Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy Saturday - The Last Day Of 2011

An AMEN message
Trust Is Based On Character, Not Circumstances

Years ago a military officer and his wife were aboard a ship that was caught in a raging storm at sea. Seeing his wife’s fear, the man tried to comfort her. Suddenly she grasped his sleeve and cried, "How can you be so calm?" He stepped back and drew his sword. Pointing it at her, he asked, "Are you afraid of this?" "Of course not!" she answered. "Why not?" he inquired. "Because I know you love me too much to hurt me," she said. He replied, "I also know the One who holds the winds and the waters in the hollow of His hand, and He loves us too much to fail to care for us!" Bible says in Job 13:15; Job had that same trust. He had lost his children, his wealth and his health. Even his wife had turned against him. He had only one more thing to lose—his own life. Yet Job declared that even if it were to come down to that final loss, he would continue to trust that God had a purpose in everything that happened to him.

In Job’s eyes, the important issue was not what was happening but whose hand was behind it. If God did it, Job knew he could trust it. Often our trust is based on the "what" rather than the "who." We focus on the event rather than the One who controls that event. Consequently, when trials and tribulations come crashing down upon us, our faith is shaken. We can’t understand why a loving Heavenly Father would allow such grief to enter our lives. Yet if we truly believe that He loves, we can say with Job that even though He slays us, we will believe He intends it for our good. In His infinite wisdom and goodness, He will take the most difficult circumstances and use them for our good. When you are facing life’s most severe trials, focus on the character of God. Build your trust on who God is, not on what is taking place. When you know who He is, you never have to worry about what He will allow to happen. Trust is based on character, not circumstances.


Daily Smile:
A man took his son fishing one day. After a few hours in the boat with not much to do, the son started asking his father some questions. 

"How does the boat float?" he asked.

The man thought about the question for a moment, then said, "I don't really know, son."

"Well, how do fish breath underwater?"

The man scratched his head. "I guess I don't know the answer to that one either."

"Why is the sky blue?" the boy persisted.

The father replied, "I really don't know, son."

The boy started to worry that his father was getting upset at all the questions. "Do you mind me asking questions, Dad?"

His father immediately reassured him. "No, of course not, son! If you don't ask questions, you'll never learn anything!"

What to Do to Go to Hell???  
     Rien!!! Nichts!!! Semmi!!! Ingenting!!! Nada!!! Non niente!!! Nic!!! Hiçbir!!! NOTHING!!!

    You do Absolutely Nothing!!!

    We, including me, have already sinned enough to deserve Hell!!! There will be NO Boasting in Heaven. We cannot be Saved by Our Own Righteousness, BUT only by GOD’S Grace, through Faith...

    “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23...

    “The wages of sin is death” Romans 6:23a...

    “He that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” John 3:18b...

    Where is the place of condemned sinners??? Hell.

HELL is described in GOD’S Words, the Bible as a place of torment, outer darkness, and “weeping and gnashing of teeth” in Matthew 8:12b... It’s “where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched” Mark 9:44...

    Now the Good News: God does not want you to go to hell!!!

    “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” 2 Peter 3:9...

    The World would like everyone to believe that there are many ways to Heaven... Let me be very clear when I say, God provided the only absolute way to be saved from hell!!!

    “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” 1 Timothy 1:15a...

    Trust in Jesus Christ to save you!!!

    “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” Romans 6:23b... “He that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on Him” John 3:36b...

    It's your decision...

    Why not take God at His Word??? 

    Jesus said that whoever “cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” John 6:37b... “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” Romans 10:13...

    Will you place your trust in Jesus???

    Why not pray and ask Him???

    “JESUS, I now admit that I am a sinner headed for  hell, and I ask You to forgive me of all my sins. I now cease to rely on myself, my religion, or anything I might do to save myself. I now know and believe that You died on the cross for my sins, You were buried, and You arose the third day. I now trust in You as my Savior. Thank You, Lord Jesus.”

    You have just made the MOST Important Decision of You Life Today; however, satan is not happy about your decision and will go out of his way to discourage you... Get in touch with your pastor or one of the pastors writing for StarLight News and tell him of your decision... He will help you learn more about the Bible and JESUS... He will introduce you to others that will help you and pray for you... 

     AND Welcome my brother or sister to the Family of GOD...

Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy Friday

Weighed Down
By Alan Smith [Minor editing]

A few stupid criminal stories:

One man robbed a liquor store at gunpoint and demanded all of the cash from the register. He then asked for some liquor, but the cashier declined saying that he didn't look 21. The robber again demanded, but the cashier declined saying that he could not give liquor to anyone under 21. The stupid criminal proceeded to show the cashier his driver's license to prove he was 21! The cashier took down his information, gave the robber his liquor, and called the police when he left. The robber was arrested AT HIS HOME later that evening.

Another guy was in a verbal lineup (where you have to say something to see if the victim can identify you by voice). He was told to say "Give me your money or I'll shoot you", and he refused to do it. When asked why by the detective, he said "Because that's not what I said"!

David Posman 33, was arrested in Providence, R.I, after allegedly knocking out an armored car driver and stealing the closest four bags of money. It turned out they contained $800 in PENNIES, weighed 30 pounds each, and slowed him to a stagger during his getaway so that police officers easily jumped him from behind.

David Posman is not the first person to make the mistake of trying to run while being weighed down. In fact, it happens spiritually all the time. The writer of Hebrews talks about sin being a weight that keeps us from effectively running the Christian race. We can get bogged down with things that pull us away from God. And, by the way, as with Posman, those things that are weighing us down are not worth nearly as much as we thought they were when we grabbed hold of them.

"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us." (Hebrews 12:1)

Anything weighing you down? May you lay it aside today as you run the Christian race. 

Daily Smile:
A ten-year old, under the tutelage of her grandmother, was becoming quite knowledgeable about the Bible. Then, one day, she floored her grandmother by asking, "Which Virgin was the mother of Jesus? The Virgin Mary or the King James Virgin?"

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy Thursday

A Door for the Word

"Continue earnestly in prayer; being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; meanwhile praying also
for us, that God would open to us a door for the Word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for
which I am also in chains." Colossians 4:2-3, RSV

There are opportunities that pass by, when we could speak of God’s glory and love. So
often the door opens and then closes, and we miss the ‘moment’.

In Colossians Paul tells us to keep praying, with thankful hearts that God will open this door
of opportunity for the Word. God is the one who opens the door, and enables us to share
this mystery of the Christ with people. He knows people’s hearts, and when their spirits are
receptive to His Word. He will give us His words of love and wisdom, to share our faith with
them.

Let’s pray for those who have the gift of preaching and teaching the Word, that God would
open that door as they speak. They need our prayer. Paul needed that kind of prayer, that
the two-edged sword of the Spirit would touch the ‘heart places’ with the truth. ‘For a great
and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries’ (1 Corinthians
l6:9). And so it is today.

So let’s be watchful, especially backing up those whom we know, who are on a mission, or
who are called to speak. And let’s pray for ourselves that we will be prepared for those
times that the door of opportunity opens to us in daily conversation, and to recognise who
is opening that door.

Once I was walking alongside a lady in the park. She was wearing a Hijab (Muslim dress)
and as I felt that the door was open I just said, “Jesus loves you.” She responded with such
a burst of gratitude, thanking me profusely for my words. Maybe she was a secret believer,
I thought. The Holy Spirit knew exactly what was going on in her heart.

‘Wear shoes that are able to speed you on as you preach the Good News of peace with
God’ (Ephesians 6:15, LB).

Prayer: Forgive me for the missed opportunities, dear Lord, and please help me to
recognize those times when the door is open. Help me to be more prepared and vigilant,
in Jesus’Name. Amen.

Today's Writer : Pam Smith


Daily Smile:
And one particular four-year old prayed,  "And forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets."

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Happy Wednesday

Be Anxious For Nothing
Jesus warned that, in the last days, the world would face unfolding trauma. There would be wars, earthquakes and many other disasters. Yet, to His disciples, He said, "Do not be terrified" (Luke 21:9). He also said that, because of world conditions, men's hearts would fail "from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth"(Luke 21:26 NKJV). Not only would actual events generate worldwide fear, but the expectation of difficulties would cause men's hearts to fail.

Today, heart failure is the number one cause of death in North America. Approximately every thirty-four seconds a heart stops beating and another person dies, usually suddenly. There may be many contributors to heart failure, but one major source is the inability to handle stress.

There are times when stress is unavoidable - the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, moving to a new home, severe illness, or going through a divorce - all take a toll. But most of the time accepting anxiety should not be so readily accommodated. The problem is that, just as death entered the world through Adam's sin (see Rom. 5), so the substance of death enters our personal world through our sins as well. Indeed, when we carry anxiety-related stress, we are carrying in our soul a container of death that, without fail, takes an ever increasing toll upon our lives.

Consider our world: War and terror attacks can occur at any time and anywhere. Our stock market and economy continues to bolt up and down, like a wild roller coaster. We have many unanswered questions about the future that are multiplied stress factors.

We also have personal situations. We worry about aging and our health. We have stress at our jobs and stress with a lack of jobs. Our homes should be a harbor of peace, yet they often are a place of strife and anxiety, especially as our children become teens. Someone once said, "A mother is only as happy as her saddest child." It is true for fathers also. We all carry people in our hearts, and as we love them their battles become ours, further adding to the burden of anxiety we carry.

If you want to know how stressed you are, look at your disposition when you drive. If you are always exceeding the speed limit, it reveals the lack of rest in your soul. That extra push on the accelerator is continually occurring on your heart throughout the day, not only when you are driving. Driving simply makes apparent the level of anxiety we have learned to live with.

Paul wrote, "Be anxious for nothing" (Phil. 4:6). Yet we seem to be anxious for everything. In fact, stress-related anxiety is so much a part of our lives that, somehow, it has escaped being identified as being sinful. We medicate it, but do not change the habits of fear that caused it in the first place. But anxiety is sin. At its core, it is a stubborn refusal to trust the goodness of God or rest in His power. Anxiety is a by-product of unbelief. It is a spiritual "terror attack" from hell that is silently killing tens of thousands every day.

God Is With Us Certainly, I am not suggesting we become passive. However, I am saying we ought to abandon our fears and the stressful anxieties that come from not trusting in God. Our Messiah is "Immanuel," which means "God with us." Jesus promised to be with us, "even to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:20). At some point we must accept the wonder and power of Christ's promise. Those who believe enter His rest (Heb. 3). He is with us always! To mistrust this promise is to reject the very character of God's nature. This is not a minor issue.

Yet, even now Jesus says,

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light" (Matt. 11:28-30).

Let us come to Him. Let us cast our burdens upon Him, for truly He cares for us. Let us break our addictions to stress. We don't have to be tied up in knots inside. The God of peace will crush Satan beneath our feet shortly (see Rom. 16:20). Anxiety is sin. Let us break the bondage of this sin and walk as sons and daughters of God, who are anxious for nothing.

Lord, forgive me for my sin of anxiety. I renounce fear. I declare that my soul is Your property, that You have promised to care for me. I believe Your promises. I come to You and entrust all I am into Your love and care. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Daily Smile:
A Sunday school teacher asked her little children, as they were on the way to church service, "And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?" 

One bright little girl replied, "Because people are sleeping."

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Happy Tuesday

Today's Discussion - Sovereignty of God  
by
The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will-- Proverbs 21:1

Jesus Christ is not only the King of kings, and the Lord of lords – He is the President of presidents, the Sovereign over every sovereign. He rules in every place, no matter what form the local government takes. 

There is not a prime minister, or a dictator, or a guerilla force, or a terrorist cell that is outside God's notice. No one is able to upset the immutable purposes of God or overthrow His supreme reign.

This is a great comfort, when we see that there are so many things outside of our own control. Whether it is a military coup in Africa or an election race in America , our hopes and plans are easily overthrown. But not so with God.

God has shown His power to overthrow human purposes, even of the most august and revered leaders on earth. He brought down Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Ahab, and Herod. He turned the heart of Pharaoh in Moses' day, Xerxes in Esther's day, and Saul of Tarsus in Ananias' day.

Dear believer, take heart. God is still on his throne, no matter what political or social or economic upheavals shake our world. The hearts of kings are still in His hand, and He is still turning them perfectly, according to His wise and good will.

Daily Smile: 
The preacher was wired for sound with a lapel mike, and as he preached, he moved briskly about the platform, jerking the mike cord as he went. Then he moved to one side, getting wound up in the cord and nearly tripping before jerking it again. After several circles and jerks, a little girl in the third pew leaned toward her mother and whispered, "If he gets loose, will he hurt us?"

Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy Monday

The Value of a Soul
(True Missionary Story based on an account by Troy Carl, "Faith Comes By Hearing" (FCBH) ministry)

The Konkomba people of Ghana were listening to a ministry broadcast relating to Mark 5:1-20. It revealed the story where the demons that Jesus cast out of a man asked to enter a herd of pigs. Upon hearing that the pigs ran off a cliff and died, one person suddenly asked, "Wait a minute! Did Jesus know that the demons were going to go into the pigs?"

Someone responded, "Well, yes."

A woman wondered, "Did Jesus reimburse the village for the pigs?" Then for half an hour, they discussed,

"Why would Jesus do this?" and "If we invite Jesus into our village, is He going to make us lose all of our property?"

After much debate, the elders silenced the group and said, "We think we know what Jesus was teaching us. You know we also have a man in our village that's demon-possessed. He's crazy, and he's worthless. We'd rather he die than even one of our animals."

Everyone agreed.

"Well we believe that Jesus was trying to teach us that the value of one man's soul is worth more than the economy of the whole village." And the entire group said, "OH!"

With the Holy Spirit's guidance, great wisdom came out of this exchange. Just because these villagers were illiterate doesn't mean they were stupid. This whole tribe came to Christ as a result of hearing this.

Today's Thought:
"We can preach the Gospel of Christ no further than we have experienced the power of it in our own hearts." - George Whitefield 

Daily Smile:  
One Sunday morning, the pastor noticed little Alex standing in the foyer of the church staring up at a large plaque. It was covered with names and small American flags mounted on either side of it.

The six-year old had been staring at the plaque for some time, so the pastor walked up, stood beside the little boy, and said quietly, 'Good morning Alex.'

'Good morning Pastor,' he replied, still focused on the plaque.

'Pastor, what is this?'

The pastor said, 'Well son, it's a memorial to all the young men and women who died in the (military) service.'

Soberly, they just stood together, staring at the large plaque.

Finally, little Alex's voice, barely audible and trembling with fear asked, 'Which (church) service, the 8:30 or the 10:45?' 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Today's Thought: 
          There was a gift for each of us left under the tree of life 2000 years ago by Him whose birthday we celebrate today.  The gift was withheld from no man.  Some have left the packages unclaimed.  Some have accepted the gift and carried it around, but have failed to remove the wrappings and look inside to discover the hidden splendor.  The packages are all alike:  In each is a scroll on which is written, "All that the Father hath is thine."  Take and live!
Unknown


THE CHRISTMAS STRANGER
At Christmas time there was a man,
who looked so out of place.
As people rushed about him,
at a hurried sort of pace.
 
He stared at all the Christmas lights,
the tinsel everywhere.
The shopping center Santa Claus,
with children gathered near.
 
The mall was packed with shoppers,
who were going to and fro.
Some with smiles, some with frowns,
and some too tired to go.
 
They rested on benches,
or they hurried on their way.
To fight the crowds for purchases,
to carry home that day.
 
The music from the stereo,
was playing loud and clear.
Of Santa Claus and snowmen,
and funny nosed reindeer.
 
He heard the people talk about,
the good times on the way.
Of parties, fun and food galore,
and gift exchange that day.
 
I'd like to know what's going on,
the man was heard to say.
There seems to be some sort,
of celebration on the way.
 
And would you tell me who this is,
all dressed in red and white
And why are children asking *him*
about a special night.
 
The answer came in disbelief,
I can't believe my ear.
I can't believe you do not know,
That Christmas time is here.
 
The time when Santa comes around,
with gifts for boys and girls.
When they are asleep on Christmas Eve,
he leaves them books and toys.
 
The man you see in red and white,
 is Santa Claus so sly.
The children love his joyful laugh,
and twinkle in his eye.
 
His gift pack is pulled along,
by very small reindeer.
As he flies quickly through the air,
while darting here and there.
 
The children learn of Santa Claus,
while they are still quite small.
When Christmas comes he is the most,
important one of all.
 
The stranger hung His head in shame,
He closed a nail pierced hand.
His body shook in disbelief,
He did not understand.
 
A shadow crossed his stricken face,
His voice was low but clear.
"After all these years they still don't know."
And Jesus shed a tear.
 
 
May CHRISTmas this year
Be your happiest yet
May it bring you bright moments
You'll never forget




May its meaning and joy
Bring pleasure to you
And may loved ones share
In your happiness, too

Merry CHRISTmas

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Christmas Eve

He Leads us to Safety  
Author Unknown  
One Christmas Eve, many years ago, Grandma and Grandpa were babysitting their grandchildren. One special event each Christmas Eve was to attend the services at the town church. This Christmas Eve, Grandpa would have nothing to do with the special services. He said to his wife, "You take the grandchildren to the services, I can't be bothered...I don't believe that this God could become a little baby..why would He want to become one of us?" And so the grandmother took the children off to the services, leaving Grandfather to stay home by himself.  While Grandfather read the newspaper alone in the living room, he heard a loud noise coming from the kitchen. He hurried to into the room to see what was making all the noise. To his surprise, he saw three little sparrows, each trying to fly into the house through the glass kitchen window.  "The poor little birds will die," he said, as the storm outside got worse. "What can I do to save these little ones?" he thought. "I know what I will do! I'll go outside and turn on the light in the back shed."  And so, he put on his boots, his coat and hat and went outside in the cold wind to turn on the light in the shed. But to his surprise the birds would not go into the barn. "What will I do now?" he said. "Ahh, I know! I'll get the bird seed and make a trail of seed to the barn so that the birds will eat their way to safety."  And so he spread the bird seed. But they would not go. He thought again. "What would get those birds into the barn? I know! I'll shoo them in! They will be afraid of me and I'll chase them into the barn." He tried to shoo them, but they fluttered about and still would not go into the barn.  In frustration he fell to the ground and pounded the snow with his fists and said, "If only I could become a little bird, one of them, I could lead them and show them the way to safety so that they would not die."
Just then, the bells sounded at the church in the town square, and at that moment, Grandfather understood why God would want to become one of us, in Jesus. He became one of us to lead us to safety. 

Daily Smile:
On Christmas afternoon, the Pastor's wife dropped into an easy chair saying, "Boy!  Am I ever tried."  

Her husband (the Pastor) looked over at her & said, "I had to conduct two special services last night, three today, & give a total of five sermons.  Why are you so tired?" 

"Dearest," she replied, "I had to listen to all of them."

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Friday

Will The Christ Child Come?

Halfway through December we were doing the regular evening things when there was a knock at the door. We opened it to find a small package with a beautiful ceramic lamb inside. We looked at the calendar and realized that the 12 days of Christmas were beginning!! We waited excitedly for the next night's surprise and only then, with the gift of a matching shepherd, did we realize that the lamb was part of a nativity set.

Each night we grew more excited to see what piece we would receive. Each was exquisitely beautiful. The kids kept trying to catch the givers as we slowly built the scene at the manager and began to focus on Christ's birth.

On Christmas Eve, all the pieces were in place, but the baby Jesus. My 12 year-old son really wanted to catch our benefactors and began to devise all kinds of ways to trap them. He ate his dinner in the mini-van watching and waiting, but no one came.

Finally we called him in to go through our family's Christmas Eve traditions. But before the kids went to bed we checked the front step-No Baby Jesus! We began to worry that my son had scared them off. My husband suggested that maybe they dropped the Jesus and there wouldn't be anything coming. Somehow something was missing that Christmas Eve.

There was a feeling that things weren't complete. The kids went to bed and I put out Christmas, but before I went to bed I again checked to see if the Jesus had come - no, the doorstep was empty. In our family the kids can open their stockings when they want to, but they have to wait to open any presents until Dad wakes up. So one by one they woke up very early and I also woke up to watch them.

Even before they opened their stockings, each child checked to see if perhaps during the night the baby Jesus had come. Missing that piece of the set seemed to have an odd effect. At least it changed my focus. I knew there were presents under the tree for me and I was excited to watch the children open their gifts, but first on my mind was the feeling of waiting for the ceramic Christ Child.

We had opened just about all of the presents when one of the children found one more for me buried deep beneath the limbs of the tree. He handed me a small package from my former visiting teaching companion. This sister was somewhat less active in the church. I had learned over time they didn't have much for Christmas, so that their focus was the children. It sounded like she didn't get many gifts to open, so I had always given her a small package - new dish towels, the next year's lesson manual - not much, but something for her to open. I was touched when at Church on the day before Christmas, she had given me this small package, saying it was just a token of her love and appreciation.

As I took off the bow, I remembered my friendship with her and was filled with gratitude for knowing her and for her kindness and sacrifice in this year giving me a gift. But as the paper fell away, I began to tremble and cry. There in the small brown box was the baby Jesus. He had come!

I realized on that Christmas Day that Christ will come into our lives in ways that we don't expect. The spirit of Christ comes into our hearts as we serve one another. We had waited and watched for him to come, expecting the dramatic "knock at the door and scurrying of feet" but he came in a small, simple package that represented service, friendship, gratitude, and love.

This experience taught me that the beginning of the true spirit of Christmas comes as we open our hearts and actively focus on the Savior. But we will most likely find him in the small and simple acts of love, friendship and service that we give to each other. This Christmas I want to feel again the joy of knowing that Christ is in our home. I want to focus on loving and serving. More than that I want to open my heart to him all year that I may see him again.

Don't forget the reason for the Season.

…..Gaye Willis by way of The Daily Encourager


Daily Smile:
A young businessman had just started his own firm. He had just rented a beautiful office and had it furnished with antiques.

Sitting there, he saw a man come into the outer office. Wishing to appear the hot shot, the businessman picked up the phone and started to pretend he had a big deal working.

He threw huge figures around and made giant commitments. Finally he hung up and asked the visitor, "Can I help you?"

"Yeah, I've come to activate your phone lines."

If you were to die today are you 100% sure you would go to HEAVEN?

    Yes___No___? 

    Please read the following if you answered No to the question above. Could you honestly say the following?? 

    Jesus Christ, "I am just as good as you. I have never lusted in my heart; I have never lied; Never cheated; Never stolen anything; Never hated anyone; Never thought a dirty thought. Never said anything wrong; Never lost my temper. I am just as good as you are Jesus. I have never sinned. 

    Now, if you are truly honest with yourself, you know that somewhere, somehow you have sinned. You know that you could not compare yourself to the Holy Son of God, Jesus Christ. 

    BECAUSE OF THE ABOVE, THE BIBLE SAYS THAT YOU ARE SEPARATED FROM GOD. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"  ".your iniquities have separated between you and your God..."  

    YOU HAVE BROKEN THE LAWS OF GOD "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." "For the wages of sin is death..." 

    YOU ARE CONDEMNED BY GOD AT THIS MOMENT. "... he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."John 3:18b "it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" "The wicked shall be turned into hell..." 

    BUT JESUS CHRIST LOVES YOU AND DIED FOR YOU. "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." 

    JESUS CHRIST IS THE ONLY WAY TO HEAVEN. "Jesus saith., I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. 

    SALVATION IS A FREE GIFT. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." 

    NOW THAT YOU HAVE THE TRUTH THE DECISION IS YOURS! 

    WILL YOU REPENT? "The Lord is... not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out," Repentance is when a person admits his guilt to God, and sincerely desires in his heart to get right with God. 

    "...repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." 

    WILL YOU TRUST JESUS CHRIST AS YOUR LORD AND SAVIOR? "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Jesus Christ died, was buried and rose again from the dead. He paid for your sins on the cross. That is why He is called the Savior. You cannot save yourself by good works; baptism, church attendance, sacraments, going to confession; giving money, praying to Mary and the saints, or trying to live a good life. In order to be saved, you must completely put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. 

    CAN YOU AFFORD TO WAIT? The most important decision that you will make in this life will be that of either trusting or rejecting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Don't take a chance! Call on God now! You might not be alive tomorrow! 

    DEAR FRIEND, In your own words pray and tell God that you are guilty as a sinner, and that you now believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior, and that you now want to completely trust Him, and ONLY HIM as your Lord and Savior. 

References used from a King James Bible -(Romans 3:23; 6:23; 1 John 3:4; Heb 9:27; Isaiah 59:2; John 3:18b; Hebrews 9:27; Psalm 9:17a; Romans 5:8; John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 14:6;1 Tim 2:5; II Peter 3:9; Acts 3:19a; 20:21; Romans 10:13) 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Thursday

Let Every Heart

Luke 2:8-11,13-14 - And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord." Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests." (NIV)

When I try to imagine what the shepherds witnessed, the best description I can muster seems totally inadequate: an awe-inspiring light show, an angelic proclamation, and a chorus of the army of heaven praising God and invoking His peace. What they saw and heard was so important that it caused them to hurry off to Bethlehem to check whether what they had been told was real. After they saw the Messiah, Christ the Lord, they spread the amazing word.

Seeing angels and then the Saviour changed the shepherds' lives. It sent them out of their fields and into town! With that experience, how could their hearts not have been changed? It is beyond comprehension how any of them could deny the good news of great joy for all people after the eye-popping, jaw-dropping experience that we read about in Luke. Could we say that after the glory of the Lord shone around them and they witnessed such a light show and angelic proclamation in the fields, there was lots of room in the shepherds' hearts for Christ, the Lord?

Most of us have sung these words at Christmas:

Joy to the world! The Lord is come: Let earth receive her King; Let every heart prepare him room, And heaven and nature sing.

All of us know of hearts where there could be more room for Christ. I know that I want more room for Christ in my own heart. What is the signal for me to clear clutter out of my heart? I frisk my attitudes and beliefs using the list of what is "love" and "not love" in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8: Am I patient, kind, rejoicing in truth, always protecting, trusting, hoping, and ready to persevere? Or do I find myself expressing "not love": envy, boasting, false pride, rudeness, seeking selfish desires, a short temper, unwillingness to forgive, delighting in evil, and being ready to quit?

This Advent, I have a project. I want my heart to change and make more room for Christ. When I want to weed something unlovely from my innermost being, I use this promise:

1 John 1:9 - If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (NIV)

To me, that good news promise is captivating, glorious, almost beyond comprehension, and love inspiring -- an idea with power to amaze me equally as the shepherds were amazed. And just like the shepherds, it sends me to seek and find more of Him.

Merry Christmas! Let's imagine what the shepherds began to realize when Christ was born. Let us think what it did for them and what more it could do for each of us!

Prayer: We praise You, Father! We ask You, in the name of Christ, to help us to be so full of Your amazing love that it spills out to touch everyone around us. Amen.

Pat Bell
Desboro, Ontario, Canada


Daily Smile:
Children's Letters To Pastor 
 
Dear Pastor, Please say in your sermon that Peter Peterson has been a good boy all week. I am Peter Peterson. Sincerely, Pete. 
 
Dear Pastor, My father should be a minister. Every week he gives us a sermon about something. Robert. 
 
Dear Pastor, I'm sorry I can't leave more money in the plate, but my father didn't give me a raise in my allowance. Could you have a sermon about a raise in my allowance? Love, Patty. 
 
Dear Pastor, please say a prayer for our Little League team. We need God's help or a new pitcher. Thank you. Alexander 
 
Dear Pastor, I liked your sermon where you said that good health was more important than money but I still want a raise in my allowance. Sincerely, Eleanor. 
 
Dear Pastor, I liked your sermon Sunday. Especially when it was finished. Ralph 
 
Dear Pastor, Please pray for all the airline pilots. I am flying to California tomorrow. Laurie

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Wednesday

The Man who Almost Missed Christmas
Rachel Olsen
“His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.” Matthew 1:18b-19(NIV)
In the Bible there is a man who almost missed Christmas.

It wasn’t because he was distracted with holiday parties, visiting relatives or completing his shopping list. He wasn’t stranded in an airport or battling a flu bug.
He just couldn’t see how his current circumstances were part of God’s plan for his life.
Joseph was engaged to be married to Mary, a young woman chosen by God to be the mother of Jesus. In their culture, an engagement was every bit as binding as the marriage ceremony. So when Mary returned home from spending three months out of town and told Joseph she was pregnant, all he could think of was to divorce her quietly.

Joseph knew they hadn’t been intimate – he was careful with their purity. Mary’s growing belly would give him every reason to believe she’d been unfaithful. And it wasn’t just him who would assume so. Everyone in their hometown probably knew Mary had been out of town for months, without him.

Law dictated she be stoned to death for being unfaithful to her fiancé. Instead, Joseph planned to quietly end their engagement and say nothing about the unexpected pregnancy. He was a man of integrity.

But Joseph was also a man who didn’t fully understand God’s plan, and he almost missed being part of it.

Although scripture doesn’t tell us for sure, Mary had likely explained to Joseph how the Holy Spirit came to her and placed this baby in her womb. From his perspective, this was a situation to be escaped rather than accepted as something straight from the hand of God.

Scripture explains what happened next: “But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins’” (Matt. 1:20-21).

What at first looked like a huge problem, a troubling circumstance, a total reputation-wrecker to Joseph, turned out to be the most glorious thing in his life when seen from God’s perspective.

From this new viewpoint, Joseph saw what an honor it was to bear this burden. What a thrill to raise and know God’s own Son!

While we may not get an angel visitation, we can pause and consider this same possibility in our lives. There have been many instances when my circumstances seemed like a detour, or even destruction, of my plans. At those times I can’t imagine God bringing anything good out of what just seems like trouble.

But the story of Joseph brings me hope. It reminds me that God’s ways aren’t my ways. And sometimes in our greatest difficulties we find our greatest opportunities and blessed responsibilities.

Joseph was given the honor of naming the baby Jesus — the very same name we call on today for help. Had Joseph walked away, divorcing Mary quietly, he would’ve missed it.

He would have missed Christmas. And he would have missed the life-defining lesson that God’s plans aren’t always logical in human eyes, but they can always be trusted.
Is there a problem you are facing today? Is it possible this could be part of God’s plans for you?

Daily Smile:
I don't think I'll ever have a mother's intuition.

My sister left me alone in a restaurant with my 10-month-old nephew.

I said, "What do I do if he cries?"

She said "Give him some vegetables."

It turns out that jalapeno is not his favorite

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Tuesday

HAVE YOU BEEN DULY REGISTERED?

"If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:15 NIV).

"Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life" (Revelation 21:27 NIV).

For three weeks recently, eligible voters in Nigeria went out to register for the oncoming general elections in the country. Most of them had difficulties to do so as there were initial logistic problems. One funny aspect of the difficulties was the inability of the direct data capture (DCC) machines to recognize the fingers of some of the would-be electorates. This made the authorities of the electoral body of the nation to emphasize it that for one to be duly registered, all the ten fingers of one's hands must be recognized and captured by the machine. This has to be done and one has to get a voter's card. The registration exercise has come and gone. To be able to vote later in the year in Nigeria, the question that one would ask is, "Have you been duly registered?" Undoubtedly, anyone who is not duly registered cannot find his/her name on the voters' register and such a person will not be able to vote or be voted for.

There is another register that is above all registers on earth and even in heaven. This unique register is called the Book of Life. This is a heavenly book in which the names of the righteous that have been redeemed or saved are written. The redemption or salvation referred to here is the one through Jesus Christ (John 1:12; 14:6; Acts 4:10-12). Only people that are duly registered in this book will be allowed to enter heaven, and anyone whose name is not in the book will be eternally separated from God. There is no difficulty whatsoever in registering one's name in this unique heavenly register. The Bible says, "If you confess that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised him from death, you will be saved. For it is by our faith that we are put right with God; it is by our confession that we are saved" (Romans 10:9-10 TEV).

The ultimate questions are: is your name been written in the Book of Life? Have you been duly registered in that special register? Genuinely believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be duly registered in the Book of Life (see Acts 16:31).

In His service

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).


Daily Smile:
A thought: 
     When vacuuming, why do we run over a string or a piece of lint at least a dozen times, reach over and picking it up, examine it, then put it back down to give the vacuum one more chance?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Happy Monday

Death and Dying
by Kunal Michael
Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory – Psalm 73:24
All of life is here summed up in one verse.

While I am here on this earth, the psalmist gloats to the Lord, You will guide me. You will give me the direction I need for each step of the way. You will never leave me or forsake me. You will help me when I stumble, and you will steer me when I lose my way.

What's more is you will guide me with thy counsel. This is no mere human, fallible leader. You are an all-knowing, all-wise escort. You will never give me wrong advice or send me in a wrong direction. I will never meet a problem to which you do not know the solution, and I will never get so off course that you cannot guide me back to safety.

But that is all just life on earth! Afterward, you will receive me to glory. After you have carefully and lovingly directed my way here, you will usher me into your glorious presence in heaven. There is no intermediary state — death is not a tunnel, it is a door. And when you release my hand in this world, you will receive me into the next. There is no "sending"; there is only guiding and then receiving — no time apart from you.

Death, where is your sting; Grave, where is your victory; Devil, where is your terror? My God will guide me with His counsel, and then receive me to His glory.

Daily Smile:
An elderly parish priest was tending his garden near a convent when a passerby stopped to inquire after the priest's much-loved roses.

"Not bad," said the priest, "but they suffer from a disease peculiar to this area known as the black death."

"What on earth is that?" asked the passerby, anxious to increase his garden knowledge.

"Nuns with scissors."

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Happy Sunday

Welcome to the Nugget
REASONS TO GO ON, Elijah the Tishbite!

Elijah had been given the unpleasant task of taking a very unwelcome message to the pagan king of Israel:"And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, 'As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word.'" (1 Kings 17:1)

We know the message wasn't taken well, because of one man's report the day Elijah came back: "How have I sinned, that you are delivering your servant into the hand of Ahab, to kill me? As the Lord your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom where my master has not sent someone to hunt for you " (1 Kings 18:9-10 NKJV)

It's true that after delivering God's message the first time, God hid Elijah. First by the brook Cherith. The isolation must have been difficult to deal with, but at least he had water, and God fed him by sending the birds with bread and meat. But then the brook dried up, Elijah was forced to go outside of Israel, to the home of a widow. There he was forced to ask her for her last bite of bread, and there he stayed until God summonsed him to return to Israel.

During that three year period, did Elijah have any reason to get up in the morning? He was an outcast from society, even from his own country. And when the widow of Zarephath's son died, Elijah got the blame for this as well! "So she said to Elijah, 'What have I to do with you, O man of God? Have you come to me to bring my sin to remembrance, and to kill my son?'" (1 Kings 17:18 NKJV). Besides all of this, Elijah couldn't even feel safe where he was hiding! Ahab was searching far and wide for him!

And then, despite the danger, God told him to go back to Israel, and present himself to his archenemy, Ahab himself!

No, I'm not so sure Elijah had much of a reason to get up in the morning!

But what kept Elijah going?

Elijah knew something that we forget: No matter how dark the path, no matter how obscure the future, God will get us through. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. And when we find that light, the biggest blessing is that the power of God flows best when we are in the darkest time of our lives! Remember: "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Cor 12:10 NKJV)

And this is what happened with Elijah. Initially he experienced the miracle of being fed by birds. Then he experienced the daily miracle of the oil and the meal being multiplied. Then he experienced God's resurrection power through him when he raised the widow's son to life. And finally, after three years of waiting, he showed up in Israel and challenged them: "Then you call on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord; and the God who answers by fire, He is God.'" (1 Kings 18:22-24 NKJV)

We are familiar with the story. God struck Elijah's offering with fire, declaring a great victory for the Lord that day, and then, when Elijah prayed for rain, it rained. All of the trouble he went through was just a testing period, and in the end, Elijah got his reward.

But Elijah's hard times weren't over yet. Jezebel was angry and ordered to have Elijah killed, and Elijah found himself on the run yet again!

Yet again, Elijah's flight ended up in a beautiful encounter with God: "And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice." (1 Kings 19:11-12)

Elijah then went on to do much more good for the Lord. In the end, God took him directly to Heaven in a chariot of fire without having to experience death!

Though Elijah didn't have much reason to go on through most of his life, I believe his reason for getting up in the morning was because he was excited to see what miracle God would perform for him on that day!

So what can we learn from this story?

Just this: When everything and everyone has turned against us, when hard times have swept us off of our feet and there doesn't appear to be any reason to go on, let's remember Elijah. It's in those dark moments of our lives that we experience God the most!

But we have a choice to make. We can hide away and mourn, or we can rise up, ever knowing that though we may not see the path under our feet, God does, and He will carry us through. And in the end, there will be great reward. God is going to do something miraculous just to get us through the day!

And that's what gives us reason to go on. God WILL carry us through, and we can rejoice as we watch to see the miracle that God will use to do so!

In His love,
Lyn


Daily Smile:
ALTAR Request

My husband is a minister who generally conducts an expanded altar call at the end of each sermon. He invites those who wish to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior to come forward, as well as those in need of prayers or anyone who has other special requests, to
come forward.

To the surprise and delight of the congregation our three-year-old daughter, without saying a word to me, got up and made her way forward.

She waited patiently while the others in line ahead of her made their special prayer requests.

When her turn came, my husband leaned down to ask what she needed.

She whispered, "Can we go to the restaurant after church today?"