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Unfair Treament

Written by | November, 2011
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“But that’s not fair!!!”  You can almost hear the whining voice of a four-year-old complaining about not receiving the treatment he thinks he deserves. To the child’s young mind, it doesn’t seem fair that older brothers and sisters get to stay up later than he does to watch TV because that’s unwarranted favoritism.

But how many young children voice objections about fairness when they receive something BETTER than they deserve? As a twelve-year-old, did you complain that your four-year-old sibling did not get to stay up as late as you?

Jacob had left Canaan on less than good terms. He had tricked his aged and blind father Isaac into giving him the blessing that belonged to his older twin brother, Esau—not fair!! For this, Esau hated Jacob to the point of wanting to kill him. Jacob had to flee Canaan with only the clothes on his back and a staff in his hand. He would spend the next twenty years working in a foreign country. Read More…

November 2010 Photo Gallery

Written by | November, 2010
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[nggallery id=1]

Surveying CLC History

From the 25th Anniversary Booklet (1985)
“Reflections–Projections”

“Projection” Number Eleven of Twelve

THANKSGIVING
I. TO BE SHARED
II. KNOWING WHAT TO DO WITH A LOT

“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10, NIV).

If we give a child a cookie, we expect the child to enjoy it. If, on the other hand, we give the same child a sack full of cookies, we expect it to be shared and passed around.

The greatest gift of all is God’s love for us through Christ. Jesus died on the cross to bring this love to all. Like any other gift given to us, we are to use it. Use God’s love by accepting it and enjoying it. Use God’s love by loving God. Use God’s love so you won’t be lonely or afraid. Rejoice and be glad that God loves you and has paid for all your sins.

But God did not limit His love to just a select few. He gave a whole sack full of love. His love goes far beyond the love which we need. “But where sin increased, grace increased all the more” (Rom. 5:20, NIV). God’s forgiving grace covers more than our sins. It gives hope greater than our fears.

What are we going to do with that great love which Christ has given in overflowing measure?

Peter suggests that “each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” Peter suggests that we are to minister–that is, to serve others–with God’s love. Christ has given us His love beyond our own needs, but that doesn’t mean it is wasted love. He tells us to pass it on to others.

Thanksgiving means thanksliving! Tell others of Christ’s love. Share this love by spending time with the lonely, by cheering up the sad, by giving of your means for mission work.

It is easy to know what to do with a little love, but see if you can use the unlimited love Christ has given to you!

I Am Full

Written by | November, 2010
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Thanksgiving Devotion

Please read Philippians 4:10-20

If ever there was a holiday when it was fitting to talk about being “full,” Thanksgiving would be that day

Eating is what most people associate with Thanksgiving Day. Families travel great distances to share a special meal together. Turkey is almost a requirement along with the staples of stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberries. And don’t forget the pies! Usually being full is not a problem on Thanksgiving.

But what if all that food were gone? What if the only thing Mom had to serve on Thanksgiving Day was a frozen pizza? And not even the $6.00 deluxe frozen pizza but the $0.97 party pizza? Would we still be thankful? Could we speak of being “full” after a meal like that?

“… for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:  I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.  I can do all things through Christ[a] who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:11-13 )

As the Apostle Paul writes to the Philippians, he teaches us some valuable lessons about being “full.” He writes, “Indeed I have all and abound. I am full….”

This “abounding” and being “full” had little or nothing to do with a full belly or a bountiful bank account. In fact, the apostle tells the Philippians that he was content (having a satisfied or a happy state of mind) whether he had much or nothing. “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”

The Apostle Paul himself faced things that few, if any, of us will have to worry about this Thanksgiving. In the course of his missionary journeys he was shipwrecked and imprisoned. He experienced sleeplessness, hunger and thirst, fastings, cold and nakedness. While we may be in the midst of a “global financial crisis,” few of us need to worry about being thrown in a dungeon or being stripped of our clothes.

Despite all this hardship, what does Paul say? He proclaims that he is content and full! “Indeed I have all and abound. I am full….” And his secret comes as no surprise to us when he adds, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” The apostle was content in every situation because he had Christ. He found his fullness in his Savior, his Righteousness—Jesus!

Cannot we say the same?

In Jesus Christ we have full and free forgiveness of sins. In Christ we are filled up with grace. In Christ we sinners are filled up with the righteousness of God. In Christ we have the eternal supply of God’s love showered upon us. In Christ we are given something that will not rust, fall apart, or run out. In Christ we believers have an inheritance that is incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for us (see 1 Pet. 1:4)/

It is Christ who gave Paul the strength to be content in every condition in which he found himself. It is the same Jesus Christ who gives each of us strength to be content in whatever condition we may be.

So, you see, dear fellow Christians, even before you sit down for your Thanksgiving dinner, everyone who is in Christ can say with Paul, “I AM FULL!”

Oh, bless the Lord, my soul,
Nor let His mercies lie
Forgotten in unthankfulness
And without praises die! Amen.  (TLH #27:2)

Firstfruits for Life

Written by | November, 2010
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A drive through the countryside shows that this year’s long harvest season is finally drawing to a close. After a very wet October and long backups at the grain elevators in November, the crops are finally in.

Perhaps it’s no coincidence that our annual Thanksgiving celebration comes at this time of year, at the close of the harvest, when we can clearly see how the Lord has blessed the land and us.

In Bible times it was different. Their thanksgiving came at the beginning of the harvest. The farmers would take the very first of their produce, put it in a basket, and present it before the Lord as their offering of “firstfruits,” as it is described in Deuteronomy chapter 26. In this way they gave honor to God. It was their way of saying “This is just the beginning, O Lord, and it all belongs to You, for it is You who made the soil and the sun. You are the one who brings the rains, and causes the seeds to grow.”

Our annual in gathering of crops should be a reminder to us all of a greater harvest day that is coming. It will be a harvest of all people, on the day that our Lord Jesus will return and raise all the dead. He will gather all His believers to His right hand side and invite them to enter with Him into eternal life. The Bible says that there will be a great many others who will not be a part of this harvest that leads to life, but will instead be condemned for eternity.

Will you and I be at the Lord’s right hand side on that day? How can we know? Read More…

Thanks, But No Thanks

Written by | November, 2010
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Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.” — Psalm 100:4-5

I invite you to consider with me two common expressions with the word “thanks” in them, and to apply them to spiritual matters.

The first is “Thanks, but no thanks.”

This expression is used in our society as a polite way of acknowledging the generous offer of someone but then for whatever reason declining the offer. Perhaps we don’t want the contents of the offer or we may think that the offer is too much and we are undeserving of it.

During this month our country as well as many others set aside a specific day to remember to give thanks for what we have been given.

Thanksgiving was declared a holiday by our government in 1863 during the Civil War, and a fixed day—the fourth Thursday in November–was set by Congress in 1942 during World War II.

Surely there is nothing wrong with a day devoted to giving thanks, although for a Christian it is appropriate to do so every day. And certainly there are many reasons for Americans to be thankful–food, shelter, family, freedom, and so on.

But this holiday, like many others, would be empty without the main reason for giving thanks to God. That reason is Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins. “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32)

Unfortunately, many people are blind to this true reason for giving thanks. Perhaps they don’t want what Jesus has to offer. Perhaps they feel the offer of forgiveness of sins is too much and they are undeserving. For them it is “Thanks, but no thanks.” Read More…

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