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    Our fight is not against flesh and blood . . .

    Ephesians 6:12 tells us: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Steeped in the occult and a life of crime, Carlos wasn’t even sure God existed. Kathy’s mother mixed Christianity with […]

    Love can overcome our guilt and shame

    When Christina became pregnant outside of marriage, she was surprised by her parents’ support. Still, shame consumed her until she experienced God’s forgiveness. When Sally embarked on a journey of self-discovery and got pregnant, she found herself alone and frightened until she found her true identity in Christ. Learn how God can turn the toughest situations around for good.

    Hidden Mysteries

    Most of what goes on in the universe we never see. Many things are too small or move too fast or even too slow for us to see. Using modern technology, however, filmmaker Louis Schwartzberg is able to show stunning video images of some of those things—a caterpillar’s mouth, the eye of a fruit fly, the growth of a mushroom.

                Our limited ability to see the awesome and intricate detail of things in the physical world reminds us that our ability to see and understand what’s happening in the spiritual realm is equally limited. God is at work all around…

    Cat Gate

    My husband, Jay, and I have a new family member—a 2-month-old tabby cat named Jasper. To keep our new kitten safe, we’ve had to break some old habits, like leaving doors open. But one thing remains a challenge: the open stairway. Cats like to climb. Even as kittens, they know that the world looks better when you’re looking down on it. So whenever I have Jasper downstairs with me, she is determined to go upstairs. Trying to keep her confined to a safe place near me has tested my ingenuity. Gates that work with children and dogs do not work…

    who we are

    Zechariah lived out a twofold identity as both priest and prophet. The grandson of the priest Iddo and the head priest of his family (Zechariah 1:1; Nehemiah 12:1,16), he was prophetically called to encourage the people of Judah with God’s words (Zechariah 1:13-17). In addition, he told them to repent (Zechariah 1:3-4), renew their efforts for God (Zechariah 8:12-13), and follow His ways (Zechariah 7:8-10).

    suited up

    During a visit to an art institute, I observed a German suit of armor made in 1521. None of the other defensive ensembles seemed as complete as this one. It featured vented metal to cover the face; a curved breastplate to deflect blows; metal that continued down the arms, hands, and covered each finger; leg shields that were seamlessly fitted to metal shoes. The craftsman had imagined every possible offensive strike and addressed each in his design.

    temptations we face

    This is the last snack I’m going to eat today, you tell yourself. Then 5 minutes later you’re looking for another one! Michael Moss, in his book Salt Sugar Fat, reveals how food companies study ways to “help” people crave junk food. Some of the food industry’s biggest names hire “crave consultants” to determine people’s “bliss points”—the conditions when food companies can optimize consumers’ cravings. One popular company spends $30 million a year to determine the bliss points of consumers.

    father of lies

    Paulo Coelho’s book The Pilgrimage recounts the story of Coelho walking the famous Camino pilgrimage route between France and Spain with a guide. I bought the book, but I wasn’t prepared for what I read.

    Escaping the darkness–Kathy’s Story

    God’s Word tells us that our fight is not against things we can see, but rather against the unseen spiritual agents of darkness. Kathy describes her descent into the occult and God’s miraculous rescue from the grasp of evil. Find out more of what the Bible says about “how to identify a dangerous religious group.”...

    fixed

    I love excellence and I even battle against perfectionism from time to time. But there are times I find speed more desirable than precision. As evidence, behind every picture on my walls is a cluster of tiny pinholes. It’s no wonder that the occasional picture falls from its place. After all, I can’t expect much from a technique that relies on a hairbrush in lieu of a hammer, and a good eye instead of a tape measure. My attempts simply seemed faster than measured accuracy.

    keep your guard up

    A young man and several friends drove to a ski resort, went through a gate that contained warning signs about the dangerous condition of the slopes, and started snowboarding. On the second trip down the mountain, someone shouted, “Avalanche!” but the young man couldn’t escape and perished in the cascading …

    Use Your Weapons

    Above all, [take] the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.  -Ephesians 6:16

    While visiting a museum, I was intrigued by a small inscription describing a class of Roman gladiators-the Retiarii-who fought using only a net and a trident. Of all the fearsome and lethal weapons available to those warriors, who often battled to the death, these men were given two items-a piece of webbing and a three-pronged spear. When they entered the arena, their survival depended on how well they used their weapons.

    Know the Enemy: Revealing Truths About Satan

    “When a person means to do you harm, understanding that person’s identity, appearance, whereabouts, modus operandi, intentions, and skills are things you must know,” writes Greg Dutcher.
    This excerpt from Dutcher’s book Living in Enemy Territory helps prepare us to battle the ultimate Enemy of all believers. We are reminded that Satan is not free to do as he pleases, that we are not battling alone, and most importantly, that Christ has already defeated him at the cross.

    Fully Equipped

    Karl Elsener, a Swiss designer of surgical equipment in the 19th century, worked for years on perfecting a military knife. Today his Swiss Army Knife is associated with excellence in blades and a variety of utilities. One model includes knife blades, a saw, scissors, a magnifying glass, a can opener, a screwdriver, a ruler, a toothpick, a writing pen, and more—all in one knife! If you are out camping in the wild, this one item can certainly make you feel equipped for survival.

    Wake-Up Call

    One early autumn morning as I drove to work in the dark, I was startled by a flash of brown in my headlights followed by the sound of something hitting the front of my car. I had clipped a deer at 70 miles per hour! It was only a glancing blow, and no damage was done to my car (or the deer, as far as I could tell), but it really shook me up. I had been in my usual “autopilot mode” for the familiar drive to the office, but the shock of the incident certainly got my attention. I was now fully alert and trying to calm a racing heartbeat. It was a most unpleasant wake-up call.


    September 2019: Christian Living

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