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Approach the Season for Repentance!

The Hebrew calendar month of Elul began on Saturday night. Each day during the month of Elul, a shofar blast is sounded to announce the coming month of Tishrei – wherein the festival of Yom Teruah – the feast of trumpets-- takes place, calling for all people to repent. Elul, therefore, is identified as a month during which a serious emphasis is placed on personal self-examination and repentance, an end-of-the-year opportunity to set our lives in order before Yom Teruah (Rosh Hashana), the Days of Awe, and finally, Yom Kippur.

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Walk on Water!?!

Peter exhibited GREAT faith when he stepped out on the water... but then he allowed his immediate surroundings to hinder his walk! Peter's faith began with a tremendous bold step, but it required a level of focus that he wasn't used to. Follow through.... that was the problem; those pesky waves, and the way he usually thought about and experienced water; (not something that generally supports your feet)...

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Take the leap!

One night a house caught fire and a young boy was forced to flee flames by jumping to the ground from the roof. His father stood on the ground below with outstretched arms, calling to his son, "Jump! I'll catch you." But the boy was afraid -- he couldn't see his father -- all he could see was flame, smoke, and blackness. He was afraid. Still, his father kept yelling: "Jump son! I will catch you!" But the boy refused, crying, "Daddy, I can't see you!" His father replied, "It's ok son -- I can see you -- and that's all that matters!"

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Do you ever feel like you're listening to a broken record?

While I was in the States, I read several stories about Ronald Reagan that made me appreciate him as a person and as a leader. But one amusing story really caught my attention and made me smile. When he was a young man, Reagan worked at a radio station and sometimes played records of sermons. His shift at the station was a one-man operation and so, on occasion, Ron would set the record playing and then sneak out for a cup of coffee. One day he got a call while he was at the coffee shop from the station's owner, ordering him back to the station, and then ... he received his termination notice. He'd returned to the station finding the record skipping at a particular point in the sermon...

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Salvation is of the Lord!

Jonah now acknowledges that God put him where he is, and he accepts His discipline. "Sheol" is the "grave", the "pit" or the "abode of the dead". Did Jonah die, or was he only nearly dead from three days of fish stomach acid, and little or no air? The text doesn't say; only that if he didn't actually leave his body, he came as close as a man can get to it; three days worth. In this nebulous and miserable place Jonah cried out, probably from the deepest depths of his agonized soul...he cried out to the Lord.

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