Category: <span>thoughts by Alec Niemi</span>


Last night we enjoyed supper and an evening of fellowship with friends. One of our friends said, with a big happy smile, that she was… “addicted to sharing the gospel with people.” A few weeks ago she had mentioned that her hands were getting arthritic and sore but she wouldn’t stop using her keyboard to reach others with the Gospel.

Her obvious ‘being chosen’ reflects her love to serve the one who called… The Lord Jesus Christ, and thus the desire to sacrificially give of herself to serving Him. We are blessed for knowing her.

I pray that that you too can say that the Lord has heard your prayer and has chosen you as a place for Himself as a temple for sacrifices. Amen.” 2 Chronicles 7:12

By Alec Niemi
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•   Making a Difference
•   Testimonies:  Why I Choose God
•  Salvation Explained

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My readings for today included the 23rd Psalm. It is probably the most used passage in the Bible. On one of my mission trips into the Ukraine I took a scientist with me to speak to a group of leaders. When he got up to speak he simply rephrased the 23rd Psalm, read it and sat down. I was a bit shocked at first but then had one of the other speakers close with a gospel presentation. Many leaders prayed that day, accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior. What a blessing and what a lesson.

And so my prayer for you this week is the 23rd Psalm as he rephrased it.

The LORD is your shepherd; you shall not be in want.
He makes you lie down in green pastures,
he leads you beside quiet waters,
He restores your soul.
He guides you in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Even though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
You will fear no evil,
for He is with you;
His rod and His staff,
they comfort you.
He prepares a table before you
in the presence of your enemies.
He anoints your head with oil;
your cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow you
all the days of your life,
and you will dwell in the house of the LORD
forever.

Amen!!!

By Alec Niemi
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•  Hearing God’s Voice
•  Eagerly Watch – a story about eagerly watching for how God answers a prayer

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I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High.” Psalm 17:7

Happy New Year!

New Year’s Resolutions. And yes I asked the same question. “Who keeps new year’s resolutions?”

My resolutions for this year are quite simple: Live, Listen, Love, Laugh. I want to ‘live’ more for the Lord, I want to ‘listen’ more to the Lord, I want to ‘love’ more in the Lord and to ‘laugh’ in the freedom of the Lord.

If each day is a new day and each year is a new year, then why not set some attainable, sustainable, measurable resolves? The first three are quite obvious and I should be trying, on a daily basis, to pursue them. The fourth one, to ‘laugh,’ is one that struck me as the one needing the most work.  I have become too serious; I take things too serious; I make things become too serious. It is time to relax a bit, find the humor in things and then find time to share the lighter side of things with others.

Researchers are now suggesting one of the best stress relievers is to smile. Feeling stressed? Smile! Feeling depressed? Smile! Feeling down? Smile!

Philippians 4:13 tells us, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”

This is what I call, ‘laugh in the freedom of the Lord.”  Instead of waiting until I’m all out of, ‘doing it myself,’ energy, I stop and laugh and say to myself, “How silly,” and acknowledge that He is with me all the time and always ready to strengthen me. I chuckle and ask, “Will you help me?”  You already know the answer! And it made you smile didn’t it!

So this year join me in Living, Listening, Loving and Laughing It’s worth it!

My prayer for us this week:

Lord help us draw even closer to you this next year. We thank you for your righteousness for it gives us our freedom in Christ, We thank you and sing our praises to You. In Jesus name amen.

Have a great Living, Listening, Loving and Laughing New Year!

By Alec Niemi
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Wow! it is already December.

How the time flies. Now it is time to get serious about Christmas. Serious in the sense that we need to take the time to reflect on what this season is all about. Christmas songs are filling the air. And as we sing along with the Christmas songs being played on the radio, in stores, on iPod, etc. let’s sing them in remembrance of Jesus, the one whose birthday we are celebrating.

My prayer for you this week:

Creator God we praise you. How good it is to sing praises to you our God, how pleasant and fitting it is to praise you! It is you oh LORD who built up Jerusalem; who gathered the exiles of Israel. You heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds. You determine the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great are you Lord and mighty in power; your understanding has no limit. You LORD sustain the humble but casts the wicked to the ground.  Yes we sing to you our LORD with thanksgiving and remembrance; making music to you on the harp. In Jesus name amen.” Psalm 147:1-7

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I did a Bible word search for the word “Praise” and it appears 296 times in the New International version of the Bible.  I read through all 296 of them this morning. All but a six are in reference to praising God. It was a good exercise. By the time I finished – all I wanted to do was praise the Lord. There was no reference to man praising man. It actually speaks against it.

1 Corinthians 4:5 says: “...we will receive our praise from God.”

The dictionary defines praise: as a verb to express warm approval or admiration of, to express one’s respect and gratitude toward (a deity); As a noun it is the expression of approval or admiration for someone or something; the expression of respect and gratitude as an act of worship. The words origin: Middle English appraise, set a price on, attach value to; from Old French preisier – ‘to prize, praise‘; from Latin pretiumprice.’

It is apparent that God is worthy of all praise when we recognize who He is and the price He paid for each of us.

My prayer for you this week is that you too are praising the Lord.

Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord from the heavens, Praise Him in the heights above.
Praise Him, all his angels, praise him, all his heavenly hosts. Praise Him, sun and moon,
Praise Him, all you shining stars. Praise Him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies. Praise the name of the LORD, for He commanded and you were created. He set you in place for ever and ever; He gave a decree that will never pass away.

Praise the Lord from the earth, oh great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do His bidding, the mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds, kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth, young men and maidens, old men and children. Let them Praise the name of the Lord, for His name alone is exalted; His splendor is above the earth and the heavens.
He has raised up for his people a horn, the praise of all his saints, of Israel, the people close to his heart. Praise the Lord. Amen.” Psalm 148

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Looking back at the different phases in our life is like reviewing a book. Each chapter starts with great anticipation and usually ends with reflection and questions of tomorrow. Following through the story line one can see how each chapter builds on the previous. There are high points and low points, excitements and sorrows, yet throughout the whole story one can definitely see the hand of God’s provision. When choosing to follow God, He puts some very interesting adventures in our path. By putting Him first we can look forward to tomorrow with great anticipation!

My prayer for you

I pray that as you think about tomorrow that you are seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness, rather than worrying about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear, knowing that all these things will be given to you as well because your heavenly Father knows that you need them. And that you do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Amen. Matthew 6:25-34

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Life’s Lessons can Come from Unexpected Places
God’s Plan – A Study on God’s Destiny for Me?
How to Spend a Day With the Lord
Hearing God’s Voice – a Study by Charles Stanley

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Been there, done that,” is the expression lots of us use when we witness others going through an issue. It’s our way of saying, “I know what you’re going through.” The encouragement comes when we go the next step and extend comfort. A small hug, a hand on the arm or some small gesture of contact if no words come to mind. A gesture that says, “I’m here for you.

And, “I’m here for you,” includes that I’m willing to share the love of Christ with you because that is who helped me when I was ‘there’ doing ‘that’…

“My help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth.”
Psalm 121:2

“May you be blessed by the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 115:15

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. In Jesus name, amen.” 2 Corinthians 1:3,4

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19 Ways to Encourage Others

10 Things to Pray for Friends and Family

Come Alongside – by John Fischer

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Why me? Why me?

Why am I stuck in this horrific situation?

When we are stuck in any situation we don’t like, our natural reaction is to question. Yet, what if that situation is a divine appointment? Is this situation an obstacle or an opportunity?

Paul, writing to Titus tells him, “The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished...” (Titus 1:5). Paul then goes on to give Titus instructions for the task he has for him.

Perhaps the obstacle we feel we are facing is an opportunity to follow the instructions we have been given so that we too might put in order what was left unfinished.

Jesus has given us instructions for the task He has for us, telling us to,

“…go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”  (Matthew 28:19,20)

And when we look at verse eighteen of the same passage we discover that Jesus has ‘all’ authority in heaven and on earth and then at the end of verse twenty He tells us, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” So although one may be ‘stuck’ in any given situation it is good news to know that Jesus, with all His power, is there too!

In His power we can turn the obstacle into an opportunity!

Thank-you Heavenly Father for your ever loving Holy Spirit who is putting us in order that we too might follow your instructions. Thank-you for working in us, keeping us blameless, faithful, obedient, not overbearing, not quick-tempered or dishonest, but rather having us pursuing honest gain, being hospitable, loving what is good, self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined, holding firmly to your word, so that we can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. In Jesus name, amen.” Titus 1:5-9

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Come Alongside – what it looks like to come alongside of people while Jesus draws them closer.

Your Life is the Only Bible Some People Read

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It seems that more often than not the first thing people say about other people is negative. There seems to be a permeating ‘spirit of negativity’ prevalent today. I don’t know if it is cultural, spiritual or just learned bad habit and maybe (and probably) it is a combination of the three.

Whatever it is it is still being judgmental and somehow it needs to change.

Perhaps it has to start with me?

My prayer for us

Heavenly Father please help us judge others as you would judge us, for in the same way we judge others, you will judge us and with the measure we use, you will measure us. Help us to not look at the speck of sawdust in our brother’s eye without paying attention to the plank in our own eye. How can we say to our brother, ‘Let us take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in our own eye? Help us to first take the plank out of our own eye and then we will see clearly to remove the speck from our brother’s eye. In Jesus name amen. Matthew 7:1-5

By Alec Niemi
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Forgiveness is Good for Your Health
What Do You Want Jesus to Say?

The Trust Factor
Harsh Judgments Can Kill One’s Spirit

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During a conversation I had with a hitchhiker that I had picked up the other day I was intrigued by his desire to criticize his Christian landlord.

If that is what being a Christian is then I don’t want any part of it,” he would say as he elaborated on things his landlord did.

No matter how I tried to steer the conversation to his need for Christ as his personal Savior he always came back to how much he didn’t like the way his Christian landlord treated him.

After arriving at his destination we sat in the car for a while longer. He remarked that our conversation was softening his heart and he would have to learn to be more forgiving towards his landlord.

I thought WOW, here’s a guy with a desire to be more forgiving to the man that was causing him to stumble and yet missed the truth about the ultimate forgiveness available to him through Christ.

My prayer for us this week

Lord God our Father, whether we eat or drink or whatever we do, we do it all for Your glory. Help us as we try not to cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God and help us try to please everyone in every way. For we are not seeking our own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. In Jesus name amen.”  1 Corinthians10:31-33

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More Than Helpful

Beware! We Have Many Observers

Harsh Judgments Can Kill One’s Spirit

Desolate or Fruitful?  How are you with others?


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Today’s reading is in Psalm 105. It is about the Lord’s wonderful work on behalf of Israel. In it is reference to the cloud of covering that the Lord gave the Israelites to shelter them from the hot sun during the day and the fire that He gave for light at night as they wondered in the wilderness.

From this passage we are reminded of the need to be thankful for the grace that has been bestowed upon us through the covering we have in the blood of Jesus. He is now giving us the ‘protection by day‘ and ‘light by night‘ that we need.

His Grace:

Saves us… “For by grace we are saved through faith, it is the gift of God.”
Ephesians 2:8-9

Gives us strength... “And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness“. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Guides us... “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go: I will guide you with my eye“. Psalm 32:8

Provides for us… “But my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

Renews us… “but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16

Gives us rest… “My presence will go with you and I will give you rest.Exodus 33:14

Lights our path“the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness,Psalm 18:28.

My prayer for you this week: Thank-you gracious and mighty God for your ‘protecting’ cover by day and the ‘directing’ fire by night. And also for your ‘providing’ loving arms that carry us all the time. In Jesus name, amen. Psalm 105:39

By Alec Niemi
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Life’s Lessons can Come from Unexpected Places

We Plan – God Directs

To Whom Are You Listening?


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While reading Psalm 116:12-19 this morning I was reminded again of God’s goodness and love to us.  My thoughts echo the psalmist’s and I pray that yours do too.

“How can I repay the LORD for all his goodness to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD.
I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
O LORD, truly I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant; you have freed me from my chains.

I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the LORD.
I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people,
in the courts of the house of the LORD—in your midst, O Jerusalem.
Praise the LORD.”

My prayer for you:

Heavenly Father we love you. You heard our voice; you heard our cry for mercy. Because you turned your ear to us, we will call on you as long as we live. In Jesus name, amen.” Psalm 116:1,2

By Alec Niemi
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In a sound test lab a couple of trained audiophiles were listening to a classical music piece. Their job was to listen to a new speaker design that was being developed. They were to evaluate the quality of the sound being generated. To do this they would take one of their favorite pieces of music that they had listened to many times before. While listening, one of the men turned to the other and excitedly said, “Wow, these things are so clear that this is the first time I have ever heard the sound of the conductor turning the page of music!”

The trained human ear is still the best equipment for testing the quality of sound.

We too need to train our ears to hear the sound of the Master as He turns pages in our lives.

Whoever has ears, let them hear.” Matthew 11:15

And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you.
Mark 4:24

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.John 10:27-28

My prayer for us

Heavenly Father, we receive your words and treasure up your commandments with us, making our ears attentive to wisdom and inclining our hearts to understanding; yes, we call out for insight and raise our voice for understanding, we seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, in hope that we will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. In Jesus name, amen.Proverbs 2:1-5

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thoughts by Alec Niemi Thoughts by Men


“Give yourself a pat on the back – you’ve done such a great job!”

Ever notice how difficult it is to give yourself a pat on the back?

It takes someone else to do it for us. When we do it ourselves it becomes a self proclamation and is boasting. Scripture tells us…

“Boast no more so very proudly, Do not let arrogance come out of your mouth; For the LORD is a God of knowledge, And with Him actions are weighed. 1 Samuel 2:3

If we are going to boast then let’s boast about the Lord… My soul will make its boast in the LORD; The humble will hear it and rejoice.” Psalm 34:2

“Heavenly Father please let those who boast – boast in You. For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom You commend. Amen.” 2 Corinthians 10:17,18.

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The steps of a man are established by the LORD, And He delights in his way.Psalm 37:23

It is so encouraging to know how to delight the Lord. Just walk in the steps He sets for us!!!

As we go out this week let’s remember to act with courage and do well that we might experience His light and Joy.

Act with courage, and may the Lord be with those who do well.2 Chronicles 19:11

Light shines on the righteous and joy on the upright in heart.” Psalm 97:11

Heavenly Father may our steps be established by you and our acts of goodness strengthened by you so that you might be delighted and that we might enjoy your blessing and joy. In Jesus name amen.

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