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Archive for the ‘Inspiring verse’ Category

Darkness to Light

Even in darkness light dawns
for the upright,
for those who are gracious
and compassionate.
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Psalm 112:4
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The words gracious and compassionate are perfect words to describe my Dad, Terry, S. Smith.  He also constantly radiates joy.  He has recently written a book about his life story, Delta Blues: From Darkness to Light.  For Valentine’s Day, it is offered free on Kindle through February 16th, 2014.  The following is a book review written by Meghan over at goodreads.com
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One of the most inspiring stories of personal redemption, Terry Smith’s ‘Delta Blues Darkness to Light’ is one of those literary rarities that we see only every once in a while. And even now I’m getting goosebumps—the most positive kind—from the story..Make no mistake about it, this book is not a straight-out “preachy” self-help book. In fact, it has a strong literary quality about it—as if you’re reading a Pulitzer Prize-winning biography-slash-novel. There is something about Terry’s writing that pulls you in and hooks you—the clever cadence, the verisimilitude, the emotional gravitas that subtly courses just underneath the surface of the entire narrative. Let me suffice it to say that apart from the story itself—apart from Terry’s personal sharing of his journey “from darkness to light”—is the exceptional language.The book demonstrates that author Terry, as a life coach, actually knows what he talks about—he has been there, done that, endured much, which makes him a much more effective life coach than all the rest. In fact, I wish somebody from Hollywood turns this book into a movie so that it can find a wider audience and inspire countless others. But as it is, this book is a keeper—read the introduction or the first few chapters and you’ll see. If Terry’s story doesn’t immediately grip you, then perhaps nothing will.‘Delta Blues: Darkness to Light’ is a definite must-read. If you’re feeling down in the dumps or you know of anyone who can benefit from a power upliftment, get a copy of this book or send this as a gift. You will not be disappointed. A sold five-star rating for this one.
I will turn darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.  These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. ~ God  Isaiah 42:16
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I will not forget you!
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See I have engraved you
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On the palms of my hands …
 
Isaiah 49:15-16
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“You are precious and honored in my sight.
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I love you. For I am the Lord, your God, who
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takes hold of your right hand and says to
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you, Do not fear, I will help you.  I will
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strengthen you.  I have called you by name
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and you are mine.  I will not forget you!  See
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I have engraved you on the palms of my
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hands.  Never will I leave you.  Never will I
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forsake you.”  — God
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Dedicated to Pastor Saeed and his wife Naghmeh

“Because he love me,” says the Lord,

“I will rescue him.” Psalm 91:14

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“If you knew the generosity of God
and who I am,
you would be asking me for a drink,
and I would give you fresh, living water.”
 
~ Jesus
 
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Do you thirst for Jesus?  When I try to answer that question, I want to scream “yes,” but in reality the answer is often “no”.  In the book, Beautiful Outlaw, John Eldredge masterfully discusses the “playful, disruptive, extravagant personality of Jesus.”  I love it when I read something new about Jesus!  This book highlights aspects of Jesus’ personality that are clearly seen in scripture but too often overlooked because of years of religious muck.  It makes me thirst for Jesus in a way I never have before, and I invite you to join me in reading this book.  The following is a compilation of quotes from Beautiful Outlaw:
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We need Jesus like we need oxygen. Like we need water.  Like the branch needs the vine.  Jesus is not merely a figure for devotions.  He is the missing essence of your existence.  Whether we know it or not, we are desperate for Jesus …. A true knowledge of Jesus is our greatest need and our greatest happiness.  The purpose of your being here on this planet, at this moment in time, comes down to three things:
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1. To love Jesus with all that is within you.  This is the first and greatest command.  Everything else flows from here.
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2. To share your daily life with him: to let him be himself with you.  On the beach, at supper, along the road – just as the disciples did.
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3. To allow his life to fill yours, to heal and express itself through yours.  There is no other way you can hope to live as he did and show him to others.
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Sadly, for too many people, the Christ they know is too religious to love, too distant to experience, and too rigid to be a source of life.  It explains the abject poverty of the church.  But hear this — Jesus hasn’t changed one bit.  He is still quite himself.  The Scriptures assure us that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). 
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It’s a little ironic that in a sophisticated visual age like ours we still cling to a two-dimensional Jesus.  Such is the power of religious fog.  Everyone talks about Jesus’ “great acts of humility, faith and compassion.”  What about his great acts of playfulness, or cunning?  What about his brilliance, his wit, his irreverence, the scandalous freedom with which Jesus lives, his exasperation and impatience?  Not to mention his humanity; we have nearly forgotten he was a man.”
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Let’s take time and extend effort to get to know who Jesus really is … 
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“I offer water that will become a wellspring within you that gives life throughout eternity. You will never be thirsty again.” ~Jesus
 
 
Quotes from Jesus from John 4, translations The Message and The Voice
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God’s Delight

As for the saints who are in the land,
they are the glorious ones in whom is all my delight. 
Psalm 16:3
 
The words we use to define ourselves and others are powerful.  Children are especially vulnerable to the labels that they are given.  Personally, I can identify myself as a stay-at-home mom and a Christian, or a soul sculptor and one whose life has been disrupted and is now daily transformed by Jesus ChristThe first descriptions sound safe; the latter ones inspire me.  What words do you use to describe yourself?  More importantly, what words does God use to describe you?  “Apple of his eye”, “beloved”, “friend”, “like a sheep who needs to be carried” …. You are invited to use God’s words instead of yours.   
 
Inspired by Ann Voskamp’s use of the term “soul sculptor” and by To Be Told, by Dan Allender, Ph.D.
 

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His saints

 

 Precious in the sight of the Lord

 

 is the death of His saints.

 

Psalm 116:15

 

Many people died last week due to the tornadoes in the south.  There was another sudden death on April 27, 2011.  David Wilkerson, who passionately loved God, died instantly in a car accident.  Although I did not know him personally, his words touched me deeply.

This is what he wrote on his blog the day he died:

To those going through the valley and shadow of death, hear this word: Weeping will last through some dark, awful nights—and in that darkness you will soon hear the Father whisper, “I am with you. I cannot tell you why right now, but one day it will all make sense. You will see it was all part of my plan. It was no accident. It was no failure on your part. Hold fast. Let me embrace you in your hour of pain.”

Beloved, God has never failed to act but in goodness and love. When all means fail—his love prevails. Hold fast to your faith. Stand fast in his Word. There is no other hope in this world.”

David Wilkerson’s last mission on earth was to be an advocate for the poorest of the poor”.  Gary Wilkerson

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From the ends of the earth I call to you …
Psalm 61:2
  
 
My friend Mika lives in Japan with her husband and seven-year-old twin boys.  Mika was my next-door neighbor for a year at Wheaton College.  I was very sad when I heard about the earthquake in Japan, but then thinking about Mika and her family, my emotional involvement doubled.  I was so thankful when I found out that Mika and her family were safe.  I asked Mika to write a letter about what is happening in Japan and what we can do to help.  Here is her letter:
 

This is absolutely devastating.
So many people died and are still missing.
It is probably about over 13000 people.
The scenes from the disaster area are hollific.
We are far away from the area, but still have series of
aftershocks following the main earthquake. It is scary.

A friend of mine sent me the following website address.
You may take a look.
http://crashjapan.com/

Please pray that this difficult time will draw Japanese
people to God.

Love,
Mika

crashjapan.com
CRASH Japan is the website for the disaster response network of Grace Japan located in Ome-shi, Tokyo, Japan

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A Valentine from God

 
 You are
 
 Precious
 
and
 
Honored…
 
 
 I love you.
 
Isaiah 43:4 
 
 

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