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

Year 2015 - July thru September

 
 
 
 
+++ The Christian Banner - September  2015 +++
 
 

An Atheist Misses Jesus
Written by: Norman Sennema
Copied Article

I found this fascinating story of an evangelist turned atheist, and his end-of-life perspective on Jesus.
 

In the late 1940s, Charles Templeton was a close friend and preaching associate of Billy Graham. He effectively preached the gospel to large crowds in major arenas. However, intellectual doubts began to nag at him. He questioned the truth of Scripture and other core Christian beliefs. He finally abandoned his faith and made an unsuccessful attempt to persuade Billy to do the same. He felt sorry for Billy and commented, “He committed intellectual suicide by closing his mind.” Templeton resigned from the ministry and became a novelist and news commentator. He also wrote a critique of the Christian faith, “Farewell to God: My Reasons for Rejecting the Christian Faith.”

Journalist Lee Strobel interviewed him for his book, “The Case for Faith.” Templeton was 83 and suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. He revealed some of the reasons he left the faith:
 

“I started considering the plagues that sweep across parts of the planet and indiscriminately kill—more often than not, painfully—all kinds of people, the ordinary, the decent, and the rotten. And it just became crystal clear to me that it is not possible for an intelligent person to believe that there is a deity who loves.”

Lee Strobel then asked him about Jesus and was surprised at the response. Templeton believed Jesus lived but never really considered himself to be God:
 

“He was the greatest human being who has ever lived. He was a moral genius. His ethical sense was unique. He was the intrinsically wisest person that I’ve ever encountered in my life or in my readings. He’s the most important thing in my life. I know it may sound strange, but I have to say I adore him! Everything good I know, everything decent I know, everything pure I know, I learned from Jesus. He is the most important human being who has ever existed. And if I may put it this way, I miss Him.”

Templeton’s eyes filled with tears and he wept freely. He refused to say more.
 
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To reduce spiritually, just close your Bible.
 
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Although the North American Indians had no written alphabet before they met the white man, their language was anything but primitive. The vocabulary of many Indian nations was as large as that of their French and English exploiters, and often far more eloquent. Compare the coldness of the English word “friend” with the North American Indian meaning “one-who-carries-my-sorrows-on-his-back.”

 
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Saying Good-Byes
Written & submitted by: Irene Wright

Shades of green soon turn brown

And signs of fall can be seen all around
Waiting patiently with a watchful eye
She bids summer good-bye.
Abiding in a grand palace like the kings of old
Her beauty begins to unfold
A crown of gold crest her head
And a multi-colored tapestry makes her bed
A cool breeze sweeps across her face
And yet she reigns with such grace.
With the sun set low
It seems to give fall that perfect glow
God seems to paint a masterpiece more brilliant year after year
And fills our lives with blessing that we all hold dear.
Fall indeed captures the essence of GOD
And gives us tranquility wherever we may trod
Soon fall’s canvas will be only an etching in our minds
And fall too will say her good-byes and again return with all her splendor in time.

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Born Again
Written & submitted by: Richard Lewallen  

In John 3:3, Jesus said ye must be born again. The new birth, or spiritual birth, is the starting point for all Christians. It’s a life changing experience in response to the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. It is best explained by the words of a song, I can tell you now the time, I can take you to the place, Where the Lord saved me by His wonderful grace.”

The phase “born again” explains it so well. We are born into the family of God. I remember how strange it felt to me to all of a sudden be able to claim the name of a Christian. It was a right Jesus gave me when He washed away my sins. I certainly can’t claim any personal merit. It was all made possible at Calvary when Jesus made the choice to lay down His sinless life for a wretch like me.

We have all heard the saying that you can’t take it with you. But I’m talking to you about something you can take with you. It’s a relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ that produces eternal life. Our earthly life is full of all kinds of decisions, but there is only one decision that will really matter at the end. It’s the decision you make to that little knock at your heart’s door. Jesus said in Revelation 3:20-22 (KJV): "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."

To go through this earthly life and neglect to accept the unspeakable gift of eternal life that Jesus has provided for each one of us, is to miss the true purpose of life. 2 Peter 3:9 (KJV): "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

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A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to a person who isn’t!

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Mrs. Clarice Needham Hunt
October 23, 1939 - August 12, 2015

  

  In Memory of Clarice (Reecie) Needham Hunt
Written by: Jean Hunt
August 15, 2015

I said goodbye one last time to a wonderful, sweet and caring family member today (Reecie Hunt). What a beautiful celebration of life service, Brian Hauk and David Hunt did an outstanding job and our family would like to say a special "thank you" to both of you. The singing was some of the best I've heard in a long time, thank you Barry Scott, Mike Thompson and Jimmy Garner for the splendid job you all did providing the music. Reecie would have certainly put her stamp of approval on the whole service. The church was full, thanks to all who came and celebrated her home going with us. God is so good and we are so blessed to have people that surround us with love and prayers during this most difficult time. We love you all, and just saying thank you seems so inappropriate at a time like this but we are so thankful for each and every one of you. Reecie, you will be missed greatly, especially at our family gatherings and on a personal note, our pew at church will never be the same without you sitting beside me, but I know your place in heaven is far beyond compare and we will have a great reunion one day soon, love and miss you.

 

 

The Rose Beyond the Wall
~ Author Unknown ~
Copied Poem

A rose grew where all could see
sheltered beside a garden wall.
And, as the days passed swiftly by,
it spread its branches, straight and tall...

One day, a beam of light shone through
a crevice that had opened wide ~
The rose bent gently toward its warmth
then passed beyond to the other side...

Now, you who deeply feel its loss,
be comforted ~ the rose blooms there ~
Its beauty even greater now,
nurtured by God's own loving care.

 
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My Grandparents
~ Author Unknown ~
Copied Poem
 
Such doting grandfolks you have been,
Most treasured and so dear,
Fun-loving, full of gifts and traits
I honor and revere.
 
My Papa is a patient man
Who never wears a frown,
Who shares my passion for ice cream
And loves to clown around,
 
While Grandma on the other hand
(from whom comes my good looks),
Is great at reading story-tales
From all my favorite books
 
I’m lucky to have grandparents
As fun and grand as you
As you find ways of putting love
In everything you do!
 
 
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Grandparents day is Sunday, September 13, 2015.
If you have grandparents still living, be sure to let them know you love them!

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On the Edge
Written by: David Roper
Copied from: Our Daily Bread
 

There’s an underground lava tube south of Kuna, Idaho, that has gained a certain amount of local notoriety. The only entrance, as far as I know, is a yawning shaft that plunges straight down into darkness.

Some years ago I stood at the edge of that shaft and looked down. I was drawn to venture closer and almost lost my balance. I felt a moment of heart-pounding terror and stepped away from the opening.

Sin is like that: Curiosity can draw us toward the darkness. How often have men and women gotten too close to the edge, lost their balance, and fallen into the darkness? They’ve destroyed their families, reputations, and careers through adulterous affairs that began with a “mere” flirtation but then progressed to thoughts and actions. Looking back they almost always say, “I never thought it would come to this.”

We think we can flirt with temptation, get very close to the edge, and walk away, but that’s a fool’s dream. We know an action is wrong and yet we toy with it. Then, inescapably, we are drawn into deeper and darker perversions. Jesus put it simply: “Whoever commits sin is a slave of sin” (John 8:34).

And so, seeing our own need for God’s help, we pray as David did in Psalm 19:13: “Keep back Your servant also from [deliberate] sins; let them not have dominion over me.”

Heavenly Father, whether we are being tempted now, or have fallen, we thank You that You are always there, and You love us with relentless love. We have nowhere to turn but to You.

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A big fall begins with a little stumble.
 
 
 
+++ The Christian Banner - August 2015 +++
 

 

God’s Promises
Copied Article
 
As you know the Bible is full of promises of God for us. 
How many Bible Promises are there?  
According to one person’s count, there are 3,573 promises in the Bible. 

First promise of the Bible:
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel. (Genesis 3:15 KJV)
 

Last promise of the Bible:
He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. (Rev 22:20 KJV) 

The best is yet to come! The Lord is coming soon! Amen. 

And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (Genesis 12:3 KJV) 

Let’s pray for Israel. They are probably the most hated people in the world. The Arabs hate the Jews and the Jews dislike and distrust the Arabs. If there is an explicit biblical explanation for this animosity, it goes all the way back to Abraham. The Jews are descendants of Abraham’s son Isaac. The Arabs are descendants of Abraham’s son Ishmael. With Ishmael being the son of a slave woman and Isaac being the promised son who would inherit the blessings of Abraham, obviously there would be some animosity between the two sons. As a result of Ishmael’s mocking Isaac, Sarah talked Abraham into sending Hagar and Ishmael away. Likely, this caused even more contempt in Ishmael’s heart towards Isaac. An angel prophesied to Hagar that Ishmael would “live in hostility toward all his brothers”. The two groups will never get along – they never have and they never will. 

The radical Islamists want to destroy Israel and America too. They want to do away with democracy and the western way of life and replace it with Islamist doctrine and belief in Muhammad and Allah their God. 

Let’s remember to always pray for Israel. Let’s pray that Americans will wake up and see the signs of the times all around us. So many Americans today need to seek the Lord and put Him first place in their lives and pray for our nation and our world.  

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Salvation is free but stewardship is costly.
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No man ever impaired his eyesight by looking on the bright side of things.
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‘Twas A Sheep
Author Unknown
Copied and submitted by: A friend

‘Twas a sheep, not a lamb, that strayed away,
In the parable Jesus told.
A grown-up sheep, that had gone astray,
From the ninety and nine in the fold.

Out on the hillside, out in the cold,
'Twas a sheep the Good Shepherd sought

And back to the flock, safe into the fold,
'Twas a sheep the Good Shepherd brought.

And why for the sheep should we earnestly long
And earnestly hope and pray?
Because there is danger, if they go wrong,
They will lead the lambs astray.

For the lambs will follow the sheep, you know,
Wherever the sheep may stray,
When the sheep go wrong, it will not be long
Till the lambs are as wrong as they.

And so with the sheep we earnestly plead,
For the sake of the lambs today;
If the sheep are lost, what terrible cost
Some lambs will have to pay.

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 Greek Words for Love
 

Agape means "love" or unconditional love. Agape is used in the biblical passage known as the "love chapter", 1 Corinthians 13, and is described there and throughout the New Testament as sacrificial love. Agape is also used in ancient texts to denote feelings for a good meal, one's children, and the feelings for a spouse. It can be described as the feeling of being content or holding one in high regard. Agape was specifically designed and created to express the love of God. Before agape love there was no other word to express such great love.

Eros is passionate love, with sensual desire and longing. The Modern Greek word "erotas" means "intimate love;" however, eros does not have to be sexual in nature. Eros can be interpreted as a love for someone whom you love more than the philia, love of friendship. It can also apply to dating relationships as well as marriage.

Philia means friendship or affectionate love in modern Greek. It is a dispassionate virtuous love, a concept developed by Aristotle. It includes loyalty to friends, family, and community, and requires virtue, equality and familiarity. In ancient texts, it denotes a general type of love, used for love between family, and between friends.

Storge means "affection" in ancient and modern Greek. It is natural affection, like that felt by parents for offspring. Rarely used in ancient works, and then almost exclusively as a descriptor of relationships within the family.

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“The Bible warns very strongly that you are to obey your parents. The rod is considered old-fashioned in many homes. Psychiatrists say it will warp your personality. When I did something wrong, my mother warped part of me, but it wasn’t my personality.” ~ Rev. Billy Graham

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- Every child on the planet needs to watch this, please share -
https://youtu.be/u0jy7KFP6X0

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Unconditional Love

Written by: Allison Chambers Coxsey
Copied Poem

A treasure to be cherished,
A gift from God above;
Is the beauty of a friendship,
Touched by unconditional love.
 
A love that asks no questions,
Believes in all the best;
Never doubting, ever trusting,
Withstanding any test.
 
A love that weathers any storm,
And yet that love still stands;
Through the very darkest hour,
It still reaches out a hand.
 
There in that hand the sweetest gift,
That you can give a friend;

A heart that cares, a love that shares,
That will be there till the end. 

A treasure to be cherished,
A gift from God above;
Is what I share with you my friend,
An unconditional love.
 
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Stepping Stones
Written & Submitted by: Pat Lewallen 

I still remember, like it was yesterday, driving home from work one perfectly beautiful sunny afternoon. I know exactly where I was on Finch Farm Road in Trinity, NC when a thought crossed my mind. I thought how very fortunate I was to have all my immediate family members still living. I just had to thank the Lord for blessing me.  

My family situation changed about five years later when Daddy died on 11/26/05. I thought I’d never get over it. I asked the Lord to help me in my grief and sorrow. He was there beside me and never left me. Daddy’s death helped me draw closer to the Lord. 

My oldest brother Ricky died on 07/15/09. Losing Ricky brought terrible grief to my heart and it was so painful coping with his death. I again asked the Lord to help me and He was there for me. Ricky’s death caused me to draw even closer to the Lord. 

My youngest son Brad died on 08/02/09. This totally devastated me. It’s still impossible for me to find words to describe the pain. I had to depend on Jesus to help me and stay close to me during this trying time. Brad’s death made me move even closer to the Lord.  

I thank Jesus for being with me through the painful times and helping me use them as stepping stones to get closer to Him. I’ve learned to trust Jesus more and it’s made me a stronger Christian. Jesus proved to me just how very much He loves me. Jesus never once left my side and I know I can depend on Him for the rest of my life’s journey.  

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The best thing about the future is that it only comes one day at a time. 
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Courage is fear having said it’s prayers. 
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How to Dance in the Rain
Copied and submitted by: Faye Byrd 

It was a busy morning, about 8:30, when an elderly gentleman in his 80's arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9 am. 

I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would be able to see him. I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound. On exam, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound. 

While taking care of his wound, I asked him if he had another doctor's appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife. I inquired as to her health. He told me that she had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer's disease. 

As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now. I was surprised, and asked him, 'And you still go every morning, even though she doesn't know who you are?' He smiled as he patted my hand and said, 'She doesn't know me, but I still know who she is.' 

I had to hold back tears as he left, I had goose bumps on my arm, and thought, that is the kind of love I want in my life. 

True love is neither physical, nor romantic. True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be. The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have. 

"Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain."
 

Pam's Story
~ Author unknown ~
Copied Article 

I read about a woman named Pam, who knows the pain of considering abortion. More than 24 years ago, she and her husband Bob were serving as missionaries to the Philippines and praying for a fifth child. Pam contracted amoebic dysentery, an infection of the intestine caused by a parasite found in contaminated food or drink. She went into a coma and was treated with strong antibiotics before they discovered she was pregnant. 

Doctors urged her to abort the baby for her own safety and told her that the medicines had caused irreversible damage to her baby. She refused the abortion and cited her Christian faith as the reason for her hope that her son would be born without the devastating disabilities physicians predicted. Pam said the doctors didn't think of it as a life, they thought of it as a mass of fetal tissue. 

While pregnant, Pam nearly lost their baby four times but refused to consider abortion. She recalled making a pledge to God with her husband: “If you will give us a son, we'll name him Timothy and we'll make him a preacher.” 

Pam ultimately spent the last two months of her pregnancy in bed and eventually gave birth to a healthy baby boy August 14, 1987. Pam's youngest son is indeed a preacher. He preaches in prisons, makes hospital visits, and serves with his father's ministry in the Philippines. He also played football. Pam's son is Tim Tebow.  

Tim was a star quarterback at the University of Florida and was the first sophomore in history to win college football's highest award, the Heisman Trophy. He also was a quarterback for the Denver Broncos and this provided him an incredible platform for Christian witness. As a result, he was also called "The Mile-High Messiah." 

 

 
+++ The Christian Banner - July 2015 +++
 
  
  

The Old American Beauty
Written & submitted by: Irene Wright

 Take a look as she waves toward the sky 

Oh what a beauty that beholds the human eye!
Can you see the blood stains she wears across her heart
And how she stood for freedom right from the start?
Can you hear her painful cry
As she refused to lie down and die?
Can you see the stripes she bore across her pale-colored face
And how she stood with dignity and grace?
Can you hear the words so proudly she hailed
As to say - we have not yet failed?
Look at her stars as they shine through the night
Giving our great nation hope and a guiding light!
Do you see her royal color of blue
And how she helped to carry us through?
Can you see the pureness in the whites of her eyes
Watching over us as she spreads her wings and flies?
Oh how beautiful is this flag of mine!
Standing strong and proud - enduring the test of time! 

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Time for Pruning
Written and submitted by: Pat Lewallen

My sister Phyllis visited recently to help Sandy and me with Momma. It was good to be together again in our childhood home. One morning, I walked out of Momma’s house and saw Phyllis and Sandy looking at a boxwood shrub in front of the house. They found an intruder plant was over taking the shrub. All three of us went to work breaking out the intruder plant. Then we got to the much bigger and thicker branches. We had to stop because we couldn't break them.  
 

I forgot about the boxwood until one day I was walking around the yard. I couldn’t help but notice the remaining intruder plant we had left in the boxwood. I called Richard and asked him to bring our lopper shears with the long handles down to Momma’s house. I located the thick branches and held on to them as Richard cut them off at ground level. The boxwood looks a little rough now but it has survived the intruder plant’s invasion. I need to be more attentive and prune out any new intruder plants long before they get a strangle hold on the boxwood again.

We as Christians need to be alert and make sure nothing is invading our Christian life. It doesn’t take long before worldly cares and concerns can get a strangle hold on us. We need to ask God to prune our life daily and remove anything that would keep us from living a strong, healthy and happy Christian life.  
 

He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. (John 15:2 NIV)

 
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Supreme Court
Written by: Ruth Graham, daughter of Billy Graham
Copied from Beliefnet.com article 06/26/15

The SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) has ruled on same-sex marriage. They are in favor of same-sex marriage.
 

I want to remind everyone that SCOTUS is NOT the SUPREME court – God is. And He is not in favor of it. Millennia ago God declared marriage to be the union of one man and one woman. He has not changed His mind as some would suggest.

The 5 men that sit in Washington have shaken their fists in God’s face as has our nation. No nation, or person, has ever gotten away with that. God always has the last word.

There are absolutes in this world. The SCOTUS cannot change them. Nor can POTUS (President of the United States). God’s word and laws are eternal.

We must not call wrong, right. We must not tamper with sacred laws.
 

It’s not a matter of being a homophobe or racist or a bigot. It’s not a matter of condemnation. It is a matter of holding onto the truth with conviction.

We need to pray as never before. Our culture and society is crumbling before our eyes. All we have to do is look to what happened to Rome as they began to call evil good and wrong right.
 

I’ve been reading through the Bible this year and over and over again the people “did what was right in their own eyes”. God judged them but when they repented and turned from their evil, He forgave them. Oh, may it be the same for America!

Let us repent and seek forgiveness from the Almighty God and Creator, the one who loves us enough to die for us. He is faithful and just to forgive. It’s not too late.
 
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My Answer
Written by: Rev. Billy Graham
Copied Article

 
Question:

Where in the Bible can I find a list of the sins that God won't forgive? I remember my late uncle talking about unforgivable sins but I've never really known what they are. I sure don't want to commit one of them.

Answer:

The Bible says only one sin is unforgivable–and that is the sin of refusing God’s forgiveness. If we turn our backs on God and refuse to have anything to do with Him, then we will eventually pay the consequences for our stubbornness.

But it doesn’t need to be this way! God is our loving Heavenly Father, and He yearns to forgive us and welcome us back to Himself. He loves us so much that He has done everything possible to win us back, by sending His only Son into the world to pay the price for our sins. We deserve to die for our sins–but when Christ died on the cross, all our sins were placed on Him, and He took the punishment we deserve. The Bible says, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Jesus warned, “Whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin” (Mark 3:29). Blaspheming the Holy Spirit simply means saying that what the Holy Spirit says in the Scriptures about Christ is false. When we do that, we reject Christ and all He has done for us–and we are committing the only unforgivable sin.

May that not happen to you, or to anyone else reading this column. Instead, turn to Christ and by a simple prayer of faith invite Him into your life today. Jesus’ promise is for you: “Whoever comes to me I will never drive away” (John 6:37). 

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Christianity in America Faces Sharp Decline
Written by: Sarah Pulliam Bailey, The Washington Post, May 14, 2015
Copied Article
 

Christianity is on the decline in America, not just among younger generations or in certain regions of the country but across race, gender, education and geographic barriers. The percentage of adults who describe themselves as Christians dropped by nearly eight percentage points in just seven years to about 71 percent, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center. 

“It’s remarkably widespread,” said Alan Cooperman, director of religion research for the Pew Research Center. “The country is becoming less religious as a whole, and it’s happening across the board.” 

At the same time, the share of those who are not affiliated with a religion has jumped from 16 percent to about 23 percent in the same time period. The trend follows a pattern found earlier in the American Religious Identification Survey, which found that in 1990, 86 percent of American adults identified as Christians, compared with 76 percent in 2008.  

Here are three key takeaways from Pew’s new survey. 
 

#1. Millennials are growing even less affiliated with religion as they get older.
The older generation of millennials (those who were born from 1981 to 1989) are becoming even less affiliated with religion than they were about a decade ago, the survey suggests. In 2007, when the Pew Research Center did its last Religious Landscape Survey and these adults were just entering adulthood, 25 percent of them did not affiliate with a religion, but this grew to 34 percent in the latest survey.  

#2. There are more religiously unaffiliated Americans than Catholic Americans or mainline Protestant Americans. The numbers of Catholics and Protestants have each shrunk between three and five percentage points since 2007. The evangelical share of the American population has dropped by one percentage point since 2007. 

#3. Those who are unaffiliated are becoming more secular. The “nones,” or religiously unaffiliated, include atheists, agnostics and those who say they believe in “nothing in particular.” Of those who are unaffiliated, 31 percent describe themselves as atheists or agnostics, up six points from 2007.  

People in older generations are increasingly disavowing organized religion. Among baby boomers, 17 percent identify as a religious “none,” up from 14 percent in 2007. The Pew survey was conducted between June and September of 2014.

 
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Copied Quotes from Uncle Buddy Robinson (1860 - 1942)

Oh Lord, give me a backbone as big as a sawlog, ribs like the sleepers under the church floor, put iron shoes on me and galvanized breeches, give me a rhinoceros hide for a skin, and hang a wagonload of determination up in the gable-end of my soul, and help me to sign the contract to fight the devil as long as I've got a fist and bite him as long as I have a tooth, then gum him till I die. All this I ask for Christ's sake. Amen. 

The man that is satisfied with the world is without God.  The man that has God doesn’t need the world. 
In regeneration, God takes us out of the world; in sanctification, he takes the world out of us. 
The man that is looking into the loving face of Jesus Christ never sees the dark side of life. 
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Things We Take For Granted
Copied Article 

Lisa Beamer on Good Morning America – you may remember, she is the widow of Todd Beamer who said 'Let's Roll!' and helped take down the plane over Pennsylvania that was heading for Washington, DC back on 9/11. She said it's the little things that she misses most about Todd, such as hearing the garage door open as he came home, and her children running to meet him. 

Lisa recalled this story:  

I had a very special teacher in high school many years ago whose husband died suddenly of a heart attack. About a week after his death, she shared some of her insight with a classroom of students.  

As the late afternoon sunlight came streaming in through the classroom windows and the class was nearly over, she moved a few things aside on the edge of her desk and sat down there.  

With a gentle look of reflection on her face, she paused and said, 'Class is over. I would like to share with all of you, a thought that is unrelated to class, but which I feel is very important.  

Each of us is put here on earth to learn, share, love, appreciate and give of ourselves. None of us knows when this fantastic experience will end. It can be taken away at any moment.  

Perhaps this is heaven's way of telling us that we should make the most out of every single day.  

Her eyes, beginning to water, she went on, 'So I would like you all to make me a promise. From now on, on your way to school, or on your way home, find something beautiful to notice. 

It doesn't have to be something you see, it could be a scent, perhaps of freshly baked bread wafting out of someone's house, or it could be the sound of the breeze slightly rustling the leaves in the trees, or the way the morning light catches one autumn leaf as it falls gently to the ground. Please look for these things, and cherish them. 

For, although it may sound trite to some, these things are the "stuff" of life - The little things we are put here on earth to enjoy... The things we often take for granted.’  

The class was completely quiet. We all picked up our books and filed out of the room silently. That afternoon, I noticed more things on my way home from school than I had that whole semester.

Every once in a while, I think of that teacher and remember what an impression she made on all of us, and I try to appreciate all of those things that sometimes we all overlook.
 

Take notice of something special you see on your lunch hour today. Go barefoot. Or walk on the beach at sunset. Stop off on the way home tonight to get a double dip ice cream cone. For as we get older, it is not the things we did that we often regret, but the things we didn't do.

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Above all, the Bible explains that not only is marriage a covenant commitment between a man and a woman, but marriage itself is ordained by God to reflect the relationship between Christ and His church. 

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A man came to Abraham Lincoln one day and said, “Mr. Lincoln, don’t you believe that God is with us?” Mr. Lincoln said, “I’m not interested as to whether God is with us; I’m interested as to whether we are on God’s side.” President Lincoln called the nation to a day of prayer, and in his call of prayer he recommended individual repentance. He called for a renewed faith in God. He said, “We are a nation of sinful people, and God has brought us to this point; let us pray to God.”