Mountain View Independent Methodist Church
Friday, November 17, 2017
God is good ALL the time... and ALL the time, God is good!!

Year 2015 - April thru June

 
 
 
 
 +++ The Christian Banner - June 2015 +++
  
Congratulations to our elected 2015 Father of the Year!
Ottis  Pierce
 
I, Pat Lewallen, am honored to dedicate this June 2015 issue of The Christian Banner in loving memory of Lela Mae Farlow Trotter, my dear Christian friend for many years. She passed away on Thursday, May 21, 2015, at 69 years of age. Lela Mae was so faithful in contributing articles for The Christian Banner. Lela Mae’s health prevented her from attending Mountain View Independent Methodist Church in the last few years. I know she loved Jesus with all her heart. The church paper became a ministry to Lela Mae. It allowed her a way to still witness and share with others the story of God’s love and mercy in her life.
  

I’ll never forget the laughter Lela Mae and I would share when she reminded me of a story about my son Mark. It was many years ago and Mark was a student in her Sunday school class. Lela Mae was teaching the children about King Jehoshaphat (pronounced “Ja-hose-a-fat”.) As soon as Lela Mae pronounced the king’s name, Mark just broke out and laughed and laughed and laughed. He’d never heard that name before and it must have touched his funny bone. Lela Mae broke out in laughter too. She always laughed every time she shared the story of Mark and King Jehoshaphat with me.  

I’ll always cherish my memories of Lela Mae and her unending love and faithfulness to Jesus. I can rejoice in knowing that we’ll meet again in Heaven one day! I want to share with you now the following article written by Lela Mae and published in the January 1978 Christian Banner.

New Year Thoughts

Article Written by: Lela Mae Farlow (now Lela Mae Farlow Trotter)
The Christian Banner – January 1978

I thank God for His many blessings to me this past year. I’m looking to this New Year because it is my desire to serve Him more fully.
 

I would like to take this opportunity to say to our many readers that I wish for each of you a wonderful year in Jesus Christ. To my friends that read this article, so many of you that I haven’t seen in a long time, I want to tell you that you’re in my prayers and thoughts. I love you all. To my church family, my prayer is that all of you will be drawn closer to God this year, and that by doing so, many more lives will be won for Christ. To my wonderful family for which I am so thankful, I desire for each of you a closer walk with God and that you’ll receive the best that He has to offer. 

To you, dear precious sinner, my desire is that you’ll accept Christ and make this year the happiest year of your life.

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I'll meet you in the morning with a "How do you do?"
And we'll sit down by the river, and with rapture, old acquaintance renew.
You'll know me in the morning by the smile that I wear.
When I meet you in the morning in that city that is built foursquare.
 

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God’s Name Must Be Honored

Written and submitted by: Richard Lewallen 

Exodus 20:7 (KJV): Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

According to the scripture, it’s against God’s law to take His name in vain. It is the third commandment. God demands that His name be kept holy. It’s the name that every knee shall bow to and every tongue shall confess to. Anything that trivializes His name is to take His name in vain. That’s the reason I believe the scripture says “let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay;” James 5:12 (KJV).
 

To take the Lord’s name in vain is to identify with the same crowd that stood before Pilate and said. “Let Him be crucified.” Jesus prayed before He was crucified, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do” Luke 23:24 (KJV). I believe in the same way that those who can stoop so low as to curse their own Creator don’t know what they’re doing either. 

If you are reading this article and you have a bad habit of taking the Lord’s name in vain, the Lord still loves you. He is still reaching out to you. God’s love message goes out to both those that praise His name and also to those that curse His name. It’s found in John 3:16 KJV: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

We have a little motto here at Mountain View Church that we like to repeat a lot. “God is good all the time, and all the time God is good! I just can’t see why anyone in their right mind would want to curse the name of God.
 

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Statistics indicate that out of approximately 142,000 people in Randolph County, NC that around 18,000 attend church regularly. That’s only 7.89% of the Randolph County population. This is hard to believe because we were considered in the Bible belt of America at one time. It’s a terribly sad and discouraging statistic indeed.

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What a record! An Illinois couple recently celebrated the birth of their 100th grandchild. Leo and Ruth Zanger of Quincy have 53 grandchildren, 46 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. The birth of great-grandson Jaxton Leo on April 8 brought the number to 100.
 

Leo Zanger told The Quincy Herald-Whig that “the good Lord has just kept sending them.” He says his family “could start our own town.” Ruth Zanger says “there’s always room for one more.”

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Faith itself cannot be strong where humility is weak. ~ C. H. Spurgeon 

Gather the riches of God’s promises which can strengthen you in the time when there will be no freedom. ~ Corrie ten Boom 

Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion - it is a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ. ~ Billy Graham

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A father was at the beach with his children when the four-year-old son ran up to him, grabbed his hand, and led him to the shore, where a seagull lay dead in the sand. "Daddy, what happened to him?" the son asked.

"He died and went to Heaven," the dad replied.


The boy thought a moment and then said, "Did God throw him back down?"

 
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My Answer

Written by: Rev. Billy Graham
Copied Article

Question:

How will the world come to an end, according to the Bible? I worry about things like nuclear war, asteroids crashing into the earth, and things like that. Is this the way the world will end? 

Answer:

The Bible doesn't say exactly how the world will come to an end, but it does stress that someday this will happen, and when it does, the destruction will be total and absolute. The Bible says, "That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat" (2 Peter 3:12).  

But the Bible says two other things that are equally important. It tells us that this will happen only at God's command, and in God's time. Wars may rage; power-hungry despots may terrorize; accidents and natural disasters may destroy, but the future is in God's hands, and He alone will bring an end to the world.  

Second, the Bible tells us that the end of the world will not be the end. God will create a new world, one that's perfect and free from sin, sickness, death and fear. "In keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells" (2 Peter 3:13). All this is possible because of Christ's victory over death and hell.  

Don't live in constant fear of the future. Instead, by faith put your life and your future into Christ's hands. He alone is our hope, and He alone is our security. The Bible says, "Neither the present nor the future ... will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39). 

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Saints and Sinners
~ Author Unknown
Copied by: Alice Harrelson (deceased)
Submitted by: Clarence Harrelson
 

When some fellow yields to temptation
And breaks a conventional law,
We look for no good in his makeup,
But oh! how we look for the flaws!
No one asks “Who did the tempting?”
Nor allows for the battles he’s fought;
His name becomes food for the jackals,
The saints who have never been caught.
 

I’m a sinner, O Lord, and I know it.
I am weak, and I blunder and fail.
I am tossed on life’s stormy ocean
Like a ship that is caught in a gale.
I am willing to trust in Thy mercy,
To keep the commandments Thou’st taught,
But deliver me, Lord, from the judgement
Of saints who have never been caught!
 

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Did you know that Christians are the world’s most persecuted religious group, according to Pew Research’s 2015 report on religious restrictions and hostilities worldwide. Christians are harassed by government or social groups in the largest number of countries – 102 out of 198 countries studied. Muslims come in second, being harassed in 99 countries. Harassment of Jews was seen in 77 countries, which is a seven-year high for that religion.

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Freedom Project

Written & Submitted by: Pat Lewallen 

I recently saw an online video that really touched my heart. The video was made Tuesday May 6th, 2014. It documented a day in the life of nine male beagles. Each one of them had lived all their life in a cage. They had been used for years at a Nevada area lab for laboratory and product testing. Each of the dogs had been identified only by a federal ID number tattooed in their ear. On this special day, members of the Beagle Freedom Project put a collar around each dog’s neck with a name tag attached with their new name on it. These dogs had never been loved by anyone. They had never even set foot on grass nor had they been allowed to run and play outside. This was also their first time seeing the light of day. There was much concern as to how the nine beagles would react to their sudden freedom and to each other.

The video showed the dogs afraid to even venture out on the grass. Once they make their move and start walking, they are soon shown running on the grass with their noses to the ground and their tails no longer drooped but raised high. They soon start jumping and playing with each other. They were so excited with their new found freedom. I was thrilled to see the dogs so happy that day too.

Here’s the link to view the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qt42JMxBMw 

This video reminded me of my life in sin. I knew I wanted a different life but I was afraid I couldn’t live a Christian life. I was right - I couldn’t live it by myself until I became part of God’s Freedom Project. Somebody was praying for me and conviction power got a hold of me and wouldn’t let go. The things of this world brought me little enjoyment. I finally got the courage to venture out and ask Jesus to come into my life. He forgave me, saved me and set my soul free. If the Lord is dealing with your heart today, simply step out in faith and ask Jesus into your heart and life. You can become part of God’s Freedom Project too. I promise you’ll never have to feel alone and unloved again! 

Psalms 23 KJV: 1. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 4. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

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Who Does Christian Media Reach?
afaJournal, May 2015 issue
Copied article
 

A study produced by LifeWay Research and National Religious Broadcasters found that many Christians tune into Christian media, but when it comes to those outside the church, few people choose Christian media. 

Over two-thirds of evangelicals, more than half of weekly church attenders, and about half of African Americans frequently listen to Christian radio or watch Christian television. However, 72% of Americans rarely or never listen to Christian radio, 67% rarely or never watch Christian TV, and 65% rarely or never read Christian books. 

Christian movies and Internet resources fare somewhat better when it comes to unchurched audiences. Four in ten Americans have seen a Christian movie in the past year. And while only 25% say they watch or listen to online Christian programming every week, adding in the numbers of those who also go online (but less frequently), gives a total audience of over 60 million per week. 

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Deuteronomy 31:6 KJV: Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

 
 
 
+++ The Christian Banner - May 2015 +++
 
  
We had a tie in the voting for our 2015 Mother of the Year...
Congratulations to both our honored winners:
Carol Pierce
Faye Byrd
 
A Mission of Love
Written and Submitted by: Richard Lewallen
 
John 15:13 (KJV): Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
 
Jesus was on a mission; it was a mission of love. He came to meet the requirements of a Holy God. All the sacrifices offered down through the past ages had not met the requirements of God. They had only served as temporary sacrifices while pointing toward the Perfect Sacrifice that was to come. Jesus stood before the people and told them that the hour had come that all the lesser sacrifices had been pointing to. It was the hour our wonderful Lord and Savior Jesus Christ would willingly shed His blood for the sins of the whole world.
 
It is so sad that we live in a world of, you might say, “dumb sheep”, that do not know what Jesus has done for them. From the time of Pontius Pilate until today, the age old question still looms, “What will you do with this man called Jesus?” Stop and think about what Jesus has done for us. Jesus willingly bled, suffered gruesome pain and humiliating shame as He died for our sins.
 
What should our response be? The response of each one of us should be to fall on our face before Him. But the sad truth is that we live in a world that doesn’t understand the mighty love of God! Jesus gave us a graphic picture of this mighty love when He shed His blood and died upon an old rugged cross for the sins of the world so we could obtain lasting forgiveness of our sins.
 
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Happily Incompatible!
Written by: Rev. Billy Graham
Copied Article
 
Marriage is God’s invention, not ours! Society didn’t establish it; God did.
 
Ruth and I didn’t have a perfect marriage, but we had a great one. In a perfect marriage, everything is always the finest and best imaginable; like a Greek statue, the proportions are exact and the finish is unblemished. Who knows any human beings like that? The unblemished ideal exists only in “happily ever after” fairy tales. I think that there is some merit to a description I once read of a married couple as “happily incompatible.” Ruth liked to say, “If two people agree on everything, one of them is unnecessary.”
 
The most important truth we need to know about marriage is that God gave it to us. True love is an act of the will – a conscious decision to do what is best for the other person instead of ourselves. That is why marriage involves commitment, the commitment of a man and a woman to each other for as long as they both shall live. Do you want to know what love is? Look at Jesus Christ. He put us first instead of Himself – and that’s what true love does.
 
Philippians 2:3 (NKJV): Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
 
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                                                                              M-O-T-H-E-R
                                                          “M” is for the million things she gave me,
                                                          “O” means only that she’s growing old,
                                                          “T” is for the tears she shed to save me,
                                                          “H” is for her heart of purest gold;
                                                          “E” is for her eyes, with love-light shining,
                                                          “R” means right, and right she’ll always be,
                                                           Put them all together, they spell “MOTHER,”
                                                           A word that means the world to me.

Mother’s Day is May 10, 2015. Be sure to remember your Mother on her special day! And if she is still living, be sure to express your love and appreciation to her!
 
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Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their heart forever. ~ Anonymous
 
I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life. ~ Abraham Lincoln
 
No one in the world can take the place of your mother. Right or wrong, from her viewpoint you are always right. She may scold you for little things, but never for the big ones. ~ Harry Truman

Only God Himself fully appreciates the influence of a Christian mother in the molding of character in her children. ~ Billy Graham
 
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Are
Are all the Children In?
Copied & submitted by: Lela Trotter (deceased)
In Memory of my Mother: Edna Callicutt Farlow
 
I think as the night draws nigh
Of an old house on the hill,
Of a yard all wide and blossom-starred
Where the children played at will.
And when the night at last came down,
Hushing the merry din,
Mother would look around and ask,
"Are all the children in?"
 
'Tis many and many a year since then.
And the old house on the hill
No longer echoes to childish feet,
And the yard is still, so still.
But I see it all, as the shadows creep,
And though many the years have been
Since then, I can hear mother ask,
"Are all the children in?"
 
I wonder if when the shadows fall
On the last short, earthly day,
When we say good-bye to the world outside,
All tired with our childish play.
When we step over to Jesus' Land
Where mother so long has been,
Will we hear her ask, just as of old,
"Are all the children in?"
 
~ Author Unknown ~
 
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This poem was handed to me by Clarence Harrelson in loving memory of his wife, Alice Harrelson. Clarence found this poem that Alice had kept since 1980. He wanted to share it with the Christian Banner readers. Clarence pointed out the note Alice had written on the back of the poem: “given to me by a dear friend Sarah Shaw 2-4-1980.”
 
Alice was a faithful member of Mountain View Church. She departed earth for her heavenly home on 11/26/2013. I’ll never forget Alice praying with us in the in the Ladies Prayer Room on Sunday mornings. She was faithful to stand up in church and give her testimony of her great love for Jesus. She always told of her great love for her Mountain View Church family too.
 
It is with great honor that I share this poem in loving memory of my dear friend, Alice Harrelson. I’m looking forward to meeting Alice again in Heaven. What a day of rejoicing that will be!
 
~ Pat Lewallen 4/16/2015
 
The Cross in My Pocket
Written by: Verna Thomas McGehee
Submitted by: Clarence Harrelson
 
I carry a cross in my pocket
A simple reminder to me
Of the fact that I am a Christian
No matter where I may be.
 
This little cross is not magic
Nor is it a good luck charm
It isn't meant to protect me
From every physical harm.
 
It's not for identification
For all the world to see
It’s simply an understanding
Between my Savior and me.
 
When I put my hand in my pocket
To bring out a coin or a key
The cross is there to remind me
Of the price He paid for me.
 
It reminds me too, to be thankful
For my blessings day by day
And to strive to serve Him better
In all that I do and say.
 
It’s also a daily reminder
Of the peace and comfort I share
With all who know my Master
And give themselves to His care.
 
So, I carry a cross in my pocket
Reminding no one but me
That Jesus Christ is Lord of my life
If only I'll let Him be.

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Friends are the flowers in the garden of life. ~Author Unknown
 
A true friend reaches for your hand and touches your heart. ~Attributed to Heather Pryor
 
There are big ships and small ships. But the best ship of all is friendship. ~Author Unknown
 
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Flight 961
Written by Dr. John Barnett, 03/20/2012
Copied Article
 
It was a typical flight, one that occurs thousands of times every day around the world. Ethiopian Air Flight 961 took off 11/23/1996 from Addis Ababa. Onboard were 163 passengers and 12 crew members. Among those flying that Saturday were Mr. and Mrs. Andy Meakins. Andy was an elder at the International Evangelical Church of Addis. That large Bible believing church was pastored by a dear friend of mine up until last year. In less than two hours more than 120 people died, including five from Andy’s church. Andy never survived the crash.
 
Somewhere near Kenya the hijack began. An unidentified number of men declared themselves as escaped convicts taking the flight to Australia. Then things turned horrible. Brandishing an ax and a supposed bomb they stormed the flight deck. After savagely beating the copilot and throwing him down, they proceeded to order the plane to turn eastward. In spite of the nearly empty fuel tank they forced the pilot to continue.
 
With dangerously low supplies the pilot tried to plead for a refueling stop to no avail. After trying to hug the coast, the hijackers threatened to blow up the plane and so the pilot tried to make it to the Indian Ocean Island of Comoros. When it became evident they would not make it, Captain Leul Abate announced to the cabin passengers, “Listen, guys, we’re all dead people, there is no argument now.” “People began to scream” one witness said, “Others began to pray.”
 
The crash is now well known as the film of a Japanese honeymooning couple caught the descent, dip of a wing, the flip the crash and the disintegration of the 767 over the water. What they never said on the news was contained in a fax to us. It was the inside the cabin account of Andy Meakins’ wife who did survive the crash. This is what she told her church . . .
 
“As soon as the captain told us we were going to crash I heard the distinct snap of my husband’s seat belt. He was up and out of his chair. Going down the aisle row by row he earnestly shared the gospel of Christ with any who would listen. Before the sickening screech of twisting metal and the 110 mph crash of our plane into the water Andy had signaled me that 20 passengers had trusted in Jesus for their salvation. Andy never made it back to the safety of his seat belt. But, he took twenty souls with him to Paradise.”
 
You see there was a safe spot in that plane. A shelter where no twisted wreckage could permanently harm. A haven that no crushing impact could erase. Andy knew and shared the Divine Directions. “God’s directions are the only way to make it to happiness now and forever!!” He knew how to escape the plane before it was too late for eternity. Do you know those directions? Are you following them? Are you sharing them with those who God has placed around you?
 
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A man stopped at a flower shop to order some flowers to be wired to his mother who lived two hundred miles away. As he got out of his car he noticed a young girl sitting on the curb sobbing.
 
He asked her what was wrong and she replied, "I wanted to buy a red rose for my mother.
 
But I only have seventy-five cents, and a rose costs two dollars."
 
The man smiled and said, "Come on in with me. I'll buy you a rose."
 
He bought the little girl her rose and ordered his own mother's flowers.
 
As they were leaving he offered the girl a ride home.
 
She said, "Yes, please! You can take me to my mother."
 
She directed him to a cemetery, where she placed the rose on a freshly dug grave.
 
The man returned to the flower shop, canceled the wire order, picked up a bouquet and drove the two hundred miles to his mother's house.
 
 
 
+++ The Christian Banner - April 2015 +++
 
 
 

The Burden of Anxiety
Written by: Rev. Billy Graham
Copied Article

The Bible indicates that the Christian life is a life of conflict and warfare. God has never promised to remove our difficulties. But God has promised, in the midst of trouble and conflict, a genuine peace – a sense of assurance and security that the worldly person never knows. Turn your eyes on Christ; worship Him. He will never fall or fail. In the Sermon on the Mount, He said

“Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. … But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:25, 99, ESV).

We have anxiety when we try to carry life’s burdens alone. Put the whole weight of your burdens on Jesus Christ, who died for you. Stop seeking trivial, transient things. Get your eyes off yourself; focus them upon God first, and then others. Self-centeredness is a terrible breeder of anxiety. Spend much time in prayer, and let a large portion of the time be spent in praying for others. Be that kind of follower of Christ!

…Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7, ESV)

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Luke, age 6, when asked, "What does Easter mean to you?" responded with the following: 

“What we celebrate on Easter Sunday, is that Jesus rose from the dead. You see, Jesus died on the cross and then 3 days later He rose from the dead. It was God's plan so our sins would be forgiven. In the olden days (Old Testament) they would sacrifice animals so their sins would be forgiven. Jesus is the perfect sacrifice for our sins to be forgiven. And He only died once. There were 2 men who also were crucified with Him, but they were criminals. They did bad things to get punished and crucified. Jesus never did anything wrong. He was perfect. Then 40 days later He ascended into heaven. One day I will see Jesus in heaven and we will have a big new house. Oh, and I really do like all the candy… is that ok?”

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A couple of weeks after hearing a sermon on Psalms 51:2-4 and Psalms 52:3-4 (lies and deceit), a man wrote the following letter to the IRS:

I have been unable to sleep, knowing that I have cheated on my income tax. I understated my taxable income, and have enclosed a check for $150.00.

Sincerely,
Taxpayer

P. S. If I still can't sleep, I will send the rest.

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May I?
Written & Submitted by: Irene Wright

May I call on Your precious name?

And may I not bring You shame

May I see the beauty in the world Thy hands hath made

And may I find happiness in life, for life too one day shall fade

May I hear Your words of wisdom throughout the years?

And may I know that You will always be near

May I let my heart love?

And may I let that love take flight on the wings of a dove

May I hold Your hand when I walk down a rocky road?

And may I know that You will carry my heavy load

May I ask You why?

And may I be allowed even to cry!

May I raise my voice in song?

And may I know it is You to whom I belong!

May I know You will answer my prayers?

And may I know that You even care

May I know all of these things and more?

And may I know it is me You gave your life for

May I feel Your love day after day?

And Your answer to me is, “Yes, you may!”

 
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His Eye is on the Sparrow
Written and submitted by: Lela Trotter
 

“His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me” has always been one of my favorite songs. It is so true too.

A few months ago I had to have surgery on both my eyes. I had two problems. I had a growth under one eye that had been there for several years and seemed to be growing. I didn’t want to go to a doctor because it was so close to my eye. So when I had my eye surgery I asked the doctor if he would take the growth off. He agreed and removed the growth under my eye too.

I really didn’t think much about it. On my last visit the doctor told me that the growth was skin cancer. I then remembered when I was growing up that I knew an old lady whose nose was almost gone because of cancer. My doctor sent me to a cancer doctor who told me it looked okay. He told me to watch it and to see him again in six months. He told me it would probably come back.

After I had my surgery on one eye, I had to wait for the second surgery. I still wore my glasses. I wouldn’t have to wear glasses after my second surgery was completed. I just couldn’t get used to not wearing glasses. I’ve worn glasses since I was a child. I had a very difficult time trying to go without glasses. So when I went to the doctor the last time, I told the doctor that I want to wear glasses. I guess that just goes to prove that you can’t always teach old dogs new tricks!

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Children need love, especially when they do not deserve it. ~Harold Hulbert

Children make your life important. ~Erma Bombeck

Children make you want to start life over. ~Muhammad Ali

A child can ask questions that a wise man cannot answer. ~Author Unknown

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If a Donkey Could Talk
Written & Submitted by: Pat Lewallen

I recently saw an amazing story of a dramatic rescue in Utah of an 18 month old baby girl named Lily. A local fisherman discovered a wrecked car nearly 14 hours after Lily’s mother had for some reason gone off the roadway. The fisherman called and quickly got emergency help on the way. The car had gone down an embankment and was upside down and partly submerged in the frigid water of the Spanish Fork River.

Rescuers arrived at the scene and quickly made their way down to the wreck. They pushed the wrecked vehicle back over onto it wheels. They saw that baby Lily’s mother was dead. She had suffered terrible injuries and probably died upon impact in the crash. Then they found baby Lily. She was unresponsive and was still strapped in her car seat. They got baby Lily out and quickly rushed her to a waiting ambulance. The crew in the ambulance continued to perform CPR on baby Lily while on the way to the hospital. Baby Lily was admitted to the hospital that Saturday March 03, 2015 and was released to go home the following Wednesday afternoon. Baby Lily’s father declared it was truly a miracle his baby was still alive and was well enough to go home.

Four of the rescuers were talking to each other after the rescue. Every one of them said they had heard a voice cry out Help me, we’re in here!” Where did this mystery voice come from? I believe it was a miracle from God. I believe the Lord allowed this voice to be heard. Why do I believe this? It’s recorded in the Bible that God once allowed a donkey to talk to its owner named Balaam:

(Numbers 22:28-31 NIV): 28 Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?” 29 Balaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me! If only I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.” 30 The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?” “No,” he said. 31 Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.

If the Lord once allowed a donkey to talk, He could surely allow baby Lily to cry out for help. The Lord could have dispatched an angel to cry out for help for baby Lily. Even in today’s modern world, anything is still possible with God. I know He made us and He can do for us what He deems necessary. God is still in the miracle working business! Whenever you’re faced with a crisis, remember to look to God for help. You’re never alone when God is with you. There’s just no telling what kind of a miracle He may send your way.

Matthew 19:26 (NIV): Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

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Did You Know This About Easter?
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The 40 days of Lent is symbolic of Jesus’ sojourn in the wilderness of Judea, preparing for His public ministry while being tempted by Satan. There are actually 47 days from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday, but the seven Sundays are traditionally considered days to feast in celebration of the resurrection of Christ.

During the Middle Ages, Christians across Europe would meet on hilltops to watch the sun rise on Easter morning. They rang bells, fired cannons and sang hymns. A similar tradition still exists in Austria.
 

Legend has it that a Bermudan teacher in need of a simple yet effective way to demonstrate the Ascension of Christ into heaven used a kite decorated with Jesus’ image. As a result, there are colorful, multi-sided kites made of sticks and tissue paper dotting skies all over the island of Bermuda on Good Friday.

 
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Gone From My Sight
Written by: Henry Van Dyke
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I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.

She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
 

Then someone at my side says: “There, she is gone!” “Gone Where?” Gone from my sight. That is all.

She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.
 

Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says: “There, she is gone!” there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout: “Here she comes!”

And that is dying.
 
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Legend of the Dogwood

From “Sower’s Seeds Aplenty: Fourth Planting”
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At the time of the crucifixion, the dogwood had reached the size of the mighty oak tree. So strong and firm was the wood that it was chosen as the timber for Jesus' cross.

To be used for such a cruel purpose greatly distressed the dogwood. While nailed upon it, Jesus sensed this, and in his compassion said. "Because of your pity for my suffering, never again shall the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used for a cross. Henceforth, it shall be slender, bent, and twisted, and its blossoms shall be in the form of a cross–two long and two short petals.
 

"In the center of the outer edge of each petal will be the print of nails. In the center of the flower, stained with blood, will be a crown of thorns so that all who see it will remember."

 
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Hymn of Promise
Written by: Natalie A. Sleeth
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In the bulb there is a flower; in the seed, an apple tree;
In cocoons, a hidden promise: butterflies will soon be free!
In the cold and snow of winter there’s a spring that waits to be,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

There’s a song in every silence, seeking word and melody;
There’s a dawn in every darkness, bringing hope to you and me.
From the past will come the future; what it holds, a mystery,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.
 

In our end is our beginning; in our time, infinity;
In our doubt there is believing; in our life, eternity,
In our death, a resurrection; at the last, a victory,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.