Sunday, May 27, 2012

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
 Between the crosses, row on row,
 That mark our place; and in the sky
 The larks, still bravely singing, fly
 Scarce heard amid the guns below.

 We are the Dead. Short days ago
 We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
 Loved and were loved, and now we lie
 In Flanders fields. 

Take up our quarrel with the foe: 
To you from failing hands we throw
 The torch; be yours to hold it high.
 If ye break faith with us who die 
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
 In Flanders fields.


Flanders Field

  Why are poppy flowers so significant? During World War I, the disruption of battlefields during warfare caused the lovely poppy flowers to sprout and grow. You see, poppy seeds embed themselves in the ground, and only grow when disrupted...The fighting disrupted them. After the war ended, there were too many casualties for the grave sites, so people began to bury them in poppy fields...Such as Flanders Field, the field Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae based his poem on. The poppies have since been recognized as the official VFW memorial flower.

Don't forget the ones who have paid the ultimate sacrifice...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sunday, May 20, 2012

I have a semi photographic memory. I also have a very fast auditory memory. I can read something in a textbook and remember it close to word for word. I may watch a movie and be able to quote several scenes after the first time. I can hear a song once and have the lyrics memorized by the time it is over.
Therefore, it is constantly a marvel to me how many songs and poems and other things I have buried in my brain. There must be thousands of them! I was thinking the other day, how wonderful it would be if I had as many Bible verses in my head as I have songs.
I admit, I do have a hard time memorizing Bible verses. Why does my brain seem to pick up so many things of little import when I cannot make the things that are worth remembering stick in my head?!
Here are a few tacks which I use for memorization of things which do not come so easily to me.
1. Flash cards-- make flash cards with the verses on them. If you wish, you can write the verses in fragments and practice putting them in order, or you can write the verses on one side of the verses and the reference on the other. NOTE: Don’t forget the references! They’re incredibly important.
2. Repetition-- Go through the verses several times a day. Repeat them over and over again, get them in your head. When you have drive time between appointments or rest time or a few spare moments between classes or even are sitting on the john, practice these flash cards.
3. Say it out loud. When practicing or memorizing your verses, say it out loud. If you are hearing it as well as speaking it and reading it, it will give you added efficiency.
Here below are a few more unique ways to memorize verses......

1. Write it on a piece of paper or on a white board. Each time you say it, cover up or erase one or more words, but continue to speak the verse all the way through.
2. If you are memorizing a verse with a group of people, try standing in a line or sitting in a circle and having each person say one word of the verse in order. Keep the words spoken at the pace that a single person would speak it in. It will feel fast but will keep your brain engaged.
3. Something I do that is unique is walking to a rhythm while saying the verses. Pick a rhythm and step on the beat while reciting. I did this yesterday with Ezekiel 36:26. Here is how I broke it down (with stepping on the capitalized and emphasized words) “I will TAKE away the STONY heart and GIVE you a heart of FLESH; EZEKiel THIRTY six TWENTY six.”

Really, it all comes down to hiding the word in your heart. Bible verses may seem difficult or daunting to memorize, but they are one of the most important things that you can ever learn because they are truth. They are God’s truth, and His truth will always remain.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Write a Soldier

  Welcome all! 

 Recently, the four of us have been interested/involved in the ministry of writing letters to American Soldiers overseas. We would like to encourage you to do this as well! Writing letters to our brave young men overseas can not only be a great way to show our gratitude for all they do for can also be a way to share the gospel with them. If you are interested in writing a letter to a soldier by yourself, or if you would like to gather a group together to write letters and send them off in bulk, you can find more information about that here. 

 Carolyn, Ella, Piper and I have found that places such as school gatherings, book sales, or fair grounds are great places to set up a table and get young people to write letters. Below is some information that you may find helpful if you would like to set up a table yourself. 

 Here is a list of things you may need: 
* A clipboard (to keep track of how many people have written letters) 
* Some signs 
* Lined paper, colored paper, or cardstock 
* Pens, pencils and markers 
* Scissors 
* Stickers for the young writers ;) 
* Glue sticks 
* Baskets (to keep everything in) 
* A tablecloth 
* Some cut out bible verses (for people to glue on letters) 
* Rule sheets 

 Making signs: If you are planning on setting up a table to write letters, it would be beneficial for you to have some signs and writing guidelines for people who may have questions about what to write. Here is what we used on our signs... 

 What should I write?
Do—Thank them for their service 
Do—Be positive 
Do—Share the gospel 
Do—Glorify God in all you write 
Don’t—Focus on killing and/or death 
Don’t—use hateful words 
Don’t—Share personal information 

 *All letters are subject to censorship 

 Happy writing!!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Matt Redman -- 10,000 Reasons

"Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me.... let me be singing when the evening comes."

  "For all your goodness I will keep on singing.... 10,000 reasons for my heart to find."

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sermon Notes

  A Hunger for Righteousness
  By Ella
  Key Verse: Matthew 5:6 
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness.

desperate hunger for righteousness is… 
 * Not just a Sunday hunger.
 * Cannot be generated from the outside. 

A hunger for God can only be given by God Himself. If you take a small bite or a sip of something that is absolutely delectable, you can’t help but want to eat/drink more of it, right? This is how we should hunger for God. If we listen to our hunger, it can become our motivation. 
 Motivation to…. 

 * Be not only hearers, but doers as well.

 God blesses those who are hungry. 

 Important point: Christians should be defined by their hunger. 

However, there is no hunger in a Christian when that Christian is comfortable. “Comfort zones” don’t help us. We need to break free and step out into the open. We should be on our toes ready for anything that could come at us. Ready to serve God, ready to get into His word, ready to help another struggling. But will we do that if we’re stuck in a comfort zone? 

 3 things that keeps us from hungering for God. 

 1. We put greater effort into riding the brakes than slamming on the accelerator. People think in terms of “I would have to quit smoking, drinking, cussing…ect to be good enough for God…and I don’t know if I can do that.” We get frustrated because we think we have to be something in order for God to except us. We have everything backwards! First, we must seek first God’s kingdom, and then in time, the rest will follow.

“But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:22 ESV)

With what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God…” (Micah 6:6-8 NIV) 

 Our problem: We won’t seek God until we’re starving. 

We need to be do-ers and not don’t-ers. It’s not about what we don’t do, it’s about what we start doing. When we strive to find God more and more he cleanses us of what we shouldn’t do and fills us with the desire to do what we need to do. God always cleans his fish after he catches them. 

 Consider this example of displacement… You have a nice metal bucket full of water. As an experiment, you start dropping golf balls into the bucket along with the water. What happens? Obviously, the water is going to leak out of the bucket… As you keep adding golf balls, you realize that now there is very little water left in the bucket. Instead, it is filled with golf balls. The water couldn’t drain out of the bucket by itself. Until the golf balls were brought into the picture, the water would have stayed right there. We try to drain everything bad out of our lives so that we can fill ourselves with God. It doesn’t work that way. If we except God and strive to find Him, He will cleans us and fill us with Himself. 

 Don’t ride the brake when trying to follow God. Instead, accelerate. 

 2. Living distantly from God. Isaiah 29:13 discusses how people can “draw near” with their mouths, but in their hearts they are far from Him. Important point: If God seems distant to you, guess who was the one that moved? We need to stay desperate for God. We are not going to be filled once and then constantly longing for Him afterwards. It is a process of being continually filled with His Holy Spirit. Important point: Jesus is all we need because he is all there is. 

“As the deer pants for the stream of water so my soul pants for you, O God.” (Psalm 42:1 NIV) 

“I said to the Lord, ‘you are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing’” (Psalm 16:2) 

We need to have a one track mind for God. We need should be so hungry for God we cling to him. 3. We are more focused on comfort than on eternal perspective. Important point: When we have an excessive hunger for God everything else of the world will lose it allure. In the light of his glory and praise all other things will grow dim. 

“Worth are you, our Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” (Revelation 4:11) “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, ‘if you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.’” (John 8: 31-32) “The lord had taken away the judgments against you; he has cleared away your enemies. The kind of Israel, the Lord. Is in your midst; you shall never again fear evil.” (Zephaniah 3:15) 

 Important point: We can rest in God’s love. 

 Are you hungry for God? Will you answer that hunger? Behold, The old will fall away and the new will come. Praise God!