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Good morning all, I hope you are well, and that your fourth of July holiday has started off well. How blessed are we to be Americans! Here is my next column, and thanks again for allowing me to write. Pastor Bo Wagner

“Fixing The Foundational Issues”

Bo Wagner is pastor of the Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, NC, a widely traveled evangelist, and the author of several books.  His books are available on Amazon and at www.wordofhismouth.com

Some years ago my wife and I tried a new thing for us. We bought an old house in foreclosure, and renovated it to sell it. We took what was run down and ugly and made it like new again.

One of the first issues that had to be tended to was one that announced itself to us in a most inglorious way. As I walked back into the master bedroom, I suddenly found myself standing from my waist down in the crawlspace, and from there up still in the bedroom.

Termites.

What I had stepped through was the floor board of the bedroom. It had been eaten away by the little buggers. At just three quarters of an inch thick, it could no longer hold me in its weakened state.

My wife at some point along the way stopped laughing at my misfortune.
I am betting Joanna
Gains would have sympathized if poor Chip had gone through that, but my dear Dana just thought it was hilarious.

That floor board, by the way, has been completely replaced, and is now as solid as a rock. But there were some things we did before we replaced that flooring. One, we had the termites killed.
Two, we replaced the floor joists that held the floor board, as they too had been compromised.  A new floor board would have been of temporary help at best if the underlying issues had not been addressed.

Please picture me in your minds, at this point, as sitting here at my desk waving an American flag, because I am a dyed in the wool, red white and blue loving, hand over the heart during the national anthem American. But our country has issues of great concern to me both as an American and as a Christian, and those issues go far below the surface of what is currently being dealt with.

Psalm 11:3 says, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” The concern of the psalmist was not for the paint or the curtains or the siding but for the joists and piers and footers.

I am encouraged by the appointment of a new justice to the Supreme Court who seems to show a devotion to the Constitution instead of to judicial activism. I am thrilled by announcements from the White House that “we worship God, not government.” I am ecstatic the Prime Minister of Israel is once again an honored guest at the White House rather than being treated as an unapproved teenage date to be smuggled in and out the back door.

But all of this and much more, as important as it is, is still merely dealing with surface issues.
Judges and lawmakers and announcements come and go. What one administration or generation does can easily be undone by the next. It is in the people of our land that we will see the inevitable course of our future. If the people love God and live for God, if the people despise sin and refuse to support it in any way, there will be long-lasting change.

If the people teach godliness to their children, if the people refuse to have their children educated by the godless, if the people vote for righteousness not just at the ballot box but also every day with their dollars, there will be long-lasting change.

If the people fulfill the great commission to win souls, if the people keep the churches full and the sin-establishments empty, if the people pray more than they play on Facebook, there will be long-lasting change.

More conservative justices? Hold my baby while I shout. More rolling back of onerous IRS targeting of Christians and conservatives? Bring it on. But if there is not a real revival of spirituality among the people, something akin to a third Great Awakening in its impact, we will find this season of reprieve to be very temporary, I think.

The hope of America ultimately does not lie with the government, but with the governed.

Pastor Wagner can be contacted by email at 2knowhim@cbc-web.org


Tales from my days as hospital worker 
The following anecdotes are true. The names have been changed to avoid any repercussions.
 While I was in college, I worked as an Emergency Medical Technician in a hospital emergency room. It is not my intention to make fun of anyone’s illness, but sometimes things happen are just funny. 
Dr. Rockwood (looked like John Denver) was one of the most compassionate but also one of the funniest doctors with who I worked. About three o’clock one Saturday morning, a man came into the ER who obviously had been drinking heavily. He had also been caught at the house of his friend’s girlfriend. The friend had waited for him to come out of the house; and promptly sliced 
him from ear-to-ear around the back of the neck with a straight razor. At least that is what he told Dr. Rockwood.
 The cut was severe. If it had been one-half inch deeper it would have severed the carotid artery. At the back of the neck, the cut was deep enough that we could see the bones of the cervical spine. As I said, the man was obviously drunk and was ranting and raving about he was going to get even with his 
friend for cutting him. The doctor administered a local anesthetic and prepared to begin suturing. The man was still threshing around and talking about getting even. 
I guess Dr. Rockwood finally got tired of trying to suture the wound while the patient was squirming around. He gently took the man’s face in his hands and said; “Listen to me carefully, Mr. Jackson, you have a very severe cut to your neck. In fact, you are lucky to still be alive. However, the cut is so severe that 
if you lay perfectly still and let us fix you up your head is going to fall off.”
 The patient’s eyes got real big and he never even twitched again while the doctor finished his work of installing 120 stitches in the man’s wound. 
Dr. Rockwood liked to have fun with patients that came in for medical treatment for minor problems, too.
 I remember one patient that came into ER with a cut on his hand that was severe enough to require sutures but not bad enough to cause any permanent damage. Without cracking a smile, Dr. Rockwood looked at me and said; “Richard, I know I can fix this wound because I was watching an episode of M.A.S.H. last night and I saw Dr. Pierce suture a cut just like this one.” The 
look on the patient’s face was priceless.
 Then there was Dr. Michaels, a cardiologist and a good one. 
A man came into the ER one night complaining of chest pain. Dr. Michaels ordered an EKG, blood gases to be drawn and all the appropriate measures for diagnosing a heart attack. Sure enough, the patient was experiencing some problems with his heart. 
 The doctor admitted him to ICU and left instructions for his vital signs to be taken every hour during the next 12 hours. After that 12 hours, with the proper medication, the patient was moved from ICU to a regular room. He was doing fine except for one thing. Each morning when Dr. Michaels made his rounds, he found the man’s hands to have a strange bluish color to them. No one at the hospital, not even Dr. Michaels, had ever seen anything like that.
 In a quandary, the doctor ordered more tests, he consulted with other doctors, he ordered more tests, he questioned the nurses, he ordered more tests. He ordered every test known to mankind and I think he may have invented a couple of his own. 
All the tests were negative. They all showed the patient to be doing fine, except every morning his hands were blue. By  By now, Dr. Michaels was poring over medical books and reading every article he could find on ischemia trying to find, no matter how remote, a reason for the blue hands. The patient was doing fine and wanted to go home. 
 “Not until we find the cause of your blue hands,” said the doctor. 
The one morning a nurse walked into the patient’s room just as he was coming out of the bathroom, drying his freshly washed hands on his pretty new blue pajamas. The dye in the pajamas was being transferred to the man’s hands.
 I think that is about the time that Dr. Michaels went completely bald. I don’t know why. 

Richard L. Ball

 


Do You Suffer From

 "Mug Shot Theology" ?


You know what that is, don't you?  Okay, we've all seen mug shots of people

who've been arrested.  It's that photo the police take of a person when they've been caught - - - in the wrong place, at the wrong time, doing the wrong thing.  We've all seen Hollywood personalities, looking their worst and having it all captured, for posterity, in their mug shot.  These glamorous and handsome stars are almost unrecognizable when we catch a glimpse of them on that tabloid paper at the check-out counter at grocery store.  The image of your mug shot follows you around forever, coloring everything.

           What does that have to do with being a follower-of-Jesus, you may ask?  MugShot Theology is that picture, we're sure God has of us and always looks at when we've messed-up royally, been behaving at our worst - - - when we've really blown it.

            I've not known many men, especially, who don't suffer from Mug Shot Theology,especially, when it comes to their deep and unrelenting sexual temptations, struggle and sin.  It just seems to come with the territory. When we labor under this, it affects everything in our life.  So, it's a very practical issue. 

            When you have Mug Shot Theology, it's rare to ever experience any joy in your life.  It's virtually impossible to possess the ability to run to the throne of grace at your time of deepest need.  It keeps you from accessing the power of God to help counter your temptations.  It turns your face away from God because of your shame and guilt. You are shut down in communicating with God.  You feel left all alone with your temptations and sin, not knowing what to do, because Mug Shot Theology will make sure the Cross is the last place you'll run to.

            When you don't know what to do with your guilty heart and your sins, you will (because you're a sinner), always adopt destructive ways to deal with them.  Rev. Joe Novenson, pastor of Lookout Mountain Presbyterian, says we're apt to adopt one or more of the following strategies:

1   You'll let yourself off-the-hook, explaining away, excusing, or rationalizing your sin, falsely believing it's not as bad or deadly  as it is.

2.      You'll put  yourself under "house arrest", only going through the motions of faith,severely limiting your attempts to love and serve God and others well.

3.      You'll just try to say "no" to your temptations, while constantly resolving to do better, white-knuckling it all along the way.

4.      You become your own executioner, punishing yourself relentlessly.

5.      You'll put yourself on probation with God, slinking back to him only when you've put enough distance between your temptations or failures - - - until you work-upthe courage to approach God again.

These are the ways most of deal with failure in our lives, regarding God, especially moral failure.  But when we change that Mug Shot Theology to a Gospel-Oriented -Theology, one in which we understand and admit that we, always, stand guilty before a holy God, but that our God beckons and invites unworthy sinners to his throne, because of Jesus--- then everything changes!  Martyn Lloyd-Jones, in his commentary on Romans: An Exposition of  Chapter 5, Assurance, states it quite well.

He says . . . "God has become one who delights to see us coming, receives us,loves us and sits us at a banqueting table. God is always looking upon us with favor and smiling upon us . . . So it is in prayer . . . we remind ourselves of this and rush into his presence . .  . we rush in with boldness an full confidence, having access.  You stand in grace, do not slink into it, you do not creep into it, you  do not shuffle into it, you do not crawl into it.  You stand in it, fixed, firm, established - - - because of Christ.  You own this great truth and begin to act upon it, knowing He is a Heavenly  Father who delights to see us, to receive us and whose love for us is way beyond our imagination."

            This is the way to blast away Mug Shot Theology!  It also moves us, in humility, towards God in our worst moments, daring to believe, once again, that the gospel is really for us.


John Freeman


John Freeman is president of Harvest USA, a ministry of truth and mercy to individuals and families impacted by pornography, homosexuality and sexual addictions. Find out more about the ministry at:  www.harvestusa.org


 

 


 

 

 

 



            
CHRISTINA'S
CELTIC 
KITCHEN

   Mint Chocolate Cups

2 packages (4 serving size each) chocolate instant pudding
2 1/2 cups half and half
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 1/2 cups whipped topping, divided
6 peppermint patties, chopped

Whisk pudding mix and half and half in medium bowl according to package directions. Stir in sour cream, vanilla and extract until smooth.

Spoon half of mixture evenly into 6 parfait glasses or dessert cups. Top each with 2 tablespoon whipped topping. Top with remaining pudding mixture. Chill 1 hour. Garnish each serving with 2 tablespoons whipped topping and 1 chopped peppermint patty.

from - Irish Favorites



    Grace Before Meals

Come Lord Jesus, Be our guest,
And let these gifts to us be blessed.
We thank Thee Lord for
meat and drink,
In Jesus' name we pray.

Amen


  
   Recipe of the Week

Recipes & Remembrances (Jacob and Barbra Tinney Peters Family Collection)

Chicken Italiano (Charlotte Gordy Avrett)

  • 1 fryer chicken or pieces of choice
  • 1 can cheddar cheese soup
  • 1/4 c. tomato juice or sauce or paste
  • 1 clove minced garlic (may substitute garlic salt or powder)
  • Cooked rice
  • Steamed broccoli

Brown chicken in skillet. Mix together soup, tomato juice, and garlic. Pour mixture over chicken and cover. Simmer 45 minutes or until tender. Uncover chicken for last 5 minutes. Serve over a bed of rice with steamed broccoli as a side dish. You may want to put cheese sauce from chicken over broccoli.

Note: Charlotte is the daughter of Nell Peters Gordy Pack-daughter of Gus and Susie Peters.