Mountain View Independent Methodist Church
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
God is good ALL the time... and ALL the time, God is good!!

Year 2018 - July thru September

 

 

 

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Mt. View Independent Methodist Church
1530 Mt. View Church Road, Asheboro NC 27205
 

 


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The Christian Banner - September 2018 +++

 

"Why Does God Love Us?"

Answer: This short question is among the most profound questions ever asked. And no human would ever be able to answer it sufficiently. One thing is certain, however. God does not love us because we are lovable or because we deserve His love. If anything, the opposite is true. The state of mankind since the fall is one of rebellion and disobedience. Jeremiah 17:9 describes man’s inner condition: “The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. Who can know it?” Our innermost beings are so corrupted by sin that even we don’t realize the extent to which sin has tainted us. In our natural state, we do not seek God; we do not love God; we do not desire God. Romans 3:10-12 clearly presents the state of the natural, unregenerate person: “There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.” How then is it possible for a holy, righteous, and perfect God to love such creatures? To understand this we must understand something of the nature and character of God.

First John 4:8 and 16 tell us that “God is love.” Never was a more important declaration made than this—God is love. This is a profound statement. God doesn’t just love; He is love. His nature and essence are love. Love permeates His very being and infuses all His other attributes, even His wrath and anger. Because God’s very nature is love, He must demonstrate love, just as He must demonstrate all His attributes because doing so glorifies Him. Glorifying God is the highest, the best, and the most noble of all acts, so, naturally, glorifying Himself is what He must do, because He is the highest and the best, and He deserves all glory.

Since it is God's essential nature to love, He demonstrates His love by lavishing it on undeserving people who are in rebellion against Him. God’s love is not a sappy, sentimental, romantic feeling. Rather, it is agape love, the love of self-sacrifice. He demonstrates this sacrificial love by sending His Son to the cross to pay the penalty for our sin (1 John 4:10), by drawing us to Himself (John 6:44), by forgiving us of our rebellion against Him, and by sending His Holy Spirit to dwell within us, thereby enabling us to love as He loves. He did this in spite of the fact that we did not deserve it. "But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

God's love is personal. He knows each of us individually and loves us personally. His is a mighty love that has no beginning and no end. It is this experiencing of God’s love that distinguishes Christianity from all other religions. Why does God love us? It is because of who He is: "God is love."
 

www.GotQuestions.org, Copied article

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Questions kids have asked about God

"Did Jesus practice walking on water first? How can I do it?"
"Why did God make mosquitoes? All they do is bite you? Why would he do that?!"
"Why does God stay in heaven and not come down to earth to visit?"
"If Jesus doesn't have a sister, why do I need to have one?" 

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 Souls Unglued 

“What I tell you now in the darkness, shout abroad when daybreak comes. What I whisper in your ear, shout from the housetops for all to hear!” -  Matthew 10:27, NLT 

The first morning of Writer’s Advance Boot Camp, I was almost booted to the floor. As I lunged forward, the corner of the mattress broke my fall. Boot camp coordinators had given us a charge to “Advance!”, but I’m relatively sure nose-diving into the carpet wasn’t what they had in mind. 

I looked down at my stylish black boots—the likely culprits. One sole had become unglued and now flapped precariously with each step. Maybe someone at the front desk would have some glue.  

Regaining my equilibrium, I made a mental note to always pack two pairs of black shoes, and then scuffed my way to the door. Hoping to remain upright while trying to hide my fashion faux pas, I descended the short flight of stairs. That’s when God broke in. He never misses an opportunity to teach, and my well-ventilated shoe amplified his message for the morning. 

Sometimes it is good to come unglued. 

What? I’m really not feeling it, Lord. But as I walked, his soft words struck a clamoring chord in my heart that kept cadence with the flap of my sole. 

Let’s face it. It’s easier to coordinate our outfits than our lives. We’re not glamorous runway models depicted in flawless, airbrushed glossies. We’re blemished, world-worn sojourners with a God-given message and a call to be real.  

God has entrusted believers with a common purpose to share the gospel of Christ. Our unique experiences will set us apart and enable us to share in our spheres of influence. If we keep silent, our stories will go untold, God’s message will remain unheard and others will continue to walk in darkness. 

Can I say “God use me to share your message,” then stop short of baring my soul? Transparency will cost us, but what price can we ascribe to a soul? Am I willing to sacrifice so others will know Christ? Will you? Christ gave his all. Can we do less? 

Let’s be honest – honest with God and others about out shortcomings and insecurities. Coming unglued is OK. God is more than able to restore us and make us useful again. Who knows? Baring one’s soul may become fashionable. 

Go ahead. Stand upright. Flap open your soul, and wear your faux pas with grace. Shout your story from the rooftops. Let God’s message ring out. Someone’s eternity may rest on it. 

Written by: Starr Ayers, Thrive Magazine – August 2018 issue ~ Copied by permission 

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Hymn of Promise

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

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

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

Written by: Natalie Sleeth - 1986 Hope Publishing Company ~ Copied article 

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Who Will Take Grandma? 

Who will take grandma? Who will it be?
All of us want her; I'm sure you'll agree!
Let's call a meeting, let's gather the clan
Let's get it settled as soon as we can.
In such a big family there's certainly one
Willing to give her a place in the sun! 

Strange how we thought that she'd never wear out,
But see how she walks, it’s arthritis, no doubt,
Her eyesight is faded, her memory's dim,
She's apt to insist on the silliest whim,
When people get older they become such a care!
She must have a home, but the question is, where? 

Remember the days when she used to be spry?
Baked her own cookies and made her own pies?
Helped us with lessons and tended our seams,
Kissed away troubles and mended our dreams?
Wonderful Grandma! We all loved her so!
Isn't it dreadful she's no place to go? 

One little corner is all she would need,
A shoulder to cry on, her bible to read,
A chair by the window with sun coming through,
Some pretty spring flowers still covered with dew,
Who'll warm her with love so she won't mind the cold?
Oh, who will take Grandmother now that she's old? 

What? Nobody wants her? Oh, yes, there is one
Willing to give her a place in the sun,
Where she won’t have to worry or wonder or doubt,
And she won't be our problem to bother about,
Pretty soon now, God will give her a bed,
But who'll dry our tears when dear Grandma is dead? 

Poem written by: Alice E. Chase, Copied article 

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Grandparents Day this year is Sunday, September 9th. Take time to honor your grandparents. If you have time, go by and visit someone at the nursing home. They will be so glad to see you! 

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Wise Custodians 

God created us in His own image and made each one of us a living soul. Each one of us is so important to Him that He laid down His life as a sacrifice for our sins. It seems the most astonishing part is that He made each one of us a custodian of our souls. It’s scary to think that God has placed in the sinners irresponsible hands the priceless and awesome responsibility of our individual souls.  

God has given each one of us a short amount of time here on earth to make the greatest decision of all eternity. Will we receive His unspeakable free gift of salvation or will we continue down the broad road of destruction? Yes, sad to say, it’s in the irresponsible hand of the sinner to say “yes” to Christ. Praise God, His spirit is always faithful to speak and deal with irresponsible hearts. God always desires that we would be wise custodians and place our souls in His responsible hands for safe keeping.


Written and submitted by: Richard Lewallen, 08/26/18 

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The Love of Money 

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows (1 Timothy 6:10). 

“Money is the root of all evil” is the common misquoting of 1 Timothy 6:10: Here, as in other areas of life, leaving out love perverts truth. The truth is: “…the love of money is the root of all evil”. 

The word translated love in this verse means lust. A lust for money is the root of all evil. In Alford’s commentary on the New Testament, he quotes Chrysostom on this verse as follows: “Lusts are thorns: and as among thorns, whenever one touches them, one’s hands are bloodied and wounds are made; so he who falls among lusts shall suffer the same and shall surround his soul with griefs.” 

Only eternity will reveal how many have suffered as a result of lusting for money. Families have been neglected, friends lost, futures sacrificed and lives taken all because of the love of money. 

If you make money your goal, you are certain to be disappointed. If you do not get a large amount of money in life you will be disappointed because you will think you would have found happiness had you done so. If you do acquire a large amount of money, you will be disappointed because you will have discovered that money doesn’t satisfy. Either way you lose! 

Money and all it can buy is tied to time. A dying queen once cried, “Millions in money for an inch of time.” She should have gladly given her wealth for another day. But money cannot buy time when that day arrives. 

A few follow the advice of Jesus and will meet their treasures later. Money or the Master, which will it be? 

Today’s Devotional, 08/24/18, www.jvim.com – Copied article 

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Will You Tell Them? 

Whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. — John 11:26 

John, a friend of mine, was once addicted to drugs. Several times he nearly died. He was a broken man when he entered the Christian rehabilitation program that my husband and I established. By the end of the program, John had become a Christian. 

One day as John strolled along a busy street, he began to see the bustling shoppers as God sees them—dying people. He had learned from God’s Word that those who die without Christ will spend eternity separated from Him. With deep concern, John thought, These people don’t have to die! 

We all need to see people as God sees them. But that revelation also brings responsibility. Solomon pleaded, “Deliver those who are drawn toward death, and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter” (Proverbs 24:11). He also warned that once our eyes are opened we can’t pretend we don’t know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act (v.12). 

Think of people you know who are without Christ. They don’t have to die without Him! Jesus said, “Whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:26). Will you tell them this good news? 

If we really care for those
Who live beneath God's wrath,
The gospel must be shared with them,
To turn them from death's path. —Sper

Written by: Joanie Yoder, odb.org – 01/03/05 – Copied article

 

  
+++ The Christian Banner - August 2018 +++

 

 What's so Bad about Sin?

Why is sin so bad? Not only is sin bad because it is against a good and holy God, who is our creator and sustainer — it’s because its consequences are so bad for the sinner. Here’s why: 

Sin is inherently deceptive. And that’s because Satan himself is inherently deceptive. Right away, we know he deceived Adam and Eve, saying, “You will not surely die!” But they did. Immediately, they died to their sweet fellowship with God. Later, they died physically. This fact led the New Testament writer James to explain, “when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (James 1:15). 

Sin is always deceptive about the consequences. Satan will never whisper to you, “I’ll be honest with you. Just listen to me and you will pay a terrible price.” No, he’ll never tell you what sin costs. 

Sin brings deep shame and guilt. David illustrates this when he described his feelings of guilt, saying, “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped” (Psalm 32:3-4). If you’ve ever felt the heavy hand of God, you know what he’s talking about. Few of us feel so good about ourselves that we’re not brought lower down by the shame sin brings. 

Sin will be revealed, ultimately. Moses warned his people that God would deal severely with their deceit, saying, in Numbers 32:23, “be sure your sin will find you out.” After David’s one-night stand with Bathsheba and the attempted cover up by having her husband murdered, God announced the ongoing consequences: “Now, therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house ... For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel” (2 Samuel 12:10-12). Ever since, it’s been recorded in history. 

Sin shatters trust. If one can’t be trusted to obey God, he can’t be trusted to be obedient in other relationships. Once trust is betrayed, it’s almost impossible to restore it completely. Somebody said, “I’ve forgiven the houseguest who stole from me, but now, whenever he visits, I keep my eye on the silverware!” Yes, God forgives all sins we confess and repent of. But trust is deeply wounded. Trust, when shattered by sin, is hard to repair. 

Continued sin etches a pattern that little by little corrodes the soul. Paul, writing to Timothy, talks about those who know better, but deliberately sin any way, will have “consciences seared with a hot iron” (1 Timothy 4:2). 

Well, enough about what’s so bad about sin. There is hope and deliverance. That’s why Christ died on the cross of Calvary, to break the powerful hold of sin and death. 

Today we sing Lowell Mason’s wonderful song, “O for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise.” The last verse says it all: “He breaks the power of canceled sin, He sets the prisoner free; His blood can make the foulest clean; His blood availed for me.” I hope you can say — and sing — that! 

Copied article ~ www.thetandd.com, Burt Williams, a retired Baptist pastor, 03/22/13 

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If Tears Could Build a Stairway

If tears could build a stairway
and thoughts a memory lane
I'd walk right up to heaven
and bring you home again
No Farewell words were spoken
No time to say good-bye
You were gone before I knew it
And only God knows why. 

My heart's still active in sadness
And secret tears still flow
What it meant to lose you
No one can ever know.
But now I know you want us
To mourn for you no more
To remember all the happy times
Life still has much in store. 

Since you'll never be forgotten
I pledge to you today
A hallowed place within my heart
Is where you'll always stay.
God knows why, with chilling touch,
Death gathers those we love so much,
And what now seems so strange and dim,
Will all be clear, when we meet Him. 

Author Unknown ~ Copied poem 

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What is God’s Requirement of His Church?

We find the answer to this question in John 4:24, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” The vast numbers of churches across America fail to meet God’s requirement that He says is a must! I believe that is the reason the Church has so little effect upon our nation today. We all would probably be shocked if we knew the number of pastors across America who have never been born again, or even knows what the term “born again” really means. Sad to say we have too many churches today that are right where Satan wants them – the blind leading the blind! 

How can we identify a church that worships in truth and in spirit? First of all, it will be a growing church. Jesus said, “If my name be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me.” The early church had more opposition than we can imagine, yet it grew in leaps and bounds. Why? There has never been a time in history that Jesus has been worshiped more fervently than in those early days after His resurrection. The scriptures tell us they were continually in the temple worshiping the Lord. Jesus had become everything in their lives. Everything else seemed to become unimportant. They were focused in the right direction, and because of this, great wonders and signs from heaven were being witnessed. 

Jesus told us what we must do to reach the lost. He said His name must be lifted up. We must put Jesus front and center in our lives and in our church. God is worthy of our utmost praise and worship.

Written and submitted by: Richard Lewallen, 07/26/18 

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Two donkeys were walking in Jerusalem, when one donkey said to the other, “Just yesterday I was here carrying Jesus and the people were singing and shouting and throwing down their clothes for me to walk on, and today they don’t even recognize me.” The other donkey replied, “That’s how it is my friend…. Without JESUS you are nothing! 

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“Just a Cup of Coffee, Please!” 

My husband, Jack, and I have a favorite little "home cookin'" cafe we often visit when it's just the two of us. It's not fancy at all, but it's a cozy, comfortable place where we can relax -- and the food is good. We go there often enough that we know most of the waitresses and many of the regular customers.

For weeks we noticed that a certain man was almost always in the cafe, sitting at the counter. He looked as if he might be homeless, usually dressed in worn, slightly shabby clothes which probably hadn't been laundered in weeks. He was always alone -- never did we see him with a friend or ever having a conversation with others at the counter. His countenance was drawn and sad, and one could sense that he had known much sorrow in his lifetime. The waitresses told us he ate only once a day -- the rest of the time he just drank coffee..."buy one cup and the refills are free."

Jack and I felt terribly sorry for this man. One night as we were having a light dinner, we looked over at him sitting alone at the counter, nursing his coffee cup, and it made us sad. My hubby called a waitress over and said, "Give that man the best dinner in the house and bring me the bill. Let him pick out anything on the menu and tell him a friend has picked up the tab."

"No, Dr. Van Impe, you don't need to do that," said the waitress.

"But I want to," he answered. "He looks like he needs a good meal, and I'd just like to help him.”

“You don't understand," she said. "That is Mr. ______" (and she named a very well-known and wealthy local family). "His father owned much of the land that is now the City of Troy, Michigan -- he's the heir to millions!"

"But he looks so underprivileged!" I exclaimed.

Yes, I know," said the waitress, "he's really a multimillionaire. He lives like a pauper by choice."

I haven't seen that poor, sad man lately, but recently I've been thinking about his situation. Could it be that many Christians are living like spiritual paupers when they could be enjoying God's manifest blessings every day of their lives? Are they settling for just a cup of coffee when they could be feasting at the Lord's banquet table?

As we face the future, are we anxious about what lies ahead? Will it be a time of happiness and blessing...or endless loneliness and deprivation?

The old man in the cafe was dressed in worn, shabby clothes. Yet he could have been wearing the finest suit from the best tailor in town. Clothe yourself in the wardrobe God has provided for you. Get dressed in His righteousness and see what a change His garments will make in your whole outlook on life. You'll discover a new awareness of God as your Sustainer and Protector. You'll stand taller and walk in trust and confidence. So resolve to stop dressing like the world
and get clothed in His righteousness.

I don't think I'll ever forget the old man in the cafe, scrimping by on one meal a day, when he could have had anything on the menu, anytime he wanted it. How tragic to see a multimillionaire going hungry.

But how much more tragic to have the riches of heaven at our disposal and go through life starving ourselves spiritually! Do you have a Bible? Of course, you do. Are you feasting daily on the abundant nourishment found there...or do you hurriedly pull out a single scripture card and glance at it before you dash out into the day?

Don't settle for just a cup of coffee – eat heartily -- even as the Apostle Peter admonished us to do in 1 Peter 2:2, stating: As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby. The psalmist concurs, saying, O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him (Psalm 34:8).
 

“Tender Touch” article written by: Rexella Van Impe ~ copied article 

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I Believe in Prayer

We recently had VBS and our Adult Class studied about prayer and its importance in our Christian lives. It’s our means of communicating our love, our needs, and our concerns to God. 

I remember many years ago being pregnant with my oldest son Mark. Richard and I lived in Glenola and I worked in Asheboro. There was a huge pothole in Hwy 311 on my drive home and I’d hit it several times. One afternoon I tried to dodge it but I still caught the edge. My northbound car quickly veered directly at the southbound car on the other side of the road. I remember the “deer in the headlight look” on both men’s faces in the other car. I was scared to death but somehow got my car back over to my side of the road. I was trembling all over! I still remember thinking, “And they say women can’t drive.”

When I got home I saw Richard sitting on the edge of the sofa. He quickly asked me, “Pat, are you all right?” “Sure,” I answered. Richard said, “You know, I had the strangest feeling come over me about 10 minutes ago. I felt an urgent need to pray for you and I did pray.”

I told Richard about what had happened in the past 10 minutes too! You can call this a coincidence but I know God intervened to spare my life, Mark’s life and the lives of the other two men. I’m so grateful that Richard was obedient and prayed for me that afternoon. My driving skills had nothing to do in preventing a deadly wreck. God answered Richard’s prayer and instantly dispatched an angel to save four lives that day! 

Do you know the Lord is still in the prayer answering business today? If sometime during the day or night the Lord places someone on your heart, please stop and say a prayer for them! They may need your prayer more than anything else in this world!  

Written and submitted by: Pat Lewallen, 07/22/18 

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Persecution
 

Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake (Luke 6;22). 

Pastor J. H. Crowell, when about sixteen, shipped on a sailing vessel where he was the only Christian in a crew of twelve. Before leaving his mother he promised to meet her three times a day at the throne of grace, and so he regularly went below and prayed knowing that his mother was praying at the same time at home beside her bed. 

The other crew members were furious over his praying and persecuted him severely. They threw wood at him and poured buckets of water over him, but they could not put out the fire in his soul. 

Finally, they tied him to the mast and laid thirty-nine stripes on his back. Still he prayed on. At last, they tied a rope around him and threw him overboard. He swam as best he could, and when he took hold of the side of the ship, they pushed him off with a pole. When his strength gave way and he thought he would die, he called out: “Send my body to my mother and tell her I died for Jesus.” 

The wrath of the angry sailors seemed finally to be exhausted and they pulled the young Christian up on the deck and left him there unconscious. Shortly after he revived, conviction began to seize his companions on the ship. Before night, two of them were saved. Within a week, everyone on board, including the captain, had been born again. 

The persecution was difficult, but J. H. Crowell met it as a Christian, counting it joy to suffer for Christ. The Lord rewarded him with the conversion of his persecutors. 

Can you rejoice in opportunities to suffer for the Lord? (See 2 Timothy 3:12.) 

Daily Devotion, www.jvim.com, Written by: Jack Van Impe ~ Copied Article

  

 

  
 
+++ The Christian Banner - July 2018 +++

 

 

 Top 5 Spiritual Questions Asked of Billy Graham in 2017 

 

Question# 5: Does a Christian have to tithe (give away 10%)?            

Answer: Christians who want to please the Lord often have questions about tithing. The dictionary defines the word “tithe” as “a tenth part of something paid as a voluntary contribution or as a tax especially for the support of a religious establishment.” It was a common practice in the Old Testament and was required of members of the nation of Israel. 

Many Christians believe that this principle of giving one-tenth should be carried over to the New Testament in giving to the church and other Christian organizations. Billy Graham would fit into this category. He has said, “We have found in our own home, as have thousands of others, that God’s blessing upon the nine-tenths, when we tithe, helps it to go farther than ten-tenths without His blessing.” However, even then the question as to whether to tithe from one’s net or gross income is not answered in Scripture, nor is the question of whether to give it all to the local church or to include other ministries. We feel that such decisions should be based on personal conviction. 

Other Christians who tithe do so simply because they respect the Old Testament principle and find it a helpful place to begin in their giving. They do not believe, however, that tithing is a New Testament obligation. It is not mentioned in the New Testament except where it is describing Old Testament practices or in the Gospels where Jesus is addressing people who were under the Old Testament law. Note Jesus’ comments to the Pharisees in Luke 11:42. 

A New Testament teaching on giving which may be helpful to you is found in 1 Corinthians 16:2: “On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income.” This passage brings out four points: we should give individually, regularly, methodically and proportionately. 

The matter of your giving is between you and God, and He always takes into account our circumstances. He knows when they are beyond our power to direct and control. The important thing is that we see giving as a privilege and not a burden. It should not be out of a sense of duty, but rather out of love for the Lord and a desire to see His kingdom advanced. 

Second Corinthians 9:6-7 says: “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 

The deeper question you see is this: What has priority in our lives? Is Christ really first—or do we put ourselves and our own desires first? Make sure Christ is first in your life, and then ask Him to guide you.

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Stop being afraid of what could go wrong….
And start being excited by what could go right!

 
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My Friends 

Thankful for all my friends, some are old some are new but I'm thankful to God for each one of you. Friends help us along life's way and we need them each and every day. Friends may come and friends may go but in our hearts we will always hold them close. They're there for the good as well as the bad and I have some of the best friends anyone could ever have. Life is just better with friends no matter where you are or where you've been. 

So when you count your blessings remember to count your friends because they'll be with you to the very end. I'm thankful for all my friends and I'm thankful on them I can depend, I can call on them anytime and it gives me peace and comfort of mind. Jesus is my best Friend and I'm so thankful on Him I can depend. He's never far away no matter if it's night or day, He answers every time and I am here to tell you I'm so thankful Jesus is a friend of mine. 

Written and submitted by: Jean Hunt, 06/28/18 

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Unless you Repent, you too Will all Perish 

The nation of Israel is God’s chosen people. Israel was chosen to represent God to a pagan world. What a privilege to be called “God’s Chosen People!” But that privilege came with great responsibility, even scary responsibility! The Bible tells us that Jesus came unto His own and His own received Him not. God had chosen them, but they chose to reject Him. Jesus’ response to His people is found in Matthew 23:37-39 NIV: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” 

God’s people’s rejection of Him came with grave consequences. According to Josephus, a Jewish historian, in AD 70 Titus destroyed the temple of Jerusalem. 1.1 million Non-combatants died in Jerusalem, mainly as a result of the violence and famine. Many of the casualties were observant Jews from across the world such as Babylon and Egypt that had traveled to Jerusalem wanting to celebrate the yearly Passover but got trapped in the chaotic siege. Josephus also tells us that 97,000 were enslaved. 

This was only the beginning of the consequences of rejecting Christ. Another 6 million would die in concentration camps in Germany under Hitler’s reign. The Bible tells us in Hebrews 10:31 NIV “it’s a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” It’s an eternal mistake to reject our Lord Jesus Christ. If God’s own chosen people suffered such consequences, where does that leave all others? Luke 13:5 NIV, Jesus said “… unless you repent, you too will all perish.” 

Written and submitted by: Richard Lewallen 

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Lord, I Hate Buttermilk 

One Sunday morning at a small southern church, the new pastor called on one of the older deacons to lead in the Morning Prayer. The deacon stood up, bowed his head and said, “Lord, I hate buttermilk.” 

The pastor opened one eye and wondered where this was going. The deacon continued, “Lord, I hate lard.” Now the pastor was totally perplexed. The deacon continued, “Lord, I ain’t too crazy about plain flour either; but you mix them all together and bake them in a hot oven, and Lord I sure do like them biscuits.” 

“Lord help me to realize when life gets hard, when things come up that I don’t like, whenever I don’t understand what You are doing, that I need to wait and see what You are making after you get through mixing and baking. It’ll probably be something even better than them biscuits! Amen” 

Pugh Funeral Home “Stepping Stones” - Summer 2018 issue ~ copied article 

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Clocks and Calendars 

Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.—Psalm 62:8 

My father died at 58 years of age. Ever since then, I pause on the date he died to remember Dad and reflect on his influence in my life. When I realized I had lived more of life without my dad than with him, I began pondering the brevity of my own life. 

On reflection, we may wrestle with both an event in time and the feelings it stirs within us. Though we measure time with clocks and calendars, we remember times because of events. In the moments of life that trigger our deepest emotions, we can experience joy, loss, blessing, pain, success, failure. 

The Scriptures encourage us: “Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge” (Psalm 62:8). This confident statement did not occur in a time of ease. David wrote these words while surrounded by enemies (vv. 3-4). Still, he waited quietly before God (vv. 1, 5) reminding us that God’s unfailing love (v. 12) is greater than any of the times of struggle we may face. 

In every event, we have this confidence: Our God stands with us, and He is more than adequate to carry us through all of life’s moments. When the times of life threaten to overwhelm us, His help will be right on time. 

www.odb.org, written by: Bill Crowder 06/03/18 ~ copied article
 
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My Lesson from Rusty 

Our dog Rusty turned 2 years old on April 1st. Rusty was thrown out like garbage from the window of a moving vehicle. Richard and I felt sorry for Rusty and we adopted him. He became our dog. Rusty is a very good guard dog and he loves to play. 

Rusty doesn’t stay at our house much anymore. He loves staying at our neighbors because there are other dogs that visit regularly. Their children and grandchildren visit often too! Our neighbors love Rusty and allow him to stay at their house. Richard and I are retired senior citizens and we must be super boring for a young and playful Rusty dog. 

Recently, we got home after being gone all day. I saw Rusty over at the neighbors. I called Rusty to get him to come eat. Rusty saw me looking at him and then turned his head completely away from me. I called him several more times before he finally slowly lumbered over to our house. Rusty ignoring me hurt my feelings and made me mad. In fact, when Rusty got close to me, I totally ignored him and didn’t greet him. Rusty leaned up against me and I told him, “Go away and leave me alone!” His big brown eyes looked sad. I wasn’t happy either. I wanted absolutely nothing to do with him. He’d hurt my feelings big time! 

When I got into the house, my conscious bothered me. How could I reject Rusty? I loved him from the moment I saw him. I went outside and called for Rusty. He ran up to me just like nothing had happened. I went and got his bowl, fed him, filled his water bowl, and gave him his usual treats. Rusty loves me and I love him. I’ll keep feeding Rusty and taking him to the vet as needed. Rusty is my dog and I want him healthy, happy and enjoying a good life! 

I also thought of Jesus and the many times He is ignored by people who love Him. Many times we overlook sharing time with Him. That means we’re just too busy! We must make time to communicate with our Lord and Savior every day. I don’t want to ignore Jesus because I love Him with all my heart! Jesus adds happiness and unspeakable joy to my life! 

I intend to always love my sixty-two pound Rusty dog! He may continue to hang out at the neighbors, but he knows he has to come home to eat. I learned my lesson from Rusty! 

Written and submitted by: Pat Lewallen, 06/29/18 

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Five Steps to Lead a Person to Christ! 

Every Christian should know the steps needed to lead a person to Christ. I remember back in a town in Australia being stopped by 6 teenagers when they heard me say hello to them. They asked me if I was an American and what was I doing in their town. I told them we were there to start a crusade that night. They asked why? I quickly gave them a short version of my testimony. The leader asked, “How could I be saved?” Because of knowing the Word I lead all of those 6 boys to Jesus there on the sidewalk. Here are some basic steps all Christians should know. 

1. ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR LOST CONDITION 

Romans 3:23: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.
 

Isaiah 53:6: All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

 

2. BELIEVE THE GOSPEL 

Acts 16:30-31: And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. 

John 3:36: He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

 

3. REPENT OF YOUR SINS 

Luke 13:3: I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. 

Isaiah 55:7: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.

4. RECEIVE CHRIST AS YOUR SAVIOUR

 

John 1:12: But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name:

 

John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

 

Rev 3:20: 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.

 

1 John 5:12-13: He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

 

5. CONFESS HIM AS YOUR LORD 

Mark 8:34-38: And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. 

Romans 10:9-10: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 

www.abundantlifecrusades.com, 04/06/18, Tony Abram ~ copied article