VERSE OF THE DAY

English Standard Version

 

Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.

 

Read at Bible Gateway

Read all of Romans 15

 

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (ESV® Text Edition: 2016) Copyright ©2016 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

 

 

ESV MacArthur Study Bible

Buy Now

English Standard Version

 

Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.

 

Read at Bible Gateway

Read all of Romans 15

 

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (ESV® Text Edition: 2016) Copyright ©2016 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

 

 

ESV MacArthur Study Bible

Buy Now

New King James Version

 

Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification.

 

Read at Bible Gateway

Read all of Romans 15

 

Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

 

 

NKJV Comfort Print Full Color Study Bible

Buy Now

English Standard Version

 

Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.

 

Read at Bible Gateway

Read all of Romans 15

 

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (ESV® Text Edition: 2016) Copyright ©2016 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

 

 

ESV MacArthur Study Bible

Buy Now

New King James Version

 

Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification.

 

Read at Bible Gateway

Read all of Romans 15

 

Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

 

 

NKJV Comfort Print Full Color Study Bible

Buy Now

A Tale of Two Homes

NIGHT LIKE FOR COUPLES

“If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” Mark 3:25

Suppose that you’re seven years old. You arrive home from school, and your mother welcomes you with a smile and a snack. Later your father comes home. Mom and Dad greet each other with a kiss and loving words. Dad gives you a warm hug. That night, after you finish your homework, the three of you enjoy a family game. Finally, you say your prayers and fall asleep.

Now put yourself in another seven‐year‐old’s place. You come home from school to a mother who, when she’s home at all, is on the phone or watching television. You eat a bag of candy by yourself. Later your father returns. Mom complains about the unfinished garage project. Dad replies angrily and walks past you to the kitchen. You watch television all evening, then crawl into bed and fall asleep listening to your parents argue.

One home is safe and nurturing; the other lonely and contentious. Too often, children grow up in homes like the latter—or worse. So ask yourself: Which scenario best describes your family? Further, how would you describe the mood of your household? Divided or united? Amiable or argumentative? Supportive or sarcastic? Every day, the story of your home is etching itself into the spirit and memory of your children.

Just between us…

  • How does the way we were brought up affect the mood in our household today?
  • How do you think our children would describe our home?
  • How can we make sure our home is a positive environment?

Loving Lord, we know that our relationship sets the tone for our children’s growing-up experience. Help us make our marriage the starting point of a good home and of a happy, Christ-honoring childhood for our kids. Amen.

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

Hold on to Faith

NIGHT LIKE FOR PARENTS

“We must go through many hardships to enter

the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22

We talked last night about several benefits to facing adversity. One, however, rises above the rest: Trials strengthen our faith and bring us closer to the Lord.

A steadfast faith ranks at the top of God’s system of priorities. Without it, He says, it is impossible to please Him (Hebrews 11:6). I (jcd) am reminded of a woman named Marian Benedict Manwell, whose brain was damaged permanently by a broken spring that penetrated her head as a baby. She was crippled for life. Other kids taunted her and mocked her deformity. When Marian was ten, her mother died of cancer. Despite—or more likely because of—these difficulties, Marian developed a deep faith in Christ. She eventually married a wonderful Christian husband and was blessed with eight children, all of whom grew up serving the Lord.

I’m not suggesting it’s easy to welcome misfortune into your life. I grieve for those who are confronting the loss of a loved one or some other terrible situation tonight. I can only say that it is God’s will for us to be thankful in all circumstances and that He understands our pain: “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh” (Luke 6:21). Hold on to your faith, teach your children to do the same, and He will sustain you and your family.

Before you say good night…

Is your faith strong enough to endure adversity?

Are your children developing an unshakable dependence on God?

Lord, how can we teach faith to our children if we don’t show it when troubles or hardships crash into our world? Help us to cling to You every day—with all our hearts—so that our kids will learn what it means to grow in faith. Amen.

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

Somebody Loves You – May 23, 2020

SATURDAY May 23, 2020

Impenitent Hearts

But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who “will render to each one according to his deeds”….
Romans 2:5-6

Wow! These are extraordinary words. Paul warned that sinful people without true repentance would become the object of God’s terrible wrath! This warning applies, not only to mockers and nonbelievers, but it also applies to people who have listened to the teaching of God’s Word and read the Scriptures, but they do not obey them. If a person continues to live a life of sin and reject God’s grace and mercy, they can expect God’s judgment to come.

Paul warned people about the seriousness of living a genuine Christian life. They could not be a Christian in name only. If there was no true change, no true transformation, then they were in deep trouble! I ask people in the congregation, “Is there evidence of your Christianity?”

Some people live foolishly; while in sin, they think, since they have not been judged yet, they have gotten away with their sin––judgment is not going to happen. Yet one day judgment will come. God will not be mocked. He will judge now or later. No one gets away with their sin. Take Paul’s warning seriously! God hates sin, and He will judge sin. Yet God is so patient and kind. God gives people opportunity after opportunity to repent:

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).

Do not take advantage of the grace of God because there is a day of judgment coming.

To say that we are sorry for our sins is mere hypocrisy, unless we show that we are really sorry for them, by giving them up. Doing is the very life of repentance.
~J.C. Ryle~

For more from Raul Ries, please visit SomebodyLovesYou.com!

Shaken

NIV DAILY DEVOTIONAL(Job 37:14–18)

Job’s friends pepper their misleading message with kernels of truth. Here Elihu reminds Job that God works in mysterious ways by pointing out the inscrutability of nature.

In a situation beyond our control, sometimes we can do nothing but throw up our hands. Imagine the emotions that overwhelmed the people of San Francisco in the wake of the 1906 earthquake.

When would they listen? Dennis Sullivan had 320 horses to pull the trucks and dozens of dogs to sound the alarm, but as San Francisco’s fire chief, he felt the critical need for a saltwater supplement to the city’s limited freshwater supply. Sullivan couldn’t forget the previous six times the city had burned, and he knew that just seven years earlier, his men had been unable to stop a raging fire in a local hotel. In 1905, the National Board of Fire Underwriters’ Committee declared the city to have a perfectly acceptable level of preparedness. The one man who felt strongly otherwise was about to realize his worst fears: the largest earthquake the city had ever experienced.

On April 18, Sullivan and his wife slept at the firehouse. Later that morning he was scheduled to testify before the mayor in federal court concerning his warnings about the city’s low level of preparedness. But that chance never came. At 5:12 a.m., a 7.9-magnitude earthquake rocked the town awake, sending thousands instantly to their deaths as buildings ripped in half and bridges collapsed. Thousands more died in the fires that swept across the city for the next four days. The dome of the California Hotel crashed through the fire station, and Sullivan fell three stories into the chasm that opened up beneath him. He died four days later, within the burning city he had staunchly fought to protect.

The earthquake shook a 375,000-square-mile area, knocking down millions of trees and any buildings close to the fault line. The quake not only left San Francisco without its fire chief but also destroyed two of the water mains connecting the fire water supply to the city. Ultimately, the quake cast the city’s inadequacies back on itself with unimaginable force.

  • What comfort do we have in the midst of incomprehensible events?
  • What have you been putting off that you want to do before it is too late?

Taken from NIV College Devotional Bible

What about people who have never heard about Jesus or the gospel—how will God deal with them?

INVESTIGATING FAITH

This is one of the most commonly asked questions about Christianity—and frankly, it’s challenging because we don’t have the complete answer. God hasn’t explicitly told us how he is going to deal with these situations. But we do know a few things about the matter.

First, we know from the Bible that everyone has a moral standard written on their hearts by God, and that everybody is guilty of violating that standard. That’s why our conscience bothers us when we do something wrong.

Second, we know that everyone has enough information from observing the created world to know that God exists, but people have suppressed it and rejected God anyway—for which they rightfully deserve punishment (Rom. 1:18–20).

Third, we know from both the Old and New Testaments that those who seek God will find him. Jesus said, for example, in Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” The Bible also indicates that the Holy Spirit is seek¬ing us first, making it possible for us to in turn seek him (John 16:7–11). This suggests to me that people who respond to the understanding that they have and who earnestly seek after the one true God will find an opportunity, in some way, to receive the eternal life that he has graciously provided through Jesus Christ.

Fourth, we see repeatedly in Scripture that God is scrupulously fair. Genesis 18:25 asks, “Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Said author Ronald Nash: “When God is finished dealing with all of us, none will be able to complain that they were treated unfairly.”

Finally, we know that apart from the payment Christ made on the cross, nobody has a chance to getting off of death row. But exactly how much knowledge a person must have about Jesus or precisely where the lines of faith are drawn, only God knows. He and he alone can expose the motives of a person’s heart.

Let me add that, without exception, every time I’ve heard this question it has been from someone who has heard about Jesus. As impor¬tant as this theoretical discussion is regarding the fate of those who have never heard, I need to remind those people that they have heard the good news and that they are responsible for what they do with it. In fact, Jesus said in Luke 12:48, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”

My strong encouragement to you, or to the friend who asked you this question, is to respond to God’s gracious offer of salvation through Christ and then join those of us who are doing all we can to spread his love and truth to everyone we can possibly reach—especially those who have never heard the good news.

“For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” – Jesus, in Matthew 7:8

This week’s essay is drawn from “The Case for Christianity Answer Book” by Lee Strobel.

 

Forward this email to your friends, or invite them to subscribe to receive Investigating Faith with Lee Strobel.

12 Underrated Things to Do in the Midwest

WE KNOW THERE ARE QUESTIONS AROUND TRAVEL AMID THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19). READ OUR NOTE TO READERS HERE.

The American Midwest often doesn’t get the attention it deserves. While tourists head straight to Chicago or St. Louis, there are amazing vacation spots across these flyover states that deserve their day in the sun. So, if you’re planning a trip to the heart of America, you need to check out these 12 underrated things to do in the Midwest.

Visit the Dutch in Pella, Iowa

Credit: Bella Bender/Shutterstock

Yes, Pella, Iowa is the home of the famous window company, but it’s also a tourist destination in its own right. To experience the Dutch heritage of the city’s founders, visit Pella’s Historical Village. Here you’ll find the Vermeer Windmill, the tallest working windmill in the country. Rounding out the best things to see in Pella are the historic Pella Opera House, Scholte House Museum and Lake Red Rock, Iowa’s largest reservoir. Oh, and don’t leave town without trying the delicious S-shaped pastry called the Dutch let

Canoe the Wild Boundary Waters at Grand Marais, Minnesota

Credit:Kenneth_Keifer/iStock

If you want to get away from it all, you won’t get much further away than Grand Marais, Minnesota. This small town sits in the far north of Minnesota, on the shores Lake Superior. Grand Marais is basically one big resort with Lake Superior and Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness at your disposal. Pack up your gear and prepare to head out into the big open wilderness. Take your pick of awesome water sports that are available on the lake or spend some time exploring the local arts scene.

Pamper Yourself at the Spas of French Lick, Indiana

Credit: wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock

Any basketball fan knows that French Lick, Indiana is the home of Celtic great Larry Bird. But you may not know that this small southern Indiana town has an amazing spa scene. The two resorts that make French Lick a place to visit are the French Lick Resort and West Baden Springs Hotel. To dine in an elegant restaurant that has won the Open Table Diner Choice Award, make a reservation at Sinclair’s Restaurant in West Baden Springs. Round out your French Lick experience with a round of golf or try your luck at the French Lick Casino.

Commune with German Americans in Amana, Iowa

Credit: Amdizdarevic/Shutterstock

Amana is home to the historic Amana Colonies, a group of seven villages that are about 40 minutes northwest of Iowa City. Locals like to say that they are part-German, part-American and part-communal. Amana is famous for using traditional methods to produce food and you’ll find plenty of handmade goods to buy, from quilts to brooms to furniture. Visit the 1858 Amana General Store or pick up a loaf of freshly-baked bread at Hahn’s Hearth Oven Bakery — they’ve been baking bread there since 1864.

Bike the Paul Bunyan Trail in Brainerd, Minnesota

Credit: Dan Thornberg/Shutterstock

Brainerd and its namesake lake are an outdoor lover’s paradise. Located just two hours north of the Twin Cities, Brainerd offers four seasons’ worth of great outdoor fun, from boating and fishing to skiing, golf and snowmobiling. People come from miles around to travel the famous Paul Bunyan Trail, which so happens to be the longest continuously-paved trail in the country. The 120-mile trail connects Brainerd with Bemidji and is a biker’s dream. Visit in the winter and you’ll find 1,200 miles of groomed snowmobile trails.

Hide Out Like an Outlaw in Cave-in-Rock, Illinois

Credit: Johnny Barrett/Shutterstock

This underrated activity is for history-loving adventurers. Cave-in-Rock is a quirky attraction on the banks of the Ohio River just across the water from Kentucky. This small village was originally a stronghold for outlaws like river pirates and the Sturtevant gang (a family of counterfeiters from the early 1800s). Later, many of the settlers that came to the cave area were fugitives and criminals who were on the run. Cave-in-Rock has been a landmark in the area since the 1920s and draws curious visitors from miles around

Hike the Westward Trails at Chimney Rock, Nebraska

Credit: Don Mammoser/Shutterstock

During the 1800s, Chimney Rock was a symbol of the great American western migration and served as a marker and milestone for settlers following the Oregon, California and Mormon Trails. Chimney Rock is the result of thousands of years of erosion and is made up of layers of volcanic ash and clay. Even though the rock sits alone on the open prairie of Nebraska, it attracts visitors from far and wide. Visit the museum to learn about the great overland trails and the significance of Chimney Rock to American expansion.

Climb the Giant Sand Dunes in Chesterton, Indiana

Credit: true nature/Shutterstock

The shores of Lake Michigan may seem like a strange place to find giant sand dunes, but Chesterton, Indiana is home to the Indiana Dunes National Park — a 15,000-acre outdoor park of rambling woods, lakefront beaches and sand dunes. Test your endurance by taking the 1.5-mile 3-Dune Challenge. There are some pretty cool places to stay as well like Riley’s Railhouse, a bed and breakfast fashioned from a 1914 freight station. You can also catch the train to Chicago from here and be in the Windy City in an hour and a half.

Joust at the Bristol Renaissance Faire in Kenosha, Wisconsin

Credit: Boykov/Shutterstock

Kenosha is a wonderfully unspoiled town on the shores of Lake Michigan. In addition to all the fun that the lake offers, Kenosha is known for two things homemade cheese and the Renfaire. Renaissance fairs have lately become full-blown Hollywood productions and Kenosha’s Bristol Renaissance Faire is ranked as one of the best in the country. The fair runs from July to September each year and draws medieval lovers from all over the country to enjoy a “Ye Olde” good time.

Feel Like a Kid Again at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio

Credit: Joe Hendrickson/Shutterstock

Cedar Point amusement park sits on a peninsula in Lake Erie and is the second oldest amusement park in the U.S. It opened in 1870, and with 17 coasters, is considered king among roller coaster fans. If you get tired of the rides, head to the mile-long white-sand beach or one of the two water parks nearby. Bonus: Lake Erie is at your doorstep and offers unforgettable fun on the water. Also, check out The Marblehead Lighthouse, the oldest working lighthouse on the Great Lakes.

Celebrate Christmas Every Day in Santa Claus, Indiana

Credit: Drew Tarvin/Flickr

If you can’t wait for Christmas, then pack your sleigh and head to Santa Claus, Indiana. Yes, it’s true that the postmark of this holiday-themed town is Santa Claus and St. Nick and his elves do answer the thousands of letters that pour in each year from all over the world. Even though the town has a strong year-round commitment to the holiday, there are plenty of other fun family activities available during the summer months. Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari are two world-class amusement parks and have so much to do, the kids won’t ever want to leave. America’s Christmas Hometown really shines during the holidays and complete with a Christmas parade, candy castle and an amazing holiday light show.

See the Garden of the Gods in Shawnee National Forest

Credit: anthony heflin/Shutterstock

In the southern tip of Illinois, sandwiched between the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, you’ll find the Shawnee National Forest. Shawnee doesn’t get the attention that other national forests get — but it should. This huge natural refuge has more than 400 miles of trails that hikers will simply fall in love with. The highlight of the trail system is the Garden of the Gods, a section of rocky bluffs and odd rock formations that offer amazing views of the surrounding forest. You would be hard-pressed to find a better forest in the Midwest than Shawnee.

Marvel at Matchstick Masterpieces in Gladbrook, Iowa

Credit: Kieran/Flickr

Gladbrook, Iowa native Pat Acton has a very cool talent—he’s a matchstick artist. Head to Matchstick Marvels and see his amazing creations in person. Many of his insanely intricate models have even been bought by Ripley’s Believe It or Not bought for display in their museums. His works have grown more and more elaborate over the years, incorporating motion, lights and sound into his works of art.

Born in Paris, Jim is a retired lecturer of African Studies and self-described life-long global trekker. His career as an Air Force officer gave him the chance to experience amazing and exotic destinations in Europe, Asia and Africa. He is at home on the golf course or backpacking anywhere there is a story to tell.
Hanna McKenzie

House of the Serpent

un giorno, un viaggio

La vita è un viaggio e chi viaggia vive due volte.

Anthony Wilson

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beautyinspiration4.wordpress.com/

Growing until excellence looks normal!

Hanna McKenzie

House of the Serpent

un giorno, un viaggio

La vita è un viaggio e chi viaggia vive due volte.

Anthony Wilson

The Year of Living Deeply

beautyinspiration4.wordpress.com/

Growing until excellence looks normal!

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un giorno, un viaggio

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Anthony Wilson

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beautyinspiration4.wordpress.com/

Growing until excellence looks normal!

Discover

A daily selection of the best content published on WordPress, collected for you by humans who love to read.

True.living

Nuturing a safe space for heart to heart conversation, with the end goal of healing and living a full life.

writingonmyheart

Going Towards the Light

I love the Psalms

Connecting daily with God through the Psalms

Muslim Life

Everything about Islam

brimofmylove

Beauty with brains

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"Divine Born - Shine So Bright"😇

Anketsu

⛩️ Let your imagination fly ⛩️

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A friendly source of information of building environment!

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Hanna McKenzie

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un giorno, un viaggio

La vita è un viaggio e chi viaggia vive due volte.

Anthony Wilson

The Year of Living Deeply

beautyinspiration4.wordpress.com/

Growing until excellence looks normal!

Discover

A daily selection of the best content published on WordPress, collected for you by humans who love to read.

True.living

Nuturing a safe space for heart to heart conversation, with the end goal of healing and living a full life.

writingonmyheart

Going Towards the Light

I love the Psalms

Connecting daily with God through the Psalms

Muslim Life

Everything about Islam

brimofmylove

Beauty with brains

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"Divine Born - Shine So Bright"😇

Anketsu

⛩️ Let your imagination fly ⛩️

The Return of the Modern Philosopher

Deep Thoughts from the Shallow End of the Pool

Building Innovation & Technology

A friendly source of information of building environment!

Appetite 4 Grace

Thoughts on God, Food and Life...

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