SATAN’S POWER DEFEATED IN TENNESSEE

May be an image of one or more people, people standing and grass
Baker and Stone players lead in prayer on their knees.

Satan’s power was defeated in Tennessee, as the threat of legal action by administrators with Putnam County Schools to forbid prayer after the game was overwhelmed by player lead prayer supported by parents and fans in solidarity on Overall Field.

Last week, administrators told staffers they would be barred from leading students in prayer in the future, a decision that came as a result of a letter from the group Americans United for Separation of Church and State, according to WZTV-TV.

After the school board in Tennessee told teachers and coaches they could no longer lead students in prayer, members of the football team and their parents took matters into their own hands.

School administrators were told by their attorney to make sure all policies and laws concerning prayer at school-sponsored activities are followed. They said, “case law not allowing prayer or proselytizing is clear. Courts have consistently ruled that prayer and proselytizing can not be sponsored by schools or school personnel.

The district, for its part, acknowledged “the importance of prayer in the lives of our students, faculty, and staff members,” saying in a statement to the press that administrators “support the right of students to participate in and lead spontaneous prayers.”

“That right is and will continue to be protected,” the district added. “We also understand that faculty and staff members cannot lead or participate in the spontaneous student-led prayers.”

God bless the Baxter and Stone players for their faith and courage. Pray that we will see more Christians standing up for their faith in public places as a witness to the truth of God’s Word.

GREAT TESTIMONIES FROM THE OLYMPIC GAMES

Fiji Rugby Sevens thank God with prayer and a hymn after winning Olympic Gold.

Fiji’s rugby sevens team wrote another chapter in one of the great Olympic stories at the Tokyo Stadium, when they won the country’s second gold medal by beating New Zealand 27-12 in the final.
They gathered in a circle and filled the empty Tokyo Stadium with a beautiful rendition of their team hymn. “We always start with our prayers and songs, and we always end with our prayers and songs,” Tuwai said, “and that song says that our God is a loving God, and that while we always tend to go stray from what he expects from us, he still loves us, and gives us good things.”
 

Fiji’s players pray and celebrate after their win against New Zealand at the Tokyo Stadium. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

Sydney McLaughlin ‘giving the glory to God’ after earning Olympic gold, another world record

“All the glory to God,” McLaughlin told NBC following the victory. “Honestly, this season just working with my new coach and my new support system, it’s truly just faith and trusting the process. I couldn’t ask for anything more and truly it is all a gift from God.”

“I think the biggest difference this year is my faith, trusting God and trusting that process, and knowing that He’s in control of everything. As long as I put the hard work in, He’s going to carry me through. And I really cannot do anything more but give the glory to Him at this point.”2

McLaughlin often uses social media as tool by which she expresses her faith and shares the Gospel with fans. As depicted by an Instagram post from February, McLaughlin has actively chosen to hand her future over to God.

“We can laugh at whatever lies ahead because we know HE has already won,” McLaughlin wrote. “We can sleep easier at night knowing HE has a plan for whatever may normally trouble us. We can laugh at anything that doesn’t fit the purpose for our lives, because we know God’s plan is greater.”

Through social media, she has revealed that her relationship with God is more than just a matter of believing in God, it is a friendship with Him.

“The peace of knowing I will always have a friend, always have His support, and always have His LOVE; makes even the loneliest of moments feel full,” McLaughlin wrote in May. “My soul finds rest in knowing He is not like us. He doesn’t change, and He will never leave me. Giving the ability to be completely content, no matter the situation. Simply because, I don’t have to face it alone. That. Is. Love.”

Circled on Nicolla’s wrist: “Jesus Makes All things New” and  her book to record and improve her jumps along with encouraging scriptures. 

These three testimonies were stand outs but I have been impressed by the number of Christian athletes that have recognised the importance of acknowledging God when they have achieved victory or even a personal best. There have been many that have given a verbal witness like Thomas Green joint winner of the K2 1000m Canoe Sprint. When asked if he would like to thank anyone, he immediately responded by saying, “I am a man of faith and above all I would like to thank my Lord for all that I have achieved and then went on to thank his parents, coach and support team. Many have gone to their knees in prayer immediately at the conclusion of their race or shown some other physical manifestation such as looking up to heaven and raising their arms in thanksgiving.

It has been inspiring me to me and I am sure challenging to many people that have witnessed these expressions of faith and thanksgiving to God. May God bless abundantly all of these faithful Christian athletes and may we see many more.

PRINCE PHILIP’S FINEST HOUR

Prince Philip planned every aspect of his funeral service. The choice of every piece of music played, by the bands before the funeral service and the hymns during the service. He chose the Bible readings and the order of service. He even designed the Land Rover on which he would make his final journey. It was to be simple and humble.

Prince Philip wanted the service to be a testimony to His Triune God. There was no eulogy. He wanted the total focus to be on His God and on all three persons of the Trinity. He also wanted all to know, particularly his family and friends, that he had total confidence his eternity was in the hands of the God he wanted to be made known through the funeral service he had planned.

Note: In the early part of the service Prince Philip puts the focus on our Heavenly Father and His awesome, powerful, wonderful, beautiful creation that proves His existence. He then moves on to Jesus and the Father’s goodness in sending His Son to earth to die in our place, to pay our SIN debt, and provide the only hope for mankind to attain eternal Life. As with most Anglican services there is not enough focus on the role of the Holy Spirit but He is given a mention in the Jubilate and particularly in the Commendation at the end. “Go forth upon thy journey from this world, O Christian soul, In the name of God the Father Almighty who created thee; In the name of Jesus Christ who suffered for thee; In the name of the Holy Spirit who strengthened thee.”

I was so impressed that I felt I had to include the content of the service in my post but I would suggest you go and watch it yourself. You will be moved, even to tears, I was. The four singers contribute powerfully to the service as do the bands.

Prince Philip you have done a great job of providing a powerful witness of your Triune God to the world. Thank you.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin, covered with his personal standard, is carried to a custom Land Rover hearse during his funeral at Windsor Castle on April 17, 2021.
“Just stick me in the back of a Land Rover and drive me to Windsor,” Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II‘s husband of more than 70 years, reportedly quipped about his funeral arrangements.

The choir sings these Scriptures

I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. John 11. 25–26

I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another. Job 19. 25–27

We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. William Croft (1678–1727) 1 Timothy 6. 7, Job 1. 21

The Dean of Windsor gives The Bidding – the reason why they are all there today. All sit and the choir then sings

Eternal Father, strong to save, whose arm doth bind the restless wave, who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep Its own appointed limits keep; O hear us when we cry to thee for those in peril on the sea. O Saviour, whose almighty word the winds and waves submissive heard, Who walkedst on the foaming deep, and calm amid its rage didst sleep: O hear us when we cry to thee for those in peril on the sea. O sacred Spirit, who didst brood upon the chaos dark and rude, Who bad’st its angry tumult cease, and gavest light and life and peace: O hear us when we cry to thee for those in peril on the sea. O Trinity of love and power, Our brethren shield in danger’s hour; From rock and tempest, fire and foe, protect them whereso’er they go: And ever let there rise to thee Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

Britain Prince Philip
The Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin, covered with his personal standard, is carried to a custom Land Rover hearse during his funeral at Windsor Castle on April 17, 2021.

The first reading is taken from Ecclesiasticus 43. 11–26 Look at the rainbow and praise its Maker; it shines with a supreme beauty, rounding the sky with its gleaming arc, a bow bent by the hands of the Most High. His command speeds the snow storm and sends the swift lightning to execute his sentence. To that end the storehouses are opened, and the clouds fly out like birds. By his mighty power the clouds are piled up and the hailstones broken small. The crash of his thunder makes the earth writhe, and, when he appears, an earthquake shakes the hills. At his will the south wind blows, the squall from the north and the hurricane. He scatters the snow-flakes like birds alighting; they settle like a swarm of locusts. The eye is dazzled by their beautiful whiteness, and as they fall the mind is entranced. He spreads frost on the earth like salt, and icicles form like pointed stakes. A cold blast from the north, and ice grows hard on the water, settling on every pool, as though the water were putting on a breastplate. He consumes the hills, scorches the wilderness, and withers the grass like fire. Cloudy weather quickly puts all to rights, and dew brings welcome relief after heat. By the power of his thought he tamed the deep and planted it with islands. Those who sail the sea tell stories of its dangers, which astonish all who hear them; in it are strange and wonderful creatures, all kinds of living things and huge sea-monsters. By his own action he achieves his end, and by his word all things are held together.

THE CHOIR SINGS THE JUBILATE

O be joyful in the Lord, all ye lands: serve the Lord with gladness, and come before his presence with a song. Be ye sure that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. O go your way into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and speak good of his Name. For the Lord is gracious, his mercy is everlasting: and his truth endureth from generation to generation. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: and to the Holy Ghost; As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen.

THE SECOND LESSON John 11. 21–27

Read by the Archbishop of Canterbury

Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. And even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world.”

PSALM 104

The Duke of Edinburgh requested that Psalm 104 should be set to music by William Lovelady.

Originally composed as a cantata in three movements, it was first sung in honour of His Royal Highness’s 75th Birthday.

My soul give praise unto the Lord of heaven, In majesty and honour clothed; The earth he made will not be moved, The seas he made to be its robe. Give praise. The waters rise above the highest mountain, And flow down to the vales and leas; At springs, wild asses quench their thirst, And birds make nest amid the trees. The trees the Lord has made are full of vigour, The fir tree is a home for storks; Wild goats find refuge in the hills, From foes the conies shelter in the rocks. My soul give praise unto the Lord of heaven, In majesty and honour clothed; The earth he made will not be moved, The seas he made to be its robe. Give praise. O Lord, how manifold is your creation, All things in wisdom you provide; You give your riches to the earth, And to the sea so great and wide. You take your creatures breath and life is ended, Your breath goes forth and life begins; Your hand renews the face of earth, Your praise my whole life I will sing. My soul give praise unto the Lord of heaven, In majesty and honour clothed; The earth he made will not be moved, The seas he made to be its robe. Give praise.

PRAYERS including The Lords Prayer

THE COLLECT

The Dean of Windsor shall say

O Merciful God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the resurrection and the life; in whom whosoever believeth shall live, though he die; and whosoever liveth, and believeth in him, shall not die eternally; who also hath taught us by his Holy Apostle Saint Paul, not to be sorry, as men without hope, for them that sleep in him: We meekly beseech thee, O Father that, when we shall depart this life, we may rest in him, as our hope is this our brother doth; and that, at the general resurrection in the last day, we may be found acceptable in thy sight; and receive that blessing, which thy well-beloved Son shall then pronounce to all that love and fear thee, saying, Come ye blessed children of my Father; receive the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world. Grant this we beseech thee, O merciful Father through Jesus Christ, our Mediator and Redeemer. Amen.

THE CHOIR SINGS THE ANTHEM

Give rest, O Christ, to thy servant with thy Saints: where sorrow and pain are no more; neither sighing, but life everlasting. Thou only art immortal, the Creator and Maker of man: And we are mortal, formed of the earth, and unto earth shall we return. For so thou didst ordain, when thou createdest me, saying, Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. All we go down to the dust; and, weeping, o’er the grave, we make our song: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

As the Coffin is lowered into the Royal Vault, the Dean of Windsor shall say

THE COMMENDATION

Go forth upon thy journey from this world, O Christian soul, In the name of God the Father Almighty who created thee; In the name of Jesus Christ who suffered for thee; In the name of the Holy Spirit who strengtheneth thee; May thy portion this day be in peace, and thy dwelling in the heavenly Jerusalem. Amen.

THE SACRIFICIAL WITNESS OF GOD’S PEOPLE

The following article is an abbreviation of a great article that needs wide circulation at this time. The book of Revelation: A Love Story! October 20th, 2020 by Rob Dalrymple on the Patheos website http://www.patheos .com.

Rob Dalrymple says, I believe that the book of Revelation is a story in which the people of God are called by God to faithfully, lovingly, and sacrificially follow the Lamb for the sake of the nations. As a result, it is my contention that the book of Revelation is a love story.

When we learn to imitate Jesus, when we learn to love like Jesus, when we learn to lay down our lives for the sake of others like Jesus, then the nations might also follow the Lamb. When Jesus interacted with people, He loved them; He cared for them; He wept with them. 

 Dalrymple says I believe in the Lake of Fire. I believe in it so much that I do not want to see anyone go there. And I believe that the message of the book of Revelation, and the whole Bible for that matter, is telling us that the means by which people will be spared from the Lake of Fire is through the faithful, loving, and sacrificial witness of God’s people.

We need to be sure we are presenting to our world the loving God who made Himself known throughout the N.T. The loving God who is delaying His return so that all may be saved (2 Peter 3:9) as well as the just and righteous God who will pour out His wrath on a world that is totally corrupt doing evil continuously.

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. 2 Peter 3:9-10

IN THE CHAOS, THE LIGHT OF CHRIST SHINES BRIGHTLY

Brandon Sanders, assistant pastor at Powerhouse Church in Katy, Texas reports on how their church responded to the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey.

Epic Flooding Inundates Houston After Hurricane Harvey

Our whole region has been devastated by the lingering rains and flooding of Hurricane Harvey, but the response of our people has been amazing. Powerhouse Church is built on the foundation of a Gospel lived, not just a Gospel preached. For 21 years we have been in Katy, Texas and any time there has been a need we have answered the call, Hurricane Harvey is no different. Members of our church and community made sure their families were okay and then sprung into action to make sure others were safe as well. With over 20 inches of rain, 9 straight hours of down pour, the water rose swiftly and many were overtaken in moments. Calls overwhelmed the emergency lines and we jumped into action via social media and text mobilizing teams alongside the City of Katy officials for shelter and evacuation. We housed over 200 people in our facilities overnight and mobilized rescue teams for high water evacuations. We are now a resource center working hand in hand with other local Pastors, churches, and government agencies to provide resources and relief for all those in need. From bass boats, diapers, dry clothes, high risk rescues or just simple prayers and words of encouragement.

It is a beautiful thing to watch the heart of God in action as his people selflessly put their lives aside for the sake of others. This how we witness for our King; we stand strong in perilous times, we remain faithful in times of fear, we are courageous in the face of danger, and we allow love for our fellow man to move us into action and watch ordinary people do extraordinary things.