The Redeemer’s Never-Ceasing Intercession I have prayed for you.

 

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 Luke 22:32

How encouraging is the thought of the Redeemer’s never-ceasing intercession for us. When we pray, He pleads for us; and when we are not praying, He is advocating our cause, and by His supplications shielding us from unseen dangers. Notice the word of comfort addressed to Peter—”Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but”1—what? “But go and pray for yourself”?

That would be good advice, but it is not so written. Neither does He say, “But I will keep you watchful, and so you shall be preserved.” That would be a great blessing. No, it is, “But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail.”2

We little know what we owe to our Savior’s prayers. When we reach the hilltops of heaven and look back upon all the way whereby the Lord our God has led us, how we shall praise Him who, before the eternal throne, undid the mischief that Satan was doing upon earth.

How we shall thank Him because He never held His peace but day and night pointed to the wounds upon His hands and carried our names upon His breastplate! Even before Satan had begun to tempt, Jesus had forestalled him and entered a plea in heaven. Mercy outruns malice. Consider, He does not say, “Satan hath desired to have you.” He checks Satan even in his very desire and nips it in the bud. He does not say, “But I have desired to pray for you.” No, but “I have prayed for you—I have done it already; I have gone to court and entered a counterplea even before an accusation is made.” O Jesus, what a comfort it is that You have pleaded our cause against our unseen enemies; You have unmasked their ambushes. Here is a matter for joy, gratitude, hope, and confidence.

1) Luke 22:31
2) Luke 22:32

The Trendiest Neighborhoods in Europe

Europe’s diversity means there are vibrant cultural communities in every city. And in every city you’ll find a neighborhood outside the tourist hubs that is not so mainstream, packed with art, music, nightlife and dining. If that sounds like your kind of place, then make sure you check out these trendiest neighborhoods in Europe.

Embajadores, Madrid, Spain

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A unique blend of traditional and modern architecture coupled with multicultural influences makes this district in the Spanish capital so special. Throughout the year, a succession of festivals and events ensure there’s an enviable energy about the place. Here you’ll find a wide variety of cuisines sitting next to hip coffee shops and contemporary galleries.  Markets are one of the keys to its success. The country’s most famous weekend flea market — the Rastro — is supplemented by two food-focused markets — San Fernando and Antón Martín.

Kalamaja, Tallinn, Estonia

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Originally the city’s main harbor and later — in the Soviet era — an industrial neighborhood, this pocket of hipster paradise in Tallinn, Estonia has been repurposed with boutique stores, galleries, and eateries. A craft brewery has become the anchor tenant in what was once a submarine shipyard and with a nod to the importance of the railway to Kalamaja’s development, two train carriages are now a trendy restaurant and bar. Stroll past brightly-colored buildings until you reach the water where you can continue your exploration along the harbor.

Kreuzberg, Berlin, Germany

Oberbaum bridge over river with yellow tram crossing over
Credit: Nikada/ iStock

This bohemian neighborhood in what was once West Berlin is rapidly changing, but still manages to retain a uniquely hipster vibe. What felt rebellious in the past has softened into a district that retains a multicultural outlook, while welcoming entrepreneurs and creatives. Sip coffe in a graffiti-covered cafe or enjoy authentic Turkish cuisine in one of its many eateries. If you’re in the German capital and looking for a late-night drink, this is one neighborhood where there’ll be plenty of options.

Belleville, Paris, France

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The northern Paris district of Belleville was once a separate village. Now, straddling the 19th and 20th arrondissements, it’s one of the most cosmopolitan areas of the city. A stroll up Les Hauts de Belleville to the Rue des Envierges rewards passersby with wonderful views over Paris and the opportunity to discover a neighborhood that’s made a reputation for itself as a hub for music and art. Take a picnic to Belleville Park on a sunny day, before finding the street lamp under which it’s rumored Edif Pilaf was born.

Södermalm, Stockholm, Sweden

Old Town pier architecture in Sodermalm at sunrise
Credit: Oleksiy Mark/ Shutterstock

The island of Södermalm, which is across the water from Stockholm’s old town Gamla Stan, is home to SoFo—south of Folkungagatan. It’s one of Stockholm’s most inviting neighborhoods and is a magnet for creative types and fans of retro and vintage homewares and clothing. Sit in an outdoor cafe people watching before visiting the Stockholm Transport Museum. Come on the last Thursday of the month when the area’s many independent stores stay open late.

Mouraria, Lisbon, Portugal

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Originally a Moorish ghetto, Mouraria is proud of its long history and close-knit community. Culturally diverse, it is a multiracial melting pot where immigrants are welcomed. The neighborhood is also the birthplace of the distinctive, melancholic, haunting sound of fado music and boasts a buzzing street art scene and plenty of authentic eateries.

Hoxton, London, United Kingdom

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Bordering the equally trendy Shoreditch neighborhood in London, hip Hoxton is one of London’s most rewarding districts. Street art is elevated to new heights with famous installations drawing visitors year-round. Meanwhile, you can run away to the circus if you book an experience day at the National Centre for Circus Arts housed in what was once the Shoreditch Electric Power Station.

5 Hottest Travel Destinations in the World

If you want to beat everyone to the hottest places to visit this year, all you have to do is read on to discover what is trending according to KAYAK, the popular travel search engine. They just released their list of destinations that saw the greatest jump in KAYAK searches from last year. Let’s see what’s trending in tourism as we explore the five hottest travel destinations in the world.

Guadalajara, Mexico (+43%)

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What made Guadalajara a hot spot this year? Let’s start with tequila. Take a tour where some of the best in the world is made — the Tlaquepaque Distillery. This quiet Mexican city is also home to chic art galleries and modern architecture set among old-world buildings. You can also experience awesome local cuisine to go with your tequila. Let’s end with music. Guadalajara is home to mariachi. Expect to pay a modest $300 for a roundtrip ticket and a stay in a 5-star hotel will only cost you $125 a night.

The Bahamas (+45%)

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Getting to the Bahamas is the pricey part of the trip where to can expect to pay around $500 to get to Nassau. However, once you get there your troubles will melt away as you relax on the white sand beaches and take a dip in the clear blue waters. You will also find an endless range of water activities that cater to all tastes and experience levels. You can snorkel in the calm clear waters of Elbow Cay or head out a catamaran to explore the coral reefs. The place to be is Atlantis, where you can get a room for $230 a night. It will be an experience you won’t forget.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (+49%)

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Vietnam has been trending for years and lands in the third spot on this hot list. The city has blossomed into a captivating mix of old and new with ancient temples and French-inspired colonial building sitting elegantly in the shadows of modern skyscrapers. Ho Chi Minh City has shed its skin from its scarred past and has emerged like a butterfly with so much to offer tourists who are seeing this proud city for the first time. Day trips can be easy to book and you will be amazed and charmed by the beauty of the countryside and friendly people of Vietnam. Exotic street food and bustling markets greet you as you walk the busy streets. Expect to shell out about $1,000 for a roundtrip ticket, but a luxurious hotel room can be found for $50 or less a night.

Bali, Indonesia (+65%)

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Way to go, Bali! You are the only destination to make KAYAK’s top trending list three years in a row. Once you are there you will know why. Bali is home to some of the best beaches in the world and is known as the Island of the Gods complete with amazing palaces and temples set among lush tropical jungles. A stay in Bali is probably a once in a lifetime experience, to be honest, as it takes almost two days to get there from the U.S. and a roundtrip flight will set you back over $1,000. If you are willing to get adventurous, a room can be had for under $30 a night, but a night in a midrange room will cost you around $100.

Mexico City, Mexico (+73%)

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Coming in at #1 on the hottest travel destination in the world is Mexico City. Why are people so eager to head to this south of the border capital city? Just about everything! Mexico City is a lively city full of culture, food, fashion and art (only Paris has more museums on tap). You won’t even need to leave the city to experience the history or Mexico’s proud past with your pick of Aztec ruins and enchanting boat trips down ancient canals. The trip won’t break your budget either. An average roundtrip ticket comes in it at $200. Hotels are reasonable for a capital city. You can book a stay in the InterContinental Presidente Mexico City in the trendy Polanco neighborhood for only $200 a night.

What a Man Needs

NIGHT LIKE FOR COUPLES

“It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:18

Wife, do you understand the needs of your husband? Let’s face it, a man’s career is usually extremely important to his self‐esteem. He is made that way. Many women complain about their husbands’ “workaholism,” which may be valid, and yet husbands deserve thanks for the effort they invest. Compared to the man who sits around the house doing little or nothing, the hard worker is an honorable man. God has assigned two key tasks to men: to provide for and to protect their families. If your husband meets those two requirements, you need to let him know that you appreciate how hard he works.

Several years ago a survey was taken to determine what men wanted in their homes. The result was surprising: It was tranquility. Is your home a peaceful haven for your husband and your family—a place where he can “recharge his batteries” and enjoy the company of his family?

Whatever his specific needs and wants, your husband—and your marriage—will benefit immeasurably when you make him a priority in your life. Scripture says that a woman was designed to be a “helper” for her husband (who, in turn, is commanded to love his wife as Christ loved the church). And after all, there’s no one better for the job than you.

Just between us…

  • (wife) Do you feel that I appreciate how hard you work?
  • (wife) What do I do for you that you most appreciate?
  • (wife) What things could I do to show my love for you this week?

(wife) Heavenly Father, thank You for my husband. I want to understand and serve him in ways that refresh and encourage him. Show me how to bless him with beautiful gifts like appreciation, support, and tranquility. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Survey result from Love for a Lifetime by Dr. James Dobson (Sisters, Ore.: Multnomah Publishers, Inc., 1998)

Healthy Fear

NIGHT LIKE FOR PARENTS

“Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13

You can hardly watch a movie, pick up a magazine or novel, or listen to the radio today without hearing or seeing the Lord’s name taken in vain. Even Christians use the phrase “Oh God!” in everyday language. As a society, we seem to have lost our reverence for and fear of the Father.

Maybe that’s why the Lord plainly instructs us to be careful about speaking His name. In fact, He made it the third of the Ten Commandments: “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God” (Exodus 20:7). Our Father knows that to show disrespect for His name—to allow it to be used as a common curse—is to treat the King of the universe with disdain and vulgarity. Even the angelic beings in His presence say, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty” (Revelation 4:8).

King David understood and respected Jehovah and His mighty power: “You have heard my vows, O God; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name” (Psalm 61:5). If we want our families to understand that reverence, we must honor His name in word, thought, and deed. Reflect daily on His glory; let your voice fill with respect when you speak of Him; turn off movies, TV programs, and videos that degrade or trivialize His name. Above all, teach your kids why “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10).

Before you say good night…

  • Does your family have a healthy fear of the Lord?
  • How can you model reverence for God’s name and Word?

Father, remind us to treat Your name with great reverence and honor. Forgive us if we’ve spoken of You in a light or frivolous way. We know that our children are watching and listening…and so are You. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Parents, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.