Psalm 136:1, "O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever."

When traveling, it is good to have information about the place you are visiting; things like must see attractions, good local food, and clean places to stay are all valued knowledge, especially if the insight came from people who have already been there. One of the tools I use for this purpose is an app called Yelp. Basically, Yelp features businesses that provide a service, then collects reviews from people's experience and issues a rating based on a five-star system. For example, in Jackson, Mississippi, there is a restaurant called Table 100 which serves Southern American and French cuisine. When you look at their review, you will find that 162 people left a rating. Out of the dining experience of those 162 people, Table 100 earned an average score of four-and-a-half stars out of five. Based on these recommendations of others, Table 100 is now on my list of places to eat the next time I am in the area of Jackson, Mississippi. I want to experience it for myself.

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As September comes to a close, and we look back at the Missions Conference and reflect on what we heard and experienced, there are things we need to do going forward in our service for the Lord. Decisions were made about Faith Promise, about serving in certain areas, and about faithfulness. Many serve in the church; sometimes it may become common and not as exciting as it once was, but think about where you are serving and what it may accomplish for eternity! From the nursery to the auditorium class, we are all working toward the goal of getting people to Christ and growing closer to Him, while continuing to accomplish training. Consider these examples we are given:

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Psalm 18:30, "... the word of the LORD is tried: ..."

The questions are: Who has tried the Word of the Lord? Under what circumstances? What were the results?

We see God the Father trying His Word in creation. He tried it on the darkness and the darkness became light. He tried it on the firmament and it divided the waters. He tried it on the seas and dry land appeared. He tried it on the earth and it brought forth grass, herbs, and trees. He tried it in the skies and they were filled with the sun, the moon, and the stars. After six days of speaking to this situation, we read the results: "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. ..." (Genesis 1:31). God said it ... and it was so.

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Missions Conference at First Baptist Church begins in just a few days. Have you prepared, and are preparing, your heart and life for what God may want from you?

My devotional today comes from Hebrews, chapter 11 - the great Hall of Faith chapter. We know the necessity of faith - faith saves! "For by grace are ye saved through faith; ..." (Ephesians 2:8).

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There has been much conversation over past months, and even the last few years, about America's borders and American citizenship. One perspective is that America should be more receptive in accommodating citizens of other countries. In fact, some would state that they are for open borders and that America, the land of the free, should be open to all persons. A more conservative viewpoint might be that we have a more strict vetting system. Perhaps many in the conservative ranks would advocate walled borders. At a minimum, most conservatives would be united in their belief that anyone desiring American citizenship should be required to meet certain standards relative to the absence of criminal behavior, the learning of the English language, and the acquisition of basic facts about American history.

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