future (6)


Most of us think there is very little hope for mankind in the law of God. And if you think of keeping the law in your own efforts as your self-salvation project, it is indeed absolutely hopeless. However the law of God was not given to bring Salvation. It shows us God's standards of right and wrong. And when we come to it with a transformed heart, it shows us how we are able to please God who has done everything to save us. And the law helps us break free from sin in our lives Buy pointing out the sin that is beneath our sins.

The content of The 10 Commandments is the foundation of all relationships and all social engagement. You judge relationships and societies by trustworthiness, goodness, and love.

And if I live in a vile society where everyone is oppressed, where my loved ones are raped and abused in every way imaginable, I need an assurance that there is a God of justice for me to have any hope at all.

The 10 Commandments that God gave on Mount Sinai came from God Himself. They came with ultimate authority and ultimate rightness. In Deuteronomy 5 Moses reiterates the 10 Commandments as the people were preparing to enter the Promised Land. And Moses recounts to them the working of God that led up to the initial giving of The Commandments. Deuteronomy 19:33-35 reads,

“Did any people ever hear the voice of a god speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and still live? Or has any god ever attempted to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, and by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by great deeds of terror, all of which the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? To you it was shown, that you might know that the Lord is God; there is no other besides him.”

Modern people may be able to think of the ten Commandments as something conceived by Moses or by humans in general. But the children of Israel did not have that option. They could not but say after what they had been through, “The Lord He is God! The Lord He is God!









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I am not sure we fully appreciate the value of communication in these days. We live very near the old American Pony Express route. For a year and a half in the mid nineteenth century, until the telegraph service finally crossed the continent, riders carried the mail on fast horses from station to station from Colorado and points east to California. That was an expensive and often dangerous undertaking all for the sake of mail service.

We live a little over ten miles from the little town where snowshoe Thompson lived. In the same era as the Pony Express Thompson carried mail on 10 foot skis across the high Sierras from Mormon station to Placerville California.

Of course, most of us in America receive far more mail than we would like. Much of it is what we call junk mail. But letters from important people or people we love are still precious. I love the story of Kathy Keller, Tim Keller's wife, receiving several letters from C.S. Lewis when she wrote him as a 12 year old girl. They were actually written within weeks of Lewis’ death.

But no letter would be as valuable to any of us as direct communication from God. That is what we have in the 29th chapter of Jeremiah. Jeremiah sends a letter to the exiles who had been carried off to Babylon. And in that letter he gives them and us direct communication from God himself. This is not unlike the letters from Jesus to the seven churches in Asia Minor at the beginning of The Revelation.

Many of us are familiar with Jeremiah 29:11.

“I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

I recently heard someone say that our putting this verse on t-shirts and greeting cards, and applying it directly to our lives is a misuse of scripture. The person said you could only apply this to your life if you were in fact one of the Israelites exiled to Babylon in the 6th century before Christ. I believe that is a mistake. We have this letter in Scripture because God speaks to us from it. And this letter reveals important things about the character of God, and how he deals in our lives today.


First God declares in this passage that He has plans for you. I need to be honest here. I am not very good at making plans. I am always cynical about my ability to know what will happen in the future. But I understand that meaning in life comes from purpose. And God gives us assurance here that He has a plan. God assures the Israelites in exile that they are not simply in the hands of blind fate. And even though it may look to us like God does not know what He is doing, He knows. This brings to my mind His promise in Romans 8:28.

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

This verse does not say everything will be good in our lives. That was certainly not true for the children of Israel under judgment. But God was assuring the people that He was going to work even this evil, even this hardship, for good in their lives.

The Children of Israel were deported to Babylon because they had rejected God. But God still had plans for them. Someone recently asked me if I believed in the perfect and permissive will of God. He told me he had not done something that he was convinced was the will of God. And he felt he could no longer have God's best for his life.

I said I didn't think that was a good or biblical way of looking at the will of God. I would rather say the will of God is dynamic. He has a specific will for you no matter what happened in your past. A good example of this is found in 1John 1:9.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

So, suppose I sin. That is completely out of the will of God, is it not? Now, what is God's will for me? God's specific will for me is to confess that sin to Him. You have already strayed in significant ways from the will of God. But He still has a specific will for your life. His will may not be easy. But it is perfect for you.


It was very difficult for the people of Israel to see any good in their captivity in Babylon. And it is sometimes impossible for us to see good in our immediate situation in life. But God is saying to them and to us, “I know.” You and I cannot know what the future holds. But God knows; and we can trust Him.


In Jeremiah 29:11 the NIV says God has plans to “prosper” us. The ESV says plans for our “welfare.” The Hebrew word here is Shalom. The foundation of the word shalom is peace. But it is used in the Old Testament for a much broader concept than simply the absence of war. It refers back to the time of prosperity particularly under the reign of David and Solomon. Of course God's peace begins with a right relationship with God. God is saying His plans for you begin with your getting right with Him. And Shalom has to refer more to spiritual welfare then it does material prosperity.

And God says His plans are not to harm you. Now here the Hebrew word for harm is the word for evil. It is the same word that is used in the garden of Eden for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God's purpose in His judgment of the children of Israel was not their final destruction, but repentance.


The blessing of God is primarily relational. God's nature and his purpose for us is wound up in His infinite love. God desires a relationship with you. The very next verses in Jeremiah 29 read,

“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”


In this letter God and Jeremiah tell the people to settle down where they are and live in Hope. There is a theology that is often being applied in our day which simply says wouldn't it be wonderful if the Lord would come back today and this world would burn. But God is saying, “Don't give up. Keep on serving Me. You have hope.” This reminds me of 1 Corinthians 15:58 which God has often used to encourage my soul.

“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”


I am in an unusual place in life. I have terminal cancer. And I need to say, nothing in my life has helped me get a grip on the future as much as my cancer. I am able to see significance in every moment of my life.

I see relationships in a new light as my time on this Earth is shortened. That is not to say that I am always kind or patient with people. I am certainly tempted not to be kind. But I hunger to love them with Christ's love. And I pray for God to do things in their lives that I could never accomplish.

Prayer itself has become much more important to me. My cancer brings me to Exodus 33 where Moses cried out to see the glory of God. And I am convinced that God will use my prayers to touch the lives of those around me.

And I still need to minister. I need to pour myself into God's purpose. I am thankful that He allows, has even called me to write. And I think it is important to see that whatever ministry God calls you to will make life more meaningful.

All of these things relate to the future. Those of us who believe in Jesus have eternal life. And life beyond this life will be a continuation, even an expansion of the purpose and fellowship that He lavishes on us on Earth. That hope makes everything more meaningful now and forever.










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“How you respond to a setback exposes your faith, your fears, and your future.” Dan Skognes


I saw a two-wheel concept car (or motorcycle in a shell) from Lit Motors that was really cool. You could try to knock it over from any side and it automatically self-corrected to right itself. They use similar technology in robotic dogs. They compensate for the obstacles encountered and recalibrate to get centered again.


Is that what you do? For some reading this, you think, “Yes, I adjust well to whatever comes my may.” For others, you might think, “No. I melt down when unforeseen circumstances trip me up.”


When something unexpected happens like a loss of a job, a relationship ends, you get diagnosed with a deadly disease, someone close to you dies, or you take a financial hit…whatever it is, there are basically two responses: faith or fear. You either have faith that you will get through it and continue to move forward, or you cower in fear and retreat.


There are many things in life that we can’t control, yet we are tasked with getting through them. If you want to get through the storms, you have to be centered. You have to have the ability to stay calm when all hell breaks loose around you. I realize that it is easier said than done, but that is our reality. It applies to everyone.


Whether we respond with faith or fear will determine our future. Nobody in their right mind would choose to respond with fear, and yet it happens on a daily basis to people all over the world.


Some people would say that ignorance is bliss, but I think ignorance can be fear of the facts. It takes courage to have faith in the midst of a storm when you can’t see the horizon. In the example above, the car and robotic dog do not have a mindset of fear. They are programed to adapt and overcome. We need to program our minds to have that type of mindset. “When we get a setback, we need to think about our comeback.” Anticipate what is coming. “You may not be able to stop the wind, but you can learn to set your sails.”




Dan Skognes


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Last week I began a series of blog posts calling for extraordinary prayer that in the power of God might sweep the earth. Such extraordinary prayer will need to come from several fronts. One of the most important focuses of our prayer needs to be Bible colleges and seminaries. If we look back through history at times when God moved mightily on human society, we see that He always raised up men to work through. So it stands to reason that if we want to be a part of an end-time revival, we should direct extraordinary prayer toward young people who sense the call of God on their lives.

We have begun this on one campus of a large multi-site seminary on the west coast. The students, faculty and staff were given questionnaires with questions about how we could pray for them. We also invited volunteers and support staff to fill out prayer questionnaires. Janitors and secretaries play an important part in what God is doing on campuses. They are often used by God to impact the lives of students. Brother Laurence touches lives to this day. He was a dishwasher in an obscure monastery.

We compiled the answers given, put them on flash drives and asked people at a regional denomination meeting to commit to pray for the seminary. People signed up pray leaving their e-mail addresses where they could be sent additional prayer requests. All of our prepared flash drives were given out before the program could be announced on the floor of the meeting.

This ministry could be contagious. Students could be sent to speak in churches asking people to commit to pray for the students and the school. Pastors’ could encourage church members to sign up. People who have hardly prayed for anyone but themselves could catch the vision to pray for a new generation of spiritual leaders.

Please pray for me as I write college and seminary presidents to present this idea. Pray that they will be receptive. Pray that they will become passionate for this. This will require busy staffs to take on new responsibilities. This will cost time and money. Pray for God to provide. And such an undertaking will certainly arouse spiritual opposition. Pray for spiritual protection for schools, students, and churches we will ask to become involved. And watch with me as God glorifies His name by raising up a mighty spiritual army to touch the world in these days.


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 I often wonder about the future of our grandchildren growing up in a society where apathy, and even hostility, 9651007876?profile=originaltoward Jesus Christ is prevalent today. We are living in a complicated world. An aggressive attack is being launched by using media, technology, education, social influences, and political pressures to desensitize and cloud the boundaries of truth that holds our families together. The enemy’s attacks against our families and our nation’s moral foundations are relentless and growing worse with time.


However, Daniel, the one in the lion’s den for not obeying the king, stood strong for God in a very complicated ungodly culture. Today, let’s stand in the gap for our grandchildren, praying they will stand strong for God. Just as Esther stood in the gap for her people, the Israelites when their lives were threatened physically, we can stand in the gap for the spiritual lives of our grandchildren.


  • Pray your grandchildren will invite Jesus into their hearts.
  • Pray your grandchildren will be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power
  • Pray for your grandchildren to recognize the difference of the truth and deception in their culture so they can flee from it.
  • Pray for your grandchildren to respect authority and pray for those in authority over them, like their parents, teachers, and others.


Our hope for the future generation can only be in the Lord, not in this complex world.


Please share in the comments - What are you doing to stand in the gap for your grandchildren?


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¹ Ephesians 6:10






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Are You In Search Of Your Future?


I’m writing this at the beginning of a new year; a year in which many of us seem to be in transition. Some of us sense that a door is opening; some feel as if one has been slammed shut; and others are looking for the door—looking for direction. Perhaps that’s you, or someone you love. We’ve been inundated with emails and calls from those who are looking for the door to their future. With that in mind, here are a few thoughts.

We are here to find the doors; not here to map our future. We are here to walk through the correct door when it
appears, and to experience the future God has designed for us.  

I agree with Yankee baseball great, Yogi Berra, who said:  “The future sure ain’t what it used to be.” Well, hang
around. We, my friend, are about to have a head-on collision with our future. It’s coming at us at a rate of 60 M.P.H. (60 Minutes Per Hour)! Tomorrow morning will arrive whether we set our alarms or not.

Let’s get ready then, and prepare ourselves to experience our future.
 It will contain blessings and challenges; joy and sadness; questions and answers. As our future becomes our past, we’ll discover that even the challenges served purposes and contained hidden blessings for us. There really are silver linings in the storm clouds we face.


It's BACKWARD! Have you noticed that the American flag shoulder patch of the Army uniform is backward? Look closely. The blue section with the stars, which is normally in the upper left corner, is in the upper right corner. The red and white stripes are on the left, not the right side. What is that?

For a moment, imagine a person running while carrying an American flag on a pole. It would be blowing back behind them, right? The patterns would appear backward as they do on that shoulder patch. The message of the patch is: We do not run from the battle. We run to the battle! We need not fear the future because of our faith in Christ. Others may reluctantly, some even fearfully dread their future; not us. Like trusting children jumping into their fathers’ arms, we can run joyfully and boldly into our future—regardless of what we can or cannot see. We know that His plans for us are good.

We should however prepare for the future. Here’s what I suggest.

DREAM BIG! It’s alright to dream. In fact, God sometimes gives us glimpses into our future, as he did with Joseph in the Bible. The dream that’s in your heart may very well have been placed there by Him.

BE BOLD. Dream big; then hold your dreams loosely and...

EXPECT CHANGE. For at best, as the Apostle Paul wrote, we “see through a glass darkly.”  (1 Cor 13:12)

PRAY HARD. We don’t mean that you should beg. We aren’t beggars. Remember, on the cross Jesus said, “it is finished.” And Peter wrote that God “hath given unto us (past tense) all things that pertain to life and godliness.”

(Jn 19:30; 1 Pet 2:1) Let’s pray without anxiety, and offer thanks in advance for what we have yet to see. (Phil 4:6)

God resists anxiety, and responds to gratitude.
Jesus taught us to pray as if we already have that for which we are asking. So, regarding your future, remember that anxiety is an expression of doubt; and James warns us against doubtful praying. (Jas 1:6) In most cases, the greatest spiritual warfare we’ll face is to resist anxiety due to what we do see; and to pray with thanksgiving for what we don’t yet see! That is a fight of faith.

So friend, ACCEPT CHANGE. When we arrive at this confusing crossroads, it’s because we are about to experience a change in our assignment or our direction. Do not resist God-directed change. We are to be moving from glory to glory. Growth requires change. It demands it!

DO WHAT IS AT HAND--what is in front of you. Some people looking for life-direction shut down, give up, bail out, or retreat. Don’t do that. Be that soldier who runs TO the battle! There is always a need that you can fill, a person or cause you can serve. Continue to be God’s servant. How? Find someone with a bigger need than yours and serve them.

2012 had its challenges. I’m sure you agree. God is shifting us (Alice and me) in certain ways, though it’s yet unclear to us exactly how. So, we are focused on what is at hand—writing and teaching. We have updated and published seven books on Amazon’s Kindle. They are: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Praying People ($2.99); The One Minute Intercessor ($2.99); How to Be Heard in Heaven ($7.12); 
Amazing God Encounters ($4.88); and Intercessors & Pastors ($6.99). We are trying to add at least one book to Kindle each week. You’ll find them on  http://Amazon.com The next will be, Discerning The Climate of The City. Other resources are available at:   http://PrayerBookstore.com

We are also writing new books. I (Eddie) have co-written a new book with real estate businessman Kenn Renner entitled: Maximum Dream Achievement: How You Can Live and Enjoy a Purpose-Full Life. Alice and I have almost finished writing a book to provide needed guidelines for successful prophetic ministry in the church.


We would be very grateful to have your partnership in this worldwide ministry. Many, including the nine ministries we support, are counting on us.

Thank you in advance!

Let us know how we can better serve you.
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