July 4
Patrick Henry was a famous statesman and orator of colonial Virginia. In 1764 he was elected to the House of Burgesses where he became a champion of the frontier people, supporting their rights against the arrogant exercise of power by the aristocracy.
In 1774 he was a delegate to the First Continental Congress. In 1775, before the Virginia Provincial Convention, which was deeply divided between those who supported England and those who desired freedom, he uttered his most famous words, “Give me liberty or give me death!”
During the Revolutionary War he became commander-in-chief of Virginia’s military forces, a member of the Second Continental Congress, helped draw up the first constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and was largely responsible for drawing up the amendments to our Constitution known as the Bill of Rights.
He became Virginia’s first governor, and was re-elected four times. Then he retired from public life, but despite his strong objections the people went ahead and re-elected him Governor for the 5th time. But he meant what he said, so he refused to take the office.
He was offered a seat in the U.S. Senate, and posts as ambassador to Spain and to France. President George Washington asked him to join his cabinet and become Secretary of State, and later wanted to appoint him the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. But he refused all such honors and recognitions.
Listen to these words from him: “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians – not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
His Last Will & Testament was filed in the Brookneal County courthouse in Virginia. You read his will and you’ll see that he bequeathed everything to his children, just as most people do. But the last paragraph in his will is especially interesting.
He wrote, “I have now given everything I own to my children. There is one more thing I wish I could give them and that is Christ. Because if they have everything I gave them and don’t have Christ, they have nothing.”
SOURCE: Melvin Newland, Central Christian Church, Brownsville, Texas.


Castle moat
Did you hear about the KING that loved his people so much? This KING loved his family.
The King had the most beautiful palace, and to protect his family he had a huge MOAT
dug around the palace. He had many hungry ALLIGATORS and PIRANHAS placed in the
water. No one dared to try to cross the MOAT.
The King had one child, she was the most beautiful, smartest girl in his kingdom.
There was one problem his daughter had never married and there were no grandchildren
So the King called his wise advisors to a meeting and they discussed how to find a brave,
handsome young man to marry his daughter and become the next KING.
After the meeting they had a PLAN.
On the date the KING would set, all available bachelors would meet at the south side
of the palace and stand at the Moat and listen to the King address the men.
The King made the announcement on how the new king would be chosen.
The young men watched the guards feed the piranhas and alligators at the morning
feeding. The young men looked down the 100 feet embankment and fear terrorized them.
At noon, the KING AND HIS DAUGHTER stood above the wall and the King announced
the contest to decide who would marry his daughter.
All the young men discussed this and decided ANY MAN TO TRY THIS WOULD BE AN
ABSOLUTE FOOL. So the young men just stood there.
All of a sudden one young man jumped into the water and started splashing…
THE GATORS and PIRANHAS started in hot pursuit.
Everyone standing around the Moat could not believe this young man’s brave actions.
A piranha tried to take a bite out of him…
He set a new swimming record that day and finally crossed the Moat until the King’s guards
pulled him out of the water and wrapped him in a towel. The crowd cheered.
The young man would marry the beautiful young lady…

Wade M. Hughes, Sr

Not a Milk Diet

no milk
Hebrews 5:13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 6:1 Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, (NIV)
As Christians, we have a failing. For whatever reasons we have at the time, we are too often content to make decisions based only upon a milk-level knowledge of the Word. We are not willing to pay the required cost of diligence needed to seek spiritual maturity from the solid food of the Word, So even though we are righteous through Christ, we do not have the spiritual maturity necessary to make righteous decisions.
God’s people must learn the vast difference that exists between being made righteous by Christ versus walking in the righteousness of Christ. There is certainly no intent here to belittle our being made righteous by Christ, but we must understand that Jesus never meant for us to stop there. He means for us to mature beyond the elementary principle of salvation and proceed on into a daily walk of righteousness with Him.

Helping Others

Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
2 Timothy 2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
Galatians 6:2 directs us to bear another’s burdens, but 2 Timothy 2:4 warns us not to become entangled in those burdens. As always, Jesus set the example of how to keep un-entangled. He sacrificially bore the burden of our sins so we could be restored to God, but did not become entangled in our sins.
Unlike Christ, in the process of helping others, we often fail to see any difference in bearing another’s burdens and becoming entangled in their burdens. We just assume that to bear a burden requires a certain amount of entanglement with that burden. Too often, the result is that we start out to help others, but wind up just as entangled as they – and then the burden becomes even heavier for them and for us.


taps trumpet


I served as an airborne Ranger platoon leader (paratrooper) in the First Air Cavalry Division during the Vietnam War.

Our company was hacked up pretty badly by the enemy during one mission. When our platoon’s survivors returned to base camp, we all trudged down the muddy path to our tent. As the men took their places in their bunks, the number of empty bunks became apparent. Men put their faces in their hands and sobbed like children. Each of us wondered if our bunk would be empty at the end of the next mission.

Fortunately, there was something we could always count on to help keep our sanity…late in the evening, long after the sun had gone down, a distant bugle could be heard playing “Taps.” When that haunting, nostalgic song was played, all activity in the battalion area came to a screeching halt. Conversations would stop and men would sit back in their bunks, listening to what had to be the most poignant sound I have ever heard.

Now, years later, as I look back on the horrors of that combat, I remember that unknown bugler who played “Taps” so late every night. It seemed that, if only for a few moments, we were assured that someone was up there, sending us renewed hope through those twenty-four simple notes.



Day is Done,

Gone the sun,

From the lakes, from the hills, from the sky.

All is well,

Safely rest,

God is nigh.


SOURCE: Bill Scheibler, Vietnam veteran,

Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Citation: Taps: Notes from a Nation’s Heart. Richard H. Schneider. New York: Harper Collins, 2002. p. 78.

Overcoming Adversity

overcoming adversity
Isaiah 30:1 “Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin: 7 . . . Their strength is to sit still.”
Once the initial shock of an adverse situation has passed, the adversity is seldom as severe as it first appeared. The question then is, how do we overcome the adversity remaining after the shock has subsided?
When we are faced with adversity, our natural tendency is to launch into a frenzy of activity. We somehow believe that this frenzy of activity will produce positive results. Too often this frenzy obscures the problem causing the adversity, and the frenzy makes the `situation worse.
As always, the Bible tells us what to do in the midst of adversity – sit still and assess the situation. Faith in God’s Word will give to us the strength to sit still, even in the face of great adversity. Out of the strength of sitting still will come the Godly insight for us to properly assess the cause and effect of the adversity, and overcome both.

Be Filled by the Holy Spirit

filled glass
In one of his meetings, D.L. Moody was explaining to his audience the truth that we cannot bring about spiritual changes in our lives by our own strength. He demonstrated the principal like this: “Tell me,” he said to his audience, “how can I get the air out of the tumbler I have in my hand?” One man said, “Suck it out with a pump.” But Moody replied, “That would create a vacuum and shatter it.” Finally after many suggestions, he picked up a pitcher and quietly filled the glass with water. “There,” he said, “all the air is now removed.” He then explained that victory for the child of God does not come by working hard to eliminate sinful habits, but rather by allowing Christ to take full possession.
Ephesians 5:18 Don’t drink too much wine, for many evils lie along that path; be filled instead with the Holy Spirit and controlled by him.


turtle on a fencepost

Alex Haley, the author of “Roots,” had an unusual picture hanging on his office wall. It was a picture of a turtle on top of a fence post. When asked, “Why is that there?” Alex Haley answered, “Every time I write something significant, every time I read my words & think that they are wonderful, & begin to feel proud of myself, I look at the turtle on top of the fence post & remember that he didn’t get there on his own. He had help.”

That is the basis of thankfulness – to remember that we got here with the help of God, & that He is the provider of every blessing we have.

Romans 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.

SOURCE: Melvin Newland, Minister, Central Christian Church, Brownsville, TX.


instruction Manual
There was a man who got lost in the desert. After wandering around for a long time his throat became very dry, about that time he saw a little shack in the distance.
He made his way over to the shack and found a water pump with a small jug of water and a note.
The note read: “pour all the water into the top of the pump to prime it, if you do this you will get all the water you need”. Now the man had a choice to make, if he trusted the note and poured the water in and it worked he would have all the water he needed. If it didn’t work he would still be thirsty and he might die. Or he could choose to drink the water in the jug and get immediate satisfaction, but it might not be enough and he still might die. After thinking about it the man decided to risk it. He poured the entire jug into the pump and began to work the handle, at first nothing happened and he got a little scared but he kept going and water started coming out. So much water came out he drank all he wanted, took a shower, and filled all the containers he could find. Because he was willing to give up momentary satisfaction, he got all the water he needed. Now the note also said: after you have finished, please refill the jug for the next traveller.” The man refilled the jug and added to the note: “ Please prime the pump, believe me it works”!
We have the same choice to make, do we hold on to what we have because we don’t believe there are better things in store for us, and settle for immediate satisfaction? Or do we trust God and give up all that we have to get what God has promised us? I think the choice is obvious. We need to pour in all the water, trust God with everything.
Then once we have experienced what God has to offer, the living water, we need to tell other people, “Go ahead prime the pump, believe me it works”!
John 4:10 Jesus answered, “If you knew the generosity of God and who I am, you would be asking me for a drink, and I would give you fresh, living water.”

Hired hand or Owner

The story is told of a farmhand who had worked for a married couple for several years. As time went on, the couple grew older and older and they couldn’t do as much they had and the farm was beginning to look a little shabby. The paint on the barn was peeling. The fences had holes in them and slats were loose. The gravel road had potholes in it. Shingles on top of the farmhouse were beaten and weathered and needed replacing. But as the farmhand made his way to milk the cows each day, he thought: What is that to me? It’s not my farm.
Then, one day the farmer and his wife asked him to come for dinner. They told him how much he had meant to them.
They told him that they had no children to inherit the farm, so they wanted to give it to HIM when they died.
The next day, the farmhand was walking to the nursing barn, he noticed the paint on the barn. In a few days he’d painted the barn and fixed the fence, and in the next few weeks he was putting a new roof on the farmhouse and putting new gravel on the road.
Why would he do that? What made the difference in his attitude? He was now an heir. And as a Son he began to treat the old farm different than he ever had before.
And so it is with us. We are heirs to the Kingdom of God. And because we are heirs we have the joy of knowing that what we do, we do because of the fabulous gift of salvation our Father has given us.
Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
(From a sermon by Jeff Strite, entitled, “Beyond Servanthood” 8/26/2012)


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