Changed

Our daily Bread

As a Jewish kid growing up in New York, Michael Brown had no interest in spiritual things. His life revolved around being a drummer for a band, and he got mixed up with drugs. But then some friends invited him to church, where he found the love and prayers of the people to be irresistible. After a short spiritual struggle, Michael trusted Jesus as Savior.

This was a monumental change for a wayward Jewish teen. One day he told his dad he had heard about Old Testament texts describing Jesus. His dad, incredulous, asked, “Where?” When Michael opened his Bible, it fell to Isaiah 53. They read it, and Michael exclaimed, “That’s Him! That’s Jesus!”

Indeed, it is Jesus. Through the help of Christians and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Brown (today a Bible scholar and an author) came to recognize the Messiah of Isaiah 53. He experienced the salvation that changes lives, forgives sin, and gives abundant life to all who trust the “Man of sorrows” (v.3). Jesus is the One who was “wounded for our transgressions” and who died for us on the cross (v.5).

The Bible reveals Jesus, who alone has the power to change lives.

 

Lesson From Little Things

A bug’s life

Go to the ant, thou sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise… Proverbs 6:6 

God often says a lot with a little, and that’s the case as we come to Proverbs 6:6. Notice that He uses an ant, one of the smallest and most insignificant creatures you’ll ever come across, to deliver a powerful and impacting message.

The message is this: Look how the ant is constantly preparing and planning ahead. At one time or another, all of us have seen this industrious insect diligently carrying a crumb, a kernel, or some spec of food in its tiny pincers. If you follow the ant, you’ll find that he’s taking that minute morsel to his colony, where it will be stored and eaten at a time when there’s no food to be found.

What is that ant doing? It’s doing what it can do today in order to prepare for tomorrow, and it’s an example that God wants us to follow.

“But wait! Didn’t Jesus tell us not to concern ourselves about the future and to have faith that our Heavenly Father will take care of everything? Should we hoard—or simply trust our needs will be met tomorrow?”

It’s true that the Lord doesn’t want us to have an anxious attitude about what’s to come. Therefore, this should never be the motivation that moves us, which is why we need to rest in His faithfulness regarding our future. At the same time, there’s an expectation and responsibility to plan ahead as best as we can—not out of fear, but out of faith in the fact that our hard work honors God’s divine design for our lives.

We have an active part to play in life. When we do our part, we can rest assured that God is always going to do His part to meet our needs and make up for any lack. That’s an awfully big lesson we can learn from an awfully small insect.

Tuesday With Karen

by Karen Icenhour

We Learn In The Valley

We learn in the valley, to let Him guide us along,

To let His grace & mercy make our spirit strong;

Even when we might become weary & weak,

He hears in our prayers, every word we speak.

We learn in the valley, to keep our eyes upon Him,

He becomes to us then, our sweet & Faithful Friend;

He walks right beside us in every step we take,

And He promises to never leave us or walk away.

We learn in the valley, fellowship with Him will grow,

The Lily of the Valley is precious just to know;

His fragrance is beautiful to even get near,

He knows how to touch our hurtful, falling tears.

We learn in the valley, to let Him have full command,

So we may be led by His pure & righteous hand;

There’s a reason in our life in everything He does,

We just need to give Him our faith & total trust.

Born Gay

by Alan Smith

In Sunday School, we broached a topic that is somewhat controversial in the Christian community. The topic of Homosexuality is avoided like the plague in our churches. I believe that if we have the truth in the Scripture, then we should not hide from proclaiming that truth. Does that Bible have something to say about the idea of homosexuality? And if it does, are people born gay?
Are People Born Gay?

I think the populous answer in the Christian community to this question is a resounding, NO! Most, I assume, argue that God would not “knit together” someone in a way that contrary to the teachings of Scripture. God has defined gay and lesbian behavior as an abomination in Leviticus 18 and a detestable thing in Leviticus 20. If so, the there is no way that God would make someone gay.

I would like to suggest that in fact people are born gay. Without going into the science of the issue, let me suggest a couple points to consider.

* There is no genetic factor that indicates homosexuality. One’s sexual behavior does not seem to be connected to genetics.
* There is evidence to suggest that the brains of gay and lesbian people differ from those that are heterosexual. The current cultural trends seems to argue that these changes in brain physiology occur in utero.

Because of brain chemistry, it is possible for males to be born with brains that work more similar to women brains. And for a women to be born with a brain that functions more similar to a man. The development of the brain is gender neutral and it is hormone baths at key points during the process that determines the “maleness” or “femaleness” of the brain.

The point is that a person can be born and have a brain that functions in a way as to make them attracted to the same sex. It is highly possible that in a fallen world, a person can be born with characteristics that make them predisposed to gay and/or lesbian preferences.
If I’m born gay, then I’m gay.

If one is born with a gay or lesbian predisposition, then are we to make every effort to accommodate this behavior? If a person is born gay, should we as Christians defend the gay and lesbian lifestyle? NO!

Paul ask this question in Romans when he says shall we continue in sin so that Grace may abound? May it never be. In Romans 1, the Apostle Paul outlines for us the process that occurs in the mind and heart of someone on the path to homosexuality. It begins when one suppresses the truth of God in unrighteousness. The truth that has been revealed to all through HIS creation. His invisible attributes are clearly seen by the things that HE has made. When this truth is denied, they think themselves to be wise, they become fools. The Biblical definition of a fool is someone who does not believe there is a God.

When this has happened, the Scriptures tell us that God turns them over to a “reprobate mind” to do those things that are unnatural. Men doing sexual acts with other men and women doing the same. This is the logical progression for sexual behavior when the TRUTH of God is denied. The sexual act is perverted and the behavior is a “detestable act.”
But if one is born gay . . .

The issue is not, are they born gay? The issue is are they living in sin. Having a predisposition to a behavior is not an excuse to engage in the behavior. We are all born that way. We are all born with a sin nature, having a predisposition to engage in sinful acts of all kinds. Some are less “sinful” than others, or so we would like to believe.

In Romans 1, at the end of the chapter, Paul begins to list the types of behavior that people who have been turned over to “reprobate minds” would engage. They include murder, slander, greed, envy, as well as disobedient to parents. In the same list as murder and homosexuality, Paul, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit of God, includes disobedience to parents.

We all are predisposed to sin. We all engage in behavior that is against the character and nature of God. It is all like filthy rags. Are people born gay? Yes. We are all born sinners. But that is not an excuse to sin.

My Comments: The very fact of us being born sinners is the reason that many chose to live a lifestyle of sinfulness. No matter what form of sin we are involved in the Grace of God is greater than any sin. If we confess it as sin and stop trying to excuse it as something we were born with the we can be forgiven and start a new life in Christ. Do not be fooled into thinking that you can live in sin and get by with it, the wages of sin is death.

Tuesday With Karen

by Karen Icenhour

When God’s Spirit Moves

When God’s Spirit moves, it’s so awesome & real,

There’s a sweet glory within a room He has filled;

lNothing on this earth can ever truly describe,

The holiness He shows when He moves inside!

When God’s Spirit moves, Godliness fills the place,

Anywhere He chooses to pour out His grace;

He cradles our heart when He visits us within,

Giving us a real touch of the love in Him!

When God’s Spirit moves, righteousness appears,

There’s a precious blessing when He draws near;

When Heaven comes down, there’s no mistake,

He’s worthy of all our admiration & praise!

When God’s Spirit moves, His glory will be found,

What a great place to be, where He abounds;

God’s people will humbly fall upon their knees,

Praising Him for the mighty moving they see!

Hurt Feelings

I decided to write this on Tuesday March 26, 2013

First I am a Christian, by the loving saving grace of God. I believe that the Bible is God’s Word. I am a King James guy, but I don’t hate other Christians that use different translations. I am also a preacher of God’s Word. I love the Church and America. I believe that the Bible is the STANDARD for us to live by and anything less is missing the mark.

Today, the High Court of this Country is debating the rights for sodomites to marry. Of course the name has been changed to a nicer sounding word “gay”, but God still calls it sin. Our lowering of standards has caused an increase of sin, it always does. Most of us know people who are living this life style, some are family members others friends or co-workers. We still love them and care about them although we disagree with their life style. They say they were “born this way”. To a point I agree, all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. We all have sins that pull at us, we must resit the devil.

The big problem is that we live in a world with the attitude of most people is much like Adam and Eve, I want so I take what satisfies self.

But lets not just pick on the “gays”, how about the boozing and gossiping going on in our Bible believing Churches. How about people getting mad and “moving their letter” because they didn’t like the music, didn’t like the preacher, didn’t like the color of the walls. Like a bunch of little babies only thinking about them self and no respect to the heart of God.

You see my problem is this, every where you go people want it their way. But God say we are to live our life to honor Him, His ways are not our ways. It may not P.C. to preach against sin or call it by name, but you must understand as a preacher of the Gospel, I MUST preach the Word.

I am no better than anyone. You can easily find fault in me. You can say I am a hypocrite. BUT, it was not me who died on the cross for the sins of the world. It was our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

It is not my purpose to hurt someone’s feelings, so, no matter what the out come of this Court’s decision, I have decided to follow Jesus.

 


	

Tuesday With Karen

by Karen Icenhour

Oh Lord, You’re So Good!

 

Oh Lord, You’re so good in everything You do each day,

Your hand is abundant with blessings You send my way;

Though I don’t understand anything from You at all,

You always hear my cry when I earnestly call!

Oh Lord, You’re so good in the blessings from Your hand,

You give me more than my heart can understand;

Your love is unending, merciful, & pure,

And Your lovingkindness will forever endure!

Oh Lord, You’re so good in the sweet protection You give,

You make me feel safe & secure every day as I live;

I know there’s no reason to worry, fret, or doubt,

For I know Your hand is leading me about!

Oh Lord, You’re so good in the kindness of Your touch,

Living under Your care has come to mean so very much;

Lord, keep my heart & eyes always focused on You,

So others might see You in whatever I say & do!

Reflection

Tomorrow marks the anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center towers in New York City. For me, one of the most heartbreaking images displayed during the remembrances was the picture of emergency-room workers at Manhattan hospitals waiting for patients who never came. The number of people treated was less than expected because many of the people who were trapped in the two buildings were simply turned into dust.

Even after horrible tragedies, our attention quickly turns back to the mundane — the squabbling of politicians, hostility among polarized groups, the petty pressures that obscure our deeper, larger, higher calling as people created by God. But still I couldn’t forget that image of the waiting hospital workers.

Where do we go after loss, disappointment, tragedy? God is always at work to create new life, abundant life, eternal life from the dust of our own and others’ lives. What is the new work that God wants us to help bring out of the dust of others’ losses? Each one of us “dusty” folks is called to become God’s agent working to bring fullness of life in a dusty, wounded world.

BURNT BISCUITS


When I was a kid, my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work. On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my mom and ask me how my day was at school. I don’t remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that biscuit and eat every bite!
When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits. And I’ll never forget what he said: “Honey, I love burned biscuits.”
Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, “Your Momma put in a hard day at work today and she’s real tired. And besides – a little burnt biscuit never hurt anyone!”
You know, life is full of imperfect things and imperfect people. I’m not the best at hardly anything, and I forget birthdays and anniversaries just like everyone else. What I’ve learned over the years is that learning to accept each others faults – and choosing to celebrate each others differences – is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship.
And that’s my prayer for you today. That you will learn, to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet of God. Because in the end, He’s the only One who will be able to give you a relationship where a burnt biscuit isn’t a deal-breaker! We could extend this to any relationship. In fact, understanding is the base of any relationship, be it a husband-wife or parent-child or friendship!
Don’t put the key to your happiness in someone else’s pocket – keep it in your own.
God Bless You Now, and Always.
So Please pass me a biscuit and yes, the burnt one will do just fine!

Priesthood

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” – 1 Peter 2:9

Christians are a kingdom of priests, so in order to understand what that means, let’s look at what someone had to do to become a priest in the Old Testament.
• The first thing the priest did was bathe from head to toe. This symbolized that he was saved (see Titus 3:5). When we are saved, we are bathed from head to toe in Christ’s cleansing blood.
• After his bath, the priest received a linen garment, which symbolized the righteousness that is provided by our Lord.
• Then he was anointed with oil, which is symbolic of the Holy Spirit.

How encouraging to discover God’s Word flowing from the Old to the New Testament to describe such essential details of the believer.

Have you been bathed in the cleansing blood? Are you aware you’re wearing a robe (the righteousness of Christ)? The Holy Spirit lives within you. As you go through your day today, be ever mindful: you are a priest—chosen, royal, holy, set apart for Him.
arogers