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Fun, Games and Silliness / Re: Jokes Thread
« Last post by coco pops on April 08, 2018, 09:58:49 PM »
 Cross Examination

A defense attorney was cross-examining a police officer during a felony trial - it went like this:

Q. Officer, did you see my client fleeing the scene?
A. No sir, but I subsequently observed a person matching the description of the offender running several blocks away.

Q. Officer, who provided this description?
A. The officer who responded to the scene.

Q. A fellow officer provided the description of this so- called offender. Do you trust your fellow officers?
A. Yes sir, with my life.

Q. With your life? Let me ask you this then officer - do you have a locker room in the police station - a room where you change your clothes in preparation for you daily duties?
A. Yes sir, we do.

Q. And do you have a locker in that room?
A. Yes sir, I do.

Q. And do you have a lock on your locker?
A. Yes sir.

Q. Now why is it, officer, if you trust your fellow officers with your life, that you find it necessary to lock your locker in a room you share with those same officers?
A. You see sir, we share the building with a court complex, and sometimes lawyers have been known to walk through that room.

With that, the courtroom erupted in laughter, and a prompt recess was called.
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Fun, Games and Silliness / Re: Jokes Thread
« Last post by coco pops on April 08, 2018, 09:55:25 PM »
 The Sermon

A visiting minister waxed eloquent during the offertory prayer. He began, with arms extended toward heaven and a rapturous look on his upturned face,"Without you we are but dust... "

He would have continued but at that moment my very obedient daughter (who was listening!) leaned over to me and asked quite audibly in her shrill little girl voice, "Mom, what is butt dust?"
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Faith / Re: Devotion
« Last post by CabbagePatchKid on April 07, 2018, 08:59:03 PM »
Simply Trusting
Feb 13, 2018 | Mary Southerland

Today's Truth
Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God!  Proverbs 3:5-6

Friend to Friend
After a long and tenacious conversation with the orthopedic surgeon, I finally resigned myself to the fact that shoulder surgery was in my near future. I had managed to separate my shoulder and  a Southerland does nothing half way. Oh, no! I even looked it up. And I quote, “Surgical intervention when treating a separated shoulder is very rare and only performed in the most severe cases.”

I was a severe case, which was evidenced by the amount of pain I was in, but refused to admit. I had endured said pain for 10 days until I finally gave in and went to my general practitioner who promptly sent me to an orthopedic surgeon. I said, “Fine! I will go, but I am not having surgery.”

Famous last words.  The surgery was scheduled and all of the necessary tests were run. I asked my prayer team to pray. I asked my sister’s prayer team to pray. Our church was praying. We were ready!  Dan scheduled time away from the church office to take care of me and had even arranged for us to stay at a friend’s cabin for a week. Our son, daughter-in-law, and their four beautiful children were living with us at the time. The kids ranged from 9 years old down to one year of age great kids but still kids.  As Dan and I drove to the hospital, we talked about how good God had been to work everything out in such a beautiful way.  Remember that statement.  When we arrived at the hospital, I was checked in and prepped for surgery. The kind nurse with the nice sleep medicine was just about to give me a sedative when the lab technician stepped into the room and said, “You might want to wait on that.”

I did not like her tone of voice.  The head nurse read the blood work report, looked at me with sad eyes, and broke the news. “Mary, your potassium is way too low for you to have general anesthetic.”

Surely I had heard her wrong. “What was that?” I asked.

She repeated herself and the news slowly sank in. No amount of begging or pleading changed her mind.  I got dressed without a word and headed for the nearest exit. Dan was saying something about this being God’s plan and that I wouldn’t want to be in a surgical room if God didn’t want me there. I didn’t want to hear it! I had a plan and that’s all there was to it!  Being the mature believer that I am, I cried like a baby all the way home. And then I got angry! They told me to quit taking all of my supplements two weeks before surgery and I did. Potassium is one of those supplements, so this flaw in my plan was their fault!  It took me quite a while to settle down. And then I began to ask God what in the world had happened and why?

Silence. Well, there must be some important reason like the doctor was too tired or some evil nurse planned to take me out. Nothing.
I finally gave up and that is when I heard Him whisper, “Mary, when are you going to learn how to fully trust me, to rest in My perfect plan for your life, and just be held?”

I honestly did not know the answer to that question. I have been a follower of Christ for so many years and still don’t have this lesson learned. I have come a very long way from when I was an insecure and timid believer but not far enough.  I finally took a deep breath and prayed, “Lord, please forgive me for my lack of faith in You and in Your plan for my life. I don’t have a clue why this surgery has worked out like it has, but I trust You. I just simply choose to trust You. I know You love me and have only the very best for me. So instead of trusting men and circumstances and even my most well thought out plan today I trust You.”

The lump in my throat and the knot in my stomach both dissolved. My heart settled and my soul was at peace. Two weeks later I had the surgery and everything went beautifully. God’s plan may very well have been to remind me that when I trust Him, His perfect plan will always rise. I have to learn to celebrate when my plan doesn’t come together but God’s plan does!
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Faith / Re: Devotion
« Last post by CabbagePatchKid on April 07, 2018, 08:44:15 PM »
How to Melt a Cold Shoulder
Feb 14, 2018 | Sharon Jaynes

Today's Truth
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you”  Ephesians 4:32

Friend to Friend
Have you noticed that it is difficult to feel romantic with your man when you’re mad at him? It’s almost impossible to feel like giving him a big hug when you have anger, bitterness, and  resentment in your heart. The solution to melting the cold shoulder and cold heart begins with forgiveness. Ouch!

C.  S. Lewis said this about forgiveness:
“You must make every effort to kill every taste of resentment in your own heart every wish to humiliate or hurt him or to pay him out. The difference between this situation and the one in which you are asking God’s forgiveness is this. In our own case we accept excuses too easily; in other people’s we do not accept them easily enough. As regards my own sin it is a safe bet (though not a certainty) that the excuses are not really so good as I think; as regards other men’s sins against me it is a safe bet (though not a certainty) that the excuses are better than I think. One must therefore begin by attending to everything which may show that the other man was not so much to blame as we thought.  But even if he is absolutely fully to blame we still have to forgive him; and even if ninety-nine percent of his apparent guilt can be explained away by really good excuses, the problem of forgiveness begins with the one percent guilt which is left over. To excuse what can really produce good excuses is not Christian character; it is only fairness. To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”

Paul said it this way: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32 ESV).

Lewis also wrote, “Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea until they have something to forgive.”

I wholeheartedly agree. Forgiveness can be especially difficult when the one who hurt you is the man who promised to love and cherish you all the days of your life. But what is more difficult is to have a strong marriage without forgiveness.  In no way does forgiveness mean turning a blind eye to a problem that needs attention. Pornography, alcoholism, drug abuse, and a plethora of other addictions must be addressed and dealt with for any marriage to survive and thrive. A wife is not doing her husband any favors by allowing such behavior to continue. To ignore such behavior is to enable sin to continue and deposit droplets of poison into a man’s soul. However, keeping a record of wrongs is like allowing termites to destroy the foundation of the marriage.  I recently received an email from a woman who was still bitter over a statement her husband made to her cousin ten years ago. She and her husband were preparing to celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary, and she was dreading it because of his careless words a decade ago. She wrote, “Please pray that God mends this title piece of my heart that has fallen to the ground.”

The word title was a typo she meant to type little. To me, it was telling. Friend, we can allow our husband’s little shortcomings to become the title of our story, or we can forgive and write a new storyline.  The first step to forgiveness is prayer. The Bible tells us to pray for our enemies. I hope your husband is never your enemy, but I can assure you, on some days he may feel like it. So let’s follow God’s instruction and pray for him. It may not turn your husband’s hardened heart to putty in your hands, but it will melt the hardness of resentment in your own.
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Faith / Re: Devotion
« Last post by CabbagePatchKid on April 07, 2018, 08:35:11 PM »
Is Your Past Still Tripping You Up?
Feb 15, 2018 | Gwen Smith

Today's Truth
But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.  Philippians 3:13

Friend to Friend
It spoke to me as I strolled down the check out aisle of Marshalls that day. The wall art that was featured on an impulse-buy rack.
Amen! I thought.  The message?

Simple: “Don’t Stumble On Things That Are Behind You.”

My mind reeled, and I thought hard about this seemingly simple directive that points to a habit that trips so many of us up: looking back. Allowing the past to deter and diminish our present and our future.  The Apostle Paul had a difficult past to contend with. His early years were spent learning laws and tormenting Chris followers. Then he met Jesus and everything changed for him. He chose to move forward as the new man he’d become.  Instead of wallowing in the muck of condemnation, he stepped into the grace of Christ with determination. With a fresh mission. He wrote a heart-felt message similar to the wall art in his New Testament letter to the believers in the church of Philippi. That familiar, challenging passage.  I want to know Christ yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:10-14, NIV)

Many of us know this section of scripture, but it’s important for us to realize that the conversation doesn’t end there. What Paul says next is a game changing statement:  Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained. (Philippians 3:15-16, ESV)

I want to be mature. I want to think this way. Don’t you?

I want to hold true to what I’ve attained in Christ.  It’s the way of life!  I read this and I begin to realize that what Paul is really saying is something to this effect: Let it go, people! Move on. Greater things await you. Don’t look back. It’s no good for you. You won’t gain any traction on the plans that God has for you. If you choose to look back then you need to grow up because that is not where your promise lies. If you are mature in your faith you will believe the gospel. When you are forgiven.  You. Are. Forgiven. Believe it. What Jesus did for you and me covers anything that we lay at His feet. Fully.   I’m reminded that it’s time to move forward. That it’s time to fix my eyes on what is ahead, not on what is behind. That God’s mercies are new every day.  Clearly this press on message is not about sweeping un-confessed sins under a rug and pretending they don’t exist. When we stumble when we sin we can’t just forget it and move on. We are to confess it to the Lord, and ask Him for forgiveness.  Grace meets us in the asking and settles it with God. Because of this we can move forward in His grace. Even when life is complicated and messy.  And it’s not about locking deep heart wounds in a secret compartment of your heart. The Bible invites us to take our aching, angry, abused, or offended hearts to Jesus so that He can give us the rest we long for. Healing for our heart wounds.  The reward of faith is freedom in Christ. The past has no hold on us.  Grace fixes the gaze of the believer forward.  So the next time I’m tempted to look back at a failure or an old heart wound, I will remember the wall art wisdom from Marshalls and choose not to beat myself up, not to re-hash that painful conversation, not to blame that person not to stumble on things that are behind me.  Instead I will reach for grace. I will reach for Jesus and call to Him for help.  And in the reaching I begin to take my place among the mature in faith.
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Faith / What to Do When a Teen is Suicidal
« Last post by CabbagePatchKid on April 07, 2018, 08:24:06 PM »
https://churchleaders.com/youth/youth-leaders-articles/318977-what-to-do-when-a-teen-is-suicidal.html?utm_source=youth-weekly-nl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=text-link&utm_campaign=youth-weekly-nl&maropost_id=729722000&mpweb=256-5957975-729722000

What to Do When a Teen is Suicidal
By Jim Murphy -
February 11, 2018

If you’re in youth ministry, you will inevitably encounter a teen who is at least somewhat suicidal. It’s a scary thing that must be taken seriously. Because of its danger, I’ll cut to the chase here and get to the most important things that you must do when a kid is suicidal.

1. ASK

These are the four most commonly recognized important questions to ask of a person who may be at risk of suicide. This is a good place for you to start. However, you must have a mental health professional conduct a more thorough assessment if needed.

    PLAN – Do you have a suicide plan?
    MEANS – Do you have what you need to carry out your plan (pills, gun, etc.)?
    TIME – Do you know when you would do it?
    INTENTION – Do you intend to commit suicide?

Below is a grid that will help you determine their risk level.

Level of Suicide Risk
LOW – Some suicidal thoughts. No suicide plan. Say they won’t commit suicide.
MODERATE – Suicidal thoughts. Vague, non-lethal plan. Say they won’t commit suicide.
HIGH – Suicidal thoughts. Specific, highly lethal plan. Has access to means. Say they won’t commit suicide.
SEVERE – Suicidal thoughts. Specific, highly lethal plan. Has access to means. Say they will commit suicide.

2. ACT

IF RISK IS LOW TO MODERATE

Contact parents/guardians if there is even a low risk. You have an ethical and legal obligation to inform them. You’re risking the teen’s life, your job and your church’s viability if you don’t. Encourage parents to bring their teen to see a counselor for an assessment.

IF RISK IS HIGH TO SEVERE

Stay with the teen, call their parents first then bring them to the local hospital emergency room or call 911. If your conversation is over the phone, stay on the phone with them while contacting authorities on another line if possible. If necessary, hang up and call 911 immediately.

3. WALK

When a teen is at their lowest point they need you or some other caring adult to walk beside them through this dark valley. Don’t give up on them. Don’t hand them off to the professionals and forget about them. Don’t allow your discomfort and self-doubt keep you from walking with them. Simply the faithfulness of your relationship, love and care will help them more than you realize.
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Fun, Games and Silliness / Re: Jokes Thread
« Last post by Pippa on March 10, 2018, 09:42:31 PM »
 1957...Remember?

The following were some comments made in the year 1957:

(1) "I'll tell you one thing, if things keep going the way they are, its going to be impossible to buy a weeks groceries for $20.00."

(2) "Have you seen the new cars coming out next year? It won't be long when $5,000 will only buy a used one."

(3) "If cigarettes keep going up in price, I'm going to quit. A quarter a pack is ridiculous."

(4) "Did you hear the post office is thinking about charging a dime just to mail a letter?"

(5) "If they raise the minimum wage to $1, nobody will be able to hire outside help at the store."

(6) "When I first started driving, who would have thought gas would someday cost 29 cents a gallon. Guess we'd be better off leaving the car in the garage."

(7) "Kids today are impossible. Those ducktail hair cuts make it impossible to stay groomed. Next thing you know, boys will be wearing their hair as long as the girls."

(8) "I'm afraid to send my kids to the movies any more. Ever since they let Clark Gable get by with saying 'damn' in 'Gone With The Wind,' it seems every new movie has either 'hell' or 'damn' in it."

(9) "I read the other day where some scientist thinks it's possible to put a man on the moon by the end of the century. They even have some fellows they call astronauts preparing for it down in Texas."

(10) "Did you see where some baseball player just signed a contract for $75,000 a year just to play ball? It wouldn't surprise me if someday that they will be making more than the President."

(11) "I never thought I'd see the day all our kitchen appliances would be electric. They are even making electric typewriters now."

(12) "It's too bad things are so tough nowadays. I see where a few married women are having to work to make ends meet."

(13) "It won't be long before young couples are going to have to hire someone to watch their kids so they can both work."

(14) "No one can afford to be sick any more, $35.00 a day in the hospital is too rich for my blood."

(15) "I'm just afraid the Volkswagen car is going to open the door to a whole lot of foreign business."

(16) "Thank goodness I won't live to see the day when the Government takes half our income in taxes. I sometimes wonder if we are electing the best people to Congress."

(17) "The drive-in restaurant is convenient in nice weather, but I seriously doubt they will ever catch on."

(18) "I guess taking a vacation is out of the question now days. It costs nearly $15.00 a night to stay in a hotel."
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Fun, Games and Silliness / Re: Jokes Thread
« Last post by Pippa on March 10, 2018, 09:38:44 PM »
A photographer for a national magazine was assigned to take pictures of a great forest fire. He was advised that a small plane would be waiting to fly him over the fire.  The photographer arrived at the airstrip just an hour before sundown. Sure enough, a small Cessna airplane was waiting. He jumped in with his equipment and shouted, "Let's go!"

The tense man sitting in the pilot's seat swung the plane into the wind and soon they were in the air, though flying erratically.  "Fly over the north side of the fire," said the photographer, "and make several low-level passes."

"Why?" asked the nervous pilot.

"Because I'm going to take pictures!" yelled the photographer. "I'm a photographer, and photographers take pictures."

The pilot replied, "You mean you're not the flight instructor?"
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Faith / verse for Today
« Last post by Pippa on March 10, 2018, 09:31:38 PM »
Jeremiah 29:11-13 New International Version (NIV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
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Faith / 'When I Remember, I Weep'
« Last post by Mystique on March 10, 2018, 09:11:56 PM »
http://www.ifcj.org/news/fellowship-blog/When-I-Remember-I-Weep.html?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=weekly-rnl&utm_content=article-4-button

'When I Remember, I Weep'
February 5, 2018 By The Fellowship

As those who survived the Holocaust grow older, with many still struggling with poverty even after all the hardships they've experience, The Fellowship and our faithful friends continue to support them in their later years both survivors who live in Israel, as well as elsewhere around the world. One such agin survivor's story is being told by Ynet News' Yifat Erlich. 93-year-old Mishka Zaslavsky still lives in Ukraine, where he was the only survivor of the 1941 Odessa massacre:  "A man who does not smoke or drink will die healthy," Mishka Zaslavsky quotes a well-known Odessa proverb with a chuckle.

He began his morning with a small glass of vodka, but he quit smoking 30 years ago, because of the health risk. He can climb up and down the 80 steps to his fifth-floor apartment in the Cheriomoshka neighborhood in Odessa with relative ease. Impressive, because he is 93 years old.  It is bitterly cold outside minus 14 degrees. A thin layer of snow covers the back yards of destitute Soviet-era homes. Zaslavsky politely refuses everyone who extends a hand to help and climbs into the high car by himself. A year ago, he adopted a new look that gives him charm and attractiveness. "I'm young," he laughs and he runs his hand through his white ponytail. "Today, young men are growing out their hair."

Despite the style, he is not young, but his mind is sharp, fresh, and refuses to be despondent.  He was born in Odessa in October 1925. His mother Miriam, who was raised in a deeply religious home, summoned the mohel twice. Twice, his father, Abraham, sent the mohel back from whence he came. He refused to have his eldest son circumcised, because he had abandoned religion following the horrors of the First World War. The father's stubbornness saved his son in the Second World War.  "I was 16 when the Nazis conquered Odessa," related Mishka. "Dad was drafted into the Red Army, and my mother, with five small children, could not escape to the east. On October 16, I saw my first Nazi soldier."

At the time, Odessa was known as an important center of Judaism and Zionism. 100,000 of the city's Jews were able to escape before October 16, 1941, when the German army and their Romanian allies captured the city. About 90,000 Jews were still in the city. Odessa was severed from Ukraine, then a part of the Soviet Union, and declared the capital of Transnistria, territory that Hitler ceded to Romania. The Einsatzkommando, a Romanian intelligence company, and local Ukranian militias succeeded in murdering more than 10,000 Jews in the first few days of the occupation ....
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