Psalm 43:5

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

Cross found on all donkeys' backs?

Some donkeys (often called Christian donkeys) have a narrow strip of dark hair that runs down their backs and each of their shoulders. These markings are in the shape of a cross. Like the color traits of other animals (such as zebras), we don’t know exactly why these donkeys have this cross. But, it does show the wonderful variety among God’s creatures.

There is legend that the crosses on these donkeys appeared after Jesus rode one into Jerusalem (read Matthew 21:1-11). There is no evidence that this is true. The dark stripe in the form of a cross was a trait in these donkeys long before Jesus lived. However, the fact that Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem is very important. It fulfilled a prophecy that was spoken 500 years before Jesus lived, and showed He was the Messiah (read Matthew 21:5 and Zechariah 9:9).

Dear Prayer Partners

Please remember the following needs and requests in prayer:

1} President Obama and his advisors

2} the men & women serving in our armed forces and their families

3} Bobby- a missionary in Haiti who was flown back to the states with a broken back

4} Holly- recently gave birth to a son

5} Hailey- has Hodgkin’s lymphoma and is unable to work due to it

6} Margo- recovering from a stroke

7} Dan- has Leukemia & an inoperable brain tumor, the tumors in his stomach and lung have been removed successfully

8} Christine- recently gave birth by an emergency C-section and her new son is in critical condition

9} Living Waters A/G looking for a youth pastor with a vision to reach the youth

10} Dennis- having problems breathing

11} The Holm Family- death of a loved one from cancer

12} The DeRien Family- death of a loved one

13} The Fraley family- death of a loved one

14} Eugene- is battling cancer

15} Schimmica- husband is having an affair

16} Kevin- has some serious dental problems and is recovering from emergency oral surgery

17} Faith- is hospitalized after a heart attack and partial amputation of right foot, has a serious infection in heart, lungs and kidneys and is back on dialysis

18} Chantella- is expecting her 1st baby in the spring

19} Julianne- having difficulty with her pregnancy

20} Marc- family problems

21} Tom- problems with weight control

22} Achan- has HIV, an infection in her lungs and gall bladder is shutting down

23} Rick- has bulging disc in his back

24} Noah- a toddler having complications from heart surgery, has a very high fever

25} Frank- fighting depression

26} Gloria- hospitalized after passing out at work

27} Chaplain Sam- recovering from eye surgery

28} Chaplain Jay- preparing for a missionary trip to Uganda next year

29} For all the unspoken and personal requests that people have

30} For us at Highway Mission Outreach that we will continue have the doors opened to share the gospel and the needed finances to carry out the ministry of the mission and as we plant The Cross-Roads Chapel

31} For Michael Frankland, Gill Ainsworth, Mark Ainsworth, Tracy Ainsworth, Tony Wood, Eileen Walsh, and Elaine - break down strongholds in their lives

"Hold Us Together" - Matt Maher

Opening Our Hearts to God

Psa. 19:14 - May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable before You, O Jehovah, my rock and my Redeemer.

Acts 13:22-23 - And when He had deposed him, He raised up David for them as king, to whom also He testified and said, I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man according to My heart, who will do all My will. (23) From this man's seed, God, according to promise, brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus.

~~~~~ Words of Ministry ~~~~~

Both of the above passages are related to David. Psalm 19:14
is a prayer of David, while Acts 13:22-23 is a description of
David. In David's prayer, there are the “words of my mouth”
and the “meditation of my heart,” or the thoughts of the
heart. He prayed that he would not only be kept in his words
outwardly, but also be acceptable to God in his thoughts
inwardly. The words of the mouth are an expression of the
thoughts of the heart. The heart is the root problem.

Whether or not one outwardly says the right words is not the basic problem. Whether or not one has an outward attitude in his speaking that is right is also not the basic problem. The
thoughts of the heart are the basic problem. The thoughts of
the heart constitute the root problem and cannot be overlooked. David did not merely pray, “God, may the words of my mouth be acceptable before You.” He added to the prayer, “May the meditation of my heart be acceptable before You.”

David's prayer was for the thoughts of his heart to be
acceptable before God. This is why Paul could later testify
that David was a man according to the Lord's heart. A person
who is according to God's heart allows God to touch his heart. If you will not allow God to touch your heart, it will be hard for you to be one who is according to His heart.

Many Christians ask, “Why is it wrong for me to do this? Why
is it wrong for me to say this? Why is it wrong for me to
express myself this way?” Brothers and sisters, whether or
not you are doing the right thing, saying the right thing, or
expressing yourself the right way is not the real problem.

Rather, is your heart right when you are doing such a thing,
saying such a word, or expressing yourself in such a way?
What is the condition of your heart? What is the condition of
the root? Even if you are right in every outward thing, it is
still possible for your heart to be wrong. God is touching the condition of your heart and asking about it. He allows many winds and waves to beat upon His children for this very reason.

He uses these things to touch your heart and to expose the condition of your heart.

Why was God harsher in O.T.? - by John Piper

Thy Redeemer

By C.H. Spurgeon

"For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called" (Isaiah 54:5).

JESUS, the Redeemer, is altogether ours and ours for ever. All the offices of Christ are held on our behalf. He is king for us, priest for us, and prophet for us. Whenever we read a new title of the Redeemer, let us appropriate Him as ours under that name as much as under any other. The shepherd's staff, the father's rod, the captain's sword, the priest's mitre, the prince's sceptre, the prophet's mantle, all are ours.

Jesus hath no dignity which He will not employ for our exaltation, and no prerogative which He will not exercise for our defence. His fulness of Godhead is our unfailing, inexhaustible treasure-house. His manhood also, which he took upon him for us, is ours in all its perfection. To us our gracious Lord communicates the spotless virtue of a stainless character; to us he gives the meritorious efficacy of a devoted life; on us he bestows the reward procured by obedient submission and incessant service. He makes the unsullied garment of his life our covering beauty; the glittering virtues of his character our ornaments and jewels; and the superhuman meekness of his death our boast and glory. He bequeaths us his manger, from which to learn how God came down to man; and his Cross to teach us how man may go up to God. All His thoughts, emotions, actions, utterances, miracles, and intercessions, were for us.

He trod the road of sorrow on our behalf, and hath made over to us as his heavenly legacy the full results of all the labours of his life. He is now as much ours as heretofore; and he blushes not to acknowledge himself "our Lord Jesus Christ," though he is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords. Christ everywhere and every way is our Christ, for ever and ever most richly to enjoy. O my soul, by the power of the Holy Spirit, call him this morning, "thy Redeemer."

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FREE Book: “Desiring God” by John Piper

Prison Ministry:

On Monday evenings, I have the unique priveledge of visiting the Greenville Detention Center. Scripture, bible lessons, tracts, bibles, Daily Breads, bible studies, testimonies, and prayers are shared. Please keep these men in your continued prayers as we continue studying Paul's letter to the Romans: Jonathan, Lenita, David Anderson, Luke Elmore, Eric Hall, Leslie Mashburn, Keith Rollins, Billy, Jared Rhines, Quinton Brown, Jeremiah Hendrix, Chris Osbourne, Jermain Cheech, Quincy Massey, and Leo Clarence.

Thank you for your support and continued prayers for these new believers and this ministry!

In His vineyard,

We Shall Worship the Lord!

By John Piper

Do you delight more and more in the majesty and glory of God? Does your heart incline to worship God more consistently and intelligently and earnestly and intensely today than it did five years ago?

Is your love for your brothers and sisters in Christ abounding more and more so that you use your gifts more and more effectively to strengthen their faith and stir them up to love and good works?

And do you feel a greater burden for the lost? Are your prayers for unbelieving relatives and friends more consistent and earnest? Are your efforts to give a reason for the hope that is in you more bold, less ashamed? Are you becoming a world Christian with a zeal for the final mission thrust of the church to reach the hidden peoples?

If you can answer yes, we are making progress as a church. If not, we are failing in those areas. But at least we have goal and a definite Biblical theology behind it.

But it is not new. Listen to the way another pastor and teacher describes the meaning of membership in the church:

Membership, therefore, involves a personal obligation to promote the objects of the body as expressed in the covenant.

These objects are three:

1. The social, united worship of God...
2. The perpetuation and diffusion of the gospel...
3. The sanctification of its own members...

The church, thus comprehensive in its scope, looks upward to God, outward upon the needs of a lost world, and inward to the processes of sanctification in the souls of its own members; the neglect of any one of these grand objects of its organization imperils its whole design.

This is our philosophy of ministry. The quote is from Hezekiah Harvey, who was born in England in 1821 (The Church, 1879, reprint 1982, pp.35-36.). There is nothing modern or trendy about the priorities of our church. They have been around for two thousand years. They are tried and true, and it shouldn't bother us at all that they are not new.

Over 200 Free Resources for Church Leaders:

Friday, January 1, 2010

*~*Prayer Requests for 1/1/10:

Beginning January 15th, 2010, ownership of Lighthouse Prayer Line will be administered by Francois Putter (Bloemfontein for Jesus).

Bloemfontein for Jesus is an Interdenominational Christian Mission, started during October 2008 for the purpose to unite the Church of Christ through Cell Ministries, Bible Study Groups, Prayer Actions and Evangelical Out­reaches to all nations around the world.

The idea to begin a Ministry like Bloemfontein for Jesus started way back in 1995 when I decided to finally give myself in full-time service to the Lord Je­sus Christ.

The moment I was baptised, I started to pray to the Lord to give me a vision on what my personal purpose is on earth.

The Lord shown me that there are many people online who do not have any other way to learn about Him than to be actively involved in an Online Minis­try.

I have told the Lord: “Lord, there are so many online ministries already active on the Net. I know that you are no Copycat. I know that you created me to have my own unique way to work with other people. Please show me exactly how you want me to work in Your kingdom.”

The Lord shown me in many things He want me to do. This is how Bloemfon­tein for Jesus started.

This ministry first started as an online ministry to represent the Naval Hill Prayer Mountain Ministry.

The Prayer Mountain is active for the past 7 years, but when I started Bloem­fontein for Jesus, I decided to publish some photo’s of the Prayer Group at Naval Hill. You may visit if you want to see more about us.

Bloemfontein for Jesus is not only an online Ministry. Although we concen­trate on online ministries, we also have some cell-groups, Bible Study Groups and Prayer Actions where we have personal contact with fellow Christians.

Anyone who has questions with regard to this ministry, or the future of the Prayer house Ministry after it has been handed over to us, is welcome to send an E-Mail to and I will answer any questions you have.

Francois Putter



God's Boll Weevils

In the center of main street in Enterprise, Alabama, stands one of the strangest monuments in the world. It's a memorial to an insect! Handsomely carved in stone is the likeness of a boll weevil. Many believe that divine providence was involved in the circumstances that led to the erection of this unusual statue. In early plantation days almost everyone in the community raised cotton. But as the years rolled on, a serious pestilence infested the area in the form of a small beetle that punctured the boll of the plant. As a result, it became almost impossible to bring a season's growth to maturity. George Washington Carver, along with several other scientists, became deeply concerned about the situation and began intensive studies to see if any substitute crop could be grown in that part of the country. Raising peanuts was the answer, for they could be planted and harvested with very little loss.

In time, cotton gins were forgotten in that region, and it became known as an outstanding peanut center of the world. Soon the farmers' profits far exceeded what they had earned from their best cotton yield. In the end, they realized that the destructive insect they had feared had actually triggered the research that brought them prosperity.

The Lord often allows trials to unsettle our lives for a blessed purpose. Perhaps we are trying to "grow cotton" when we should be "raising peanuts." If so, the delays and disappointments we experience are just the gracious "boll weevils" sent to redirect us so that we will plant the crop of God's choosing!

(See Rom 8:28; James 1:2-4)

•´.¸¸.•¨¯`♥.Thank you for your prayers!.♥´¯¨•.¸¸.´•

If you are a regular reader/prayer partner, we would be honored for you to post your pic on our link for prayer partners at the top of the sidebar (right-hand side).

If you do not have a pic, any icon/clipart can serve as a symbol of your devotion to those requesting prayer.

In no way does your inclusion mean that you are endorsing this site or ALL of its content; it simply means you are approaching the throne of Jesus Christ with their pleas in mind. God bless you & thanks for your meaningful work!!

In His precious name,

~Mark Seay (

(¯`*•.(¯`*•.God is Good - ALL of the Time!!!.•*´¯).•*´¯)


"The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run to it and are safe" (Psalm 18:10).


Hi friend,

Please keep the following individuals in your prayers:

1) "I have been praying for a money miracle for some time now and have been unable to know if God will answer in my favor.I seem to have become a worthless vessel, either my entire belief in God is wrong,or my daily sinfulness is choked off any chance i have of making it through this trying time,everytime i hear a word, it's like just hold on God is never late hang in there He hears your cry for help and will not let you down, I have become almost a shutin, the only time i go out is to go to the store or to the bank,take one of my children to work, i have no life that i ever dreamed of just one sown of the flesh,I listen to Preaching at home i try to rise up, I feel like he has left me to my own folly and there is no way out, bills
pressing phone ringing, mortgage due,I do not say these things out loud, i am bewildered to say the least,I now ask for prayer for protection, care and great mighty things that i know not. He has done many things in the past or i would not be alive if he and millions of members of the body of Christ did not exist, I have not worked due to knee n Back operations, ican't seem to get anything going to provide for those around me, will you take a love offering up for me to help, I woke up today to a snowglobe picture, I do not know how to do loan mod, or tackle the credit card company, I have refraned from going to the social programs due to what the word says, ,please pray for me and agree that this will all be different in a good way soon,.. Thank You." -Dale;

2) KB asks for our prayers: "Please pray for Joe D., the father of my brother-in-law, Chris. Joe is elderly, ill, and the doctors don't know what is wrong with him yet. My prayer is that the doctors find out what is wrong so that they can treat it. Also, I ask for prayers for Joe's wife Terry, son Chris and his wife Carol, and for the grandchildren Daniel and Amanda, as they all go through this health crisis together. Thank you!";

3) "Please pray for my strength for the Holy Spirit to fill my soul. I feel weak and have thoughts of impurity. I have missed mass for two consecutive Sundays including Christmas mass and have not gone to confession in about a month. Pray that I give a full confession to my priest and that I may return in fullness to the Lord. Also pray for my son Joey as he has no job and is going through tough times as he was dismissed from his previous employment because of some false accusations. Your prayers have been answered before, as my wife found a job and my son's (Orlando) operation was a success. Thanks to God andyour prayers." -Leonard;

4) Joan asks to be remembered in our prayers. She writes, "We just moved recently and are in need of a refrigerator, washer and dryer. I just thank God for having a roof over our heads but so many small things in my life seem to make life a lot harder. I would like you to pray for and with me that my family can have these things. Thanks.";

5) "Please pray for my son, Eric. He is recovering from drug addiction. Please pray for his continued abstinence, salvation and safety. He has been looking didiligently for a permanent job but can find only temp. employment which is not enough for rent and food. Please pray they God will provide him with a job. Please join me in praying for all those in need of work. Thank you so much for your prayers and may God bless you. In Faith and Belief - In the Holy Name Of Jesus Christ!" -Eric's mom;

6) J asks for our prayers: "Please pray for me now for a really great job with great pay and benefits. I need to make enough money to either rent or buy a smaller place for me and my son.";

7) Please pray for Germaine. She is a mother of 5 children. She has recently been diagnosed with cancer. Her life hand in the balance. She needs our prayers.;

8) Please keep Pastor Frank Page and his family in your prayers. They are weathering some difficult storms.;

9) Please pray for Joe N. for his financial and employment situation this coming year.;

10) Inez asks for your prayers: "Please pray for me and my family,especially my son who has a drug addiction to crack cocaine and he is living a gay life style. please pray that the Lord continues to strengthen me,and my family. Please pray that my family will decide to give their lives to the LORD for HE is good, and HIS mercy endures for ever. GOD BLESS.";

11) "Please pray for God to answer some unspoken requests!" -Anita;

12) Jose asks to be remembered in our prayers. He writes, "God, thanks for your blessings. I pray for wisdom and patience. I pray for guidance in this New Year. Here I am Lord, lead me. I pray for my daugther and a new beginning for her. I pray for my son and his division I college basketball scholarship. I ask this in the name of your son Jesus. Amen." -Jose;

13) "LAST YEAR... january of '09 i was layed off a job i beleived to be a career, i lost a new truck and let it go back to the bank, i lost my sense of self worth and gave up on life, started getting involved with drugs, so much that i had a narcotics team watching my house, i was lost lonely and depressed, i attempted suicide thru self induced overdose. it was the worst year of my life. i turned to you YOU oh LORD, the great YAWEH, the GOD of love, and you saved my life, you have delivered me from the destruction i set upon myself, you gave me a woman who loves me for who i am, you restored me to my old job, moved me 300 miles closer to where i work and gave the nicest home i have ever lived in, put me on a great rig with really good men to work with, and have showered me with your love and protection oh LORD. now i have new enemies in my life. 2 days ago i drove off the road and my truck is stuck in the bottom of a frozen creek, distractions are all around me trying to pull my focus away from you LORD GOD JEHOVA, you are my refuge my shelter my strength and only hope, i am attacked with doubts about my girlfriends faith to me, saddened and made insecure by the devils attacks, my enemies are all around me, i trust in you oh LORD JEHOVA to save me. i beleive in your son JESUS and trust you will take care of my enemies. please give me wisdom, patience, love, strength, knowledge, peace, and endurance to continue enjoying and appreciating all you do for me. dear readers your prayers have helped my life so much, the LORD truly doese have a good plan for everyones life if we just trust him. i feel my life under pressure which is necessarry for growth, and i appreciate everyone who has lifted me up in prayer to the GREAT GOD of all creation who sent his son to pay the price for our salvation." -Jason

**God bless you for caring enough to pray!!!**


"For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Romans 10:13).

*~*Spotlight Site*~*


*** WANNA SERVE?? ***

If you know of someone who would like to serve our Lord Jesus but is not sure where to start, please consider one of the following volunteering opportunities:

PRAY for the persecuted. Often we ask Christians who have been tortured, arrested or abused, what they need most. They answer emphatically, "Please pray for us." Be-A-Voice Network makes it effortless to pray for the suffering church. Join now and receive up-to-date prayer bulletins to share with friends and family to grow your prayer network.

WRITE to prisoners: "Please don't stop. The letters are a great encouragement ..." says Joseph, a Chinese Christian, on behalf of Li Ying, imprisoned in China for loving Jesus. We've seen how letters give strength to Christian prisoners and their families. In some cases letters have even led to a prisoner's early release. SHARE their voice: As a member of the Be-A-Voice Network you can send FREE copies of Tortured for Christ, written by VOM's founder Richard Wurmbrand, to Christian friends and family members.

Become a Be-A-Voice volunteer by committing to one or more of the above. Register today!

We hope you will prayerfully consider joining the Be-A-Voice Network today, thus fulfilling Scripture, "Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also." Hebrews 13:3 (NKJV)

It's easy to serve the persecuted church. PRAY. WRITE. SHARE. Join Now!

If you are interested, please email me at with "Send Me the Volunteer Link" in the subject line along with your name.

God bless you! Hope to hear from you soon!!

Mark Seay


Guide about Organic Cooking, Shopping, Gardening Tips and Recipes.

If you want to cook and eat healthier and do your part to protect your family and help the environment... or you are interested in growing your own organic foods in your garden...


Why Can't I Just Be a Good Person?
By Michael Ramsden

"People are basically good," writes one poet. "It is only their behavior that lets them down."

It is remarkable to think there are many today who believe they are good enough to get into heaven. Perhaps there is so much bad news about others that they conclude by comparison they are superior, and thus, deserving of a place in eternity. But then it is even more remarkable that when Christians claim they know they are going to heaven, they are regarded as being conceited, boastful, and arrogant. People immediately ask: How can they think that they are better than everyone else?

The fact that the same person can think of himself as superior to others, while at the same time criticizing Christians for arrogance, underlines one of the effects of living in a postmodern world. Though the contradiction is frustrating, Christians need to be able to respond coherently to the questions at hand: Why can't I just be a good person?

Isn't it unfair of God to say that you can't get into heaven unless you believe in Him, even though you have been a good person? Who does He think He is?

Jesus was once asked a similar question by a group of inquirers: "What must we do to do the works God requires?" (John 6:28). Interestingly, the question was posed in plural form; it seems they were looking for a list of good things to do. But Jesus replied in the singular, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one He has sent" (6:29).

Of course, in the minds of those who feel they have lived a good life, Christ's answer will not go unchallenged. What makes belief so special? Surely what we do is far more important than what we believe. How can a good person, who is not a Christian, be denied access on the basis of belief?

The difficulty here lies in the assumption that is being made in each of these questions--namely, that there is such a thing as a good person. Jesus again offers further clarification in the form of question and answer. He was once asked, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" (Luke 18:18). The theory of the questioner was clear: Jesus is a good person; good people go to heaven, so what must I do to be in the same group? But Jesus's reply was surprising. "Why do you call me good?" he asked (18:19). He then answered his own question: "No one is good--except God alone."

The simple truth is that the issue is not about good people not getting into heaven. Alas, the problem is much worse! Jesus seems to define goodness in terms of being like God, and on that basis there are no good people anywhere. Thus, the real question is not about who is good enough to get in to heaven. The real question is how God makes it possible for anyone to get in at all. The answer is that we need to be forgiven, and that forgiveness is won for us through the Cross.(1)

In fact, this is precisely why the Gospel is called Good News, and why we do well to declare it. The good news is that getting into heaven is first and foremost about forgiveness. The Christian testimony is, in fact, far from arrogant! Christians can be sure that they are going to heaven, not because they are good, but because they have received forgiveness by believing in Christ.

In other words, if we will trust in and rely on Jesus--his promises, his person, his life, death, and resurrection--we can be sure that we are saved. Christians are not good people because they live morally superior lives to everyone else. They have been made "good" in God's eyes because Christ has made forgiveness possible -- because Christ has extended his own righteousness to those who will believe.

Good people will certainly go to heaven. However, the path to goodness lies not in religious observances or respectable acts, but in the forgiveness of a good God, given to us through the Cross of Christ.


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Helping Your Spouse Grow Spiritually
By Rob Jackson

What can you do when you and your spouse don't have the same level of spiritual maturity or interest?

What can you do when you and your spouse don't have the same level of spiritual maturity or interest? The answer doesn't lie in lecturing or manipulating your mate. Instead, consider the following five actions you can take to better understand your spouse and make the concept of spiritual growth more intriguing to him or her.

Be Patient:

Whether your spouse is a new Christian, a non-Christian, or just a nonplussed Christian, it's hard not to overreact when he or she doesn't seem to care about the most important thing in your life. But try to remember that God loves your mate even more than you do. He may even be taking your partner on a journey that will ultimately produce a deeper faith.

In any event, be careful. God may choose to reach out to your spouse through you, but He doesn't need your help. Sadly, spiritual conflicts are often made worse by a spouse attempting to jump-start a mate's conscience or play the role of the Holy Spirit.

Don't Stand in the Way:

While perfection isn't possible or even necessary, your behavior can attract or repel your spouse where spiritual growth is concerned. You're living out what you're experiencing with God. Is it appealing? Is your relationship with Christ making you a more enjoyable person to live with—or just a more religious one?

Those who languish spiritually especially need to see the real deal. Your mate will benefit from your companionship when you're serious about your devotion to Christ and realistic about your struggles, too.

Be Authentic:

You should not only share your faith with your spouse, but your concerns as well. It would be hypocritical to pretend you're not worried when a spouse struggles spiritually. But how you share may be as important as what you share. Very few spouses would react negatively to comments like, "I know you're going to be safe to share this with, but it's still not easy to admit I'm worried about you."

The spouse who struggles with faith issues needs a gentle partner to come home to. A holier-than-thou approach is sure to deepen the divide—not only between your partner and yourself, but also between your partner and God (and it can't do much for your own walk with Christ, either). Nobody wants to be smothered or judged or patronized. It's not an issue of spiritual leadership or authority; it's just human nature to pull away when someone invades your space physically or emotionally.

When you're honest about your own faith issues, you assure your spouse that it's part of the journey to have questions and doubts. Your transparency can be especially healing if your mate has felt—accurately or not—that spirituality has become a competition in your marriage. This process applies the scriptural idea of comforting others with the same comfort you've received (2 Corinthians 1:4).

Stay Balanced:

There's no doubt about the importance of faith. But it's possible to lose a healthy perspective, especially when you feel your mate's Christian commitment is at stake. Even though you believe you can trust God with your partner's spiritual development, you may try to take matters into your own hands.

Sometimes a concerned spouse drops hints or invites others to offer unsolicited counsel to the spiritually indifferent spouse. While well intended, these approaches are manipulative. Others withdraw from a mate and become excessively involved with church or other religious endeavors.

Make no mistake: You can't be too devoted to Christ. Nor should you minimize your faith to accommodate your spouse. But overspiritualization and hyper-religiosity will hinder your efforts as much as falling into the opposite ditch of apathy.

Before you sum up your spouse's struggle as merely a "sin issue," take some time to consider his context. What was his religious experience as a child? Was his faith nurtured or hindered? Was his parents' faith meaningful or a chore? Has he experienced a personal relationship with Christ or mere religion?

The Bible is clear: We're not authorized to judge others (Matthew 7:1). Sometimes in marriage we're prone to judge because of what we know—or think we know—about our spouses.

We do know, however, that God cares about our mates. The struggle may take time, and may even challenge our faith. In the meantime, we can trust Him to nurture our spouses and our marriages.


The fleas or God?

Corrie Ten Boom in The Hiding Place relates an incident which taught her this principle. She and her sister, Betsy, had just been transferred to the worst German prison camp they had seen yet, Ravensbruck. Upon entering the barracks, they found them extremely overcrowded and flea-infested. Their Scripture reading that morning in 1 Thessalonians had reminded them to rejoice always, pray constantly, and give thanks in all circumstances. Betsy told Corrie to stop and thank the Lord for every detail of their new living quarters. Corrie at first flatly refused to give thanks for the fleas, but Betsy persisted. She finally succumbed. During the months spent at that camp, they were surprised to find how openly they could hold Bible study and prayer meetings without guard interference. It was several months later when they learned that the guards would not enter the barracks because of the fleas.

(See 1 Thes 5:16-18)


By Jill Carattini

My high school band director was adamant about many things, but none so much
as what he called the obligatory rule of good musicianship. That is, the two most important notes in any musical composition are the first and the last. "The audience might forgive you for what comes in the middle," he would say, "but they will never forget neither your very first impression nor your final remark."

The last word of the book of Acts in the Greek New Testament is the word akolutos. The word literally means "unhindered," though many translations render it with multiple words. Others move the word from its final position for the sake of syntax. In both cases, I think something is lost in translation. Luke was intentionally making a statement with this last word of his two volume testimony to the life of Jesus Christ.(1) I think he intended readers to pause at the conclusion of his words, leaving us with the provocative thought of a gospel that is unhindered. He concludes, "Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, unhindered" (Acts

Through prisons and angry crowds, the book of Acts traces the birth and growth of the early church. The book begins with a few hundred believers in Christ and a collective will to be his witnesses in Jerusalem, in Judea and Samaria, and to all the ends of the earth. Opposition to this witness is described at every turn. Persecution, beatings, death, and imprisonment all threatened the voice of the early church and ultimately the spread of the gospel itself. But in spite of all this, Luke epitomizes the history of the early church and the spread of the gospel by boldly describing the progression of God's Word as going forth without so much as the slightest of hindrances. The Good News of God to all the world, he seems to want us to remember, goes forth in power.

When we are pressed on all sides by variant theologies and distorted gospels, when the world delights in yet another conspiracy theory that promises to be the downfall of Christianity, we are to remember the great narration of which we are a part. The book of Acts is largely concerned with documenting the history of the early church within the context of the unhindered work of God from the beginning to the end. "Indeed," says Peter, "all the prophets from Samuel on, as many as have spoken, have foretold these days. And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers" (Acts 3:24-25). We need not live defeated by every emerging plot to undermine Christ. We are to live instead in his victory,
walking forward as heirs of the great unhindered kingdom of God.

Ultimately, we are a part of a movement that will not fade away. The gospel was and is and always will be a testimony that exists without hindrance. No one can thwart the progress of the gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is sealed by the Spirit that presses it onward. Nothing can stop the ultimate victory of the story of God, for it is finished. Indeed, we follow a God who spoke in the beginning and who will have the final word.


"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

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In Christ's Love,
Mark Seay

Lighthouse Prayer Line
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"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body" (Corinthians 6:19-20).


"A sinner can no more repent and believe without the Holy Spirit's aid than he can create a world" (Charles Spurgeon).

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"I have resolved that my mouth will not sin" (Psalm 17:3b - NIV).