Saturday, June 18, 2016

Just for Today (poetry)

Just for Today
                                          from collection by Jerrold L.C. Ham

Just for today, Lord,
         please give me grace.

Just for today, Lord,
      my problems I face.

Just for today, Lord,
                   give me rest from my fears.

Just for today, Lord,
   help dry my tears.

Just for today Lord,
  give me strength
    for my tasks.

Just for today, Lord,
     that's all I can ask.

@ Jerrold L.C. Ham

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Two Christians spared during Brussels attacks

Laura Harper and Laura Billiet heard an explosion early Tuesday while walking into the Brussels airport. Their first reaction was to pray as Harper relates,
"At first I was a complete coward, hiding under the desk. I thought maybe they have guns, maybe people are going to start shooting us. We were praying."

Their timing would have put them in the line of fire if it weren't for a friend who wanted a snack before reaching the airport.  The slight delay very well may have saved their lives. 

According to Harper, 
"If we had arrived one minute earlier, we would have been right inside, right where it the counter I was going to. I'm just so grateful."

The Islamic State claimed a death toll of at least 30.

Joyce Meyer posted prayers to Facebook.

"This morning three explosions went off in Brussels, Belgium, killing 34 people and wounding 170 more. Today, we stand in prayer with the people of Belgium knowing that God is our hope."


Saturday, January 2, 2016

Football Coach suspended for praying files complaint against school

For the past seven years Coach Joe Kennedy of Bremerton High School in Washington state has quietly kneeled in prayer after the school's football games. He has always waited until players have left the field to then walk onto the 50-yard line to pray.
Members of the Tennessee Titans and the New England Patriots pray together after their game at Gillette Stadium on December 20, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts
Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
He typically thanks God for the opportunity to play a good game, win or lose, and asks for God's blessings upon the students' lives and their futures. The prayer is usually less than 30 seconds and causes no intrusive disturbance.
He instructs no one to join him but over time many of his students have chosen to do so. One of the joiners is an agnostic who voluntarily supports his coach and teammates as he feels it is an inspirational practice.
However, a few students, including the school president, are dismayed by the school's tolerance of the believers; and they therefore tried to organize a protest. The Satanic Temple of Seattle was invited to attend the game supposedly in an effort to claim the right to express their religion after games as well. This reason given for the protest is nonsensical since there is (or was) no one stopping anyone from quietly praying after games, regardless of religion. Furthermore, if there are any volunteers who might want to join them, they are (or were) free to do so.
It was in September of 2015 that the school district told Joe Kennedy he must stop praying on the school property because there may be a violation of the Establishment Clause. Coach Joe Kennedy, a Marine veteran who knows and has fought for our Constitution of freedom and justice, understood that his rights were being violated; and he sought legal help from the Liberty Institute.
"Liberty Institute is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization committed to defending and restoring religious liberty across America—in our schools, for our churches and throughout the public arena. Often, our help is a last resort for those whose constitutional freedoms and God-given rights have been denied." Mission statement from the Liberty Institute
After reviewing the case and within a month, Liberty Institute sent a letter to the school board clearly explaining why the coach is within his rights to offer personal prayers. Two days later and a few hours before the next game, a homecoming game, the school told Joe he was facing disciplinary action if he ever prayed again on school property within sight of his players. In other words, he must hide when he prays.
Kennedy stated:
"BSD does not uniformly or consistently enforce its discriminatory policy. I have observed other BSD employees engage in visible religious expression without adverse consequences.”
That night, attorney Hiram Sasser of the Liberty Institute walked with Kennedy onto the field as Kennedy intended to offer his usual post-game prayer. They didn't walk alone for long. Bremerton players came back to support their coach. On top of that, many players from the opposing team joined in a circle around the coach as he prayed.
Coach Kennedy was suspended.
December 15, 2015: Liberty Institute filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for the school's violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
“Coach Kennedy engages in private religious expression during noninstructional hours, after his official duties as a coach have ceased. He neither requests, encourages, nor discourages students from participating in, or coming to where he prays. … Under these circumstances, there is no constitutional prohibition against Coach Kennedy’s private religious expression.” Hiram Sasser
EEOC will decide if an investigation is in order.

For original article, click here.

Thursday, December 24, 2015


by Marsha Burns

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly.  Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.  It has two levels of meaning; the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to member of their church.  Each element in the carol has a code word for religious reality, which the children could remember.

On the 1st day of Christmas my true love gave to me...A Partridge in a Pear Tree
The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus the Christ, the Son of God.  In the song, Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge that feigns injury to decoy predators from her helpless nestlings, recalling the expression of Christ's sadness over the fate of Jerusalem:
Luke 13:34-35  "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings…”
2 Peter 3:9  The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

On the 2nd day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Two Turtle Doves
The Old and New Testaments, which together bear witness to God's self-revelation in history and the creation of a people to tell the Story of God to the world.
Turtle doves form strong pair bonds, Turtle Doves have become emblems of devoted love.  You can’t have one without the other.
Song of Solomon 1:15  THE BELOVED: Behold, you are fair, my love! Behold, you are fair! You have dove‘s eyes.
This speaks of God’s love for us and our love for him … the Bridegroom and the Bride.

On the 3rd day of Christmas my true love gave to me...Three French HensThe Three Virtues:  1) Faith, 2) Hope, and 3) Love
1 Corinthians 13:13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Faith – conviction of truth
Hope – expectation of good
Love – brotherly love, good will of Christians towards Christians which is enjoined and prompted by their religion.

On the 4th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Four Calling BirdsThe Four Gospels: 1) Matthew, 2) Mark, 3) Luke, and 4) John, which proclaim the Good News of God's reconciliation of the world to Himself in Jesus Christ.
All four gospels present Jesus as both the Son of God and son of man. They all record His baptism, the feeding of the 5,000 from five loaves and two fishes, Mary's anointing of the Lord Jesus, His prayer in the garden of Gethsemane, His betrayal, trial, crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection.

On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...Five Gold Rings
The first Five Books of the Old Testament, known as the Torah or the Pentateuch: 
1) Genesis, 2) Exodus, 3) Leviticus, 4) Numbers, and 5) Deuteronomy,
which gives the history of humanity's sinful failure and God's response of grace in the creation of a people to be a light to the world.

On the 6th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...Six Geese A-laying
The six days of creation that confesses God as Creator and Sustainer of the world.

Genesis 1:1-2 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
Day 1:  He separated light from darkness
Day 2:  He divided the waters and made heaven
Day 3:  He divided the land from the sea and created grass, herbs and trees
Day 4:  He created the sun, moon and stars
Day 5:  He created living creatures of the air and sea
Day 6:  He created creatures on the earth and man to have dominion over the earth
Day 7:  He rested.

On the 7th day of Christmas my true gave to me....
Seven Swans A-swimmingThe seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: 1) prophecy, 2) ministry, 3) teaching, 4) exhortation, 5) giving, 6) leading, and 7) compassion
Romans 12:6-8:  Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;  or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching;  he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

On the 8th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...Eight Maids A-milkingThe eight Beatitudes:
1) Blessed are the poor in spirit – those who know their need for God
2) those who mourn – those who have repentant hearts
3) the meek – those who rely on God instead of their own strength
4) those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
5) the merciful – those who help the afflicted
6) the pure in heart – free from corruption, sin and guilt
7) the peacemakers – those who help bring God’s peace to mankind
8) those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake – those who are mistreated because of Christ and suffer for His sake.

On the 9th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...Nine Ladies DancingThe nine Fruit of the Holy Spirit: 1) love, 2) joy, 3) peace, 4) patience, 5) kindness,
6) generosity, 7) faithfulness, 8) gentleness, and 9) self-control.  (Galatians 5:22)

On the 10th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...Ten Lords A-leaping
The ten commandments: 1) You shall have no other gods before me; 2) Do not make an idol; 3) Do not take God's name in vain; 4) Remember the Sabbath Day; 5) Honor your father and mother; 6) Do not murder; 7) Do not commit adultery; 8) Do not steal; 9) Do not bear false witness; 10) Do not covet. (Exodus 20:1-17)

On the 11th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...Eleven Pipers Piping
The eleven Faithful Apostles:
1) Simon Peter – heard (and obeyed)
2) Andrew – natural man
3) James – gift or endowment
4) John – beloved of God
5) Philip -- friend
6) Bartholomew – covered in blood, forgiven
7) Matthew – strong and able to fight (the devil)
8) Thomas – twin or joined with, one in heart
9) James son Alphaeus -- transformed
10) Simon the Zealot – zealous for the Lord
11) Thaddaeus – courageous and bold

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...Twelve Drummers DrummingThe twelve points of doctrine in the Apostles' Creed: 1) I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. 2) I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. 3) He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. 4) He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. 5) On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. 6) He will come again to judge the living and the dead. 7) I believe in the Holy Spirit, 8) the holy catholic (the undivided) Church, 9) the communion of saints (joint participation and fellowship), 10) the forgiveness of sins, 11) the resurrection of the body, 12) and life everlasting.

Faith Tabernacle

Thursday, November 26, 2015

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