Dad, You Leave Big Footprints!

20 06 2015

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A man going from his house to the stable one snowy morning, heard a voice behind him, “I’m coming along, too, papa,” and, looking behind, saw his little son lifting his little feet and planting them carefully in his father’s footsteps. So do the children imitate their parents. “No man liveth unto himself.” Our children walk in our footsteps; so let us take heed how we walk.

Bible Illustrations 

 





A Mother’s Faith

10 05 2015

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“I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also”—(2 Tim. 1:5).
Lois and Eunice are not irrelevancies in the story of Timothy. What they were had much to do with what he was, or they would not have been named with this honor. As one missionary put it, “To make a sound Christian of a Hindu you have got to convert his grandmother.”
Nowhere will we find a more wonderful example of such feminine spiritual aristocracy than in the life of Abraham Lincoln. When he was a baby his mother said that she would rather have him learn to read the Bible than to have him own a farm. While the boy was still young, in forlorn poverty that mother died and was buried without religious services at her grave. Afterwards came a step-mother—a most understanding woman. She also desired that Abraham learn to read, and to read the Bible. He did.
So the two women of the backwoods and the cabin of the dirt floor had ambition for the boy and gave him guidance. Who knows how much they contributed to what he became? It may be that some of us who wish we had greater opportunity fail to recognize those we have in the nurturing of faith in our children.

Heartwarming Bible Illustrations.





Invocation for Mother’s Day

8 05 2015

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Glorious Lord God, we worship you, we honor you and we stand in awe of you. We are amazed at your grace, love and faithfulness. We rejoice in your salvation. We thank you for the peace that we have with you through your Son Jesus Christ. We love you this morning because you first loved us. Remind us to rejoice in the Lord always. Help us to know the depth of that simple two-word command, “Rejoice evermore”.

Today Lord, we give recognition to all mothers whom we honor with our attention, thoughts, or  memories. We thank you for special mercies you have given to mothers as they sacrifice for their children. We thank you for the daily wisdom you have given them, still treasured into our adult years. We thank you for their patience, love, nurturing, and understanding. We remember the special care you gave to your mother, even as you died on the cross.

We pray for new mothers as they gaze at the toothless smile of their infant. Give them strength and a sense of awe at your plan for the life of their baby. We pray continuing wisdom and understanding for mothers with children still at home. We pray for aging mothers and their growing needs; give her adult children grace as they become caregivers. We pray for those who suffered the loss of a mother this past year; may they find comfort in memories.

We pray for those among us this morning who carry a private or physical pain, touch them with your healing hand. Give direction to those needing guidance and faith to those who can find no answers. Help us to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We ask this in the wonderful name of Jesus,

Amen





Faith

17 04 2015
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By Frederick Buechner

When God told Abraham, who was a hundred at the time, that at the age of ninety his wife, Sarah, was finally going to have a baby, Abraham came close to knocking himself out—”fell on his face and laughed,” as Genesis puts it (17:17). In another version of the story (18:8ff.), Sarah is hiding behind the door eavesdropping, and here it’s Sarah herself who nearly splits a gut—although when God asks her about it afterward, she denies it. “No, but you did laugh,” God says, thus having the last word as well as the first. God doesn’t seem to hold their outbursts against them, however. On the contrary, God tells them the baby’s going to be a boy and they are to name him Isaac. Isaac in Hebrew means “laughter.”

Why did the two old crocks laugh? They laughed because they knew only a fool would believe that a woman with one foot in the grave was soon going to have her other foot in the maternity ward. They laughed because God expected them to believe it anyway. They laughed because God seemed to believe it. They laughed because they half believed it themselves. They laughed because laughing felt better than crying. They laughed because if by some crazy chance it just happened to come true, they would really have something to laugh about, and in the meanwhile it helped keep them going.

Faith is “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen,” says the Letter to the Hebrews (11:1). Faith is laughter at the promise of a child called Laughter.

Faith is better understood as a verb than as a noun, as a process than as a possession. It is on-again-off-again rather than once-and-for-all. Faith is not being sure where you’re going, but going anyway. A journey without maps. Paul Tillich said that doubt isn’t the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith.





Sweet Annabelle

20 03 2015

Today is the 3rd Anniversary of my granddaughter’s stillbirth at 25 weeks. In honor to that eternal soul who I will one day meet and get to know, I wrote this poem.  I could not read it publicly until last year. I put my heart into it as a gift to Annabelle at her memorial service. Honestly, it’s like I could hear her voice and see her smile. I will not get a lot of views with this post, but that’s okay, I just want a medium to somehow tell her, “I remember”. One day I will hear Annabelle say to me, “Thank you papa for loving me through the poem. I love you too.”

 

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Sweet Annabelle

Sweet Annabelle my Annabelle
I loved you from the time,
When news arrived that you would come
In hazy summer time.

Your time had come before your birth
You proved yourself a fighter,
Since Heaven is for real we know,
It got a little brighter

I dream of combing your soft hair,
Admire your warm eyes;
To hold you and to cherish you,
While watching you grow wise.

I long for you, await the time
When faith shall turn to sight.
When I can tell you “I love you”,
Your kiss will I delight.

I think I hear your sweet small voice
Glide smoothly through my mind
And speak from land beyond the earth
All tears and pain behind.

“Don’t fret my passing, God knows best;
I’m safe in Jesus’ arms.
I’ll always be your angel-girl,
Yet suffering no harms.

Can’t wait for you to see me now,
By grace I have such calm.
Don’t be surprised when you get here,
I look just like my mom.

Remember me without regret;
Let go yet hold me dear.
For I’m not gone, I’m really home
Alive and very near.

For even if you cast your bread
To waters deep and dark,
It will return to you again,
God’s Word makes this remark *

Sweet Annabelle my Annabelle
Your face I long to see,
Yet wait in hope until the day
When I shall come to thee.**

Dave Luther

* Ecclesiastes 11:1, **2 Samuel 12:23





Are all Sins the Same?

13 03 2015

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The Analytical and Theological Commentary

The idea is that all sins are the same through the eyes of God. The problem with this is that it goes much deeper than that. James 2:10 says, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (NIV). It seems as though the phrase “all sins are the same” came from this verse. The question of whether all sins are the same or not lies in the usage of the word, “sin.” James explains that if you are a Law breaker (meaning, if you break one of the 613 commandments found in the Law of Moses), then you have sinned against God, therefore placing yourself in need of salvation. Jesus even takes these commands further and says that if you look at a woman with lust in your heart, then you are guilty of adultery (Matthew 5:28). Again, in Matthew chapter 5, Jesus explains that murder gets the same results as being angry with someone and calls him or her a fool or holds them in contempt will be in danger of Hell fire (5:21-22). So then, it is a heart thing, and not just something requiring action in order to obtain a sin nature.

With this in mind, consider a child stealing a piece of penny candy from the local candy store in contrast with a vile, sadistic murderer. God looks at both of them as sinners (Exodus 20:13, 15), but do their sins carry the same weight? Even in the eyes of God?

The thing is, there is a difference between the word “sin” and “sinner” All sinners are breakers of God’s Law, but sins definitely have a different value, even to the Lord.

Let me explain something here before we go any further. Once you sin, you are a sinner in the eyes of God. Once you are a sinner, you need to be saved from your sin. So logically, the moment you sin, you need to be saved. The difference between sin and sinner is that a sinner is someone who has broken a Law of God and a sin is a Law of God that was broken by someone.

So where does all of this mumbo jumbo take us? Though definitely not equally, the different value of sin is regarded by humans as well as the Lord. As the comparison in the example above, there is no question of whether or not they carry the same weight. Of course murder is much worse of a sin than stealing candy. For instance, Matthew 11:24 explicitly reveals that there will be more harsh judgment for those who do not repent with enough evidence to do so; James 3:1 explains that teachers will be judged more strictly; John records Jesus telling Pilate that those who handed Him over to him are guilty of a greater sin John 19:11. These examples do not take the fact away that once someone sins, they are a sinner in need of God’s grace.

The unpardonable sin (found in Mark 3:28) is not accepting Jesus as one’s savior before one dies. This blasphemy against the Holy Spirit causes someone to be guilty of an eternal sin. Romans chapter one explains that men are without excuse because of the creation that lies before them. In other words, Some Designer had to start it all, and because we see the design, we have evidence of the Creator. Secondly, men today are without excuse because they have the biblical account (the gospels) that reveals Jesus to us, who is the only way to the Father (John 14:6). Therefore we have more than enough evidence to understand the need for repentance. A thorough reading of the gospel of John will further explain these “evidences” and show its readers the light of the world.

In conclusion, all sin is equally condemning, but not all sin is equally devastating. As with the serial murderer or the small child stealing penny candy, they both are acts of breaking God’s law. Once you sin, you become a sinner who is in need of God’s grace. This is what James is talking about (James 2:10). You might as well have broken all of God’s laws once you have broken one. This does not give you the excuse to go on sinning because we are held accountable, but it is simply making a point of needing grace. In any event, all sins are the same in that they carry us to the place of needing grace through Jesus, but not all sins have the same level of affliction.





Evolution Screws the Helpless

23 01 2015
This post is written by a wonderful Christian woman who is a cancer survivor. “Beautiful With Cancer”, check it out.

Pastor Dave

by Caroline

I have learned that this is a very emotional topic.  Honestly, I am not really sure why, but if I ever talk about this (which is not that often), I get people really upset.  So, I apologize…I don’t apologize….don’t want to make you mad, but here it is:

“To suppose that the eye with all its intimate contrivances for adjusting the forces to different differences, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.”

Guess who said that?  Yep, the big man himself!  CHARLES ROBERT DARWIN!!!  There is some food for thought, the man who proposed the theory of evolution denied it himself.

From a scientific standpoint, let’s look at the theory of evolution.  Years ago, I attended a lecture under Ken Hamm.  He is a genius of a man and definitely a great man of thinkers of the modern world. He completely demolished the possibility of evolution in one fatal two minute blow describing the impossibility of a giraffe evolving.  It would have died several times during that process.  But he continued and by the end of it, any evolutionist would be crawling under the table.  I can not recommend enough the resources found at answersingenesis.org

From a Biblical standpoint, there are those that believe that God created the world through evolution.  There are several problems with that but to state one:  Adam named all the animals before Eve was created.  So, this theory suggests that evolution occurred to lead up to Adam and Eve and that evolution occurred before the fall.  So, this theory states that death occurred before the fall, which is not biblical because death was a part of the curse and did not exist before it.

And now, for the title:  From an emotional standpoint, Evolution screws the helpless.  According to evolution, it is survival of the fittest.  According to evolution, this is what we’ve got, right now.  So, if you are dying a painful death, if you are a starving child, if you are living each day in agony, the remedy is to end it all.  There is no reason to keep going.  There is no hope.  There is no value for human life.  If you are born with a deformity, you are a mistake, the world will be better when you are gone.

Do I leave you with no hope?  NO!  Because I do not believe in evolution.  (Bet you couldn’t have guessed that.) And why do I write a post on evolution when I know some people are really pissed at me by this point?  Because I want to tell those that do not know that there is hope!  I have a reason to convince you!  I want to tell you that you mean something!  Sorry, but why would anyone try to convince me that evolution is real?!!!  The proof of burden falls on the evolutionist.  The God of the universe made you in his image!  You have worth!  He heals those with disease and injury and hurt!  You have a purpose!  If you are suffering, there is hope!  There is a reason to struggle and survive!  Because you are precious to the God that made it all!