Category: <span>thoughts by Max Lucado</span>


“Don’t get angry. Don’t get upset; it only leads to trouble.” Psalm 37:8

Anger.  It’s easy to define: the noise of the soul.

Anger. The unseen irritant of the heart.

Anger. The relentless invader of silence…..

The louder it gets the more desperate we become…

Some of  you are thinking…you don’t have any idea how hard my life has been.  And you’re right.  I don’t. But I have a very clear idea how miserable your future will be unless you deal with your anger.

X-ray the world of the vengeful and behold the tumour of bitterness: black, menacing, malignant. Carcinoma of the spirit.  Its fatal fibers creep around the edge of the heart and ravage it.  Yesterday you can’t alter, but your reaction to yesterday you can.  The past you cannot change, bur your response to your past can.

By Max Lucado
used by permission
From: When God Whispers Your Name

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FURTHER READING

He is Out to Destroy You!

Who is My Behaviour Affecting?

•  Salvation Explained

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For most of us, thought management is, well, un-thought of! We think much about time management, weight management, personnel management. But what about thought management?  Shouldn’t we be as concerned about managing our thoughts as we are managing anything else?

Jesus was. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.” Jesus guarded his heart. If he did, shouldn’t we do the same? When Peter was about to question the necessity of Calvary, Christ blocked the doorway. Jesus says in Matthew 16:23, Peter, get out of my way. Satan, get lost. You have no idea how God works.

Jesus wants you to have a heart like his. That is God’s goal for you. He wants you to think and act like Christ Jesus. But how? We can be transformed if we make one decision…submit our thoughts to the authority of Jesus!

By Max Lucado
Used by permission
From: Just Like Jesus

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Further Reading

•   Your Life is the Only Bible Some People Read

•   What is the Father Saying to You?

•  Salvation Explained


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Make no mistake, the devil is a real devil! Every conflict is a contest with Satan and his forces. For that reason, the Bible says,

Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:3-4).

What are these weapons? Prayer, worship, and Scripture. When we pray, we engage the power of God against the devil. When we worship, we do what Satan did not do – we place God on the throne. When we pick up the sword of Scripture, we do what Jesus did in the wilderness. He responded to Satan by proclaiming truth. And since Satan has a severe allergy to truth, he left Jesus alone. Satan will not linger long where God is praised and prayers are offered.

And because God’s promises are unbreakable our hope is unshakable!

By Max Lucado
Used by permission

From: Unshakable Hope

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Further Reading

•  Practicing the Presence of God

•   Hailing the Chief

•  Salvation Explained


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I know I’d read that passage a hundred times. But I’d never seen it.
Maybe I’d passed over it in the excitement of the resurrection.

But I won’t miss it again. It’s highlighted in yellow and underlined in red. You might want to do the same. Look in Mark, chapter 16. Read the first five verses about the women’s surprise when they find the stone moved to the side. Then feast on that beautiful phrase spoken by the angel, “He is not here, he is risen,” but don’t pause for too long. Go a bit further. Get your pencil ready and enjoy this jewel in the seventh verse (here it comes). The verse reads like this: “But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee.”

Did you see it? Read it again. (This time I highlighted the words.)

But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee.”

Now tell me if that’s not a hidden treasure.

What a line. It’s as if all of heaven had watched Peter fall and it’s as if all of heaven wanted to help him back up again. “Be sure and tell Peter that he’s not left out. Tell him that one failure doesn’t make a flop.” Whew!

No wonder they call it the gospel of the second chance.

Not many second chances exist in the world today. Just ask the kid who didn’t make the little league team or the fellow who got the pink slip or the mother of three who got dumped for a “pretty little thing.”

Not many second chances. Nowadays it’s more like, “It’s now or never.” “Around here we don’t tolerate incompetence.” “Not much room at the top.” “Three strikes and you’re out.” “It’s a dog-eat-dog world!”

Jesus has a simple answer to our masochistic mania. “It’s a dog-eat-dog world?” he would say. “Then don’t live with the dogs.” That makes sense doesn’t it? Why let a bunch of other failures tell you how much of a failure you are?

Sure you can have a second chance.

Just ask Peter. The message came loud and clear from the celestial Throne Room through the divine courier. “Be sure and tell Peter that he gets to bat again.

It’s not every day that you get a second chance. Peter must have known that. The next time he saw Jesus, he got so excited that he barely got his britches on before he jumped into the cold water of the Sea of Galilee. It was also enough, so they say, to cause this backwoods Galilean to carry the gospel of the second chance all the way to Rome where they killed him. If you’ve ever wondered what would cause a man to be willing to be crucified upside down, maybe now you know.

It’s not every day that you find someone who will give you a second chance, much less someone who will give you a second chance every day.

But in Jesus, Peter found both.

Questions: Is there someone in your life who deserves a second chance? Is it time to find forgiveness for them, regardless of how they’ve hurt you in the past?

Max Lucado
From:  No Wonder They Call Him the Savior

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Further Reading

•  Pressing the RESET button on our lives 

•   Keeping Yourself in God’s Love – even during painful times in your life

•  Salvation Explained


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Encourage those who are struggling. Don’t know what to say?


Then open your Bible. The olive leaf for the Christian is a verse of Scripture.

To the grief stricken: “God has said,

Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you’(Hebrews 13:5 NIV).

To the guilt ridden:

There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1 NIV).

To the jobless:

In all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28 NIV).

To those who feel beyond God’s grace:

Whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life(John 3:16 NIV).

After receiving his olive leaf, Noah was a changed man. He went up the ladder of the ark with questions, but he came down the ladder with confidence.

What a difference one leaf makes!

By Max Lucado
Used by permission

From: They Walked with God

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Further Reading

•   A Moving Mountain – Have you ever heard of a mountain moving a person?

•  Religion Causes Conflict and Strife– No Thanks!    by Gord Fleming

•  Salvation Explained


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Satan’s condemnation brings no repentance or resolve…just regret!


Satan has come to steal, kill, and destroy.  To steal your peace, to kill your dreams, to destroy your future.  Satan has deputized people to peddle his poison.  Friends dredge up your past.  Preachers proclaim all guilt and no grace.  And parents, “Why can’t you grow up?” they say.  “When are you going to make me proud?” they say.  But your accusers will not have the last word.

Jesus has acted on your behalf.  Jesus has risen to your defence.  Hebrews 10:22 says,

“…let us come near to God with a sincere heart and a sure faith, because we have been made free from a guilty conscience.”

Not just for our past mistakes but also for our future ones.  Behold the fruit of grace: saved by God, raised by God, seated with God!  Gifted, equipped, and commissioned

By Max Lucado
From: Grace
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

•    Lies We Believe

•   Good Angels – Bad Angels – What is the difference?

•  Salvation Explained


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Worry is the burlap bag of burdens.  It’s overflowing with “whaddifs” and “howells.” Whaddif after all my dieting, I find that lettuce is fattening and chocolate isn’t?  Howell we pay our baby’s tuition?”  Whaddifs and howells…the burlap bag of worry. Cumbersome. Chunky. Unattractive. Scratchy.  Irritating to carry and impossible to give away!

No one wants your worries.  The truth is, you don’t want them either. No one has to remind you of the high cost of anxiety, but I will anyway. Worry divides the mind.  It splits our energy between today’s priorities and tomorrow’s problems.  The result is half-minded living!

Hebrews 4:16 encourages us to “boldly approach the throne of our gracious God, where we may receive mercy and, in His grace, find timely help.”  God’s help is timely!  God will do the right thing at the right time.  And what a difference that makes!

By Max Lucado
From: Traveling Light
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

•  Going Deeper with God

•   Struggles, Despair

•  Salvation Explained


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From the first chapter of Scripture, the Bible makes a case for the dependability of God. Without exception, when God spoke something wonderful happened. By divine fiat there was light, land, beaches, and creatures. God consulted no advisers. He needed no assistance. “For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firmPsalm 33:9 (NIV).

The same power is seen in Jesus. He is unchanging. He’s never caught off guard by the unexpected. “God never changes or casts a shifting shadow” James 1:17 (NLT). God is strong. He does not over promise and under deliver. “God is able to do whatever he promises” Romans 4:21 (NLT). “It is impossible for God to lie” Hebrews 6:18 (NLT).

God will keep his promises.

It must happen because of who God is. And because God’s promises are unbreakable, our hope is unshakable.

By Max Lucado
Used by permission

From: Unshakable Hope

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Further Reading

God is Faithful

God is Bigger than all my Problems

•  Salvation Explained


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There is a correlation between the way you feel about yourself and the way you feel about others.


If you are at peace with yourself—you’ll get along with others. The converse is also true. If you are ashamed, embarrassed, or angry, other people are going to know it. The tragic thing is we tend to take it out on those we love unless the cycle is interrupted.

Which takes us to the question, “How does a person get relief?” Which takes us to one of the kindest verses in the Bible.  In Matthew 11:28 Jesus says, “Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest.

Be honest with Him. Admit you have soul secrets you’ve never dealt with. He’s just waiting for you to ask Him for help. You’ll be glad you did. Those near to you will be glad as well.

By Max Lucado
|Used by permission
From: When God Whispers Your Name

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Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.”  Matthew 25:40 (MSG)

There are many reasons to help people in need.

Benevolence is good for the world.”

“We all float on the same ocean. When the tide rises, it benefits everyone.”

“To deliver someone from poverty is to unleash that person’s potential as a researcher, educator, or doctor.”

“As we reduce poverty and disease, we reduce war and atrocities. Healthy, happy people don’t hurt each other.”

Compassion has a dozen advocates.

But for the Christian, none is higher than this: when we love those in need, we are loving Jesus. It is a mystery beyond science, a truth beyond statistics. But it is a message that Jesus made crystal clear: when we love them, we love him.

This is the theme of his final sermon. The message he saved until last. He must want this point imprinted on our conscience. He depicted the final judgment scene. The last day, the great Day of Judgment. On that day Jesus will issue an irresistible command. All will come. From sunken ships and forgotten cemeteries, they will come. From royal tombs and grassy battlefields, they will come. From Abel, the first to die, to the person being buried at the moment Jesus calls, every human in history will be present.

All the angels will be present. The whole heavenly universe will witness the event. A staggering denouement. Jesus at some point will “separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats” (Matthew 25:32). Shepherds do this. They walk among the flock and, one by one, with the use of a staff direct goats in one direction and sheep in the other. Graphic, this thought of the Good Shepherd stepping through the flock of humanity. You. Me. Our parents and kids. “Max, go this way.” “Ronaldo, over there.” “Maria, this side.”

How can one envision this moment without the sudden appearance of this urgent question: What determines his choice? How does Jesus separate the people?

Jesus gives the answer. Those on the right, the sheep, will be those who fed him when he was hungry, brought him water when he was thirsty, gave him lodging when he was lonely, clothing when he was naked, and comfort when he was sick or imprisoned. The sign of the saved is their concern for those in need. Compassion does not save them—or us. Salvation is the work of Christ. Compassion is the consequence of salvation.
The sheep will react with a sincere question: when? When did we feed, visit, clothe, or comfort you (vv. 34–39)?

Jesus will recount, one by one, all the acts of kindness. Every deed done to improve the lot of another person. Even the small ones. In fact, they all seem small. Giving water. Offering food. Sharing clothing. The works of mercy are simple deeds. And yet, in these simple deeds we serve Jesus. Astounding this truth: we serve Christ by serving needy people.

Some of them live in your neighborhood; others live in jungles you can’t find and have names you can’t pronounce. Some of them play in cardboard slums or sell sex on a busy street. Some of them walk three hours for water or wait all day for a shot of penicillin. Some of them brought their woes on themselves, and others inherited the mess from their parents.

None of us can help everyone. But all of us can help someone. And when we help them, we serve Jesus. Who would want to miss a chance to do that?

Then the King will say to those on his right,

Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.”(Matthew 25:34–36 NLT)

PRAYER

O Lord, where did I see you yesterday . . . and didn’t recognize you? Where will I encounter you today . . . and fail to identify you properly? O my Father, give me eyes to see, a heart to respond, and hands and feet to serve you wherever you encounter me! Transform me, Lord, by your Spirit into a servant of Christ, who delights to meet the needs of those around me. Make me a billboard of your grace, a living advertisement for the riches of your compassion. I long to hear you say to me one day, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” And I pray that today I would be that faithful servant who does well at doing good.
In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

By Max Lucado
Used by Permission
From Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make a Difference

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Further Reading

 Come Alongside – by John Fischer

•  Desolate or Fruitful?  How are you with others?

•  Salvation Explained


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“Who can accuse the people God has chosen?  No one because God is the One who makes  them right.”  Romans 8:33


Every moment of your life your accuser is filing charges against you.  He has noticed every error and marked each slip … Try to forget your past; he’ll remind you.  Try to undo your mistakes; he will thwart you.

This expert witness has no higher goal than to take you to court and press charges … Who is he?  The devil …

He rails: “This one you call your child, God. He is not worthy. …”

As he speaks, you hang your head.  You have no defense.  His charges are fair. “I plead guilty your Honor,” you mumble.

The sentence?” Satan asks.

The wages of sin is death” explains the Judge, “but in this case the death has already  occurred. For this one died with Christ.”

Satan is suddenly silent. And you are suddenly jubilant … You have stood before the judge and heard Him declare. ‘Not guilty’.

By Max Lucado
Used by Permission
From: The Grip of Grace
http://maxlucado.com/about/

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Further Reading

•   Forgiveness is Good for Your Health 

•   Have You Forgiven Yourself

•  Salvation Explained


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“Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”   Colossians 3:2 (NASB)


God…changes the man by changing the mind.  And how does it happen?  By…considering the glory of Christ…

To behold Him is to become like Him. As Christ dominates your thoughts, He changes you from one degree of glory to another until—hang on!—you are ready to live with Him.

Heaven is the land of sinless minds…Absolute trust. No fear or anger. Shame and second guessing are practices of a prior life.  Heaven will be wonderful, not because the streets are gold, but because our thoughts will be pure.

So what are you waiting on?…Give Him your best thoughts, and see if He doesn’t change your mind.

By Max Lucado
From: Everyday Blessings

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Further Reading –

Articles by Christian Psychologist and Counselor Dr. Henry Brandt

What is Your Measuring Stick?

Who is My Behaviour Affecting?

•  Why is What I say So Important?

•  Salvation Explained


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“He will shield you with his wings. He will shelter you with his feathers.” Psalm 91:4

My college friends and I barely escaped a West Texas storm before it pummelled the park where we were spending a Saturday afternoon. As we were leaving, my buddy brought the car to a sudden stop and gestured to a tender sight on the ground. A mother bird sat exposed to the rain, her wing extended over her baby who had fallen out of the nest. The fierce storm prohibited her from returning to the tree, so she covered her child until the wind passed.

From how many winds is God protecting you? His wing, at this moment, shields you. A slanderous critic heading toward your desk is interrupted by a phone call. A burglar en route to your house has a flat tire. A drunk driver runs out of gas before your car passes his. God, your guardian, protects you from

‘every trap’ (Psalm 91:3);
‘the fatal plague’ (Psalm 91:3);
‘the plague that stalks in darkness’ (Psalm 91:6);
‘the terrors of the night – the dangers of the day’ (Psalm 91:5).

One translation boldly promises: “Nothing bad will happen to you.”
(Psalm 91:10 NCV).

Then why does it?” someone erupts. “Explain my job transfer. Or the bum who called himself my dad. Or the death of our child.”  If God is our guardian, why do bad things happen to us?

Have they? Have bad things really happened to you? You and God may have different definitions for the word bad.

God views your life the way you view a movie after you’ve read the book. When something bad happens, you feel the air sucked out of the theater. Everyone else gasps at the crisis on the screen. Not you. Why? You’ve read the book. You know how the good guy gets out of the tight spot. God views your life with the same confidence. He’s not only read your story – he wrote it. His perspective is different, and his purpose is clear.

God uses struggles to toughen our spiritual skin.

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. (James 1:2-4)

Trust him. “But when I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” (Psalm 56:3). Join with Isaiah, who resolved, “I will trust in him and not be afraid.” (Isaiah 12:2).

God is directing your steps and delighting in every detail of your life (Psalm 37:23-24). In fact, that’s his car pulling over to the side of the road. That’s God opening the door. And that’s you climbing into the passenger seat.

There now, don’t you feel safer knowing he is in control?

By Max Lucado
From: Come Thirsty
Used by permission


Are you at a place in your life where you want to know Jesus and have him in your life?  You can start a life surrendered to Christ today. This is a sample, simple prayer, but the words are powerful and full of meaning.  If  you truly believe them Christ will enter your life and start you on a wonderful journey. (not always easy, but never alone)

Lord Jesus, I want to know You personally. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to You and ask You to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.

It starts now!


If you prayed this prayer we would love to hear from you . If you would like to know God deeper we can connect you with an email mentor and/or send you some great links.


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Further Reading

•   He Lets Me Rest

•   God is Bigger than All My Problems

•  Salvation Explained


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When parents send their kids to camp, they have to sign certain documents. One of them asks who is the responsible party? If Johnny breaks his arm or Maria breaks out with measles, who will be responsible? Hopefully mom and dad are willing to sign their names.

God signed his! When you gave your life to him, he took responsibility for you. Jesus said,

I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me” (John 10:14 NIV).

You are a bride; he is your bridegroom. The church is being

prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Revelation 21:2).

You are his child; he is your father.

You are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir” (Galatians 4:7 NLT).

You can have peace in the midst of the storms of life because you are not alone. You belong to God!

By Max Lucado
From:  Anxious for Nothing
Used by permission

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Further Reading

Father God’s Intimate Love Letter to You

God Provides for His Own

•  Salvation Explained


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It’s not every day that you find someone who will give you a second chance – much less someone who will give you a second chance every day.

But in Jesus, Peter found both.


I know I’d read that passage a hundred times. But I’d never seen it. Maybe I’d passed over it in the excitement of the resurrection.

But I won’t miss it again. It’s highlighted in yellow and underlined in red. You might want to do the same. Look in Mark, chapter 16. Read the first five verses about the women’s surprise when they find the stone moved to the side. Then feast on that beautiful phrase spoken by the angel, “He is not here, He is risen” but don’t pause for too long. Go a bit further. Get your pencil ready and enjoy this jewel in the seventh verse (here it comes). The verse reads like this: “But go, tell his disciples and Peter that He is going before you to Galilee.”

Did you see it? Read it again. (This time I italicized the words.)

But go, tell his disciples and Peter that He is going before you to Galilee.” (Mark 16:7)

Now tell me if that’s not a hidden treasure.

What a line. It’s as if all of heaven had watched Peter fall and it’s as if all of heaven wanted to help him back up again. “Be sure and tell Peter that he’s not left out. Tell him that one failure doesn’t make a flop.” Whew!

No wonder they call it the gospel of the second chance.

Not many second chances exist in the world today. Just ask the kid who didn’t make the little league team or the fellow who got the pink slip or the mother of three who got dumped for a “pretty little thing.”

Not many second chances. Nowadays it’s more like, “It’s now or never.” “Around here we don’t tolerate incompetence.” “Not much room at the top.” “Three strikes and you’re out.” ”It’s a dog-eat-dog world.”

Jesus has a simple answer to our masochistic mania. “It’s a dog-eat-dog world.” he would say. “Then don’t live with the dogs.” That makes sense doesn’t it? Why let a bunch of other failures tell you how much of a failure you are?

Sure you can have a second chance.

Just ask Peter. The message came loud and clear from the celestial Throne Room through the divine courier. “Be sure and tell Peter that he gets to bat again.”

It’s not every day that you get a second chance. Peter must have known that. The next time he saw Jesus, he got so excited that he barely got his britches on before he jumped into the cold water of the Sea of Galilee. It was also enough, so they say, to cause this backwoods Galilean to carry the gospel of the second chance all the way to Rome where they killed him. If you’ve ever wondered what would cause a man to be willing to be crucified upside down, maybe now you know.

It’s not every day that you find someone who will give you a second chance – much less someone who will give you a second chance every day.

But in Jesus, Peter found both.

By Max Lucado
From: No Wonder They Call Him the Savior
Used by Permission


Have you taken a closer look at what Christian love is really about? Would you like to experience the love of Jesus that Peter has experienced. You can begin a personal relationship with Jesus, today, by praying this prayer:

Lord Jesus, I want to know You personally. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to You and ask You to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.

God’s love is real and you can experience it!


If you prayed this prayer we would love to hear from you . If you would like to know God deeper we can connect you with an email mentor and/or send you some great links.


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Further Reading

•   Searching for a Higher Purpose – Betty Lau shares her story

•  Religion Causes Conflict and Strife– No Thanks!    by Gord Fleming

•  Salvation Explained


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