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I received this joke yesterday. But in all honesty, it sounds more like good advice. I'm on two diets now... I wasn't getting nearly enough food on just one. thanks, Linda

LET'S PRAY TOGETHER Lord, let our souls rise up to meet you as the day rises to meet the sun.  Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. May the peace of the Lord Christ go with us: wherever He may send us; Father, You have given us your word, Remind us to search it and know it. Spirit, You speak to us daily, Remind us to listen. Jesus, You are at work through Your church, Open our eyes to see and act as Your body. may You guide us through the wilderness: protect us through the storm; may You bring us home rejoicing: at the wonders You have shown us; may You bring us home rejoicing once again into our doors. Amen

MEDITATION For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:7 ESV) Have you ever gone to a magic show or watched special on TV featuring a magician? They use of sleight of hand, special devices, and the way our minds work to create illusions. In fact, most “magicians” today are called illusionists to make it clear that they are not performing miracles but instead are skillful at creating illusions. The appearance that one thing is happening (a woman sawn in two) when in fact a completely different thing is happening (a woman is laying inside a special mirror adapted box in good health). The question on everyone’s mind at the show is, “How did they do that?!!” Until recent years, magicians chose not to explain how the trick was accomplished. In our walk with Christ, the how of faithful Christian living is not a secret or a mystery. Instead the entire goal of the church is to make the truly miraculous power of Jesus Christ available to all who want it. The life changing transformations, the access to resurrection power, the overflow of God at work in our hearts is meant for EVERY believer. Corrie Ten Boom said, “Trying to do the Lord’s work in your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting, and tedious of all work. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you.”* Think about it, have you been trying to generate the “fruit of the Spirit” instead of seeking the Lord and allowing Him to transform you in such a way that love, peace, joy, etc simply flow out of you? The work is not trying to be “kind”, the work is praying, knowing the word and serving God so that you ARE kind. "What wings are to a bird and sails to a ship, so is prayer to the soul.”* Prayer is power, is that how you experience it? If not now is a great time to ask yourself and God, “Why?” Throughout this series on the Fruit of the Spirit, the goal has been to reveal how we as Christians can live truly fruitful lives.  Looking at the Ten Boom family, the goal has been to ask ourselves, “What made it possible for this family to steadily point to Christ in the midst of the worst events of the 20th century?” Faithful Christian living is no illusion, it’s not a trick; it is a totally miraculous transformation made possible by a living and loving God who gave His own life to make you new! Turn your heart and mind toward Him today and ask Him for His help, are you ready for what happens next? *Corrie Ten Boom, The Hiding Place


Our daily scripture reading comes from the following link… If you have any insights into our daily readings, please feel free to share them with me. I would encourage you to visit for an overview of the book of 1st Kings and for an overview of the book of Acts. These videos will help with the “big picture” and the main themes. 1 Kings 20:1-21:29 So do you remember what the author of 1st Kings had said about Ahab? (16:30) Even so, when Ben-Hadad king of Aram attacks him, God will intervene. Why does he do this? (20:28) And then, when Ahab permits Ben-Hadad to live, God will pronounce judgment upon Ahab. (With the story of Ahab, I feel like I am experiencing whiplash.) Both Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5 have a list of the 10 commandments. Which command is Jezebel breaking? What I find interesting here is that when King David took Bathsheba and killed Uriah, the prophet Nathan will come to him. (You can go back to 2 Samuel 12 for this story.) Here, when Naboth is killed through “false testimony,” God will send the prophet Elijah to Ahab. How will Ahab respond to the word of God through the prophet Elijah? Acts 18:9-19:13 Sosthenes and Apollo will show up in the beginning of Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth. It is interesting how Luke includes a little bit of their stories here in Acts. This helps us to understand who they were, when we turn to Paul’s letter.  You know, the gift of the Holy Spirit is an important part of the book of Acts. Basically, it is the sign of God’s approval. Many of those times, we will see it in reference to miracles. But as we have been reading in Galatians 5, Paul will talk about it in what context? Psalm 78:32-39 Verse 32 says, “in spite of all this, they kept on sinning; in spite of his wonders, they did not believe.” In our verses for this morning, Asaph is saying that while God performed miracles for the nation of Israel, they did not believe. It was only when trouble came upon them that they turned to God. Do you find this true in your own life? Is it difficult to follow God when things go well, and easier when you find yourself in trouble? 

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