Mountain View Independent Methodist Church
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
God is good ALL the time... and ALL the time, God is good!!

Year 2012 - July thru September

   
 
 
+++ The Christian Banner - September 2012 +++
 
 
Comfort for the Grieving
Written by: Rev. Billy Graham
Submitted by: Lela Trotter
 
My wife Ruth was one of those who could lighten heavy hearts, especially mine. I will never forget when she announced what she wanted engraved on her gravestone. And those who have so respectfully visited her gravesite at the Billy Graham Library have noticed that what she planned for was carried out to the letter.
 
She arrived home one day chuckling and told the family about driving along a highway through a construction site carefully following the detours and mile by mile cautionary signs. She came to the last one that said, “End of Construction. Thank you for your patience.” “When I die,” she told us, “I want that engraved on my stone.” She was lighthearted but serious about her request. While we found the humor enlightening, we appreciated the truth she conveyed through those few words. Every human being is under construction from conception to death. Each life is made up of mistakes and learning, waiting and growing.
 
The end of Ruth’s construction came on June 14, 2007. Two weeks before that her Doctor told me, “Frankly her body is beginning to shut down. Her death may still be some days away but the process has begun and you need to be prepared.” When the time came we were gathered around her bedside as her breathing grew more shallow. I was seated by Ruth’s bedside holding her hand and our daughter Anne was standing beside me. Suddenly Anne said, “She is in Heaven.” Her breathing has stopped and her hand slipped from mine. Her years of suffering were over. Ruth had entered her final home.
 
As I write this, it has been four years since Ruth went to be with the Lord. I feel her loss more keenly now. Not a day passes that I don’t imagine her walking through my study door or us sitting together on our porch as we did so often holding hands as the sun set over the mountain tops. I have asked myself why this is the case. After all shouldn’t our grieving over the loss of a loved one fade as time passes? Yes it should. And in some ways it has for me. But in other ways it hasn’t nor do I expect it to. One reason, I think is that my strongest memory at the time of her death was of her last days – her weakness, her pain, her yearning for Heaven. Much as I longed to have her stay with us, I also knew that for her death would be a welcome relief from the burdens of this life.
 
But with the passing of time, memories of the happiness we shared our more than sixty-three years of marriage come to mind. I remember our last years together as my travels lessened and we had more time just to be together. Those were some of the best years of our lives. Almost as if we were falling in love again. And with those memories has come a deeper sense of loss.
 
Grief is a reality. Those who say we shouldn’t mourn “the loss of loved ones” because they’re better off now have never understood the enormous hole that is left in our hearts when loved ones die. We aren’t better off. A major part of our lives has been ripped from us. Paul’s words to the believers in Thessalonica are true. We do not grieve like the rest of men who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). But we still grieve and that is as it should be. My experience may not be the same as yours may be, but grief comes eventually to us all.
 
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Looking Out a Clean Windshield
Written by: Pat Lewallen
08/27/12
 
Have you ever had a day that you dreaded getting out of bed? I had such a day on August 2, 2012. I awoke that morning in tears, remembering, it was the third anniversary of the death of my youngest son. I dreaded this “sad and gloomy” day. I had to force myself to get out of bed, get dressed and go to work that morning.       
 
I got to the office; got my first cup of coffee and the telephone rang. It was the man from Kimble Auto Glass. He wanted to replace the cracked windshield in my car. I had spoken on the phone to a representative at Kimble’s earlier in the week. I had my choice of days to pick. Why had I picked today? Didn’t I remember what today was? I had already agreed on today. He was already here so I told him where my car was parked. I would drink some coffee and try to get myself composed. After a few minutes, I made my way out to the car. The young man had parked his work van behind my car. He was already getting the new windshield ready and was busy polishing it. I unlocked the car and asked if I needed to sign any papers when he finished. He was a nice young man. He said I didn’t need to sign anything. He would put the paperwork in the front seat and make sure my car was locked when he was finished.
 
Being at work and around others helped me that day. I stayed so busy that my early morning wake up thoughts had mostly been forced to the back of my mind. Soon, the work day was finished and it was time to go home. I really wanted to check out my new windshield too. I walked out to a bright and sunny day. I got in my car and the windshield was beautiful. It was perfectly clean! I didn’t see the first ding or scratch or bug smear on it. In fact, it was so clean I didn’t want to look out any of the other windows. They were all just too dirty.  
 
Driving home, I became keenly aware of the beautiful view looking out my new windshield. I saw the most radiant, bright and absolutely beautiful Carolina blue sky. The sky was dotted with the most beautiful clouds. They were big and fluffy and brilliantly white. I remembered the day Christ cleaned up the windshield in my life many years ago. He died on the cross to remove the dings and scratches and smears in my life. One of my favorite songs “When I Get Carried Away” began playing on the radio. I got blessed by the Lord and soon tears of joy were flowing. You don’t know what you’ve missed if you’ve never received a special blessing from the Lord. His presence filled my heart with such joy and peace. I was reminded that I need to keep looking forward in my life. I’ve put my faith and trust in Jesus this far in my life. I trust Him with the rest of my life too.
 
I’ll never forget the day I surrendered my life to Christ. It was the most beautiful day in my life. Christ placed a brand new clean windshield in my life. Everything hasn’t worked out in my life the way I wanted them to. I know if I keep my faith in my Savior, one day I’ll cross life’s finish line and be victorious. I’ll get to see the most beautiful sights the Lord has in store for me in Heaven! Wow, that blessing will last for all eternity too!
 
I’m gonna let the glory roll when the roll is called in glory
I’m gonna get beside of myself when I get beside the king that day
I’m gonna have the time of my life when the time of my life is over
I’m gonna get carried away when I get carried away
 
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Two Young Boys
Copied Article
Submitted by: Thelma Harris
 
A couple had two young boys who were excessively mischievous. Their parents knew that if any mischief occurred in their town, their sons were probably involved. The boys' mother heard that a clergyman in town had been successful in disciplining children, she asked if he would speak with her boys. The clergyman agreed, but asked to see them individually. The mother agreed and sent the youngest in first.

The clergyman, a huge man with a booming voice, sat the younger boy down and asked him sternly, "Where is God?"

The boy's mouth dropped open, but he made no response. He sat there his mouth hanging open, wide eyed. So the clergyman repeated the question in an even sterner tone, "Where is God?" Again, the boy made no attempt to answer. So the clergyman raised his voice even more and shook his finger in the boy's face and bellowed, "WHERE IS GOD?"

The boy screamed and bolted from the room, ran directly home and dove into his closet, slamming the door behind him. When his older brother found him in the closet, he asked, "What happened?"

Gasping for breath, the younger brother replied: "We are in BIG trouble this time, dude. God is missing -- and they think WE did it!"
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I Surrender All
The story behind the song written by:
Judson W. Van de Venter, 1855-1939
Copied Article
 
This hymn text was written by the author as he recalled the day that he had surrendered his life to Christ and dedicated himself completely to Christian service. It was first published in 1896. Mr. Van de Venter has left this account of the writing of his hymn text:

The song was written while I was conducting a meeting at East Palestine, Ohio, and in the home of George Sebring (founder of the Sebring Camp meeting-Bible Conference in Sebring, Ohio, and later developer of the town of Sebring, Florida). For some time, I had struggled between developing my talents in the field of art and going into full-time evangelistic work. At last the pivotal hour of my life came, and I surrendered all. A new day was ushered into my life. I became an evangelist and discovered down deep in my soul a talent hitherto unknown to me. God had hidden a song in my heart, and touching a tender chord, He caused me to sing."

Judson Van de Venter was born on a farm near Dundee, Michigan, on December 5, 1855. Following graduation from Hillsdale College, he became an art teacher and later a supervisor of art in the public schools of Sharon, Pennsylvania. He was also an active layman in his Methodist Episcopal Church. It was during this time that Van de Venter became especially involved in evangelistic meetings being held in his church. Recognizing his unusual talent for Christian service, his friends began urging him to give up teaching and become an evangelist. For the next five years, Mr. Van de Venter wavered between the challenge of the ministry and that of becoming a recognized artist. Following his decision to surrender his life to Christ, he traveled extensively throughout the United States, England, and Scotland in evangelistic work. He was assisted for many years by his associate and singer, Winfield S. Weeden.

Dr. Billy Graham, foremost evangelist of our century, wrote this tribute to Mr. Van de Venter in the book, Crusade Hymn Stories, edited by Cliff Barrows: "One of the evangelists who influenced my early preaching was also a hymnist who wrote "I Surrender All”---the Rev. J. W. Van de Venter. He was a regular visitor at the Florida Bible Institute (now Trinity Bible College) in the late 1930's. We students loved this kind, deeply spiritual gentleman and often gathered in his winter home at Tampa, Florida, for an evening of fellowship and singing.”
 
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Thankful Thursday
Written by: Beth Brown
 August 30, 2012
Submitted by: Pat Lewallen
 
We have a Prayer Warriors email team where I work. Connie McCoy is our faithful leader.  She encourages team members to email something they are thankful for on “Thankful Thursday”. I want to share this true story submitted this past Thursday by Beth Brown:
 
We had something happen at church last night that I felt would bless many so I thought I would share.  We normally have a Bible study on Wednesday with no music as there are only a few of us there.  We were about halfway through our lesson when an older gentleman walked in.  Pastor Sam greeted him and the gentleman said that he was curious as to the type of service we have on Wednesday night.  Pastor Sam told him that we have a Bible study.  The gentleman told us that he was looking for a church that had music on Wednesday night because his wife was in the car.  His wife has Alzheimer’s and he had picked her up from the nursing home she lives in to take her out for the evening.  She doesn’t have the capabilities to follow a teaching but she remembers the music and has always enjoyed that. He told us that he had already been to two churches, they only had Bible studies, when he saw ours and thought he would check. 
 
Pastor Sam (who also leads our worship) looked around and we had a few of our singers there as well as me (I’m our pianist at church), so he told the gentleman to give us just a minute and we will get something put together for you. The gentleman looked outside and said that his wife must know something is going on because she was getting out of the car. So I grabbed some sheet music and we got the sound system turned on and pulled out some familiar songs. We sang for about 20 to 25 minutes while the man sat with his wife just crying. Halfway through “Amazing Grace” the wife just raised her hand and closed her eyes. Afterwards we prayed for the gentleman and his wife as they both just cried (as did all of us there). It was such a sweet thing to witness God using 10 people to change the night for a hurting couple who just wanted a few moments to worship God. 
 
I can’t help but think that they went to two churches before they arrived at ours. It reminds me of the parable of the Good Samaritan. Oh, how precious life is when we stop what we have planned to minister to someone in need.
 
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God’s Gift of Love
Written by: Helen Steiner Rice
Submitted by: Thelma Harris
 
God’s Love is like an island
In life’s ocean vast and wide,
A peaceful, quiet shelter
From the restless, rising tide…
God’s love is like a fortress,
And we seek protection there
When the waves of tribulation
Seem to drown us in despair…
 God’s love is like a beacon
Burning bright with Faith and Prayer
And through the changing scenes of life
We can find a Haven There!
 
 
+++ The Christian Banner - August 2012 +++
 
Love Produces Miracles
Author Unknown
 
Some time ago there was a story about a baby boy in a Milwaukee hospital.  The baby was born January 31, 1952. He was born blind and mentally retarded and had cerebral palsy.  He was little more than a vegetable and didn't respond to sound or touch.  His parents had abandoned him.
 
The hospital didn't know what to do with the child.  Then someone mentioned May Lemke, a nurse who lived nearby. She was 52 years old and had already raised five children of her own.  May was asked to take the infant, being told, "He'll probably die young."
 
May responded, "If I take the baby, he won't die young, and I'll be happy to take him."  May named the baby Leslie.  It wasn't easy to care for him.  Every day she massaged the baby's entire body.  She prayed over him; cried over him. A neighbor told her, "You're wasting your life."
 
Years passed - five, ten, fifteen.  It wasn't until Leslie was sixteen years old that May was able to teach him to stand alone. All this time he never responded to her.  But all this time May continued to love him and to pray over him.  Then one day May noticed Leslie's finger plucking a taut string on a package.  She wondered if it was possible that Leslie was sensitive to music.
 
May surrounded Leslie with music. She played every type of music imaginable, hoping that one might appeal to him.  Eventually May and her husband bought a second-hand piano and put it in Leslie's room. May took his fingers and showed him how to push the keys down, but Leslie didn't appear to understand.
 
Then one winter night May awoke to the sound of someone playing Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No.1.  What May and her husband discovered was beyond their wildest dreams. Leslie was sitting at the piano smiling and playing the piece by ear. It was too remarkable to be true.  Leslie had never gotten out of bed alone before.  He'd never seated himself at the piano before.  He'd never even struck a key on his own.  Now Leslie was playing beautiful.
 
May dropped to her knees and said, "Thank you, God. You didn't forget Leslie."
 
Soon Leslie began to live at the piano.  He played classical, country, ragtime, gospel and even rock.  It was absolutely incredible.  All the music that May had played for him was stored in Leslie's brain and was now flowing out through his hands into the piano.
 
Leslie, when he was twenty-eight, began to talk.  He didn't carry on extended conversations; but he did ask questions, give simple answers and make brief comments.  Leslie now plays concerts for church groups, civic groups, hospitals, support groups. He even appeared on national television.
 
Doctors describe Leslie as an autistic savant, a person who is brain damaged, but extremely talented. They can't explain this unusual phenomenon, although doctors have known about it for nearly two hundred years.
 
May Lemke can't explain it either. But she does know how the talent can be released - through compassionate love.
 
Footnote: May Lemke died November 13, 1993. Leslie lives with May Lemke's daughter, Mary Parker, who is his guardian and caregiver. Through the years, May, Leslie and Mary have unselfishly shared Leslie's 'miracle of music' as a gift from God, never exploiting him, and living very modestly, often giving concerts for free.
 
1 Corinthians 13:13: And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
 
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A Pair of Shoes
Author Unknown
Submitted by: Pat Lewallen

I am wearing a pair of shoes.
They are ugly shoes.
Uncomfortable shoes.
I hate my shoes.
Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair.
Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step.
Yet, I continue to wear them.
I get funny looks wearing these shoes. They are looks of sympathy.
I can tell in others eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs.
They never talk about my shoes.
To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable.
To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them.
But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.
I now realize that I am not the only one who wears these shoes.
There are many pairs in this world.
Some women are like me and ache daily as they try and walk in them.
Some have learned how to walk in them so they don’t hurt quite as much.
Some have worn the shoes so long that days will go by before they think about how much they hurt.
No woman deserves to wear these shoes.
Yet, because of these shoes I am a stronger woman.
These shoes have given me the strength to face anything.
They have made me who I am.
I will forever walk in the shoes of a woman who has lost a child.
 
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A Testimony of Transformation
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“Not having arms but not letting it limit me.” Jessica Cox
 
Born without arms, Jessica Cox could have lived to the low expectations that greeted her when she entered this world.  In spite of them all, God’s plan allowed her to learn to swim, drive a car, graduate from college, and live independently using her feet in ways others who take their hands for granted can only imagine. She holds the title of the first person without arms to get a black belt in the American Taekwondo Association and the Guinness World Record for the first pilot to fly with only her feet.
 
Yet, her greatest triumph in life stands far above any physical achievement.  It is her journey in faith!  A journey that began with the question: “Why me?” Her doubt transformed into a trust in God’s plan and His purpose in her life.  Now she travels the world sharing her testimony of transformation with others.
 
Throughout Jessica’s testimony she reminds us that there are difficult moments when we ask God, “Why me?” and struggle with our own trials.  She reminds us to trust God and understand that our trials are not intended to weaken our relationship with Him; rather to strengthen our faith in the same way Jessica’s challenges have brought her closer to God.
 
The prayer that gave Jessica strength while growing up is The Serenity Prayer.  She shares how that prayer has manifested in her life and can do the same for others.
 
Jessica evokes an appreciation for things often taken for granted.  God uses people in ways they do not know and He can use them to bring glory to His Name. In the same way, God has used her life to help many people begin or renew their own journey in faith. Jessica’s testimony of God leading her to touch lives around the world will renew life, spirit, purpose and ultimately give glory to God!
 
The Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
 
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Out of This Life
Author Unknown
Submitted by: Lela Trotter
 
Out of this life I shall never take
Things of silver and gold I make
All that I cherish and hoard away
After I leave, on this earth must stay
 
Though I have toiled for a painting rare
To hang on the wall, I must leave it there
Though I call it mine, and boast it's worth
I must give it up when I leave this earth.
 
All that I gather and all that I keep
I must leave behind when I fall asleep
And I often wonder what I shall own
In that other life, when I pass alone
 
What shall they find, and what shall they see
In the soul that answers the call for me?
Shall the Great Judge learn when my task is through
That my spirit has gained some riches too?
 
Or shall at last, it be mine to find
That all I'd worked for I'd left behind.
 
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The little boy wasn't getting good marks in school. One day he tapped his teacher on the shoulder and said ..."I don't want to scare you, but my daddy says if I don't get better grades, somebody is going to get a spanking."
 
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No Greater Love
Written by: Dennis Fisher
Copied article
 
Bill and his wife were driving through the Rocky Mountains when a near-miss with a truck caused their car to swerve off the road and plunge into the Colorado River. After scrambling out of their sinking vehicle, they frantically treaded water in the swift current. A truck driver, who had seen the accident, ran ahead along the shore and threw a rope to them. Bill swam behind his wife and pushed her to where she could grab the rope—and the man pulled her out. Bill, however, was carried downstream and didn’t survive. He had given his life for the woman he loved.
 
To give your life so another person can live is the ultimate proof of love. During the night that Jesus was betrayed, He told His disciples of His intention to give His life in exchange for mankind. He told them: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13). And then He set the ultimate example of self-sacrifice by going to the cross.
 
Have you ever given any thought to the fact that Jesus did that for you—that He died in your place? In so doing, He not only proved His love for you, but He also made it possible for you to be forgiven of your sins and to have an eternal home in heaven.
 
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My Friend Linda
Written by: Pat Lewallen
July 15, 2012
 
Linda isn’t loud and boisterous
Sometimes you’d hardly know she’s there.
She always makes me feel so important
She always shows to me her loving care.
 
Linda is so kind and tender hearted
It doesn’t take much to make her cry,
If someone she loves is hurting
I’ll see the concern in her eyes.
 
Linda sure loves her husband Wes
I know her love for him is genuine and true!
She shares with me new photos of her family,
I witness her love for each one of them too!
 
I remember the time she called me at home
When dark clouds had parked right over my head,
She called to tell me she was there for me
It helped to hear the comforting words she said.
 
We like to walk and talk and get some exercise
But it just won’t be the same for me anymore,
You see my friend Linda has left me now
The death angel knocked yesterday on her door.
 
I’ll be taking my walks at work without her
But I won’t have to take my walks alone,
I’ll carry her love and friendship in my heart
Until the day God also calls me home.
 
 
 
+++ The Christian Banner - July 2012 +++
   
Freedom
Wednesday Bible Study & Prayer Meeting 06/27/12
Presented by: Ann Poole

Freedom (noun): Having liberty, independence.

Only God has absolute freedom. He is not controlled from the outside.
 
Galatians 5:1: For freedom did Christ set us free: stand fast therefore, and be not entangled again in a yoke of bondage.

Galatians 5:13-14: 13 For ye, brethren, were called for freedom; only use not your freedom for an occasion to the flesh, but through love be servants one to another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

1 Peter 2:13-17: 13 Be subject to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether to the king, as supreme; 14 or unto governors, as sent by him for vengeance on evil-doers and for praise to them that do well. 15 For so is the will of God, that by well-doing ye should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 16 as free, and not using your freedom for a cloak of wickedness, but as bondservants of God. 17 Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.

God Promises Freedom
 
Exodus 6:2-8: 2 Then God spoke to Moses, telling him, “I am Yahweh.(YAH way). 3 I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as God Almighty, but I did not make My name Yahweh known to them.
4 I also established My covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land they lived in as foreigners. 5 Furthermore, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are forcing to work as slaves, and I have remembered My covenant.6 “Therefore tell the Israelites: I am Yahweh, and I will deliver you from the forced labor of the Egyptians and free you from slavery to them. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and great acts of judgment. 7 I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. You will know that I am Yahweh your God, who delivered you from the forced labor of the Egyptians. 8 I will bring you to the land that I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you as a possession. I am the Lord.”

Leviticus 26:13: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, so that you would no longer be their slaves. I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to live in freedom.

Jesus said:
Luke 4:18: The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom.

John 8:30-32: 30 As He was saying these things, many believed in Him. 31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word you really are My disciples. 32 You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”     

2 Corinthians 3:15-17: 15 However, to this day, whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their hearts, 16 but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Freedom of the Christian

Galatians 5:1: Christ has liberated us into freedom. Therefore stand firm and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery.
 
 
Now let’s look at our nation…..
 
Our Real Roots…

Did you know that 52 of the 55 signers of the Declaration of Independence were orthodox, deeply committed Christians? The other three all believed in the Bible as the divine truth, the God of scripture, and His personal intervention. It is the same Congress that formed the American Bible Society. Immediately after creating the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress voted to purchase and import 20,000 copies of scripture for the people of this nation.
 
Patrick Henry, who is called the firebrand of the American Revolution, is still remembered for his words, "Give me liberty or give me death". But in current textbooks the context of these words is deleted. Here is what he said: "An appeal to arms and the God of hosts is all that is left us. But we shall not fight our battle alone. There is a just God that presides over the destinies of nations. The battle sir, is not to the strong alone. Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it almighty God. I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death." (Freedom or death) These sentences have been erased from our textbooks.
 
Was Patrick Henry a Christian? The following year, 1776, he wrote this "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great Nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religious, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For that reason alone, people of other faiths have been afforded freedom of worship here."
 
Consider these words that Thomas Jefferson wrote on the front of his well worn Bible: "I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus. I have little doubt that our whole country will soon be rallied to the unity of our Creator and, I hope, to the pure doctrine of Jesus also."
 
Consider these words from George Washington, the Father of our Nation, in his farewell speech on September 19, 1796: "It is impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible. Of all the
dispositions and habits that lead to political prosperity, our religion and morality are the indispensable
supporters. Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that our national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle." (He is saying that without God we cannot be a nation with morals and that we cannot expect this to be. We see how true this is.)
 
Was George Washington a Christian? Consider these words from his personal prayer book: "Oh, eternal and everlasting God, direct my thoughts, words and work. Wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the lamb and purge my heart by thy Holy Spirit. Daily, frame me more and more in the likeness of thy son, Jesus Christ, that living in thy fear, and dying in thy favor, I may in thy appointed time obtain the resurrection of the justified unto eternal life. Bless, O Lord, the whole race of mankind and let the world be filled with the knowledge of thee and thy son, Jesus Christ."
 
Consider these words by John Adams, our second president, who also served as chairman of the American Bible Society. In an address to military leaders he said, "We have no government armed with the power capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and true religion. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." (We have seen God removed from government and it does not work.)
 
How about our first Supreme Court Justice, John Jay? He stated that when we select our national leaders, if we are to preserve our Nation, we must select Christians. "Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian Nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers." (What would we be called today? But we know he is right.)
 
John Quincy Adams, son of John Adams, was the sixth U.S. President. He was also the chairman of the American Bible Society, which he considered his highest and most important role. On July 4, 1821 President Adams said, "The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity." (Our government and Christianity! To survive I truly believe this is what has to be.)
 
Calvin Coolidge, our 30th President of the United States reaffirmed this truth when he wrote, "The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country." (Our country was built on Christianity… on the teachings of our Holy Bible!)
 
In 1782, the United States Congress voted this resolution: "The Congress of the United States recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in all schools." (What would they say today?)
 
William Holmes McGuffey, author of the McGuffey Reader, which was used for over 100 years in our public schools with over 125 million copies sold until it was stopped in 1963 (President Kennedy in office). President Lincoln called him the "Schoolmaster of the Nation." Listen to these words of Mr. McGuffey: "The Christian religion is the religion of our country. From it are derived our notions on the character of God, on the great moral Governor of the universe. On its doctrines are founded the peculiarities of our free institutions. From no source has the author drawn more conspicuously than from the sacred Scriptures. From all these extracts from the Bible I make no apology."
 
Of the first 108 universities founded in America, 106 were distinctly Christian, including the first, Harvard University, chartered in 1636. In the original Harvard Student Handbook, rule number 1 was that students seeking entrance must know Latin and Greek so that they could study the scriptures: "Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ, which is eternal life, John 17:3; and therefore to lay Jesus Christ as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning. And seeing the Lord only giveth wisdom, let every one seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seek it of him (Proverbs 2:3)."
 
For over 100 years, more than 50% of all Harvard graduates were pastors!
 
It is clear from history that the Bible and the Christian faith were foundational to our educational and judicial system. However, in 1947, (President Truman was in office) there was a radical change of direction for the Supreme Court. It required ignoring every precedent of Supreme Court ruling for the past 160 years. The Supreme Court ruled in a limited way to affirm a wall of separation between church and State in the public classroom.
 
In the coming years, this led to removing prayer from public schools in 1962. Here is the prayer that was banished: "Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence on Thee. We beg Thy blessings upon us and our parents and our teachers and our country. Amen."
 
In 1963, (President Kennedy) the Supreme Court ruled that Bible reading was outlawed as unconstitutional in the public school system. The court offered this justification: "If portions of the New Testament were read without explanation, they could and have been psychologically harmful to children."
 
Bible reading was now unconstitutional, though the Bible was quoted 94 percent of the time by those who wrote our Constitution and shaped our Nation and its system of education and justice and government.
 
In 1965, (President Johnson) the Courts denied as unconstitutional the right of a student in the public school cafeteria to bow his head and pray audibly over his food. In 1980, (President Carter) Stone vs. Graham outlawed the Ten Commandments in our public schools. The Supreme Court said this: "If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments were to have any effect at all, it would be to induce school children to read them. And if they read them, mediated upon them, and perhaps venerated and observed them, this is not a permissible objective." (Is it not a permissible objective to allow our children to follow the moral principles of the Ten Commandments?)
 
James Madison, a primary author of the Constitution of the United States, said this: "We have staked the whole future of our new nation, not upon the power of government; far from it. We have staked the future of all our political constitutions upon the capacity of each of ourselves to govern ourselves according to the moral principles of the Ten Commandments."
 
Today, we are asking God to bless America. But, how can He bless a nation that has departed so far from Him? Most of what I have said tonight has been erased from our textbooks. History has been rewritten to remove the truth about our country's Christian roots. How tragic!
 
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The Teacher Sees a Boy
Dedicated to all teachers
Copied & submitted by: Lela Trotter
 
His trousers are torn, rolled up to the knee.
A hole in his shirt which he caught on a tree
But I see a soul for whom Jesus has died
Clothed in his righteousness pressed to His side
I see not labor and hours of prayer
Spent for that freckle faced naughty boy there.
But I see a Savior with arms open wide
Waiting in heaven to take him inside
I see not freckles but a man fully grown
A heart filled with God’s word I’ve fully sown.
A life speaking forth for the Savior each day
O Lord for this boy I most earnestly pray.
I see not mischief but energy bent
Put to the task where the Lord wants it spent.
O God make this lively mischievous boy
A power for Thee and to Thy heart a joy.
 
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"The Star-Spangled Banner" is the national anthem of the United States of America. The lyrics come from "Defense of Fort McHenry", a poem written in 1814 by the 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet, Francis Scott Key, after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British Royal Navy ships in Chesapeake Bay during the Battle of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812.
 
Francis Scott Key was a man of faith in Jesus Christ. He believed that America was a heaven rescued land and that we should "praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation. Then conquer we must when our cause it is just, and this be our motto, IN GOD IS OUR TRUST."  A hundred and forty-two years after he wrote these lines "IN GOD WE TRUST" officially became our nation’s motto in 1956.
 
Francis Scott Key was involved in the American Sunday School Union, and was instrumental in planting thousands of Sunday Schools in settlements throughout the Midwest. Later in his life he became the Vice President of the American Bible Society because he believed that we would be the land of the free and the home of the brave only if we as a nation would follow Biblical principles, and he knew that the Word of God needed to get into the hands and into the hearts of the American people.
 
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Tribute to the American Flag
Written & submitted by: Irene Wright
 
O’ grand ole flag, lift your royal banner toward the sky
Spread your wings and soar on high
Battle scars seen across your face
Still you stand with dignity and grace
 
Freedom rings in the land we trod
Uniting us as a nation under God!
Shame that you must sometime feel
Yet the stripes remain to heal!
 
And through the darkest night
Your stars became your guiding light!
And wherever you seem to rest
You give it your best
 
Still standing for liberty and justice for all
“United we stand, United we fall!”
And throughout all the bloodstain tears
You stood for many years
 
And shall remain our loyal friend
To the bitter end!
So we salute you!
O’ flag of red, white and blue!
 
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What Happens When We Don't Pray?
Written by: Gail Knox
Copied Article
 
Have you ever thought about what happens when we are negligent in prayer? Many of the books written by avid prayer warriors point out that the reason the world is in the condition it’s in today is because God’s people don’t pray. The authors are quick to add that there is a definite union between prayer and God’s accomplishing His work in this world. One isn’t done without the other. In His great wisdom, you see, God made prayer the essential work of man that drives the essential work of God.
 
So what happens if we neglect to pray? Does that keep the Sovereign God of the universe from carrying out His work? In some instances, “Yes.” Or at the very least, our omission to pray delays the work of God. Although He will ultimately accomplish His purposes, sometimes it takes longer simply because we failed to pray as we should.
 
What does this say to us then? It means we must persist in prayer for that lost one. We mustn’t give up on getting an answer to a difficult decision. We must keep taking it again and again to the Lord in prayer, spending time with the Father while pouring out our hearts to Him in love and adoration. Bottom line, we must know the One who created us so intimately that prayer becomes like a next breath.
 
If we would pray as God desires us to pray, we would see amazing and miraculous happenings take place in our world. As it is, we see them only occasionally. That’s not because God cannot do them—or doesn’t want to do them—it’s because we quit asking Him to do them.
 
Prayer is the work He has given us to do so that He can finish the work He wants to do. It would behoove us to pray that God will help us not neglect the obligation He gave us to pray. His will may be waiting on us.