RSS

Monthly Archives: November 2013

Image

Happy Winds-day: Psalm 147:16-18

Happy Winds-day: Psalm 147:16-18

Man, it is cold outside!! The skies are dark, snow flurries are blowing in the mountains, and the wind—oh my goodness! The winds of winter have arrived early.

God reveals Himself through wind. In the creation of man, God breathed into the wind, the breath of life. He appeared to Job in a whirlwind. He caused a wind to blow across the Red Sea, parting the waters and allowing His children to cross over to safety.

Jesus explained to Nicodemus that being born again was a mystery that man cannot understand. “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”(John 3:8) God’s Spirit moved with power upon the early church, coming upon them like a mighty rushing wind.” (Acts 2:2)

So bundle up and stay warm. God is at work in the wind. In a manner of months, the winds will change direction and the warmth of spring will return. As the Psalmist said, God speaks to His creation through the wind; “He causes His wind to blow, and the waters flow.”

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 27, 2013 in Daily Verse & Prayer

 

Tags: , , ,

Image

Chillaxing: Matthew 14:23

Chillaxing: Matthew 14:23

The group Chicago once sang that “everybody needs a little time away.” Life can be very stressful. People will drive you crazy. There are deadlines to meet and bills to pay. As Jack said in the old Stephen King movie The Shining, “All work and no play makes Jack a very dull boy.”

The word that comes to my mind is “chillaxing”; a combination of “chilling” and “relaxing.” Even the Lord Jesus had to “chillax”. On several occasions, the Bible records that He had to get away from the crowds, the pressure, the opposition and His journey to the Cross. He would retreat to a mountain or a desert and pray. He would “chill out” and relax.

We all need to get away sometimes. Jesus told the disciples to “come apart for a while” and rest. An old preacher once warned that if we do not “come apart”, then we will come apart.

So take some time to “chillax”. Get away from people and be alone with God. Just don’t do it at 11:00 on Sunday mornings; you need to be in a group of believers at that particular time.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 26, 2013 in Daily Verse & Prayer

 

Tags: , , ,

Image

November 25 – December 1 – Every Day with God

November 25 - December 1 - Every Day with God

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 26, 2013 in Daily Verse & Prayer

 

What Do You Treasure? John 5:16-23

Image

I love Facebook. I enjoy reading what people write. I enjoy looking at their pictures, reading funny stories, getting news on important events, and keeping up with folks that I seldom see. As a pastor, I am constantly checking up on church members by reading their comments on Facebook!

One of my Facebook “friends” is a girl that I knew in high school. We have not seen each other in over thirty years, and of course, she is not a “girl” anymore. She is actually a grandmother. I can tell who she treasures more than anyone else in the world. Every time that she posts pictures, there are smiling photos of her cute little grandson all over the place. She has a husband, children, and friends that I’m sure she loves very much. That grandson, however…she must treasure him very much.

What do you treasure? Do you have a special item that you have hidden in a box or protected in a safe? Do you have a car that you wax and polish and treat with care? Do you own an antique or heirloom that holds a place in your heart?

Jesus said that we should “honor” Him just as we honor His Father (v.23). In other words, Jesus said that we are to “value” Him, or “treasure” Him. Jesus ought to be the most precious person in our lives. We ought to put our relationship with Him at the top of our list. The things of this life will all burn up and be destroyed. Only those treasures that we lay up in heaven will last. Jesus also said that where our heart is, our treasure will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)

Do you have any pictures of Jesus on your Facebook page?

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 25, 2013 in Daily Verse & Prayer

 

Tags: , , ,

Image

God’s Point of View: Psalm 116:15

God’s Point of View: Psalm 116:15

“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.”

Today I will preach the funeral of a very dear friend and church member. Her passing does not seem good to me. In my point of view, I do not understand.

She was only 25. She leaves behind a grieving husband and two very young children. Her parents are burying their child. Her brother and sisters are devastated. I am struggling to make sense of it all. That is my point of view.

God has a different perspective. In His eyes, Melissa’s death is “precious.” He cares very intensely about her. He loves her. He cares about those of us who are grieving. God does not consider her death to be “cheap.” There is a significant reason why she passed when she did. His point of view is quite different from ours.

I may not understand it, but I know that God did not make a mistake. As the old song declares, “We will understand it better by and by.”

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 21, 2013 in Daily Verse & Prayer

 

Tags: , ,

Image

Remembering Kay: John 8:7

Remembering Kay: John 8:7

Kay was not very pretty. She was weird and dressed poorly. Rumors were flying around that she and another girl were caught behind the school building. I was only twelve and had no idea what the “L” word meant, but it sure didn’t sound good. When Kay walked down the hall between classes, people would scream and fling themselves against the wall to avoid her “cooties.” I was only twelve and had no idea what “cooties” were, but they sure didn’t sound good either.

One day after lunch, we were all standing outside eating ice cream and talking. It was a daily routine that we all enjoyed.

Suddenly, the crowd began to part, as if Moses had parted the Red Sea. There stood Kay, wearing her lime-green polyester pants and striped blouse. Her hair was matted and stringy, her braces gleaming in the sun. Someone threw a popsicle at her and it landed on her head.

At first, Kay just sneered in anger. Then she withdrew a few feet to pull the popsicle from her hair. And then it happened.

Kay began to cry.

And the crowd began to laugh.

As the adulterous woman was brought before Jesus, I wonder if she cried. I wonder how she must have felt. Rejected? Scorned? Hated? Unloved? The crowd didn’t just laugh at her; they wanted to kill her. She had gotten caught “behind the school building.” She had “cooties”.

There are many people today who have “cooties”. Some have messed up their lives with drugs and alcohol. Some have been involved in adulterous or homosexual relationships. Others have gotten arrested for crimes and spent time in jail. Some are just “ugly”, or poor, or mentally challenged, or socially unacceptable. How do churches treat people like Kay?

Some Christians are very loving and forgiving, realizing that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Sadly though, there are many who are judgmental. They think that they are better than other people. They don’t want to get “cooties” from dirty people. Some even pick up stones.

Jesus has a word for those who would throw popsicles at people. “He is who is without sin among you [those who do not have cooties], let him throw a popsicle at her first.”

Well okay, He actually said “stone”. I’m sure it must have felt like a rock to Kay.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 20, 2013 in Daily Verse & Prayer

 

Tags: , , , ,

Image

Charlie Brown & Jesus: Matthew 1:21

Charlie Brown & Jesus: Matthew 1:21

Last night my daughter put up our Christmas tree. This greatly annoyed me for two reasons.

**Reason number one: It is November 19th, for crying out loud!! It is not even Thanksgiving yet.

**Reason number two: I am a modern day “Ebenezer Scrooge”.

When it comes to the celebration of Christmas, I say “Bah, humbug!”

Okay, don’t get me wrong. I do enjoy certain things about the “holiday season.” I love Thanksgiving; in fact it is my favorite holiday. I love driving and looking at Christmas lights, especially when the weather is a little nippy. I enjoy singing carols. I even enjoy some of the traditional non-church songs, such as “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”, and “Sleigh Ride”. (I especially like the horses “neighing” at the end of the song!!) My least favorite is “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer” because my parents had the gall to give me my middle name.

Yes, I know that Jesus was not born on December 25th. Yes, I know about all of the “pagan” influences and rituals associated with Christmas. Yes, I know that some Christians claim that Santa Claus is from the devil. My reason for not liking the holiday has nothing to do with its origins though. The reason that I say “Bah, humbug!” has everything to do with Charlie Brown.

Let me explain. A recent Gallup poll revealed that 95% of Americans celebrate Christmas. 93% exchange gifts. (I would prefer to be in the other 7%). 78% even reflect on the birth of Christ, but only 62% actually attend religious services. Of those 62% who attend church, many will not show up again until Easter (which is another subject altogether).

Charlie Brown felt what I feel. He knew that something is desperately wrong. The problem with the Christmas play was that it had nothing to do with Jesus. Thankfully, Linus stood up and told Charlie Brown about Jesus. We need more “Linuses” today. I don’t like “Christmas” because Christ-mass really has very little to do with the Christ.

Why do I celebrate on December 25th? The same reason that I celebrate EVERY day. I celebrate because Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a perfect, sinless life, died for my sins, rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and is coming back to rule and reign forever! Jesus is not the “reason for the season”. Jesus is the reason for all of the seasons! He is Lord!

Red-nosed reindeer, you say? Bah, humbug!!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 19, 2013 in Daily Verse & Prayer

 

Tags: , , , ,