God’s Watching!

O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Psalm 139:1–3

God’s Watching!

The children were lined up in the school cafeteria for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples accompanied by a note that read:

Take only ONE. God’s watching.”

Further down the lunch line, at the other end of the table, was a plate piled high with cookies. Next to it was a note in a child’s handwriting:

Take all you want. God’s watching the apples!

Kids are hilarious. And our thinking often isn’t much different than theirs. Take for example the issue of God’s providential care. How often do we think that God is absent or preoccupied with
other things? How often do we err by assuming that God is present but indifferent to our actions, or He’s present only with disapproving judgment?

God sees us. He’s watching all the time. . . in our time of blessing and when things are tougher than they’ve ever been. When He sees His image reflected in who we are, it’s pleasing to Him.

– Steve Arterburn

For however devoted you are to God, you may be sure that He is immeasurably more devoted to you.” – Meister Eckhart (1260–1328)

Quality And Quantity?

These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 6:6 -7

These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you lie down and when you get up.

You’ve heard parents say this about their kids: “I don’t have much time to give, but what I do give is quality time!” I don’t know what that means, and I bet your children don’t either. Even if they did, I don’t think you really build relationships on “quality time”.

How can you predict the quality of “quality time?” And what constitutes the distinction, anyway?

My point is that life just doesn’t work that way. For instance, suppose you bought tickets to a local minor league ballgame for you and your son. You planned some real quality time to teach your son about the game you loved, and hopefully instill the same passion in him. But in the first inning he spots a friend, and they disappear together for the rest of the game. So much for quality time!

Then suppose in the same week, while heading to the grocery store, you bring your daughter along. No chance of quality time here, right? But among mundane chores and small talk, your daughter asks, “Daddy, what does salvation mean?” Your last minute errand just turned into quality time.

Quality time can’t be manipulated. It doesn’t happen at our beck and call. Instead, quality time sneaks up on us amidst quantity time. Consequently, the only way we can ensure quality time is to make sure there’s quantity time—and plenty of it.

“If you wonder where your child left his roller skates, try walking around the house in the dark.” – Leopold Fechtner

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord, I pray that I will not miss the opportunities to turn my time with family and friends into quality time, to share my knowledge about your love and grace with them. Amen.

He Is Sufficient

And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ – 2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV

our-God-is-sufficient

Learning to depend upon God will help you build character. And of this you can be certain: God is sufficient to meet your needs. Period.

Do the demands of life seem overwhelming at times? If so, you must learn to rely not only upon your own resources, but also upon the promises of your Father in heaven. God will hold your hand and walk with you and your family if you let Him. So even if your circumstances are difficult, trust the Father.

The Psalmist writes, ‘Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning‘ (Psalm 30:5 NKJV). But when we are suffering, the morning may seem very far away. It is not. God promises that He is ‘near to those who have a broken heart‘ (Psalm 34:18 NKJV). When we are troubled, we must turn to Him, and we must encourage our friends and family members to do likewise.

If you are discouraged by the inevitable demands of life here on earth, be mindful of this fact: the loving heart of God is sufficient to meet any challenge . . . including yours.

Yes, God’s grace is always sufficient, and His arms are always open to give it. But, will our arms be open to receive it? –  Beth Moore

I grew up learning to be self-reliant, but now, to grow up in Christ, I must unlearn self-reliance and learn self-distrust in light of his all-sufficiency. – Mary Morrison Suggs

God’s saints in all ages have realized that God was enough for them. God is enough for time; God is enough for eternity. God is enough! –Hannah Whitall Smith

Today’s Prayer
Dear Lord, I thank you that in You I have infinite protection, because You are an infinitive God. Help me to live in the center of Your will, I know that in the center of Your will, your protection will always be available for me. Amen

 

Easter in Narnia

He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The Lord has spoken. – Isaiah 25:8

Easter in Narnia

In C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the lion, Aslan, offers himself as a sacrifice for a little boy, a traitor named Edmund. When the lion rises from the dead he says:

. . . [the Witch’s] knowledge goes back only to the dawn of time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backward.

Does that story sound familiar? It should; it’s the story of Easter. Jesus Christ gave his life for traitors whom he loved, was raised from the dead, and therefore broke the curse of death.

– Steve Arterburn

Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.” – Martin Luther (1483-1546)

Winning Prisoners

Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me. – Psalm 142:7

Winning Prisoners

Four inmates at the Greenville, Mississippi city jail were caught breaking back into their cells! And according to the district attorney, “It is entirely possible this wasn’t the first time they’ve done this.

The four apparently found a way for repeated access to the outside world. Yet according to the police chief, “They didn’t seem interested in escaping, they just missed their amenities of life and went back to get them.” This particular time, they returned to jail carrying a load of gin and marijuana. Ironically, these willing prisoners now face felony escape charges.

Sometimes reality is stranger than fiction. How many of us have resolved to spend our days in prisons of our own making—prisons we’re able to escape through personal change, but won’t because the prison provides us a semblance of security?

You can be freed from whatever your prison is. Look for help—first to God, but then to those God has put in your path–a trusted friend, pastor or counselor. And remember God is a God of second chances.

– Steve Arterburn

I’m not crazy about reality, but it’s still the only place to get a decent meal.” – Groucho Marx (1890–1977)

New Life Live: March 10, 2015

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Topics: In-lawsDatingProcrastinationFinancesAffairsAnxietyAngerAvoiders 
Hosts: Steve ArterburnDr. Dave Stoop

Caller Questions:

  1. Does my husband spend too much time on the phone with his mother? 
  2. My boyfriend lets his bills go unpaid even though he has the money; is that a red flag?
  3. At 67yo, how do I heal from an affair I think my wife had 4yrs ago? 
  4. I haven’t left my apartment for 2mos and just start reading whenever I feel anxious; how do I move forward? 
  5. Is my angry wife affecting our 16yo’s behavior? 
  6. My husband shuts me out after we argue; what can I do? 

Suggested Resources:
Just Us
Is This The One
7 Minute Marriage Solution
7 Minute Marriage Solution Devotional Bible
Life Recovery Bible
Book of Life Recovery

Subscribe to the NEW LIFE LIVE Podcast via iTunes or streaming audio from Stitcher, the Smart Radio App.

New Life Live: February 24, 2015

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Topics: Verbal AbuseParent IssuesForgivenessDivorceDatingSexual Integrity 
Hosts: Steve ArterburnDr. Sheri Keffer and Guest Host Leslie Vernick, author of The Emotionally Destructive Relationship

Caller Questions:

  1. How do I deal with my verbally abusive 92yo father? 
  2. My mom is angry that I didn’t support her in a conflict with my grandmother. 
  3. How do I move forward and make my own decisions after my 30yr marriage ended? 
  4. My mom wants to marry a man she met online and has not met in person; how do I respond? 
  5. My wife doesn’t want to work on her trust issues after I had lust issues; is it time to give up? 

Suggested Resources:
Emotionally Destructive Relationship
Hope & Healing from Emotional Abuse
Worthy of Her Trust

Subscribe to the NEW LIFE LIVE Podcast via iTunes or streaming audio from Stitcher, the Smart Radio App.

New Life Live: February 20, 2015

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Topics: Adult ChildrenFearAnxietyAlcoholicsDifficult ConversationsDrug Addiction 
Hosts: Steve ArterburnDr. Sheri KefferMilan Yerkovich

Caller Questions:

  1. How do we rebuild a relationship with our bipolar daughter without involving her wife? 
  2. I still have panic attacks after being treated for PTSD; what more can I do? 
  3. My heart won’t let go of my alcoholic husband who now has legal problems. 
  4. How do I tell my friend she needs help with her cleanliness? 
  5. My husband’s drug addiction has ruined our marriage; is it time to divorce? 

Suggested Resources:
Healing Is a Choice
Fear and Anxiety CD
Life Recovery Bible
Boundaries in Marriage
How We Love

This is the Every Man’s Battle testimony Steve read on the radio today:

I am a single guy of 36 and became aware of EMB through New Life’s daily radio show. I have stumbled upon it by chance on a cross-country drive a few months back. All I can say is “Thank You.” For many months – years, in fact, I had felt myself slipping into a pit of despair, shame, guilt, and condemnation. I felt there was no escape. Circumstance upon circumstance and failed relationship after failed relationship compounded upon one another to create a feeling of worthlessness and failure. This weekend helped me to connect dots that I previously couldn’t connect. It gave me insight into areas of my past that helped me make sense of my present and what has led me to this point. It has given me hope for the future and has provided me with a “jumping off point” for a life of fulfillment in the Lord. Thank you New Life for your ministry and for providing a doorway to a “new and better life.” God Bless You. – Vincent

Subscribe to the NEW LIFE LIVE Podcast via iTunes or streaming audio from Stitcher, the Smart Radio App. 

Small Slits Sink Ships

He must become greater; I must become less. – John 3:30

Small Slits Sink Ships

Did you know scientists now believe a series of slits, not a giant gash, sank the Titanic? The supposedly invincible cruise liner went down in 1912 on its first voyage. Fifteen hundred people perished, making it the worst maritime disaster of its time.

Until recently, the most widely held theory was that the ship hit an iceberg, opening a huge gash in the vessel’s side. But an international team of divers and scientists has used sound waves to probe the wreckage, buried in the mud under two-and-a-half miles of water. The damage was surprisingly small. Instead of a huge gash, they found only six, relatively narrow, slits across the watertight holds.

Small slits can sink great ships. What are the small slits in your life that might have serious consequences? Is some shoring up in order? If you don’t know what exactly needs shoring up, or you do know but don’t know how, seek some help, from a friend, your pastor, or a professional counselor.

– Steve Arterburn

A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.’ – Unknown

New Life Live: January 19, 2015

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Topics: Weight LossOCDSexual AddictionNarcissistsChurch LifeFearBoundaries, Caregivers 
Hosts: Dr. Dave StoopDr. Jill Hubbard with Larry Sonnenburg

Caller Questions:

  1. I attended Healing Is a Choice for weight issues; should the next step be attending Lose It For Life? 
  2. My OCD husband is also a sex addict and a narcissist; is there help for him? 
  3. Does the Bible say to spend more time at church than with family? 
  4. Where is my faith when I jump to the worst case scenario and live in fear? 
  5. A family member insisted on staying with us while my mother is ill, but now I am the bad guy for cutting the visit short. 

Suggested Resources:
Book of Life Recovery
Toxic Faith  (no longer available from New Life)
Boundaries
Beyond Boundaries
Caregivers CD

Subscribe to the NEW LIFE LIVE Podcast via iTunes or streaming audio from Stitcher, the Smart Radio App.