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“Truth for Youth” Week

Get a free copy of the “Truth for Youth” Bible TODAY!

I’m late letting you know about this—sorry—but I just found out myself. The American Family Association and Revival Fires International are hosting/hosted the National “Truth for Youth” week August 7–11. A “Truth for Youth Bible will be given to all teenagers ages 13-18 who commit to give the Bibles to their unsaved friends in school” says the email I received. This Bible is also available in Spanish.

You can also purchase one of these Bibles for $3.00.

Their message goes on to say:

The TFY consists of the New Testament in the God’s Word translation, along with 100 pages of powerful full color comic stories that are packed with “absolute truth” regarding issues young people are faced with, such as: Sexual Purity, Homosexuality, Abortion, Pornography, Evolution, Drugs, Drunkenness, Peer Pressure, School Violence and Secular Rock Music. We have also included BRAND NEW comic stories dealing with Honor, Suicide, Bullying, Sexting, Cutting, the Supernatural and Pluralism. God’s wonderful plan of salvation is incorporated into each of the stories.

If you are worried about it being legal to give a Bible away at school, the Student’s Legal Rights on Public School Campuses are printed on the back cover of the Bibles. It says you have the right to give Bibles away on campus during non-instructional time.

To get your free Bible you’ll have to hurry as this is the last day. The only suggestion I would have is to not worry whether or not your friend believes in Jesus as Savior; ask if he or she has a Bible. If not, give one and encourage your friend to read and discuss it with you.

I’d like to hear from any of you who have given a Bible to a friend, and what the reaction was.

He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named

I just read about another high school student who was refused permission to include thanks to

Do Not Say “In the Name of Jesus”

God for His many blessings in her graduation speech.

Moriah Bridges’ Beaver Area School District principal Steven Wellendorf said, “The selected

students may still address their class and indicate the things that they wish/hope for their class, but they may not do it in the style of a prayer and most certainly may not recite a prayer that excludes other religions (by ending ‘in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ” or “in the matchless name of Jesus.’” [sic]

I couldn’t help but think of Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter novels. Nearly every witch or wizard dared not utter his unmentionable name, and referred to him instead as “You-Know-Who”, “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named” or “the Dark Lord”.

Wordless symbol – Ichthus

Of course, in those novels He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is a villain, which is the antithesis of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, but it seems that some are trying to convey the idea that terrible things will happen if the name of Jesus is mentioned.

Continuing with the Harry Potter analogy, the Unspeakables were not permitted to talk about their work. They were also unable to remove prophecies from the Hall of Prophecy or even take them off their shelves. Sounds like what some are trying to do with our Bible.

Perhaps this is making too light of what is becoming an issue that Christians need to confront directly whenever it occurs, as Moriah is doing. She did leave the prayer out of her remarks, but she subsequently contacted First Liberty Institute, one of the nation’s top religious liberty law firms.

“The last lesson this school district taught its students is that they should hide their religious beliefs from public view,” said First Liberty Institute attorney Jeremy Dys. “That fails the test of the First Amendment. It wasn’t Moriah who broke the law, it was the school district.”

You can read Todd Barnes entire article “School: You may not recite prayer in the name of Jesus Christ,”  but I’d like to finish with some of the words Moriah Bridges didn’t get to speak aloud at her graduation ceremony.

Lord, surround us with grace and favor everywhere we go. Soften our hearts to teach us love and compassion, to show mercy and grace to others the way that you showed mercy and grace to us, even to the ultimate sacrifice. Help us love our brothers and our sisters deeply. Lead us to bless them. Make us selfless. Make us just. Make us successful people, but more than that, make us good people.

In the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Watch Moriah Bridges revised speech.

 

The Remnants

Walk in a fabric store. You’ll find bolt after bolt of cloth—an amazing array of fabrics and colors. But as you wander through the aisles, one sign draws you to it. It is irresistible. REMNANTS. There you will find great bargains because there is only a small bit of fabric left. Some call them “leftovers” but that diminishes their importance. There’s not enough usually for a dress or a skirt; maybe not even enough for a blouse. Not even what you went into the store for. Nevertheless, soon you will be making your way to the cutting table with an armload to get it all priced for checkout.

Once you get your remnants home, what are you going to do with them? The thought that comes immediately to mind is a quilt. You can cut squares from all the different patterns and scatter them about.

Or you could cut flowers, leaves, words, and applique them on a backing.

I’ve seen an absolutely delightful jacket made of a variety of fabrics: a denim here, a flower pattern there, a scrap of faux fur as a divider. Pieces you would never think of buying from a whole bolt of cloth when you walked in the store, but your remnants all work together to make something beautiful.

Did you know God calls his faithful believers “remnants?” In Isaiah 10:21 we read: “A remnant will return, a remnant of Jacob will return to the Mighty God.” And in Isaiah 28:5, “In that day the LORD Almighty will be a glorious crown, a beautiful wreath for the remnant of his people.”

I often write of the Pied Pipers who are leading our kids on paths away from God, and encouraging you to warn them in advance of what they will face. God knows it will not be easy; not for you, and not for your kids. Teach them that the jeers and rejection they will face will all be worthwhile as they stand before God a part of the REMNANT—those believers who made it through all the trials and stood firm in their faith. Not leftovers, but wearing a glorious crown, a beautiful wreath of the LORD Almighty.

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43:1-2).

Lest We Forget

Flying our country’s flag in honor of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

Let us pray today that those who have given their lives to protect our freedom have not made that sacrifice in vain. As dismal as our current events may seem, God is still in control. Let us recommit our lives and our country to following his commands.

Graduation Ceremonies: You CAN Thank God

Graduation caps tossed in victory. Courtesy Shillad Sen – Flickr

Seth Clark was about to graduate. A young man, 13 years old, Seth was salutatorian of his grade school class in Akin, Illinois. Hours, just hours, before his graduation he was told he wouldn’t be able to deliver his graduation speech because it was too religious.

Seth Clark was proud of the part God played in his life. His remarks referenced Bible passages and talked about his faith. Someone identified only as “a local citizen” in the Benton Evening News complained. How that person obtained a copy of Seth’s speech in advance was not explained in the article.

The Superintendent of Schools, Kelly Clark, issued a statement that read in part: “While students are welcome to pray or pursue their faith without disrupting school or infringing upon the rights of others, the United States Constitution prohibits the school district from incorporating such activities as part of school-sponsored events, and when the context causes a captive audience to listen or compels other students to participate.”

Word got around. The people of Akin were not happy. A neighbor of the Clark family owned a house that was just across from Seth’s school. He saw no reason anyone could object to Seth delivering his speech from its front yard. And he was right. “When it came time for the valedictorian and the salutatorian to deliver their speeches,” said Seth’s mother Becky, “they invited the audience to join them across the street at the house. It was not mandatory.”

Can you guess what happened? Yep, after the ceremony at least half of the attendees marched over and gathered in the front yard to hear Seth. Seth Clark was able to give his speech and praise God. The neighbor was able to help that happen. Family and friends rejoiced and supported Seth and the neighbor. The Superintendent of Schools fulfilled what she saw as her obligation under the law. The complaining local citizen was appeased and simultaneously conquered—by actions of others, and without a law suit.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.