"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves
be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."
Galatians 5:1 NIV
Greetings, friends, family, and saints!
Unless you're a new subscriber, you've already noticed that this newsletter is a little different from the "usual" ones.
Besides not wanting to do anything "as usual", July 4th marks America's 226th birthday, so I decided to use July's newsletter to celebrate freedom. Given the tragic events of September 11th and the thousands of military personnel worldwide who are fighting the war against terrorism, I believe this celebration is needful and appropriate!
This newsletter is full of American history, memorials to some of our fallen heroes and the September 11th attacks, and good old-fashioned American pride. There are a lot more photographs in this newsletter than usual. There's a saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words." In this case, I couldn't agree more! If your email application doesn't enable you to view all the images in their proper order, I urge you to click this link to view the newsletter online.
I hope you enjoy and share this month's newsletter with others. As usual, I've included some humor, too — but not inappropriately, I hope.
Happy Birthday, America!
P.S. To those of you who live outside the United States, please feel free to submit articles and announcements pertaining to your homeland.
Given the recent controversy concerning the Pledge of Allegiance, I feel strongly that I should lead this month's newsletter with the Pledge and a brief history.
The idea for an oath of loyalty to the flag and the nation it symbolizes originated with one of the editors of a magazine for children. By proclamation of President Benjamin Harrison, the Pledge was first used in the public schools on October 12, 1892, during Columbus Day observances. The original wording of the Pledge was as follows:
"I pledge allegiance to my flag and to the Republic for which it stands: one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
The Pledge was later amended with the words "the flag of the United States of America" in place of the phrase "my flag". The newly worded Pledge was officially adopted on Flag Day, June 14, 1924. The Pledge was further amended in 1954 by joint resolution of Congress with the addition of the words "under God". The Pledge now reads:
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands: one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2002
Copyright © 1997-2002 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
In keeping with the previous newsletters' highlights of online radio ministries, here's a site that's sure to become a favorite! Sign up for a free membership at PraiseTV.com and you'll be granted access to streaming video, music, and confidential worldwide communication with other Christian music fans!
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Pakistani Christians May Be Executed!
During the past month, I've received numerous requests from Christians in Pakistan. Many are under the sentence of death for being falsely accused of violating the nation's blasphemy law, which bans derogatory comments about Muhammad. Some have suffered inhumane conditions and torture for nearly five years! Following is an excerpt from one email that fairly well summarizes their requests:
"Christians in Pakistan, especially in the rural areas, are frequently raped, beaten, plundered, usually without the knowledge of the free world. It is not uncommon for a Christian woman to be raped, and then taken away against her will to be married to her abductor, even if she is already married.
"Please pray for the annulment of the Blasphemy Law... Please pray for us as we ourselves stand trial today on account of our Gospel ministry. We are not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ for it is the power of God to save. We are not afraid to be known as servants of Jesus Christ, God Most High. Please ask God to mobilize prayer and fasting for Pakistan and for our ministry."
If you would like to sign an online petition to Pakistan's President Musharraf, go to: http://www.christianpetitions.com/petition.html?name=Ayub_Masih or copy and paste the URL into your web browser.
Did you know? The Fourth of July is not a National holiday. In fact, the United States has no National holidays. Technically speaking, a "National holiday" is a day set aside by official government proclamation. Since the United States is a democratic Republic, the Congress can only declare "legal" holidays, not government-appointed holidays. The Fourth of July is celebrated by mutual agreement among all 50 states and territories of the United States.
When I dress in the morning, I try to remember I wear the uniform of a military that protects the greatest symbol of democracy and freedom in the world.
Copyright © 2001 Joshua W. Wilks, A1C
Some of you have already read the following letter, while others have not. It doesn't matter, though, because it's one of those things you don't mind reading more than once. No one knows who wrote it, but I think that's a good thing, too. So long as the author remains anonymous, the letter can be from all Americans, wherever they may be found...
"You probably missed it in the rush of news last week, but there was a report that someone in Pakistan had published in a newspaper an offer of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any American. So I just thought I would write to let them know what an American is, so they would know when they found one.
"An American is English, French, Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Australian, Iranian, Asian, Arab, Pakistani, or Afghan. An American may also be a Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot, Navaho, Apache, or one of the many other tribes known as native Americans.
"An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, Buddhist, or Muslim. In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Pakistan or Afghanistan. The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them chooses. An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God.
"An American is from the most prosperous land in the history of the world. The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence, which recognizes the God-given right of each man and woman to the pursuit of happiness.
"An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need. When Afghanistan was overrun by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country. As of the morning of September 11, 2001 Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
"Americans welcome the best, but they also welcome the least. The national symbol of America welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, and tempest tossed. These in fact are the people who built America. Some of them were working in the Twin Towers on the morning of September 11, 2001, earning a better life for their families. [I've been told that the people in the Towers were from at least 30, and maybe many more, other countries, cultures, and first languages, including those who aided and abetted the terrorists.]
"So... you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General Tojo, and Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tung, and every blood-thirsty tyrant in the history of the world. But, in doing so you would just be killing yourself. Because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American.
"So look around you. You may find more Americans in your land than you thought were there. One day they will rise up and overthrow the old, ignorant, tired tyrants who trouble too many lands. Then those lands, too, will join the community of free and prosperous nations. And America will welcome them!"
Reprinted by permission from www.talltexian.com
On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress adopted the "Stars and Stripes" as the national flag. History leaves us with very few clues as to who actually designed and created the original flag, but it has long been attributed to Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross.
As legend tells it: George Washington and two members of Congress appeared at Mrs. Ross' doorstep around the first of June in 1776. They asked her to make a flag from a rough drawing. At Mrs. Ross' suggestion, Washington sketched a new flag design with 5-pointed stars instead of the 6-pointed stars on the original drawing.
So widely accepted is the story of this legendary flagmaker that the United States government issued a commemorative postage stamp in 1952 in celebration of the 200th anniversary of her birth.
The whole world got to see
The towering twins of New York State
Fall so helplessly.
They both were struck by suicide jets
Then a third jet struck our Pentagon
So with vengeance left to be the Lord’s
Copyright © 2001 William Heffner, P.O. Box 677, Coldwater, Michigan 49036
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."
Located in New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty is one of the most universal symbols of political freedom and democracy. She was a gift from France to the United States to commemorate the alliance between the two nations during the American Revolution.
It was completed in 1884 and dedicated on October 28, 1886. The Statue of Liberty was designated a National Monument on October 15, 1924. The Statue was extensively restored in time for her spectacular centennial on July 4, 1986.
Statue of Liberty
In New York harbor, stands a lady
There's so much drama surrounding the writing of our National Anthem that space doesn't permit me to do it justice. But I'll do my best...
During the summer of 1813, the Commander of Fort McHenry in Baltimore asked for a flag "so big that the British will have no trouble seeing it from a distance." Mary Young Pickersgill and her 13-year-old daughter, Caroline, used 400 yards of wool bunting to create a flag measuring 30 feet by 42 feet. (Each star and stripe was 2 feet wide!)
On September 13, 1814, attorney Francis Scott Key and two other Americans, Dr. Beanes and Colonel Skinner, were under guard aboard a British sailing vessel off the coast of Baltimore. The British bombardment began at 7:00 a.m. and continued for 25 hours. The British fired rockets that traced wobbly arcs of red flame across the sky ("...the rockets' red glare..."), and they fired 1500 bombshells that were supposed to explode when they reached their target, but often blew up in mid-air ("...the bombs bursting in air...").
As Skinner, Beanes, and Key watched the battle, they knew that as long as the shelling continued, Fort McHenry had not surrendered ("...gave proof through the night that our flag was still there!"). Long before daylight on the 14th, the shelling stopped.
In the predawn darkness, Key waited for the sight that would end his anxiety — that of the great flag waving over Fort McHenry. When daylight came at last, the flag was still there! What the three anxious Americans did not know was that the British had abandoned their assault on Fort McHenry as being "too costly".
Key immediately wrote his thoughts on the back of a letter. Copies were made and circulated around Baltimore under the title "Defense of Fort McHenry". In a public performance in October, a Baltimore actor sang Key's new song to a melody that was popular at the time and called it "The Star-Spangled Banner". Immediately popular, it remained just one of several patriotic airs until it was finally adopted as our National Anthem on March 3, 1931.
Did you know? The original flag that flew over Fort McHenry had 15 stars and 15 stripes. An Act of Congress on April 4, 1818 reduced the number of stripes to 13 (for the original 13 states) and provided that one star be added to the flag on the Fourth of July following the admission of each new state.
The Faith of Todd Beamer
"I don't think we're going to get out of this thing. I'm going to have to go out on faith."
It was the voice of Todd Beamer, the passenger and Wheaton College graduate, who said, "Let's roll!" as he led the charge against terrorists who had hijacked United Flight 93 — the one, you will remember, that crashed into the Pennsylvania countryside.
The whole world knows how brave Beamer and his fellow passengers were on September 11, but in an article in Newsweek we learned more fully what buttressed that bravery: Todd's faith in Jesus Christ. Todd died as he lived, a faithful evangelical believer.
In an article titled "The Real Story of Flight 93," Newsweek reveals gripping details from the actual transcripts of the cockpit voice recorder. "Todd had been afraid," Newsweek relates. "More than once, he cried out for his Savior."
After passengers were herded to the back of the jet, Beamer called the Customer Center in Oakbrook, Illinois. He told supervisor Lisa Jefferson about the hijacking. The passengers were planning to jump the terrorists, he said. Then he asked her to pray with him. As Newsweek relates, "Beamer kept a Lord's Prayer bookmark in his Tom Clancy novel, but he didn't need any prompting. He began to recite the ancient litany, and Jefferson joined him: 'Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name...' "
As they finished, Beamer added, "Jesus, help me!" Then, Beamer and his fellow passengers prayed a prayer that has comforted millions down through the centuries — the prayer that King David wrote in a time of great anguish: "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want... Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil..." And then the famous last words: "Are you guys ready? Let's roll."
We now know from the cockpit voice recorder that Beamer and other passengers wrestled with the hijackers and forced the plane to crash into the ground, killing themselves but foiling what was believed to have been the hijackers' plan to fly Flight 93 into the Capitol or the White House.
As Christians, we know that God can bring good out of evil. In Todd Beamer, the world witnessed a faith that held up in the extremes of fear — a faith that is even now comforting his widow and two young sons and daughter.
Lisa Beamer told NBC's Dateline, "You know, in the Lord's Prayer, it asks us to forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. As Todd prayed this prayer in the last moments of his life, in a way," Lisa said, "he was forgiving those people for what they were doing — the most horrible thing you could ever do to someone."
It wasn't Todd Beamer's job to fight terrorists. He was just a passenger who, along with several others, did what he didn't have to do, but foiled a terrible evil that might have been done to his country. As Flight 93 hurtled towards destruction, Todd Beamer could not have known that his quiet prayers would ultimately be heard by millions — that the story of his last acts on earth would be a witness to the Lord he loved and served and a lasting example of true heroism.
If the above link doesn't work,
Good News and Humor
We should appreciate what we have instead of worrying about what we haven't, and enjoy what is before it isn't.
The Look of Love
Bad habits are like comfortable beds — easy to get into, but hard to get out of.
The great oak is only a little nut that held its ground.
You can't lose by following the way of a positive Winner. Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father (or to Heaven) but by me."
Received from Agape Good News and Humor
Inscription: "Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof" Leviticus XXV:X
On July 8, 1776, the Liberty Bell rang out from the tower of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, summoning citizens to hear the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. Besides being rung at every Independence Day celebration, the Bell was rung often to announce public readings and other special events.
There is widespread disagreement about when the first crack appeared on the Bell. However, it is generally agreed that the final expansion of the crack, which rendered the Bell unringable, was on Washington's Birthday in 1846. It is now maintained in a glass enclosure near Independence Hall in Philadelphia.
Did you know? The bell was not originally intended for the purpose of announcing America's independence. Rather, the Pennsylvania Assembly ordered it 25 years earlier to commemorate the 50-year anniversary of William Penn's "1701 Charter of Privileges", which became Pennsylvania's original Constitution.
Copyright © 2001 William Heffner, P.O. Box 677, Coldwater, Michigan 49036
"Encouraging Christians Everywhere to
Read, Carry, and Share
the Word of God."
Become a member and receive free Gospel of John booklets to distribute.
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Living is like dying. We haven't done it before.
Knowing the Bible is one thing. Knowing the Author is another!
Man's way leads to a hopeless end — God's way leads to an endless hope.
A lot of kneeling will keep you in good standing.
He who kneels before God can stand before anyone.
Don't put a question mark where God puts a period.
When praying, don't give God instructions — just report for duty.
"The eagle, full of the boundless spirit of freedom, living above the valleys, strong and powerful in his might, has become the national emblem of a country that offers freedom in word and thought and an opportunity for a full and free expansion into the boundless space of the future." -Maude M. Grant
The eagle became the National emblem on June 20, 1782 when the Great Seal of the United States was adopted following six years of debate. The Great Seal shows a wide-spread eagle, faced front, having on his breast a shield with 13 perpendicular red and white stripes, surmounted by a blue field with the same number of stars. In his right talon is an olive branch, in his left a bundle of 13 arrows, and in his beak he carries a scroll inscribed with the motto "E Pluribus Unum" ("from many, one"). This same eagle appears in the Seals of many of our states, as well as on most of our currency. The American bald eagle was officially adopted as the emblem of the United States in 1787.
Did you know? The turkey almost beat out the eagle as our national emblem. Ben Franklin and other representatives disapproved of the eagle. Franklin wrote "...he is a bird of bad moral character, he does not get his living honestly... Besides, he is a rank coward... He is therefore by no means a proper emblem for the brave and honest...of America..."
Franklin and artist John James Audubon went on to propose that the turkey "is, in comparison, a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America... a bird of courage..."
A lady at work was seen putting a credit card into her PC's floppy drive and pulling it out quickly. When asked what she was doing, she said she was shopping on the Internet and they kept asking for a credit card number, so she was using the "ATM thingy".
Several years ago, we had an intern who was typing when she turned to a secretary and said, "I'm almost out of typing paper. What do I do?"
"Just use copier machine paper," the secretary told her.
With that, the intern took her last blank piece of paper, put it on the photocopier, and proceeded to make five "blank" copies.
No matter how often you've recited this Psalm, after you read this, I have a feeling you'll never think of Psalm 23 the same way again.
"The Lord is my Shepherd"
"I shall not want"
"He maketh me to lie down in green pastures"
"He leadeth me beside the still waters"
"He restoreth my soul"
"He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness"
"For His name sake"
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death"
"I will fear no evil"
"For Thou art with me"
"Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me"
"Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies"
"Thou annointest my head with oil"
"My cup runneth over"
"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life"
"And I will dwell in the house of the Lord"
Contributed by Cynthia Humphris
How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?
When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth, think of Algebra.
I don't know how I got over the hill without getting to the top.
The golden years are really just metallic years — gold in the teeth, silver in your hair, and lead in the rear.
Life would be infinitely happier if we could be born at the age of 80 and gradually approach 18.
(even if you didn't ask!)
The advantage of exercising every day is that you die healthier.
If you are going to try cross-country skiing, start with a small country.
Aging really is a nice change from being young. One must wait until evening to see just how splendid the day has been.
Give God what's right, not what's left.
You could run this over to your friends, but why not just email it to them!
The best way to settle an argument is to figure out WHAT is right, not WHO is right.
If you don't learn to laugh at trouble, you won't have anything to laugh at when you are old.
You get the best effort from others not by lighting a fire beneath them, but by building a fire within.
Download free Windows Bible software. Includes several commentaries and study helps, including Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary, Easton's Bible Dictionary, C.H. Spurgeon's Morning and Evening devotional, and more.
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Wouldn't this old world be better
Under same management for over 2000 years!
Tithe if you love Jesus! Anyone can honk!
Forbidden fruit creates many jams.
Don't give up. Moses was once a basket case.
Life has many choices. Eternity has two. What's yours?
Help support this ministry by shopping at the
If we don't have it, you probably don't need it!
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It is illegal to fish for whales on Sunday.
It is illegal to get a fish drunk.
Participating in or conducting a duel is prohibited.
In Bexley, it is illegal to install and use slot machines in outhouses.
In Canton, if one loses their pet tiger, they must notify the authorities within one hour.
In Marion, you cannot eat a doughnut and walk backwards on a city street.
(Is it just me or does it concern you, too that these laws even needed to be written in the first place?!)
The concert held in Fellowship Hall was a great success. Special thanks are due to the minister's daughter, who labored the whole evening at the piano, which as usual fell upon her.
The outreach committee has enlisted 25 visitors to make calls on people who are not afflicted with any church.
Pastor is on vacation. Massages can be given to church secretary.