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by Gayle Hoefker

Now is the time of year that many in the United States begin to think about Thanksgiving. We are thankful for many physical blessings like safe neighborhoods, freedom of travel, abundant harvests, good jobs, and comfortable homes.

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Posted November 18, 2014 - Vertical Thought Blog
by Steven Britt

Modern psychology has shown that our attitude can influence our perception of events, places, people and their motives--everything we experience! Our attitude is generally outside of our control and shaped by our prior interactions, unless we are keenly aware of our own prejudices and make a conscious effort to free ourselves from them.

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Posted November 18, 2014 -
by Darris McNeely

There was tragic news out of Jerusalem yesterday. Two Muslim gunmen entered a synagogue with guns and knives and killed four and injured several others. The gunmen were later shot down by Israeli police. This is the most violent incident yet in recent escalation of attacks in the city.

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Posted November 18, 2014 -
by Victor Kubik

If you're like me, it's altogether too easy to allow distractions. If I'm not focused, my mind can wander. How do we avoid that and offer up powerful prayers that "avail much"? (James:5:16).

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Posted November 13, 2014 -
by Janet Treadway

Recently I hit the "six-zero." I had been dreading it for months. The reality sunk in that I have lived most of my life! Even if I lived to my eighties, that is but a vapor as I see time speeding along.

4 comments
Posted November 13, 2014 -
by Mitchell Moss

“We used to look up in the sky and wonder at our place in the stars, and now we just look down and worry about our place in the dirt.”— Interstellar main character Cooper.

Is there any more wide a chasm separating two distinctly contrasting perspectives in the human condition than that?

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Posted November 7, 2014 -
by Victor Kubik

Ever talk with God? Did He answer? The Bible references prayer more than 600 times, confirming its critical importance. Simply put, prayer represents the very spiritual lifeblood of the relationship we have with God. It's the main way we communicate with both our all-powerful Father in heaven and with Jesus Christ, our Advocate. Through many examples, the Bible shows how prayer is the miraculous medium directly connecting physical man to God, who is Spirit (John:4:24). Through prayer we can express our gratitude, praise, thoughts and needs to God.

8 comments
Posted November 6, 2014 -
by David Dance

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold (Psalm:18:2, NIV).

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Posted November 5, 2014 -
by Dan Dowd

What do you trust in?

Some people trust in wealth. Some people trust in a select group of individuals – a spouse, or family, or friends. Some trust only in themselves. Others trust in the government of the nation they live in. One of the great tragedies of the time in which we live is the erosion of trust across all aspects of our society.

1 comments
Posted November 4, 2014 - Vertical Thought Blog
by Darris McNeely

Revelations this week that senior members of President Obama’s administration have resorted to speaking of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a derogatory manner are disturbing. It was revealed this week that Mr. Netanyahu has been called “chicken****” and a “coward.” Deliberately leaking these comments to the press shows others deficiencies I won’t comment on here.

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Posted October 31, 2014 -
by Darris McNeely

If I were a Minion, I would think I got the short end of the stick.

A quick trip to the grocery store a couple of days ago found me checking out behind a gentleman who had bought every package of Twinkies on the grocery shelf. The boxes of soft yellow sponge cakes filled his grocery cart. I couldn’t resist making a comment. “Are you afraid they might stop making Twinkies again?”

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Posted October 30, 2014 -
by Mitchell Moss

Gas is down below $3 per gallon for the first time in years, and it’s so good. One energy analyst says he thinks that crude oil could dip in price as low as $65 per barrel (right now it’s about $81 per barrel).

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Posted October 30, 2014 -
by Randy Stiver

The answer is that you should keep none of the above. But why?

During this last week of October the Vatican hosted a conference of The International Association of Exorcists (IAE) formed in 1990 by a group of Catholic  priests who specialize in exorcising (casting out) demons (fallen angels who are now evil). Reports indicate that Pope Francis praised their work in the battle against the Devil.

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Posted October 30, 2014 - Vertical Thought Blog
by Jacob Mammen

"Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God" (Psalm:42:5, New International Version).

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Posted October 27, 2014 -
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.

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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 15, 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.

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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 2, 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.

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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).

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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 23, 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 21, 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 20, 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 19, 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 -

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Latest Comments

Janet Treadway said...

Wow Robert you have gone through a lot! I am so sorry. I cannot imagine having to bury a child or a grandchild. I am hoping the rest of your years will be filled with much joy. BTW 50 was hard for me as well. But I can honestly say the last ten years have been the best.

itsmetrish said...

Great article. In all things give thanks.

linda effenberger said...

An excellent article! Thank you very much. Already a mind set for or against anything or anyone can alter our thinking about a person or thing. Very well put, Steven. Everyone of us needs to have an open mind, especially when it comes to God's Word. It could be that we have heard or read something that sticks in our minds...

peeps said...

Thank you Mr. Kubik for a wonderful blog. This is one of the areas that I struggle with daily in my spiritual life. I just don't seem to know how to pray properly, with the heart and attitude that God expects from me.

djames53 said...

This is a great start to inform us of the truth. I feel expounding more deeply on the man maid holydays, such as their origin would help us understand why we should not honor them.

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