger dreams. Do your work through me and surprise me with the results. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

Daily Wisdom: Proverbs 10:4

Illustration of Proverbs 10:4 — Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.

Passion for Praise: ‘As Your Name Deserves’

Illustration of Psalm 48:9-10 — O God, we meditate on your unfailing love ... As your name deserves, O God, you will be praised to the ends of the earth. Your strong right hand is filled with victory.

Praying with Paul: ‘Observing the Lord’s Supper’

Observing the Lord's Supper — 1 Corinthians 11:17-23

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary
1 Corinthians 11:22

v17-22 The apostle rebukes the disorders in their partaking of the Lord’s supper. The ordinances of Christ, if they do not make us better, will be apt to make us worse. If the use of them does not mend, it will harden. Upon coming together, they fell into divisions, schisms. Christians may separate from each other’s communion, yet be charitable one towards another; they may continue in the same communion, yet be uncharitable. This last is schism, rather than the former. There is a careless and irregular eating of the Lord’s supper, which adds to guilt. Many rich Corinthians seem to have acted very wrong at the Lord’s table, or at the love-feasts, which took place at the same time as the supper. The rich despised the poor, and ate and drank up the provisions they brought, before the poor were allowed to partake; thus some wanted, while others had more than enough. What should have been a bond of mutual love and affection, was made an instrument of discord and disunion. We should be careful that nothing in our behaviour at the Lord’s table, appears to make light of that sacred institution. The Lord’s supper is not now made an occasion for gluttony or revelling, but is it not often made the support of self-righteous pride, or a cloak for hypocrisy? Let us never rest in the outward forms of worship; but look to our hearts.

Dear Father, giver of bread and wine,

When we come together as your family to partake of bread and wine, let it truly be “the Lord’s supper” which we eat. Let there be no divisions or preferences among us, no putting ourselves first, or putting our group first. Let there be no divisions between rich and poor, young and old, dark-skinned or light, white collar or blue collar. Let no one do anything that would humiliate another. For “the Lord’s supper” is a feast of love and unity.

Cause us to remember what was delivered to us by your apostles, how the Lord Jesus on the night that he was betrayed took bread, and having given thanks, broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

In the name of Jesus, who is the daily bread and wine of our lives, I ask. Amen.




In the Line of Fire, with Michael Brown

(CBSNews/60 MINUTES/Handout via REUTERS)

Porn star Stormy Daniels may be having the time of her life. She may be enjoying her newfound fame at the expense of President Trump. She may be making boatloads of money with her current tour and other endeavors. But at the end of the day, this is a sad story. Stormy Daniels (originally Stephanie Clifford) is somebody’s daughter or granddaughter. Who wants their child to be a porn star?

But before you read another word of this story, I want to make myself perfectly clear. I am not condemning Stephanie Clifford. And I am certainly not sitting on my moral high horse saying, “What a wretched person she is to make her money like this.”

Every one of us is fallen and broken and blemished in God’s sight, and every one of us needs healing for our wounds and repentance for our rebellion. That’s why Jesus came into the world: to save sinners. And that means you and me.

So, I write with a heavy heart, not a self-righteous heart. And I write, not just about Stephanie Clifford, but about the thousands of others like her, women (and men) whose names we do not know. Every day they denigrate themselves for financial gain (or for notoriety). No amount of money or fame is worth this.

In the early-to-mid 1990s, I spoke regularly at a church located in the heart of Manhattan, not far from Times Square. When driving into New York City from Maryland (where I lived), I would pass some theaters featuring strippers and porn stars. The giant marquees would proclaim their names and announce the dates they were performing.

When I saw those signs, my heart sank. “That’s someone daughter,” I would say to myself. (Our two daughters were born in 1977 and 1978, so that was my first thought. Today, at age 63, I would also think to myself, “That’s someone’s granddaughter.”)

I never went into one of those places, but I imagined they were not exactly filled with the high and lofty of society. And based on the absence of lines forming in front of the theaters, it didn’t look like there were many people inside.

Yet here was some attractive young woman stripping naked (or simulating sex acts) in front of these lecherous strangers. I wonder how those men would feel if it was their own child prancing around in front of others? The whole scene was nothing but sad.

Of course, those were the old days. Today, not just striptease, but porn, is everywhere. And the porn industry, as massive as it remains, has taken a hit from popular porn sites that feature amateur porn—any individual or couple or group of people who decide to film themselves in action. These days, getting naked and having sex on camera seems as natural as getting dressed and going to work.

But that doesn’t minimize the shame of it all. That doesn’t minimize the pain of making oneself into a sex object. That doesn’t minimize the emptiness of it all.

How many strippers and porn stars also have large drug habits? How many sex performers end up trapped in the cycle of substance abuse, making lots of money by stripping or engaging in porn, but needing lots of drugs to calm their nerves?

There’s a reason people don’t like their privacy invaded. There’s a reason we cover ourselves when we’re in public. There’s a reason secretly-recorded sex tapes are used in blackmail.

Some things belong behind closed doors. Some things are meant for intimate companionship, not public consumption. And when we flaunt that which was divinely intended for modesty, something inside us dies.

I’ve read stories of former porn stars who have become believers in Jesus, and they will tell you that things were not as they appeared to be. People looked at them as if they were gods and goddesses. But so many struggled with depression. So many struggled with suicide or, at least, lack of self-worth. And quite a few were victims of sexual abuse earlier in life. Their fame came at quite a personal price.

I can only wonder how a 30-year-old mom now feels about the porn movies she and her former boyfriend posted online when they were 20. They are on the internet, and they are not going anywhere.

I can only wonder how it is to be the child of a porn star. What do your classmates say about your mom or dad? And are you pleased that the whole world sees your parent naked?

I don’t doubt that some sex stars will say to me, “Don’t speak for me. My life is great. I’ve never been happier or more fulfilled.”

That could be true. I very much enjoyed using drugs from 1969-1971 (and my drug use included shooting heroin). But little by little, my life was degenerating, and if not for the Lord’s merciful intervention, my destructive habits would have cost me my life.

And so, in a sense, the happier Stephanie Clifford and her fellow-performers are, the sadder the story is. They could waste their lives without understanding the divinely intended purpose for their bodies. Without having people look at them for who they were on the inside. Without having the kind of relationships that bring something money and fame can’t buy.

These days, with porn so ever-present, all of us have to watch our eyes and thoughts more diligently than ever. I know I certainly have to, and I trust I’m not in the minority in saying that. We must guard our own souls from pollution, and we must extend a compassionate hand towards those trapped in porn.

But let’s remember that no one is more trapped in porn than the porn star herself (or himself). May God be merciful to them and set them free. Maybe Stephanie Clifford will have a story of redemption to tell one day.

Dr. Michael Brown(www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Playing with Holy Fire: A Wake-up Call to the Pentecostal-Charismatic Church. Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter, or YouTube.




Unprofitable Anger
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
April 20, 2018

“Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.” – Ecclesiastes 7:9

Every day of our lives we are placed in situations that engage us with other people, whether it is in the office, our homes, or in public places. Do you recall the last time someone cut you off in traffic, or you were forced to wait in line because someone up front got held up? Perhaps your employer did something that was downright unfair. Anger can result from many circumstances.

A friend once told me that anger is like warning lights on the front of your car dashboard. They signal that there is something going on under the hood, and we should take a look to examine the source of the problem. Anger can be traced to a few sources. First, when we lose control of a circumstance that we have placed certain expectations on and those expectations do not result in our desired outcome, we are tempted to get angry. The source of this type of anger is both fear and protection of personal rights. You see, when we believe we have a right to something, we have not given the Lord permission to allow an outcome different from what we want. If an outcome is different from our expectations, this may stimulate fear.

For instance, if a vendor failed to deliver an important job on time due to something out of his control, you may respond out of anger. Please know that the source of your anger is the fear of what might happen to you or what this might say about your abilities to manage a project. You no longer are in control of the circumstance and this creates fear in you.

The next time you get angry ask the Lord what is the source of that anger? Did the Lord allow that failure to let you see what is “under your hood”? God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind (see 2 Tim. 1:7). Give up your rights to expectations that God never gave you. You will find a new freedom in Christ you never knew you could have.



Verse of the Day

for Friday, April 20, 2018

Inspirational illustration of 1 Corinthians 15:55-57

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

Victory! Ultimate Victory!! If you don’t have the answer for life’s biggest test, death, then you have no victory. The Super Bowl and World Series are played every year. The champion is a victor for only one year. But a Christian is a champion forever because in Jesus, a Christian has victory over death.

My Prayer…

Thank you God for giving me victory in Jesus Christ. In my daily struggles with sin, please make his will triumphantly present in me now, just as it will be when he raises me from death and brings me home to you. Through my Triumphant King I ask it. Amen.





National Lima Bean Respect Day April 20


National Lima Bean Respect Day is observed on April 20.  Lima beans are an excellent source of protein, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc.  Lima beans can increase energy levels by helping to restore more iron.  Most of us have tried lima beans as a child and didn’t like them.  It’s time to give them a second chance as adults.  They are delicious in soups, stews, salads, casseroles, by themselves or mixed with other vegetables.


Enjoy lima beans with any of your meals as a way to celebrate the day.  Share your thoughts about lima beans using #LimaBeanRespectDay on Social Media.


We were unable to find the creator of National Lima Bean Respect Day.




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