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Showing posts from May, 2018

Funeral Details for Norma Holtman's Mom

Norma Holtman's mother, Nell Thurston, passed away suddenly this week. Though she had been in poor health for several years, her death was unexpected, & due to an accident at her home.

Her funeral service will be next Thursday, June 7th at 10am at Calvary of Abq, 4001 Osuna NE. Nell attended there for many years. Following the Memorial, she will be interred with her late husband at the National Cemetery in Santa Fe.

Dirk & Norma have been an important part of our NCC family for many years, & I know they will appreciate your prayers. We hope you will be able to join us for the service, to show our love and concern for them.

An Urgent Reminder To Pray!

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. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.
1 Timothy 2:1–4 A close look at this Scripture, reveals it’s importance! Praying for others isn’t just suggested, we are ‘urged’ to do so. The phrase ‘first of all’ reminds us these prayers are not to be an afterthought, but our top priority! Next, we are to pray for ‘all people’. Not just Christians. Not just our family, friends & those we agree with, but everyone we can think of. Pray for those who seem to be our enemies. God’s desire is that even they would come to see His Light. Pray for those in positions of power or leadership, as they have a lot of influence on the conditions we live under. Pray for tho…

How We Are To Speak For God

Morning Inspiration: For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts.
1st Thessalonians 2:4–6 Sharing the Good News about Jesus, is a huge responsibility. When we talk to others about the Gospel, we are representing God Himself, so we must act & speak appropriately. We should never be offensive, but must realize that some people will feel offended. They may respond with displeasure or even anger, but we can’t let that make us afraid to share the Truth! Many of those who are the most upset, will eventually come to see the Light! If we always strive to imitate & emulate the love, kindness & concern of Jesus, He will be pleased. That alone should always be our goal.

YOU Can Bring Jesus Joy Today!

Morning Inspiration: In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.” Luke 15:10 Isn’t it amazing to know that you can bring God’s angels joy? From the worst of the worst in society, to those of us who do our best to follow Jesus, we are ALL sinners! Repenting means we recognize our sinful words, actions & thoughts...and then turn away from them, with the help of the Holy Spirit.
God is in the business of completely transforming lives, & He wants to start with you & me today.
Realizing that our efforts to change are a reason for Jesus & His angels to praise God, is an added bonus to the peace of mind & amazing joy our spiritual transformation brings to us.

Truly Giving Your Life to Jesus

Morning Inspiration: This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.
Jesus, quoted in John 15:12–14 These three simple sentences from our Savior, are packed with importance! There’s so much for us to carefully consider here! We are to love others, as much as Jesus loves us. Easy to say, very difficult to do. Especially to the extent He demonstrated the depth of His love, by laying down His life for you & me. And Jesus expects us to do that for others. As we head into Memorial Day weekend, think of the sacrifice made by so many in our military. They did this for their friends, & their families. Pray for those left behind...& for those serving now. Then ask Jesus to give us the boldness & courage to truly lay down our lives for Him! He said we are to ‘Die to ourselves’. There have been millions who have bravely given their lives a…

Jesus Want You to Get Out Into The World!

Morning Inspiration: Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone. Colossians 4:5–6 As followers of Jesus, we should be out in the world, actively working for His Kingdom. We can’t be effective by hiding ourselves away from those who think differently. We should be interacting with those of other beliefs, in every way possible. Developing positive relationships is critically important. Look for common ground, but never compromise the foundations of our faith. Jesus said to be as gentle as doves, but as wise as serpents. That means ‘Be kind, but be careful’. We are to be in the world, but not like the world. Living our lives as examples of how much Jesus loves others, will generate curiosity & questions. Kindness, courtesy, and gentle answers will touch hearts & change their lives.

Brag About God, Not Ourselves

Morning Inspiration: If I must boast, I would rather boast about the
things that show how weak I am.
2nd Corinthians 11:30

We must be careful that any & all credit for the good things we may
do, go directly to the Source of our abilities, Jesus Christ Himself.
Paul learned that in his spite of his weakness & shortcomings, the
power & strength of God was truly able to take over his life! The
amazing things this Apostle did were not due to his own determination
or strength, but because of his total dependence on Jesus. “Lord,
remind me to quit trying to do things myself, & to rely on your Holy
Spirit to supply everything I need for all you want me to do.”

What We Gain When We Give Up

Morning Inspiration: If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.
Jesus, quoted in Mark 8:35 Jesus turned our view of life upside down with this important declaration! In order to truly follow Him, we have to put our own selfish desires aside. This goes completely against what is natural, so we must learn to trust in the supernatural, through the power of Jesus! God’s economy is totally opposite of ours. The more we try to gain & save up for ourselves in this world, the more we lose in eternity! Don’t think this only involves money either. Our time is even more valuable, & Jesus expects us to give it away freely, working for the good of others, in order to share the Good News of Christ with them. To the world, this all seems crazy, but God’s plan, is infinitely better than anything that comes from man.

Being Honest About Our Sin

Morning Inspiration: If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts. 1 John 1:8–10 As humans, we are naturally sinful. Unfortunately, we very often don’t even recognize our own sins. Worst of all, we realize them, but ignore & deny them! This is nothing more than self deception, & outright lying, both to ourselves & to others.Unfortunately, this is true of Christians too. We know better, & should go to Jesus immediately, asking His forgiveness & mercy. When we do, He faithfully makes us clean & brand new! Denial is sinful pride, & only separates us from God. Self humility & a humble heart, allows Jesus to give us another fresh start. ”Lord help me to clearly see the sinfullness in my l…

Show & Tell with Jesus

Morning Inspiration: Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?”
When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”
Matthew 9:10–13 Jesus didn’t just tell us how to live our life...He showed us through His personal example! Even the lowliest in society were treated to His kindness, love & respect. Religious leaders (the Pharisees) were so offended, they called the people scum! Jesus used it as a teaching opportunity, that we need to learn from in today’s world. God won’t accept ANY of the things we offer Him, if we don’t first show mercy to …

For Believers To Share With Friends

Morning Inspiration: In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord.
Jeremiah 29:12–14 Scripture says that if we pray sincerely, God will listen!
If we honestly look for Jesus with all our heart, The Lord will make sure we find Him!
All too often, people expect God to suddenly appear in their life, on His own. They don’t realize that Jesus waits to be invited. If you have never actually prayed for Jesus to forgive you & grant you a fresh start...you need to pray for Him to come into your heart. You can do it right now. Ask Him to ‘make His presence known’ to you...& He will! It probably won’t be a burning bush, a parting sea or a lightning strike. More likely something that ‘seems like a coincidence’; lyrics to a song on the radio that speak to your situation, a comment from a friend that really hits home, or a sudden awareness of the amazingly complex design of this world, will bring you to…

All We Need To Know About Jesus Coming Back!

Morning Inspiration: When the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking Him, “Lord, are you going to free Israel now and restore our kingdom? “The Father sets those dates,” He replied, “and they are not for you to know.”
Acts 1:6-7 Even two thousand years later, we haven’t changed much. Followers of Jesus continue to anxiously ask & wonder “When are You coming back to make this world right Lord?” God’s answer hasn’t change either! These dates & times are not for us to know. Jesus has a lot of valid reasons for shielding us from that information. A child doesn’t need the details about everything his parents are planning. As God’s children, all we have to know, is that Jesus loves us & is deserving of our complete & total trust. Scripture shows us that there are many clues He is coming very soon! That’s exciting, & should motivate us to be all about His Father’s business until the big day comes.

Self Examination for Spiritual Health

Morning Inspiration: Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith.
2 Corinthians 13:5 If we are wise, we prepare in advance for an important test, by examining our knowledge & understanding of the subject. The test of true Christianity goes much deeper. We can know the facts of our faith, & understand the details of what is expected...but still fail! If we don’t live-out our faith through our words, thoughts & actions, all that we know is useless! Honestly examining our lives for evidence of Jesus, is critically important. His Holy Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness & self control! If we don’t see those attributes growing & steadily improving in us, we have not yet made the right connection to Jesus.

No Right To Be Self Righteous

Morning Inspiration: Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other.
But—then God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. Titus 3:3–5 True Believers know better than to be proud or self righteous. Scripture repeatedly reminds us that we too, were hopelessly lost in our selfish & sinful behaviors, until Jesus saved us. His act of love had nothing to do with our own goodness, likability or effort. It was simply God’s way of showing us His amazing kindness & mercy...even when we didn’t come close to deserving it. Let’s always remember how He made us His own, when we deal with those in this world who don’t yet know our Savior. Our kindness, concern & care is a wonderful way for them to begin to see Jesus coming into their lives.

We Can't Forget How We've Been Forgiven!

Morning Inspiration: You must make allowance for each other’s faults & forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:13 How easily we forget the hurtful things we did & said, before we knew Jesus! We must resist the tendency to criticize those who aren’t there yet! The Bible makes it clear, Non-Believers are not held to the same high standard we try to hold ourselves to. Even Believers who hurt us, deserve the same forgiveness we ourselves have received. When we’re offended by the words or actions of others, we should pray right away: “Jesus forgive them, they aren’t aware of what they do. I did the SAME things before I knew You. Please come into their life too!”

Don't Expect to be Honored!

Morning Inspiration: Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family.” Mark 6:4 Many believers are hurt & frustrated, because their own family & friends don’t want to hear about the Word of God. They ignore us, & worse, disrespect our good intentions. If we are discouraged by this, evil wins. Yes, them not listening to the truth is wrong, but it is human nature! Even Jesus Himself couldn’t convince His OWN family to believe He was the Son of God...until He came back from the grave!
Verse 6 says: “And he was amazed at their unbelief!” Yet Jesus didn’t give up on them, or cast them out, & neither can we. He continued His ministry with others, who were willing to listen & see His Truth. He continued to pray for His family & waited for God to eventually work in their hearts. Never allow personal rejection from those you love most, to hinder your ministry to others in God’s Kingdom. Keep wo…

What We MUST Do To Follow Jesus!

Morning Inspiration: Morning Inspiration: “The truth is, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives new life from heaven. So don’t be surprised at my statement that you must be born again.” Jesus, quoted in John 3:5-7 Even though Jesus tells us not to be surprised at this statement, many still are!
He was speaking to Nicodemus, a high ranking Pharisee in the religious establishment. This was a man who had studied the Scriptures all his life...but didn’t fully understand. He had not yet transferred the knowledge from his head...into his heart! When Nicodemus realized something was missing in his faith, he approached Jesus humbly, & we should do the same.The Messiah gave it to him straight, & His truth remains today. To enter into God’s Kingdom, we MUST be born again!

How To Have A Heart For Those In Prison

Morning Inspiration: Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself.
Hebrews 13:3 Most of us have never been inside a jail, & even the thought of visiting someone in lockup frightens us!
Yet Jesus told us to do just that in Matthew 25:36! Caring for those in prison is not something that comes easily for most of us, yet it brings great joy & reward. Over the years I’ve been blessed to be involved in some wonderful ministries that focus on serving those in long term custody. A few days ago, I was allowed to share my heart & God’s Word for 30 minutes, with over 300 inmates at the Women’s Correctional Center in Springer NM. Their attention & response to my message brought me to tears! Almost 200 are already deeply involved in transforming their lives through a personal relationship with Jesus. Many more are just getting started. One of the ladies gave us a beautiful idea, that could be a wonderful way for you to develop ‘a heart’ for those in prison. She asked if w…

Jesus Is the Key To Set Us Free!

Morning Inspiration: They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. But an angel of the Lord came at night, opened the gates of the jail, and brought them out. Then he told them, “Go to the Temple and give the people this message of life!” So at daybreak the apostles entered the Temple, as they were told, and immediately began teaching. Acts 5:19-21 Whether we are physically confined in a jail, or spiritually locked into painful, dangerous behaviors & attitudes...Jesus has the key to set us free! Just as He did 2,000 years ago with the first followers of Christ, God continues to use those the world see’s in a poor light, as an example of His power & might!
Regardless of your current situation, Jesus has a message & a purpose for you too!

Why We Should Pray Like Moses Today

Morning Inspiration: You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.’ Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.”
Exodus 33:13 This prayer to God from Moses is a great example of how we should pray today, on our National Day of Prayer. Moses is basically saying “Lord if it’s true that we have found favor with You, show us your way. Help us understand you more fully & to better know exactly what You want us to do.” Moses also declared that “We are YOUR people, God!” Billy Graham often said the best way for our nation to get back on it’s feet, is to get our people on our knees! Let’s all take the time to pray deeply & sincerely to Jesus today.

Living As Jewels in Their Crown!

Morning Inspiration: After all, what gives us hope and joy, and what will be our proud reward and crown as we stand before our Lord Jesus when he returns? It is you! Yes, you are our pride and joy.
1 Thessalonians 2:19–20 Paul was writing to new followers who had come to know Jesus, through the ministry he led. This Scripture makes important points for two groups of Christians: Believers need to realize how important their faithful service to the church is to our teachers, mentors & leaders. We are a huge part of their eventual reward, a jewel in the crown they will receive in heaven! In thanks for all they’ve done for us, we should do our best to live a life that sparkles & shines for God. As Leaders, we must realize that our true reward is not money, prestige or power...it is God’s people! We are to love them as much a Jesus does, & serve them endlessly, as the embodiment of our Lord & Savior. Their growth & success as followers of Christ, is a big portion of our…

Being Content Brings Us True Wealth!

Morning Inspiration: Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.
1 Timothy 6:6–8

I’m admit I’m incredibly blessed, yet often find myself greatly attracted to nicer homes, cars, etc. The truth is, it’s very rare to find anyone content with what they have, regardless of their financial status. Ask most people how much they need to be happy, and they will say “Just a little bit more”! A strong relationship with Jesus helps us recognize that our true riches have little to do with finances. Blessings like family, friends & good health, are much more valuable than any type of worldly wealth.
Even if we find ourselves lonely, or ill...God can show us how much we have to be grateful about. Learning to be content with what we already have, brings us a wonderful awareness of the generos…