November 2016

The 45 Second Thanksgiving Rule

“Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16 Holman Christian Standard Bible

Forty five seconds – that is how long most award shows, including the Oscars, give recipients to say “Thanks!” Conveying thanks to the people in our lives who have blessed us and contributed to our success is of paramount importance. We dare not leave anyone out, especially mom, dad, our spouse and God.

I think the 45 second rule is a good one to incorporate in our everyday lives. Giving immediate and heartfelt thanks to those who bless us with some kindness, however great or small, has a multiplied benefit. It is not only an expression of common decency to our fellow human beings, but it is also an acknowledgement of the presence in each of us of the divine. As those who believe in God, we know that “every good and perfect gift is from above” originating from our Heavenly Father (James 1:17 NIV). When others are kind to us, it is a tangible indication of God Himself showering us with His goodness. What better use of the next forty-five seconds is there than to say “thanks,” to both our human and divine benefactors?

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3 Indisputable Reasons to Believe in God

“One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” John 9:25 NIV

What do you as a believer say to an unbeliever who is adept at poking holes in any case you present as evidence for the existence of God? How do you counter their rejection of your appeal to a standard of absolute truth (the Bible)? What do you say to their demand for scientific proof in dismissing your claims to the reality of a spiritual dimension to this life and beyond?

Thankfully, there are Biblical precedents and strategies for answering such objections. One line of approach which I’ve found to be very helpful can be summed up in one word – “history.” The power behind this approach in countering atheistic opposition to truth is in sharing the “HisStory” aspect of history. Emphasizing God’s role, both prophetically and instrumentally, in the writing of His story presents factual evidence that is difficult to dispute. In this vein of reasoning, I share here three appeals to history as undeniable facts that are associated with some form of Divine foreknowledge and supernatural intervention.

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The Power of a Simple Prayer

“Do you love me more than these?” . . . “Follow me!” Jesus – John 21:15, 19 NIV

“God I love you.” What would happen if you traded all your personal prayers for that simple four word prayer? What if you made a commitment to stop praying for yourself, your health, your wealth, and your safety and made it the only prayer you prayed for an entire year? We dare not underestimate the transforming power of a simple prayer, breathed repeatedly from an earnest heart.

Like many, I always marvel at the way God chooses to use ordinary people to do extraordinary things. The stories of such people are both intriguing and inspirational because of the unlikely series of circumstances that catapults them from a life on the couch to life on the edge, from a life consumed by the world to life as a world changer. Their testimonies capture our imagination since most of us can identify with the ordinariness of their lives before God called and transformed them into heroes of the faith.

One such hero of the faith for me is a new found friend named George Sisneros. When I met George during a month long visit to Guatemala last February 2016, I was immediately attracted to his no holds barred love for Jesus and passion to pour his life out for the gospel and the Glory of God. I

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