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John Shirk

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Compassion International reaches the one million mark

john : April 29, 2010 11:15 am : John Shirk

Last year, Compassion International went over the one million mark–one million children sponsored through their ministry. If you sponsor a child through a Compassion International, you are part of this exciting development: See the news link below for more details on how God is working through Compassion International to touch people’s lives with the Gospel.

http://www.mnnonline.org/article/14169

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Encounters with God-The Disciples

john : April 29, 2010 10:49 am : John Shirk

Our series of encounters with God continues today with a look at what can happen when we spend time with Jesus.

Do you remember what the disciples did when Jesus was arrested?  They scattered.  They were caught unprepared for Jesus’ capture.  We find them disoriented and frazzled.

In the book of Acts, post-resurrection of Jesus, post-Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon them in power, the disciples are standing up to the threat of man with courage.

When questioned about his faith, Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit, and spoke about the name of Jesus as the reason why he was able to perform a miraculous healing.  Peter said, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”  This he was saying, not to his church group, but to the people who had him jailed the night before.

Acts 4:13 says that “when they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”

What is necessary for being a bold witness for Jesus in the face of adversity?  Just like the disciples, we need to be with Jesus-to spend time with Him, learn from Him with teachable heart, lean on Him with a trusting heart, and love Him with an undivided heart.  With a holy fear of God, the fear of man will not inhibit our witness for Jesus.

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Encounters with God-Ezekiel

john : April 28, 2010 11:05 am : John Shirk

Encounters with God.  Today, we look at the calling of Ezekiel to be a prophet of the Lord.  He was not called to be a foreign missionary, like Jonah was.  Instead, he was called to minister to people who, in his day, spoke his language.  However, that does not mean his task would be easy.  When it came to the condition of the heart, the people were definitely not on the same page as the Lord.

In Ezekiel chapter 2, verse 3, the LORD said, “Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their fathers have been in revolt against me to this very day. The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn.  Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says.’ And whether they listen or fail to listen-for they are a rebellious house-they will know that a prophet has been among them.”

And then in verse 7, the LORD adds, “You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious.”

For Ezekiel, the issue was not whether or not the people would listen to him.  The issue was “what message did the LORD want to speak through Ezekiel?”  The success of Ezekiel’s mission did not depend on the response of the people.  The success of his mission depended on being faithful to the word of the LORD.  It takes courage, it takes humility, and it takes an obedient spirit to proclaim the Gospel today.
Many prophets and teachers have faced resistance before us.  Along with Ezekiel, there was Jeremiah, Moses, Stephen, the Apostle Paul, and the Lord Jesus Himself.  The call of Ezekiel reminds us of two key principles of sharing the Good News of Jesus.  “Do not go beyond what is written.” (I Corinthians 4:6) And “don’t hesitate to proclaim the whole will of God.” (Acts 20:27)

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Faith Comes By Hearing 10 New Languages

john : April 27, 2010 10:35 am : John Shirk

Colossians 1:6 says, “All over the world, this gospel is bearing fruit and growing….” Below is a news development highlighting how this is happening today.

Faith Comes By Hearing puts a voice to Scripture, producing audio Bibles for the poor and illiterate across the globe. Just last week, the ministry released 10 more Audio New Testaments, providing the opportunity for people to hear the Truth of the Gospel, some for the first time.

You can read more about this article at the link below:

http://www.mnnonline.org/article/14155

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Encounters with God: Joseph

john : April 27, 2010 9:39 am : John Shirk

Encounters with God. Sometimes, God plants a dream in our heart to set our life on course toward a given destiny.

This was literally true of Joseph, who had a dream of his brother’s sheaves in the field bowing down to his. When Joseph told the dream to his brothers, this stirred up some hatred. They said, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he said.

This ironically started Joseph’s path toward prominence, although considering the path he would take to get there, I doubt many of us would want to take. He was sold for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt. He made the best of his circumstances, serving his master well, winning his master’s respect and confidence. Then, he was falsely accused of wrongdoing, and his master put him in prison. Another setback. He interprets dreams while he was there. He won the confidence of the prison warden. More time goes by. And then comes the moment when Pharoah has two disturbing dreams, and Joseph is the only one who can interpret the dreams. At that moment, he is restored to a prominent place of service in Egypt, and when the drought comes, his brothers come for help from, of all people, Joseph. The Bible says that when Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground.

Only God could have orchestrated that. At an earlier age, Joseph may have let something like that go to his head, but he had been through the fire of adversity, and was humbled in the process. This refinement groomed him for greatness, and God was glorified through the life of Joseph. God knows how to fulfill dreams. Often, they are fulfilled differently than we imagine.

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Encounters with God-Moses

john : April 26, 2010 4:20 pm : John Shirk

Encounters with God. Moses heard his calling from the Lord at the burning bush. It was a significant task. Moses was told to go back to Pharoah to bring God’s people the Israelites out of Egypt. That is where they were in slavery. Pharoah was a powerful man. Imagine being told to confront the most powerful ruler in the world. He has alliances. He has weapons. He has ways to make your life miserable if he does not respond favorably to your confrontive words. And Moses thought of excuses why he should not go. God gave him one good reason to go. “I will be with you.” God calms our fears by assuring us of His presence. As Romans 8 says, “If God is for me, who can be against me.”

But still Moses is not convinced. Here are some excuses Moses uses to not go.

“Who am I?” Moses felt small compared to Pharoah’s stature.
“What if they don’t believe me or listen to me?” Moses wondered about his ability to persuade people he was doing this for God. He was looking for an explanation to take to the people.
“I have never been eloquent. I am slow of speech and tongue.” How will people view me seriously if I trip over my words. God said, “I will help you speak and teach you what to say.
“Lord, please send someone else to do it.” OK, so Moses has run out of excuses, and says, “Not really interested in the job. Thanks, but no thanks.”

Then, God offers help through his brother Aaron. If we ever felt unqualified to do something hard, we can probably relate to Moses’ response. But God reminds us of His sufficiency for the tasks He calls us to do. His grace is stronger than our weaknesses. His grace helps us to move forward with God’s plan.

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John Shirk

john : March 2, 2010 7:43 pm : John Shirk

Hi my name is John Shirk.  I have had the opportunity to be with WJTL almost from the beginning. I began part time work here in September 1984 as a college student.  Today, I serve as Program Director and host of the middays each weekday.  It is a privilege and joy to share music with you every day that ministers to my own life.

I invite you to check in with this blog and other staff blogs periodically.  On this blog, I plan to share devotional thoughts that I share with listeners every day. Also, from time to time, I would like to share thoughts about trends, happenings, and current events that leave an impact on me.

The general essense of my radio show is to share what it means to follow Jesus. I hope that this blog will be a tool to increase your confidence that Jesus is the Anointed One of God to be the Savior of the world.

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