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We were driving back from spring break on some Georgia country roads when we saw a vulture in the road enjoying a meal. Since he was directly in our lane, I expected him to fly away well before our minivan crushed him on top of the dead animal he was eating. But instead of flying away, the vulture tried to lift the carcass and carry it with him. But it was too heavy. The vulture was flapping his wings as hard as he could with his beak locked down on the carcass but would not let go. He was staring death in the face and had the ability to save his own life if he would just release that nasty carcass. But he refused. At the last moment, I had to swerve into the other lane on this two lane country highway to make sure I did not hit the vulture.

As much as I hate to compare myself to a vulture, this image made me think of how similar we must appear to God. He sees how tightly we hold on to sinful areas of our lives despite the fact He has given us power through His Holy Spirit that will enable us to overcome sin. Our sin is the cause for our suffering and our eventual physical death (Romans 6:23 ). But the death and resurrection of Jesus has set us free of sin so we can have a much better life today (Romans 6:18 ). Today is Good Friday. when weshould spend more time than ever reflecting on how Jesus died forour sins.It is a great day to reflect on the suffering of Jesus as he bore the punishment of our sins. It is also a perfect day to ask God to give you the desire and His power to overcome an area of sin in your life. I am so thankful we do not have to remain like the vultures!

My 3 year old Audrey explained to me where babies come from this morning. Our conversation started on the way to preschool when I asked her if she knew who my favorite daughter was. Audrey gave me her biggest smile and said “me.” Just for clarification for those who don’t know my family, we only have one daughter and two sons so this was an easy question. But rather than stop there, Audrey began to explain how she was with Jesus before he had Santa Clause deliver her as a baby to our home. As I listened closely, she explained how Jesus wrapped her up as a present and had Santa Claus deliver her to our home as our greatest Christmas gift. Now I realize there are a few details not quite right about her explanation, such as her birthday is in June, not December. But I really like Audrey’s simple understanding of how Jesus sent her to be a special gift to her mommy and daddy. She may have a better understanding than most parents do. Most parents think they created their natural born child. While this is true, the deeper truth is that God knows our children even before they are born. In Psalm 139 , David writes that God “formed my inward parts and knitted me together in my mother’s womb…my frame was not hidden from you when I was being made in secret…” Read on in Psalm 139 and see that God even knows the future for your life. If you have a child, give God thanks and let your child know how special they are today. If you do not have a child, then take a moment and reflect on how special you are to God as He did create you with a purpose and a plan for your life!

This past month a bus driver in Ohio was shot while on duty. He was hit by bullets that should have killed him. But they didn’t. The bus driver was carrying a Bible in his jacket pocket to read during his breaks. This powerful book stopped the bullets. If he had not carried his Bible to work that day, well.....his life on this earth would be over!

You may take several different lessons from this story. You might decide to carry a Bible in your jacket pocket while you work. You might decide not to ride the bus in Ohio. You might decide you will never be a bus driver. But I think the most important lesson is this. The Bible has the Truth that literally saves lives every day. Jesus saves! You can meet Him in the Bible today! You might decide to carry the Bible with you everywhere but your only eternal security will come when you give your life entirely up to Jesus. Don’t waste any more time! Give your life to Him! And read some of the Bible today so you may also experience how powerful it truly is...even when it is not needed to stop bullets!

My 3 year old daughter often puts stickers on my shirt for me to wear. Sometimes I wear Mickey Mouse stickers or sometimes pink hearts or other fun shapes. I don’t usually keep the stickers on my shirt when I go out in public. But one day recently I decided to wear the stickers my daughter had put on me that morning to work. But 10am, I had had so many people ask me why I was wearing silly looking stickers on my clothes that I decided I would take them off. I had told everyone who asked that I was wearing the stickers because I wanted to show my daughter I loved her enough to wear whatever she put on me. But I got tired of the repetitive questions or the false assumptions that I was wearing these stickers on accident.

My sticker incident reminded me of the stickers we are supposed to be wearing for Jesus. We should be wearing stickers for Jesus that make people ask why we are wearing them. Our stickers may be our actions in how we serve others in love, or how we ask others how we may pray for them, or how we show a peaceful spirit no matter what is happening around us. After taking my sticker off, I remembered the words of Jesus in Matthew 10:32-33 . “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.” I quickly went back to the trash can to try to find my daughter’s stickers. I don’t want her to think I am embarrassed of her. But much more importantly, I don’t want Jesus to ever think I am embarrassed of Him. I hope you are looking for ways to wear stickers for Jesus this week!

Tonight in our Life of Christ class we will review the beginning of the public ministry of Jesus.In thisseason of His ministry Jesus focused on authenticating who He was...the Son of God. He demonstrated His authority to preach, to heal , to command nature, to command demons, and on and on. Jesus had a life plan to demonstrate His authority over every area of life. He was intentional in all the details. So tonight we will look into why was His first miracle at a wedding where most people would not even notice. Why does only the Gospel of John mention this first miracle and why does John never use the proper name of Mary, the mother of Jesus? We will consider this event and many others as Jesus proved He was God.

Jesus was intentional about everything He did. Every detail we are given had a purpose. From His example, we can learn to be intentional about how we spend our time. Be intentional about spending time in God's Word and in prayer this week. Be intentional about serving others. And if you need to be more intentional about Bible study, come join us tonight in our fellowship hall at 6:20pm for an hour in His Word. God always blesses our intentional efforts to draw closer to Him (James 4:8 )!

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    " A dear Christian Sister, Mary, her grandson, Josh Pruitt, broke his neck..."   Read more

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