Design of the Week – Leaves Change

October 12, 2011 at 6:30 am | Posted in Designs of the Week | Leave a comment
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This week’s design is called Leaves Change.

The design shows a photo of fall leaves that fades out from color to black and white to nothing. You’ll also see that the design has an ornate frame and the phrase “I, the Lord, do not change” which is found in Malachi 3:6.

The basis for the design is the idea that everything we know changes. Time continues on and almost nothing stays the same. People get older, days get shorter/longer, and seasons change. In the fall the leaves of deciduous trees all change colors and fall off in preparation for winter. With all of these changes going on, we get used to it. We also take for granted that things change and expect all things to be like that. This can be difficult when we’re facing problems and need something/someone to be consistent.

There are numerous places in the Bible that talk about God’s unchanging character. He always has been and always will be the just, holy, righteous Creator of the universe. He will also always be the forgiving, merciful God that sent His Son to take our place. The fact that God doesn’t change is something that bring solace to all of those who are Christians. Regardless of the trials and tribulations we face, God doesn’t change. He is always there and always will be…

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Design of the Week – Free to Pray

September 21, 2011 at 11:14 am | Posted in Designs of the Week | Leave a comment

This week’s design is called Free to Pray.

The design is a lot like our Freedom to Preach design. It is the result of efforts in my hometown to squelch student led prayer before a high school football game. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Continue Reading Design of the Week – Free to Pray…

Design of the Week: Salt and Light

September 14, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Posted in Designs of the Week | Leave a comment
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This week’s Design of the Week is called Salt and Light.

Continue Reading Design of the Week: Salt and Light…

Design of the Week – Eyesore

August 31, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Posted in Designs of the Week | Leave a comment
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This week’s design is called Eyesore.

The basis of the design comes from Matthew 7:1-5. This is probably one of the most misused passages in the entire Bible. There are many people today (including many non-Christians) who say that it is flat out wrong for Christians to judge anyone, for any reason. They use phrases like the following:

“The Bible says ‘Don’t judge'”

“You can’t judge me, only God is my judge!”

“I’m the same as everyone else.”

These are interesting to say the least and I have a response to each of them. When people say that the Bible says not to judge, my first response is “Where?”. I find that 90% of the time, they don’t even know where it says that and they’re just repeating something they heard from someone else. When someone tells me that I can’t judge them because only God is their judge, I can’t help but smile. I wonder if the people actually realize what they’ve just said. My response is something along the lines of “Well, at least we agree that God is going to judge you…” My response for the last statement is different depending on the attitude of the person, but usually talks about how they are like everyone else. I tell them about how all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. That their sins will send them to hell just like everyone else.

The truth is, the Bible doesn’t say that it’s wrong to judge. In John 7:24 Jesus says, “Do not judge by appearance, judge by righteous judgment”. He doesn’t say that it’s wrong to judge, just that we shouldn’t judge by appearance. This coincides with Matthew 7:1-5. In this passage, Jesus talks about not judging and says that we should take the log out of our own eye before we take the speck out of our brother’s eye. He never says that we shouldn’t take the speck out of our brother’s eye, only that we should take the log out of our own eye first. This means that if we are dealing with a sin and committing that sin, then we really don’t have any ground to tell someone else that that sin is wrong until we deal with it in our own life. Jesus says this because He has just gotten done telling His disciples not to act like the Pharisees (who were judging others for sins they were committing) and pagans.

Christians have been given the righteous judgment of God. If we use His judgment to determine where others stand in relation to Him, or to tell others that something is wrong, then we have judged by righteous judgment (if the scripture is in context!). We are to tell others that sin is wrong so that they understand their need for a Savior and will repent of their sins and put their faith in Christ. Where do you stand?

Design of the Week – Praise (In His Presence)

July 20, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Posted in Designs of the Week | Leave a comment
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This week’s special design is called Praise (In His Presence).

The design uses some simple graphic elements as well as color to portray the love and joy of being in the presence of God and praising Him for what He’s done for us. As Christians, we have the privilege to come before the throne of God with boldness/confidence to ask Him for grace and mercy in times of need (Heb. 4:16). We also have the joy of praising Him for protecting us, providing for us, and most of all saving us from certain destruction. He has given us much to be thankful for and deserves to be praised just for who He is, much less what He’s done.

If you’re having a rough day, you can still praise God for who He is. Life in itself is a blessing. He is good to us and even disciplines us because He loves us. If you are having a great day, then rejoice! It is a perfect time to lift up your voice and sing to the Lord of Heaven.

If you’re not born again, then much of this probably doesn’t make sense. Christians rejoice because God has, in His grace, decided to forgive us of our sins and erase them. He has cleared our consciences of guilt and made us His own. He has saved us from His wrath and allowed us to have the assurance that we will be in heaven when we die. If you don’t have any of that, then you are in danger, regardless of how great your life is. The Bible says that it is appointed unto man once to die and then the judgment (Heb. 9:27). Once you stand before God, He will judge you for every thought, word, and deed committed in your life. All the lies, lusting, theft, disobeying your parents, hatred, and other sins will be laid bare before God and if you have no way to pay for them, you will be cast into hell for eternity. This may seem unfair, but it would to a criminal wouldn’t it? It is right because God is holy, just, righteous, and perfect. He is eternal as well, so punishment in hell is the only just action to be taken. But, God has made a way for you and I to be spared this tragic end.

If you will repent of your sins (turn from them) and put your faith in Jesus Christ and His death on the cross to pay for your sins, the Bible says that you will be born again and that you can have the same assurance that when you die, you will be saved from hell and enter heaven; not because of what you did, but because of what Christ did. Will you do it? Will you repent of your sins and put your faith in Christ? If so, then you and I can praise God together today!

Design of the Week – Freedom to Preach

June 29, 2011 at 10:40 am | Posted in Designs of the Week | Leave a comment
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This week’s design is called Freedom to Preach.

The design is meant to remind others of the truth of the state of affairs in our nation. While there are many who would like nothing more than to see Christians silenced, the fact remains that the freedom to preach the gospel of Christ is protected by the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Continue Reading Design of the Week – Freedom to Preach…

Design of the Week – Arise!

June 22, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Posted in Designs of the Week | Leave a comment
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This week’s design of the week is called Arise!

The design incorporates the work of artist Gustave Dore, who woodcut illustrations are just amazing. It is a mixture of the woodcut for Ezekiel 37 and a scripture reference from Ephesians 5:14. Here is the text of Ezekiel 37:

The hand of the LORD was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones.  He caused me to pass among them round about, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley; and lo, they were very dry. He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord GOD, You know.”  Again He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.’  “Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones, ‘Behold, I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life.  ‘I will put sinews on you, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin and put breath in you that you may come alive; and you will know that I am the LORD.'” So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, sinews were on them, and flesh grew and skin covered them; but there was no breath in them.  Then He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they come to life.”‘” So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army. Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope has perished. We are completely cut off.’ “Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel. “Then you will know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves, My people.  “I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken and done it,” declares the LORD.'”  (Eze. 37:1-14) Continue Reading Design of the Week – Arise!…

Design of the Week – Regenerated

June 15, 2011 at 6:30 am | Posted in Designs of the Week | Leave a comment
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This week’s design is a new one hot off the presses. The design is called Regenerated!

The design is a play on the recycle emblem. It shows a gradient of color moving through it from a dark green through yellow to a dark blue. The upper and lower right arrows are normal, but the lower left one has broken out of the cycle and points heavenward. The design says “Reduced. Reused. Regenerated!”.

The point of the design is three-fold. First, it is a play on the recycle emblem. Being “green” is a big deal nowadays (depending on who you ask). But that is less important as the other two reasons. First, the design is meant to point to the fact that Christianity sees eternity differently from any other religion on the planet. In Hinduism, it is believed that people who die are reincarnated into another form. The form a person takes depends on how they lived their previous lives. If they lived rightly and did good things, they will come back as a better person with a better life. If they have been evil and horrible, they’ll come back as someone in a lower caste (even though the system is supposedly no longer in use). If they’re really bad, they’ll come back as a roach or beetle.

For atheists and secular humanists, death is the ultimate end. There is nothing afterward and we end up being worm food. For Buddhists, we just cease to exist. For “good” Muslims (those who actually follow the Quran), they might be allowed into heaven and gain 72 virgins. There are many other views as well, but none are like Christianity.

In the Christian faith, there are two ultimate outcomes depending on the events that take place in a person’s life. If a person spends their life living in sin (lying, lusting, murder, hatred, idolatry, etc.) and does not repent of their sins, they will find themselves before God being judged for those sins. They will then be cast into hell for eternity to pay for the sins that they’ve committed. However, if a person recognizes their sins and how God sees them in light of those sins, they can be born again (regenerated). To be born again, a person needs to recognize their sins, repent of those sins, and put their faith in Jesus Christ alone to save them from their sins. This is what has happened to every true Christian in history, and it can happen to you if you’ll repent and trust in Jesus…

Design of the Week – He Delivers

June 8, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Posted in Designs of the Week | Leave a comment
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This week’s (second) design is called He Delivers.

The design is in the Occupations section of our store and is a play on the Postal Worker. The design shows a red stamp with an image of Jesus and the Greek letters Alpha and Omega. Obviously, the postal workers make their rounds delivering our mail. Some of it is junk – circulars, efforts by car and cable companies to get us to use their service, etc – and some of it is stuff we need. Things like our bills (ok, you could argue that we don’t need these but…), letters (you know! those things that people write on paper…the old email?), and packages that we’ve ordered.

Unlike the postal workers, when we talk about Jesus delivering, we are talking about His sacrifice and the effect it has on anyone who recognizes their sin and repents. Jesus’ deliverance is from the sin in our hearts. He cleanses us completely and moves us from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light (Colossians 1:13). He has delivered those who repent and trust in Him from the wrath that awaited them from a just God who must punish sins. His deliverance is the most amazing thing that a man can experience.

Sadly, like the mail we receive, many don’t want anything to do with the deliverance that Jesus offers. They see His wonderful offer like you and I see the junk mail. They rebel against Him and mock His life and death. The truth is, the deliverance that Jesus offers is more valuable than the most precious piece of mail that we could ever get. If you haven’t been delivered by Jesus, please repent of your sins and trust in Christ alone to save you. Please, while there is still time!

Design of the Week – World’s Greatest Abba

June 1, 2011 at 9:03 am | Posted in Designs of the Week | Leave a comment
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This week, we are reviving the Design of the Week posts. We start off with a design for Father’s Day called World’s Greatest Abba.
The word Abba means “father” in Hebrew. It is a term of endearment and one that the New Testament says that Christians can use of God the Father. It implies adoption by Him through repentance and faith. Here is the definition from Fausset:

The Chaldaic-Hebrew form, as ab is the Hebrew form, for the Greek pater, “father.” Instead of the definite article which the Hebrew uses before the word, the Chaldee or Aramaic adds a syllable to the end, producing thus the emphatic or definitive form. It is used to express a vocative case, and therefore is found in all the passages in which it occurs in the New Testament (being in all, an invocation): Mar_14:36; Rom_8:15; Gal_4:6.
The use of the Hebrew and of the Greek appellation addressed to the one Father beautifully suggests that the Spirit of adoption from Jesus, who first used the double invocation, inspires in both Jew and Gentile alike the experimental knowledge of God as our Father, because He is Father of Jesus with whom faith makes us one, and as our God because He is Jesus’ God. Compare Joh_20:17, “ascend unto My Father and (therefore) your Father. and to My God and (therefore) your God”; Gal_3:28, “there is neither Jew nor Greek, for ye are all one in Jesus Christ”; Eph_2:18, “through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the leather.” (Especially (See ABADDON above.) “Abba” was a title not to be used by slaves to a master, nor Imma to a mistress, only by children: see Isa_8:4. “Before the child shall have knowledge to cry Abi, Immi.”

It is an awesome thing to know that, while God is holy, just, and righteous; He is also a Father to those who are His. We can draw strength from Him and run to Him when we are in trouble. This is the greatest comfort when trials and tribulations come!

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