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

Year 2013 - July thru Sept

 
 
+++ The Christian Banner - September 2013 +++
 
Carrots, Eggs and Coffee Beans
Author Unknown
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A young woman told her grandmother how life was hard. She was tired of struggling and wanted to give up.
 
Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She set them to boil without saying a word. Twenty minutes later she turned off the burners and placed each item in individual bowls.
 
The old woman asked her granddaughter to feel the carrots. They were soft and mushy. She asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she saw the egg had hardened. Finally, the granddaughter sipped the water with the beans, which was now coffee. She smiled at the flavor. “But what’s the point, Grandma?”
 
“Each of these objects had faced the same adversity — boiling water — but each reacted differently,” said the old lady. The carrot went in strong and unrelenting; it became weak. The egg’s thin, outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, it became hardened. The ground coffee, however, was unique. It changed the water.
 
“Which are you?” she asked her granddaughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond?”
 
So ask yourself. Are you a carrot that seems strong? But with pain and adversity, do you wilt and lose your strength? Are you the egg that starts with a fluid spirit but, after trials, becomes hardened and stiff?
 
Or are you like the coffee bean? The ground coffee actually changes the hot water — the very circumstance that brings the adversity, the pain, the hardship — into something quite wonderful. In fact, when the water gets hot, it releases the bean’s fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better, and change the situation around you for the better.
 
Are you a carrot, egg, or coffee bean?
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A blonde was playing Trivial Pursuit one night. It was her turn. She rolled the dice and she landed on Science & Nature. Her question was, "If you are in a vacuum and someone calls your name, can you hear it?"
She thought for a time and then asked, "Is it on or off?"
 
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Reverend Billy Graham’s “My Answer”
I Don’t Look Forward to Death
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Question:
I truly believe in heaven, and that I'll go there when I die. But to be honest, I don't look forward to death, and I even hate to think about it. My life is happy and full right now, and I'd hate to leave my family and friends behind. Am I wrong to feel this way? — L.D.
 
Answer:
God doesn't want us to be morbid or constantly burdened with thoughts of death. He gave our lives to us, and until the moment He calls us home to heaven, He wants us to rejoice in all His good gifts. The Bible says, "When God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them ... this is a gift of God" (Ecclesiastes 5:19).

But don't misunderstand me; this doesn't mean we ought to live only for the moment or ignore the reality of death. Life is short; the older I get, the more I realize just how quickly it passes. But eternity is forever - and now is the time to prepare for it. This is why the most important decision any person will ever make is their decision for Christ. He came into the world to save us from our sins and open heaven's door for us, and life's greatest joy comes from knowing Him.

Thank God for the good gifts He gives you, including your family and friends. But thank Him most of all for Jesus Christ, and for the fact that you are now part of His family forever. Because you know Him, you don't need to fear death.

Then ask God to help you to be an example of Christ's love to those around you. What will your family remember about you when you are gone? May they remember not only your love for them, but your faith and hope and love for Christ.
 
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There is a Change a Coming
Written & submitted by: Irene Wright
 
There is a change a coming, do you feel it in the air?
Skies more cloudy than they are fair
Birds now southern bound
Grass withering from the ground
Frogs, crickets, bees and such, preparing for a long winter’s sleep
Squirrels gathering nuts, burying them for a safe keep
Flowers fading away
Days shorting their stay
Trees clothed with multi-colored leaves
Tides changing courses at sea
Northern winds begin to blow
And signs of winter begin to show
A quietness surrounds us all
When summer ends, and it is the beginning of Fall!
A page taken right out of the Good Book
God’s handy work can not be mistaken, if we only take time to stop and look!
 
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O Lord, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. Psalm 104:24 (KJV)
                                                                                                                                  
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My Influence
Written by: Alice E. Clark
Submitted by: Lela Trotter
 
My life shall touch a dozen lives
Before this day is done,
Leave countless marks for good or ill,
Ere sets the evening sun;
This is the wish I always wish,
The prayer I always pray:
Lord, may my life help other lives
It touches by the way.
 
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An Enlarged Heart
Written by: Pat Lewallen – 08/30/13
 
I wrote an article in the June 2013 Christian Banner about my sister’s dog named Trixie. I had no idea in June that Trixie would pass away on Saturday, August 24, 2013. My sister didn’t expect it either. Trixie was a lost stray dog about five years ago. She was fortunate and found her way to Sandy’s home. Sandy saw her, fed her and named her Trixie. Sandy was Trixie’s master from that day until the day Trixie died. 
 
Growing up at home, I remember we always had at least one dog around the house. They were all strays except for a full-blooded boxer bulldog that Uncle Earl gave us. I think I discovered the reason we ended up with Butcher. In the summer months we would go to sleep at night with all the windows raised to cool the house. I can remember waking up some nights to hear Butcher laying outdoors under my window just snoring up a storm. I would either have to get up and close the window or go outdoors and make Butcher move somewhere else so I could get back to sleep.  
 
Trixie was Sandy’s shadow. Wherever Sandy went Trixie followed. I was at Sandy’s last Thursday. The vet had diagnosed Trixie less that a week before with congestive heart failure. He told Sandy how shocked he was at size of Trixie’s enlarged heart. The vet put Trixie on four different medicines and told Sandy to bring her back in ten days. Last Thursday, I noticed Trixie was struggling to get comfortable. She was panting and it wasn’t hot in the house. Trixie wanted up in Sandy’s lap but she didn’t have the strength to jump. Sandy reached down and helped Trixie up into her arms. Trixie was on her back and Sandy held her close to her just like a baby. Trixie lifted up her face and touched Sandy’s face. Trixie wanted to be loved on and that’s exactly what Trixie got.     
 
Sandy took Trixie back to the vet last Friday. She agreed to leave Trixie overnight at the vet’s office. He would give Trixie fluids and monitor her condition. Sandy called the vet’s office early last Saturday morning. She was told that Trixie had passed away during the night. Richard and I went to the vet’s office to get Trixie’s collars. As I held her collars, I couldn’t help but shed tears as I remembered Trixie and her great love for my sister. No wonder her heart got so enlarged. I’ll always cherish my memories of a black and white mixed terrier dog named Trixie. She was so faithful and loved her master like no other dog I have ever personally known in my lifetime.
 
I’ll never forget Trixie. Her memory reminds me to be faithful and show my love for my Master, the Lord Jesus Christ. He rescued me, a lost stray soul. He forgave me of my sins and called me His own. I needed His love in my heart. He has always shown me love and has been right by my side. I could never find a closer friend than Jesus. I’ve had times in my life when I’ve cried out to Him for help. He’s been right there to pick me up and cradle me in His arms. I know Jesus is alive because He lives within my heart everyday. One day I’ll see Him in heaven. I don’t intend to miss that for anything in this world. I’m more determined than ever to always follow Jesus, my Savior and my Master. 
 
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Ten Decisions You Will Never Regret
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01. Showing kindness to an elderly person, both by helping and listening.
 
02. Destroying a letter or deleting an email written in anger.
 
03. Offering an apology to salvage a wounded friendship.
 
04. Putting the interests of others before your own.
 
05. Taking the time to help a young person find direction in life.
 
06. Showing consideration to parents, friends, brothers and sisters, regardless of their ages.
 
07. Refraining from gossip when others around you delight in it.
 
08. Refusing to compromise your convictions, even if those around you disagree.
 
09. Accepting God’s wisdom regarding questions in life, though you may not fully understand at the time.
 
10. Receiving the gift of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. His grace will enable you to make decisions you will never regret.
 
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Old Friends
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Two elderly ladies had been friends for many decades.
Over the years, they had shared all kinds of activities and adventures. Lately, their activities had been limited to meeting a few times a week to play cards.

One day, they were playing cards when one looked at the other and said, "Now don't get mad at me. I know we've been friends for a long time, but I just can't think of your name! I've thought and thought, but I can't remember it. Please tell me what your name is."

Her friend glared at her. For at least three minutes she just stared and glared at her. Finally she said, "How soon do you need to know?"
 
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Three Sisters
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Three sisters, ages 92, 94 and 96, live in a house together.
One night the 96-year-old draws a bath.
She puts her foot in and pauses.
She yells to the other sisters,
"Was I getting in or out of the bath?"
The 94-year-old yells back,
"I don't know. I'll come up and see."
She starts up the stairs and pauses "Was I going up the stairs or down?"
The 92-year-old is sitting at the kitchen table having tea listening to her sisters.
She shakes her head and says,
"I sure hope I never get that forgetful, knock on wood."
She then yells, "I'll come up and help both of you as soon as I see who's at the door."
 
 
 
 
+++ The Christian Banner - August 2013 +++
 
On the Authority of God’s Word
Written by: Richard Lewallen
 
The Pharisees came to Jesus with a trick question: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar? Jesus told them to bring him a penny. They brought a penny to Jesus. He asked them whose image and inscription was on the coin. They replied, “Caesar’s.”
 
Mark 12:17
And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him. 
 
Jesus pointed out here that we are to show respect to those who have authority over us. At the same time, we are to show greater respect to the One who holds all authority.
 
Today I see a society that is blessed with so many good things. Yet at the same time, I see a society that is so ungrateful to the Authority that gave them everything, including their very existence. Who are we to say to God, “We don’t need you?” But the actions of so many in our nation today are saying to God, “We want to be free of your authority.” As the sparks of a fire are prone to fly upward, so is man prone to resist authority.
 
Nothing is as politically incorrect today as saying, “On the authority of God’s word!”
 
On the authority of God’s Word, marriage is between a man and a woman.
Genesis 2:24
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
 
On the authority of God’s Word, abortion is wrong.
Exodus 20:13
Thou shalt not kill.
 
On the authority of God’s Word, there is only One that can save us. 
Acts 4:12
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
 
Living under God’s authority is for our own protection and well being. What right does the clay have to dispute with the potter? 
 
Genesis 1:31
And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
 
Can man improve on God’s creation? No! Man is only good at distorting it. There is only one thing man can do that is right. And that is to live under the authority of God’s word!
 
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Mountain ViewChurch - 2013 VacationBibleSchool News
Written & submitted by: Amy Hunt
 
Our Bible School this year was a huge success! The theme was God's Backyard Bible Camp where we all learned how to serve God by serving others. We had around 125 in attendance each night, including 5 classes (Preschool, Elementary, Preteen, Teen and Adult) and workers. We ended the week with hotdogs, homemade ice cream and inflatable water slides. The highlight of the week was that 7 people accepted Christ and several rededicated their lives to Him! We serve an awesome God! Thanks to all who participated!
 
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Even in Loss and Suffering There Can be Beauty
Written by: Tristan James
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Susan Slade was born with cerebral palsy, a disease that affects the nervous system of the body. The only parts of her body that she can control are two fingers on her right hand. Not only has cerebral palsy affected her life, but also illnesses and conditions that include neuropathy, scoliosis, osteoporosis and the loss of a kidney. However, none of these “big things” have stopped Susan.
 
Susan is now 46 years old, and has become a minister. She has received her bachelor’s and master’s degree from Oral Roberts University, and has preformed many weddings, made many inspirational videos, appeared on television, and preached in many churches.
 
What am I getting at?
 
Some of you know that when I was 15, during my freshman year of high school, I lost my father. This sent me spiraling, not only did my heart sink into depression, but my grades and also my will to do things sunk as well. It wasn’t until then, however, did I fully realize how merciful and compassionate God is.
 
I thought losing my father was the worst thing in the world. However, when I look back on it, though it still hurts, I am able to see the “beauty” and the “good” that came out of the situation; for example, my father was an organ donor, and through his passing he helped hundreds of people with organ and tissue donation.
 
I cannot express enough the greatness of our God. We do not serve a “mediocre” God, or an “average” God, but an awesome God, and an amazing God!
 
We will always have challenges in our life, but if God can give the strength to Susan Slade, a woman who can move only two fingers on her entire body, to continue ministering and to me, a kid who has struggled with the loss of his father, among other things, than I know that He will give YOU the same strength and that you too can overcome any trial or tribulation in your life!
 
Jesus says, lovingly, “In this world you will have many troubles, but take heart! I have overcome the world,” reads the Bible’s John 16:33.
 
Susan continues daily to overcome, using only her two fingers to flip through the pages of her Bible. It’s time we take Susan’s example, and stop focusing on how big our problems are, and start focusing on how big our God is!
 
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Did you know that a family altar can alter a family?
 
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What’s So Great about Heaven?
Written by: Glen Averill
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The Bible says a lot about heaven. It is beyond what we can even imagine, but some things are clear about the paradise purchased for Christians by the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ. Let's examine the two most important things about heaven: we will be in the very presence of Christ, and there will be no more sin or wickedness.
  
In Philippians 1:23 (NKJV), the Apostle Paul said he had a desire to "depart (die) and be with the Lord." The Bible makes it abundantly clear that the most precious part of heaven will be the fact that you will be in the presence of Jesus Christ. You will be able to worship Him and fellowship with Him forever. Day and night will be no more and you will have uninterrupted joy and peace in communion with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. What a tremendous picture. In this world and in our weak bodies, we grow weary in worship. Sometimes illness completely prevents us from conscious worship. However, it will not be like that in heaven. You will see Him face to face. The One you have served and loved and worshiped here by faith will then be in plain sight.
 
The second greatest thing about heaven will be the complete absence of sin and wickedness. 2 Peter 3:13 says of that day, "Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells."
 
Let that picture develop in your mind for a moment. Can you imagine a place where you no longer struggle with sinfulness in your own heart, nor with the sinfulness and wickedness of a world gone mad? Can you dream of a place where there will be no more murder, no more war, no more crime, no more earthquakes or floods?
 
I long for the day when I will no longer have to struggle with my own self-centeredness, my own lust, my own greed, my own pride. Is there a place without sin? You and I have never known it, but we will, if we are in Christ.
 
Sure, there are lots of other great things about heaven. There will be no more sickness, no more tears, no more grief because of death. Still, I believe the two greatest treasures will be the ones you and I have looked at in this brief article: seeing Jesus Christ face to face, and no longer struggling with sin. That will be "joy unspeakable and full of glory."
 
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The staff at a local charity office realized that it had never received a donation from the town's most successful lawyer. The person in charge of contributions called the lawyer to persuade him to contribute. "Our research shows that out of a yearly income of $500,000, you have not given even a penny to charity. Wouldn't you like to give back to the community in some way?"

The lawyer mulled this over for a moment and replied, "First, did your research also show that my mother is dying after a long illness and has medical bills that are several times her annual income?" Embarrassed, the charity organization representative mumbled, "Uh, no, I did not know that.”

"Or," the lawyer continued, "that my brother, a disabled veteran, is blind and confined to a wheelchair?" The caller began to stammer out an apology but was interrupted when the lawyer added, "Or that my sister's husband died in a traffic accident,” the lawyer's voice rising in indignation, "leaving her penniless with three children?"

The humiliated caller, completely beaten, said simply, "I had no idea. I’m so sorry sir."

On a roll, the lawyer rudely cut him off once again, "So, if I don't give any money to them, why should I give any to you?"
 
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You’re Welcome Anytime
Written & submitted by: Pat Lewallen
 
Thank you for your visit
You really did look fine!
Your visit brought me such joy
Precious child of mine.
 
We don’t get to visit very often
 We met again in my dream
I wasn’t too terribly old
You were young, not even a teen.
 
I’m trying every detail to remember
Dream, please come back to me
I remember being so happy
And life was like it ought to be.
 
Please don’t stay away so long
You’re welcome anytime
I’m hoping to see you soon
Precious child of mine.
 
All I have now are memories
I cherish your visit in each dream
I’m looking for our reunion day
What a happy and glorious scene!
 
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Thank You
Written & submitted by: Lela Trotter
 
I just want to take the time to thank all of you wonderful people at Mt. View for still remembering me since I haven’t been able to attend church. I really miss seeing all of you at the church I’ve attended all my life. I’ve had some hard times but the Lord is with me. I couldn’t make it without Him.
 
Thank you for the beautiful cards and your phone calls. I love you and I miss all of you. You’re in my prayers. I know that some of you are going through terrible times. But always remember, God is always with you.
 
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Ken was a single guy living at home with his father and working in the family business.  When his father became quite ill, he realized that he would soon inherit a large fortune.  He decided he needed a wife with whom to share his fortune. 
 
One evening at an investment meeting he spotted the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Her natural beauty took his breath away.  “I may look like just an ordinary man,” he said to her, “but in a short time, my father will die and I'll inherit 20 million dollars.” Impressed, the woman obtained his business card.

 
Three days later, she became his stepmother
 
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A husband was reading an article to his wife about how many words people speak each day. "Honey, did you know that women speak an average of 30,000 words a day and men speak only 15,000?"
The wife replied, "The reason is because we have to repeat everything to men."
The husband turned to his wife and asked, "What?"
 
 
+++ The Christian Banner - July 2013 +++
 
Five Great Lessons About How to Treat People
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LESSON #1: “Know the Cleaning Lady”
During my second month of nursing school, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until I read the last one: "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?"
 
Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank.
 
Before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade.
 
"Absolutely," said the professor. "In your careers you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say 'hello'."
 
"I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy."
 
LESSON #2: “Pickup in the Rain”
One night, at 11:30 PM, an older African American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rain storm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car.
 
A young white man stopped to help her-generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960s. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance.
 
She seemed to be in a big hurry! She wrote down his address, thanked him and drove away.
 
Seven days went by and a knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home. A special note was attached. It read:
 
"Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes but my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband's bedside just before he passed away. God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others."
 
Sincerely, Mrs. Nat King Cole
 
LESSON #3: “Remember Those Who Serve”
In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10 year old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him. "How much is an ice cream sundae?"
 
"Fifty cents," replied the waitress. The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied a number of coins in it. "How much is a dish of plain ice cream?" he inquired. Some people were now waiting for a table and the waitress was a bit impatient. "Thirty-five cents," she said brusquely. The little boy again counted the coins. "I'll have the   plain ice cream," she walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and departed. When the waitress came back, she began wiping down the table and then swallowed hard at what she saw. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies - her tip.
 
LESSON #4: “The Obstacles in Our Path”
In ancient times, a king had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the king for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the big stone out of the way.
 
Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. On approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded.
 
As the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the king indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many others never understand. Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve one's condition.
 
LESSON #5: “Giving When It Counts”
Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at Stanford Hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had miraculously survived the same illness.
 
The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, "Yes, I'll do it if it will save Liz."
 
As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, "Will I start to die right away?"
 
Being young, the boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood.
 
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3. Experienced Mom will care for your child. Fenced yard, meals and smacks included.
4. Used cars: Why go elsewhere to be cheated? Come here first.
5. Grand Opening at the Superstore. Unequaled in size. Unmatched in variety. Unrivaled inconvenience.
 
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Red Skelton’s Pledge of Allegiance
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On January 14, 1969, I presented "The Little Old Man" as a teacher. The time was 1923. The students had finished reciting the Pledge of Allegiance which at the time was but 10 years old. The old sage called the children together and said—
 
"Boys and girls, I have been listening to you recite the Pledge of Allegiance all semester and it appears that it has become monotonous to you or could it be you do not know the meaning of those words. If I may, I would like to recite the Pledge and give to you a definition of the words.

I ---- meaning me, an individual, a committee of one.
Pledge ---- dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self pity.
Allegiance ---- my love and my devotion.
To the Flag ---- our standard, Old Glory, a symbol of freedom. Wherever she waves, there is respect because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts freedom is everybody's job.
Of the United ---- that means that we have all come together.
States ---- individual communities that have united into 48 great states. 48 individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose, all divided with imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common cause, and that's love of country.
Of America.
And to the Republic ---- a republic, a state in which sovereign power is invested in representatives chosen by the people to govern. And government is the people and it's from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.
For which it stands!
One nation ---- meaning, so blessed by God.
Indivisible ---- incapable of being divided.
With Liberty ---- which is freedom and the right of power to live one's life without threats or fear or any sort of retaliation.
And justice ---- The principle and quality of dealing fairly with others.
For all. ---- which means, boys and girls, it's as much your country as it is mine."

Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our nation, and two words have been added to the Pledge of Allegiance "under God."  Wouldn't it be a pity if someone said, "That's a prayer" and that would be eliminated from schools, too?
 
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The Family
Author Unknown
Copied & submitted by: Lela Trotter

The family is a little book
The children are the leaves;
The parents are the cover,
That protective beauty gives.
 
At first the pages of the book
Are blank and purely fair;
But time soon writeth memories,
And painteth pictures there.
 
Love is the little golden clasp
That bindeth up the trust;
O break it not, lest all the leaves
Shall scatter like the dust.
 
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Fourth of July
Written and submitted by: Irene Wright
           
The Fourth of July or Independence Day has been a federal holiday since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution. Representatives of 13 colonies fought for their independence from Great Britain in June of 1776. On July 2, the Continental Congress voted for the favor of independence and on July 4, 1776 Thomas Jefferson drafted the historical document, The Declaration of Independence! Since then, July 4th has become the celebration of the American independence!
 
Falling in mid-summer, the Fourth of July has become the focus of activities and common get-togethers for families, often involving fireworks and outdoor barbeques. The most common symbols of the holiday are the American flag, and the musical, the Star Spangled Banner!
 
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Our Grand Ole Flag
Written and submitted by: Irene Wright
 
You have stood for freedom for many years
And have sustained the battle cries with the shedding of many tears
                                      But somehow we have tossed you aside        
And yet you still fly with dignity and pride
I see the stripes you bare across your face
As you stand tall in place
I wonder what you think of this human race
I see your stars that helped guide this nation in so many ways
And led us through some of the darkest days
Once honor was amongst our land
And respect for you was shown with the placing of the hand
How you must wonder what happened to liberty and justice for all
Seemly becoming a memory only you perhaps will be able to recall
And as you spread your banner across the skies
Still the love for our nation is etched in your eyes
So take flight my ole friend
And continue to soar to the bitter end!
 
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I was sitting in the waiting room for my first appointment with a new dentist in town. I noticed his DDS diploma hanging on the wall, which bore his full name. Suddenly I remembered a tall, handsome, dark-haired boy with the same name had been in my high school class some 30-odd years ago. Could he be the same guy that I had a secret crush on way back then? Upon seeing him, I quickly discarded any such thought. This balding, gray-haired man with the deeply lined face was way too old to have been my classmate. After he examined my teeth, I couldn’t resist so I asked him if he had attended Morgan High School.

"Yes, yes, I did," he gleamed with pride.

"When did you graduate?" I asked.

He answered, "In 1975. Why do you ask?'"

"You were in my class!" I exclaimed.

He looked at me closely. Then, that ugly, old, bald, wrinkled, fat, gray-haired, rude, decrepit idiot asked, "Oh, What did you teach?"
 
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The Hurt that’s Hurting Me
Written & submitted by: Pat Lewallen
 
It’s me again, needing Your help again
You’re always there to hear my plea
You’re my true and faithful Friend
You’ll ease the hurt that’s hurting me.
 
So many times the tears will fall
They make an outlet for the pain
Help me to always trust you Lord
For Heaven’s kingdom I must gain.
 
Lord, I know You’ll understand
You suffered Calvary’s horrible ordeal
You’ve promised a glad reunion day
All hurts and sorrows You will heal.
 
Lord, teach me not to be impatient
Help me each day, be my Guide
Earthly pains will never enter Heaven
Because on a cross, You willingly died.
 
I don’t know why painful things happen
But I know one day in Heaven I’ll be
Rejoicing with my loved ones forever
You’ll stop the hurt that’s hurting me.
 
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My Answer
Written by: Rev. Billy Graham
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My grandmother used to say that the longer we live, the closer we'll be to God. Is that true? It was with her, because she became more devout as she got older, but I've known others who just got grumpy and hard to live with when they got old. — J.Q.
 
I believe it is true, if we have committed our lives to Christ and have sought to walk with Him every day. And this certainly is God's plan for us, because (as the Bible says) He wants our spiritual lives to grow "in increasing measure" (2 Peter 1:8).
 
But this doesn't happen automatically, any more than a fruit tree will bear fruit if we never fertilize it or prune it or take care of it. Many Christians, I'm afraid, sincerely commit their lives to Jesus (perhaps when they are young) but then never grow in their faith, and they remain immature and ineffective. They seldom open their Bibles; they go to church only when it's convenient; they only pray if they get in a jam. But the Bible says, "Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18).
 
I often think of Peter, in the New Testament. He was one of Jesus' closest disciples -- and yet when Jesus was arrested Peter denied he even knew Him. His faith -- at best -- was unstable and weak. But look at him later! He was willing to die for Christ, and his letters as an old man reflect great spiritual maturity.
 
What made the difference? Simply this: Peter didn't stay still in his faith, but he deliberately grew in his faith as the years passed. Is this happening in your life, as you root your soul in the "soil" of God's Word, and prayer, and fellowship with other believers?