Thursday, February 28, 2013

Happy Thursday & Friday

Dear Readers, 
     Picked up the March '13 papers Wednesday night in McComb... I was too tired to tackle the Devotional when I got home and my feet hit the floor running this morning, no time this morning either... It is a good thing that I was so tired last night, I don't believe I would have picked today's Devotional... God see sin as sin, there are no little sins, no big sins, Just Sin... How ofter we overlook the so called little sins in our lives... YES, I too am guilty... This is why I say, I might have overlooked this one last night... 
     I added Friday's Devotional at the bottom... I need to get a nap before I tackle my delivery tonight...
Happy Reading,

It's The Little Things!

"Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom." - Song of Songs 2:15

Many Christians treat sin as some people treat extreme weather. They feel invincible and don't perceive it as a threat.  Consequently, they aren't prepared to meet each day as it comes.  Their quiet time takes a back seat to hurried morning preparations and the rush to get to work; they begin to compromise their values here and there.  Over a period of time, their spiritual life degenerates into nothing.

In Isaiah 17:4, we read a sobering prophecy: "In that day the glory of Jacob will fade; the fat of his body will waste away." God was saying what would happen to His people because they had turned their backs on Him.  The glory of Jacob was numerical strength.  But God said this glory was going to fade slowly away like the body of a person with a lingering disease.  Little by little, sin would take its toll until finally the nation would be nothing but skin and bones.  In Isaiah 17:10, God's assessment of the cause is clear: "You have forgotten God your Savior; you have not remembered the Rock, your fortress."   They had left their first love!

Are there little things in your life that fails to  bring honor to God?  Are there areas of compromise that have begun to undermine your walk with Him?  If so, bring them to the Lord and seek His forgiveness and restoration.  The time to deal with it is now. If you wouldn't think of walking in winter without a coat or hiking in the desert without a canteen of water, don't begin your day without a time of personal fellowship with the Lord.  It really is a matter of spiritual life or death.

  "Lord, search me and bring to mind the little things that prevent me from walking with You.  Amen."

Is there any "little" thing you are doing, or perhaps some subtle thing you are tolerating in your environment, that has compromised your walk with God?

I encourage you TODAY, to turn your eyes upon Jesus and LIVE in His Glory and Grace!  Give Jesus FIRST PLACE in your life.

Have Thine Own Way, Lord
Have Thine own way, Lord
Have Thine own way
Thou are the potter
I am the clay
Mold me and make me
After Thy will
While I am waiting
Yielded and still

Have Thine own way, Lord
Have Thine own way
Search me and try me
Master today
Whiter than snow, Lord
Wash me just now
As in Thy presence
Humbly I bow

Have Thine own way, Lord
Have Thine own way
Wounded and weary
Help me I pray
Power all power surely is Thine
Touch me and heal me
Savior divine

Daily Smile:
“How did school go today? a mother asked her little boy. “Fine”, the little fellow replied. “We had a new teacher and she wanted to know if I had any brothers and I told her I was an only child”. 

What did she say?” his mother asked. 

“The teacher said, “Thank goodness”

In The News:

Tim Tebow Cancels Appearance at Jeffress' First Baptist Church
New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow announced on Thursday that he had canceled his scheduled appearance to speak at First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas, led by Pastor Robert Jeffress, whom some in the media are decrying as "anti-gay," the Christian Post reports. Though not being specific about his reasoning, Tebow posted on Facebook: "While I was looking forward to sharing a message of hope and Christ's unconditional love with the faithful members of the historic First Baptist Church of Dallas in April, due to new information that has been brought to my attention, I have decided to cancel my upcoming appearance. I will continue to use the platform God has blessed me with to bring Faith, Hope and Love to all those needing a brighter day. Thank you for all of your love and support. God Bless!" Prior to his cancellation, gay activist bloggers and some mainstream media broadcasters and reporters were questioning Tebow's decision to appear with Jeffress, whom some consider controversial. "Tebow's peace-and-love message could be tested by the megachurch's evangelical Christian pastor, the Rev. Robert Jeffress," a New York Daily News writer said. Recently, Jeffress responded to criticism that he leads a "hate-spewing" ministry after the news broke that Tebow would be a guest at his church. "We have been mischaracterized and misquoted as being a hate-spewing church," Jeffress said. "For us to simply say that Jesus Christ offers salvation to anyone who believes in him, and that sex should be between a man and woman and marriage, that that should be considered hate speech, I don't understand that. It really shows you not that the Word of God has changed, but society has changed."

Barna: Evangelical Movie-Going Habits Surprisingly High
According to a new survey of American adults by the Barna Group, faith determines a person's movie-going habits more than almost any other demographic factor except age -- especially if you're an evangelical Christian, Christianity Today reports. Evangelicals reported seeing an average of 2.7 movies in theaters last year, an average bigger than any of the age groups except those aged 18 to 28, who saw an average of 3.4 movies. The evangelical average is a full movie more than the national adult average, and just shy of the average of 3 films seen by those professing no religion. Large numbers of evangelicals turned out to see summer blockbusters like "The Avengers" (42 percent of evangelicals reported seeing it) and "The Hunger Games" (36 percent). Fewer evangelicals reported seeing "Skyfall" (12 percent), "Argo" (3 percent) and "Lincoln" (3 percent).

GOP Lawmakers Join Hobby Lobby's Contraception Fight
Nearly a dozen Republican lawmakers have joined the legal fight against the Obamacare contraception mandate, CBN News reports. Nine senators and two House members challenged the mandate by formally backing arts-and-crafts chain Hobby Lobby, whose owners filed a lawsuit against the government, saying the mandate required them to choose between their Christian beliefs and providing insurance for abortion-inducing drugs. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, led the group of lawmakers in filing a "friend of the court" brief on Hobby Lobby's behalf. "Religious freedom is an issue our country was founded on, and it's not a Democrat or Republican issue," Hatch said. "Unfortunately, the Obama administration has time and time again ignored calls to stop the implementation of a policy some organizations or businesses are morally opposed to." Hobby Lobby is among the few corporations not granted temporary relief from the mandate by the courts.

Benedict XVI's Poll Numbers Can't Match John Paul II's
Pope Benedict XVI never inspired the deep love and admiration enjoyed by his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, but Americans -- and American Catholics even more so -- still look favorably upon the soon-to-be-former head of the Roman Catholic Church, the Religion News Service reports. A new Washington Post/ABC News poll also shows that nearly two in three Americans (64 percent) strongly approve of the pope's unexpected decision earlier this month to retire because of his failing health. More than half (54 percent) of Americans and three-quarters of Catholic Americans look favorably upon Benedict, who will retire on Feb. 28. Before he died in 2005, John Paul's positive ratings were higher: 67 percent among all Americans, and 87 percent of American Catholics. John Paul was also more popular than his church, but the current pope is not: 62 percent of Americans look favorably upon the church today, according to the poll. The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, in its new poll of American Catholics, also found that John Paul's favorability ratings eclipsed Benedict's. Among other findings, a solid majority of U.S. Catholics (58 percent) told Pew researchers that they hope the next pope will permit priests to marry, and 46 percent hoped the new pope would take the church in "new directions." A slim majority (51 percent) want him to "maintain traditional positions."

Can God Be Trusted?

You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. - Psalm 32:7

As I've talked with people and listened to their prayers, many of them are concerned with seemingly impossible situations: long-term unemployment, terminal illnesses, rebellious and estranged children... and on and on it goes!

... These are real issues in today's world. The international scene is filled with chaos, hate, and mistrust. There seems to be no power on earth that can turn things around to bring about peace and tranquillity.  It all seems overwhelming.  And it is, except for God.

In Isaiah 36, we find that King Sennacherib of Assyria had captured all the fortified cities of Judah and then laid siege to Jerusalem.  He sent his field commander to call for King Hezekiah's surrender because, humanly speaking, there was no way Hezekiah and his people could survive.
Notice Hezekiah's reaction in 37:1,20: "He tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and went into the temple of the Lord...and Hezekiah prayed, 'Now, O Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all kingdoms on earth may know that you alone, O Lord, are God.'"   God answered Hezekiah's prayer in a miraculous way... out of Hid divine love for man!

Can God be trusted?  Listen to Hebrews 13:5 from the Amplified Bible: "For He (God) Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support.  [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless, nor forsake nor let [you] down.'"   YES, God CAN always be trusted ... MAN often times will fail us, but God is ever-FAITHFUL, for God is LOVE!  Would that all Christians "be also all about love"! ... never about hate, especially towards the brethren!


"Lord, nothing is too hard for YOU.  Yes, Your Grace is sufficient ... when man comes against me with hate, I will cast mine eyes upon YOU and LIVE in your Glory and Grace!"   Amen.

When life gets overwhelming, I always have the choice to go before God in prayer and cast myself on His mercy and strength.... my weakness is made perfect in His strength!  Nevertheless, I cry out to my Lord, Jesus, "Please, Oh Lord, why is man so wicked? ... even many Christians?  Why, Why, Why... Why is there so much hate in this world, even right here in Bogalusa!" ...

This one thing I am certain of... we will each of us one day stand before Jesus and give account of every hateful action we heaped upon your chosen ones...

Daily Smile:
A Texas rancher was driving through Mexico and stopped at the edge of the road to admire the scenery and a white beautiful horse caught his eye. The horse looked healthy well kept and was in a separate corral. Just for tries the Texan asked one of the workers if the horse was for sale. 

The worker trying to communicate said “No, no, he no look to good.” 

The Texan was not satisfied with the answered because he saw that the animal looked great and insisted on buying it, after a few arguments the worker arranged for the sale and the Texan took the horse back to his ranch. He rode the horse through his ranch and galloped to the barn when suddenly the horse ran right into the barn wall. Frustrated the Texan takes the horse back to Mexico and talks to the worker that sold him the horse and explains what happened. 

The worker said, “I told you he no look to good”

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Happy Wednesday

Comfort & Encouragement
For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 2 Corinthians 1:5

The Chicago Tribune published a story about 15-year-old Douglas Maurer. He had suffered from a high fever and flu-like symptoms for several days. So finally his mother took him to the hospital where Douglas was diagnosed as having leukemia.

The doctors explained the disease to him and said that for the next three years he would have to undergo intense chemotherapy. They told him of the side effects that would follow-baldness and a bloated body-which sent him into a deep depression.

To lift his spirits, Douglas' aunt called a local floral shop to order and send him a flower arrangement. She told the clerk it was for her teenage nephew who had leukemia.

When the beautiful flowers arrived at the hospital, Douglas read the card from his aunt. Then he saw a second card attached that said: "Douglas-I took your order. I work at Brix florist. I had leukemia when I was 7 years old. I'm 22 years old now. Good luck. My heart goes out to you. Sincerely, Laura Bradley." For the first time, his face lit up.

Douglas Maurer was in a hospital filled with sophisticated medical equipment and technology. He was being treated by some of the best doctors and nurses around. But it was a simple sales clerk in a flower shop that took the time to care. She was the one person who gave Douglas hope to carry on.

Is there someone in your life suffering from some sort of affliction who needs comfort? If so, seek to show him or her love, compassion, and encouragement through Christ Jesus. You could be the one person who can make a difference in the life of another who is suffering without hope.

PRAYER CHALLENGE: Pray that the Lord would help you to bring comfort and encouragement to someone who needs it more than ever today.

Daily Smile:
The Army has been experimenting for years to come up with a liquid that will eat through anything and they finally did it. It eats through glass, stainless steel, iron,and all kinds of metal, rock and granite. Now if they could only find something to put it in.

In The News:

Brown University to Cover Students' Sex Changes
Starting in August, Brown University's student health insurance plan will cover sex change operations for students who want to change genders, Baptist Press reports. "We identified this as an important benefit for students to have access to," Jeanne Hebert, director of the university's insurance services, told The Brown Daily Herald, the student newspaper. Insurance companies typically consider such surgeries cosmetic and exclude them from coverage. The total package of "sexual reassignment surgeries," hormone therapy and related services can cost up to $50,000 per person, the newspaper said. Kelly Garrett, Brown's LGBTQ Center coordinator, said the insurance policy changes were part of a broader effort to keep transgender students from being discriminated against at the university. In addition, Garrett said, the university is training people in health services and psychological services to be sensitive to transgender students, and the LGBTQ Center is compiling lists of gender-neutral restrooms on campus and advocating for gender-neutral housing options for students.

Study: Parents Prefer the Pill Over Condoms for Their Teenage Daughters
"If your teen's doctor found out your daughter was having sex, is it acceptable or unacceptable to you for the doctor to provide birth control to your teen confidentially?" The question was posed to a diverse group of parents of girls aged 12 to 17. On a scale from 1 to 4, researchers at UC San Francisco wanted to know, how comfortable were they with their daughters being given birth control pills? Condoms? Emergency contraception? An intrauterine device (IUD)? Per the results, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, 59 percent said they'd be okay with birth control pills, while only 51 percent approved of condoms, reports Jim Liebelt. And way down the scale, past injectables (46 percent), emergency contraception (45 percent), the transdermal patch (43 percent), and the implant (32 percent), was the IUD, with only 18 percent approval. "The lower-than-expected acceptability of condoms likely reflects parents' overall low acceptability of contraception in general for their daughters," said lead author Lauren Hartman. "It also highlights the importance of educating parents about the importance of condoms, both for protection from STIs and pregnancy." Parents who believed their teenager was likely to have sex in the coming year were more likely to accept their use of emergency contraception and condoms. The authors suspect that they only begrudgingly OKed those two because "parents may associate these methods with a single episode of sex rather than condoning an ongoing sexual relationship, which would require a more permanent contraceptive method."

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Happy Tuesday

Guard My Life
Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you. Psalm 86:2

A group of botanists went on an expedition into a remote area in the Alps. They were searching for new species of flowers. As one of the scientists looked through his binoculars, he saw a rare, beautiful species growing at the bottom of a deep ravine.

To reach it, someone small would have to be lowered into the gorge. The scientist noticed a local young boy standing nearby and asked him if he would help them retrieve the flower. He told the boy a rope would be tied around his waist and the men would then lower him to the floor of the canyon.

The boy was excited about the new adventure and quickly agreed. But as he peered into the chasm while the rope was being tied to his waist, he shouted, “Wait! I'll be right back.” He ran off and returned shortly with another man.

The boy said to the head botanist, “I'll go over the cliff now and get the flower for you. But this man must hold on to the rope that will lower me down. He's my dad!”

The Bible says, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man” (Psalm 118:8). You are never to put your complete faith in mankind— including your pastor, Bible study teacher, or closest loved ones. Put your trust only in the Lord for He'll never fail you.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). When you face scary situations in life, remember that your Father in Heaven is there to hold on to you. Put your faith in Him to protect you from harm.

PRAYER CHALLENGE: Ask the Lord to hold on to the rope tied to your waist. Trust that your Father above will keep you safe no matter what.

Daily Smile:
The driving instructor was giving lessons to an extremely nervous student who panicked whenever another car approached on a particular two-lane road. One day, however, they got to the same stretch of road; and the student remained completely calm.

“This time you’re doing fine!” exclaimed the instructor. “Yes,” the novice driver agreed.

“Now when I see another car coming, I shut my eyes.”

In The News:
Obama Administration May Ask Supreme Court to Overturn Prop 8
The Obama administration is considering asking the Supreme Court to overturn California's Proposition 8, the voter approved-measure that defined marriage in the state as only between a man and a woman, CBN News reports. President Obama raised expectations for gay marriage supporters last month when he declared during his inaugural address that gays and lesbians must be treated like anyone else under the law. The administration has one week to file a "friend of the court" brief, and while an administration brief alone is unlikely to sway the Supreme Court, the government's opinion does carry weight with the justices.

8th-Grader Told to Cover Abstinence-Promoting T-Shirt
A Florida eighth-grader says she was told by school staff to change her abstinence-promoting T-shirt because it was "inappropriate," Fox 35 Orlando reports. Summer Schreiner, 15, had gotten the T-shirt with the words "Don't drink and park... accidents cause kids" the night before from a Christian conference called The Silver Ring Thing, a gathering held in cities around the country during which teenagers pledge to remain abstinent until marriage. Summer said she was asked by the assistant principal during school to remove her shirt. "I was pretty upset," she said. "I thought it was silly. It's not like I was wearing a curse word or something that was promoting violence. IT's the shirt I got at a conference that is something that is very important to me." Summer's mother, Angela Hogan, said: "They actually had her take off the shirt and put on a T-shirt the school issues for inappropriate dress. And the shirt they had her put on says 'Tomorrow I will dress for success.' This is what upsets her more. It was really humiliating for her, because she came dressed for success." Hogan spoke with school administrators, but they are standing by their decision. "This is not a situation of whether or not the district agrees or disagrees with sexual abstinence among teenagers," said Michele Irwin, director of communications for the school district. "It's about the fact there is sexual innuendo on the shirt, and so we believe it violated our dress code policy."

Monday, February 25, 2013

Happy Monday

December 25, 2012 
Sumner Wemp, 90, Goes Home To Be With HIS LORD...
My partner in this email ministry, Steve, asked me to write something to send to you when Jesus calls me home.  Well GLORY!! If you are reading this, it means I’ve seen Jesus! He has called me home and has spoken those cherished words, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant!” (Matt 25:21)  I’ve seen my beautiful wife, Celeste, and others who went to heaven ahead of me, those who may have read a gospel tract that told of how much Jesus loved them!
To those still thinking about trusting Jesus:
What are you waiting for?  God loves you and sent His Son, the Lord Jesus to suffer and die for your sins and mine. He paid the eternal punishment for all you and I both have done wrong, all of our sins for “the wages of sin is death” and Jesus paid the debt in full, rose again and was seen alive by hundreds of people. If you will believe Him, that Jesus really did pay for your sins too and receive the Lord Jesus as your Savior, He will save you and will give you a home in heaven, instead of sending you to hell.  And I will see you someday again!
To those already saved:
You and I have been given the awesome and eternal privilege of giving everyone a chance to get saved, to get their sins forgiven and go to heaven instead of hell. We have been commanded by the God who saved us and told to “preach or give the gospel” to every person. Of course we must be as courteous as we can and do it graciously which I genuinely tried to do. Out of the thousands of tracts I gave over my lifetime, less than a few dozen people have refused them or were rude to me. But as happened a couple of months ago, I gave a tract to a lady on an elevator and she blurted out. “Oh, I need to be saved, tell me what to do.” In just seconds we got off the elevator and I had the thrill of giving her the gospel and the thrill of praying with her as she understood and accepted Christ as her Savior. Minutes later when I got outside the building, I started weeping and wanted to fall on my face and thank almighty God for the inestimable privilege He had just given me. So help me, witnessing and winning people to Christ will give you the most wonderful experience of your life. If you are not caring and sharing the gospel to lost human beings just like you once were, Satan is robbing you blind of eternal rejoicing and rewards that such precious experiences bring. Why don’t you do the logical and sensible thing and obey God and get in on the greatest privileges of your life? Help people to go to heaven instead of hell. Make sense?
“Father, You are so wonderful to let us have a part in this eternal privilege. You said, we shall catch men. Dear God please help each one reading this get in on it! In Jesus’ name”
Oh, how I wish I could have known each of you personally and how I long for you to be so mightily used of God!  My race is finished but God can still use you.  Won’t you get in on it?  You too can win souls. There is nothing greater, more lasting, more rewarding you will ever do. I implore you to stick with it and do what the Word of God says. I LOVE YOU, all because of Calvary, Sumner

A magnificent mental attitude is to lay hold of...
sumner wemp - Feb 6, 2006

(Clifford Sumner Wemp, II Dr. Clifford Sumner Wemp, II, age 90 went to be with the Lord on December 25, 2012.)
A magnificent mental attitude is to lay hold of that for which God laid hold of you!.  "Above all be of a single aim; have a legitimate and useful purpose, and devote yourself
unreservedly to it." Author unknown

Paul had it
He said "I follow after, (press on) to apprehend, (lay hold of and make it mine) that for which also I am laid hold of by Christ Jesus" Phil 3:12. God did not lay hold of you, save you and leave you here to "endure to the end."  Oh, kind sir, dear lady, God has a divine purpose and goal for you in this life. He left you here to attain that, to be all God wants you to be and do all He wants you to do. Make sense?

Make up your mind
Take the first step. "Choose you this day" Josh 24:15. Cry out to God like Paul, "What wilt thou have me to do?" Acts 9:6. You are Rolls Royce caliber, designed  and made by God in the image of God, Gen 1:27. Dear people, that is BIG! Now, "For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him" 2 Chron 16:9. God is looking for you to let Him do wondrous things in and through you. Do you have the attitude to lay hold of it?

Do it step by step
"To him that hath shall be given" Lk 19:26. To him that takes the first step and put to use what he knows and can do, God will show him and  give him more.

Father, may Your child not run on two cylendars but to full capacity for You, In Jesus name.     YOU are loved by God and me, All Because of Calvary, sumner

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He Leadeth Me: O Blessed Thought

1. He leadeth me:  O blessed thought!  
 O words with heavenly comfort fraught!  
 Whate'er I do, where'er I be, 
 still 'tis God's hand that leadeth me.  

 He leadeth me, he leadeth me, 
 by his own hand he leadeth me; 
 his faithful follower I would be, 
 for by his hand he leadeth me.

2. Sometimes mid scenes of deepest gloom, 
 sometimes where Eden's bowers bloom, 
 by waters still, o'er troubled sea, 
 still 'tis his hand that leadeth me.  

3. Lord, I would place my hand in thine, 
 nor ever murmur nor repine; 
 content, whatever lot I see, 
 since 'tis my God that leadeth me.  

4. And when my task on earth is done, 
 when by thy grace the victory's won, 
 e'en death's cold wave I will not flee, 
 since God through Jordan leadeth me.  

Daily Smile:
This guy pulls into a crowded parking lot and rolled down the car windows to make sure his dog had fresh air. The dog was stretched out in the back seat, and the guy wanted to impress upon he that he must remain there. The guy walked to the curb backward, pointing his finger at the car and saying emphatically, “Now you stay. Do you hear me? Stay!” 

 The driver of a nearby car gave the guy a startled look “I don’t know about you, man,” he said incredulously. “But I usually just put my car in park.”

In The News:
Christians Call for Justice Following Church Attack in Egypt

Christians gathered in Cairo on Sunday to protest the destruction of a church that was attacked by Muslim villagers over the weekend in Egypt's Fayoum province -- the second attack on Christians in the province in a little over a month, International Christian Concern reports. Twenty to 30 Muslims, most from an extended family, attacked Mar Girgis church in the village of Tamiyyah following a 3 p.m. service on Friday. The villagers pelted the church and four worshippers with stones, tore down the cross erected on top of the building, and threw Molotov cocktail-type explosives at the structure with the intent of setting it on fire. Following the attack, local authorities conducted a "reconciliation" meeting between Christians and Muslims in the village to resolve the dispute, which the church viewed as "unfair and humiliating," according to the Assyrian International News Agency. About a hundred Christian protesters rallied in the Shubra district of Cairo on Feb. 17, demanding that the church be rebuilt and that those responsible be brought to justice. In addition, Christians called for an end to "reconciliation" meetings, a traditional form of "conflict resolution" arranged by Egyptian authorities to ease tension between Muslims and Christians following anti-Christian violence. The sessions are often held to bypass the judicial system and victims are at times compelled to abandon their claims to a legal remedy.

Saudi Arabia Arrests 53 Ethiopian Christians at Private Worship Service

Saudi authorities on Feb. 8 arrested 53 Ethiopian Christians, mostly women, who were attending a worship service in the private, rented home of an Ethiopian believer in Dammam, the capital of the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, ASSIST News Service reports. The Christians -- 46 women and six men, including three church leaders -- were arrested around 10 a.m., and the three church leaders were produced in an Islamic court in Dammam the same day when authorities alleged they were converting Muslims to Christianity. Authorities are likely to release two of the Ethiopian Christians who have residential permits, and the others are expected to be deported.

Report: Megachurches Thriving in Tough Economic Times

A new survey shows that despite the tough economy, many of the nation's largest churches are thriving, with increased offerings and plans to hire more staff, the Religion News Service reports. Just 3 percent of churches with 2,000 or more attendees surveyed by Leadership Network, a Dallas-based church think tank, said they were affected "very negatively" by the economy in recent years. Forty-seven percent said they were affected "somewhat negatively," but one-third said they were not affected at all. The vast majority -- 83 percent -- of large churches expected to meet their budgets in 2012 or their current fiscal year, and a majority also reported that offerings during worship services were higher last year than in 2011. Even though some churches have ministries that provide other income, such as schools or wedding chapel rentals, an average of 96 percent of their budget comes from members' donations. Most megachurches surveyed spend 10 percent or more of their budget beyond their congregation on causes ranging from local soup kitchens to world missions. Most large churches also reported that they expected to give staff at least a 1 percent raise in the next budget cycle. Most also expect to modestly increase staff, and just 6 percent expect to reduce the number of staffers.

Alabama Abortion Clinic Denied Bid to Reopen

A closed abortion clinic in Birmingham, Ala., has been denied its bid to reopen, CBN News reports. According to the Life Legal Defense Foundation, the New Woman, All Women clinic stands accused of injuring patients and of building code violations. The violations led to a 76-page deficiency report by the Alabama Department of Public Health, and the clinic owner's license was revoked in May 2012. She tried to transfer the clinic to a friend using several different methods, but the two failed to comply with requirements from the state, so Alabama is rejecting their attempt to open. "Each day that this facility remains closed is one more day that babies are saved and women are safe from the dangers of abortion in Birmingham," said Rev. Terry Gensemer, executive director of Charismatic Episcopal Church for Life.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Happy Sunday

A must: Biblical Mental Attitude
sumner wemp - Feb 13, 2006
(Clifford Sumner Wemp, II Dr. Clifford Sumner Wemp, II, age 90 went to be with the Lord on December 25, 2012.) 

BMA to be thankful

"Enter into his gates with Thanksgiving"
Ps 100:4.
Remember that great old song, "Count your blessings name them one by one." We could easily spend the day right here. "Be thankful."

Where are the ten
Remember the ten lepers who were healed by the Lord Jesus and only one returned to give thanks? That seems impossible. Jesus asked, "Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Lk 17:17.  Be the one!

The wrath of God
"Because that when they knew God they glorified hin not as God, neither were thankful...wherefore God gave them up to uncleanness through the lust of their own hearts to dishonor their own bodies between themselves" Rom 1:21, 24.  How awful!

Last days
"In the last days, men shall be unthankful" 2 Tim 3:1, 2. Don't be one of them.

In everything
"In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" 1 Thes. 5:18. Get the Biblical mental attitude, be thankful.

Father, make us thankful so that we give thanks. In Jesus name

Count Your Blessings
When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.


When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings. Wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.


So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.


Daily Smile:
A student burst into his professor’s office and says; "Professor Stigler, I don't believe I deserve this F you've given me." 

To which Stigler replied, "I agree, but unfortunately it is the lowest grade the University will allow me to award."

In The News:
Pentecostal Pastor Beheaded in Tanzania
Mathayo Kachili, pastor of the Assemblies of God church in Buseresere, Tanzania, a church affiliated with the Pentecostal Assemblies of God of Canada, was beheaded when a group of religious extremists attacked Christians at the church on February 11, Christian Press reports. "Escalating hostility and violence toward Christians in various places in Africa causes us grave concern for our brothers and sisters, and especially our pastors," said Mike McClaflin, AG World Missions regional director for Africa. "Our prayers are with the family of Pastor Mathayo Kachili as well as the other pastors of the Pentecostal Assemblies of God in Tanzania and missionaries from the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada laboring in East Africa." Barnabas Mtokambali, the Tanzania AG general superintendent, encouraged Christians in Tanzania to remain Christlike in their faith. "Our response as a church is not one of violence and hatred, reflecting the attitude of those committing such crimes, but that of Christ and reflecting his image by loving and praying for those who humiliate and persecute us, and not holding such sins against them," he said.

Libya Arrests Missionaries for Spreading Christianity
Four foreign Christian workers in Libya have been arrested on suspicion of spreading Christianity and giving out Christian literature in Benghazi, CBN News reports. Police said one of the suspects is a Swedish-American, and the others are from South Africa, Egypt and South Korea. "We are still holding interrogations and will hand them over to the Libyan intelligence authorities in a couple of days," police spokesman Hussein bin Hamid said. The four workers were arrested Tuesday, and police confiscated some 45,000 books in their possession. Another 25,000 reportedly were distributed. Preaching the gospel is against the law in the Muslim-majority nation. Prior to the 2011 revolution that ousted Moammar Gadhafi, Libya was home to approximately 100,000 Christians, but now only a few thousand remain.

Christian Homeschoolers Losing Deportation Fight
A family homeschooling safely in rural Tennessee may be forced to return to their native Germany, where the parents likely face huge fines and criminal penalties, and could lose custody of their five school-age children, WORLD News Service reports. Uwe and Hannelore Romeike are looking to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to give them permanent refugee status, but Attorney General Eric Holder is disputing their case, arguing Germany's ban on homeschooling fails to violate the family's fundamental rights. The Romeikes fled Germany in 2008 after authorities fined them thousands in euros and forcibly took their children because they homeschooled. In 2010, a U.S. immigration judge granted the Romeikes political asylum -- the first time this status was granted based on compulsory schooling laws. The judge found the family has legitimate fear of persecution in Germany, where a small group of Christian homeschooling families have already been jailed, fined and stripped of their children. But the Department of Homeland Security immediately disputed the judge's decision, and last May, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) sided with the government. It may take up to a year for a circuit court ruling, according to the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), which is representing the Romeikes, and that gives the family another year to freely educate their children. The case has far-reaching implications, says HSLDA's Michael Farris: "Our own government is attempting to send [them] back. Something important is being said about our own liberties as American homeschoolers."

Lawmakers Introduce Interstate Abortion Notification Bill

Sens. Marco Rubio, Mitch McConnell and Orrin Hatch introduced a bill in mid-February that would give states the right to enforce parental notification laws across state lines, WORLD News Service reports. The Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act would make it illegal to transport a minor to another state for an abortion in an attempt to circumvent notification laws in the child's home state. It also would require abortionists to notify the parents of an out-of-state minor before performing an abortion. "With the rights of parents and the safety of our nation's daughters at risk, Congress must take action to prevent underage abortions by giving states the federal backing necessary to enforce their parental involvement laws," Rubio said in a statement. "These laws allow teenagers to receive the advice and guidance of a loved one before undergoing a procedure for which they may not be medically or emotionally prepared." The bill is co-sponsored by 16 Republican senators, and Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen sponsored a House version of the bill.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Happy Saturday

Good Morning Readers,
Too much lightening and rain came through last night... I didn't want to lose my last computer so close to finishing the March '13 Edition of The StarLight News... So I went to bed and after much needed sleep awoke to realize that today's Devotional had not been posted... 
Here it is... Sorry, I was late...
Have a Blessed Day,
David, adulterer, "A man after God's own heart" See WHY
sumner wemp -
(Clifford Sumner Wemp, II Dr. Clifford Sumner Wemp, II, age 90 went to be with the Lord on December 25, 2012.)
"There is none righteous, no not one" Rom 3:10. No one is perfect, he knew it and God knows it and so do we. If being perfect is a qualification for being used, we are all sunk.
Psalm 51 gives the answers.

He did not play the blame game 

"For I acknowledge my transgressions" Ps 51:3. Remember Adam? He tried to lay the blame on Eve. "The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree and I did eat" Gen. 3:12.. Then Eve blamed the serpent, "The serpent beguiled  me and I did eat" 3:13. The all American game today is the blame game. STOP IT. "Judge yourself"  1 C or 11:31 "For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged" "Confess that sin" 1 John 1:9 and "forsake it" Pro 28:13. Jesus said to the woman taken in adultery and to you and me, "go and sin no more" don't do it again John 8:11.

You can be a man after God's own heart today.
Follow David's example.  You can still be used of God as David and Peter, who denied the Lord, was used on the day of Pentecost.

Father, bless Your dear child who has stumbled and feels they cannot be used by You. Restore them and use them. In Jesus name.

Speak to My Heart
Gene Routh
B.B. McKinney, 1886-1952

Speak to my heart, Lord Jesus, Speak that my soul may hear;
Speak to my heart, Lord Jesus, Calm ev'ry doubt and fear.
Speak to my heart, oh, speak to my heart,
Speak to my heart, I pray;
Yielded and still, seeking Thy will,
Oh, speak to my heart today.

Speak to my heart, Lord Jesus, Purge me from ev'ry sin;
Speak to my heart, Lord Jesus, Help me the lost to win.
Speak to my heart, oh, speak to my heart,
Speak to my heart, I pray;
Yielded and still, seeking Thy will,
Oh, speak to my heart today.

Speak to my heart, Lord Jesus, It is no longer mine;
Speak to my heart, Lord Jesus, I would be wholly Thine.
Speak to my heart, oh, speak to my heart,
Speak to my heart, I pray;
Yielded and still, seeking Thy will,
Oh, speak to my heart today.

Daily Smile:

A couple was making their first doctors visit prior to the birth of their first child. After the exam, the doctor took a small stamp and stamped the wife’s stomach with indelible ink. The man and his wife were curious about what the stamp was for, so when they got home, the man took out his magnifying glass to try to see what is was. In very small letters, the stamp said, “When you can read this, come back and see me.”

In The News:
Bangladesh: 19 Children Rescued From Trafficker Intending to Sell Them to Radical Islamic Centers

According to International Christian Concern, 19 children who were to be sold to fundamentalist Islamic boarding schools (madrassas) in Bangladesh have been rescued. Traffickers lied to the children's parents, saying they would take the children to Christian boarding schools in Dhaka, when in fact they were intending to sell the children to various madrassas. However, students from Dhaka University discovered the children -- ages 5 to 12 -- and rescued them from a trafficker named Binoy Tripura. Binoy confessed that he "collected the kids from their parents with lies and convinced them that [he] would admit all the kids to a missionary [Christian] school in Dhaka." He then collected 15,000 Taka (roughly $183 USD) from each of their parents and intended to receive payment from the madrassa upon delivery of the children. The children realized something was not right during their long bus journey to Dhaka, and 12 of the children ran away at a rest stop and called their parents to explain what was happening. The parents called local students attending Dhaka University for help, and the students met the bus in Bhaka, rescued the remaining six children and captured Binoy, who is now in police custody. It is not the first instance of traffickers targeting low-income Christian families due to their faith and vulnerability; this year alone, 55 children have been rescued from madrassas in Dhaka.

Canadian Ministry Risks Losing Government Funding for Stance on Homosexuality

An evangelical group that digs wells and provides clean water to 11,000 people in Uganda risks losing Canadian government money because it also teaches that homosexuality is a sin, WORLD Magazine reports. Thomas Mulcair, a leader in Canada's liberal New Democratic Party, said Crossroads Relief and Development, which received $389,000 from the Canadian government to help fund its relief work, was "completely against" Canadian values and law because of its stance on homosexuality. Crossroads' water project partner group in Africa, Victory Outreach Ministries, states on its website that while homosexuality is sinful, gays are "created in God's image, and we condemn the activities of those who are violent toward gays." Canada has frozen $156,000 in Crossroads funding until it can review the organization's work.

Joint Worship Prompts Church Reprimand

A Lutheran pastor in Newtown, Conn., apologized Feb. 7 for taking part in an interfaith vigil after December's mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, WORLD News Service reports. The Rev. Rob Morris' apology came after the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod reprimanded him for giving the closing benediction at the Dec. 16 service that included Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders, among others. The church said Morris' participation inadvertently gave the impression he was involved in joint worship with clergy from other religions. The denomination bars joint worship because it doesn’t want to appear to mix its beliefs with those of other faiths.

Russia to Outlaw 'Homosexual Propaganda'

Last month, the Russian parliament approved by a vote of 388-1-1 a draft law outlawing the dissemination of "homosexual propaganda" to minors, prompting the Obama administration to pull out of "civil society" dialogue, WORLD News Service reports. The legislation, backed by the combined efforts of the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox Church, would also ban public events promoting homosexual rights, charge fines of up to $16,000 for any public displays of "homosexual propaganda," and block web content inappropriate for younger audiences. After two more readings, it goes to Russian president Vladimir Putin for his signature. The bill, designed to protect minors from the influence of "sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality and transgenderism," is part of a growing national trend towards promoting traditional Russian values over Western liberalism.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Happy Friday

Lingering Sins
Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God. Your sins have been your downfall! - -Hosea 14:1-2

Years ago, I memorized Numbers 33:55 as a warning to my own soul: "But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall come to pass that those whom ye let remain of them shall be as pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell" (KJV).

I memorized that verse because I was working with a group of guys and was trying to get across to them the importance of confessing sin to God--of keeping short accounts with the Lord and living a clean life before Him.

If you and I harbor sin in our lives, this verse says our vision for the work of God will be clouded, our forward progress will be hindered, and the sin that remains in our lives will be a constant vexation to us, both in our fellowship with God and in our service to Him.

Some people hear this verse and think back to a time in their lives when they should have dealt with a certain sin, and didn't. They become tremendously discouraged when they see what has happened in their lives and the wasted years of being out of fellowship with the Lord. That may be exactly how you're feeling.

Psalm 119:97 says, "Oh how I love thy law, it is my meditation all the day" (KJV). One reason I love this verse is because it's first-person singular, present tense. Oh, how I love thy law means it is right now--currently, today--my meditation. That can be your experience, too, if you choose it. It's never too late to come back to where you once were with the Lord.

Lord, reveal to me my unconfessed sin so that I may stay in close fellowship with You and be effectively used in the lives of others. Amen.

God can't use us to accomplish His purposes if we have lingering sin in our lives.

Daily Smile:
After dating a young lady for some time a young man decides it is time to marry her. 

He proceeds with all the necessary plans and finally the day comes.
On the day of the wedding the young man has yet to pay the pastor for performing the ceremony. However the pastor has a plan.
The service proceeds as planned the vows are exchanged etc. Now it is time for the groom to kiss his bride. The pastor sees this as the perfect opportunity to ask to be paid. He pulls the young man aside and asks him. Can you please pay me?

Not wanting to create a scene the young man asked. How much do I owe you?

The pastor thinks quickly and replies, pay me according to your wife's beauty.

The young man discretely pulled out five dollars and gave it to the pastor.

Although annoyed by this, the pastor continues the ceremony and says; you may now kiss the bride. At this point the veil is lifted from the brides face to allow the groom to kiss her. As the groom is about to kiss his new bride the pastor interrupts and promptly hand the groom four dollars and fifty cents.

In  The News:

80 Congressmen Urge Secretary of State Kerry to Seek Release of Imprisoned American Pastor
More than 80 U.S. senators and representatives have sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry urging him to "exhaust every possible option" to secure the release of American pastor Saeed Abedini, who is facing a lengthy prison sentence in Iran because of his Christian faith, the American Center for Law and Justice reports. "This is a significant bipartisan effort to secure the freedom of a U.S. citizen who faces incredible torture and life-threatening punishment in one of Iran's most brutal prisons -- simply because of his Christian beliefs," said Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the ACLJ. "This letter from a politically broad spectrum of members of Congress underscores the real issue here: the U.S. government must protect its citizens and exercise every diplomatic tool available to secure the freedom of Pastor Saeed. We are very grateful for the Congressional support and urge Secretary Kerry to act without delay. Pastor Saeed's life hangs in the balance. Secretary Kerry's personal involvement in this case is critical to securing the freedom of this American."

Singles Survey Reveals Casual Views on Sex
A new survey done for is shedding some light on what singles are saying about their sexual behavior, CBN News reports. According to the survey, 42 percent would not date a virgin, 47 percent report having a "friends with benefits" relationship, and 44 percent of women and 63 percent of men have had one-night stands. Almost a third say they've had sex by the third date and almost half said they had sex by the sixth date. At the same time, the Centers for Disease Control released two new studies Wednesday showing that the United States faces an ongoing and severe epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases. More than 19 million new infections are reported every year, up from 15 million in 1996, and half of the new cases affect people ages 15 to 24.

U.S. Government Extends Federal Benefits to Homosexuals in Military
The U.S. government announced last week that it was extending a number of federal benefits to homosexuals in the military, the Christian News Network reports. The announcement was made by outgoing Department of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who stated that he would like to see the accommodations implemented by October 1, if not before. Among the 22 total benefits include hospital visitations, military child care and legal services, participation in family groups on base and privileges in commissaries. Because the federal Defense of Marriage Act prohibits the government from recognizing any other relationship outside of one man and one woman as being in a marriage, certain other benefits could not be extended, including assistance with housing and the provision of healthcare benefits. DOMA is currently being challenged in the U.S. Supreme Court, which is expected to hear an oral argument on the issue next month and rule on the matter in June.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Happy Thursday

Happy Thursday,
     Sorry about Wednesday... Working on the March '13 Edition of The StarLight News and Wednesday was the deadline, in which I missed it... Making up for lost time, but managed to get this Devotional ready...
     Will Print Monday PM...  
Have a Blessed Day,

Beyond Good Intentions 
"You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am." - John 13:13

Back in Nehemiah 9:38, we find a group of people who made a binding agreement and put in writing their intention to keep the Law of the Lord. They had searched God's Law to find out what it taught, then searched their own hearts to discover where they were falling short. After listing a number of things that were examples of their failures, they put in writing exactly what they were going to do about it.

Written applications should be part of every Bible study. As we see where we fall short or receive a new challenge in following the Lord, we should write down what we plan to do about it. But that's not enough. In Nehemiah 13, we see that the people got off to a great start by putting their intentions in writing, but stumbled in putting them into practice.

When Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem after being gone for awhile, he discovered the people had broken every promise they had made. They were giving their sons and daughters in marriage to the pagans around them; they were conducting business on the Sabbath; they had failed to give their tithes and offerings to the house of God; and they were not maintaining regular worship.

You know, sin dies hard. It can rear its ugly head at the most unexpected times and in the most unexpected places. It begins with little sparks that seem so insignificant, and then the fire grows quickly out of control before we realize it. If we're to make progress in the Christian life, we must deal with sin quickly and forcefully. When we study the Word, we are challenged and encouraged. But we make progress by application and obedience.


Lord, as I read Your Word and learn Your will, help me turn my good intentions into obedience. Amen. 

What good intention have you been meaning to carry out?

How Great Thou Art

O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the *worlds thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the *rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed:

     Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee:
     How great thou art! How great thou art!
     Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee:
     How great thou art! How great thou art!

When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees,
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur,
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze:


And when I think that God, his Son not sparing,
Sent him to die, I scarce can take it in,
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.


When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then *I shall bow in humble adoration,
And there proclaim, My God, how great thou art!

Daily Smile:
A lawyer phoned the governor’s mansion shortly after midnight. “I need to talk to the governor, it’s an emergency!” exclaimed the lawyer. After some cajoling, the governor’s assistant agreed to wake him up. “So, what is it that’s so important that it can’t wait until morning?” grumbled the governor. 

“Judge Pierson just died, and I want to take his place,” beg the attorney. 

“Well, it’s OK with me if it’s OK with the mortuary,” replied the governor.

In The News:

House Passes Bill to Give Disaster Relief to Religious Groups
The House on Feb. 13 overwhelmingly passed a bill to allow places of worship to receive federal aid to repair their buildings damaged during Hurricane Sandy, the Religion News Service reports. The bill, which garnered strong bipartisan support, is also expected to pass the Senate, and would address what its sponsors consider a discriminatory practice that keeps federal disaster money from religious groups. Currently, the Federal Emergency Management Agency excludes religious organizations but assists privately owned nonprofits. If the bill becomes law, it would make houses of worship eligible for relief on the same terms as other nonprofits. It would cover houses of worship affected not only by Hurricane Sandy, which struck Mid-Atlantic states in October, but also future natural disasters.

'Morning After' Pill Used by 5.8 Million Women
As many as 11 percent of women ages 15 to 44 who have ever had sexual intercourse have used a "morning after" pill at least once, according to the first federal report on emergency contraception, released Thursday, USA TODAY reports. That's 5.8 million women -- half of whom said they used it because they feared their birth control method may have failed, and the rest who had unprotected sex. The National Center for Health Statistics analysis is based on responses collected through in-person interviews with 12,279 women from 2006 to 2010. Of those, 10,605 said they were sexually experienced. The report found that 23 percent of sexually experienced women ages 20 to 24 had ever used emergency contraception, compared with 16 percent ages 25 to 29, 14 percent ages 15 to 19 and 5 percent ages 30 to 44. Emergency contraception was most common among women 20 to 24, the never married, Hispanic and white women, and the college-educated.

CDC: Teen Births Hit Record Lows in 2011
The number of U.S. babies born to teen mothers dropped to record lows in 2011, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Jim Liebelt reports. Fewer women gave birth in their 20s as well than in prior years, the researchers said in findings published in Pediatrics -- but the birth rate increased for those in their late 30s and early 40s. The new data showed an 8-percent drop in teen births between 2010 and 2011, with just over 3 percent of 15- to 19-year-olds having babies during that period. CDC statistician Brady Hamilton, lead author of the report, and his colleagues calculated that 3.6 million more babies would have been born to women in that age group over the last two decades had the teen birth rate not been falling since a peak in 1991. Hamilton said the decline in teen births, in particular, is especially welcome news and reflects the efforts of programs and policies targeting that age group.

Marco Rubio: Only One Savior, and It's Not Me
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has made many headlines in recent weeks, first for his high-profile efforts to pass an immigration overhaul, then for his selection as the Republican response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech. Though the next presidential election is still years away, Rubio is already being seen as a potential GOP frontrunner for the nomination. But after a new TIME magazine cover story dubbed him "The Republican Savior," Rubio took to Twitter for his response, the Wall Street Journal reports. Rubio tweeted Feb. 7: "There is only one savior, and it is not me. #Jesus."