Friday Funnies

Lesson in Lying

A minister told his congregation, “Next week I plan to preach about the sin of lying. To help you understand my sermon, I want you all to read Mark 17.”

The following Sunday, as he prepared to deliver his sermon, the minister asked for a show of hands. He wanted to know how many had read Mark 17. Every hand went up. The minister smiled and said, “Mark has only sixteen chapters. I will now proceed with my sermon on the sin of lying.”

Sermon

A pastor, known for his lengthy sermons, noticed a man get up and leave during the middle of his message. The man returned just before the conclusion of the service. Afterwards the pastor asked the man where he had gone.

“I went to get a haircut,” was the reply.

“But,” said the pastor, “why didn’t you do that before the service?”

“Because,” the gentleman said, “I didn’t need one then.”

Stolen Goose

Confessor: I have stolen a fat goose from a poultry yard!
Priest: That is very wrong.
Confessor: Would you like to accept it, Father?
Priest: Certainly not- return it to the man whom you stole it from.
Confessor: But I have offered it to him and he won’t have it.
Priest: In that case you may keep it yourself.
Confessor: Thank you, Father.

The Priest arrived home to find one of his geese had been stolen…

Bible Study

What Are You Thinking Philippians 4:8

God cares about how we think. It is no mistake that we are created with cognitive faculties that allow us to learn, ponder, and assess things in ways that other creatures cannot. The Bible tells us to “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind and all thy strength” (Mark 12:30). Along these lines, Christians often talk about “thinking biblically” about the issues of life and culture that we often face.

The first thing we need to understand is that everyone has a worldview. I define a worldview as “a system and beliefs and values that help us understand and interact with the world around us”. How we think about various issues is directly linked to our particular worldview. A robust worldview answers some of the most fundamental questions of life, such as:
Identity: Who am I?
Purpose: What am I here for?
Community: How do I relate to others?
Truth: What defines reality?
Origin: Where do I come from?
Destination: Where am I going?
Morality: What is right and wrong?
Transcendence: Am I a part of something bigger than me?
Christianity answers these questions in Scripture. The Bible is the place Christians look to shape our worldview. Thus, when we talk about “thinking Biblically” we are referring to a process of developing a worldview that is shaped by Scripture that then interprets the world around us. As I stated earlier, a worldview is a collection of “beliefs and values”. Since the world we live in offers us differing ideas of what beliefs and values we should hold, some of those are going to “pass the test” of aligning with what Scripture teaches while others do not
A. Our verse says to “think” on these things. I want to look at that word “think. The mind is one of the marvels of creation and is to be differentiated from the brain. The mind is a function of the brain but the brain does so much more than just “think.” The brain:

  1. The brain is the “computer” that operates the motor functions of the body.
  2. The brain is the “computer” that processes the responses of nerve endings in the body.
  3. The brain is the “computer” that controls the involuntary work of the vital organs of the body.
  4. The brain is a marvel of God’s creation that is so much more that “gray matter.”
  5. The brain is also called the “mind” because it is there that the process of thinking occurs.

B. Mind – a thing framed or to mold into a form – thus the “MIND” is not just “gray matter” but is the capability to frame thoughts. The mind has the ability to reason with logic; to frame emotions and desires; to ponder upon something specific; to store in memory; to forget and recall; to imagine; to have curiosity; etc.

C. The “mind” has three basic functions:

  1. Thinking – by which we make sense of the world or of the things that we perceive. It constitutes judging, perceiving, analyzing, clarifying, determining, comparing, and understanding.
  2. Feeling – by which we understand “how we are doing.” It constitutes happiness, sadness, depression, anxiousness, stress, calmness, anger, worry, excitement, etc.
  3. Wanting – by which it motivates us to action. These actions constitute our goals, desires, purposes, agendas, values, and motives.

D. In the mind, our thinking, feeling, and wanting are interwoven.

  1. Where there is one, the other two are present as well. These three functions continually interact and influence one another in a dynamic process.
  2. Thinking, feeling, and wanting produce “doing.” Our doing is the product of these three things and are controlled by our “heart.”

E. Each of us have an intimate relationship to our minds because the processes of our minds dictate what we desire and do. Because we are made after the image of God, we find biblically that our minds and our hearts are also related.

  1. The “heart” of man is not our physical organ but, according to the Bible, it is “who we are.” It is often call the heart the “seat of our affection.”
  2. The “heart” of man is also made up of the “conscience.” The Conscience is an aptitude, faculty, intuition or judgment of the intellect that distinguishes right from wrong.
  3. To the world, the conscience is made up of circumstances and perceived values of an individual and, therefore, varies from person to person according to race, sex, surroundings, religion, place of birth, upbringing, etc. alone. No doubt these things affect the conscience but the Christian perspective goes beyond these things.
  4. To the Christian, the conscience also involves divine intervention as God places within man certain innate values.

Romans 2:14-15 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: (15) Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;

F. It should now be clear that everyone lives in a special and intimate relationship to his or her mind—both consciously and unconsciously.

  1. The mind and the heart are connected in thought but, at the same time, the mind can work independently from the heart as it can be attacked from the outside or devise wicked thoughts from the inside that we hate.

a) The mind can be subject to satanic attack. Ephesians 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
b) The mind can be subject to dreams and imaginations. Daniel 2:3 And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream.

  1. The heart never works independently from the mind. Our affections show forth in our thinking and desires.

a) We think in our hearts – Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

Matthew 9:4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?

b) Our of our hearts, we set forth who and what we are. Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. (What we are in our hearts is the real “me!”

G. Thoughts are bold and daring; they are both strong and persistent.

  1. Like armed men they force themselves into the mind. They come enticingly; they come insinuatingly; they come threateningly; they come in a thousand ways; they come singly; they come in droves; and they come unceasingly!
  2. Therefore, we now know the importance of controlling our minds. Our verse for tonight admonishes us to think “right” things and sets forth the possibility of thinking “wrong” things.

H. The lesson to be learned is simple:

  1. We Must Protect Our Minds – 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (4) (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) (5) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
  2. We Must Program Our Minds – Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (2) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
  3. We Must Prioritize Our Minds – Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Thinking biblically means identifying the beliefs and values that are being promoted by the world and assessing wether or not they conform to God’s will as revealed in the Bible. If they do, we accept them. If they don’t, we reject them. This is a crucial part of growing as a disciple of Christ and maturing as a Christian believer.

Wade’s Wednesday

Flag Day

American flags are given so much respect because citizens of the United States equate the flag with the country they love. A Flag is a country’s way of portraying itself to the rest of the world. To disrespect the flag is to disrespect the country it represents. The flag of the United States represents freedom. It has been an enduring symbol of the country’s ideals since its early days.

Old Glory, what we know fondly as the “Stars and Stripes,” has always been like a faithful friend, decked out in full glorious parade dress uniform! This friend has guided and comforted countless numbers of our comrades through the best and the worst of times. No doubt each of us can recall an example of our friend being present which might evoke strong emotions in each of us—perhaps in a parade, at a funeral for a loved one, on the battlefield, on the tail of a plane, or over an embassy in a foreign land.

Flag Day is a celebration . . that occurs each year on the anniversary of the flag’s official adoption, (by the Continental Congress . . on June 14, 1777), in the midst of the Revolutionary War. It is a time when Americans reflect on the foundations of the nation’s freedom.

So, on June 14, Flag Day, hoist Old Glory up, salute, and give our good friend, the American Flag, the respect and recognition he deserves.

States use their flags to show a unique trait that distinguishes them from other states. Just like the state quarters from a few years ago, each state has something different and characteristic about it and residents of each state are very proud of what their home adds to America as a whole.

Tuesday With Karen

by Karen Icenhour

God Isn’t In The Grave

God isn’t in the grave, He’s still very much alive,
Watching over us daily, morning, noon, & night;
Even if we have concerns, worries, or doubts,
God knows exactly how all things will turn out!

God isn’t in the grave, He still draws men to Himself,
Providing salvation, redeeming the soul from Hell;
The world wants Him erased, removed, & severed,
But His comfort, love, & grace will last forever!

God isn’t in the grave, He still hears when we pray,
Even if words don’t come, He hears what we say;
When we need a touch from heartache & pain,
All we need to do is call on His holy name!

God isn’t in the grave, neither will He ever be,
He is caring for us daily, meeting every need;
He’s alive & well, with all things in His command,
We need to leave everything in His great hand!

Training Our Thoughts

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By David Jeremiah

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.

Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27

Have you ever found yourself preoccupied or obsessed with something? Whether it’s planning for a big event or watching back-to-back episodes of your favorite show, it’s easy for a single train of thought to crowd out all others. While we may have little control over circumstances and the thoughts that come knocking on our mind’s door in response, there is hope: we can choose the direction of our thoughts.

“Peace I leave with you,” Jesus spoke these words knowing the pain and suffering awaiting Him the next day. He knew the fear and confusion His disciples would face and that they would flee in fear. We are simple creatures who struggle to hold multiple thoughts in our minds at once, especially when our worries and fears try to take over. Despite our weakness, God’s promise never changes. We can return to Him time and again. His peace never fades. We can welcome it into our hearts and minds despite the chaos and storms of life swirling around us

His peace can become our anchor, holding us steadfast despite crashing waves and forceful winds. Have you sought His help and peace today?

Jesus Christ has died once and for all, and no one can dispute the legacy of peace that He has given each of us.—Charles Spurgeon

I’m Clean!

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Church reformer Martin Luther once had a nightmare about being judged by the devil. From a scroll, Satan was reading all the sins Luther had ever committed.

“What hope of heaven do you have as a miserable sinner?” the devil accused.

Feeling despondent, Luther remembered the cross. “There’s one entry which thou hast not made, Satan,” he said.

When the devil inquired about it, Luther responded confidently: “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7, KJV).

Praise God that he sent Jesus to be our Deliverer (Psalm 18:2) so we are no longer held hostage by Satan’s accusations!

Do You Have An Anchor?

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By Steve Goodier

Though I have never seen it, I’m told that the Niagara River has a couple of interesting signs upstream of the famous falls. There is one by the side of the river visible to daredevil boaters that reads, “Do you have an anchor?” Then just downstream is a second sign that says, “Do you know how to use it?”

“Do you have an anchor?” I have found that a solid anchor is indispensable to one who intends to live life fully. To have an anchor is to be centered and well grounded. It is to have a vital spiritual base.

“Do you know how to use it?” For no amount of faith is enough if it is not used.

We all come to what has been described as the “Red Sea place” in our lives. That is the place where there is no way back and no way around. We have to go through.

You know the places I mean—we find ourselves up against a critical loss, an irreversible setback or a course of action that cannot be changed. There is no way back and no way around. We have to go through.

Even a small ship can venture into deep waters and weather major storms if it has an anchor. But it is likely to be tossed about and even capsized if the anchor is not used.

I like those questions: Do you have an anchor? And—do you know how to use it?

It won’t be long before I come to another “Red Sea place” in my life. I can count on it. But there’s one thing I know—if I use my anchor, I’ll come through all right.

Friday Funnies

NURSERY SCHOOL

The Fourth of July weekend was approaching, and Miss Pelham, the nursery school teacher, took the opportunity to tell her class about patriotism. ‘We live in a great country,’ she announced. ‘One of the things we should be happy is that, in this country, we are all free.’

Trevor, who was a little boy in her class, came walking up to her from the back of the room. He stood with his hands on his hips and said loudly, ‘I’m not free. I’m four.’ 

SLOW LEARNER

There was one little boy in the teacher’s class who really struggled to learn.

One day the teacher asked him who signed the Declaration of Independence, and of course he didn’t know.

The teacher asked him every day for a week but still he couldn’t give the right answer.

Finally, in desperation, she called the boy’s father to come and see her. She said to him, “Your boy won’t tell me who signed the Declaration of Independence.”

The father said to his son, “Come here, boy, and sit down.”

The boy duly did as he was told and then his dad said to him, “Now if you signed that thing, just admit it so we can get out of here.”

KID’S CORNER

Why does the Statue of Liberty stand in New York harbor?

Because she can’t sit down.

Where was the Declaration of Independence signed?

At the bottom.

Why are there no knock knock jokes about America?

Because freedom rings.

Bible Study

Sowing and Reaping Galatians 6:7-10
The principle of seedtime and harvest was established by God when He created the earth. It is introduced in Genesis1:29, “Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed…” The literal rendering from Hebrew is “every herb seedling seed.” God revealed to Adam that the key to his increase and dominion on the earth was in sowing seed. God again emphasized this principle after the flood. “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest…shall not ceased” (Genesis 8:22).Our Lord Jesus used this principle to explain what He would accomplish by His death and burial. “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit” (John 12:24)The principle of sowing and reaping works in every realm of life. Like a farmer who plants seed, we should expect to receive a harvest when we give into God’s kingdom.
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

  1. The Deception of Sin

a. Deceived By Satan
2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
1 Chronicles 21:1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.

b. Deceived By Sin
Job 4:8 Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.

c. Deceived By Self (the worst of all deceptions)
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
2 Timothy 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

  1. The Workings of Sin
    James 1:14-16 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren.

a. Sin’s Character – “own lust” b. Sin’s Conception – “lust hath conceived” c. Sin’s Culmination – “death”

  1. The Reaping of Sin – Galatians 6:7-8 “Be Not Deceived; God Is Not Mocked”

5 Laws of Sowing and Reaping or “Laws Of The Harvest”

a. The Principle of Sowing – “lust hath conceived” – You always sow before you reap
b. The Product of Sowing – “bringeth forth sin” – You always reap what you sow
c. The Payoff of Sowing – “tempted – lust – sin – death” – You always reap more than you sow
d. The Period of Sowing – “when it is finished” – You always reap later than you sow
e. The Perplexity of Sowing – “Do not err” – You are always shocked at the harvest

A. The Sorrow Of Sowing – 7-8

  1. The Deception Of Sowing To Corruption – 7 “Be not deceived”
    Romans 7:11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.
    James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
    1 John 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
  2. The Discovery Of Sowing To Corruption – 7 “God is not mocked”

Romans 2:6-10 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

  1. The Deciding Of Sowing To Corruption – 7-8 “Whatsoever a man soweth … soweth to his flesh” – our decision

Romans 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

  1. The Destruction Of Sowing To Corruption – 8 “Shall of his flesh reap corruption”
    Job 4:8 Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.
    Proverbs 1:31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.

B. The Satisfaction Of Sowing – 8-9

  1. The Direction Of Sowing – 8 “To the Spirit”
    Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
  2. The Desire Of Sowing – 8 “Shall of the Spirit reap”
    Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
  3. The Dividends Of Sowing – 8 “Life everlasting”
    Galatians 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
  4. The Discipline Of Sowing – 9 “Let us not be weary … faint not”
    1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
  5. The Dereliction Of Sowing – 9 “Weary in well doing”
    James 5:7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.

Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint.

  1. The Duty Of Sowing – 10 “Good unto all men … especially … household of faith”
    1 John 3:13-19 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. 14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. 19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.

Wade’s Wednesday

A Personal Sanctuary

By Jan White

No matter the location and size of the church, the building has a sacred atmosphere. From the majestic marble and granite National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. to the white clapboard of Lambeth Chapel at Blue Lake Methodist Camp in south Alabama, there’s a sense of awe and reverence in these houses of worship.

A sanctuary is special, not because of its furnishings, though they provide a comfortable place for worship. A sanctuary is special because people go there to meet with God. Maybe that’s why we sometimes call a church the “house of God.”

God instructs us in His word about the importance of believers coming together, especially on the Lord’s Day. Hebrews 10:25 instructs us about “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together” as is the habit of some people.

A sanctuary is not only a place of worship, but it can be a place of refuge, a shelter for protection or a safe haven.

Sometimes my car becomes a sanctuary. While sitting in the driver’s seat behind the steering wheel, I tell God my prayer requests for that day or sing a hymn of praise to Him. It can be anywhere we talk to God about what is on our mind.

We find sanctuary by attending the church of our choice. Get into the habit of spending time with God, one on one each day. Search for your personal sanctuary. God will meet you there.