Comes to Mind 4 July

From our daily bread

When you think about July 4th what comes to mind?

Perhaps you think about a day off from work with picnics, fireworks, and those red, white, and blue flags displayed in front yards along your neighborhood streets.

This is all good, but the one word that comes to my mind is freedom.

It is a fact that we live in the United States of America where we can voice our opinions freely, and can vote for the people of our choice. These are very good reasons why we should never take our freedom for granted.

Each year I notice that some people really go all out decorating for every holiday, but on the 4th of July I just display my flag in the yard for the entire month. The flag means a lot to me because of those in my family who have been in wars. I have also had friends who have served our country, and I have known some who did not come home in the past and present war.

My father served in World War II, my mother was a Red Cross volunteer during that war, my niece and her husband served in Desert Storm, and I also have had loved ones in the Vietnam War and a friend now in Afghanistan.

Because of their contributions in keeping us all free, I proudly display the flag.

Have you thought about the American flag and all that it stands for? It represents an emblem of the greatest nation on the earth. It has been carried through centuries in battle. It is placed on the graves of our honored dead who fought for the right for us to remain a free nation, and it flies high during peace times, as well as war.  “Old Glory” is its name.

There is another real freedom we can have. We can display it every day of the year, and that is our freedom “In Christ” to live a life to glorify Him, so that His banner of love, truth, and peace can be seen by all.

It is a flag flown high in the castle of my heart (taken from a song). We can be free in our spirit to serve the Creator of the whole universe and that my friends, is True Freedom.

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and of death.”  Romans 8:2

Just like the flag that represents freedom, Jesus is a banner over us, protecting and shielding us. He is the “Glory and the Lifter of our heads” at all times. Let freedom ring out in your heart today.

“But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.” Psalm 3:3


The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze

Those lyrics to a popular 19th-century song come to mind when I picture aerial artists. A performer called the flyer leaps off a bar, swings a couple of times from a trapeze, then lets go to sail through the air before connecting with another swinging performer, the catcher.

Life sometimes seems like a circus act, though we don’t always feel so daring. Especially during transitions, we often must let go of one thing before we’re secure with another. We may feel as if we’re flailing through the air during a move or job change, while awaiting medical test results or just walking along the path of faith.

Thankfully, Jesus is our dependable “catcher.” As we sail through life, wondering whether there’s a safety net, we needn’t worry about our ability to connect with and cling to Jesus. Instead, he catches us and holds on for dear life — our earthly life and our heavenly one. —Heidi Mann

Make Up

A Beautiful Woman In Christ
Julia Bettencourt

“Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman
that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.” Proverbs 31:30

Some may have heard about the little boy who asked his mother why she was putting on cold cream. She replied that she was making herself beautiful. When she went to take off the cold cream the little boy wanted to know what was the matter. Was she giving up? That little boy misunderstood the concept of the art of becoming beautiful. Sometimes we as Christian women misunderstand God’s concept of becoming beautiful in Christ.

There is nothing wrong with working on our outward beauty in itself. We are children of the King so why not look the part? We should always do our best and look our best but many times we forget about the inside and the way we project ourselves. Perhaps sometimes we just concentrate only on one feature or area of our Christian life but not the whole and our beauty in Christ becomes skewed.

Being beautiful in Christ involves more than just the outside or just one part of us. Our verse says, “…a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.” Proverbs 31:30. That is the beauty that transcends time and doesn’t fade away.

One thing about beauty that we all know as women is that it is a daily thing. In other words we have to keep ourselves up. If we let ourselves go what happens? We’re not quite so beautiful anymore are we? It is the same with being beautiful in Christ. We have to constantly work at it. Here are some things to help us improve our beauty in Christ.

    1. Cleanser.
      In order to make ourselves beautiful, we have to first cleanse ourselves of all unwanted impurities. Our cleansing agent works through our confession and God’s forgiveness.

      “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)


    1. Moisturizer.
      Having compassion can be a good moisturizer. When we start seeing others and their needs instead of our own it can really soften us up!

      “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference.” (Jude 21,22)


    1. Wrinkle Cream.
      If we want to smooth out those wrinkles how about applying a meek and quiet spirit?

      “But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” (1 Pet 3:4)


    1. Foundation.
      We need to start with a good foundation and what is better than the Word of God? If we have the Word of God in our hearts the rest of our spiritual make-up can be easily applied.

      “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (Psa 119:11)


    1. Eye Makeup.
      To keep our eyes shinning the brightest we need to guard them from seeing things that are not fitting of a beautiful woman in Christ.

      “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (1 Cor 6:19)


    1. Lipstick.
      To make the face complete don’t forget your lips. Apply lipstick in the shade of ‘Pleasantness’ daily for best results.

      “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” (Prov 16:24)


    1. Blush.
      The blush we apply should be God’s love radiating through us.

      “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” (Rom 5:5)


    1. Hand Lotion.
      We don’t want our hands to become dry and brittle so we need to apply some generosity and good deeds.

      “Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.” (Prov 31:31)


  1. Foot Therapy.
    Sometimes when we overlook our feet they can get callused and rough so we need to get them going in the right direction. Take your feet only to the places that Christ would approve.

    “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (1 Th 5:22)

Don’t Forget Your Upkeep!

Friday Funnies

 “Lord, I Hate Buttermilk”

A visiting Priest was attending a men’s breakfast in Ohio farm country. He asked one of the impressive older farmers in attendance to say grace that morning. After all were seated, the older farmer began:

“Lord, I hate buttermilk.”

The Priest opened one eye and wondered to himself where this was going.

Then the farmer loudly proclaimed, “Lord, I hate lard.”

Now the Priest was overly worried. However without missing a beat, the farmer prayed on,

“And Lord, you know I don’t care much for raw white flour.”

Just as the Priest was ready to stand and stop everything, the farmer continued,

“But Lord, when you mix ‘em all together and bake ‘em up, I do love fresh biscuits.”

“So Lord, when things come up we don’t like, when life gets hard, when we just don’t understand what you are saying’ to us, we just need to relax and wait ‘till You are done mixing’, and probably it will be something’ even better than biscuits.”


A woman was getting swamped with calls from strangers. The reason? A billing service had launched a number that was identical to hers.

When she called to complain, she was told to get a new number.

“I’ve had mine for forty years,” she pleaded. “Couldn’t you change yours?”

The company refused, so she said, “Fine. From now on, I’m going to tell everyone who calls that their bill is paid in full.”

The company got a new number the next day. Don’t mess with seniors!

Bible Study

Blessed Are The Pure In Heart
Matthew 5:8

A.  This Beatitude mentions the heart or the soul of man. 
1.  Man is a trichotomy: three in one.  He has a body which is world conscious; he has a soul which is self-conscious; he has a spirit which is God conscious.
  2.  The soul of man is called the heart in the Bible and is of the utmost importance because the heart’s condition determines our relationship with both God and the world.
Proverbs 4:23  Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
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 12:34  O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
B.  I do not want to begin a series on the heart this morning but do want to emphasize its importance in our walk with God as well as in our daily walk before men.  I want to look at two types of purity for a few minutes.
  1.  Outward Purity of the moralist.  Though purity is beginning to be old fashioned in our day, there are still people who have some integrity left and it shows.  It is outward.  Readily recognizable because of the lack of purity of the majority of people that surround them.  Morals have “gone to pot” in these last days and the things that were once not to be spoken of publicly are now publicly displayed and flaunted. 
Proverbs 30:12  There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.
  2.  There is also the outward purity of the religious man.  The Pharisees made clean the outward man but they were full of deadness on the inside.  Religion loves to look right without being right.
Matthew 23:25-28  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.  (26)  Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.  (27)  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.  (28)  Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
  3.  Inward Purity.  The inward purity spoken of in our Beatitude for this morning is much more than just an outward show though it does affect the outward man.  Inward purity is the purity that God sees in us.  God is a Discerner of the heart of man. 
1 Samuel 16:7  But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.  (Some have used this verse to qualify their erroneous thinking that God is not concerned with our outward appearance but with our heart only.  Too much is said about the Temple of the Holy Ghost, which is our body, for this reasoning to “hold water.”  We are to present our bodies to God a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable which is our reasonable service.)
C.  The Purity of the Godly is Inward. 
1.  The believer is given a holy nature at the moment of the New Birth. 2 Corinthians 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Ephesians 2:10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
  2.  That new holy nature must be nurtured in what is referred to as progressive sanctification. 
Ephesians 3:16-17  That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;  (17)  That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
D.  The product of a pure heart is that the believer “shall see God.” 
1.  This not a visual sight of God but a spiritual one.  Most religious people have concocted a “god” of their imagination: a “god” that they are comfortable with and who is comfortable with their lifestyle.
a)  America no longer sees God as He is!  I hear these Washington politicians end their anti-God speeches with “God bless America.”  What “god” are they talking about?  A “god” that loves sodomy?  A “god” that loves abortion?  A “god” that loves lying and deception?  A “god” that accepts other “gods” such as Allah, Joseph Smith’s “god” or some other “god?”  The God of the Bible is a holy God who rejects these things.
b)  God cannot continue to bless America!  God cannot continue to be gracious to America!  God is still merciful to America but I believe that will end soon.  “One nation under God” is a pledged by a nation that rejects God.
c)  What is the problem?  People no longer see God.  Our nation no longer sees God as He is but has created a “god” of love without holiness!  Pulpits across America have been silenced because sin has entered the “camp” and it there to stay.  Look at the Bible Belt and its liberal, casual, contemporary churches.  They no longer see the God of the Bible because their hearts are impure.
2.  The pure hearted believer sees God as He is!  He is a loving, kind, merciful, compassionate God but He is also a holy and just God.  I want to look at an often quoted verse that explains how we shall see Him as He is. “For they shall see God!”  They shall see God as He is, not as man too often perceives Him to be.  A thrice holy God!  As the majestic Sovereign of the universe!  As the Lord of lords and King of kings!
1 John 3:2  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  (I understand that this is speaking of when we stand before Him in our glorified body and see Him with our eyes but the key is “be like him…see Him as He is.”  The purer our hearts become, the more that we are like Him, the clearer that we see Him as He is.)
E.  How do we get a pure heart?
1.  Purity of heart comes through obedience to God’s Word – Hebrews 10:22  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
  2.  Purity of heart comes through purity of thought – 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.
  3.  Purity of heart comes through fleeing from sinfulness – 2 Timothy 2:22  Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
  4.  Purity of heart comes through an unfeigned love of the brethren – 1 Peter 1:22  Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
  5.  Purity of heart comes through watching for the coming of our Lord – 1 John 3:3  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

Victory Baptist Church 24 June 2020

Wade’s Wednesday

For Good
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

All things are not good. It would be mockery to say that they are. The death of a child is not good. Cancer is not good, drug addiction is not good, war is not good, blasphemy is not good.

But the Bible says, “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”(1) In the chemistry of the cross God takes things that, in and of themselves, are bad, and He puts them together, much as a chemist might take chemicals that, in and of themselves, may be deleterious and mixes them to make a medicine that brings healing.

Many of us have some salt with our meals. Table salt is made up of both sodium and chloride. By itself, sodium is a deadly poison, and so is chloride. Put them together, and you have table salt. Salt flavors food, and a certain amount of salt is necessary for health and life. We cannot live without some salt in our systems.

God can take things that are bad and put them in the crucible of His wisdom and love. He works all things together for good, and He gives us the glorious, wonderful promise that He will do so.

We know that we have victory over sin and over Satan, but this verse in Romans teaches us that we also have victory over our circumstances. It says that all things work together for good.

I want to point out five things about this promise in Romans 8:28 so that we can see how God works together to help us rise above our circumstances.

The first thing is the certainty of the promise. Notice how the verse begins: “We know.”(1) This is not conjecture, this is not happenstance, this is not perhaps, this is not maybe; this is ironclad certainty. “We know that all things work together for good”(1)–it’s not a hope, not a vague opinion.

Sometimes it may look as if God’s plan ebbs and flows, but in God’s timing His plan will be high tide. We can be certain. We live by His promises.

The second thing is the completeness of the promise: “We know that all things work together for good.”(1) That’s a big promise, but it’s there, and it’s absolutely certain.

God is a teacher who, by our standards, seems strange. He gives the test first, and then He gives the lesson. We learn through affliction. Think about Joseph in the Bible. Think of all the terrible things that happened to Joseph. He was maligned by his brothers. He was thrown into a pit and sold as a slave; he was lied about and accused of rape. Then he languished in prison.

But Joseph, as he looked back, said something that is much like Romans 8:28. Talking to his brothers, Joseph said, “As for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.”(2)

The third thing is the cause of the promise: “We know that all things work together for good.”(1) But don’t get the idea that things inherently, in and of themselves, automatically work for good. Greek scholars tell us that literally the verse says, “We know that God works all things together for good.”

In his Letter to the Ephesians Paul clarifies this point: “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.”(3) If there were not a God in glory, there would not be the promise of Romans 8:28 in the Bible.

God is not dead. He is alive and well. He’s not sick. He’s not worn out. He’s not even old. It is God who made this promise. He is the cause of it.

The fourth thing is the condition of the promise. It’s not axiomatic, it’s not automatic. The promise has a condition. What is the condition? “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God.”(1) If you don’t love God, you can’t claim this promise. The condition is that we must be lovers of God. Haters of God cannot claim this promise.

Some people may be able to sing better than we can sing. Others may be able to teach better than we can teach, preach better than we can preach, lead better than we can lead, give more than we can give. But can we love God? That above all other things pleases and honors God. The first and great commandment is, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”(4)

The fifth thing is the purpose of the promise. It is about those who are called according to His purpose. What is His purpose? In Romans 8:28-29 we read, “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son.”(5)

That’s the key. What is the good that all things are working together for? To make us like Jesus. To be conformed to the image of His Son. There is no higher good than to be like the Lord Jesus Christ.

Many times this promise has been trivialized. For example, someone may be driving down the road and a tire will blow out. The person may say, “Oh, well, the Bible says that ‘all things work together for good.'(1) Maybe there’s a sale on tires.” That isn’t what this verse means. The good is not to make us necessarily healthy or happy but to make us holy, to make us like Jesus. If the goal of our lives is not to be like Jesus, that goal is too small. Our goal must be to be conformed to the image of God’s Son.

We may go through many dangers, toils and snares, but one day we will be like the Lord Jesus Christ.

Whatever the circumstances that come to us, we can rely on God’s promise in Romans 8:28. No matter our circumstances, no one can take this verse out of the Bible–and may Satan never take it out of your heart.

(1) Romans 8:28, KJV. (2) Genesis 50:20, KJV. (3) Ephesians 1:11, KJV. (4) Matthew 22:37, KJV. (5) Romans 8:28-29, KJV.

This article is taken by permission from “Rising Above Your Circumstances,” by Adrian Rogers

Tuesday With Karen

by Karen Icenhour

A Father’s Role

A father is the leader of the family God gives to him,

Just to have that role is a great honor deep within;

He spends every day to care for, love, & guide;

With his heart finding a sweet sense of pride inside!

A father watches over the things his family needs,

He is there at all times, our safety to oversee;

Working hard each day is one thing he will do,

Because of the deep love he has for me & you!

A father instructs us in the path we ought to walk,

He teaches right & wrong in the way we should talk;

God gives wisdom in the care he needs to provide,

For the ones He blesses into his heart & life!

A father protects us in every possible way,

In strength & love, our family he will embrace;

Yes, father does many different things for us,

And he deserves our heart’s loyalty & trust!


August 10, 1628, was a dark day in naval history. On that day the royal warshipVasa set out on her maiden voyage. After taking 2 years to build, being lavishly decorated and holding 64 cannons, the pride of the Swedish navy sank only one mile out to sea. What went wrong? The excessive load was too heavy to make her seaworthy. Excess weight pulled the Vasa to the bottom of the ocean.

The Christian life can also be weighed down by excess baggage. Encouraging us in our spiritual journey, the book of Hebrews says: “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (12:1-2).

Like the lavishly decorated ship, we may project to others an impressive exterior. But if on the inside we are weighed down with sin, our perseverance can be impaired. There is a remedy, however. By relying on God’s guidance and the empowering of the Holy Spirit, our load can be lightened and our perseverance buoyant.

Forgiveness and grace are always available to the spiritual traveler.


Ordinary People

There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn: We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously—no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner—no mere tolerance, or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment. Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbour is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbour, he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ vere latitat—the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself, is truly hidden.

From The Weight of Glory
Compiled in A Year with C.S. Lewis


Isaiah 54:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.

A missionary in the New Hebrides Islands, described his experience with God’s divine angelic protection. Hostile natives surrounded his mission headquarters one night, desiring to kill him and his wife and burn the place down. All through that terror filled night, they prayed that God would deliver them from this evil. When daylight came they were amazed to see the natives leave, looking frustrated.

One year later, the chief of that tribe gave his life to the Lord. Remembering what had happened that terrible night, the missionary asked the chief what had kept him and his men from burning down the house that night. The chief replied in surprise, “Well, he said, all those men were there with you! “What do you mean?”, asked the missionary, “There were no men there, just my wife and I.” The chief argued that the tribe had seen many men standing guard — hundreds of big men in shining garments with drawn swords in their hands. They seemed to circle the house, so they were afraid to attack.

Fear not! You are engraved on the palm of His hand! Thousands may fall at your side but you shall not be harmed. You are loved and cherished, and no weapon formed against you shall prosper!