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From the Editor -
Toni Smothers
Hearing God SpeakSexual Abstinence – Living Your Faith
By Toni Smothers

Luke 14:25-33

"Great crowds were following Jesus, He turned around and said to them, ‘If you want to be my follower you must love me more than your own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters – yes, more than your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And you cannot be my disciple if you do not carry your own cross and follow me…"

In this passage we find Jesus with another large crowd. But when he talks to them he doesn’t use smooth words or encouraging tones. Instead, he wants them to know exactly what it will cost to tag along with him. We need to know that the Christian walk is not a "piece of cake."

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Children at a Crossroad
By Karen Treharne

A cold, dreary January morning in the Pacific Northwest stared back at me through the window and that awful stench of a hospital matched my mood. Larry helped me put the hospital-green robe on and gently guided me into the wheelchair. It should have been a happy moment – instead, a sense of gloom enveloped us. We would see our baby son, Mark, for the first time since his breech delivery the day before. Because of the difficulty in his birth, he remained under constant nursing care.

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Hearing God SpeakQuestion:

I often feel bad about myself. How can God help me to feel better?


You can choose to dump your upsetting feelings, if you decide to relinquish control of yourself to God and not allow emotions to ever bully you again. Would you change the way you live if you knew every word and thought you ever had would be examined by God? They really are you know, and even though this is a very simplistic method of evaluation, the change in perspective makes all the difference – analysis becomes much more manageable. Feelings can be about many things, both good and bad, but actions are feelings given permission to progress into real behaviors and decisions. (Psalm 19:14)

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If you would like to accept God’s 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.