What Happened

WHAT HAS HAPPENED?
Prayers has been taken out of schools.
Teachers no longer teach the Golden Rule.
Doctors killing babies before they are born,
What has happen to America, where has our pride gone?

Neighbors killing neighbors, crime is in our land,
What happened to “United we stand”?
Mother against daugther, father against son,
What happen to the love, where has it gone?

What has happened to us, no one seems to know,
Resect and love has left, where did it go?
What has happened to “In God we trust”?
Turn back to God Americia, this is a must.

Prayer is the key to change thing the right way;
We all must stop and take time to pray.
Ask Him to help each and every day,
And teach our children how to pray.
By Rose Depew

Tuesday With Karen

by Karen Icenhour

The Answer To All Things

“What’s next Lord?” is what our heart will shout,

When we become filled with worry & doubt;

There’s no reason to ask this at all,

Jesus is the answer to problems, great & small!

“I can’t take much more” is what we tell the Lord,

When trials are greater than we can afford;

We may cry tears of great sorrow & grief,

But in Him is sweet peace & relief!

“What is coming along?” is said as things go wrong,

When situations come that just don’t belong;

He has the answer to all things taking place,

And there’s nothing too difficult for His grace!

God has the answer before our problems begin,

All we need to do is seek wisdom from Him;

He can handle every circumstance, trial, or task,

He is just waiting for our faith to trust & ask!

 

Content

Are parents trying too hard to make their kids happy? And is that having the opposite effect? These questions introduce an interview with Lori Gottlieb, author of an article on the subject of unhappy young adults. Her conclusion: Yes. Parents who refuse to let their children experience failure or sadness give them a false view of the world and do not prepare them for the harsh realities of adult life. They’re left feeling empty and anxious.

Some Christians expect that the Lord will be the kind of parent who protects them from all sorrow and disappointment. But that’s not the kind of Father He is. He lovingly allows His children to go through suffering (Isa. 43:2; 1 Thess. 3:3).

When we start with the mistaken belief that it’s an easy life that will make us truly happy, we become weary trying to live out our faulty belief. But when we face the truth that life is difficult, we can invest our lives in the pursuit of a good and godly life instead. That kind of life strengthens us for the times when life is difficult.

God’s goal is to make us holy, not just happy (1 Thess. 3:13). And when we are holy, we are more likely to be truly happy and content.

A contented person has learned to accept the bitter with the sweet.

Have You Disappointed God?

by Ricky Smith

Ephesians 4:30And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Have you ever disappointed God? The very thought caused my stomach to churn! Much has been said about “grieving the Holy Spirit”. The word literally means to disappoint or sadden. I recall as a child often wanting to please my parents and even often seeking affirmation. While others may need physical discipline, I have the type of personality that can be broken by knowing that I have let someone down. The ultimate failure is knowing that I have disappointed or saddened my God.

Ephesians 4:30 is written in the context of how important it is to use words that build up and promote unity. When we don’t extend grace in response to the grace he has extended to us, it breaks His heart.

We should honor Him in all things, to include our words and love others. We read in Ephesians 1:13 that we have been sealed by the Holy Spirit. This truth is repeated here in 4:30.  While our sin cannot remove us from the hand of God, our actions which grieve the Holy Spirit can damage the seal which historically exists to affirm the authority of the Sealer. The point is that our actions and words ultimately serve as evidence of our redemption and a witness to the Hope of Glory.

In a positive respect, our commitment to building others up serves as a positive witness to point others to Jesus. On the flip-side, our refusal to obey the Lord in this regard can inhibit others from seeing the seal of the Spirit in our lives and the glory of God. This breaks His heart and should break ours as well with a motivation toward holiness.

The Two Bears

By David H. Roper

Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom. Proverbs 13:10

Some years ago, my wife, Carolyn, and I spent a few days camping on the flanks of Mount Rainier in Washington State. When we were returning to our campsite one evening, we saw in the middle of a meadow two male bears boxing each other’s ears. We stopped to watch.

There was a hiker nearby, and I asked him what the conflict was about. “A young female,” he said.

“Where is she?” I asked.

“Oh, she left about 20 minutes ago,” he chuckled. Thus, I gathered, the conflict at this point was not about the female bear but about being the toughest bear.

Most fights aren’t about policy and principle, or about right and wrong; they’re almost always about pride. The wise man of Proverbs swings his axe at the root of the problem when he writes: “Pride leads to conflict”. Quarrels are fueled by pride, by needing to be right, by wanting our way, or by defending our turf or our egos.

On the other side, wisdom resides with the well-advised—those who listen and learn, those who allow themselves to be instructed. There is wisdom in those who humble themselves—those who set aside their own selfish ambition; who acknowledge the limits of their own understanding; who listen to the other person’s point of view; who allow their own ideas to be corrected. This is the wisdom from God that spreads peace wherever it goes.

Trusting God

Romans 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. 18Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.

Have you ever felt like you were working against God? We naturally assume that when God gives us resistance as we move in one direction, we’re meant to go in a different direction. Not necessarily. Sometimes God arranges for resistance to our plans so that we might grow, resulting in our good and His greater glory. Sometimes God invites us to trust Him even when our limited perspective leads us to conclude that events are unfolding which seem to be against God’s plan. Sometimes God invites us to persevere, and trust Him against the odds. It’s one way God exercises our faith, causing it to grow.

Thought and actions

Psalm 19:14Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.

Robert Browning said, “Thought is the soul of the act.” Emerson said, “Thought is the seat of action. The ancestor of every action is thought.” If God destroyed the world once for its continually evil imaginations, is it not reasonable to believe that all of the sin, lust, and licentiousness that is rampant today grieves His heart just as it did in that day? Many people dream of sin, imagine sin, and—if granted the opportunity—would indulge in sin. All they lack is the occasion to sin. So, in the sight of God, they are sinners as great as though they
actually had committed immorality. All transgressions begin with sinful thinking.

You who have come to Christ for a pure heart, guard against the pictures of lewdness and sensuality which Satan flashes upon the screen of your imagination, select with care the books you read, choose discerningly the kind of entertainment you attend, the kind of associates with whom you mingle, and the kind of environment in which you place yourself. You should no more allow sinful imaginations to accumulate in your mind and soul than you would let garbage collect in your living room.

We’re all tempted, but we don’t have to give in. Here are a few ways to stay strong.

Prayer for the day—I need my thoughts to be continually purified by the cleansing power of Your Spirit, almighty God.

Patriot Day


A Day of Remembrance

On December 18, 2001, Congress approved a joint resolution designating September 11 of each year as “Patriot Day.” It’s a day to remember the more than 3,000 innocent lives lost on that September morning in 2001.

The resolution requests that each year the President issue a proclamation calling on the American people and state and local governments to observe the day with appropriate programs and activities. Those activities include remembrance services, candlelight vigils, moments of silence, and flying the American flag at half-staff.

In his 2003 proclamation President Bush said, “On that day, and in its aftermath, we saw the greatness of America in the bravery of victims; in the heroism of first responders who laid down their lives to save others; in the compassion of people who stepped forward to help those they had never met; and in the generosity of millions of Americans who enriched our country with acts of service and kindness.”

Keep them all in your prayers this Patriot Day.

That dog does bite!

Years ago we had an old dog named Fluffy. Now, Fluffy was a little of this and a little of something else.  Alan and Ricky loved her and so did Arlene. Well, okay me too. Some days they would let her come inside the house, she was a yard dog. Everyone would be watching TV and not notice my truck pulling up in the drive. I would walk in and as soon as the backdoor open Fluffy would slide along the wall and head for the door. No harm done, just Mom and the boys enjoying time with Fluffy.

One night Uncle Howard and Aunt Pam and there three kids, Donna, Lindy, Timothy came over for supper. We were telling them how Fluffy would act when I came home. Everyone wanted to see, so I went into the dining room, they let Fluffy in the front door. I pretended to come in the back door, by opening and closing it, Fluffy didn’t move. Everyone had a big laugh, and the kids started to play with Fluffy. Timothy was playing a little ruff, for a four year old, I said be careful she might bite. Everyone laughed and said “If you tie a biscuit around his neck she might bite.” About that time Fluffy snapped at Timothy, off he went crying to his Mommy, and I jumped up and tossed Fluffy out the front door. No harm to Timothy or Fluffy. But from that day on Timothy always new that dog would bite.

On September 11, we will all remember the attack on our country, by friendly Muslims. Today it seems everyone wants to be friends with everyone, and not call any one bad or evil. Isaiah 5:20 says “Woe, unto them that call evil good and good evil…”  Just remember that dog will bite.

Motives

The prophet Elisha’s servant, Gehazi, was the bearer of news the Syrian officer, Naaman, did not want to hear. As a result, Naaman threw a fit. But do you know what later happened to Naaman? He finally did precisely what he was told to do, and he received the miraculous result he had been promised (2 Kings 5:14).

Unlike many people whom you and I may help, Naaman returned to thank Elisha and Gehazi. He was so overwhelmed, he offered a sizable gift of gratitude. Elisha refused any tangible thank you (5:15–19). But that’s not the end of the account. Naaman offered Gehazi a gift as well. Deep within the heart of Elisha’s servant crouched a silent beast of the soul. It is perhaps the most subtle peril every servant of God must endure: hidden greed.

This is the secret, smoldering desire to be rewarded, applauded, and exalted. Elisha said, “No.” No way did he want the soldier ever to say, “Elisha did it for what he would get out of it,” which prompted the prophet to respond as he did—”I will take nothing” (5:16). But Gehazi was cut from another piece of cloth. Maybe he was weary of feeling used and unappreciated, or perhaps he had had enough of just getting by on a shoestring. Whatever his reasoning, he possessed some pretty strong feelings, since he second-guessed Elisha’s decision (5:20), falsified the story when he met up with Naaman (5:22), and attempted to cover his tracks when he later stood before his master (5:25). Gehazi’s end was tragic.

Exposed and sternly judged, Gehazi experienced a horrible punishment—leprosy (5:25–27). Gehazi had not only gone against the decision of the prophet, he had lied to him when confronted with his deeds.

The servant was accountable! Accountability is essential in order for any servant of God to remain pure and pliable clay in the Master’s hand.

Frankly, I’m grateful such extreme consequences don’t happen to us today when our motives are wrong. If they did, churches would be full of people with leprosy.