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Holy “Aha” by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

God often provides pieces of information about our future but most of the time does not give us the entire picture. It would be so much easier if he would but there is a purpose behind the partial disclosure. When reading 1 Samuel 16 this week about Samuel anointing David to be the next King of Israel, I had this thought, Why didn’t God simply tell Samuel that Jesse’s son, David, would be the next king? It would have been so much easier for Samuel, as well as for Jesse and his family. Instead, on the way to the anointing,…

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Everyone Needs a Mystery Box by Don McMinn and Lane Jordan Burday

The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever (Deuteronomy 29:29). I received a wonderful message in my inbox from a retired pastor. He wanted to share that as we go through this life, there will be devastating happenings and events that make no sense. How do we handle these? Here is how he processed them: When I was a teenager, I heard a sermon on the mystery box. The pastor recommended that throughout life everyone keep an imaginary box into which they place those things…

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First Love by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

“Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love” (Revelation 2: 4, NRSV). I have turned into one of those grandmothers. Every chance, whether people like it or not, I am going to share the latest photos of my sweet grandson, William. That’s because William has captured my heart and I want to tell others about him. We speak about what we love. What do you like to talk about? In Revelation 2, the Lord had a lot of compliments for the church at Ephesus—the members worked hard for the Lord, they were patient, and they hated evil—but…

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Death and Resurrection by Mayada Naami

“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die..Do you believe this?”“Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to…

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Easter is Coming! By Lisa Burkhardt Worley

Growing up, Easter was about Easter egg hunts and beautiful baskets filled with candy. I used to get excited the week before the holiday because I knew Easter was coming and it was special. Now, as a Christian, Easter means so much more. It is the remembrance of the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for us, so that we could both enter the Holy of Holies where God resides, as well as gain eternal life. In my life there is nothing more important than what occurred on Easter. However, as we meditate on and remember Holy Week, it is…

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From Palm Branches to Thorns? By Lane Jordan Burday

They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21: 7-9) The week between Palm Sunday and Easter is a very holy week. It is Jesus’ last week before His death. The crowds…

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We Can’t Hide by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

Have you ever wanted to shut off all your responsibilities and hide from the world? Many of us may get to this point when the demands of life seem to be too much. However, no matter what we are going through, we cannot hide from God. Hebrews 4:13 says, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight.” This means that when we are going through something difficult, we should be transparent before God, even when we are not admitting our weaknesses to others. There are many hiders spoken about in the Bible, but God always found them wherever they…

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How Important is Rest? By Lane Jordan Burday

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done (Genesis 2:2-3). When I was growing up in the South, Atlanta, we had blue laws, which meant no business could be open on Sunday. Families went to church together, rested, and enjoyed the day. The politicians and the businessmen of the time respected what God had commanded—to rest on the Sabbath….

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We Need Each Other by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

The emotion has not hit me yet. This week, I participated in the final doctoral residency for my Doctor of Ministry program. For the past three years, our doctoral cohort has met in person one week out of the semester, while the rest of our study is online. The residency is filled with dense, but interesting material. Generally, we are required to do a couple of presentations, and are worn out from long days and intense concentration but we are also revived through the rekindling of relationships with the other members of our cohort, as well as with professors. I…

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Hold on Loosely by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed” (Proverbs 16:3). In 1981, the rock group 38 Special released a song called Hold on Loosely. It was about love, but there was a line in the song that applies to all of life: “If you cling too tightly, you’re gonna lose control.” Sometimes when we want something badly, we push for it at all cost. Like a dog clinging to his favorite chew toy, nothing is going to take our desire away, and we relinquish control of rational thought. We have forgotten to seek God’s direction first…

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Is Living Together OK? by Lane Jordan Burday

How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. (Psalms 119:9). Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity (I Timothy 4:12). It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality… For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life (I Thessalonians 4:3,7). The perils of cohabitation have been linked to later divorce. Between half and two-thirds of Americans…

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Faith Means Action by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

“Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:17). Over the years there has been controversy over what constitutes salvation. Can one pray a prayer acknowledging Jesus then go back to their old lifestyle? I would question the sincerity of that prayer, but only God knows the heart. I prayed a prayer to receive Jesus when I was fourteen-years-old. For a while my life changed. In high school my actions indicated that I was a Christian, but beginning in college until I was in my early thirties, I did not act any differently than…

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Everyone Deserves Respect by Lane Jordan Burday

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets (Mathews 7:12). Yes, the verse above is “The Golden Rule”—Do to others what you would want done to you. Or in other words, don’t be hateful, cruel, and mean to others if you don’t want that to happen to you. Such a simple statement and simple idea. Yet, it is extremely important, and if only the world would act upon it, there would be no more racial injustice, war, divorce, and no more evil toward others. I…

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Defending the Bean Patch by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

“Am I making a difference in the world?” It’s a question we ask ourselves during our lives. I pondered this same question while attending the National Religious Broadcasters Convention where some of the greatest Christian pastoral and media influencers gathered for one week. It’s easy to fall into the comparison game, and up against large ministries and shows on CBN and TBN, our ministry, Pearls of Promise, and our media outreach, POP Talk, can look like a small dot on the map. So prior to the annual Bott Radio Network breakfast on Friday morning, I was feeling discouraged. Our radio…

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Your Destiny Depends on This! By Lisa Burkhardt Worley

Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed (Proverbs 16:3, NLT). “We have to pray!” I called an emergency Pearls of Promise team prayer meeting on the eve of our trip to the National Religious Broadcasters Convention. The LORD reminded me that we must have His covering on the week as we tape eight POP Talk shows, have numerous meetings, and meet new people. In Deuteronomy 31:8 Moses said to the Israelites, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” But I think…

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How to Have a Happy Marriage by Lane Jordan Burday

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered (I Peter 3:7). I was reading different articles about marriages and what makes them happy and other marriages are not.. I pulled some of the ideas I thought would be relevant to you. The happiest couples feel secure enough to be able to share their real thoughts and feelings without worrying they will upset their spouse. This means that each person in…

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Giants or Potential? By Lisa Burkhardt Worley

If you are faced with a new calling on your life, do you see the giants, or do you see the potential? When exploring the Promised Land, Moses sent twelve men, representing each tribe of Israel to scout out this new territory. While they acknowledged that it was a land flowing with milk and honey, they focused on the bad. They said “But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak!” (Numbers 13:18, NLT). Caleb and Joshua were the only ones in the group who believed…

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Can Divorce Be Predicted? by Lane Jordan Burday

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:4) My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. (James 1:19) I believe that one of the worst problems in our world today is the disintegration of marriages, which then turns into the disintegration of families. And unfortunately, this pattern repeats itself. Every child deserves to have both parents in their lives to love, support, and lead them. I hope this information will be a blessing to your…

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Not Popular by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be popular. When I was little, I was not popular because I was overweight with glasses. When I was a teenager, I was not popular because I was a poor girl in a rich environment. In college, I sought popularity the wrong way—by attempting to be the life of the party—and that involved heavy drinking and inappropriate behavior. I was popular for the wrong reasons. I was just reading about Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor who handed Jesus over to be killed. He did not think Jesus was guilty, yet…

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Filling Empty Wells by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst (John 4:13–14, NIV). I pay attention to repeat messages. On Saturday, one of my devotions spoke about the biblical story of the woman at the well, on Sunday the pastor at my son and daughter-in-law’s church preached on that passage found in John 4. Meanwhile, in a phone conversation on Monday, someone brought up the same Samaritan woman at the well. That had my attention, so I have been praying for the Holy Spirit to unveil what He wants me to…