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by Victor Kubik

"It's not my fault!"

How often have we heard—or even said ourselves—those exact words when something we're involved in goes wrong? It's often an initial reaction. Nobody likes to be wrong or liable, and we often can quickly grope for ways to explain away or justify failure or setback by placing blame on everyone else but ourselves.

0 comments
Posted October 23, 2014 -
by Darris McNeely

The dust has settled, for now, on the land of Israel and Gaza after this summers exchange of rockets. Thousands of Arabs died and the tiny enclave of Gaza perched on the edge of the Mediterranean is sorting through the devastation rained down in retaliation from rocket attacks and clandestine tunnels dug to launch surprise incursions into Israel. For the Arab population of Gaza it was a stunning tragedy.

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Posted October 22, 2014 -
by Janet Treadway

On a visit to my favorite second hand store recently, I started talking with one of the clerks. She is always so friendly and upbeat. This trip was different, though. I knew she was waiting for tests to come back to see if her brain cancer had returned, so I asked if she had received the results back from the test. Still smiling, while taking a big swallow, she informed me that the cancer was back. She had decided to not do treatment. My heart ached for her. She proceeded to wait on her customers with that same friendly voice as if nothing was different. 

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Posted October 16, 2014 -
by United Church of God

Some 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ observed an ancient Hebrew festival called the Festival of Tabernacles, which was recorded for future generations in the New Testament book of John. Beginning at sunset on October 8, multiple thousands of 21st century Christians and families of the United Church of God will follow this example of Jesus at more than 40 Festival sites around the world (including the United States and Canada), beginning eight days of celebrating a future time of unprecedented peace and prosperity – the coming biblically prophesied Kingdom of God.

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Posted October 4, 2014 -
by Heather Disher

On a sunny afternoon, I was in my bedroom. I could hear my mom in the kitchen cooking dinner. I was maybe six or seven, sulking and crying and pouting as hard as I could. Face down in my covers, hot tears soaking everything.

4 comments
Posted October 3, 2014 -
by Darris McNeely

Evil can only be overcome by force. That’s the hard lesson the United States is learning as it leads another coalition to move into the Middle East to destroy another Hydra-headed monster. ISIS is a manifestation of evil that should teach us a vital lesson about dealing with evil in today’s world.

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Posted October 3, 2014 -
by Janet Treadway

Does loyalty mean anything these days? On Big Brother recently, that word “loyalty” was brought into focus for me. I bypass a lot of the drama on that show but love the game challenges. Derrick had won the right to be the head of household and was to put two people up for eviction. One of the guys, Caleb, reminded Derrick of how loyal he had been to him throughout the whole game. Of course, Derrick promised Caleb he would be safe and the other person he was up against would be evicted from the game.

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Posted October 3, 2014 -
by Janet Treadway

As we watch disease, war, threat of terrorists, the decay of morality, crushing of God’s Word and His Ten Commandments enter into our country, here are the famous words from Paul Harvey almost 50 years ago, April 3, 1965.

“If I were the Devil”

If I were the Devil, I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree. So I’d set about however necessary to take over the United States.

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Posted October 3, 2014 -
by Victor Kubik

As a Christian, one who is dedicated to following Jesus Christ, I want to observe, do and emulate the things He did. Not the least of these things are the days that Jesus observed. For starters, every week Jesus kept the Sabbath day, which no one denies falls on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. But Christ also kept the Feasts of the Lord that are mentioned throughout the Bible. To begin with, they're all listed in the 23rd chapter of Leviticus. The names of these Feasts of the Lord are all listed, along with the date of their observance.

7 comments
Posted October 2, 2014 -
by Scott Hoefker

Have you ever experienced a fear of flying?

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Posted September 30, 2014 - Vertical Thought Blog
by Kevin Greer

Entertainment takes many forms throughout our society and influences our lives and our culture to a great degree. Therefore, it is important for Christians to take a stance on when enough is enough. How much violence? Is this too sexual? What about swearing and Satanism? We must individually examine our entertainment through many lenses and carefully consider a variety of factors as we strive to reach the spiritual goal of “bringing every thought in captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians:10:5).

0 comments
Posted September 26, 2014 - Vertical Thought Blog
by Janet Treadway

In an article titled, “Keep that Bible Out of my Room,” an atheist, Buckner, believes that no religious literature should be provided in government-owned lodging, and he presented that concern to management at the Amicalola Falls State Park. He wanted them removed from the rooms.

2 comments
Posted September 24, 2014 -
by Randy Stiver

There are several ways you can start getting to really know God. There was this guy name Balaam—a sort of prophet for hire—who got to know God through a talking donkey and then a terrifying face-to-face with the point of an angel’s sword (read about it in Numbers 22). Don’t recommend that way though—especially since Balaam acted more stubborn than his donkey!

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Posted September 23, 2014 - Vertical Thought Blog
by Steven Britt

I had the opportunity this summer to serve as a counselor for the first time at Camp Woodmen, part of the United Church of God's United Youth Camps program. As a counselor, I found myself constantly focused on others and giving of myself without hesitation and without limits. If someone needed encouragement, I stepped in and encouraged; if they needed advice, I gave advice; if they had a question, I was glad to give them the answer that God has led me to over the course of my Christian walk.

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Posted September 22, 2014 -
by Janet Treadway

I recently watched a TV show featuring people who were involved in reaching out to help others. It was through their own pain that they decided that reaching out to others would aid in their own healing process from pain, grief and loss. There was one lady whose story really touched my heart. She told of the story of her teen’s last words to her and his dad before he took his own life, which were, “You think I am a loser.” Then he shot and killed himself right in front of them.

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Posted September 21, 2014 -
by Jacob Mammen

“Test (approve) all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” (1 Thessalonians:5:21).

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Posted September 20, 2014 -
by Victor Kubik

Various polls mention these questions up as those that people bring up most and would like an answer to: Why were you born and what is the purpose of life?, Is there a God? and What happens after death?

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Posted September 18, 2014 -
by Janet Treadway

Domestic violence is once again in the headline news. The NFL is under attack for how they handled one of their players in regards to his beating of his then-fiancée in an elevator. We have all probably seen the news clip of the fight in the elevator. Ray Rice, player for the Baltimore Ravens, delivered a vicious punch to his fiancée’s face, knocking her out cold. While this made the news because it was in front of a camera, far more goes on with domestic violence that people don’t see.

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Posted September 18, 2014 -
by Dan Dowd

Those who stand for nothing fall for anything .” – Alex Hamilton, journalist

This quote has been increasingly used by media and marketing pundits encouraging businesses to take a position on some social topic. For every customer gained by taking a stance on a controversial topic however, another customer can be lost. Being opinionated has its ups and downs.

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Posted September 17, 2014 - Vertical Thought Blog
by Darris McNeely

Lost in all the fear and concern over what the United States will do about the growing threat in the Middle East from ISIS is next week’s vote on Scottish independence. This historic vote, set for September 18, is off the radar of most Americans. It’s likely only a few within the Washington policy establishment are watching it with any idea what is at stake. While the growing threat from another terrorist group has grabbed our attention this little watched issue could impact the effectiveness of any response to this new danger.

2 comments
Posted September 10, 2014 -
by Kevin Greer

We encounter language considered “foul” in all aspects of life, even those that used to be expected to be “too professional” for that type of speech. I’ve ran into it frequently at school, work, and various other places, and peer pressure is a powerful tool Satan can use to influence us to sin. While some people claim to be “above” swearing, cussing, and taking God’s name in vain, we have all at one point or another said something we had to apologize for or wish we could take back.

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Posted September 10, 2014 - Vertical Thought Blog
by Darris McNeely

I guess it is age that makes me think the way I do but I seem to be taking God a bit more seriously than I used to. I was taught about God in my youth and studied about Him in college and became a minister as a young adult. I have taught many people about God and thought a great deal about God through the years. But it seems in recent months I have become even more serious about God and what this life is all about.

3 comments
Posted September 5, 2014 -
by Amanda Stiver

I remember that day. It was forty-five minutes before my Art History class and I was cramming my head full of paintings, the names of painters, dates, who commissioned the artist, and where it was currently displayed. I had made flash-cards for all one-hundred pieces of artwork and as I sat there systematically memorizing them I flipped through the stack like a blur. The minutes were counting down. The exam was coming ever closer.

I thought I was being clever. Memorizing a test’s worth of images and information less than an hour before class. Wasn’t I smart?

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Posted September 5, 2014 - Vertical Thought Blog
by Cody_Martin20

“Your life is your business.”— Pascoe Sawyers, personal leadership trainer

Entrepreneurs beginning a new venture have a mission statement of what they want their business to accomplish. A mission statement is how a company or organization focuses on the goals they want to accomplish. It expresses the things that are most important to them.

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Posted September 2, 2014 - Vertical Thought Blog
by Peter Eddington

From BBC research to legendary psychologists, the age-old question "why were you born?" shows up as the most-asked question in human history. "In the uncertain age that we live in, understanding the answer to the question 'why was I born' can help people find peace, meaning and real spiritual strength," says national TV host and author Gary Petty, who will lead a major presentation in Cincinnati, Ohio on Sept. 10.

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Posted August 29, 2014 -
by Victor Kubik

As I was growing up, wondering about life after death was a part of me. Perhaps you've had a similar experience. As I sat in a local church I attended back then with my parents in Minnesota, I heard vague notions about how one day my "consciousness" would somehow be transported to some kind of "heaven." It was up there somewhere where God lived. I apparently was going to live there forever if I was fortunate.

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Posted August 28, 2014 -
by Dan Dowd

What motivates us? Is it money? Is it a career? Is it a goal such as having a certain type of house or being able to marry a certain person? Is it a particular lifestyle? Is your goal to go to a certain college, or to move out on your own or to purchase that special new car? Perhaps your motivation is more short-term—getting through the work week or planning a special outing.

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Posted August 26, 2014 - Vertical Thought Blog
by Victor Kubik

"Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching" (2 Timothy:4:2). These are strong words.

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Posted August 22, 2014 -
by Sherrie G

It is a difficult time for those living in and around the St. Louis Metro area. The shooting death of Mike Brown, at the hands of a police officer, has left the streets of Ferguson, MO in a state of turmoil. By day, protestors march along the streets carrying signs displaying the words, "No Justice, No Peace." When the sun goes down and night falls the protests often become riots, which result in the burning of businesses, looting, brawls, and shootings. This in turn is met by the police with smoke bombs, tear gas, and arrests.

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Posted August 22, 2014 -
by Randy Stiver

Have humans evolved far enough to no longer need face-to-face meetings to conduct business, negotiate peace treaties or spiritually fellowship?

Answer: Humans have not evolved, we were created! And research shows that we were created to communicate with each other at reasonably close quarters.

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Posted August 22, 2014 - Vertical Thought Blog
by Kevin Greer

Driving is something almost everyone does, and is something everyone can relate to. From our youth we’re fixated with Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars, and then we strive to finally get our driver’s license when we come of age. We spend so much time in our cars that they become part of our identity and an integral piece of our lives. If our car breaks down, we hurry to fix it and secure alternate transportation. Since automobiles are so vital to our lives, what principles should a Christian keep in mind when on the road?

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Posted August 18, 2014 - Vertical Thought Blog
by Victor Kubik

As a long-time pastor and administrator, I'm regularly asked to give a few words of advice to young people. Based on my experience over the years, parents often ask me to write success pointers to a graduating son or daughter.

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Posted August 14, 2014 -
by Darris McNeely

The death of Robin Williams is a shock to anyone who loves to laugh. That he died by apparent suicide is a shock to all who love life. That both laughter and life were thought to be loved by one whom we loved is the true tragedy of this incident. Apparently Williams suffered from depression and most of us wouldn’t have known it. We were too busy enjoying his immense talent.

6 comments
Posted August 14, 2014 -
by Randy Stiver

Actor and comedian Robin Williams died this week of apparent suicide. He battled drug addiction most of his life, but for 20 years of his professional life he stayed clean. Not surprisingly, his Academy awards nominations came from his work during those two decades.

He was a funny man—although, like most modern comedians, sometimes he mocked things that ought not be ridiculed, like marriage, family, honor and God. Yet when his humor was clean, he was a master of comic timing and exaggeration, producing stress-reducing laughter for many people in many nations.

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Posted August 14, 2014 - Vertical Thought Blog
by David Dance

And this is the confidence that we have before him: that whenever we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.1 John:5:14

Does God hear me when I pray? That is a question that many others and I constantly have asked as we walk through our spiritual quest with God. Sometimes it seems very easy to pray to God and incredible blessings follow. Yet other times praying can be difficult and it almost seems like we are just searching for things to say.

0 comments
Posted August 13, 2014 -
by Owen Spring

From July 23 to August 3 the best athletes from across the Commonwealth of Nations (an interconnected body of nations, most of whom were formerly members of the British Empire) gathered in Glasgow, Scotland for the Commonwealth Games (a level of competition on par with the Olympic Games). There are two vital ingredients one must have in order to reach the skill levels required to compete in such a prestigious event. The first is natural ability or talent.

1 comments
Posted August 12, 2014 - Vertical Thought Blog
by Janet Treadway

As an American, when I watch the news, I can’t help but be filled with gratitude that I’m not going through what others are going through. But at the same time, my heart is melting for all the suffering going on out there.

I am reminded of a song years ago sung by Diana Ross (among many others), “What The World Needs Now.”
 The lyrics:

1 comments
Posted August 10, 2014 -
by Carolyn Prater

A few days ago, I watched one of the videos showing members of a terrorist group in Iraq killing truckloads of people. Most of the victims were young men. Bullets were put into heads by cold, cruel hands. It was a blood bath. It is the face of pure evil.

4 comments
Posted August 9, 2014 -
by Jacob Mammen

2 Thessalonians:2:16 - May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

2 Thessalonians:3:16 - Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way.

0 comments
Posted August 8, 2014 -
by Frank Dunkle

This summer I’ve watched several episodes of a new cable TV series called “The Last Ship”. The premise of the show is that a deadly virus has spread around the world, decimating the population, and a doctor on board an uninfected U.S. naval vessel is the only hope of developing a vaccine to save the world.

1 comments
Posted August 7, 2014 - Vertical Thought Blog

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Latest Comments

Heather Disher said...

Suveo,
To answer your question, please take a look at this article on ucg.org:

http://www.ucg.org/bible-faq/what-does-bible-say-...

VitD3absorbent said...

I do appreciate your rely. Lena. It was not pure speculation that Mother Eve was wearing the equivalent of a leather miniskirt. It was based on the need to be minimally covered as described in the Gen 3 account. What needs to be covered is not very much, but only those parts of our anatomies that are sacred to our lifelong...

Malachi 3_16-18 said...

Hi Suveo,

The answer to your question is two-fold.

First, heaven is not the reward of the saved. When the righteous men and women of the Bible died, they were buried in the ground, where they remain until the resurrection (Acts:2:29...

Heather Disher said...

Dear Lonely,
I am so sorry that you are enduring so much. I will certainly pray for you, that God will send you comfort and a friend.

Lena VanAusdle said...

@vitdad3absorbant,
Thanks for your comments. There are just a couple of things I'd like to address.

First, you are correct, men are responsible for their own thoughts and actions, which is exactly what this blog says, particularly the paragraph that quotes 2...

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