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.

Friday Funnies

Q: What does a nosey pepper do?  A: Gets jalapeno business!

Q: What do you call a fake noodle? A: An Impasta

Q: What do you call an alligator in a vest? A: An Investigator

Q: What happens if you eat yeast and shoe polish? A: Every morning you’ll rise and shine!

Q: “What’s the difference between a guitar and a fish?” A: “You can’t tuna fish.”

Q: Did you hear about the race between the lettuce and the tomato? A: The lettuce was a “head” and the tomato was trying to “ketchup”!

Q: What do you get from a pampered cow? A: Spoiled milk. Q: What do lawyers wear to court? A: Lawsuits!

Q: What gets wetter the more it dries? A: A towel.

Q: What did Bacon say to Tomato? A: Lettuce get together!

Q: How do you make a tissue dance? A: Put a little boogey in it!

Q: Why did the picture go to jail? A: Because it was framed.

Q: What do you get when you cross fish and an elephant? A: Swimming trunks.

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.

Death

Each of our children grew to become a self-sustaining, responsible servant of Jesus Christ, in his or her own way. As God intended from the beginning, we released them to follow their destinies.

Some of you reading these words did not release your children in this way. Perhaps you have lost your child through death, a terrible crime, divorce, or some other horrible tragedy. Let me be clear about this. While God is the sovereign ruler of all and nothing is beyond His power or knowledge, a horrible tragedy is never a cruel, merciless act on God’s part. God did not find delight in making you endure such grief. Yes, as with Job, He permitted it, but He is not the author of evil. The evil intent of a world that has been twisted by sin took your child from you.

God hates not only sin, He also hates death. He hates it so much that He sent His Son to destroy death by dying and rising again. Death is called in the Scriptures our “last enemy” (1 Corinthians 15:26). Ultimately, the Lord will have the last word in this fight against evil, and He spoke that word to us through Jesus Christ. Put simply: Death is the will of a world gone wrong. Resurrection is God’s final triumph over evil.

Whether we lose our children by tragedy or design, this much is true: Anything we hold dear, we must learn to hold loosely. Let’s face it, if we hold anything too tightly, it probably has us rather than our having it. And God will not allow that for your sake or the sake of your loved one.

Ultimately, the decision to hold anything loosely—especially as it applies to relationships—is an act of faith. Human instinct would have us clutch the things we adore most. Releasing them, presenting them to God, requires that we trust Him to do what is right. When we do this for our children, the lasting impact we leave is a practical model of faith. And I can think of no better way to teach our children about the God we worship than by modeling our trust in Him daily.
W. Weirbe

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!

It’s the Little Things

by Meagan Davis

The Evil “M”

Modesty. There, I said it.

Most, likely the first thing you think of when you hear the word modesty is clothing. Immediately, people want to stop reading because we’ve heard it all before. Appropriate clothing is something that is drilled into many Christian homes. But modesty is so much more than the outward appearance. (Hint: It doesn’t only apply to girls either.)

Three ladies of my student body at college recently spoke on this topic of modesty. It was such a good perspective that I thought I would share it for you.

First of all, modesty means humility. It is not drawing attention to yourself, but giving God the glory. And it’s not just dress. It can be talents, position, or attitude. Showing humility through modesty is characterized by self-control. It is giving God the glory due His name.

Second, modesty means purity, not just physical but also spiritual. It is purity in thought, action, and motive. It is being holy, blameless, not causing others to fall. It includes your speech, dress, and lifestyle. Living in purity means examining the small every day actions that are seemingly insignificant. It is being blameless.

Lastly, modesty means appropriateness in clothing, actions, and relationships. You would not wear the same thing to climb a rock wall as you would to a church service. You would not act at a ball game as you would at a funeral. In relationships, you have a role as either a lady or a gentleman; the roles should not be switched. (It’s part of God’s perfect plan.) It all boils down to this: discretion. Proverbs 11:22 says, “As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.” It just doesn’t fit! Ask yourself if it fits or if it is out of place.

So all that to say, modesty is so much more than appearance; it’s a lifestyle! How’s your spiritual wardrobe? Is it one that draws attention to self or gives glory to God? Is it characterized by purity and self-control? Is it appropriate? Are you living a modest life?

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!