Others

May 27, 2016

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Scripture

No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.

~I Corinthians 10:24, NIV

Quote

“We can raise ourselves by lifting up others.”

~Image Quotes

The Corinthian church had a serious problem; it was filled with selfish members. The church was divided into four groups and each group insisted on having their way. This selfish ambition destroyed their unity and was hurting their fellowship. Paul’s solution to the problem was to challenge them to grow up and learn to put others first.

We are born with a self-centered tendency that demands attention and preeminence. Chloe, our youngest grandchild is four and she acts like a four year old, which is OK. She wants all the attention and everything must go her way or she gets bent out of shape. What can be cute and adorable in a four year old is annoying in a fourteen year old. It is sickening in a twenty-four year old and disgusting in a thirty-four year old. A lot of people have the ability to be parents {father or give birth to a child} but very few these days have the ability to put their children first. It is the curse of the 21st Century.

Sometimes I want to pick them up an shake them and scream in their face–“It is not about you…it is time for you to get over you…grow up, be a man [woman]…put your children’s needs first…no, I really don’t care if you are happy…It is not about you…don’t you get it…it is not about you!” Senior Adults can be guilty also: we have had our opportunities, it is time to encourage those who are younger to lead. Unfortunately, the older we get, the more we are prone to acting like the four year old. We must resist this temptation and put others first.

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  • God is good all the time. We had another great visit with Hope last night. You would not believe the difference; I can’t believe it myself–Thank YOU Jesus! Eddie and Sue were on their way in from Orange Beach, they joined us for the worship celebration and visited with Hope for what little time we had after the service. We are blessed to have such good friends. Hope continues to get cards. I think she got seven yesterday including one from Vellene and Cousin Melanie. Thank you so much: we are endebted to you for a life time.
  • As we move toward Memorial Day, keep in mind the changes for SUNDAY–One service at 10:15. Coffee, donuts and biscuits at 9:30 in the parlor.
  • Everyone on the beach hollow I. Just kidding! Hope you guys have a good time. Poor old Big Mama and I are brokenhearted, home alone! Chloe loves the beach but wants to come home at night to sleep in her bed. 
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I am pumped about MEMORIAL DAY!

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The Amen

May 26, 2016

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Scripture

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.

~2 Corinthians 1:20, NIV

Quote

The Old Testament is a book of prophecies and promises but a part from Christ, these promises are worthless.

~Ya’akov

Paul said in Ephesians 1:4, “Every spiritual blessing comes through Christ.” You cannot name one exception. Forgiveness, peace, purpose, privilege of prayer, justification…you name it, they all come through Christ. This is why so many Jews hate Jesus. Although Jews have been privileged as the chosen people, it gives them no advantage unless they repent of their sins and turn to Christ, which they refuse to do. Jews cannot secure the spiritual blessings of God without coming to Christ and neither can anyone else.

Paul went on to say...He destined us for adoption as His children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace that He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace that He lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight He has made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure that He set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth.
Did you notice all those possessive pronouns? His children, His will, His glorious grace, His blood, His Son, His good pleasure, His plan, . It is God’s plan {He set it forth} to gather all things, in heaven and earth, in HIM [Jesus]. Christ rejecting Zionism has no future. Israel has no future a part from Christ. God has one door–Jesus. He has one way–Jesus. He has one plan–Jesus. Get with the plan!
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  • Good crowd at church last night: I was pleasantly surprised. Thank You Jesus.
  • Revised schedule for Sunday: Donuts and biscuits at 9:30, and worship at 10:15. No Deacons meeting, No LCBS and no PM services.
  • Election June 5,12: Pastor Search Team. Business meeting June 12 after am worship.

VBS June 12-17

Expectancy

May 10, 2016

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Scripture

For we know that up to the present time all of creation groans with pain, like the pain of childbirth. But it is not just creation alone which groans; we who have the Spirit as the first of God’s gifts also groan within ourselves as we wait for God to make us his children and set our whole being free.
Romans 8:22-23, GNT

Quote

Waiting does not diminish an expectant mother.
Eugene L. Petterson
If you have been born again, you were impregnated with the imperishable seed of God which is not subject to death.{I Peter 1:23, I John 39} Paul told the Galatians, If you belong to Christ, then you are the descendants {seed} of Abraham and will receive what God has promised. {Galatians 3:29} Then in chapter four of Galatians, Paul said, My dear children! Once again, just like a mother in childbirth, I feel the same kind of pain for you until Christ’s nature is formed in you. In Romans 8:10-11 reads…But if Christ lives in you, the Spirit is life for you because you have been put right with God, even though your bodies are going to die because of sin. If the Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from death, lives in you, then he who raised Christ from death will also give life to your mortal bodies by the presence of his Spirit in you.
Just as a baby is formed in the mother’s womb, so Christ is being formed in you. You are the expectant mother and your waiting will not diminished the seed/life within you. Today mothers know what sex their child will be but they don’t know exactly what to expect appearance wise. So we too, know that Christ is being formed in us but we wait with expectancy to see the final revelation and the glory of the life within.
Have you noticed the glory of the plant is far greater than that of the seed. We talk about beautiful flowers but we do not talk about beautiful seed. Don’t lose sleep over the appearance of the seed. The Artist is still at work and you will be a masterpiece.
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  • We had 295 yesterday which is 100 lest than four years ago but I had 7 in Bessemer and some were at the beach, some at the Kentucky Derby, some at decoration and some backslidden. We had a good service and Kenny is indeed a talented man. He has the gifts we need for the Block Party so I invited him back. He will be with us August 13th for Block Party and August 14th for am worship. His last album was pure country and he is sending me a disc. My intentions are to get Carol Lynn to play some of his music between now and August 13. If I were to go to Pigeon Forge, I would take in his show but I don’t think anyone here had seen him perform. He doesn’t just perform, he preaches. If you missed him, I will tell you how good he is: my entire family liked him, all generations and this happens rarely.
  • Hope is doing well: actually, we are thrilled at her progress. When she checked in a couple of weeks back, she was not reading at all. Now, she is reading her cards and I carried her a new interactive bible last Thursday and hopefully, she is reading the devotions. The cards are playing a major roll in her recovery so keep sending cards. THE FOUNDRY, 1801 5th Ave. N., Bessemer, AL 35020.
  • I have an Aunt just North of Athens who is suffering from cancer. She has not eaten in days and she did not wake up while I was there Sunday. She is a precious woman who epitomizes all the fruits of the Spirit.
  • What about some real good news: Anthony Shaneyfelt restarted the middle Adult II Couples Class and they had 14 yesterday. Just proved what we already knew, you grow by starting classes not combining them.
  • Hannah and Sylaina have the 3 year old class and they always have a room full, always. This class is never down. There is about 17 of them and they average 14 per week. All of you who oppose the play ground, sign up in the foyer. We will put you in the 3 year old class for 2 weeks and you will change your mind about a play ground.
  • This Sunday the mission offering will go to the Graduates. We have a record 102 graduating this year. Just think how big Danville High would be if these land barons would share the land.
Kenny evans

Kenny Evans returns August 13-14

Phobeō

May 5, 2016

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Scripture

For I am afraid [phobeō] that when I come I won’t like what I find, and you won’t like my response.

~2 Corinthians 12:20

Quote

The fears we refuse to face become our limits.

~Image Quotes

It is hard to believe that the great Apostle Paul had fears but he did and more than one. In 2 Corinthians 12:20, he is afraid that he would be disappointed when he got to Corinth. He was afraid he would find discord, jealousy, heated debates, disputes, defamation of character, gossip, arrogance and disorder. Discord means strife, wrangling, long heated debates where neither side is willing to concede. Jealousy is a J word for envy. The word disputes means contention, competition, electioneering, a desire to put one’s self forward, partisanship. Gossip is a form of secret slander {I have something to tell you but you can’t tell anyone I told you}. Arrogance means to be puffed up, full of hot air with no substance. Disorder is instability, disturbance and confusion.

Any one of the eight things on Paul’s list is enough to create anxiety. Thank God, it was not as bad as Paul feared. Some times are fears and anxieties can exaggerate the situation. Anxiety is our Que to pray.

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  • If our adults were as faithful as our YOUTH, we could have revival. They fill there section up for the GATHERING. I would love to see the house full one time before I retire but it would take a REVIVAL to do it. I’m not talking about a Revival Meeting, I am talking about a REVIVAL.
  • GOLDEN GIRLS Saturday at Cracker Barrel in Hartselle.
  • Ronnie Earley’s surgery went good, as good as could be expected. He is in serious condition but so far, so good.
  • Jerry Randolph’s surgery is today at Princeton’s in B’ham.
  • The YOUTH mission trip has been moved to July 16-23.
  • LCBS and Worship Sunday morning with special guest Kenny Evans.
Kenny evans

Kenny Evans

Gratitude, Who Needs It?

April 27, 2016

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Scripture

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

~I Thessalonians 5:18, KJV

Quote

“Gratitude is a vaccine, an antitoxin, and an antiseptic.”

~John Henry Jowett

Without gratitude, you will live a miserable life. An ungrateful spirit will foul up everything. You will never be content; always wanting more. Your hope will lack perception and your faith will lack passion. You will limp through life without joy or celebration. If will even vex you when others celebrate. You will record all transgressions; keep track of every debt and be offended every time you are not recognized for your devotion and service. You will never know the joy of resting in His grace.

For those who have seen the holiness of God and the wretched depravity of the human heart, every thing is grace. We even learn to celebrate our weakness like Paul… His grace is sufficient for us and His power is perfected in our weakness. Most gladly, therefore, we will rejoice in our weakness, so that the power of Christ may dwell in us. {JEV} Paul said, “In every think give thanks.” It is God’s will for you to be thankful no matter what the circumstances. Paul said “In” everything not for everything.

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  • Ronnie Earley {Amy Penney’s dad} is battling three serious health problems. He has prostate cancer, colon cancer and needs heart surgery which at this time, they are not able to do. Please pray for Ronnie and Family. Joe David talked with him yesterday. He says Ronnie has a great attitude.
  • Very good report from Bessemer today: Thank YOU Jesus!
  • Two Celebration of Life Services today: Ida Hughes–Visitation from 11:00-1:00 and service at 1:00 at Peck. This is Willard’s aunt, his mother {Jackie} sister. Also Judy Blackwood’s mom, Beatrice Freeze service at 3:00.
  • THE GATHERING at 6:30 with the best praise and worship in the country. I may be a little prejudice but I put our guys up against any and they make great music on Wednesday night. I think they are more laid back.
  • Don’t forget those ROSES FOR MAMA on Mother’s Day. Sunday is your last day.
  • Looking ahead: May 8th–Kenny Evans [Pigeon Forge], May 15th–Ken Blackwood, May 22nd–Baccalaureate, May 29th–LCBS Party Night. Vacation Bible School–June 13-17.
Granddad Lexi and Lara

Our Two Seniors have less than a month

Useful

April 26, 2016

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Scripture

The Lord grant mercy to the house of Onesiphorus,  for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains.

2 Timothy 1:16, NASB

Quote

Keep people in your life who truly love you, motivate you, encourage you and make you laugh.

~Image Quotes

 

Paul is a revered and highly esteemed Apostle, Evangelist, Missionary,,Theologian and Apologist. We are prone to forget one of the reasons he accomplished so much; Paul had a lot of Christian friends. Among those was Onesiphorus from Ephesus. Let’s take a moment and admire the characteristics of Onesiphorus {Useful}.

  1. He was a refreshing spirit. The Greek word used for refreshing means to cool down as with a fan, breeze, a shower, a cool drink. All these things were essential in the hot and arid Middle East climate. Onesiphorus was a breath of fresh air. He was a joy to be around. He had the gift of making you see the bright side. He was probably a jolly man like our own Jesse.
  2. He was a man of extraordinary courage. Paul admired him for coming to Rome at such a critical time. Nero was on the rampage and every Christian in Rome was in danger. Most of Paul’s friends had gotten out of town. Onesiphorus was unafraid. We know he got to Paul and encouraged him but we don’t know if he made it back home. Some have speculated that he was killed on his trip back to Ephesus but there is evidence that he became the lead pastor at Ephesus and was martyred very near the city. I admire a man with courage. 
  3. He was not ashamed of Paul’s chains. Some naive people associate jail with guilt. If you go to jail, your life is stained forever but Paul went to jail many times and never as an evil doer. If your friends are not willing to bear some reproach in your name, they are not really your friends. I’m quit sure he knew Paul was in prison when he began seeking him out. He sought him out anyway.
  4. Onesiphorus was appreciated by Paul. Would I be honored if Franklin Graham mentioned me in next months decision magazine?  He will not because I don’t know him personally and have not helped him as Onesiphorus helped Paul. You get the idea, to make Paul’s friend list and get mentioned in one of his letters is a big deal and to be praised by Paul {the perfectionist} may be a bigger deal. You want a picture of Paul, look at Teddy Turrentine and take off at least one foot of statue and there you have it: Type A personality, highly driven and OCD. 

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  • We are definitely blessed and we appreciate all the prayers and cards. Hope is back at the Foundry. She was greeted yesterday by an old friend and fellow Morgan County girl so that helped; we considered it an answer to prayer. Hope is very depressed but physically she is stronger.
  • We did not know many details about the accident Saturday night where the two girls were killed in a freak accident. Our hearts go out to Robert and Wendy Greenhaw and the young man driving the car or truck. We just thought we had problems: when we heard how much Robert and Wendy were hurting, we realized our problem wasn’t as big as we thought. It changed our perspective.
  • Actually, my perspective got changed Saturday night when some friends came by and told us about their predicament. Again, our problem pales in comparison and I did not have a clue. I’m glad they shared their situation with me; it got me thinking about someone other than myself which is always a good thing.
  • Judy Blackwood’s mother, Beatrice Freeze took her departure last evening about 7:30. She was in the tiny house behind Keith’s and Judy’s. Bea had COPD. She was really laboring to breath when I was there earlier in the evening. I celebrate Bea’s homegoing, no one wanted to see her suffer.
  • We’ve been so busy, we forgot to congratulate Brent and Bobby Breedlove on the arrival of their baby girls Brentis. She is a pretty little thing, looks like Bobby, thank goodness.

Life That is Truly Life

April 23, 2016

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Scripture

 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

~I Timothy 6:18-19

Quote

Giving does not diminish our life; it enriches our life and brings us into an entirely new dimension.

~Ya’akov

I make no apology for preaching stewardship and I have sound biblical reasons for doing so. In 1 Timothy, Paul is admonishing his son in the ministry {Timothy} to be very careful. Greed is a temptation for preachers. It can be a trap that leads to ruin and destruction and it must be avoided. Paul told Timothy, “Don’t pursue wealth, rather pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.” Not only was Timothy to guard against greed in his own life, he was to warn others of the dangers associated with greed. Paul told Timothy to command those who were rich to:

  • Put their faith in God who provides us with wealth for our enjoyment.
  • Be rich in good deeds for others.
  • Be generous and willing to share.

What was Paul’s reasoning for commanding Timothy to address the problem of greed? The answer is found in verse 19, “So that they [rich] may take hold of the life that is truly life. I was addressing the issue of giving a few Wednesday nights ago and a layman who is a professional bow hunter came to me after the service making this exact point–Giving enriches the life of the giver. No miser enjoys life. Adam was the richest man who has ever lived: he had rights to all the timber, minerals, water, land, etc. but he wasn’t happy because he had no one in which to share this unbelievable wealth.

So there is life and there is true life. Some people exist but they never live. They never live because they never comprehend the key to true living which is giving.

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  • Another beautiful Spring Day, Thank You Jesus!
  • I forgot to mention yesterday that it was Holly’s birthday [36] and also Jennifer Garner’s. I am not going to tell you how old Jennifer is but when I was 29, she was 19.
  • Don’t forget our Mother’s Day Special: Kenny Evans of Pigeon Forge, TN. The man reminds me of Ronnie Shipley. I think Kenny is a big hunter, I can’t wait to introduce him to the world champion Female Bow shooter.
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Kenny Evans

Beyond Exaggeration

April 22, 2016

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Scripture

For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.

~2 Corinthians 4:17, NASB

Quote

Infinite realities cannot be exaggerated by a finite mentalities.

~Ya’akov

As I was preparing a sermon from the text above, I paused for prayer and confessed to my Father that I could not understand verses 17-18. After uttering a few words of desperate prayer, I glanced down into the commentary that I had been reading for more than three hours and bingo, I saw a Greek word that I had missed. The word is hyperbole. I kid you not, we use this word in our English vocabulary just as it is in Greek.

An hyperbole is a figure of speech, an exaggerated statement or claim that makes a point but is not meant to be taken literally. An example is: “I am so hungry, I could eat a horse.” I have used this particular hyperbole many times and I have never eaten one bite of horse.

In the above verse, the Greek word for the English word ‘far’ is hyperbole. Paul is literally saying, Our momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory that cannot be exaggerated. The Greek word for weight is used only 6 times in N.T. and four of the six, it is translated ‘burden’ and only here as a ‘weight.’ There is little doubt that Paul is speaking of some type of reward for those who suffer persecution and affliction for Christ sake because it is a ‘glorious’ weight but no actual burden. The Greek word for glory is ‘doxa’ which means splendor, majesty, brightness, magnificence, dignity and grace.

For those who are persecuted and afflicted for Christ sake, there is a reward beyond exaggeration. When you think about it, there are a lot of things that cannot be exaggerated: Heaven, hell, and God Himself to name a few. Can you exaggerate any attribute of God? Nope! When you are exhausted from telling us how much God loves, it will be only an ion of the reality.

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  • I forgot to mention yesterday that Ruth Livingston has been in hospital and is being moved to Moulton for rehab.
  • Lara and Lexi will be graduating May 24th, just one month from now. Lara needed a childhood picture of her in uniform and Granddaddy was the only person who had one. Lara says that Seth and Lexi get all the attention.  Bless her heart!
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Lara and Lexi members of the County Champion Danville Diamonds

Down But Not Out

April 20, 2016

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Scripture 

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 

~2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Quote

Everyone gets knocked down, this is reality but not everyone stays down, this is perseverance.

~Ya’akov

Paul was a avid sports fan. I know this because of the conversations he had. First Corinthians 9:24-27 contains four sports terms. The Greek word for track, training, boxing and disqualification are all in this passage. We’ve had Olympic games for over 3,000 years. Though Paul was familiar with Track and Field, I think his passion was boxing. I love the way the Living Bible states 2 Corinthians 4:9, “We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going.”

We are born with a tenacious spirit. When an infant begins to walk, they fall more than walk but notice how they keep getting up and going again until they get it down to pat. Life can throw some vicious punches along with some mean left hooks. I have found myself face down on the canvas more than once. Even the best boxers have spent some time on the canvas, we all get knocked down from time to time but those who advance are those who get up and go another round. We must have a “No quit” attitude.

Paul was not familiar with American football but I like to paraphrase verse 9 like this, “I get injured but I don’t take myself out of the game.” The key to the Christian life is learning to play hurt.

What about a little half-time pep talk from the coach. Suck it up you bunch of pansies, grow some skin: so some hypocrite hurt your feelings. Man up and get over it. You are not going to let someone smaller than yourself keep you down, are you? Stop making excuses, everyone gets their feelings hurt, get up and get in the game.

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  • Love this weather.
  • This Sunday we have a full schedule: Deacon’s meeting at 8:15, LCBS at 9:15, Worship at 10:15 and 6:15. AWANA and Visitation at 5:30.
  • May is coming and you know what that means: Roses for Mama on the 8th and special guest Kenny Evans. AWANA awards night May 15th. Baccalaureate May 22nd and LCBS Class Party night on the 29th. We also have a COMMUNION on Sunday morning May 22nd.
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Kenny Evans Coming May 8th

Remember My Chains

April 2, 2016

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SCRIPTURE

 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.

~Colossians 4:18, NIV

QUOTE

I am not a product of my circumstances; I am a product of my decisions.

~Stephen Covey

The unusual thing about Paul’s letter to the church at Colossae is that Paul had never visited this church, he knows this congregation through Epaphras, one of Paul devoted followers. Epaphras was a native of Colossae and the founder of the Church. Paul writes from Rome where he is under house arrest and is chained to a Roman guard. Not the best of circumstances, wouldn’t you agree?

The letter Paul writes is very upbeat and perhaps the most Christ exalting piece of literature in existence. The letter is laced with thanksgiving, praise, instruction and encouragement. In the very last verse, Paul pleads for prayer,“Remember my chains.” The great apostle who prayed for others coveted prayer for himself. His chains are symbolic of his circumstances which were not ideal. Paul was restricted in his movement. He was not free to move about and continue his Missionary work.

I have read the letter to the Colossians many times but yesterday, I heard Paul’s heart for the first time, “Don’t forget to pray for me.” Remember my chains is subtle code for PRAY FOR ME! Most of us have less than ideal circumstances but we must not allow our circumstances to dictate our attitude. We are to act on our circumstances or else they will act on us.

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  • Great weather: Thank You Jesus!
  • GOLDEN GIRLS this morning at 9:00
  • Deacon’s Meeting Sunday @ 8:15
  • Senior Adult Day Sunday [Tomorrow]. Swamp John’s for lunch. Special offering for St. Jude’s. If you want to help with desserts, text Amy Garnett. If you would like to help serve, text Amy.
  • Gigi’s Baptism Sunday, April 3. I think that is tomorrow.
  • Franklin Graham Prayer Rally April 14.