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DECEMBER 15, 2017

Big Sandy Area Development District raised largest amount for statewide food drive

Big Sandy Area Development District took the overall award having raised nearly 1/3 of a pound of food per person in their district.Big Sandy Area Development District took the overall award having raised nearly 1/3 of a pound of food per person in their district.

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes and representatives from the Kentucky Association of Food Banks (KAFB) and the Kentucky Council of Area Development Districts presented the inaugural Commonwealth of Kentucky Bowl on Thursday, the prize for gathering the most food in a statewide food drive held in October.

Big Sandy Area Development District took the overall award having raised nearly 1/3 of a pound of food per person in their district. The rural district winner is the Purchase Area Development District, and the Northern Kentucky Area Development District is the urban area winner.

"Far too many Kentuckians face hunger daily – nearly one in five, and in some parts of the state one in three kids. The need is great, and continues to be," said Grimes. "But, Kentucky's area development districts have stepped up in a huge way to help, raising an amount equivalent to more than 250,000 pounds. This will provide a lot of relief this holiday season through Kentucky's amazing food banks."

The 250,000 pounds collected is enough food for 2,525 people served by KAFB for an entire year or 208,333 meals, according to the food banks association. Every $1 donated returned $8 or more in food to the community.

The 15 area development districts across Kentucky collected food and monetary donations in the inaugural campaign from Oct. 16 through Oct. 27.

The Office of the Secretary of State, the Kentucky Council of Area Development Districts (KCADD), and the Kentucky Association of Food Banks partnered to create the competition.

Proceeds and goods generated from the competition will directly aid the members of the KAFB – an organization that distributes over 63 million meals to 1 in 7 Kentuckians annually in partnership with a network of 800 local charitable feeding organizations. Its members serve all 120 counties in Kentucky.

"Kentucky's food bank network is so grateful for impact the inaugural Commonwealth of Kentucky Bowl will have on hunger. Thanks to the efforts of KCADD and the leadership of Secretary Grimes, our struggling neighbors across the Commonwealth will benefit from increased resources in the fight against hunger," said Tamara Sandberg, executive director of KAFB, upon the announcement of the results.

Grimes has been a champion for solving Kentucky's hunger issues since she took office in 2012, including being instrumental in the Farms to Food Banks tax credits legislation, and before she was elected to public office. She is a longtime volunteer at the Salvation Army, serving the Thanksgiving meal at her local service center for more than 30 years. She also has served on the board of God’s Pantry Food Bank.

 

Date: 12-15-2017

Kentucky Appeals Court ruling revives Bevin's Planned Parenthood lawsuit over abortions

The Kentucky Court of Appeals has ruled a lawsuit by Gov. Matt Bevin's administration that had claimed Planned Parenthood illegally provided abortions at its clinic in downtown Louisville was wrongly dismissed.

The ruling on Friday sent the case back to the lower court.

While the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services "may have a difficult time proving its allegations we believe said allegations are sufficient to state a claim upon which relief can be granted," a three-judge panel ruled.

Courier Journal reported in July 2016 that in dismissing the lawsuit filed by Bevin's general counsel, Steve Pitt, Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Mitch Perry found that the reproductive health organization had — as it had claimed — been following directions of state officials when it began offering abortions in December as part of its effort to obtain a state license.

Planned Parenthood had sought the license last in 2015 from the administration of former Gov. Steve Beshear, a Democrat, and produced documentation from state officials directing Planned Parenthood to open the clinic and begin providing all services, including abortions, so it could be inspected and be granted a license. Officials with the Beshear administration told Planned Parenthood its licensing application was complete and fulfilled requirements.

But the license had not yet been issued when Bevin became governor in December. His administration ordered the clinic to stop providing abortions and claimed the license application was deficient.

Bevin's lawyers had responded by suing Planned Parenthood, seeking fines of more than $500,000 for 23 abortions provided at the clinic.

 

December 15, 2017

What Then Will This Child Be?

by Mark Fulmer

...Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father, but his mother answered, "No; he shall be called John." And they said to her, "None of your relatives is called by this name." And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him to be called. And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote, "His name is John." And they all wondered. And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea, and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, "What then will this child be?" For the hand of the Lord was with him.

Zechariah's Prophecy

And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying,

"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,for he has visited and redeemed his people and has raised up a horn of salvation for usin the house of his servant David, as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us; to show the mercy promised to our fathersand to remember his holy covenant, the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his peoplein the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us or when the sunrise shall dawn upon us; some manuscripts since the sunrise has visited us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and
in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."

And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.

Luke 1:57-80 (https://pcpc.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=eba67192d3a27da52e93fefb8&id=65b3744881&e=82a9a8f891)

Most of human history would have called the idea preposterous. Just the thought of such a thing would have been regarded as fantasy. Oh, we've had our lamps and lanterns and torches and hearths. But the notion that simply flipping a switch could instantly blast away the shadows? That would have seemed pure folly. Think of it. The common use of the common light bulb has only occurred since about 1880. Before that, people everywhere lived with the ever-present reality of creeping darkness just beyond the tiny glow of the fire.

Living in a world lit only by flame is hard for us to imagine. But remember the panic we feel when the storms get bad and the lights go out? In an instant, you rush for the candles or hope for fresh batteries or stumble to find the frightened child. Those few minutes of unwelcomed darkness are a palpable reminder that darkness can overcome us. The blackness of the storm feels thick and sticky. We are swallowed by it.

It's no wonder that Scripture so often uses the imagery of darkness to teach us of the pernicious power of sin. The Bible makes plain that when sin entered the world, and when sin controls our heart, we live in the shadowy dark valley of death. And all of us, when we strain to see in the inky blackness of our own soul, long for the sunrise. Even in our electrified, night-light world, we are right to be afraid in that kind of darkness. If we're honest, our hearts cry out, "When will the light come on? Who will comfort me in the dark?"

It's no wonder that God, in His mercy, promised a savior who would destroy the darkness. The prophet Isaiah proclaimed, "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone" (Isaiah 9:2). And John the Baptist's dad, when he could finally speak again, said about his son,

"And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” (Luke 1:76-79)

It's no wonder that the Apostle John begins his account of Jesus by teaching us,

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." (John 1:1-5)

It's no wonder that the Lord Jesus would use language that every human heart understands when He proclaimed, "Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life'" (John 8:12).

And it's no wonder that the wonder of Christmas bids us come. Come into the light. He will drive away your darkness. Thanks be to God!

About the Author

Mark Fulmer
Elder
Park Cities Presbyterian Church

Mark Fulmer is an elder at Park Cities Presbyterian Church, and along with Steve Vanderhill, teaches the New Creations Sunday School class.

 


God's Holy Fire from Heartlight

God's Holy Fire is a daily devotional about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
  • Before He Is Born

    He [John the Baptizer]  will be a joy and delight to you [his parents], and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born.

    Luke 1:14-15 NIV

    Key Thought

    Some of the Old Testament prophets — Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Joel — had spoken of God's coming time when the Holy Spirit would be active and present for all the faithful. Luke is the gospel that most clearly picks up on this theme and tells the story of Jesus with a strong emphasis on the work of the Holy Spirit. As we move this next week through what we normally call the Christmas season, listen to Luke's emphasis on the importance of the Holy Spirit in Jesus' coming. From his forerunner, John the Baptizer, through every step of his conception, birth, and ministry, Jesus' life is tied to the power and blessing of the Holy Spirit. John the Baptizer is the promised forerunner who prepares the way for Jesus. John is filled with the Holy Spirit even before his birth. Jesus' coming is the work of God. This work begins even before Jesus is conceived in the womb of Mary. We are reminded that greatness in God's kingdom is defined by our willingness to live for Jesus and be filled with and led by the Holy Spirit.

    Today's Prayer

    Almighty God, you have revealed yourself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. While I do not claim to comprehend the depth and fullness of this truth, I thank you that you have worked in our world in marvelous ways to reveal yourself and make your presence known. I thank you, Abba Father, for creating me and knowing me and revealing yourself to me in Jesus and living within me through the Holy Spirit. I offer myself to live for you and be filled and led by your Holy Spirit. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.


    Ⓒ 1996-2017 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. The Thoughts and Prayer for God's Holy Fire are written by Phil Ware.

    Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

    Scripture quotations marked MESSAGE are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

  • Fountains of Endless Life

    Jesus said, "Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst — not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life."

    John 4:13-14 MESSAGE

    Key Thought

    "Gushing fountains of endless life" really captures Jesus' message here. These fountains correspond with "the river of the water of life" and "living water" in other places in John's writings (Revelation 22:1, 7:17). The Spirit is a living gift — dynamic and powerful, not static and lifeless. While we may not be able to take in the full drink of this blessing now, the life we receive and the hope the Spirit gives and the assurance of sharing in the great blessings with the Father forever are more than anything comparable in this life. Remember these words from what Jesus offers: "never thirst... artesian spring... gushing fountains... endless life." These promises are what the Holy Spirit means to us and what the Spirit of the Living God brings to our lives. They bring the hope and power that the Spirit of Christ gives to us and makes alive in us!

    Today's Prayer

    Thank you, heavenly Father, for the Holy Spirit! I want to drink deeply of this living water and recognize the gushing fountains of endless life that the Spirit brings. Come, O Holy Spirit, with your refreshing and rushing waters and satiate my dry and brittle soul and enable me to recognize the grace that is mine in Jesus. In his name, I pray. Amen.


    Ⓒ 1996-2017 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. The Thoughts and Prayer for God's Holy Fire are written by Phil Ware.

    Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

    Scripture quotations marked MESSAGE are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.