Friday, February 27, 2015


In the little town of Swan Quarter, a most bizarre event happened that still has people talking to this day. Tourists arrive in this remote area of North Carolina to take pictures of “The Church moved by the Hand of God.”

The Hyde County, North Carolina website tells the brief story about Providence United Methodist Church and its trip down Main Street.

The members of Providence UMC had decided to build their church building in 1876. They approached Mr. Samuel Sadler & asked if he would sell them the land. He refused saying that nothing that the Methodist did could change his mind.

The Providence members got another location approximately 400 yards away. No one really knows why Mr. Sadler would not sell to the Methodist but it is assumed that he wanted this choice plot for himself.

It was the highest point in Swan Quarter located in the beautiful area of the Pamlico Sound. It was a choice location and Mr. Sadler probably wanted the prestige of owning it.

Three days after the building was complete & before it was dedicated in the year 1876, a strong hurricane blew in to Hyde County. The water rose more than 5 feet all over town.

The Providence United Methodist Church of Swan Quarter lifted off its brick foundation. It floated. The church traveled north & then east, eventually reaching the exact piece of property the congregation had earlier attempted to purchase. After turning itself around facing Main Street, the church settled onto this higher piece of ground & is still there to this day.

Mr. Sadler did not question this supposed divine act of God. The congregation got the land title in 1881. - Anna Looper, Charlotte History Examiner. (

(Originally designated the "Methodist Episcopal Church," it was later renamed "Providence United Methodist Church" - a tribute to what members considered divine intervention.)

Luke 1:37 (CEV) says: “Nothing is impossible for God!"

“I have found that there are three stages in every great work of God: first, it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done.” - Hudson Taylor.

Thursday, February 26, 2015


“It was F.B. Meyer, I believe, who once said that when we see a brother or sister in sin, there are two things we do not know:

First, we do not know how hard he or she tried not to sin.

And second, we do not know the power of the forces that attacked him or her.

Finally, we also do not know what we would have done in the same circumstances.” - Stephen Brown.

"Do not judge others, and God will not judge you; do not condemn others, and God will not condemn you; forgive others, and God will forgive you.” - Jesus (Luke 6:37)

John 8:11 says: "No one, sir," she answered. "Well, then," Jesus said, "I do not condemn you either. Go, but do not sin again."

“We can be assured that each step deeper into the Lord's Presence will reveal areas in our hearts which need to be cleansed. Do not be afraid. When the Spirit shows you areas of sin, it is not to condemn you, but to cleanse you.” - Francis Frangipane.

“A man may well be condemned, not for doing something, but for doing nothing.” - William Barclay.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


When the famous English poet Elizabeth Barrett (1806 - 1861) became the wife of Robert Browning, her parents disowned her because they disapproved of the marriage.

Their daughter Elizabeth, however, wrote almost every week, telling them that she loved them & longed for reconciliation.

After 10 years, she received a huge box in the mail that contained all the notes she had sent. Not one had been opened!

Although these "love letters" have now become a precious part of classical English literature, it's really sad to think that they were never read by Elizabeth's own parents.

Had they looked at just one, the broken relationship with their daughter might have been healed. (

The Bible is a collection of God’s love letters to man. It talks about how man, a fallen sinner, can be reconciled to the holy God. Unless we open the Bible and read, we will not know how to develop a relation with Him.

Rev 3:20 (GW) says: “Look, I'm standing at the door and knocking. If anyone listens to my voice and opens the door, I'll come in and we'll eat together.”

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


The American painter, John Sargent, once painted a panel of roses that was highly praised by critics. It was a small picture, but it approached perfection. Although offered a high price for it on many occasions, Sargent refused to sell it.

He considered it his best work & was very proud of it. Whenever he was deeply discouraged & doubtful of his abilities as an artist, he would look at it & remind himself, "I painted that." Then his confidence & ability would come back to him. (Bits & Pieces)

According to some sources: Abraham Lincoln carried with him a newspaper clipping stating he was a great leader.

Beethoven seemed reanimated, his eyes shone, he struggled for utterance, gasped and asked his friend: “Is it not true, Hummel, that I have some talent after all?” Those were his last words. (J. Wilbur Chapman)

But Psalmist encouraged himself thus - in a way we can emulate: “Why are you discouraged, my soul? Why are you so restless? Put your hope in God, because I will still praise him. He is my savior and my God.” (Psalms 43:5 GW).

“When it seems as if God is far away, remind yourself that He is near. Nearness is not a matter of geography. God is everywhere. Nearness is likeness. The more we become like the Lord, the nearer He is to us.” - Warren Wiersbe.


The minister was preoccupied with thoughts of how he was going to ask the congregation to come up with more money than they were expecting for repairs to the church building.

Therefore, he was annoyed to find that the regular organist was sick & a substitute had been brought in at the last minute.

The substitute wanted to know what to play. "Here's a copy of the service," he said impatiently. "But, you'll have to think of something to play after I make the announcement about the finances."

During the service, the minister paused & said, "Brothers & Sisters, we are in great difficulty; the roof repairs cost twice as much as we expected & we need $4,000 more. Any of you who can pledge $100 or more, please stand up."

At that moment, the substitute organist played "The Star Spangled Banner."

And that is how the substitute became the regular organist! (

(The Star Spangled Banner is the name of the US National Anthem – So on hearing the anthem being played, everyone had to stand up.)

Job 5:12 (ESV) says: “He frustrates the devices of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success.”

“However, I do not want to force you to help me; rather, I would like for you to do it of your own free will. So I will not do anything unless you agree.” – Paul (Phm 1:14 GNB)

“When a person with experience meets a person with money, the person with experience will get the money. And the person with the money will get experience.” - Leonard Lauder.

Sunday, February 22, 2015


A man fell off a cliff, but managed to grab a tree limb on the way down. The following conversation ensued:

"Is anyone up there?"

"I am here. I am the Lord. Do you believe me?"

"Yes, Lord, I believe. I really believe, but I can't hang on much longer."

"That's all right; if you really believe you have nothing to worry about. I will save you. Just let go of the branch."

A moment of pause, then: "Is anyone else up there?" (Bits & Pieces)

Pro 3:5 (GW) says: “Trust the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding.”

Jesus said to her, "Did I not tell you that IF you believed you would see the glory of God?" (John 11:40; ESV)

Thursday, February 19, 2015


Means ‘The Lord That Heal’ as per Exodus 15:26.

In what context was this name of God revealed?

Consider the passage: Exodus 15:22-26 (GNB):

(22) “Then Moses led the people of Israel away from the Red Sea into the desert of Shur. For three days they walked through the desert, but found no water.

(23) Then they came to a place called Marah, but the water there was so bitter that they could not drink it. That is why it was named Marah.

(24) The people complained to Moses and asked, "What are we going to drink?"

(25) Moses prayed earnestly to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a piece of wood, which he threw into the water; and the water became fit to drink. There the LORD gave them laws to live by, and there he also tested them.

(26) He said, "If you will obey me completely by doing what I consider right and by keeping my commands, I will not punish you with any of the diseases that I brought on the Egyptians. I am the LORD, the one who heals you."

“God, your Healer, is waiting for you to come to Him with what is on your heart. He wants to bring healing to your circumstances, your relationships, your hurt & your pain. He will touch your heart with a “piece of wood” - the Cross.

God healed physically in the Old Testament & in the New Testament. God’s Word clearly teaches that God’s character never changes. He is the same yesterday, today & forever. (Heb 13:8)

Therefore, we can conclude with great assurance that we are to pray not only for spiritual healing but also for physical healing.” (

“Both sin and sickness came into the world through the fall of the human race. Therefore, we must look for the healing of both in the savior of the human race. God is as willing to heal believers as He is to forgive unbelievers. Know this, if He was merciful enough to forgive you when you were unconverted, He is merciful enough to heal you now that you are in His family!” - T. L. Osborn.

Friday, February 13, 2015


In the summer of 1988, a team of treasure hunters led by Tommy Thompson finally discovered the vessel they’d spent years looking for. The SS Central America lay upright on the Atlantic Ocean floor off the coast of Carolina, 8,000 feet below the surface. It was like a ghost appearing out of the past. And it was a ghost loaded with gold, two tons of it.

Thompson’s team used a sophisticated technology to bring thousands of coins and bars of gold up to the surface. It would prove to be the greatest treasure ever found in the sea.

But one of its greatest stories actually had nothing to do with all that gold on the ocean floor. Its greatest story revolved around the extraordinary faith of a young newlywed named, Addie Easton. We can piece her story together from the journal that she left us.

The SS Central America sailed out of Havana, Cuba on the morning of September 8, 1857, bound for the coast of Florida. But a few days out to sea, the Central America ran into a hurricane. The boiler room began filling with sea water.

Every able-bodied man aboard, some 500 of them, began bailing. They worked for 30 straight hours with little sustenance or sleep. They fought off certain death by passing seawater in buckets from below decks to be dumped back into the Atlantic.

But it was a losing battle. On September 11, Captain Herndon could no longer steer his ship. The Central America was going down.

Two tons of gold was going down with her.

What the Central America had picked up in Panama was a group of passengers who’d sailed from San Francisco — and the California Gold Rush. Many had struck it rich. They were loaded. They were coming back to make huge deposits in the New York banks.

But now, all that gold couldn’t restart the boilers. It couldn’t keep the Central America headed into the waves. It couldn’t rescue their sinking ship.

All the gold was going to the bottom.

But there was one couple there on the Central America, newlyweds Ansel and Addie Easton, who weren’t just grasping for the wind. They managed to hang onto something that wasn’t sinking.

ADDIE’S JOURNAL: “A few hours only at most were between us and eternity. We talked to each other very calmly, and we mingled our prayers to Him who was our only hope and refuge. And He answered us and in answer He gave us such sweet consolation in such trying hours. How little do we realize in our earthly security the preciousness when all human hope has fled, of trusting, whether we live or die in an Almighty Power. I could not think of anything I had ever done to merit His love, but yet I still felt that we were in the palm of His hands and resigned to His will.”

“All that fearful night we watched and prayed, not knowing but that each hour might be our last. My sweet, dear husband and I, we talked calmly about our dear, dear friends, about our very brief happiness together, our hopes for the future. Life had never seemed so attractive and precious to either of us, and yet I think we could both say ‘Thy will be done.’ We resolved that when the moment came we would tie ourselves together and the same wave would engulf us both.”

As the Central America was tossed about in the storm, Ansel Easton joined those who were desperately trying to bail water. When exhausted he’d rest a bit by Addie’s side. Addie herself tried to join the line of men passing buckets to the upper deck, but they wouldn’t let her.

During one of their moments together, Addie turned to her husband and said, “Ansel, if you hadn’t married me, you wouldn’t be in all this trouble.”

Ansel looked back at her and replied tenderly, “If I knew it all beforehand, I should do the same again.”

And at that moment this new bride knew that this man beside her meant every word of it.

ADDIE’S JOURNAL: “Here in the midst of mortal peril, with death before me, with all the joys of life, so wonderfully loved, disappearing, my dear husband’s words made even the storm and the shipwreck nothing.”

While others were anguishing and fretting over what to do with the gold in their carpet bags, Ansel and Addie calmly resolved to go down together hand in hand.

Gold sinks to the bottom. Faith rises to the top.

Why did the storm and shipwreck become almost “nothing” for Addie? Because she had placed her faith in a good man, because she knew beyond a doubt that the man beside her was faithful and true and would be with her until the end. Ansel Easton proved himself a good, faithful man to the end.

One afternoon, someone spotted a sail on the horizon, another ship was approaching. It proved to be a two-masted brig, the Marine, bound for Boston. As she passed close, the passengers of the Central America cheered and wept, believing they were saved.

But the Marine herself had been battered by the storm. She was waterlogged and partially dis-masted. She had a hard time keeping close to the Central America. Captain Herndon ordered the women and children into the six lifeboats on board.

It proved a difficult, perilous task. The storm was still raging. Passengers had to be lowered into boats tossed by the waves, crashing against the ship.

Ansel Easton set to work on deck helping to get people off the Central America. Then he went below to tell Addie to hurry. “We shall be saved,” he assured her, “but the women and children are to be taken off first.”

Addie’s face turned white. “I can’t go without you,” she said.
Ansel reassured her, “You have to go; I shall follow very soon.”

Up on the deck, Ansel prepared Addie for the lifeboat. She turned to him again and said, “I don’t want to go till you do.” But he calmed her and said, “You have to leave now.”

After she was lowered into the third lifeboat, Ansel threw a coat down to her containing some valuables. And then he took the coat off his own shoulders and tossed it down, too, so she would be warmer during the rough ride to the other ship.

Ansel remained faithful to the end.

Others were more distracted. Women moving away in the lifeboats looked back and saw some tossing gold coins into the wind. But Addie could look back and see Ansel, and hold his steady gaze, and pull his coat tight around her shoulders.

Gold sinks to the bottom. But faith rises to the top.

Faith rescues us. It can rescue us in the storm. (1 Peter 1:6, 7)

After Addie made it safely to the Marine, she hoped the lifeboats would quickly be sent back for the men on that sinking ship. But the Marine had drifted too far away. There wasn’t a man with strength left to row back. And the storm made an immediate return trip seem impossible.

Tragically, the Central America sank before help could get back. Addie was on the Marine’s deck watching the lights in the distance disappear beneath the waves. Word soon came from an empty lifeboat: “The steamer’s gone down and every soul on board her is lost.”

The Marine managed to limp back to Chesapeake Bay. But it was a sad voyage for Addie. She was sustained only by the memory of her brave husband on the deck of that doomed ship. His coat was still around her shoulders.

As the ship docked in Norfolk, Addie and the other survivors received startling news. Forty-nine men from the Central America had been rescued by another vessel. Forty-nine had survived!

Addie caught a glimmer of hope. Was her beloved Ansel among them?

Arriving at a hotel where the survivors had gathered, Addie glanced from face to face in the parlor. Ansel was not there. But a few minutes later he burst into the room. He’d impatiently rowed out to the Marine to be reunited with his bride of four weeks — and found that she’d already gone.

There they were. Face to face. They embraced, and they were so overwhelmed that they could not speak.

ADDIE’S JOURNAL: “We wept together as well as rejoiced and for several nights, neither of us could sleep, so vivid were the scenes that we had passed through. My watch, my beautiful ring, our wedding presents and many other things that I valued from their associations were all lost. Though I shall never behold them again, I still have the privilege of preserving them in my memory and I still have my darling husband, the most precious jewel of all.”

Ansel was able to tell his wife about his miraculous survivalA wave crashed over the ship and forced it under.

As the Central America broke up and began to sink into the deep, Ansel was sucked down with her. Breaking to the surface, he found himself among scores of other men floating with the debris of the ship.

Ansel managed to hang onto a board for several hours in the frigid waters. He knew that there was someone waiting for him. Suddenly, a vessel loomed out of the dark. To him it seemed to have dropped from the clouds. He grasped the rope thrown down to him and was pulled up to the deck and safety.

Gold sinks to the bottom, faith rises to the top. (

1Pe 1:7 (GW): “The purpose of these troubles is to test your faith as fire tests how genuine gold is. Your faith is more precious than gold, and by passing the test, it gives praise, glory, and honor to God...”

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


According to the Bible, in any given case, devil can attack a person when there is rebellion against God’s Word, the Bible, in his or her life, like, by not believing Jesus as Lord & Saviour and giving heart to Him, not being water-baptized, possession of pride, jealousy, unforgiving, unkind to the poor, addiction, cheating and violence.

Consider, 1Samuel 18:9-10 (GNB): “And so he (King Saul) was jealous and suspicious of David from that day on. The next day an evil spirit from God suddenly took control of Saul, and he raved in his house like a madman….”

It is obvious that when there is rebellion, place is given to the devil to attack. So Eph 4:27 (KJV) says: “Neither give place to the devil.”

Thus, the only way to keep away the evil forces in anybody’s life is by replacing rebellion with obedience to God’s Word.

Hence, only if one is living in obedience, can the promises given in the Bible will be applicable, like, Psalms 91:10 (KJV) that says: “There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.”

“The safest place in the entire world is in the will of God, and the safest protection in all the world is the name of God (Jesus Christ).” - Warren Wiersbe.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


An old legend tells us about two brothers who were convicted of stealing sheep in a country. For their punishment, they each were branded on the forehead with the letters ST, for "Sheep thief."

One brother, bitter to the core, ran away to another land to build a new life. Even there, people continually asked him about the strange letters on his forehead. He agitated so much about the stigma, that he took his own life.

The other brother thought his predicament out. "I can't run away from the fact that I stole sheep,” he said, "But I will stay here & win back the respect of my neighbors & myself." As the years went by, he earned a reputation of honesty, respect & love.

One day a stranger saw the old man with the letters branded on his forehead. He asked a citizen of the town what the letters stood for. The townsman replied, "It happened a great while ago. I've forgotten the details, but I think the letters are an abbreviation for Saint."

We can never really make up for the past sins in life, but we can always start fresh now by living a life of integrity & kindness. (

Isa 43:18 (GNB): But the LORD says, "Do not cling to events of the past or dwell on what happened long ago.”

1Jn 1:9 (GW): “God is faithful and reliable. If we confess our sins, he forgives them and cleanses us from everything we've done wrong.”

2Co 5:17 (GW): “Whoever is a believer in Christ is a new creation. The old way of living has disappeared. A new way of living has come into existence.”

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Bible Proclaims – ‘HOMECOMING’

William J. Kirkpatrick began his song writing ministry when he was a major with the Union army in the Civil War. One of his most famous hymns was written to express his desire to see souls saved & changed by the power of Christ.

In one of the meetings, a soloist had been hired to provide the special music. He had a magnificent voice & was able to put tremendous expression into the music he sang. However, William noticed that the young man always left after he finished singing & never stayed to hear the sermon.

Afraid that the soloist was not a Christian, William knelt in his tent & prayed long & earnestly for his soul. As he prayed, some words began to form in his mind. He wrote them down & set them to a tune.

That evening, William handed the newly-written words & tune to the soloist. Visibly moved after he had sung them, the man stayed for the sermon, went to the altar that night & gave his heart to Christ. The song became a popular invitation hymn in evangelical services, winning many others beside the man it was written for.

It was these words, written by William that the Holy Spirit used to bring salvation to a lost soul:

"I've wandered far away from God
Now, I'm coming home
The paths of sin too long I've trod
Lord, I'm coming home.

Coming home, coming home
Never more to roam
Open wide thine arms of love,
Lord, I'm coming home."

At the end of the day, there was a HOMECOMING all because of his coming home.

The story of the prodigal son is a perfect fit to this great hymn, “Lord, I’m Coming Home.” -Steve Wagers (

Luke 15:20-21 (GNB): “So he (prodigal son) got up and started back to his father. He was still a long way from home when his father saw him; his heart was filled with pity, and he ran, threw his arms around his son, and kissed him. 'Father,' the son said, 'I have sinned against God and against you. I am no longer fit to be called your son.'”

“The purpose of the Bible? Salvation. God's highest passion is to get His children home. His book, the Bible, describes His plan of salvation.” - Max Lucado.

Heb 2:3 (CEV) says: “So if we refuse this great way of being saved, how can we hope to escape?”

Thursday, February 5, 2015


Billy Graham tells of a time, during the early years of his preaching ministry, when he was due to lead a crusade meeting in a town in South Carolina, and he needed to mail a letter.

He asked a little boy in the main street how he could get to the post office.

After the boy had given him directions, Billy said, "If you come to the central Baptist church tonight, I'll tell you how to get to heaven."

The boy replied, "No thanks, you don't even know how to get to the post office!"

“The church is not the way to heaven; the church is the sign that points to heaven.” - Adrian Rogers.

John 14:6 (ISV): Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


As I was riding a bus through London, I was struck by the sight of people from so many races & cultures who live in that great city. I began to focus on all the nationalities represented & wondered how the whole world would ever hear the gospel of Jesus Christ.

While I was deep in thought, a woman stopped in the aisle next to my seat. With a beautiful smile, she extended a sheet of paper & asked, “Would you like to read about being born again?” I thanked her & told her that I knew the Lord Jesus Christ. “Praise God,” she said quietly & moved on to the next person.

I thought, that’s how they’ll hear! One at a time they’ll hear the gospel from faithful believers who reach out to others wherever they are.

The woman on the bus made me think of Paul’s commendation to the Christians in Thessalonica: “From you the word of the Lord has spread out not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place where your faith in God has become known. As a result, we do not need to say anything.” (1Th 1:8 ISV)

Instead of being paralyzed by the thought that millions haven’t heard, she was sharing Christ with a few, right where she lived. What if we all did that - starting today? - David C. McCasland. (

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


Leslie Strobel became a Christian in 1979 & modeled her faith in such a way that it influenced her atheistic husband Lee to begin his own search for God.

In his book ‘The Case for Christ’, he tells of his 2 years of intensive research that finally led him to receive Jesus as his Savior. With a law degree from Yale & an award-winning career in journalism at the Chicago Tribune, Lee had the ability to answer tough questions raised by unbelievers & cynics.

The change in his life also influenced their 5-year-old daughter Alison, who said, “Mommy, I want God to do for me what He’s done for Daddy.” Leslie’s faith created a ripple effect that changed the whole family.

This pattern of modeling or imitating is what Paul described in the first chapter of 1 Thessalonians. His example, along with that of Silas & Timothy, motivated the new believers in Thessalonica to imitate them.

Then, as these new believers suffered for Christ with patience & endurance, they in turn became models to believers in Macedonia & Achaia, inspiring them to new levels of devotion. - Herbert Vander Lugt (

1Th 1:6-7 (GNB): “You imitated us and the Lord; and even though you suffered much, you received the message with the joy that comes from the Holy Spirit. So you became an example to all believers in Macedonia and Achaia.”