Thursday, April 30

April--Month of Honoring the Military Child

**APRIL** is a special month of HONORING THE MILITARY CHILD… being STRONG… RESILIENT… RECEPTIVE to change… ACCEPTING of others who may or may not be like them… and MISSING MANY OF THE VERY FREEDOMS for which their family member in uniform has dedicated their life to fight for and preserve.
 
W e are grateful for this dedicated time of the year when we take a closer and focused look into the eyes of some of the BRAVEST guys and girls in AMERICA – our MILITARY B.R.A.T.S. Just like the parent in the family who wears the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine, or Coast Guard uniform, the Military Brat is impacted by the: =>frequent moves to new assignment locations;=>unpredictable changes in the home, community, family of faith, and school situation;
=>changes in friendship circles; 
=>sacrifices of the very freedoms for which the parent in uniform fights to defend; and
=>ever-unique demands the military lifestyle brings.


With the service and sacrifice of the family member in uniform, there are countless children who deserve to be honored as well for: "Growing up a Military Child (aka: Military Brat)" (VIDEO).
I’ve heard Keith say, time and time again, that transparency is a lifeline for those who are going through difficult times and suffering. One of the devil’s most effective tools for bringing division and great despair into the lives of people who suffer, both young and old alike, is convincing the sufferer that “nobody else is struggling, or has ever struggled, as I am; it’s just me.”  God’s Word says that there is NOTHING new under the sun. With that in mind, I offer this blog from my heart, hoping that others who relate to struggles like ours, will be encouraged that they are not alone, and that they are appreciated for the important part they play, as they serve in support of fellow Americans and of other peace-loving nations around the world.

     




Writing a letter to each of my military kids & grandbabies this month, I found the photos I've shared above to be just a few that stir my emotions, always bringing me to both laugh and cry.  The memories still are fresh in my mind, taking me back to the countless stories we wrote in letters, to the scrapbooks I made to be sure our many memories were saved, and to the sweet yet sad phone calls we shared that stirred our hearts while my children and I had to be apart.  I couldn’t wait to get back to hug and kiss them each time, to hold them on my lap and read stories with them, to swing them on the swings and have lunch with them at school, just to be next to them, to enjoy time with them, for as long as I possibly could.

My little boy would tell me how he would sleep with the light on, so I could see to kiss him goodnight if I came back while he was sleeping. I remember when my little girl called and said how she learned to do a cartwheel for the first time. Doing gymnastics in the yard was our thing, and I was missing it, big time. I’m glad she continued, telling me details, because I was overwhelmed being far away from her, and I couldn’t talk just them, for a few moments.

All three of us struggled to stop our tears, whenever we had to say another goodbye.  With everything we did together and everywhere we enjoyed as a loving little family, we did our best trying not to think about our next separation coming up. The crying and sad times, and our going in different directions, never ever got easier, no matter how long or short our separation would be, or how many or few miles apart.

I kept every “I luv you Mommy” letter, every drawing and every picture my kids mailed to me from afar. And I know they kept mine, especially the scrapbooks I made and sent, reminding them I am forever there, with them in my heart every time we were apart. All of those times I heard Ethan or Sierra say, “You’re the best military mommy in the world,” the truth was THEY were the best military kids in the world, and I love and appreciate them so!!!!
Thank you so much for allowing Keith and I this opportunity to share our heart with you. We pray that this blog message will, in many ways, encourage you to support and uplift our military sons and daughters, not just in the month of April, but every month of the year when the opportunity shows itself to you.

What a privilege it is for all of us to “press Toward The Mark” of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, together as we share with one another our heart and passions in life. We would like to encourage you to comment and share this blog, and your own experiences as well, with transparency. God bless you and your family.
If you have any questions or would like to share a special military experience with us, or prayer request, please send us an e-mail or note by mail at the address shown below.
Your friends & servants in Christ,


This message, as well as each of our Bible-based resources, is made possible by the support of our faithful partners. Would you consider helping us expand our outreach capabilities by becoming a monthly financial partner? Your support will go toward fulfilling our God-given calling to help provide effective, contemporary outreach tools for the churched and un-churched alike to know the love, truth, and salvation of Jesus Christ. We invite you to partner with us as we "press Toward The Mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:14)


CLICK HERE to make a tax-deductible contribution securely by PayPal.
Every gift is tax-deductible and helps, and we thank you for it!

Mail tax-deductible contributions by check to the order of:
Toward The Mark, Inc., P.O. Box 1152, Yorktown, VA 23692-1152.

Thank you in advance for sowing your financial seed into the fertile soil of this ministry! We pray God bless you with a 100-fold return for your generosity!

Sin Makes Ya STEW-PIT

Just as someone would trade one item for another, the sinner trades God and everything He has for us that is good, for a life that is, actually, no life at all.

A nyone who knows me can probably tell you that one of my favorite television networks is Animal Planet and that my favorite show on that channel was the Crocodile Hunter. Who of us who has seen the show has not been impressed and thoroughly entertained by the skillful antics of the show’s late host, Steve Irwin?
His unparalleled knowledge of animals was fascinating; but it was his lifelong experience with reptiles, namely snakes, that I would like to bring to your attention. If you have watched the show, you would have seen Steve, on many occasions, handling the most dangerous and highly venomous snakes in the world.
And if there is one thing that he has made abundantly clear to his viewers it is the crippling and even deadly effects that snake venom can and does have on the human body. Extreme caution must be exercised when anyone is ever around one of these slithery critters! As a matter of fact, the best thing you can do if ever confronted by a venomous snake is to turn and run away immediately!!
The majority of all snake venom falls in the category of poisons that the toxicology community refers to as hematoxins and neurotoxins. A hematoxin is a two-part word with “hema” meaning “blood” and “toxin” meaning a “toxic poison.” A hematoxin is a poison that causes the blood to coagulate or thicken on contact. The word “neurotoxin” is also made up of two words. “Neuro” meaning “the nervous system” and the word “toxin” meaning a “toxic poison.” Simply put, when a person is envenomed by one of these fanged creatures, both their circulatory and nervous systems become brutally traumatized. Shortly thereafter, muscle tissue begins to dissolve, and vital organs of the body begin to fail resulting in numbness, blurred vision, impaired judgment, a decreased sense of hearing, excruciating pain, eventual unconsciousness and, if not treated in time, permanent paralysis or certain death.
Like sin, death actually begins at the point of envenomization. If there could ever be a clear parallel drawn between natural and spiritual things, it’s here. For example, in the spiritual sense, sin, like the snake’s venom in our story inflicts upon the souls of its victims trauma that also results in numbness, blurred vision, impaired judgment, drowsiness, a dulled sense of hearing, excruciating pain, eventual unconsciousness, permanent paralysis and ultimate death if not dealt with in time. James, knowing full well the toxic effects of sin teaches, "Blessed is the man that endures temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death." (James 1:12-15)
The most widely publicized example of someone yielding to the temptation of a certain serpent's allure would be Eve in the third chapter of Genesis. "Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat."(Genesis 3:1-12)
This chapter then tells us of the amazing and heartbreaking shift that took place in Adam and Eve’s circumstances as a result of their yielding to temptation and therefore allowing sin’s entrance into their lives. As a result of what I call "sin’venomation”, they experienced the most terrifying and horrible death known to all of mankind, separation from God. One moment they were in a close, intimate, love relationship with Him, enjoying all of His abundant riches, and the next they found themselves in utter poverty. Talk about a riches to rags story. Not only did their disobedience affect them, but it has also affected every generation that has followed. Don't be deceived by thinking the act of sin only affects the life of the one who has committed it. Satan enjoys immensely the thought of being able to kill two or more birds with one stone, so to speak!
Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes warns of the terrible consequences of yielding to temptation when he said, "He that digs a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaks a hedge, a serpent shall bite him." (Ecclesiastes 10:8) A Pastor friend of mine when addressing the dangers of entertaining temptation says, If you mess around the ole creek bank long enough you'll eventually slip and fall in. The Webster's Dictionary definition of the word hedge is to surround for defense; to fortify. The Hebrew definition of the word hedge is, (Gadar) to wall in, enclose, fence up. If you recall, there is another mention of a hedge in the book of Job where Satan observed God's hedge of protection around Job, his family and his belongings. "And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God, and eschews (avoids) evil? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for naught? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side?" (Job 1:8-10)
It is important to note that God's hedge of protection in this account was a direct result and benefit of Job's pure love for God, his obedience to God, his fear of God and his commitment to avoiding all manner of temptation and sin in his life. The hedge of protection that God places around our lives is simply one of the benefits of an obedient and intimate love relationship with Him. However, the problems begin when we break our focus on God and begin to entertain tempting spirits. This is what Solomon meant in the Ecclesiastes 10:8 scripture, whoever breaks an hedge. The fact is, a broken hedge results in sin's deadly entrance into our lives. As we also read in the Ecclesiastes (10:8) scripture, once we let our hedge of protection, or guard, then a serpent will bite us, hence envenomation or the entrance of sin occurs. Once we have allowed sin into our system, whether we like it or not, it IS going to run its painful course, damaging anything and everything that it comes in contact with. Never forget, no matter how carefree or void of consequence satan may present or package sin, its results are NEVER without damaging, and eventual deadly, circumstances.
Just as a snakebite victim must suffer through the excruciating effects of a venomous bite we too must suffer through the devastating effects of sin once we have allowed it to enter our lives. There is only one way to counteract the deadly effects of hematoxic or neurotoxic snake venom once it has entered the body - the immediate administration of an antivenom. The only way we can overcome the deadly effects of sin in our lives is to immediately administer, what I like to call, the "anti-sin'om" of confession and true repentance. Jesus says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:8-9) However, the longer one waits to counteract the effects of sin the more devastating the final outcome will be. In order to avoid the painful effects of sin in our lives we must follow Job's example of complete avoidance of all temptation. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18) My earlier advice applies even more here. “When confronted by temptation, turn immediately and run for your life!”
As I began researching the effects of hematoxins and neurotoxins on the human body I could not help but notice how closely they paralleled the definition of a word that I was researching for an earlier study on ignorance. The word that I am referring to is Stupid! The Webster's Dictionary defines Stupid as, very dull; insensible; senseless; wanting in understanding; heavy; sluggish; without the exercise of reason or judgment; numbness, etc. Hence the title of this message! Sin makes ya stewpit When we yield to temptation and invite sin into our lives, like Adam and Eve, we simply exchange access to God himself, His wisdom, knowledge, peace, provision, understanding, discernment and so much more for a fleeting moment of carnal pleasure. If you ask me... that's stupid! Like a fire that rages through a beautiful forest destroying everything in its path, sin leaves the heart, mind and soul charred and lifeless. The Webster's Dictionary defines Sin, The voluntary departure of a moral agent from a known rule of rectitude or duty, prescribed by God; any voluntary transgression of the divine law, or violation of a divine command; a wicked act; iniquity. I however like to define sin for what it really is, anything that separates us from our wonderful Heavenly Father.
The solution to the sin problem in our lives is really very simple. If we don't want to suffer the traumatic effects of a snakes deadly bite don't touch 'em! Likewise, if we don't want to suffer the pains of separation from God or the deadly effects of sin, i.e. stupidity, then don't touch it either! When tempting spirits come knocking on the door of your hedge, and they will, simply don't answer it. James instructs us, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you." (James 4:7-8) Pursue God with all of your heart, stay in His word and meditate on it day and night! "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."(Psalms 119:11)
If ever there has been a time to inspect the hedge around our lives for breakage it is now! Fortify yourself with continual meditation on both God and his word. Stay in continual communication with Him! "Pray without ceasing." (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Don't look on anything unclean. Keep company with people that love the Lord with all of their hearts. "He that walks with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed." (Proverbs 13:20) If there is a particular person or group of people that is weakening your relationship with God, walk away now!
"Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." (2 Corinthians 6:17-18) And when satan comes around trying to make you regret putting your old ways and friends behind you, and he will, just remember what Jesus promised you, "Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting." (Luke 18:29-30) Think about it for a moment: everything you've got in exchange for everything God's got! I've managed several multi-million-dollar grossing companies over the past twenty years and can tell you for a fact that no better deal has ever been brokered!
Our Lord's triumphal return is much closer than we think! If we want to be included in His divine plan for these last days we cannot be burdened down by the weight of sin. We must be free to receive and carry out our orders from the General of the soon coming host of heaven. We must totally commit ourselves to staying pure in His sight at any cost. Repent of any sin that you may have allowed into your life, the ones you know of as well as the ones of which you are not even aware of. This is key to our being effective at reaching those who don’t know Jesus. The time to reach those around us with the life giving and life saving message of Jesus Christ is now! "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that wins souls is wise." (Proverbs 11:30)
I encourage you to step out boldly and present the Gospel to your friends, class mates, coworkers, and fellow church members. Bind in the name of Jesus Christ the intimidating spirits that WILL try to hinder you, and go for it! The reality is that you just might be the last opportunity they have to accept Jesus! Don’t let them down!
“And they overcame him (satan) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (Revelation 12:11)
Thank you so much for allowing Brenda and I this opportunity to share our heart with you.  We  pray that this blog message will, in many ways, help you as you “press toward” the high calling of God in Christ Jesus for your life. And, to help you further in your pursuit to fulfill God’s purpose for you in your life, read this message in its entirety, and eleven more messages, in our book Letters From The Front available at TowardTheMark.com. If you have any questions or would like to place a special request for multiple book copies, please send us an e-mail or order by mail at the address shown below.
Your friends & servants in Christ,

This message, and all of our Bible-based resources, is made possible by the support of our faithful partners. Would you consider helping us expand our outreach capabilities by becoming a monthly financial partner? Your support will go toward fulfilling our God-given calling to help provide effective, contemporary outreach tools for the churched and un-churched alike to know the love, truth, and salvation of Jesus Christ. We invite you to partner with us as we "press Toward The Mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:14)


CLICK HERE to make a tax-deductible contribution securely by PayPal.
Every gift is tax-deductible and helps, and we thank you for it!

Mail tax-deductible contributions by check to the order of:
Toward The Mark, Inc., P.O. Box 1152, Yorktown, VA 23692-1152.

Thank you in advance for sowing your financial seed into the fertile soil of this ministry! We pray God bless you with a 100-fold return for your generosity!

Also available in Audio Book

Monday, April 27

The Fruit's on the End of the Limb

When was the last time that you "went out on a limb" or, as we Christians say, stepped out in faith for something, especially to the point of actually hearing the limb cracking under you?

W hen I was in grade school, I remember very vividly the passion that I had for building things, especially tree forts. Each night before my friends and I would start to build, and we built quite a few in those days, I would lie in bed and my mind would come alive with visions of a tree house that was second only to the one in Walt Disney's movie, "The Swiss Family Robinson." I could see it all so clearly: Ladders; trap doors; rope swings; windows; and so much more. I could hardly wait to get home from school to get to work on it.
As you can imagine, each day in class was quite a battle for me as well. It never failed, I would find myself headlong in a fight to stay focused on my school work while, at the same time, struggling to hold at bay the temptation to daydream about everything I had planned for that afternoon. I regret to say that, more often than not, it was a skirmish that regularly ended in my defeat. Once the final bell rang, I grabbed my books and headed for the bus with my bud's. It seemed like the bus ride that actually took about twenty minutes took every bit of an hour. It goes without saying, we could hardly wait to get home! When we arrived at our bus stop, we would jump off of the bus, run home, change into our play clothes, gather up our tools, and head straight for the woods. Finally, it was time to make our vision a reality!
Anyone who is well-versed in the fine art of tree fort construction will tell you that the first order of business is always the selection of the perfect tree. Living in Virginia Beach, Virginia at the time, we found that the best trees were either maple or oak. Even though we also had lots of pine trees, they were not as desirable since their limbs were usually much higher up and rather brittle. Once we had picked out the best tree, we then set out to locate the materials we would need. Fortunately for us, the housing development where we lived at the time was only a few years old and was surrounded with quite a few new home construction sites. We would grab our little red wagons and head straight for the nearest scrap pile. While one guy was picking up discarded nails, others would be digging through the piles for scrap 2x4s and ply wood. Once we gathered everything we needed, we then loaded it all on the wagons and headed for the woods.
With our tree picked out, all of the materials gathered together, and with our dads' saws and hammers in hand, it was finally time to begin construction. We went right to work. Our first project was to cut short pieces of 2x4s to nail to the trunk of the tree. These would serve as a makeshift ladder. Once we nailed enough of them up high enough to reach our desired build site, where the limbs were just right, it was then time to frame up the floor. This was perhaps the most crucial stage of the project. Here is how it works. The bigger you want your fort to be, the further out on the limb you would have go to nail up your first floor supports. So really, the size of your fort was directly related to the courage of the guy whose job it was to make that first trip out on the limb. To put it simply: little courage, little tree fort; big courage, big tree fort! After quite a few painful plunges to the ground, I was able to develop a pretty fail-safe method of doing this. I would climb out on the limb until I heard it starting to crack, then slide backward about two feet and nail the floor support at that spot where I could reach. It never failed. This way we knew that we were actually building the biggest tree fort that we could for the size tree that we had chosen. It was interesting, you could actually look at the size of some of the other guys' tree forts and tell a lot about their level of courage, or lack thereof. Sadly, most of their forts were really nothing more than small platforms nailed very securely to the truck of their tree. It's a simple fact, 'scaredy cats’ never build big tree forts!
I soon found that the same theory we used for building tree forts also applied when picking apples out of a neighbor's tree. It did not take but a few seconds to see that the apples did not grow out of the trunk of the tree and, if we wanted to enjoy them, we were going to have to go out on the end of the limb to get them. Sure, you can cling to the trunk where it is much safer, and occasionally reach far enough to grab an apple or two, but if you really want an abundant harvest, you will have to go out on the limb. This is not a task for the faint-hearted. The whole time you're out there, you're faced with two thoughts: First, just how good the apples are going to taste once we get out to them; Secondly, just how fearful it was to think of taking that much-dreaded plunge to earth. I eventually learned that, the more I would venture out on limbs, the less often I would fall.
When was the last time that you went out on a limb or, as we Christians say, stepped out in faith for something, especially to the point of actually hearing the limb cracking under you? For some, it could be getting the courage to share your love for Jesus with unbelievers. For others, it could be asking their boss for a much-needed promotion, or getting the courage to leave a church body that is steeped in religion in order to pursue one that practices the complete Word of God. No matter what you are pursuing, the sound of the limb cracking under you means different things to different people. To most, that sound represents impending doom that usually results in the abandonment of reaching their goals in life while, to the rare few who have overcome fear and doubt, that cracking sound is always an indication that abundance lies just ahead.
In the business world it is a well-known fact that the risk-takers eventually become the money-makers! This same principle also applies to our life in Christ. If we truly want to live the abundant life that Jesus Christ came to provide for us, we are simply going to have to turn loose of the trunk, or go beyond the place of comfort in our lives, and climb out to where the fruit is. "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:10) We refer to this process of going out on the limb as "stepping out in faith". And, if we are going to be successful as Christians, "walking by faith" will have to be a regular part of our daily life. Successful Christians do regularly what unsuccessful Christians do only occasionally! "For we walk by faith, not by sight." (2 Corinthians 5:7) As a matter of fact, our living life by faith is not simply an option, it is mandatory if we want to be pleasing to God. Paul teaches us, "But without faith it is impossible to please Him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." (Hebrews 11:6)
If we truly want to be successful in God's eyes, we must make “stepping out in faith” our way of life. Think about it for a moment. Do you personally know and love God enough to trust Him and to stop clinging to the fruitless truck of life's tree? If not, abundance will always remain out of reach for you. Everything is based on faith where God is concerned and, frankly, those who do not trust Him will always live on the outside of a whole, fulfilled life. Ironically, this is where the vast majority of folks who claim to be Christians dwell today. The Church today is filled with hearers of God's Word, but very few who are the doers. "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." (James 1:22)
The unsaved world, whether they know it or not, looks for people who will lead the way IN-to life's fulfillment. Sadly, though those leaders are supposed to be us in the Church, the unsaved world AND the Church today are both in desperate need of "godly heroes". What this means for you and me is that we have the priceless opportunity to both speak and model God's Word to this lost and rapidly dying generation.
What part has God called you to play in this end-times harvest of souls and can you say without a shadow of a doubt that you are doing everything that you possibly can to see that calling fulfilled in your life? One of the most widely publicized accounts of someone stepping out in faith was Peter stepping out of the boat and walking across the water to meet Jesus. "But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spoke unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered Him and said, Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come unto Thee on the water. And He said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus." (Matthew 14:24-32) Peter was the only one of the disciples who loved and trusted Jesus enough to even try stepping out.
Never forget, it is always better to try and fail, rather than to never have tried at all! One thing I can guarantee you is, if we never climb out there, we can be sure to never eat of the fruit of abundance!
Imagine how God feels when we believe Him enough to attempt something that we have never had the courage to try before. Much like the jubilation that occurs between parents at the sight of their child taking their first step, God also rejoices when we, as His children, attempt to step out on His Word, like Peter did.
Is there something you are praying for that has not yet come to pass? Is there something that you have wanted to do for a long time but, for one reason or another, you have not yet attempted it? I encourage you to throw off any fear or doubts you may have, and get out there! Launch out into the deep and see if Jesus won't bless you in the same way that He blessed Peter and the guys for their obedience in Luke 5:4-7: "Now when He (Jesus) had left speaking, He said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto Him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at Thy Word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net broke. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink."
There is indescribable abundance that God has in store for any one of us who is obedient to act on His word! As a matter of fact, take a look at what resulted from Abraham's obedience to God when he was asked to sacrifice his only son Isaac, who he and Sarah had waited over 100 years to bear. In offering his son as an act of his trust in God and the promises of God, he fulfilled his assignment for his life. "And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By Myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed My voice." (Genesis 22:15-18)
Think about that for just a moment.  Because of that one act of Abraham's obedience, every generation since then has been blessed! Not only do we suffer when we fail to act on God's Word and assignment for our lives, but think of all of those who will come behind us who will miss out on their own inheritance, if we fail to obey God's voice for our lives.
Be courageous, be strong, throw back your shoulders, and walk right into the face of the intimidating spirits that have, in the past, hindered you from possessing the fulfillment of God's promises for your life.  And never forget, "When thou pass through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walk through the fire, thou shall not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee." (Isaiah 43:2)
I encourage you with all of my heart to set aside a time to pray and fast for the purpose of hearing God's voice for your life's assignment.  If I had not faced my own fears where climbing trees were concerned, we would have never enjoyed playing in the nicest tree forts or eating the sweetest apples.
God has blessing beyond measure waiting for you, as soon as you get out there and take those steps of faith.  "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me."  (Philippians 4:13)
Thank you so much for allowing Brenda and I this opportunity to share our heart with you.  We  pray that this blog message will, in many ways, help you as you “press toward” the high calling of God in Christ Jesus for your life. And, to help you further in your pursuit to fulfill God’s purpose for you in your life, read this message in its entirety, and eleven more messages, in our book Letters From The Front available at TowardTheMark.com. If you have any questions or would like to place a special request for multiple book copies, please send us an e-mail or order by mail at the address shown below.
Your friends & servants in Christ,

This message, and all of our Bible-based resources, is made possible by the support of our faithful partners. Would you consider helping us expand our outreach capabilities by becoming a monthly financial partner? Your support will go toward fulfilling our God-given calling to help provide effective, contemporary outreach tools for the churched and un-churched alike to know the love, truth, and salvation of Jesus Christ. We invite you to partner with us as we "press Toward The Mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:14)


CLICK HERE to make a tax-deductible contribution securely by PayPal.
Every gift is tax-deductible and helps, and we thank you for it!

Mail tax-deductible contributions by check to the order of:
Toward The Mark, Inc., P.O. Box 1152, Yorktown, VA 23692-1152.

Thank you in advance for sowing your financial seed into the fertile soil of this ministry! We pray God bless you with a 100-fold return for your generosity!

Also available in Audio Book