Just Sayin’

30 05 2015

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Hope itself is like a star—not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity.

God often takes away our comforts and our privileges in order to make us better Christians.

Prayer is the forerunner of mercy.

Anything is better than the dead calm of indifference.

Oh, to love the Savior with a passion that can never cool

Charles Spurgeon

Take up the cross, and follow Me.
Mark 10:21

He is precious
1 Peter 2:7

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall
1 Corinthians 10:12

“Fear of God” is another way of saying that we take God seriously!

It’s not what we are, but what we are becoming, that communicates Christ.

Love without discipline encourages a self-indulgent life. But discipline without love encourages bitterness and rebellion.

365-Day Devotional Commentary

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Failures

16 05 2015

I do not have a source for this quote that I copied and taped to the wall in back of my desk. I just know that I need to be reminded of its truth.

Pastor Dave

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  • Even those with great faith can fail. Let’s not be shocked at our own or at others’ weaknesses.
  • Personal failures affect others. What we do and are always has its impact on those around us.
  • Only God can redeem our failures. Never let guilt or shame turn you away from God. He is the only One who can help.
  • God does not abandon us when our weaknesses betray us. God can and will intervene for us when we turn to Him.




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





Love Does

28 04 2015
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I used to want to fix people, but now I just want to be with them.

I used to think I had to act a certain way to follow God, but now I know God doesn’t want us to be typical.

I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.

I used to think God guided us by opening and closing doors, but now I know sometimes God wants us to kick some doors down.

I used to think the best teachers wore tweed jackets and smoked pipes, but now I know they flip over and leak.

I used to think God wouldn’t talk to me, but now I know I’m just selective with what I chose to hear.

I used to think I needed to pick sides, but now I know it’s better to pick a fight.

Bob Goff, the author of Love Does.





Slavery in the Bible

9 04 2015

Am I Not a Man and a Brother? abolitionist medallion by Josiah Wedgwood

It is a good question asked by believers and unbelievers alike- “how come the Bible permits slavery”? How would you handle that question? Lawren Guldemond gives some helpful insight.  Pastor Dave

By Lawren Guldemond

In several of his letters, the Apostle Paul gave instruction that Christian slaves should be obedient to their masters, and Christian masters should be fair in ruling over their slaves.[1] Those letters are part of the Bible. Adversaries like to point this out and argue that the God of the Bible is in favour of slavery, and is therefore despicable and morally inferior to modern secular humanists.

If God is real and good, and the Bible is His Word, why doesn’t the Bible contain denunciations of slavery rather than apparent endorsements?

First of all, the Bible does prohibit slavery in its absolute form. Exodus 21:16 proscribes the death penalty for those who enslave others, and for those who buy the kidnapped victims of such slave traders. In his first epistle to Timothy, Paul reaffirms this by including enslavers in a list of denunciations (I Timothy 1:10).[2] Deuteronomy 23:15-16 prohibited giving runaway slaves back to their masters, and commanded that they be given refuge instead. If a master struck a slave and knocked out a tooth or blinded an eye, the slave went free (Exodus 21:26-27). If a master beat a slave to death, it was commanded that the master be punished (Exodus 21:20). Furthermore, the laws of Jubilee (Leviticus 25) mandated that everyone in bondage be set free every seventh year. Taken together, these limitations prevent the kind of unbridled despotism that slave owners practised in the antebellum American South. Observe that every one of these commandments was violated by those who ran the transatlantic slave trade and the southern cotton plantations.

The “slavery” allowed for in the Bible is not equivalent to the absolute slavery imposed on Africans in the New World.[3] The biblical model is better understood as indentured servitude. In a typical case, a free man who is struggling and failing to make a living as an independent farmer on his own land might decide to become a bondservant to a prosperous farmer in order to gain food security. According to Paul Copan:

We should compare Hebrew debt-servanthood (many translations render this “slavery”) more fairly to apprentice-like positions to pay off debts—much like the indentured servitude during America’s founding when people worked for approximately 7 years to pay off the debt for their passage to the New World. Then they became free.[4]

It was a provision for the welfare of those who became bankrupt, that they should become servants to others who were financially stable and competent and could therefore provide for them, in return for their service in labour. Biblical jubilee laws (Leviticus 25) mandating debt forgiveness, release of bondservants, and the restoration of farmland back to the family that had sold it all served to prevent those who fell into debt bondage from being trapped in that estate permanently. (For further reading, see the lengthy discussion of the nature of servitude in Hebrew society and the Gentile societies that surrounded them in the Ancient Near East (ANE) on Glenn Miller’s Christian ThinkTank website)





Holy Week

28 03 2015

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It is the time between Palm Sunday and Resurrection Sunday, often (and rightly) called “Holy Week”. good Friday is alsothe Passover, a time when Jews around the world celebrate the freedom from bondage they enjoy because of Jehovah’s intervention while their entire race was in Egypt. By the way, the Jew’s continual and documented existence after over 3,000 years is, in itself, a cause for celebration of divine favor. Resurrection Sunday is the first day of the week (Sunday) after Passover, except when there is a correction to the Jewish calendar to calibrate it with our Julian calendar. It very well could correspond to the time when the Red Sea parted and deliverance from bondage was finally realized.

Holy Week is a week of meditation and reflection on the cost of our freedom from the bondage of sin. It is a time of contemplating life and death issues. It is a week of gratitude as we celebrate the deliverance offered by trusting Jesus as our Savior.

Life comes and goes. It is like a vapor that appears for a little time, we are told in James 4:14. Thank God this week that we have hope because of the death-conquering resurrection of Jesus. Think about it this week.