Made In His Image

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bishopnov2016
 

We are made in God’s image. Genesis 1:26–27 contains this in clear language, not once or twice, but four times.

“Let us make mankind in our image. . .” (v.26). “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (v.27). Verse 26 is a divine dialogue of the Trinity. Verse 27 include descriptions of God’s activity. Though verse 27 is elongated, all four of these expressions contain the same three basic grammatical elements found in a simple sentence (subject, verb, object) in these three words — “God” “created” “mankind.” And part of this creation involved God implanting His image in humanity. That conveyed image is enjoyed by no other part of His creation — only humanity.


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Five Keys to a Good Marriage

By Jim Burns

Modern society assumes that all problems are bad. In reality, most difficult times and struggles present opportunities to improve our quality of life – especially when it comes to the area of marriage. If your marriage reflects five key characteristics: responsibility, hope, empathy, forgiveness, and commitment, you will have a good marriage! It will grow stronger and you’ll enjoy a deeper connection with your spouse. Then, when problems come, you’ll be able to use them to strengthen—rather than weaken—your marriage.

Responsibility.

Here’s a news flash: there are no perfect people, and so there are no perfect couples. Okay, maybe that’s not really breaking news, but the truth of this is important to remember. We are all flawed individuals, and at times we make poor decisions, say hurtful things to our spouse, mix up our priorities, and the list goes on. Taking ownership of our faults and dealing with our mistakes—in other words, being responsible—goes a long way toward making our marriage healthy and good.

Hope

. Hope is the superglue of a a good marriage. It is incredibly powerful. It helps us see beyond the challenges we face in our marriage in the present moment. Hope helps us see the benefits of facing challenges together, whether they are challenges in raising a family, challenges at work, or challenges in the relationship with our spouse. And hope helps us picture the increased intimacy, friendship, love, and unity that are in store for your marriage on the other side of the challenges.


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To Tell You My Story

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I recently attended a concert by Christian recording artists Big Daddy Weave, We Are Messengers and Plumb.

My favorite song by Big Daddy Weave is “My Story.” The song talks about if I told you my story it would tell you of love, grace, mercy and life, but it was all about the love, grace, mercy and life of God. Then one verse says, “To tell you my story is to tell of Him.”

I attended the National Prayer Summit last year, and it truly changed my life for the better to try to understand God’s love. The summit gave me such a desire to learn more about God’s Word and to serve Him the best I can. I would like to tell you how attending the National Prayer Summit changed my life; in other words, I want to tell you my story, to tell of Him.


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Giving, Trusting and Blessing

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leenhoutsnov2016
 

Norman and Arlene Leenhouts have been married 61 years. Four years into their marriage, they began tithing — giving at least 10 percent of their income back to God — and their finances didn’t suffer.

“Fifty-seven years — we were just counting, my wife and I, about how generous the Lord has been,” said Norman Leenhouts when reached by telephone at his home near Rochester, New York. “I really believe you can’t outgive the Lord.”

The couple learned that God blesses and guides people who give generously and trust in Him. Although the humble pair are reticent to discuss their many charitable contributions, the Leenhoutses support a variety of organizations and educational institutions.


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Gratitude and Grace

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grace&gratitudenov2016
 

My family and friends may have stopped asking me to say grace at meals. They don’t want to get me started, because I pray too long.

It’s not really my fault. I’ve experienced too much. In the first place, my husband John lost his senses of smell and taste in a horse accident five years ago. So if I eat about 1,000 meals a year, that’s 5,000 times I’ve been able to enjoy the savory aroma and delicious flavor of food while my good husband just eats to live. Before I start praying out loud, I silently thank God for the amazing sense of taste, our Creator’s good gift to us. John’s loss has shown me how much I had taken for granted the pleasure of food. I have a new appreciation for every flavorful bite.


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Tis the Season for Time Together

Making Sure Tech Doesn’t Hijack Your Holidays
An article from David R. Smith at TheSource4YM.com
 
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This holiday season, millions of teens will gather with their families around a turkey. And most of them will gorge themselves with side dishes that include healthy portions of Snapchat, Instagram, and Spotify.

But there are ways to lure your teens away from their screens this holiday season….

Thanksgiving and Christmas are officially upon us…and that means travel for millions. There have been

noticeable shifts in how, why, when, and with whom families travel these days. But much of it has the same goal in mind: shared experiences with loved ones.

Thanksgiving and Christmas offer millions of families the opportunity to do just that.
And it’s a noble endeavor given that

parents spend less than two hours with their kids each day. (Interestingly, there are actually a couple of reasons to celebrate the 104 minutes parents give their children every day. First, it actually represents an increase from decades past…and second, it’s not the 34 minutes per day that British kids get with their parents

.)

Seriously, kids have playlists that are longer than that.


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Offering-Worship

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bishopsnov2016
 

With Tongue in Cheek

Back in the day, you always got a “bulletin” as you entered the sanctuary. I don’t know why they ever called it a “bulletin.” I googled it and just got more confused. So I’ve now added it to the list of questions we can ask Jesus about, though probably only on a really slow day.

Back in the day, everyone got a bulletin, even though most likely no one really needed one, for two good reasons. First, everyone already knew what was going to happen during the service, since the “order of service” was always basically the same. Second, no one really needed to read the announcements listed in the bulletin, which did vary some, since these would be read to us at least once during the service itself, if not twice so we’d remember. Larger churches might also have a “skit” about the more important announcements.


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Richly Blessed

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nov2016slider
 

I ’m not really one to follow instructions. Anyone who knows me will confirm it. Following instructions is difficult for me because I am inclined toward doing as I please.

The friction comes when I am called to do what pleases God. What pleases God is for us to store our “treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:20).


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Battling Teen Porn Addiction

Arming Kids for the Fight of Their Lives
An article from David R. Smith at TheSource4YM.com
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On a daily basis, millions of teenagers are bombarded by graphic and explicit images through online images and videos. The degree to which they are impacted is as varied as the kids themselves, but none of it is positive.

Fortunately, there are tools to help…if adults are willing to use them to level the playing field.

Porn’s Impact
Yes, I wrote about porn just 5 months ago. In that article

, the not-so-hidden effects of pornography on young lives were discussed in saddening detail. Perhaps we might be benefited by a brief reminder of what research is saying about porn’s impact on us as sexual beings.
Thanks to

research published in JAMA Psychiatry

  we now know the following about porn’s impact on our brains:

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Any Chance God Thinks of Us?

Is there any chance that the almighty God of the universe, Creator of everything that is, thinks of you? Could you be in His thoughts? One of the most astounding stories of all time is this story; of a young woman who was remembered by God, representing all of us who are “insignificant,” “forgotten,” and without hope. If He thought of her… well, you know where I’m going!

Or on Vimeo at: