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

Year 2012 - April thru June

   
 
 
+++ The Christian Banner - June 2012 +++
 
 

 
We had a tie in the voting for our 2012 Mountain View Church Father of the Year award. 
Congratulations to both winners: Chris Hayes and also to Shane McDowell.


  
Faith of our Fathers
Written & submitted by: Lela Farlow Trotter
 
One of the things I admired about my Daddy was his faith. I remember him telling us that there wasn’t anything too big or too small to pray about and also not to question God.
 
In the early 1980’s, Ronald Reagan was running for President. One of his promises was that if he became President he was going to take disability payments away from prisoners. He became President and somehow things got messed up. The states were told to take a certain amount of people off social security and Medicare. This caused a lot of problems and a lot of people died because they didn’t have their medication to take care of their problems.
 
During this time, Daddy got sick with a rare sickness. He had to quit work because he couldn’t walk. It took a long hospital stay and a lot of struggle for Daddy to progress from a wheel chair to walking with a cane. Daddy was almost 62 years old. I thought he would go for early retirement but he said no and that he was going to apply for disability. I thought, “How was he going to get disability when so many were being taken off?”
 
Daddy applied and was turned down the first time. He went back and applied again. This time he got it. He believed that he should apply and that he would get it. This is the way he lived his life. I’m so thankful that I had Christian parents. I’m looking forward to the day that I’ll see them again.
 
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Father Quotes
 
“Any man can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad.” -Anne Geddes
 
“The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”
-David O. Mckay
 
“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” -Jim Valvano
 
“He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.”
-Clarence Budington Kelland
 
“By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong.” -Charles Wadsworth
 
“Sometimes the poorest man leaves his children the richest inheritance.” -Ruth E. Renkel
 
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The Woman at the Well
Written & submitted by: Richard Lewallen
 
There are many people around us each day who need aid for a hunger or thirst in their lives. They can’t understand what it is they are missing, but they know something is missing. Many people try to feed this longing with material things or a number of other things, but without success.
 
Such was the case of the Samaritan woman who came to Jacob’s well to draw water. She had a real need in her life but no one would lend her a helping hand. Because of the prejudicial customs of the day, and this woman being a Samaritan, the Jews would not even speak to her. Her reputation as being a woman of the street probably kept her closest friends from having anything to do with her either.
 
If anyone could say, “Nobody cares for my soul,” surely the Samaritan woman could. I think Jesus made a special trip through Samaria to speak to her. Perhaps someone had enough concern for this woman to pray for her. Perhaps this was the reason Jesus chose to come through Samaria. I wonder sometimes why Jesus came my way when he did. Was it because of someone’s prayers, or simply, was it because of His great love? I believe in the case of the woman at the well, Jesus came to talk with her because of the fact; there was no one else to show this woman any love.
 
Jesus chose this woman to be one of His own. Jesus is still looking today for men, women, boys and girls who will open up their hearts to Him. Jesus is not willing that any should perish, but that all might come to repentance.
 
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Five More Minutes!
Author Unknown
 
While at the park one day, a woman sat down next to a man on a bench near a playground. "That's my son over there," she said, pointing to a little boy in a red sweater who was gliding down the slide.
 
"He's a fine looking boy" the man said. "That's my son on the swing in the blue sweater." Then, looking at his watch, he called to his son. "What do you say we go, Todd?" Todd pleaded, "Just five more minutes, Dad. Please? Just five more minutes."
 
The man nodded and Todd continued to swing to his heart's content. Minutes passed and the father stood and called again to his son. "Time to go now." Again Todd pleaded, "Five more minutes, Dad, just five more minutes." The man smiled and said, "O.K."
 
"My, you certainly are a patient father," the woman responded.
 
The man smiled and then said, "My older son Tommy was killed by a drunk driver last year while he was riding his bike near here. I never spent much time with Tommy and now I'd give anything for just five more minutes with him. I've vowed not to make the same mistake with Todd. He thinks he has five more minutes to swing. The truth is I get five more minutes to watch him play."
 
Life is all about making priorities, what are your priorities? Give someone you love five more minutes of your time today.
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A honeymooning couple was passing through Louisiana. When they approached Lafayette, they started arguing about the pronunciation of the town. They argued back and forth until they got to the town and decided to stop for lunch. As they stood at the counter, the man said, "Before we order, could you please settle an argument for us. Would you very slowly pronounce where we are.” The guy behind the counter leaned over and said, "Burrrrrrrr gerrrrrrr Kiiiiing."
 
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A Layman’s Ten Commandments
Copied Article
 
01 – Prayer is not a “spare wheel” that you pull out when in trouble, but it is a “steering wheel” that directs the right path throughout.
 
02 – So why is a Car’s WINDSHIELD so large & the Rear view Mirror is so small? Because our PAST is not as important as our FUTURE, so, look Ahead and Move on.
 
03 – Friendship is like a BOOK. It takes a few seconds to burn, but it takes years to write.
 
04 – All things in life are temporary. If going well, enjoy it, they will not last forever. If going wrong, don’t worry, they can’t last long either.
 
05 – Old Friends are Gold! New Friends are Diamonds! If you get a Diamond, don’t forget the Gold! Because to hold a Diamond, you always need a Base of Gold!
 
06 – Often when we lose hope and think this is the end, GOD smiles from above and says, “Relax, sweetheart, it’s just a bend, not the end!
 
07 – When GOD solves your problems, you have faith in HIS abilities; when GOD doesn’t solve your problems HE has faith in your abilities.
 
08 – A blind person asked St. Anthony: “Can there be anything worse than losing eye sight?” He replied: “Yes, losing your vision!”
 
09 – When you pray for others, God listens to you and blesses them, and sometimes, when you are safe and happy, remember that someone has prayed for you.
 
10 -WORRYING does not take away tomorrow’s TROUBLES.

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My Dad!
Copied Article
Author Unknown
 
When I was ....................................
 
  4 years old:  My daddy can do anything.
  5 years old:  My daddy knows a whole lot.
  6 years old:  My dad is smarter than your dad.
  8 years old:  My dad doesn't know exactly everything.
10 years old:  In the olden days when my dad grew up, things were sure different.
12 years old:  Oh, well, naturally Father doesn't know anything about that. He is too old to remember
                    his childhood.                            
14 years old:  Don't pay any attention to my father.  He is too old-fashioned!
21 years old:  Him? Oh no, he's hopelessly out-of-date.
25 years old:  He knows a little bit about it, but he should because he has been around so long.
30 years old:  Maybe we should ask Dad what he thinks.  After all, he's had a lot of experience.
35 years old:  I'm not doing a single thing until I talk to Dad.
40 years old:  I wonder how Dad would have handled it.  He was so wise and had a world of experience.
50 years old:  I'd give anything if Dad were here so I could talk this over with him. Too bad I didn't 
                   appreciate how smart he was. I could have learned a lot from him.
                       
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A Christian Prison
Written by: Francis Kong
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In a wonderful Web Site called Wit and Wisdom, I received an article written by my favorite author Max Lucado entitled: “A CHRISTIAN PRISON.” Listen to this.
Near the city of Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil is a remarkable facility. Twenty years ago the Brazilian government turned a prison over to two Christians. The institution was renamed Humaita, and the plan was to run it on Christian principles. With the exception of two full-time staff, all the work is done by inmates. Families outside the prison adopt an inmate to work with during and after his term. Chuck Colson visited the prison and made this report:
 
"When I visited Humaita I found the inmates smiling- particularly the murderer who held the keys, opened the gates and let me in. Wherever I walked I saw men at peace. I saw clean living areas, people working industriously. The walls were decorated with Biblical sayings from Psalms and Proverbs. . . My guide escorted me to the notorious prison cell once used for torture. Today, he told me, that block houses only a single inmate. As we reached the end of a long concrete corridor and he put the key in the lock, he paused and asked, 'Are you sure you want to go in?'
 
'Of course,' I replied impatiently, 'I've been in isolation cells all over the world.' Slowly he swung open the massive door, and I saw the prisoner in that punishment cell: a crucifix, beautifully carved by the Humaita inmates- the prisoner Jesus, hanging on a cross.  'He's doing time for the rest of us," my guide said softly.'"
 
What a touching story wouldn’t you agree?  Christianity is all about Christ paying for the penalties of our sins. One song goes this way: “He paid the debts He did not owe, I owe the debts I could not pay, My Jesus took all my sins away.”  I wonder why a lot of people miss this.  Christianity is not about denominational quarrels. It’s not about hymnals versus overhead projectors, it’s not about church splits, personality conflicts and all those other petty stuff that surely brings grief to the Savior. It’s all about God incarnate dying on the cross so that you and I could have eternal life. It’s all about submitting our authority to the Lordship of Christ obeying His Word and allowing the power of the Holy Spirit to lead us to a life of victorious living. The prisoners in this story surely got it. But sadly the prisoners outside prisons do not.
 
I’ve traveled the country. I’ve witnessed and experienced terrible church conflicts. I’ve seen how pastors and people who profess the Name of Christ would go on endless rounds of slander and false accusations against their brethrens. You know what? They’re still in prison.  I’ve witnessed superstar TV evangelists fleece people out of their hard earned money. I’ve seen charlatans holding the Bible looking straight at the TV cameras and asking for donations countless times in a day via Cable TV. I’ve seen how legalistic people possess judgmental and condemning spirits and you know what? These people are still in prison. I have a dream. To be accurate, I have a prayer. That people who profess the Name of Christ would seek to know the Truth so that the Truth can set them free. This freedom is to know that Christianity is all about Jesus Christ offering His life for ours.
 
And if only I would have an opportunity to visit the Christian prison mentioned in this article by Max Lucado, the first few words you would probably hear from me would be the words, “Congratulations! You people may be in prison but you’re free. For you have known the Truth and the Truth has set you free!”
 
 
 
+++ The Christian Banner - May 2012 +++
 
 

 
Contgratulations to Pat Trotter, our 2012 Mother of the Year
 

 
Obituary, Jerusalem, 33 AD
Author Unknown
Submitted by: Faye Byrd
 
Jesus Christ, 33, of Nazareth, died Friday on MountCalvary, also known as Golgotha, the place of the skull. Betrayed by the apostle Judas, Jesus was crucified by the Romans, by order of the Ruler Pontius Pilate. The causes of death were crucifixion, extreme exhaustion, severe torture, and loss of blood.
 
Jesus Christ, a descendant of Abraham, was a member of the house of David. He was the Son of the late Joseph, a carpenter of Nazareth, and Mary, His devoted Mother. Jesus was born in a stable in the city of Bethlehem, Judea. He is survived by His mother Mary, His faithful Apostles, numerous disciples, and many other followers.
 
Jesus was self-educated and spent most of his adult life working as a Carpenter and a Teacher. Jesus also occasionally worked as a Medical Doctor and it is reported that he healed many patients. Up until the time of His death, Jesus was teaching and sharing the Good News, healing the sick, touching the lonely, feeding the hungry, and helping the poor.
 
Jesus was most noted for telling parables about His Father`s Kingdom and performing miracles, such as feeding over 5,000 people with only five loaves of bread and two fish, and healing a man who was born blind. On the day before His death, He held a Last Supper celebrating the Passover Feast, at which He foretold His death.
 
The body was quickly buried in a stone grave, which was donated by Joseph of Arimathea, a loyal friend of the family. By order of Pontius Pilate, a boulder was rolled in front of the tomb. Roman soldiers were put on guard.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that everyone try to live as Jesus did. Donations may be sent to anyone in need.
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A middle aged woman had a heart attack and was taken to the hospital. While on the operating table she had a near death experience. Seeing God, she asked "Is my time up?"
 
God said, "No, you have another 43 years, 2 months and 8 days to live." Upon recovery, the woman decided to stay in the hospital and have a facelift, liposuction and a tummy tuck.
 
She even had someone come in and change her hair color. Since she had so much more time to live, she figured she might as well make the most of it. After her last operation, she was released from the hospital. While crossing the street on her way home, she was killed by an ambulance.
 
Arriving in front of God, she demanded, "I thought you said I had another 40 years?"
 
God replied, "I didn't recognize you."
 
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A Special Mother’s Day Tribute
In honor of: Myrtle Miller Hunt and Mary Etta Farlow Trotter
Written & submitted by: Eula Mae Trotter
 
This year I had an awakening of how important a mother is to any family. My mother, Myrtle Hunt, passed away fifteen years ago, but I still miss her almost as if it was yesterday. She was always there for her family. If you needed help with a problem, she had good Godly advice, patience and understanding. It was always gratifying to know you had someone who was genuinely concerned about you and to share her knowledge and wisdom from past experiences with you. The things she taught me were invaluable and I’ll never forget her as long as I live.
 
My mother-in-law, Etta Trotter, passed away Christmas Eve 2011. I want to pay tribute to her also. She too, was a special person in my life. Upon marrying her son, she took me into the family and treated me as one of her own. She was an example of a loving, caring and hardworking mother. She was never too busy to help out where ever she was needed.
 
These were the most inspirational women in my life. Their love and devotion was something only God could have placed in their hearts. We, the family members and friends, are the recipients of the overflow.
 
I recently walked by the card display in a store. I saw the Mother’s Day cards, so many of them. They were varied in color, design and beautiful readings. It was a humbling, but sad realization, that I no longer had a mother or a mother-in-law to give a card to. Let me express to you the importance of telling your mother how much you love and appreciate her this Mother’s Day, while you have time and opportunity.

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A Mother's Love
Written by: Helen Steiner Rice

A Mother's love is something
that no one can explain,
It is made of deep devotion
and of sacrifice and pain,
It is endless and unselfish
and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy it
or take that love away . . .
It is patient and forgiving
when all others are forsaking,
And it never fails or falters
even though the heart is breaking . . .
It believes beyond believing
when the world around condemns,
And it glows with all the beauty
of the rarest, brightest gems . . .
It is far beyond defining,
it defies all explanation,
And it still remains a secret
like the mysteries of creation . . .
A many splendored miracle
man cannot understand
And another wondrous evidence
of God's tender guiding hand.
 
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The Widow’s Bench
Written & submitted by: Lela Farlow Trotter
 
Several years ago at Mountain View Church there were five elderly ladies that sat together. Four of them were widows, they had lost children also. Because they always sat on the same bench, I called it “the widow’s bench.” These ladies had been coming to church before I was born. Their names were Edith Hunt, Martha Pierce (they were sisters), Maie Hoover, Etta Trotter and Albertha Hunt.
 
I enjoyed watching them come in on Sunday morning. They were so happy to see each other. You would think they had been apart a month, but it had only been a week! They were such a blessing to me. I knew they had been through some hard times, but they still kept the faith.
 
The years went by, and one by one they had to stop coming to church. Edith stopped first and then Martha, Etta, and Albertha. Maie was the last and she was in her 90’s. And then one by one, four of them died: Edith, Martha, Maie and then my Aunt Etta. She died in December 2011 at 96 years of age. Aunt Etta was my Daddy’s sister and was the last of the Farlow family. Now the family circle is complete. Albertha is the only one still living. I miss them all so much. I can still picture them coming in one by one and setting together with joy on their faces. To their families, I say, “What wonderful mothers you had!”
 
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Why Do We Celebrate Memorial Day?
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Memorial Day is one of the most important holidays in the U.S. Observed annually every last Monday of May, people usually take some time off from their work and other activities to reflect on the significance of this all-important celebration. To know the reason why we celebrate Memorial Day, it is quite interesting to look at the various significant events in history that made this day very special.
 
Why do we celebrate Memorial Day? The primary reason why people celebrate this special event is to commemorate the lives of U.S. soldiers and other military personnel who sacrificed their lives and died in honor of their country. Before, people celebrated this event in honor of the casualties of the American Civil War, particularly Union soldiers. Today, the entire country celebrates this event to honor all the Americans who have died while taking part in any kind of military action or war.
 
People usually visit memorials and cemeteries in observance of this very special day. Every 3 p.m. of this day, the whole country holds a national moment of remembrance. In various parts of the country, people set the U.S. flag at half-staff position for a significant period. Meanwhile, certain individuals and volunteer groups visit national cemeteries in order to reflect and put small American flags on every gravesite.
 
Aside from remembering the courageous efforts of deceased U.S. soldiers, many people spend this time with their families and friends. Together, they cook and eat barbecues while enjoying the presence of one another. Furthermore, other people hold picnics to celebrate this special day, which is indeed a very worthy cause for national celebration.
 
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Deuteronomy 4:9 (NIV)
9 Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.
 
 
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Paul Harvey’s Warning from 1965
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Email from: Joyce Freeman
 
Do you remember the famous ABC radio news commentator Paul Harvey? Millions of Americans listened to his programs which were broadcast over 1,200 radio stations nationwide. This is the text version of his radio broadcast delivered April 3, 1965.
 
“If I were the devil, I wouldn’t be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree — Thee. So I’d set about however necessary to take over the United States. I’d subvert the churches first — I’d begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: ‘Do as you please.’
 
To the young, I would whisper that, ‘The Bible is a myth.’ I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what is bad is good, and what is good is ‘square.’ And the old, I would teach to pray after me, ‘Our Father, which art in Washington…’
 
And then I’d get organized. I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting, so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting. I’d threaten TV with dirtier movies and vice versa. I’d pedal narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. I’d tranquilize the rest with pills.
 
If I were the devil I’d soon have families at war with themselves, churches at war with themselves, and nations at war with themselves; until each in its turn was consumed. And with promises of higher ratings I’d have mesmerizing media fanning the flames. If I were the devil I would encourage schools to refine young intellects, but neglect to discipline emotions — just let those run wild, until before you knew it, you’d have to have drug sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every schoolhouse door.
 
Within a decade I’d have prisons overflowing, I’d have judges promoting pornography — soon I could evict God from the courthouse, then from the schoolhouse, and then from the houses of Congress. And in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and deify science. I would lure priests and pastors into misusing boys and girls, and church money. If I were the devil I’d make the symbols of Easter an egg and the symbol of Christmas a bottle.
 
If I were the devil I’d take from those who have, and give to those who wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. What’ll you bet I couldn’t get whole states to promote gambling as the way to get rich? I would question against extremes and hard work, and patriotism, and moral conduct. I would convince the young that marriage is old-fashioned, that swinging is more fun, that what you see on TV is the way to be. And thus I could undress you in public, and I could lure you into bed with diseases for which there is no cure. In other words, if I were the devil I’d just keep right on doing what he’s doing.
 
Paul Harvey, good day.”
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2 Timothy 3:1-5 (KJV)
 1This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
 2For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
 3Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
 4Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
 5Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
 
 
 
 
 
+++ The Christian Banner - April 2012 +++
 
 
Resurrection And Life
Written by David H. Roper
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Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life”! It’s one thing to make such a bold assertion; it’s another to back it up—and back it up Jesus did by rising from the dead.
 
“If you believe that the Son of God died and rose again,” writes George MacDonald, “your whole future is full of the dawn of eternal morning, coming up beyond the hills of life, and full of such hope as the highest imagination for the poet has not a glimmer yet.”
 
The Son of God died and rose again, and His resurrection is the guarantee that God will bring us up and out of the ground: A thinking, feeling, remembering, recognizable person will live forever.
 
Living forever means living out the thought of eternity that God has placed in our hearts; meeting again one’s believing loved ones lost through separating death; living in a world without sorrow; seeing our Lord who loves us and gave everything to unite us to Him forever.
 
But I see another meaning. Since we have this life and the next, we don’t have to “have it all” now. We can live in broken and ruined bodies for a time; we can endure poverty and hardship for a while; we can face loneliness, heartache, and pain for a season. Why? There is a second birth—life in heaven forever.
 
  Yes, Christ the Lord is risen,
 Has come forth from the grave;
 He breaks the chains of death for you
 And now has power to save. —Woodruff
 
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It is Well with My Soul
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This hymn was written by a Chicago lawyer, Horatio G. Spafford (1828-1888). You might think to write a worship song titled, 'It is well with my soul', you would indeed have to be a rich, successful Chicago lawyer. But the words, "When sorrows like sea billows roll ... It is well with my soul”, were not written during the happiest period of Spafford's life. On the contrary, they came from a man who had suffered almost unimaginable personal tragedy.

Horatio G. Spafford and his wife, Anna, were pretty well-known in 1860’s Chicago. And this was not just because of Horatio's legal career and business endeavors. The Spaffords were also prominent supporters and close friends of D.L. Moody, the famous preacher. In
1870, however, things started to go wrong. The Spaffords' only son was killed by scarlet fever at the age of four. A year later, it was fire rather than fever that struck. Horatio had invested heavily in real estate on the shores of Lake Michigan. In 1871, every one of these holdings was wiped out by the great Chicago Fire.

Aware of the toll that these disasters had taken on the family, Horatio decided to take his wife and four daughters on a holiday to England. And, not only did they need the rest -- DL Moody needed the help. He was traveling around Britain on one of his great evangelistic campaigns. Horatio and Anna planned to join Moody in late 1873. And so, the Spaffords traveled to New York in November, from where they were to catch the French steamer 'Ville de Havre' across the Atlantic. Yet just before they set sail, a last-minute business development forced Horatio to delay. Not wanting to ruin the family holiday, Spafford persuaded his family to go as planned. He would follow on later. With this decided, Anna and her four daughters sailed east to Europe while Spafford returned West to Chicago. Just nine days later, Spafford received a telegram from his wife in Wales. It read: "Saved alone."

On November 2nd 1873, the 'Ville de Havre' had collided with 'The Lochearn', an English vessel. It sank in only 12 minutes, claiming the lives of 226 people. Anna Spafford had stood bravely on the deck, with her daughters Annie, Maggie, Bessie and Tanetta clinging desperately to her. Her last memory had been of her baby being torn violently from her arms by the force of the waters. Anna was only saved from the fate of her daughters by a plank which floated beneath her unconscious body and propped her up. When the survivors of the wreck had been rescued, Mrs. Spafford's first reaction was one of complete despair. Then she heard a voice speak to her, "You were spared for a purpose." And she immediately recalled the words of a friend, "It's easy to be grateful and good when you have so much, but take care that you are not a fair-weather friend to God."

Upon hearing the terrible news, Horatio Spafford boarded the next ship out of New York to join his bereaved wife. Bertha Spafford (the fifth daughter of Horatio and Anna born later) explained that during her father's voyage, the captain of the ship had called him to the bridge. "A careful reckoning has been made", he said, "and I believe we are now passing the place where the de Havre was wrecked. The water is three miles deep." Horatio then returned to his cabin and penned the lyrics of his great hymn.

The words which Spafford wrote that day come from 2 Kings 4:26. They echo the response of the Shunammite woman to the sudden death of her only child. Though we are told "her soul is vexed within her", she still maintains that 'It is well." And Spafford's song reveals a man whose trust in the Lord is as unwavering as hers was.

It would be very difficult for any of us to predict how we would react under circumstances similar to those experienced by the Spaffords. But we do know that the God who sustained them would also be with us.

No matter what circumstances overtake us may we be able to say with Horatio Spafford...

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul!

It is well ... with my soul!
It is well, it is well, with my soul
.
 
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The Easter Lily
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Easter is the most important Christian festival, next only to Christmas, as it is celebrated to commemorate Jesus resurrection from the dead and His reunion with the Holy Father. For Christians all over the world, Easter Sunday brings a message of new life and happiness. In general, this festival announces the dawn of spring and all the peace and beauty that come with it-the rains, the greenery and colorful flowers like the tulips, crocuses, daffodils, and white lilies in all their original elegance. Surrounded with so much beauty, it is only natural that a spring festival like Easter includes a generous amount of flowers in the celebrations. During Easter, people exchange flower bouquets and decorate their houses and churches with flowers. The most common flowers for this occasion are white lilies. Their existence represents new life and hence symbolizes Jesus resurrection while their color and formation symbolize Jesus purity and tranquility.
 
Easter Lilies embody joy, hope and inspiration for many during Easter and well beyond. Easter signifies rebirth and a new beginning and these flowers, with their purity and blossoms, symbolize the spirit and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
 
Easter lilies are also known as Bermuda lilies since they have been grown in Bermuda since the 19th century. They are native to the Ryukyu Islands of southern Japan. The concept of Easter Lilies was introduced by a soldier of World War I, Louis Houghton. He had taken several hybrid lily bulbs to Oregon in 1919 and distributed them widely. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 abruptly stopped the import of Easter lily bulbs from Japan. It led to the U.S. cultivation of Easter lilies.
 
The Easter White Lilies are known for their purity and holiness. Earlier, the Madonna lily was used as the traditional flower of Easter but, it always failed to blossom during the festive season. This resulted in Madonna lilies being substituted by Bermuda lilies as they usually bloom during the season of spring.
 
The white lilies have been a fitting symbol for the greater meaning of Easter as they carry the message of joy, hope and life. Gifting white lilies during the time of Easter to family and friends is the best way to remind that Easter is a time to rejoice and celebrate. Due to the connection of the White Lily with the resurrection of Jesus Christ and also because of its delicate form and snow white color, some Christians call it the “flowers of God”.
 
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How Would You Know?
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If I never corrected you, How would you know that I love you? 
If you had all power, Then how would you learn to depend on me?
If your life was perfect, Then what would you need me for?
If you never felt pain, Then how would you know that I am a Healer? 
If you never had to pray, How would you know that I am a Deliverer?
If you never had a trial, How could I help you overcome?
If you never felt sadness, How would you know that I am a Comforter?
If you never made a mistake, How would you know that I am a forgiver? 
If you knew all, How would you know that I will answer your questions?
If you never were in trouble, How would you know that I will come to your rescue?
If you never were broken, Then how would you know that I can make you whole?
If you never had a problem, How would you know that I can solve them?
If you never had any suffering, Then how would you know what I went through?
If you never went through the fire, Then how would you become pure?
If I gave you all things, How would you appreciate them?
 
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Florida Court Sets Atheist Holy Day!
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In Florida, an atheist created a case against the upcoming Easter and Passover Holy days. He hired an attorney to bring a discrimination case against Christians and Jews and observances of their holy days. 

The argument was that it was unfair that atheists had no such recognized days. The case was brought before a judge. After listening to the passionate presentation by the lawyer, the judge banged his gavel declaring, "Case dismissed!" 

The lawyer immediately stood objecting to the ruling saying, "Your honor, How can you possibly dismiss this case? The Christians have Christmas, Easter and others. The Jews have Passover, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah, yet my client and all other atheists have no such holidays." 

The judge leaned forward in his chair saying, "But you do. Your client, counsel, is woefully ignorant." 

The lawyer said, "Your Honor, we are unaware of any special observance or holiday for atheists." 

The judge said, "The calendar says April 1st is April Fools Day. Psalm 14:1 states, 'The fool says in his heart, there is no God.' Thus, it is the opinion of this court, that, if your client says there is no God, then he is a fool. Therefore, April 1st is his day. Court is adjourned." 
 
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Choices
Written by: Pat Lewallen
 
In my earthly life
I’ve had some choices to make,
Some of them have been small
While others I consider great.
 
I didn’t get to choose
The height I would like to be.
And I didn’t choose my skin color,
The color of my eyes wasn’t left up to me.
 
No I didn’t get to choose
Who my earthly parents would be,
And I didn’t get to choose my siblings
God chose these precious gifts for me.
 
I didn’t get to choose
Those in my extended family,
And I couldn’t pick my ancestors
They were already in my family tree.
 
The greatest choice I ever made?
Would I accept Jesus along life’s way?
Oh yes I did and He forgave my sins!
I won’t face them on Judgment Day.
 
You’ll make life’s most important choice too.
You’ve got eternity at stake.
Will you accept Jesus along life’s way?
You’ll live forever with the choice you make!
 
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The author of the following poem, Myra Welch, was disabled and in a wheelchair. Her hands were battered and scarred from severe arthritis, which had taken away her ability and joy in playing the organ. Instead, her musical soul spoke through her poetry. She took one pencil in each of her badly disabled hands. Using the eraser end, she would slowly type the words, the joy of them outweighing the pain of her efforts.
 
The Touch of the Master’s Hand
Written by: Myra Welch
Submitted by: Margaret Williamson

T’was battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But held it up with a smile.
 
"What am I bidden, good folks," he cried,
"Who’ll start the bidding for me?"
"A dollar, a dollar," then, two! Only two?
"Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?
 
"Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice;
Going for three . . . "But no,
From the room, far back, a grey haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow;
 
Then, wiping the dust from the old violin,
And tightening the loose strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet
As a caroling angel sings.
 
The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said: "What am I bid for the old violin?"
And he held it up with the bow.
 
"A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two?
Two thousand! And who’ll make it three?
Three thousand, once; three thousand, twice;
And going and gone," said he.
 
The people cheered, but some of them cried,
"We do not quite understand
What changed its worth?" Swift came the reply:
"The touch of a master’s hand."
 
And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,
Much like the old violin.
 
A "mess of potage," a glass of wine;
A game, and he travels on.
He is "going" once, and "going" twice,
He’s "going" and almost "gone."
 
But the Master comes and the foolish crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul and the change that’s wrought
By the touch of the Master’s hand.