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Seeing life's events in the light of God's Word.

America’s Favorites

I Peter 3:15– “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have…”

America is a country that loves to do surveys. I looked up the survey results for “America’s Favorites”. You may be surprised at some of them:

America’s Favorite Game Show- Jeopardy

America’s Favorite Cookie- Oreo

America’s Favorite Cowboy- Gene Autry

America’s Favorite Foods- Steak and Chicken

America’s Favorite Sport- A toss up between baseball and football

America’s Favorite Preacher- Billy Graham

What about religions? It turns out that 71% of Americans identify themselves as Christians. However, the majority are reluctant to claim membership in any particular denomination.

Still, if we were to survey Americans, I am fairly certain the God of the Bible would win as America’s favorite. But, do the majority of Americans really know who God is? Do they know what He teaches? His laws? What about his character? His attributes? Do they believe in the existence of Heaven? Hell? Do they know what He says about the future of mankind? Do they believe He cares about them? That he answers prayer?

Where will they go to get the answers? The Bible? The internet? Their friends and neighbors?

As Christians, the Bible says that we are to be ready to answer those who ask us about our faith. There is a world filled with people who need to know that God loves them and has prepared a way to heaven for them.

God holds us responsible—and accountable— for sharing the good news of the gospel. We need to ask God to put the desire in our hearts to share His love with others…to boldly proclaim His message of forgiveness and mercy to a lost and dying world.

By the way, both believers and nonbelievers have voted “Amazing Grace” to be America’s favorite song.

Brenda

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24/7

Psalm 139:8- (David says of God) “If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.”

My husband and I enjoy doing things with friends and family. Since our weekday evenings are generally filled with meetings and other obligations, we try to use our weekends to schedule time for eating out, movies, and having friends over.

Whether we use a scheduling system on our cell phones or an “old-fashioned” calendar, it is just a sign of the times that we are all very busy and need to keep track of our activities.

You wouldn’t think it would be so difficult to come up with workable dates for everyone in a group, but even when we plan things a month or two in advance, somehow we still run into scheduling problems or something comes up at the last minute which necessitates changing the date or time.

Even though we think we are busy, God must be even busier. Think about all of the prayers He must listen to—and act on—in just one given day! How about all of the world events, weather, planets, etcetera that are in His control?

And, yet, the Bible tells us that He wants to spend time with us each day! But, there are millions of us. How can He possibly do this when I have difficulty even getting the schedules of four friends to mesh?

His Word tells us that He is omnipresent (present in all places at all times) and omniscient (knows everything and his knowledge is complete). This makes it possible for Him to listen to my prayer at the same time He offers peace to earthquake victims and comforts the parents of a lost child. He doesn’t have to consult His calendar if you and I decide to pray at the same time or if catastrophes happen, simultaneously, around the globe.

He wants us to spend time with us and He’s available 24/7. Whenever we call on Him, He’ll be with us—on any given day, at any hour of the day or night.

He is able to meet with us at a moment’s notice. NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY.

Brenda

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Happy Mother’s Day!

Psalm 78:4- “…tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, His power, and the wonders He has done.”

When a woman gives birth to a baby, she may become a mother by definition, but in my opinion it is those things she does after the birth that make her a real mother.

The jobs she does and the roles she plays are endless: she nurtures her children, provides for their physical needs, protects them, admonishes them, feeds them,  teaches them, and prays for them—just to name a few.

According to the Bible, one of the most important things a mother does is to help her husband with the spiritual training of their children. Both parents are to “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” (Proverbs 22:6); and Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.(Deuteronomy 11:18-19).

It takes time, patience, and perseverance to be a mother. It takes knowing that this role is one held in highest esteem by our heavenly Father. We may be employed outside of the home, but it is our role as mothers that is our highest calling here on earth. It is as we model what God expects of us as mothers, that our own daughters will grow up to do the same. And, likewise generations after them.

We set aside a special day of each year to honor mothers, as well we should.

However, long after the box of chocolates has been eaten, days after the flowers have wilted, mothers will be back at work taking care of their families.

Whoever said “A mother’s work is never done” was right. But those of us who truly enjoy motherhood can honestly say that it is the little things of everyday life that bring us the most joy: the smiles on their faces as they eat a homemade chocolate chip cookie, the warmth of their bodies as they snuggle close for a bedtime story, and the hugs they shower on us, unexpectedly, for no special reason at all.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Brenda

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Will He Call Your Name?

Revelation 21:27- Nothing impure will ever enter it (heaven) , nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

The National Football League held their yearly drafting of eligible football players last Thursday night. It is the NFL’s most common source of player recruitment. Each team is given a position in the drafting order and can use it to select a player, trade their position, or in several other options.

Currently consisting of seven rounds, the first player chosen is most likely given the highest paying contract, reflecting the fact that he is the most sought after player and deemed the one with the most potential.

Just imagine what it must have been like for these young men to learn that they were in the draft and for them to sit, waiting on Thursday night, to hear their names called—to be chosen for the coming season by a prestigious NFL team.

Some of you may be able to identify with their emotions because you, too, may have waited—or may be currently waiting—to hear if you have been selected as the chairperson of a committee, if your painting received the blue ribbon, if your book or song will get major recognition, if your recipe is voted as the most delicious, and so on.

I recall a song they used to sing quite often in church when I was a child. It was called “When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder (I’ll Be There)” This, of course, refers to the fact that Jesus will open the Book of Life in heaven and present the names written there to God. As Christians, I’m sure that none of us can imagine a list we would rather be on!

So, how does one get their name written in this Book of Life? Pay a fee? Perform an unusual feat? Help society in some way? Follow on the coat tails of ancestors?

What if I told you there is NOTHING you can do? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

Why?

Someone already did it for you. All you need to do is acknowledge the gift and follow the giver. It is so simple; yet, millions will miss it.

You see, prior to Jesus dying on the cross, God had a system of laws in place. Those who broke the law were to use a sacrificial system, requiring the blood of animals to “cover” each individual’s sin. The problem was, they had to keep sacrificing because—you guess it—they kept sinning. Thus began a vicious sin-sacrifice cycle.

When God gave his son, Jesus, as the only perfect sacrifice for man’s sins, He did away with the prior sacrificial system once and for all because sins were not just covered—they were forgiven.

Jesus was able to end the sin-sacrifice cycle because His blood—and only his blood—wasn’t tainted by sin. The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23-25 “ “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith by all who believe.

So, that is our part in the story of forgiveness. We must confess our sins and receive our new life in Christ by putting our faith in Him. We read in 1John 1:9 that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

So you see, our sin is a barrier to the relationship God wants to have with us—so much so that He was willing to sacrifice his own Son for us. On the third day, God raised him up in victory over sin and death. Our part is to put our faith in Jesus. When we do, we will not only have our sins forgiven and lead a life on earth that is in relationship with our Heavenly Father, but we will be assured of eternal life in heaven, as well!

When the Book of Life is opened, will He call your name?

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