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Monthly Archives: May 2017

Spark 733

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Posted by on 05/31/2017 in Sparks

 

Spark 732

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Posted by on 05/30/2017 in Sparks

 

Tuesdays Torch week 437

Tuesday’s Torch

05/30/17

By: Tim Sader

May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. (2 Timothy 1:16)

Growing up as a cannon kid gave me an opportunity to have many friends so I could catch a glimpse of what it means to love our neighbors. Previously I shared that one of my best friends and fellow gamer was my neighbor Joseph. His parents Phil and Carol became another set of parents to me. They cared for me like I was another older brother to their daughter Erica and along with Joseph, I looked after her. Like David my grade school friend; Joseph was one of the most loyal friends I’ve ever had. He went out of his way to include me in everything that he was doing. He ripped out his sister’s closet doors and built a ramp so I could more easily get in and out of his house. When I stayed over at their house he helped me in every way that he could. At this time it wasn’t much but he prepared our food, got me drinks, handed me stuff in the bathroom, helped me get in and out of bed. After he got his license and I couldn’t get mine he would put me in his car or drive our van after we miraculously talked my dad into it. He was forever trying to hook me up with friends of his girlfriends. We got a job telemarketing so he could drive me. We worked for a funeral home giving away grave plots to people who would talk to our salesmen. When I needed surgery Joseph helped mom with me. Some nights we laughed for hours about things I would do on pain meds. Recovery was hard but I adjusted and learned that laughter is the best medicine. He taught me that sometimes we have to laugh. No matter what we are going through it’s not as bad as it could be. With humor is how we should face hard situations in life. Not that everything’s funny but more like find the positive in all situations. A joyful heart is good medicine (Pr. 17:22). Not only medicine to our spirit but bodies too. Laughter brings healing to every part of us. My friend Joseph always said, “It could be worse” and that is true about bad circumstances. It could always be worse!

Joseph and his family faced many hard times when I was frequently hanging out at their house. Inspite of the disfuction he would always rise above his intense anger and frustration. He found a way to get back to being positive and seemed to not have a care in the world. I mostly was drawn to how carefree he could be and through our mutual loyalty we built our friendship. The Lord delights in us when we are trustworthy because lies are detestable to Him (Pr.12:22). I remember one time when something my mom knew about his mom was accidentally revealed to him in a conversation. This threw everything out of whack between us because to him if she knew I knew and that seemed like a lie to him in the moment. After it cost me my job and he had time to think he realized mom wasn’t trying to keep it from him and what she knew wasn’t my concern. Our friendship healed quickly but I learned that being trusted by others is a great honor but even the appearance of betrayal will bring it all crashing down. We showed a friendly love and devotion to one another because of our willingness to honor eachother often over ourselves (Rom. 12:10). The Lord is seeking our devotion to Him; to do this David tells his son to acknowledge God, serve Him with all his heart and a willing mind. The Lord sees into our heart, He understands our every thought and desire. If we seek Him we will be found by Him; but if we turn away from Him we will be rejected by Him (1 Chron. 28:9). God can be trusted in what He says so if we trust Him we will devote ourselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable to everyone (Ti. 3:8). I pray that God shows mercy to the Whitlocks because out of their own troubles I found joy in a friendship that saw past my struggles and that was refreshing to me.

When problems become big in our lives the way we look at them in the beginning is the way we continue to handle them until the end of it. Just because we get angry, scared, jealous or frustrated when we face troubles doesn’t mean we cannot find a positive way to look at it instead. Sometimes the only way to handle things is by learning to laugh when they get hard. Healing begins when we realize it could be worse. When we see that it’s not as bad as it could be then it won’t be and we will be able to face it with a positive attitude.

Lord I ask that we would look to you when we have struggles in our lives. We believe that you are trustworthy so help us to be more carefree in the midst of our complicated lives. Lord help us to be loyal friends to the people in our lives and that our friends would be equally devoted to us. Most of all Lord we want to be loyal to you so that we can be sure you are there when we need to see beyond our struggles and be refreshed by you. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesdays Torch has been viewed in countries all across the globe through our website and social media. We pray the words of every Torch will sink into the hearts and minds of readers. Please share Tuesdays Torch and encourage others with it. To partner with Tuesdays Torch and help expand our reach please contact us. We pray the Lord will touch our readers. All of what Christ did was so we would believe. He told us not to believe because of what He said but in what He did (John 14:11). Every Tuesday we talk about what He did and is still doing. The best thing God’s done is send His Son so we could be saved (John 3:16). If anyone is not a believer we pray they will invite the Lord into their lives by asking Him to forgive their sins and believing that He is the Son of God. Please share testimonies, feedback or encouraging words by email at: tuesdaystorch@gmail.com we enjoy hearing from you. Look out for next Tuesdays Torch on our website http://www.tuesdaystorch.com , by email, on Facebook as Tuesdays Torch or Twitter @tuesdaystorch Thanks and God Bless!

No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. Luke 8:16

 
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Posted by on 05/30/2017 in Torches

 

Spark 731

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Posted by on 05/29/2017 in Sparks

 

Tuesdays Torch week 436

Tuesday’s Torch

05/23/17

By: Tim Sader

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. (James 2:8)

Sometimes my friendship with the Garretts especially Terry was like iron sharpening iron but I learned self from Him and how to stand up for my beliefs. When I lived on Ross Cannon Street in York, SC there were many kids in my neighborhood. I most quickly became friends with Ricky and Steven and I got to be like an older brother to them. I learned the town with them on bikes, me and my brother in our wheelchairs. We barely ever had 5 dollars between the four of us but we always had fun together. Joe who was closer to my age, lived next door and had a younger sister Erica and cousin Heather who lived with them. We were best friends, I stayed at his house most weekends, we played video games all night and slept during the day. We also hung out with Joseph and Jake down two doors from us until they moved. Amanda and little Joseph lived next to them. We had four Josephs living at four houses in a row. Melina lived down the street with her mom and brother Chris; she became close friends with Erica and was next door as often as I was. They were younger sisters to me and my closest female friends. The Whitlock house next door seemed to be the neighborhood hangout because everyone gathered there. Sean and Donald lived a few streets away and would rollerblade our way often. When Josh was out walking he would stop in at Whitlocks or Garretts to chill for a bit. Jonathan one of Joe’s close friends would visit his grandpa across the street but would always end up on our side. Roger one of Joe’s school friends lived on the next street but he punched Ricky so I didn’t like him at first. Eventually I heard him play some songs on guitar, I became his number one supporter and biggest fan. Need I not forget to mention Jason, Alan, Wendys, Brandy, Jeffery, The Duncans, Kimberly, Sissy, Tina, Melanie, Jesse, Gene, Bradley, Lamont and Mickey. There are so many Cannon Kid stories to tell and to this day many of us are still closer than family.

If we are willing to treat others how we want to be treated we are expressing our love to them. Learning to do this one thing is how we learn to do what is right. I have in no way perfected this but I had a large network of neighborhood kids to learn a little bit about it. None of us were perfect kids and we all thought we were invincible so personalities would clash and even two of my best friends were at odds. I told both of them I refuse to take sides and they knew not to sway me from that conviction. The Cannon Mill neighborhood was a lower income area so no one was the rich kid everyone wanted to be friends with. Those in my circles felt despised by others but not by each other so we had that in common to build our friendships on. We were mostly kind to each other because we all knew what it was like to be needy (Pr. 14:20-21). For a while my family attended church and knew about the Lord in a more obvious way than our neighbors. We lived out our relationship with God and shared Him in small ways as we could. After a while this was less necessary as one by one my friends came with me until we were all learning about God on a regular basis. Those who had no relationship with God accepted His forgiveness of their sins and made Jesus Lord of their lives (Jer. 31:34). As we grew in our love for God we became more tolerant toward each other and friendships formed between those who once were enemies. There is no greater command than us loving God and loving people (Mk. 12:30-31). There are many commands not to murder, steal or be envious of our neighbors but all of them can be fulfilled if we learn to love (Rom. 13:9-10). Our generation of Cannon Kids in my opinion was the best. When one of us were feeling down someone would be there to build them up again (Rom. 15:1-2). We looked out for the good of each other not for selfish reasons but for the good of us all.

Love is often misunderstood in our society today because it has become more about our sexual desires and intimacy than about a way to feel for the people around us. Some have made it an untouchable subject to the point where they are afraid or embarrassed to say it to anyone. Others have misused their “I love yous” making them a means to gain the affection of others and it has only brought them heart ache, to them love is meaningless. No matter where we are in context to our feelings about love society has made it complicated. Love is doing good and being kind to others even if we get nothing in return.

Lord what would our world be like if we learned to love like you? Help us not to make love untouchable to us nor rob ourselves by misrepresenting it until it is meaningless. Love is most simply kindness, to see people are protected from harm and that their needs are provided for before our own. We ask that you would show us radical ways to express love to our neighbors and fellow man. Also open us up to be loved when it is shown to us. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesdays Torch has been viewed in countries all across the globe through our website and social media. We pray the words of every Torch will sink into the hearts and minds of readers. Please share Tuesdays Torch and encourage others with it. To partner with Tuesdays Torch and help expand our reach please contact us. We pray the Lord will touch our readers. All of what Christ did was so we would believe. He told us not to believe because of what He said but in what He did (John 14:11). Every Tuesday we talk about what He did and is still doing. The best thing God’s done is send His Son so we could be saved (John 3:16). If anyone is not a believer we pray they will invite the Lord into their lives by asking Him to forgive their sins and believing that He is the Son of God. Please share testimonies, feedback or encouraging words by email at: tuesdaystorch@gmail.com we enjoy hearing from you. Look out for next Tuesdays Torch on our website http://www.tuesdaystorch.com , by email, on Facebook as Tuesdays Torch or Twitter @tuesdaystorch Thanks and God Bless!

No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. Luke 8:16

 
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Posted by on 05/23/2017 in Torches

 

Tuesdays Torch week 435

Tuesday’s Torch

05/16/17

By: Tim Sader

If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. (2 Corinthians 11:30)

I spent countless playing videogames as a teen; it was a way for me to escape and enjoy something that I could control. When I wasn’t playing games I spent the remainder of my time outside in the neighborhood. The first week in our new home I would ride my chair up and down the street, around the block and to the park. Some of the first people I met lived beside eachother next to the mill; many of their families worked at through the years. Terry and Janet kept an eye on Ricky and Steven who were his little cousins during the day while their parents were at work. The Garrett’s were a multi-generational family they lived with Terry’s parents had a four year old daughter Terrus and a son Kelin who was two. My brother and I had long hair cut into mullets. Don’t be hating! Ricky and Steven asked Terry if he saw the ugly girls who moved in down the street. Personally I think they were in love; just kidding, we became friends with them almost right away. Then we met Terry, he had a heart condition and was unable to work so he was at home when our parents were at work. Terry was a big kid himself. He liked movies, played videogames, was creative and crafty. When we got bored he came up with things for us to do. He helped me perfect my chess skills and taught me how to talk southern. We had bon fires, camping trips in his yard and built forts in the woods behind his house. We learned about tough times in his generation, tying knots, using knives, handling guns and using a cross bow. Terry was like a scout leader, he would talk to us kids and trusted us with things our parents probably wouldn’t have allowed. I was the oldest kid on the block so I saw Terry as a friend whose perspective on things helped me gain confidece. Later he ran into some trouble with the law because of his probation and they left York in the middle of the night. Five years later the law caught up with him and he called out to me from the window of a police car when they rode past me in town. He took care of his legal issues and a few weeks later their family moved back into the same house they rented when we first met.

When the Garrett’s left I was only seventeen but was twenty-two when they came back. As soon as I finished my time at school in Columbia, SC I started hanging out with Terry again. I was into partying and he could drink so we celebrated my graduation with a bottle of rum. We had a lot of fun hanging out, partying and going to karaoke. He still gave me good advice, we talked about everything, dreamed up businesses and inventions. Some things I learned from Terry were not to dispise my weaknesses, to accept myself and laugh in the midst of my circumstances. He was fat, I was cripple and even these were not outside of our joking with one another. Though mixed in with our misbehaving we shared many conversations about the Lord and our personal beliefs in Him. We have many differences in what we believe spiritually and we were not shy about debating our view points. Neither of us were always completely wrong sometimes one of us or both would be right. Through our debating we seemed to grow in our relationship with God. Iron sharpens iron and we sharpened each others faith (Pr. 27:17). Terry and I love like friends but through our differences and in times of adversity we have become like family (Pr. 17:17). The Garretts have been there for us and we have been with them sometimes when noone else was there. Distance now separates us again but we never forsake friendship. There is little running to family 1500 miles away so friends and neighbors have been our support system when family couldn’t (Pr. 27:10). Terry showed me we may have a thorn in the flesh and like the apostle Paul says the grace of God is sufficient in our weakness. We can boast in our hardship and difficulties because when we are weak God is strong (2 Cor. 12:7-10).

Lord I ask that when we have times of fellowship and don’t agree on everything that other perspectives would help us grow in our faith. If faced with challenges to our faith from opponents help us to share you in a positive way and not be swayed by strange doctrine that is contrary to your word. Friendship is an important part of human growth it is how we learn to love others. Help us to develop friendships that challenge us to love and for them to do the same from us. Help our dysfunction smooth out our rough edges so we can be brothers and sisters worthy to call you our Lord. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesdays Torch has been viewed in countries all across the globe through our website and social media. We pray the words of every Torch will sink into the hearts and minds of readers. Please share Tuesdays Torch and encourage others with it. To partner with Tuesdays Torch and help expand our reach please contact us. We pray the Lord will touch our readers. All of what Christ did was so we would believe. He told us not to believe because of what He said but in what He did (John 14:11). Every Tuesday we talk about what He did and is still doing. The best thing God’s done is send His Son so we could be saved (John 3:16). If anyone is not a believer we pray they will invite the Lord into their lives by asking Him to forgive their sins and believing that He is the Son of God. Please share testimonies, feedback or encouraging words by email at: tuesdaystorch@gmail.com we enjoy hearing from you. Look out for next Tuesdays Torch on our website http://www.tuesdaystorch.com , by email, on Facebook as Tuesdays Torch or Twitter @tuesdaystorch Thanks and God Bless!

No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. Luke 8:16

 
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Posted by on 05/16/2017 in Torches

 

Tuesdays Torch week 434

Tuesday’s Torch

05/09/17

By: Tim Sader

Who can live and not see death, or who can escape the power of the grave? (Psalm 89:48)

After moving to South Carolina and becoming friends with the neighborhood kids, at school sometimes it felt like I was alone and despised by my peers. Video games became an escape to me from reality on many levels. Luckily in my neighborhood there wasn’t much for kids to do so when we hung out it was often to play video games together. I loved console video games and was a hardcore gamer. It didn’t matter what game it was I would play until I mastered it or beat the notorious final boss. I had friends better than me at some games but when it wasn’t against another person I almost always won. I started playing Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt at my cousin’s house in the late eighties. A year or two later my parents got me the original Sega and a few games to go with it. Soon the Sega Genesis came out and quickly replaced the inferior Sega system when I got it for Christmas. I liked gaming on the Genesis but still enjoyed Nintendo every chance I got so the next Christmas my dad got a deal on a Nintendo with about 50 games. Having both consoles resolved many fights over not wanting to share with my brother. When I moved to South Carolina these were the game systems that came with me. My neighbor Joe had a Sega Genesis to so we got to trade games and became best friends and fellow game enthusiasts. He was a bit more dedicated to them I think because he subscribed to gamer magazines and always wanted to have new systems first. He had the lesser known consoles the Panasonic 3DO and Atari Jaguar which were best until Sony Play Station replaced them. After he got one my brother and I wanted one but couldn’t afford it. My brother still had his Make-A-Wish though and decided to ask for a Bose media room with a Play Station for an ultimate upgrade to our gaming needs. We were forever dedicated to Play Station upgrading each time they released a next generation console. I played video games on the Play Station until I could no longer hold the control well enough to play. Losing this ability was a big loss in my life because in those games I could escape it all when I needed to.

There is no way for us to live and escape the grave. In video games that possibility exists; if a video game character is killed they get as many chances needed to survive that scene. Living with a disease that makes life feel uncertain at times it is nice to get another chance to survive. I might have been unpopular with my peers at school because I was confined by what made me different. I had an escape though and video games was that needed reprieve for me (Ps. 88:8). Video games are just entertainment but sometimes foolish if we are more wrapped up in the illusion than reality. The wise plant their feet on solid ground (Pr. 14:18). Against all illusion and fantasy and empty talk there’s always this rock foundation. That rock is our God if we fear Him we have a solid foundation (Eccl. 5:7). If God sees to wild flowers that may never be seen He will take care of our needs. He wants us to relax and trust Him to supply all our needs. Most people are busy trying to do it all alone but if we know God we will trust in how He works. We will lack nothing we need; He will see to all of our concerns (Mt. 6:30-33). I enjoyed playing video games because it was something I could learn to well. I did this just for the thrill of winning nothing real. When we choose the way of the Lord we are in it for real and the prize we win is one that lasts forever. We are not running aimlessly or only beating the air (1 Cor. 9:25-26). We are in it for real but we can be sure to win in this life if we trust in God and allow Him to lead us to victory.

Entertainment is necessary at times but not if it is the primary focus of our existence. Any kind of life where we do not focus on the Lord is just an illusion in comparison to the life we find in Him. Without Him there is no real life beyond the grave but Christ defeated the power of death and gave us the opportunity to live with Him forever. Video games helped me escape but that is unnecessary if our foundation is the Lord. In Him we have the victory!

Lord I ask that when we need an escape we would not turn to what is an illusion but that we would run to you.  We often look around and base reality only what we can see in the here and now when most of what God does is unseen. Lord help us to trust in what you’re doing beyond our sight even when present circumstance says the opposite true. You see beyond what is right now so help us look to you so we can have a future. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesdays Torch has been viewed in countries all across the globe through our website and social media. We pray the words of every Torch will sink into the hearts and minds of readers. Please share Tuesdays Torch and encourage others with it. To partner with Tuesdays Torch and help expand our reach please contact us. We pray the Lord will touch our readers. All of what Christ did was so we would believe. He told us not to believe because of what He said but in what He did (John 14:11). Every Tuesday we talk about what He did and is still doing. The best thing God’s done is send His Son so we could be saved (John 3:16). If anyone is not a believer we pray they will invite the Lord into their lives by asking Him to forgive their sins and believing that He is the Son of God. Please share testimonies, feedback or encouraging words by email at: tuesdaystorch@gmail.com we enjoy hearing from you. Look out for next Tuesdays Torch on our website http://www.tuesdaystorch.com , by email, on Facebook as Tuesdays Torch or Twitter @tuesdaystorch Thanks and God Bless!

No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. Luke 8:16

 
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Posted by on 05/09/2017 in Torches