The Original ‘Black Friday”

Throughout the United States retail businesses are gearing up for the one day of the year that their sales will take them out of the red zone thereby giving them a healthy profit margin for the year. This event is so important to retailers that millions of dollars are spent on advertising aimed at enhancing the covetous nature of holiday shoppers.  Some more daring retailers are now infringing upon the eve of Thanksgiving to begin their bid 2012-11-23_14-33-28  black fridayfor the big bucks.  Their ploy, that sparks the annual greed by consumers to flock to the stores that offer the particular bargains that appeal to their wants, causes undue anxiety, greed, anger, and pride on the many folk who succumb to this annual event. The majority of these consumers are oblivious to the most important black Friday that ever was; the black Friday whereby they could have obtained a free gift that was paid for by someone who truly loved them.

thSEF8ER9X  family prayingMany folk across the Nation are giving honor to this free gift on Thanksgiving, the gift that will last for eternity. As the prayers go up for the delicious meal of turkey, yams and pumpkin pie, giving thanks to the one who provided this free gift is always included in this prayer.  Amazingly this was a very expensive gift; a gift that required the life of the giver.  Who is this benefactor you ask?  It is none other than the Son of God; God in the flesh; The Lord Jesus Christ.

The original black Friday is told in the Gospels. We know that on the Friday that Christ was Crucified that there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.  It was actually foretold in

Amos 8:9  “On that day, says the Lord God, I will make the Sun to go down at noon, and darken the Earth in broad daylight. I will turn your feasting into mourning, and all your songs into lamentations.” 

For those who do not believe the Bible account, much historical evidence exists to support the three hour period of darkness in 33 AD; actually more than almost any other ancient event in history.  Historians like Lucian, Terturtllian, Thallius, Julius Africans and Cornelius Tacitus write about the three hour of darkness on the day of the Crucifixion of Christ.  We learn in Luke 23 that:

 It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over all the land until the ninth hour, the sun failing” (Luke 23:44-45).
Luke says that ‘the Sun failed.’ The words used here are the Greek words, “tou heliou ekleipontos”. The word “Helios” is translated “the Sun”. The word “Ekleipo” is translated as ‘to fail, to come to an end.’thus the cause of the darkness was a failure in the Sun’s light.

th1CTU8A7M  Christ on the CrossSome two thousand  years ago God provided a way for sinful man to become reconciled to Him.  God sent his only begotten Son; God in the flesh; born of a virgin.  Jesus was born into this world to die; to die for the sins of mankind…………..my sins and your sins.  The Thanksgiving season is the time that we can remember the love of Jesus and the greatest gift that was ever bestowed upon mankind. It is the one gift that keeps on giving year after year after year  How appropriate that we celebrate this holiday prior to Christmas when we celebrate His birth.

If you have not received this gift it is available by admitting that you are a sinner in the need of a Savior.  On that Black Friday in AD 33 Jesus provided salvation to those who were spiritually separated from the Holy God.  May this Thanksgiving season be remembered as the time that you called upon the Name of the Lord to forgive your sins and grant you eternal life with Him in Heaven.

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Teens Blog – SF19 It’s Music to His Ears!

musicInMyEars2image
With her head hanging out the window, the wind was whipping through her hair and the chill of the air was blasting across her face. But she didn’t mind. She was too depressed to care. With the iPod in her hand, and the music plugs in her ears, she drifted off to sleep in the car.

When she woke, the reminder of her loneliness and deep sadness was still there. The music didn’t help and she was right where she left off.

Still driving on the long road with her mom, a challenge came across the Christian radio. Listen to Christian music for 30 days and see how it changes your life.

She sat quietly listening to this challenge without a word. She couldn’t go much deeper than what she already felt, so why not take the challenge. Putting down her iPod, she turned the volume up and started to listen to the words of each song. What happened next is not what she expected. Continue reading

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Nuggets – The Power of Grace

The Power of Grace
“Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.” (Ephesians 3:7)

In the New Testament, the words for gift and grace are very closely related. The Greek term charis is most frequently translated “grace,” and charisma is most often rendered “gift.” We who are twice-born are to use our “gift” with one another as “good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10).

When God gifts us with faith so that we are saved by His grace (Ephesians 2:8), we are then “created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). This “new man” is granted the potential to understand the “exceeding greatness of his power” (Ephesians 1:19) and to participate in the “divine nature” so that we are able to escape the corruption that pervades the lust of this godless world (2 Peter 1:4).

When we preach the gospel, we are using “the power of God” that will result in the salvation of those who respond (Romans 1:16). Right after the day of Pentecost, the apostles gave testimony of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus in a demonstration of that power so that “great grace was upon them all” (Acts 4:33). The message and the power and the grace of God are inseparable.

When our lives radically changed in response to the “new man” created in us by God, they did so by “the grace of our Lord” that is “exceeding abundant with faith and love” (1 Timothy 1:14). When we access the strength to rise above our infirmities or difficult circumstances, we are experiencing the Lord’s grace that is sufficient to deal with or overcome whatever may be hindering us (2 Corinthians 12:9).

When we “work out” the salvation God has “graced” us with, we can be sure that God is working in us “both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12-13). HMM III

From The Institute fror Creation Research

 

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Faith Child – Sharing experience – Panic!

What do you do when you are caught in a lift that won’t go up or down, with it’s doors steadfastly shut?

Press the panic button of course….unless you cannot identify the button.

There are many times in life when a situation gets out of your control and you need to press the panic button for the rescuer to come save you.

You may have experienced a near accident, a disappointment, a challenge too big for you to handle, a sickness you thought affected others and never you or a stalker who has evil intent or even in a hostage situation.

Who would you call in panic? It is your automatic split- second  spontaneous response.

Your parents ? The police? Your neighbour? Your pastor? Your bank manager?

They may not come in time to save you.

I have identified  my panic button – His Name is JESUS!

Jesus Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient

Jesus who knows my past, present, and future

Jesus to whom both unseen and seen forces bend their knees

Jesus Who is there when I call

Jesus Who is alive, and my dearest and loving Friend!

Psalm 73:

25 Whom have I in heaven but you?And earth has nothing I desire besides you.

26 My flesh and my heart may fail,but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.

 

Do you know anyone better?

Do you know Jesus?

 

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Plan B

Verily, verily I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.John 12:24.

Engineers build many large, strategic computer systems in tandem. If one goes down the other one kicks in. The switch remains seamless to end users. It’s a built-in Plan B. A backup plan, a safeguard in case Plan A fails.

God does not have a Plan B. He had only one grain of wheat, His only begotten Son of the Father. Was crucified, dead and buried. On the third day He rose from the dead. And His One True Seed has been producing fruit for the Kingdom of Heaven since.

God did not need a Plan B. He created Plan A from before the foundations of the world.  It’s fail-safe. And He will carry out His Plan A through to its glorious conclusion. With us. In His Kingdom. For eternity.

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The Lonely Walk of Faith – SoS Saturday

Many Waters - SoS header

Come back, come back, O Shulammite;
Come back, come back, that we may gaze at you!” 

Song of Songs 6:13 NASB

The bride has come into sweet and beautiful Christian maturity. She has expressed it, Christ has declared it over her, and her friends have observed it.

Now she is off to minister with Him.

This was her desire from the beginning …

Draw me after you and let us run together! – 1:4

…though she was afraid to run with Him in the middle …

My beloved responded and said to me, ‘Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, And come along. -  2:10

On my bed night after night I sought him Whom my soul loves; I sought him but did not find him. -  3:1

… now she is off with Him, and her friends and confidants don’t want her to go and leave them.

The Christian life is meant to be lived together, in community. The Lord value’s community and relationship above all else. His desire is for us to walk in unity with Him and with each other.

We have observed in the Song that the Lord is tending to many gardens. There are those walking with Him where He wants to go, but at the same time there are gardens that remain untended – left to nature – to foxes – to thorns – to tares.

There are times in every Christian’s life when walking with the Lord means walking alone.

  • Jesus spent forty day’s in the wilderness.
  • Paul spent his 1,000 days in Arabia.
  • Moses spent forty years on the back side of the desert.
  • John the Baptist spent his life as we know it, in the deserts of Jordan.
  • Elijah sat by the brook and dined with ravens.

Well – you get the idea.

She is headed into ministry and there are those who would come this far, but no farther.

Have you drawn a line you will not cross, even if it’s the Lord drawing you?

When I read the Song, I usually take the place of the Bride, but today I examine myself and ask, am I the one calling “Come Back” as I watch others move ahead with Christ?

May it never be. Lord, let Your Holy Spirit fall afresh on me today.

Ben NelsonThanks for coming by.

Shine where you’re screwed in.

Ben

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Faith Child – Sharing experience – Pass the Ball please

I love team sports – where everyone has a position, a role to play so that the whole team may win. The Christian life is a team effort. As no man is an island we know we are running in a crowd of many witnesses. We know that we should encourage one another. We know we each are a part of the Body of Christ. We know we each have a place, a role to play and if we do not play our role, The Lord will raise someone else. Then we will suffer as we over- step, under- perform or fail to perform in our roles.

Have you come across someone who monopolizes a position in the body of Christ, hogs a position, overstays his/ her welcome after mission accomplished and causes heartaches, blow- outs and disaster to the Body? If only they knew their place and time, and when it is time to pass the ball.  No go, no goals. It is really sad that this does happen because the incumbent feels indispensable. May we learn that The Lord has plans which gives us responsibilities for certain times to meet certain needs in the Body and once accomplished, we must move on.

Then there are those who pass the ball but would not let go. They haunt their successors, insisting their ways are the best, giving the successor no room to manoevre new obstacles and hurdles for the changed environment and times.

May we learn like Christ Jesus to hand over timely in the plan of God and let others take over when our season  is up on the job in the Body of Christ.

 

John 16:7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. 12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” 

Am I hogging when I should relinquish?

Am I haunting my successor?

Lord, please help me pass the ball – in Your Name I ask, Amen!

 

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Nuggets – The Power of Forgiveness

The Power of Forgiveness
“To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins.” (Acts 26:18)

There is a historical point in our earthly lives at which the forgiveness of Christ was granted—even though He was “slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8) and in the eternal sense we were “predestined” to be “conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29).

Christ has subdued, cleansed, and forgotten our sins. Our human minds will never comprehend what it cost the triune Godhead to “subdue our iniquities” and metaphorically throw our sins “into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19). How is it possible for an omniscient God to blot out and forget our sins? Yet the Scriptures clearly tell us that He does so (Isaiah 43:25; 44:22; Acts 3:19). God’s forgiveness is an eternal act of forgetfulness as well as judicial payment and propitiation.

Christ has replaced our sins with His holiness. Of course this must be! A holy God cannot fellowship with an unholy being. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” We must be “made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:17, 21) so that He “might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Romans 3:26).

Christ has given us victory over sin. Since all of the above (and more) is true and active in the life of every believer, there should be an obvious exhilaration that enables us to confidently stand against whatever “fiery darts” the Enemy throws at us. “Sin shall not have dominion over you,” we are clearly told in Romans 6:14. Since the “offense” of sin was dealt with on the cross, we should “reign in life” by Jesus Christ (Romans 5:17).

Do you rejoice in your forgiveness and therefore reign over sin in your life? God has made this possible. HMM I

From The Institute for Creation Research

 

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Voices

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Special Post: Prayer for Ferguson

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Many of you are aware of the situation in Ferguson MO involving a white police officer in the shooting death of a black teenager 18 year old Michael Brown. Continue reading

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