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

Year 2016 - January thru March

 

 

 
 +++ The Christian Banner - March 2016 +++ 
  

 

Mountain View Ladies Sharing Circle News

Congratulations to our Mountain View Ladies Sharing Circle in celebrating 40 years of service this month. It’s hard to believe that 40 years have come and gone so quickly. We appreciate all the good work these ladies have done and continue to do for our church and our communities.  

We encourage all the ladies of Mountain View Church who aren’t attending to come and join us in a meeting. You’ll receive a warm welcome and we believe you’ll receive a blessing! Feel free to invite a friend to come with you too! We still meet on the Monday night following the 4th Sunday in our Fellowship Building. Our meeting time is 7:00 PM. Please remember to pray that our Ladies Sharing Circle will always be faithful, ready and willing to do the Lord’s will.

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Mountain View Ladies Sharing Circle news article in the March 1976 “Christian Banner”
A sharing circle for the ladies of Mt. View Church was organized Monday night, March 1, 1976 with 23 present. Brenda Hunt was elected to serve as president and Ruby Coleman to serve as secretary. The group voted to meet at the church each month on Monday night following the 4th Sunday. Our next meeting will be held March 29, 1976 at 7:30 PM.
 

The purpose of the Circle is to share with each other in prayer, testimonies, and fellowship – then to reach out in the communities to share the good things of God with the lost, sick, and the bereaved. It was also suggested we start a birthday bank in the church with the offering to be used for missions. 

We drew names so each lady could have a secret “Heart Sister” she could remember with greeting cards, and would also have as a prayer pal for the year. 

Enough fruit was brought to make two nice baskets. These were sent to Mrs. Gearren and Mr. Hammonds. 

We invite and urge every lady from our church to join with us. Our individual efforts may be small, but when we unite as one force, I believe God will honor and bless, and our church will be strengthened. Remember our motto, “Little is much when God is in it.”
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Billy Graham Quotes on Forgiveness

“Forgiveness does not come easily to us, especially when someone we have trusted betrays our trust. And yet if we do not learn to forgive, we will discover that we can never really rebuild trust.”

“We cannot ask forgiveness over and over again for our sins, and then return to our sins, expecting God to forgive us. We must turn from our practice of sin as best we know how, and turn to Christ by faith as our Lord and Savior.”

“When God forgives us and purifies us of our sin, He also forgets it. Forgiveness results in God dropping the charges against us.”

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A Man Called Jesus
Written and submitted by: Irene Wright 

Crucify Him, they cried that day

Release Barabbas and lead this man away!

He lives in a world of dreams

For He continues to blaspheme

Claiming He is the SON OF GOD

And will one day rule with an iron rod!

Take Him and nail Him to an old rugged tree

After all, He has done nothing for me!

Dress Him in a purple robe that they shall bring

Very fitting for someone who claims to be a KING!

Let them laugh and scorn

And upon His head, place a crown of thorns!

Let the people put Him to shame

And let them forget His name

Yet no fault could be found

Let them continue to spill His blood upon the ground!

Writhing in anguish and pain

It seemed His death was in vain

But as He yielded up His spirit, the earth began to quake

The dead began to awake

And in the holy city, they did appear

Causing many to fear!

Only then did they believe that He was truly the SON OF GOD!

And the things that happened were told wherever they would trod!

On the third day, came the women to anoint His body where Jesus lay

But behold the stone was rolled away!

Where was this man called Jesus, for the tomb was empty?

How could this be?

An angel told then, be not afraid, for He is not here

For He has risen, be of good cheer!

Go tell these things that you have heard

And all these things shall be written in His word!

Jesus shed His blood for you and me!

Yes this man called Jesus laid down His life to set us free!

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It’s Up to You
Author Unknown
Submitted by: Becky Freeman 

Have you made someone happy or made someone sad?
What have you done with the day that you had?
 

God gave it to you to do just as you would.
Did you do what was wicked or do what was good?
 

Did you lift someone up or put someone down?
Did you hand out a smile or give them a frown?
 

Did you lighten some load or some progress impede?
Did you look for a rose or just gather a weed?

What did you do with your beautiful day?
God gave it to you. Did you throw it away? 
 

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Obituaries
Written and Submitted by: Richard Lewallen 

As I read the obituaries, I notice only good qualities are brought out about the deceased. All the comments are complimentary. It’s a good measuring stick for how we should treat the living. As I’ve grown older, the obituaries have taken on a greater interest to me. When I sat down to read the news, I go first to the obituaries to see if possibly an acquaintance of mine has died. As I look at the obituaries, I’m reminded how fortunate I am to still be alive when I notice many my age and younger that have passed on. 

As we go through life we make a lot of acquaintances. As time passes by, we lose touch with a lot of people. Sad to say, it’s in the obituaries that I often have somewhat of a last connection with a lost relationship. When I read that a friend or a loved one has passed away, the question pops up in my mind, “Did that person know the Lord as his or her Savior?” In most cases, I know their testimony or their lack of a testimony. It’s so hurtful if it’s someone I know that didn’t have a relationship with the Lord! All I can do then is pray for their loved ones that they would not make the same mistake. One thing we can be pretty sure of is that one day our names will also be in an obituary. Everyone needs to stop and think about that age old question, “What is the meaning of life?”  

Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived, used the word “vanity” thirty eight times in the book of Ecclesiastes as he wrote about life under the sun. Solomon came to a sad appraisal of the meaning of life. I believe Solomon was giving us a picture of life when God is left out. Solomon concluded in the end that it was better to follow God’s wisdom than to practice man’s folly. To us that know the Lord in pardon and forgiveness of sins, God has already written our obituary. It’s found in Psalm 116:15 “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” 

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Easter Every Day
Our Daily Bread, Daily Devotional - 04/20/14 

He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Matthew 28:6 

A friend of mine, who is a preschool teacher, overheard an animated conversation among her students. Little Maria threw out the question: “Who loves God?” All of them responded, “I do! I do! I do!” Billy said, “I love Jesus.” Kelly protested, “But He died.” Billy said, “Yeah, but every Easter He rises from the dead!” 

Obviously, young Billy’s understanding of the meaning of Easter is still developing. We know that Jesus died once for all (Rom. 6:10; Heb. 10:12) and, of course, rose from the dead once. Three days after paying the penalty of our sins on the cross, the sinless Jesus conquered death by rising from the grave and breaking the power of sin. It was this final sacrifice of blood that opened the only way for us to have a relationship with God now and a home with Him forevermore. 

“Christ died for our sins . . .  He was buried, and . . . He rose again the third day” (1 Cor. 15:3-4). He has promised that He is preparing a place for us (John 14:1-4), and He will someday return. One day we will be with our risen Savior. 

That’s why every year at Eastertime—in fact, every day of the year—we have reason to celebrate the resurrection of our Savior. “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth” (Ps. 34:1). 

Christ’s resurrection is cause for our celebration.  

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“It is a foolish woman who expects her husband to be to her that which only Jesus Christ Himself can be: always ready to forgive, totally understanding, unendingly patient, invariably tender and loving, unfailing in every area, anticipating every need, and making more than adequate provision. Such expectations put a man under an impossible strain.” ­~ Ruth Graham 

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An Illustration of Passing from Life Unto Death
Copied from: David C. Cook Sunday School Lesson 

There’s a childlike tale about twin boys who were conceived in the womb. As time passed and they developed, their awareness grew – and together they began to explore their tiny little world. When they discovered the umbilical cord that gave them life, they sang for joy: "How great our mother's love is that she shares her own life with us!" 

But as weeks stretched into months, the twins noticed how much each of them was changing, and they began questioning what those changes meant. "It could mean that our stay in this world is drawing to a close,” said the first. Despairing, the second argued, “"But I don't want to go! I want to stay here always." After reflecting that they didn’t have a choice, the first added, "But maybe there’s life after birth!” 

"But how can there be?" responded the second. "We’ll lose our life cord, and how’s life possible without it? Besides, we’ve noticed that others were here before us, and not one has come back to tell us there’s life after birth. No, this is the end! Maybe there was no mother after all.” 

"But there has to be,” protested the first. "How else did we get here? And how do we stay alive?” The second fretted that since they’d never actually seen their mother, perhaps she only lived in their minds: “Maybe we made her up just to make us feel good." 

Thus the twins’ last weeks in the womb were worrisome and fearful. But when the moment of birth arrived, the twins had passed from their old world only to open their eyes to a bigger, better, and more beautiful world. 

And that is how death is experienced by those who put their faith in Jesus Christ! 

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But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (1 Corinthians 2:9 KJV) 

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The Easter Story 

According to the Gospels it was at sunrise on the first Easter Day - the 3rd day following Jesus' death - that the women who followed Jesus found the great stone blocking his tomb had been rolled away, and the tomb empty. The Gospel of John (20:14-16) relates how Mary Magdalene meets Jesus by the tomb, but does not at first recognize him, taking him to be a gardener. Finally realizing that he has indeed risen from the dead, as he had promised he would, she runs to tell the disciples the good news. 

These events fulfil the prophecy that 'The Son of Man must be handed over to sinful men, be crucified, and three days later rise to life.' (Luke 24:7). 

Easter is a 'movable feast', which means that its date is not fixed in the calendar. The date is calculated according to the lunar calendar, formalized in Ecclesiastical date tables. The date of Easter Sunday can fall between March 22nd and April 25th. Easter 2016 is on March 27, 2016. 

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Why did the Easter egg hide?
He was a little chicken!
 

What day does an egg hate the most?
Fry-days
 

Why is a bunny the luckiest animal in the world?
It has four rabbits’ feet.

 

 
+++ The Christian Banner - February 2016 +++ 
 

 

The Lessons of Tough Times
Copied Article

Submitted by: Faye Byrd

They won’t be afraid of bad news; their hearts are steady because they trust the Lord.

Psalm 112:7 (NCV)
 

In the midst of adversity, you may find it difficult to see the purpose of your suffering. Yet of this you can be sure: the times that try your soul are also the times that build your character. During the darker days of life, you can learn lessons that are impossible to learn during sunny, happier days. Times of adversity can--and should--be times of intense spiritual and personal growth. 

The next time Old Man Trouble knocks on your door, remember that he has lessons to teach. So turn away Mr. Trouble as quickly as you can, but as you’re doing so, don’t forget to learn his lessons. And remember: the trouble with trouble isn’t just the trouble it causes; it’s also the trouble we cause ourselves if we ignore the things that trouble has to teach. 

We should not be upset when unexpected and upsetting things happen.

God, in His wisdom, means to make something of us which we

have not yet attained, and He is dealing with us accordingly. 

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Did You Know? 

Abraham Lincoln is the only president to have obtained a patent.

Benjamin Franklin isn’t the only American political leader who demonstrated an inventive mind. After being aboard a steamboat that ran aground on low shoals and had to unload its cargo, Lincoln, who loved tinkering with machines, designed a method for keeping vessels afloat when traversing shallow waters through the use of empty metal air chambers attached to their sides. For his design, Lincoln obtained Patent No. 6,469 in 1849. 

Poisoned milk killed Lincoln’s mother.
 

When Abraham was 9 years old in 1818, his mother, Nancy, died of a mysterious “milk sickness” that swept across southern Indiana. It was later learned that the strange disease was due to drinking tainted milk from a cow that had ingested poisonous white snakeroot. 

Lincoln didn’t move to Illinois until he was 21.

Illinois may be known as the Land of Lincoln, but it was in Indiana that the 16th president spent his formative years. Lincoln was born in a Kentucky log cabin in 1809, and in 1816 his father, Thomas, moved the family across the Ohio River to a 160-acre plot in southern Indiana. Lincoln did not migrate to Illinois until 1830.

Lincoln never slept in the Lincoln Bedroom.

When he occupied the White House, the 16th president used the current Lincoln Bedroom as his personal office. It was there that he met with Cabinet members and signed documents, including the Emancipation Proclamation. 

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The Great Equalizer
Written and Submitted by: Pat Lewallen

 I recently listened to a man being interviewed on the radio. You’d probably know him too if I mentioned his name. The interviewer asked him about his early life. This man said he started out dirt poor. He wasn’t born in America but immigrated here with his family when he was young. He was very fortunate and got a good education in America - finishing high school and graduating from college. This man was blessed with a good job and travelled all over the world in his profession. Many promotions came his way and he became very wealthy. He owns three homes in the United States. One of the three homes he owns just so he can store his artifacts from his worldly travels. In addition, he owns a fourth home located outside of America on his privately owned island. This home is so remote it has to be powered by generators.

 

I listened intently to hear this man mention God in his interview. He talked about both his mother and grandmother being great influences in his life. He mentioned his wife and kids being important to him. I never heard him mention God being important in his life. It was sad to hear how much he has been blessed and not hear a word about God.

 

We hear a lot today in politics about wealth redistribution – taking from those who have more and giving to those who have less. After this interview ended, the thought came to me that death is ultimately the great equalizer. When death comes, it won’t matter how rich or how poor we are. The number of houses we own won’t matter. The amount of education we’ve received won’t even matter. Any fame we’ve gained in our lifetime won’t matter. The color of our skin is not going to matter either. Ultimately, every one of us will be judged by an Almighty God one day. Each one of us will be judged fairly and equally as to what we did with Jesus. God will welcome each person into heaven that accepted and followed Jesus as their Lord and Savior. God will have to turn away from heaven every person that rejected Jesus and His calling. 

Rev 20:11-15 (KJV):

11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. 

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Romantic-in-Chief: Presidential Love Letters
Written by: Jennie Cohen
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Theodore Roosevelt

At the tender age of 20, Teddy Roosevelt became infatuated with the daughter of a wealthy Boston banker. He showered Alice Hathaway Lee with gifts and attention, and in October 1880—on his 22nd birthday—the pair wed. Nearly two dozen effusive missives from their courtship and marriage emerged decades later, painting the future Rough Rider as a syrupy romantic in thrall to his bride. “Sweetest little wife, I think all the time of my little laughing, teazing beauty, and how pretty she is, and how she goes to sleep in my arms, and I could almost cry I love you so,” he wrote in 1883. 

Ronald Reagan

Those who don’t consider Ronald Reagan a “great communicator” should peruse his love letters. In 1949 the actor and future president met Nancy Davis, the woman who would become his second wife and devoted companion until his death in 2004. He would later write of their wedding day: “Feb. 14 may be the date they observe and call Valentine’s Day, but that is for people of only ordinary luck. I happen to have a Valentine’s life, which started on March 4, 1952, and will continue as long as I have you.” 

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Six Reasons to Smile Right Now
Written by: Jennifer Margulis
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So much more than a pair of upturned lips, the smile is the most scientifically studied human facial expression. Yale psychology professor Marianne LaFrance, PhD, draws on the latest research in an effort to shed some light on the happy face. 

People with big grins live longer. In a study published last year, researchers pored over an old issue of the Baseball Register, analyzing photos of 230 players. They found that on average, the guys with bright, bigmouthed beams lived 4.9 years longer than the players with partial smiles, and 7 years longer than the players who showed no grin at all. We can't credit wide smiles for long life spans, of course, but smiles reveal positive feelings, and positive feelings are linked to well-being. 

Smiles exert subliminal powers. When study subjects are shown an image of a smiling face for just four milliseconds—a flash so quick, the viewers don't consciously register the image—they experience a mini emotional high. Compared with control groups, the smile-viewers perceive the world in a better light: To them, boring material is more interesting, neutral images look more positive, even bland drinks seem tastier.

There are three degrees of happiness. An article in the British Medical Journal reported that it is indeed possible to spread the love: Within social networks, when one person is happy, the feeling migrates to two people beyond her. So if you smile, a friend of a friend is more likely to smile, too.

...and two types of smiles. Genuine smiles and fake smiles are governed by two separate neural pathways. We know this is true because people with damage to a certain part of the brain can still break into a spontaneous grin even though they're unable to smile at will. Scientists speculate that our ancestors evolved the neural circuitry to force smiles because it was evolutionarily advantageous to mask their fear and fury.

To spot a faker, check the eyes. When someone smiles out of genuine delight, a facial muscle called the orbicularis oculi involuntarily contracts, crinkling the skin around the eyes. Most of us are incapable of deliberately moving this muscle, which means that when a person fakes a smile, her orbicularis oculi likely won't budge. 

Smiles have accents. When reading facial expressions, different cultures home in on different parts of the face. In the United States, we focus on mouths; the Japanese, by contrast, search for feeling in the eyes.

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Nobody is a Whole Chain
Copied Article
Submitted by: A Friend 

Nobody is a whole chain. Each one is a link. But take away one link and the chain is broken. 

Nobody is a whole team. Each one is a player. But take away one player and the game is forfeited. 

Nobody is a whole orchestra. Each one is a musician. But take away one musician and the symphony is incomplete. 

To make this thing called life work, we gotta lean and support. And relate and respond. And give and take. And confess and forgive. And reach out and embrace. And release and rely. 

Since none of us is a whole, independent, self-sufficient, superb-capable, all-powerful hotshot, let’s quit acting like we are. Life’s lonely enough without our playing that silly role.  

The game’s over. Let’s link up. 

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How to Grieve: 5 Myths That Hurt
Written by: Paula Spencer Scott
Copied Article 

Grief is a natural response to loss, and it can unfold in many ways. Unfortunately, well-intentioned onlookers -- dubbed "grief police" by grief expert Robert Neimeyer, professor of psychology at the University of Memphis -- often say things that mistakenly imply to the bereaved that there's a "right" way to grieve. Consider these all-too-common grief myths: 

Myth #1: It's possible to cry too much. 

Everyone grieves differently. There's no single correct way to express the pain, sorrow, yearning, and other aspects of the transition of adjusting to the death of a loved one. Intense responses are sometimes seen as "losing control," when in fact they're simply how that person is actively (and productively) processing the loss. 

Myth #2: If you don't cry now, it'll be worse later. 

Some people never cry. Tears or outward expressions of anguish simply aren't everyone's grieving style, says psychologist Neimeyer. This doesn't mean they're grieving less intensely than a visibly shaken individual, or that they loved the person who died any less. Nor does a lack of obvious emotion mean the griever has an emotional block or problem or will face a longer, more difficult adjustment to the loss. 

Myth #3: Grief is something you "get over." 

Most people never stop grieving a death; they learn to live with it. Grief is a response, not a straight line with an endpoint. Many psychologists bristle at words such as "acceptance" or "resolution" or "healed" as a final stage of grief. The real stages of grief involve tasks of processing and adjustment that one returns to all through life. 

Myth #4: Time heals slowly but steadily. 

Time is the commodity through which a grieving person sorts through the effects and meaning of a loss. But that process isn't a steady fade-out, like a photograph left in the sun. Grief is a chaotic roller coaster -- a mix of ups, downs, steady straight lines, and the occasional slam. Periods of intense sadness and pain can flare and fade for years or decades. 

Myth #5: Grieving should end after a set amount of time. 

Ignore oft-quoted rules of thumb that purport to predict how long certain types of grief should last. A downside to six-week or eight-week bereavement groups, says Sherry E. Showalter, a psychotherapist specializing in grief and the author of Healing Heartaches: Stories of Loss and Life, is that at the end of the sessions, people mistakenly expect to be "better" (or their friends expect this). "Everyone tells me the same story: 'I failed Grief 101,' because they still feel pain," Showalter says. "We grieve for a lifetime, because we're forever working to incorporate the death into our own tapestry of life." 

Learning how to grieve is ultimately part instinct, part stumbling along, part slogging along -- a bit like learning how to live. 

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A family took a trip to Disney World. After three exhausting days, they headed home. As they drove away, the son waved and said, “Goodbye, Mickey.”

The daughter waved and said, “Goodbye, Minnie.” 

The husband waved, rather weakly, and said, “Goodbye, Money.”

 

 
+++ The Christian Banner - January 2016 +++
 
 
 

Advice from a Woman Who's Been Married Sixty-Seven Years
Joshua Rogers, FoxNews.com
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Five years ago, I was at a wedding rehearsal dinner and I was seated next to Lula Rawls, a quiet, elderly woman who had been married for over sixty years.  She was the grandmother of the groom; and in light of all the hopefulness surrounding the young couple’s nuptials, I wondered what wisdom she had to offer.

I began asking questions about the relationship with George, her husband, who was even quieter than she was.  When Lula talked about him, it was evident that she greatly cared for and respected him.  And in light of how long they had been together (it has now been 67 years), I asked for her best piece of marriage advice.

She paused, then said, “You’ve got to remember that one of you will always be loving more.”

I sat there for a moment, letting the statement sink in: One of you will always be loving more.

Seven years into my marriage, Lula’s quiet response is still ringing in my ears.  It crushes my sense of entitlement, the expectation that marriage owes me a low-grade sense of happiness most of the time.  It challenges my internal policy of only extending love when it is extended, withholding love when it is withheld.  Lula’s words capture the spirit of 1 Corinthians 13:5, 7-8: “[Love] does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful . . . Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends.”

It doesn’t come naturally for this sometimes hardheaded, selfish husband; but if I want to make it to 67 years as happily as Lula and George have, I’ll practice what that lady is preaching.

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Where is Joy Found?
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Not in unbelief, Voltaire was an infidel of the most pronounced type. He wrote: “I wish I had never been born.”

Not in pleasure, Lord Byron lived a life of pleasure if anyone did. He wrote: “The worm, the canker, and grief are mine alone.”

Not in money, Jay Gould, the American millionaire, had plenty of that. When dying, he said: “I suppose I am the most miserable man on earth.”

Not in position and fame, Lord Beaconsfield enjoyed more than his share of both. He wrote: “Youth is a mistake; manhood a struggle; old age a regret.”

Not in military glory, Alexander the Great conquered the known world in his day. Having done so, he wept in his tent because, he said, “There are no more worlds to conquer.”

Where then is real joy found? The answer is simple, in Christ alone.

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The 2015 Christmas celebration was a very special time at Mountain View Church. We had a wonderful Christmas meal on Saturday, 12/19/15. On Sunday morning, we were treated to beautiful Christmas music and songs by our Church Chorus followed by a wonderful Christmas message by Pastor Brian Hauk. Sunday night we enjoyed special singing, children’s Christmas speeches, and a wonderful Christmas play. Thanks to everyone who gave of their time and talent to make our 2015 Christmas celebration a wonderful blessing for our Church family!

 

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The Year 2016

Written and submitted by: Richard Lewallen

 

What will 2016 hold in store for us? To say we live in uncertain times is an understatement! What could be more uncertain than politics in 2016 or predicting the next terrorist event? The scripture warns us of a time when anxiety will overspread the world. The recent Republican debate focused on the anxiety that covers our nation. Each candidate spoke on what he or she would do as commander-in-chief to get things under control. We have a political process that’s in stalemate, and there’s little chance of this stalemate ending in 2016.

 

It seems there is but one thing that is certain and that is that things will progressively get worse. Scripture backs this assessment up. This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” 2 Timothy 3:1 (KJV). Perilous times means dangerous times! We are living in the days that preachers of the Gospel have warned us about so many times was coming. Yes it’s a dangerous time but it’s also an exciting time for Christians. The Bible says, “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” Luke 21:28 (KJV). No greater resolution could be made for 2016 than committing your life to Christ. Put your hands in the hands of the Man from Galilee and then you can count on it! The year 2016 will be your greatest year ever!

 

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My Answer

Written by: Billy Graham

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Question:

Did people in Biblical times celebrate New Year's Day, like we do now? Or is it only a holiday that doesn't have any religious significance, but just celebrates the beginning of another year?

 

Answer:

Every year, God’s people in Old Testament times celebrated the end of the old year and the beginning of the new one (just as people of Jewish heritage do today). Their calendar was somewhat different from ours, and this celebration always occurred in the fall.

 

For most people today, New Year’s probably has little religious significance; it only marks the beginning of another year. However, people in Bible times saw the end of one year and the beginning of another very differently. For them, it marked the end of the annual harvest and reminded them of God’s goodness to them. In fact, they celebrated one of their major annual festivals then, setting aside time to thank God for His kindness and mercy (see Leviticus 23:16).

 

What will the end of this year and the beginning of the new one mean to you? Will you celebrate it as so many do, not even thinking about God or how He wants them to live? Or will you pause to look back over the past year, thanking God for His goodness, and seeking His forgiveness for the ways you failed?

 

Most of all, will you pause and commit the coming year — and your whole life — to Jesus Christ? Only God knows what the future holds, either for us as individuals or for our world. But when we know Christ, we know we belong to Him, and we are securely in His hands forever. Let the Psalmist’s words be your guide: “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him” (Psalm 37:5).

 

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Memories of my Grandma Smith

Written and submitted by: Pat Lewallen

 

I recently found a poem mailed to me by my paternal grandmother. On the yellowed clipping, I saw a hand written date of August 1973. I didn’t get to see my grandparents very much because they lived in Morganton NC and we lived in Asheboro NC. It was about 120 miles one way to their home. That was a long journey when my four siblings and I were growing up. I remember the only time Daddy drove the trip to visit Grandpa and Grandma. We arrived around midnight and I still remember the huge and delicious country breakfast Grandma had prepared for us. My two sisters and I talked recently about our adventure to Morganton and exchanged memories of that visit. Grandpa and Grandma Smith also ventured out one time and drove to Asheboro to visit us. I can still remember the joy their visit brought that day!

 

Grandma Smith was faithful in writing letters to my Mom. She even wrote letters to me after Richard and I were married. One thing I discovered by reading her letters was that she loved the Lord, her children and all her many grandchildren! Grandma Smith was 72 years old when she died October 11, 1974. Her influence has stayed with me for all these years. Memories of my grandparents are still precious and they never fade away! The following is the poem Grandma included in her August 1973 letter to me. This was fourteen months before she died. I like it because Grandma sent it to me and it’s just as true today as it was the first time I read it.

 

Out of This Life

Author Unknown

 

Out of this life I shall never take
Things of silver and gold I make.
All that I cherish and hoard away
After I leave, on earth must stay.
Though I have toiled for a painting rare
To hang on my wall, I must leave it there.
Though I call it mine and boast its worth,
I must give it up when I quit the earth.
All that I gather and all that I keep
I must leave behind when I fall asleep.
And I wonder often, just what I shall own
In that other life, when I pass alone.
What shall He find and what shall He see
In the soul that answers the call for me?
Shall the great Judge learn, when my task is through,
That my soul had gathered some riches, too?
Or shall at the last, it be mine to find,
That all I had worked for I'd left behind?

 

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I AM

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I was regretting the past and fearing the future.
Suddenly my Lord was speaking:
My name is I AM.
When you live in the past, with its mistakes and regrets,
it is hard. I am not there.
My name is not I Was.
When you live in the future, with its problems and fears,
it is hard. I am not there.
My name is not I Will Be.
When you live in this moment, it is not hard.

I am here.
My name is I AM.

 

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A Bible Keeps a Diary

~ Author Unknown ~

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JANUARY: A busy time for me. Most of the family decided to read me through this year. They kept me busy for the first two weeks, but they have forgotten me now.

 

FEBRUARY: Clean-up time. I was dusted yesterday and put in my place. My owner did use me for a few minutes last week. He had been in an argument and was looking up some references to prove he was right.

 

MARCH: Had a busy day first of the month. My owner was elected president of the PTA and used me to prepare a speech.

 

APRIL: Grandpa visited us this month. He kept me on his lap for hours everyday. He seems to think more of me than do some people in my own household.

 

MAY: I have a few green stains on my pages. Some spring flowers were pressed in my pages.

 

JUNE: I look like a scrapbook. They have stuffed me full of newspaper clippings - one of the girls got married.

 

JULY: They put me in a suitcase today. I guess we are off on vacation. I wish I could stay home; I know I'll be closed up in this thing for at least two weeks.

 

AUGUST: Still in the suitcase.

 

SEPTEMBER: Back home at last and in my old familiar place. I have a lot of company. Two women's magazines and four comic books are stacked on top of me. I wish I could be read as much as they are.

 

OCTOBER: They read me a little bit today. One of them is very sick. Right now I am sitting in the center of the coffee table. I think the Pastor is coming by for a visit.

 

NOVEMBER: Back in my old place. Somebody asked today if I were a scrapbook.

 

DECEMBER: The family is busy getting ready for the holidays. I guess I'll be covered up under wrapping paper and packages again. I wish I belonged to someone who cared about the things inside of me.

 

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The pedestrian light on the corner beeps when it's safe to cross the street.
I was crossing with an 'intellectually challenged' friend of mine.
She asked if I knew what the beeper was for.
I explained that it signals blind people when the light is red.
Appalled, she responded, 'what on earth are blind people doing driving?!'
She is a government employee.....

 

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When my husband and I arrived at a car dealership to pick up our car after a service, we were told the keys had been locked in it.
We went to the service department and found a mechanic working feverishly to unlock the driver’s side door.
As I watched from the passenger side, I instinctively tried the door handle and discovered that it was unlocked.

‘Hey,' I announced to the technician, 'It’s open!'

His reply, 'I know. I already did that side.'