August 2017 Newsletter
Save The Date:
August 14- Volusia County Schools return
August 10th- Flagler County & St. Johns County schools return
As we look ahead to the 2017/2018 school year ahead, please pray for our children across the state and nation as they go back to school. Also, keep teachers and parents in your prayers as well. We are approaching the peak of Hurricane Season and so we ask that you would pray, if the Lord wills, that He would direct any coming storms away from our shore and pray for the safety of others if a storm should arrive!
Our Fall Fundraiser for 2017 will take place September 13th, 14th, and 15th. Mark your calendars and join with us in prayer, that the Lord would provide to keep this ministry going strong! You can pledge your support at anytime on our support page or give us a call during our fundraiser dates: 386-757-9094 or 888-756-9094
Hold Fast To The Trunk Of The Tree
By Bill Powell
I had the pleasure of taking a vacation to California in June. I took some awesome pictures along the Pacific Coast Highway. Nobody can paint a picture like the Lord Almighty. Just a word of advice if you talk to me don’t ask how my vacation was. You might get stuck with me showing you all my pictures. I take a lot of pictures, Lol. Two other highlights of the trip were visiting the Sequoia National Forest and the Redwood Forest. The picture with this article I took at the Sequoia National Forest.
Remember the expression, “you can’t see the forest for the trees”? Many of the trees were so big, like the General Sherman in the picture, that you can’t see past it to see the forest. The massive trees reminded me of a sermon I heard many years ago. The sermon was about how we need to stick to the trunk of the tree. It is so easy to get out on the branches. You may get out on one that’s not too sturdy. Some of the trees I saw were over 300 feet tall. Be careful to not get caught out on a limb.
Let me carve out for you The Cornerstone description of the trunk of the tree. A tree is comprised of the roots, trunk, bark and branches. I liken the trunk of the tree including the roots the essentials of the Christian faith. The essentials are:God made heaven and earth and He is a triune God, the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit each one co-equal and co-substantial but one God. Jesus is the God man born of a virgin lived a perfect life, died on the cross, and rose from the dead. He left us an example that we should walk in His steps. He became a propitiation, (atonement) for sinners to any who would repent and believe on Him. He promised He will return again as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The Bible is His inspired, inerrant Word and our instruction manual to teach us about God and His plan and purpose for mankind. It is profitable for doctrine, correction, re- proof and instruction in righteousness.
Like the General Sherman we at the Cornerstone are going to stand tall and hold on to the trunk of the tree, (the essentials of the Christian faith). Every program we air will not all agree on every point of doctrine. Actually we don’t agree with every word from every Bible teacher, however they all agree on the essentials. The branches are important to every tree but not always essential. Limbs break and die, leaves fall but as long as the tree is rooted, water- ed, escapes the fires of life and the winds that blows, it will survive. We intend to stay rooted and will be careful to avoid the fires of hell and not be tossed around by every wind of doctrine but hold fast to that which is true. With your help we will survive and until His return continue to do our part towards the great commission. Thanks to all of you who support us through your prayers and financial support. Together with the Lords guidance we make a difference. Matt. 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be pro- claimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
Salad Bar Decor (Confessions of A Kale Hater)
By Chris Johnson
“That’s disgusting!” Those were the words my four-year-old quipped as he looked at my chicken pot pie. He scanned the variety of mixed veggies and chicken and turned away in disgust. While it was funny to hear him spout out those words and make an about-face towards the living room, we quickly pointed out to him the importance of being very careful with his words. Words might not be sticks and stones but they can absolutely hurt people. If we’re honest, we would have to agree that nearly every time someone is offended it has something to do with an exchange of words followed by an action or deed. Now I’ll admit that’s no giant revelation, but this is a serious matter. The Apostle Paul penned some excellent words to the Colossians believers when he wrote, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Col. 4:6) King David’s prayer to the Lord was humbling and instructive in Psalm 19:14. It reads, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.”
Think of the last time you said something that you knew, or maybe you didn’t realize, was destined to be offensive. Many will chalk up their verbal strikes as playful or joking, but even so, were they helpful, encouraging and right? Remember Paul’s words, “so that we may know how to answer everyone.” Not long ago I made a comment to my sister-in-law about her plate full of kale. I commented something along the lines of “Oh, how’s the garnish?” (I mean, when I was a small boy kale decorated the salad bar. It wasn’t the actual salad.) We both laughed and went on with our activities but we’re those words really necessary? Now lest you think I’m just plain and boring with no sense of humor let me assure you that’s not the case at all. In fact I love to enjoy hearty conversation with a bit of sarcasm and friendly fire. However, I can attest that sadly, sometimes I get carried away. Before I know it I’ve said something I regret, something that hurt another person and worse, something that offended the Lord Jesus Christ! Then, faced with the reality of my sin, I must confess to God and those I’ve upset. I’m so grateful for the gift of repentance and forgiveness, but as we grow in grace we ought also to grow in maturity in this area too.
Instead of jests and jibes we ought to always be looking for ways to encourage one another and build each other up. I Thessalonians 5:11 wisely counsels us to do just that and to be honest- it’s really not that hard. Sure, it might take some heart transformation and mind alteration so as to think rightly about our relationship with others and our conversational lexicon. But we’d be wise to seek the Holy Spirit’s grace to bring about such change. After all, we’re called to grow in Christ- likeness, and that certainly doesn’t come about by possessing, sharpening and unleashing a loose tongue. We all sin in this area from time to time, some (me) more than others (my sweet wife), but that doesn’t change the fact that humility before the Lord and men will lead us into grace-infused new beginnings and vocal victories. As we meditate upon Scriptures like Colossians 4:6 and Psalm 19:14 there will most certainly be a change of heart and mind. After all, that’s exactly what Romans 12:2 promises!
By Denisha Stearns
I really love summer- the warmth, the beach, and the longer days to get more done. I have one problem, though: it is harder to enjoy my chocolate. In summer, I can’t chance saving any random piece in the car or in the bottom of my purse even. (Ladies, you know what I am talking about). Clarence Crane knew that as a big problem as well, which is why he created Life Savers candy in 1912. He wanted to make something enjoyable that wouldn’t melt in the summer heat. He created the different-flavored candies in the shape of life preservers so that people would think of the round-ringed life preservers used to save people who had fallen from boats.
Now, I never had to be thrown a round-ringed life preserver even when I fell from a boat (another story entirely), but I did grow up eating Life Savers. I bought them at the corner store with my allowance and got them in bundles in my stocking at Christmas. They were to me a tasty treat, yet I didn’t really think much about their shape until I became a mom. After having performed the Heimlich maneuver on my three year-old son who was choking on a piece of hard candy, I thought that the hole in the middle of Life Savers was to keep kids from asphyxiating.
Now, after many years, I look at Life Savers and have a completely different thought- I think of Jesus Christ. Why? Because, I consider Him to be my Life Saver. The Apostle John wrote that the world would be saved through Jesus, whoever believes in Him (John 3:16,17). What has He saved me from? From my sins. From making foolish decisions as I learn from the good and bad consequences of past decisions, my own and those of others. From the accidents, diseases, and heartaches I have never experienced yet know that other people have.
What has the Lord Jesus saved me TO? To His love! To incredible experiences, spiritual insights, opportunities to know Him better, and work that He has called me to. He has given me the “life to the full” just like He said people may have (John 10:10). Best of all, He has saved me to life eternal. One cannot even compare Him to a piece of candy- He is incomparable to any good thing on earth. Nothing surprises Him, fazes Him, or causes Him to melt. Next time you see a round-ringed life preserver on an old tugboat, ferry, or mounted on the wall of your favorite seafood restaurant, remember the One who is our Life Saver!
By Donna Bramlett
Hello Cornerstone VIP (Vitally Important Partner)! That's a good definition for every listener, supporter, and prayer partner, because you are a vital part of what keeps the gospel and the Word flowing into our communities. I have been privileged to be part of the inner workings of this amazing ministry, one little cog in the mechanism, one tiny piece of the whole, and I will always consider it my dream job. I have met countless precious saints, some of whom have become very close friends. I have helped plan events, prepare giveaways, celebrate Sharathons, and SO much more. What a blast! But as you probably already know, my time behind the desk drew to a close just after Sharathon 2017. That is not to say I waved good- bye and moved on, since I tend to drift back in for a visit pretty often. Any excuse to stop by, really. But a move across the county and some physical issues demanded a change. I am grateful Bill offered me this opportunity to say a formal farewell to you all, to let you know that I leave with far more than I brought - a full heart, a basket of wonderful friendships ... and a bounty of Bill-isms!
I often find myself telling someone, "Well, Bill always says..."
"Plan your work. Work your plan. Follow up. Follow through."
"Your greatest strength is your greatest weakness."
"Eat by the clock, not by your stomach, and you'll never get fat."
"If it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing."
Just to list a few.
I have also learned to pace myself and exercise wisdom in making commitments. I have learned that a slow moving train still makes steady progress in the right direction. And thanks to each of you I have come to value and appreciate the rich diversity that makes up this beautiful body of Christ. Thank you for letting me see Jesus through you! May your view of our Savior also be enriched by the fellowship of our brothers and sisters, and always through this one-of-a-kind ministry! God bless you!
By Christina Hutchinson
“Ok, we’re ready to go!” I can’t wait to hear Ryan say those words! No, I’m not talking about going on a trip; I’m talking about moving into our own home. There are just a few touches and we’ll be all set and I couldn’t be more excited. (By my next newsletter article you’ll know if we’ve made it in). Our home building journey has included lots of renovation! Throughout the process we’ve had to take down walls and put up new ones. Tweak the layout and add some fresh paint and new furnishing. Selecting the right “building blocks” has been fun, exciting and even frustrating at times. We were confident in the sturdy foundation but wanted to make sure that each step was carefully planned so the finished product was safe, secure and beautiful.
It’s funny how that kind of mirrors our Christian life. Jesus Christ is a sure foundation, and we must build upon Him so when trials come we won’t buckle under pressure or be blown over from the slightest bit of worldly winds. Life is full of so many “blocks” to build with, and we must be careful which ones we select. Some are better than others and many are not trustworthy at all. The Bible says to be Spiritually mature “so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunningness, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” (Ephesians 4:14) Verse 15 goes on to say “Rather, speaking truth in love, we are to grow up in every way in Him who is head, in Christ…” I’m thankful for the blocks we’ve chosen to establish our new home and prayerfully ask the Lord to be even more wise with my selections concerning the building blocks of life.
How about you? What building blocks are you choosing? Are they man-made mythical phrases or clever philosophical quotes? Those are examples of “winds of doctrine” that Ephesians tells us about. Yes, it’s hard to look outside and see the devastating effe- cts of sin. It seems more and more I hear “Why is this happening?” or “Why are people so evil?” We live in a sinful world and that is never going to change until Christ returns. The real question is how we handle it. So how do you navigate through it? What structure do you have to stand on? Remember the old children’s song “The B-I-B-L-E Yes, that's the book for me I stand alone on the Word of God the B-I-B-L-E.”
Looking to man-made quotes and writings do not bring us any eternal fulfillment; only Christ can do that. Horoscopes can’t shed light on who we really are, what is to come, and how we can be prepared. Only the Bible tells us the good news that while we are sinners by nature and God’s judgment is soon upon us; salvation is received when we repent, turn from our sinful ways and trust in Christ alone! On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand!