Thoughts and Prayer for those in Newtown, CT

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7 KJV)

Yesterday during our morning service at Faith Baptist Church in Winter Haven, FL, our pastor had some thoughts and prayer for those in Newtown, CT. They are not the only ones affected by what happened there this last week at the Sandy Fork Elementary School. I feel all of us here and around the world  find what happened hard to “get our minds around it.” We were all moved by what was said and prayed.

Here is that part of our service. I just wanted to share it and also let those who are affected by this know that you are in our prayers. We love you and feel your pain and sorrow. Lord Bless you with a peace that only He can give.

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(There is about a 2 minute spot where there is an echo, but it clears back up.)

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Christmas Gospel Presentation

Last Saturday, at Faith Baptist Church, we had a Free Shopping Day for about 400 less fortunate ones in our community. It was a great day and you can see some of the photos taken by either Pam or Dan and I. Check out the links below to see all the activity. .

Preparations Friday – Dec 11th
Faith Free Shopping Day – Dec 12th
Free Shopping Day Photos – Dec 12th

But most of all, watch the Christmas Presentation that was produced by Sean Fielder and our Pastor Jerry Smith for the visitors.

April Lorier’s Article about the Ravens

Northern Raven (Corvus corax) by Ray

Who is Worth More – Me or Ravens?
The price of everything – that’s gas, groceries, utilities and other essentials – is going up weekly. Sometimes I feel like asking, “Are You aware of this, God? What are You going to do about this situation?

It was during one of these pessimistic periods that I thought of ravens. [I cant explain it, so don’t ask.] I decided to run a concordance search on these less-than-beautiful birds and was surprised at all the references in both the Old and New Testaments……” To see the whole article – Click Here

To see more of April’s articles here – Click Here

Some of April’s more recent articles on her site worth reading (they are all worth reading)

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The Secret Only God Knows About Hummingbirds – by April Lorier

HummingBirdSMAll of my neighbors have hummingbird feeders on their porches. Why? Well, everyone knows there’s something very special about these birds. Yes, they are birds, and there’s a secret only God knows about them.

Hummingbirds are birds in the family Trochilidae, and are native to the Americas. They can hover in mid-air by rapidly flapping their wings 12–90 times per second (depending on the species). They can fly backwards, and are the only group of birds able to do so.

Hummingbirds do not spend all day flying, though. They don’t have the energy for that! The majority of their activity consists simply of sitting or perching.

Hummingbirds feed in many small meals, consuming many small invertebrates and up to five times their own body weight in nectar each day. They spend an average of 10-15% of their time feeding and 75-80% sitting and digesting.

Hummingbirds feed on the nectar of plants and are important pollinators, especially of deep-throated, tubular flowers. Like bees, they are able to assess the amount of sugar in the nectar they eat; they reject flower types that produce nectar which is less than 10% sugar and prefer those whose sugar content is stronger. Nectar is a poor source of nutrients, so hummingbirds meet their needs for protein, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, etc. by preying on insects and spiders, especially when feeding young.

Their English name derives from the characteristic hum made by their rapid wing beats. They can fly at speeds exceeding 33 mph.

What is awesome about humming birds is that aerodynamically, these birds are not able to fly, and yet they do!

As scientists try to figure out how hummingbirds are flying, I think God is smiling. It’s just another thing only The Creator knows, and that’s fine with me. Life should have some mystery, don’t you think?

(c) 2009 April Lorier

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. Romans 1:20

Supplied by and reprinted with permission of April Lorier


See:
More of April’s Articles here

Lesson from Smallest Bird – by April Lorier

Lesson from smallest bird”

I was sitting in my car, waiting — I do not like waiting! — and a flock of birds fluttered up to me with expectant looks and frantic behavior. There were birds of all colors, including some with vibrant yellow eyes. I watched them display their pecking order and smiled. Just like people I thought.

Their chatter increased in volume and rhythm as they tried to convince me they would settle for the smallest crumbs of anything I had to offer. I especially noticed one little bird, the smallest of the flock, because the larger birds kept belaboring the point that he was least among the birds. Poor baby, I said as I leaned towards my glove compartment. Let’s see what I can find.

Voila! There was a package of two power bars! Excitedly, I smashed them up and threw them outside the window. That started a race for the crumbs! I noticed all of the birds except one rushed for the smallest crumbs as they pushed the little one out of the way.

I kept watching, hoping he would find at least one crumb. Then a funny thing happened. The smallest bird eyed a very large piece of the power bar and snatched it up. Then he quietly waddled away.

Meanwhile, the larger birds kept frantically scrounging for more crumbs, totally unaware that the best had already been taken away.

“Look at that,” The Spirit whispered, “all of the others settled for crumbs while one bird got enough to eat on all day. How many times do you settle for crumbs?”

It was like a light bulb went off inside my soul. God desires to give us riches beyond our wildest expectations, but we are living frantically in the moment and settling for what we can have NOW: mere crumbs, compared to what we could have if we but trusted in the character of God, our Heavenly Father!

Oh, God, thank You for the gift of this lesson. You not only provide for the birds, but use them to take Your children deeper in You.

(c) 2007-2009 April Lorier

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. Romans 1:20

Supplied by and reprinted with permission of April Lorier.

See more of April’s Articles

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Sparrows and God Care – by April Lorier

The Birds, the Economy, and My Provider – by April Lorier

There I was, snoozing in my lazyboy when I was awakened by such a clatter, I rose from my chair to see what was the matter! I felt like Tippi Hedren and it was The Birds all over again. Just outside my window were dozens of sparrows fighting over a snippet of orange peel! I mean fierce terrorist fighting!

I watched in amazement as one of those little sparrows actually made off with the orange peel, unnoticed, and the rest of the birds were still doing battle. I thought, “Isn’t that the way it goes? Anger got the best of them.”

No one has to tell you the economy is pinching your style. As more and more people enter the survival mode we will see anger rising in more people. Fear does terrible things to people. It’s not displayed as fear, but as anger. And as the economy gets worse, we will see more and more vigilante behavior.

People tend to forget that God said He watched over the sparrows and I am worth far more to Him than a sparrow. That fear takes over and we lose sight of our Provider who is far greater than any recession or depression.

I’m so thankful for the reminder from Him of His Sovereignty over all things. Were it not for these birds, I might have forgotten Who’s actually in control.

(c) 2009 April Lorier

You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being. Revelation 4:11

Supplied by and reprinted with permission of April Lorier.

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Sparrows and God Care – by April Lorier

April Lorier writes great articles on her “Christian Nature” blog and has agreed to be a guest author. She is allowing us to reproduce some of her very thoughtful and inspiring challenges about birds and the Creator. I trust you will be as blessed by her writings as I am. This is the first one.


Sparrows and God Caresparrow-whiteThroat1 I have written about sparrows before and feel a need to revisit the subject. There are just so many sparrows flying around!Ethel Waters made “His Eye Is On The Sparrow” famous many years ago, and it’s still a master piece. It serves to remind us that if God values sparrows and cares for them, then certainly He does the same for us. He created human beings for companionship, and through Christ we can have that relationship.

One Sunday morning at church, we sang “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” as a congregational hymn. It was a rare opportunity to give voice to a song usually performed by a soloist.

During the first chorus, I noticed a friend who was weeping so hard that he couldn’t sing. Knowing a bit of what he had been through recently, I recognized his tears as ones of joy at realizing that, no matter what our situation, God sees, knows, and cares for us.

Jesus said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Matt. 10:29-31). The Lord spoke these words to His 12 disciples as He sent them out to teach, heal, and bear witness of Him to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (v.6). He told them that even though they would face persecution for His sake, they should not be afraid, even of death (vv.22-26).

When threatening circumstances press us to lose hope, we can find encouragement in the words of this song: “I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free. For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.” We are under His watchful care.

If God sees the sparrow’s fall,
Paints the lilies short and tall,
Gives the skies their azure hue,
Will He not then care for you? —Anon.

When you put your cares in God’s hands, He puts His peace in your heart.

2009 April Lorier

Ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? –
Job 12

Supplied by and reprinted with permission of April Lorier