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Posts by Skip Ast, Jr.

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Family Can Be Hard...

Family can be hard...especially around Christmas! Within the last 48 hours I've been brought into four different but each very difficult family scenarios from people within our West Valley family. I'm betting many, if not most, of you can relate to them at some level. One is an early forties heavy-hearted daughter who is having to travel out of state with her husband and...

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Simplicity & Purity of Devotion to Jesus

"But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ." 2 Corinthians 11:3 It's only the 13th of December, we still have 12 days to go before the 'big' day and life couldn't be more hectic. Granted, Laurie and I got a late start in preparing for Christmas this year as we had...

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The Blessedness of Possessing Nothing

One of my favorite chapters of any book I've ever read is titled "The Blessedness of Possessing Nothing" in A. W. Tozer's book The Pursuit of God. In it Tozer uses the story of Abraham being directed by God to take his only son (Isaac) and sacrifice him to picture what God Himself would do with His own Son, Jesus (see Genesis 22). Tozer brilliantly demonstrates how the sac...

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2016 Coming!

Walk with Jesus

HERE WE GO AGAIN! This will be my 55th New Year's celebration. Of course I don't remember any of them prior to around age 10-12. However, whether conscience of them or not, they came and went each year and each time symbolizing something really significant for the human psyche. It's not hard to see it coming: all the diet programs start blitzing the airwaves with promise...

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Homeward Bound

Walk with Jesus

Anybody older than 40 probably knows or has at least heard the song "Homeward Bound" by Simon & Garfunkel. Being musicians and on the road most of their career they knew the feeling of being homeward bound as they longed for the month and day they would go home until the next tour started. I can only imagine how our men & women in uniform can relate to that song. A...

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Seeing As Jesus Saw

stayConnected

Today I was traveling most of the day. Started by getting into Dallas about 1:00am then off to Minneapolis in the afternoon and ended up in Toronto, Canada (Don't-cha know) tonight. Besides being vividly reminded why I don't travel for a living I was also struck by the countless faces I saw. Empty, stressed, bewildered, disillusioned, tearful, & sorrowful. There were a...

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HAPPY 10th ANNIVERSARY!!

Walk with Jesus

There are so many memories and so many faces that fill those memories. I can't begin to express how honored I feel to be a small part of what God has done and is doing. Truly only the King of all kings can take credit for all that's happened in these past 10 years through wvBc, Sunago Surprise, the Christian Liberty Center Church, and Sunago El Mirage which includes the Li...

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Hearing God's Voice: Proverbs

Word of the Day

Proverbs 1:20–21 20 Wisdom shouts in the street, She lifts her voice in the square; 21 At the head of the noisy streets she cries out; At the entrance of the gates in the city she utters her sayings: Father, please open my ears. I know You're speaking, I know You're shouting. It's my ears that need to be unplugged and refocused on You.Please give me ears to hear! ...

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All Things New!

Walk with Jesus

All Things New! Revelation 21:5 It's now upon us...a brand new year! It's very strange, in a mysterious kind of way, how we tend to gravitate to the newest, the latest, & the greatest in some form or fashion. Technology has that mysterious draw on me and that monster was fed to the full this year. First, our kids gave me a pen for Christmas that as your writing it se...

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Word of the Day: Proverbs 9:10

Pray

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." Proverbs 9:10 In another of many proverbs about wisdom Solomon again promotes the value of accepting wisdom's invitation and the foolishness of rejecting it. In this chapter, just like chapter 8, wisdom is personified as one sending out an invitation ...

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Why Listen, Why Watch, Why Wait?

Armor of God

"Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at my doorposts. For he who finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord." Proverbs 8:34-35 Why listen, why watch, why wait? As many have said over the years, the Christian life isn't difficult, it's impossible! Only One has ever lived it; Jesus! So again, why listen, why watch, wh...

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Big Decision Every Day

Walk with Jesus

“…they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them…” 1 Samuel 8:7b“For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it…” Luke 9:24a What an interesting ‘coincidence’ for today’s reading. Different authors, very different circumstances, multiple centuries apart and yet a very consis...

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Useful to the Master

Armor of God

“…He blessed them, and broke them, and kept giving them to the disciples…” Luke 9:16b While reading this very familiar passage in Luke 9 describing Jesus feeding the 5,000, I was instantly reminded of the verse and more specifically the phrase I would like to be remembered by once I've gone to be with Jesus face to face. It’s in 2 Timothy 2...

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Only Believe

Pray

"Do not be afraid any longer; only believe..." Luke 8:50 The most repeated command in the Bible is represented in this verse. God inspires the authors of Scripture to say it in different ways; fear not, be not afraid, do not fear, etc. but it always has the same message. God wants us to trust Him rather than be gripped with fear. Fear can be terribly debilitating, leaving...

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He's Always There

Word of the Day

“Master, Master, we are perishing!” If you're anything like me, there are times we feel very much like the disciples who are casually moving through life and suddenly the proverbial rug is pulled right out from under us. We've all experienced the shock...a boss informs you that they had to make one more round of cuts and you're in it; a beloved family member d...

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Our Perspective

LoveGodLoveOthers

Today's reading includes two very compelling messages at opposite ends of the human condition. The first was found in the very last verse in the book of Judges:"In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes." (Judges 21:25). The second was found in Luke 7:47, "...her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but ...

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The Predetermined Plan

Word of the Day

What an amazing weekend as we celebrated the very intentional, planned, purposeful and even predestined life, death, and resurrection of our King, Jesus! Most people who follow Him don’t have much problem with the “predestined” will of God as it relates to the Cross; in fact, we truly find great comfort and joy in His saving grace represented at the Cross...

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Just Say The Word

Walk with Jesus

“…just say the word, and my servant will be healed.” Luke 7:7b Not most times but absolutely ever time I read this account of Jesus healing a centurion’s slave I feel like a second class Christian. This guy’s faith blows me away! I immediately identify with another guy who was also asking Jesus for a miracle; he wanted Jesus to heal his son ...

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Word of the Day: Mark 1:35, 10:43-45

Walk with Jesus

"In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there." Mark – Mark 1:35 "But it is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all.  For even the Son of Man did not come to ...

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Word of the Day: 1 Corinthians 9:19, 23

Walk with Jesus

"For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all,so that I may win more.""I do all things for the sake of the gospel…" Paul – 1 Corinthians 9:19, 23 In John White's book Magnificent Obsession he records part of an actual letter written by an American communist living in Mexico City. He's writing to break up with his fiancée for th...

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Word of the Day: 1 Corinthians 6:18-20

Word of the Day

"Flee immorality! Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price; therefore, glorify God in your body." Paul to the Church – 1 Corinthi...

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Word of the Day: 2 Timothy 3:12

Walk with Jesus

"And indeed, all who desire to live Godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." Paul to Timothy – 2 Timothy 3:12 Nobody in their right mind would choose to have their heart broken, their spirit crushed, or their bodies beaten…or would they?!?! So many suggest following Jesus is the beginning of a great, abundant life since now the King of all creation is our ...

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Word of the Day: Proverbs 16:33

Word of the Day

"The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD."Solomon - Proverbs 16:33 2012 looks like it's shaping up to be a really interesting year! Perhaps it's too early to be dogmatic but it seems the ingredients are coming together for this to be a year that'll be hard to forget. Consider some of our realities: we're still in the middle of all kinds of ec...

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Word of the Day: Romans 8:37-39

Walk with Jesus

"But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Paul – Romans 8:3...

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Word of the Day: 1 Samuel 3:10

Word of the Day

"Speak for your servant is listening" Samuel – 1 Samuel 3:10 A number of years ago I became mesmerized by something Jesus said in John 10:27 "My sheep hear My voice, I know them and they follow me." The simplicity of the statement captured my attention and I began to note the passages in Scripture that talk about God's voice and specifically us hearing His voice. C...

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Word of the Day: Proverbs 12:27b

Walk with Jesus

"…the precious possession of a man is diligence." Solomon – Proverbs 12:27b By the inspiration of God Himself, Solomon could not have said anything more profound, more timely, and more desperately needed in our culture today. In large measure men have stopped living like men as God intended us to be. Every time I read this verse I immediately think of my dad...

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Word of the Day: Judges 14:4

Word of the Day

"However, his father and mother did not know that it was of the Lord…" Judges 14:4 One of my favorite things about God is the magnificent reality that He creates, controls, and manages even the "it" of our lives. Sometimes that "it" is really good stuff, sometimes "it" is heartbreaking and buckles our knees. But that's exactly what I've learned and still learning ...

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Word of the Day: John 17:3

Walk with Jesus

"This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." Jesus – John 17:3 "In order to…what?" This is truly one of my favorite questions! A number of years ago, while I was working at Shea Homes I was strongly encouraged to ask myself this question continuously. I'm going here or I'm doing this or that "in orde...

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Word of the Day: Romans 4:17

Word of the Day

In my opinion, one of the biggest challenges we face to experiencing the life Jesus intended is our lack of belief. Generally, most sincere Jesus followers have such a hard time believing God for who He is and what He has said. We are so prone to see life from our experience, our perspective, our biases, our fears, and our desires. The biggest obstacle to really experienci...

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Word of the Day: Deuteronomy 30:19-20; Matthew 6:33; John 15:1-8

Walk with Jesus

19"I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, 20by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the Lord s...

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Word of the Day: Deuteronomy 30:19-20; Isaiah 55:8-9; Romans 11:33-36

Word of the Day

19"I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, 20by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the Lord s...

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Word of the Day: Deuteronomy 30:19-20; Matthew 22:39

Walk with Jesus

19"I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, 20by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the Lord s...

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Word of the Day: Deuteronomy 30:19-20

Word of the Day

19"I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, 20by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the Lord s...

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Word of the Day: Matthew 22:36-40

Walk with Jesus

The questions have already started and confusion has already been admitted…how can I choose life if God chose me for salvation before the foundation of the world? While I believe the Bible clearly teaches God chose us for salvation (John 15:16; Ephesians 1:3; 2 Thessalonians 2:13) I also believe that God holds us responsible for choosing to follow and obey Him every...

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Word of the Day: Deuteronomy 30:20

Walk with Jesus

Happy New Year! Well, it's here again, a new year, a new beginning, a new chance to finish previous year's projects, lose previous year's pounds, rekindle previous year's hopes. We all do it, it's part of who we are, we want a fresh start and a new beginning. Fortunately, God is a God of second chances and fresh starts. After 40 years of wandering in the wilderness God g...

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Word of the Day: Isaiah 55:9

Word of the Day

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higherthan your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:9 I don't know about you but sometimes God feels so distant, so far away, so not there. Circumstances can seem so insurmountable, so beyond human understanding. We emotionally translate that into "God doesn't care about me, He's abandoned me." F...

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Word of the Day: Psalm 50:21

Word of the Day

"you thought I was just like you." Psalm 50:21 Ever since we humans populated the earth in the sinful likeness of our 'grandfather' Adam we have shared a common ambition...control. We want control nearly at any cost. It may not feel like that, we may not even be conscious of it but it's there. Sometimes the desire to control actually looks noble, maybe even Godly as some ...

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Word of the Day: John 10:27c

Word of the Day

"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." John 10:27c Jesus makes a humanly wild statement: "they follow Me." Doesn't it feel that following Jesus is difficult and at times a real struggle? It seems as if much, if not most, of the time we're fighting to be good followers of Jesus! Why does He say so matter of fact "they follow Me"? If you stop and thi...

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Word of the Day: John 10:27b

Word of the Day

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me" John 10:27 July 6th: "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them," John 10:27b Jesus moves from the amazing reality that He gives us His life giving voice to a statement that is beyond human comprehension. The God of all eternity, the God who rules the nations, the very sovereign King of all kings knows us! H...

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Word of the Day: John 10:27a

Word of the Day

"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me" John 10:27 July 5th: "My sheep hear My voice," John 10:27aJesus makes a statement here that has riveted me for many years: "My sheep hear My voice..." He doesn't say "My sheep might hear my voice" or "My sheep can hear My voice" or "My sheep have My permission to hear My voice." Instead Jesus says, as a stateme...

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