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Two days before my open heart surgery, my Christian neighbor told me that she had received confirmation from God in her prayers that He would extend my life because:  "He knows you will tell everyone about it!"  And to that mission I have tried to be faithful…from the time I awoke from surgery to the present day.   My wife and I have used my "heart story" to witness to medical personnel and even waiters and waitresses in restaurants as well as many others that God brings across our paths each day.  Truly God has not only given me a "new song" but a whole new mission field.  And so my new life focus is reflected by Ps. 40:3,10 which I feel was written just for this time in my life:

"He (God) has given me a new song to sing, 
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what He has done
And be astounded.
They will put their trust in the Lord.
I have not kept this good news
Hidden in my heart; I have talked about Your
faithfulness and saving power.  I have told
everyone..Of Your unfailing love and faithfulness.

Truths from God's Word

Protect Your Blackboard

Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2002

Subject: Protect Your Blackboard

Good Morning Ethan & Emily:

It is my desire that our studies on temptation this week have been helpful for you...in a very practical sense.  We have talked about "running away" from temptation and "using Scripture" to defeat Satan's attacks...but a third and very important ingredient in our strategy is "avoidance." 

By this, I mean that we must be on guard and aware of what our weaknesses are...and then be alert and take the initiative to avoid looking at...or putting ourselves in a situation where we will be tempted.  On many occasions this has spared me a "struggle" with temptation....because I have avoided and deliberately not looked at something...or someone...or put myself in a situation where I know I have a weakness or tendency toward some sin.

A very interesting verse in Isaiah 55: 7 with good insight says:  "Let the people turn from their wicked deeds. (How?)  Let them banish from their minds the very thought of doing wrong!"

Good advice...if you don't put anything on the "blackboard" of your mind and life, you won't have to worry about dealing with it or erasing it!

Also in Romans, we are commanded:  "But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts."  (Romans 13:14)  "Make no provision" means just what it says....and again we need to take the offensive as we "work hard" at living a godly life that rewards us with blessing and victory.

There is a saying:  What you don't know won't hurt you.  And it is so true with regard to temptation:  What you don't see...or what you don't do...or what you don't think...won't hurt you.  If you refuse to entertain thoughts...or refuse to look at something...or restrain yourself from getting into any situation that might tempt you to do wrong or sin against God, you are fighting the battle against temptation...and you will keep it from "attacking" and possible "defeating" you.

The blood of Jesus has given our "blackboards" an eternal cleaning but we temporarily dirty it up with stray marks and unnecessary clutter as we give in to temptation.  We can keep our "blackboards" nice and clean as we take the initiative each day to guard our senses, emotions, and actions.

Keep your life "blackboard" clean from stray marks, and you will spend more time enjoying life and less time with an eraser trying to clean it up!

Have a great day,





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There is never a time when God is not at work in our lives...even when our prayers are seemingly going unanswered.
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