Good Quote 10-18-17

“The American Revolution represented the informed and mature convictions of a great mass of independent, liberty loving, God-fearing who knew their rights, and possessed the courage to dare to maintain them…

The Continental Congress was not only composed of great men, but it represented a great people.  While its Members did not fail to exercise a remarkable leadership, they were equally observant of their representative capacity.  They were industrious in encouraging their constituents to instruct them to support independence.  But until such instructions were given they were inclined to withhold action…

A spring will cease to flow if its source be dried up; a tree will wither if its roots be destroyed.  In its main features the Declaration of Independence is a great spiritual document.  It is a declaration not of material but of spiritual document.  It is a declaration not of material but of spiritual conceptions.  Equality, liberty, popular sovereignty, the rights of man-these are not elements which we can see and touch.  They are ideals.  They have their source and their roots in the religious convictions.  They belong to the unseen world.  Unless the faith of the American people in these religious convictions is to endure, the principles of our Declaration will perish.  We cannot continue to enjoy the result if we neglect and abandon the cause.

We are too prone to overlook another conclusion.  Governments do not make ideals, but ideals make governments.  This is both historically and logically true.  Of course the government can help to sustain ideals and can create institutions through which they can be the better observed, but their source by their very nature is in the people.  The people have to bear their own responsibilities.  There is no method by which that burden can be shifted to the government.  It is not the enactment, but the observance of laws, that creates the character of a nation.

About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful.  It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may very well discard their conclusions for something more modern.  But that reasoning cannot be applied to this great charter.  If all men are created equal, that is final.  If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final.  No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions.  If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people.  Those who wish to proceed in that direction cannot lay claim to progress. They are reactionary.  Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, then those of the Revolutionary fathers…”

Calvin Coolidge, quoted by Mark Levin in Rediscovering Americanism

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Good Quote 10-11-17

“The old saying, “Prayer changes things,” is only half-true. What it also changes is our attitudes as we relinquish our worries and anxieties to the Lord.  Often, then, when we leave the results to Him, He intervenes and does what we could not do.  Also, prayer changes our perception of what is possible and recruits us to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

And it’s during the step of praise in our prayers that we experience relinquishment.  You cannot really praise the Lord of all and keep control of all at the same time.  With praise in times of difficulty, dark moods are lifted; our troubled spirits are transformed; and our unwilling hearts are made receptive.  Plus I find that bright times of success and smooth sailing are elevated with praise into joy.  But whatever the circumstances of life, praise brings us to the heart of God.”

Lloyd Ogilvie,  Conversations With God

 

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Good Quote 10-4-17

“[W]ithout natural law there would be neither virtue nor vice, neither the reward of goodness nor the punishment of evil: there is no fault, no guilt, where there is no law. Everything would have to depend on human will, and, since there would be nothing to demand dutiful action, it seems that man would not be bound to do anything but what utility or pleasure might recommend, or what blind and lawless impulse might happen perchance to fasten on.  The terms ‘upright’ and ‘virtuous’ would disappear as meaningless or be nothing at all but empty names…[F]or the nature of good and evil is eternal and certain, and their value cannot be determined either by the public ordinances of men or by any private opinion.”

John Locke, quoted by Mark Levin in Rediscovering Americanism

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Sunday Praise 10-1-17

Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
forgive our foolish ways;
reclothe us in our rightful mind,
in purer lives thy service find,
in deeper reverence, praise.

In simple trust like theirs who heard
beside the Syrian sea
the gracious calling of the Lord,
let us, like them, without a word
rise up and follow thee.

O Sabbath rest by Galilee,
O calm of hills above,
where Jesus knelt to share with thee
the silence of eternity,
interpreted by love!

Drop thy still dews of quietness,
till all our strivings cease;
take from our souls the strain and stress,
and let our ordered lives confess
the beauty of thy peace.

Breathe through the heats of our desire
thy coolness and thy balm;
let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm!
John C. Whittier

https://hymnary.org/text/dear_lord_and_father_of_mankind

 

Verse 1 speaks of “Reclothe us in our rightful mind.”

Verse 4 is my favorite.  “Till all our striving cease; Take from our souls the strain and stress.”  This is so relevant today!

 

 

 

 

 

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Good Quote 9-28-17

“1 Thessalonians :16-18 (MSG) encourages us: “Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens.  This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.”

Notice that this verse tells us (1) to be cheerful, (2) to pray, and (3) to thank God “no matter what happens.”  We aren’t thanking Him for bringing this difficulty into our lives-although I know people who do pray that because going through the valley has transformed them-but we are to thank Him, as some translations say, “in everything.”  That’s a tough order and not something that comes easily, but God instructed us to pray this way for our own sanity and peace of mind, as we rest in His sovereignty.”

Janet Thompson

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Sunday Worship 9-17-17

 

God of creation
There at the start
Before the beginning of time
With no point of reference
You spoke to the dark
And fleshed out the wonder of light
And as You speak
A hundred billion galaxies are born
In the vapor of Your breath the planets form
If the stars were made to worship so will I
I can see Your heart in everything You’ve made
Every burning star
A signal fire of grace
If creation sings Your praises so will I
God of Your promise
You don’t speak in vain
No syllable empty or void
For once You have spoken
All nature and science
Follow the sound of Your voice
And as You speak
A hundred billion creatures catch Your breath
Evolving in pursuit of what You said
If it all reveals Your nature so will I
I can see Your heart in everything You say
Every painted sky
A canvas of Your grace
If creation still obeys You so will I
So will I
So will I
If the stars were made to worship so will I
If the mountains bow in reverence so will I
If the oceans roar Your greatness so will I
For if everything exists to lift You high so will I
If the wind goes where You send it so will I
If the rocks cry out in silence so will I
If the sum of all our praises still falls shy
Then we’ll sing again a hundred billion times
God of salvation
You chased down my heart
Through all of my failure and pride
On a hill You created
The light of the world
Abandoned in darkness to die
And as You speak
A hundred billion failures disappear
Where You lost Your life so I could find it here
If You left the grave behind You so will I
I can see Your heart in everything You’ve done
Every part designed in a work of art called love
If You gladly chose surrender so will I
I can see Your heart
Eight billion different ways
Every precious one
A child You died to save
If You gave Your life to love them so will I
Like You would again a hundred billion times
But what measure could amount to Your desire
You’re the One who never leaves the one behind
Songwriters: Joel Houston / Benjamin Hastings / Michael Fatkin

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Sunday Praise: My Granddaughter’s Baptism 6-11-17

My granddaughter, Lila Kate Moreland, will be baptized this morning.

 

See Israel’s gentle Shepherd stand

With all-engaging charms;

Hark, how He calls the tender lambs,

And folds them in His arms!

 

“Permit them to approach,” He cries,

“Nor scorn their humble name,

For ”twas to bless such souls as these

The Lord of angels came.”

 

We bring them Lord, in thankful hands,

And yield them up to Thee;

Joyful that we ourselves are Thine,

Thine let our offspring be.

Phillip Doddridge

 

 

 

 

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Sunday Worship 3-19-17

If on a quiet sea,

Toward heaven we calmly sail,

With grateful hearts, O God, to Thee,

We’ll own the favoring gale,

With grateful hearts, O God, to Thee,

We’ll own the the favoring gale.

 

But should the surges rise,

And rest delay to come,

Blest be the tempest, kind the storm,

Which drives us nearer home,

Blest be the tempest, kind the storm,

Which leads us nearer home.

 

Soon shall our fears and doubts

All yield to Thy control;

Thy tender mercies shall illume

The midnight of the soul,

Thy tender mercies shall illume

The midnight of the soul.

 

Teach us, in every state,

To make Thy will our own;

And when the joys of sense depart,

To live by faith alone,

To live by faith alone.

 

Augustus M. Toplady

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Christmas: Meeting the Accessible God

by Cindy Bleuler Tucker

Accessible is a word that meant little to me until I began living life in a wheelchair.  Suddenly my life revolved around accessibility.  The ability to use, approach or enter a facility determines what I do or where I can go.

Before I go anywhere, I need to know if there is a ramp and how steep it is.  Even one step is an obstacle.  I need to know if a doorway is wide enough to get my wheelchair through.  I need to know if I can get in a bathroom stall.  If I am alone, I need a handicap parking place with room to get my wheelchair in and out of the car.  If I am not able to have accessibility that accommodates my wheelchair, I need to know if it is possible with the help of others and then find someone to help.

Sometimes I feel as though I am on the outside looking in on a world in which I can’t fully take part.  I watch others walk hand-in-hand on the beach and jump in the waves.  I go to a park and roll on the accessible trail but I can’t actually hike to the waterfall and stick my feet in the stream.  I watch others enjoy physical activities that are impossible for me.  Reaching for objects on high shelves and moving easily in a cramped space is not doable for me.  There is a world that I am so near to but I can’t reach it.  It is inaccessible.

So it was with God.  He was there.  He sometimes spoke to chosen men and women, but He was not readily available to everyone.  Sin had caused a wall of separation.

God called Moses to free his chosen people and form the Jewish nation, a people who would be a light to all the nations.  God met with Moses on Mt. Sinai to receive God’s law for the nation Israel.  This law would begin to reveal God’s heart to His people.  However, even the man chosen by God could not see God’s face.

When Moses asked God if He could look upon His glory, God replied, “I will cause all My goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim My name, the Lord in your presence.  I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” But He said, “There is a place near Me where you may stand on a rock.  When My glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in a rock and cover you, with My hand until I have passed by.  Then I will remove My hand until I have passed by.  Then I will remove My hand and you will see my back, but My face must not be seen.” Exodus 33: 19-23

God led His people to the promised land.  His chosen people could only see a manifestation of His glory from afar.  “The Lord went ahead of them.  He guided them during the day with a pillar of cloud, and He provided light at night with a pillar of fire.  This allowed them to travel by day or night.” Exodus 13:21

It was a physical sign of the living God, but they could only see Him from a distance.  They could not approach Him.

Hundreds of years later, Israel became a mighty nation.  King David longed to build a temple in which God Almighty could dwell and meet with His people.  The honor of building the temple fell to David’s Son, King Solomon.  At last, God had a permanent location in Jerusalem in which His people could worship Him.  The people of God had a specific place to come and be within God’s presence.  It was here that God’s people could praise God and have access to Him.

However, their access was limited.  God dwelt in the Holy of Holies, a special sacred room in the very center of the temple.  Only the high priest could enter once a year to offer a sacrifice to God for all the nation of Israel.  If the priest did not purify himself and confess His sin properly, he would be struck dead.  There was a rope tied to his waist in order to pull his body out in case this happened.

And then everything changed.

Then came Christmas.

“But when the fullness of time was come, God sent His Son, made of a woman…”

God had a plan to get even closer to His people.  No longer would He be unapproachable.  No longer would men and women have to look for a glimpse of the shadow of God.  They would be able to see God face-to-face.  They would be able to touch Him and hear His audible voice.  They could have fellowship with Him, share a meal with Him, and listen to His sermons.  They could look right into His compassionate eyes.  For God became man, became flesh in Jesus Christ.  At last, God was accessible.

However, Jesus, though fully God, was fully man.  He could only be in one place in space and time.  For those who lived within that 33-year time span and that limited geographical area there was the opportunity to see him in person, but what about those who didn’t live close enough or weren’t alive at that time?

As Jesus approached the time of His sacrificial death, His disciples lamented that there master would be leaving them.  But Jesus promised that He would rise after 3 days, and after He ascended to the Father, He would send a Helper, a Comforter- the Holy Spirit.

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth…You will know Him, for he dwells in you and will be in you.” John 14:16a, 17

I may not have accessibility to many places, but I can have full accessibility at any time, any place, to Almighty God!  His Spirit dwells within me all the time.  All I have to do to take advantage to this great access is to call upon His name in belief and listen.

So this is what we celebrate at Christmas.  The inaccessible God became God in the flesh through the man Jesus Christ.  The inaccessible God became God in the flesh through the man Jesus Christ.  God the baby in the manger grew up to be the sacrificial God who granted us access to Him and the great gift of forever accessibility through the Holy Spirit who lives within us.

If God is still inaccessible and far off to you, please listen to the Holy Spirit and in faith call upon the name of Jesus.  “But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”

Merry Christmas!

 

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Advent Praise 12-11-16

 It Will Soon be Dark

It will soon be dark, it will soon be night,
That’s why I come to You, my Saviour keeping watch.
I’d like to sing a little song to the darling child, the little one.
You don’t feel like sleeping, I hear You only cry.
Hey, hey, hey, hey!
Sleep sweetly, dearest child.

Forget now, oh child, Your troubles, Your sorrow,
That You must suffer there in the stable in the strange land.
The angels adorn Your bed,
A king in his house could not look better,
Hey, hey, hey, hey!
Sleep sweetly, dearest child.

Oh little child, You’re just so beautiful in the little crib;
It seems to me, I might never go away from You there.
I wish You from the heart the sweetest rest,
The angels of heaven, they tuck You in.
Hey, hey, hey, hey!
Sleep sweetly, dearest child.

⎡Close Your eyes in rest and peace
And just give me Your blessing as I depart.
Then also my sleep will be without worry,
Then I can look forward to lying down.
Hey, hey, hey, hey!
Sleep sweetly, dearest child.⎦

 

 

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