The Christian Kitchen Table

News Of The Day – January 20th

Lawsuit Forces California Dept. Of Education To Remove Aztec God Chants

In response to a lawsuit filed on behalf of parents, The California Department of Education will no longer be teaching students two religious chants to Aztec gods from its ethnic studies curriculum. The program, was adopted last May, featured a section called “Affirmation, Chants, and Energizers,” which included an invocation of five Aztec deities called “In Lak Ech Affirmation.” The affirmations addressed the deities by their names, acknowledged them as sources of knowledge and power, called on their assistance, and expressed thanksgiving to them. Read more about the lawsuit here.

 

Supreme Court Questions Boston’s Refusal to Fly Christian Flag

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday on whether Boston city officials wrongfully denied a request to fly the Christian flag at City Hall. The nation’s high court heard arguments in the case of Harold Shurtleff, et al. v. Boston, MA, et al., with the justices expressing skepticism of the arguments on both sides. Shurtleff’s request to fly the Christian flag (which features a cross) outside of City Hall on Constitution Day 2017 was denied based on a policy that gives the city discretion on which flags it can fly on the City Hall flagpoles.  The court will decide if the denial was unlawful discrimination and censorship. Read more about the lawsuit here.

 

Former Israeli Leader Benjamin Netanyahu Considering Pleas Deal In Corruption Trial

Benjamin Netanyahu, who lost the premiership of Israel last June after 12 consecutive years in power, is accused of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in a series of complicated cases. He has denied all charges. Now after vowing to fight all charges, he is considering a plea deal which would keep him out of prison but also out of politics for the coming years. The deal would likely limit his sentence to a fine and several months of community service. But it would state that Netanyahu’s wrongdoing amounted to “moral turpitude,” a determination that would ban him by law from holding public office for at least seven years. Read more about the plea deal here.

 

Group Donates 20 Million Dollars Towards Preservation Of Black Churches

$20 million dollars has been donated towards efforts to preserve, rebuild, and share the stories of historically Black churches. The donation was made by philanthropic foundation Lily Endowment Inc. to the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. The money will go to help congregations including one that was slammed during the tornado that killed more than 20 people in Mayfield, Kentucky, last month. Rather than just fixing broken windows or straightening rafters, the project will provide assistance with things including asset management and helping historic churches tell their own stories, said Brent Leggs, executive director of the fund. Read more about the donation here.

 

 

January 20th – psalm 55:22

Psalm 55:22

Between the government, social media, and news outlets, fear is peddled as a hot commodity. No wonder in today’s climate people are afraid to even step out of their front door. But God, in His great love, reminds us that as His children we need not fear. For the Lord our God is with us. And with His mighty hand He will provide, sustain, and strengthen us. And never will He let us be shaken. But for that to happen we have to trust in Him and His promises. And let’s be honest. It’s easier to have fear than faith. To act on emotion instead of in standing in God’s truth. Billy Graham once said, “Fear can banish faith, but faith can banish fear. Faith isn’t pretending our problems don’t exist, nor is it simply blind optimism. Faith points us beyond our problems to the hope we have in Christ.” A great hope that allows us to cast all our cares upon Him, knowing we are wrapped in God’s love, goodness, and mercy.

January 19th – Psalm 5:11

Psalm 5:11

Have you ever been in an emergency situation and needed a place of refuge? I have. The year was 1995. My husband was 230 miles away being cared for by his parents as he recovered from a plane crash. I was in Pensacola, Fl working and caring for our 20 month old daughter. That morning I awoke to a strong hurricane which had suddenly turned in the night and was heading directly for our coastline. I picked up my mom, packed a few things, and headed to where my husband was.

Eight hours later we were only 40 miles north of Pensacola. Traffic accidents had bogged down all the major roadways. And the radio kept reporting it wasn’t safe to stay in your car. We were tired, hungry and it would be getting dark soon. We needed a rescuer and a place of refuge. I prayed for God’s intervention.

How relieved I was to see a police car on the side of the road. I stopped and asked for help. The officer gave me directions to a high school that had been turned into a shelter. I was beyond grateful, for never would I have found this place on my own. There we were able to get a warm meal, stretch our legs, contact my worried husband and watch coverage of the storm on TV. God watched over us that day and night, providing who and what we needed. And oh, how my heart rejoiced! 

A refuge is a place that provides shelter or protection, or something to which one has recourse in difficulty. The Scriptures tell us that God is our refuge place. But, we have to seek His refuge. We can’t stay exposed and vulnerable spiritually, trying to make it on our own.

To make God our refuge means we seek Him and have connection with Him, That way He can guide and provide spiritual resources for us.  The Lord delights in both helping us and our dependence upon Him. Are you depending on God to be your place of refuge? Are you staying connected to your spiritual lifeline? If not, make a point to intentionally seek Him in some way and make this a daily connection. It could be through prayer, Bible study, fellowship with other Christians. 

Blessings, Becky

January 18th – Romans 8:28

Romans 8:28

In this fallen world disappointments and discouragements are an unfortunate part of life. After all, we are all sinners living among sinners. Therefore we’re bound to experience trouble. Which is why this verse is one we should not only memorize, but hold unto tightly. For in this verse there is hope. I truly believe if we will only rest in this massive promise, our lives will be more solid and stable. And when Satan sends those negative thoughts that try to bowl us over, we will be able to stand strong! How you ask?

When you are hurting find God’s purpose in your suffering by prayerfully asking yourself:

  • Could God be using this trial to increase my faith?
  • Could God be using this trial to build my character?
  • Could God be using this trial to prepare me to better serve Him and others in some way?

Answering these questions will help you discover God’s plan for your life. And I can honestly promise you, that when you see the “big picture” (the one with God in it and on it!), you not only will be able to stand, but find yourself happy, rejoicing, and giving thanks for it all!!

Blessings, Sue

 

News Of The Day – January 18th

Tulsa Pastor Rubs Spit On Face Of Man During Sermon

While we are still fighting the covid  pandemic, a Tulsa pastor is stirring controversy after he was seen wiping spit on a man’s face during his sermon Sunday. Pastor Mike Todd of Transformation Church made some people in the crowd and online uneasy during the demonstration as he wiped spit onto the face of another parishioner to show that “receiving God’s vision can sometimes be nasty.” After receiving backlash Todd stated, “That was gross. I want to validate everybody’s feelings,” he said, apologizing. “That was a distraction to what I was really trying to do.” Read more about the disgusting act here.

 

Governor Phil Murphy Signs Law protecting Abortion Rights

A bill affirming abortion rights has passed in New Jersey while a looming U.S. Supreme Court decision means that the future of choice remains uncertain nationwide. The Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act was signed Monday by Murphy. In a statement, Murphy praised the “historic legislation” as a necessary precaution with the United States Supreme Court slated to rule on a case that could reverse or chip away at Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide. New Jersey Republicans opposed the legislation. “This bill and the rhetoric we’ve heard from the other side is: any abortion, at any time, for any reason,” said Assembly member Jay Webber this week. Read more about the bill here.

 

How Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker Helped Fellow Jewish Hostages

On Saturday, a stranger knocked on the door of Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas. The rabbi, Charlie Cytron-Walker, assuming the stranger needed shelter from the cold, invited him in and made him tea. But moments later, the stranger made clear he had a gun and took the rabbi and three others hostage. The ordeal dragged on for 11 hours. “In the last hour of our hostage crisis, the gunman became increasingly belligerent and threatening,” Cytron-Walker said. But the rabbi knew what to do.  a statement provided to CNN. Cytron-Walker waited for the right moment before throwing a chair at the assailant, buying enough time for himself and two others to run out. Read more about his heroic efforts here.

 

Man comes To Christ After Finding Lost Bible

Victory Church Pastor Paul Daugherty lost his personal bible fifteen years ago, and now that bible has been found and is helping another person. The bible had belonged to Daugherty for many years and he even made it his own journal, filling it with notes, underlines, and thoughts scribbled throughout. Daugherty learned that the bible was found at a local shelter by a man named Clayton many years ago who has treasured it ever since finding it. At the beginning of January, Clayton showed up at Victory showing the bible to Paul, and then started attending church at Victory to hear Paul preach. The Bible remains with Clayton where Pastor Paul says it should stay. Read more about the encouraging find here.

 

January 17th – Zephaniah 3:17

Zephaniah 3:17

We all have fears. Some rational, others not. And all have felt the grip of panic that comes with anxiety. The one that feels like a storm raging inside. A violence which causes our thoughts to swirl madly, our hearts to beat wildly, and our chests to tighten beyond breathing. But as with any storm, there is an eye. That place of stillness. A calmness which always appears in the middle of even the strongest hurricane. God is that eye of the storm. A victorious Savior, He calms the seas and quiets our storms with His love.

When we’re filled with fear and anxiety, unable to shut off our thoughts, we crave God’s quietness. To be able to just let it all go and rest in His perfect peace. Peace stemmed from the deep, unconditional love He has for each of us, His precious children. His love for us is so great, our Father in heaven rejoices with great shouts of joy, and songs of everlasting devotion!

And because of His gift of the Holy Spirit, He now lives inside each of us forever. Never again do we have to face the storms of life alone, nor give in to fear and anxiety. For when we stand in the eye of the storm, there we will find the blue skies and sunshine of God’s perfect peace. All we have to do is be still, and focus on His quietness, promises and love.

The next time you find yourself struggling with your thoughts and spiraling out of control with fear, go to God in prayer immediately. Ask Him to calm your spirit and fill your heart with His peace. Receive His gladness. Let His quietness push away the storm clouds of anxiety. And let God’s love shine upon you like the rays of the summer sun appearing after the rain.

January 16th – Psalm 112:7

Psalm 112:7

One of the most dreaded phrases to hear is, “I have good news and bad news. Which do you want to hear first?” When someone says that to us our first reaction is to panic. Because even though there is good, the bad is what we focus on. However for Christians, no matter what we hear, we needn’t be fearful. And instead of being reactive, we can be proactive. How? By trusting in the Lord. Because those whose hearts remain fixed on the truth of God can never be shaken. And no darkness of fear, dread, panic, or despair can extinguish the light of God’s promise. A promise to see us through any situation, good or bad. A promise that the great I Am is in control of all things. And He will never let us face anything alone. So no matter how bad the evil tidings, our heart can still rejoice. For our confidence is found in the Lord alone. And in the Good News He brings to all.

January 15th – 1 Peter 3:14

1 Peter 3:14

No one is immune to the feelings of fear and anxiety. Not even the apostle Peter. Throughout the ministry of Christ, Peter was by His side helping, learning, and personally seeing the miracles our Lord performed. Even so, when confronted by an angry crowd after the arrest of Jesus, Peter denied knowing his Savior. And not once, but three times. Why? Because fear, even for a disciple, isn’t easy to overcome. Not easy, but not impossible when we work in God’s power instead of our own. It is God’s power that allows us to live differently from the world. For when we sanctify Christ in our hearts, we need ‘t be troubled. For the Lord gives us a peace that nothing and no one can take away. And by keeping our focus on God we can, like Peter, walk safely on the most troubled waters hand in hand with the Lord.

 

January 14th – Isaiah 41:13

Isaiah 41:13

I can remember as a child times of being afraid and looking for a trusted hand to grasp for reassurance. And the moment I wrapped my tiny fingers around the strong, protective ones of my chosen person, my fears subsiding. Young or old, we all need that hand to hold. The one that tells us, “Everything will be alright. I’ve got you. And I won’t let you go.” We have that mighty hand in God. Our loving Father and Friend, He is always there, day and night saying to us, “Don’t be afraid. No matter matter what you face, you don’t have to face it alone.” God will never leave nor forsake us. Never will He let us face our struggles alone. Instead with every step we take, He is there. And not just walking beside us, but literally offering His loving hand of help.  A hand not just to calm our fears, but to pull us out of every fear, trial, and tribulation.

News Of The Day – January 13th

Ann Graham Lotz Asking For Prayers For her Daughter

The granddaughter of Billy Graham is in hospital after having two back-to-back heart attacks. Anne Graham Lotz, the daughter of the late evangelist Billy Graham, is asking people to pray. Lotz’s daughter Rachel-Ruth was rushed to the hospital on Saturday. “She was rushed to the hospital on Saturday night with a heart attack, followed by a catheterization,” says Lotz on Tuesday with a Facebook post. “Sunday afternoon, she had a second heart attack, followed by another catheterization.”  According to Lotz, the doctors do not know what caused the heart attacks. Read more about Rachel-Ruth’s struggle here.

 

Board’s Approval Of After School Satan Club For Elementary Students Raising Eyebrows

Parents at an Illinois elementary school are expressing concern after the local school board approved a new extracurricular club for children that will be led by members of The Satanic Temple and held in school facilities. the so-called “After School Satan Club” was approved by the Moline-Coal Valley School District Board of Education.  The club will hold meetings at Jane Addams Elementary in Moline, Illinois, beginning immediately after school. It is open to children in first through fifth grade, although students first need permission from a parent. The school district said it had a legal obligation to approve the club, just as it approved an evangelistic Good News Club. Read more about the club here.

 

U.S. Religious Donations Rebound But Still At All Time Low

Donations to charities rebounded in 2021 among U.S. adults, although donations to religious organizations remained at an all-time low, according to a new Gallup survey. Eighty-one percent of American adults say they donated money to a charitable cause in 2021 – a major rebound from a poll in 2020 that found a record-low 73 percent answering that way. Donations to religious organizations, though, did not experience an increase, with only 44 percent of Americans – the same percentage as 2020 – saying they donated to a faith-based organization. It’s the lowest percentage in the history of Gallup, which began asking the question in 200. Read more about the poll here.

 

Christian Singer Natalie Grant Wows Audience With Rendition Of National Anthem

Acclaimed singer Natalie Grant’s rendition of the National Anthem during Monday’s college football championship game led to widespread acclamation. The nine-time Grammy-nominated Christian singer delivered a powerful rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner before the national championship game in Indianapolis between Georgia and Alabama that immediately drew applause from sports and non-sports fans alike. Grant stated, “Beyond grateful for the opportunity. Last words in my mind before the first note, ‘Jesus, be glorified.’” Read more about her performance here.