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Dear Friends | 13th August 2017

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Dear Friends,

Wow, what a week we just had with the decision that Australian people will have a say on same sex marriage through a postal vote. Obviously, I support the Biblical view of marriage that God established in Genesis 2:24 and Jesus reinforced in Matthew 19:4-6 which clearly states that marriage is between a man and a woman.

However, we need to be Christian in our response to people who don’t see it the same way. The fruit of the Spirit manifests in love and kindness. It’s important that during the next few weeks (where I anticipate the debate has a potential of becoming nasty) that we don’t become nasty. We are called to love and kindness not only towards those with whom we agree but also towards those with whom we disagree.

With any debate, there are those who are passionately on one side and their passion causes them to get emotional and say emotional things. I am certainly on a clear side, but I have determined to address the issue and not make it personal. Those on the other side of the debate still need to be treated with respect and consideration.

It is in times like this that the church needs to pray, stay positive and believe that ultimately in all things “GOD’S GOT IT.”

Lots of love,
Ps John and Anne Iuliano

It’s Time to Dream Again

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IT’S TIME TO DREAM AGAIN.

John Iuliano. 2016.

It’s time to dream again because our greatest hour has not yet come. The greatest inventions have not yet been patented. The greatest buildings have not yet been erected. The greatest churches have not yet been planted. The greatest songs have not yet been written. The most effective mission’s enterprise has not yet been established. The greatest children and youth ministry has not yet been released. Our greatest day has not yet dawned.

The enemy has painted the false delusion that it’s been done. That what has been is better than what will be. That there is nothing ahead of us that is grander than what lies behind us. He raises up prophets that declare, “take us back to the good old days, they were better, they were mightier, they were purer”. This message lulls people into mediocrity, dulling dreams of stellar proportions.

These lack lustre prophets of mediocrity call a generation to “Take it easy”, “Be careful”, “Don’t take a big risk”, “Go with the flow”. But deep down there is a still small voice agitating and wanting to make itself heard. Listen if you dare and you will hear these words echoing down the corridors of your heart, “It’s time to dream again.”

Many people build huge walls around their home to keep out thieves without realizing that the biggest thief seeks access to your mind which most of the time lies unprotected. The biggest thief isn’t out to steal your goods but your dreams and aspirations. He comes and tells you that the dream is too hard, it requires too much work, too much energy. Then he begins to paint pictures for you, pictures that depict failure, disapproval, pain, and a myriad of complications. He wants you declare it’s too hard, it’s not worth the pain, let someone else do it, I’m content in what I’m doing. As soon as these words are uttered, the thief can leave because his job is done. He has stolen your dream and with it the possibility of a different world. Don’t give this thief access into your mind. It’s time to dream again.
Some people believe that there are great undiscovered riches buried in gold fields and diamond fields of faraway lands. But the greatest undiscovered riches lie in the cemetery not far from where you live. Unrealized dreams are buried there amongst regrets and disappointments and “if only”. Tombstones dedicated to memories of mediocrity which could have been tombstones dedicated to world changers. Come on, it’s time to dream again.

Someone once said,” Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why they call it “The Present”.” Seize the day, seize the present and infuse into it dreams that promise a better community, a better world, and a better future. It’s time to dream again.

Dear Friends | 29th May 2016

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Dear Friends,

Let me share with all of you a message I shared with our staff last Tuesday.

All of us, including me, need to have daily spiritual rituals. Let me share with you four daily rituals that will bring blessing into your life.

1. Acknowledge God’s Presence. God promises to never leave us nor forsake us. It is good to begin each day with an acknowledgement of His presence through prayer, praise and worship, and a spirit of thanksgiving.

2. Acknowledge the “New Day Blessing”. Psalm 118:24 tells us that this is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it. Don’t bring yesterday’s junk into your new day. Leave that behind. Begin each day with gratitude and joy that through God you get the blessing of having a brand new day.

3. Get a God Word for yourself. The Bible is like a pantry overflowing with promises. Get yourself a fresh word for the day. A God Word that will encourage and motivate your faith.

4. Get A God Word for someone else. While you’re at it, ask God for a word of encouragement for someone else. There is nothing more wonderful than being a source of encouragement for others.

Let me assure you that if you do these four things daily, your life will go to another level.
Lots of love,
Ps John and Anne Iuliano

Dear Friends | 22nd May 2016

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Dear Friends,

Today we farewell the Welch family on their epic missionary adventure to the mountains of Peru. With 8 children in tow ranging from 17 years to 2 months, this is not an adventure for the faint hearted or those with weak faith. However both Chris and Sandi feel a strong sense of call and our church has committed itself to supporting them.

Chris and Sandi will be the 44th and 45th missionary we have sent out since Anne and I have been at our church. Between the Welches, the Scheps and the Taskers, we also have 13 children on the field. There are not many churches in Australia with this number of missionaries.

I want to thank our church for being amazingly generous. Through your generousity and support of our missionaries, we are able to reach hundreds of thousands of people each week beyond the shores of Australia. Only heaven will truly reveal the full extent of our passion in touching the world.
Lots of love,
Ps John and Anne Iuliano

Dear Friends | 15th May 2016

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Dear Friends,

This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday, the day we celebrate the birth of the New Testament Church. Pentecost comes from a Greek word “Pente” which means 50. Fifty days after Easter is Pentecost.

What is interesting is that the Old Testament also celebrates two feasts which were 50 days apart. Passover is the feast that coincides with Easter. It is the feast that celebrates the blood that was shed to forgive our sins. 50 days later the Children of Israel would celebrate the Feast of Harvest (Ex 23:16). This is the feast that coincides with Pentecost. It marked the beginning of the season of harvest.

The purpose of Pentecost is to usher in the season of harvest of souls. In Acts 1:8 Jesus told the disciples that the mark of Pentecost on their lives would be that they would receive power to witness for Him. Power to share the message of Jesus with the world.

According to Pew Research, 2.2 billion people call themselves Christians. 50% of this number call themselves Catholic. The next biggest group, which number 27%, are the Pentecostals/Charasmatics. The orthodox number 12% and the remainder are Evangelicals and other Christians.

There is no doubt that the Pentecostals are the fastest growing group in the Christian world. The reason is simple. The Pentecostals believe that they are empowered by the Holy Spirit to share the gospel with others. Consequently, Pentecostal churches are at the forefront of Missions, Evangelism and Church Planting around the world. I am proud to be amongst their number.

Lots of love,
Ps John and Anne Iuliano

Dear Friends | 8th May 2016

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Dear Friends,

Happy Mothers Day to all the mums. We love and appreciate you.

What makes mums so special? If it were just the fact that they carried us in their womb and then gave birth to us, that would be enough. But it doesn’t stop there. It’s the giving, the care, the affection, the nurture, the guidance, the unconditional love, the sacrifice, the warmth, the hugs, the kisses and the list goes on and on.

Every family or community or people group needs a special type of glue to hold it together. Mothers have this glue in their DNA. The main ingredient in this glue is genuine care and affection. Relationships are held together wherever there is genuine care and affection. We don’t have to be a mother to learn this secret but when you learn it and demonstrate it, you will quickly discover that you will become a people magnet.

A huge thank you to all the mums at LifeSource today. Thank you for being the glue in your family and in our church family. We do appreciate you even if we don’t say it as often as we should.

Lots of love,
Ps John and Anne Iuliano

Dear Friends | 10th April 2016

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Dear Friends

Last week I shared a message about the greatness of God. He is like a diamond with infinite facets, and as we gaze upon Him, we see a unique facet of how amazing He is. I hope you have been able to see more facets of God’s greatness this week. Here is another aspect for you to reflect upon.

God is not just loving, He is love. He defines love. But, in our desire to love God, we must remember that He loved us first. We sometimes think that a relationship with God hinges on our efforts to pursue Him, thinking it rests entirely upon us to do all the work. But this is not 100% true.

When I met my wife, Amanda, she didn’t already love me. She may have known a few things about me, she may have even thought I was good looking, but she didn’t love me. I had to earn that love. I had to pursue her to earn her love. This is similar to our relationship with God, yet we don’t pursue God to earn His love, we already have His love. He pursues us so that we would love Him. It starts with Him first.

1 John 4:19 (ESV)
We love because He first loved us.

We can try and concentrate our efforts into loving God, but really, we should concentrate our efforts on realising how much God loves us – then it becomes much more natural to express love to Him. Don’t concentrate your efforts into loving God first, but concentrate your efforts on realising how much He loves you. The overflow will be your response of loving Him, following Him and obeying Him.

Yet another amazing facet of God’s greatness!

Be blessed
Ross & Amanda Stewart

Dear Friends | 3rd April 2016

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Dear Friends

This week I was greatly impacted by an analogy I found in Ezekiel 11:18-20.

18And when they come there, they will remove from it all its detestable things and all its abominations. 19And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, 20that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.

Ezekiel is prophesying regarding the return of God’s people to the promised land. They are to clean up the land, removing all of the detestable things.

As I read this, I see a parallel regarding our continued obedience to God. The heart of stone represents the law. The ten commandments were written on stone. They articulated very clearly what the rules and statutes were, and what obedience to God looked like. The heart of flesh represents Jesus, who came in human flesh to die for our sins.

In our desire to obey God, and honour Him, and in the midst of our past failures, we might have a tendency to allow the ‘heart of stone’ to drive us towards obedience. Whenever we allow ourselves to think that the law is what will steer us into obedience, we are then relying on our own strength and effort – a sure recipe for failure. Instead, we need to allow the heart of flesh to steer us towards obedience. We must ensure that our relationship with Jesus, and our connection with him remains strong and secure. Through our relationship with Him, we are empowered to live in obedience.

Be blessed this week!

Ross & Amanda Stewart

Dear Friends | 21st February 2016

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Dear Friends,

This past week I had our Federal member come and visit our church. He just happened to arrange the appointment when Foodcare was running and I was able to showcase a little of what we do as a church.

Once again I was reminded that most people are not as interested in our gospel message as they are in our social justice message. I’m not advocating that we abandon one over the other. I believe we need to hold both in strong tension.

The thing that impressed our federal member the most was our third core culture. Our first core culture is, “Loving God” or our second one, “Growing Spiritually”, but our third one, “Helping Others”, is what he picked up on. He actually wrote down this quote that I made: “Those who live focused on themselves live a small life but those who help others live a big life”.

I believe that as we keep helping others to succeed, God will help us to succeed. Our dreams will come true when we help others see their dreams come true. Helping others is one of the most fulfilling things we can do in life.

Lots of love,
Ps John and Anne Iuliano

Dear Friends | 31st January 2016

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Dear Friends,

A huge welcome back to everyone who has arrived back from holidays. I hope you had a relaxing time. Anne and I certainly enjoyed our recent holiday cruise to New Caledonia. We had a marvelous time.

As we come into 2016, I have started this year with a passion to see all the people in our church going from success to success. I want to do my best this year to help you become more successful. Consequently a lot of my messages this year will contain Biblical principles that will add success to your life.

I want you and your loved ones to leave church every Sunday with a revelation from Heaven, a word that encourages you and a practical application that you can immediately put into practice. I want your life to be better because you made an effort to come to LifeSource. That is my passion and my hope for you this year.

Lots of love and blessings,
Ps John and Anne Iuliano

Dear Friends | 24th January 2016

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Dear Friends

This week, I was challenged by a well-known atheist. (Click here to see the video). Penn Jillette is a comedian and illusionist, and one half of Penn & Teller – a comedy/magic duo, who have been performing together for over 40 years. Jillette was sharing a story of when he was signing autographs one night after a show, and he noticed one of the participants from the previous night waiting to talk to him. This man came over to Jillette and told him how much he enjoyed the previous night’s show, and then gave Jillette a small Gideon’s New Testament bible, clearly stating that he was proselytising.

Jillette shares how he was so impressed that someone who was sincere, authentic, level-headed and gracious was willing to go out of his way to give a bible to him. He then made a series of challenging statements about those who have a faith.

He questioned how it could be possible for somebody, who believed in eternal life, to not share their faith with others. He used an example of saving the life of another person who was about to be hit by a truck.

If I believed, without a shadow of a doubt, that a truck was coming at you, and you didn’t believe it…. (then) there’s a certain point where I tackle you (to save you).

Jillette was very strong in his opinion that if Christians actually believe what they say they believe, then they should be more proactive in sharing their faith. His point is well made. If our conviction is strong, why don’t we share our faith more often? I don’t want this piece to come across as condemnation, but rather as an encouragement – there are opportunities for us to share our faith and express the love of Jesus all the time. Are you making the most of these opportunities? I encourage you to regularly ask God for divine opportunities each day where you can share your faith.

Also, we have three more parts in the Evangelism series on Monday evenings. Come tomorrow night at 7:30pm, and be better equipped for evangelism.

With Love
Ross & Amanda Stewart

Proselytising: an attempt to convert someone from one religion, belief, or opinion to another. In the Christian faith, we may refer to this as evangelism.

Dear Friends | 17 January 2016

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Dear Friends,

I started this year with a strong passion for the people of our church. I am passionate about helping you become successful.

I believe that it is God’s will for all of you to enjoy success in life. I believe that God wants to lead us and guide us to amazing success. He wants you to have a successful life, a successful ministry, a successful family, a successful career, and a successful business.

The Bible is full of principles for success. The book of Proverbs especially is a guide to becoming successful in life. Its main premise is that success is connected to wisdom and the beginning of wisdom is a reverence for God. (To be wise you must first have reverence for the LORD. Proverbs 9:10 GNT)

I’m sure that all of your friends want to be successful in life. At LifeSource this year, you and your friends will be shown from God’s word how to live a successful life. You and your friends will also be taught that eternal success is found in accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. There can never be true and lasting success without the centrality of Christ in a person’s life.
Lots of love,
Ps John and Anne Iuliano

Dear Friends | 20th December 2015

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Dear Friends,

As we come into Christmas, I want to thank the amazing volunteers that keep on giving. This year has been the best year on record for our church. None of this would have happened without the sacrificial help of 380 volunteers that give and keep on giving.

We have people that have been volunteering since our church started (30 years ago). We also have brand new volunteers that have started this journey this year. I get delightfully overwhelmed when I see people give of their time, talent and energy to help others and make our church the wonderful church that it is.

One of the incredible blessings that our church performed this Christmas was the distribution of 100’s of hampers and gifts to our community. All this requires the work of an army of volunteers. We are getting amazing feedback from people who have been deeply touched by our generousity.

We just had our Christmas presentation last week with another army of volunteers, many of who worked behind the scenes and remain unnoticed. They don’t do it for personal glory but for the glory of God.
Great will be your reward in Heaven. God notices whatever we do to extend the Kingdom and to help others. It is also noticed and appreciated by me.

Christmas is about giving and the giving of our volunteers makes me one very proud pastor.

Lots of love,
John and Anne.

Dear Friends | 13th December 2015

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Dear Friends,

Welcome to our special Christmas event.

Christmas is the time of year when churches like ours feel the responsibility that has been passed on to us to tell the Christmas story. For 2000 years devout Christians have been custodians of the greatest story the world has ever witnessed, the birth of the Saviour.

I am amazed at how many attempts there have been to try and silence this message. There are even people in our Christian country that would try and change the message or accuse the message of being divisive. But every Christmas sees packed churches and vibrant singing of Christmas carols.

The Christmas message is a message of great joy that unites all people. Jesus Christ came to earth to pay the penalty for our sins so that we may be forgiven and receive the gift of eternal life, We don’t have to pay for it, work for it or even make unreasonable sacrifice to obtain it. It is the free gift of God given to all people and all we have to do is receive it.

The greatest Christmas gift you will ever receive is the first Christmas gift given to us by God the Father. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son:” is what Christmas is all about.

Lots of love,
Ps John and Anne Iuliano

Dear Friends | 6th December 2015

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Dear Friends,

They were minding their own business in a field somewhere in Israel, looking after their sheep when out of nowhere, an angel appeared to them with a message directed to them. Of all the people on the planet to be chosen to hear the heavenly message, they were chosen, shepherds, ordinary people, humble people, and working class people.

The message was earth shattering. The message would forever change the direction of our world and change how we measure history. The message was simple yet profound, brief but overflowing in significance, succinct but with eternal ramifications. The message is recorded in Luke 2:10-11. “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour who is Christ the Lord.”

Today, in the year 2015, 2.2billion people declare themselves to be followers of Christ. These 2.2 billion people, especially during this Christmas season, enjoy celebrating this message that was first delivered by angels.

I am forever grateful that the message has been passed on to me. The message has changed my life, given me purpose and direction. Because of this, I feel the responsibility to declare the message loud and clear. Behold the Saviour, who is Christ the Lord has come to declare to humanity God’s way of salvation. That’s what Christmas is really all about.

Lots of love,
Ps John and Anne Iuliano

Dear Friends | 29th November 2015

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Dear Friends,

One of the characteristics of Christ followers is generosity. We are generous because God is generous. We have discovered the joy of giving to others.

I’m thrilled when I see the generosity of our church. The gifts for the disadvantaged children are coming in and no tags were left over. Foodcare is a constant blessing to many community families with many volunteers contributing their time and energy to helping make others more comfortable.

Last Friday evening, over 300 people gathered together to raise finances for LifeSource Community Care. It was an amazing display of generosity. This was organized by a team of amazing people that keep on giving.

As we approach Christmas, become more focused on what you are going to give to others rather than what you want to get from others. Also keep in mind that being kind and thoughtful is of great value. Being generous with your words and attitudes can mean more to some people than expensive gifts.

Also keep in mind that the greatest gift that was given was the gift of salvation through our Saviour Jesus Christ. And that is what Christmas is all about.

Lots of love,
Ps John and Anne Iuliano

Dear Friends | 22nd November 2015

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Dear Friends,

 

It’s only 33 days till Christmas. The question many of us ask when we get to this time of year is: “Where has the year gone?” I hope that much has been accomplished for you this year. I hope that you have seen miracles. I know that personally I have had my challenges this year but I have also seen the hand of God at work in my life.

 

As we begin preparations for Christmas and thinking about 2016, I am praying SUCCESS upon your life. I am praying that God may lead you into success. I am praying that your plans, your work, your family and your life may be filled with success.

 

The key to success is to be guided and lead by God’s word. In Joshua 1:8 we read that if we keep God’s Word then God will “make your way prosperous and then you will have good success.”

 

Don’t think for one second that God wants you to fail. That is not the heart of God. God wants to lead you into success. I want the same for you and my commitment to you is that I will do all I can to help guide you into success. As we move into the end of this year and into 2016, stay connected to God, His Word, His people and His love.

 

Lots of love,

Ps John and Anne Iuliano

 

 

Dear Friends | 15th November 2015

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Dear Friends,

It was such a joy to see so many people being touched by God and healed last week, as Ps John Mellor stirred our faith to believe for our healings. God wants us to be whole: body, soul and spirit, and is wanting to minister to us in all these areas.

One of the promises to a follower of Jesus is: “they will lay hands on the sick and they will get well” Mark 16:18 (Amp). God wants to use all of us Christians in this way. It is not just for Pastors or other leaders. So why not step out in faith and ask a sick friend/family member if you can pray for them, and give God the opportunity to do a miracle!

Today we will hear about many miracles in the life of Dr Klaus-Dieter John, and how God used him to build a hospital, school and more in the mountains of Peru. I know your faith will be stirred. What does God want to do in your life??

As we launch the Community Christmas Appeal, may your heart be moved to partner with us and make a huge difference in the lives of people around us. It is a joy to bring the love of Jesus to many homes in such a practical way.

Love you Church, you’re the best!!

Lots of love,
Ps John and Anne Iuliano

Dear Friends | 8th November 2015

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Dear Friends,

A huge welcome back to John and Julie Mellor who are great friends of our church. They have an awesome healing ministry and have seen outstanding miracles over many years of praying for people. You will be blessed this weekend with their ministry.

I am a big believer that God heals the sick and answers our prayers. I don’t know why some people get healed and others don’t but that doesn’t discourage me from praying for everyone and rejoicing with those who do get healed.

Our church prays for people every week. These meetings this weekend are part of our commitment to bring the healing power of God to those in need. Every Sunday, at our services, we offer prayer for healing. We have a ministry called “The Healing Rooms” that offers prayer for healing. We also have prayer meetings that pray for the sick and prayer cards that you can fill out with your individual prayer request.

On one hand our society sees itself as secular but on the other hand they realise that when people are facing insurmountable challenges, there is nothing that compares with the hope of PRAYER. Something inside us is drawn to a power bigger than us.

My prayer is that this weekend you will encounter the supernatural presence and power of Jesus.

Lots of love,
Ps John and Anne Iuliano
From: Ross Stewart
Sent: Tuesday, 10 November 2015 10:47 AM
To: Joan Forward <joan.forward@lifesource.org.au>
Subject: RE: Dear Friends: 8-Nov-2015

Hi Joan

Can you please send this through today?

Ta 
Ross Stewart
LifeSource Christian Church
P: (02) 9417 7377 | M: 0412 878 486
W: www.lifesource.org.au

From: Ross Stewart
Sent: Tuesday, 27 October 2015 1:36 PM
To: Joan Forward <joan.forward@nscc.org.au>
Subject: Dear Friends: 8-Nov-2015

Hi Joan

Can you please send me the Dear Friends that will be used on 8th November?

Thanks 
Ross Stewart
LifeSource Christian Church
P: (02) 9417 7377 | M: 0412 878 486
W: www.lifesource.org.au

Dear Friends | 1st November 2015

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Dear Friends

Over the last few weeks, Amanda and I have been renovating our apartment in Bankstown, as it is currently between tenants.

At first I thought this project was relatively straightforward. Some new flooring, some new blinds, a lick of paint on all the walls – easy! I figured we’d knock it over in about two weeks. More than 4 weeks later, we’re still working hard, with laborious weekends, and several late nights, and what seems to be an unending list of unforeseen additions to our project.

In hindsight, I can see my problem. I didn’t see the end from the beginning. I didn’t realise that new flooring would also mean new sound insulant. I didn’t realise that very old window frames would mean considerable amounts of puttying. I didn’t realise that old wall paint stuck on old carpet, meant that ripping up the carpet left lots of threads stuck to the walls. I could go on and on. This has definitely been a learning experience for both of us.

Our heavenly Father, however, is not like that. God sees (and declares) the end from the beginning.

Isaiah 46:9b-10a.

for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me,
declaring the end from the beginning

What great comfort you can find in these verses: knowing that God has already got your future sorted. He already knows every permutation and combination that your life could possibly take, and He reigns over all of them. Whenever you’re uncertain about where your life is headed, I encourage you to stop and reflect on the greatness of God, compared to the smallness of your challenges. God has already seen what happens in the end, and trust me, the very real challenges that you face today are not too big (nor too small) for Him to deal with.

Be blessed

Ross & Amanda Stewart