Listen Long then MAYBE Speak….

Listen Long then MAYBE Speak !

When is the last time you said something you wanted to take back but could not?
Once it leaves your lips it is history! The solution is to think much longer and harder and
louder than we speak!

The tonque may be the toughest things in life to control!!!

Proverbs 17:28 “Even a fool, when he holds his peace, is counted wise: and he that shuts his mouth is esteemed a man of understanding.”

Phil 2:14,15 “Do all things without murmurings and disputings: that you may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.”

Before you try speaking this morning try to;

James 1:19 “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;”

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Columbine School Reminder….

Luke 9:23 “If anyone will come after Me, let them deny themselves, take
up their cross daily, and follow Me
.”

Subject: TESTIMONY OF DARRELL SCOTT BEFORE CONGRESS

Guess our national leaders didn’t expect this. Darrell Scott,
the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School
shootings in Littleton, Colorado, was invited to address the House
Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee. What he said to our national leaders
during this special session of Congress was painfully truthful.
They were not prepared for what he was to say, nor was it received well.
It needs to be heard by every parent, every teacher, every politician,
every sociologist, every psychologist, and every so-called expert!

These courageous words spoken by Darrell Scott are powerful,
penetrating, and deeply personal. The following is a portion of the
transcript:
“Since the dawn of creation there has been both good & evil in the
hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the
seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott,
and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who
died must not be in vain.

Their blood cries out for answers.” “The first recorded act of
violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The
villain was not the club he used. Neither was it the NCA, the National
Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the
murder could only be found in Cain’s heart. “In the days that followed
the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be
pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am
not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or
defend the NRA – because I don’t believe that they are responsible for
my daughter’s death.
Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed
they had anything to do with Rachel’s murder I would be their strongest
opponent.” I am here today to declare that

Columbine was not just a tragedy–it was a spiritual event that
should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the
blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing
fingers of the accusers themselves. I wrote a poem that expresses my
feelings best. This was written way before I knew I would be speaking
here today:

“Your laws ignore our deepest needs; Your words are empty air.
You’ve stripped away our heritage, You’ve outlawed simple prayer.
Now gunshots fill our classrooms, and precious children die. You seek
for answers everywhere, and ask the question “Why?” You regulate
restrictive laws, through legislative creed. And yet you fail to
understand, That God is what we need!” Men and women are three-part
beings. We all consist of body, soul, and spirit. When we refuse to
acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows
evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc.

Spiritual influences were present within our educational systems
for most of our nation’s history. Many of our major colleges began as
theological seminaries. This is a historical fact. What has happened to
us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open
the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as
Columbine’s tragedy occurs politicians immediately look for a scapegoat
such as the NRA.  They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws
that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties. We do
not need more restrictive laws.

Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors.
No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this
type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts. Political
posturing and restrictive legislation are not the answers. The young
people of our nation hold the key. There is a spiritual awakening taking
place that will not be squelched!

We do not need more religion. We do not need more gaudy
television evangelists spewing out verbal religious garbage. We do not
need more million dollar church buildings built while people with basic
needs are being ignored. We do need a change of heart and a humble
acknowledgment that this nation was founded on the principle of simple
trust in God!”

“As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and
saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, He did not hesitate
to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right!
I challenge every young person in America, and around the world, to
realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School prayer was
brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by
those students be in vain.

Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for
legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him.
To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA- I give to you a
sincere challenge. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the
first stone!

My daughter’s death will not be in vain! The young people of
this country will not allow that to happen!”

How bold are you in proclaiming God’s word?

Luke 9:26 “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of
Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s,
and the holy angels.”

In God we Trust….

Romans 13:1a “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities…”

In God we Trust…..

The one dollar bill you’re looking at first came off the presses in 1957 in its present design. This so-called paper money is in fact a cotton and linen blend, with red and blue minute silk fibers running through it. It is actually material. We’ve all washed it without it falling apart. A special blend of ink is used, the contents we will never know.

It is overprinted with symbols and then it is starched to make it water resistant and pressed to give it that nice crisp look. If you look on the front of the bill, you will see the scales for the balanced budget. In the center you have a carpenter’s T-square, a tool used for an even cut. Underneath is the Key to the United States Treasury. That’s all pretty easy to figure out, but what is on the back of that dollar bill is something we should all know.

If you turn the bill over, you will see two circles. Both circles, together, comprise the Great Seal of the United States. The First Continental Congress requested that Benjamin Franklin and a group of men come up with a Seal.

It took them four years to accomplish this task and another two years to get it approved. If you look at the left-hand circle, you will see a Pyramid. Notice the face is lighted and the western side is dark. This country was just beginning. We had not begun to explore the West or decided what we could do for Western Civilization.

The Pyramid is uncapped, again signifying that we were not even close to being finished. Inside the capstone you have the all-seeing eye, an ancient symbol for divinity. It was Franklin’s belief that one man couldn’t do it alone, but a group of men, with the help of God, could do anything.

“IN GOD WE TRUST” is on this currency. The Latin above the pyramid, ANNUIT COEPTIS, means, “God has favored our undertaking.” The Latin below the pyramid, NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM means, “A new order has begun.” At the base of the pyramid is the Roman numeral for 1776.

If you look at the right-hand circle, and check it carefully, you will learn that it is on every National Cemetery in the United States. It is also on the Parade of Flags Walkway at the Bushnell, Florida National Cemetery and is the centerpiece of most heroes’ monuments. Slightly modified, it is the seal of the President of the United States and it is always visible whenever he speaks; yet no one knows what the symbols mean.

The Bald Eagle was selected as a symbol for victory for two reasons: first, he is not afraid of a storm; he is strong and he is smart enough to soar above it. Secondly, he wears no material crown. We had just broken from the King of England.

Also, notice the shield is unsupported. This country can now stand on its own. At the top of that shield you have a white bar signifying congress, a unifying factor. We were coming together as one nation. In the Eagle’s beak you will read,

“E PLURIBUS UNUM”, meaning “one nation from many people.” Above the Eagle you have thirteen stars representing the original colonies, and any clouds of misunderstanding rolling away. Again, we were coming together as one. Notice what the Eagle holds in his talons. He holds an olive branch and arrows. This country wants peace, but we will never be afraid to fight to preserve peace. The Eagle always wants to face the olive branch, but in time of war, his gaze turns toward the arrows.

In God we trust is still as relevant as when the founders of our country placed it on our currency. If not, then our nation is in big trouble.

Romans 13:1 “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there
is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.”

Be Content and give Thanks…

Luke 12:15 “And He said to them, ‘Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s Life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.'”

Be Content and give Thanks…..

One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people can be. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family. On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, “How was the trip?”

“It was great, Dad.” “Did you see how poor people can be?” the father asked.

“Oh Yeah” said the son.

“So what did you learn from the trip?” asked the father.

The son answered, I saw that we have one dog and they had four.” “We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end.” “We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night.” “Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon.” “We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight.” “We have servants who serve us, but they serve others.” “We buy our food, but they grow theirs.” “We have walls around our property to protect us; they have friends to protect them.”

With this the boy’s father was speechless.

Then his son added, “Thanks dad for showing me how poor we are.”

Too many times we forget what we have and concentrate on what we don’t have. Your worthless object may be another’s prize possession. It is all based on one’s perspective. Makes you wonder what would happen if we all gave thanks for all the bounty we have instead of worrying about wanting more.

Take joy in all we have, especially our friends and family.

Phil 4:11b “…for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content”

Luke 12:15 “And He said to them, ‘Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.'”

Children – Train them up….

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

Technology gave us the Printing Press, Radio, TV, Computers and puts into the hands of parents a means of providing spiritual insight and direction to the family.  These tools can be used in the shaping of the lives of their household. But the keepers of them must be diligent to watch over the pages which they allow to enter first their mind and then those in their households. The responsibility is to know the character of every Book, Magazine, Website, TV and Radio channel which comes within their doors, and should resolutely exclude everything which would defile. Then, while they exclude everything whose influence would be for evil, if they are wise they will bring into their home as much as possible of pure, elevating, and refining literature. Every beautiful thought which enters an adult and child’s mind, adds to the strength and loveliness of the character in after days. The educating influence of the best books and magazines is incalculable, and no parent can afford to lose it in the training of his family. It is also vital that the parents first see themselves as having the same needs as the young minds they are seeking to form.

BEWARE! Remember the enemy also knows how to use these tools so guard your mind and your family’s minds!
Col 2:8 “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the ways of the world, and not after Christ.”

 

Here is a tool to judge every media tool by;
Phil 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

What Children can do for us….

Mat 16:24 “If anyone will come after Me, let them deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Me.”

If you never deny yourself or seek to help and understand others you will never know the joy of life.

WHAT CHILDREN CAN DO FOR US

She was six years old when I first met her on the beach near where I live. I drive to this beach, a distance of three or four miles, whenever the world begins to close in on me. She was building a sand castle or something and looked up, her Eyes as blue as the sea.

“Hello,” she said. I answered with a nod, not really in the mood to bother with a small child.

“I’m building,” she said.
“I see that. What is it?” I asked, not caring.

“Oh, I don’t know, I just like the feel of sand.”

“That sounds good, I thought, and slipped off my shoes.

A sandpiper glided by. “That’s a joy,” the child said.

“It’s a what?”

“It’s a joy. My mama says sandpipers come to bring us joy. “The bird went gliding down the beach.

“Good-bye joy,” I muttered to myself “hello pain,” and turned to walk on. I was depressed; my life seemed completely out of balance.

“What’s your name?” She wouldn’t give up.

“Robert,” I answered. “I’m Robert Peterson.”

“Mine’s Wendy… I’m six.”

“Hi, Wendy.”

She giggled. “You’re funny,” she said.

In spite of my gloom I laughed too and walked on. Her musical giggle followed me.

“Come again, Mr.P,” she called. “We’ll have another happy day.”

The days and weeks that followed belonged to others: a group of unruly Boy Scouts, PTA meetings, an ailing mother. The sun was shining one morning as I took my hands out of the dishwater.”I need a sandpiper,” I said to myself gathering up my coat. The ever-changing balm of the seashore awaited me. The breeze was chilly, but I strode along, trying to recapture the serenity I needed. I had forgotten the child and was startled when she appeared.
“Hello, Mr. P,” she said. “Do you want to play?”
“What did you have in mind?” I asked, with a twinge of annoyance.

“I don’t know, you say.”

“How about charades?”  I asked sarcastically.

The tinkling laughter burst forth again. “I don’t know what that is.”

“Then let’s just walk.” Looking at her, I noticed the delicate fairness of her face.

“Where do you live?” I asked.
“Over there.” She pointed toward a row of summer cottages.

Strange, I thought, in winter. “Where do you go to school?”

“I don’t go to school. Mommy says we’re on vacation.” She chattered little girl talk as we strolled up the beach, but my mind was on other things. When I left for home, Wendy said it had been a happy day. Feeling surprisingly better, I smiled at her and agreed.

Three weeks later, I rushed to my beach in a state of near panic. I was in no mood to even greet Wendy. I thought I saw her mother on the porch and felt like demanding she keep her child
at home.

“Look, if you don’t mind,” I said crossly when Wendy caught up with me,
“I’d rather be alone today.”

She seemed unusually pale and out of breath.

“Why?” she asked. I turned to her and shouted, “Because my mother died!” and thought, my God, why was I saying this to a little child?
“Oh,” she said quietly, “then this is a bad day.”

“Yes,” I said, and yesterday and the day before and-oh, go away!”

“Did it hurt?” she inquired.

“Did what hurt?” I was exasperated with her, with myself.

“When she died?” ”

Of course it hurt!!!!” I snapped, misunderstanding. Wrapped up in myself, I strode off.
A month or so after that, when I next went to the beach, she wasn’t there. Feeling guilty,
ashamed and admitting to myself I missed her, I went up to the cottage after my walk and knocked at the door. A drawn looking young woman with honey-colored hair opened the door.

“Hello,” I said. “I’m Robert Peterson. I missed your little girl today and wondered where she was.”

“Oh yes, Mr. Peterson, please come in. Wendy spoke of you so much. I’m afraid I allowed her to bother you. If she was a nuisance, please accept my apologies.”

“Not at all-she’s a delightful child,” I said, suddenly realizing that I meant it. Where is she?”

“Wendy died last week, Mr. Peterson. She had leukemia. Maybe she didn’t tell you.”
Struck dumb, I groped for a chair. My breath caught.

“She loved this beach; so when she asked to come we couldn’t say no. She seemed so much better here and had a lot of what she called happy days. But the last few weeks, she declined rapidly…” her voice faltered. She left something for you … if only I can find it. Could you wait a moment while I look?”

I nodded stupidly, my mind racing for something, anything, to say to this lovely young woman.
She handed me a smeared envelope, with MR. P printed in bold, childish letters. Inside was a drawing in bright crayon hues, a yellow beach, a blue sea, and a brown bird.
Underneath was carefully printed:

A SANDPIPER TO BRING YOU JOY.

Tears welled up in my eyes, and a heart that had almost forgotten to love opened wide. I took
Wendy’s mother in my arms. “I’m so sorry, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry,” I muttered over and over, and we wept together.

The precious little picture is framed now and hangs in my study. Six words one for each year of her life that speaks to me of harmony, courage, an undemanding love. A gift from a child with sea-blue eyes and hair the color of sand-who taught me the gift of love.

The above is a true story sent out by Robert Peterson.

Mat 16:24a “If anyone will come after Me, let them deny themselves…”

Bible Interpretation – Can I…

Bible Interpretation – Can I…

Many people today feel they are inadequate in and of themselves to interpret scripture. Some have been taught that way and some are simply lazy understanding that it takes a time commitment to do so. Either way both are wrong according to the word of God itself. Noted below are some principles for interpreting scripture that have helped me along my journey to love, honor and obey God.

Can I interpret scripture or am I dependent upon someone else to provide me with God’s truths as they see them? The answer is yes you can, but our Lord as with all questions provides some guidelines in doing so. First keep in mind that Jesus Church as defined in scripture was instituted by God and designed by Him. In it He gives some members the Spiritual Gift of Pastor, some Teacher and some of the other gifts designed to aid in our search for understanding His truths. They were not placed in the Church to dictate our beliefs but to help us in our quest to find, love, worship and obey God. Our responsibility is to check out our teachers say using scripture to do so. We are to take advantage of those persons using those Gifts and what our Lord will teach us through them.

But as you will note in the principles identified below if for some reason beyond our control we are not able to attend a biblically sound Church with those members teaching, then God the Holy Spirit says that He will teach us. So the bottom line is that God will teach me if I truly seek Him. I will need to present myself to studying scripture and then God will provide me with the truths of His word that I need for my life.

  • I John 2:27a But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you;…”
    • The anointing mentioned comes from God the Holy Spirit to ‘born again’ believers. If you have not yet trusted Jesus as your Savior you do not have the anointing.

The Principles for Bible Interpretation;

  1. Must be ‘born again’ which is when the Holy Spirit comes into us.
  2. As ‘born again’ believers the Holy Spirit becomes our Teacher and uses many means to teach us.
  3. The Church was designed by God to be one of our teachers by those within it using their Spiritual Gifts to do so. The Church if doctrinally sound supports the family teaching and interpreting of scripture.
  4. Scripture never contradicts itself so you can never take one verse all by itself to prove a point. The rest of scripture must support the point or modify it so that they all agree.
  5. You need to understand the context of the passage surrounding the verse in question as to whom it is written to, when it was written, the situation the hearers were in, etc. Most of the NT is written to ‘born again’ believers.
  6. The Bible is not solely a history book. It truths are relevant for all ages. The unsaved will see scripture and the study of it as foolishness.
  7. Bible interpretation requires study. We are to study the scripture daily to please God as those in Berea did.
  8. God’s truths never change so base your acceptance of a Church or an individual’s teaching on God’s word. No Church teaching can change or replace it. It requires you pray for God’s wisdom and your study so God can provide it.
  9. It requires faith to trust in the Holy Spirit to be our interpreter just as it requires faith to be ‘born again’.
  10. God will protect His truths or scriptures down through the ages so we always have them to live by.

The following are some Bible passages supporting these principles;

  1. Must be ‘born again’ which is when the Holy Spirit comes into us. No Holy Spirit = no salvation.
    1. John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
    2. Acts 16:30b, 31 “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
    3. Rom 8:9 “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.”
  2. As ‘born again’ believers the Holy Spirit becomes our Teacher and uses many means to teach us.
    1. John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”
  3. The Church was designed by God to be one of our teachers and those within it using their Spiritual Gifts to do so. The Church if doctrinally sound supports the family teaching and interpreting of scripture. Infallibility (Church clergy speaking for and as God) is not taught in scripture. Jesus Church is not any one denomination but is made up of all ‘born again’ believers. The only Church name or denomination mentioned in scripture is ‘the Way’.
    1. Heb 10:25 “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”
    2. Rom 8:9 “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.”
    3. Acts 24:14 “But this I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets.”
  4. Scripture never contradicts itself so you can never take one verse all by itself to prove a point. The rest of scripture must support the point in question. All scriptures are in agreement.
    1. The best example would be taking James 2:17 (faith without works is dead) all by itself. If we do we can say that salvation includes works after we accept Jesus as our Savior. Other scriptures like Eph 2:8, 9, Titus 3:5 note that salvation is by Grace through faith and not by any of our works. Gal 2:21 notes that if we can add works to what we must do to be saved than Jesus sacrifice for our sins was done in vain.
    2. Both salvation passages taken together bring us God’s wisdom. What God is saying in James 2:17 when interpreting scripture is that real saving faith will be displayed by our works as a sign of our salvation.
  5. You need to understand the context of the passage surrounding the verse in question as to whom it is written to, when it was written, the situation the hearers were in, etc. Most of the NT is written to ‘born again’ believers and must be read with that in mind.
  6. The Bible is not solely a history book. It truths are relevant for all ages. The unsaved will see scripture and the study of it as foolishness.
    1. I Cor 2:14 “But the natural man (unsaved man) does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
  7. Bible interpretation requires study. We are to study the scripture daily to please God as those in Berea did.
    1. Acts 17:11 “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.”
  8. God’s truths never change so base your acceptance of a Church or an individual’s teaching on God’s word. No Church teaching can change or replace it. It requires you pray for God’s wisdom and your study so God can provide it.
    1. Mal 3:6A“For I am the Lord, I do not change;”
    2. James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”
  9. It requires faith to trust in the Holy Spirit to be our interpreter just as it requires faith to be ‘born again’.
    1. Eph 2:8, 9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
    2. Heb 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
  10. God will protect His truths or scriptures down through the ages so we always have them to live by.
    1. Mat 5:18 18For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

Be sure to check out the scriptures I noted above to see if they are true using the principles noted above………..

2 Tim 3:16, 17 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”