Sunday, December 30, 2012

Retrospect 2012

“No snowflake ever falls in the wrong place.”  The Zen masters had it right, when they stated that.  God’s plan is perfect.  It’s a truth worth keeping in mind.  Somehow, there’s always a point in time where we tend to reflect on the past and look forward to the future.  Here we are, almost at the end of 2012, considering our experiences, with face set like a flint (Isaiah 50:7), staring at the future, imagining what it may have in store.  Let’s look together.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Love Stretches Out the Good Stuff

Do you remember, as a kid, trying to start Christmas early.  And stretching Christmas as far past December twenty fifth as you could get away with?  I know I did.  We’re kind of doing that, here, this year.  Last week, I treated myself to a copy of Bob Goff’s Love Does.  It’s a great book and I want to share my thoughts on it.  You may have noticed one of Bob’s quotes on our masthead.  And, for that reason, you’d be right if you thought I was prejudiced in favor of what Bob had to say.  But with good reason.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Christmas Gift

Here’s a Christmas meditation from our friend, Todd Parsons:

Today we are celebrating the gift of God born unto us, Is.9:6.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

From the Christmas Tree to His Heavenly Abode

water tree

Merry Christmas to all of our readers and their families and friends.  As usual, the image at the top got some thoughts going.  The picture is from a Facebook community that allows free sharing of their images with friends and family, etc.  As I looked at the image a free form thought stream began about Christ and Christmas.  I’d like to share some of that with you.

Friday, December 21, 2012

And the World Asks “Why?” - Part 3

Stormy Land -- Saija
“Stormy Land”.  It’s a powerful image taken by Saija Lehtonen.  And reminds me of the stormy atmosphere of today’s world, making our surroundings less inviting than they should be.  There are several reasons for that.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

And the World Asks “Why?” - Part 2

Stormy Land -- Saija
Again, the picture is what I’ve titled “Stormy Land”, by Saija Lehtonen.  I chose it because it demonstrates a truth.  The storm clouds bring a sense of impending gloom and doom.  The landscape no longer has the same inviting look that it would on a bright, sunny day.  That’s true for our intellectual and emotional state, as well.  Bring in a bad economy or a situation like the Sandy Hook shootings and our outlook is closer to gloom and doom than bright cheerfulness.  Last time, we did a brief survey of US history up to the ‘60s.  So far, we’re not seeing signs of much evolutionary improvement.  But there’s still some 40-50 years to go.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

And the World Asks “Why?”– Part 1

Stormy Land -- Saija
Saija Lehtonen’s image, which I’ve titled Stormy Land to go with today’s discussion, highlights the emotional state we’re all in after the shooting at Sandy Hook, CT.  Storm laden clouds darkening what appears to be possibly dangerous flatlands.  For me, this is the toughest post I’ve had to write.  Once again, we experienced another mass shooting, this time at a K-4 elementary school. There are 28 dead, with 20 of those being students at the school, and one more related killing. Our heart and prayers are with the survivors and the families of all involved.  And the world asks, “Why?”.  They don’t have an answer.

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Pure Heart?

It's been awhile since we've shared a Todd Parsons devotional.  This one's brief, but definitely to the point.

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In John 8:3-12, we see the adulterous woman before Jesus... Stones in hands raised high, Jesus speaks the Word, "he that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone."  This picture was brought to my heart by Pr.20:9,10; "Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin? Divers weights and divers measures, both of them are alike abomination to the Lord."  Only the Lord has the authority and judgment to declare a man to be clean and O how merciful and gracious He is (to the humble), to those who look to His judgments, His weights, and His measures... 


Of So Great Love, we are, tjp 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Savior Is Born

Luke 2:11 For to you is born today, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

In this Christmas season, we hear that verse often. It’s interesting that the human mind tends to create blocks of thought, categories. And, come December, we think of all the ramifications of that verse and separate it from the rest of Christ’s earthly existence, as if that’s actually possible in reality. My pastor shared some things in a recent service that highlighted that fact for me. And got me to do a little more research.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

God Never Quits - Carl H. Stevens GGWO


We are beginning something new, here on the blog.  Periodically, we'll be posting video clips of varying lengths of some of those who have influenced my walk with God.  We're believing they'll be as much of a blessing to you as they have been to me.




Sunday, December 9, 2012

The End?

A friend of mine commented that he’s read there is a spike in gun sales, partly fueled by fears of an impending end of the world.  He wondered if people were really that stupid.  But fear can do strange things to our thinking.  And our fallen nature leans in that direction, anyway.  Look at what I mean:

Friday, December 7, 2012

Who’s My Master?

Pastor Allan Leitner is a great friend and, like Abraham, a friend of God.  Whenever I get to spend time with Him, I go away knowing I’ve gained something to enhance my relationship with God.  We’ll be sharing some of Pastor Allan’s writings, from time to time.  Read on and see what God gives you from his insights.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Jesus Kind of Love

One of the people I interact with on Google+, Rodney Moore, made an interesting response in a discussion of our previous post.  He said, “pray, read, do, pray, read, do, pray, read, do...... or if you prefer, read, pray, do, read, pray, do, read, pray, do...... is that a short enough sermon?”.  The “do” part brings up some really interesting thoughts.  There’s a whole line of spiritual thinking that, on the surface, appears to oppose itself.  Take a look.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

God Equipped

From the moment your eyes opened God equipped you for today. In His strength and wisdom, you can face today in the joy of the Lord. – Katherine Spann

Have you ever seen someone deal with a task in some really unique but totally off the wall way?  And when you ask them why they didn’t just use the appropriate tool, the answer always seems to be that they didn’t feel like walking out to their truck for that particular tool.  Which makes you look at them in amazement because the job would have taken a quarter of the time, including the walk to and from the truck, if only they’d used the proper tool.  We can all get that way spiritually.  Here’s what I mean:

Friday, November 30, 2012

Only God Is Big Enough

This was shared on Facebook by Dakota Hobbie.  And it may be the shortest post we've had.  Great thoughts don't always require lots of words.  Read and be blessed:

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During his darkest moments Jeremiah wrote, "Let us search and try our ways and turn again to the Lord. Let us lift our heart in our hands unto God in the heavens."(Lamentations 3:40-41).  John wrote, "For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things."(1John 3:20).  My heart is too small to be my god. Only God is big enough to rule my heart.  Only God is big enough to be my God.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Too Little, Too Often

The danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark. –Michaelangelo

That quote was recently posted by one of the people I follow on Twitter.  Taken at face value, it speaks about our work ethic.  But it goes beyond that.  What does it tell us about what can happen to the way we live our lives?  How does it relate to our walk with God?  Let’s find out, after the break.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Pierced

Lord, let Your words pierce my flesh and settle deep in my heart in such a way that I would die if it is ever removed.

@Bill - this morning during prayer, I had this image of an arrow that was so strategically placed that removing it would bring death to the person. God then told me that His word must be like that to us! He is just AWESOME! Have a blessed day - David

Great imagery, @David. If I can stretch that a little further, your description took me directly to the crucifixion and the spear that pierced Jesus' side. It helped take life from His human body, but it helped give life to the Body of Christ.

That’s a couple of lines from a Facebook thread started by that first line from David Volmer.   David has a prison ministry and started an online community called The God Standard.  That last comment is mine.  The conversation got me thinking about some other things.  Let’s explore those together, a bit.

Friday, November 23, 2012

A Conversation With God

This was originally shared on Google+  by Mani Mittal.  She got a firestorm of responses ranging from the situations weren’t serious enough to there is no God.  So, as we read this, let’s remove our “I’m a serious person” hats and look at the underlying Truth.  Let’s remember that no detail of our lives is too trivial for God.  And we have a lot to be thankful for.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Big Things?

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. -John Wooden

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realise they were the big things. - Robert Brault

There are a couple of graphics I reshared online that really speak to some things I’ve been considering, recently.  I can’t seem to find one of them, but it said something to the effect that we shouldn’t be disappointed that God didn’t do something we might have asked for in prayer.  Instead, appreciate all the things He has done without our asking.  Think about that.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

What You See Isn’t Always What You Get

Autumns_Palette-Dru_Stefan_Stone

The image illustrating today’s post is by Dru Stefan Stone.  When you get a chance, hop over to Google+ and check out her work.  As for this picture,  I’ll say more about it as we go along.  But let me add that it illustrates today’s thought very well.  Think about this as we begin:

1 Corinthians 13:12 (KJV)  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Friday, November 16, 2012

This We Believe

A friend of mine, Doug Pearson, is a missionary in Mumbai, India.  Like many other missionaries and ministries, he’s found Facebook to be a great communication tool with friends all over the world and, sometimes, to share things that have touched him.  With permission, we’re sharing one of those moments in eternity:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Meddle Not

Proverbs 24:21 (KJV)  My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change:

Malachi 3:6 (KJV)  For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

Two different verses, in two different books of the Bible, written by two different writers.  Yet, they belong together when we consider the subject of change.  Here’s why:

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veterans’ Day 2012

courage20121111

The image was shared on Facebook by “A Friend Of Humanity”.  It’s Veterans’ Day.  Let’s remember not only those who served their country, but their families as well.  All of those have sacrificed for the good of the country.

And, while we’re at it, let’s consider the battle of spiritual warfare.  We’ll begin with this:

2 Timothy 2:3-4 (KJV)  Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.  No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

Friday, November 9, 2012

After the Election (2012)

Matthew 6:33 (KJV)  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
 
Yup.  I had to throw that in.  That verse is the basis of just about all my thinking.  When I’m focused on God, everything else comes into proper perspective.  If I’m not focused on God, well….  Which brings me to some final thoughts about this year’s elections, after the break.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Where is the Encouragement?

Today, we get blessed with some thoughts from a proposed book by Pastor Tom Sliva.  This is a more personal insight.  Consider the following verse as you read:

Ephesians 4:29 (KJV)  Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

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Brow-beaten children do not develop, as half of their brain has stopped working.  A child neglected is a child rejected. Growing up, I started a lot of stuff and then quit. I started boy-scouts and quit, I started football and quit. Quitters are born and quitters are formed. When I quit stuff, I usually got yelled at.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Ruint for the Ordinary

The title phrase came up in a conversation with a new friend.  And I was told the first word had to be spelled that way to get the proper midwest accent.  My dearly departed mother would kill me for such an improper spelling, but that’s a story for another time.  If we’ve truly latched onto what God has for us through our pastors, through our personal study of the Word, and through our experience of God in our lives, that’s what we are – ruined for the ordinary.  Let’s explore that a bit and see what God has done for us.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It’s Not Just Fear Not, But Trust!

We have just a final thought on fear in disasters.  Then a quick thought or two on the latest political push. I’m actually writing this a couple of days early and may publish it a day early, to make sure it goes public.  Hurricane Sandy is aiming right for the area of the Midatlantic region where I live.  So, who knows if I’ll continue to have power?  So far, on Monday morning, the winds are picking up but steady at maybe 20 miles an hour.  Tonight and tomorrow could prove more interesting.  And that leads to more thoughts on fear.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fear Not

Luke 12:7 (KJV)  But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.
 
That verse obviously was spoken to disciples.  But it (along with our weather for the next several days) got me thinking about some things.  We have hurricane Sandy moving toward our area, there’s also a rainy cold front coming our way.  The predictions say that the storm itself isn’t going to be that bad.  But that cold front is expected to merge with Sandy, creating Noreaster of interesting proportions.  Yet, I’m not complacent, but confident.  Why?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Maryland Election 2012

Friday is now normally our guest post day.  But early voting has already started in some places.  And it begins in Maryland on October 27, 2012.  I don’t usually write about political stuff, but there are a few thoughts I wanted to share.  Mostly about some local issues.  There are some things that are worth considering before casting your vote.  Take a look at what I mean:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What’s the Source of Your Plan?

“Trust that your soul has a plan, and even if you can’t see it completely know that everything will unfold as it is meant to…” – Deepak Chopra

That’s an interesting statement.  The Bible tells us God is in control and everything will go as planned.  If we don’t pay close attention, we can miss that Chopra actually removes God from the equation.  Remember Matthew 17:20 from our last post?  It reads, “And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. “.  Very little faith in God can move mountains.  Are we willing to put that kind of faith in our own soul?


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Step Out and Up

Faith demands we step out of our comfort zone. Playing it safe, all but Simon Peter stayed in the boat. Peter walked on water. Step out & up – Michael Catt

There’s even more to Peter’s venture onto the water.  It’s exciting how it speaks volumes about God’s economy and where we are in it.  God’s expectations of us differ from our own.  Let’s examine Peter’s jaunt on the water.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Encouragement

Blair Warner shared something on Google+ that he received from a friend. When you read the comment you'll understand why I'm resharing it "as is", no explanation needed, and no other material with it.  It's worth spending time meditating on.  Here's Blair's introduction line and his friend's statement that just blew me away:

From a friend of mine who just lost her young husband of ~ 35, and is left with 3 young boys.

"I'm reminded today that God does not make His decisions based on me -- what I think I'm strong enough to withstand or what I'm too weak to handle. His decisions come from His perfect understanding and sovereignty in what was, what is and whatever will be. To accept WHATEVER comes from His hand is to accept my own greatest good."

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

You Hang Out With Who?!?

“The world says be strong and Jesus says be weak and I will be your strength.
The world says look at the outward and Jesus says I look at the heart.
The world tells us you have to be good and Jesus tells us, if you make your bed in hell I will be there.
The world tells you, you have to pay for your mistakes and Jesus tells us, I've already paid for them. You are free, live in guilt no more.
Etc etc have a good day world.” – Sonny McDonald

Last time, we spoke about forgiveness and unforgiveness.  And the things unforgiveness can do to us.  I reshared a related quote on Twitter that fits another aspect of forgiving: "I can forgive, but I cannot forget, is only another way of saying, I will not forgive." Henry Ward Beecher.  In the world, that and Sonny’s comments go together.  Take a look:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Forgiven, Forgotten, Gone…

I think if you're walking around judging and not forgiving people, you're deluding yourself if you expect to hear 'well done, My good and faithful servant'. It doesn't matter if you've led a thousand souls into Heaven, if you don't forgive, it profits you nothing. – Joshua JJ Anderson

Let's be blind and deaf today. Blind to people's shortcomings. Deaf to criticism and accusations. Put on love today and see only the opportunities to be a blessing to people who cross your path. – Lize van Wyck

Those two statements come from friends on Facebook and both are in my church.  They highlight today’s thoughts.  I was originally going to start with something from Phil McGraw, known on TV as Dr. Phil.  Dr. Phil isn’t what I consider the last word on mental and spiritual healing, simply because he doesn’t deal with the spiritual component of issues.  Which gives only a partial solution to many things.  But he made a statement on a recent show that highlights a real problem.  He told a young lady that, by not forgiving someone, she was putting herself in the same emotional jail cell.  That’s almost right.  Take a look at what I mean:

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Negative Always Connects to a Positive

Back in what some may consider prehistoric times, I started in Bible college.  It was a a time of huge growth.  I needed huge growth.  My Bible college years were precious.  Not only in how I grew, but in the people who God placed in my life.  People who loved me where I was at, despite all the quirks in thinking.  One of those was Judy Tamilio Mabardy.  And, recently, she shared a couple of thoughts on Facebook that I think are worth considering.

We all go through dark times, seeing no light.  Or think we have nothing left in us to deal with life's onslaught.  But is that true?  Check out and meditate on Judy's thoughts on that:

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Anchor Your Prayer

Prayer is the open admission that without Christ we can do nothing…..Prayer humbles us as needy and exalts God as wealthy. -- John Piper

That’s actually two ends of the complete statement.  I shared those recently on twitter.  And I thought they fit well as a good starting point for today’s post.  Sunday’s morning message from my pastor came down to three things: our anchor, our assurance, and tradition.  It strikes me that those all apply to prayer – if we do pray, why we pray, how we pray.  Let’s take a look.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Prayer – In Jesus' Words:

Besides His own example, Jesus shared a lot about prayer with His followers.  I’ve left out some things that I thought were basically the same ideas given here, taught in different circumstances.  And I doubt my explanations would say anything clearer, in this case, than the teachings of Jesus Himself.  So, here’s what He says about prayer:

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Into the Wilderness

Luke 5:16 (KJV)  And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.

When we look through the Gospels at Jesus’ prayer life, there are some things that pop right out at us.  It didn’t matter whether an event was good or bad, Jesus prayed before it.  Forty days of temptation in the desert, begin with prayer.  Rescue the disciples from a demonic storm at sea, pray first.  Select the twelve apostles, pray first.  Teach or show the disciples more about who He was, pray first.  You get the picture.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Let Him Pray….

dontforget to pray
A friend of mine posted that on Facebook recently.  As we pointed out in our last post, prayer is close to God’s heart.  How we pray, what we get out of prayer, what our prayer says about our relationship to Him.  It mirrors our thinking in good times and bad.

James 5:13 (KJV)  Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

Prayer and praise.  James recommended prescription for getting through life.  And we have a prime example of that.  In a conversation I was having with someone about their marriage, the person mentioned that Christ prayed often.  And that thought piqued my curiosity.  What were the circumstances?  How often?  What was behind His prayer?

Friday, September 28, 2012

Pray Without Ceasing….

1 Timothy 2:8 (KJV)  I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
 
My pastor has instituted a monthly day of prayer and fasting at our church, on the 1st of the month.  There are hour prayer sessions at different times of the day, so that at least one of them will fit into everyone’s schedule.  And the fasting is optional.  An hour of prayer once a month, fasting is only optional – pretty easy.  But it may be the most essential thing we can do.  And it got me thinking about my own prayer life and prayer in general.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Who Am I? It Is Finished…

Another Todd Parsons devotional:

When I am asked, or when I may ask someone the question, "Who are you?", we so often defer to what we do to give answer to our character.  But that does not really answer who we are, does it?  That can never fill the void in us of "Who am I?"  We work so hard to fill up who we are and, inside, when we put our heads on the pillow or are alone in our weakness, there is no assurance in us of who we are.  Because that can never fill that God size void...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Our Cross

Ecclesiastes 1:9 (KJV)  The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
 
That verse, while having nothing to do with the original intent of this post, clearly expresses my experience with song titles.  I had a topic in mind, based on lyrics from a worship song that was performed in my church recently.  I called one of our worship team members to get the song title.  He told me it was “This Is Our God”.  Go to Google with that title, asking for lyrics, and we discover there are two well known songs by that title.  And neither was the right one. 
 
Maybe I misunderstood and it’s “This Is My God”.  There are several of those.  And the one that appears to be the one I was looking for, by Don Moen, doesn’t have the full lyrics online and no recording to verify that’s the right one.  It’s never dull.  But let’s get to the subject at hand.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Being Filled With What?

It’s Friday, which, unless we’re in the middle of a series, will be our guest post day.  Last week, it was Pastor Tom Sliva.  Today, Todd Parsons returns.  So, without further ado:
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Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour, Pr.14:9.

     Made righteous by the LORD's doing, we have fellowship around His Grace...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Conversation With God About Our Leadership – Part 2

Last time, we shared the beginning of an imaginary conversation between God and me.  The basis of the conversation is our country’s present leadership and the upcoming election.  Let’s eavesdrop some more.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Conversation With God About Our Leadership – Part 1

Every once in awhile, I like to have an imaginary conversation with God about various things.  It helps me clarify what I understand and what I believe.  Recently, with a Presidential election coming soon, I sat down with God to figure out where things stand and get His take on it and what I should do.

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Me:  Hi, God.  I’m glad you’re free to talk to me.  I’m confused about a few things.

God:  What’s confusing you Bill?

Me:  Well, the leadership in our country is so messed up.  I keep praying for our President to be taken out of office.  And now would be none too soon.  Are You sure You knew what you were doing when You let him be elected?  And what about Congress?  They all seem more interested in reelection than actually solving our problems.

God:  Gee, Bill, you keep posting those pithy graphics on Facebook that say I’m in control…no matter what.  Are you questioning that’s true?

Me:  Well, no.  I’m not questioning that.  But our present leadership is really taking us in the wrong direction.  That can’t be Your will!

God:  Don’t forget that I don’t interfere in your free will. So, if enough of you aren’t hearing Me properly, you’re free to vote in the wrong leadership.  I do try to nudge you in the right direction.  But you don’t always catch on to what I’m showing you.  I pretty much said there’d be consequences in Isaiah 3:4-5.  And remember what happened to Israel when they wanted a visible king?  They voted for Saul.  And look what happened right up through a few decades after My Son visited you guys.  That didn’t go so well did it?  It led to foreign rule, followed by Jerusalem getting destroyed.

Me:  Wow!  I never really saw that comparison so clearly.  So, how do I make the right decisions about who leads me and my country?

God:  Well, My main way of communicating is through My Word.  I’ll use pastors, preachers, writers, bloggers, etc. to make sure it gets out and any of the tricky stuff gets explained.  But even they don’t always get it right.  Look at the clash between the “all grace” crowd and the Calvinists, for example.  Both deny the other has anything right.  I’ll have to fix that before the Millenial Reign.  But focus on My Word and you’ll eventually get it.

My Word is really the only source of good information.  Everything else is questionable.  Look at what I said in Matthew 24: “4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.”.  Some will say they represent My heart, some will say they’re Me or My Son.  But not everyone who claims to be connected with Me will really have that connection.

Me:  Oh, I understand that one!  The conservative is Mormon and claims that makes him Christian.  The present office holder has had tons of FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) flying around about him and his spiritual standing.  We’ve got a lot of Christians praying and saying all kinds of things about both of them.  It can get really confusing at times.

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There’s more to the conversation.  We’ll get to the rest, next time.  What are you doing to make the Word of God a priority, especially in making election decisions?

Friday, September 14, 2012

God’s Way

This is the first of what, hopefully, will be ongoing revisits by our dear friend, Pastor Tom Sliva.  Pastor Tom has "paid his dues"and successfully navigated some pretty dark times in his life.  The result has been a unique and deep relationship with our Lord.  Enjoy his insights.

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“A thousand souls hear His call every second, but most every one then looks into life’s mirror and says “I am not worthy to leave this sadness” Theresa of Avila

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Gee, Did I Do That? – Part 2

Sometimes you need to start over so you can do it right! – Sonny McDonald

God's grace erases our past so that we can start over with a clean slate from moment to moment. It's a pity that sometimes we hang on desperately to the past and get weighed down by past sins and experiences, and we wonder why we are not moving forward. God has a great plan for us, but He always puts the new thing out of reach of the old, forcing us to let go in faith in order to move on towards His perfect will for our lives. I once heard someone say: "If the horse has been dead for years, get off..." – Lize van Wyck

Keep thinking about those two quotes from Part 1.  But add a quote that Tully NewsInfo shared on Facebook.  It speaks directly to part of today’s topic.  It says, “If you make friends with yourself, you will never be alone.” – Maxwell Maltz.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Let Us Not Forget

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. – George Santayana

Proverbs 4:5 (KJV) Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.

Those of us who were alive in the U.S. that day will remember exactly where they were when we learned of the planes crashing into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.  It was a day that changed history.  What does it teach us?

Those two verses are important.  Perhaps we could have learned, both intellectually and spiritually, from the past.  Things that may or may not have changed that day in history..  But there are more important things we need to remember.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Gee, Did I Do That? – Part 1

Sometimes you need to start over so you can do it right! – Sonny McDonald

God's grace erases our past so that we can start over with a clean slate from moment to moment. It's a pity that sometimes we hang on desperately to the past and get weighed down by past sins and experiences, and we wonder why we are not moving forward. God has a great plan for us, but He always puts the new thing out of reach of the old, forcing us to let go in faith in order to move on towards His perfect will for our lives. I once heard someone say: "If the horse has been dead for years, get off..." – Lize van Wyck

Those two statements were recently posted in a thread on Facebook.  And go right along with some things I’ve been considering, lately.  Things I’d like to share, today.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

My Peace I Give Unto You….

lake_sunset-spike12 

That’s Saturna Island, British Columbia, Canada, taken by Hamel Tailor.  Taken with his Blackberry.  The scene looks so very peaceful.  It made me think about how peaceful our lives can be when we’re one with God.  Even in the midst of turmoil.  What the Word says about peace is worth considering.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Believe: A Thought Married

Here's another Todd Parsons devotional.  Enjoy. --

"Being committed to a conviction brings in conversions to my soul,". (P. Stevens). Circumstances will try us and the question to ask myself is where will I stand... I made a commitment to my wife, Tricia, to be her husband till death do us part. I believe that. It is a thought I have married....


Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Grass is Greener…. – Part 4

1 Timothy 3:6 (KJV)  Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
Revelation 9:1 (KJV)  And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

We’ve talked about familiarity and influence.  Today, let’s look at ego -- giving our self interests and comfort a greater place than they deserve.  Without that, we might not succumb to familiarity or influence.  Here’s what I mean:

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Grass is Greener…. – Part 3

Jude 1:9 (KJV) Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

That’s one of the verses that began the last part of this series.  Since we’re continuing on the subject of influence, it makes a good reminder of our focus in that post.  Because we’re continuing from there.  Influence is important in how we’re swayed in one direction or another.  And that can take us in the wrong direction.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Grass is Greener…. – Part 2

Jude 1:9 (KJV)  Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
 
2 Kings 13:20-21 (KJV)  And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year.  And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.
 
I was recently asked about those two passages.  And, though they seem dissimilar, they really have close ties to each other.  And lead into our next topic.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Grass is Greener…. – Part 1

Change your thoughts & you change your world. -Norman Vincent Peale

Proverbs 23:7a (KJV)  For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:
 
Those two thoughts focus on our topic for the day.  Remember those two questions we asked to close our last post?  “When we do things well and want to share what we’ve done, is it for the glory of God or is it to boost our own ego?  And, when we mess up, if we confess to another, is it because they deserve an apology or because it eases our conscience?”.  We said there was no right or wrong answer to these.  And that's true from the standpoint of why we asked them, which was to get us thinking about our responses.  But those responses highlight what’s right and wrong about our thinking.  And how that could affect present and future decisions.  Take a look at what I mean.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

It’s About Us?!?

Ecclesiastes 11:8 (KJV)  But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many. All that cometh is vanity.
 
I’ve been coming back to this area of discussion frequently, recently.  And memories of an incident that reminded me of this thought.  It’s OK if I tell a tale on myself, right?
 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Stand Fast

1 Corinthians 16:13 (KJV)  Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

In our last post, we talked about Joseph and Jesus going through bad situations..  And a little bit about what might have happened if they’d skipped out on those events.  But what about us?  Will we miss out on something phenomenal in the future if we choose to opt out of negative circumstances?  Is there any benefit while we go through things?  Let’s take a look and see.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Run for Your Life!

desert_mountain-saija_lehtonen

Saija Lehtonen is one of the photographers I follow.  She does a wide variety of subject matter, from hummingbirds, to macro flower shots, to sunsets and sunrises, to vast naturescapes like this one.  This one got me thinking about what we perceive as good and bad, and how we deal with it.

Friday, August 10, 2012

To Word or Not to Word

The Beyond Evangelical blog had a post, today, listing the author’s top five books for ministry.  Although the ones I recognized were good, I had what I considered a better list  and I explained why.  But it only focuses on the main point I wanted to deal with today.  Here’s what I said: 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

If It Had Not Been the Lord


Some Psalm 124 thoughts from Todd Parsons:

If it had not been the LORD who was on our side...
Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us:
Then the waters had overwhelmed us...

Monday, August 6, 2012

What’s Your Poison?

dontjudge 
The above graphic was shared on Facebook by GodVine and it hits on part of our subject matter, today.  Back when I worked in broadcasting, there were a few jazz clubs that I’d go to for interviews with some of the musicians.  One had a bartender whose regular question was, “What’s your poison?”.  At the recent conference I attended, Pastor Jim Scudder Jr gave a great illustration that fits right in with that.  And with the thought behind the graphic.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Be of the Same Mind

1Corinthians 1:10   Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

 

In recent posts, we’ve spoken about unity,  teamwork, and hearing that “certain sound”.  What’s really nice is getting to watch that all mix together and actually happen in practice.  Take a look at what I mean.

 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Certain Sound

Back in the Dark Ages, the pastor who led my outreach team shared a message about today’s title.  I’m not actually that old, but it’s long enough ago that I’d have a hard time finding the notes or the verse references.  But a recent conference I attended brought the subject to mind.  Not so much anything specific that was said as the overall doctrinal viewpoint.  Let me illustrate.

 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Spiritual Teamwork



There's a term in Christianity called "lone ranger Christianity". We’ve all met those individuals who are on their own spiritual journey, apart from the rest of Christianity.  They may have disdain for the local church, describing it as having any number of faults.  The complaints all boil down to describing the local assembly as self oriented and lacking spiritual discernment.  Sometimes that can be true and there are cases where someone has been hurt by misused doctrine or misunderstood doctrine.  But there’s usually a different set of reasons why many of the Christian “lone rangers” go in that direction.  



Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Unleashed, To Give You Thanks, Lord

Here’s an interesting thought from Todd Parsons:

The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever, Ps.19:9a.

If i consider my life to be as a room, and that which is in the center of the room gets the first/center of my attention, what is in the center of the room? What is its effect on my soul?

Walls and More Walls

Some interesting conversation came up in one of our church management meetings.  It revolved around several different things in different societies, in different eras.  But it struck me how all of them used basically the same technique to aim at the same result.  Let’s see what I mean.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Love, Live, Learn, Lead, Laugh

I’m spending part of my week, this week, in a leadership conference.  As some of you may already realize, leadership is one of my favorite topics.  So, I took note of a recent Erwin McManus tweet.  He said, “Love like a poet. Live like a warrior. Learn like an apprentice. Lead like a servant. Laugh like a king.”.  Each of those applies to the Christian leader.  Take a look at what I mean.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

I Think I’m Losing My Mind!

Actually, not really.  But the title comes out of a conversation I had with a friend of mine.  He has the same off the wall sense of humor that I do.  We were having a conversation on the phone when he told me he had spent most of the day thinking he was losing his mind.  Insert long and heavy pause.  And then he continued.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Whole Armor – Part 3

Ephesians 6:17-18  “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”

There are some important things to consider as we look at the final part of the whole armor of God.  We referred to some of it, but didn’t go into detail.  So, let’s jump right in.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Whole Armor – Part 2

Eph 6:15-16  “And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.”

We looked at the girdle and the breastplate in our last post.  As you can see from the passage above, there’s still more to the armor.  And more to the rest of the items of armor.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Whole Armor – Part 1

Ephesians 6:10-14 "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;"
 
Those verses talk about the whole armor of God, but there’s more.  In our last post, we went into spiritual warfare a little bit.  This time, let’s look at the the armor that warfare made necessary.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Can You See Me Now?

Bob Decker has a photography blog called “Modern Zen Photos”. His most recent post was about some recent butterfly photography he did.  The link on Google+ described the post as “How moving just a few inches can change a shot completely.”  In the post, he compares the results of taking the pictures from different angles.  He adds, “It just goes to show that looking at things from a different angle can lead to some very different results.”.  It struck me how true that is of our spiritual life, too.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Come to the Table, Feast, and Stand

It's been awhile since we've shared a Todd Parsons devotional.  We're long overdue.  So, here's one of the latest:

If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small, Pr.24:10.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Heaven’s Gate

Heavens-gate_Mike-Shaw

"You do not have to believe in a god or life after death to believe that there is something greater than yourself. You only have to look up at sunset and realise that you are stood on a rock that has all that you need to live, circulating around another rock that keeps you warm. Its then you realise that you are in fact stood on heavens gate." -- Mike Shaw.

The image and the quote are both by Mike Shaw.  Great image, but the thought behind it made me think of how different perspectives will always lead to different conclusions.  And it could be that those two perspectives seem alike, but they may be farther apart than the viewpoints that are openly different.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Driving, But No Licence

When we look at Romans 5 and 6, there’s an obvious truth about what God thinks about grace and sin.  As our founding pastor would describe it, grace is not a licence to sin.  Nor is it a licence for dissension.  Let's take a look and think about some things.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Grace Still Finds Us

“God shouts over the world’s noise that grace still finds us, love restores us and hope's enough to get a little boy home.” – Bob Goff

That’s a tweet from Bob Goff, back in March.  It was about getting a Ugandan boy back home after some pretty horrific things happened to him due to the conflict.  But, out of context, that could be any of us reaching for our relationship with God.  We all have a way of getting off the right path (or being pushed off) and needing to be helped back.  The neat thing is that God is always there to guide us and take us back.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Week That Will Be

Back in the day, there was a show called “That Was The Week That Was”.  Or TWTWTW.  It consisted of topical skits, based on recent news items.  Some a little risque, all very funny.  This week, we get TWTWB – the week that will be.  

Friday, June 22, 2012

He That Seeketh Findeth….

“When you reach the end of what you should know, you will be at the beginning of what you should sense.”
- Kahlil Gibran, Sand and Foam
 
That quote was the basis of our last post.  We talked about the benefits of Bible college for gaining understanding about what we believe.  In fact, learning about our own beliefs ought to be a goal for everyone.  Too often, belief structure is based on custom, rather than on someone actually having studied the beliefs and forming real conclusions.  Matthew 7:8 speaks of Christian doctrine when it says, “For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”.  But it could apply to any set of beliefs.  All men ought to understand why they believe what they do.  Or why that should change.  It ought to be both an end point and a starting point for our faith.
 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pearls Before Swine….

A young lady who goes by the handle of Nasrim M.O.V. on Google+ (who used to use her real last name, but it’s  long and complex) shared a quote that connected with me on several levels.  It’s by Kahlil Gibran in a work called “Sand and Foam”.  The statement reads, “When you reach the end of what you should know, you will be at the beginning of what you should sense.”

Monday, June 18, 2012

Wax On, Wax Off

In 1984, that phrase described a physical motion to learn in Karate training.  Pat Morita played Mr. Myagi, a very down to earth karate teacher.  There was a blog post I read a month or two ago, titled “Without Wax”, that made me think of the phrase.  And the phrase came up again almost two weeks ago in one of my favorite devotionals.  Especially since we just finished a nine part series on our relationship with God.  The principle is well worth repeating.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Afar Off– Epilogue


Looking at our illustration, again, it’s a photograph by John Vincent, “Sunrise in My Backyard” is the title.  And the thing that struck me about the image was that the source of light was past the horizon, out of sight.  Yet, it lights up everything.  And that speaks volumes about our relationship with God.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Afar Off–Part 8


When we left off, Jesus had been crucified and buried.  But the source of that light, no matter how distant it seems hasn’t gone away.  It still pushes against the darkness.  Jesus has been anointed for burial, placed in the tomb, the tomb sealed.  He’s locked in.  Soldiers prevent grave robbers or the disciples from stealing the body of Our Lord.  Jesus is “locked in”.  Or is He?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Afar Off–Part 7


Again, that’s John Vincent’s “Sunrise in My Backyard”.  The light from beyond got me thinking about how we perceive our “distance” from God.  And we’ve been looking at that from the perspective of the events of “holy week”.  We last looked at Jesus’ sentencing.  So, let’s continue from there.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Even Jesus Considered Mothers Important

We still have more in our "holy week"series on our relationship with God.  But today is Mothers' Day in the US.  So, here are some thoughts I shared earlier on Facebook and Google+:

An interesting thought, this Mothers' Day. Catholics tend to elevate Mary, the mother of Jesus to some splenderous spiritual level. Evangelicals tend to dismiss that with the fact that she's a sinner just like the rest of us. I suspect the truth lies somewhere in between.  Let me explain.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Afar Off–Part 6


We mentioned, last time, that scourging and crucifixion were never a one-two punch in sentencing under Roman law.  Except for Jesus.  We could have discussed some things about the sentencing, then.  But that would have split the discussion of the sentencing between posts, so we decided to wait and put all the parts together.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Afar Off – Part 5


Light or darkness.  What's on the horizon or what's at hand.  A choice.  "Sunrise in My Backyard" was taken by John Vincent.  Foggy marsh, dusky sky, sunlight tinted by the angle as it comes over the horizon.  The source of the light seems so far away.  Which highlights the spiritual lessons we're sharing in this series.

We began the series with the events on Palm Sunday.  The next several posts brought us up to the trials that led to Jesus' sentencing.  Today, let's park at the topic of the scourging.  That very event highlights some very interesting realities.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Afar Off -- Part 4


John Vincent's "Sunrise in My Backyard".  As of yesterday, Chuck Colson is with our Lord.  His wisdom and love for God will be missed on this earth.  But Chuck's new place to live is in heaven.  The subject of today's post had been preplanned before we heard of his passing. But Chuck Colson's life was an example of the contrast we're discussing today.  Fortunately, he chose to go from darkness to light.

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The photograph illustrates a number of aspects of what we're discussing.  We've been talking about the light coming from the horizon, compared to the cloudy atmosphere of where we are now. The relationship with God seemingly as far away as the light shining over the horizon.   Which leaves us either looking for a way to shorten the distance of that relationship or creating others that may be less beneficial.  And, as we'll see, that's part of what happened next in Christ's journey to the cross.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Afar Off – Part 3


Light from beyond the horizon.  Again, the picture is “Sunrise in My Backyard”, by John Vincent.  When I originally saw it, I thought of how our relationship with God can seem so far from us.  Sometimes in reality, sometimes because we don’t fully recognize the nature of the relationship.  And, when we take a look at the events of Easter week, there’s so much more.  We stopped, last time, with Jesus praying in the garden.  Let’s move on from there.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Afar Off–Part 2

Today's post is dedicated to an amazing lady, Cheryl Veader, who went home to be with our Lord.  She was wife mother, aunt, and about any other female familial relationship you can think of.  She was always there to encourage the Body of Christ.  All while going through years fighting cancer.  And always loving God.  Cheryl was loved and she'll be missed.

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“Sunrise in My Backyard”, lit by something beyond the horizon.  As I was looking at this picture by John Vincent, it struck me how much contrast plays in how we perceive things.  Whether you focus on the sunsrise or the murky fog, neither would have the same impact without the contrast between the two.  And so it was with the last main events of “holy week” before Jesus’ arrest.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Afar Off -- Part 1


That’s titled “Sunrise in My Backyard” and was taken by John Vincent.  There’s a great sense of serenity, peacefulness.  But what really caught me with this one is the light coming from the horizon.  Hebrews 11:13 says, “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”  That verse speaks of the “heroes of the faith”, but it could be us.The light on the horizon got me thinking about the phrase I highlighted, “afar off”.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

In Christ, Plowing & Sowing...‏

There are many times when nothing but Scripture is needed to express a thought.  From God’s heart, to the mind of Todd Parsons, to us:

He that is proud in heart stirs up strife: but he that puts his trust in the LORD shall be made fat, Pr.28:25.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Teach Me, O Lord….

Psalm 119:33-35 HE. Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.  Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.  Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.

It’s such a blessing to hear from God through His Word.  There is comfort, edification, healing, power in that Word.  Thinking of that, it’s been awhile since I’ve shown my techie side to discuss some of the things that help me stay in the Word.  So, I thought I’d get into that.  Today, there are two software gems that I’ve mentioned before.  We’ll look at them, again, because there’s fresh news.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Alone is Not the Same as Lonely

“In most biblical accounts, the greater the level of maturity, the more alone that person becomes. I.e - Moses, Job, David, Paul, even our Lord in His most trying hours, despite His absolute perfection.  When the Lord is doing a great work in the believers life, it can scare away the casual, or less mature Christian - perhaps only for lack of understanding, or inability to cope with the pain (growing pains) in the maturing believers life.  God’s provision is to draw closer to Him until someday you wake up and realize your best friend is your Lord Jesus Christ, and the loneliness dissipates.  However, we must not mistake disagreement with others as "I am maturing and they are not, therefore I am justified". That would be arrogance not maturity.” – Jim Mastrocola

That was a response to a mutual friend’s turmoil.  And, as usual, the start of an interesting train of thought.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

On Faith

Another Todd Parsons devotional thought:

"But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him," -- Heb.11:6. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Christ, His Son, (Is.53:10a). Jesus Christ believed His Father's plan by faith.  And....


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Far Above Rubies

I administrate a Christian group on the Blackberry Messaging platform.  We have members all over the world, some in ministry, some average believers.  Recently, one of our group celebrated an anniversary.  And his comments got me thinking about what’s come to be called “the Proverbs 31 woman”.  There wasn’t a lot of description in his comments.  But you could tell that the things he was planning weren’t being done because he had to, in the sense that he was meeting some expectation.  The undercurrent of what he talked about was that he had a need to bless his wife because who she has made him want to.  And that got me thinking.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Star Trek, Leadership, and God -- Part 3

Once again, Alex Knapp’s “Five Leadership Lessons From Jean-Luc Picard” discusses these five points:
  1. Speak to people in the language they understand. (Or, it's okay to threaten a Klingon.)
  2. When you're overwhelmed, ask for help.
  3. Always value ethical actions over expedient ones.
  4. Challenge your team to help them grow.
  5. Don't play it safe--seize opportunities in front of you.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Star Trek, Leadership, and God – Part 2

Alex Knapp’s “Five Leadership Lessons From Jean-Luc Picard” has these five points:
  1. Speak to people in the language they understand. (Or, it's okay to threaten a Klingon.)
  2. When you're overwhelmed, ask for help.
  3. Always value ethical actions over expedient ones.
  4. Challenge your team to help them grow.
  5. Don't play it safe--seize opportunities in front of you.
We discussed the first two, as exemplified by Jesus. Number three looks like a no brainer till you think about the whole point of Jesus coming to earth. It required a man acting as a man for our salvation to be valid. And there are two examples that immediately come to mind of Jesus showing how it ought to be done by not using the powers of His Godhood. The first was His temptation in the desert. Let’s take a look.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Star Trek, Leadership, and God – Part 1

Alex Knapp just wrote an article in Forbes magazine about “Five Leadership Lessons From Jean-Luc Picard”.   Last week, he wrote “Five Leadership Lessons From James T. Kirk”.  Talk about a way to get my attention!  Discussing leadership, Star Trek, with a little spirituality thrown in.  And that got me thinking about spiritual leadership as demonstrated by Jesus.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Does the Bible Say….? – Part 2

Hebrews 13:5-6  Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.  So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

Last time, we talked about how, out of context, a verse or a part of a verse could be used in a way that made it look like it says something totally different from the real intent.  Very much like statistical evidence.  If the person using them has a preconceived conclusion, then numbers, sampling techniques, etc. can be manipulated to support the desired conclusion.  So, we want to get God's full thought on every statement.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Does the Bible Say….? – Part 1

Hebrews 13:5b Hebrews 13:5b be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Yesterday, I tweeted that partial verse.  In relation to the previous post.  But, as I was thinking of it, again, I was reminded that I’ve heard it where only “be content with such things as ye have” was quoted, by those who intentionally or otherwise misunderstand the meaning.  I’ve heard some accuse the Bible of supporting laziness with this phrase.  Others have suggested that it supports keeping those who are not as financially well off “in their place”.  Pardon my incredulity, but if we read the whole Bible and what it says, how can such interpretations even seem to make sense?  There are times when one verse can summarize a Biblical idea, but, as often as not, it’s likely that we need to look at related verses and the full context.  So let’s see where that takes us with this verse.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

One More Chance

Sunday night, my pastor preached a message entitled “The Law of Joy and Thanksgiving”.  One of the asides struck me.  He mentioned that Peter is spoken to by God in Acts 10 (verses 9-16) about freeing himself from the law about what can be eaten and what can’t.  The dialogue had Peter responding to God three times, just as he denied Christ three times before the cock crowed.  And I was reminded of John 21:15-17, where Peter was asked if he loved Jesus, also three times.  Here’s what came to mind:

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Waiting Upon the Lord

Here's a guest devotional by Todd Parsons:

"Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and He shall save you", Pr.20:22. "Because you have made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, your habitation... Because you have set your love upon Me, says the LORD, therefore will I deliver you: I will set you on high, because you have known My name. You shall call upon Me, and I will answer you: I will be with you in trouble; I will deliver you, and honour you. With long life will I satisfy you, and show you My salvation", Ps.91:9,14-16...


Friday, February 24, 2012

Get Thee Hence

Recently, I had some things come together that made me wonder if I ought to continue here or if I had misunderstood my call to write.  I had been helping my church in various ways, writing this blog, preaching at a few Bible studies, some evangelism and working full time.  After working for the same company for over 20 years, I was layed off early last year.  I fairly quickly found other employment.  As it turned out, other than being able to work from home, circumstances in that job were not ideal.  And the terms of employment changed enough for me to resign to seek other employment.  So, I was seeking employment, doing ministry, writing here, all without a work income.  And, most recently, it made me think of Matthew 4:1-11

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Being One

In the last two parts of our series, we made it clear that we need to fully understand ourselves in order to connect with ourselves.  The two things essential to that are having God’s viewpoint and recognizing that, without God and God’s help, we’re pretty messed up.  And, at the same time, deeply loved by God despite our shortcomings.  When we connect with others, we need to be supported by associating with those who have that same focus.  And here’s why.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Hannah Grace Kelley

"Hannah Grace Kelley went into the arms of Jesus Christ this morning at approximately 10:20. Her family is grateful for the prayers of the Body of Christ worldwide. They are doing well under the circumstances and appreciate your ongoing prayer and sensitivity during this time. Ps Wayne"

Monday, February 13, 2012

Prayer Request for Healing and Comfort

Details have distracted me from continuing with the "Connecting" series. The rest is coming shortly.  In the meantime,  please consider the following and be in prayer.  Thanks.

Grace Connection Church:

"As you know Our precious daughter Hannah was a victim of a tragic, accidental gunshot wound to her head. She remains in very critical condition, the prognosis is not good. Please pray the swelling to goes down in her brain. The out pouring of love has been overwhelming and humbling--thank you all. There is no way to thank you all as hundreds have contacted us. I am getting your messages--your love speaks life into our souls. Please continue to pray for my family, we need a miracle.

Love
Pastor Kelley"

That's from a dear friend in Christ. Please pray with us for Hannah's recovery, comfort for the family, and peace for whatever God's will may be.