Forever Thankful!

Do you remember the moment that God first spoke to your heart and convicted you of your sin? Well, I will never forget the night the Lord opened my eyes to who and what I really was. For twenty-one years I had convinced myself that I was a sure enough decent fellow, “a good ole boy,” you know. My parents had raised me with manners and respect for others and I figured that was good enough.

It took God’s Holy Word, preached by a Holy Ghost filled man of God to show me, that I like all men was a wicked sinner deserving of nothing better than God’s eternal wrath. But thanks be to God, He opened my eyes to more than just my sin. In His wonderful mercy and amazing grace He poured out His unspeakable gift of faith on me and I trusted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour! What a moment to remember!

How could I ever forget the moment that I recognized God the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth as my loving heavenly Father who loved me so much that He sacrificed His only begotten Son for a wicked sinner like me?  How could I ever forget the moment that Jesus Christ became so much more to me than just a baby in a manger? How could I ever forget the moment that the precious blood of Jesus Christ washed me clean and pure?  How could I ever forget the moment that all my sins were forgiven and forgotten? How could I ever forget the moment God gave me His peace, the “peace that passeth all understanding”?  How could I ever forget the moment that the Bible became God’s Holy, infallible, inerrant, inspired Word in which I could trust whole heartedly? How could I ever forget the joy of the new life in Jesus Christ!

I am 56 years old now. It has been 35 years and I tell you from my very heart and soul that I am forever thankful for that precious moment when God spoke to my heart and saved my soul! He has given many, many more things in my life for which I continually give Him thanks. I could easily make a list that would fill a book. But if it had not been for that one precious moment, I would never have known what it is to be truly, eternally thankful.

2Co 9:15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

Sincerely,

Marlin Prentice

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Life Changing Decisions, Where Will They Lead

Life Changing Decisions, Where Will They Lead

 

Have you ever thought about the fact that every decision you make is life changing? There are of course those that have a greater effect on our lives than others, none the less from the largest to the smallest all of our decisions are life changing. Stop and think about it for a moment and I’m sure you will see what I mean.

What you are doing at this very minute is a result of a decision you made at some point in the past. Regardless of whether it was planned or spontaneous, whether it resulted in you spending the evening watching TV or putting you on a trip around the world, you made this life changing decision.

Where we are in our lives right now is a direct result of the decisions we have made in our life time.  Our spouse, our career, where we live, what we live in, what kind of car we drive, who our friends are,  where we go to church, if we go to church and the list goes on and on.

Our pastor has been preaching a series of messages on the Doctrine of Stewardship and until now I have always associated stewardship with using your finances wisely.  I am learning however, that in its’ fullest sense it is much more. God commands us to be a good steward over all He has given us.

Therefore, since every decision we make is life changing, then God expects us to be good stewards of those decisions. It makes me cringe as I look back at some of the choices I’ve made over the years. I have at best been very unwise at times. I’m sure you can probably spot a few blemishes in your past as well. Thanks be to God, He is merciful, longsuffering and very, very patient.

The question is, what kind of life changing decisions will we make today? And how can we ensure that those choices will be ones which will be pleasing our heavenly Father? According to the scriptures, it is the Lord we have to answer to, not our friends, family or acquaintances.  Therefore our desire first and foremost ought to be to please Him.

I believe there are some very simple guidelines we can follow to help us in each and every decision we make. Mind you I said, “Simple” which does not mean the same thing as “easy.” One of our problems is that we want everything to be “easy,” but God has a different plan.  It is a plan that will indeed be life changing! The question for all of us is: “Am I ready and willing to put God’s plan into action in my life”?

If you are interested and willing we will learn from God’s Word how to make good and right life changing decisions that will honor and glorify our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Lord Jesus Help Me To Be a Faithful Steward

Our pastor, has started a series of messages on the “Doctrine of Stewardship.” We have been blessed to hear a couple of great messages so far and are looking forward to more of the same.

Have you ever looked at stewardship from the aspect that because God is the Creator of all things, He is the rightful owner. Therefore, nothing actually belongs to anyone but God himself, and believe it or not, that even includes us.

1Co 6:19  What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the
Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
1Co 6:20  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God 
in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

Lord Jesus help me to be a faithful steward of everything you have so graciously entrusted to my care.


			

Have We Forgotten What it Means To Be a Parent?

“It’s a boy! “ or “ Isn’t she the most precious little baby girl you have ever seen!”

Can you think of any exclamation that we make in our lifetime able to compare with one of these?  Is there a more monumental moment in our lives?  Sisters, brothers, grandmas and grandpas, aunts, uncles, nephews, cousins and friends, have all been waiting months impatiently for this special day. But for Momma and Daddy, the whole world seems to stop spinning for just a few moments as they hold that beautiful little miracle in loving arms?

I’m sure as parents; most of us have wonderful, sweet memories of the births of our children.  It is not however, the birth of a child which causes me concern. The thing that distresses me,  is what Daddy and Momma do with this new, precious little one in the days and weeks and months that follow. Oh I know, more than likely, there will be “someone” around to feed and burp and cuddle and bathe and change, comfort and care for them as they grow.  The question more prevalent than ever in our day is, “just who, will that be”?

Daddy, Momma, Grandma and Grandpa all have their careers to tend to, haven’t you heard of the “American Dream?” Today’s success is measured by the house(s) you own, the cars you drive, the clothes you wear and how many letters you have in  your official title.  Caring for a child is important, of course, but how will we be able to give him or her everything they want as well as a top quality secondary education, if Momma and Daddy don’t both work?

Luke 12:15 “And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth”

If you are not too busy trying to make the next dollar and buy the next new toy, perhaps you will take time to honestly reflect on your responsibility as a parent, a father or mother.  God has placed a priceless gift in your hands.  What are we doing with each of these precious eternal souls?

Psalms 127:3” Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.”

Did you know that “NO ONE,” can fill the shoes of Daddy and Momma!  No not even Grandma and Grandpa. Whether you believe it or not God gave YOU that child. And it is YOU who are responsible for the care and training of that precious soul. Have we become so selfish and self-centered that we have replaced  true love for our children with a dollar bill or what it can buy? A beautiful home, a late model car and the best clothes along with all the new toys in the world will never touch the satisfaction that comes from seeing your children grow and become a young man or young lady with character and respect and honor.

Pro 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

Oh, if we could only see what is happening right before our eyes simply because we have forgotten what it means to be parents!  Can I ask you a personal question, one I have to ask myself even as I write, “how much time do you devote to being a good parent?” If you can answer this question honestly, without trying to justify yourself for your failure, you still have hope. It is so easy in this fast paced world in which we live to get caught up in anything and everything, but the things that really matter.  What are we really giving of ourselves to the children we so dearly love and cherish?  Why do you think this world is quickly coming apart at the seams?  Generations of unloved, untrained children do not grow-up and become honest, caring, giving, respectful adults. We are indeed, reaping what has been sown.

You may not be able to change the world, but you can change the world around you by remembering that God has placed a precious eternal soul in your hands to love and train up in His ways.

Daddy and Momma, It is time for us to REMEMBER our responsibility before God!

           

 

Marlin Prentice

Working with Children is an Art

Today’s rush in society gives little hope to properly working with children. Who has time for training children? We are always in a hurry; work, sports, even everyday life, and more times than not, our children are simply being left to themselves. They are not being properly trained in the basic knowledge they need to carry them into adulthood. The Bible states, “A child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.”

Working with children is an art form to which we must apply ourselves carefully and patiently, just as the artist, who after giving much thought and careful attention to every detail of his work, is able to take much pride in his finished masterpiece.

Time, is of a necessity when it comes to working with children. Children need our time! They need us to teach them how to act, to react, to help others, to give, to show love, and one day care for a family of their own.

Take the time to talk to them, notice them, listen to them, love them, and train them with patience. The masterpiece you produce will one day make you an artist who can admire and appreciate your completed work. When working with children, they need you to take them through each new thing, step by step.  And though it may be challenging to them, with your patient training and loving encouragement, they can and will succeed.

Working with children in this manner, instead of the average “I told you so,” mentality; will result in a child willing to do the task which is set before them without having begrudging feelings. Then, as they later face the challenges that life brings, they will respond in a positive manner.

A child is given to us to mold. We must acknowledge that this clay has been placed in our hands by our blessed Creator. And just as the paint comes from its maker, and is applied with patience, wisdom, and careful attention to create a work of art. So the parent fashions the clay with hands of sincere love, compassion and conviction, using the wisdom from above to create a wonderful masterpiece.

Working with children is an art and everyday those around you can see the fine details of your patient work, but the finished product is what truly tells the tale. Will the world see the glory of the rare beauty of a godly character on daily display from our adult children?  Or will they see the misery of the marred, misshapen reminder of the life that could have been?

 

By Shanda Prentice

God Please Help Me!

If “God please help me!” is your cry today. There is indeed a God in heaven who is ready and able to help you, regardless of your predicament. He has heard this very cry from my heart and lips many times over the years and seen me through countless what seemed to be  hopeless  situations. What a wonderful blessing it is to have a heavenly Father who sincerely cares about us!

I know this may sound strange to you, but if you are a child of God through faith in Jesus Christ, God actually allows us to go through things in our lives that leave us feeling hopeless and helpless. Why, because if our lives were always a “bed of roses” where would our need for our faithful Creator be? He uses these times to teach us and as we learn how to trust Him more, He can use us to be a help and encouragement to others who are going through struggles and trails in their lives.

My hearts desire is to allow the Lord to use me to help those who are saying,”God please help me!” If I can offer a sincere prayer, a word of encouragement or guidance through the Holy Scriptures. It is my desire to HELP!

If it seems there is no hope on any side, turn to the Lord and pour out your heart to Him for He surely cares for you.

I Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.