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Look out your window!

Here’s an interesting fact about American church history that you may not know. Years ago, when the first New England churches were designed, they were built with clear windows rather than the stained glass ones we see so often today -- and the graveyard was usually built in the churchyard, which would normally be seen from the pulpit. Why?

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Don't lose focus!

Colonel G.W. Goethals, the man responsible for the completion of the Panama Canal, had major problems with the climate and the geography as it was being built. If that wasn't enough to deal with, he had an even bigger problem. It was the growing criticism back home from those who predicted he'd never finish the project and had opinions about how to do it better.

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You never know who's life you're touching!

In the mid 1850's a troubled teenager from Northfield, Massachusetts moved to Boston to try to find work. He hadn't gone to school beyond the fifth grade; he couldn't spell, his grammar was awful and his manners were brash and crude. Thankfully, an uncle took him on as a shoe salesman--on condition that he be obedient and that he attend church.

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Step Out!

When Jim Burke became the head of a new products division at Johnson & Johnson, one of his first projects was the development of a children's chest rub. The product failed miserably, and Burke expected that he would be fired. When he was called in to see the chairman of the board, however, he met a surprising reception. "Are you the one who just cost us all that money?" asked Robert Wood Johnson. "Well I just want to congratulate you. If you are making mistakes, that means you are taking risks, and we won't grow unless you take risks!" Apparently, Mr. Johnson wasn’t joking! Years later, Johnson & Johnson remains one of the largest multi-national manufacturers of pharmaceutical, diagnostic, therapeutic, surgical, personal hygiene, baby and biotechnology products.

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Do you feel used?

While on the road to Damascus, Jesus appeared to Saul, blinded him and directed him to go to Damascus. There, God spoke to Ananias of Saul and told to lay hands on this troubled man. Ananias did as he commanded and Saul was filled with the Holy Spirit, healed of his blindness and immediately baptized.

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How hungry are you?!

I love fishing... but sadly, I haven't been able to fish for quite a while. There's the Mediterranean, but other than that, the few good fishing spots in Israel are not really available to the public. So sad. Nevertheless, fishing gives me a chance to get a break from the world and just relax and meditate -- and on a good day, maybe catch a fish or two. But there are different kinds of fishermen, and different ways of fishing...

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No matter how you feel -- you can always be a light!

D. L. Moody told the story of a man who was crossing the Atlantic by ship. He was terribly seasick and confined to his cabin. One night he heard the cry "Man overboard!" But he felt that there was nothing he could do to help. Then he said to himself, "I can at least put my lantern in the porthole." He struggled to his feet and hung the light so it would shine out into the darkness.

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Red Alert! Be Ready!

Last week was a historic week beginning with an eclipse going across the United States, and ending with Hurricane Harvey as it developed it rapidly out of nowhere and may wind up becoming the most expensive natural disaster ever to face the United States. While many around the world are apathetic and lack understanding about the times in which we live, we as believers should realize these are merely signs of the times and have a sense of urgency to be about the Lord's business.

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Need a promotion?

I used to sell newspaper subscriptions door to door and deliver flowers for a living. I also volunteered for years with my churches inner city bus ministry. My wife waited tables and cleaned houses. She volunteered with a number of ministries, doing youth work and teaching worship dance among other things. Never could we imagine that the Lord would take us to Israel and use us in full time ministry in this capacity. Neither of us ever did anything great in this world but we were faithful in some little things and God found it in His heart to promote us.

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You have Him, who is greater than your circumstances!

The Lord is quoted in this scripture in Matthew. It contains an important principle which believers sometimes tend to overlook. Many believe and even teach that if you're blessed, your life will be filled with material prosperity, and that if you are undergoing extreme trial, it must be because you have sinned or that you lack faith. The Lord says that the sun rises and the rain falls on both the righteous and the unrighteous alike.

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Are you on Rocky Ground?

I came across an old legend about three cowboys crossing the desert on horseback by night. Suddenly, as they reached a rocky spot, a voice came from heaven and commanded them: "Friends, pick up some pebbles, put them in your pockets and do not look at them till morning." The men looked at each other in astonishment and began to do as they were told. The voice went on to promise that if they obeyed, they would be both glad and sad. The perplexed men put a few pebbles each in their pockets and went on their way.

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Have you given your all?

During his reign, King Frederick William III of Prussia found himself in a bind. Wars had been costly, and in trying to build the nation, he was seriously short of finances. After careful reflection, he decided to ask the women of Prussia if they would bring their jewelry of gold and silver to be melted down for their country. Each piece of jewelry he received, he would exchange for a decoration of bronze or iron as a symbol of his gratitude. These decorations would be inscribed, 'I gave gold for iron, 18l3'.

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Be a glimmer of hope!

Most people have never heard of the first overseas missionary from America to Burma, Adoniram Judson. Judson was a brilliant man who learned to read when he was only 3. He went to college when he was just 16. He graduated valedictorian of his class at the age of 19. He was the son of a pastor, having been raised with Godly values, however while in college, he met a student named Jacob Eames, a deist who denied the miracles of the Bible. By the time Judson finished college he had turned completely from the Lord. For a short while, he lived a vagabond and reckless life, until a series of God-incidences turned his life inside out.

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