June 30 spotlight

dealing with division

These articles focus on specific concerns deemed relevant to the Christian community.  We are observing the dividing lines between church and state. Click on the photo to read the story.  Articles are for information only and do not necessarily represent the views of Cornerstone Community Church.

  • persecution watch

    Massachusetts Governor Targets Crisis Pregnancy Centers Already Hit by Vandalism and Threats

    A new ad campaign by Massachusetts Governor Maura Healy tells women to avoid what it terms "anti-abortion centers," calling them unsafe.

    A TV spot by the state of Massachusetts says, "Whether you need pregnancy care or abortion care, avoid anti-abortion centers. They might look like medical clinics, but (they) try to limit your medical options if pregnant. Learn more and find care you can trust."

    The governor's office says the taxpayer-funded ad campaign is supposed to help women understand their full range of options. 

    There was no state investigation and no prosecutions after pregnancy resource centers were vandalized in the wake of the Dobbs decision, and pro-life workers say this new campaign puts their lives in even greater danger. 

    Diane O'Toole, Executive Director of the Boston Center for Pregnancy Choices, says, "Literally, we take our lives into our hands every time that we go into work because of all of the rhetoric that are simply lies about us." 

    THE BACK STORY: The Eye of the Storm: Crisis Pregnancy Centers in Massachusetts

    O'Toole says claims that the centers harm women are untrue.

    "There were four complaints filed in over 40 years of pregnancy resource centers being in existence. Two were filed by pro-abortion organizations, and the other two were probably not even clients because even the Attorney General's office found that they were baseless, so they didn't investigate them. So, we know for a fact that there was no legitimate reason for her as Attorney General to file a consumer advisory warning, which has remained posted on the state website," O'Toole said.

    In light of the attacks and threats made against pregnancy resource centers in the state, Sam Whiting, staff attorney at the Massachusetts Family Institute, accused Governor Healy of siding with the vandals. 

    "If these were abortion clinics, you better believe that the attorney general would be mustering all of their power to try to come after whoever did that vandalism," Whiting said. "If the state is really interested in giving women options, giving them all the choices possible and providing for women in need, what it should be doing is funding these centers, not attacking them."

    O'Toole said, "The other side says they're all about choice. But what I say is we are the ones who provide true choice because we provide education about the types of abortion. We provide emotional support and material support to enable women and men to choose life for themselves and abundant life in Christ." 

    Whiting says they're considering taking legal action against the state. 

    MORE

  • culture watch

    State Education Official Orders All Public Schools to Include Bible in Lessons

    Oklahoma's top education official ordered public schools to incorporate the Bible into lessons for grades five through 12 this week.

    State school superintendent Ryan Walters says his mandate is compulsory and “immediate and strict compliance is expected.” 

    He points out that since the Bible's influence on America and Western civilization has been foundational, students need to be educated about its role in U.S. and world history.

    "The Bible is an indispensable historical and cultural touchstone," Walters said. "Without basic knowledge of it, Oklahoma students are unable to properly contextualize the foundation of our nation which is why Oklahoma educational standards provide for its instruction."

    Walters has previously noted that America is in a culture war and he doesn't want “woke ideology” spread by the state's public schools.

    Left-wing groups have predictably threatened legal action calling the state school superintendent's move a violation of the U.S. Constitution. “Public schools are not Sunday schools,” said Rachel Laser, president and CEO of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

    Oklahoma law explicitly allows Bibles in the classroom and lets teachers use them in instruction.

    But earlier this week the Oklahoma Supreme Court blocked the state's attempt to launch the first publicly funded religious charter school in the U.S. 

    MORE

  • revival watch

    'Only God': Couple Finds Jesus After Previously Getting Married as Gay, Transgender

    “Only God can do that.”

    Those are the words of Lex Renick, a female who formerly identified as a transgender male before she and her husband — who used to identify as homosexual — came to faith in Jesus.

    Nic and Lex Renick got married on May 30, 2020, when both of them were living out their LGBT lifestyles. They have since turned away from their past decisions, with Lex restoring her female identity and returning to the name she was given at birth and Nic abandoning his homosexual identity.

    Listen to the latest episode of “Quick Start”

    The pair married one another as husband and husband but, since their respective salvation experiences, now identify as a heterosexual couple — husband and wife. They recently spoke with The Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles about their salvation experiences in a lengthy interview.

    Knowles, a Catholic, described the couple’s testimony as “one of the wildest stories I’ve ever heard.”

    In addition to restoring their live spiritually, Lex and Nic told Knowles they are seeing physical restoration. The two now share a healthy baby and, early on in their relationship, Lex underwent biopsies and was told she had cancerous cells in her body. But a doctor from Planned Parenthood recently told her, “This doesn’t make physical possible sense, but you no longer have any cancerous cells in your body.”

    “I think it just goes to show that anyone can transform or turn into anything that they want,” said Nic of their experience together. “But nobody talks about transforming back to the original design that you’re supposed to be.”

    He continued, “The world can tell you so much about who you’re ‘supposed to be’ based off of your interests or your personality type, and try to fit you into all of these crazy, outlandish boxes that might … make you feel included for a time.”

    For her part, Lex opened up about the fact she believed the “lie” of the LGBT community.

    “The whole world in the queer community was saying, ‘Well, you know if God made you then God made you this way,'” she recalled hearing. “[But] that argument doesn’t work with the trans community. Because, if we say, ‘God made me this way,’ then that means that I should have been a woman.”

    Lex went on to explain to Knowles she found solace in the LGBT community because she was desperate for identity and belonging — something she had not previously found in her family or faith.

    She grew up in an abusive household — one that claimed to be “Christian” — with a mother who struggled with alcoholism and even once told Lex, “If I would have known that you were going to be my child, I would have aborted you,” a comment her mother made after learning Lex struggled with her sexuality and gender identity.

    Every time she tried to find comfort and safety in her family or in a church, Lex said they would “reject me.” Ultimately, she found the belonging she desired in the LGBT movement.

    “I ran to this loving community, and that was the queer community, because they accepted me for me, not that I needed edifying or acceptance from the church,” she recalled. “I just needed a loving body of believers or family to wrap their arms around me and say, ‘Hey, we’re going to walk with you through this journey.’ But all I faced was rejection.”

    Nic, on the other hand, began identifying as homosexual as a teenager but never faced the kind of isolation and rejection Lex experienced. His family, he said, “never tried to change me,” even though they took issue with his sexual identity, believing it contradicted God’s design for males and females.

    “They didn’t condone or agree with what I was doing, and that is the exact Christian model of how I feel we should address the community,” he said. “We can’t shun or reject nor condone at the same time.”

    Initially, as a transgender male — meaning biologically female — and a homosexual male, the couple wanted to have children, even when Lex was identifying as a man. But since their transformation, they have abandoned their former identities and now are true to their biological realities: a female and a male.

    They currently share one child and just announced they are pregnant with their second baby.

    The couple said they eventually found a church in Las Vegas where, even though its leaders didn’t condone their LGBT lifestyles, they welcomed them in as they were. It was there that they experienced true spiritual transformation.

    “They chose to love us,” Lex said of the church they attended. “And that ministered to our hearts so much because we got to hang out with more believers and allow God to do the work on our hearts and then have friends in our lives to encourage us in the leading of the Lord rather than separating and kind of gatekeeping Jesus by taking people out of the church.”

    In March, Lex and Nic renewed their wedding vows for the first time as husband and wife.


    “I’m so in AWE of the Goodness of God,” Lex wrote in an Instagram post. “He is so so good! So many tears hearing my husband say, ‘I do,’ after Pastor Ivan said, ‘Do you take her to be your bride.’ Words, I never thought would be so sweet to hear deep within my soul. What an honor it is to be Nic’s bride. What an honor it is to serve God together and build His Kingdom.”


    MORE

  • patriot watch

    On Flag Day, Remembering the Woman Who Sewed Old Glory into Existence

    Flag Day, June 14, is set aside to celebrate the Red, White, and Blue. In these tumultuous, divisive times, it is important to know why the flag is celebrated and what those colors represent.

    Betsy Ross – who lived and died on a Philadelphia street not far from where America was founded at Independence Hall – will always be remembered for sewing the first American flag.

    That house is festooned outside with dozens of those flags and is marked by a historical sign saying, “Betsy Ross (1752-1836). Credited with making the first stars and stripes flag, Ross was a successful upholsterer.”

    Widowed Twice

    Dr. Peter Lillback, the founder of Providence Forum, has written frequently about early American history. He said of Ross, “She was a seamstress and an upholsterer. When you’re standing in front of the Betsy Ross house, you’re seeing a single mom doing something to take care of her family.”  

    By age 30, Betsy Ross had become a widow not once, but twice. 

    The Founding Fathers had worked on a design and colors for the first flag to represent their 13 colonies coming together to form a soon-to-be free nation. Each color meant something special to these Founders.

    They’re More than Just Colors

    “Red stands for hardiness and valor. We’re going to be people who are strong and brave,” Lillback explained. “White: purity and innocence. When’s the last time you heard anybody in the government say, ‘We need to be a pure nation?’ That’s moral purity and legal innocence. We don’t break the law and we’re pure before God. That’s what white means.” 

    He continued, “And then when we look at blue, it’s perseverance, vigilance, and justice. We will not give up. As has been said, the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. We persevere in what’s right. That’s what the colors mean…red, white, and blue.”

    Now, these Founders needed someone to sew their flag. George Washington knew Betsy from Christ Church, which both sometimes attended, near her house. He and some of the other Founders came to her Philadelphia home.

    How Ross Talked the Founders Out of 6-Pointed Stars

    Lillback said of that meeting, “They come and they say to single mom Betsy Ross, ‘We need lots of flags and we’d like to have lots of stars. And we want them to have six points.’”

    Many think the six-pointed star symbolized the spur of a nobleman. There were six-pointed stars on Washington’s personal coat of arms. 

    Lillback says this professional seamstress gave it to the delegation straight.

    “And she looked at that and said, ‘Gentlemen, you need to realize it’s very, very hard to cut six-pointed stars. Lots of work. You’re going to need lots of stars on lots of flags. It’s going to cost you lots of money,” Lillback explained.

    “And then she took a piece of cloth, folded it, and with a snip, out came a five-pointed star.  She said, ‘If you’ll do this, you’ll save a lot of money and a lot of time.’ They said, ‘It’s a deal.’ And so Betsy Ross is the one who gives us the five-pointed star that’s famous all over the world: the American star,” Lillback summed up.

    She Never Put Down the Needle & Thread

    Betsy Ross didn’t just sew the first American flag, she went on sewing American flags for the U.S. government for more than 50 years.

    Most of that time was right in the house on that Philadelphia street. It’s now where a large gravestone outside memorializes her and her unique contribution to America’s great symbol.

    And the nearby historical marker says at the bottom, “As a skilled artisan, Ross represents the many women who supported their families during the Revolution and early Republic.”

    “So I like to say that our story of whatever we do includes the moms and the ladies,” said Lillback.

    That's the same point Abigail Adams made to her husband and Founding Father John Adams.

    “She said, ‘Don’t forget the ladies.’ So here’s an occasion to say thank God for the ladies who have done a lot to make our nation great,” Lillback concluded.

    This story was originally published in 2020.

    MORE

  • creation watch

    Stasis and More Stasis in Living Fossils


    BY *   | 

    MONDAY, JUNE 24, 2024

    Living fossils have been a challenge to evolutionists ever since Darwin coined the phrase in 1859.1,2 They are members of a living species of creatures that are virtually identical to those known from the fossil record. Andean tapirs, coelacanths, and horseshoe crabs3 are examples.

    The gar (Lepisosteidae) is a freshwater fish with long jaws, many teeth, and a cigar-shaped body. They are found only in North America and live in shallow, weedy waters. Evolution theory can only say they emerged in the Early Triassic (supposedly over 200 million years ago).

    In March of 2024, evolutionists reported “...the first instance where science is showing that a lineage [an “ancient” clade of gars and sturgeons], through an intrinsic aspect of its biology, fits the criteria of living fossils.”4 Thomas J. Near, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Yale, went on to say, “We show that gars’ slow rate of molecular evolution has stymied their rate of speciation.”4

    River systems in Texas were included in the investigation,

    The researchers then demonstrated that the slow rate of molecular evolution is linked to slow rate of speciation in gars by analyzing examples of hybridization between two distinct gar species in the Brazos and Trinity River systems in Texas.4

    This alleged slow rate of “molecular evolution” has resulted in no change (or stasis) to the gar for “tens of millions of years.”4

    Evolution is supposedly pliable, able to go forward (fast or slow), backwards,5 or, in this case, stand still in what Brownstein et al. calls “evolutionary stasis.”6 But evolution means change, which renders the phrase meaningless.

    Indeed, although evolution is mentioned throughout, this story6 has nothing to do with real, vertical evolution. Cummings of Yale News stated, “The seven living gar species are nearly identical structurally to the earliest fossil gars from the Jurassic period about 150 million years ago.”4 The origin of the family to which gars belong—Lepisosteidae—is not addressed.

    The Yale News article stated, “By linking this finding to the process of hybridization — when two different species produce viable offspring — of gar species in the wild that last shared common ancestry during the age of the dinosaurs, the researchers demonstrate that slow evolution rate of their genome drives their low species diversity.”4

    Creation scientists maintain this supposed common ancestor, that conveniently existed “over 100 million years ago,”6 will never be found. Just as fish have always been fish, gars will always remain gars.

    The Brownstein et al. report of a “mechanism of stasis”6 found in the gars (and creation scientists would predict in a multitude of other living fossils) is apparently connected to the “highly effective DNA repair apparatus.”6 Professor Near stated, “Most cancers are somatic mutations that represent failures of an individual’s DNA repair mechanisms,”4 and “if further study proves that gar DNA repair mechanisms are extremely efficient, and discovers what makes them so, we could start thinking about potential applications to human health.”4 Creation scientists see this repair system as a clear result of plan and purpose.7,8

    The zoologists also detected similar “slow rates [of change in the coding regions of DNA] among sturgeon and paddlefish, two other examples of living fossils.”4Are the gars, sturgeon, and paddlefish slowly evolving, experiencing “evolutionary stasis,” or is this just minor variation within these fish since their creation thousands of years ago?

    MORE

lovelight

A Shout out to our viewers!

Many members are not able to be present today but will be joining us online.  Here's a shout out to let you know we are praying for you today, that God will supply every need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.  Everyone is encouraged to use the prayer request form at the PRAYER WALL

Nancy, Leanne, Diana, Betty, Mike, Sarah, Ryan, Jim, Janet, Irene, Patrick, Abner, Chermaine, Erin, Seive, Eliana, Stella, Francine, Laura, Ron, Brenda, Cole, Angela, Socorro

Today:  Brandi, Jolene, Dennis Rayburn

lamplight

Ceremony Becoming the Occasion


BY  | 

THURSDAY, JULY 04, 2019


“The LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” (Isaiah 61:1)

“Philadelphia, July 5, 1777. My dear Daughter: Yesterday being the anniversary of American Independence, was celebrated here with a festivity and ceremony becoming the occasion . . . The thought of taking any notice of this day was not conceived until the second of this month, and it was not mentioned until the third. It was too late to have a sermon, as every one wished, so this must be deferred another year” (John Adams, from Adams Family Correspondence: June 1776–March 1778, 274).

John Adams made two observations that should be remembered today. First, the idea of “taking any notice” of the significance of the day was “not conceived” for some time, and second, “every one wished” to hear a sermon rather than hold a celebration. We have come far!

But note the Creator’s idea of independence. The text in Isaiah 61 is what the Lord Jesus quoted in the synagogue in Nazareth as He assumed His public ministry. “This day,” Jesus declared, “is this scripture fulfilled in your ears” (Luke 4:21). God’s great liberty is of the spirit and of the mind, not merely of the land and the national population. The independence of Christ will heal the brokenhearted. It grants deliverance to the “captives” and new sight to the blind. The liberty of the King of kings and the Creator of the ends of the earth will set at liberty the bruised.

Be grateful and celebrate the wonderful liberty that God has granted the United States. But pray, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. . . . For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen” (Matthew 6:10, 13). HMM III

morning message

god's hand in the american revolution

Lance, Melissa and Brian Refro speak prior to the message.
Psalm 148:8
2 Chronicles 10:1-14