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

Year 2012 - January thru March

   
 
 
+++ The Christian Banner - March 2012 +++
 
The Cab Ride I'll Never Forget
Written by: Kent Nerburn
Copied Article
WebOfLove.org

Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. One time I arrived in the middle of the night for a pick up at a building that was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window.
 
Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, then drive away. But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself. So I walked to the door and knocked.
 
"Just a minute," answered a frail, elderly voice.
 
I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80's stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase.
 
The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.
 
"Would you carry my bag out to the car?" she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness.
 
"It's nothing," I told her. "I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated."
 
"Oh, you're such a good boy," she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, then asked, "Could you drive through downtown?"
 
"It's not the shortest way," I answered quickly.
 
"Oh, I don't mind," she said. "I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice."
 
I looked in the rear view mirror. Her eyes were glistening.
 
"I don't have any family left," she continued. "The doctor says I don't have very long."
 
I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. "What route would you like me to take?" I asked.
 
For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl. Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.
 
As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, "I'm tired. Let's go now."
 
We drove in silence to the address she had given me.
 
It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her. I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.
 
"How much do I owe you?" she asked, reaching into her purse.
 
"Nothing," I said.
 
"You have to make a living," she answered.
 
"There are other passengers."
 
Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.
 
"You gave an old woman a little moment of joy," she said. "Thank you."
 
I squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.
 
I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly, lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?
 
On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life. We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware—beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.
 
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A doctor told his patient, “Ma’am, the dog that bit you had rabies, and I’m afraid you’ve waited too long for rabies shots to be of any help.  It’s time for you to make out a will.” 
 
May I borrow a pen and some paper?” asked the woman calmly.  She began writing—and didn’t stop for over an hour.
 
That’s the longest will I’ve ever seen,” the doctor said. 
 
“It’s not a will,” the woman replied.  “It’s a list of all the people I’m going to bite when I get out of here.”
 
Some people make others happy when they arrive.  Others make them happy when they leave.  Which are you?
 
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Can Prayer Save America?
Copied Article
Submitted by: Alice Harrelson


During the Civil War, a friend of Abraham Lincoln was a visitor at the White House. "One night I was restless and could not sleep.... From the private room where the President slept, I heard low tones. Instinctively I wandered in, and there I saw a sight that I have never forgotten. It was the President, kneeling before an open Bible. His back was toward me. I shall never forget his prayer: 'Oh, Thou God that heard Solomon in the night when he prayed and cried for wisdom, hear me.... I cannot guide the affairs of this nation without Thy help. Hear me and save this nation.'"

When the leaders of our country assembled to write the Constitution, Benjamin Franklin proposed that each session be opened with prayer. Franklin said, "I have lived a long time, and the longer I live the more convincing proof I see of this truth--that God governs the affairs of men."

Our nation is great because it was founded upon God's Word and prayer. But today prayer has been replaced by political intrigue, materialism, and a mistaken notion that our private and national affairs can be run without God. But here and there throughout America, voices are heard as individuals and groups begin to call on God in prayer. But this whole nation must be moved to prayer. So great are the dangers, so grave the perils, so tremendous the problems that it is imperative that we lay hold upon the Lord God in prayer for His will.
 
Prayer can save America. There is only one way out, and that is up! If we do not turn to God, we will be overcome by the godless. It is either revival or ruin! It is now or never! The answer will not be found by the UN or NATO. The answer will be found only when we call upon the Lord God. Spiritual values must be restored. We must return to the faith of our fathers and to family prayer and the Bible.
 
But we cannot really lay hold upon a holy God until we come to know Him as our Father. The Bible says that we have all sinned and are separated from God (Romans 3:23). By His death on the cross, God's Son Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sins. "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" (John 3:16).
 
Christ's death and resurrection make it possible for you to have victory over sin and a vital relationship with God. Only then can He hear and answer your prayers... both for America and your own personal needs. Receive Him today. "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 1:12).

Then you can claim God's promise: "If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14).
 
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A Simple Prayer
Hi Lord,
 
It’s me.  We’re getting older and things are getting bad here. Gas prices are too high, no jobs, food and heating costs are too high. I know some have taken you out of our schools, government and even Christmas, but Lord I'm asking you to come back and re-bless America. We really need you! There are more of us who want you than those who don't! 
 
Thank you Lord, 
I love You.
 
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The Bumpy Ride Home
Written by: Pat Lewallen
 
I can still remember Thursday, January 5th, 2012. It was an extremely long and very tiring day. Momma was not feeling well that day. She had two doctors’ appointments that day. One appointment was at 11:30 am and the other was at 3:30 pm. We waited thirty minutes in the waiting room to see the first doctor and another forty-five minutes later that day to see the second doctor. If you’ve ever been kept waiting at a doctor’s office, you know just how tired and weary this can make you. I felt sorry for Momma. I knew she was sick and would have liked nothing better than to be resting at home.
 
The first doctor finally sees Momma, diagnoses her problem, and sends an electronic prescription request to the drug store. Momma is very tired and not feeling any better so I decide to take her straight home. As I’m driving along on the Old Farmer Road, Momma suddenly said, “This road is so bumpy and rough, can’t you find another road to drive on?” I replied, “Momma, I’m sorry, but this is the road that takes us home.”
 
The second doctor is in Archdale. We drive to Archdale and after waiting forty-five minutes; we finally get to see him. We talk to the doctor and he prescribes Momma another medication. This prescription is hand written so we have to drive back to the drug store in Asheboro and drop it off. Momma was extremely tired so I decided to take her on home and come back later and pick up her medicine. As I’m driving toward home, I looked over and jokingly asked, “Momma, are you ready for another bumpy ride?” She was very tired. Momma said, “I’m ready to go home.”
 
This earthly life has its share of bumpy and rough roads. Just look around and see all the turmoil and strife that fills the world today. It seems like no one wants to get along with anyone else anymore. I can’t believe how much things have changed in just my lifetime. I still love my country. It hurts me to see so many horrible things taking place in America and all over the world today. I’m so glad I have Jesus to depend on every day in my life’s journey. Jesus is always with me as I travel this bumpy road of life. One day I know Jesus will call for me. I just don’t know how long my wait will be. But I know for sure that whenever He calls for me, I’m going to answer, “I’m ready to go home.”
 
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Nothing Better
Copied & submitted by:
Lela Farlow Trotter
 
Is there anything else that is better worth
As along life’s way we plod
Than to find some wand’ring soul of earth
And bring him home to God?
 
I would rather find a soul that is lost
And bring it home again
Than to own what all earth’s acres cost
Or all the wealth of men!
 
Wouldn’t I be glad when the day is done
In breathing my last breath
To know some word of mine had won
And saved a soul from death?
 
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The Treasure of Sunset Beach, NJ
Copied from article
Written by: Susan Tischler
 
It is about 7:20 when I pull over and park along the shoulder of Sunset Boulevard. Sunset is at 7:45 so I figure I have plenty of time but I have underestimated the number of people who attend the Evening Flag Ceremony at Sunset Beach every night from May through September. My parking space is across from the water tower. I grab my camera bag and start walking, briskly I might add, so I don’t miss a thing because this is going to be one spectacular sunset.
 
The lowering of the American flag is a 40 year tradition and Marvin Hume has been at the mast for 32 of those years. The 83-year-old Hume owns the property at Sunset Beach which includes a couple of gift shops, a clothing boutique, Sunset Beach Grill and is the site of any number of other attractions including the concrete ship Atlantus. A setting sun has no patience for digression.
 
The sky, as I step onto the rough sand, is filled with pastel hues of peach and yellow with just a trace of blue. As the sun begins to set in earnest, the peaches turn to orange, the yellows deepen to gold and blue disappears completely, replaced by a fiery red. It has been very hot the past few weeks and the sunsets have been hidden amid a thick, steamy, summer haze. This clear, variegated sky although beautiful is another reminder of fall and cooler temperatures.
 
This is the first time I’ve actually stayed for the flag lowering. There are loads of people lining the beach for the sunset. As I busy myself taking pictures of the scene I hear a voice over the p.a. system bringing my attention away from the sky and toward the flag and sky which is still blue.
 
Marvin is explaining the ceremony and introducing the family who will help lower the flag tonight. All the flags flown at the mast are veterans’ casket flags donated by the families of the deceased. Tonight, the flag will be lowered with the help of Julianna and Alex Herff whose grandfather Olimpio Herff, a veteran of the Korean War died recently. Julianna and Alex are about 4 and 6 I venture to say. Marvin asks that we all stand while a recording of Kate Smith singing God Bless America, followed by the national anthem play. Marvin then walks over to the mast, greets the Herff family and shows Julianna and Alex how to stand with their hand over their heart while the music plays. Their mother Victoria Monacelli-Herff stands nearby watching.
 
I snap away with the camera until the Star Spangled Banner plays and then I too, place my hand over my heart and look to the flag. There are maybe a couple hundred people assembled. They spread out from the Sunset Grill up and down the beach for quite a ways. Many are gathered near the mast. They are young – children, teens and young adults. They are old, many of them veterans of various wars from WWII to Vietnam. They stand in silence, some singing, some near tears, some with their heads bowed as though in prayer.
 
And then it is over. At the end of the anthem, Marvin and Julianna begin lowering the flag. Marvin asks Alex and Victoria to stand opposite them so they may catch the flag as it comes down. Marvin cautions against allowing the flag to touch the ground.
 
I ask Marvin if I can contact him if I have any questions. “I’m here every night just come on over.”
 
As I walk back to my car, forgetting just how far back that is, I think what a unique place Sunset Beach is. A small gesture like the flag ceremony brings strangers together in a shared moment to enjoy the sunset, the flag lowering, the site of the concrete ship, a view of the ferry going across the Delaware Bay – more importantly it is a moment of a shared history and a sense of our commonality.
 
 
 
+++ The Christian Banner - February 2012 +++
 
 
Hidden Sin
Written by: Cindy Hess Kasper
Copied article
 
Chuck had slowed to a stop when his car was hit from behind and was pushed into the vehicle ahead of him. A sickening, crunching sound indicated that additional vehicles had collided behind them.
 
As Chuck sat quietly for a moment, he observed that the vehicle directly behind him was pulling out into traffic. Obviously hoping to avoid an encounter with police, the escaping driver neglected to notice he had left something behind. When the police arrived, an officer picked up the hit-and-run driver’s license plate from the ground and said to Chuck, “Someone will be waiting for him when he arrives home. He won’t get away with this.”
 
Scripture tells us: “Be sure your sin will find you out” (Num. 32:23), as this man who fled the accident discovered. We may sometimes be able to hide our sin from the people around us, but nothing is ever “hidden from [God’s] sight” (Heb. 4:13). He sees each of our failures, thoughts, and motivations (1 Sam. 16:7; Luke 12:2-3).
 
Believers are given a wonderful promise: “If we confess our sins, [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). So don’t let unconfessed, so-called “hidden” sins come between you and God (vv.6-7).

We cannot hide from God
No matter how we try;
For He knows all we think and do—
We can’t escape His eye. —Hess
 
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Three things in life that, once gone, never come back: Time, Words, Opportunity

Three things in life that can destroy a person: Anger, Pride, Unforgiveness

Three things in life that you should never lose: Hope, Peace, Honesty
 
Three things in life that are most valuable: Love, Family and Friends, Kindness
 
Three things in life that are never certain: Fortune, Success, Dreams
 
Three things that make a person: Commitment, Sincerity, Hard work

Three things that are truly constant: Father, Son, Holy Spirit
 
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Friday Morning Thoughts
Written by: Joyce Freeman
 
Even though I have read Psalm 4 many times, this morning as I was reading verses 6-8 it dawned on me that this is exactly how I feel about my Lord and that it needed to be shared with others.

Psalm 4:6-8
6There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. (See Numbers 6:26)
 7Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.
 8I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.
 
And here is my prayer for each of you from Numbers, Chapter 6:

Numbers 6:24-26
24The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:
25The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
26The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
 
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Do You Know Your Hymns?
Copied & submitted by: Edith Kearns
 
Dentist’s Hymn……………………………….…...…Crown Him with Many Crowns
Weatherman’s Hymn………………………….…. There Shall Be Showers of Blessings
Contractor’s Hymn……………………….…………The Church’s One Foundation
The Tailor’s Hymn…………………….…………….Holy, Holy, Holy
The Golfer’s Hymn…………………….…………...There’s a Green Hill Far Away
The Politician’s Hymn………………………………Standing on the Promises
Optometrist’s Hymn……………………….………..Open My Eyes That I Might See
The IRS Agent’s Hymn……………………………..I Surrender All
The Gossip’s Hymn…………………………………..Pass It On
The Electrician’s Hymn…………………………….Send The Light
The Shopper’s Hymn……………………………….Sweet Bye and Bye
The Realtor’s Hymn…………………………………I’ve Got a Mansion, Just Over the Hilltop
The Massage Therapists Hymn…………………He Touched Me
The Doctor’s Hymn………………………….………The Great Physician
 
AND for those who speed on the highway – a few hymns:
 45 mph………………………………….................God Will Take Care of You
 65 mph………………………………………......……...Nearer My God To Thee
 85 mph……………………………….………….….......This World Is Not My Home
 95 mph…………………………........................Lord, I’m Coming Home
100 mph…………………………………………….........Precious Memories
 
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Give me a sense of humor, Lord,
Give me the grace to see a joke,
To get some humor out of life,
And pass it on to other folk.
 
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Trees That Wood
Written by: Author Unknown
Submitted by: Dana Dickens Hughes

Once there were three trees on a hill in the woods. They were discussing their hopes and dreams when the first tree said, "Someday I hope to be a treasure chest. I could be filled with gold, silver and precious gems. I could be decorated with intricate carving and everyone would see the beauty."

Then the second tree said, "Someday I will be a mighty ship. I will take kings and queens across the waters and sail to the corners of the world. Everyone will feel safe in me because of the strength of my hull."

Finally the third tree said, "I want to grow to be the tallest and straightest tree in the forest. People will see me on top of the hill and look up to my branches, and think of the heavens and God and how close to them I am reaching. I will be the greatest tree of all time and people will always remember me."

After a few years of praying that their dreams would come true, a group of woodsmen came upon the trees. When one came to the first tree he said, "This looks like a strong tree, I think I should be able to sell the wood to a carpenter," and he began cutting it down. The tree was happy, because he knew that the carpenter would make him into a treasure chest.

At the second tree the woodsman said, "This looks like a strong tree, I should be able to sell it to the shipyard." The second tree was happy because he knew he was on his way to becoming a mighty ship.

When the woodsmen came upon the third tree, the tree was frightened because he knew that if they cut him down his dreams would not come true. One of the woodsmen said, "I don't need anything special from my tree, so I'll take this one", and he cut it down.

When the first tree arrived at the carpenters, he was made into a feed box for animals. He was then placed in a barn and filled with hay. This was not at all what he had prayed for. The second tree was cut and made into a small fishing boat. His dreams of being a mighty ship and carrying kings had come to an end. The third tree was cut into large pieces and left alone in the dark. The years went by, and the trees forgot about their dreams.
 
Then one day, a man and woman came to the barn. She gave birth and they placed the baby in the hay in the feed box that was made from the first tree. The man wished that he could have made a crib for the baby, but this manger would have to do. The tree could feel the importance of this event and knew that it had held the greatest treasure of all time. Years later, a group of men got in the fishing boat made from the second tree. One of them was tired and went to sleep. While they were out on the water, a great storm arose and the tree didn't think it was strong enough to keep the men safe. The men woke the sleeping man, and He stood and said "Peace" and the storm stopped. At this time, the tree knew that it had carried the King of Kings in its boat.

Finally, someone came and got the third tree. It was carried through the streets as the people mocked the man who was carrying it. When they came to a stop, the man was nailed to the tree and raised in the air to die at the top of a hill. When Sunday came, the tree came to realize that it was strong enough to stand at the top of the hill and be as close to God as was possible, because Jesus had been crucified on it.

The moral of this story is that when things don't seem to be going your way, always know that God has a plan for you. If you place your trust in Him, He will give you great gifts. Each of the trees got what they wanted, just not in the way they had imagined. We don't always know what God's plans are for us. We just know that His ways are not our ways, but His ways are always best.
 
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Friendship
Written by: Sandra Pringle
Copied
 
If I could catch a rainbow
I would do it just for you
and share with you its beauty
on the days you're feeling blue.

If I could build a mountain
you could call your very own
a place to find serenity
a place to be alone.

If I could take your troubles
I would toss them in the sea,
But all these things I'm finding
are impossible for me.

I cannot build a mountain
or catch a rainbow fair,
But let me be what I know best,
A friend that’s always there.
 
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Good Advice
Written by: Pat Lewallen
 
Richard and I recently went for a morning walk at the mall. We enjoy getting in a good brisk walk whenever we get a chance. We hadn’t walked long until I spotted a man walking in front of us. He reminded me so much of my oldest brother that I had to catch my breath. The man was even wearing bib overalls just like my brother Ricky always wore. Ricky was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer eighteen months before his death. I still love my brother and I miss him so much. Ricky had a very strong will to live. He fought cancer with every ounce of strength he had until he couldn’t fight anymore. 
 
I remember visiting Ricky one day at his home. He had always been a strong man but the cancer treatments had left him weak. Ricky asked me to help him with one of his projects. He needed me to remove the top off something he was working on. I remember Ricky laughed as he watched me struggle to get the top off. Ricky then told me, “Sis, always remember, lefty loosey, righty tighty.” I didn’t remember ever hearing that saying before. Ricky’s advice has stuck with me ever since then. I’m still using his good advice.    
 
The Bible is full of good advice too. This earthly life is full of struggles and problems. If you find yourself in a struggle today, here is some good advice spoken by Jesus: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (KJV). Don’t try to face this life all by yourself. Jesus wants to help you in your journey of life. We live in such an uncertain and changing world today. Give Jesus a chance to be a part of your life. I think of His advice often and I’m still using His good advice. I hope you’ll accept this advice from Jesus and you’ll make it a vital part of your life too.
 
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“Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and richness to life that nothing else can bring.” Oscar Wilde
 
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A Silhouette of Winter
Written & submitted by: Irene Wright
 
Frozen lakes capture the silhouette of the snow covered trees
As they seem to knell on bended knees
 
Snow clouds darken the sky all around
As snowflakes continue to blanket the ground
 
Mother Nature breathes a chilling breeze
And puts us under a winter’s freeze
 
People sitting by an open fire
Keeping warm by dreaming of life’s greatest desires
 
Children engaged in snowball fights and perhaps sledding too
Hot soup to carry them through
 
Soon the days give way to the darkness of night
But the moon gives us an illuminating light
 
Soon the sun will shine and the snow will melt
And winter once again will no longer be felt
 
Just like the circle of life, seasons come and go
Running their course, and ending their journey when God says so
 
Leaving behind the memories of yesterday
And creating a new beginning along the way
 
And just like the snowflakes that falls
The silhouette of winter will forever be etched in the minds of all.
 
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Everything I Need to Know I Learned from Noah’s Ark
Copied Article
 
01. Don’t miss the boat.
02. Remember that we are all in the same boat!
03. Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark.
04. Stay fit. When you're 60 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.
05. Don't listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
06. Build your future on high ground.
07. For safety's sake, travel in pairs.
08. Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
09. When you're stressed, float awhile.
10. Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.
11. No matter the storm, when you are with God, there's always a rainbow waiting.
 
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Most people walk in and out of your life.......but FRIENDS leave footprints in your heart.
 
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There are good ships, and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea.
But the best ships are friendships, and may they always be.
 
 
 
 
+++ The Christian Banner - January 2012 +++
 
The Story Behind the Song
Written by: Pat Lewallen
 
The song “The Anchor Holds” is one of my favorite songs. It was originally written by Lawrence Chewning and later was reworked and recorded by Ray Boltz.
 
The year 1992 was a year of sorrows for Lawrence Chewning. His father had died that year. Lawrence had been a pastor for 19 years. His church was going through a devastating split. He was weary and discouraged and thinking about leaving the ministry. To make matters worse, his wife experienced another miscarriage that summer. It seemed that his best years were over. Lawrence took six months away from pastoring. He and his wife took this time to grieve and pray. During this time of sadness, Lawrence played his piano for hours at a time. He wrote the song “The Anchor Holds” during this time.  
 
I don’t know what the New Year 2012 has in store for me. But there’s one thing of which I am certain. I know that Jesus has promised to never leave me nor forsake me. He will be my anchor no matter what storms may come my way. Do you need assurance in your life? I encourage you to give your life to Jesus. Ask Him into your heart today. He will be your closest friend and the anchor you need when the storms of life come your way.
 
The Anchor Holds
Written by: Lawrence Chewning and Ray Boltz
 
I have journeyed through the long, dark night
out on the open sea
by faith alone, sight unknown
and yet His eyes were watching me.

The Anchor holds, though the ship is battered.
The Anchor holds, though the sails are torn.
I have fallen on my knees, as I faced the raging sea,
The Anchor holds, in spite of the storm.

I've had visions and I've had dreams;
I've even held them in my hands,
But I never knew they could slip right through
Like they were only grains of sand.

The Anchor holds, though the ship is battered.
The Anchor holds, though the sails are torn.
I have fallen on my knees, as I faced the raging seas.
The Anchor holds, in spite of the storm.

I have been young, but I am older now.
And there has been beauty these eyes have seen;
but it was in the night, when I faced the storms of my life.
Oh, that's where God proved His love to me.
 
The Anchor holds, though the ship is battered.
The Anchor holds, though the sails are torn.
I have fallen on my knees, as I faced the raging sea,
The Anchor holds, in spite of the storm.
 
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If But One Year
Author Unknown
Submitted by: Lela Trotter

If I had but one year to live;
One year to help; one year to give;
One year to love; one year to bless;
One year of better things to stress;
One year to sing; one year to smile;
To brighten earth a little while;
One year to sing my Master’s praise
One year to fill with work my days
When I should stand before my Lord
One year to strive for a reward
I think that I would spend each day,
In just the very self-same way
That I do now. For from afar
the call may come to cross the bar
At any time, and I must be
Prepared to meet eternity.
So if I have a year to live,
Or just one day in which to give
A pleasant smile, a helping hand,
A mind that tries to understand
A fellow-creature when in need,
‘Tis one with me, I take no heed;
But try to live each day He sends
To serve my gracious Master’s ends.
 
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The Grandma Test
Author Unknown
 
I was out walking with my 4-year-old granddaughter. She picked up something off the ground and started to put it in her mouth. I took the item away from her and I asked her not to do that.

"Why?" my granddaughter asked.

"Because it’s been on the ground. You don't know where it's been, it's dirty, and probably has germs," I replied.

At this point, my granddaughter looked at me with total admiration and asked, "Grandma, how do you know all this stuff? You are so smart."

I was thinking quickly, "All Grandmas know this stuff.  It's on the Grandma Test. You have to know it, or they don't let you be a Grandma."

We walked along in silence for 2 or 3 minutes, but she was evidently pondering this new information. "Oh...I get it!" she beamed, "So if you don't pass the test, you have to be the Grandpa."

"Exactly," I replied.
 
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Economic Numbers from 2011 Almost Too Crazy to Believe
Written by: Michael T. Snyder
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A staggering 48 percent of all Americans are either considered to be "low income" or are living in poverty.
 
Approximately 57 percent of all children in the United States are living in homes that are either considered to be "low income" or impoverished. 
 
If the number of Americans that "wanted jobs" was the same today as it was back in 2007, the "official" unemployment rate put out by the U.S. government would be up to 11 percent.
 
There are fewer payroll jobs in the United States today than there were back in 2000 even though we have added 30 million extra people to the population since then.
 
A Gallup poll from earlier this year found that approximately one out of every five Americans that do have a job consider themselves to be underemployed.
 
Back in 1980, less than 30% of all jobs in the United States were low income jobs.  Today, more than 40% of all jobs in the United States are low income jobs.
  
One recent survey found that one out of every three Americans would not be able to make a mortgage or rent payment next month if they suddenly lost their current job.
 
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 18 percent of all homes in the state of Florida are sitting vacant. That figure is 63 percent larger than it was just ten years ago.
 
The United States spends about 4 dollars on goods and services from China for every one dollar that China spends on goods and services from the United States. 
 
Today, one out of every six elderly Americans lives below the federal poverty line.
 
Sadly, child poverty is absolutely exploding all over America.  According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, 36.4% of all children that live in Philadelphia are living in poverty, 40.1% of all children that live in Atlanta are living in poverty, 52.6% of all children that live in Cleveland are living in poverty and 53.6% of all children that live in Detroit are living in poverty. 
 
Today, one out of every seven Americans is on food stamps and one out of every four American children is on food stamps.
 
A staggering 48.5% of all Americans live in a household that receives some form of government benefits.  Back in 1983, that number was below 30 percent.
 
If Bill Gates gave every single penny of his fortune to the U.S. government, it would only cover the U.S. budget deficit for about 15 days.
 
If the federal government began right at this moment to repay the U.S. national debt at a rate of one dollar per second, it would take over 440,000 years to pay off the national debt.
 
During President Obama’s administration, the U.S. government has accumulated more debt than it did from the time that George Washington took office to the time that Bill Clinton took office.
 
During 2011 we made a lot of progress in educating the American people about our economic problems, but we still have a long way to go. Hopefully next year more Americans than ever will wake up, because 2012 is going to represent a huge turning point for this country.
 
 
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Change the World
Written by: Joseph J. Mazzella
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My daughter and I planted four trees in our backyard recently. They were little more than twigs when she brought them home. She was able to hold all four of them in the palm of one hand. Still, with faith in the future I dug the holes in our backyard and with loving care my daughter planted each one of the saplings. When I look out on them now I smile. They are so small and yet so full of life. As they stretch towards the morning sun and slowly grow upward to the sky I can see the hundreds of glorious years that lie ahead of them. Soon they will be filling the air around them with life giving oxygen. Soon they will be blessing the world with their sweet smell and comforting shade. Soon they will be changing the world for the better just by being in it. What most of us don't realize is that we can change the world for the better just by being in it too.
 
When we go out of our homes each morning we don't see just how many trees of goodness that we can plant each day. Every single smile that we share plants a little more light in another's heart. Every single act of kindness that we do plants a little more kindness and happiness in this world. Every single moment of joy that we spread puts new seedlings of joy in the souls around us. Every single bit of love that we give plants another sapling of Heaven here on Earth. We may only think of ourselves as tiny twigs, but in our lifetimes we all can do more good than a forest of Redwoods.
 
Don't be afraid to try and change the world for the better then. Remember that you are a Child of God put here to fill this world with love and joy. With God's love in your heart and with God's joy in your soul you can help to create a never-ending forest of goodness in this world just by planting one sapling at a time.
 
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The Law of the Garbage Truck
Author Unknown
 
One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us.
 
My taxi driver slammed on his breaks, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean he was really friendly.
 
So I asked, 'Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!' This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, 'The Law of the Garbage Truck.'
 
He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump it on you.
 
Don't take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home or on the streets.
 
The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day. Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so..... 'Love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don't.'
 
Life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it.