Happy 4th July

Fifty-six men signed the Declaration of Independence. Their conviction resulted in untold sufferings for themselves and their families. Of the 56 men, five were captured by the British and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons in the Revolutionary Army. Another had two sons captured. Nine of the fifty-six fought and died from wounds or hardships of the war. Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships sunk by the British navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts and died in poverty. At the battle of Yorktown, the British General Cornwallis had taken over Thomas Nelson’s home for his headquarters. Nelson quietly ordered General George Washington to open fire on the Nelson home. The home was destroyed and Nelson died bankrupt. John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying. Their thirteen children fled for their lives. His fields and mill were destroyed. For over a year, he lived in forest and caves, returning home only to find his wife dead and his children vanished. A few weeks later, he died from exhaustion.

Freedom has never been free.

Tuesday With Karen

by Karen Icenhour

Keep On Singing A Song
Keep on singing a song, if you see heavy trials,
Trusting the Lord gives many reasons to smile;
He’s the steadfast Rock on which we stand,
Even the winds & waves obey His commands!
Keep on singing a song, if circumstances change,
Keep your eyes on Him when life gets rearranged;
He’s the Overseer whose eyes never sleep,
Close enough to hear when we whisper or weep!
Keep on singing a song, if burdens must be faced,
Nothing is too great for God’s amazing grace;
Under His wing, He is our strong Safeguard,
Keeping a hedge of protection around our heart!
Keep on singing a song, whatever comes your way,
Seek His wisdom often, when you bow to pray;
He’s the valiant Champion, over death, sin & wrong,
Keep on singing, He’ll be the Words of your Song!

Worth It All

By Mart DeHaan

By the end of the 4th century, followers of Christ were no longer being fed to the lions for the entertainment of Roman citizens. But the games of death continued until the day one man jumped out of the crowd in a bold attempt to keep two gladiators from killing each other.

His name was Telemachus. As a desert monk, he had come to Rome for the holidays only to find himself unable to tolerate the bloodlust of this popular pastime. According to the 5th-century bishop and church historian Theodoret, Telemachus cried out for the violence to stop but was stoned to death by the crowd. The Emperor Honorius heard about his courageous act and ordered an end to the games.

Some may question Telemachus. Was his action the only way to protest a tragic blood sport? The apostle Paul asked a similar question of himself: “And why stand we in jeopardy every hour?” (1 Cor. 15:30). In 2 Corinthians 11:22-33, he chronicled some of his travails for the love of Christ, many of which could have killed him. Had it all been worth it?

In Paul’s mind the matter was settled. Trading things that will soon come to an end for honor that will last forever is a good investment. In the resurrection, a life that has been lived in behalf of Christ and others is seed for an eternity we will never regret.

Give us courage, Father, to make and live by choices that show the difference the love of Jesus makes in our lives. Help us not to trade away eternal values for convenience and comfort.

God Made Us Unique

By Billy Graham

I am a soul—and I have a body! The body is the house in which the soul lives. When Oliver Wendell Holmes was in his 80th year, a friend hailed him and asked, “How are you?” “I’m fine,” said Holmes, “the house I live in is tottering and crumbling, but Oliver Wendell Holmes is fine, thank you.” In this materialistic age we often forget that the real, the abiding part of us is invisible. Much time, money, and effort are expended to perpetuate the physical part of us, and too many are unconcerned about their spiritual health and nurture. Hence doctors’ offices are overcrowded, and many ministers’ counseling rooms are empty.

When God created man, He made him distinctive, different from the other animals. “He breathed into him the breath of life and man became a living soul.” He clothed him with intelligence, conscience, and a will. He made him like Himself—a companion, a friend of God. At the resurrection, this mortal shall put on immortality, and we shall be like Him, and be with Him forever.

Judge Not

If someone tells you that they know the truth and have another type of book to prove it, it is not judging if you “check it out” using the Word of God as your standard. We should always approach this with love and not a judgmental attitude.

John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
A very quoted verse, but look at verse five, you will see who the is speaking to.
Matthew 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. ( Hypocrite, someone acting, an actor, playing a part, pretense) Notice that the verse is not talking to true believers. In fact the Bible tells us we should judge if it is of God.
John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

Remember it is not judging, if you are proclaiming God’s word as truth.

Tuesday With Karen

So thankful God’s love & mercy begins anew each day! PTL! KI

God’s Compassion

God’s compassion is more than we deserve,

Blessing us daily with His anointed Word;

Anything taking place, God already sees,

His awesome love meets our every need!?

God’s compassion is there, helping us along,

His sweet love makes our feeble spirit strong;

If we’re at a point we don’t know what to do,

He wraps us in His arms to carry us through!

God’s compassion never gets weary or worn,

He loves us from the very first day we’re born;

We need to earnestly seek His glorious face,

Then He’ll pour upon us His sufficient grace!?

God’s compassion is abundant upon His child,

He turns our tears within into a humble smile;

His love & grace begins anew with every day,

Praise His holy name, it’s never going away!

6-7-18

It’s The Little Things

By Meagan Davis
Call the Ambulance!
“Call 9-1-1! He’s not breathing! I think his heart may have stopped!”

The paramedics rushed onto the scene a few moments later. One feels the neck of the patient. No pulse. Immediately, he begins CPR while the others put the man on the stretcher and into the ambulance.

3 John 2 says, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” John is wishing this elder good physical health. He knew this elder was spiritually strong. How about you?

What if your physical health was a reflection of your spiritual health? Maybe your diagnosis would be just a common cold, a nuisance. This could be a small sin affecting your life, but it could get worse if you don’t take care of it. It could worsen to pneumonia. Or maybe you have cancer, a seemingly small sin that has begun but is rapidly spreading such as bitterness, immorality, or maybe even a lie. You need surgery to cut that tumor out of your body or perhaps chemotherapy that will take weeks or healing. You may need to cut that sin out of life, or it may be a longer healing process of restoring fellowship with God. Maybe you aren’t breathing, or you have an eating disorder. Your body is not getting the nutrients that it needs. You aren’t in God’s Word daily. You don’t spend time with Him in prayer. Or maybe your heart has stopped. There is no passion for God, no desire whatsoever to serve Him or love him.

So what is your diagnosis? Are you spiritually healthy? Or will those around you say, “We need the doctor! Call the ambulance!”

Father’s Shoes

by Marion West

Psalm 119:20 My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times.

Growing up in Elberton, Georgia, my childhood was happy, except for one particular holiday. I dreaded it, pretended it didn’t exist, tried to ignore it. But no matter what I did, a secret longing remained in my heart: You can’t celebrate Father’s Day. Your father’s dead. You don’t even have a real memory of him.

As an adult I still couldn’t come to terms with that longing. I still wanted to celebrate Father’s Day with my own daddy.

Then, a few years ago, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution invited readers to submit memories of their father’s shoes and what the shoes had meant to them as children. My memory was as real as if it had happened yesterday.

I was about eight and accidentally discovered a pair of my father’s shoes hidden way back in my mother’s closet. My paper dolls suddenly forgotten, I touched the dusty shoes tenderly, examined them thoroughly in the sunlight, laced and unlaced them, and finally cradled one in each arm.

I mailed my memory to the newspaper because it satisfied something in me that I didn’t fully understand. Lo and behold, the newspaper sent a photographer to my house. He took pictures of me holding an eight-by-ten photograph of the father I’d never known.

That Father’s Day, I crept out before sunrise and found our newspaper in the driveway. There, in living color, was a picture of me with my father. And, for the first time, I genuinely celebrated Father’s Day.

Father, Your unexpected ways of healing are as remarkable as Your indescribable love.

Honor To God

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.
Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.
Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.
Gateway Devotions

Tuesday With Karen

Happy Father’s Day

Our Father

Our Father takes care of us from the start,

We have a very special place in his heart;

He watches over us every day with his love,

Thanking God for a great gift from above!

Our Father loves us from the beginning of life,

We make him swell with sweet loving pride;

Us to bear his name makes him feel good,

He guides us often to live like we should!

Our Father supplies our each & every need,

Protecting us daily in all things he sees;

God commands him to lead, guide, & teach,

For each child’s salvation to be reached!

Father is given many Heaven related jobs,

Each one is directed by the hand of God;

Thank the Lord for Father, & his loving touch,

He’s such a blessing, we love him so much!