Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving! - Rock of Ages

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy riven side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Save from wrath and make me pure

Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law's demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless, look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.

While I draw this fleeting breath,
When my eyes shall close in death,
When I soar to worlds unknown,
See Thee on Thy judgement throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.
This Christian hymn was written by Augustus M. Toplady in 1763.  Toplady was traveling along a gorge (called Barrington Combe in Mendip Hills, England) when he was caught in a storm.  This incident led him to write this beautiful and majestic hymn.  Read the words, and think of the message, and be blessed!
Happy Thanksgiving from us to you!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Living For & Rejoicing In Christ ebook

"Living For & Rejoicing In Christ" is a study guide through Paul's letter to the Philippians.  You can purchase a copy or copies via Starr Publications and/or Local Church Bible Publishers.

I am also glad to announce that this book is now available for download or reading via e-book format at Vook and the iTunesStore. Hopefully in a couple of days the Kindle Edition will be available and about a week later the B&N Nook Book edition should follow.

Thank you to Jeffrey Yozwiak (production coordinator) and Natasha Boysaw of Vook, Inc. for helping me out with navigating through the e-book publishing conundrum. Without their help, this book would have remained in print format only.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Even more thoughts about Twitter


     Part of what makes the Twitter experience fun is instant communication with people. Conversation is a vital part of a two-way street Twitter experience.  Let me mention that one-way street Twitter accounts can be informative but in my case I am interested in communication or making a connection.  For that reason alone, I am not into following what I call one way Twitter accounts.  As I had mentioned in a previous post, I am glad for the “List” option, and one-way accounts of interest are listed accordingly.  Announcements and information are good, but, for me, conversation and connection is where it’s at.  The goal in Twitter is not to badger your followers with tweets (that would be like attending a party and dominating the conversation – it’s sorta rude).  Meaningful conversation or connection is the worthy goal.  An important announcements, good words of encouragement, recommended resources, or even sometimes a simple response are appreciated and enough to achieve meaningful conversation.  But if you wish to have a good Twitter experience, make sure you make connections with your followers in a meaningful way.

Tweet Feeds

      A regular interval or steady flow of highly valuable information or inspirational material is something that I think is important to my followers, and because of that, I do my best to regularly Tweet something from the Bible.  I take a Scripture principle or topic and study it out and tweet about it for the week.  I rotate between three different emphases - doctrinal, discipleship, or devotional and sometimes the distinctions are a bit blurred but ultimately, I can’t go wrong here since it is principally drawn from God’s Holy Word.  One of these days, I want to pull a number of these tweets into a yearly devotional reader for Christians but that will have to come in due time (book #3, perhaps).
     Sometimes, I tweet a photo of things that I take with my camera (usually cell phone cam, but lately, I like taking shots with my tablet [Google Nexus 7]).  So far that has been a fun experience and hopefully adds value to my followers.  You can link or share a webpage or a news article of interest.  You can share a photo or a multi-media clip.  You can suggest other Twitter pages of interest to follow or list. The point is sharing tweets of value or interest.  I really enjoy it when I get RT’s that are worth RT-ing about.  It does get irritating to find a RT that borders on stupid or low-information but it comes with the territory (thankfully, you can opt out of people’s RTs, and that is a blessing).

More later...perhaps much later.

Monday, November 25, 2013

George Washington's Prayer for the Nation

"Almighty God, we make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in thy holy protection, that Thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government, and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States at large.

And finally, that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics if the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy nation.

Grant our supplications, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen."

(Written at Newburg, New York on June 8, 1783, and sent to the Governors of all the States)

Happy Thanksgiving! We all have so much to thank God for.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Joseph Bit Me!

A short family fun video to kick off your Thanksgiving season...we have so much to be thankful for!  Be well!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Prose - "Thanksgiving" by Pastor Terry L. Coomer


Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the LORD, because he cometh to judge the earth. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise." 1 Chronicles 16:33-35

Thanksgiving, what a tremendous heritage given to us by our forefathers.  It is my favorite time of the year! The Pilgrims came to America, for religious freedom. They had left England and came to Holland for religious freedom, but found that they still were not going to be able to worship freely and they believed that the people of Holland defiled the Lord's day, Sunday, by seeking entertainment on Sunday rather than setting it aside as a day for worship, reflection, and thankfulness.

The trip to America was a harsh trip. The Atlantic crossing in the fall of 1620 had been an extremely difficult journey for the Pilgrims. For two months, 102 people were wedged into what was called the “tween decks” of the Mayflower—the ship’s cargo space with only about five-and-a-half feet of headroom. No one was allowed above deck because of the terrible storms. This was no pleasure trip.  The Pilgrims comforted themselves on their journey by singing from the Book of Psalms. This “noise” irritated one of the ship’s paid crew members. He told the Pilgrims he was looking forward to throwing their corpses overboard after they succumbed to the routine illnesses common on such voyages. As it turned out, this crew member himself was the only person to die on the voyage and be thrown overboard. God providentially protected His own people. A little-known fact about the Mayflower is that this ship normally carried a cargo of wine; and the wine spillage from previous voyages had soaked the beams, acting as a disinfectant to prevent the spread of disease.

During one terrible storm, the main beam of the mast cracked. Death was certain if this beam could not be repaired. At that moment, the whole Pilgrim adventure could very easily have ended on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Providentially, the Pilgrims had with them a large iron printing press screw. That screw repaired the beam, saving the ship and all on board.

After sixty-six days at sea, land was sighted off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, not the place these Pilgrims wanted to be. They intended to establish their new colony in the northern parts of Virginia (which then extended to the Hudson River in modern-day New York), but two factors interrupted their plans. The winds had blown them off course, yes; but they later learned that other Englishmen who wanted to settle in the same part of Virginia had actually bribed the ship’s crew to land them farther north.

Despite this chicanery, God was in charge and the Pilgrims landed exactly where God wanted them to be. Had they actually made landfall near the Hudson River,they most certainly would have been immediately attacked by hostile Indians. Instead, they arrived at the one spot along the coast where hostile Indians had been providentially removed from the land.

Many years before the Mayflower journey, local Indians had captured a Frenchman on a fishing expedition to that region. Just as they were about to kill him, the Frenchman warned them God would be angry, would destroy them all, and would replace them with another nation. The Indians boastfully replied that his God could never kill them. Yet, a year or two before the Pilgrims arrived in this very same region, nearly all the native inhabitants had been wiped out by a plague.