Mountain View Independent Methodist Church
Sunday, September 27, 2020
God is good ALL the time... and ALL the time, God is good!!

Year 2017 - July thru September




+++ September 2017 Christian Banner +++ 



Continue in Love – Devotional 08/28/17
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For an experiment, babies in an orphanage were divided into two groups. Both groups received all the routine care provided by the nurses and matrons. They were fed on schedule and given proper medical attention. 

But one group was given personal, loving care above the routine duties. The babies in Group One were held and cuddled as they were fed, changed and put to sleep. The babies in Group Two had their basic physical needs met but were shown no love at all. They had nothing more than routine care. 

It did not take long for marked differences to develop. All the babies in Group One thrived. They developed bright, sunny personalities. But some of the babies in Group Two developed signs of serious emotional maladjustment. Their physical condition suffered, too. 

The experiment demonstrated that love is vitally important for healthy growth and development.

Those who are born again need to grow and develop properly. This will be impossible without a continual experience of Christian love. Sometimes we are guilty of giving ourselves completely to the winning of persons to Christ and then neglecting these spiritual babes. New converts need guidance and love. 

But brotherly love ought also to continue among those who have been Christians for many years. We never outgrow our need for love. Many have become backslidden after years of service because they have been snubbed by Christians who should have known better. 

Reach out to some neglected one. Let brotherly love continue! 


The Children of Israel

"Mr. Smith," announced little Joey, "there's something I can't figure out."

"What's that, Joey?" asked Mr. Smith.

"Well, according to the Bible, the Children of Israel crossed the Red Sea, right?"


"And the Children of Israel beat up the Phillistines, right?"

"Er, right."

"And the Children of Israel built the Temple, right?"

"Again you're right."

"And the Children of Israel fought the Egyptians, and the Children of Israel fought the Romans, and the Children of Israel were always doing something important, right?"

"All that is right, too," agreed Mr. Smith. "So what's your question Joey?"

"What were all the grown-ups doing?" 


This Earthly Life is Fleeting
Written and Submitted by: Jean Hunt 

Lord, keep my heart pure and clean so in my life no sin can be seen. I want my life to be lived for You no matter what others may say or do. This world will take its’ hold if we’re not safe and secure within Your fold. Satan has distractions to lead us away and we have to be careful to keep him at bay. The world with all it holds is not worth its weight in silver or gold. If we gained the whole world with all its’ worth it’s a very short while we will live on this earth? We’re here for a fast fleeting time and if we lose our soul none of it will be worth a dime.  

Eternity is where we will forever live and if you lost your soul then what would you give? I want my life to be lived for Him so this world and all its offers grow very dim. I want to be fully committed to God while on this road of life I trod. All that glitters is not gold and living on this earth is not made up of what our hands can hold. Life begins when death we face and where we’ll spend eternity depends on how we ran the race. Did we give our Life to Him or did we live for self and continue to live in sin?  

What will your answer be when you stand before God to make your final plea? All the wealth and worldly pleasures you may claim will not mean anything if you haven’t been forgiven in Jesus’ name. Don’t put it off and wait too late and be turned away to seal your fate. God is ready to take you in and deliver you from all your sins. Jesus died that we all could be forgiven and live eternally with Him in Heaven.


Mark 8:36-38 (KJV): For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?  Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.


Holiness unto the Lord Apples
Written and Submitted by: Pat Lewallen 

I remember hearing Dr. J. Harold Loman preach a sermon many years ago about the great need for Christians to live holy for the Lord. He told the story of a Christian lady that really needed a job. She looked everywhere and finally got a job packing apples in a warehouse to be sold to customers. The owner showed her how he wanted the apples packed. He instructed her to start out with the apples that were blemished, dented and less than perfect and fill the basket with these until she got close to the top. He told her to then fill up the rest of the box with the best apples.  

She went to work packing apples. Being a Christian, she didn’t want to cheat anyone by packing bad apples into their box. She also wanted a simple way to witness for the Lord so she placed a “Holiness unto the Lord” leaflet in each box of apples she packed. One day the owner terminated the Christian lady’s employment. 

A few days later a customer let the warehouse owner know that he was having problems with the apples he was receiving. They just weren’t the quality he expected them to be. The customer told the owner, “I will only buy your “holiness unto the Lord apples!”   

How about you? Do people see something in your life that sets you apart as one of the Lord’s followers? Or do you put on an outward appearance that doesn’t match up with your everyday living? Are you giving your best for the Lord or are you displaying only the top layer for others to see?  

Romans 12:1-2 (NIV): Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. 


The Just Shall Live by Faith
Written and Submitted by: Richard Lewallen 

The Bible tells us it is impossible to please God without faith, for we must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. The whole creation demands that we believe that God is and this belief brings purpose into our lives. It is the only reasonable answer for the magnificent place that was given to us to live out our earthly lives. 

Many of Jesus’ disciples found His words hard to accept. He asked His inner circle, “Will ye also go away?” Peter was quick to answer, “Lord to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.” Yes, Jesus is the only answer and the only way for our eternal future! The fool has said, “There is no God” and the fool is right, for him, the one with no faith, there is no God.  Repenting of our sins and placing our faith in the shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ brings a peace and comfort that the world knows nothing about! 

We were born into a world where there is a Heaven to gain and a Hell to shun. All the details are found in the Bible. God’s word is his greatest creation, for God’s word created all things that were made. The most important question that can be asked anyone today is, “Do you have salvation?” If your answer is “No,” Jesus’ answer back to you is, “Ye have not because you ask not!”


My Answer
Written by: Billy Graham
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Question: It always seemed very logical to me to believe in God; how else can you explain how the universe got started? Why do some people refuse to believe in God?  

Answer: People who deny that God exists may give several reasons for their unbelief. For example, they may say they reject God because they can't understand why He doesn't do something about all the evil in the world. Or they may say they're turned off by the hypocrisy of Christians they've known. 

But the real reason most deny God's existence can be summarized in one word: pride. They want to run their own lives, and they don't want anyone -- especially God -- to interfere with the way they're living. They want to be in control of everything they do, and they know that if they were to believe in God, they'd have to change their lifestyle. Instead of living by their own list of what's right and wrong, they'd have to take seriously God's moral standards. 

To live without God, however, is to live without hope -- hope for His presence with us right now, and hope for eternity. Instead of knowing that God has put us here for a purpose, they end up living without any ultimate meaning in life. No wonder the Psalmist declared, "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God' " (Psalm 14:1). 

Make sure of your own commitment to Jesus Christ, who came into the world to demonstrate God's reality -- and also His love. Then ask God to help you point others -- including your cousin -- to the freedom and hope they can have in Christ. They may not believe your arguments -- but they can't deny the reality of Christ's power to change your life. 


Story told by Pastor John Hagee: When I was a teenager, I worked at an orphanage in Houston, Texas. One morning when I arrived at work, I found a five year old boy dressed in a blue and white sailor suit, with his right hand tied to the fence post with a cotton rope. A note from his mother was pinned to his little sailor suit saying that she was not able to raise him.  His little eyes brimmed with tears as I read that note.  Full of bewilderment and uncertainty, he looked up at me and said, “Mister, what is your name?” I said, “My name is John Hagee.” He said, “Mr. Hagee, would you hold me and hold me real tight?” I thought my heart would break as I wrapped my arms around that little tyke who had been abandoned by a hopeless mother.  


Grandparents Day
Old Farmer’s Almanac Article
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Marian McQuade hoped to establish a national day that would honor grandparents, and in 1970 she began a campaign to do so. McQuade raised awareness about senior citizens throughout the 1970s. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter declared the first Sunday after Labor Day to be National Grandparents Day. Each year, the president issues a proclamation to keep the tradition going. 

Grandparents Day will be celebrated on Sunday, September 10th this year. Let’s appreciate all the joy and wisdom that grandparents bring to our lives! On Grandparents Day, it really is the thought that counts—just make sure your grandparents know that you’re thinking of them.

Most grandparents don’t care what activity they do—they just want to spend time with their grandchildren. No matter what, the best Grandparents Day activity involves you and your grandparents together, celebrating your family and each other. 


Grandparents Are Special People
Written by: Stacy Smith
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Grandparents are special people
With wisdom and pride
They are always offering love and kindness
And are always there to guide. 

They often make you feel so confident
And strong
Their arms are always open
No matter what you did wrong. 

They try to help out in every way
That they can.
They love all their grandchildren the same
Whether you're a child, woman or man. 

They are always there to listen
And to lend a helping hand
They show you respect
And they try to understand. 

They give their love, devotion and so much more,
That's easy to see.
Grandparents, what perfect examples
Of the kind of person that we should be. 


A Couple of Things Young People Can Do 

Volunteer in a local nursing home to adopt-a-grandparent. Nursing homes often have volunteer programs that match volunteers to residents. By 2030, it is expected that 5.3 million elderly individuals will be living in nursing homes. Approximately 60% of nursing home residents do not receive visitors. Spend the time making arts and crafts, reading or just talking. 

Ask your grandparents to tell you a story about what the world was like for them when they were young. Their valuable experiences may be timeless and very helpful today.




+++ August 2017 Christian Banner +++





In Memory of William (Sonny) Trotter
God called him home, August 9th, 2016
Written by: Eula Mae Trotter 

We have shed many tears and felt the loneliness of him not being with us anymore, but we know, as the song he used to sing at church, he is “sheltered safe in the arms of God”.  

Sonny gave his heart to the Lord and from that time on, served the Lord faithfully. He loved helping people in need. Although he went to church all his life at Mountain View, he became an official member after being saved, He served on the Official Board for many years, and was Song Leader from the early seventies until his diagnosis of cancer in 2016, and was taken by it in August of that same year. He loved his family, and we can say he was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend! The psalmist David wrote, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints”. 

Sonny’s death was a matter of great loss to us who knew and loved him. But it is comforting to know that God did not take his passing without feeling our pain. In fact, I believe He wept with us. 

One day the family circle will be complete again! 


We hope you’ll make plans to attend our annual Homecoming here at Mountain View Methodist Church on Sunday, August 27, 2017. Please bring a covered dish and we'll eat in the Fellowship Building at the conclusion of our 11 am Worship service. We hope you'll make plans to come enjoy good fellowship, good memories and good food with us!  


The meaning of life is to give life a meaning.  



Here’s an article Sonny submitted to the August 1972 issue of The Christian Banner. 

 A Personal Relationship with God
Submitted by: William “Sonny” Trotter (01/30/1941–08/09/2016)

Man by nature is inclined to do evil. It is only with the help of the Holy Spirit, through prayer, and the study of God’s Word that these that have been converted, learn to hate sin and seek to live in ways that are pleasing to Him. The prophet Isaiah was aware of this, for while the people of Israel put up an outward front, their hearts were not right with God. Isaiah reminded them that just going through the form or motion of religious ceremonies in no way pleases God. In fact it is an abomination in His sight. They needed to establish a personal relationship with God. 

This is true with most of church members and professed Christians today. The majority of people will acknowledge a “Creator” and will admit there is proof of a “Supreme Being” through the creations, but they have never allowed themselves to come to a “personal relationship” with Him. When a person gets a personal relationship with God, then he or she can refer to Him as “My God”. This was true with Thomas. He declared, “Except I shall see in His hands the print of nails, I will not believe”. Jesus told him to reach forth his fingers and feel His hands and to be not faithless, but believing. Then Thomas exclaimed, “My Lord and My God”. 

What difference does it make if the whole world is filled with gold if none of it belongs to you? What does it matter if everyone you know has perfect health if yours if gone? What then if all your family and friends be filled with the Spirit of God if you don’t possess Him? 

The wonder part of it all is that you can make Christ your own personal, priceless possession just by accepting Him into your heart and life, then trust and obey the voice of the Holy Spirit. When you have done this with complete dedication to Him, you too can say with the songwriter, “My Jesus I love Thee, I know Thou art mine”. 



The Measure of a Man
~ Author Unknown

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Not - How did he die? But - How did he live?
Not - What did he gain? But - What did he give?

These are the things that measure the worth
Of a man as a man, regardless of birth.

Not - What was his station? But - had he a heart?
And - How did he play his God-given part?

Was he ever ready with a word of good cheer?
To bring back a smile, to banish a tear?

Not - What was his church? Not - What was his creed?
But - Had he befriended those really in need?

Not - What did the sketch in the newspaper say?
But - How many were sorry when he passed away?

These are the things that measure the worth
Of a man as a man, regardless of birth.



In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:2-3 KJV) 


Husbands and Wives - Today's Devotional - 07/22/17
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Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth (Proverbs 5:18). 

Here is a good test for married couples. Estimate the number of years you have left together. Figure the number of hours that totals. Divide the number by three and subtract the answer from the total to find the number of waking hours together. Now divide the remaining amount by two to arrive at the approximate time apart because of work. How do you intend to spend the hours that remain? 

How many hours do you intend to spend arguing? In hand-to-hand combat? Pouting? Administering the “silent treatment”? Grumbling? Finding fault? Putting one another down? Criticizing one another before friends? Being apart unnecessarily? Now that you’ve removed the clutter, what will you do with the time that is left to invest? 

How many hours have you reserved for expressing your love for each other? Holding one another? Complimenting? Walking together? Laughing? Sharing projects of mutual enjoyment? Relaxing together? Planning new adventures? Enjoying your children or grandchildren? Praying together? Studying the Bible? Attending church services? Telling others of God’s blessings? 

Generally, we do not think about how quickly life escapes. The Bible speaks about the importance of “redeeming the time.” Unless priority is given to rejoicing together, as God intends, couples may waste most of their lives in unpleasant tasks or sour attitudes, thereby missing God’s will for their lives. 

“Rejoice with the wife of thy youth.” And enjoy your husband while he’s with you. It’s the Bible way to live! 


What I Wanted to Say
Written by: Susi Costello
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Today I wrote a note to the mom of a child who died.

I wanted to say don’t believe those other cards. The ones that say “time heals” and “God only takes the best” and “may your sorrows be lessened.” You’ll only be disappointed. 

I wanted to say this is the most heart-wrenching, chest crushing, breath stealing tragedy on earth. 

I wanted to tell her there will be days she wants to die, and friends who will not understand some of the things she does or says. 

I wanted to tell her she will still feel her child’s presence at times, sometimes so strongly that it is as if she is just at the edge of whatever activity is going on. And other times she might not feel her child’s presence at all. 

I wanted to tell her that her life will not go back, that she will never be the same, because a piece of her left with her child. 

And that even though the pain does not go away, somehow her soul will eventually make enough room so she can hold it all– the grief, the pain, the joy and the love. 

I wanted to tell her… but I didn’t.
Instead, I wrote– I’m sending love, for words are pointless right now.
And that is the truth. 




Is Saying 'OMG' or Words like ‘geez’ Still Taking the Lord's Name in Vain?
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Answer: The idea of “taking the Lord’s name in vain” is first found in Exodus 20 when Moses receives the Ten Commandments. The third commandment states, “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain” (Exodus 20:7). What does this mean? How does it apply to terms like OMG and geez?

Taking the Lord’s name in vain is to speak of God with irreverence or disrespect. Many have traditionally understood the exclamation “Oh my God!” to be sinful, because it has nothing to do with a proper, reverent use of God’s name.

The same principle is true when a person uses an acronym such as OMG or a word like geez (the first syllable of Jesus’ name) or gosh (a modified form of God). If the intended meaning is to be disrespectful toward God and His name, the word should not be used. However, some people use OMG without any thought of its connection to God’s name, and that’s what makes this question difficult.

We could all use the reminder that our words carry meaning. As people who follow Christ, we care deeply about helping others and honoring God. We must ask ourselves, “Do these words help others and honor God?” If we are honest, we will probably admit that words such as gosh do not. It may not be easy to change a long-standing habit, but we must seek to speak words that build up one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11) and honor the Lord.

James 3:9-10 speaks of the tongue as a powerful part of the body: “With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.” Our goal is to be consistent in our use of words, so they would serve as a blessing to God and to others.

Paul wrote, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17). This stands as our basis for evaluating terms such as OMG and geez. Does using these words give “thanks to God the Father”? If not, begin working to remove these words from your conversations and texts in order to honor God “in word and deed.”



One day Henry W. Grady, the great newspaperman, left his editorial room and went to see his aged mother. He told her he was confused religiously and asked her for help. She told him to sit beside her as he had done as a child while she told him the story of Jesus again. That night she had him sleep in his old bed and pray his childhood prayer. In the morning, when he came down to breakfast, Mr. Grady said, “It’s all right, Mother. I’m back with God again.” 


How Do You Get To Heaven? 

"If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale, and gave all my money to the church, would that get me into heaven?" I asked the children in my Sunday school class. "NO!" the children all answered. 

"If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the yard, and kept everything neat and tidy, would that get me into heaven?" Again the answer was, "NO!"  

"Well, then, if I was kind to animals and gave candy to all the children and loved my wife, would that get me into heaven?" I asked them again. Once more they all answered, "NO!"  

"Well," I continued, thinking they were a good bit more theologically sophisticated than I had given them credit for, "then how can I get into heaven?"  

A five-year-old boy shouted out, "You gotta be dead!"



+++ July 2017 Christian Banner +++



Lightning Bugs
~ Author Unknown 

What is the deal with lightning bugs? I mean, here is this rather ordinary looking flying insect, but wait… it has a glow-in-the-dark rear end! What was God thinking? 

I'm sure science has all kinds of explanations about how this fluorescent fanny is useful for mating and other stuff, but why did God choose to make the lightning bug glow? I wonder if when God was creating all the animals and everything around us, He came up with the idea of the lightning bug and said, "the kids are gonna love this." 

We know that God loves us enough to create all the things we need to survive, but does God love us so much He created some things just to make us smile? 

Just seeing lightning bugs takes me back to those warm summer nights of my youth. I'd be running around the back yard with my empty mason jar, racing toward the flashing lights all around me. I can still feel the joy and hear the laughter echoing through my memories. Lightning bugs were as much a part of summer as fireworks, fresh tomatoes, and big ice-cold slabs of juicy watermelon. 

God created so much diversity in this world, much more than is needed for mere survival. He made all of this for us and He wants us to enjoy it. 

We can get so busy surrounding ourselves with man-made goods that we don't notice the tapestry God has laid out all around us. 

I guess lightning bugs do have a purpose after all. They are a reminder of a creative God who loves us so much; He'd even paint the rear end of a bug… just to see us smile. 


Did you know that the light produced by the lightning bugs is the most efficient light ever made? Almost 100% of the energy in the chemical reaction is emitted as light; in comparison, an incandescent light bulb only emits 10% of its energy as light, the other 90% is lost as heat. 


Matthew 5:14-16 NIV: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” 


Summer is a great time for getting outside and enjoying God’s creation. He created everything that we see and enjoy around us, and we need to praise Him just as the rest of His creation does. Remember to praise Him this summer for this world He’s allowed us to live in. 

See You Later
Written & Submitted by: Pat Lewallen

I remember times at home with my siblings
When you had to leave us for a while
You’d say, “See you later, Alligator”
We’d answer, “After ‘while, Crocodile!” 

Dementia has taken so much from you Mom
It’s caused much grief for us as well,
Sometimes I wonder if you know me
 There are times I can’t tell. 

It’s hard to understand
Why you’ve suffered for so long,
I know God will heal you

As the angels take you Home! 

Mom, I’ll always love you
On this you can depend.
I’ll never forsake you
For my love has no end! 

We’ll meet again in Heaven
I’ll see your heavenly smile!
 “I want to see you later, Alligator!”
“You will - after ‘while, Crocodile!” 

July 4th Fun Facts
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Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on a "laptop," which was a writing desk that could fit on one's lap. 

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826. 

Only two men signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th 1776 -- John Hancock and Charles Thompson. 

The "Star Spangled Banner" was written by Francis Scott Key and was originally a poem stemming from his observations in 1814 concerning the British attack on Baltimore's Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. It was later put to music, though not decreed the official national anthem until 1931. 

Jesus is Still the Answer
Written & Submitted by: Richard Lewallen

On Sunday, June 4th, Shane Trotter sung “Jesus is Still the Answer” during our worship service. Shane did a great job singing this beautiful song! It is not only a great song but it also has the message the world needs to hear and accept in their lives! 

Ecclesiastes tells us that everything is meaningless, and when we leave Christ out of the picture, we can see the truth of those words. We all need a purpose to live. Knowing that Christ is not a figment of my imagination, but is a living Presence in my life gives me purpose and promise that goes beyond the grave! Yes, Jesus is still the answer for all those that are looking in all the wrong places. Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29 KJV). 

How to Take God on Vacation with You - Article written by: Tracie Miles

The responsibility of packing usually always falls into the lap of the woman. We have to make sure everyone has everything they need, while also packing for the unexpected.  Yet sometimes we can pack every single thing we need for vacation – except God. 

Although we may be going on vacation, we never want to take a vacation from God.  But I have to confess, I have done so on more than one occasion. Some vacations are schedule free and relaxing, while others are filled to the brim with activities and schedules. In either case, we have to deliberately commit to spend time with God and make Him a part of our week. 

We can’t pack God in our suitcase, but there are some things we can do to make sure that we feel His Presence with us every day. Below are 6 tips for staying on track with Christ, on vacation and every day: 

* Intentionally pray for your family and your travels before you leave.  Pray for your vacation to be a time where you draw closer to God and each other.  When vacation is over, continue to pray for your family daily. 

* Pack your Bible and a journal.  I love to read books when I’m lounging at the pool or the beach and usually pack several new novels or non-fiction books to take with me on vacation.  But it’s even more important to pack my Bible, and make sure I read it first each day.  Keep a journal of all the ways God speaks to you on vacation and during your quiet time. Pack a story Bible to read to the kids before bed each night. And consider keeping a bible in your purse, or downloading it on your phone, Ipad or Kindle so that God’s Word can be with you everywhere you go. 

* Look for examples of God’ goodness and beauty during your travels and point them out to your family. Help your family remember God while away by remaining aware of His creations and blessings and always giving Him the credit.  Sometimes we overlook the beauty that we see every day, so make a personal commitment to stay aware of your surroundings. Occasionally talk with your family about how God is blessing you that week while you are away, and keep it up when you return home. 

* Check out local places of worship at your vacation destination. For example, the beach we frequently go to has a worship service on the beach every Sunday morning during the summer. I always feel blessed and inspired if I make a point to attend service, much more so than if I had just slept in late that day because I was on vacation. 

* Be aware of opportunities to share the love of Jesus with others. If you strike up a conversation with a waitress or hotel clerk and God opens a door to share, be ready and willing to do so.  Ask God to help you always stay aware of opportunities to share. 

* Say a blessing or pray before each meal, just as you would at home. 

These are just a few thoughts to consider, but there are many other ways to incorporate God into your time away. Vacation time is one of the few times where we aren’t pressured by work, deadlines, and business and have time to really commune with God. It’s the only time we can actually check out from real life, but we don’t want to check out spiritually. 


We use a really strong sunblock when we go to the beach with the kids. It’s SPF 80: You squeeze the tube, and a sweater comes out.


Grandparents, it's the little things grandchildren will remember when they are middle-aged and we’re just fond memories. Many of us grew up with grandparents and we cherish the special memories of moments that became special treats, then routines, then traditions. If you can’t see your grandchildren, send them a card or a letter that can be read, reread, saved and treasured. 

The Missing Ingredient – Written by: Christopher J. Harris

A few weeks ago, while visiting a restaurant that so many people had rave reviews about, I tried one of the signature dishes that had been the talk of the town. 

On this specific day, as I tested out the dish (trusting the word of mouth satisfaction offered by others), I was quite disappointed. Initially, I thought maybe it was because everyone’s reviews were so high that I had unrealistic expectations about what to expect from the food. 

What I discovered, after sharing with a few others who were in awe of the food, was that they all asked about how it was prepared and what kinds of ingredients did I have in and on it. After I shared with them my plate elements, they smirked, laughed me off, and simply said, “You were missing one of the key ingredients that make it good. Like the sauce!” 

The life of the believer is like that when the Holy Spirit is not present and active. 

The Holy Spirit is the special sauce that gives the life of the believer that “It” Factor that makes their behavior, character, mindset, and approach to life stand out. 

The Holy Spirit is the ingredient, when added, that allows for people to be able to make lasting impressions on perfect strangers. 

The Holy Spirit is that special sauce that makes the voice of a person not just heard, but respected and valued. 

With these facts it is then very unfortunate when some have reduced the role of the Holy Spirit to only a theological fundamental belief versus an active mandate for everyone who is striving to live like Christ. 

In Acts 19, Paul encountered some Christians who had accepted Jesus Christ as the Messiah, but unfortunately, had not even heard of the Holy Spirit. 

The good news is that as Paul shared with them about the role and responsibility of the Holy Spirit, they were open to it. In Acts 19:6, we see that their Christian Experience was then maximized beyond their previous exposure. Their life with God moved beyond a religious understanding to a relational encounter that was dynamic, engaging, and empowering. That is the role of the Holy Spirit in each of our lives. 

The Holy Spirit turns a church service into a worship encounter. 

The Holy Spirit turns a simple Bible reading into a truth revealing experience. 

The Holy Spirit turns a song with a good melody into a life-giving, healing hymn that transforms an environment and strengthens a heart. That’s the role of the Holy Spirit. 

There’s nothing worse than tasting food with missing ingredients. That cake needs butter and egg, that chicken needs its seasoning and that pasta its sauce. Without it, it becomes clear that something is missing. 

Similarly, every Christian needs the Holy Spirit. Without it, there is frustration, no fruit, and even, futile activity with no productivity. 

Today, invite the Holy Spirit to ooze into aspects of your life and you’ll see a noticeable, supernatural (and sometimes unexplainable) difference. 

It’ll be worth it, and your life will be better.

Matthew 12:32 (KJV): “And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.”