Different Ways to Pray (1)

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“He…keeps us present before God.”                        Ro 8:27 TM Someone who’s better at prayer than you are, is already at work on your behalf. “God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in us and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our … Read More

Turn the Other Cheek

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“If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.”                           Mt 5:39 NLT There are two ways you can respond to negative criticism. If there’s truth in it, humbly accept it and grow through it. If not, practice what Jesus taught: “You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for … Read More

Practice Soul Care

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“He restores my soul.”                                               Ps 23:3 NKJV David said, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul” (vv. 1-3 NKJV). Today car engines are computerized. A light on your dashboard will let you know something’s wrong and that it’s … Read More

Today, Let’s Remember That!

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“Remember the Lord your God.”                                 Dt 8:18 NIV On March 3, 1863, anguished by the ravages of civil war, Abraham Lincoln declared a Proclamation Appointing a National Fast Day: “Whereas it is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, … Read More

What Determines Your Direction?

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BlogConnectedToTheRiver

It’s summer! And at home in Georgia, that means it’s hot and humid. One of the most relaxing things to do to beat the heat is enjoy the water. It’s almost a magical feeling when you step into a river, hop on a float and watch the trees pass by as the current whisks you down stream. When you’re in … Read More

Stay Connected to the River

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God’s not hiding His plan from you. He has a direction for your life! When you learn to stay connected to the Holy Spirit, He’ll be like a river of living water guiding your every step. Feel like you’ve been floating in circles? Get a sense that you’re trying to swim upstream? Maybe you just need to get back in … Read More

What You Need in the Wilderness (6)

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“You are to receive the offering for me from each man whose heart prompts him to give.”     Ex 25:2 NIV God’s people already possessed everything necessary to build the tabernacle. So Moses went to God for the plan, and to the people for the resources. And that’s still how it works! Pastor, don’t come up with a plan of your … Read More

What You Need in the Wilderness (5)

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“Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace.”        Job 22:21 When you find yourself in the wilderness, what’s the one thing you need more than anything else? God! That’s why the Lord told Moses to build the tabernacle and He used it as a teaching tool to show His people that: (1) He wants to meet with us … Read More

What You Need in the Wilderness (4)

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“And there was none feeble among His tribes.” Ps 105:37 NKJV Notice something else Israel enjoyed in the wilderness: divine health. Think of the health issues you’d expect among two million people walking through endless desert with no doctor or hospital in sight. Yet from the youngest to the oldest, “He…brought them out…and there was none feeble among His tribes.” … Read More

What You Need in the Wilderness (3)

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“He brought you water out of hard rock.”                      Dt 8:15 NIV What else do you need in the wilderness? Water! You can live without food for about forty days, but without water you’ll die much faster. It’s the same in the spiritual realm; you can get by in life without a lot of things, but you won’t make it … Read More

What You Need in the Wilderness (2)

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“He led them on safely, so that they did not fear.”                                    Ps 78:53 NKJV You can be in the wilderness and still be in the center of God’s will. “He made His own people go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock…He led them on safely, so…they did not fear” (vv. 52-53 NKJV). In … Read More

What You Need in the Wilderness (1)

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“He…guided them in the wilderness like a flock.” Ps 78:52 NKJV Charles E. Fuller, one of the first radio Bible teachers, started his daily broadcast with the song, “My Lord knows the way through the wilderness; all I have to do is follow.” To get them from Egypt to Canaan, God took His people through the wilderness—and spiritually speaking, you’ll … Read More

Pray, and Keep Praying!

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“Pour out your heart before Him.”                              Ps 62:8 NAS More than anything else in life, Hannah wanted a son. And as the years passed she wrestled with disappointment and despair. “In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the Lord” (1Sa 1:10 NIV). However, she did two things that worked—and they’ll work for you too! (1) Instead of … Read More

What Happens When The Fire Falls

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A life lived well is a sacrifice unto the Lord. And when He sees an acceptable sacrifice, He sends His fire. What is His fire? It’s His presence, His acceptance; it’s what guides us and directs us. We’ll never be perfect—it’s not possible. But we can be transformed. Stop living in ashes and let the fire fall! Connection questions:   … Read More

Your Eyes: A Divine Masterpiece

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“I am…wonderfully made.”                                               Ps 139:14 Evolution says where there’s a want, nature will provide what’s needed. Really? In Natural Theology, Dr. William Paley writes: “To keep the eye moist and clean—which qualities are necessary to its brightness and its use—a wash is constantly supplied by a secretion for the purpose; and the superfluous brine is conveyed to the nose through … Read More

Love Works When Nothing Else Will

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“Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives.”  Eph 5:25 TM   After many years of marriage, John decided to divorce his wife. The reasons he gave his counselor were: “She’s not attractive, she’s not interesting, she’s overweight, and she’s a poor housekeeper.” So the counselor gave him this suggestion: “Starting today, I want you to go home … Read More

Set Yourself Free from People-Pleasing

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“We ought to obey God rather than men.”                         Ac 5:29 Too often our actions are dictated by a misguided need to please others. We care so much about what they think, that with every step we take we look over our shoulder to see whether they’re smiling or frowning. Understand this: If you’re always looking for people’s approval, you’re not … Read More

Dad, Equip Your Kids for the Real World! (2)

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“There aren’t many fathers willing to take the time and effort to help you grow up.”      1Co 4:15 TM Dad, do these three things for your kids: (1) Alert them to the dangers of having a sense of entitlement. Yes, they need parents who express unconditional love for them. But some of us think our kids can do no wrong—even … Read More

Dad, Equip Your Kids for the Real World! (1)

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“To turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children.” Lk 1:17 NAS Research shows the results of the “dad deficit.” Too many kids today are growing up without a father’s influence. And as a result they end up making poor life, relationship, and marriage choices. So how does a dad equip his kids for life in the real … Read More

Dad, Start a Tradition

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“Fathers…bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”     Eph 6:4 ESV Dad, your children deserve a father who will model the Christian life before them, teach them the truth of God’s Word, and show them how to receive the gift of eternal life. And it could be that in your family this beautiful tradition will begin when … Read More

Where’s the fire?

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Blog-UpperRoom

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit the Upper Room in Jerusalem. Two thousand years ago, a group of 120 gathered in this very room. They were the first to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but certainly not the last. This ordinary, run-of-the-mill group was equipped with power, strength and passion to fulfill the will of God for … Read More

Install Your “Cables” Now

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“A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions.” Pr 27:12 NLT Half Dome is a granite peak that towers above the valley floor in Yosemite National Park. The final climb is between steel cables bolted to the rock; they were designed as handholds to safeguard and help climbers reach the top. Columnist Mary Hunt writes: “The final ascent up the … Read More

The Upper Room

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Did you know that suppressing forest fires could actually leave Redwood trees vulnerable? We think of fire as a destructive force that burns everything in its path. But the fire of the Holy Spirit refines us and helps create our path.   Read the Connection Questions   Connection questions:   How does the prophet Isaiah describe the Holy Spirit?   … Read More

Get Rid of Your Scarcity Mentality

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“God will generously provide all you need.”             2Co 9:8 NLT God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory” (Php 4:19). Whose riches? God’s! And His ability to bless you is not limited by the job market, the stock market, or the housing market. For forty years He fed His people in the wilderness with manna from … Read More

Jesus Loves You Unconditionally

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“God so loved the world.”                                                     Jn 3:16 David said, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered” (Ps 32:1). No matter how hard we work, we can never pay off our sin debt. And thank God we don’t have to, because “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in … Read More

“Now” Faith

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“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for.”                                      Heb 11:1 NKJV When you’re in the middle of a crisis, what you really believe manifests itself in your words, attitudes, and actions. When Lazarus died and his sister Martha said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (Jn 11:21 NCV), she was voicing past-tense … Read More

Give It Your All

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“I will go…And if I perish, I perish.”                             Est 4:16 NIV Esther, a Jewish girl married to a pagan king, broke with long-standing tradition, marched into her husband’s throne room, spoke her mind, and rescued her people from annihilation. One girl saved a nation because she was willing to put everything on the line. Are you feeling inadequate today? Are … Read More

Wait (2)

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“I waited patiently for the Lord to help me.”               Ps 40:1 NLT The Psalmist said: “I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair…He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a … Read More

Questioning God’s Will

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Have you ever stepped back and looked at your own life as a bystander? You know, where you reflect on how far God has brought you? I think as Christians this is vital. As I stood on the soil in the Garden of Gethsemane a few days ago, I experienced one of those very moments. Never in a million years … Read More

Garden of Gethsemane

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You remember the Garden of Gethsemane. It where Jesus prayed, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me” (Luke 22:42). But do you recall that he prayed in such agony, his sweat turned to blood? It’s in our nature to question the circumstances in our lives, to ask why. But how do we get to the … Read More

Wait (1)

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“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous.”                         Ps 27:14 NLT It’s in looking back that we realize: (1) God had something better in mind for us. (2) We weren’t mature enough at that point to handle what we were asking Him for. We think we’re ready, but God knows when we are. Over forty times in the … Read More

Go on a Complaining Fast

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“Do not complain.”                                                        Jas 5:9 NCV Whatever you keep doing becomes a habit. That’s why James says, “Do not complain.” Author Jon Gordon says, “A complaining fast won’t just make everyone around you happier…you’ll experience more joy, peace, success and positive relationships.” So instead of complaining when things go wrong: (1) Practice gratitude. Giving thanks for three blessings every day … Read More

Take It to the Lord

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“So the power of God could be seen in him.”              Jn 9:3 NLT When Jesus encountered a blind man, His disciples immediately began to discuss the reason for the man’s condition. They asked Jesus, “Was this man’s blindness the result of his own sins, or the sins of his parents?” Jesus answered, “[He was born blind] so the power of … Read More

The Power of Vision (3)

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“I will instruct you…in the way you should go.”        Ps 32:8 NKJV Mother Teresa didn’t set out searching for fame, it found her. She simply went to India, found a need no one else was meeting, heard the call of God, allowed her heart to be consumed by it, and ministered to multitudes of the world’s most neglected and forgotten … Read More

The Power of Vision (2)

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“Acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”                                Pr 3:6 NKJV Having a vision for your life gives you four things: (1) Passion. It makes you wake up in the morning and bound out of bed because there’s something out there you love to do; something you believe in and are good at; something bigger than you; something you … Read More

The Power of Vision (1)

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“Men shall dream dreams [and]…see visions.”    Joel 2:28 NKJV A boy once asked Michelangelo why he was working so hard chipping away on the block of marble that would become his greatest masterpiece: David. The artist replied, “There’s an angel inside this rock and I’m setting him free.” The power of vision enables you to see a potential masterpiece in … Read More

How to Overcome Perfectionism

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“Think about the things that are good.”                      Php 4:8 NCV Be honest: Have you ever met a perfectionist who was truly happy? No, because when things must always “be a certain way,” life becomes miserable because it’s constantly changing. As soon as you solve one problem, another comes along. Instead of dwelling on their blessings and being grateful, perfectionists focus … Read More

Ask God

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“In him we live, and move, and have our being.”             Ac 17:28 George Washington Carver, an agricultural chemist who discovered three hundred uses for peanuts, shared these observations about God: “As a very small boy exploring the almost virgin woods of the old Carver place, I had the impression someone had just been there ahead of me. Things were so … Read More

It All Belongs to God (4)

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“To the Lord your God belong the heavens…the earth and everything in it.”   Dt 10:14 NIV When it comes to our money, we like to think, “I earned it, so it’s mine.” But that’s where you’re dead wrong! The Bible says: “To the Lord your God belong the heavens…the earth and everything in it.” “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness…the … Read More

Celebration Center Special

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In this inspiring edition of Kingdom Connection, Pastor Franklin interviews Pastor Wayne Hilsden, who is a pastor in the nation of Israel. Pastor Hilsden and his family have been ministering in Jerusalem for 32 years. In 1983, they started a Bible study in a small apartment. King of Kings Community Church, a thriving, powerful ministry located in the heart of … Read More

It All Belongs to God (3)

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“‘The silver is mine and the gold’…declares the Lord.”                             Hag 2:8 NIV How would you describe someone who built a house without giving any forethought to the foundation? Foolish! Likewise, God says don’t put your trust in “uncertain riches” (1Ti 6:17). Between 1948 and 2001 the U.S. economy endured ten recessions, each averaging one year, and resulting in the … Read More

It All Belongs to God (2)

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“When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me.”        Hos 13:6 NIV Paul writes: “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, … Read More

It All Belongs to God (1)

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“These all wait for You, that You may give them their food in due season.”      Ps 104:27 NKJV We fear losing our job, our health insurance, and our retirement benefits, so we amass possessions, thinking the more we have the safer we are. The same insecurity motivated the builders of the Tower of Babel: “Let us build…a tower whose top … Read More

Don’t Go by Your Feelings

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“Use your head and test your feelings.”                    Php 1:10 TM God gave you feelings, and you should never be ashamed of them. They can alert you to danger and give you insight into various situations. God actually uses our feelings to draw us closer to Him and highlight areas in our lives that need to be submitted to His Holy … Read More

When Jesus Comes on Board

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“He got into one of the boats…belonging to Simon.”  Lk 5:3 NIV One day Jesus “saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats…belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from … Read More