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A Bit of History (Of Valentine’s Day)

According to the Catholic Church, Saint Valentine is the patron saint of love, young people, and happy marriages. He was a priest imprisoned by the Romans for performing marriages even after the emporer outlawed them. Yet even in prison his ministry continued. Dozens of members of one guard’s families found salvation in Christ.

Valentine loved God and loved people so much that a world power could not stop him. That is real love worth celebrating.

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Translating the Bible

— By Mark Avery, Editor, Herald and Banner Press, Overland Park, KS

Someone told of a group of Bible college students discussing the merits of various Bible translations. Each told which was his favorite and listed some reasons for his choice. Finally the last student spoke. “My favorite translation of the Bible is my mother’s translation.”

The other students were taken aback. “Your mother translated the Bible?” they wondered incredulously.

“Yes,” came the simple response. “She translated it into everyday living.” If the Bible is the Word of God, and we believe that it is, we should put every effort into practicing it in our lives.

Some simple steps can be taken to translate the Bible into everyday living. Reading the Bible is necessary to this translation. Some believers seem to think that they get enough of the Bible through preaching services and Sunday school classes. In reality, the Bible is the means God often uses to speak to us to conform us to His will. Daily contact with Him through His Word helps us develop a deep, intimate relationship with Him. We gain spiritual strength and stamina from the Word that enables us to live holy lives from day to day.

Praying is necessary to translating the Bible into life. Being a God-inspired book, the Bible becomes much easier for us to understand as we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts. We talk to God in prayer, and He talks to us through His Word. A close communion develops as we communicate with each other.

Meditation is necessary to translating the Bible into life. Regardless of how many times a person has read the Bible, from time to time a verse or passage seems to “jump off the page” at us. Of course, that does not happen literally. Yet having read the Bible several times, I still discover “new” messages tucked away in its pages just for me. The written Word of God is still the living Word of God. It does not change, but it opens to us in various circumstances to help us know how to become more like Christ.

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Bernoulli’s Principle

by Michelle Avery

Have you ever wondered how God can use you? After all, other people are better at speaking or singing or meeting new people, so why would He want to use you? Romans chapter 12 says that everyone has at least one gift and a special place to use it in God’s plan.

But still, how can one measly little gift be enough to help in God’s work?

When God created the universe, it was a lot more involved than what we would do. Making a model of the solar system — even with rotating moons — is nothing compared to all He did. He set down all the laws of physics and mathematics that keep everything running as it should. He made gravity to keep everything together. He made light to travel at one speed and sound at another. When He said the creation was good, He meant even the rules that would make it continue for thousands of years.

It has taken us a long time to figure out these rules about our world. In 1903 when the Wright brothers finally took their first successful airplane into the air, they were demonstrating laws the birds had been taking advantage of for a long time. For instance, Bernoulli’s Principle says that a moving fluid (either liquid or gas) loses pressure the faster it moves. This means if the air above the plane’s wing is moving faster than the air below it, the bottom air will be pushing harder than the top air, and the plane will lift.

See what that means? The wings are specially shaped so that when the engines start moving the plane forward, the top air moves fast enough that the plane can go up. The engines get the process started, but the law of God is what makes it work!

Phillipians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” God gave us talents to get us started, but it’s His power that really lets us work in His kingdom!

Sidebar:

Try this experiment to see Bernoulli’s principle in action.

Step 1: Get your parents’ permission and help. Trust me; it’s better that they know ahead of time.

Step 2: Collect your materials: A roll of toilet paper, a broom stick, and a hair dryer (or leaf blower if you want to do this big!).

Step 3: Make sure you have plenty of open room.

Step 4: Put the roll of toilet paper on the broom stick with a few squares hanging down from the top.

Step 5: Turn on the hair dryer and hold it just above the toilet paper. With the fast moving air above and the more still air below, the paper should rise. That’s Bernoulli’s Principle in action!

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The Newness of the Year

So many things in our lives reflect the newness of a new year. Resolutions, vacation days, financial records, and school terms all get rebooted for the shiny new month we call January.

A new year is a wonderful time to start fresh. Opportunities that had been pushed aside are claimed as we determine to make this year better than the last. Slates are wiped clean as learning both continues and restarts for each student. Plans are begun for new adventures and investments throughout the coming months.

Since businesses are made up of individuals with this starting anew mentality, it is no surprise that January brings changes in the business world as well. Herald and Banner is certainly looking at some new things.

Perhaps the most exciting for this month at least is the arrival of new equipment. A digital press that will allow for more color and expanded opportuinities is already running in our press building. Such excitement surrounds this new opportunity!

May God also bless you in this coming year.

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The Bread of Thanksgiving Dinner

Have you ever noticed how often we use food in our spiritual word pictures? The need for food is universally understood, even though the sorts of things we will and will not eat varies wildly. Food, no matter what our preferences, must be consumed if we want to stay alive and healthy.

That is exactly why the Scripture calls Jesus the Bread of Life. In the Old Testament, the Garden of Eden had a tree which provided life-giving fruit. Adam and Eve had to stay close to the tree if they wanted to live. In the New Testament, we learn about a life giving Bread which not only sustains us but also is available wherever we may be. You may be physically present in a land with no Bible, but with Jesus in your heart, you will always be spiritually near His life-giving bread.

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A Peek Into History

Elijah was a man of God. He was more than a reliable prophet. He did more than pass God’s message to the people he encountered. He was God’s man.

That is why being chosen to be his assistant was such an enormous privilege. Elisha would learn the habits of this great man firsthand. No listening to stories or reading books. He learned by observation.

When God took Elijah to Heaven, Elisha may have been nervous at the prospect of filling his shoes, but he was certainly prepared for the mission. Getting to know his predecessor required him to get to know Elijah’s closest ally — God.

The history of the holiness movement is filled with the stories of men and women who accomplished great things for God. Getting to know their stories will require us to meet the God they loved.

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Wise Women House Builders

— By Mark Avery, General Manager and Editor, Herald and Banner Press, Inc.

“Every wise woman buildeth her house” (Pro. 14:1)

The idea of building a house is used in three different ways in the Bible. First, it was used of building Solomon’s Temple.

The idea of building a house was also used in the sense of constructing a residence.

Proverbs 14:1 illustrates the third usage of building a house. In this sense, building a house has less to do with the construction of a physical building and more to with the home built inside that structure. The home grows, develops, and prospers only under someone’s direction.

A wise couple will pray together. My parents’ generation taught us, “The family that prays together stays together.” That statement is supported by research. We have heard that one out of two marriages ends in divorce, and the statistic is slightly worse among evangelicals than it is in the world at large. Another statistic shows that one of 1153 marriages ends in divorce if the couple prays together. If you want your marriage to last, pray together.

A wise couple will worship together. Regular attendance at a church where the Bible is believed, taught, and translated into daily Christian living will help the couple grow, mature, and be strong in the faith. If your church does not produce mature believers, something is wrong.

A wise couple will spend time together. Our society often emphasizes quality time, but where family is concerned, quality time requires quantity time. When children are in the home, large amounts of time enable parents to instill values and principles in them that can only be learned through spending time together.

A wise couple will establish spiritual priorities. Priorities help us to determine where we focus our time and energy. Those committed to house-building — men and women alike — make a concerted effort to ensure their priorities for the home are reached.

Marriage, family, and children do not come with owner’s manuals. Yet the Bible offers principles that, if followed, will bring success. A wise woman will do her part to see that her house is built on those principles. The same can be said of a wise man.

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