Tag Archives: human interest

Prayer of the Day – November 16th


Rio Vista Drawbridge

The good I want to do, I do not do; the evil that I do not want to do, I do. I grieve, for my temper, my pride, my self-will, the bad thoughts I permit, the unkind, things I say. But you knew all this before you awakened me. Have compassion and save me!

Daily Prayers: A Classic Collection.

Sunday School Discussion Guide for July 28


John 3:1-18 (NKJV)
1  There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
2  This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”
3  Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
4  Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
5  Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
6  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7  Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
8  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.”
9  Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?”
10  Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?
11  Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness.
12  If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?
13  No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.
14  And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
15  that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
16  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
17  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
18  He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.


What must I do to be lost?


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Matthew 6:31-34 NIV

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

In what situation or circumstance does God abandon His care for us?


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Matthew 6:30-34 (NKJV)
30  Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31  Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
32  For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
33  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
34  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Is it a sin not to trust?  Not to believe?

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Three words in this section point the way to victory over worry: (1) faith (Matt. 6:30), trusting God to meet our needs; (2) Father (Matt. 6:32), knowing He cares for His children; and (3) first (Matt. 6:33), putting God’s will first in our lives so that He might be glorified. If we have faith in our Father and put Him first, He will meet our needs.

Hypocrisy and anxiety are sins. If we practice the true righteousness of the kingdom, we will avoid these sins and live for God’s glory.

If God’s care is a luxury hotel, why do we complain about the accommodations?

An Evening Devotional for…


July 1: True Sacrifice

Today’s Reading: Galatians 6:6-10

So don’t get tired of doing what is good. Galatians 6:9

A MOTHER WAS preparing pancakes for her two young sons, Kevin and Ryan. The boys began arguing over who would get the first pancake. The mother scolded them, and then took the opportunity to relay some moral truths to her children.

“What would Jesus do if he were here?” asked the mother. The boys shrugged their shoulders in unison. “Jesus would insist that his brother take the first pancake,” she told them. “And then he would wait for the next one.”

The boys nodded, and the mother felt confident that her lesson had taken. She turned her back and continued baking, but soon heard her oldest boy whispering to the younger one, “Ryan, you be Jesus.”

It’s a cute story, but at times it hits a little too close to home to be very funny. How often do you and I see an opportunity for good and instead of acting, wait for someone else to play the part of Jesus? Ever cast your eyes downward in a meeting hoping someone else will volunteer for the sacrificial jobs? Ever looked the other way when a brother in need walked past you? Ever passed the buck to a deacon when news of a needy family came your way? “I’m a little busy at the moment. Why don’t you be Jesus?”

I’ve been guilty more than once of leaving the tough jobs to others. I know a couple who have spent years working in inner-city missions, and we’ve spent years supporting them. Somehow it makes me feel noble and sacrificial. At least it did until we took a trip to visit them for the weekend. I saw firsthand the way they lived and ministered to some of the most needy and helpless people in our country, and suddenly I didn’t feel quite as merciful for my small contributions. Here’s a little money. Why don’t you be Jesus?

“We are each responsible for our own conduct,” writes the apostle Paul. “Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful desires will harvest the consequences of decay and death. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time” (Galatians 6:5, 8-9). It’s easy to let others be Jesus for us, but a true follower doesn’t pass on that responsibility when it comes. Jesus expects more from us than we often expect from ourselves. Sacrifice means getting involved, not just getting others to do it.

Reflection

In what ways do you allow others to do the work of Christ for you? How can you take more responsibility in service to Jesus?

Embracing Eternity: Living Each Day with a Heart Toward Heaven.

Galatians 6:6-10 (CEV)
6  Share every good thing you have with anyone who teaches you what God has said.
7  You cannot fool God, so don’t make a fool of yourself! You will harvest what you plant.
8  If you follow your selfish desires, you will harvest destruction, but if you follow the Spirit, you will harvest eternal life.
9  Don’t get tired of helping others. You will be rewarded when the time is right, if you don’t give up.
10  We should help people whenever we can, especially if they are followers of the Lord.

A Brief Note on the Symantecs of Evolution


The most effective lies are those that are based on a partial truth. The package of beliefs, notions, theories and hypotheses that are known as “Evolution” are no exception!  All of “evolution” is not true.  At the very least, a fair-minded individual would have to admit that most of it cannot be proven by the scientific method.  But, all the same, I cringe when someone says that “evolution” is a total lie, because people hear that, see the part of evolution that makes sense and discounts anything said after that about “evolution” being false.

We are familiar with the part of evolution that says we evolved from a one celled organism into homo sapiens mankind.  Most would agree that there is no proof for this.  There is a missing link showing the transition, which is to say where is the proof?  You can see many species of animals for instance and geneticists say surely one evolved from the other, but where is the in between creature?  Extinct, they say!  Isn’t it suspicious (and against the scientific method) that in all these cases, all the “in-between” links went extinct?  The former version survived, even though it was disadvantaged and “replaced” with a more fit version…and the ultimate version survived in all its evolutionary splendor!  But the very link in between, that could prove trans-specie natural selection is missing.  It did not survive….every single time!  How can anyone dedicated to the scientific method of discovery ever believe that bunk?

The part of “evolution known as “natural selection” (perhaps better known as survival of the fittest) is absolutely true, to a point.  We see it in action around us.  Mankind has not been protective of some species, and they have gone extinct.  At the top of the food chain, we should have done better.  But my point is, if you say natural selection is a lie, by lumping it together under the general title of “evolution”, then you are simply mistaken, despite your good intentions, and no one hears anything else you have to offer.  Your lie has discredited you.

Of all the people debating this issue, less than half are truly well-informed on all the aspects.  It takes study!  You cannot just take one part you do not agree with and proclaim evolution to be bunk, any more than your opponent can take one part they believe in and fill in the blanks to say all of evolution is true.

A lot has been said about “faith” and how it takes more faith to believe in evolution than it takes to believe in the Biblical account of creation.  If both sides tried better to understand the topics, the answer would be obvious.  Facts and conclusions based upon the scientific method are seen on both sides.  Faith-based conclusions are present on both sides.  This controversy may go on until the end of time.  But we must be careful to know both sides of an issue before we make strong dogmatic statements.

I assume this post will draw some comments.  Let’s keep them on point and avoid name-calling, pigeon-holing, stereotyping, etc.  Let’s be respectful of one another, otherwise how can anyone learn?

How Ought We To Live?


Ever since man began to question things, right in there with who am I, why am I here, and where am I going was the title question; How ought we to live? These questions did not originate in the 1960’s with a social movement. Even the ancient Greek philosophers pondered this.

Many have suggested various solutions to the dilemma. But it was never put any better than the apostle Peter in his first general epistle:

1 Peter 4:7-11 MSG

Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!

Love is the answer to many of the social conflicts we have today. War is a form of aggression. Aggression comes from frustration. There is frustration in our lives because we do not trust God to handle our problems. Some of you are bound to think that this is an over-simplification, and maybe so, but consider this– We put up with more from those we love than we would put up with from anyone else. If we loved more people and to a greater degree, then we would be less aggressive and that would be a better life for all.

Apostle Paul tells us in I Corinthians 13 what love is and what love is not. If we take that and apply it liberally to St. Peter’s advice, above, then we’ll take a giant step toward how we ought to live!

My prayer for you today is that you will love more and feel loved more. Christ can help you with that, if you simply ask Him.

Pastor’s Corner….coffee anyone?


Another masterpiece by pastordustinbutler. This is why I awarded him the very inspiring blogger award! Check it out…..

Windborn Church

For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.

–Psalm 33.4,5

There are so many wonderful verses in Scripture about how just God is. As part of His character, He cannot but be just, it is who He is. Justice flows from Him, it is the foundation of His throne (His reign, and sovereignty and kingdom). Because justice reflects who God is, what is unjust is contrary to who God is, contrary to His faithfulness and love. Accordingly, our starting point to understanding justice is the character of God.

 

  • Claim—God is just and His justice is perfect and faithful and trustworthy, because that’s who He is!

  • Data—Psalm 33.4,5; 97.2; 111.7; Isaiah 28.16,17; 30.15-18; 33.5,6; 42.4-9 (just to name a few).

  • Warrant—to say that God is just is to say we…

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Taking the High Road


GC4I am torn by conflicting feelings regarding recent events, I.e. Boston Marathon bombing, et. al.
I know some of you will not agree with me, but this is not a time for cheap vengeance, making the perpetrator a sympathetic figure or a hero to anarchists. It is not a time to turn to the baser elements of our nature. It is certainly not a time to show that our “might is right.”. But it is a time to show our conviction to our nobler precepts. Love our enemy does not mean we advocate no punishment for perpetrators, but simply expresses forgiveness without absolving him of this devilish series of actions.
Christ and the Apostle Paul spoke of this very thing:

Ephesians 4:31-32 NKJV
Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Matthew 5:43-45 NKJV
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

The advantage is clear in v45, that we may be sons of God. If we show all the base elements of their enemy, how are we any better? I choose to be like Jesus! God give me strength. I encourage all of you to take the high road, also. The ability to do this in your heart and life is the beginning of a leap from being a believer-only to a true disciple. This is a part of the cost of discipleship.

My prayer for all of you today is that the Holy Spirit will move on each of you with an anointing of love and forgiveness, that you may be more like Jesus and less like the enemy of your soul.

Response to Daily Prompt..


I was asked…You’ve being exiled to a private island, and your captors will only supply you with five foods. What do you pick?

1. Oatmeal.  Keep up with daily fiber, because it’s important.  Why?  Well, that’s the subject of another post on some one else’s blog.

2. Apples.  One a day, right?  O.K., maybe more than one.  Fuji apples are nice sweet snacking apples.

3. Fish.  Salmon, preferably.  Good for keeping up the good chloresterol.  It’s one of the few fish that doesn’t taste to me like tarter sauce.

4. Tomatoes.  Good for vitamins and an anti-oxident.  

5. Corn.  Can’t get enough! Best if broiled on the grill.

While this is my best answer, who am I kidding?  I can’t limit my consumption to just five ingredients.  My appetite is too diverse.  But maybe I could find someone else on the island with a different five ingredients and barter….oh, well, a guy can dream!

Five Dubious Practices …


Things I used to do at the Easter season, and have repented (sort of)..
1. I used to say at lent, that the thing I gave up was this prideful practice of giving up things to be noticed by others. (“Oh, he is so holy and devout, he gave up ___ for lent”). I felt that grace was sufficient and any little thing that I did could not add in any way to Jesus work on Calvary. This is true, but rubbing the noses of the “rule-keepers” into this was not appropriate. As Paul would say, it does not edify or build up the body of Christ. Now, I try to give of myself more than ever before, but I don’t broaast it and I’m sorry I mentioned it here. But I wanted to say I have changed. My former attitude was just as prideful as the attitude of the Lent extremists.
2. I used to make a big deal of Easter Baskets, coloring eggs for the kids, the whole nine yards. I have known for some time that the church in ancient times combined Resurrection Sunday with a pagan holiday, but I didn’t think much about it. Now, I want to jealously guard the Holy Resurrection aspect and minimize the pagan influence. This is not to say that God will send you to Hell for eating Easter candy, but let’s be distinctly Christian in our perspective of this Holy Holiday.
3. I used to go to a grand buffet for Easter Sunday Dinner. It was the feast of feasts. I over-indulged every single time and gave no thought to the deadly sin of gluttony. Reform has come slowly, but I no longer use Resurrection Sunday to hasten my early demise by over-indulging to ridiculous proportions. The day should not be about that. I can rejoice in Christ’s triumph over death in other ways besides gluttony. I am doing better on this one.
4. Remember those “Sunrise Services?”. Some churches still have them. I was an early riser for most of my adult life, so it didn’t bother me that much. But most of my nuclear family was not…and if they did not get their sleep, they were grumpy. This is not the attitude you should take to church on any Sunday. By the time the regular morning service started, the kids were in their Easter Sunday best clothes sleeping under the pews. This did not serve any practical purpose, so later in life we skipped the sunrise service and stuck to our usual routine and it worked much better for us. After all, it had to be sonrise somewhere in the world when our service started!
5. This one is especially egregious, because my taste changed, but I think it’s because I was by no means moderate. I am talking about “peeps” as I remember them. Yellow or pink, I would savor every tasty bite of marshmallow-sugar flavor. sometimes I would let them melt in my mouth, but usually they did not last long enough to melt. There could never be enough peeps. Then, at some point, I really think they changed the recipe. I cannot put one of these new counterfeits in my mouth. The cloyingly sweet mix in my mouth makes me sick to my stomach and the flavor tastes so artificial. I don’t think it would ever melt in my mouth. I think I could stuff it in a cheek, save it a year and pull it out pristine for the next Easter. Paul preaches moderation, but I preach to you a new commandment…abstinence! Death to the peeps. We hardly knew ye!
In all seriousness, let us all look at our holiday practices with an eye to please God, serve others, and observe the tenets of our faith as nobly as those who fought to pass them on to us.

Peace be unto you!