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Hello to all of our Outreach partners!
 
God has blessed us with opportunity to take Seven Cities to Christ Temple Church in Huntington, WV, on March 26th. We are calling this event "Repairing the Gates" and it's going to be "Full Throttle Worship". We would like to invite everyone to come to the concert which will begin at 4:00pm. Feel free to invite your friends and church family. Kevin Burgess will be teaching his Transformational Leadership Training session from 1:00-3:00pm. And, from 3:00-3:30pm the Christian Bikers will have a brief "Unite" meeting.
 
Please find attached the flyer (color and b/w version) and TICKETS. Please copy tickets and give them to the youth to distribute to their friends at school and church. Also, please post the flyer on Facebook and any other websites you may have and forward to anyone you think may be interested in attending.
 
If you plan to attend Kevin's leadership class, please drop him an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. This will help him with his planning. There is NO charge for the training class or the concert.
 
If you have any questions, feel free to call or email. Thank you for your continued prayers and support!
 
Your servant brother and sister in Christ,
Joe & Cheryl
Joe & Cheryl Lycan
304-235-1898
 
 
 

An open letter to my children

March 04, 2011

When your son asks you in time to come, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the LORD our God has commanded you?’ then you shall say to your son, ‘We were Pharaoh’s slavesin Egypt. And the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand.


Dear Seamus, Savannah, & Jedidiah,

Pastor Mark preached a [2]sermon Sunday from the Old Testament book of
Deuteronomy—the part when Moses says to the mommies and daddies in Israel
about what to say when their kids ask about God. Moses wanted the parents to
be  ready  to explain why everyone made a big deal about things in the
past—about their time in Egypt while they were slaves and about how God had
rescued them from Pharaoh’s control. (You know, kind of like Frodo helping
rescue all Middle Earth from the power of Sauron.)

Pastor Mark preached from that part in the Bible because he wanted all the
mommies and daddies of our church to be ready to explain to their children
why we make such a big deal about some things—about who Jesus is and what
He’s done for us.

You  might sometimes wonder, “What’s the big deal that we get up every
Lord’s day, get dressed in clothes we don’t wear most other times of the
week, and get together with all those people in the sanctuary—singing songs,
praying prayers, hearing sermons, and shouting hallelujahs?” You might also
wonder why we ask you to be quiet, to listen, to be respectful of others,
and to participate in the parts you can?

Well, I want to tell you.

The mommies and daddies of Israel told their children about being enslaved
to Pharaoh. I want to tell you about being enslaved to sin.

Sin is not a person like Pharaoh was. But it is something that makes you do
things you know aren’t good or right, and yet you’re still the one doing
them. You’ve sometimes caught yourselves doing things you knew were wrong.
Like  hitting  one  another,  or snatching something rudely out of one
another’s hand, or saying something unkind to one another. You may have been
sorry  you  did them, but you still _wanted_ to do them, even though you
can’t quite explain why you wanted to.

I know that’s hard to understand, but that’s like what it is to be enslaved
to sin. It means wanting to do things that later you wish you never wanted
to do, and yet, you don’t know how to stop wanting to do them. You’re stuck
wanting to do things you know you shouldn’t.

That’s sad and frustrating in itself, but what’s worse is what happens to us
if our hearts are never changed—if they’re never freed from our enslavement
to sin. Not only do we continue to do what we know we shouldn’t, we also end
up pushing ourselves farther and farther from God. And unless something
happens to bring us back to Him we will live forever without Him.

It was sad and fearful for the mommies and daddies of Israel to be enslaved
to Pharaoh. It’s even sadder and more fearful for us to be enslaved to sin.

But just as they told their children about being rescued from their slavery
to Pharaoh by God’s mighty Hand, I want to tell you about being rescued from
our slavery to sin by God’s mighty and merciful Son, Jesus.

God knew we were enslaved to sin. Since God is pure and holy, He also knew
He would have to punish sin. So He sent His Son to take our punishment for
our sin. Imagine if you did something wrong, but someone else was punished
for it. That’s what Jesus did in dying for us.

When He was punished for our sin, He did something about our enslavement to
sin, too. He made sure our sin could no longer keep us from being a child of
God; His death forgave us of our sin. But He also gave us a gift that would
change everything. He gave us His Spirit, and it’s His Spirit that changes
not only what we do but also what our hearts want.

Our hearts used to want many things the Lord hates. But now, by the gift of
God’s Spirit in Jesus, we now actually want many things the Lord loves. His
Spirit changes our heart. We’re no longer stuck always wanting what we know
is wrong. Now we’re free to want the things God wants.

Only God can do that. Only God the Father, through God the Son, by God the
Spirit _did_ do that. That’s why we believe God is both mighty and merciful.
He did for us what only He could do. And He showed us kindness we did not
deserve.

So part of the reason we make such a big deal about Jesus is because of what
God did through Him to free us from our enslavement to sin.

Last week when most of us were sick and mommy was heroically giving us aid,
she found one of you watching a video about tornados. At one moment in the
video, someone who’d once been caught near a tornado said, “One day you wake
up and you discover you’re not in control.” You heard that comment, thought
about it for a minute, and then just quietly said, “God is in control.”

I believe that’s exactly what Mommy and Daddy want you to know—that God is
in control. There will be plenty of times when it seems like everything is
scary and God is either not there or doesn’t seem to care. But if God can do
the hardest thing imaginable, like free us from our enslavement to sin, then
we can be sure nothing is outside His control.

One last thing. Maybe you’re wondering why I’m writing all this down. Can’t
we just talk about it while we’re eating dinner, or driving in the car, or
just before we give our last goodnight kisses (and zerberts)? Yes, we can
talk about it, and, I pray, we will talk about it in all those places—in
planned and unplanned moments. But I want to write you a letter just to show
you that this was important enough to write down—important enough to hear
once and maybe to read again later. If it was important enough for Moses to
write down, it’s probably important enough for me to write down, too. It’s
written down so we would not forget. It’s written down out of love for you.
So, I write this to you because I love you. May God keep showing us His love
by freeing us to want the things He wants.

Love,

Daddy

by Patrick Lafferty

High Court again says 'no' to God's commandments in public placesHigh Court again says 'no' to God's commandments in public places

An unsuccessful legal fight by two Southern Kentucky counties to post copies of the Ten Commandments is finally over, after more than 11 years and two trips to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In an order issued Tuesday, the high court declined to hear another appeal by Pulaski and McCreary counties.

That means a lower court order that struck down the counties' attempts to post the biblical laws remains in place.

"We're pleased with today's decision because it represents a victory for everyone's religious freedom," said William E. Sharp, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, which represented people challenging the counties' effort to post the Ten Commandments. "When politicians use government to promote a particular religion, they do a disservice to both institutions and exceed the limited authority granted them by the Constitution."

The Supreme Court's decision ends the case except for one big issue: a payment of more than $400,000 to the ACLU.

U.S. District Judge Jennifer Coffman ruled in March 2009 the counties had to pay the ACLU $393,798 in attorneys' fees and $8,133 in expenses for its work.

The bill will be closer to $500,000 because of legal work since then, Sharp said.

McCreary County Judge-Executive Doug Stephens said Tuesday he did not think the county's insurance carrier will cover the county's share of the bill.

"A $250,000 hit, whatever it's going to be, is going to be a significant punch," Stephens said.

McCreary County, one of the state's poorest, is hard-pressed at times to fund services.

Stephens said if the insurance company does not cover the bill, he hopes to find a way to pay it without using taxpayer money.
Pulaski County Judge-Executive Barty Bullock was not available for comment Tuesday.

The counties could contest the size of the award to the ACLU.
Tuesday's decision does not mean Pulaski and McCreary counties can never post copies of the Ten Commandments in the courthouse.

Rather, it means officials would have to do it in a way that shows the purpose of the display is not to endorse or promote religion.

That is where Coffman said the counties erred to begin with.
The case dates to 1999, when officials in both counties posted framed, stand-alone copies.

The ACLU and some residents sued, arguing the displays constituted an improper endorsement of religion, a violation of the First Amendment.

The counties later added copies of other documents, such as the Declaration of Independence and a print of blind Lady Justice, in an attempt to illustrate some of the foundations of American law and government.

That cured the complaint that they had posted the displays to promote religion, the counties argued.

The ACLU, however, argued the counties put up the additional documents in a transparent attempt to escape liability for the true, religious motive behind the displays.

Coffman issued a preliminary injunction barring the counties from displaying the Ten Commandments, which higher courts upheld.

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in 2005 that the motivation for putting up the displays was clearly religious.However, the court said displays of the Ten Commandments were not inherently unconstitutional.

Courts have upheld displays in other Kentucky counties when there was a finding that the primary purpose was not to promote religion.

After that 2005 Supreme Court decision, the case came back to Coffman for further consideration.

The judge decided the counties had not shown a valid, non-religious reason for posting the displays and ruled they were unconstitutional, according to the ACLU's news release.

That led to the further appeals that ended with Tuesday's order.
Supporters of posting the Biblical laws had hoped to win with a new lineup on the Supreme Court since the 2005 decision, but were disappointed.

Mathew Staver, who represented the counties, said the order leaves a confusing standard in place, in which displays including the Ten Commandments have been upheld in Mercer and Grayson counties but struck down in Pulaski and McCreary counties.

The Supreme Court will have to clear up the issue someday, said Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, a Christian legal group.

"The Ten Commandments have influenced American law and government and may be displayed in a court of law," said Staver.
Sharp, however, said there is no inconsistency in the fact that some displays that include the Ten Commandments have been upheld.

If the motive behind the displays is a valid, non-religious purpose, they are acceptable, but evidence showed otherwise in Pulaski and McCreary counties, Sharp said.

Posted By Bill Estep
Lexington Herald-Leader

 

God's Holy Fire from Heartlight

God's Holy Fire is a daily devotional about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
  • Sent by the Spirit

    The Spirit then compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness, where he was tempted by Satan for forty days. He was out among the wild animals, and angels took care of him.

    Mark 1:12-13 NLT

    Key Thought

    Jesus' time in the wilderness was not an accident. It was not an afterthought. Jesus was compelled to go into this time in the wilderness. He had no place to hide in this wild and rugged place. In this wilderness, a harsh place we call the desert, God's Son had to depend upon God for his survival. In the desert, God's Son had no apparent companion to help him in his fight against evil and temptation. Isn't this how we sometimes feel? Do we wonder how and why the Holy Spirit led us into a decision or situation when there is trouble and trial? Yet as we follow the Spirit's lead, we find that we are not alone and we realize that God's special grace, the presence of the Spirit and the angels, is there to sustain us in ways we could never imagine or design.

    Today's Prayer

    Father, help me to see the leading of your Spirit and to receive the ministry of your angels as I face my times of trial, temptation, and trouble. Lead me to a better place and use my life to bring glory 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.

  • Moment of Glory

    The moment [Jesus] came out of the water, he saw the sky split open and God's Spirit, looking like a dove, come down on him.

    Mark 1:10 MESSAGE

    Key Thought

    Winning the Super Bowl, winning the World Cup, winning Wimbledon, winning the British Open, winning the Daytona 500, and winning the World Series are considered lifetime achievements for those involved in the respective sports. Yet none of these victories even approaches the significance of the moment in today's verse. Jesus, with droplets of water from the Jordan River running down his face, is honored in a powerful way by God. More than just the words of affirmation that Jesus receives (Mark 1:11), heaven is torn open — surely a sign of a world-changing event. The Holy Spirit of God comes in a visible form to show heaven's approval. Jesus is recognized as awesome: not awesome in the sense of some great athletic achievement, but as one who is worthy of awe and reverence. God the Father and God the Spirit show the majesty of God the Son. The new age of God's grace is signaled by the heavens opening, and the power and peace of this grace are seen in the coming of the Spirit.

    Today's Prayer

    O God, revealing yourself as Father and Son and Spirit, thank you for your majesty — your glory, holiness, and might. Thank you as well for your proximity — your willingness to be incarnated in Jesus and being present again through your Holy Spirit in us. Forgive us — please forgive me — for not reverencing you as you deserve. 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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