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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? 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Posted August 7, 2014 - Vertical Thought Blog
by David Dance

"So submit to God. But resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and he will draw near to you." -James:4:7-8 (NET)

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Posted August 7, 2014 -
by Randy Stiver

Because you’re reading this you know about the end time prophecies to be fulfilled in the years ahead of us. You know what’s coming—the truly bad news that “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness…” (Romans:1:18). You know that society as we know it will self-destruct in a world war described as the Great Tribulation. Bad news aplenty!

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Posted August 6, 2014 - Vertical Thought Blog
by Carolyn Prater

In Matthew:22:36-40, Jesus teaches that we are to love God with all our heart, all our soul, and all our mind. And next, we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. He said, “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

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Posted August 6, 2014 -
by Janet Treadway

We all want peace; no war, peace without sickness, and just peace of mind. If you want to be filled with fear, just turn on the negative-filled news. It is easy for fear to set in with all the negativity around us; fear of war, fear of the economy, fear of sickness, fear of loss of job, fear of crime, fear of rejection, fear of the unknown. All of these can rob us of peace of mind.

If people and circumstances do not rob you of peace, then Satan is quite busy hoping to steal what is left of your inner joy.

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Posted August 4, 2014 -
by Randy Stiver

The title of a Country song from the 1970’s comes to mind, “Makin’ the Best of a Bad Situation.”

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Posted August 1, 2014 - Vertical Thought Blog
by Jacob Mammen

Psalm:69:9: “Because zeal (passion) for Your house has eaten me up.

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Posted August 1, 2014 -
by Janet Treadway

Do you remember the song Grandpa, sung by the famous country music artists, The Judd’s? 

Some of the words go like this:

Tell me 'bout the good ole days/ Sometimes it feels like/ This world's gone crazy./ Grandpa, take me back to yesterday/ Where the line between right and wrong/ Didn't seem so hazy.

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Posted July 31, 2014 -
by Debbie Werner

According to their website, Facebook’s mission is to “give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.” There was an impressive average of 802 million active users per day in March.

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Posted July 28, 2014 - Vertical Thought Blog
by Jacob Mammen

“And he (Jahaziel) said, 'Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the  Lord  to you: " Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle   is   not yours, but God’s”'" ( 2 Chronicles:20:15).

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Posted July 26, 2014 -
by Amanda Stiver

We started out on our trip, a long cross-continental journey to see family in the Pacific Northwest and western South Dakota, with no GPS unit. Technically we had one, but it stopped tracking at the border of Illinois, dropping us into a void of non-digital migration. What could we do? Luckily, being fans of maps we were well supplied and it forced us to renew a skill we had neglected, map reading.

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Posted July 25, 2014 - Vertical Thought Blog
by Rachel Henderson

Have you ever seen a child after being told to clean his room, drag his feet, fold his arms, and lug himself ever so slowly towards that dreaded room? You know he is walking in the right direction, but it will take him three hours to get there, and once he gets there he sits down to read a book or play instead of getting down to business. In a stirring sermon I listened to recently, the speaker asked if that just might be a description of us as Christians. I am a child of God—that’s what I became when I was submerged under that water and had hands laid on me.

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Posted July 25, 2014 -
by Rachel Henderson

Just what does the Bible have to say about money? Are we as Christians held to some higher standard when it comes to money? Are there practical tips in Scripture we can use today with regard to our own budgets? I believe the answer to those questions is a resounding yes! Rather than go through the specifics of how to create a budget, plan, save, and so forth, I want to examine the fundamentals of monetary stewardship and how it begins in the heart (There are other excellent resources for those other things, such as UCG’s booklet Managing Your Finances).

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Posted July 23, 2014 -
by Owen Spring

A friend of mine recently moved away to attend college. As the move date approached, she started questioning her decision and asking herself if she was doing the right thing. This questioning is normal and it took me back to that time in my life. 

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Posted July 21, 2014 - Vertical Thought Blog
by Jacob Mammen

“So he (Saul), trembling and astonished, said, 'Lord, what do You want me to do?'”  (Acts:9:6)

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Posted July 18, 2014 -
by Michael Snyder

They used to call my city "Naptown." No more. Today para-military SWAT teams patrol the night streets of Indianapolis, trying to cool a savage murder streak that threatens to set a bloody new record of life-ending assaults. Recently a resident fatally cut down an Indianapolis police officer with an AK-47, spawning fresh outrage. Opportunistic politicians pointed fingers and called for law and order.

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Posted July 18, 2014 -

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Latest Comments

SAMUEL MERETE said...

I know already why I was born three decades ago when I read Mr. H.W.Armstrong booklet "Why Were You Born?". It's to refresh our memory regarding this subject. And I owe a lot from Mr. Armstrong regarding this idea. I am looking forward that follow up presentation will be shown also in the internet.

I am also...

Bassey Linus Akpa said...

My name is Bassey Linus Akpa and i am 16 years old.Ever since i have been taught about God and his son Jesus,have always wanted to become like jesus christ and do the works that He did and that greatly involves me being born of christ.praying and studying the bible had being one of my greatest challenge even if doing these...

Carolyn Prater said...

Excellent article!

CharlieM said...

Should Scotland go it alone, it will be a financial struggle for some time. It may lose revenues from businesses moving out as well. There are so many things that come to mind that could happen, therein causing multiple other problems. It is interesting to think about Scotland's future as a non-British country. We, the...

Wmartin1963 said...

Hey Cody,

Great job on this, I like your writing style. I like the subject matter and how you tied it together and show how it works with your life... Of course talking about god is always a good subject! :-).

Love ya,
Dad

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