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Monday, June 26, 2017

Monday's Message: A Mighty Fortress is our God

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses to the door of the Cathedral of Wittenberg, Germany. That date was sometimes called the “4th of July of Protestantism.” It symbolized the start of the Protestant Reformation.
And the single most powerful hymn of the Protestant Reformation Movement was Luther’s “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” based on Psalm 46. This hymn became the battle cry of the people, a great source of strength and inspiration even for those who were martyred for their convictions. Its majestic and thunderous proclamation of our faith is a singing symbol of the reformation.
Inspired by Psalm 46, Luther caught up in the hymn the very essence of faith, and the fervor and flavor of patriotism which he found in the Psalm.
This hymn has been translated into practically every known language and is regarded as one of the noblest and most classic examples of Christian hymnody.
The first line of this national hymn of Protestant Germany is fittingly inscribed on the tomb of the great reformer at Wittenberg,
Luther had strong convictions about the use and power of sacred music.  Once he wrote, “I would allow no man to preach or teach God’s people without a proper knowledge of the use and power of sacred song.”
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

(1) A mighty fortress is our God, A bulwark never failing;
Our helper He amid the flood Of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe Doth seek to work us woe-
His craft and power are great, And, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not His equal.

(2) Did we in our own strength confide, Our striving would be losing,
Were not the right man on our side, The man of God's own choosing.
Doth ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He-
Lord Sabaoth His name, From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

(3) And though this world with devils filled, Should threaten to unto us.
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us.
The prince of darkness grim, We tremble not for him-
His rage we can endure, For lo, his doom is sure:
One little word shall fell him.

(4) That word above all earthly powers, No thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours Through Him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go, This mortal life also-
They body they may kill; God's truth abideth still:
His kingdom is forever.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Monday's Message: Room at the Cross

Room at the Cross

       Ira Stanphill was preaching in a revival meeting in Kansas City, Missouri.
       As was his custom, he asked the people to submit suggested song titles while the congregation sang. As the choir presented their favorite selections, he would proceed to write a gospel song, using as the title one of those submitted by the audience.
       On this particular Sunday morning, the people submitted about fifty ideas. Stanphill quickly thumbed through the titles and saw the words, Room at the Cross for You. They struck a responsive chord and before the service was complete, he had given to the world a memorable song to fit that title.
There’s room at the cross for you,
There’s room at the cross for you;
Though millions have come,
There’s still room or one,
Yes, there’s room at the cross for you.
       Some time later, a despairing young man, bent on taking his own life, found himself walking one day near a church where service was being conducted by evangelist Willard Cantelon.
       That night, Al Garr was directing the music for the service. The troubled young man had a gun in his pocket and was making his way toward a high bridge, not too far from the church. His intention was to shoot himself near the edge of the bridge, letting his body fall into the water.
       As he passed the church, he heard Al Garr singing There’s Room at the Cross for You. He was so gripped by its message that he made his way into the church, postponing his mission of horror.
       There he found Christ as his Savior and was rescued from personal and spiritual disaster. He later studied for the ministry and became an evangelist. A motion picture has been made of his life since that notable day when ‘Room at the Cross’ pointed him to Christ.

Room At The Cross

(1) The cross upon which Jesus died
Is a shelter on which we can hide;
And it’s grace so free is sufficient for me,
And deep is its fountain as wide as the sea.
There’s room at the cross for you,
There’s room at the cross for you;
Tho millions have come,
There’s still room for one,
Yes, there’s room at the cross for you.
(2) Tho millions have found Him a friend,
And have turned from the sins they have sinned,
The Saviour still waits to open the gates,
And welcome a sinner before it’s too late.
(3) The hand of my Saviour is strong,
And the love of my Savior is long;
Through sunshine or rain Through loss or in gain,
The blood flows from Calv’ry to cleanse every stain.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Thoughtful Thursday: Lion and Lamb

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”   John 1:29
I was getting ready the other morning and had my Bible app on my phone reading to me John chapter 1.   And when I heard what John said in this verse, it floored me.  I’ve read and heard the verse many times, but it caught my attention in a different way this time.  Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
Several times in Scripture, Jesus Christ is referred to as a Lamb.  But why a lamb?  A lamb is such a small, unassuming animal.  And I believe that you would agree with me that Who Jesus is and what Jesus did on the Cross for us, was anything but small. 
But then I remembered that the Bible also refers to Jesus using a different animal.
Revalation 5:5 “And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of
Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.”
Here, the Bible is referring to Jesus as the Lion Who will conquer.  A lion is anything but small and unassuming.  A lion is a large, confident animal.  He is commonly referred to as the “king of the jungle”. 
It is a concept that is hard to completely understand.  The Lord God of Heaven had to humble Himself as a lamb in order to be the sacrifice for the redemption of all the sins of mankind.  Then this same Lord God of Heaven will come back as the Lion to conquer and defeat all so that we, the redeemed, can live forever with Him in Heaven.
I read an article where I thought the author put it wonderfully by saying:
“Jesus is not merely a simple thing like a lion or like a lamb, but is a Lion-like Lamb and a Lamb-like Lion.  Therefore, He is admirable and excellent and worthy to take the scroll and open its seals and bring this world to an end for the glory of His name and the good of His ransomed people. And you can be among that number if you trust Him as your Lamb, and submit to Him as your Lion.”

Monday, June 12, 2017

Monday's Message: I Surrender All

I Surrender All 

       For five years, Mr. Van de Venter wavered between the challenge of the Gospel ministry and that of becoming a recognized artist. Here is how he tells it:
       “For some time, I had struggled between developing my talents in the field of art and going into full-time evangelistic work. At last the pivotal hour of my life came, and I surrendered all.
       “A new day was ushered into my life. I became an evangelist and discovered down deep in my soul a talent hitherto unknown to me. God had hidden a song in my heart, and touching a tender chord. He caused me to sing.”
       Dr. Billy Graham, wrote this tribute to Mr. Van de Venter:
       One of the evangelists who influenced my early preaching was also a hymnist who wrote ‘I Surrender All’—the Rev. J.W. Van de Venter. He was a regular visitor at the Florida Bible Institute (now Trinity Bible College) in the late 1930s. We students loved this kind, deeply spiritual gentleman and often gathered in his winter home at Tampa, Florida, for an evening of fellowship and singing.

I Surrender All

(1) All to Jesus I surrender,
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.
CHORUS: I surrender all,
I surrender all,
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.
(2) All to Jesus I surrender,
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take me, Jesus, take me now.
(3) All to Jesus I surrender,
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine.
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.
(4) All to Jesus I surrender,
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power,
Let Thy blessing fall on me.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Family Friday: Great Expectations

 Great Expectations

          We naturally want the best for our children, and sometimes we push them to succeed.  Maybe we push them in the area of good grades, sports, service, or character.   This is good training for adult life where everyone expects your best.  However, we can not expect perfection from our children.
          This is an area in which I struggle.  I get busy doing all of the tasks which need to be done and begin almost “barking” orders for my children to follow so that we will accomplish our goals or tasks for the day.  I know what I want and what I mean when I assign a task, but I don’t always take the time to fully explain it.  Perhaps it is an oversight, or perhaps I am expecting them to complete the task as an adult would.  When the job is done, but not exactly to my expectations, I often get irritated and frustrated; unfortunately, I don’t always hide it.  I need to realize that much of the fault lies at my door for not fully explaining my expectations, but also for not remembering that my children are just that: children.
          Yes, you can hold your children to a high standard and push them to be the best that they can be!  Just remember that they are no more perfect than you are.  Colossians 3:21 reminds us to not provoke our children to anger so they are not discouraged.  Expectations of perfection are discouraging!  Help your children aim high, and be an encourager!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Monday's Message: I must tell Jesus

I Must Tell Jesus

       Elisha Hoffman was born in Pennsylvania and spent his life as pastor there.
       Once while visiting one who had been through deep trial, she cried:  “Oh, what shall I do? I don’t know what to do!” 
       Then her face brightened and she said, “I must tell Jesus!”
       On his way home, the words of the woman came to the pastor’s mind, and that night he wrote this comforting song.

I Must Tell Jesus

(1) I must tell Jesus all of my trials,
I cannot bear these burdens alone;
In my distress He kindly will help me
He always loves and cares for His own.
I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
I cannot bear my burdens alone;
I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
Jesus can help me, Jesus alone.
(2) I must tell Jesus all of my troubles,
He is a kind, compassionate friend;
If I but ask Him, He will deliver,
Make of my troubles quickly an end.
(3) Tempted and tried, I need a great Savior,
One who can help my burdens to bear;
I must tell Jesus, I must tell Jesus,
He all my cares and sorrows will share.
(4) O how the world of evil allures me!
O how my heart is tempted to sin!
I must tell Jesus, and He will help me
Over the world the victory to win.

Teen Tuesday: Modesty

by Abigail Tardiff

            Modesty is a topic that is often brought up for debate.  I would define modesty as dressing appropriately to mirror a pure heart’s spiritual condition.  It is a moral that has existed since God first created man.  After they sinned in the Garden of Eden, God made Adam and Eve a covering to conceal their nakedness.  Since that time, styles and cultures have changed drastically.  Clothes that were acceptable in the 1900’s would be obsolete today in 2017.  Society has persuaded people to follow their hearts, and wear whatever makes them feel good.  Wearing clothes that make you feel confident in yourself are not immoral, but these clothes are immoral if they show off and accentuate parts of the body that are not to be flaunted. 
               How can someone know what is modest and what is not?  The Bible says in 1 Timothy 2:9, “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;”.  Well, according to Webster’s 1828 dictionary, modesty means “To be proper, not forward or bold, not excessive or extreme”.  I believe that women should dress in a way that is glorifying to their Creator and makes them feel pretty.  Another word that comes into question is nakedness.  Nakedness is defined as “Plainness, openness to view”.  In Isaiah 47:2-3, we see that the uncovering of the thigh is shameful.  A covering is defined as “Clothing, raiment, garment, or dress”, and we see in Exodus 28:42 that the royal priesthood wore clothes to cover their nakedness.
               There are some principles that I believe are important when deciding what is modest to wear.  For instance, I believe that modesty begins in your heart.  When one is right with God and submits themselves to Him, they should have the desire to please Him in everything that they do, including in the way that they dress.  Our testimony can be clearly shown through the way our clothing is worn.  Our bodies should be presented in a holy and godly way to reflect our desire to please the Lord. 
               There are many ways that we can apply modesty to our lives — here are a few of them.  Dressing appropriately for the activity is important.  Christians should dress in a way that reflects the desire of their spirits to please and obey the Lord, being careful not to be a “stumblingblock” to other Christians and future believers.  Another way we can apply modesty is consulting the Bible to see what God says about how we should dress.  By making our judgments based on God’s Word, we can make sound decisions concerning what we believe in the area of dress standards.