Friday, February 28, 2014

Coal or Diamond - Part 13

Image used under Creative Commons license, photo by Simon Carrasco, from Flikr
Jeremiah 29:11-13 (KJV)  For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.  Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.  And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. 

That's quite a statement and one we'll explore further, today.  But not before we cover some things from before my recognition of that became a solid reality.  Even though they weren't wonderful times, they led to my awakening.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Heart Departure Makes Us Miserable‏

We'll start with an update.  Our March 14 day devotional, "The Clarity of Beryl" is now available for the Kindle, on Amazon -- http://amzn.to/1efmBRF

With that mentioned, it's time for another great spiritual insight from Todd Parsons.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Coal or Diamond - Part 12

image used under Creative Commons license, courtesy of en.wikipedia.org
The British Crown jewels are among the clearest, purest, unflawed gems on the planet.

Luke 6:38 (KJV)  Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Yes, that passage could easily to those gems, if they were in the spiritual realm.  "Pressed down, and shaken together" certainly fits the coal to diamond process.  And, in a very special way, it fits our spiritual growth.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Coal or Diamond - Part 11

image used under Creative Commons license, photo by John Mueller
Proverbs 1:7-9 (KJV)  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.  My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.

As we go through our somewhat autobiographical series, a number of things came together recently that reminded me of the irony in life.  And much of that irony is summed up in those verses.

Relating to life, dictionary.com defines irony as “an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected.”.  The last several weeks have been a series of ironies

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Run, Fight And Delight In God [Video]

image used under Creative Commons
license, courtesy of Wikipedia


Here's this past Sunday evening's service, after song service. The introduction is by Pastor Scibelli, our missions director. The main message is our head pastor, Pastor Tom Schaller. While the two messages are different, they connect to each other very well.  It's insights like these that make me glad God called me to this ministry.


Monday, February 17, 2014

Coal or Diamond - Part 10

Originally shared on Facebook, image used courtesy of VerseInspire
The  graphic for today's post isn't a physical gem or piece of coal, but it highlights a gem of truth.  Let's go back to a point we made last time.  The direction we take is based on external influences and our own decisions.  There's a lot of Biblical foundation for that.  And the result in our own lives can be very spiritual or very unBiblical, depending on what we do with that principle.  We'll start be looking at my favorite verse, again.  There's a whole different angle that we haven't discussed till now, that reveals so much.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Love Endures Long

image used under creative commons license, photo (C) Tim Green

Today is Valentine's Day, 2014.  It's a holiday that speaks of love, like no other. And God loves like no other.  We thought we'd do something a little different, today. We're writing and publishing a twelve month series of 14 day devotionals for the Kindle apps and devices.  Each one to be read through twice, in the month it's intended for.  The one for February is titled "Love's Red Sardius".  Since the devotionals for the month and the holiday are both all about love, we thought we'd share one of the readings, here:



Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Monday, February 10, 2014

Knowing God..."in the now"‏

This week, we're relying more on our guest posters.  Our "Coal and Diamond" series isn't complete, yet.  But there are some other important things that are crying out for my attention.  Consider it the invasion of Real Life (TM).  We'll continue with the series either Friday or Monday.  In the meantime, here's another great thought from Todd Parsons:

Friday, February 7, 2014

Coal or Diamond - Part 9

image used under Creative Commons license, courtesy of Wikipedia
Matthew 16:6 (KJV)  Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. 

Galatians 5:9 (KJV)  A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. 

Several events, this week highlighted those verses for me.  Or, more precisely, the need for the reverse of those.  What we need is not always what we get. Consider the title of the series.  If we're searching for diamonds, there's also coal that pressure hasn't transformed to diamonds.  In fact, we're more likely to find coal and no diamonds.  In contrast, if we're looking for coal because we need to cook or heat, we may find a vein of coal ore that has a lot of air pockets, That would give is coal that burns up too quickly.  The spiritual realm is similar to those two possibilities.  Take a look.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Walkin' On Thin Ice?

It's Wednesday and time for one of our guest posts.  Todd Parsons is back with a devotional that should bless all of you.  We'll continue with our personal series on Friday.

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Because of the fall of Adam, we have this inherent OSN (Old Sin Nature), that says, "I've got it,  I don't need your leadership God. I know the way.".  Yet I have noticed in me this juggling act trying to balance out good and evil, right and wrong, and holding myself responsible for the consequences without mercy.  I have observed others yet casting off restraint, to release themselves from that false burden within, living in lawlessness, which has its own false burdens of a different authority. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Coal or Diamond - Part 8

image used under Creative Commons license, courtesy of Wikipedia
Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. -- George Bernard Shaw


The one thing that's always true of life is that we have choices.  From the day we are born to the day we leave this life, we are confronted by choices.  If we become mentally incapacitated, others may have to deal with them because we no longer can.  What we do with those choices can have huge consequences.


Deuteronomy 30:19 (KJV)  I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: 

Joshua 24:15 (KJV)  And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD


There's quite a contrast there.  Which do we choose?  Do we choose?  Does it matter?  There are a lot of schools of thought on that.