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First15: What is worship?

First15 on January 2: What is worship? Scripture: "But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning." Psalm 59:16

Devotional: For the rest of this week we will break down the individual components of the First15 by sharing with you God's heart for each of them. The majority of the efforts of First15 will be spent in simply guiding you to God's heart and aspects of his character, but occasionally we will cover some teaching and tools to make receiving a revelation of God simpler and more satisfying. This week is one of those weeks where we will get back to the basics of Christianity and find God's heart for some simple tools he has given us to encounter him. Today we will cover the powerful tool of worship!

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First15: What does it mean to have time alone with God?

First15 on January 1: What does it mean to have Time Alone with God? Scripture: "You have said, 'Seek my face.' My heart says to you, 'Your face, Lord, do I seek.'" Psalm 27:8

Devotional: We all have a hunger to know why we're here. We all have a hunger to be loved and to have passion and purpose in life. We’re designed by God with a seemingly insatiable desire to be loved, passionate and purposeful. Maybe you've had a relationship with God for years. Maybe you’re still trying to figure out if God even exists or if you can know him if he does. Wherever you are in relation to God, know that he longs to satisfy those hungers you have. He knows everything about you, and he loves you more than you will ever know. He loves you so much that he has a perfect plan every day to transform your life into one filled with passion, filled with satisfaction and filled with the wonderful peace of his presence.

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15 minutes that can change your life

People cheer as the Times Square New Year's Eve ball is lit and raised (Credit: Ian Wallace) Tonight, a 1,200-pound ball clad in Waterford crystal with 30,000 watts of light-emitting diodes will descend in New York's Times Square at midnight Eastern time.  Its ancestor was a five-foot iron globe studded with 216 electric lamps that was commissioned by The New York Times in 1907 and fell from a 70-foot flagpole.

New Year's celebrations and resolutions began 4,000 years ago with the Babylonians.  They marked the new year by paying off debts and returning borrowed farm equipment.  If I borrowed your tractor, I promise to return it some time in 2014.

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My person of the year is . . .

Billy Graham at his final Crusade in New York City, 2005 (Credit: Russ Busby/BGEA) To no one's surprise, Pope Francis was TIME's Person of the Year for 2013.  The award honored the man who is spiritual leader to more than a billion Catholics.

While I have great respect for Francis, my "person of the year" is Billy Graham.  In his 95 years, Dr. Graham has preached the gospel to nearly 215 million people in more than 185 countries.  "My Hope With Billy Graham" came to America last month, combining primetime television broadcasts with in-home groups.  This strategy has now been used in 58 countries since 2002, leading more than 10 million people to Christ.

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The royal baby's first Christmas

Britain's Prince William carries his son Prince George as they arrive for his son's christening at Saint James's Palace in London on Oct 23, 2013 (Credit: Reuters/John Stillwell)The royal baby celebrated his first Christmas with his parents and the rest of the royal family.  Following tradition, his family exchanged presents on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day.  Then they changed into formal clothes for a black-tie dinner.  On Christmas Day, he attended church services with the entire family, followed by lunch and the Queen's annual televised address to the nation at 3 PM.  Quite a busy holiday for the little fellow.

His official title is His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge.  As impressive as that sounds, George has a ways to go to rival his grandfather.  The full name of Prince Charles of England is Charles Philip Arthur George of the House of Windsor.  His titles are: His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales; Knight of the Garter; Knight, Order of the Thistle; Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester; Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay; Earl of Carrick and Baron Renfrew; Lord of the Isles and Great Steward of Scotland; Personal Aide-de-Camp to the Queen; and Great Master of the Order of the Bath.  Try fitting that onto a business card.

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