Sunday, March 31, 2013


Luke 8:1 (KJV)
And it came to pass afterward,
that he went throughout every city
and village, preaching and shewing 
the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: 
and the twelve were with him,
John 12:42-43 (KJV)
Nevertheless among the chief rulers
also many believed on him;
but because of the Pharisees they
did not confess him, lest they should 
be put out of the synagogue:
For they loved the praise of men 
more than the praise of God.
Mark 1:14-15 (KJV)
Now after that John was put in prison, 
Jesus came into Galilee, preaching 
the gospel of the kingdom of God,
And saying, The time is fulfilled,
and the kingdom of God is at hand:
repent ye, and believe the gospel.
John 5:18-20 (KJV)
Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him,
because he not only had broken the sabbath,
but said also that God was his Father,
making himself equal with God.
Then answered Jesus and said unto them,
Verily, verily, I say unto you,
The Son can do nothing of himself,
but what he seeth the Father do:
for what things soever he doeth, 
these also doeth the Son likewise.
For the Father loveth the Son,
and sheweth him all things that 
himself doeth: and he will shew him
greater works than these, that ye may marvel.
Luke 22:14-16 (KJV)
And when the hour was come, he sat down,
and the twelve apostles with him.
And he said unto them, With desire I have 
desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:
For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, 
until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God
Mark 14:46 (KJV)
And they laid their hands on him, and took him.
Mark 14:63-65 (KJV)
Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith,
What need we any further witnesses?
Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? 
And they all condemned him to be guilty of death.
And some began to spit on him,
and to cover his face, and to buffet him,
and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the
servants did strike him with the palms of their hands.
John 19:12-18 (KJV)
And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: 
but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go,
thou art not Caesar's friend: whosoever maketh himself
a king speaketh against Caesar.
When Pilate therefore heard that saying, 
he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the 
judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement,
but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.
And it was the preparation of the passover,
and about the sixth hour: and he saith
unto the Jews, Behold your King!
But they cried out, Away with him, away with him,
crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, 
Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, 
We have no king but Caesar.
Then delivered he him therefore unto them 
to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.
And he bearing his cross went forth into
a place called the place of a skull,
which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:
Where they crucified him, and two other
with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.
1 Corinthians 15:3-4(KJV)
For I delivered unto you first of all that
which I also received, how that Christ died 
for our sins according to the scriptures;
And that he was buried, and that he 
rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
Luke 24:1-12 (KJV)
Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning,
they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices 
which they had prepared, and certain others with them.
And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed 
thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:
And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, 
they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?
He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake 
unto you when he was yet in Galilee,
Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the
hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
And they remembered his words,
And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these 
things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.
It was Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary 
the mother of James, and other women that were with them, 
which told these things unto the apostles.
And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.
Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; 
and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid
by themselves, and departed, wondering in
himself at that which was come to pass.
Mark 16:12-13 (KJV)
After that he appeared in another form unto 
two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.
And they went and told it unto the residue: 
neither believed they them.
Luke 24:36-49 (KJV)
And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in 
the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
But they were terrified and affrighted, 
and supposed that they had seen a spirit.
And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? 
and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?
Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself:
handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not 
flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
And when he had thus spoken, he shewed
them his hands and his feet.
And while they yet believed not for joy,
and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?
And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish,
and of an honeycomb.
And he took it, and did eat before them.
And he said unto them, These are the words 
which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you,
that all things must be fulfilled, 
which were written in the law of Moses,
and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
Then opened he their understanding, 
that they might understand the scriptures,
And said unto them, Thus it is written, 
and thus it behooved Christ to suffer,
and to rise from the dead the third day:
And that repentance and remission of sins 
should be preached in his name among all nations, 
beginning at Jerusalem.
And ye are witnesses of these things.
And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you:
but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, 
until ye be endued with power from on high.
1 Corinthians 15:6 (KJV)
After that, he was seen of above five hundred 
brethren at once; of whom the greater part
remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
Mark 16:19 (KJV)
So then after the Lord had spoken unto them,
he was received up into heaven, 
and sat on the right hand of God.
Acts 1:10-11 (KJV)
And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up,
behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye
gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is
taken up from you into heaven, shall so come
in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
Heb 13:8 (KJV)
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
Christ the Lord is risen today!
May the resurrection
of our Lord, Jesus Christ,
fill you with joy 
this Easter season and always!

The Easter Promise
The Easter message is bold and clear
for all who are willing to lend an ear.
He came to establish the reason why
mankind may no longer have to die.

He died - then rose to life again
for Son of God is how He came.
And to do such deeds no other can
proves Him more than mortal man.

He promised followers, every one,
they would not die but follow Him
to eternal life, in a heavenly land
as at beginning God has planned.
And, given His death and resurrection,
of His promise there can be no question.

A promise of life beyond the earth
must come from One surviving death.
From any other the promise is vain,
false prophets fail, they are but men.
And in this world there is no gain
being misled by any one of them.

Follow Christ if life you prize.
This is the choice of the wise.
Deny Him and then ask why
you set yourself prepared to die.
Life is hard but Christians cope
because with Christ they live in HOPE.

Because He Lives

God sent His son, they called Him Jesus
He came to love, To heal and forgive.
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Jesus lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone!
Because I know He holds the future
My life is worth the living, just because He lives!

And then one day, I'll cross that river,
I'll fight life's final war, life's final war with pain.
And then as death gives way to victory,
I'll see the lights of glory and 
I'll know my Jesus lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone!
Because I know He holds the future
My life is worth the living, just because He lives!

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone!
Because I know He holds the future
My life is worth the living, just because He lives!

My life is worth the living,
just because He lives!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Saturday

It was Found Empty!
It is with tears in my eyes that I am writing this devotional, this Easter Sunday, April 24, 2011. For over two months I have been praying daily for a miracle to happen in the life of a young girl named Haydelle, who I never had the opportunity to meet.

Like any teenager, she had plans for a bright future, a future where she would make a difference in people's lives. However she had a condition that was deteriorating rapidly. She had cancer that metastasized quickly into her liver, lungs and other organs as well, and her doctors were far from hopeful.

I have a son who is about her age, and I can only imagine the nightmare she had to face on a daily basis. But she didn't let it get to her. She was fortunate enough to be surrounded by people who gave her encouragement.

And in return, she gave them hope! Each day she would joyfully say that even though her prayer was not yet answered, she was one day closer to its fulfillment. She would truthfully declare that she wasn't disappointed that she hadn't yet received her miracle, for she trusted in God!

This girl's faith was contagious. Although she was suffering deeply, she focused on the positive and relied on the Saviour she believed in.

One of the volunteers with this ministry felt led to make her a beautiful frosted glass egg, adorned by a butterfly. Just like an egg is found empty once the chick hatches, this one was empty. Why? Because Jesus' tomb was found empty, this empty egg signified hope.

The volunteer who made the egg wrote, "The design on the egg is just handmade, but it carries with it the love of Jesus and mine. While I was making the egg, I prayed over every item that became a part of it, just as Jesus fashioned each part of us all for His glory."

It took almost 4 weeks for this present to reach this young girl, four days before her death. Upon seeing the egg, she uttered in her faint voice "Thank you". The words "The tomb is empty because 'He is not here. He is risen' had such an important significance to that youngster. Her wish before she passed away was to see her Heavenly Father and to hear Him say "It is finished!"

Just a few days later, during the night, Haydelle's wish was fulfilled. No one doubted that this young one was now in the presence of her Maker, enjoying His glorious company.

Without knowing it, this youngster has touched more lives in her death than she could ever have done if she had lived a full life on this Earth. Her message is clear to all of us: "There is hope in our God!" Her dream of making a difference in this world was realized, as was her wish for healing. Haydelle is now walking on the golden streets of Heaven. How can she stop herself from laughing? Jesus redeemed her! He welcomed her personally into His Kingdom. There is rejoicing, absolute rejoicing in heaven, for that pure soul believed in the empty tomb where Jesus had been buried, as was symbolized by that present she received.

Those of us who are left behind mourn. We have lost someone precious. One day though, I will personally experience that empty egg as well! Why? Because I also believe in the promise of the empty tomb! Haydelle is indeed alive and well, and she wouldn't want to be in any other place, except in the arms of Jesus.

Easter is a reminder to all of us that the tomb is indeed empty. We also commemorate this every Sunday. And because the tomb is empty, we have hope!

When those, who had seen Jesus die 2000 years ago, realized that He had, indeed, been raised from the dead, they were also filled with hope. Read their words of excitement, their words of hope:

"I have seen the Lord!" (John 20:18 NIV)

"We have seen the Lord!" (John 20:25 NIV)

"This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true." (John 21:24 NIV)

"They found the stone rolled away from the tomb ... " (Luke 24:2 NIV)

"He is not here; he has risen!" (Luke 24:6 NIV)

"He has risen from the dead." (Matt 28:4 NIV)

"He appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep." (1 Cor 15:6 NIV)

Because Jesus has risen from the tomb, we too can expect a bright future!

"If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you." (Rom 8:11 NIV)

"But about the resurrection of the dead - have you not read what God said to you, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is not the God of the dead but of the living." (Matt 22:31-32 NIV)

We are truly alive if we are filled by His presence, the presence of victory, the presence of the Risen One.

The tomb is indeed empty. "He is not here; he has risen!" Hallelujah!

Welcome home, my friend!

Rob Chaffart

Take My Hand Precious Lord
Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on,
Let me stand
I'm tired, I am weak I am worn
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

When my way grows drear precious Lord linger near
When my life is almost gone
Hear my cry,
Hear my call
Hold my hand lest I fall
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

When the darkness appears and the night draws near
And the day is past and gone
At the river I stand
Guide my feet,
Hold my hand
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on,
Let me stand
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

Daily Smile:
Mr. White and his wife went for a gathering. At commencement of the program, the MC said the people were going to be grouped into two. He said "those whose wives' are the head of the family move to the left-hand side of the auditorium, while those whose husbands are the head of the family should move to the right". 

Mr. White asked his wife "Honey, which group should we move to?"

In The News:

Only 57 Churches Remain in Iraq, Down From 300 in 2003
Iraq had 300 churches and 1.4 million Christians in 2003, but now only 57 churches and about half a million Christians remain, with members of the minority fleeing Islamist attacks, the Christian Post reports. "The last 10 years have been the worst for Iraqi Christians because they bore witness to the biggest exodus and migration in the history of Iraq," said William Warda, head of the Hammurabi Human Rights Organization, a registered local non-governmental organization. Patriarch Louis Sako of the Chaldean Church said the remaining 57 churches also continue to be targeted. Iraqi Christians have faced several bomb attacks, killings, abductions, torture and forced conversions to Islam ever since the U.S.-led liberation war began in 2003. Christians have not only been targeted for their faith by al Qaeda and related terror groups, but have also been caught in the crossfire of the Arab-Kurd and Shi'a-Sunni conflicts, which rose to new heights after the 2003 U.S. operations.

Kerry Finally Condemns Saeed Abedini's Detention
Last Friday, Secretary of State John Kerry finally addressed the case of Saeed Abedini, the Iranian-American pastor imprisoned in Iran for his Christian faith, WORLD Magazine reports. In his statement, Kerry said he was "deeply concerned" and "disturbed" by Abedini's eight-year sentence in the notoriously brutal Evin Prison. Kerry also condemned what amounts to torture: Abedini has been physically and psychologically abused and denied proper medical attention. In a letter to his wife, Abedini wrote that guards beat him but deny him medical care because they consider him "unclean." Kerry's statement, the first official word from the State Department on Abedini's case, is long overdue: Iranian authorities have detained Abedini for six months for his involvement in the house church movement in Iran, even though he hasn't worked actively with house churches since 2009. His wife, Naghmeh, has ceaselessly lobbied for awareness and action on her husband's case. Earlier this month, she testified during a congressional hearing sponsored by the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. "Our family needs your help," she said. More than 100 people attended, but none from the State Department. Following the hearing, six congressmen sent a letter to Kerry, condemning the State Department's absence and virtual silence on the case.

Oregon High School Creates Unisex Bathrooms for Transgender Students
An Oregon high school has created six unisex bathrooms to be used by transgender students, Fox News reports. Officials at Portland's Grant High School, the district's largest, say four student restrooms and two staff restrooms will be open to all students, but create an option for five to 10 transgender students at the school. The move is a first in the district and an unusual move for a K-12 school when compared to others in the country. Typically, according to The Oregonian, schools make staff or other small bathrooms available. "We just need to make sure that all students are safe and comfortable here, and that they have their needs met," said Kristyn Westphal, Grant High vice principal. "If they feel unsafe using the bathroom, that's a problem." The conversion cost less than $500, most coming from changing to interior locks.

Nigeria: Kano Bus Bomb Prompts Religious Leaders to Joint Call for Urgent Measures
car bomb attack in a Christian enclave of Kano, the largest city in majority-Muslim northern Nigeria, has heightened religious and ethnic tensions throughout the country, World Watch Monitor reports. At least 25 people have died and at least 60 others were injured following the March 18 suicide bomb attack in a bus station in the Christian district of Sabon Gari, primarily used by passengers heading for Nigeria's mostly Christian south. Five buses were destroyed, one reported to be full of people. No group has yet claimed responsibility, but the manner of attack is similar to previous ones by the Islamist Boko Haram group. Its scale prompted Christian, Muslim and political leaders to urge the federal government to take urgent measures to avert a major crisis. The Christian Association of Nigeria and its main Muslim counterpart, Jama'atu Nasril Islam (Society for the Victory of Islam), both noted the Kano suicide attack was capable of threatening the unity of Nigeria if such attacks continue. CAN president Ayo Oritsejafor condemned "the barbaric and sustained bomb and gun attacks on innocent Nigerians" and called on the federal government to support the Christian association's call for the branding of Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, or FTO.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Happy "GOOD" Friday

Coffee Break

"Jesus Or The Easter Bunny?"
by Lorraine Ezell
"And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him." Mark 16:6
Happy Resurrection weekend to each and everyone. I choose to call it Resurrection Sunday and not Easter. I choose to acknowledge the death, burial and resurrection of my beloved Savior Jesus, and not the things that we typically think of when we think of Easter- such as the Easter bunny, colored eggs, hiding eggs, baskets of candies.
I wonder, (I know the answer, so I am not asking for one) why we think that these things have anything to do with what Jesus did for us? What do the things that I have already named have to do with the cross or the empty tomb or the suffering that Jesus went through? They have nothing to do with it.
These things were part of a pagan celebration to their goddess of fertility. We have adopted them in Christianity and made it a part of our celebration of Jesus' resurrection.
Some say that they know the difference, yet they celebrate both at the same time. Why would you want anything to distract from the true meaning? Why would you make Jesus share the celebration with a fictitious rabbit? Why would you minimize His suffering on the cross with anything? Why would we replace the miracle of the resurrection of Christ for the belief that a giant rabbit goes everywhere during the night leaving children baskets full of candy and colored eggs? We may say we know the difference, yet once church service is over in the morning, the rest of the day will be spent "worshipping" the bunny and eggs. I just don't get it. After what Jesus went through on the cross for us, why would we allow anything to overshadow it?
At Christmas we have adopted a slogan as a reminder that the celebration is all about the birth of Jesus and not Santa Claus-- "Jesus is the reason for the season". I think we need to take it out of storage during the resurrection season because it appears that we have forgotten that it is still true for this time as well-- "Jesus is the reason for the season, not the Easter bunny."
After all, who laid down their life for you so that you could have eternal life and forgiveness of your sins-- Jesus or the Easter bunny!
Have a great day. Who are you "really" celebrating, Jesus or the Easter bunny?
Take a long, hard and searching look at what you are doing before you answer.
For further reading:
John 3:16
Romans 5:8
2 Timothy 4:4
Matthew 28:6
Luke 24:6

Burdens Are Lifted At Calvary
Days are filled with sorrow and care,
Hearts are lonely and drear;
Burdens are lifted at Calvary,
Jesus is very near.

Burdens are lifted at Calvary,
Calvary, Calvary;
Burdens are lifted at Calvary,
Jesus is very near.

Cast your care on Jesus today,
Leave your worry and fear;
Burdens are lifted at Calvary,
Jesus is very near.

Troubled soul, the Saviour can see
Ev'ry heartache and tear;
Burdens are lifted at Calvary,
Jesus is very near.

Daily Smile:
Little Johnny comes downstairs crying. His mother asked, “What’s the matter now?”

“Dad was hanging pictures, and just hit his thumb with hammer,” said little Johnny through his tears. 

“That’s not so serious,” soothed his mother. “I know you are upset, but a big boy like you shouldn’t cry at something like that. Why didn’t you just laugh?

“I did!” sobbed Johnny.

In The News:

Rob Bell Affirmed Gay Christians in 2012 as 'Passionate Disciples of Jesus'
While some Christians have expressed disappointment over Rob Bell's recent announcement that he supports same-sex marriage, the former Mars Hill Bible Church pastor had made comments in the past that were indicative of a gay-affirming view, the Christian Post reports. During a Q&A session at The Viper Room in Los Angeles last July, Bell told the audience, "Some people are gay, and you're our brothers, and you're our sisters, and we love you. It's really, really, really important that we're clear," he added, as he described a past gay friend as "holy, loving and generous." He continued: "At an early age, I was like 'Some people are gay. God loves them just like God loves me. They're passionate disciples of Jesus just like I'm trying to be.' So let's all get together and try to do something about the truly big problems in our world, that I believe Jesus would have us ban together and tackle together."

California Schools to Now Include LGBT-Themed Books
The California Department of Education's newest reading list for students K-12 includes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender literature, prompting complaints from critics who say a leftist agenda is being pushed on kids, Fox News reports. Controversial topics have been introduced to California students in the past, but this is the first time the state has put forth works celebrated by the Stonewall Book Awards, which since 1971 has recognized LGBT literature. The reading list has been met with controversy by those who say it promotes the LGBT lifestyle to children at such a young age. "It's a frightening trend," said American Family Radio talk show host Sandy Rios. "The reading lists are very overtly propagating a point of view that is at odds with most American parents. Leftist educators are advocates of everything from socialism to sexual anarchy. It's very base; it's raping the innocence of our children."

Justin Welby Installed as 105th Archbishop of Canterbury
Justin Welby, the 57-year old former oil executive who quit the world of high finance in 1992 to become a priest, was enthroned March 21 as the 105th archbishop of Canterbury and spiritual leader of the world's 77 million Anglicans, the Religion News Service reports. Welby, a married father of five, had been a bishop in Durham for only a year when he was tapped to succeed Rowan Williams as Britain's top churchman. He inherits a church wracked by internal divisions over the ordination of women bishops and continuing strains within the larger Anglican Communion over divisive issues of sexuality. Welby made no specific mention in his sermon of the challenges that await him, but spoke in his sermon of not being afraid of new things and fresh challenges. While he remains opposed to a new British law that would sanction same-sex marriage, Welby surprised the church's pro-gay lobby by telling a reporter from the BBC that some gay couples have loving, stable and monogamous relationships of "stunning" quality. Despite his closeness to the British establishment and his considerable personal wealth, he is regarded as a "man of the people." Soon after being appointed, Welby annoyed senior politicians by speaking out against enormous salaries and bonuses paid to bankers. He has also condemned proposed cuts to the government's welfare program. While some observers see him trying to position the church as a kind of "unofficial opposition" to the center-right government led by Prime Minister David Cameron, Welby said he only seeks to "be clear about what Christian values are. Being political is necessary. Being party political is something you avoid."

UK Graphic Designer Refused Job Because of Christian Faith
A graphic designer in the United Kingdom is suing a hotel after claiming he was turned down for a job there because he is a Christian, WORLD News Service reports. Jamie Haxby said he felt "victimized and persecuted" when Celie Parker, manager of Prested Hall Hotel, "apologized for inviting him to the interview after discovering he was a committed Christian," according to the British newspaper The Daily Mail. Haxby said Parker told him his presence might upset atheists working in the hotel. The Daily Mail says this case "is unprecedented because Mr. Haxby apparently faced discrimination merely on the basis of his beliefs rather than his actions, such as wearing a cross." Haxby said his portfolio contained designs for flyers he had done for his church, as well as a T-shirt for a Christian charity. Until then, he said, "everything was going well, and I felt happy with how the interview was progressing. Celie made several comments about the high standard of my work and how talented I was."

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Happy Thursday

Dispelling The Darkness!

"Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house." - Matthew 5:15

In today's passage about the tabernacle, we read that the lamps were to burn continually.  They were to be tended and supplied with oil so their light would never go out. Throughout the Bible, lamps are used to picture our lives as believers.

Jesus said, "Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16). Where does a lamp do the most good? Outside at high noon or in a dark place where there is no other source of illumination?  Yet how many times we complain when God puts us in a situation where we are about the only source of light.

I have to smile when I think of a young Marine named Tony, who is having a profoundly positive effect on the men around him.  His life is a light in a dark place.  When Tony first made his faith in Christ known, a lot of his fellow Marines laughed at him.  But Tony didn't react.  He continued to live for Christ, doing his job with everything he had.  He was promoted to the rank of sergeant at the age of twenty, an almost unheard of thing in the Marines.

We may work in an office with people who have no regard for God.  Life in a college dorm or a military barracks can seem like a black hole.  But that's where a lamp is needed most.  A lamp doesn't have to make noise, have a fancy exterior, or call attention to itself.  It just has to provide illumination in the deep shadows of life.

"Lord, let the contrast of my light against the darkness around me cause people to ask about its source.  Amen. "

The darker the area around me, the brighter my light will shine.

Just A Closer Walk With Thee
I am weak, but Thou art strong;
Jesus, keep me from all wrong;
I’ll be satisfied as long
As I walk, let me walk close to Thee.


     Just a closer walk with Thee,
     Grant it, Jesus, is my plea,
     Daily walking close to Thee,
     Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.

Through this world of toil and snares,
If I falter, Lord, who cares?
Who with me my burden shares?
None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee.


When my feeble life is o’er,
Time for me will be no more;
Guide me gently, safely o’er
To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore.


Daily Smile:
A man's car stalled on a country road one morning. When the man got out to fix it, a cow came along and stopped beside him. "Your trouble is probably in the carburetor," said the cow.

Startled, the man jumped back and ran down the road until he met a farmer. The amazed man told the farmer his story.

"Was it a large red cow with a brown spot over the right eye?" asked the farmer. "Yes, yes," the man replied.

"Oh! I wouldn't listen to Bessie," said the farmer. "She doesn't know a thing about cars."

In The News:

Kansas House Overwhelmingly Passes Bill Declaring Life Begins at Fertilization
Members of the Kansas House of Representatives have overwhelmingly passed a sweeping abortion bill that, among other regulations, declares life begins at fertilization, the Christian News Network reports. The bill declares: "The legislature hereby finds and declares the following: (1) The life of each unborn human being begins at fertilization; (2) unborn children have interests in life, health and well-being that should be protected; and (3) the parents of unborn children have protectable interests in the life, health and well-being of the unborn children of such parents." HR 2253, which passed the House 92 to 31, also restrains the abortion industry in a number of ways, including prohibiting abortionists from receiving tax breaks, barring doctors in training at the state medical school from performing abortions on state time, requiring that all abortionists notify women of the risks associated with abortion, and prohibiting organizations that perform abortions from teaching in state sexual education classes. The bill will make its way through the state Senate in the near future, and is expected to pass. If it passes the Senate, it will move to the desk of Gov. Sam Brownback for signing. Brownback, a Roman Catholic, has remarked in the past that he would sign any pro-life bill into law that made it to his desk.

Belgium Legislature Considers Euthanasia for Minors
Belgian lawmakers are considering whether to expand legalized euthanasia to include children 18 years of age or younger, Baptist Press reports. Euthanasia is already being practiced on minors, an expert told legislators. "We all know it," and physicians "need a legal framework," said Dominique Biarent, who oversees the intensive care unit at Queen Fabiola Children's University Hospital in Brussels. Pro-life blogger Wesley Smith criticized Biarent's call for legal guidelines. "Euthanasia guidelines are worse than meaningless, they are pretense," Smith wrote. "They exist to give the illusion of control. But once people come [to] fully accept the premise of euthanasia -- killing as a remedy for suffering -- it's Katy bar the door." Belgium became the second country to legalize euthanasia in 2002; The Netherlands preceded it.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Happy Wednesday

Why Don’t You Ask Me?
Devotions taken from the messages of Adrian Rogers.
“I am a stranger in the earth: hide not Thy commandments from me.” Psalm 119:18-19

One man loved to study the Bible, but every time he came to something he couldn't understand, he thought of his friend Charlie. Charlie was a great student of the Bible. The man would go to him and say, "Charlie what does this verse mean?" Or, “Charlie, tell me about this." One day in his Bible study, the Holy Spirit said to him, "Why don't you ask Me? I'm the One Who taught Charlie!"

I thank God for Bible students and Bible scholars and people who can teach, but the same God Who teaches them is the God Who wants to teach you. As you study the Bible, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in His truth.

The Word of God will be dynamite in your life. But to vitalize it, you need to verbalize it. Start speaking the Word of God. Speak it clearly, speak it courageously. You'll discover as you verbalize God's Word, as you share God's Word, as you quote God's Word, as you sing God's Word, as what is in your heart finds its way to your lips, it will mold your mind in a way you never knew before. It will become vital in your heart and in your life.

Footprints Of JESUS
Footprints of Jesus leading the way,
Footprints of Jesus by night and by day,
Sure if I follow, my life would be sweet,
Saved by the prints, saved by the prints of his wounded feet.

They led to Bethany, that’s where He stayed,
Then to Gethsemane, that’s where he prayed,
They led to Calvary, salvation complete,
Saved by the prints, saved by the prints of his wounded feet.

Footprints of Jesus leading the way,
Footprints of Jesus by night and by day,
Sure if I follow, my life would be sweet,
Saved by the prints, saved by the prints of his wounded feet.

Once I was lost, and he heard my cry,
He left his Father’s mansion on high,
He took my burden, and now I can sing,
“Glory to God, Glory to God, I’m a child of the king.”

Footprints of Jesus leading the way,
Footprints of Jesus by night and by day,
Sure if I follow, my life would be sweet,
Saved by the prints, saved by the prints of his wounded feet.

Daily Smile:
An acquaintance of mine who is a physician told this story about her then-four-year-old daughter. On the way to preschool, the doctor had left her stethoscope on the car seat, and her little girl picked it up and began playing with it. Be still, my heart, thought my friend, gee, my daughter wants to follow in my footsteps and be a doctor! 

Then the child spoke into the instrument: "Welcome to McDonald's. May I take your order?

In The News:

Nigeria: At Least 20 Killed in Suicide Bombing in Christian Neighborhood
At least 20 people have been killed by a series of bombings targeting buses in a predominantly Christian neighborhood in Nigeria's northern city of Kano, International Christian Concern reports. The official death toll is expected to rise as security officials continue to examine the scene of Monday's attack. Officials suspect the series of explosions were likely initiated by suicide bombers, though investigators are still collecting evidence to confirm that theory. Because the attacks took place in a Christian area of Kano, most officials suspect Christians were the target of the attack. The Islamic extremist group Boko Haram is suspected to be behind the bombings, but the group has yet to take responsibility. Since 2009, Boko Haram has been engaged in an armed insurgency in Nigeria's northern states, attempting to carve out a separate Islamic state where it can institute sharia law. As part of its bloody campaign to drive all Christians out of Nigeria's northern states, Boko Haram has targeted the Christian minority there by perpetrating suicide bombings at churches and killing Christians in their homes. 

Nearly Half of All First Births in America Out of Wedlock, Study Finds
The age at which men and women in America marry is now at historic heights, and as a result the number of children born out of wedlock has also increased, according to a new study by a group of family researchers, who have found that 48 percent of all first births are happening outside of marriage, the Christian Post reports. On average, women are marrying at age 27 and men at 29 -- and the average age is still climbing due to economic and cultural reasons. At the same time, the age at which women have children is also increasing, but not nearly as quickly, according to the report released last week by the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia and collaborators. For women as a whole, the median age of first birth, 25.7, now falls before the median age of first marriage, 26.5. The report called the phenomenon "The Great Crossover." By age 25, 44 percent of women have given birth, while only 38 percent have married. "The biggest downside to delayed marriage in America is that many young adults are now putting the baby carriage before marriage," said co-author and National Marriage Project director Bradford Wilcox. "What they often don't realize is that children born outside of marriage are significantly more likely to be exposed to a revolving cast of caretakers and the social, emotional and financial fallout associated with family instability and single parenthood."

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Happy Tuesday

Present Fear or Present Faith

     Those who trust in the Lord are like mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people both now and forevermore. - Psalm 125:1-2

There's something interesting about fear.  While you'd think it would diminish with age and maturity, it seems to grow bigger. Maybe it's because we're more aware of all the things that could happen.

Take the young guy careening around the streets in his automobile.  He doesn't have a fear in the world.  Before I get in the car, I make sure I've got the insurance paid up, I fasten my seat belt, and I take a lot of time and trouble to make sure everything is okay.

Today's Scripture passage begins with David under the control of unwarranted fear.  I can hear you saying, Unwarranted? Wasn't King Saul out to slay him?  Yes.  Wasn't Saul's army much greater in number than the men around David?  Yes.  Did not Saul's jealousy and anger burn night and day against David?  Yes.

Here's why I say his fear was unwarranted:  Didn't God choose David to be king, and didn't Samuel, under the direction of God, anoint him to be king?  Of course he did. And that fact gives clear assurance that David would be preserved until the time came for him to ascend the throne. He had no reason to trust Saul, but he certainly could trust the Lord.  His fear stemmed from his weakened faith.

David didn't consult the Lord, he consulted his own heart, which in this instance led him astray.  Young David faced Goliath with a slingshot, while Saul and the rest of the army cringed in fear.  Now David had fallen victim to the same kind of dread.

Past faith is no answer to present fearIf we are to finish the race and end well, we can't trust our feelings, we must trust the word of the Lord.

"Lord, renew my faith in Your presence in my life today. Amen. "...

When fear overtakes us, we can rest in the assurance that God has promised to be with us always -- and He never breaks a promise.

Blessed Assurance

1. Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! 
 O what a foretaste of glory divine! 
 Heir of salvation, purchase of God, 
 born of his Spirit, washed in his blood. 
 This is my story, this is my song, 
 praising my Savior all the day long; 
 this is my story, this is my song, 
 praising my Savior all the day long. 

2. Perfect submission, perfect delight, 
 visions of rapture now burst on my sight; 
 angels descending bring from above 
 echoes of mercy, whispers of love. 

3. Perfect submission, all is at rest; 
 I in my Savior am happy and blest, 
 watching and waiting, looking above, 
 filled with his goodness, lost in his love. 

Daily Smile:
Q:What do you call it when one bull spies on another bull?

A: A steak-out!

In The News:

Assistant Admits to Killing 10 Babies With Scissors During Trial for 'House of Horrors' Abortionist
As the trial for notorious Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell proceeded this week, one of Gosnell's employees testified that she had personally been involved in the murders of 10 newborn babies, the Christian News Network reports. Adrienne Moton told the court the babies who were born alive had their spines "snipped" with scissors. "I learned it from Dr. Gosnell," she said when asked by prosecutors where she came up with the idea. "I never asked why. ... I could remember a good 10 times that I did it." Moton has been incarcerated since 2011, and has pled guilty to third-degree murder, along with other charges, for her participation in Gosnell's late-term abortion operation. She is the first of at least two employees who are set to testify against the abortionist in the trial. Gosnell, 72, faces seven counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of babies who were born alive but had their spinal cords "snipped"; he also faces one count of third-degree murder for the death of an abortion client who was administered a lethal amount of medication, in addition to approximately 20 other charges. Gosnell was taken into custody in 2011 following an investigation into his practice, called the Women's Medical Society. Philadelphia district attorney Seth Williams, who initially leveled the charges against Gosnell, described the clinic as a "House of Horrors." In addition to several babies found with their spinal cords severed, investigators "found jar after jar after jar of fetal remains and specifically severed feet in jars" and "medical waste bags just strewn everywhere," according to Williams. Gosnell, if convicted, could face the death penalty for his crimes.

White House on Clinton's Same-Sex Marriage Support: 'It's a Good Thing'
The White House has responded to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's recent support for same-sex marriage, calling it "a good thing," the Christian Post reports. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Monday that although he has not heard an official statement from President Barack Obama regarding Clinton's recent announcement, he can say that the president supports Clinton's decision. "The president believes that any time a public official of stature steps forward to embrace a commitment that he shares to equality for LGBT Americans, he thinks it's a good thing," Carney said. "I know that's what he feels in general when major figures in our society make their views known. It's testimony to how far this country and how quickly this country has traveled."

Monday, March 25, 2013

Happy Monday

Nothing But God!

[I show] love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. - Exodus 20:6

Have you ever been disappointed by the actions of people you love and depend on, and for whom you have the highest hopes and expectations?  It hurts ... when a friend whispers about you or a "friend"  lies about you ... or a spouse breaks a promise ... or  fellow Christian(s) come against you unjustly and without cause... and vent hatred towards you!

But consider the life of David. Today's passage is filled with his disappointments from family, associates, and friends. God told David He would punish him for his sin in the matter of Uriah by raising up evil against him out of his own household.

Immorality and murder were David's sins and, although forgiven, those sins occurred among his children years later when Amnon defiled his sister Tamar and Absalom murdered Amnon in revenge.

These were the beginnings of David's punishment at the hand of God.  And I'm sure he suffered deeply from the thought that his own bad example had brought his children to this wickedness.  But in the midst of it all, David learned there was one who would never fail him -- his God.

Listen to David's words: "My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken... My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge" (Psalm 62:1-2,7-8).

Christian, have you learned that lesson? What are your disappointments today? They hurt, I know, but now is the time to follow David's example. Respond to God with thanksgiving and joy!   Remember, God is the final judge, and judge He will ... He will also punish those who break His laws and Covenants.... those who disobey His Word, the Bible!  He will make your enemies your "footstool"...

NO EVIL ACT escapes the wrath of our Righteous God!

"Lord, I often rely on people, things, and systems that are unreliable. Today I renew my total dependence on You... I TRUST in YOU and YOU alone! Amen. "

Your worst circumstances may be God's best opportunity to bring new meaning to your life. 

Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty

1.     Holy, holy, holy!  Lord God Almighty!
 Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.
 Holy, holy, holy!  Merciful and mighty,
 God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

2. Holy, holy, holy!  All the saints adore thee,
 casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
 cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
 which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.

3. Holy, holy, holy!  Though the darkness hide thee,
 though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see,
 only thou art holy; there is none beside thee,
 perfect in power, in love and purity.

4. Holy, holy, holy!  Lord God Almighty!
 All thy works shall praise thy name, in earth and sky and sea.
 Holy, holy, holy!  Merciful and mighty,
 God in three persons, blessed Trinity.

Daily Smile:
A man lying on his deathbed called to him, his lawyer, his doctor, and his pastor. "I am going to die tonight," and I want to prove that when you go to heaven you can take it all with you. So to my three most trusted friends, you three of course, I am leaving 50,000 dollars in these envelopes. When I die you must come to my funeral and put the envelopes in my coffin with me." The man handed the three men identical envelopes.
A day later they each received news that, that night the old man had died . So each knew they must go to his funeral and fulfill his death wish.

Standing over the coffin one week later the pastor confessed, " I can't hide what I've done. I took 10,000 dollars from the envelope because the church needed to be painted."

Then as he did so the doctor also started to fidget then finally confessed “I took 30,000 dollars from my envelope because the hospital needed a new wing."

Then the lawyer said plainly “You bunch of crooks! I wrote him a check for the full amount!"

In The News:

Pastor Saeed, Family Allowed Visit as World Pressure Mounts
After a public hearing and a petition with more than half a million names, pressure is mounting on Iran to release an American pastor sentenced to eight years in one of the country's most notorious prisons, CBN News reports. According to the American Center for Law and Justice, Pastor Saeed Abedini met with his family in Iran for an extended two-hour visitation Monday. The visit was allowed in commemoration of Nowruz, the Persian New Year. After the visitation, more information about Abedini's medical condition has come to light. The ACLJ -- which represents Abedini, his wife and their two children -- says he has been examined for internal bleeding and will be taken to a hospital to receive medical care. "With his medical condition worsening each day, such medical attention is needed immediately," the ACLJ said.

China: 336 Million Abortions in Barely Four Decades
China has aborted 336 million unborn children, many of them forcibly, during slightly more than four decades, the government has announced. The staggering number of abortions should prompt mourning for the victims, but it should not be shocking, said pro-life observers of China's policy, because the Communist government has enforced a coercive "one-child" policy for more than 30 years. On March 14, the Chinese Health Ministry reported the following statistics for its family planning practices since 1971, according to the Financial Times: 336 million abortions performed, 196 sterilizations conducted and 403 million intrauterine devices inserted. China, the world's most populous country, first instituted limits on population growth in 1971 and established its "one-child" population control program in 1979. The policy has resulted not only in many reports of authorities carrying out forced abortions and sterilizations, but also in accounts of infanticide. The 336 million abortions surpass the current U.S. population of about 315 million, and also dwarfs the number of abortions -- 55 million -- reported in the U.S. during the last 40 years.