This is a statement that was read over the PA system at the football game at Roane County High School, Kingston, Tennessee by school Principal Jody McLoud, on September 1, 2000. I thought it was worth
sharing with the world, and hope you will forward it to all your friends. It clearly shows just how far this country has gone in the wrong direction.
"It has always been the custom at Roane County High School football games to say a prayer and play the National Anthem to honor God and Country. Due to a recent ruling by the Supreme Court, I am told that saying a Prayer is a violation of Federal Case Law.
As I understand the law at this time, I can use this public facility to approve of sexual perversion and call it an alternate lifestyle, and if someone is offended, that's OK. I can use it to condone sexual promiscuity by dispensing condoms and calling it safe sex. If someone is offended, that's OK. I can even use this public facility to present the merits of killing an unborn baby as a viable means of birth control. If someone
is offended, no problem. I can designate a school day as Earth day and involve students in activities to religiously worship and praise the goddess, mother earth, and call it ecology. I can use literature, videos and presentations in the classroom that depict people with strong, traditional Christian convictions as simple minded and ignorant and call it enlightenment.
However, if anyone uses this facility to honor God and ask Him to bless this event with safety and good sportsmanship, Federal Case Law is violated.
This appears to be inconsistent at best, and at worst diabolical. Apparently, we are to be tolerant of everything and anyone except God and His Commandments.
Nevertheless, as a school principal, I frequently ask staff and students to abide by rules with which they do not necessarily agree. For me to do otherwise would be inconsistent at best, and at worst, hypocritical. I suffer from that affliction enough unintentionally. I certainly do not need to add an intentional transgression. For this reason, I shall"Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's," and refrain from praying at this time.
However, if you feel inspired to honor, praise and thank God, and ask Him in the name of Jesus to bless this event, please feel free to do so. As far as I know, that's not against the law----yet."
One by one, the people in the stands bowed their heads, held hands with one another, and began to pray. They prayed in the stands. They prayed in the team huddles. They prayed at the concession stand. And
they prayed in the announcer's box. The only place they didn't pray was in the Supreme Court of the United States of America - the seat of "justice" in the one nation under God.
Somehow, Kingston, Tennessee remembered what so many have forgotten...We are given the Freedom OF Religion, not the Freedom FROM Religion.
UNDERSTANDING MY PAIN"
If I ignore my pain / problems, they will go away. In the song, When I'm Back on My Feet Again, Michael Bolton sings,
Soon these tears will all be dry, soon these eyes will see the sun. Won't be long, won't be long, till I see it when I'm back on my feet again.
You know how it is. You're down, and you can't get back up again -- through illness or injury, psychological scars, injustice -- or perhaps just a really bad headache. Australia is a pain conscious nation: think of how many television advertisements you've seen promoting pain relief.
Pain is a natural part of life, but we respond to pain in various ways. Probably the most common myth about pain is this: "If I ignore my pain, it will go away." That's a destructive myth; it's like saying, "If I ignore my problems, they'll go away." Don't gloss over your pain. Don't ignore it.
According to eminent psychiatrist M. Scott Peck, "Fearing pain, almost all of us to a greater or lesser degree attempt to avoid problems. We procrastinate, hoping they will go away. We ignore them and pretend they don't exist. We attempt to get out of them rather than suffer through them. This tendency to avoid problems, and the emotional pain inherent, is the primary basis of human mental illness."
God doesn't want you to ignore your pain -- he wants you to discover the cause. Pain is like a warning light in the cockpit of an aircraft: it tells you there's something wrong that needs to be fixed. The truth is that God uses pain for good in my life. It's much easier to understand and handle my pain when I know it has a purpose.
We're looking tonight at five ways God uses pain in our lives. First, God uses pain to goad me (to motivate me, to spur me into action). I don't like going to the dentist; I'll only go to the dentist when the pain from my toothache is greater than my fear of the dentist's drill. "Blows and wounds cleanse away evil, and beatings purge the inmost being" (Proverbs 20:30).
In Luke 15 Jesus tells the story of 'the lost son' who takes his inheritance money and travels to a distant country, where he "wasted everything he had . . . he began to hurt . . . That brought him to his senses. He said, ' . . . here I am starving to death. I'm going back to my father" (Lk 15:14-18, ).
His hunger pangs motivated his return to his dad, and prompted his plea for forgiveness and reconciliation. It often takes something serious erupting in our lives before we make the changes we need to make. We rarely change if there's no pain in our lives.
The second way God uses pain is to guide me. Have you ever ridden a horse, and learned how to turn the horse with a gentle pull on the reins? I started learning horse-riding in primary school, until my teachers realized that putting me in close proximity to a horse led to a serious allergic reaction -- and that was the end of horse-riding for me!
But I do know that a horse responds to its rider because of the bit in its mouth. In Psalm 119, the composer recalls some past pain and suffering, and confesses: "it was the best thing that could have happened to me, for it taught me to pay attention to your laws" (Psalm 119:71-72, LB). Sometimes God gets our attention through our pain.
In his book, The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis writes that "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, and shouts in our pain. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world." Our pain often highlights a need for change; it trains us to modify our attitudes and behavior. "Let God train you, for he is doing what any loving father does for his children. Whoever heard of a child who was never corrected?" (Hebrews 12:7, LB).
God uses pain to guide us, to correct us, to train us to do what is right. He doesn't like bringing pain into our lives, but sometimes he has to do it anyway, because he loves us. The greatest insights of life are sometimes found at the center of a painful experience.
Third, God uses pain to gauge me. He uses it as a measuring tool, gauging the level of my commitment, my maturity, my patience -- by how I react to pain. People are like teabags: you don't know what's in them until you drop them into hot water. You won't know what's in you until you've faced the test of pain. Are you really committed to God? Are you as mature, or patient, as you appear to others?
In the Bible, pain is portrayed as a refining fire, burning off our impurities. If you're in pain this week, for any reason, what are you allowing it to burn off in your life? "I have tested you in the face of affliction," says the Lord (Isaiah 48:10).
Perhaps God is testing you, gauging you, in preparation for service or ministry. What is he burning off in your life? Materialism? Pride? Impatience? Selfishness? Those who endure strong pain are often the most selfless of people. We can't easily maintain a smooth image when we're in pain; we reveal our character strengths and weaknesses by how we respond to pain.
When the pain is on, will your integrity and commitment remain? "Tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith life is forced into the open and shows its true colors" (James 1:2-3, TM).
The people of Israel could have walked from Egypt to the promised land in just a few weeks, yet it took them about 40 years! Why? God was gauging his people: "God led you through the wilderness for forty years, humbling and testing you to find out how you would respond, and whether or not you would really obey him" (Deuteronomy 8:2, LB).
In the desert things dry up. In the desert of your life, things dry up too: relationships, emotions, finances, business opportunities, your health, your spirituality. God may be putting you to a test. He may be goading you, or guiding you, or gauging you.
Or he may be protecting you. God uses pain to guard me -- to protect me from worse circumstances or environments, keeping me away from dangerous people and places. If my body temperature suddenly rises and I get a fever, it indicates that I have an infection, and I do everything I can to reduce the fever and get well again.
Sometimes a minor pain indicates a major health problem. I occasionally have sudden chest pains, but then they're gone. What if that's my body saying, "Slow down, eat less fatty foods, exercise more!" If I don't listen to my body, I could develop a life-threatening illness.
In the Arabic world, when a lamb is prone to wander from the flock, the shepherd does something to protect it from wild animals or falling off a cliff. He breaks one of its legs, and puts the fractured limb in a splint. The lamb hobbles along, thinking to itself, "I can't get away, I can't get away!" And the shepherd says, "Right, you can't get away." He's a good shepherd.
God sometimes puts your life in a splint to keep you wandering too far from the flock, into danger. You may resent it, and you may resist it, but it's there because God loves you, you're in his care, and he's guarding you.
Finally, God uses pain to grow me -- to make me mature. Pain, like nothing else, promotes growth, maturity, wisdom. "When the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow, and don't try to squirm out of your problems . . . then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete" (James 1:4, LB). Strength of character emerges through the crucible of pain, as God refines us. Pain is the high cost of growth.
I went snow skiing in 1990 with some young people from Ipswich Baptist Church, and on the slopes we'd remind one another, as our muscles seemed to be burning up, "No pain, no gain." It's the same in life. We all want success and rewards, but without the pain. You won't get there without it.
The very thing that discourages you the most, God uses to grow you. Paul says it like this: "(This situation occurred) . . . so we might learn to trust, not in ourselves, but in God" (1 Corinthians 1:9). Later, he says to those same people, "Now I am glad . . . not because it hurt you but because the pain turned you to God" (2 Corinthians 7:9, LB).
How is God using the pain in your life? To goad you? To guide you? To gauge you? To guard you? Or to grow you? Whatever it is, you can be sure that there's a reason for it, and God is able to turn it to blessing.
My name is Old Glory. I fly atop the world's tallest buildings. I stand watch in America's halls of justice. I fly majestically over institutions of learning. I stand guard with power in the world. Look up at me and see me.
I stand for peace, honor, truth and justice. I stand for freedom. I am confident. I am arrogant. I am proud. When I am flown with my fellow banners, my head is a little higher, my colors a little truer. I bow to no one!
I am recognized all over the world. I am worshipped - I am saluted. I am loved and I am revered. I am respected -- and I am feared. I was flown at Valley Forge, Gettysburg, Shiloh and Appomattox. I was there at San Juan Hill, the trenches of France, in the Argonne Forest, Anzio, Rome and the beaches of Normandy, Guam, Okinawa, Korea and KheSan, Saigon, Vietnam!
Know me, I was there. I led my troops, I was dirty, battleworn and tired, but my soldiers cheered me and I was proud.
I have been soiled
upon, burned, torn and trampled on the streets of countries I have helped set free. It does not hurt, for I am invincible. I have been soiled upon, burned,
torn and trampled on the streets of my country.
And when it's by those whom I've served in battle -- it hurts.
But I shall overcome, for I am strong.
I have slipped the bonds of Earth and stood watch over the uncharted frontiers of space from my vantage point on the moon. I have borne silent witness to all of America's finest hours. But my finest hours are yet to come.
When I am torn into strips and used as bandages for my wounded comrades on the battlefield, When I am flown at half-mast to honor my soldier, Or when I lie in the trembling arms of a grieving parent at the grave of their fallen son or daughter, I am proud. MY NAME IS OLD GLORY, LONG MAY I WAVE. DE
Rap For The Lord
A man went away but left his servants some money "Talents" they're called, though that may seem funny The master gave to each as he thought best Not for themselves but for them to invest To those who have proven to have ability He gave more money and responsibility
To one he gave five, to another two
And another just one (what did he give you)? He went on his journey and then he returned And met with his servants to see what he earned The one he gave five had made five more
"Good work faithful servant," he said as he swore To put him in charge of many things
And see what rewards his happiness brings The man who had two also gain two
"Good! I'll give the same to you"
But the man who was given only but one
When asked what he earned, his profit was none. But then he began to make an excuse
"You take what you did not produce
So I was afraid and hid in the ground
That talent you gave." He said so profound The master replied, "You're wicked and lazy. I'm not stealing from you, are you crazy You don't want to work? Then put it in a bank. You could have earned interest, if I may be so frank Take the talent from this man and give it to the other The man who has ten talents and not to his brother For everyone who has, more will be given. As for this man, he will not be forgiven Throw him outside where it's dark as night Let him weep and gnash teeth and have no sight. It will be good for that servant whom the Lord puts in charge Of his fellow servants. His reward will be large If he carries out his duties a reward he will earn When the master finds him doing so after his return He will give him charge of all his possessions. But concerning his return, suppose the servant questions "My master is taking a long time to come", And beats some servants and abuses them
He becomes legalistic or perhaps even lawless His performance is to say the least far from flawless The master of that servant will come when he does not expect Even though that servant may think he's one of the elect He'll be cut in pieces and assigned a place With the unbelievers, rather than in God's grace If he does not act, though the master's will he knows He will then be beaten and that with many blows. But those who do not know, though behaving bad Will be beaten less than his fellow comrade From those given much, much will be demanded So act responsibly or else be reprimanded Be alert! Don't be numb!
For you don't know when the time will come It's like a man taking a trip
And giving his servants some stewardship And tells the one at the door
To keep watch. That is his chore.
In evening or midnight, be ready, he warns Or when the cock crows, when the day dawns Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping Which in the end will lead to you weeping And this I say to you and to all
Watch! Stay alert! Or else you may fall.
To Be a Friend means:
Listening and not judging
Giving good advice
Joking and laughing a lot
Treating one another with respect
Being there for one another
Having each other's back always
Sharing secrets Having fun together You are my good friend, so to you this sweet poem I send.
I want you to know how much I appreciate you, and all the wonderful things you do.
I couldn't ask for a better person, and together we have so much fun! I always talk to you about everything. A nice smile you always bring. In you I can truly confide.
In an argument, you'll always take my side. You must be an angel sent from up above. You're a super person that everyone loves. [Unable to display image]
The Living Victim
The sun rose another day
And they continued on their way
They would smile and say hello
As if they were happy to go
Look again I say into their eyes
Before you tell them casual good-byes
Can you see what is turning in their heart? To know their pain before they part
It has been true for many years
For those left behind, we should shed tears By violence a friend or loved one is taken And again many lives now have been shaken
So let's not forget just those who die now But recall sweet memories from gone days somehow We held, we touched, what now seems unreal I'll always remember, yes this I will
And yes if we look at that everyday face That always before we pass without trace So now let us pray for those things we share The living victim of a world so unfair
The Eagle Will Fly
I shall leave here one day I said
To walk into what lies ahead
But voices still linger on in my mind
Calling me onward to a place I shall find
I'll walk these halls with head held high Because I know the eagle will fly
Upon its' wings soaring onward each day
In the footsteps of others who walked this way
And as I leave to stand in my place
I'll remember the outline of each face
When as the years of my life pass by
Always in my heart the eagle will fly
To the One I Remember
It was so many years ago
I found a flower in full bloom
I thought of its' beauty rare
And how it would brighten up my room
But alas, was not to be
This flower that I had found
For in the days that lay ahead
In different directions we were bound
And as the years had passed along
I often wondered of this thing
Where was that flower I had found
Once again life to me bring
And now again I chance to see
That flower that was in full bloom
Just as lovely as ever before
And I hope to see again soon
"God well prevails"
1. WHY is the world the way it is? THE RECENT TERRORIST ATTACKS - How can I effectively PRAY?
Question of the Month (ChristianAnswers.Net)
2."Miracles are not possible," some claim. Is this true? Are Miracles
Possible? - ChristianAnswers.Net
3. Does God feel our pain? - ChristianAnswers.Net
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THE LORD REIGNS, LET THE EARTH BE GLAD
Hold America In Your Arms Of LoveCommentary on Revelation Chapter 18
there is Victory in Jesus"
Of The Lord With You
A BRIGHT LIGHT IN A DARK PLACE
Matthew 5:14 "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick and it giveth light to all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
A. THE WORLD IS A DARK PLACE
1. The world is dark and getting darker all the time.
2. When I first started in the ministry years ago I never dreamed we would have ever had such open sin in
America as we have today.
3. Nobody would have thought that there would ever be such liberty to blaspheme the name
of God and to live in licentiousness and lewdness as we have everywhere today.
4. Darkness is covering the world.
5. In many places morals are a thing of the past.
6. Men's consciences have been seared.
7. We have a generation of children who live in darkness that we as older people never knew in all of our life.
B. THE GOOD NEWS
1. The idea that the world is getting darker is not good news.
2. We are here to preach good news.
3. The good news is, the children of God are getting brighter.
4. Have you ever tried to shine a flashlight on a sunny day, it doesn't work.
5. But, the darker it gets, the better the flashlight works.
6. The darker it gets in the world, the brighter it's going to be upon the children of God.
Could I have an amen?
I. YOU ARE THE LIGHT
A. YOU ARE THE LIGHT
1. YOU are His witnesses.
2. YOU are to let your light shine.
3. Wherever you are if you belong to Jesus, YOU are the light of the world.
4. Don't try to keep the world from knowing that you belong to Jesus.
5. Shine for Jesus.
6. Let the world know there's hope.
7. The world has NO light but YOUR light.
8. The world has no hope for it's darkness except through Christians.
B. DON'T BE ASHAMED OF JESUS
1. Don't be ashamed of your witness.
2. Don't be ashamed to talk about Jesus.
3. You see when we come into a room there ought to be spiritual light.
4. There ought to be some revelation about God in our lives.
C. YOUR MAIN PURPOSE
1. Your main purpose in life is not to make money.
2. Your main purpose in life is not to climb the ladder of success.
3. Your main purpose for being on the earth is to be a light for Jesus.
D. SOON THIS LIFE WILL BE OVER
1. Only one life, twill soon be passed. Only what's done for Christ will last.
2. I'm looking forward to the day when there will be no more sighing, no more crying,and no more dying.
3. I'm looking forward to the day when we will all stand before
4. I want to hear him say, "Well done throught good and faithful servant!" Could I have an amen?
II. â€¦THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
A. YOU'RE THE LIGHT ON THE SUBJECT OF SICKNESS
1. We let the world know that it's not God's will for them to be sick.
2. We shine a light on the fact that Jesus bore their sicknesses.
3. We shine a light on the fact that Jesus carried their diseases.
4. We shine a light on the fact that they can be healed.
B. YOU'RE THE LIGHT ON THE SUBJECT OF SALVATION
1. We shine light on their only hope for eternal life.
2. We reveal that you don't get saved by works
3. We reveal that you don't get saved by being religious.
4. We shine a light on the new birth.
5. You must be born again to get into the kingdom of God. Could I have an amen?
C. YOU'RE THE LIGHT ON THE SUBJECT OF JESUS
1. Acts 1:8 says "You shall receive power after the Holy Ghost is come upon you and you shall be witnesses unto ME,"
2. Jesus said, when the Holy Ghost is come upon you, you shall be turned into witnesses.
3. It doesn't say you will GO and DO witnessing.
4. It says YOU will BE a witness.
5. You ARE witnesses!
6. Wherever you go, wherever you are, you ARE a witness!
7. You are to shine for Jesus all the time.
8. Not just when the church has a visitation program...
9. Not just when you feel like it...
10. You are to shine for Jesus all the time. You ARE a witness!
D. YOU'RE THE ONLY LIGHT THIS WORLD HAS
1. The only light this world will ever see is you.
2. You need to open your mouth.
3. You need to talk about Jesus.
4. You need to share what He has done for you. Could I have an amen?
III. â€¦GLORIFY THE FATHER
A. SOME GLORIFY THE WRONG THINGS
1. They glorify their denomination.
2. They glorify their choir.
3. They glorify their preacher.
4. They glorify their church.
5. But Jesus has anointed us to SHINE FOR HIM!
6. Can I have a good Amen!
7? Jesus is the only answer to the worlds needs.
8. Why should we shine for anyone or anything else?
B. TOO MUCH TALK ABOUT OTHER THINGS
1. Don't talk about the weather, talk about Jesus.
2. Don't talk about business, talk about Jesus.
3. Don't talk about your body, talk about Jesus.
4. Don't talk about your sickness, talk about Jesus.
5. Don't talk about your neighbor, talk about Jesus.
6. Don't talk about your preacher, talk about Jesus.
7. Don't talk about your politics, talk about Jesus.
8. We're here to talk about Jesus.
Could I have a good amen?
IV. GOD'S GRACE IS STILL AMAZING
A. IT AMAZES THOSE WHO DON'T KNOW HIM
1. Think of how amazed the drug addict will be when he finds out that he doesn't have to depend on drugs anymore.
2. Think of how amazed the alcoholic will be when he finds out that he doesn't have to live his life out of a bottle anymore.
3. Think about how amazed the distressed, depressed, and oppressed will be when they find out that they don't have to live that way anymore.
4. They will be amazed at God's amazing grace displayed in the form of His Son Jesus Christ.
B. IT AMAZES US WHO ALREADY KNOW HIM
1. Notice what John the Baptist said about Jesus in John 1:27.
2. He said, "I am not even worthy to take off His sandals,"
3. I'm telling you, if you really knew Jesus in all of His majesty and glory, you'd be amazed.
4. You would know that you're not worthy to even take off His shoes.
5. Yet, He so loved you that He gave His life.
6. He said no man takes My life from Me.
7. He said, "I lay it down of Myself. And I have power to take it up,"
8. We're not worthy to take His shoes off, but He loves us.
9. We're not worthy to take His shoes off, but He walks after us and calls us to be His own.
10. I'm here to tell you that Jesus loves you, even though you're not worthy to take the sandals off of His feet.
Could I have an amen?
C. IT WILL AMAZE US MORE WHEN WE SEE OURSELVES
1. We get the idea we're the big "I."
2. We're not worthy to take the sandals off of his feet, but we think we are.
3. King Saul became big in his own eyes.
4. Woe be to that person who gets so big in his own eyes.
5. When Saul fell, he had great opportunity to do something for God.
6. But, he fell and disobeyed God, and finally committed suicide.
7. Samuel said, Saul, when you were little in your own eyes God made you king over Israel.
8. Now, he's a big wheel.
9. If we get to be untouchable and we get to be a big wheel, we better watch out.
10. The Bible tells us that one of the biggest mistakes the children of Israel ever made was to
put a couple of big wheels on a board in an attempt to get the anointing back...
11. Well, it's not quite that simple, but when they tried to bring the ark of the covenant back
with man's program (a cart with two big wheels) rather than God's program (on the shoulders
of the Levites), it cost them.
12. We better keep this attitude, I'm not worthy to take the sandals off of my Savior's feet. Could I have an amen?
13. Don't think that you're too good to go into the darkness and take a witness to a dying world.
14. You're trying to shine your light in daylight here inside these church walls.
15. You're light will be so much brighter when you take your witness into a dark place and touch someone who is hurting.
C. WHAT DO YOU SAY ABOUT JESUS?
1. What do you say about Jesus when you go to work?
2. What do you say about Jesus when you go to your neighborhood?
3. What do you say about Jesus when you go home?
4. What do you say about Jesus?
How many of you believe this world is getting darker? Say amen. How many of you believe we're lights in the world? Say amen. How many of you will be a bright light in a dark place somewhere this week?
Thought for the Day
With The Eye's of Our Hearts
Proclaim the power of God, whose majesty is over Israel, whose power is in the skies. You are awesome, O. God, in your sanctuary; the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God! Psalm 68:34-35
My friend's youngest son has the ability to hold the attention of every person in a room. I'm not sure he realizes the capability he has. It just comes natural for him. A sippy cup protectively held in one hand and his most precious toy of the moment in the other, casually he waddles through the open door. Not a grand entrance or boisterous display of energy. It's what he does next that let's you know he is in the room.
It starts with a twinkle in his eye and then moves quickly to the awe of his heart. He sees something, anything in the room for the first time. Then you hear it. "WOW!!!!" The explosion pours forth from this little guy and all our heads turn. For just a moment we too glimpse for the first time at what he sees. His recent outdoor discovery of low-flying airplanes brings a new joy to many of us who live in close proximity to our local International Airport.
God is an awesome God! He works in our lives and in the lives around us. He gives power and strength to His children. Is He working in the life of someone you know? Take notice, keep the eyes of your heart open to see what God is doing.
Proclaim the power of God when you see a life that He is transforming. Remember my young friend? "Wow," let the person know that you see the Lord working in them. Your encouragement will help them. Finally tell God what you see and be excited about it. Thank Him for working in all our lives. Ask Him to continue His work. Ask Him also to let you continue seeing with the eyes of your heart.
Ten Things You Never Hear in Church
1. Hey! It's my turn to sit in the front pew.
2. I was so enthralled, I never noticed your sermon went 25 minutes over time.
3. Personally I find witnessing much more enjoyable than golf.
4. I've decided to give our church the $500 a month I used to send to TV evangelists.
5. I volunteer to be the permanent teacher for the Junior High Sunday School class.
6. Forget the denominational minimum salary, let's pay our pastor so he can live like we do.
7. I love it when we sing hymns I've never heard before!
8. Since we're all here, let's start the service early.
9. Pastor, we'd like to send you to this Bible seminar in the Bahamas.
10. Nothing inspires me and strengthens my commitment like our annual stewardship campaign!
1. "All About" - The
Bible Book of Revelation
2. God's final warning to man kind warning Revelation Speaks
3. Bible Garden Quiz
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Life - Beliefs AngelsChristianityToday.com - Chat & Bible StudiesEndeavor Ministries Join us for the Endeavor Ministries "Bible Study, Prayer, & Praise Meeting"! Meeting is held every Tuesday Evening @ 7:30pm Central Standard Time AOL members can simply click on the underlined link above to be instantly taken to the Discussion Room-Hope to see you there! (Bible Study, Prayer, & Praise Meeting Only Accessible To AOL Members)
We are living in a time of action! As we embrace the new millennium, America needs prayer now more than ever. God's promise is simple: If the Church will humbly seek His face, He will revive our nation.
(2 Chronicles 7:14)
Godly principles can reign in America once again, so join countless others and begin to Pray for Our Nation. It will enrich your prayer life as you intercede for our heritage and our future with prayers like:
For the economy
For the Supreme Court
For the educational system
For national protection
For the military
â€¦and many more!
A Scripture and an inspirational quote follow each of these dynamic prayers from a significant leader in US history that will motivate you to keep our nation in your daily prayers.
Our Founding Fathers believed devoutly that there was a God and that the inalienable rights of man were rootedâ€"not in the state, nor the legislature, nor in any other human powerâ€"but in God alone.
Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.
AOL News: American Heroes Prayers for Our Country, the United States
Father, in the name of the Lord Jesus, please direct our rescue workers in their labors, that survivors of disasters will be found in time. I pray that aid and support would arrive on every front.
May they come with the hope of not only finding the missing but also the means to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty and clothe the naked?
Help those in authority to make the right decisions. Show them ways to avoid and avert such tragedy in the future.
I pray that in the face of this tragedy, the gospel will be preached.
I pray that grieving families would be comforted. -Scripture References
We think it incumbent upon this people to humble themselves before God on account of their sins...[And] also to implore the Divine Blessing upon us, that by the assistance of His grace, we may be enabled to reform whatever is amiss among us, that so God may be pleased to continue to us the blessings we enjoy.
Protection From Terrorism
Dear Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray that the secret things will be revealed.
The spirit of man is more important than mere physical strength, and the spiritual fiber of a nation than its wealth.
I pray that the intentions of the wicked against our nation will be thwarted.
May knowledge of terrorist acts become known to those who provide our national and international security.
May they act swiftly to avert all danger?
Give our protectors the strength, courage and urgency to act in order to prevent terrorist acts against out nation, and give them the defenses to apprehend and punish all offenders.
God Bless American
Brothers And Sisters Gospel News Letter
May GOD bless all that viset this website!!!
FAITH OF A CHILD
The father, a well digger, strong was he, And as loving and kind as a father could be.
And Mary his daughter, five years old, Was very much dearer than millions of gold.
To Mary her father was big, grand and nice, So each had a treasure, beyond any price. One day to the well, little Mary was sent To take daddy's lunch, how gladly she went.
But when she looked down, not a thing could be seen. The well, like a pocket, was dark as could be. The father saw Mary and heard her voice, too, But made not a sound, just to see what she'd do. She dropped to her knees, the dear little soul, And called down, "Oh, Daddy, are you down this hole?"
"Why yes Mary darling, I'm here at your feet, Just drop my lunch for I'm ready to eat. Just let it go easy, I'll catch it alright." She did and she saw it fall out of sight.
"Why Mary," said father, "There's enough here for two, Now this is the thing I would like you to do. You jump down here to me and we'll eat it together, Down here in the cool and away from the weather."
"Oh, daddy, I'm afraid, I can't see you at all, Be sure now you catch me and don't let me fall." 'Twas just for a moment she wavered in doubt, Then closing her dear little eyes she jumped out. In the darkness, yes, that was the test, She trusted in faith in her father's request. And both were so happy he kissed her and smiled Because of the sweet trusting faith of his child.
"Oh, sweet little Mary, you put me to shame, How often my Father has called me the same, But because it was dark I turned back in doubt. Refusing the call, though his arms were stretched out."
"He gave His life to free us, and to make us His very own people, totally committed to doing what is right."
Father, each of us is an open book to You; even from a distance, You know what we are thinking. We are never out of Your sight. When we look back, we realize that You were there.
Lord, we repent of our sin and the sin of our nation. Be merciful unto us, O Lord. We ask Your forgiveness, and You are faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Unless Your law had been our delight, we would have perished in our affliction. We will never forget your precepts, for it is by them You have quicken us.
We are ready to halt and fall; our pain and sorrow are continually before us. For we do confess our guilt and iniquity; we are filled with sorrow for our sin.
We look to Jesus as our savior and Consolation and welcome His peace and completeness to our souls.
We are awaiting and looking for the blessed hope, even the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus..
In Jesus name we pray, amen.
1 Peter 1:18-19 (NLT)
"For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom He paid was not mere gold or silver. He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless,spotless Lamb of God."
Father, my household was chosen and foreknown by You Father, and consecrated=sanctified,made holy=by the Spirit to be obedient to Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and to be sprinkled with [His] blood. We receive grace=spiritual blessing= and peace in ever increasing abundance [that spiritual peace to be realized in and through Christ,freedom from fears,agitating passions and moral conflicts]
Lord,Your Son Jesus became our Passover by shedding His own precious blood. He is the Mediator= the Go-between,Agent= of a new covenant, and His sprinkled blood speaks of mercy. On the authority of Your Word, I proclaim that the blood of Jesus is our protection, as it is written,...when I see the blood,I will pass over you...
I declare and decree that I am drawing a blood-line around my children, and the evil one cannot cross it.
I know that none of the God-begotten make a practice of sin. The God-begotten are also the God-protected. The evil one can't lay a hand on my household. I know that we are held firm by You,Lord.
Father, thank You for Your divine protection. In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.
"With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands, and encourage those who have weak knees. Say to those who are afraid "Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to save you."
Father, You are my Refuge and my High Tower and my Stronghold in times of trouble. I lean on and confidently put my trust in You, for You have not forsaken me. I seek You on the authority of Your Word and the right of my necessity. I praise You, the Help of my countenance and my God.
Father, I thank You that I have been given a spirit of power and of love and of a calm and well-balanced mind. I have discipline and self-control. I have the mind of Christ and hold the thoughts, feelings and purposes of His heart. I have a fresh mental and spiritual attitude, for I am constantly renewed in the spirit of my mind with Your Word, Father.
Thank You, Father, in Jesus' name, that I am set free from every evil work. I praise You that the joy of the Lord is my strength and stronghold! Hallelujah!Amen.
"I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring, and My blessing on your descendants."
Father, You are God throughout all generations, and You are deeply concerned about the temptations and moral pressures young people face today. I lift to You the young in my church, in my family and neighborhood,and beyond.
Draw them to Christ, and to true freedom, through knowing and obeying Your Word. May they see You as good and desirable and loving; may they learn to love You with all their hearts and trust Your good plan for their future. Give them godly role models and strong convictions.
Give fathers and mothers great wisdom in bringing them up with loving discipline, Bible-centered instruction, and much prayer. And give children grace to love,respect, and obey their parents. May the parents be good examples in their walk with You and their love for each other. Work mightily to overcome problems in marriages and to keep the parents together. And give special grace and help to families with only one parent.
Protect students from being misled by peer pressure and by the world's ways of thinking and living.
And I pray for all who minister to children,students, and families. May Your Spirit deeply touch many lives through them.
In Jesus' name, amen.
Keep Looking Up
When times get tough as you know they do
look down at life from heaven's view
The things here on earth are only temporal
Fleeting moments towards things eternal.
Till the Lord tarries, we do our very best,
living God's Word through every trial and test.
Shining forth the light in a world of darkness,
making known God's love, grace and goodness.
The things of this world shall surely pass away.
A bright and new morn awaits us in that day,
when all who believe shall be gathered together,
to live in God's Kingdom forever and ever.
Free from a world of sorrow and sadness,
filled instead with overflowing joy and gladness.
A new song from our hearts we all shall sing
triumphantly rejoicing in God's eternal blessings.
The joy of our Hope will cause us to stand,
with patience we await God's glory at hand
So keep looking up for soon we shall see
the return of Christ a living reality.
Face to face we shall see our blessed Christ,
the one who for our sins paid the highest price.
He did all he did so you and I can be
with our heavenly Father for all eternity.
(This is long but worth looking at)
Hallowed or Harmful?
Hundreds of years before the birth of Christ, the Celts, inhabitants of Britain and Ireland, observed a festival on October 31st. Unlike modern-day Halloween, theirs was no children's holiday. The Celts and their priests, the Druids, celebrated Samhain, a festival that marked the eve of the Celtic New Year, which began on November 1. The fall harvest was complete and winter loomed ahead. The Celts believed the power of the sun was fading. For the next several months, darkness would prevail.
The Celts believed that during Samhain the veil separating the living from the dead was at its thinnest. They believed that on the evening of October 31, evil spirits and the souls of the dead passed through the barrier and entered the world of the living. Departed family members would revisit their earthly homes.
The thought was frightening -- and exciting! The Celts believed these spirits and dead souls could torment the living. Crops might be destroyed, babies stolen, farm animals killed. But this was also an opportunity to commune with the spirits and divine the future. The Devil, the lord of darkness, was ordinarily feared, but during Samhain, his power would be called on to foretell the future. TRICK OR TREAT The Druids were charged with appeasing the goblins and preventing harm to the people. Huge Samhain bonfires were lit to guide the way of the spirits. Various sacrifices -- including human -- were performed to assure a good year. Several ancient authors commented on the gory religious rites of the Druids.
It is believed that, like many pagan cultures around the world, the Celts left out food for the spirits, hoping that a "treat" would prevent an evil "trick."
Centuries later, descendants of the Celts continued to observe the Samhain festival by dressing as evil spirits. They roamed from house to house demanding food in exchange for the "spirits" leaving the home unharmed. They carved demon faces in hollowed-out turnips and lighted them with candles. That night they also practised many customs designed to divine the future. Young people roasted nuts in Samhain fires to see which would crack first and tell them who they would marry. The person who retrieved an apple with his mouth from a tub of water assured himself of a lucky year. Obviously some of these customs (like "apple-bobbing") have remained with us, strictly as amusement. ALL HALLOWS' EVE
When Christianity began to spread through Europe in the third and fourth centuries, the pagan temples were torn down. But pagan worship never completely disappeared. The festival of Samhain remained a primary pagan festival. Belief in spirits may have waned, but many of the old Samhain traditions continued to be practised especially by the children. Primarily in Ireland, children dressed as spirits went from house to house demanding a treat. If they received none, they performed an unwelcomed trick. They were play-acting the part of evil spirits that had to be appeased, just as in the old Samhain festival the people believe they really did have to appease spirits. In the 700s AD the Church decided to combat this festival by replacing it with a celebration of the Lord of life. Instead of honouring evil spirits and the souls of the dead, the church chose to recognise the saints or hallowed ones who had lived godly lives. The Church seemed to be saying, "All right, if you must have a day to celebrate the dead, then celebrate those who died [in] the Lord." So November 1 came to be called All Saints' Day, also called All Hallows' Day. The evening before was called All Hallows' Evening. From that we get the modern name of Halloween. But pagan customs continued. And with the growth of witchcraft in the Middle Ages, additional symbols became associated with Halloween - black cats, witches, bats, and skulls.
HALLOWEEN IN AMERICA
Irish immigrants in the mid-1800s brought to America the Halloween customs we're familiar with -- costumes, trick-or-treat, carved Jack-o-lanterns, etc. (The Jack-o-lantern is simply an American version of the hollowed-out turnip, mentioned earlier. The pumpkin did not grow in Ireland and Britain.) Unfortunately, they also brought "tricks" with them which often involved breaking windows and over-turning sheds and outhouses.
Even though the practice of actually performing a trick if no treat is given has faded, the custom of children going "trick-or-treating" has become an established American tradition. Only in recent years have parents hesitated to send their children into the streets because of the increased danger of accidents, poisoned food, and menacing strangers. Nonetheless, despite the dangers associated with trick-or-treating, Halloween is celebrated more than ever. In fact, the night is the second most popular party night of the year (after December 31) for "baby-boomer" adults. Many adults look at it as the one night of the year they can dress up and act foolish.
But while children and adults innocently imitate ancient Celtic customs, darker practices persist. Witches and Satanists still consider Halloween to be one of the strongest times during the year to cast a spell. On Halloween most witchcraft practitioners participate in a ritual called "drawing down the moon." In this the chief witch of the coven (group of witches) becomes, they believe, a channel for the moon goddess. During this ritual the participants, both male and female, are 'sky-clad" -- that is , naked. Stonehenge, the mysterious ancient stone formation in England, is often the site for bizarre gatherings of occultists, some of who believe they are modern-day Druids. (Many people believe that Stonehenge was a Druid religious site.) And evidence persists that some Satanist and voodoo groups offer sacrifices usually animals, but, possibly, human babies.
THE BIBLICAL RESPONSE TO HALLOWEEN
Witches and Satanists are, of course, a small minority. Few people who celebrate Halloween these days ever think about the darkness that underlies most Halloween practices.
A beaming child dressed in a black pointed hat and matching gown with a wart carefully drawn on her nose and a trick-or-treat bag held tightly in her hand is hardly thinking of death or the spirits of departed relatives. Nor should she be.
She's thinking of candy and fun. She's glowing because of her delight in her special costume. And she's anticipating the adventure of her house-to-house pilgrimage.
Merchants also look forward to October 31. The sale of candy, costumes, decorations, and party goods make Halloween one of the major retail seasons of the year.
Surely, no one can deny children or adults all the Halloween fun simply because of its unsavoury history. Can there really be anything wrong with this light-hearted revelry?
Does the Bible have anything to say about celebrating Halloween? In Corinth, meat that had been sacrificed to idols was sold in the market. People who bought it then ate it in honour of that particular pagan god. Speaking of his freedom to eat food that a pagan had dedicated to an idol, the apostle Paul said, "Everything is permissible" (I Corinthians 10:23). After all, he didn't believe the pagan gods really existed. If we apply Paul's statement to the celebration of Halloween, then one could argue that Christians can dress in ghostly costumes and practice the traditions that have been passed down from the ancient Celts. After all, the supernatural powers they tried to appease don't have power over those who belong to Christ.
The Bible says that Jesus destroyed the power of death when He went to the cross. By Jesus' death and resurrection, anyone who gives his or her life to Jesus doesn't need to fear evil. But Paul didn't stop with a statement of his freedom. He said, "'Everything is permissible' but not everything is beneficial."
It is in this light that Christians need to examine how to observe Halloween.
THREE REASONS TO EXAMINE HOW YOU CELEBRATE HALLOWEEN
1. What may not hurt you may hurt others. Paul said that it wouldn't harm a Christian to eat meat sacrificed to an idol. After all, the pagan gods that the meat had been sacrificed to weren't real gods. In the same light, he probably would say that Christians are not prohibited from dressing in costumes and going trick-or-treating or attending Halloween parties. After all, "We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one" (I Corinthians 8:4). But Paul went on to say that by doing what the believer was free in the Lord to do, the believer may be distressing another believer who doesn't realise he has this freedom. "Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak" (I Corinthians 8:9). The weak ones would be those who still had problems with the idea of eating the food sacrificed to idols. During Halloween, little children in particular are the weak ones. On TV, in movies, in school, and with their playmates, many children today are exposed to occult influences. We may be opening our children to these influences if we approve of these things in Halloween fun. We adults may be fully aware that we are only spoofing witches and ghosts, but the young many not be so sure.
If we have given our lives to Jesus Christ, then our eternal destiny is safe in the hands of Almighty God. But that's not true of most of the people around us. There is a valid reason for most people to fear a "lord of death" even if they don't take him seriously on Halloween. We who have found life in Jesus should be careful that our freedom doesn't keep others from finding that same eternal life.
2. Some permissible things may hinder your Christian growth. The Bible encourages us to "throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus" (Hebrews 12:1-2). This one night of the year, most eyes are not fixed on Jesus but on a darker image. The Christian's "race of faith" leads him to eternal life, to a joy that has no shadow. Should we really be focussing on the devil, witches and other dark beings, even for one night?
3. God says, "Don't imitate evil!"
"When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who...practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium, or spiritist or who consults the dead (Deuteronomy 18:9-11). If our children dress as witches and sorcerers, if we hang cardboard ghosts in our windows, if we entertain with tales of ghouls and haunted houses what are we doing but imitating that which is evil? We need to make it clear as Christians that witches and evil spirits are not funny and are not harmless, even if the people in witch costumes are only play-acting. WHAT ABOUT THE LORD OF LIFE?
Halloween's earliest origins reflect a fear of a lord of death that was common among ancient pagan cultures. However, despite man's advances in science and philosophy, death remains for many a troubling event that they cannot avoid. The Bible says that we have a spirit that, unlike our physical body, endures beyond the grave. However, the Bible also says our spirit is subject to death as well. But God offers us eternal life for our spirits. How do we get it?
First, we must understand that we all will be held accountable for the choices we make. If we choose to ignore God, we'll face eternal separation death from Him (Romans 6:23, Hebrews 9:27). Nothing we can do, no matter how good it may be, can make us good enough to have a relationship with God without Jesus Christ (Titus 3:5, Ephesians 2:8,9). But God sent Jesus -- our Lord of Life -- to be the bridge back to right standing with God. Christ's death on the cross paid the penalty that we faced for going our own way (Romans 5:8, I Peter 3:18). If you want to receive the eternal life God offers, you must invite Jesus into your life to be your Lord and Saviour (John 1:12, Revelation 3:20). Why not invite Jesus into your life right now? Pray this prayer: "Jesus, I ask you to come into my life. I want to turn from living my life under my own control. Come now and live your life in me. Cleanse me from my sins. I receive you as my Lord and my Saviour. I will live for you all the days of my life. Amen."
If you prayed this prayer from your heart, you can have absolute assurance that you have eternal life. Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life"