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Monday, July 24, 2017

Monday's Message: Wonderful Grace of Jesus

Wonderful Grace of Jesus

   Haldor Lillenas was born in Norway. He immigrated to America as a child and lived in South Dakota for two years before settling in Astoria, Oregon.
   Mr. and Mrs. Lillenas traveled extensively throughout this country, conducting evangelistic meetings as well as furnishing songs and choir music for many of the foremost song leaders of that era.
   It was while pastoring the Church of the Nazarene at Auburn, Illinois, between 1916 and 1919, that Haldor Lillenas wrote Wonderful Grace of Jesus. He said—
   “In 1917, Mrs. Lillenas and I built our first little home in the town of Olivet, Illinois. Upon its completion, we had scarcely any money left to furnish the little home.
   “Having no piano at the time, and needing an instrument of some kind, I managed to find, at one of the neighbor’s home, a little wheezy organ which I purchased for $5.00. With the aid of this instrument, a number of my songs, were written which are now popular, including ‘Wonderful Grace of Jesus.’”
   “Wonderful Grace of Jesus was first published, in 1922, in the Tabernacle Choir Book, for which Mr. Lillenas was paid the grand sum of $5.00. Although we generally sing this hymn with an inspirational, brisk tempo, Mr. Lillenas often complained that most congregations sang the hymn too fast. A song should be performed in such a fashion that the words can be comfortably pronounced without undue haste, he often said.
—Adapted from Kenneth Osbeck

Wonderful Grace of Jesus

(1) Wonderful grace of Jesus, Greater than all my sin;
How shall my tongue describe it, Where shall its praise begin?
Taking away my burden, Setting my spirit free,
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.
Wonderful the matchless grace of Jesus,
Deeper than the mighty rolling sea;
Higher than the mountain, sparkling like a fountain,
All sufficient grace for even me;
Broader than the scope of my transgressions,
Greater far than all my sin and shame;
O magnify the precious name of Jesus,
Praise His name!
(2) Wonderful grace of Jesus, Reaching to all the lost,
By it I have been pardoned, Saved to the uttermost;
Chains have been torn asunder, Giving me liberty,
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.
(3) Wonderful grace of Jesus, Reaching the most defiled.
By its transforming power Making him God's dear child,
Purchasing peace nad heaven For all eternity-
And the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Monday's Message: Search Me, O God


He was a professor in the School of World Mission at Fuller Theological Seminary where he taught courses in the history of missions to career missionaries.
       James Edwin Orr was born in 1912. His education includes earned doctorates from universities in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, including the Doctor of Philosophy from Oxford University and the Ed. D. from U.C.L.A. in 1971.
       In his many travels, Dr. Orr has visited a hundred and fifty countries, including the Soviet Union, and has been in two-thirds of the world’s six hundred major cities.
       Despite these numerous life-long accomplishments, J. Edwin Orr will no doubt be best remembered as author of a simple, revival hymn text—“Cleanse Me.”
       Dr. Orr recalls that he wrote the Cleanse Me text, in 1936, during an intense movement of the Holy Spirit at the Easter, revival convention in Ngaruawahia, New Zealand—
       For some time prior to this Easter campaign, an attitude of unusual expectancy had been prevalent among these people. Prayer meetings spread throughout the city with much fervency, and intercession led to wide-spread confession and reconciliation among the believers. Great numbers of unconverted students professed faith in Christ. The next night was given over to exultant testimony, with singing such as one expects in heaven.
       The revival news soon spread throughout all of New Zealand. Dr. Orr reports that as he was leaving New Zealand, four Aborigine girls approached and sang for him a beautiful Maori Song of Farewell.
       Mr. Orr was so impressed with the beauty of this Polynesian melody that soon afterward he wrote new verses to the tune on the back of an envelope. The text was based on the familiar words of Scripture found in Psalm 139:23-24:
       Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
       Further campaigns by Dr. Orr throughout Australia in the 1930s and later in nearly all of the English-speaking world, soon popularized this prayer hymn everywhere.

Search Me

(1) Search me, O God, and know my heart today;
Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts, I pray.
See if there be some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from every sin, and set me free.
(2) I praise Thee, Lord, for cleansing me from sin;
Fulfill Thy Word and make me pure within.
Fill me with fire, where once I burned with shame;
Grant my desire to magnify Thy name.
(3) Lord, take my life, and make it wholly Thine;
Fill my poor heart with Thy great love divine.
Take all my will, my passion, self and pride;
I now surrender, Lord-in me abide.
(3) O Holy Ghost, revival comes from Thee;
Send a revival, start the work in me.
Thy Word declares Thou wilt supply our need;
For blessing now, O Lord, I humbly plead.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Family Friday: Family Comes Together

Family comes together
For always and forever
In sickness and in health
In poverty or in wealth
Family comes together
For always and forever
Without any reason
Anytime or any season
Family comes together
For always and forever
In death or in life
In happiness or in strife
Family comes together
For always and forever
In anger or in kindness
Whether all seeing or in blindness
Family comes together 
For always and forever
Whether for work or for play
They somehow find a way
For family to come together
Because families are forever

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

We Pray Wednesday: Prayer Testimony - Allen Family

Written by John & Cherie Allen

In December, I traveled to Golden State Baptist College to meet Jonathan, a young man who had taken a special interest in my daughter, Hannah.  He and my daughter were graduating in May of the next year.  He had intentions of going back to his home church and then starting a new church in Yerington, Nevada, a town thirty minutes away.  I communicated my expectations that I wanted a summary of what he was planning to do and how he was going to support my daughter before I would grant approval for them to get engaged.  I was also concerned over the fact that Hannah was suffering from fatigue and significant joint pain from what doctors had diagnosed as lupus.  We prayed together and I gave my blessing for them to enter into courtship.  From this point forward, my wife and I prayed that God’s will would be done and that he would guide Jonathan and Hannah.
As time passed, I learned that my requirement for a plan was a bit of a surprise to Jonathan.  Jonathan kept me posted as God’s plan and provision unfolded.  His home pastor made arrangements to rent a building in Yerington that had been a small church and they began meeting on Sunday afternoons.  Jonathan put his plan together, and I gave him my blessing for them to get engaged.  Meanwhile, Hannah was in so much pain as a result of the lupus that she decided that she couldn’t continue in college and would have to come home.  The college very graciously made arrangements for her to complete her student teaching through Central Baptist School in Baton Rouge.  She was able to complete the requirements toward her degree and walked with her class in May.  We were able to get Hannah to a doctor who prescribed natural means of treating her lupus and her symptoms all but went away over time as long as she was faithful in taking her supplements.  This was a huge answer to prayer in knowing God had given us a natural way to treat Hannah’s health issues and seeing her functioning normally again was a miracle of God’s grace.
Upon Jonathan’s graduation he served as co-pastor of Harvest Baptist Church in Yerington, Nevada over the next few months before becoming the pastor.  His income was provided by the offerings of the church, which was clearly not enough to support a family.  However, an older couple not affiliated with the church decided to offer their rental property free of charge after remodeling much of it.  Again, God answered our prayers for their provision.  Jonathan and Hannah set a wedding date and on October 14th they were married.  They are enjoying their life together and are constantly amazed at how God has provided to meet their needs.  And, Cherie and I are so blessed and our faith strengthened as we see God’s provision and care for our children as they leave our home.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Monday's Message: Day by Day

Day By Day 
       The waves of revival that swept the Scandinavian countries during the latter half of the nineteenth century were greatly influenced by the wealth of fine hymns which flowed from the pen of Lina Sandell.
       Born on October 3, 1832, in Sweden, Lina was a daughter of a pastor. When she was twenty-six years of age, she accompanied her father on a journey to Gothenburg, but tragedy occurred before the destination was reached. The ship gave a sudden lurch and Lina’s father fell overboard, and drowned before the eyes of his devoted daughter.
       Soon many songs began to flow out of her broken heart.  Her songs reflect a simple child-like trust in Christ, and deep sense of His abiding presence in her life, including “Day By Day.”

Day By Day

(1) Day by day and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father's wise bestowment,
I've no cause for worry or for fear.
He whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best-
Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.
(2) Every day the Lord Himself is near me
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me.
He whose name is Counselor and power.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
"As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,"
This the pledge to me he made.
(3) Help me then in every tribulation
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith's sweet consolation
Offered me within Thy holy word.
Help me Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E'er to take, as from a father's hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
'Til I reach the promised land.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Thoughtful Thursday: Church Feel Good

"There was a time when people went to church, heard the truth, and wept over their sins.
Today…people go to church, hear a motivational speech and ignore their sins."
Would you want to go to the doctor and have him say “Keep doing what you’re doing and have a nice day” and then send you on your way?  Well, of course not…we would be looking for a new doctor.  We go to the doctor because we know that there is something wrong or at least believe that there may be and we want him to tell us how to fix it.  We may not always receive the diagnosis or treatment that we like…but it is necessary if we want to have our health improve.
Why would we treat church any differently?  Sin is a sickness.  And just like most sicknesses, it  can be diagnosed and then subsequently treated.  
So why is it that most believers would rather attend a church where they hear a Sunday morning motivational speech and leave with nothing more than a false sense of “feel good”?  It seems that we’d rather be lied to so that we continue to feel good about the sinful things that we are doing, rather than hearing truth, recognizing, repenting, and forsaking those sinful things. 
Truth is hard.  Truth hurts.  But John 8:32 says “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Teen Tuesday: Meditating on God's Word

Written by Bro. Tim Minge

Life is noisy.  I’m not talking about planes flying so low over your roof they shake the roof or road construction that seems to be happening right outside your kitchen window.  Sometimes the busyness of life brings plenty of noise that distracts us from our purpose, our true priorities, or even God.  We find a solution to turning down the volume in life in the first part of Genesis 24:63.
“And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide:” Gen 24:63
Isaac, Abraham’s son, lived a pretty unremarkable life compared to his father.  When you read about Isaac in the Bible, you won’t find too many exciting stories that keep you on the edge of your seat.  In fact, Isaac’s life might be considered a bit dry or boring to some.  It’s possible though that, what some view as a boring life, we might come to see as quieter living.  Genesis 24 reveals what I believe kept the noise out of Isaac’s life—meditation.
Meditation – At first mention, you might think of some guy sitting on the floor cross-legged, eyes closed, palms out, and quietly humming.  Actually, meditation is just simply thinking about something.  It is dwelling on anything, turning it over in your mind, and looking at it from different angles.  This type of meditating is found throughout the Bible.  In fact, God wants us to meditate, and He gives us some specific topics on which to focus our minds. One of those, and possibly the most important, is God’s Word.
"This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success."  Joshua 1:8
Here Joshua commanded the children of Israel to think about God’s Law all the time, day and night.  He instructed them that in doing so, it  would help them to obey God and guarantee prosperity and success.  Look what King David said about meditating:
"But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night."  Psalm 1:2 
"O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day."  Psalm 119:97 
Remember when you received a love letter from that special someone?  Did you read it once, set it down, and go about your day?  Of course not!  If you’re like me, you probably read it through a few times, studied the choice of words, and tried to “read between the lines” to see what was really meant.  You may have even sniffed it to smell the scent of sweet perfume!  Why not read God’s Letter the same way?  (Sniffing doesn’t really apply.)
There are many ways to put this into practice.  Pick out a verse in the morning and just think about it for a few minutes throughout the day.  Jot down an encouraging or motivating verse on a card and stick it in your pocket.  Each time you’re reminded it’s there, take it out and reread it.  You can even get a mobile app that picks a verse for you each day.  However you choose to think about God’s words, just do it.  Meditating, or thinking, leads to understanding, and when we understand what God expects, we can more easily obey Him.
"I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation."  Psalm 119:99 
Try meditating on God’s Word today.  You don’t have to contort your body, burn incense, or even chant anything.  Isaac meditated alone in a field (Gen 24:63).  David meditated on his bed late at night (Psalm 63:6).  You can meditate in your bedroom, on a park bench, or on a walk around the neighborhood.  Just pick a Scripture, get alone to remove distractions, and think.