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

Year 2017 - January thru March

 
 

 

 
 
+++ The Christian Banner - March 2017 +++
 
 

 

Story of Homeless Man and a Shoebox
Story told by: Pastor Greg Locke
Video Summarization by: Pat Lewallen 

I found these comments on Pastor Greg Locke’s Facebook page that preceded his video. 

“Pastor Greg Locke decided to take a little time to share a story that he heard about a homeless man and the man who took the time just to say 'hello'. It's one of those modern-day parables that really make you stop and think about the effect we are having on the people around us, and how a simple kindness can mean the world to someone. Get ready, this one may hit awful close to home!” 

Pastor Greg Locke tells the story of a homeless man who lived out in the woods behind a convenience store. The homeless man carried a shoebox and a pencil with him. He would stand by the convenience store’s door in the morning while it was getting busy and greet people as they came in and out of the store. He said to each one, “Good Morning. What’s your name?” They were all too busy to have anything to do with the homeless man. This was the normal daily morning routine until a man named Jim heard the homeless man’s greeting. He was in a hurry too but he took time and replied, “Jim, my name’s Jim”. He quickly went to get a cup of coffee and decided to buy the homeless man a cup of coffee too. Jim was going out the door as he handed the homeless man a cup of coffee. Jim saw the homeless man light up like a Christmas tree and heard him say, “Thank you sir, my name is Howard!” 

A few weeks later, Jim stopped at the convenience store to get his coffee. He saw an ambulance, sheriff patrol car, and other responder trucks. Tragically, the homeless man had been hit by a vehicle and laid dead in the parking lot. A crowd had already gathered but no one knew anything about the homeless man. Jim walked over to the officer and said, “I met him a few weeks ago and he told me his name was Howard.” As Jim started to walk away, the sheriff shoved the shoebox into his hands and told him he could have it because he knew the man’s name and this was all the possessions they found with the homeless man.    

Jim went and purchased his coffee and got back in his car with his coffee and the shoebox. Before he got back on the highway, Jim opened the shoebox and found two items in it: the little stubby pencil that Howard carried and an envelope labeled “My Friends”. Jim opened the envelope looking for the names of Howard’s friends so he could tell them about his death. He found only one small, dirty scrap of paper and one word written on the paper and it was ‘Jim’. 

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Matthew 25:37-40 NIV: “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” 

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Starr Ayers, Asheboro, NC / starrayers@triad.rr.com
Thrive Magazine, February 2017 Issue
(Used by Permission)

God Mends Cracked Pots 

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Psalm 34:18, NIV 

The art of kintsugi, which means “golden joinery,” is a Japanese repair process that turns ugly breaks into beautiful fixes. The method goes beyond making a broken piece of china as good as new; it makes it better than new. 

Allegedly, the art began when fifteenth-century Japanese shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa broke his favorite tea bowl. Distraught, he sent it to China for repair. When the bowl came back, he was horrified by the ugly metal staples used to join the broken pieces, so he instructed his craftsmen to come up with a more appropriate solution. By adding gold dust to an adhesive resin and filling the cracks with the blend, they not only transformed the broken bowl into a useful vessel but into a beautiful work of art. 

Kintsugi proposes that repair can be beautiful. “Not only is there no attempt to hide the damage, but the repair is literally illuminated,” says Christy Bartlett in Flickwerk: The Aesthetics of Mended Japanese Ceramics. 

Life has a way of dealing some mighty hard blows—events that not only shatter our hopes and dreams but chip away at our sense of self-worth and purpose. By looking back over some of the most difficult times of my life, I’ve seen that God has counterbalanced my hardships by supplying family and friends to take the role of “Jesus with skin on.” As they lovingly walked alongside me in my brokenness, counseled me, prayed with me, and encouraged me, they hastened my restoration. God used them like gold in my life to fill the cracks of my brokenness and illuminate my darkness. 

Don’t hesitate to let others see the cracks in your facade. We’re all earthen vessels in need of repair. When we don’t attempt to hide the damage, broken things can become blessed things—beautiful works of art in the hands of a loving God. If you’re in the midst of a crisis, remember Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted and often uses others to assist him. 

Begin the process of your restoration by handing the broken pieces of your life over to God. Then pray and seek someone trustworthy to confide in. Allow them to walk beside you, giving God the opportunity to use them like gold to fill the cracks of your brokenness. 

When God does the mending, his repair illuminates our lives, and in time, he’ll use us like gold to fill the cracks of others. 

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:38, KJV). 

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A little girl was sitting on her grandfather's lap as he read her a bedtime story. From time to time, she would take her eyes off the book and reach up to touch his wrinkled cheek.  She was alternately stroking her own cheek, then his again. Finally she spoke up, "Grandpa, did God make you?"

 

"Yes, sweetheart," he answered, "God made me a long time ago." 

"Oh," she paused, "Grandpa, did God make me too?" 

"Yes, indeed, honey", he said, "God made you just a little while ago."  

Feeling their respective faces again, she observed, "God's getting better at it, isn't he?" 

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A Firm Foundation
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Submitted by: Thelma Harris 

The Christian’s confidence, while living in an uncertain changing world, rests in the Lord. He is our secure rock in times of distress and fear. He is our stability in this life, as well as for all eternity, resting on the promises of His Word. The hymn writer states it well: 

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said
Who unto the Savior for refuge have fled? 

Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand. 

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I will not, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, no never, forsake!
                           (Rippon’s Selection of Hymns 1787) 

The story is told of a sailor in a shipwreck, who was thrown upon a rock, where he clung in great danger until the tide went down. Later a friend asked him “Jim, didn’t you shake with fear when you were hanging on that rock?” 

“Yes, but the rock didn’t,” was the significant reply. 

Christ is the Rock of Ages. We may tremble on the Rock, but the Rock will never tremble under us. May our hearts be filled with praise to the Lord for His safety. 

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My Answer
Written by: Rev. Billy Graham
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Q: I've been studying the major religions of the world, but I'm puzzled about Christianity. What makes it different from the other religions? It seems different to me, but I can't figure out why. 

A: The difference between the religions you've been studying and Christianity can be summarized in two words: Jesus Christ. He is the center and foundation of the Christian faith, and He also is the reason why Christianity is different from all the other religions that people follow. 

Let me explain it this way. All the religions you've been studying have one thing in common: they all are searching for God (even if they don't call Him God, or they think there may be many gods and goddesses). They do this in a multitude of ways -- but they're all trying to find God and gain His favor by their sacrifices and good deeds. 

But Christianity is different. Instead of us searching for God -- God is searching for us! Instead of us reaching up to God -- God is reaching down to us! This is why Jesus is so important, because He came down from Heaven to do for us what we could never do for ourselves: bring us to God. God is perfect and holy, and we are separated from Him by our sins. No matter how hard we try, we cannot erase the stain of sin by ourselves. But by His death and resurrection Christ did this for us. 

I sense that down inside you are searching for God. But God is also searching for you! By faith turn to Jesus Christ and receive Him into your life today. God's promise is for you: "Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God" (John 1:12). 

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Growing in the Wind
Our Daily Bread, 01/14/17
Written by: Mart Dehaan
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Imagine a world without wind. Lakes would be calm. Falling leaves wouldn’t blow in the streets. But in still air, who would expect trees to suddenly fall over? That’s what happened in a three-acre glass dome built in the Arizona desert. Trees growing inside a huge windless bubble called Biosphere 2 grew faster than normal until suddenly collapsing under their own weight. Project researchers eventually came up with an explanation. These trees needed wind stress to grow strong. 

Jesus let His disciples experience gale-force winds to strengthen their faith (Mark 4:36–41). During a night crossing of familiar waters, a sudden storm proved too much even for these seasoned fishermen. Wind and waves were swamping their boat while an exhausted Jesus slept in the stern. In a panic they woke Him. Didn’t it bother their Teacher that they were about to die? What was He thinking? Then they began to find out. Jesus told the wind and waves to be quiet—and asked His friends why they still had no faith in Him. 

If the wind had not blown, these disciples would never have asked, “Who is this? Even the winds and waves obey him” (Mark 4:41). 

Today, life in a protective bubble might sound good. But how strong would our faith be if we couldn’t discover for ourselves His reassuring “be still” when the winds of circumstance howl? 

Father in heaven, please help us to remember that anything
that frightens us comes with an invitation to find the strength
of knowing and trusting You.
 

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The Oak Tree
Written by: Johnny Ray Ryder Jr.
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A mighty wind blew night and day.
It stole the Oak Tree's leaves away.
Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark
until the Oak was tired and stark. 

But still the Oak Tree held its ground
while other trees fell all around.
The weary wind gave up and spoke,
"How can you still be standing Oak?" 

The Oak Tree said, “I know that you
can break each branch of mine in two,
carry every leaf away,
shake my limbs and make me sway. 

But I have roots stretched in the earth,
growing stronger since my birth.
You'll never touch them, for you see
they are the deepest part of me. 

Until today, I wasn't sure
of just how much I could endure.
But now I've found with thanks to you,
I'm stronger than I ever knew.” 

 

 
+++ The Christian Banner - February 2017 +++
 

 

The Way, the Truth, and the Life
Written and Submitted by: Richard Lewallen
 

The way, the truth, and the life is one of the definitions of our Lord Jesus Christ. It can be said that another definition of our Lord Jesus Christ is our salvation. The world gives a lot of different definitions for salvation. Some people trust in church attendance, some trust in their pastor, some in their good works, and still other people lean heavy on another person’s relationship with the Lord. One truth we must learn is that our salvation is not a trivial matter. If it was, our Lord Jesus Christ would not have had to pay such a horrible price on the cross of Calvary. The scriptures make it clear to us that the weight of the cross laid heavy on Jesus’ shoulders as His time drew near. Jesus knew in the days ahead the disciples would enter a roller coaster of emotions. It would be a time when the disciples would not be able to lean on their own understanding, but would have to trust in the Lord with all their hearts. 

Matthew 16:21-23 (KJV) From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, “Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.”  

Jesus addressed Satan as the one speaking through Peter. Unwittingly, Peter had asked Jesus to avoid the cross. There probably has never been a group of men so bewildered in their thinking as Jesus’ disciples, when Jesus told them that He must suffer death. Still today we have plenty of people who are bewildered about the requirements of salvation. Our God is a holy and righteous God and will not accept anything less than perfection. This requirement of perfection is impossible for any of us to meet. That’s the reason we cannot avoid the cross of Calvary – we simply can’t trust in anything less than the Virgin born Son of God for our salvation. Jesus paid the great price, to God be the glory!

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What Kids Say about Valentine’s Day 

 “To get a girl to fall in love with you… take her out to eat. Make sure it’s something she likes to eat. French fries usually works for me.” (Bart, 9) 

 “Once I’m done with kindergarten, I’m going to find me a wife.” (Tom, 5) 

“It’s better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need somebody to clean up after them.” (Lynette, 9) 

“Love and Marriage: It gives me a headache to think about that stuff. I’m just a kid. I don’t need that kind of trouble.” (Kenny, 7) 

“It isn’t always just how you look. Look at me. I’m handsome like anything and I haven’t got anybody to marry me yet.” (Gary, 7) 

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You Can Be Set Free
Written and Submitted by: Jean Hunt
 

What obstacle or sin is holding you back from receiving the forgiveness that Jesus Christ offers to all who will accept Him? Were you reared in a church or a family that had their own "to do or not to do list" that is required in order for Jesus to accept and forgive you? Or have you decided in your own mind what sins God will forgive and the ones He will not? Even born again believers struggle with this same issue and I know that to be true because I have. You can be sure that the tempter comes calling anytime you are down on yourself; he is faithful at his job trying to solidify it in our hearts and minds to keep us in bondage. Jesus shed His precious blood and died in our place for that very reason, to release those chains of bondage and set us free.  

We can't be perfect enough, we can't be good enough, we can't earn His love and forgiveness, and it’s a gift so freely given by Jesus Christ. When we receive a gift from someone it's not something we have to pay for, it's a gift, not earned or deserved, it's given out of a love for us and that's exactly what Christ did for us and all who will accept Him. So don't live in bondage, drop those chains of doubt and fear and be set free in the name of Jesus Christ, He paid it all. "My chains are gone, I've been set free, My God, my Savior has ransomed me, and like a flood, His mercy reigns, unending love, amazing grace." 

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The Importance of Showing Love to Others in the Life of a Christian
Written by: Rev. Daryl Evans
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1 Thessalonians 3:12 “And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you.” 

Recently I was reading from 1st Thessalonians and I came across this verse that really made me stop and think. It says, “may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you (1 Thessalonians 3:12).”  Paul’s words almost seem like a prayer of commitment and dedication. Often times we read a passage of Scripture or sing a praise song where we declare or make commitments to God through our words. But I had to stop and ask myself, do I really live the thoughts behind this verse? Do I really seek to show an overflowing type of love for my neighbor? 

These are tough questions indeed. Most of us would say that we strive to love our neighbor more every day. Even 2000 years ago the followers of Jesus understood this biblical principle.  When Jesus was asked by the Pharisees, which was the greatest commandment of the entire Law, Jesus stated that loving our neighbor is second only to loving the Lord God. Jesus gave us a summary statement of how to live the Christian life by boiling everything down to loving God and loving our neighbors. 

Even though we know that we are to love, it is often difficult to follow through. Instead we want to love ourselves. Scripture tells us that our very own heart is deceitfully wicked and cannot be trusted. Living the Christian life is not easy but it sure is worth it. Showing love to people sure is rewarding and will often break down barriers and allow us to share the message of Jesus. My hope and prayer is that we will all be willing to show this type of overflowing love not only to our friends from church but to neighbors and co-workers and everyone that God brings into our life. 

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Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now.
Don't wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future.
Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it's at work or
with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.

If you want an accounting of your worth, count your friends. 

Our memories are our most priceless possessions.

 
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Please Forgive Me
Written and Submitted by: Pat Lewallen
 

Can you recall a time in your life when you said or did something that hurt someone you love? One such incident, from years ago, comes to my mind involving my father. We were talking on the phone and we had a disagreement during our conversation. It’s the only time I can ever remember hanging up the phone on my father without saying “goodbye” to him. 

I knew I was right in what I had said and I knew my father would call me right back. I waited ten minutes, then fifteen minutes, and then several more minutes passed. This let me know he wasn’t going to call me back. My conscience was hurting and I had to call him. He answered and I quickly asked him to please forgive me for hanging up on him. He forgave me and I was so relieved. We both agreed to forgive and forget our disagreement and that’s what we did. We kept our promise to each other until he passed away on November 26, 2005. Today, I don’t have the faintest clue what we disagreed about! 

I remember many times in my life I hurt my Heavenly Father by doing or saying things that were wrong. I wasn’t as quick to ask Him to forgive me as I was to ask my earthly father. I was going to church and the Lord was faithful to lay conviction upon my heart. It was a difficult time living under the Lord’s convicting power. Then came the day when Jesus was faithful to call me again and I answered His call. I remember asking him, “Please forgive me!” He heard my prayer, saved me and forgave my sins right then without delay. I could finally enjoy life knowing the Lord as my Savior. The older I get, the more I value my walk with the Lord. He promised to never leave me nor forsake me during my earthly life and His promise is good for all eternity too! 

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A 24 year old boy seeing out from the train’s window shouted…“Dad, look the trees are going behind!” 

Dad smiled and a young couple sitting nearby, looked at the 24 year old’s childish behavior with pity, suddenly he again exclaimed… “Dad, look the clouds are running with us!” 

The couple couldn’t resist and said to the old man… “Why don’t you take your son to a good doctor?”  

The old man smiled and said…“I did and we are just coming from the hospital, my son was blind from birth, he just got his eyes today.” 

Every single person on the planet has a story. Don’t judge people before you truly know them. The truth might surprise you.

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A man walks into a post office one day and sees a middle-aged, balding man standing at the counter methodically placing "Love" stamps on bright pink envelopes with hearts all over them. He then takes out a perfume bottle and starts spraying scent all over them. 

His curiosity finally gets the better of him; he goes up to the balding man and asks him what he is doing. The man says, "I'm sending out 1,000 Valentine cards signed, 'Guess who?'" 

"But why?" asks the man.
 
"I'm a divorce lawyer," the man replies.
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Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.  

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Anyone can catch your eye, but it takes someone special to catch your heart!
 

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What Does the Bible Mean When It Refers to the Gnashing of Teeth?
GotQuestions.org
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Answer: The phrase “gnashing of teeth” is found in several places in the Bible and is used exclusively in reference to the final judgment of sinners, either directly or in a parable. “Gnashing of teeth” is always combined with either “weeping” or “wailing.” The Greek phrase for “gnashing of teeth,” literally means “grinding one’s teeth together.” When combined with “weeping,” it can be compared to hitting one’s thumb with a hammer, squeezing the eyes closed and grinding the teeth together hard in reaction to the pain. Weeping and gnashing of teeth in Scripture, however, is much more dreadful, partly because it lasts for eternity. 

Jesus’ first reference to weeping and gnashing of teeth comes in Matthew 8:12 where He compares the kingdom of heaven where “many” come from all parts of the world to “recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” The sons of the (other) kingdom, however, are thrown into “outer darkness” where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth, a description of a truly horrible and painful fate. In His parable of the weeds sown in the field, Jesus again describes the fate of those who reject Him, this time adding to the description “the fiery furnace” into which they will be cast (Matthew 13:41-42). The story of the guest who comes to the wedding feast of the Lamb without the proper clothing (salvation) is cast into outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 22:11-13), as is the wicked servant described in Matthew 24:44-51 and the worthless servant in the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30). 

All these references to weeping and gnashing of teeth have one thing in common—the undeniable fact that those who do not belong to Christ will suffer this terrible fate, while His children will enjoy bliss in heaven with Him forever. In heaven, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away" (Revelation 21:4). The pain that causes the gnashing of teeth will be unknown in heaven, and there will be no weeping, no wailing, and no tears. The sorrow and death that cause us to weep and mourn will be a thing of the past. Sickness, death, persecution, and sin will be no more. 

Sadly, those who reject God will realize what they have truly lost, and the realization that there is no “second chance” will cause them to feel the full weight of the pain that goes with that knowledge. The pain of being separated from God does not go away. It is eternal and unrelenting. We all deserve that kind of punishment: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), but God, in His mercy, made it possible for us to avoid that eternal pain and suffering. Paul explains, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). 

All who accept the gift God has provided through the resurrection of Jesus Christ will escape the weeping and gnashing of teeth. Paul proclaims to the Romans “that if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved” (Romans 10:9-10). Jesus uses powerful imagery like wailing and gnashing of teeth to illustrate the importance of turning away from the sin that leads down that path and turning to Him who alone provides salvation. 

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"Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart." 

When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced.
Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice. 

There is no such thing in anyone's life as an unimportant day. 

Faith goes up the stairs love has built and looks out the window which hope has opened.

 

 

+++ The Christian Banner - January 2017 +++

 

New Year’s Resolution
Written and Submitted by: Richard Lewallen 

The songwriter penned the very resolution that each of us should adopt, “Just a Closer Walk with Thee”. What better resolution can we make than to put our hand in the hand of the Man from Galilee? We need to face reality at the start, God does not need us, but we need Him! The song entitled “I Can’t Even Walk” describes how much we need God every day! I think back at all the events that have happened this past year in our congregation. I think we can all agree that it is incredible what can happen just in the span of one year. Many of these events were life changing, very hurtful and hard to bear.   

The Bible is true and faithful and has been careful to forewarn us, “The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17b). Some have faced, and some are now facing fiery trials. But the scripture tells us, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4). Most likely there will be some more fiery trials to endure in our congregation this new year of 2017. But God has left us some very comforting words, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5b). God wants you and I to know one thing, we that have placed our faith and trust in Him are definitely on the winning side. “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). 

As each one of us looks at the beginning of another new year, there’s no way to know what it might hold for each one of us. But thank God, you and I serve One who has a perfectly clear view of everything in this new year of 2017. And He has promised us, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28).                                

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The Prayer of St Francis of Assisi
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Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.
 

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The Power of Touch and What It Means for the Elderly
Published by: Comfort Keepers, 04/04/14
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Touch is perhaps the most powerful sense of all. From the moment we are born, before our eyes are open, a gentle touch calms us and lets us know someone cares. In the beginning stages of life, a nurturing touch helps create a bond that shapes us for the rest of our lives. 

Even though research cannot prove exactly how touch positively affects us, it has shown that those who are physically touched on a regular basis experience higher levels of the hormone oxytocin. According to the National Institutes of Health, oxytocin lowers stress hormone levels and, by doing so, plays a part in lowering blood pressure, maintaining good moods and increasing pain tolerances. No one can deny the warm feeling we experience when we are touched. Hugs, holding hands and other physical gestures of affection have the potential to ease our minds, make us feel less isolated, and reduce stress and anxiety. 

The need for constant touches may fade as we grow older but the feelings certain touches invoke do not. As we grow older, touch is a communication that transcends age and time. No matter how old we are, we all love to have our hand held, our backs rubbed, or the feel of a warm embrace. 

Seniors who live alone often do not experience the simple act of touch on a daily basis. The reasons vary:  spouses and close friends have passed away, families live in other states, or physical limitations may affect activity and contact with others. Remember this when spending time with the senior in your life. A simple, encouraging arm around a shoulder or a momentary grasp of a hand conveys a message of affection. Feelings of affection can make a big difference in the lives of seniors. 

The sense of touch is so powerful that some experts recommend elderly clients receive regular, professional massages. Massages in general are not meant to convey affection, but use the power of touch in another way. Gentle kneading of muscles helps release tension, can improve blood flow through the body and ease the pain of arthritis. While no affection is involved during a professional massage, oxytocin released in the body during the process produces the same comforting effects. In place of a full-body massage, foot and hand rubs can be just as emotionally and physically beneficial. 

The message of touch is simple. As humans, we are programmed to form emotional bonds that strengthen our relationships. Verbal communication facilitates those bonds. Physical communication confirms those bonds. Touching someone you love often conveys a message in a way words cannot. The next time you spend time with your elderly loved one, reach out and touch them. Hold their hand. Offer a warm embrace. Chances are you may see the loneliness and worry in their face replaced by a smile…and you may notice the same happens for you. 

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My 3-year-old grandson and I were talking on the phone but I couldn't make out all that he was saying so I kept asking, "What?" until finally, exasperated, he said, "Grandma, you're not listening loud enough!" 

When my granddaughter was 4, I told her she was growing up too fast and needed to slow down. "But it isn't my fault, Grandma," she replied. "It's my mom's fault. She keeps giving me all those birthday parties." 

My 5-year-old granddaughter was riding with us to the airport and as she listened to the female voice from the GPS give us directions, she asked, "How does she know where we are going?" 

I took my 6-year-old grandson to his favorite steak restaurant. Being very grown up, he ordered everything for himself. When the waiter asked him how he wanted his steak, he replied with a puzzled look, "You know ... on a plate!" 

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I Believe….
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That Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
That the Bible is the Word of God and true.
That the BLOOD of Jesus can cleanse from all sin.
That the blood has never lost its power.
That the ground is level at the foot of the cross.
That "whosoever" will can enter in and be saved.
That Heaven and Hell are real.
That to reject Jesus Christ as your Savior is to be lost.
That to win a soul to Jesus is more important than anything.
That loving and serving the Lord will satisfy the longing in your soul. 

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Do you Know to Whom You are Talking?
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The story is told about Billie Burke a very famous 1930s movie actress—she played Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, in the movie of “The Wizard of Oz.” She was enjoying a transatlantic ocean trip when one day while at dinner she noticed a gentleman at the next table who apparently was suffering from a very bad cold. 

She leaned toward him at the next table and said: “Would you please excuse me but may I ask you a question? I don't mean to pry but are you uncomfortable?” The man nodded to indicate that he was about as comfortable as he could be in such a situation. 

Billie spoke next by telling this man “I know exactly what you need to do to get well. Go back to your room and drink lots of orange juice and take a couple of aspirins. Cover yourself with all the blankets you have, and sweat this cold out.” 

Then, she smiled broadly, and added, “I know just what I am talking about. I'm Billie Burke, you know, from Hollywood.” 

The man smiled back and gently said, “Thank you, Ma'am. And by the way I am Dr. William James Mayo, you know, from the Mayo Clinic.” 

This story reminds us how important it is to know to whom we are talking. It's really important who a person is! God's Word makes it clear Who Jesus is. He is the God Who keeps His promises and fulfills every prophecy written in God's Word, the Bible. 

Jesus is the Savior of the world. He died on the cross of Calvary for your sins and mine. He, the Sinless God-Man, took our sins upon Himself and paid the penalty to satisfy the justice of God. God is love, but He is also the God of justice. The death of Jesus, the Lamb of God, was the perfect sacrifice. He was without sin. Jesus took our place on the cross to make it possible for everyone who believes in Jesus to be forgiven. Don't reject the offer of forgiveness of your sins, and the gift of eternal life.

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Only God can transform a sin-stained soul into a masterpiece of grace. 

F-E-A-R has two meanings:
Forget Everything And Run OR Face Everything And Rise.
The choice is yours.

 Don’t let the world change your smile,

Let your smile change the world.

 “God couldn’t be everywhere, so he created mothers.”
 
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The Frogs and the Tower
Author Unknown
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Once upon a time there was a bunch of tiny frogs who arranged a competition. The goal was to reach the top of a very high tower. A big crowd had gathered around the tower to see the race and cheer on the contestants. 

The race began…
 

Honestly, No one in the crowd really believed that the tiny frogs would reach the top of the tower. The crowd yelled statements such as: 

“Oh, WAY too difficult!!!”
 
“They will NEVER make it to the top.”
 
“Not a chance that they will succeed. The tower is too high!”
 

The tiny frogs began collapsing one by one. Except for those, who in a fresh tempo were climbing higher and higher. 

The crowd continued to yell, “It is too difficult!!! No one will make it!” 

More tiny frogs got tired and gave up. But ONE continued higher and higher and higher. This one wouldn’t give up! 

At the end everyone else had given up climbing the tower. Except for the one tiny frog who, after a big effort, was the only one who reached the top! THEN all of the other tiny frogs naturally wanted to know how this one frog managed to do it? 

A contestant asked the tiny frog how he had found the strength to succeed and reach the goal. It turned out. That the winner was DEAF!!! 

Moral of the Story: 

Never listen to other people’s tendencies to be negative or pessimistic. Because they take your most wonderful dreams and wishes away from you — the ones you have in your heart! 

Always think of the power words have. Because everything you hear and read will affect your actions! Therefore, ALWAYS BE POSITIVE! 

Be DEAF when people tell YOU that you cannot fulfill your dreams! Always think: God and I can do this!

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Mover of Mountains
Written by: Helen Steiner Rice
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Faith is a force that is greater
than knowledge or power or skill,

And the darkest defeat turns to triumph
if you trust in God’s wisdom and will,

For faith is a mover of mountains —
there’s nothing man cannot achieve
If he has the courage to try it
and then has the faith to believe.
 

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Ye shall not fear them: for the LORD your God he shall fight for you. Deuteronomy 3:22 (KJV)