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Showing posts from March, 2018

Laura Galbraith Update

I'm happy to have some good news about our sister in Christ Laura Galbraith. After a bit of initial trouble, she was able to secure a good home hospice service that is covered by her insurance. Laura is now at home, where she wants to be! Her sister Beth is here from out of town for now, & will oversee all of the details as things develop. 

PLEASE NO visitors yet! The transfer from the hospital was exhausting & it will take a while for them to get situated. We will let you know when it's ok for close friends to visit. Meanwhile, I know Laura cherishes your prayers, & will continue to monitor her social media when she is able. You may post comments/prayers on her Facebook page, on our NCC page, or here on my blog.

Yesterday, I mentioned that we prayed Laura would realize her work on this earth is not yet finished.
She apparently took that to heart. Beth tells me Laura was talking with her new hospice rep about New Covenant, & that she seems interested in visitin…

Urgent Prayer Request for Laura Galbraith

I just returned from a hospital visit with Laura Galbraith. Many of you know she has been bravely battling a rare form of cancer for the past several years. Today, due to another development in her health status, Laura decided to discontinue any further treatments. While she still believes God can and will cure her, she is at the stage where her knowledge of this situation has brought her to understand that further medical treatments are useless. While she is sad it has come to this, she is still hopeful, & joyful.  She joked & laughed again & again during our short visit.

Her sister Beth is here & will be able to stay, while plans are made for Laura to move into Home Hospice care. I told Laura how grateful I have been for her openness throughout this long & difficult process. Her Facebook posts have been open & honest, & she has repeatedly expressed her complete & endless faith in Jesus. She has encouraged many others through her personal witness in th…

How Can We Call This Good Friday?

Morning Inspiration: When they came to a place called The Skull, they nailed him to the cross. And the criminals were also crucified—one on his right and one on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice.
Luke 24:33-34 They mocked Jesus, & beat Him so badly, you could barely tell He was a human. Then they drove spikes into His hands & feet to hang Him on a cross. Once He was dead, they gambled for His robe. Through the degrading humiliation, pain & impending death, Jesus was most concerned for others.
His request for God our Father to forgive those responsible, is one of the most powerful sentences in all of Holy Scripture! He was forgiving those involved in what had happened, as well as all of us, who had not yet been born! You see, It was not only those present at the time, but all of humanity, for all of time, whose sinful nature hung God’s Son on the cross. Jesus was wi…

God's Perfectly Accurate Predictions

Morning Inspiration: My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs; an evil gang closes in on me.
They have pierced my hands and feet. I can count all my bones. My enemies stare at me and gloat.
They divide my garments among themselves and throw dice for my clothing.
Proverbs 22:16-18 Anyone who has read the gospel accounts of Jesus being crucified, will recognize the agonizing details of what he experienced, described in this passage. Amazingly, these words were written by King David, hundreds of years before Jesus was even born! A huge number of prophecies (perfectly accurate predictions) were made about Jesus, from His birth, to his death, to His resurrection. Tomorrow is Good Friday, which takes us back to the deep, dark sadness & hopelessness the world felt. We must always remember that God’s greatest prophecies & promises, about Jesus coming again soon, are still to come.

Seeing Light Through Deep Darkness!

Morning Inspiration:But I am a worm and not a man.
I am scorned and despised by all! Everyone who sees me mocks me.
They sneer and shake their heads, saying, “Is this the one who relies
on the Lord?
Then let the Lord save him! If the Lord loves him so much, let the
Lord rescue him!”
Psalm 22:6-8

King David wrote this to explain how horrible he felt at the moment,
never understanding he was accurately describing exactly what would
happen to Jesus hundreds of years later! As we approach our annual
remembrance of the dark day Jesus was brutally crucified...which is
ironically called Good Friday, it’s natural to ask:”How can anything
good, possibly come out of something SO bad?” I’m convinced the
answers will come, as you continue reading, studying & praying on the
rest of this important passage.
Verse 26 gives us a good clue: “All who seek the Lord will praise Him.
Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy.”

You're Not the 1st to Feel Abandoned by God!

Morning Inspiration: My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Why are you so far away when I groan for help? Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer.
Every night I lift my voice, but I find no relief.
Psalm 22:1-2 King David was obviously going through some terrible trails when he wrote this. Many of us believe he was unaware he was being influenced by the Holy Spirit, to accurately predict the crucifixion of his Messiah, still hundreds of years off in the future! This Psalm was actually quoted by Jesus Christ Himself, as He hung near death on the cross. It is required reading for everyone who desires a solid understanding of the significance of all that happened, as we head towards Good Friday, Passover & Easter. Like David, & our Lord Jesus, most of us will go through long periods of deep darkness & despair, when our future seems hopeless. However, a complete reading of this key Scripture brings us great hope for our future, as we are told in verse 26 “…

Be Effective, Not Offensive

Morning Inspiration: Don’t give offense to Jews or Gentiles or the church of God. That is the plan I follow, too. I try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what I like or what is best for me, but what is best for them so they may be saved.
1st Corinthians 10:32-33 Like Paul, we should try our best, to never offend anyone. It’s natural to think “I have a right to my opinions, & I’m going to speak my mind.” Paul had rights too, but he often gave them up for the good of the gospel. Guarding our tongue & restricting certain activities, without wavering an inch in our faith, can be an effective way to show others the love of Jesus. This is especially important in today’s politically charged climate of social media. Scripture reminds us that a gentle answer often extinguishes anger & wrath. Of course, we know we can’t please everyone, but Paul reminds us we must try. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t discuss our faith & beliefs, but that we must do it in a wa…

Enjoying The Simple Things With God

Morning Inspiration: So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God. For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from him? God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to those who please him.
King Solomon, in Ecclesiastes 2:24-26 During the 20 years of what I now describe as being ‘Lost in the Wilderness’, I thought life was just a big party. Yet no matter how much I consumed or acquired, I always felt a deep & lonely emptiness. This Scripture shows what I was missing...a personal relationship with God. Jesus wants us to enjoy the blessings of this world. Our joy in the simple pleasures of life increases wonderfully, once we recognize that all good things come from God! When we honestly do our best to live a life that pleases Jesus, God gives us more & more of His wisdom, His understanding, & His blessings. I now get so much more joy from the simple pleasures of life, kn…

Are You Spending God's Money The Right Way?

Morning Inspiration: “I tell you, use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. In this way, your generosity stores up a reward for you in heaven. Jesus, quoted in John 16:9 Our natural tendency is to carefully protect our riches, storing up & using all we have, for ourselves & those closest to us. Jesus teaches that our money is not given to us to hide away, or to spend selfishly, but to distribute generously. In the process of giving & sharing, we show God’s love, by caring for others. We make friends by showing God’s kindness & generosity, through our willingness to give to this world. There is no need to pile up wealth here. Jesus is building up much greater treasure for us, in the world that is still to come!

Who Should We Pray For?

Morning Inspiration: I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 1st Timothy 2:1 Scripture urges us to pray for ALL people! Not just Christians. Not only those we agree with socially & politically. We are to pray for those we have sharp differences with, even our enemies. The truth is, without realizing it, we tend to pray selfishly. Our nature is to focus on our personal needs & desires.
I suggest expanding your circle of prayer, by keeping a written list, that you add to whenever you become aware of someone in need of prayer. It could be a coworker with an illness, a friend having family difficulties, or a political opponent you strongly disagree with. Practice focusing on their needs instead of just yours. Lift them each up before Jesus on a regular basis. As we read in verses 3 & 4: “This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.” I pro…

Prayer Request: A Personal Note from Josh Link

A personal note from Josh Link:
"Please share my status & ask the church to pray. I do have a recurrence in three new lesions on my liver, in different areas than before. Surgery will be difficult so they are wanting me to start a new round of chemo to ensure they can get it under control. I am working to get an appointment for a 2nd opinion at Johns Hopkins in Maryland, hopefully this week. I continue to believe God has complete healing in store for me, but this news is definitely taking its toll. Please pray for Mary & the boys."  Joshua Link  
For well over a year, our NCC family has been very involved in praying for Josh Link, his wife Mary, & their two young boys, while Josh has battled potentially deadly cancer.  Up until this point, all the news has been positive. After having been declared cancer free following his recent surgery, this is tough to hear.
We have been very blessed that Josh & Mary have allowed us to know what has been going on in their …

Focusing On What We Can't See!

Morning Inspiration: Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever. 2nd Corinthians ‪4:16-18‬ Today my friend Patrick turns 60. He was always big, strong, healthy & confident. Then suddenly, he wasn’t. Unexpected, unexplainable health issues have brought him very near to death, & down onto his knees. It’s there that he takes great care to pray each day to Jesus. Spiritually, he is much stronger than ever before. Scripture shows we can’t allow pain, loss, criticism or persecution to wear us down, or make us think of quitting. Paul learned to focus on the power of the Holy Spirit inside him. That renewed his commitment...&…

Is 'Thank God' Just a Figure of Speech, or a Way of Life?

Morning Inspiration: Then David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly: “O Lord, the God of our ancestor Israel, may you be praised forever and ever! Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things. Wealth and honor come from you alone, for you rule over everything. Power and might are in your hand, and at your discretion people are made great and given strength. O our God, we thank you and praise your glorious name!”
1st Chronicles 29:10-13 Is the phrase “Thank God!” nothing more than a figure of speech to you? David’s beautiful tribute to our Creator brings up important questions: How well, & how often do I praise God? Do I give Him the recognition, honor & glory He deserves? If not, WHY not? A quick inventory of our amazing blessings, gives us ample ammunition to fire off endless praise to The …

What Do We Really Get For All Our Hard Work?

Morning Inspiration: What do people really get for all their hard work? I have thought about this in connection with the various kinds of work God has given people to do. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.
King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 3:9-13 Said to be the wisest man who ever lived, Solomon made many interesting & insightful observations that made it into Scripture. This paragraph is deep enough to talk about for hours, but the bullet points to me are:
Mankind was created to work.
Our deepest natural desire to to please God, & be with Him in eternity.
We don’t always understand God’s plan for us along the way, but we are to work hard anyway!

The Old Was Perfect! The New Is Even Better!

Morning Inspiration: If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new covenant, which makes us right with God! In fact, that first glory was not glorious at all compared with the overwhelming glory of the new way. 2nd Corinthians 3:9-10 The old way was perfect, because it was designed to show us how absolutely impossible it is to be sinless in the eyes of God! The new covenant gives us the promise of being completely transformed into His image, & forgiven through our trust & faith in Jesus. Let your countenance show the brilliance of the glorious future we are each promised with Jesus as our Lord & Savior.

Why Wisdom Is Better Than Knowledge

Morning Inspiration: For the Lord grants wisdom!
From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest.
He is a shield to those who walk with integrity. He guards the paths of the just
and protects those who are faithful to him.
Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, 
and you will find the right way to go.
Proverbs 2:6-9 Reading a book can be a solid way to gain knowledge. Reading the Bible, brings something even better...wisdom! Worldly knowledge without the right understanding of how it is to be used, often brings poor choices & selfish decisions, based on what we think or feel. God’s Word gives us common sense, integrity & wisdom, which help us know the right way to go. When you want to do what is right in God’s sight, Scripture will always lead you down the path to what is just & fair in His eyes.

The Basics of Praying Boldly

Morning Inspiration: “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, God of Israel, I have been bold enough to pray this prayer to you because you have revealed all this to your servant, saying, ‘I will build a house for you—a dynasty of kings!’ For you are God, O Sovereign Lord. Your words are truth, and you have promised these good things to your servant. And now, may it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue forever before you. For you have spoken, and when you grant a blessing to your servant, O Sovereign Lord, it is an eternal blessing!”
King David in 2nd Samuel 7:27 David did something most of us should do much more often...pray boldly! He knew the foundations of our faith, & reviewed them as he prayed: God’s Word is truth; It pleases the Lord to bless His faithful servants; His blessings go well beyond this life, into eternity! “Jesus, give us the confidence to pray boldly today, asking for your favor, protection, guidance & blessings as we head out to humbl…