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 What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do. Isaiah 46:11

God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? Numbers 23:19

The LORD Almighty has sworn, "Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand. Isaiah 14:24

Here we are on the last day of 2012! Tomorrow it will be a brand new year!

God bless each one of you gathering here day after day to dine with the Lord Jesus. Coffee with Jesus has been a wonderful experience for me and I praise God for the many promises He has given us all through the year.

For some of us we are still waiting for some of the promises to come true. May I encourage you in the Lord according to the Scriptures shared today, the Lord will bring about what He has planned. Never doubt His promises.

Hold fast to your faith. In the end it will all be worth it.

Here's wishing you a blessed New Year 2013. Looking forward to a great year ahead "dining" with you and the Lord here at Coffee with Jesus. God bless you all.
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For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. Psalm 33:9

I just love this verse so much that I use it in almost all my prayers, be it for me or someone else. The power of His word is so powerful. If you recall the incident when a centurion comes to Jesus requesting healing for his servant, he said: "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed." Matthew 8:8

In Genesis 1:3 we read, And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. The rest of the creation was also created simply by His spoken words.

Elsewhere in the Scriptures we read: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1 Little Samuel was taught by Eli to respond by saying "Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening."

Jesus rebuked satan by saying, "Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God."

In Mark 4:39 we read: He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

Romans 8:34 says, "Christ Jesus, ... is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us."

If we sit down to look for more Scriptures that emphasis His Spoken Words, I am sure we can find many many more. Don't you want Him to speak for you today? I do. Let's hold on to these verses and pray to our Lord thus: "You spoke, and it came to be; You commanded, and it stood firm. Please speak to me Lord. Please speak for me Lord!" Amen!
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"If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" Matthew 7:11

Isn't it true that when it comes to buying gifts for our children we only want the best, even if it is a little over our budget? We go above and beyond to get our kids the special something they have been asking for - right?!

Well as you know we are all sinners; and yet we care nothing but the best for our children. Now think now of the contrasting nature of God from us humans.

He is Holy, sinless, full of grace and mercy, loves us unconditionally. Would it be beyond His means to treat us to the best, when we ask for it? Definitely not!

Though it is in context with spiritual gifts this verse is about, I believe we can hang on to it for our regular needs too. It will be given; we only need to ask!
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“This is what the Lord says to his anointed,
to <<"your name here">> (Cyrus), whose right hand I take hold of

to subdue nations before him
and to strip kings of their armor,
to open doors before him
so that gates will not be shut:

I will go before you
and will level the mountains;
I will break down gates of bronze
and cut through bars of iron.

I will give you the treasures of darkness,
riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the Lord,
the God of Israel, who summons you by name.

For the sake of Jacob my servant,
of Israel my chosen,
I summon you by name
and bestow on you a title of honor,
though you do not acknowledge me.

I am the Lord, and there is no other;
apart from me there is no God.
I will strengthen you,
though you have not acknowledged me,

so that from the rising of the sun
to the place of its setting
men may know there is none besides me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other.
~ Isaiah 45:1-6

A perfect message for the time of the year! Remember He holds our right hand! He will go before us to open the doors, to level the mountains, to break down the bronze gates and to cut through iron bars! Praise God! Repeat reading the portion again till you get it.

If your mother tongue is different from English I strongly encourage you to read the same Scripture in your language to fully understandthe depth of His promise to you.

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"Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10

Today is day 362 of this year. We only have 4 more days to usher in a brand new year! As we close in on the current year, here's a reminder to rejoice in the Lord.

Grieving makes one weak; rejoicing gives strength.

There may have been circumstances that made it seem impossible at times; but His grace had been sufficient. If not for that we would have succumbed to our weakness. There is all the more reason to rejoice in the Lord!

We are also asked to share our blessings with the less fortunate amongst us - giving them a reason to rejoice in the Lord. Let us not forget that.

I'll repeat the Scripture again to let it sink in...

"Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."

Let us not be just hearers of the Word; but doers as well. (James1:22)

For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. Romans 2:13
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Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. John 12:3

The same incident has been recorded in the Gospel or Matthew (26:7) & Mark (14:3) with a mention of  anointing of Jesus' head instead of his feet. Since neither account is wrong we can conclude both Jesus' head and feet were anointed. John says the woman was Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus. On the side note, Luke records a similar but different incident by a different woman Luke (7:37).

The very act of pouring out the expensive perfume suggests that Mary didn't give it a second thought when it came to using it for the Lord. She didn't hold back on it, she didn't think what people might say, she didn't wait for permission from her brother or sister, she didn't consider it worth anything, she didn't even consider the poor deserved it better than the Lord Jesus Christ!

This goes hand in hand with what Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Philippians; we read in chapter 3 verse 7 (NLT), "I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him."

Our focus today is the after effect of these acts. We read Mary's house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume; Paul led an exemplary life for Christ.

Paul instructs us in Ephesians 5:1-2, "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."

Are we spending our best for the Lord? Do we consider all things worthless for the sake of Christ? Have we gained Christ discarding everything else - including our finest - as garbage? Can people sense fragrance filled in our house? Do we give ourselves up as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God?

It's a lot of questions this morning; hopefully it will help steer us in the right direction...
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Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thank you for joining here at the coffee table amidst your busy schedule for the day. As we celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, with our friends and family, here's a quick reminder:

Do not become weary in doing good!

Our efforts of good will though seem unnoticed and under appreciated by people around, it is well registered in the sight of the Lord and will be duely rewarded.

Jesus himself has explained it in His own words in the Scripture portion below:

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’  Matthew 25:34-40

It is important to do good so that we can be part of this blessed group of flock mentioned above. The gentle reminder from the Holy Spirit this morning is to not grow weary of doing good. In other words, let us continue doing good!

Merry Christmas once again!
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It was the night before Christmas! All was calm and all was well. Or was, it? Not really! Most cities in Israel that night were thriving with passengers and passersby. The streets were packed with travelers and their animals; the side walks overflowing with small shops and eateries. Businesses were in full bloom. Every one was spending. All hotels and motels, and everything in between were fully booked. The scene was almost festive.

Mary and Joseph had just arrived in Bethlehem. They stopped by a few places to see if they can get a room. Most had the sign out: "House Full!", "No Room!". None. Not even one. One man was kind enough to show them his manger saying, "May be you could use this?!" Joseph looked around the place with Mary and sure it wasn't their type. The walls and floors and roof, everything was wrong, but it has to do for now. It is already too late. Mary wanted off that donkey ride. She has had enough. They had traveled far and now they needed to rest!

Joseph gets her down the donkey and helps her in to the cow shed. Sits her down on some hay and quickly sets off to clean the place. The animals were just moved out and so the place was stinking. There is nothing much he can do about it and they have to adjust for the night somehow. May be tomorrow he would set off early to knock at a few more doors to find a better place. For tonight this has to do.

Mary is in no mood to look around her boarding. She is glad the ride is over. It will be a quick night she tells herself; soon it will be day. She was not worried about the baby too. After all if what the angel had told her about this child she was carrying was true, that He was the Savior of the world, then no way she was going to deliver him tonight. Not here, not tonight, not in this dirty stingy manger. The Savior has to be born in a better surrounding in more comfort where she would have maids to attend on her and atleast some warm water and clean clothes at her disposal. So she was least worried about the rest of the night.

Elsewhere in Bethlehem the shepherds had called it a day. They were locals. They had stayed put in their father's homes in their native town which made it convenient as they didn't have to travel like most others did to register their names for the ongoing census.They had gathered their flocks from the mountain sides, plains and valleys, counted them all and were satisfied with the numbers. One of them grew a fire. It was bright and warm against the dark and cold night. Few were resting their heads while the others had a conversation going. Mostly it was about the travelers they talked.

Suddenly an angel appeared before them lighting up the night sky announcing the good news that their Savior has been born! Hosts of more angels joined him singing, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." Just like how they appeared out of nowhere they disappeared suddenly leaving the shepherds in awe of wonder and the sky still illuminated with the trail of their glow.

Mary had been wrong. The Savior was indeed born! That very night! In the dirty stingy manger! She had to do with some rags she could find here and there. She was in tears looking at the child - the God child - God Himself in human form - smiling back at her! She was blaming herself for not being prepared to receive Him. Joseph was speechless. He felt bad too that inspite of the angel's advance notification about the nature of this Child, how was it that He didn't make arrangements for a better place? It was God Himself in human form, the child he was holding. He couldn't believe his eyes.

If only He had been born at his home, he wouldn't have had to deal with Him first hand. Maids would have cleaned the child up, helped Mary up and he would have made sure the needs of the Mother and Child were met. Here he is all alone with the new born. What was he to do? How was he to care? Could he quickly set out to buy something for Mary? Could she manage while he was gone? Is the Child too cold in the rags? Is the hay too prickly for His back? Is Mary okay? So many thoughts rush through his mind and he is not sure what to do and in which order.

If only he had some company... Sooner than he finished his thoughts loads of shepherds show up at the stall, to salute the King Child. They have brought with them milk, honey and curd and other eatables. They are helping around the place. They know what is best to keep warm for the night. Someone grows a fire. Someone shares his extra blanket with Joseph. Someone warms up some water and roasts some grains for Mary. The Child is lovely. He is their Savior! Sure He is!

This very Child who later gave up His life to redeem the lost world, more importantly me... My Savior whose flesh was torn, whose body was pierced, whose hands were nailed down, whose words were ridiculed, who was mocked at, yelled at, spit at, who was abandoned by all, to the point of death! However, He endured it all and conqured them all! All for me!

Merry Christmas everyone! The Savior is born!


NRIGirl
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Glad you could stop by for some Coffee with Jesus. Let's read Psalm 136 together and have some fun doing it. I will read each verse and you say: "For His mercy endureth for ever" Shall we?! Here we go...

Me: O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Me: O give thanks unto the God of gods:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Me: O give thanks to the Lord of lords:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Me: To him who alone doeth great wonders:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Me: To him that by wisdom made the heavens:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Me: To him that stretched out the earth above the waters:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Me: To him that made great lights:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever:

Me: The sun to rule by day:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever:

Me: The moon and stars to rule by night:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Me: To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever:

Me: And brought out Israel from among them:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever:

Me: With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Me: To him which divided the Red sea into parts:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever:

Me: And made Israel to pass through the midst of it:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever:

Me: But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Me: To him which led his people through the wilderness:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Me: To him which smote great kings:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever:

Me: And slew famous kings:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever:

Me: Sihon king of the Amorites:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever:

Me: And Og the king of Bashan:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever:

Me: And gave their land for an heritage:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever:

Me: Even an heritage unto Israel his servant:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Me: Who remembered us in our low estate:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever:

Me: And hath redeemed us from our enemies:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Me: Who giveth food to all flesh:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

(Let's read the last verse together...)
Us: O give thanks unto the God of heaven:
Us: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Great! We did it!! It was fun doing it together; was it not? Have a great "Son"day folks! Remember: His Mercy endureth for ever...
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* I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. Revelation 3:11
* Only hold on to what you have until I come. Revelation 2:25

The message for today is: Hold on to what you have!

Hold on to what we have? What do we have? Let's see what the Scripture tells us:

* Hold on to the good. 1 Thessalonians 5:21
* Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23
*Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called. 1 Timothy 6:12
* She (wisdom) is a tree of life to those who embrace her; those who lay hold of her will be blessed. Proverbs 3:18
* Let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. Hebrews 4:14
* Stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you. 2 Thessalonians 2:15
* Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. Proverbs 4:13

As born again believers we must therefore hold on to the good, our hope, eternal life, wisdom, our faith, what the Scripture teaches us and the instructions given in the Bible till He comes. That's all is expected of us.

Hold on tight! Don't loosen the grip!

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Do not be overwicked, and do not be a fool--why die before your time? Ecclesiastes 7:17

Agree, this doesn't quite fit in the festive season we are in. However I am urged in the Holy Spirit to share this. Seems to me there is someone among us who is often having suicidal thoughts. This is a direct message from the Holy Spirit for that person.

Whatever is your burden it cannot justify your "solution".

God has the solution for all your problems. He invites you with open arms: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)

You need to do just that! Take all your burden, all your tears, all your frustrations, all your failures, all your disappointments, the heaving heart, the broken spirit, the hurting body, everything, all - bundle them up, drag it to the cross and toss it there! Now do not carry them back.

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ died on the cross for it all. He died so that you can live. He gives you rest. He grants you peace. He fills you with joy! He loves you unconditionally. You are set FREE! The price has been paid for.

What more do you need? Why die before your time?

Rebuke the wicked thoughts in Jesus's name. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.(James 4:7)

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12

Don't ever miss the crown over few trials. Your reward in heaven is greater. Amen!

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“I am sending you grain, new wine and oil,
enough to satisfy you fully;
never again will I make you
an object of scorn to the nations.

“I will drive the northern army far from you,
pushing it into a parched and barren land,
with its front columns going into the eastern sea
and those in the rear into the western sea.
And its stench will go up;
Its smell will rise.”

Surely he has done great things.
Be not afraid, O land;
be glad and rejoice.
Surely the Lord has done great things.

Be not afraid, O wild animals,
for the open pastures are becoming green.
The trees are bearing their fruit;
the fig tree and the vine yield their riches.

Be glad, O people of Zion,
rejoice in the Lord your God,
for he has given you
the autumn rains in righteousness.

He sends you abundant showers,
both autumn and spring rains, as before.
The threshing floors will be filled with grain;
the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.

“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—
the great locust and the young locust,
the other locusts and the locust swarm—
my great army that I sent among you.

You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
and you will praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has worked wonders for you;
never again will my people be shamed.

Then you will know that I am in Israel,
that I am the Lord your God,
and that there is no other;
never again will my people be shamed.

~ Joel 2:19-27

Amen! What powerful promises we have received this morning! Remember it is yea and amen for those who believe.

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P.S:  The following is an excerpt from the Christmas letter from our Pastors.

I remember reading a story of what might have occurred in the God-Head after the fall of Adam. The Father is heartbroken because of Adam's choice to reject His love for the companionship of Eve. He says, "I have a plan to fix this so that men will still have a choice to live with us, but it is costly."

Jesus knows what the plan involves. First it requires the removal of His Glory and the taking on of humanity, entering the womb of a virgin and being born to live as a man. The Spirit will carry out the plan and watch over Jesus as He walks through this life.

He will empower Him to fulfill the Father's plan to redeem humanity. It will start in a manger, angels will announce His arrival and wise men will seek Him out, but this is just the beginning. Before entering the womb Jesus knows how it will end, rejected and despised, nailed to a cross because of love.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

The wonder and miracle of the incarnation, "The Word became flesh" is the Christmas story and it will never lose its appeal to the followers of Christ.

It truly is a mystery that God loves us so much that He became one of us so we can be confident that He knows what we feel and more than that He desires to make his dwelling in our hearts.

The incarnation continues as we allow His love to flow through us to a dark and broken world.

Let us experience the incarnation not only during this Christmas season but all the days of our lives.

Wish you all a Merry Christmas!

Giveaway winner announcement: Reena Anthonyraj.

Congraulations Reena! You have won the Ferraro Roche box of 48 count! Please email your mailing address to admin at coffee-with-jesus dot com to claim your gift.


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"Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." Luke 12:15

What is greed? I am sure all of us know what greed means; however I thought it will be a good idea to start with the definition. Greed means: 'An excessive desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs or deserves, especially with respect to material wealth'.

We sometimes tend to wrongly measure our happiness against what we have, which causes us to envy others and greed for more. Some may ask what is wrong with that as it only motivates us to 'be better off'? Is it so?

Well, if you think about it, greed makes us selfish, workaholics, spendthrifts, debtors and in the long run we will tend to lose focus on our priorities and run after things of this world soon forgetting the importance of the Eternal Glory we ought to be bound for.

That's the very reason why Jesus warns us to be on our guard against all kinds of greed. He also reminds us that the measure of our life is not in terms of our possession.

Here is another verse to set us on our track rest of the way.In I John 2:15 we read, "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

King David shares in similar lines in one of his Psalms. In Psalm 62:12 he writes, "...though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them."

What do you think, is it hard to heed to these instructions?
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"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows." Psalm:23: 5

I would often think I had no enemies only to realize that not everyone I know of think of my well being all the time. There would be jealousy, hatred & grudges against us from very familiar people. They may not be genuinely happy when things go well for us and may secretly rejoice when things go bad for us, thus becoming an "enemy". Also, not to forget our real enemy - the roaring lion prowling around looking to devour someone.

I am sure all of you have faced such enemies one time or other in your life. But when you sit back and think about how God led you through those circumstances you can boldly say like King David said: "My God prepared a table for me in front of my enemies. He anointed my head with oil; my cup was full". Yes, I can say that & I am sure you can too.

Let's pray:

Dear Father in Heaven, thank you Lord for this beautiful day. Thank you for this wonderful time with you Lord. Thank you for always preparing a table for me in front of my enemies in the past circumstances Lord. Thank you for always lifting up my head and anointing me with oil Lord. Thank you that you gave me in abundance that my cup ran over Lord. I continue to trust that your glory will be revealed in the coming days too Lord. Thank you for your protection and for your anointing Lord. I praise you again for all your mercies Lord. Bless this day Lord. Bless each and every one of us who gather here to spend few minutes with you Lord. I Love you Jesus! In Jesus' mighty name I pray, Amen!
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This is an easy thing in the eyes of the Lord. 2 Kings 3:18

Whatever is your need this morning, however hard it seems to you, remember it is an easy thing in the eyes of the Lord!

To read it in context, "This is what the Lord says: Make this valley full of ditches. For this is what the Lord says: You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water, and you, your cattle and your other animals will drink. This is an easy thing in the eyes of the Lord..." 2 Kings 3:16-18

It might not seem like it is going to "rain". There may be no signs of deliverance. You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water! You and yours will drink!

The payment you are worried about, the job search that drains you out, the kids who are rebellious, the health condition of a loved one, the refinance that takes forever, it is all an easy thing in the eyes of the Lord.

If you read the earlier portion of the same chapter, Elisha makes a strong statement in verse 14. He says,: "I would not look at you or even notice you"; and we read that he ordered for a musician and sang hymns to the Lord.

That's exactly what we are going to do. Let us humble ourselves and look beyond our circumstances - beyond our bank balance, beyond the doctor's report, beyond the government statistics, we are going to praise and worship the Lord singing hymns to Him.

As we do, let us bring all our burdens at His feet this morning based on these words. His promises are yea and amen for those who believe! You may choose to place your hands on the screen or on the same portion of Scripture in your Bible and claim these very words as your own.

This is an easy thing in the eyes of the Lord! Can't wait to hear praise reports on the same...
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With a noise like that of chariots they(the army of locusts) leap over the mountaintops, like a crackling fire consuming stubble, like a mighty army drawn up for battle. Joel 2:5

In the book of Joel we read of many end time prophesies and here in Chapter 2 a detailed description of an army of locusts. If you have some time today I encourage you to read the full chapter to get a glimpse of the impending danger by an invasion of locusts. It is dreadful to realize that such destruction could be caused by swarms of locusts. It is absolutely horrifying even to read.

The chapter does not end with just the warning; but goes on to explain how we can escape the ordeal. This clearly shows the love of the Lord to protect us from these calamities. In verses 12-13 we read:
“Even now,” declares the Lord,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning.”

Rend your heart
and not your garments.
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity. Joel 2:12-13

You may ask, what does rending our hearts or repenting have to do with escaping the army of locusts. The answer is in verse 32: And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Joel 2:32 Amen!

If we are intune with the Lord, we will be caught up in the sky when Christ returns to gather His Church before such calamities strike the earth. Praise the Lord!

We have been warned. Let us heed to it. It is time to return to the Lord with all our heart! Yes, today!
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"Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (the Salt Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground." Joshua 3:15-17

If you haven't already read this passage that narrates the crossing over of the river of Jordan, I strongly recommend you take a few minutes to read it today. Click here to read online.

You will certainly be amazed at the wonderful hand of God as He prepared the way for the Israelites to cross over. You will notice that it was against all odds God stopped the river that day. Let's pay close attention as we read this passage once again. Few things that stand out are:

* Jordan was actually flooding that day (as it was harvest time)
* As soon as the priests' feet touched the water's edge, the upstream water stopped flowing. It was instantaneous, almost magical!
* It piled up in a heap at a great distance away, nowhere close to the people lest they be afraid
* The second half that flows into the sea was completely cut off - as if there was no river at all!
* The priests stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan
* The whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground

There have been similar 'flooding Jordan' situations we have passed through in our lives. If we look back now we will realize how the 'upstream water' had stopped flowing and the 'downstream river' was completely cut off and how we had passed through 'dry land' as if there was no trace of a 'flooding river'.

I can testify for it in my life and I am sure each one of you can too. Let us give praises to God Almighty every time we think of His wonders. From what we know of our past deliverance we can fully trust Him for our future too. Amen!
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"Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy." Luke 12:1

What is hypocrisy? It is "the practice of professing standards, beliefs, etc., contrary to one's real character or actual behaviour, esp the pretence of virtue and piety".

Hypocrisy or duplicity is the opposite of integrity. It could be unintentional at times but hypocrisy is something that will never go unnoticed in the sight of God who knows the depths of our hearts.

In today's Scripture hypocrisy is compared to yeast. Why so? Barnes's Notes on the Bible has a very good explanation which I would like to share with you:

1. Hypocrisy may exist without being immediately detected. Leaven mixed in flour is not known until it produces its effects.

2. Hypocrisy is insinuating. Leaven will soon pervade the whole mass. So hypocrisy will, if undetected and unremoved, soon pervade all our exercises and feelings.

3. It is swelling. It puffs us up, and fills us with pride and vanity. No man is more proud than the hypocrite, and none is more odious to God.

Barnes goes on to explain, "When Jesus cautions us to beware of 'the leaven of the Pharisees', He means that we should be cautious about imbibing their spirit and becoming like them."

Today let us take a moment to analyze our thoughts and actions and see if we have any "leaven" or "yeast" in us. If we do, let us work to get rid off it lest it fully leavens us...
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Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. I Peter 5:8

The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it." Job 1:7

Festive times are not all that fun for most people. Seemingly on the outside the lights and glitter may give an illusion of joy and happiness however deep inside many feel a sense of loss.

Memories of the bygone years of Christmas-es past might come back to haunt some. Genuine needs and the lack of resources to meet them might sadden others. Feeling of loneliness or the possibility of having to spend the season on their own without company might heavily burden some.

If we do not pay careful attention we will completely miss out on the fact that these are all nothing but the "roars" of the prowling lion in disguise. Fear, anger, enemity, depression & death are different ways he could attack us. We could fall prey to his cunning tactics so easily if we are not self-controlled and alert against him.

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

It is my prayer that the love of Jesus Christ fill your hearts once more - erradicating the fear, anger, enemity, depression and/or thoughts of death anyone reading this might be experiencing this morning.

Resist the devil. Be self-controlled and alert! Submit yourself to God. Jesus loves you! I too love you!

Wishing you a truly Merry Christmas!

Surprise! Surprise! We have a new give away sponsored by IQDirectConnect.com this week.

Giveaway rules:

1. Share a comment/prayer request/praise report over the next two weeks.
2. Checkout IQDirectConnect.com for all your domain registration and web hosting needs.
3. Each participant will be assigned an automatic number and the winner will be picked on random number method on Tuesday December 18th.

Ferrero Rocher - 48 count box!



Description

Ferrero Rocher Chocolate. About the size of a golf ball, Ferrero Rocher chocolates are a creamy, luscious chocolaty filling with a whole hazelnut and a delicate crisp wafer tucked inside. Cover that with milk chocolate and chopped hazelnuts and you have the delectable Ferroro Rocher. This decorative package contains 48 individually-wrapped pieces.

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The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. John 1:14

True! The Word became flesh! But making a dwelling among us is not something He forces on us. It is true only if we allow Him to dwell among us - within us! Otherwise He stands at the door knocking!

In Revelation 3:20 we read, "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me."

If you think about it, we only live with the people we love, eat with the people we are friends with, not just any strangers. Dining together is an intimate experience where we are no longer at guard but relaxed, where our true self is revealed, where we have open conversations forgetting about our backgrounds & social differences and where we come together to connect better.

What a privilege it is to have our Lord Jesus Christ dwell in us, dining with us! How wonderful it is to experience Him so close, at an arm's distance, sharing the same meal with us, taking in conversations on our mundane activties, joking with us, laughing with us, reading our minds, reassuring us it is all for just a little while... All we have done (or for some, yet to do) is open our hearts!

When we open our hearts, the Word that became flesh will dwell among us! Amen!
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* So he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty. Zachariah 4:6
* All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give all of you into our hands." I Samuel 17:47
* Yet I will show love to the house of Judah; and I will save them--not by bow, sword or battle, or by horses and horsemen, but by the LORD their God." Hosea 1:7

Sometimes we tend to depend on our might or power, our skills or education, our strength or confidence. We actually think a little too much of our self as if we can take care of situations. We tend to forget that our battle can not be won with our merits. We try hard with all our might and only when all else fail we succumb to the Lord.

It is very important to learn the word of God on a regular basis so that we know the solution as soon as we smell the problem. We will right away come to the Lord crying, "Not by my might Lord, not by my power too, only by you this can be done Lord; My horses won't save, nor my horsemen, please take charge of the situation Lord and bring victory to your name ..."

You will all agree this is a time saver with guaranteed results. Why not try it then!?
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"The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah: 3:17

Today's reminder for us is "He is Mighty to Save". Whatever is your care and concern for the day, whatever you are worrying about, whatever was going through your mind all night long keeping you wide awake, however bad the situation is, please remember "He is Mighty to Save". Indeed He is.

How powerful these words are! What an assurance we as believers have! Let me repeat the verse once again: "The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."

Now let us all say it together: "The LORD my God is with me, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in me, he will quiet me with his love, he will rejoice over me with singing."

Let us say it all through the day - loud and clear: "He is Mighty to Save!" Amen! Have a blessed day! God be with you!
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I am glad some of you could join for an early coffee today while the rest of the family sleeps in; whereas some of you had to skip coffee as you slept in late... Either way, Good Morning! Welcome to Coffee With Jesus! As you know this coffee house is open 24/7 - so no worries.

Before we go about the day's errands, let me quickly encourage you to mirror Christ today in all your endeavours. Our Pastor often says for many people we might be the only "Christ" they know and our homes might be the only "church" they visit. They may not choose to pick up a Bible or visit a church or hear a sermon. But they are living with us, among us, watching our every move, seeing how we handle situations.

The question is, are we reflecting Christ in our actions. 2 Corinthians 3:18 we read: "And we, ...all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord..." Let us seek for this "ever increasing glory" that will transform us more into His likeness.

Dear Father, Thank you for this weekend Lord & thank you that your grace was sufficient for us all through this week Lord. Thank you now for this moment with you Lord. As we were just talking we want to become more into your likeness Lord, we should reflect more of you and less of us Lord. Let the people who see us see you Lord. Please help us to grow more in your likeness Lord. Fill us with this ever increasing glory the Bible talks about Lord. Continue to use each one of us for your glory Lord! In Jesus's wonderful name we pray, Amen!

Now folks, let's go R E F L E C T   C H R I S T!
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Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.

“Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’

“But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.

“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

“But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. ‘Friend,’ he asked, ‘how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless.

“Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

“For many are invited, but few are chosen.”

Matthew 22:1-14


We will have a open discussion on this passage over the coffee table today. If anyone has questions on this passage bring it on or feel free to share your thoughts.

One question to keep in the back of our mind today is: Are we invited or chosen? Further, do we have the wedding garments?
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"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Matthew 6:25

Seems to be a practical advice, but to think about it, it seems quite impractical too. How is it even possible not to worry about what we will eat or drink or wear. Isn't that the first thing that comes to our minds when we start the day? - when we plan a get together? - when we are invited to an event?

We don't really think, "Oh I am alive and well that's enough to make it through the day" do we? May be we should. I guess the emphasis is on the words "do not worry" Of course we need to eat, drink and dress well, but what we learn here is that it shouldn't be our focus.

As we read towards the end of the same passage in verse 33, our focus should be on 'Seeking His Kingdom' then all these things will be taken care of by Him.

Happy Thursday folks!
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When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things. Psalm 104:28

For today's reading you may consider Psalm 104 It is a beautiful song telling of the many wonderful works of our Lord from sea to mountain to the plains, and explains how God's hands provide for the needs of every living thing from wild animals to men to birds.

Verse 28 is one of my favorites verse which I use in my prayers all the time:
When He gives it to us, we gather it up; when He opens His hand, we are satisfied with good things.

It convinces me that every little blessing comes from the Lord: the breeze, the rain, the good dinner, the beautiful flowers, fresh drinking water, a good night's rest, etc.

A related verse can be found in Psalm 145, verse 16:You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

Amen! It is the Lord who satisfies our desires, who feeds us, clothes us and provides for our other needs, not only for us humans but for all living things.

The least we can do is acknowledge Him by giving thanks. Would you?

We have a giveaway sponsored by Blessings Unlimited!

Share about one blessing you have receieved from His hands in comments below; you will be automatically enrolled in the give away. The winner will be picked by random number method on next Saturday - the 8th of Dec 2012!

Please stop by at Blessings Unlimited sometime this week at your leisure to find godly gifts for your loved ones!

Item description:




Names of the Savior Sign Item # 80361

Jesus is referred to by many names in the Bible, with each name having a specific meaning and revealing an aspect of His character. At Christmas time, we are reminded of the special meanings these names portray as we gloriously celebrate His birth. I AM; Jesus; Savior; Messiah; Emmanuel. This gold toned, metal wall hanging in the shape of a Christmas tree, including star at top, measures 20"×18." $12 value!

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“Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me.

“But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’

“In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me.

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.

I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the Lord Almighty. “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty. Malachi 3:8-12

Most of us are in shock this time of the year, as we get our annual earnings statements from our employers and our annual giving statements from the church. The math just does not tally!

However we try and justify it, we can't deny the fact that we are at fault. We have robbed God, the Scripture says. I know we don't consider it too serious a crime as robbing; but it is... In addition we have robbed ourselves of our blessings too.

Why is it that we don't think twice about spending for us but give all the reasoning when it comes to give back to God?

If we take a toll of all our unexpected expenditure this year we can clearly understand it was a result of robbing God. Because if we had not, then He would have prevented the pests from devouring our crops and the vines in our fields would not have cast their fruit.

If at the end of the year we don't have much left overs we now know the reason - because we had not taken upon the challenge of God to test Him by our giving; if we had, He would have opened the floodgates of heaven and poured out so much blessings that we would not have room enough for it!

We called for the wastage of our resources; we have invited this drought in our finances!

Let us make a decision today not to rob our God going forward. Let us be cheerful in bringing our tithe and offering into His storehouse. Pray about where and how to pay back to the Lord. He will reveal it to you!

Hopefully next year this time we can see our year end statements and praise God...

Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7

P.S: I am sorry if this message was a little too strong. It is the Holy Spirit sharing!

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He split the rocks in the desert and gave them water as abundant as the seas. Psalm 78:15

One thing that truly amazes me is a Water Fall. It seems almost magical to see water gushing out between huge rocks. Does it not?

During the Exodus the Israelites experienced it first hand - water came gushing out from the rocks in the desert, not just little - but as abundant as the seas! Can you imagine that?

Same way our Lord can provide for our needs out of any rocky situation where there seems like no way out. Not just a little; but as abundant as the oceans! Praise the Lord!

Thought sharing a video of a waterfall will help us understand the context better... As you enjoy the video be reminded that the Lord who met our needs the past 11 months is still capable of meeting our needs this last month of the year! Amen!


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I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore. ~ Psalm 121

As you would agree this is a beautiful Psalm and almost always calms my anxieties. I strongly advise you to memorize it if you haven't already. This way, we can recollect it from memory any number of times during any situation. Trust me, the help won't be too long!

Surprise giveaway sponsored by Blessings Unlimited! Whoever memorizes these Scriptures and comments below will be automatically enrolled in the give away. The winner will be picked by random number method on next Saturday - the 8th of Dec 2012!

Please stop by at Blessings Unlimited sometime this week at your leisure to find godly gifts for your loved ones!

Item description:




Names of the Savior Sign Item # 80361

Jesus is referred to by many names in the Bible, with each name having a specific meaning and revealing an aspect of His character. At Christmas time, we are reminded of the special meanings these names portray as we gloriously celebrate His birth. I AM; Jesus; Savior; Messiah; Emmanuel. This gold toned, metal wall hanging in the shape of a Christmas tree, including star at top, measures 20"×18." $12 value!

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No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me," declares the LORD. Isaiah 54:17

Happy December 2012! Wow! Amazing how time flies! Let us thank God for being our provider in the past months. Let us trust God for being for provider for this last month of the year.

Let us start the month with a promise from the Lord! I love promises; especially those that end with 'declares the Lord' as it is like a 'certified promise' if you will.

Thus the promise above is a certified promise for the servants of the Lord. If we are the servants of the Lord then no weapon forged against us will prevail. Not only that, we will refute every tongue that accuses us.

How? By sending back a stronger weapon? Or by fighting back with stronger words? No, not at all!

If we are true servants of the Lord, we will continue to serve the Lord and He will fight our battles and argue our cases for us.

This is our heritage; let's inherit it! Amen!