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Pour Out Your Heart Before Him

December 11

"In God is my salvation and my glory,
the rock of my strength,
and my refuge is in God.
Trust in him at all times, you people,
God is a REFUGE for us."
Psalm 62:7-8

"...pour out your heart before him..."

Have you ever been so overwhelmed that you just don't know where to turn? In times like this go before the Lord, shut out the world, turn off your tv, turn off your cell phone, and break before the Lord. Pour your heart out to him.

There is no right or wrong way to do this, you won't say anything to him that will shock him. Be totally honest. Tell him the deep things in your heart, even things you think you shouldn't say before the Lord, get it all out. There is something SO cathartic, so cleansing, in pouring your heart out to him in wrenching prayer. You will find in him a Father very willing to listen. Truly he IS a refuge for us. TRULY he is!

Lord, Show Me Where I Am Deceived

December 10

"I will deliver you from the Jewish people,
as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you,
in order to turn them from darkness to light,
and from the power of Satan to God,
that they may receive forgiveness of sins
and an inheritance among those
who are sanctified by faith in me."
Acts 26:17-18

To open their eyes...

The characteristic of deception is that the person doesn't know he's deceived, he's sure he's right. I clearly remember the day my eyes were opened. I had no idea I was deceived. When the Lord opened my eyes that day, I was shocked. It was like the light suddenly went on and I saw it clearly and I was angry, angry that I had lived in deception for so many years. Though it staggered me for days, still I was thankful because the underlying foundation of my life is the desire to know the truth.

The born-again experience totally transforms a life, opening the eyes to the deception with which one had been deceived, bringing the heart out of darkness into light, transferring the person out of the kingdom of Satan into the Kingdom of God, granting forgiveness of sins and an inheritance to come.

Pray like this:
Father, we're born into a sinful world, to sinful parents, into a sinful society and we are deceived by all of these. The characteristic of one deceived is that he/she has no idea they are deceived. Lord, I pray that in any area in which I am deceived, I ask you to show me the truth. I want to know the truth Lord, even if it hurts - as discovering truth usually does. Help me to receive whatever you show to me. I ask for humility to admit I was wrong, for discovering we were wrong is a great offense to pride, and we are a prideful people. I ask for grace to fully embrace truth, no matter what, because there is nothing in life as important as knowing the truth.

If You're Not Eloquent

December 9

"Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria,
an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures,
came to Ephesus.
This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord,
and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately
the things of the Lord..."
Acts 18:24-25

" eloquent man ...fervent in Spirit..."

This man was gifted in eloquence and he spoke in public fervently. To some reading this, your response might be a shudder at even the thought of preaching the Gospel publicly. When you were in school, are you the one who buried your head whenever the teacher was looking for someone to stand and read?

The point is that to speak eloquently in public is a gift of God. Don't shudder when you read about it. Instead, look into yourself and determine what YOUR gift is, and then do it fervently unto the Lord, with all your heart.

You will never be judged for not having operated in someone else's gift. But it will be required of you whether you used YOUR gift to the fullest in the service of the One who gave it to you.

Think deeply about this and ask the Lord to show you exactly how you can use your gifting for Him.

We Sin Because It's Pleasurable

December 8

"The hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbor,
but through knowledge the righteous will be delivered."
Proverbs 11:9
Words are powerful things. Words spoken against a person may be taken to heart by someone listening, and the person you've spoken against might now be viewed by others through the lens of your hateful words. You can destroy someone by your words. But you don't stop to think of the hypocrisy from which you speak, because you have faults too. You may fancy yourself better than the other, but you're not - and that is demonstrated by your very act of speaking evil of your neighbor. Their sin is no worse than yours.

vs 13:
"A talebearer reveals secrets,
but he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter."

You may know a juicy bit of information about someone, and the temptation to tell it to others may be great. WHY is it that we get PLEASURE out of telling juicy bits of information in the first place?

Take a look at pleasure. Where does it come from? Sin always begins with the drawing to pleasure. Whatever sin you're bound in, you don't want to leave it because it gives you pleasure. Do you hate someone? Hatred is pleasure. How much time do you spend relishing evil thoughts about someone - because it gives you pleasure? Mulling something over in hatred gives you pleasure, but it's destroying YOU. All sin attaches itself to us through the DECEIT of pleasure.

"Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin;
and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death."
James 1:15

Don't be a tale bearer. Remember your own sin. And remember the warning:

"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked;
for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap."
Galatians 6:7

If you take pleasure in gossip, someone will take pleasure in gossiping about YOU. That is what is meant by "reaping." What you have done to others, will be done to you.

Care about the poor person about whom you know a juicy tidbit. They have feelings just as you do. Do a good turn for that person, find MERCY within yourself and conceal the matter. With such an attitude God will be very much pleased.

If You Miss It, The Loss Is Immeasurable

December 7

"Show me your ways, O Lord,
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation,
on you I wait all the day."
Psalm 25:4-5

The right way is not something the wisdom of man can determine. Man seeks to enlarge himself, he sets his path according to the way he thinks will bring him the most wealth, success, fame, power, pride. But this can be deadly because what seems right to a man, may actually be the way that will bring him to ruin.

"There is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way of death."
Proverbs 12:12

The Lord has a plan for each life, and it may be DIFFERENT from the plan the man has set up for himself.

I knew a man once, a coworker who was in an adulterous relationship. We were working in registrations at a large conference. One of the speakers at the conference was a powerful, world-known preacher of the Gospel. While we were working, the man of God sent for my friend. We looked at each other, wondering what this man of God, who did not know my friend, was going to say. So trembling, he went to hear what he would say to him. Awhile later he came back and I asked what the man of God said. And my friend said, "he told me that if I continue the way I'm going, I'm going to MISS what God planned for my life."

What a lesson! He had feared that the man of God was going to castigate him, but no, his message was far more effective. "You'll miss what God had planned for your life." These words reached my friend to the core, and he ended the affair immediately.

We are all sinners and sin brings destruction to our lives. But the greater consequence is missing the plan God had for one's life. If you miss that, the loss is incalculable.

Make this your daily prayer:

Show me YOUR ways oh Lord, teach me YOUR paths, lead me in the ways of truth, for you are the God of my salvation.

Whom Are You Listening To?

December 6

Your counselors will tell you that your goal is "self esteem." Your professors will tell you to question everything. The media will present you with whatever agenda they're fostering. The world will tell you that whatever feels good, do it.

But God tells you:

"The fear of the Lord is the BEGINNING of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding."
Proverbs 9:10

If the fear of the Lord is the BEGINNING of wisdom, then unbelievers have not even come close to it. They are devoid of it. Most of your professors, most of your counselors, most of the media, most of the world is going to offer you the wisdom of the world, which the Lord says is foolishness:

"For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God."
1 Corinthians 3:19

Bear in mind when you go to your advisers for counsel or advice, that if they are not believers they are offering you foolishness.

"Forsake foolishness and live;
and go in the way of understanding."
Proverbs 9:6

If you desire truth, if you desire wisdom that is sound, turn instead to the Word of God.

"Through your precepts I get understanding;
therefore I hate every false way.
YOUR WORD is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path."
Psalm 119:104-105

Sin Fascinates Then Assassinates

December 5

“Repent, and turn from all your transgressions,
so that iniquity will not be your ruin."
Ezekiel 18: 30

Yes, the endgame is your ruin. Sin is deceitful. Satan doesn't come announcing himself; no, he presents sin as something good, something to be desired. Sin fascinates -- and then ...assassinates.

"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked;
for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption,
but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life."
Galatians 6:7-8

There is nothing good in the future of someone practicing sin. Whatever he hoped to gain from it - all will be lost, and not only that, the man will reap what he sowed, and that reaping can be awful.

"But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin,
and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death."
James 1:14-15

The death of your dreams, the death of your health, the death of your
finances, the death of your relationships, sin only brings death and

Don't play with sin. It just isn't worth it.

Call A Spade A Spade

December 4

"Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit,
looked intently at him and said,
'O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil,
you enemy of all righteousness,
will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord?'"
Acts 13:9-10

Whoa! Hard words. "Son of the devil"?

Paul surely was not politically correct. He arrives in Pathos and is opposed by a false prophet who was a servant to the governor. Then Paul lets out this tirade against him, right in the presence of the governor. How unloving! How intolerant!

John the Baptist called both the Pharisees and Sadducees “a generation of vipers.”
Matt. 3:7

Whoa! Hard words. "A generation of vipers?"

Today, Paul and John would be accused of being intolerant right-wing fundamentalist haters, unloving, unkind, and most of all un-Christian. But WHO is the hater? His accusers are. They hate anyone who calls sin SIN.

The Word of God tells us that we MUST test all things.

“Test all things; hold fast what is good.
Abstain from every form of evil.”
1 Thessalonians. 5:21-22

We are not to judge. But we ARE to be fruit inspectors:

"Jesus also said, 'Ye shall know them by their fruits...”
Matthew 7:16

"Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season;
CORRECT, REBUKE, and encourage...
2 Timothy 4:2

Brothers and sisters, call a spade a spade and do not fear their retaliation. There is a fine line between judging and testing. We cannot take it upon ourselves to condemn someone, that's God's right and not ours. But in testing, we are not pronouncing sentence, we are exposing deception. That is not only our right, but our responsibility.

What Have You Deposited Into Your Heart?

December 3

"Therefore speak to them, and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God:
Everyone of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart,
and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity,
and then comes to the prophet, I the Lord will answer him who comes,
according to the multitude of his idols...'"
Ezekiel 14:4

Most of the passages in the Bible that deal with idolatry are speaking of images, objects, statues, etc, that people use or wear for protection or "good luck." But in this passage the Lord is speaking of idols that are in the HEART of a man.

What is idolatry of the heart?

It's anything that is in the heart that replaces God, or prevents the Spirit of the Lord working in the heart of a man. It's anything a man does that "causes him to stumble into iniquity."

What have you placed in your heart that causes you to sin? If you desire for God to be your God, then you must remove whatever causes you to stumble into sin. Get rid of it!

vs 6:
“Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God:
REPENT, turn away from your idols,
and turn your faces away from all your abominations.'"

If you refuse to, you're on your own.

HaveThe Same Attitude Whether Pleasant Or Unpleasant

December 2

“And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them nor be afraid of their words,
though briers and thorns are with you and you dwell among scorpions;
do not be afraid of their words or dismayed by their looks,
though they are a rebellious house.
You shall speak my words to them,
whether they hear or whether they refuse,
for they are rebellious."
Ezekiel 2:6-7

"But the house of Israel will not listen to you,
because they will not listen to me;"
Ezekiel 3:7

Most believers want with all their hearts to serve the Lord. Many desire the gifts of the Holy Spirit, gifts of healing, gifts of encouragement, the pleasant gifts.

But what if the Lord asked you to do something that will surely fail? What if the Lord sent you to deliver a message that you will be ostracized for, criticized for, laughed at for? The old-time prophets were often called upon to do exactly that.

The Lord must be Lord over every aspect of our lives, and over all that we do. If your heart is to truly serve him, then you must be willing to serve him in any way he chooses, whether it's pleasant or unpleasant, whether it brings you applause or scorn. If you truly want to serve him, you must serve him with a fully surrendered heart, willing to do anything he has you do, regardless of the reactions of those who see or hear you.

Pray like this:
Father, pride still occupies a part of my heart, and I confess this pride before you. Deliver me of it, I pray. Grant to me the humility to do anything you would have me do regardless of the reactions of man. Let me do those things with as great an enthusiasm as I would have for any pleasant work you might have me do, for I do it all for you.

How To Know The True Ministers Of God

December 1

“Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes,
love greetings in the marketplaces,
the best seats in the synagogues,
and the best places at feasts,
who devour widows’ houses,
and for a pretense make long prayers.
These will receive greater condemnation.”
Luke 20:46-47

There are some "wolves in sheep's clothing" whose message is all about themselves. They love the notoriety, they love to be honored. They make their living by "devouring widow's houses." How apt this is for today - as widows send their money to these big-name "tv evangelists" who live a lavish lifestyle and get around in private jets. They demand outrageous sums of money from any place they're invited to speak. And they use the holy Scriptures to back up their "it's all about you" message. These men and women are CORRUPT.

"For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.
Therefore it is no great thing if HIS MINISTERS
whose end will be according to their works."
2 Corinthians 11:14-15

Just be careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water. Some internationally-known Bible teachers and speakers are honest and true. How can you tell the difference? BY THEIR MESSAGE. The wolves in sheep's clothing will have a message of how to be  happy, how to improve yourself and your lifestyle. It will be all about positive speaking and success. The true ministers of Christ on the other hand, will preach the message of the Cross of Christ and the Word of God. It will be all about HIM and nothing about YOU, except how to pick up your cross daily and follow Christ.

"For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets,
and shall show great signs and wonders
TO DECEIVE, if possible, even the elect."
Matthew 24:24

"Therefore by their fruits you will know them."
Matthew 7:20

Be Broken -Not Ground To Powder

November 30

"The stone which the builders rejected
has become the chief cornerstone.
Whoever falls on that stone will be broken;
but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”
Luke 20:17-18

Jesus is the stone the builders rejected, he is the rock of our salvation. Whoever comes to him will be broken. Why? Because we were born in sin, to sinful parents, into a world of sin, and we are corrupt. When we surrender our lives to Christ he begins a work of transformation in us, and that is a very serious work. It will require breaking down walls and replacing the foundation. In this process we will be broken. Yes broken. But remade. He will take our shack and make it a palace fit for the King to dwell in.

Whoever rejects him or ignores him however, will be the one on which the rock will fall and he will be done in. He will be destroyed. Ground to powder, because they rejected the One who could remake their lives. They refused to surrender to him.

The choice is ours.

Pray this:
Father, my foundation is all cracked. And in fear of the truth I have put up walls between you and me. I truly am a shack, a poor sinner, and as time goes on things only get worse. I ask you to purchase my shack, my corrupt self, and transform me into a palace fit for your Holy Spirit to dwell in. I welcome you and I surrender all to you.

"Lord prepare me, to be a sanctuary,
pure and holy, tried and true
and with thanksgiving,
I'll be a living sanctuary, for you."

Life As Usual – Then Suddenly

November 29

“And as it was in the days of Noah,
so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man:
They ate, they drank, they married wives,
they were given in marriage,
until the day that Noah entered the ark,
and the flood came and destroyed them all.”
Luke 17:26-27

The coming judgment will happen very suddenly. Up till that day people will be carrying on as usual, then suddenly…

I’ve often wondered how Noah felt as he took many, many years to build the ark. Scripture tells us that Noah was “a preacher of righteousness.” But he preached and not a single one other than his family, listened to him. They thought he was crazy, deluded, as he built a huge boat in a place where it didn’t rain.

Even so, in our day the Lord has raised up many Noahs, men and women who know judgment is coming and who are “preachers of righteousness,” – but few are listening. They think the preachers of righteousness are deluded. They call them “doom and gloom” preachers. That’s what they would have called Noah. Yet those who know what the Scriptures say about “the last days” continue to try to reach sinners and bring them to repentance. Few are listening as the Noahs of this day speak, as they bid others to come into the ark of safety, but they won’t.

Won’t you come – those reading this who remain unsaved – there is judgment surely coming. Won’t you come into the safety of the ark and be saved? Won’t you come to repentance? Think on this:  your rebellion isn’t worth it.


November 28

"And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink,
nor have an anxious mind.
For all these things the nations of the world seek after,
and your Father knows that you need these things.
But seek the Kingdom of God,
and all these things shall be added to you."
Luke 12:29-31

The mindset of the world centers all around money. The mindset of the world revolves around the things one wants to have. The Lord isn't saying that we aren't to work in order to provide for ourselves and our families, what he's saying is that we aren't to have those as the priorities in our hearts. We're here on earth for such a short time and there is much to learn in that short time - why we're here, what life is all about, who God is and what his purpose is for us as individuals, etc. How can we grow in the knowledge of God if our hearts are dominated by the things of the world?

The Lord is saying here that we are not to be like the world, we are to be DIFFERENT from the world. He counsels us to spend our lives seeking the purposes of the Kingdom of God and for those of you who do that, all your needs will be "added to you."

It takes courage and a strong faith to register this in our hearts, because our hearts are always going to seek its desires, its lusts. Pray therefore on a daily basis, for wisdom and for the strength to embrace the Word God has provided for us. We need to get this right. One's whole eternity depends on it.

Why Are You Reluctant To Share About Christ?

November 27

"No one, when he has lit a lamp,
puts it in a secret place or under a basket,
but on a lampstand,
that those who come in may see the light."
Luke 11:33

If you are born again, you are in the vast minority among men. Jesus said that the way is narrow and only the few find it. (Matt 7:13-14) So you are carrying around the most precious gift known to man. Don't hide this precious gift. Don't put it in a secret place. Speak it loud and clear so that others might see it and be saved.

"Therefore whoever confesses me before men,
him I will also confess before my Father who is in heaven.
But whoever denies me before men,
him I will also deny before my Father who is in heaven."
Mark 10:32-33

If you're so timid that you would hide the knowledge of God before men, you run the risk of Jesus denying you before the Father. Are you embarrassed to speak of Jesus? Why would you be embarrassed? The way of salvation has been revealed to you and you have experienced many times the wonderful ways in which the Lord has been real to you, bringing healing, deliverance, encouragement, guidance, and so much more. Don't be afraid to testify of the wonderful things God has done in your life. Your testimony might mean the difference between heaven and hell for someone.

This doesn't mean you go into a public place and preach the Gospel. It means that when the Spirit of God opens up to you an opportunity to speak to someone about the Lord, you don't remain silent because you're embarrassed (ashamed) to speak of him. You speak. Your testimony, when prompted by the Holy Spirit, actually CAN be the difference between heaven and hell for that person. Don't be ashamed to share it.

He Walks With Each One Personally

November 26

“If you then, being evil,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your heavenly Father
give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
Luke 11:13

The presence and power of the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential for the believer. As Jesus was to his disciples, so the Holy Spirit is now to each believer. He walks with each one personally, just as truly as Jesus personally walked with his disciples; he is that close and that intimate with us. He leads the believer in the will of God, he speaks to the believer, counsels the believer, teaches the believer, reveals truth to the believer, comforts and encourages the believer, and convicts of sin when needed, providing help and strength to lead him in repentance.

“But the helper, the Holy Spirit,
whom the Father will send in my name,
he will teach you all things,
and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you."
John 14:26

How does one receive the Holy Spirit? The passage above in Luke tells us that we are to ASK the Father to receive the Holy Spirit. If you have never asked, ask now. He will be with you constantly and will be your help, your comforter, and your counselor in all the circumstances of your life.

It Has To Come By Revelation

November 25

Who do men say that I am?

"When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi,
he asked his disciples, saying,
'Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?'
So they said, 'Some say John the Baptist,
some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.'
He said to them, 'But who do YOU say that I am?'
Simon Peter answered and said,
'You are the Christ (Messiah), the Son of the living God.'
Jesus answered and said to him,
'Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah,
for flesh and blood has not REVEALED this to you,
but my Father who is in heaven.
And I also say to you that you are Peter,
and on this rock I will build my church,
and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.'"
Matthew 16:13-17

Upon what rock?

Some say that Jesus built his church upon Peter. But think about it, does that even make sense? Would Jesus build his church upon a man? Of course not. Scripture tells us that JESUS is the foundation, the chief cornerstone.

"For NO OTHER foundation can anyone lay
than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ."
1 Corinthians 3:11

It's vitally important to understand this. Jesus built his church upon the REVELATION that he is the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God.

The entire Bible is the story of man's fall, man's inborn sin nature, and the provision God made for man's salvation through Jesus Christ who became the atonement for our sin. That is the Gospel, that is the whole story. It's all about Jesus Christ; it's all about the atonement he accomplished to save us.

You can know all about Jesus, but not know him. Many read the Bible but never understand it. To be able to read the Bible and receive God's Word from it, one must be born again. When one is born again, the Spirit of God speaks to that person through the Word of God, and continuously reveals more and more throughout the person's life, and that's why the person is in love with the Word of God. It's new every morning. It is alive to that person.

If you are not born again, ASK the Lord to REVEAL himself to you. ASK him to bring you into his salvation. ASK for the born-again transformation, and he will give you a whole new life.

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit
to those who ASK Him!”
Luke 11:13

More about the born-again experience:
To Be Born Again

Your Treasure Here Will Determine Your Future There

November 24

“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart
brings forth good;
and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart
brings forth evil,
for out of the abundance of the heart
his mouth speaks."
Luke 6:45

Out of the abundance of the heart....

What is in your heart is what you've put there.

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Luke 12:34

What is your treasure? What is your heart set on? We all have unique personalities, unique gifts and callings. If the desire of your heart is to serve the Lord with all he's given you, then the passion in your heart will fill your heart with everything having to do with your gifts and talents in serving him. It's what you'll be interested in reading, what you'll be interested in listening to. Your heart will surround you with things that foster growth in your gifts and callings.

But the opposite could be true. If your interests are in things that are worldly, then that's what you'll fill your heart with and your heart will be worldly. If your interests are sinful, you will fill your heart with sinful things and your heart will be sinful.

It's all about the CHOICES we make. It's all about what we PUT into our heart.

Where is your treasure? What is the abundance of your heart?

Your life on this earth is, on a yardstick, 1/16 of an inch. The rest you will spend in eternity. Use your time here wisely. It will determine the quality of your eternity.

They Asked Him To Leave

November 23

"And when he stepped out on the land,
there met him a certain man from the city
who had demons for a long time."
Luke 8:27

Jesus commanded the demons to leave the man, and the demons begged him to allow them to go into a herd of animals nearby. He allowed them, and the herd ran violently down a steep place and into the sea. This was an astonishing demonstration of the power of God and many witnessed it and went and told all in the surrounding region. Then people from all around came to see this Jesus.

vs 35:
"Then they went out to see what had happened, and came to Jesus,
and found the man from whom the demons had departed,
sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind."

You'd think the people who witnessed this would fall at his feet and desire to walk with him as his disciples did. But no:

vs 37:
"Then the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the Gadarenes
for they were seized with great fear.
And he got into the boat and returned."

They asked him to LEAVE ...!!!

Many people just want the status quo. Their lives are set up, they go to work, come home and watch tv. On weekends they do the things they like to do. And they like it that way. So when anything out of the ordinary happens, they just don't want to go there.

Yes, it takes courage to walk with the Master. The unexpected happens. He takes you beyond your comfort level. But - it's an adventure, and it always works things out for the good.

If you were called to a high position in Washington, no qualifications necessary, on-the-job training, huge benefits, and you received a personal invitation - most would jump at the chance. But we're talking about something far greater than that. The Creator of the universe calls people into a personal relationship with himself. Anyone can come, on-the-job training, huge benefits - and YOU have a personal invitation.

Don't ask Him to leave!