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News Flash: God Controls Time, Calendars Express Shock

News Flash: God Controls Time, Calendars Express Shock

And this small and temporary trouble we suffer will bring us a tremendous and eternal glory, much greater than the trouble. For we fix our attention, not on things that are seen, but on things that are unseen. What can be seen lasts only for a time, but what cannot be seen lasts forever. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (TEV) It will come as a surprise to our calendars, smartphones, and alarm clocks, but God controls time. The best our tools can do is measure the time passing. God created time and he uses it to direct and guide us into setting priorities. When tend to think in terms of today or next week, but God wants us to get our eyes on eternity. That is why Pastor Rick is teaching us to look ten years forward – to the end of this Decade of Destiny. Where does God want us to be then? What should be our priorities if we want to get to where God wants us to go? Why do we need to plan so far ahead? Our time will come to an end. It is a temporary tool God uses to bring us into forever. What if you only have ten years to live? How would you set your priorities differently? What stops you from setting them like that now? Whey do we need to plan so far ahead? Time moves faster than we think. I’m sure you can relate, but when my oldest son was 9, I thought, “Wow, we’re already half-way through to 18. Where does the time go.” And then, in what seemed like a moment, my son became 16. What will you do with the remaining time that God gives you with your children? What should your priorities be? Remember this — • Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Time cannot diminish Christ’s love for you or his power to work within your life. He is there in the past; he is here in the now; and he is there in your future. With Jesus at work, it is never too late to begin again. • A thousand years are like the blink of an eye to God (Psalm 90:4). God is working to bring you into eternity, not just to get you through the end of next week. Praise God for his grace and for a love so strong that he wants you to spend an eternity with...

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God is Never Too Busy to Talk

God is Never Too Busy to Talk

Doesn’t that privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you are not a slave, but a child? And if you are a child, you’re also an heir, with complete access to the inheritance. Galatians 4:7 (MSG) Here are three encouraging facts to remember about God: God is never too busy – “The Lord is near to all who call on him.” (Psalm 145:18 NIV) He’s never too busy to talk to you. He’s always near. He never says, “Some other time.” God loves to meet your needs — He’s not annoyed by your request. “If you know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11 NIV) God is sympathetic to your hurts — “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and rescues those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18 NLT) When you hurt, God hurts. When you grieve, God grieves. He is there. And He cares. That is the Good...

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God’s Delay May Be a Test of Your Patience

God’s Delay May Be a Test of Your Patience

“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, ‘He who is coming will come and will not delay.’” Hebrews 10:36-37 (NIV) If you’re discouraged because of God’s delay in answering your prayers, understand the delay is NOT a denial. Just because the answer hasn’t come – YET – that doesn’t mean God isn’t going to answer or that he’s forgotten you or that he doesn’t care about you. It simply means “not yet!” Part of becoming spiritually mature is learning the difference between “no” and “not yet,” between a denial and a delay. The Bible tells us, “He who is coming will come and will not delay.” (Hebrews 10:37 NIV) God’s delay may be a test of your patience. Anybody can be patient once. And, most people can be patient twice. And, a lot of us can be patient three times. So God tests our patience over and over and over. Why? So he can see how patient you are? No! He does it so you can see how patient you are. So you’ll know what’s inside you, and you’ll be able to know your level of commitment. God tests you so that you can know he is faithful, even if the answers you seek are delayed. If you’re discouraged, turn it around by remembering God teaches you patience during delay. Ask him to transform your discouragement into...

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Parenting with the Lord’s Prayer: God Protects

Parenting with the Lord’s Prayer: God Protects

“… but deliver us from evil.” (Matthew 6:13 NIV) There is no doubt that this world is becoming increasing unsafe for our children. It is less safe for my grandkids than it was for my kids. And it was less safe for my kids than it was for me when I was growing up. And it was less safe for me than it was for my parents when they were growing up. Remember when you could go outside and play without parental supervision? Ride your bike to the park by yourself? There are all kinds of problems, sins … wackos, and weirdos out there. And there are all kinds of ways that evil can get to your child in your own home through the Internet, television, and things on their phones like sexting. So how do you protect your children from evil? Well, unfortunately, you can’t always control everything that happens to your kids because they’re not in your sight all the time, and they won’t be. But the things that are out of your control are not out of God’s control. So pray! That’s why prayer is so important. You need to pray for your children every day. You need to pray with them before they go to prom and you need to pray with them before the first day of school. You need to pray, “deliver us from evil,” because God’s answer to our fear is his power. He can...

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Parenting with the Lord’s Prayer: Creating Stability

Parenting with the Lord’s Prayer: Creating Stability

“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10 NIV)   Study any psychological test and they’ll tell you the most insecure place for a kid to be is at the center of his or her family – controlling all the strings, getting their way in everything. Kids instinctively know they do not belong in the center of the family; it creates great insecurity in their lives. Where kids find stability and security is in having boundaries. This is true from the moment they are born. We take little babies and wrap them up tightly. It’s called swaddling and being tightly bound gives the baby a feeling of security. When you set boundaries with your children, they may push back, but they will also feel secure when those boundaries stand firm. They learn that you really do care about them. It’s when children don’t have those boundaries, and feel they can get away with anything, that they begin to question their parents’ love. In the same way children need to know God’s purpose for their life is part of God’s larger plan. This creates boundaries of identity for them. It let’s them know that life is not all about them. And in understanding God’s plan, they are able to find the answers to the basic questions of life: who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? Where did I come from? Does my life have meaning? What is my purpose and how should I live it out? Why is this happening to me? When you teach a child, “thy kingdom come, they will be done” you are teaching them that God has a master plan for history, but he also has a specific plan for their...

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