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PEACE, PEACE, MARVELOUS PEACE!


HEBREW HONEYCOMB

Author: William Andrew Dillard

Extremely high on the priority list of men and of nations is the state of peace. Of course, those words may mean different things to different people, so amplification is needed. Stay with me on this one!
Peace! It is an enduring status to some, and so elusive to others. Still others throw it away before they realize they have it. Some folks want domestic peace. What can be more troubling than a home where there is no peace? Others want inner peace, a reprieve from a troubled conscience, or the filling of an inner void. Still others may be as the Hatfields and the McCoys; desperately needing peace in their relationships with others. Nations cry peace, and go to extremes to avoid war and its terrible effects for generations.

But should one trade away all freedoms of life and other potentials for peace to know a lesser degree of stress and turmoil? As the old saying goes, some would rather be red than dead, and will surrender to chains to avoid conflict as though the chains would bring them peace. Those who are troubled, and in need of peace should look nowhere else but to the Prince of Peace Who alone is able to bring permanent peace to the human heart and mind, even in times of stress and trouble. So, often we read apostolic salutations in the scriptures of “grace and peace unto you,” Such greetings were made in the sure realization that those states of being are real and attainable, but they are the gift of God and not of man.
Those who look elsewhere for peace than to the Lord Jesus Christ may find a temporary topical cream for a present troubled situation, but no lasting peace. The scriptures warned that this would be the mindset of men in the last days: “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” I Thess. 5:3.

At the entrance of Jesus into the World, angelic hosts praised God saying:” Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:14 He is the Prince Peace and the promise is “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Isa. 26:3. Thus did Jesus say to His disciples, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27. One may wonder if there is an alternative to the peace that Jesus alone gives. In such case, most serious consideration should be given to the forceful and simple statement of Isa 48:22, “There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked.”

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131– May 11 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

John Hart – A True Christian Patriot

 

While the actual date of John Hart’s birth is unknown, biographers have put it in the year of 1713, in Hopewell Township, NJ. His grandfather, for whom he was named, was a carpenter, who came from Newtown, Long Island. His son, Edward, was John Hart’s father. Edward Hart was a Justice of the Peace, a Public Assessor, and a farmer. He arrived in Hopewell about A.D. 1710, at the age of twenty. He married Martha Furman (Firmin), on May 17, 1712 and they had five children, all raised in Hopewell New Jersey.

 

In December of 1776, as Washington’s army retreated across New Jersey, the British and Hessians ravaged the Hopewell area. Hart’s home and property suffered severe damage, two young children fled to the homes of relatives and Hart himself took refuge wherever he could in the woods, hiding in caves and in the Sourwood Mountains.

 

John Hart was re-elected twice as Speaker of the Assembly and served until November 7, 1778.

 

Part of John Hart’s land called the lower meadow was donated to the Baptists in 1747 to build a church and cemetery, which is located on Broad Street in Hopewell.

 

On July 3, 2006, the Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence, Inc. dedicated a bronze plaque to John Hart and his wife Deborah Scudder Hart. Many descendants were at the Baptist Meeting House on Broad Street in Hopewell for the dedication. It is very fitting that John and Deborah are now buried and honored on the very land that he gave to the Baptists.

 

Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: The Society of the Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence/John Hart

 

 

 

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GOD GIVE ME JOY


God give me joy in the common things:

In the dawn that lures, the eve that sings.

 

In the new grass sparkling after rain,

In the late wind’s wild and weird refrain;

 

In the springtime’s spacious field of gold

In the precious light by winter doled.

 

God give me joy in the love of friends,

In their dear home talk as summer ends;

 

In the songs of children, unrestrained;

In the sober wisdom age has gained.

 

God give me joy in the tasks that press,

In the memories that burn and bless;

 

In the thought that life has love to spend,

In the faith that God’s at journey’s end.

 

God give me hope for each day that springs,

God give me joy in the common things!

 

Thomas Curtis Clark

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How Precious is Life


“I received an amazing email from Anna, who gave me permission to post her story and her name. … ‘When I was little I was molested for eight years by my stepfather. … I got pregnant the first time when I was 12. I was scared and told him. He hit me and then loaded me up on drugs, telling my mom that I had been injured while out playing with some other kids. He killed my baby. … When I was 13, I became pregnant again. This time I did not say anything to him. My mom noticed that my body was changing, even though I was only about two months along at the time, and asked me about it. … I finally got the courage and told her everything. She immediately packed up my brother, sister, and I and took us to our Aunt’s house. From there she called the police. … In the end, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for molesting not only me but my sister. … I was told by therapists, friends, teachers, family, and even strangers, that it would probably be best if I had an abortion; but I couldn’t. … It was harder than I have words to describe. But there are some things in life that are worth fighting for, and she was one of them. … I decided to name her Josey Ann, after a character in a book I had read. On Friday, July 28, 1995, roughly six weeks before my due date, I went into labor. … Words cannot express the joy I felt when we got to bring her home the day before I started the 7th grade. … My mom was amazing, she watched my daughter so that I could finish school. I did graduate and was my class historian. I met a wonderful man who loves both me and my daughter, and we now have four children. … It wasn’t until I was 26 that I truly found a relationship with Jesus Christ. A wonderful neighbor of ours showed me how much Jesus loves me. Because He loves us, He gave us free will. My stepfather abused that gift when he abused me. But like Romans 8:28 says, God used something horrible to bring me one of the greatest blessings in my life. … To anyone who is where I was, please hold on. You can make it, and your child will bring you more joy than you can imagine. It will be hard, but it is worth it.'” –LifeNews’ Jill Stanek

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Burned Biscuits – A lesson we all should learn.


When I was a kid, my Mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work. On that evening so long ago, my Mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed!
All my dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my Mom and ask me how my day was at school. I don’t remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that ugly burned biscuit. He ate every bite of that thing…never made a face nor uttered a word about it!

When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my Mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits. And I’ll never forget what he said, “Honey, I love burned biscuits every now and then.”

Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, “Your Mom put in a hard day at work today and she’s real tired. And besides–a little burned biscuit never hurt anyone!”
As I’ve grown older, I’ve thought about that many times. Life is full of imperfect things and imperfect people.
I’m not the best at hardly anything, and I forget birthdays and anniversaries just like everyone else. But what I’ve learned over the years is that learning to accept each other’s faults and choosing to celebrate each other’s differences is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship.

And that’s my prayer for you today…that you will learn to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet of God. Because in the end, He’s the only One who will be able to give you a relationship where a burnt biscuit isn’t a deal-breaker!

We could extend this to any relationship. In fact, understanding is the base of any relationship, be it a husband-wife or parent-child or friendship!
Don’t put the key to happiness in someone else’s pocket, keep it in your own.
So, please pass me a biscuit, and yes, the burned one will do just fine.
Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
“Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil–it has no point”

 

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FREE HOME FOR ANYONE WHO WILL TAKE IT!


I was in my neighborhood restaurant this morning and was seated behind a group of jubilant individuals celebrating the successful passing of the recent health care bill. I could not finish my breakfast. This is what ensued:

They were a diverse group of several races and both sexes. I heard the young man exclaim, “Isn’t Obama like Jesus Christ? I mean, after all, he is healing the sick.” The young woman enthusiastically proclaimed, “Yeah, and he does it for free. I cannot believe anyone would think that a free market would work for health care. Another said, ‘The stupid Republicans want us all to starve to death so they can inherit all of the power. Obama should be made a Saint for what he did for those of us less fortunate.” At this, I had more than enough.

I arose from my seat, mustering all the restraint I could find, and approached their table. “Please excuse me; may I impose upon you for one moment?” They smiled and welcomed me to the conversation. I stood at the end of their table, smiled as best I could and began an experiment.

“I would like to give one of you my house. It will cost you no money and I will pay all of the expenses and taxes for as long as you live there. Anyone interested?” They looked at each other in astonishment. “Why would you do something like that?” asked a young man, “There isn’t anything for free in this world.” They began to laugh at me, as they did not realize this man had just made my point. “I am serious, I will give you my house for free, no money what so ever. Anyone interested?” In unison, a resounding “**** Yeah” fills the room.

“Since there are too many of you, I will have to make a choice as to who receives this money-free bargain.” I noticed an elderly couple was paying attention to the spectacle unfolding before their eyes, the old man shaking his head in apparent disgust. “I tell you what; I will give it to the one of you most willing to obey my rules.” Again, they looked at one another, an expression of bewilderment on their faces. The perky young woman asked, “What are the rules?” I smiled and said, “I don’t know. I have not yet defined them. However, it is a free home that I offer you.” They giggled amongst themselves, the youngest of which said, “What an old coot. He must be crazy to give away his home. Go take your meds, old man.” I smiled and leaned into the table a bit further. “I am serious, this is a legitimate offer.” They gaped at me for a moment.

“I’ll take it you old fool. Where are the keys?” boasted the youngest among them. “Then I presume you accept ALL of my terms then?” I asked.. The elderly couple seemed amused and entertained as they watched from the privacy of their table. “Oh **** yeah! Where do I sign up?” I took a napkin and wrote, “I give this man my home, without the burden of financial obligation, so long as he accepts and abides by the terms that I shall set forth upon consummation of this transaction.” I signed it and handed it to the young man who eagerly scratched out his signature. “Where are the keys to my new house?” he asked in a mocking tone of voice. All eyes were upon us as I stepped back from the table, pulling the keys from pocket and dangling them before the excited new homeowner.

“Now that we have entered into this binding contract, witnessed by all of your friends, I have decided upon the conditions you are obligated to adhere from this point forward. You may only live in the house for one hour a day. You will not use anything inside of the home. You willobey me without question or resistance. I expect complete loyalty and admiration for this gift I bestow upon you. You will accept my commands and wishes with enthusiasm, no matter the nature. Your morals and principles shall be as mine. You will vote as I do, think as I do and do it with blind faith. These are my terms. Here are your keys.” I reached the keys forward and the young man looked at me dumbfounded.

“Are you out of your mind? Who would ever agree to those ridiculous terms?” the young man appeared irritated. “You did when you signed this contract before reading it, understanding it and with the full knowledge that I would provide my conditions only after you committed to the agreement.” Was all I said. The elderly man chuckled as his wife tried to restrain him. I was looking at a now silenced and bewildered group of people. “You can shove that stupid deal up you’re *** old man, I want no part of it” exclaimed the now infuriated young man. “You have committed to the contract, as witnessed by all of your friends; you cannot get out of the deal unless I agree to it. I do not intend to let you free now that I have you ensnared. I am the power you agreed to. I am the one you blindly and without thought chose to enslave yourself to. In short, I am your Master.” At this, the table of celebrating individuals became a unified group against the unfairness of the deal.

After a few moments of unrepeatable comments and slurs, I revealed my true intent. “What I did to you is what this administration and congress did to you with the health care legislation. I easily suckered you in and then revealed the real cost of the bargain. Your folly was in the belief that you can have something you did not earn; that you are entitled to that which you did not earn; that you willingly allowed someone else to think for you. Your failure to research, study and inform yourself permitted reason to escape you. You have entered into a trap from which you cannot flee. Your only chance of freedom is if your new Master gives it to you. A freedom that is given can also be taken away; therefore, it is not freedom.” With that, I tore up the napkin and placed it before the astonished young man. “This is the nature of your new health care legislation.”

I turned away to leave these few in thought and contemplation and was surprised by applause. The elderly gentleman, who was clearly entertained, shook my hand enthusiastically and said, “Thank you Sir, these kids don’t understand Liberty these days.” He refused to allow me to pay my bill as he said, “You earned this one, it is an honor to pickup the tab.” I shook his hand in thanks, leaving the restaurant somewhat humbled, and sensing a glimmer of hope for my beloved country.

Use reason,

~ Clifford A.
Thank you Jonathon Melton

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“Thankful For The Thorns”


Sandra felt as low as the heels of her crocks when she pulled open the florist shop door, against a November gust of wind. Her life had been as sweet as a spring breeze and then, in the fourth month of her second pregnancy, a “minor” automobile accident stole her joy. This was Thanksgiving week and the time she should have delivered their infant son. She grieved over their loss. Troubles had multiplied. Her husband’s company “threatened” to transfer his job to a new location.

Her sister had called to say that she could not come for her long awaited holiday visit. What’s worse, Sandra’s friend suggested that Sandra’s grief was a God-given path to maturity that would allow her to empathize with others who suffer. “She has no idea what I’m feeling,” thought Sandra with a shudder. “Thanksgiving? Thankful for what?” she wondered. “For a careless driver whose truck was hardly scratched when he rear-ended her? For an airbag that saved her life, but took her child’s?”

“Good afternoon, can I help you?” Sandra was startled by the approach of the shop clerk.

“I… I need an arrangement,” stammered Sandra.

“For Thanksgiving? Do you want the beautiful, but ordinary, or would you like to challenge the day with a customer favorite I call the ‘Thanksgiving Special’? I’m convinced that flowers tell stories,” she continued. “Are you looking for something that conveys ‘gratitude’ this Thanksgiving?”

“Not exactly!” Sandra blurted out. “In the last five months, everything that could go wrong has gone wrong.” Sandra regretted her outburst, and was surprised when the clerk said, “I have the perfect arrangement for you.”

Then the bell on the door rang, and the clerk greeted the new customer, “Hi, Barbara… let me get your order.” She excused herself and walked back to a small workroom, then quickly reappeared, carrying an arrangement of greenery, bows, and what appeared to be long-stemmed, thorny roses – except the ends of the rose stems were neatly snipped. There were no flowers.

“Do you want these in a box?” asked the clerk. Sandra watched for the customer’s response. Was this a joke? Who would want rose stems with no flowers! She waited for laughter, but neither woman laughed. “Yes, please,” Barbara replied with an appreciative smile. “You’d think after three years of getting the special, I wouldn’t be so moved by its significance, but I can feel it right here, all over again.”, she said, as she gently tapped her chest.

Sandra stammered, “Uh, that lady just left with, uh… she left with no flowers!”

“That’s right,” said the clerk. “I cut off the flowers. That’s the ‘Special’. I call it the Thanksgiving Thorns Bouquet.”

“Oh, come on! You can’t tell me someone is willing to pay for that!” exclaimed Sandra.

“Barbara came into the shop three years ago, feeling much as you do, today,” explained the clerk. “She thought she had very little to be thankful for. She had just lost her father to cancer; the family business was failing; her son had gotten into drugs; and she was facing major surgery.”

“That same year, I had lost my husband,” continued the clerk. “For the first time in my life, I had to spend the holidays alone. I had no children, no husband, no family nearby, and too much debt to allow any travel.”

“So what did you do?” asked Sandra. “I learned to be thankful for thorns,” answered the clerk quietly. “I’ve always thanked God for the good things in my life and I NEVER questioned Him why those GOOD things happened to me. But when the bad stuff hit, I cried out, “WHY? WHY Me?” It took time for me to learn that the dark times are important to our faith! I have always enjoyed the ‘flowers’ of my life, but it took the thorns to show me the beauty of God’s comfort! You know, the Bible says that God comforts us when we’re afflicted, and from His consolation we learn to comfort others.”

Sandra sucked in her breath, as she thought about the thought that her friend had tried to tell her. “I guess the truth is, I don’t want comfort. I’ve lost a baby and I’m angry with God.”

Just then someone else walked in the shop. “Hey, Phil!” the clerk greeted the balding, rotund man.
“My wife sent me in to get our usual Thanksgiving arrangement… twelve thorny, long-stemmed stems!” laughed Phil as the clerk handed him a tissue wrapped arrangement from the refrigerator.

“Those are for your wife?” asked Sandra incredulously. “Do you mind telling me why she wants a bouquet that looks like that?”

“No… I’m glad you asked,” Phil replied. “Four years ago, my wife and I nearly divorced. After forty years, we were in a real mess, but with the Lord’s grace and guidance, we trudged through problem after problem. The Lord rescued our marriage. Jenny, here (the clerk) told me she kept a vase of rose stems to remind her of what she had learned from “thorny” times. That was good enough for me. I took home some of those stems. My wife and I decided to label each one for a specific “problem” and give thanks for what that problem taught us.” As Phil paid the clerk, he said to Sandra, “I highly recommend the Special!”

“I don’t know if I can be thankful for the thorns in my life.” Sandra said to the clerk. “It’s all too… fresh.”

“Well,” the clerk replied carefully, “my experience has shown me that the thorns make the roses more precious. We treasure God’s providential care more during trouble than at any other time. Remember that it was a crown of thorns that Jesus wore so we might know His love. Don’t resent the thorns.”

Tears rolled down Sandra’s cheeks. For the first time since the accident, she loosened her grip on her resentment. “I’ll take those twelve long-stemmed thorns, please,” she managed to choke out.

“I hoped you would,” said the clerk gently. “I’ll have them ready in a minute.”

“Thank you. What do I owe you?”

“Nothing. Nothing but a promise to allow God to heal your heart. The first year’s arrangement is always on me.” The clerk smiled and handed a card to Sandra. “I’ll attach this card to your arrangement, but maybe you would like to read it first.”

It read:
My God, I have never thanked You for my thorns. I have thanked You a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my thorns. Teach me the glory of the cross I bear; teach me the value of my thorns. Show me that I have climbed closer to You along the path of pain. Show me that, through my tears, the colors of Your rainbow look much more brilliant.”

Praise Him for the roses; thank Him for the thorns.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Author Unknown
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A PICTURE OF A BELIEVER


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    A PICTURE OF THE BELIEVER

PSALM 37:3

  1. The Believer’s Object of Trust – The LORD

    II Samuel 22:3 – The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.

He is my rock – a solid place.

He is my shield – my protection

He is my horn of salvation – the source that keeps.

He is my high tower – sight to see

He is my refuge – my place to run to for saftey, when hurting or questioning.

He is my Saviour – Everlasting life.

  1. The Believer’s Mode of Life – do good

Jer 21:8 – And unto this people thou shalt say, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death.

A CHOICE TO MAKE

Proverbs 6:23 – For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the WAY OF LIFE.

A path well lit leads to life

  1. The Believer’s Place of Abode – in the land

Matt. 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt and where thieves break through and steal:

Hebrews 11:8 – By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, oveyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 9. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 10. For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

  1. The Believer’s Certainty of Provision. – shalt be fed.

Psalm 132:13-18 – For the Lord hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his havitation. 14. This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it. 15. I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread. 16. I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy. 17. There will I make the horn of David to bud; I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed. 18. His enemies will I clothe with shame: but upon himself shall his crown flourish.

Bread – cloth with salvation – filled with joy- crowned with plenty


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WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT HEAVEN


I Peter 1:4; Philippians 3:20

Heaven stands for all that is good and enduring. Perhaps the reason so little is given us in the Bible concerning Heaven is that we are of such low thought and so influenced by sin that we can-not understand more than is given. However, there are some things that we can understand, and we can accept by faith all other things revealed about heaven.

I. THERE IS THE HEAVEN OF THE AIR, JUST ABOVE THE EARTH.
   
This is the atmosphere where the birds fly (Rev. 19:17; Gen 1:20; 7:23).

II. THERE IS THE HEAVEN WHERE THE SUN, MOON, AND THE STARS ARE.
    (
Matt. 24:29; Luke 21:11; Isaiah 13:10).
    1. Paul was caught up to this heaven (II Cor. 12:2).
    2.
This is where Jesus ascended to (Acts 1:11).
    3. This is where Jesus mediates (I Tim. 2:5).
    4. This is where He advocates the cause of Christians (I John 2:1).
    5. Elijah ascended to heaven (II Kings 2:11).
    6. This is where the martyrs wait (Rev. 6:9-11).
    7. This is where all saints rest from their labors (Heb. 4:9,10).
    8. This is where Jesus is preparing a place for His bride (John 14:1-3; Rev. 21:9-27).

III. THE FINAL HEAVEN OR ABODE OF THE BELIEVERS (REV. 21:1).
    Where will it be?
   
1. Jesus promised the earth to the meek (Matt. 5:5).
    2. Evidently, this earth is to be purged by fire (II Peter 3:10-13).
    The language used seems to suggest a dissolving – melting – of this present earth and the emergence of a new earth (Rev. 21:1,10).

V. THE FINAL STATE OF THE SAVED AND THEIR ENVIRONMENT.
   
1. The happiness described in the new earth (Rev. 21:3,4).
    2. Employment of those who inhabit the new earth – what they shall do.
        a. They shall praise God (Rev. 19:1).
        b. They shall perform service to God (Rev. 22:3).
        c. They shall worship God (Rev. 21:22).
        d. They shall obey God and do His bidding (Rev. 21:24).
        e. They shall maintain God’s order among the nations (Rev. 21:26).
        This is suggested in the terms used: kings, nations.

    3. The Bride will be the center of the Eternal Home (John 14:2,3; Rev 21:10-27).
    4. All sin will be forever banned. No sinners are ever allowed to enter (Rev. 21:27).
    5. These will be real people, in a real place, doing real things, for a real God, with real happiness that will really last forever!








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