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Thu, Sep 30th - 4:16AM

Conversion of Saint Paul

Saint Paul was one of the most important figures in early Christianity.   He was born to Jewish parents in Tarsus, now in Turkey.   In Jerusalem, he had a Pharisaic upbringing and in the beginning persecuted Christians.

Paul became a Christian after experiencing a vision of Christ during a journey from Jerusalem to Damascus.   A bright light flashed around him and he fell to the ground.   He heard the voice of Christ asking why was he persecuting him?

Shown left is Conversion of Saint Paul painted by Caravaggio in 1601.

More   Christian Paintings by Caravaggio.

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Thu, Sep 23rd - 4:55AM

God's Powerful Presence

Have you ever been I a room all by yourself and suddenly get the feeling that someone else is there? I think most of us have experienced that at one time or another. It happens a lot in the movies. How often have we watched as someone walks into a room thinking that they are completely alone? Little do they realize that the bad guy is hiding in the closet. Then they get that tingly feeling that raises the small hairs on the back of the neck. As they begin looking around we're yelling out, "Hey buddy, they're in the closet!" Now I know that they can't hear us but you'd think that they've watched their share of movies too and that they wouldn't fall for the oldest trick in the book! Why not just call security or the police to check it out? Instead they open the closet door and the bad guy jumps out. It's too late then; we tried to warn them but they just wouldn't listen!

God has a powerful, unseen presence. You can feel it when He has arrived on the scene. It can't be explained scientifically and can only be acknowledged by faith. There's an interesting discussion between The Lord and Moses found in Exodus 33:14-16. It says, "And He said, 'My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.' Then he said to Him, 'If Your presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.'" Can you even imagine having such a conversation with God?

It happened after the people of Israel had sinned in worshipping the golden calf. Moses had been forty days and nights on top of Sinai receiving instructions from the Lord. He had been gone so long that they got concerned that maybe he wasn't coming back. They influenced Aaron to make them a god to worship which he did by collecting gold from the people, then forming it into the calf. The people celebrated because now they had a visible god. We're told that they danced before it.

In God's anger He had told Moses that He would send an angel before the people but that His presence, in so many words, would not go with them. Moses knew the consequences of that loss and basically told God that if His presence did not go with them then they would not enter the Promised Land. God agreed and so He did forgive the people and went on with them.

Moses knew the importance of the presence of God. He had experienced it like none other. Remember, one of the things Moses desired was to see God's glory. God allowed him to hide in a cleft of a rock and as He passed by He put His hand over Moses and removed it only long enough for the prophet to see the hinder parts of His glory. Moses had tasted the physical presence of God and now nothing less would do.

I know of no one else who has experienced the presence of God quite like Moses. But that doesn't mean that we can't know His presence for ourselves. There is nothing like being in the presence of the Almighty God. It is an experience that is difficult to describe and can really only be understood personally.

Once we have tasted the presence of God nothing less will do. Like Moses we will refuse to go another step without the Lord, and without knowing that He is near. Now there may be times - grievous times, when it seems that He is not with us. Those times come only to remind us what it's like when God isn't around. Actually He is still there but our circumstances may make it feel like He isn't.

Seek the powerful presence of God in your life. Once you have discovered it you will have found a safe-haven that will always be reliable, true, and trustworthy, and you will never be the same again.

by Jerry D. Ousley

Author of five books, "Soul Challenge", "Soul Journey" "Ordeal" "The Spirit Bread Daily Devotional" and his first novel "The Shoe Tree." He is also author of the article Ministry by Jerry Ousley. Listen to the daily broadcast Spirit Bread.
Find out more by visiting

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Sat, Sep 18th - 11:19AM

National Council of Churches

National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America is the largest ecumenical organization in the United States. The council is composed of 36 Protestant and Orthodox denominations, whose combined membership is about 45 million and was established to strengthen unity among its member churches. It was formed in 1950 through a merger of the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America with 11 other interdenominational bodies.

The activities of the council are directed by a general board, which meets once a year, and is composed of delegates from member denominations. The council maintains programs in the areas of Christian and interfaith relations, communication, refugee assistance, social justice, education, and international relief. The New Revised Standard Version of the Bible was produced by a committee of scholars under the auspices of a division of the council, which holds the copyright. The council's headquarters is in New York City.

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Tue, Sep 7th - 5:23PM

A little girl asked her mother, "Where did people come from?" The mother answered, "God made Adam and Eve and they had children, and that’s how all the people on earth were created."

Two days later the girl asked her father the same question. The father answered, "Many years ago there were monkeys from which the human race evolved."

The confused girl returned to her mother and said, "Mom, how is it possible that you told me people were created by God, and Dad said we came from monkeys?"

The mother answered, "Well, dear, it is very simple. I told you about my side of the family and your father told you about his."

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