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The world is going to end in September 2015

We're running out of time

Did you hear? The world is going to end in September.

Or something like that.

Apparently, the Illuminati has been sending us subliminal messages since way back via movies.

Some folks think Jesus is going to return during Rosh Hashana.

Others think the Illuminati is going to put us (Christians?) in internment camps.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of

Honestly, I don’t know if all these things will come to pass. I’m not God. I do know I sense a change coming. I sense that the United States has crossed the line. The dam has burst and there’s no containing the malevolent destruction that spews forth.

The Bible is clear about the times we live in:

You may as well know this too, Timothy, that in the last days it is going to be very difficult to be a Christian.  For people will love only themselves and their money; they will be proud and boastful, sneering at God, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful to them, and thoroughly bad.  They will be hardheaded and never give in to others; they will be constant liars and troublemakers and will think nothing of immorality. They will be rough and cruel, and sneer at those who try to be good. They will betray their friends; they will be hotheaded, puffed up with pride, and prefer good times to worshiping God. They will go to church, yes, but they won’t really believe anything they hear. Don’t be taken in by people like that.

2 Timothy 3:1-5, TLB

Evil Days

So what’s a Christian to do in such perilous times?

I believe I’m to trust God. Trust Him and not give in to fear. Trust Him and believe that no matter what, He’ll take care of me.

If there are forces out there who want to destroy me because I’m a Christian, I still win, because the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is my Savior. To die is to be in His Wonderful Presence at last. If I suffer, I believe He will give me the grace to endure.

But when I am afraid, I will put my

My favorite Psalm when I get to feeling insecure about the future is Psalm 91. I’ve memorized it. If you haven’t, I encourage you to memorize it and pray it as we enter into this new phase of worshiping Jesus in an America that isn’t so free anymore.

If you’d like, print the picture below and hang it up or carry it with you to give you comfort. Memorize it, and then let me know you did!

Psalm 91King James Version (KJV) (1)

Click here for the .pdf version: Psalm 91 King James Version (KJV)

So what say you? Do you think Jesus is coming in September?

If you aren’t a Christian and you’re reading this, and have questions, please feel free to contact me via my contact page. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have. You can also contact me on Facebook or Twitter. Seek Jesus while there is still time.

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Strong Girl Saturday: Different? That’s Way Okay! By Elaine Stock

Today’s Strong Girl post is written by friend and fellow author, Elaine Stock.

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Elaine Stock, Author

Can you see her? She’s the kindergartener reading a book in the corner because a speech impediment tossed bricks between her and the ability to make easy friends. She’s the one whose mom pushed her into awkward social situations that made her feel as if she were an elephant balancing on a tightrope while she watched her mom seclude herself behind a closed door. She’s the serious one, yet a dreamer, the one who writes stories. She’s the one who clung to God even before she understood the full meaning of faith.

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She’s me. And I used to struggle with being what others typed as “different.”

The red and gold bracelet shimmy down her arm

The ankle bells clanks and rings

She hears music and dances steps that calm

Closing her eyes to life’s stings.

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Others laugh

They tease, they taunt

They think they’re cool, but they’re only half

If they really had it all, they wouldn’t have to flaunt.

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She hears the One who loves her so much

Her confidence isn’t dependent on the cruel

Her esteem, rather, comes from Him who has her in His clutch

She learns to love the others, but lives on His fuel.

(© Elaine Stock)

It’s taken me many years to learn that it’s okay to be me. Really, I’m not a bad person. Not freaky. Don’t mess with drugs or drink. I do no harm to others. I admit to owning a few quirks, but nothing in the too-seriously-weird category.

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What I’ve come to realize the past decades of my life is that everyone—without an exception—is singular, as well as we should be. God created each of us in His image, but like each kitten with patches and zigzag stripes or like each snowflake that falls, we are all unique. If we obey God’s words, then our individuality is very okay.

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The popular singer, Taylor Swift, recently said, “Maybe you’re not meant to fit in. Maybe you’re supposed to stand out.” Yay, Taylor! What a bold statement from someone in today’s times who is pressed to be outrageous, but instead is creating her own way and is enjoying each day.

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Be true to yourself. Be a good person. Believe in the One who created you with an expressed purpose. You won’t go wrong.

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Rejoice in the good stuff. Ignore any discouragement.

Author Bio:

Elaine Stock never expected that a college major in psychology and sociology would walk her through the see-saw industries of food service and the weight-loss business; co-ownership with her husband in piano restoration; and ten years in community leadership. All great fodder for creating fiction.

In the spring of 2011 Elaine placed in the Semi-finals category in the ACFW Genesis Contest for her novel WALK WITH ME. In 2013 she received the honor of My Book Therapy’s Frasier Bronze Medalist award for NO GOING BACK. And in 2014 she was blessed with the news that her short story IN HIS OWN TIME won the People’s Choice Award in the FamilyFiction Contest and will be published in a printed anthology. Her short story, THE FOREVER CHRISTMAS GIFT is about to be released in CHRISTMAS TREASURES: A COLLECITON OF SHORT STORIES.

Elaine’s blog, Everyone’s Story has been graced by an awesome international viewership. She hosts weekly interviews and reflections from published authors, unpublished writers, and readers who share inspirational stories. Its viewership is dedicated to “Readers, Writers, and All Those In-between.”

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You can connect with Elaine at:

Website/blog: Everyone’s Story  elainestock.com

Twitter  http://www.twitter.com/ElaineStock

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AuthorElaineStock

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Tweet this: She’s the serious one, yet a dreamer, the one who writes stories.

October is Pastor Appreciation Month

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My church family gave us the most unexpected surprise Sunday when they presented all the pastors with gift baskets via our talented clown ministry team.

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As you may or may not know, my husband is the pastor of Christian Fellowship Church in North Manchester, Indiana. It’s one of the smallest churches in town member-wise. It’s not the hip church or the popular church. It’s the only non-denominational church and filled to the brim with love.

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A lot of people come to our church that are on the fringes of society and a lot of people come to our church who aren’t. Most of the kids in our youth group have disabilities. I’m not sure why God sends us those he does, but I’m so happy to say our church folks welcome people from all walks of life with open arms. Not just in words, either. You truly feel the love when you walk into the building. It oozes warmth.

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My husband is a nurturing type of pastor. He visits the sick, builds wheelchair ramps at people’s homes when needed, helps do household repairs for widows and the aged, and genuinely loves people. He is very people oriented, whereas, I’m more task oriented. It’s a good thing, too. While my husband doesn’t have the gift of administration–a task-oriented gift–I do. Since we don’t have a church secretary, I can slide right in beside him and help with administrative duties.

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Pastor Eddie Akins (Mr. Himself, as I fondly refer to him)

Small churches are much more labor intensive than large churches. But there’s also a real sense of family in a small church. I’m not saying you can’t get that in a big church. I know you can. I’m just saying that small churches have a lot to offer, too.

Our services are more casual, perhaps, than in a bigger church. For instance, we were clowning around when taking these pictures and that’s why I look silly in them:

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Our pastoral staff, Pastor Eddie and me on the left end and me acting silly to get a laugh. Imagine that.

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At least I’m a little more refined in this pic even though I’m grinning like a Cheshire cat…

I was truly surprised to get the gifts Sunday. It’s hard to surprise me since I’m the administrator/secretary/social events coordinator/Christian Ed. director/piano player/choir director. I love being surprised this way! It truly sent the message to me that I’m valued and loved. It sent the same message to Mr. Himself.

What have you done lately to honor your pastor? A simple note of encouragement will take him through a difficult week. I know this very well. Never think a small token of gratitude is too small. Pastors and their families are drained dry at times and we hear much more complaining than we do encouragement.

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Take a little time this month to say, “Thank you.”

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Strong Girls aren’t ashamed of their Christianity

Stronggirlslogo2We are living in troubling times as Strong Girls. Which is why now, more than ever before, it’s important to remain strong and firm in our faith.

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Christians throughout the world are dying for believing in Jesus. Maybe you think this will never happen to you, but I’m sure other Christian women and girls in the world thought the same thing.

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Mariam Yehya Ibrahim is one of those women. She was put in prison in her own country (Sudan) for being a Christian and for marrying a Christian. Even though she had her little boy with her in prison, and was also expecting a baby, she refused to renounce her faith.

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All she had to do to get out of prison was tell the prison authorities that she would become a Muslim and deny Jesus as her Savior. She was hungry. She was carrying a child. Her little boy was hungry, too. But she refused to renounce her faith. What a strong woman.

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I wonder — are you that strong? Am I?

Mariam revealed the secret to her strength in a recent interview on Fox News. It wasn’t that she had her own superpowers, but the power of faith: “The situation was difficult but I was sure that God would stand by my side. I relied only on my faith.”

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“When I was in prison I was only thinking about my children and how I was going to give birth. I was most scared of giving birth in prison…I gave birth chained — not cuffs but chains on my legs. I couldn’t even open my legs, so the women had to lift me off the table.”

Meriam Ibrahim with her daughter, who was born in Omdurman women's prison last week

Because of the way she was forced to give birth, her baby girl may never walk.

While you watch the video below, think about what you would do in these circumstances. Someday you may need to take a stand for your faith. As a Strong Girl, you, like Mariam, will need to draw on the strength that comes from faith in God.

“Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts” Zechariah 4:6b.

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Tweet This: Is your faith strong enough to be tested?

Strong Girls are Happy Girls

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Do you know what kind of girl is a pretty girl?

A happy girl.

Are scowly, bitter girls happy or pretty?

I don’t think so.

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Strong girls are happy girls. And one sure way to keep from being happy is to be unforgiving and spiteful.

I know it isn’t easy. Our nature without Jesus is to take revenge. To give back whatever hurt us is our first reaction.

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But a Strong Girl stops before she reacts. She counts to ten. Or she takes a few days to calm down before reacting. And then, maybe she doesn’t react at all.

It’s good to remember this: you can’t reason with unreasonable people.

If a person has a point of view that isn’t yours, and they aren’t willing to listen because they are angry, hurt or just plain stubborn, then your efforts to change their mind are a waste of time.

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God knows all about human nature, and He’s given us some very good advice on how to treat people who hurt us:

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger.The tongue of the wise utters knowledge rightly, but the mouth of the [self-confident] fool pours out folly” (Proverbs 15:1 & 2, AMP).

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Being spiteful just continues the cycle of hatefulness. As Strong Girls, we’re called to love and grace, not hate and revenge. And that means laying down our own feelings and obeying God. It’s hard at first, but once you do it, you’ll feel more freedom than you can imagine.

When you continue to hate and feel bitterness and resentment toward the person who has done you wrong, you give them power to make your life miserable. Why let them have the power to keep you bitter? Bitterness just leads to ugliness. Strong Girls are beautiful.

forgivenssCheck out what God has to say here:

Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive] (Colossians 3:13, AMP).

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you (Ephesians 4:32, KJV).

Do you know what helps me forgive someone when they’ve been mean to me? I remember the words of Jesus as He hung on the cross: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do (Luke 23:24).”

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If Jesus can forgive those who crucified Christ in the midst of the excruciating pain on the cross, and have compassion for those who hurt Him, the least I can do for His sacrifice for me, is to imitate Him by being a forgiving girl.

why-its-important-to-forgive-and-forget-L-gwe619A forgiving, gracious girl will never be a hard, bitter girl. She will remain sensitive to the Holy Spirit. She will remain tenderhearted and compassionate. This may also mean she will be hurt easier than others, but that doesn’t mean she’s isn’t strong. On the contrary, it takes a lot of strength to live this way.

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But you can do it, Strong Girl. Because it’s not by YOUR might or power, but by the strength that God gives you by His Holy Spirit (Zechariah 4:6).  Ask Him for the strength.

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There have been times when I have been so hurt and it’s been so difficult to forgive someone that I’ve literally had to get down on my hands and knees and cry out to the Lord, “Father, I don’t want to forgive them because it hurts so much and what they did to me makes me want to scratch their eyes out. But Lord, out of obedience to You, I forgive them.”

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Do you think God is surprised by how you feel? No way! He made you. He already knows how you feel, but telling Him about it is very freeing! I know from experience! Nothing I say to Him can shock Him because before a word is on my tongue He knows what I’m going to say. So talk to Him. He can handle it (Psalm 139).

Remember, forgiveness isn’t a feeling. It’s a decision. But there is a huge blessing in it for you!

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When Job forgave those who criticized him and he prayed for them, God gave Job twice as much as he had before! Job was one strong dude because of His close walk with God. But it wasn’t until he prayed for his friends that God began to bless him are restore all he’d lost and much more (Job 42:10).

Jesus said:

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you (Matthew 5:44, KJV).

Forgive to forget.

Do you have any questions about forgiveness? About being a Strong Girl? About God and the Bible? Please feel free to ask them below and I will answer them.

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Strong doesn’t mean you’ll never cry

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In the dictionary strong is defined as being “able to withstand great force or pressure.”

There’s no doubt girls and women are under great forces and pressure these days. Everywhere we turn there are sexual messages. Movies, commercials, TV shows, magazines all send a message to women that they are valued more for their looks and sexuality than they are for their intellect, talent or character.

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Source: MTV

How does a Strong Girl value herself for what God says she is without feeling the pressure from the world’s messages?

The Bible says in Psalm 46:1 that God is our refuge and strength. To be a Strong Girl in Jesus, means to run to HIM for that strength.

On our own, we’re weak and at times foolish. We can let thoughts overpower us. But if we submit our minds to the Lord, He will strengthen us with HIS resolve. HIS strength. We build our life on the ROCK of His wisdom, His strength, and we are wise, not foolish. Remember this little song we sang in Sunday School?

You see, God is never weary. He is always strong. And if you have Jesus in you, you have HIS power and strength.

Isaiah 40: 29-31 says that God gives POWER to the faint and STRENGTH to those who have none. “Even the youths shall faint and be weary , and the young men shall utterly fall : But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run , and not be weary ; and they shall walk , and not faint.”

All you have to do is ask. And then listen for His voice.

Often we are in too much of a hurry to wait on the Lord to keep us strong. We want to run ahead and do it our way.

And anytime we run our way and not God’s way, we can expect disastrous results.

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If we believe what a man or boy promises us when wanting us to do something above what God says for us to do, we can expect to get hurt. Sure, God is there with His grace to forgive our mistakes, but we still have consequences on this earth. Pregnancy, STDs, a broken heart, memories that haunt us. God’s advice to us isn’t to keep us from having fun, but to give us a happy life without as much heartache.

If we believe what the world tells us instead of what God tells us, we can expect to be deceived.

But if we believe what God tells us, we’ll experience much less pain. Living in this world is hard enough without us making it even harder.

From the beginning of the time the enemy–Satan–has hated women. “Did God REALLY say you couldn’t eat that fruit?”

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He twists God’s words. And he still does it today.

God’s grace is so full of love that He wants nothing but the best for you. When you really grasp how much you are loved by God, you will run to that source of Strength and let it fill you up. You will have no desire for the kind of acceptance the world gives. All you’ll want is to be full of HIM. All you’ll care about is pleasing HIM because he loves you SO MUCH!

752a68152b266de82bdaddb7da574c46People will fail you. I can guarantee it. They will hurt you, disappoint you, and betray you.

But God never will.

Strong doesn’t mean you’ll never cry. You will still cry. Jesus wept. And He was one strong dude while He walked on this earth. Strong means you admit you’re weak without HIM, and need HIS strength to carry you through.

Cry out to Him when you’re in need of strength. I promise He will answer. More than that, HE promises, too.

Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24

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Strong Girls aren’t mean girls

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Strong doesn’t mean you have the right to be rude. The Bible tells us that our tongue has the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21). Strong Girls use their words to build up, encourage and not tear down (1 Thess. 5:11).

But how do you do that when you’re in the habit of gossiping and being negative?

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Wait upon God before you speak. Seek Him to take control of your thoughts, and when you do that, your tongue will express the sweetness that lives in your mind.

Give your words and your life, Strong Girl, the Philippians 4:8 test:

“…whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

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Think cupcakes. Are your words sweet? Are your thoughts following Philippians 4:8?

  • True
  • Honest
  • Just (as opposed to unfair)
  • Pure
  • Lovely
  • Good reports (as opposed to negative gossip)
  • Virtue (good things, pure things, nice things)
  • Praise

I don’t see any nasty gossip in there, do you?

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Tweet This: Strong Girls aren’t mean girls.

Tweet This: Strong Girls don’t believe what the world and its media says they are.

Tweet This: Strong Girls are what God says they are.

 

Can you think of one way you can use your words to build someone up this week? Let me know in the comments below!