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From the Editor -
Toni Smothers
Hearing God SpeakLeaning On Godís Grace
By Toni Smothers

I was washing the floor behind the toilet bowl in my bathroom. Every time I turned to put my rag into the bucket of soapy water, I banged my head on the corner of a shelf that is just over the toilet area. The strange part was that I kept doing it, banging my head that is, while thinking to myself, "Donít bang your head again, dummy, just duck down a little!"

Minutes later, still berating myself for not being able to avoid bashing my brains in, you guessed it, Iíd done it again, and I had done it while I was still thinking about how dumb I was to do it in the first place. I was almost brain-dead by the time I had my chore done!

Sometimes our struggle with sin is that way. Youíre berating yourself for slipping up and repeating some sinful behavior you are deliberately trying to avoid but keep doing! Itís a wonder to me that God has infinite patience for this kind of idiocy! But He does. In Romans 2:4 it says, "Donít you realize how kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you?" (NLT). All I can say is, itís a lucky thing for me that He does have that much patience.

Iíll bet you can remember repeatedly doing what you swore you wouldnít do too. And you must have noticed how kind He was in giving you time to turn from your sin.

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Does This Happen to You?
By Whitney Nemecek

Everytime I meet someone new
I fall in love with them.
Can't live without their laugh,
Can't wait for the next time we talk.

Everytime I fall in love
I end up getting hurt.
Whether it is guy trouble
Or I have lost a best friend.

Everytime I get hurt
I draw myself into me.
Nothing else really matters...
It's just me and my thoughts.

Everytime I draw myself into me
I let myself be taken down.
I keep to myself more, stay even quieter.
So many thoughts in my mind.

Everytime I take myself down
I meet someone new.
I'm greeted by a gorgeous smile,
Get wrapped up in conversation.

Everytime I meet someone new...


Whitney Nemecek is a 17-year-old, High School student, who writes straight from the heart. Her poems show a maturity and understanding of life that is way beyond her age. Whitney has recently written the lyrics for a song, Bittersweet Everything, but with graduation just a little over a year ago, Whitneyís main focus is on her school work. You can write to Whitney care of the Letters page of this magazine.

Hearing God SpeakRejection? I Think Not!
By Roberta Kittrell

Though Jean didn't realize exactly what or who she was searching for, she spent all her teen years, as well as her twenties, searching for God. She now believes that He must have kept His mighty hand upon her all the while.

Jean had gone forward with some of her friends to accept Christ when she was 9 years old. From then on, she thought she was well covered concerning eternity.

Because Jean had an unusually good voice, she began singing in adult church choirs when she was only 10. Singing made her bubble over with happiness, which was mistaken for Spiritual joy. Unfortunately, she didn't really know Jesus.

By age 21, she assisted the choir at chapel time in a Naval Medical Hospital. It was still her singing talent that enabled her, however, not intimacy with Christ.

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If you would like to accept Godís free offer of salvation, pray this simple prayer and by faith invite Him to fill you with His Spirit:

Dear Father, I need you. I confess that I have sinned against you by living my life as if I actually knew what I was doing. I have made many bad decisions and done many things I am ashamed of. I thank you for forgiving my sins through the blood of your precious son Jesus Christ who died on the cross for me. I now invite Jesus to take His rightful place in my heart as ruler of my life. Fill me with the Holy Spirit. I believe that you love me just as I am and I ask you to teach me how to love you back. Create in me a clean heart as you show me how to live each day for You.