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By Betty Chadek
On a crisp Sunday morning in 1971, my four teenage children and I sat in our usual place in church. The sixth row and right-hand side of the sanctuary was the Chadek aisle. As the pastor highlighted the weekly announcements, the five of us thumbed through our church bulletins. We all paid particular attention when the pastor announced that the church had selected a needy family to support for Thanksgiving. He encouraged generosity and asked the congregation to bring canned goods and other items to the Wednesday night Bible study. One of my children leaned over and said to the other children, "Gosh, there's somebody worse off than us."
It broke my heart to hear those words from my son, Mike. As a single mother of six, two now living on their own, I struggled every week to make ends meet. We lived in subsidized housing and even though I had a job, things were at an all time low. To top it off, the Department of Health and Welfare recently determined because of my annual income, that we were no longer eligible for welfare subsidies. Even though our situation was desperate, the Lord always reminded me of His word, and that is what we clung to. Because of our own struggle, we were able to consider this family's needs and how we might contribute in some way.
Since I knew that I could depend on God to always give me relief from my distress and to be my strength and my refuge in time of trouble, the children and I found left over dry products distributed by the foods subsidies program; the usual rice and cornmeal packages. We had two cans of tuna and decided to part with one. I imagined this family having a tuna casserole as we would. There were a few additional items we placed in the bag, including a can of evaporated milk. There wasn't much but we poured our heart into the project and were excited to share what we did have with this needy family. Our nearly full bag was placed in the foyer of the church and I went on to Bible Study and Prayer.
After I arrived home from Bible study that Wednesday evening, the doorbell rang. My son, Michael, answered the door and yelled out, "Hey Mom, there's some guys here from the church." When I went to the door there were three men from the church, and a pick-up full of grocery bags. They began placing brown grocery bags all over the kitchen, on the floor and counter tops.
That needy family was us!
Later that night when I put the food away, I came across our bag; the rice, cornmeal, evaporated milk, and that valued can of tuna. The Lord multiplied our giving and I felt as if I was looking at baskets of loaves and fishes.
What a Thanksgiving we experienced that year! What a wise, faithful and compassionate God we have. How comforting to realize that because God knows our frame, He also knows what we will need in the future as well as at the present. Since he knows our needs--present and future--we can believe Him whenever he says "Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking, I will hear" (Isaiah 65:24 NIV)
I believe I was able to share our resources because early in my Christian walk, I learned that it was God's responsibility to bring victory and it was my responsibility to get into the battle and pray. It wasn't easy and there were many times when I struggled with doubt, but I clung to God's promises. I decided just as David did, that I would put the Lord always before me, "He is at my right hand" David said (Psalm 16:8 NIV). I would learn not to be shaken by the circumstances of life. "Your word O Lord is eternal, it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations, if your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction (Psalm 119:89, NIV).
Write Betty and let her know your thoughts on her story!
Q: How could the first three days of Creation be ordinary days if the sun wasn't created until the fourth day?
A: First of all, you don't need the sun to have day and night--all you need is light shining on a rotating earth. Now, do we have light on the first three days of Creation? On the first day, God created light and separated it from the darkness. Because there's evening and morning, it's obvious that the earth is already rotating and the light is shining from one direction.
Where did that light come from?
In the Bible, we find many examples of light without the sun, but originating from a supernatural source. Most of these are associated with the glory of God, which in the Bible is usually manifested as light, although sometimes as fire. This is not surprising, as the Bible tells us that 'God is light' (1 John 1:5; cf. John 8:12).
During the three-day plague of darkness on all the land of Egypt, all the Israelites 'had light in their dwellings' (Exodus 10:23).
In the exodus from Egypt, God led the Israelites by a 'pillar of cloud' by day and a 'pillar of fire, to give them light,' during the night (Exodus 13:21). At night the pillar of cloud moved and stood between the Egyptians and the Israelites, and there was darkness for the pursuing Egyptians, but 'light by night' for the Israelites (Exodus 14:20).3
When Moses descended from Mt Sinai with the two tablets of stone, 'the skin on his face shone' as a result of his having talked with God (Exodus 34:29).
At the birth of Jesus, 'the glory of the Lord shone round about [the shepherds]' (Luke 2:9).
At the transfiguration of Jesus, 'His face shone like the sun' (Matthew 17:2).
At the Resurrection of Jesus, the angel at His tomb had a countenance 'like lightning' (Matthew 28:3, see also Luke 24:4).
During the famous 'road to Damascus' experience of Saul (the Apostle Paul), 'a light from heaven, brighter than the sun' shone round about him (Acts 9:3; cf. 22:6, 9; 26:13).
When an angel of the Lord released Peter from prison, 'light shined in the prison' (Acts 12:7).
In John's vision recorded in Revelation, the face of Jesus was 'like the sun shining in its strength' (Rev. 1:16).
In John's vision of the New Jerusalem, 'the city had no need of the sun, nor of the moon, that they might shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it, and its lamp is the Lamb [i.e. the Lord Jesus Christ, cf. John 1:29, 36]' (Revelation 21:23).
This description of the heavenly city is repeated: 'And there will be no night there. And they need no lamp, or light of the sun; for the Lord God gives them light' (Revelation 22:5).
A review of Sunday evening's television attack on the Resurrection
March 5, 2007
It's the latest variation in a long line of lies that started as recorded in Matthew 28:11-15: a claim that the tomb--and ossuary (bone box)--of Jesus has been found and, along with it, the ossuaries of other members of Jesus' family, including His mother Mary and His alleged wife, Mary Magdalene. Over 25 years ago, the bones in the boxes were removed and reburied in unmarked graves, but bone fragments remain in multiple ossuaries--including in that alleged to be Jesus' coffin.
The implications are staggering to orthodox Christian belief, which is both built and focused on the Resurrection, divinity, and Lordship of Jesus (see, in particular, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, 12-22). If the remains of Jesus have been found (or, more precisely--as we'll see--remains of the remains of Jesus), our faith is in vain. Thus, like the debate over origins, it is imperative that Christians closely examine and boldly answer the challenge, both to strengthen our own faith and to be ready to "give an answer" to an unbelieving world.
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"A great leader never sets himself above his followers except in carrying responsibilities." --Jules Ormont
"And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross!" --Philippians 2:8
"A kid who can't catch the ball says his glove doesn't fit right."
"Parents are not interested in justice, they are interested in quiet." --Bill Cosby
"You must do the things you think you cannot do." --Eleanor Roosevelt
"I don't believe in writer's block. All writing is difficult. The most you can hope for is a day when it goes reasonably easily. Plumbers don't get plumber's block and doctors don't get doctor's block; why should writers be the only profession that gives a special name to the difficulty of working, and then expects sympathy for it?" --Philip Pullman
I'll never forget the day I was born. I cried like a baby.
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This Week: "Who is God" by Jeff Williams
"I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for the beautiful video you made for me! It was so special to see both of my parents in tears as they watched their children grow up in pictures before their eyes! I loved the way you made Estania's part set aside from the rest--that was the part that really got them! The music was beautiful. My mom kept blubbering, "What song is that?" I don't know how you did such a beautiful job with the video in such a short time. I really appreciate your doing it so quickly. You have a wonderful gift, and I thank God that you are using it to create such sentimental memories. I hope that I can find my niche like that in an area that I love. Your video gave us one of our most lasting Christmas memories! I hope yours was filled with moments to be treasured forever!"
Let me make you a video from your photos!