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{HeartTouchers.com}   *He Chose the Nails* 

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If you enjoy this email service, I encourage
you to spread the word to family and friends that we
may bring inspiration the lives of many!  If you
are not on the list and this has been passed along
to you, join us by visiting:

http://www.HeartTouchers.com

Be sure to check out our inspirational list just for teenagers!

http://www.Heart4Teens.com

 
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Michael's updated book Heart Touchers "Life-Changing Stories of Faith, Love, and Laughter," is finally here! ($13.95)

Visit the link below to preview the book!  Personalized autographed copies are available at no extra charge and we pay the shipping for you!  An E-book version is also available for just $6.95!

http://www.hearttouchers.com/books

Be sure to let us know who you would like it autographed for and then allow about two weeks for us to sign it and send it on its way to you.Credit card, PayPal, Checks, and Money orders accepted! The book is also available through Amazon.com, Borders.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and Booklocker.com

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He Chose the Nails

by Max Lucado


The cross. Can you turn any direction without seeing one? Perched atop a chapel. Carved into a graveyard headstone. Engraved in a ring or suspended on a chain. The cross is the universal symbol of Christianity. An odd choice, don't you think? Strange that a tool of torture would come to embody a movement of hope.

Would you wear a tiny electric chair around your neck? Suspend a gold-plated hangman's noose on the wall? Would you print a picture of a firing squad on a business card? Yet we do so with the cross.

Why is the cross the symbol of our faith? To find the answer look no farther than the cross itself. Its design couldn't be simpler. One beam horizontal--the other vertical. One reaches out--like God's love. The other reaches up--as does God's holiness. One represents the width of His love; the other reflects the height of His holiness. The cross is the intersection. The cross is where God forgave His children without lowering His standards.

How could He do this? In a sentence: God put our sin on His Son and punished it there.

"God put on him the wrong who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God" (2 Corinthians 5:21 MSG).

Or as rendered elsewhere: "Christ never sinned! But God treated him as a sinner, so that Christ could make us acceptable to God" (CEV).

Envision the moment. God on His throne. You on the earth. And between you and God, suspended between you and heaven, is Christ on His cross. Your sins have been placed on Jesus. God, who punishes sin, releases His rightful wrath on your mistakes. Jesus receives the blow. Since Christ is between you and God, you don't. The sin is punished, but you are safe--safe in the shadow of the cross.

This is what God did, but why, why would He do it? Moral duty? Heavenly obligation? Paternal requirement? No. God is required to do nothing.

Besides, consider what He did. Just for you He gave His Son. His only Son. Would you do that? Would you offer the life of your child for someone else? I wouldn't. There are those for whom I would give my life. But ask me to make a list of those for whom I would kill my daughter? The sheet will be blank. I don't need a pencil. The list has no names.

But God's list contains the name of every person who ever lived. For this is the scope of His love. And this is the reason for the cross. He loves the world.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son" (John 3:16 NLT).

As boldly as the center beam proclaims God's holiness, the crossbeam declares His love. And, oh, how wide His love reaches.

Aren't you glad the verse does not read:

"For God so loved the rich..."?

Or, "For God so loved the famous..."?

Or, "For God so loved the thin..."?

It doesn't. Nor does it state, "For God so loved the Europeans or Africans..." "the sober or successful..." "the young or the old..."

No, when we read John 3:16, we simply (and happily) read, "For God so loved the world."

How wide is God's love? Wide enough for the whole world. Are you included in the world? Then you are included in God's love. God's love is just for you.

It's nice to be included. You aren't always. Universities exclude you if you aren't smart enough. Businesses exclude you if you aren't qualified enough, and, sadly, some churches exclude you if you aren't good enough.

But though they may exclude you, Christ includes you. When asked to describe the width of His love, He stretched one hand to the right and the other to the left and had them nailed in that position so you would know He died loving you.

But isn't there a limit? Surely there has to be an end to this love. You'd think so, wouldn't you? But David the adulterer never found it. Paul the murderer never found it. Peter the liar never found it. When it came to life, they hit bottom. But when it came to God's love, they never did.

They, like you, found their names on God's list of love.

Because God loves you, He has invited you to enjoy eternal life with Him in Heaven. Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6 NIV). Jesus made a way to accept God's invitation, and He did it just for you. Accept God's invitation by believing that Jesus received the punishment for your sin by His death on the cross. Confess that you've sinned and ask His forgiveness. Invite Him into your life and ask for God's help to turn from your sin. You can pray something like this:

Dear God, I admit that I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness. Thank You for sending Jesus to suffer the punishment deserved for my sin. Please come into my life and help me live a life that pleases You. Amen.


Excerpted from He Chose the Nails: What God Did to Win Your Heart by Max Lucado. 2000 Max Lucado. Used by permission of Word Publishing, Nashville, TN.

Max Lucado
ministry@maxlucado.com

Send Max an e-mail and let him know what you thought of his story!


With more than 28 million books in print, Max Lucado has touched millions with his signature storytelling writing style. Awards and accolades follow Max with each book he writes. Max is the first author to win the Gold Medallion Christian Book of the Year three times -- 1999 for Just Like Jesus, 1997 for In the Grip of Grace and 1995 for When God Whispers Your Name.

Max serves as the pulpit minister of the Oak Hills Church of Christ in San Antonio, Texas. But he says his greatest accomplishment is finding a one-in-a-million wife in Denalyn and having three unbelievable daughters: Jenna, Andrea, and Sara.

You can visit his web site at: http://www.maxlucado.com


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Thought For The Day:

"Those who do not plan for the future will have to live through it anyway." --Len Fisher


Verse for the Day:

"Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." --Psalm 90:12


Kid's Thought For The Day:

"Toads aren't ugly--they're just toads."


Parent's Thought For The Day

"Heredity is something a man believes in until his son begins acting like a delinquent."


Coach's Thought For The Day

"I never exaggerate, I just remember big." --Chi Chi Rodriguez, professional golfer


Writer's Thought For The Day:

"That's the trick to being a writer; every time you get rejected, you do a handspring up and land on your feet, amazing your opponent." --Rick Hautala


Deep Thought For The Day:

"I think NASCAR (Car racing) would be much more exciting if, like in a skating rink, every 15 minutes someone announced it was time to reverse direction."

 


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FROM THE E-MAIL BOX!

Feedback on last week's story: Ruby's Roses


Dear Donna --

Dang it, it's hard typing this with tears running down
my cheeks.

What a beautiful story -- and what a wonderful Mother
you have ~~ a truly remarkable and kind woman.  If
we had more people like her in the world, I know
without a doubt that it would be a much better place.

Your mother took the time to hear Ruby's story and,
because she did, everything became clear and
understandable.  She had the ability to empathize
with another's situation.

Had it not been your beautiful mother who was
Ruby's neighbor, the whole situation could have
escalated out of control and there could have been
bad blood between the two families for years
instead of a heartwarming friendship.

Oh, how much better this world would be if we
learned to listen, and speak, with our hearts.

Thank you for sharing your Mother with us.  What
a shining light and example to us all.

Sincerely,

Ann
LuckyIrisher@aol.com
 


Michael,
I just read Donna's story and I was moved.  How true all that is. 
What delights me is that she lives in my home town Milford, Michigan.
I grew up just outside the village and seeing the name perked up my Yankee
spirits as I was feeling rather alone here in the south (Georgia).
Please thank Donna for me
Coreen
Corkie213@aol.com

 


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Have you been to the HeartTouchers.com website lately?  If you like what you see and would like to have your own professional looking website, visit the link below.  Bizstudio has been a wonderful service for HeartTouchers.com and with 662,500 visitors and over 1,311,877 page views in the past three years, the website has been a tremendous tool in helping us to "Touch Lives, One Email at a Time." Although I had no prior experience building a website, I was able to create and build the HeartTouchers.com site easily utilizing Bizstudio's online editor.  It includes an Online Site Editor, Unlimited Updates, Unlimited Pages, Professional Themes, Pre-Programmed Features, E-mail Accounts, and free Search Engine Submission.  If I could do it with no prior experience you can too! Check it out at this link:

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Video Imagery --Michael's Video Production Business

Dear Michael,

I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for the beautiful video you made for me! It was so special to see both of my parents in tears as they watched their children grow up in pictures before their eyes! I loved the way you made Estania's part set aside from the rest--that was the part that really got them! The music was beautiful. My mom kept blubbering, "What song is that?" I don't know how you did such a beautiful job with the video in such a short time. I really appreciate your doing it so quickly. You have a wonderful gift, and I thank God that you are using it to create such sentimental memories. I hope that I can find my niche like that in an area that I love. Your video gave us one of our most lasting Christmas memories! I hope yours was filled with moments to be treasured forever!
Love,
Trisha
Silverhill, AL

Let me make you a video from your photos!
Check out my video production business
by visiting: http://www.hearttouchers.com/video_imagery

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Do you feel as if life has no meaning for you?
http://www.greatcom.org/english/four.htm

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Reading Books, Changing Lives!

For those of you who would like to purchase the books from the HeartTouchers.com bookstore via your credit card, you can now do so!

You can now order a number of different autographed best-selling inspirational books for the same price you would get them in the store, the shipping to you is paid for, and you are helping change the lives of teenagers and those they come in contact with!

http://www.HeartTouchers.com/books


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A number of people have written to us asking what an EBook is, since our book is being offered in both print and EBook versions.  An EBook is a book that can be downloaded and read right on your computer. The advantage of ordering the EBook is that is costs less, $6.95 (No other charges), as compared to $13.95 for the print book. Plus your EBook will arrive the same day you order it and you can begin reading the stories right away!

EBooks are read via Acrobat Reader, which is software that is already on your computer. So for those of you who don't want to wait for the print book to be delivered, check out this link to order the EBook version of Heart Touchers "Life-Changing Stories of Faith, Love, and Laughter."

http://www.hearttouchers.com/books

Transfer your photographs or old home movies over to DVD all set to music that makes your memories come alive! Give the gift that will touch your family's heart and soul.
Chimney Balloon Fireplace Damper

Do you have a drafty or stinky fireplace? A Chimney Balloon fireplace damper can stop the cold draft, bad smell and save you money on your heating bill.

 

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