Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Remembering Day

Gen 9:16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth."
I like Memorial Day! Somewhere along the line we are just too busy to remember those heroes who laid down their lives for us. And we shouldn't be! Right now, at our high school, a "remembering" stone stands to help us remember some local heroes that we should never forget. Please this "Remembering Day", remember those who fought and died for us, our true heroes.
Indulge me in this remembering a moment. The word remember is used 120 times in the NIV Bible. That is a lot of times in 66 books. The favorite of mine is the one used in our text: God will remember the covenant with His people and won't destroy them again by flood.
I don't want God to forget me. Too many of us are forgetting Him; I will try to remember Him.
Please, God, don't forget us. We need you, your power, your hope, your salvation.
And I am very grateful. Hope you will be too.

God, thank you for remembering us. Please let us never forget you. And thank You, for those heroes who gave their lives that I might freely worship and adore you through my Savior Jesus. In His name, Amen!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Is It Nothing to You, All Who Pass By

Lam 1:12 "Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look around and see. Is any suffering like my suffering that was inflicted on me, that the LORD brought on me in the day of his fierce anger?

xYou might have heard of Kevin Carter. Carter was a famous South African photographer who won the Pulitzer Price for feature photography. He was the first to shoot a picture of a South African "Necklacing", execution by a tire filled with gasoline forced around a person's body which was set afire. He experienced the gruesome side of human nature.

xHis prize photograph was of a starving Sudanese girl, about 5, who was trying to walk to a food station. The little body was so weak it could hardly move. In the background of the picture, a vulture was waiting for the child to die.

xCarter says that he shooed the vulture away, but nothing more. His report is that the small child began to walk on her own. What happened to the child, no one knows. On July 27, 1994, Carter put his camera down and took his own life at the age of 33, his friends contending that he suffered from doing nothing for the child when he could have.

xI don't know the truth of the last claim, but I do know this: Jeremiah's question in Lamentations rings out loudly and clearly today. Jerusalem, in its day, was begging, hoping, that somebody would help and try to change; it never happened. Our world today is Satanic chaos: jobs gone, family relationships devastated, finances at an all time low, and at this writing people are even walking around Vandalia with medical masks in fear of the H1N1 or Swine Flu. We don't know what to do. My prayer is that our dying breath will be "Yes, God, we care for you, for your Son, for our churches, and for our world."


Father, please teach us to look past the chaos of the world and see you. Help us to look into your heart and love Christ and others through Him. In Jesus name, Amen!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Join Us for Easter Sunrise Service

The Mulberry Grove Ministerial Alliance is hosting an Easter Sunrise Service at the First Church of Christ on Maple Street. It will be held on Easter Sunday, April 12th, beginning at 6:30 A.M. There will be a fellowship breakfast following the worship service. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Simple Heart, Simple Love

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have ever lasting life! -- John 3:16

If you would Google or Yahoo images of hearts, all kinds of pictures will come up. You would find an assortment of designs. Valentine shapes, human heart pictures, even two cats lying mirrored next to each other in the form of a heart, would grace your screen. Valentine shapes have become exotic and fancy; sometimes they are simple letting the basic design of the heart shape itself speak the language of love.

Sometimes I get very flowery in my words. But I'd like for this blog to be simple in design instead of complex. I'd like the scripture for our lesson to simply remind us what true love is all about.
Dear God, please teach us simple, life-supporting, God pleasing love, just as you have shown it and Jesus demonstrated it. Thank you, in Jesus name! Amen.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Candlemas Day?

According to the weather almanac, Groundhogs Day had its early beginnings with a pagan celebration of Imbolc! When the German settlers arrived in America in the 1700's they brought the celebration of Candlemas Day with them, which was based on this celebration. According to the tradition, if the weather was fair on Candlemas Day, which was half way between the start of winter and the start of spring, it was a sign that the ravages of winter would continue. If, on the other hand, the day was not so nice, the folklore pronounced that early spring was surely on its way. Interestingly enough, the Germans watched for the shadow of a badger. In Pennsyvania, the groundhog was chosen as it would arise mid-winter from its hibernation. In February, 1841, a store keeper, James Morris of Morgantown, PA, noted this in his diary: ..."Last Tuesday, the 2nd, was Candlemas day, the day on which, according to the Germans, the Groundhog peeps out of his winter quarters and if he sees his shadow he pops back for another six weeks nap, but if the day be cloudy he remains out, as the weather is to be moderate."
1Timothy 4:7 reminds us: "Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather, train yourself to be godly."
Of course, Groundhogs Day is a fable, an old wives' tale. And of course, it has nothing to do with our salvation or even our Christian life. Like many other celebrations, it was started by pagans and followed by the world. These kinds of things are a lot of fun to study and know about, but certainly are not for the gain of Christian. I wouldn't say don't enjoy Groundhogs Day. But I would say, we need to spend as much time or more time learning the truth of God's word for our lives.
Current statistics tell us that 10 out of 10 of us will die! Do you find that statistic shocking? We probably would say we don't, but we may not have really thought about it! Follow Paul's advice to Timothy! Don't pay attention to the fables; train yourself to be Godly!
Dear God: We have a lot of fun with the traditions of man. But please help us to be able to know where and how to draw the line. Help us to become very serious about knowing you. We will die! Help us to be ready to stand before you because we have accepted Jesus!. In His name, Amen!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Read John 1:45-48

If we had to assemble a team of workers to accomplish some task, we would most likely look for people with the skills we needed and the temperament to work together for the project we had in mind. Obviously Jesus knew the skills of the disciples he chose but they are not apparent from John's writing.

Here is Nathanael resting under a tree - hardly sounds like an eager worker - and his first comment is a disparaging one about a neighboring town. What we might hear in town about someone from Keyesport. He does not sound like a team player. But Jesus knew what he wanted and he convinced Nathanael to join the team.

When we look for prospective disciples we need to rely on Jesus' vision and not our own. We do not need to be selective to our standards - to look for people who we think are qualified. We need to invite everyone and let God qualify them.

Lord God, help us invite whomever we find and trust in you to do the selection. Amen.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christ, the Light!

The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:9-13)

My daughter is accustomed to having a nightlight burning in her room at night when she sleeps. There is a measure of comfort to her to know that the light is burning. Occasionally the bulb in the nightlight will burn out. For my daughter it is a frightening experience when this happens at night-time. If she wakes and the light is not there she calls out to let me know that something is wrong. By replacing the bulb, her fears are calmed and the whole household can return to sleep.

Jesus tells us that he himself is the light of the world. Without this light, we cannot see, we cannot find comfort. With the light of Christ we are comforted and we can enjoy life calmly. The light was first introduced into the world at the first Christmas. Today, Christ-followers carry the light of Jesus in their spirits. While the light will not burn out (like a nightlight’s bulb), we must let it shine out through the things that we do, and the way that we live.

This is the message of Christmas—Let your light shine!

Father, shine the light of Jesus brightly this Christmas, and throughout the new year. Amen