Yellow Ribbon

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Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

Acts 14:3 (NLT)
But the apostles stayed there a long time, preaching boldly about the grace of the Lord. And the Lord proved their message was true by giving them power to do miraculous signs and wonders.

I read of a man who had committed a crime for which he was deeply ashamed. When he’d served his prison sentence and was about to be released he wondered if his family would reject him because of the scandal he’d caused and the shame brought on the family. He wrote his parents saying that he would be coming back by bus but didn’t want to embarrass them with his presence if they didn’t want him back. He asked them to tie a yellow ribbon on the old oak tree at the beginning of their street if it was all right for him to return home. If there was no ribbon on the tree when the bus passed he wouldn’t get off the bus. He was in quite a state on the bus journey and as it got nearer his street he couldn’t bear to look at the tree. He was so emotional that he asked the driver to look at for him. He needn’t have worried. The tree was covered with yellow ribbons! The whole community joined his parents in welcoming him back. There’s a famous American song written about this story: “’Tie a Yellow Ribbon Around the Old Oak Tree’. Here’s just a few lines: ’I’m coming home I’ve done my time. And I have to know what is or isn’t mine.  If you received my letter telling you I’d soon be free. Then you’d know what to do if you still want me. O tie a yellow ribbon ’round the old oak tree.  It’s been three long years – do you still want me? A simple yellow ribbon’s all I need to set me free. If I don’t see a yellow ribbon … I’ll stay on the bus, forget about us…Now the whole bus is cheering and I can’t believe I see. A hundred yellow ribbons ’round the old, the old oak tree.’” (Russell Brown/Irwin Levine).

The man was forgiven and welcomed back into his family. And that’s what God does to anyone who comes to Him and asks to be forgiven. He doesn’t show us a yellow ribbon but the Cross of Jesus as His sign of forgiveness and acceptance.

In Christ,
Pastor Mark

The man was forgiven and welcomed back into his family. And that’s what God does to anyone who comes to Him and asks to be forgiven. He doesn’t show us a yellow ribbon but the Cross of Jesus as His sign of forgiveness and acceptance.

In Christ,
Pastor Mark

Rescue Mission

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Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

Acts 13:51 (NLT)
So they shook the dust from their feet as a sign of rejection and went to the town of Iconium.

On August 30, 2005 Coast Guard Lieutenant Iain McConnell was ordered to fly his H46 helicopter to New Orleans and to keep that machine flying around the clock for what would turn out to be a heroic rescue effort. None of his crew were prepared for what they were about to see. They were ahead of every news crew in the nation. The entire city of New Orleans was under water. On their first three missions that day they saved 89 people, three dogs and two cats. On the fourth mission, despite twelve different flights to New Orleans, he and his crew were able to save no one. None! They all refused to board the helicopter. Instead they told the Coast Guard to bring them food and water. Yet they were warned that this extremely dangerous. The waters were not going to go away soon. Sadly, many of those people perished because of their refusal to be rescued. This sad story about the Coast Guard helicopter in many ways mirrors the tragic reality of the scores of people who reject Christ on a daily basis. As we do our best to minister the love of Christ to people we must remember that it is not our job to get them to respond, but rather to do our best to deliver the message of the Gospel to them. Whether they accept or reject it is between them and the Holy Spirit. We should never take it personally and become discouraged. Instead we should continue to depend on the Holy Spirit to do the work of the Great Commission.

In Christ,
Pastor Mark

Fresh Awakening

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Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NLT)
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.

As we look forward to coming of the Morrow County Awakening that takes place next week I thought it would be good to tell you about other awakenings in our country’s past. You cannot talk about awakenings in America without talking about Charles Finney. Christian History Issue 20 stated, “Charles Grandison Finney is considered America’s greatest past revivalist. Church roles swelled in the wake of Finney’s revivals. Though it is hard to gather accurate statistics, he is often directly, or indirectly credited with conversions of around 500,000.” The time frame was in the 1830’s. It is said that his revival meetings transformed entire towns. It is said that in some towns after the meetings the bars would close down because there was no business for them and churches would spring up in their place. He stated in his message that he was to show what revival is.
Charles Finney made a significant impression upon the religious life of 19th century America, and his influence is still evident today. Called the “father of modern revivalism” by some historians, he paved the way for later revivalists like Dwight L. Moody, Billy Sunday, and Billy Graham. He constructed a theology that harmonized with the ideals of the Jacksonian era; if President Andrew Jackson was the political folk-hero of early l9th-century America, Charles Grandison Finney was its religious folk-hero. Just as the American frontier was being widened and common folk were getting the vote, Finney gave the public an opportunity to cast their votes on the matter of salvation (Charles Grandison Finney19th Century Giant of American Revivalism: Christian History, Issue 20, (Carol Stream, IL: Christianity Today, Inc.) 1997). Let’s pray that God sends another Great Awakening, and let it begin right here in Morrow County, Ohio!

In Christ,
Pastor Mark