Saturday, January 31, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
I mentioned these images before, but had not seen this video until now. The vastness of the universe is amazing to me. It's almost more than our minds can comprehend.....and yet its origin is described by the creator as almost an afterthought when he says, Gen 1:16 "God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also." With only 5 words God describes the creation of something so vast we cannot imagine it. I like knowing God is this big.....it helps me in my world to have a God big enough to handle my problems and yet personal enough that he would become a man to save me. What an awesome God!
The unmentionable three-letter word
By EMANUEL FELDMAN
"It is somehow difficult to fathom how we - who gave monotheism to the world, and in modern times miraculously returned to our homeland after a hiatus of 2,000 years, defeating the millions of enemies all around us in one war after another while building up a lovely and prosperous land despite the animosity of much of the world, one that leads the world in scientific, intellectual and technological advances - how after all this, we should have become so skittish about invoking the name of God."
As I read this paragraph by Mr. Feldman I thought about my own faith community, the Christian church, and must honestly admit we too have been brought to silence by the culture around us. There is almost an embarrassment about being a Christian in our culture, community and workplace, and so we rarely mention God in public. It's as if the culture has challenged our right to an open and passionate faith and dialogue about God, and we have bowed to their challenges, so now most of us only mention God in our faith communities.
What happened to a bold faith about a big God?
What happened to a real belief in heaven and hell?
What happened to sin?
Has the culture silenced us so effectively that, like the Jewish culture of Israel today, we are too embarrassed to talk about our God and our faith?
Do we really believe the Bible and its message or are we embarrassed to admit we believe in God?
It would seem to be true that Christians have caved to the secular culture in our part of the world as well. This article has challenged me. I want to intentionally live my faith boldly and talk about my God freely. In a culture where everyone claims the right to their own truth why are we ashamed to proclaim our faith in the one true God?
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals.
The sermon this morning: 'Jesus Walks on the Water.' The sermon tonight: 'Searching for Jesus.'
Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.
Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community. Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say 'Hell' to someone who doesn't care much about you.
Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help.
Miss Charlene Mason sang 'I will not pass this way again,' giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.
For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.
Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.
A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.
At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be 'What Is Hell?' Come early and listen to our choir practice.
Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.
Scouts are saving aluminium cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.
Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered.
The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility.
Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM - prayer and medication to follow.
The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.
This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn singing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.
Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10 AM. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B.S. is done.
The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the Congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.
Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM. Please use the back door.
The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.
Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.
"It is only with a sense of optimism, preferably accompanied by a sense of energy and laughter, that we will be able to pick ourselves up from a broken Humpty Dumpty." -Sir David Tang
There is an ocean of people who are now feeling so depressed that not only have they become resigned to the fact that they are in deep trouble, but they have told everybody else that they are also in deep trouble.
Pessimism has an uncanny knack of being self-fulfilling.
No wonder almost every single quoted share in the world has gone down significantly, mostly by half, if not much more.
Even the most solid companies, such as HSBC, which has no real exposure; or BP, which has significant oil reserves; or a company like Dell, which has an enormous amount of cash - the shares of these companies have traded down considerably.
That is the barometer of our general pessimism." -BBC News
Paul wrote similar words to the Christians of his day. Paul put it this way,
Col 3:1-4- So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ--that's where the action is. See things from his perspective. Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life--even though invisible to spectators--is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you'll show up, too--the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
1Samuel 15:22 Samuel said, "Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, And insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He has also rejected you from being king."
1Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
God does not see as we see...he's looking at hearts, we look at strength, good looks, personality, leadership skills. "But the Lord looks at the heart." What a sobering statement that is....he's looking for hearts that want to follow him, that want to serve him, that want to worship him. Why do we spend so much time focused on the wrong things? Why do we invest so much of our lives on our looks, our weight, our clothes? I know these are important, but in the process we have for the most part ignored the most important thing. We have ignored the heart. God's in the heart business, but we find ourselves in the world of externals...looks, heights, hair, weight, smile and a hundred other things that are, at best, temporary. Suddenly, as I read this passage I find that I am, like Samuel, focusing my attention on the wrong things. But you ask, how can we see hearts? We can't. That's not really the point. If you know that God does see our hearts why aren't we investing more time into our "heart development and training?" Why aren't we cultivating a heart that seeks after God instead of wealth, looks, popularity, success? It's interessting to realize that this chapter 16 is between 15 and 17. I know...real obvious, huh? But here's what interesting to me- chapter 17 is the chapter that speaks of David and Goliath. When everyone else is focused on the externals and are fearful to the point of inaction because of them, David, the man with a different heart, is ready to take on the giant! The man after God's own heart is ready for the task ahead because he has cultivated a relationship with a God who is big enough to handle the giants.
I wish I was more heart focused than I am. I know it would change how I view my own giants. I know they would seem much smaller in comparison to a big God. Since God is looking at hearts I think I will make my focus the same thing....where's my heart? What are my affections? Who do I want to please? Do I have a heart that seeks after God most of all? I have a lot of work to do on me, but I'm doing it...bit by bit....looking at the things that God looks at, caring about what he cares about, working on the important things.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Joye and I are in the middle of a course on world missions and in my search for material I found this graphic. It was interesting to see how the religions of the world grew over time. One thing I knew, but never thought much about, was the fact that most of us follow our parent's faith. I am glad to have found Christ as my savior early in life. More and more I'm becoming focused on missions and those who live in places where they have never heard the name of Jesus Christ. I am wondering what God will do with Joye and I as we serve him together. Getting interested in missions is a dangerous thing......you never know what might happen.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
I just recently got a new coffee roaster. It has taken a few tries to get it right, but I think I have the hang of it now. Each roaster has its own little nuances, and this one is no different. I am excited about this roaster because it will roast a whole pound each time. One of the amazing things about coffee is the difference between what you buy at the store or at a coffee bar compared to fresh roasted coffee. It's hard to describe the difference....it's the contrast between a good steak and a bad hamburger. I just got a new bean in the mail yesterday and roasted some this evening for a friend. We sat in the garage where I have the roaster set up and visited while his coffee roasted. It's a great experience....the smells, the sounds, the look of the bean.....and then you get to grind the bean and drink the amazing result of your work. We are drinking some of my work this evening and it's great. I am grateful for wonderful little blessing like this and the joy of sharing it with others who really want to experience a great cup of coffee. Even little things like this are blessings from God. I wonder....could all this coffee be keeping me up at night?
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
There are some amazing people in the world, and I'm thrilled to have met many. One of the things that always intrigues me is how many of these most amazing people around us aren't looking for glory or recognition....they are just doing what they think is most important and almost by accident they become one of the amazing people we all talk about.
One of the ladies in our church, Debbie Sardone, owns a cleaning/maid service in our area and she has been cleaning homes for women recovering from cancer for free. From her own company came the desire to make this available to others and so Debbie started a national non-profit ministry that now has hundreds of cleaning services doing the same thing. This morning Debbie was on television being interviewed about this organization she started, Cleaning for a Reason, and talking about this ministry to women whose very lives are in question due to the cancer they battle. I just wanted you to know about this most amazing woman I know, Debbie Sardone.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Today we have a new president. It's something that few countries in the world are able to do...transfer power to a new leader without war or bloodshed. Today we inaugurate our first black president. I'm excited about our new president not because he's black, but because I have an opportunity to pray for him.
I'm praying that God will give him wisdom to lead our country. I'm praying that he will desire to do the right things. I'm praying that he will have the will to do the hard things. I'm praying for him because it's what God's people are called to do.
I'm praying for our country too. Lord, as we near your return work in this country and in our lives for your glory and for your kingdom.1Ti 2:1-4- First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Monday, January 19, 2009
It's great to see the scope of the message of the gospel. It reaches not only the heart and soul, but also meets the needs of the stomach. There is no other religion on planet earth that values life and cares for the needy like the Christian faith does. It's always exciting for me to see all that God is doing through his church and his people. If you are interested in more information about this work you can visit their site-
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Fri, Jan. 16, 2009 Posted: 02:57 PM EST
MythBusters, the long running Discovery Channel show, sets out to test the validity of various myths, urban legends and rumors that buzz through the popular culture.
Jane DratzChristian Post Guest Columnist
Saturday, January 17, 2009
This morning I have been thinking about and dealing with the baggage of other people....all the stuff we carry around from our lives that weighs us down and causes problems. I've been thinking about a very troubled person who made an appointment to see me yesterday and then didn't show up and now blames me for not having time for them. Excuses are a great way to hold onto all your baggage....if you don't ever have to sort through all the stuff you carry around you won't ever have to admit how silly it is to continue to carry it. We all do this...we all have baggage....issues, things, thoughts, habits, feelings, hurts, attitudes we have carried with us because of something someone did...someone said OR didn't do or say. It doesn't matter the source, we are a race that loves to keep baggage and to be honest with you...I must tell you....it's all junk! The stuff we carry around hurts our lives, our relationships, our walk with God, our happiness, our success, our todays and our tomorrows.....it's all junk! Why do we continue to hold onto it? Why do we grasp our "junk" so tightly and refuse to let it go? I think the main reason is that we are broken, foolish hurting people who think our junk has great value and so we hold onto it. As I write this I think about C.S. Lewis' words in his book, The Great Divorce, where he describes just such a situation with a poor soul holding onto her baggage even after death...unwilling to let go of it because "she has every right to feel that way." And in that story C.S. Lewis saw our problem clearly- it's our rights, our pride, our selfishness that makes us hold onto our baggage even when we clearly see that it's all just junk! Often, as I look at others and try to help them (I include myself in this commentary by the way) I see such broken people still proudly trying to bear up under their load of junk. Why won't we let it go? We truly think we have every right to our feelings, our hurts, our scars, our woes...and so proudly we bear them and refuse to bring them to the only one who can relieve us of these great loads of junk.....Jesus himself. (A side note- Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan deals with this topic well.) I wish the person that caused these rambling thoughts this morning would be willing to let go of their baggage, but sadly, because I hit a nerve and threatened to help them with their cargo, they have chosen to avoid me at all cost.....imagine that....avoid me, the very person who wants to help lighten their load. But like the dear woman in C.S. Lewis' book this person, I'm sure, feels every right to their baggage and so will continue to bear it. I wish so badly we could each really understand how significant the words of Jesus are on this topic when he said,
"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
Thursday, January 15, 2009
This is a great testimony to the witness of one man, and Penn is right...if you really believe this stuff and don't tell those around you then you must really hate them. I can tell this man touched Penn, and I pray that the Lord will draw him to faith in Christ because if we are right then this stuff really is important!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Thursday, January 08, 2009
I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn’t do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.
As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.
The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker’s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.
The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ‘I know why.’
Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation.
He said, ‘People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?’ The 6-year-old continued, ‘Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.’
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.
Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like when loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy-ride. Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy. Take naps (I like this one!). Stretch before rising. Run, romp, and play daily. Thrive on attention and let people touch you. Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass. On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree. When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body. Delight in the simple joy of a long walk. Be loyal. Never pretend to be something you’re not. If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it. When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and just gently be there.
ENJOY EVERY MOMENT OF EVERY DAY!
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
During their visit, the conversation turned to complaints about stress in their work, lives and relationships.
Offering his guests hot chocolate, the professor went into the kitchen and returned with a large pot of hot chocolate and an assortment of cups. Some cups were porcelain, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite. He invited each to help themselves to the hot chocolate.
When they all had a cup of hot chocolate in hand,the professor shared his thoughts.
“Notice that all the nice looking, expensive cups were taken, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones.”
“While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.”
“The cup that you are drinking from adds nothing to the quality of the hot chocolate. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink.”
“What each of you really wanted was hot chocolate. You did not want the cup . . . but you consciously went for the best cups.”
“And soon, you began to eye one another’s cups.”
“Now friends, please consider this . . .
“Life is the hot chocolate . . .your job, money and position in society are the cups.”
“They are just tools to hold and contain life.”
“The cup you have does not define,nor does it change, the quality of life you are living.”
“Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup,we fail to enjoy the hot chocolate God has provided us.”
Always remember this . . . . . . . . . . God brews the hot chocolate, He does not choose the cup.
The happiest people don't have the best of everything.
They just make the best of everything that they have!!
Monday, January 05, 2009
Here is the last part of a program FOX news recently aired. It's the testimony of the son of a Hamas founder who became a Christian. It's a bold testimony you need to see. This is also a young man we need to pray for. I pray that the Lord brings more of the Muslim world to the knowledge of the true God and savior, Jesus Christ.
Saturday, January 03, 2009
2Co 7:1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Friday, January 02, 2009
Php 3:8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord..."