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DECEMBER 15, 2017

Big Sandy Area Development District raised largest amount for statewide food drive

Big Sandy Area Development District took the overall award having raised nearly 1/3 of a pound of food per person in their district.Big Sandy Area Development District took the overall award having raised nearly 1/3 of a pound of food per person in their district.

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes and representatives from the Kentucky Association of Food Banks (KAFB) and the Kentucky Council of Area Development Districts presented the inaugural Commonwealth of Kentucky Bowl on Thursday, the prize for gathering the most food in a statewide food drive held in October.

Big Sandy Area Development District took the overall award having raised nearly 1/3 of a pound of food per person in their district. The rural district winner is the Purchase Area Development District, and the Northern Kentucky Area Development District is the urban area winner.

"Far too many Kentuckians face hunger daily – nearly one in five, and in some parts of the state one in three kids. The need is great, and continues to be," said Grimes. "But, Kentucky's area development districts have stepped up in a huge way to help, raising an amount equivalent to more than 250,000 pounds. This will provide a lot of relief this holiday season through Kentucky's amazing food banks."

The 250,000 pounds collected is enough food for 2,525 people served by KAFB for an entire year or 208,333 meals, according to the food banks association. Every $1 donated returned $8 or more in food to the community.

The 15 area development districts across Kentucky collected food and monetary donations in the inaugural campaign from Oct. 16 through Oct. 27.

The Office of the Secretary of State, the Kentucky Council of Area Development Districts (KCADD), and the Kentucky Association of Food Banks partnered to create the competition.

Proceeds and goods generated from the competition will directly aid the members of the KAFB – an organization that distributes over 63 million meals to 1 in 7 Kentuckians annually in partnership with a network of 800 local charitable feeding organizations. Its members serve all 120 counties in Kentucky.

"Kentucky's food bank network is so grateful for impact the inaugural Commonwealth of Kentucky Bowl will have on hunger. Thanks to the efforts of KCADD and the leadership of Secretary Grimes, our struggling neighbors across the Commonwealth will benefit from increased resources in the fight against hunger," said Tamara Sandberg, executive director of KAFB, upon the announcement of the results.

Grimes has been a champion for solving Kentucky's hunger issues since she took office in 2012, including being instrumental in the Farms to Food Banks tax credits legislation, and before she was elected to public office. She is a longtime volunteer at the Salvation Army, serving the Thanksgiving meal at her local service center for more than 30 years. She also has served on the board of God’s Pantry Food Bank.

 

Date: 12-15-2017

Kentucky Appeals Court ruling revives Bevin's Planned Parenthood lawsuit over abortions

The Kentucky Court of Appeals has ruled a lawsuit by Gov. Matt Bevin's administration that had claimed Planned Parenthood illegally provided abortions at its clinic in downtown Louisville was wrongly dismissed.

The ruling on Friday sent the case back to the lower court.

While the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services "may have a difficult time proving its allegations we believe said allegations are sufficient to state a claim upon which relief can be granted," a three-judge panel ruled.

Courier Journal reported in July 2016 that in dismissing the lawsuit filed by Bevin's general counsel, Steve Pitt, Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Mitch Perry found that the reproductive health organization had — as it had claimed — been following directions of state officials when it began offering abortions in December as part of its effort to obtain a state license.

Planned Parenthood had sought the license last in 2015 from the administration of former Gov. Steve Beshear, a Democrat, and produced documentation from state officials directing Planned Parenthood to open the clinic and begin providing all services, including abortions, so it could be inspected and be granted a license. Officials with the Beshear administration told Planned Parenthood its licensing application was complete and fulfilled requirements.

But the license had not yet been issued when Bevin became governor in December. His administration ordered the clinic to stop providing abortions and claimed the license application was deficient.

Bevin's lawyers had responded by suing Planned Parenthood, seeking fines of more than $500,000 for 23 abortions provided at the clinic.

 

December 15, 2017

What Then Will This Child Be?

by Mark Fulmer

...Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father, but his mother answered, "No; he shall be called John." And they said to her, "None of your relatives is called by this name." And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him to be called. And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote, "His name is John." And they all wondered. And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea, and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, "What then will this child be?" For the hand of the Lord was with him.

Zechariah's Prophecy

And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying,

"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,for he has visited and redeemed his people and has raised up a horn of salvation for usin the house of his servant David, as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us; to show the mercy promised to our fathersand to remember his holy covenant, the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his peoplein the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us or when the sunrise shall dawn upon us; some manuscripts since the sunrise has visited us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and
in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."

And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.

Luke 1:57-80 (https://pcpc.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=eba67192d3a27da52e93fefb8&id=65b3744881&e=82a9a8f891)

Most of human history would have called the idea preposterous. Just the thought of such a thing would have been regarded as fantasy. Oh, we've had our lamps and lanterns and torches and hearths. But the notion that simply flipping a switch could instantly blast away the shadows? That would have seemed pure folly. Think of it. The common use of the common light bulb has only occurred since about 1880. Before that, people everywhere lived with the ever-present reality of creeping darkness just beyond the tiny glow of the fire.

Living in a world lit only by flame is hard for us to imagine. But remember the panic we feel when the storms get bad and the lights go out? In an instant, you rush for the candles or hope for fresh batteries or stumble to find the frightened child. Those few minutes of unwelcomed darkness are a palpable reminder that darkness can overcome us. The blackness of the storm feels thick and sticky. We are swallowed by it.

It's no wonder that Scripture so often uses the imagery of darkness to teach us of the pernicious power of sin. The Bible makes plain that when sin entered the world, and when sin controls our heart, we live in the shadowy dark valley of death. And all of us, when we strain to see in the inky blackness of our own soul, long for the sunrise. Even in our electrified, night-light world, we are right to be afraid in that kind of darkness. If we're honest, our hearts cry out, "When will the light come on? Who will comfort me in the dark?"

It's no wonder that God, in His mercy, promised a savior who would destroy the darkness. The prophet Isaiah proclaimed, "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone" (Isaiah 9:2). And John the Baptist's dad, when he could finally speak again, said about his son,

"And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” (Luke 1:76-79)

It's no wonder that the Apostle John begins his account of Jesus by teaching us,

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." (John 1:1-5)

It's no wonder that the Lord Jesus would use language that every human heart understands when He proclaimed, "Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life'" (John 8:12).

And it's no wonder that the wonder of Christmas bids us come. Come into the light. He will drive away your darkness. Thanks be to God!

About the Author

Mark Fulmer
Elder
Park Cities Presbyterian Church

Mark Fulmer is an elder at Park Cities Presbyterian Church, and along with Steve Vanderhill, teaches the New Creations Sunday School class.

 

God's Holy Fire from Heartlight

God's Holy Fire is a daily devotional about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
  • Nothing Else Matters!

    [Jesus said,] "The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you — they are full of the Spirit and life."

    John 6:63 NIV

    Key Thought

    The apostle Paul said essentially the same thing as in today's verse when he wrote, "I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him..." (Philippians 3:8-9). Paul was saying that everything is nothing without Jesus. So much of what we pursue — what I have pursued — really counts for nothing. Economic meltdowns, which invariably happen, are reminders that the only investments that last, that are sure, are investments in Jesus and his kingdom. So we are called to turn our hearts to Jesus, to be shaped by his words, guided by his Spirit and conformed to his character. Jesus' words are lasting, eternal, and life-giving. Better yet, there is someone lasting and eternal and life-giving in his words — the Holy Spirit. That is why one of the ongoing works of the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, is to bring to our minds the words of Jesus (John 14:26). So read the Gospels — Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. But more than reading the words, ask the Holy Spirit to be alive as you read and are shaped and given life through the words of the Savior!

    Today's Prayer

    Holy God, I praise you! I thank you, Father, for sending the Son to die for our sins and for showing us the way home to you. I thank you, Jesus, as Son of God, for sending the Holy Spirit as my Advocate and Comforter, to be your presence within me and to bring me life through your words. I thank you, Holy Spirit, for living within me, and I ask that you conform me to Jesus and produce your holy fruit in me. Amen.


    Ⓒ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. The Thoughts and Prayer for God's Holy Fire are written by Phil Ware.

    Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

    Scripture quotations marked MESSAGE are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

  • Must!

    [Jesus said,] "But the time is coming — indeed it's here now — when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth."

    John 4:23-24 NLT

    Key Thought

    "Must..."! That is a hard word when spoken by Jesus! So we should pay careful attention when the Lord uses it. Our actions must conform to his words. "Must..."! Yet this "must" is not one we can do on our own. The requirement to worship God acceptably cannot take place because of our effort — not because we do it right, say the right words, do it in the right place, or follow the right procedures. God is Spirit. We cannot worship God without the Holy Spirit! In other places, we are told that true worship is worship in the Spirit (Philippians 3:3; Ephesians 5:17-21 — notice "pray/praying in the Spirit" in Ephesians 6:18 and Jude 20). More than engaging our minds and our bodies, we need the presence of the Holy Spirit to help us worship acceptably. We need the Spirit for at least two reasons. The first is that the Holy Spirit facilitates our communication with God by giving us access to the Father (Ephesians 2:18), interceding for us (Romans 8:26-27), and enabling us to cry Abba Father to God, spirit with Spirit to God (Romans 8:14-17; Galatians 4:6). The second reason is that the Spirit is at work conforming us to be like Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:18), empowering us to put to death the misdeeds of the body (Romans 8:9-13) and to display the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). This influence of the Spirit is why being born of water and the Spirit is so important (John 3:3-7; Titus 3:3-7). Without the Spirit, true worship will not happen. We MUST have the Spirit to worship in spirit and truth!

    Today's Prayer

    Father, thank you for sending Jesus to reveal your truth and for sending the Spirit to make that truth come alive in me. May my life be a living and holy praise to you! In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.


    Ⓒ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. The Thoughts and Prayer for God's Holy Fire are written by Phil Ware.

    Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

    Scripture quotations marked MESSAGE are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

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