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

Year 2009 - March thru June

 
 
 
 
+++ The Christian Banner - June 2009 +++
 
Living through Grief
Written & submitted by: Amy Hunt

Joshua 1:9
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

Psalm 34:18
The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
 
Deuteronomy 31:8
And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.
 
Hebrews 13:5
…….for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
 
Verses like these along with a lot of love and prayers from family and friends, helped me get through the past few months. They remind me that no matter how much it feels like it, I am never alone. I’m not feeling any emotions that God hasn’t already experienced. He knows what it is like to lose someone you love. What keeps me going is the fact that Christ conquered death so that we can live forever! This life is only a stepping stone to our permanent home, and each day I wake up rejoicing in the fact that I’m one day closer to being with Jesus and reunited with Daddy and my other loved ones!
 
A thought that brings me comfort is: I don't always have to be strong because I have a Savior who is!
 

 
We had a tie in the voting for our 2009 Father of the Year. Congratulations to both winners:
 
Wilmer Hall
Rodney Trotter


When Trials Come Our Way
Written & submitted by: Jean Hunt
 
We as Christians are faced with trials almost every day of our lives, but how we deal with them is what the world seems to focus on. During the past few years it seems as though I have been overwhelmed with how to deal with my Mom’s illness, how to care for her and how to cope with my decision to place her in a nursing home. This was one valley that I certainly did not want to walk through. Since I am a Christian and my Mom is one of the most devout Christian ladies that I know, I thought for sure God would answer our prayers and she would never have to go into a nursing home. You can only imagine how I felt when it happened because Mom and I had always prayed that Mom would be able to stay home and die. That was her wish.
 
She started falling and the last fall she had at home, she was unable to walk and was hospitalized and had to go for rehabilitation at the nursing home. This was only supposed to last for twenty days. The last week of her stay at the facility she fell late one night and broke her hip and pelvic. These injuries resulted in surgery with the outcome that my Mom would never walk again. The accuser came to me in the waiting room at the hospital and said, “Now what, you were the one who made the final decision to put her in the nursing home and she will never be any better as long as she lives. So where do you go from here? God didn’t answer the prayers for you or your Mom.” I felt as though every decision that I had made was a mistake and I had only myself to blame.
 
You can imagine how I felt. The first thought that came to me was what have I done to deserve this and certainly my Mom doesn’t deserve the fate that has come her way. As always, God had a plan long before we knew what was ahead of us. I truly believe He knew exactly which home she needed to be placed in order to bring about the greater good. At the time this was taking place, I certainly didn’t believe it then, but as time passed, the blessing from others came pouring in. I met so many wonderful people who were involved with Mom’s care, such as precious residents, staff, and other family members of her neighboring residents. Mom, even though she had Alzheimer’s, kept such a sweet, loving spirit that everyone grew to love her. Mom loved everybody and always had a smile for each one of them. I went everyday to help care for her. There was always someone there that seemed to need my help and attention.
 
God puts people in our lives to bring us where we need to be at the right time in our life. I began to see that what I was facing with my Mom was a blessing sent from God to enable me to see how blessed we were to have each other, and most important of all, we had God on our side. I found that so many of the residents didn’t have anyone to visit or care for them at all. God put it in my heart to share with them the love and compassion that he had placed in my heart. It made my day just to see a smile come across the face of so many that have been neglected or forgotten. Several of the residents are like the people in the Bible that the world has just passed them by, but Jesus didn’t. They are the ones He tells us to help and is exactly what He told me to do. To the world they may seem unclean and maybe at times not so lovely, but God looks on the heart, not the outward appearance. We as Christians are God’s representatives and we certainly wouldn’t want Him to pass us by, would we?
 
Mom passed away on Easter Monday of this year and my heart feels like it has a big hole in it at times. At the same time, I feel I am blessed because I know Mom is in Heaven and she is whole in body, soul and spirit. To sum it up, God knew what I needed at the time and He supplied my every need and continues to do so. This experience that I went through had made me more dependent upon God for all my needs. It certainly had made me more aware of the needs of others. He is still in the prayer answering business, but we must learn to be patient and just trust Him for the answers that are the best for us. I know that we don’t always get the answer we want, but we do get the answers that we need. There are still a lot of things that I don’t understand, but I know that God has everything under control, and that He loves us with an everlasting love that even I don’t comprehend at times. I have a much better understanding of it now than I had a few months ago. I thank Him for being with me every step of the way, because sometimes, the way was so dark that I couldn’t find it without His help. He is my Savior, my comfort, my very present help in times of trouble. I wouldn’t want to live a day without His divine presence in and on my life. Praise His good name. I love Him and I trust Him. Pray for me that I may always exalt His name and live a life that would be pleasing to Him and a blessing to others.
 
Proverbs 3: 5-6
5Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
 


Two Little Boys
Copied
After a hardy rainstorm filled all the potholes in the streets and alleys, a young mother watched her two little boys playing in the puddles through her kitchen window. The older of the two, a five year old lad, grabbed his sibling by the back of his head and shoved his face into the water hole.

As the boy recovered and stood laughing and dripping, the mother ran to the yard in a panic. "Why on earth did you do that to your little brother?!" she asked as she shook the older boy in anger. "We were just playing 'church' mommy," he said. "I was just baptizing him......in the name of the Father, the Son, and in...the hole-he-goes".
 
 

 
Reporter interviewing a 104-year-old woman: “And what do you think is the best thing about being 104?” the reporter asked. She simply replied, “No peer pressure.”

 
The National Cancer Survivors Day is a secular holiday celebrated on the first Sunday in June. This year it is celebrated Sunday, June 7, 2009. The day is meant to demonstrate that life after a cancer diagnosis can be a reality. We are grateful for the advances that have been have been made in the fight against cancer, and for the increasing number of cancer survivors. Let’s remember to pray for those who are now struggling with cancer. Remember to pray for the many doctors, nurses, and caregivers working everyday in the fight against cancer. 
                                                                                        
What Cancer Cannot Do
Cancer is so limited ...
    It cannot cripple love,
    It cannot shatter hope,
    It cannot corrode faith,
    It cannot eat away at peace,
    It cannot destroy confidence,
    It cannot kill friendship,
    It cannot shut out memories,
    It cannot invade the soul,
    It cannot reduce eternal life,
    It cannot quench the spirit,
    It cannot lessen the power of the resurrection.         
                   Author Unknown
 
   

 
 You don't stop laughing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop laughing!!!

 
Why Jesus Gave His Life Away
Copied from June 1976 Christian Banner
 
A boat turned over on a lake. They boy who had been fishing in it went down into the water. A man on the shore saw what happened and dived in after him. He swam to where the boy was and got him out. After the boy was wrapped in a warm blanket and taken home, he was all right.
 
But the man who had jumped into the water to save the boy caught a very bad cold. It became pneumonia. Soon after that he died.
 
The boy never forgot the man who had saved him. His parents also were thankful. They did whatever they could to help the man’s family. And every year the boy went out to the cemetery and put flowers on the man’s grave. He said, “That man saved me and died for me.”
 
Those words sound almost like the words St. Paul said about Jesus. He said, “Jesus loved me and gave Himself for me.” But Jesus loved us all much more than anyone else could love us. He became a child. He lived a poor life on earth even though He was God. And He let people hurt Him and nail Him to a cross.
 
Jesus loved us and gave Himself for us. He gave up His life on purpose so that we could be saved from our sins. We will not want to forget Jesus. All those who believe that Jesus died to save them love Him. Those who love Him also thank Him and work for Him.
 
Bible Verse: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20.
 
Bible Reading: Matthew 27
 
 
Our Prayer: Dear Jesus, our Savior, we never want to forget You or all the things You have done for us. Help us to show You every day how thankful we are that You gave up Your life for us. Amen.
 


What a Mess!
Written & submitted by: Pat Lewallen
 
I was recently talking with a co-worker. She told me what had happened to her 6 year old son. She and her husband had gotten him a small 4 wheeler. This one was so small he wouldn't get hurt riding on it. They told him where he could ride the 4 wheeler and to be careful with it. She told me how well he had done and how much he enjoyed his 4 wheeler.
 
She was visiting the neighbors next door when they heard screams coming from her house. They ran to her house and there was her son and his wrecked 4 wheeler. He had ridden the 4 wheeler too fast and was riding in an unapproved area too. His Mom got him up and checked him over. She was amazed that her son and his 4 wheeler had both only received a few bumps and scrapes each.
 
Later that night the 6 year old boy was talking to his father. The little boy was very sad. He told his father, “I’ve made a mess out of my life.” His father put his arms around the son he loved and told him it was okay and not to be so worried. His father told him that he forgave him, and that from now on he was to obey his parents and not to be doing things he knew could get him into trouble. The 6 year old had finally gotten the courage to tell his father how troubled he was inside. What a relief came over the little boy, after confessing his wrong doing, to be forgiven by his father. 
 
I remember being burdened down with things that troubled me. I too saw the mess that was in my life. I finally got so convicted and tired of living a messed up life that I asked the Lord to forgive me. My Heavenly Father saved me, forgave me, and put such a relief and a joy in my heart that nothing else in this world has ever been able to match it.
 
Are you like the little 6 year old boy? You know you’ve disobeyed the Lord’s teachings and His will for your life. Would you like forgiveness from a messed up life? If you're tired of feeling unhappy and troubled inside, ask the Lord to forgive your sins, ask Him to come into your heart, promise to live for Him, and ask Him to direct your life. Your Heavenly Father is willing to forgive, but you have to ask. Find the courage to ask Him today. You'll find such a relief from the burden of sin that nothing else but the love of Jesus can give.
 
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
 
 

 
 
When Father Prays
Copied
 
When father prays he doesn’t use
The words the preacher does;
There’s different things for different days,
But mostly it’s for us.
 
When father prays the house is still,
His voice is slow and deep.
We shut our eyes, the clock ticks loud,
So quiet we must keep.
 
He prays that we may be good boys,
And later on good men;
And then we squirm, and think we won’t
Have any quarrels again.
 
You’d never think, to look at Dad,
He once had tempers, too.
I guess if father needs to pray,
We youngsters surely do.
 
Sometimes the prayer gets very long
And hard to understand,
And then I wiggle up quite close,
And let him hold my hand.
 
I can’t remember all of it,
I’m little yet, you see;
But one thing I cannot forget,
 
My father prays for me!
          Author Unknown
  

 
Father's Day is Sunday June 21, 2009. If your Dad is living, remember to pay him a visit and tell him you love him. If you can't visit because of distance, be sure to call him and tell him you love him.

 
Not Wasted
Article from Guidepost magazine
 
A young woman, a lover of flowers, had set out a rare vine at the base of a stone wall. Though it grew vigorously, the woman noticed that it did not bloom, despite the good care lavished on it day after day. One morning, as the young lady stood disappointed before it, her invalid neighbor, whose back yard adjoined her own called her over and said, “You can’t imagine how much I have been enjoying the blooms of that vine you planted.”
 
The owner looked and on the other side of the wall she saw a mass of blossoms. The vine had crept through the crevices and had flowered where the neighbor could enjoy the beauty.
 
There is a lesson for everyone here. Often we cannot see the fruits of our labors and think they have been lost. But in God’s service, somewhere, all our efforts bear their fruit and some hearts receive their blessing and joy.
 
 

 
 
+++ The Christian Banner - May 2009 +++
 
   
HANDY LITTLE CHART - GOD HAS A POSITIVE ANSWER:  
YOU SAY  
GOD SAYS  
BIBLE VERSES  
 It's impossible  
 All things are possible  
 Luke 18:27  
 I'm too tired  
 I will give you rest  
 Matthew 11:28-30  
 Nobody really loves me 
 I love you  
 John 3:16 & Romans 5:8   
 I can't go on  
 My grace is sufficient
 II Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15  
 I can't figure things out  
 I will direct your steps  
 Proverbs 3:5-6  
 I can't do it  
 You can do all things  
 Philippians 4:13  
 I'm not able  
 I am able  
 II Corinthians 9:8  
 It's not worth it
 It will be worth it  
 Romans 8:28   
 I can't forgive myself  
 I forgive you  
 I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1  
 I can't manage  
 I will supply all your needs  
 Philippians 4:19  
 I'm afraid  
 I have not given you a spirit of fear  
 II Timothy 1:7 
 I'm always worried and frustrated  
 Cast all your cares on ME  
 I Peter 5:7  
 I'm not smart enough  
 I give you wisdom  
 I Corinthians 1:30  
 I feel all alone  
 I will never leave you or forsake you  
 Hebrews 13:5

  


Congratulations to Bonnie Jarrell, our 2009 Mother of the Year!!


A Mother's Love
Copied Article

After 21 years of marriage, My wife wanted me to take another woman out to dinner and a movie. She said, "I love you, but I know this other woman loves you and would love to spend some time with you."

The other woman that my wife wanted me to visit was my MOTHER, who has been a widow for 19 years, but the demands of my work and my three children had made it possible to visit her only occasionally.

That night I called to invite her to go out for dinner and a movie. "What's wrong, are you well," she asked? My mother is the type of woman who suspects that a late night call or a surprise invitation is a sign of bad news. "I thought that it would be pleasant to spend some time with you," I responded. "Just the two of us." She thought about it for a moment, and then said, "I would like that very much."

That Friday after work, as I drove over to pick her up I was a bit nervous. When I arrived at her house, I noticed that she, too, seemed to be nervous about our date. She waited in the door with her coat on. She had curled her hair and was wearing the dress that she had worn to celebrate her last wedding anniversary.

She smiled from a face that was as radiant as an angel's. "I told my friends that I was going to go out with my son, and they were impressed," she said, as she got into the car. "They can't wait to hear about our meeting."

We went to a restaurant that, although not elegant, was very nice and cozy. My mother took my arm as if she were the First Lady. After we sat down, I had to read the menu. Her eyes could only read large print. Half way through the entries, I lifted my eyes and saw Mom sitting there staring at me. A nostalgic smile was on her lips. "It was I who used to have to read the menu when you were small," she said. "Then it's time that you relax and let me return the favor," I responded.

During the dinner, we had an agreeable conversation, nothing extraordinary but catching up on recent events of each other's life. We talked so much that we missed the movie. As we arrived at her house later, she said, "I'll go out with you again, but only if you let me invite you."
I agreed.

"How was your dinner date?" asked my wife when I got home. "Very nice. Much more so than I could have imagined," I answered.

A few days later, my mother died of a massive heart attack. It happened so suddenly that I didn't have a chance to do anything for her. Some time later, I received an envelope with a copy of a restaurant receipt from the same place mother and I had dined. An attached note said: "I paid this bill in advance. I wasn't sure that I could be there; but nevertheless, I paid for two plates - one for you and the other for your wife. You will never know what that night meant for me. I love you, son."

At that moment, I understood the importance of saying in time: "I LOVE YOU" and to give our loved ones the time that they deserve. Nothing in life is more important than your family. Give them the time they deserve, because these things cannot be put off till "some other time".
                                                                                            +++++

Somebody said it takes about six weeks to get back to normal after you've had a baby ...... somebody doesn't know that once you're a mother, "normal" is history.

Somebody said you learn how to be a mother by instinct; somebody never took a three-year-old shopping.

Somebody said being a mother is boring ... somebody never rode in a car driven by a teenager with a driver's permit.

Somebody said if you're a "good" mother, your child will "turn out good"... .somebody thinks a child comes with directions and a guarantee.

Somebody said "good" mothers never raise their voices…. somebody never came out the back door just in time to see her child hit a golf ball through the neighbor's kitchen window.

Somebody said you don't need an education to be a mother..... somebody never helped a fourth grader with his math.

Somebody said you can't love the second child as much as you love the first ... somebody doesn't have two children.

Somebody said a mother can find all the answers to her child-rearing questions in the books.... somebody never had a child stuff beans up his nose or in his ears.

Somebody said the hardest part of being a mother is labor and delivery......somebody never watched her "baby" get on the bus for the first day of kindergarten or on a plane headed for military "boot camp."

Somebody said a mother can do her job with her eyes closed and one hand tied behind her back ...somebody never organized seven giggling Brownies or Girl Scouts, to sell cookies.

Somebody said a mother can stop worrying after her child gets married....somebody doesn't know that marriage adds a new son or daughter-in-law to a mother's heartstrings.

Somebody said a mother's job is done when her last child leaves home....somebody never had grandchildren.

Somebody said your mother knows you love her, so you don't need to tell her..... somebody isn't a mother.
 

Some people think they are saints because they are selective in their sins.

 
Peace
Written and submitted by: Mabel Horton
 
What is your definition of peace? Jesus spoke to the disciples about peace in John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” In Philippians 4:7 it is written, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
 
The heart of a Christian knows to seek solace. We pray more fervently when our lives are in chaos. This makes it seem that we may leave God out when things are going well. I don’t think that is a true statement. I believe that is just the ebb and flow of life along with our humanness. Our children are much that way in their relationship with us. There were lots of time when I tried to work things out on my own and shield my Mother so to speak, but when times got tough and I really needed her help, I would call her. I’ve seen my daughter do the same thing and it made me feel good when she asked for my help and even better that she had tried. God has given us good minds and the ability to read and study His word that we can handle difficult situations even though He’s always by our side. Then when times get really tough, perhaps beyond our control, He carries us if need be. I used to be very quick to say God helps those who help themselves. Then I was told by a minister in a Bible study group that there was no place in the Bible that says that. Now I say God helps those that can’t help themselves.
 
The peace that passes all understanding cannot be found any place except in the love of God.
 

Several elderly church members were being asked to what they attributed their long life. "And why do you think God has permitted you to reach the age of 92?" one wealthy old lady was asked. Without hesitation she responded: "To test the patience of my relatives."


Trust
Written and submitted by: Amy Hunt     

Psalm 18:18-19: “They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay.  He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.”
 
I’ve been thinking about times past lately and one memory I have is of Anna learning to walk. Everyone was concerned that she would crawl or want to be carried forever. One day we gave her a helium balloon to hold in her hand. She focused her attention on the balloon and didn’t realize that no one was hanging onto her. Before she knew it, she had taken a few steps.
 
I was just thinking about how that applies to my life now. Just like Anna, I am stepping out in an unknown territory. I am scared and unsure about how to deal with losing a parent. I don’t want to have to “let go” of everything that has kept me stable and secure. I just praise God for showing me that He is always there with me, by my side, ready to catch me if I stumble. Just as we wanted Anna to grow into the independent child she is today, Christ wants us to grow in our trust and faith in Him. This will enable us to move forward in service for the Lord. I believe that if we will turn everything, including our doubts and fears, over to God, He will use us as productive workers for Him.
 
My prayer is:
Lord, please help me to trust you completely. You are the one who knows the future and will always do the best thing for me. Please use me to do some good for your name sake and to help spread your Word and win souls for your Kingdom.


           
                                                                                     Wonderful Mother
                                                                                     Written by: Pat O’Reilly
                                                                                     Copied Article

                                                                           God made a wonderful mother, 
                                                                           A mother who never grows old;

                                                                           He made her smile of the sunshine, 
                                                                           And He moulded her heart of pure gold;

                                                                           In her eyes He placed bright shining stars, 
                                                                           In her cheeks fair roses you see;


                                                                           God made a wonderful mother, 
                                                                           And He gave that dear mother to me. 
 


 
+++ The Christian Banner - April  2009 +++
 
 
There Is One….For All
Written and submitted by: Lisa Cutshaw
 
One Body,
One Spirit,
One Hope,
One Lord,
One Faith,
One Baptism,
One God and Father
Of All,
Above All,
Through All,
And
In all.
(Ephesians 4:4-6)
 
Every day we pray for many things. Some are simple; like, “Lord help me through today” and “protect my children.” Other prayers are complex; “Lord, I am dying and I need a miracle. Please intervene. Touch and heal me today.” Everyone can pray in different ways. Some pray out loud, others quietly. Some pray on their knees while others pray standing or lying down. You can pray anywhere; the bedroom, your closet, the dining room table, in your car, while you walk and most definitely while you work. Prayers can be long and beautiful with just the words we think God wants to hear. Or, they can be short and to the point.
 
Do you know what I like best about prayer? My God hears them and He doesn’t care which way I ask them. Long, short, pretty, or direct, He hears them all. God only cares that when I pray, that I pray and believe with faith in Jesus Christ (John 14:13).
 
When I was younger, I remember praying daily for my parents for years. I remember growing weary waiting for my prayer to be answered. I thought, surely my God desires to see them saved just as much as I do. Then, the joy that flooded my soul made me forget the waiting when I saw them kneel at the altar in prayer.
 
Recently, I have been praying for something, we will call it the ‘need’. It is definitely a need if ever there was one. This need has become a regular on my prayer list; actually, it’s probably the oldest on my list. Then, just like when I was praying for my parents, God answered my prayer. Remember the joy that flooded my soul before? Well, it wasn’t there. Instead, I said, “but, God. Wait! I know you answered this need. But, did you not understand me? There is no way this can be the right answer! I don’t get it.” I wasn’t angry, just hurting and confused.
 
You see God answered my prayer for this ‘need’ but not my way. It was His way. My first thought was to cry out and even try to reason with God. Then, the words came: "Be still, and know that I am God.”    Psalm 46:10a.
 
Well, I’m sure words are too simple to explain my feeling. It’s easy to want to control God instead of letting God be in control. That was where I was going and getting there quickly. You see, I had help. O Satan himself tried to assure me that there was no way a loving God would answer my prayer this way. Then, the God of all eternity quieted my heart and yes, put me in my place. I knew this before and I really know it now, God answers prayers in His will and way.
 
Thank you God for listening and sometimes, not listening. See, He is listening and is answering my prayer request for this ‘need.’ At the same time, He answered it in His will and way, not mine. Think of the mess that would be made if God let me pick the answers to my prayer request. Praise be to God, the God of all eternity, the God who sees and knows the right answers.
 

Holding one's tongue, so opinions stay put, is easier far, than extracting one's foot!

 
EASTER STORY COOKIES
Copied and submitted by: Amy Hunt

This is a recipe but also an Easter activity for you to do with your children. It's an excellent way to reinforce the message that Easter is not just about the Easter Bunny. The cookies are good, too.
 
You will need: 
 
1 cup pecans Wooden spoon       
1 teaspoon vinegar
Scotch tape
3 egg whites Bible
Pinch of salt Electric mixer
1 cup of sugar Baking sheet
1 ziploc bag Wax paper
 
  
Make the night before Easter. Be sure to preheat oven to 300° F first. (Don’t wait until you’re done preparing everything else to preheat oven.) Place pecans in ziploc baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3.
 
Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 teaspoon vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross He was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.
 
Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11.
 
Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste the salt, add a pinch of salt to the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27.
 
So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 cup sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died for us because He loves us. He wants us to know we belong to Him. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16.
 
Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins are cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah1:18 and John 3:1-3.
 
Fold in the broken pecans. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto wax paper covered baking sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was buried. Read Matthew 27:57-60.
 
Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape to seal the oven door shut. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. Read Matthew 27:65-66.
 
GO TO BED! Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20-22.
 
On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter, Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. JESUS WAS RISEN!! Read Matthew 28:1-9.
 

Gossip is like mud thrown against a clean wall; it many not stick, but it leaves a mark.


I'm Ready
Written and submitted by: Pat Lewallen
 
I sometimes think about things that have happened in my life that I just wasn’t ready for. As I’ve listened to the taped message of Preacher Bud Frye on our website, I realize how much I miss him. He was my pastor and friend for many years. Preacher Bud taught me how important it is to dedicate my life to the Lord in order to find real happiness. I remember the time when Bud got sick and was diagnosed with cancer. It was a sad time then. I remember when they called June 27, 2000 and said Bud had passed away. Bud’s death was something I was not ready for. I loved Preacher Bud and he loved me. It’s hard to be ready to lose a pastor, a dear friend.
 
I think about my Daddy also. I think about him quite often and I miss him so very much. My Daddy was good to me. I remember that Saturday evening, November 26, 2005. I was at home, in the kitchen cooking. Momma called on the phone and told me to come home and help her. She had found my Daddy lying motionless outdoors on the ground. Momma told me he was dead. It was a very sad day. His death was something I definitely was not ready for. I loved my Daddy and he loved me. It’s hard to be ready to lose a Daddy, a dear friend.
 
I also remember when Momma called me around Christmas 2007. She told me my brother Ricky was sick and needed to go to the hospital. We took him to the emergency room. He was so sick they went ahead and admitted him into the hospital. They ran several tests. When all the results came back, it was cancer. Later, we made an appointment with the cancer doctor. I remember Dr. Lewis telling us Ricky has stage four pancreatic cancer. Dr. Lewis tells us the only option is chemotherapy. That news hurt me very deeply. That was a very sad day. I remember my brother daily in my prayers. I love Ricky and he loves me. I know I won't be ready to lose a brother, a dear friend.
 
These are just three of many experiences in my life I was not ready for. I know as human beings, we all experience things we just aren't ready to face. But there is something I am ready for. That’s the day the Lord calls me home to Heaven to be with Him. I don’t know when it will be, but I do know I am ready. What peace it gives me to know that I have a Heavenly Father. I love Him and He loves me!
 
You too can have the assurance that you’re ready for the day when your earthly life is over. You will find in Jesus the dearest and closest friend you’ll ever know. He shed His innocent blood on a cruel cross at Calvary to give His sinless life in exchange for your sins. Life on this earth, even at the longest, is very short! Just ask the Lord to forgive you of your sins and to come into your heart today. Jesus has already done His part. It’s up to you to accept Jesus before you die. Jesus loves you and you can love Him too!
 

 
+++ The Christian Banner - March   2009 +++
 
 
TO HAVE A FRIEND, BE A FRIEND
Written and submitted by: Lisa Cutshaw
 
   Do you desire to have a close friend or best friend? Do you need someone to talk to, share, or just to listen? Friendship should never be one-sided. It is about give and take. You have to be willing to not only talk but to also listen. Friendship means to be affectionately attached to another, to care, and assist this person.
 
    I like my friends to be loyal, trustworthy, and dependable; to not only talk but to also listen. I want you to be there 24 hours a day and 7 days a week; no fair weather friends. Mostly, what you see is what you get! I’m me and only me. I can’t change to fit into a friendship nor do I want you to change for me. And definitely, I love my friends.
You know, this is what Christ instructs us to do:
 
“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. ” John 15:12, 13
 
“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24
 
“A friend loveth at all times…” Proverbs 17:7a
 
   We are taught how to be a friend and make friends by Jesus himself. Start each day by loving others and soon you will have more friends than you can count. To have a friend, be a friend. Have a blessed day and celebrate Christ!
 
Prayer: Lord, today, create in me, the skills to be a good friend. Help me start by putting you first in my life. You are my eternal best friend. Help me to speak at the right time and close my mouth, so I may listen more. Help me to be a forever friend that is always there to help others. Give me the love I need in my heart to care deeply. Make me strong enough to overcome my fear of speaking to others. So, I may reach others with your friendship, the friendship of Jesus Christ. You are my friend that laid down His life for my eternal salvation.
Amen


How do you prevent truth decay? Read your Bible every day!


Do you remember economic times like we are experiencing now? You or someone you know has lost their job or have had their hours reduced at work. You or someone you know may have lost their home to foreclosure. You or someone you know is having a hard time making enough money to pay the monthly bills.

Have you remembered to ask the Lord to help you, your family, and friends in these difficult times? Have you remembered to pray for our local, state, and government leaders as they face difficult decisions that have to be made? Please pray for them and ask the Lord to touch their hearts and to give them wisdom to make the best decisions.
 
We need the Lord’s help now more than ever. How can we as Christians help? We can lift up our needs and those of others around us in prayer. Remember to pray for our nation and our world everyday in your daily prayers!!
 

The Missing Record
Written and submitted by: Pat Lewallen
 
I recently received a phone call from a cousin wanting help in getting a copy of the death certificate for my Grandpa Greene, my Dad’s father. My cousin has all the other records for the Greene family except for Grandpa’s death certificate. I told him I would get him a copy. My Dad and all his immediate family members are deceased except for my Dad’s sister, Marcelle.
 
I asked Mom for her copy of Grandpa Greene’s death certificate. No, she didn’t have a copy but she knew the year of his death and that he died at the Griffin Clinic in Asheboro. I then called my aunt Marcelle. No, she didn’t have a copy either and she didn’t remember the exact date of his death either.

The next place to search is the Randolph County Register of Deeds office. I know my Grandpa’s full name, where he died, and the year he died. I don’t know the month or day but they will have it on file at the Register of Deeds office. They have all the vital records of births, deaths, and almost everything in between recorded there. I know I can get a copy from them to send to my cousin.

I go to the Register of Deeds office. I tell them who I am and what I need. The lady tells me she will help me locate a copy of my Grandpa’s death certificate. We proceed to a room filled with volumes of large books. She tells me that my Grandpa’s record would be in one of these books because it took place before the records were computerized. She pulls out the book that contains the names of all the people who died in Randolph County between 1938 and 1960.
 
She looks up at me with a puzzled expression on her face. There is no record of my Grandpa Greene’s death. She looked everywhere she knew to look in the book. I even helped her look. Sure enough, it was not recorded in the book. She then told me that people didn’t always do what they are supposed to do back then. This was the case in my Grandpa’s death.
 
I have thought what a shame that someone made such a mistake and failed to get my Grandpa’s death certificate recorded. It also made me think about the Lamb’s book of life that is being kept in Heaven. Only those who have surrendered their life and are living for Jesus have their name recorded in this Book of Life. Friend, don’t make the tragic mistake of putting off asking Jesus into your heart and life.
  
I have no idea what happened to my Grandpa’s death certificate. The only thing I know is that it was not recorded at the Register of Deeds office. Either it wasn’t created or someone failed to take it and get it recorded. It will never be recorded at the Register of Deeds office either. Don’t let this happen with your life. If the Lord is dealing with your heart, please don’t put off accepting Him. Ask Him to forgive you of your sins and to come into your heart today. Your name will then be recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Today is the day of salvation. Tomorrow may be eternally too late!
  
The Bible tells us about those who will be in Heaven in Revelation 21:27:
“And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.”
 

Prayer Time
Written and submitted by: Faye Byrd
 
   Prayer is communicating with God. Prayer is praising and worshiping God for who He is. This takes our focus off of ourselves and places it on Him. It positions Him first in our hearts and allows Him full access to our lives. Each and every time we pray, we come in contact with God in a profound and life-changing way. When we face hopeless situations in our relationships, businesses, work, finances, health, emotions, or children, praying to the God of hope can change the situation. Prayer is telling God we need Him. When we don’t pray, it implies that we think we can handle everything on our own. But the truth is we can’t handle anything on our own. We need God for everything.
 
   Don’t ever be intimidated by the size of the issues God calls you to pray about. Because He is on your side, no force of darkness can resist the power of your prayers. Confirmation can be found in Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”
 
   The prayers of others are vital and can help us survive but to really sense the fullness of God’s presence in our lives, we have to be alone with Him every day. God said, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). The more time we spend alone with God, the more powerful our prayers will be when we pray with others. It’s not that praying with other people is less effective than praying alone. There is great power when we pray in numbers. But praying with other people without spending time alone with God will compromise the effectiveness and power of your prayers. In other words, you will be a more effective prayer partner if you have not neglected your time alone with the Lord.
 
   Prayer is telling God we love and adore Him. It’s coming humbly before God and speaking to Him the way we would to someone we dearly love. Prayer is telling God how grateful we are that He loved us before we were even aware He existed. When we pray, we’re saying, “I love You, Lord, and I thank You for loving me.” We should do that often.