The Heavens Declare the Glory of God

I recently had an intriguing phone conversation with a member of our church about David Hume. Who is David Hume you might ask? Hume was a philosopher in the 18th century who has had an extreme influence on today’s world. It was Hume who is credited with the idea that only things that are scientifically provable are real. There are no miracles because miracles contradict nature. Many people today take this stance, but it was Hume who first gave the impression that people who believed otherwise were actually stupid. Atheist writers today often take this same approach.  For example without actually explaining how nothing created everything, they merely offer some speculative argument and then basically boil things down to “I’m right because you are stupid”.  Bill Nye the “science guy” has stated many times that “to believe in a creator is unhealthy and bad for you” (you can watch those on YouTube).  Bill Nye is all over PBS and his teaching videos are in thousands of public schools in America.  And yet Bill Nye offers no explanation of how the universe was ultimately formed. Just ask an atheist what happened 10 trillion years before the big bang and then what happened before that, on and on.  You get the idea. In fact, science can never answer that question because it only puts off the ultimate truth, that something, not nothing, got things started and that that something had to be both hugely intelligent and outside of space and time. Instead of just admitting this, the pop-science atheists of today like Bill Nye and Richard Dawkins, boil it down to this: unless you can prove it to me, then you are stupid, and I am smart. I have always found those type of answers to be extremely weak. In fact, they are not answers at all. I recently asked an atheist if he thought there was enough science right now to sufficiently explain all of existence, where life came from, where the information in stars and cells came and if matter and energy are infinite. He said yes. His answer was not based on science at all but merely his complete faith and hope in the non-existence of God. I shook his hand and announced that I am also a man of faith.  My faith however isn’t in the “big nothing” that created everything but in the intelligence that created everything. To me this is clearly the more rational view. Yes, I have faith in God but that faith isn’t just a blind hopefulness but is highly sensible.  I am very encouraged by how amazingly complex and yet logical the universe appears to be. Science is always looking for explanations as to how things work and finding causes for the effects. Yet many atheists simply put their heads in the sand when it comes to finding the ultimate cause for all of the effects, as if there cannot be one. For me, the mere fact that there are any causes at all is a great reminder of the One who created the universe to run by principles and not just random acts.

Psalm 19 (KJV)

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.

There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.

Stay blessed!

Unexpected Joy

Check out these two verses from Luke 24.

Luke 24:16  (NLT)

16 But God kept them from recognizing him.

Luke 24:31a (NLT)

31 Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him.

Did you know that sometimes God hides things from you? He doesn’t want you to see something clearly. Imagine how messed up you would get if you saw everything about God clearly all the time. You would, in fact, be God. No, there are times when God only reveals a little at a time. He knows what you can handle and what will draw you to Him. He also knows what you can’t handle and what will make you too proud. In fact, many times God is working on you, and you don’t see Him in it at all. Then suddenly, maybe days or even years later, you realize something. A light goes on and in a flash you see that it was God’s hand of love working His glorious plan in your life. He was there all the time! I look forward to those unexpected moments when God shows me something amazing, even something I have not thought about for years where God was walking beside me. I pray today you will get an unexpected flash of joy from God!

unexpected joy

A THANKSGIVING STORY

kidscorner1

Mathew 6:26
Look at the birds of the air, fMatthew 6:26or they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
 

A THANKSGIVING STORY

By Miss L. B. Pingree.

A three-minute story for the littlest boys and girls.

It was nearly time for Thanksgiving Day. The rosy apples and golden pumpkins were ripe, and the farmers were bringing them into the markets.

One day when two little children, named John and Minnie, were going to school, they saw the turkeys and chickens and pumpkins in the window of a market, and they exclaimed, “Oh, Thanksgiving Day! Oh, Thanksgiving Day!” After school was over, they ran home to their mother, and asked her when Thanksgiving Day would be. She told them in about two weeks; then they began to talk about what they wanted for dinner, and asked their mother a great many questions. She told them she hoped they would have turkey and even the pumpkin pie they wanted so much, but that Thanksgiving Day was not given us so that we might have a good dinner, but that God had been a great many days and weeks preparing for Thanksgiving. He had sent the sunshine and the rain and caused the grains and fruits and vegetables to grow. And Thanksgiving Day was for glad and happy thoughts about God, as well as for good things to eat.

Not long after, when John and Minnie were playing, John said to Minnie, “I wish I could do something to tell God how glad I am about Thanksgiving.” “I wish so, too,” said Minnie. Just then some little birds came flying down to the ground, and Minnie said: “Oh, I know.” Then she told John, but they agreed to keep it a secret till the day came. Now what do you think they did? Well, I will tell you.

They saved their pennies, and bought some corn, and early Thanksgiving Day, before they had their dinner, they went out into the street near their home, and scattered corn in a great many places. What for? Why, for the birds. While they were doing it, John said, “I know, Minnie, why you thought of the birds: because they do not have any papas and mammas after they are grown up to get a dinner for them on Thanksgiving Day.” “Yes, that is why,” said Minnie.

By and by the birds came and found such a feast, and perhaps they knew something about Thanksgiving Day and must have sung and chirped happily all day.

From “Boston Collection of Kindergarten Stories,” J. L. Hammett Company.

You Can Do It

YOU CAN DO IT

Check out this passage from Paul’s letter to the church in Thessolonica.

“Admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak.”  1 Thessalonians 5:14

I want you to know something. I want you to do more than just know this, I want you to get this way down in your heart. I want this to resonate in your spirit and resuscitate your faith. I want this to motivate you when you wake up in the morning and be your comfort when you lie down to sleep.

If you get nothing else, get this:

You can do it, you can do it, YOU CAN DO IT!

Here are the three encouragements that Paul wrote about in his letter to the church.

Admonish the idle

You can do it even when you don’t have the strength!

Encourage the fainthearted

You can do it even though you think there is no way.

Help the weak

You may need some help. We all do, but YOU can do it!

The next part of the passage reads this way:

“See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to everyone else. 16 Always be joyful. 17 Always keep on praying. 18 No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thess. 5: 15-17

When you feel you have no more strength, or you feel unqualified, or you need some help remember this:

Keep praying, be joyful, do good things for others, don’t seek vengeance, but instead be thankful. Your defeatist attitude will go away, you will stop beating yourself and you will have a much healthier outlook on life.

The passage ends this way:

28 “And may rich blessings from our Lord Jesus Christ be with you, every one.”

Stay blessed!

You can do it!

submitted by Danny Leavitt

Prayer by Lee Pierce

PRAYER

“Prayer is not a business transaction. We do not give something to get something in return. It is relational intimacy. In prayer, at our point of greatest need, we can encounter God and receive His presence.”

I read that quote in a devotional recently and it got me thinking. How often do I come to God with my needs & wants, all pitiful and beaten-down? I always try to begin my prayers with thanking God for who He is. For revealing Himself to us throughout His creation, revealing His heart in His Word, and in the very life on earth of His Son. But sometimes, I’m so needy, I forget to honor my God first. And how many times do I do the time-tested prayer of sinners: if You will do this, Lord, I will do that.

I often consciously try to talk to God in prayer while using the everyday vernacular. Instead of: “O Lord, Thou who sits high on Your lofty throne in the courts befitting the Ancient of Days,” I would rather say: “Lord, I’m thankful You have promised to hear my prayer, and I’m hurting today, God.” If you buy into the premise that God sees our heart, then a high-toned, pretentious cascade of vocabulary probably causes Him to shake His head and think to Himself: stop all of that blather…I’d rather hear what’s really going on in your heart, in your life, today. I don’t mean to take away any of the reverence due to the God of all creation, but I think it’s important for us to be ourselves in prayer. Using language we would employ if we were talking to a dear friend over coffee; a friend we can trust with our deepest secrets, hurts, and desires. If there’s any truth in the old song “What a friend we have in Jesus,” then I want to interact with Jesus like He IS my friend. My best and most loyal friend. “As for me, since I am poor and needy, let the Lord keep me in His thoughts….” (Ps 40:17 NLT) All the while, keeping in my thoughts: I am His adopted son and He is my heavenly Father. I know I can trust Him, even with thoughts I can’t bring myself to share with anyone else on earth (Rom 8:15-16). And I take heart in the Bible’s promise that God will, in fact, forgive my sins and I can know in my heart I’m special to Him because He chose me as one of His own (Ps 65:3-4).

While I have a prayer list in my mind of people & things I want to pray for, I never want my prayers to become rote recitation that follow some script I’ve devised over the years. I want to have a conversation, I want to talk to my God.

Lee Pierce

Psalm 40.17

Sermon Notes for October 25, 2015, “The small church with a BIG Heart” by Pastor Carlos Bulalayao

G.A.T.H.E.R.I.N.G.

“The small church with a BIG Heart”

~Carlos S. Bulalayao, Jr.~

10.24.15

Acts 1:1-8New International Version (NIV)

Luke 1:1-3 New International Version (NIV)

1 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach

2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.

3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.

4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.

5 For John baptized with[a] water, but in a few days you will be baptized with[b] the Holy Spirit.”

6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.

He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

  1. We are Theophilus (God’s Friend)

Theophilus- Prominent Jew in Alexandria (Coptic)

  • A Roman official (Most excellent)
  • Paul’s Lawyer
  • Jewish priest
  • Greek- “Friend of God”

James 2:23 “And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.

John 15:13-15 “13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

14 You are my friends if you do what I command.

15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”

  1. We were Gifted with a Promise! (The Holy Spirit)

4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.

5 For John baptized with[a] water, but in a few days you will be baptized with[b] the Holy Spirit.”

Immediate Fulfillment: Acts 2

Future Fulfillment: It happens every time a person accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as his/her

personal Savior and Lord!

  1. We are God’s Martus! (Witness)

8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Empowered!

Witness!

Panta Ta Etna!

Takeaways:

  • I am Theophilus! and I desire to make HIM as my BFF!
  • I have the PROMISE who empowers me everyday 24/7
  • I am CREATED to be a powerful MARTUS for Him
  • Panta ta Ethna!

INFINITY…October 24, 2015

the-heavens-declare-the-glory-of-god-psalm-19-1-1080x675I give you another poem from my book, “Living Water.”

**************

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”  Psalm 19:1

***************

Tonight I look upon the sky and think of Thee

O God, Creator of those myriad stars and of vast space between;

And yet inside the hollow of the hand which made all these

My soul can find repose and rest and peace.

I see Thy mercy, limitless as space,

I see Thy love and feel Thy close embrace;

And though Thy presence fills the universe,

Yet close as hands and heart Thou art to me.

By:  Olga J. Weiss

SCARS MEAN THERE’S HEALING! …October 23, 2015

This is by our own Lee Pierce.  Wow!  What a story…what a song!  Hope to hear you sing it someday at church! – anita

****************************

When I was back in my 40s, I had a life-changing event. I had an emergency open-heart surgery that resulted in a triple-bypass. God was so good, so protective of me. I never had a heart attack; I never had any pain throughout the whole procedure and recovery (most people I’ve talked to about this, and who  have had this surgery, have  told me that they experienced some of the most intense pain of their life going through this).

I have a long scar on my chest that runs down through my sternum and rib cage.  As I was beginning to recover from the surgery, I would stand in front of the mirror and stare at the scar. I was appalled at how mutilated I looked in the mirror. “I can never take my shirt off in public again” was my first thought. But about this same time, God began to show me some scriptures that I needed to see, and the most important thought that came to my mind – and I’m very clear that this came from the Lord, and it was like He was talking to me — was this: “If you can see your scar then you are healing…and you’re alive to see it!” As I looked over the verses that God led me to, a song began to form in my mind. Some of those beautiful, life-strengthening verses follow below, along with the lyrics to the song that came out of them for me.

Deut 32:39   “…there is no God besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand.”

Prov 3:7b-8 … fear the Lord & turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.

Ps 6:2   Heal me, O Lord, for my bones are dismayed._____

******************

I saw my body, broken and tore. Saw my flesh opened and stretched to the core.

This was a time that my heart knew of fear. My body had failed me, but yet I’m still here!

I said, “Wait, I’m a young man, how can this be? How can such affliction be visiting me?”

Thought life was a journey I could handle okay. Never a thought life could be taken away.

And He said, “I am the one God, there is none besides Me. I put to death and make life come to be. Wounding and healing came into the land, and no one can take you from My loving hand.

”I pause now and then, see the scars on my chest. Ugly and scarlet, so I quickly get dressed.

Somehow I managed this time to get by, but a constant reminder that someday I’ll die.

But Jesus has scars and they’re all mine, too.  See them as ugly or let beauty shine through.

For I’ve learned that my scars have a beauty you see. For they’re the result of God’s saving me!

And He said, “I am the one God, there is none besides Me. I put to death and make life come to be. Wounding and healing came into the land, and no one can take you from My loving hand.”

By:  Lee Pierce

THE GREATEST MAN I’VE EVER KNOWN…October 22, 2015

   (This is Jesus speaking!) …Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.  Revelation 3:20

******************************

The greatest man, I hadn’t met

Lived in Heaven … afar;

Way beyond the sun and moon…

Somewhere, past the stars.

Everyday, He said, “Hello!”,

‘Ere before I knew His name.

I heard His voice in the waving grass…

In the thunder, and the rain.

He sat high upon His throne,

While aimless, I groped in doom;

And I never knew He thought of me,

While I was yet inside the womb.

The greatest man I hadn’t met,

Wanted His peace to impart.

He waited, so patient an entrance to gain,

While He stood, and knocked at my heart!

I opened the door, and looked in His eyes,

And felt the love…spilling out!

With His hand out-stretched,

He brushed the tears from my face,

And He banished all of my doubt!

*************

The greatest man I’ve come to know,

Left it all…so that I could have;

And I gladly took, ALL He had to give…

This King became lowly, and died on the cross…

Just so that I could live!

The greatest man I’ve ever known,

Turned my sorrows into light…

Sad memories I had, all faded away,

And things that were wrong, were now right!

The greatest words I still haven’t heard,

But someday, I know that I shall…

Will be, “Well done!  Enter into your rest, forever with me to dwell!”

**************

If He’s the man who you haven’t met,

He quietly stands, and knocks, just outside…

Throw open the door, and invite Him in,

For He wants with you to abide!

By:  Anita Mondragon  June 2005

K.I.D.S. CORNER PRESENTS…JULIE LEARNS TO USE HER BIBLE Oct. 21,2015

kidscorner1

We are starting something new on the blog!  Every Wednesday, we will be sharing devotional stories for the younger ones.  It is called:  Kids Corner, which stands for Kids  Informative  Devotional  Stories.  I share these with my 7-year-old, and he loves them!  These come from another one of my mom’s books.  I remember her and my dad reading these to me each night! Enjoy … and share with your children! -anita

********************

“Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against God.”  Psalm 119:11

Song:  The B-I-B-L-E…yes that’s the book for me!  I stand alone on  the Word of God…the B-I-B-LE!

Story:  Julie looked at the beautiful Bible which she had received from Aunt Sue last month for her birthday.  She had opened the covers just enough to peek in, but she had never used it.  She did not want anyone else to use it  either.  “I want to keep it like new,” she said.

“It won’t do you any good unless you read it,” said mother.

“But it’s so pretty!”  Julie said.  “I don’t want to spoil the looks of it.”

Each day, mother tried to show Julie that the Bible would do her no good unless she read it, but Julie could not be convinced.

One evening, mother decorated the supper table beautifully.  She had candles on the table.  The best silver was used, and all of the dishes were filled with food.  Everything looked lovely.  After Julie’s father had offered thanks for the food, Julie said, “Please pass the meat.”

“Oh, no,” said mother.  “It looks too pretty on the plate.  We’re not going to eat it.”

Julie looked at her in surprise.  “May I have some salad, then?”

“No, no,” said dad.  “Mother has fixed it so it looks so nice in the bowl.  We don’t want to spoil the looks of it.”

“But I’m hungry!” said Julie.

“Oh, I’m sure you are,” said mother, “but you wouldn’t want this beautiful plate of food to be spoiled, would you?  We are just planning to sit here at the table and look at it.  Isn’t it lovely?”

Suddenly, Julie realized that her mother was trying to teach her a lesson.  “I guess that is what I have been doing with my Bible, isn’t it, mother?” she asked.

Many people do as Julie did.  They do not use their Bibles.  Remember, the Bible is God’s Word.  We should read it regularly, for it will make us stronger Christians.

Memory Verse:  Psalm 119:11

Questions:

  1.  What had Julie done with her Bible?
  2.  Why had she not read it?
  3.  What did mother do when Julie asked for the meat?
  4. What did she say they were planning to do at the table?
  5. What did Julie realize at the dinner table?
  6. What does God’s Word do for us?

Prayer Request:  Pray the same prayer that David prayed: “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.”  Thank the Lord for God’s Word, which makes us stronger Christians.

By:  Ruth I. Johnson

Back to the Bible Publishers Copyright,1956