Resource Library

Tuesday
May232017

Transform your prayer life in 30 days!

Dear Friend,

The Bible is crystal clear that God rules over everything. He’s sovereign over global events, and sovereign over any problem you face in your life. And when you approach Him in prayer, you have a welcome audience with the Almighty God who reigns over everything.

I want to help you approach Him with greater confidence and clarity by sending you Pastor Jack Graham’s book, Lord, Hear Our Cry

This 30-day prayer challenge will help you rise above any negative circumstance or challenge you to face it and start praying from God’s perspective.

Lord, Hear Our Cry is my special thank you for your gift this month to help seniors all over the world embrace the life God intends. So request yours when you give. And thank you for your generosity!

Warren Olson

Tuesday
May232017

Your Support at Work!

Thank you for making it possible to pray for and encourage seniors like these through your support of Senior Living...

 Please pray that I can walk in the spirit and not the flesh. –May

 

 Please pray for my wife and children’s salvation and for my church growth. –Ted

 

 My husband John passed away on Feb. 11. Please pray for me as I adjust to life without him. –Alice 

 

 

This newsletter is made possible through the support of a generous donor.

Tuesday
May232017

A Note from Warren and Virginia

Dear Friend,

            One of the great paradoxes Christians face is asking God for something that He already knows we need. Have you ever thought about that?

If so, perhaps the thoughts of the 19th-century preacher R. A. Torrey can help. Among the reasons he gave for prayer are these:

  • Because there is a devil, and prayer is a God-appointed way to resist him (Ephesians 6:12-13, 18).

  • Because prayer is God’s way for us to obtain what we need from Him (Luke 11:3-13; James 4:2).

  • Because prayer is the means God has appointed for us to find “grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

  • Because prayer with thanksgiving is God’s way for us to obtain freedom from anxiety and to receive “the peace of God” (Philippians 4:6-7).

  • Besides these reasons, it should be enough that we’re commanded to “pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Yes, God is all-knowing, but He also desires our fellowship and wants us to pray to Him. He also wants us to convey our utter dependence upon Him as our creator and sustainer.

When you seek God’s will in prayer, you strengthen your relationship with Him. So pray… not because you’re telling God something He doesn’t know, but because through prayer, you grow deeper in your connection with God.

My prayer is that you’ve been encouraged by the pages of this edition of our SeniorLife newsletter. And I also hope you’ll give us the chance to encourage you further on the subject of prayer by sending you Pastor Jack Graham’s book, Lord, Hear Our Cry, as thanks for your gift today.

Thank you for your prayers and partnership to help seniors all over the world embrace the life God intends. Virginia and I are deeply grateful for you!

 

Tuesday
May232017

From Virginia's Kitchen - Pumpkin Spice Loaf

Dear Friend,

While many people think pumpkin is only for the fall, I love to cook with it any time of year. And this yummy Pumpkin Spice Loaf is always great to keep on hand as a quick breakfast side or snack. Enjoy!

 

Pumpkin Spice Loaf

Ingredients:

2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts and hazelnuts
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 eggs
1 15oz can of pumpkin
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons maple syrup
 
Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two loaf pans and place nuts in bottom of pans.

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a very large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add both sugars and vanilla, and beat 1-2 minutes or until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until combined after each.  

Stir in canned pumpkin. Beat together with dry ingredients. Then add milk slowly, beating at low speed until well blended after each addition; scrape sides of bowl as necessary.

Pour batter into the prepared pans and smooth tops with a rubber spatula.  Bake for 1 hour or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean.

Cool cakes in pans on rack for 15 minutes. Loosen edges with a narrow spatula and remove from pans. Cool cakes completely, nut side up, on rack. Wrap tightly in foil or store in airtight container for 2-3 days. Once you’re ready to serve, brush tops with maple syrup and enjoy!

Tuesday
May232017

Q&A with Warren

Q         Warren, I’ve been praying a long time about a big struggle I’m facing, but God seems silent. How can I get my prayers answered?

A         I love what Pastor Jack Graham says about being patient when it doesn’t seem like our prayers are being answered…

Sometimes God says, “No.” Sometimes He says, “Slow” when the timing is not right. Sometimes He says, “Grow” when He’s building our patience and our character. But when we pray in faith and the time is right, God will say, “Go,” and open the windows of heaven and pour out the answer.

 So don’t get discouraged when your prayers aren’t being answered—there’s a reason! Look for what God is doing in the waiting.

 

Q         Sometimes I have a hard time figuring out if what I’m praying for is the will of God. How can I know for sure? 

A         One very important prayer-time companion is your Bible so that you can read what the Word says about what you’re praying about. For example, if you’re praying for patience with someone or something, read what God has to say about patience. If you are talking to God about depression or anxiety, read about His promises to bring comfort.

The best way to find God’s will on any subject is to look to the Bible. So have one handy, along with a topical reference, so you’ll know for sure you’re biblically informed when it comes to prayer.

Tuesday
May232017

The key to getting your prayers answered!

By Pastor Jack Graham

The 18th century clergyman and songwriter John Newton is known for giving us the great words to the song, Amazing Grace. But one thing a lot of people don’t realize about Newton is that he wrote many other songs as well. One of them was called, Thou Art Coming to a King, and went like this…

Thou art coming to a King,

Large petitions with thee bring;

For His grace and power are such,

None can ever ask too much;

None can ever ask too much.

None can ever ask too much. I think a lot of times people feel like they’re bothering God with their prayers. But the truth is that God welcomes our “large petitions” toward His throne—but there’s one important element in our prayers that gets His attention toward our needs and unleashes His blessings in our lives.

I’m talking about faith.

Faith is the most dynamic force on earth because it accesses the omnipotent power of God and gets your prayers answered. And it’s not so much that our faith has to be great—but the fact that the God in Whom we place our faith is already great. 

Hebrews 11:6 proves this…

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

 One thing that’s important to remember about faith is that you can have it anywhere. You don’t have to be at church or at Bible study—you can simply wake up in the morning and pray, “Lord, I believe and trust in you today—no matter what challenges I face or whatever comes my way.” 

When you begin your prayers like that, you’re praying in faith!

It’s sort of like the great Babe Ruth, when they were taunting him and trash-talking him up in Chicago back in the day. Babe Ruth stepped out of the box, pointed to center field with his bat, and he got back in and hit it right over the center field fence. He called his own shot.

When you pray in faith, you’re calling the shot! Don’t worry about putting God on the line. You don’t have to worry about God’s reputation. Trust God, believe in Him, and speak in faith!

Philip Yancey said, “Faith is believing in advance in something that will only seem logical when seen in reverse.”

So do you have a mountain you’re facing? A mountain of bad health or a broken relationship? Or a mountain of bondage to sin or a child going in the wrong direction? A mountain of bills you can’t pay? What are you going to do? Give up?

Not if you have faith!

What you’re going to do is speak to the mountain in faith, call down victory, and cry out to a God who can do anything but fail. Jesus said in Mark 11:24, “…whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

Faith is the key to calling down God’s heavenly power, putting it to work in your life, and getting your prayers answered. Pray and believe—that’s the formula for unleashing God’s blessings in your life.

Thursday
May042017

How you can have an attitude of gratitude

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. —Colossians 3:16

It is said that on his retreat from Greece after his great military expedition, King Xerxes boarded a Phoenician ship along with a number of his troops. But they were hit by a terrible storm, and the captain told Xerxes there was no hope unless the ship’s load was substantially lightened.

So King Xerxes looked at his fellow Persians on deck and said, “It is on you that my safety depends. Now let some of you show your regard for your king.” So many of the men on the ship bowed to Xerxes and threw themselves overboard, sacrificing their own lives for the sake of their king.

Lightened of its load, the ship made it safely back to harbor. So Xerxes immediately ordered that a golden crown be given to the pilot for saving the king’s life—just before ordering the man beheaded for causing the loss of so many Persians!

Now, thankfully, most don’t go to the extreme of Xerxes. But gratitude can be a two-edged sword, can’t it? People are often slow to give credit to others, yet when things go wrong, they like to point their finger and let everyone know who messed up. But when it comes to what God has done for you, the Bible says to be quick to say “thank you” to your Heavenly Father.

So give credit to God for His blessings in your life and let Him know you’re grateful. When you begin to give credit where it’s due, you’ll learn to live with an attitude of gratitude!

Prayer Challenge:

Tell God “thank you” for all the blessings in your life. Ask that He would cultivate in you a consistent attitude of gratitude toward Him and others.

Thursday
May042017

How to spot the enemy’s lies

"All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal." - Psalm 119:160

The American Banking Association once sponsored a two-week training program to help tellers detect counterfeit bills.

The program was unique – never during the two-week training did the tellers even look at a counterfeit bill, nor did they listen to any lectures concerning the characteristics of counterfeit bills… All they did for two weeks was handle authentic currency, hour after hour and day after day, until they were so familiar with the truth that they could not possibly be fooled by the false.

Lies accompany every temptation that comes your way. They’re the sugar Satan sprinkles on sin to make it look sweet. But you don’t learn to spot the lie by growing more acquainted with the sin – you learn to spot the lie by growing more acquainted with the truth.

God’s Word is your divine source of truth. And like the bank tellers, you’ll have no problem spotting counterfeit truth when you spend time with the real thing.

Prayer Challenge:

Ask God to open the eyes of your heart to the truth of His Word. Pray that He’ll equip you to distinguish His truth from the lies of the enemy.

Questions for Thought:

What are some lies the enemy has tried to sell you in the past?

What does the truth of God’s Word say about them?

Tuesday
May022017

The most destructive force for relationships

"A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends."

- Proverbs 16:28

Winston Churchill quite often exemplified integrity and respect in the face of opposition. During his last year in office, he attended an official ceremony. Several rows behind him, two gentlemen began whispering, “That’s Winston Churchill. They say he is getting senile. They say he should step aside and leave the running of the nation to more dynamic and capable men.”

When the ceremony was over, Churchill turned to the men and said, “Gentlemen, they also say he is deaf!”

Gossip is one of the most destructive forces anyone can introduce into a relationship. That’s because when someone discovers—and they likely will—that you said something bad about them in secret, it destroys the single element on which friendships are based: trust. And once trust has been abolished, many, if not most, relationships will never recover from that trauma.

So instead of gossiping about someone, make one of two choices. Either keep the matter silent, or go directly to the person and talk with them about it. While it may seem easier to talk about others behind their backs than doing either of these, gossip is much more destructive in the long run. So make the choice to preserve trust by refraining from gossip.

 

Prayer Challenge:

Pray that God would give you the strength to refrain from participating in gossip. Ask Him to bless your relationships by keeping them built on trust.

Tuesday
Apr182017

The best news you’ll ever hear

"As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air… But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved."

- Ephesians 2:1-5

A farmer went to meet with his banker and announced that he had some bad news and some good news. “First, the bad news... I can’t make my mortgage payments. And that crop loan I’ve taken out for the past 10 years—I can’t pay that off, either. Not only that, I won’t be able to pay you the couple of hundred thousand I still have outstanding on my tractors and other equipment. So I’m going to have to give up the farm and turn it all over to you for whatever you can salvage out of it.”

After a few moments of silence, the banker said, “What’s the good news?”

“The good news is that I’m going to keep on banking with you.”

With so much bad news in the world today, it’s often true that the good news you receive does very little to make you feel better. Yet the greatest news of all, that which is found in Scripture, is the one piece of Good News that can counteract any bad news you’ll hear.

What is this Good News? It’s the simple fact that if you’re in Christ, He’s saved you. He’s brought you out of the depths of sin and despair and has raised you up to be alive with Him. That’s fantastic news!

So whenever you feel overwhelmed by bad news, remember that Christ died for you, and in Him, you have eternal life!

Prayer Challenge:

Thank God for the Good News that Christ has died for you and you can have eternal life through faith in Him!

Tuesday
Apr182017

Are you missing your potential?

"Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil."

- Hebrews 5:13-14

Leadership magazine once ran an article about the curious growth habits of sharks. As the article explains…

If you catch a small shark and confine it, it will stay a size proportionate to the aquarium. Sharks can be six inches long yet fully matured. But if you turn them loose in the ocean, they grow to their normal length – eight, twelve, sixteen, or even twenty feet!

The same can be said of some Christians. Isolated and protected in a self-made bubble, these immature believers live a life free of the challenges, joys, battles, and opportunities that stretch other Christians to their full maturity.

God has plans for you. Maybe you’ve been swimming in the wide ocean for years – serving God and growing in your faith – or maybe you feel like you’re just now diving into the great deep. Either way, there’s no limit to how much you can grow in your faith and how much you can do for God’s Kingdom if you just take the leap.

Prayer Challenge:

Pray that God will mature you in your faith as you commit to serve Him today.

Questions for Thought:

What are some challenging things you could do today that you know would make an impact for God’s Kingdom?

Is there any reason you’re holding back? 

Tuesday
Apr182017

What makes you uncomfortable?

"For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear."

2 Timothy 4:3

Whenever you go to a doctor for your annual check-up, he or she will often begin to poke, prod, and press various places, all the while asking, “Does this hurt?” Now if you cry out in pain, one of two things has happened. Either the doctor has pushed too hard, without the right sensitivity. Or, more likely, there’s something wrong, and the doctor will say, “We’d better do some more tests!”

This is often true when pastors preach on touchy subjects, and certain members cry out in discomfort, criticizing the message and the messenger. Either the pastor has pushed too hard, which is possible. Or perhaps there’s something wrong underneath the surface.

Today’s Scripture is clear that there will come a time when people will stop putting up with sound doctrine. They’ll want to hear what makes them feel good instead of the truth. They’ll prefer living under the illusion that things are okay with them instead of discovering the truth that there is something very wrong underneath the surface.

The Bible is a tool that the Great Physician uses to poke and prod in order to identify areas of concern in our lives. So the next time you read Scripture or hear teaching that makes you uncomfortable, ask yourself if the pressure is too high, or if maybe there is something under the surface that needs to be checked out.

Prayer Challenge:

Ask God to help you discern if there are any areas of your life where you have problems under the surface. Pray that He would give you the resolve to react appropriately when the “prodding” hurts!

Tuesday
Apr182017

Do you look up to God?

“Be still and know that I am God."

- Psalm 46:10

The story is told of a British politician who took his 8-year-old daughter on a tour of London. They came to Westminster Abbey and the awesomeness of it struck the little girl. As she gazed at the towering columns and stirring beauty of the Gothic features, her father was intrigued at her concentration.

He looked down at her and asked, “Sweetheart, what are you thinking about?” The little girl replied, “Daddy, I was thinking how big you seem at home and how small you look in here.”

How easily we lose our sense of wonder before God. With age comes experience and wisdom, but if you’re not careful, it can also dull your sense of who God truly is. And when you can’t see God for who He is, your entire vision is skewed.

Remember God’s awesomeness each day – because it’s in that childlike sense of wonder and submission that God raises you up to the full strength of who He created you to be, and what He’s called you to do. 

Prayer Challenge:

Ask God to restore your sense of wonder at His awesomeness. Pray that He’ll strengthen you as you stand in awe of His presence.

Questions for Thought:

What are some places or things that remind you of who God truly is and fill you with wonder?

How could a sense of God’s awesomeness strengthen you in your faith?

Saturday
Apr152017

The importance of giving substance to your faith

"As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead."

- James 2:26

A young boy, on an errand for his mother, had just bought a dozen eggs. As he walked out of the store, he tripped and dropped the sack, breaking every egg he had bought. The sidewalk was a mess, and the little boy tried not to cry. A few people gathered to see if he was okay and to tell him how sorry they were.

In the midst of all the “I’m sorry”s and everyone making sure the boy was okay, one man handed the boy a quarter. Then he turned to the group and said, “I care 25 cents worth. How much do the rest of you care?”

That little story is a strong parallel to many people today, isn’t it? You see, some tend to pity Jesus and say things like, “He was such a noble teacher,” and, “What a brave thing to die for what you believe.” However, when it comes to actually putting their money where their mouth is, that’s where their devotion stops.

The Bible says that faith is of the utmost importance. But faith itself is only proven when there are works behind it like giving your money, your time, and even your very life to Christ. So instead of just giving Jesus your words, give Him your works and add substance to your profession of faith!

Prayer Challenge:

Ask God to empower you to add substance to your faith by giving your money, your time, and even your very life to Christ every day!

Thursday
Apr132017

Living in the freedom Christ has given you

"Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir."

Galatians 4:6-7

A little boy visiting his grandparents was given his first slingshot. He practiced in the woods, but he could never hit his target. As he came back to Grandma’s backyard, he saw her pet duck. On an impulse he took aim and let it fly. The stone hit, and the duck fell dead.

So he panicked and hid the dead duck in the woodpile, only to look up and see his sister watching. After lunch that day, Grandma said, “Sally, let’s wash the dishes.” But Sally said, “Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen today. Didn’t you, Johnny?” And she whispered to him, “Remember the duck.” So Johnny did the dishes.

Later Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing. Grandma said, “I’m sorry, but I need Sally to help make supper.” Sally smiled and said, “That’s all taken care of. Johnny wants to do it.” Again she whispered, “Remember the duck.” Johnny stayed while Sally went fishing.

Finally, after several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally’s, he couldn’t stand it. He confessed to Grandma that he’d killed the duck. “I know, Johnny,” she said, giving him a hug. “I was standing at the window and saw the whole thing. Because I love you, I forgave you. I just wondered how long you would let Sally make a slave of you.”

How many Christians today have received forgiveness in Christ, but miss out on living in the freedom they have? Don’t live under the impression that you still have to earn your salvation. Instead, live in the freedom that Christ has bought you!

Prayer Challenge:

Pray and ask God to help you understand the freedom you have in Christ. As you grow in your freedom, shake off the yoke of slavery and experience the joy you’re meant to have!

 

Thursday
Apr132017

The heartbeat of life

"No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us."

- 1 John 4:12

A young man was once determined to win the affection of a beautiful lady who refused to even talk to him. He decided that the way to her heart was through the mail, so he began writing her love letters. He wrote a love letter every single day. Seven times a week, the young woman received a letter in the mail. When she didn’t respond after months, he increased his output to three notes every 24 hours.

In all, he wrote her more than seven hundred letters. And she wound up marrying the postman!

God created you for relationships. And there’s nothing sweeter or more encouraging than spending time with someone you love. And in Christ, that means everybody. Whether it’s with family, friends, people you’ve known for decades, or only just minutes – relationships are the heartbeat of life.

So seek out healthy, God-honoring relationships with others. They’re how the love of God in you is made complete.

Prayer Challenge:

Thank God for building a relationship with you through Christ. And ask Him to help you strengthen the other relationships in your life.

Questions for Thought:

Who are some people in your life that you could visit with soon to encourage and build up in love?

Thursday
Apr132017

How to love others with the love of Christ

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

- John 13:34

In Ernest Gordon’s famous book Miracle on the River Kwai, he tells the story of captured soldiers who had been forced by their Japanese captors to labor on a jungle railroad. The group was extremely fragmented, but one afternoon something happened. A shovel was missing. The officer in charge became enraged. He demanded that the missing shovel be produced. When nobody in the squadron budged, the officer got his gun and threatened to kill them all on the spot.

Finally, one man stepped forward. So the officer put away his gun, picked up a shovel, and beat the man to death. When it was over, the survivors picked up the corpse and carried it with them to the second tool check. There had been a miscount at the first checkpoint—no shovel was missing.

The word spread like wildfire through the whole camp. An innocent man had been willing to die to save the others. The incident had a profound effect.… The men began to treat each other like brothers. When the victorious Allies swept in, the survivors, human skeletons, lined up in front of their captors and insisted, “No more hatred. No more killing. Now what we need is forgiveness.”

It’s amazing the power that sacrificial love can have. And as those who are in Christ look to the cross and see the sacrificial love that was shown there, they should also be moved to show it to others!

Prayer Challenge:

Pray that God would give you a new appreciation for the sacrificial love that Christ showed you when He died on the cross. Ask that He would empower you to show that kind of love to others as well!

Thursday
Apr132017

Don’t let the pressure win

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

- John 16:33

The famous 19th century missionary to China, Howard Taylor, once shared some powerful words that apply well to the situation we’re facing in our world today…

“It doesn’t matter how great the pressure is. What really matters is where the pressure lies, whether it comes between me and God or whether it presses me nearer His heart.”

A few minutes watching the news is enough to tell you that this world is a pressure cooker – and it seems about to burst. But the question to ask yourself today is this: How are you responding to the pressure. Is it pushing you from God or nearer to His heart?

Nothing in all of history has ever caught God off guard. From the dawn of creation to the fall of Rome and everything since, God has been and will forever be king over all. 

So while the whole world is losing their heads in a panic, you can keep yours – knowing that Christ has overcome. And in His name, you can be a lighthouse of hope for a dark and stormy world!

Prayer Challenge:

Pray that God will draw you nearer to His heart and fill you with confidence in these difficult days.

Questions for Thought:

With all the fear and anxiety in our culture today, how can you be a voice of strength and hope?

How could you shine the light of the Gospel in a dark world?

Thursday
Apr132017

How to overcome fear in your life

"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love."

- 1 John 4:18

Little 5-year-old Johnny was in the kitchen as his mother made supper one evening. So she asked him to go into the pantry and get her a can of tomato soup. But he didn’t want to go in alone. “It’s dark in there and I’m scared,” he told her.

So she asked again and he persisted. Finally she said, “It’s okay—Jesus will be in there with you.” Johnny walked hesitantly to the door and slowly opened it. He peeked inside, saw it was dark, and started to leave when all at once an idea came. So he said, “Jesus, if you’re in there, would you hand me that can of tomato soup?” 

Everyone has fears. And maybe today you’re like little Johnny when it comes to fear in your life. No, you may not be afraid of the pantry, but perhaps there’s something that stops you in your tracks and paralyzes you with fear… like sickness… loneliness… abandonment… or death.

But Scripture couldn’t be clearer. The perfect love of Jesus Christ, who loves you so much that He died for you, can drive out any fear in your life. And if you have truly entered a love relationship with Him, then you have the power in you to overcome your greatest fears!

Don’t let fear hinder your life. Instead, live in victory over it by trusting in the love of Christ that lives in you to be bold and live boldly for Him!

Prayer Challenge:

Ask God to remind you of the depth of Christ’s love for you. When you do, you’ll be empowered to overcome fear as you cling to the promise that there’s no safer place to be!

Thursday
Apr132017

How you can avoid the trap of false teaching

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”

- Matthew 7:15

Chuck Swindoll tells a story about how years ago a man went into a fried chicken place and bought a couple of chicken dinners for himself and his date. But instead of chicken, the young woman at the counter inadvertently gave him the proceeds from the day—a whole bag of money.

After driving to their picnic site, the two sat down to enjoy their meal. But they discovered a whole lot more than chicken—over $800! So the man quickly put the money back in the bag, got in the car, and drove all the way back to the restaurant.

The manager was thrilled to death. He said, “Oh, great! I’m gonna have your picture put in the local newspaper. You’re the most honest man I’ve ever met!” But the man quickly responded, “Oh no, don’t do that!” Then he leaned closer and whispered, “You see, the woman I’m with is not my wife... she’s somebody else’s.”

Now I’ll bet that you absolutely loved this man up until the last sentence. And now you probably think he’s a sleazebag! Isn’t it amazing what can happen to our impressions of people once we know the full story?

In much the same way, many “spiritual leaders” today look good on the outside. But when you find out what they’re really teaching, you discover they may not be all they proclaim. So be careful what you allow yourself to be taught by “pop-spirituality” and cling to the truth of Scripture!

Prayer Challenge:

Pray and ask God to give you good discernment between what’s true, biblical teaching and what is false “pop-spirituality.”