Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Gospel of The Second Chance*

May 11, 2019

Are you in a position in life that you feel that your expectations and goals are a disaster? Do you feel
that you have let your self and God down and that you are a failure?
Are you listening to all those people who say you aren’t going to make it, that you can’t measure up?
Whose guides are you using to listen to these folks? You know that God values you just as you are. You aren’t perfect and neither am I (only Jesus was perfect) But if we love Christ as he loves us and we follow Him then the pattern of our lives comes from God.

I refer you to Mark 16:6-7. I and many others who read the Gospels regularly have missed Jesus statement that is found only in Mark. When I first saw it I was taken back but very thankful for His statement. Here is what he says:
Mark 6-7:” Don’t be alarmed” he said,”you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene who was crucified . He has risen,He is not here. See the place where they have laid Him. 7: But go tell the disciples AND PETER he is going ahead of you to Galilee , there he will see you just as he told you”

Read it again.–if that isn’t a hidden treasure, I don’t know what is. Peter who was outspoken,who denied Jesus and generally not the person you would like to lead you evangelism team, became one of the greatest evangelical leaders in all of scripture (1&2 Peter)

Peter got a second chance to be a true follower of Christ. Not many chances exist in the world today. We don’t have to go far to find examples of that -the kid who didn’t make the little league team; the employee who got a pink slip; or the wife and mother who got dumped in favor of the young secretary.
Jesus had an answer to this cutthroat mania-“its a dog eat dog world?” He would say,”then, don’t live with the dogs” Why let a bunch of other failures tell you how much of a failure you are. ?

Just ask Peter ,he got the message “you are ok Peter you get to try again.” It is not every day that you will find someone who will give you a second chance -much less someone who will give you a second chance every day! That is our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

*title borrowed from others


The Coming Easter Celebraton

April 1, 2019

As we approach Holy Week culminating in celebrating the Risen Christ, we must reflect on what this “holiday” means to a vast majority of our citizens. I am afraid Easter has taken second place as hierarchy of modern holidays.
I suspicion that advertisers haven’t found a way to commercialize it as thoroughly as they have commercialized Christmas. But this was not the case with first century believers…Paul declared “that if there is no resurrection of the dead then Christ has not risen. Then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty ” (1 Corinthians 15: 13-14.
It is important to add that, as Paul saw it , Easter isn’t Easter without the cross. In another passage (Galatians 6:14) he exclaims “God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus”

Traditionally , the week leading up to and culminating in the celebration of Easter. is devoted to the contemplation of what Jesus suffered on the cross. As we prepare for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, of course we celebrate and give thanks for each and every day That God has given us.  But as we approach this Holy time we celebrate on Palm Sunday, Jesus entering Jerusalem and the people laying palm branches in front of Him. For me this is the time to read the Passion Story. On Thursday , we celebrate what we call Maundy Thursday. Maundy commemorates Jesus foot washing of His disciples as well as the Last Supper. In my tradition we didn’t wash feet (although as pastor I wanted to do this) We did celebrate Holy Communion. On Friday is the day that Jesus was on the cross and we meditate on his pain and suffering.

Holy Saturday  is a quiet time in preparation for the resurrection. All of this is not just a theological exercise. This is the ultimate tenant of the Christian faith. If a person confesses their sins and asks Christ to come into their life, they will be saved by God’s Grace. But Salvation is based on Christ dying on the cross to atone for our sins and being resurrected to eternal life for those who accept his free offer of Grace and will also  be cleansed by the the Blood of Christ and will reside with him in eternity.

This is why Christians world wide celebrate Easter . Why we have celebrations in our churches and with believers everywhere thank God for their redemption and look forward to eternal life. Amen

God Wants To Hear From You

March 12, 2019

There is the story of a man we will call Sam who went to Heaven. St. Peter was showing him around. Sam marveled at the scenery, the beautiful buildings and grounds. Soon they came to a tall building that was very plain, no windows and seemed out of place. Sam curious asked what was in that building. Peter said, you probably don’t want to go in there. Buy Sam persisted and Peter opened the door. Sam was stunned, for there were racks 2 high of white boxes with ribbon around them with a name on each boxthe length of the building. What is in the boxes Sam asked… Peter said the box holds the prayers that were prayed to God and were answered. Sam raced around until he found a box with his name on it. quickly he tore off the ribbon and opened the box…it was empty. :Peter said if you had a prayer life on earth God would have heard you and answered your prayers.

Maybe some of us need to reexamine our prayer life. It all starts with faith-we must have faith that God hears our prayers and will answer them. Of course, God’s answer to our prayers may not be what we expected. But if we have a living prayer life with God, we can be honest with him.

Don’t box God in when you pray. Scripture says “all things are possible with God” If we have the faith that God hears our prayers and that he answers them, we can be bold and ask for anything we need..

A prayer life is a communication between you and God. Don’t be like the Pharisees who went to the street corner at the busy time of the day and prayed out loud so everyone could see how pious they were. Scripture tells us to go into a room and pray to God in secret.–you pray, he hears.

The next question may be what do I say in my prayers? Jesus gave us a good example of the structure of prayer when he taught his disciples the Lords Prayer The pattern for prayer follows this outline.
1-Acknowledge who God is
2-Ask for Kingdom on earch
3-Feed us for today
4-forgive us (as we forgive)
5-keep us from sin
We can then ask for his help and guidance, and for his Grace and power to help those that are in need. This is called intercessory prayer, praying for someone else. Next question may be, when should I pray?
Scripture tells us to”pray without ceasing” I used to spend a lot of time in my car. It was a great time to pray and meditate (safely!) I called it windshield prayers.

If you have a real relationship with God, our prayers and our quiet times of listening to Him will be your guide every hour of the day. God loves you and he wants the best for you. Every day your should say “God what do you want me to do today and please guide me in doing it…amen

Judging others

January 3, 2019

Boy I can use several examples to illustrate what I am talking about. But one that hit home with me is the following:
We were standing line at the grocery store.. The person checking out was having a problem and everyone behind her was complaining about the delay. Several derogatory comments were made. But one man who was really upset said, “It is one of those welfare card things. I wish those people would get a job like the rest of us” The young woman looked up to see who made the comment and then almost in tears, she dropped the welfare card and ran out of the store. A few minutes later a young man walked into the store and asked the clerk if she had seen the woman. After describing her the clerk said that she had run out of the store, got in her car and drove away.

Why would she do that? asked the young man. Everyone looked at the man who made the comment.
” it was me, I made a stupid comment about welfare card she was using. I shouldn’t have said it.”
“well, that is bad” the man said. “her brother was killed in Afghanistan two years ago . He had three young children and she has taken the responsibility of caring for them. She is 20 years old and single and now has to care for three young children.”

“I am truly sorry , I didn’t know” said the man. “Are these paid for?” he asked pointing to the cart full of groceries.. It wouldn’t take her card the clerk informed him. “do you know where she lives? he asked the mam. “yes, she goes to our church” “Excuse me,” he said as he made his way to the front of the line. He pulled lout his wallet , took out a credit card and told the cashier “please use this to pay for the ladies groceries.
That wasn’t the end of the story. After getting her groceries paid for, he turned to everyone in line and said, :Come on people, we have three kids to feed. Everyone began to put their groceries in the belt. Some went to the end and started bagging them and putting them in carts. They even went back and getting more food to put in the line. When it was done the man paid $1,646. for all the groceries. Then he went over to the young man who was standing there with his mouth open and started writing a check. ” She will need a new freezer and a few other things as well. ” The young man said, “this is really very generous of you. “no,” the man said “her brother was the generous one”

A long story but a great point. In this case there was a positive ending. But how many times when we react to what we see in people and not take the time to understand the situation, do we plant seeds of distrust and how many times do we miss an opportunity to reach out and help someone once we know the situation.

But the real message is that we are not in the judging business. We need to give that job to God. I know that sometimes we feel like we need to correct people, tell them to change their ways, but as the bible says (paraphrasing) don’t correct the other person, until you have made sure that you are right with your life.
If you have compassion, if you have love, then your response to others is to reach out and share God.s love with them. After all, if we are off track, God guides us to the right path rather than condemn us. We can do no less to our fellow human beings who are also CHILDREN OF GOD.

What are we celebrating?

December 17, 2018

Yes, this is the Christmas season..yes we sing Christmas carols..yes we decorate trees,church sanctuary’s and homes.. yes we put up lights and other colorful displays..yes we have the Advent candles yes we have the Christmas parties..yes for a moment we look outside ourselves to our hurting society as we prepare Christmas baskets, and not inward as we do most of the time. All of this to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. ..a birthday certainly to be celebrated.

But I wonder how many of us really understand why God was manifest in Jesus Christ and put on this earth? Do you know that God created all that we see hear and touch. He created us in his image. When he was done he said that “it was good”
He gave humans a utopia , a garden that would fulfill all of their needs and be a comfort to them and their offspring to forever. However the first humans sinned against God and the result they were banished from the perfect place and all of us from their children to now are marked by sin.

So God sent his Son, Jesus Christ to become human and live among the people to first teach, preach,heal and love us as his Children. But his real mission was to atone for the sin of the whole world and he did that with His death on the cross. He was divine being the Son of God but he was also human when he went through the torture and degradation of death on a cross. This was the most brutal way for a person to die in that time and this. He was obedient to the end and when he shouted “God why have you forsaken me!”we all understand that Christ took the sins of the whole world because God could not look on sin.

His resurrection 3 days later was the magnificent gift to all of us who believe on Him. We will not die at the end of our earthly life We will live with God in eternity! All because God loved us so much that he sent his Son to atone for our sins and provide a path for us to be with Him forever.

So as we celebrate this season, let us focus on the wonderful gift of our Savior Jesus Christ and what He did for all of us…yes God wants all people to come to Him . All we have to do is acknowledge that Christ is our Savior and that he died for our sins and then ask him to come into our lives.
Is this the day, the season where you take that step? After all it can save your life!

Dealing with change

November 24, 2018

Here it is almost the end of November and my last blog was September. Well we have been moving. From leaving my obligations were we were at. to getting moved to our new home has taken my attention away from my usual activities.

Change can always be upsetting to a degree. But if we are still working in the vineyard and following God’s call on our life, the upset will be minor and temporary. It is exciting to meet new people and explore a new town . Especially for me, going to a new church and getting acquainted with new Christians is exciting. I am finding a Sunday School class that will be a place where I can continue to learn from members of the class as well as from the material being presented.

Maybe even if you are not moving to a new home or a new town, maybe now is a time to take a fresh look at where you are in relation to your Christian walk. If you are not going to a church regularly, may I encourage you to take that step. Meting weekly with Christian friends, just gets the week going in the right direction, I have said many times, that Church is the gas station of our souls, to get filled up for the week ahead. If you have Christ on your side, and a church to support you, this life and this world that sometimes is not very nice, can get you through each day,each week and each year.

If you are discouraged,  if you struggle with the day to day of living, turn to the Lord to walk with you. How do you do that? For one, read the Bible. Any problem you have is addressed in Scripture. Two, develop Christian friends with whom you can share your struggles. You can do this with one on one visits or in a bible class. Three, develop a prayer life. God wants us to communicate With Him. HE wants to hear our struggles,and petitions as well as giving him praise.

May you see this world in a new light, the light of Christ. He says he will bring us peace if we look to Him for guidance. May it be so with you. Amen


September 24, 2018

Every once in a while it is time to reflect on God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, and what that means to us. We all have different reflections but I have a few.

Prayer is a privilege-not a duty. It is an opportunity, a freedom, and a sacred connection to God. You cannot have a relationship with God if you are not talking to Him.

Don’t set arbitrary limits. Don’t box God into your present understanding.When we pray, we should not limit our minds to what God will answer. Faith is the understanding that God will give us answers that will guide us through this life.

The most comforting scripture in the bible is Romans 8:28-30. To know that all things that happen to us on this earth , good will come from it. Sometimes the good is hard to see but eventually the truth will come to be.

Another motivating scripture is Philippians 4:13. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Nothing is beyond my grasp if follow Christ.

IF God gives us a burden it is either for our own strength or for an activity to help someone. Think back to some of your struggles, are you now stronger to face trials than before.?

The Lords Prayer is a ;pattern for:
1-Acknowledging who God is.
2-Asking for Kingdom on earth.
3.-Feed us for a day.
4-Forgive us (as we forgive)
5- Keep us from sin.
6-Continually acknowledge the sovereignty of God

God calls us to focus on others. Not to be concerned with the worldly cares that we have-and if we do this God will take care of us.

God loved us even when we were unlovable-he did not wait until we were acceptable. He loved us at creation and there is nothing we can do to change his love for us.

Learn to call on Christ every step of your journey, He will be your guide and mentor. This life can be a challenge to try to do the right thing. Aren’t we glad we have the Holy Spirit in us to keep us out of trouble.

We sometimes label people and have an idea how they will react based on the “label” we put on them.We sometimes forget that we are all children of God, and his Spirit guides us all sometimes  we are surprised that people do things that show God’s love.

If you don’t love your fellow human beings, then you don’t really love God., or you would have the instincts to reach out to all people in love.

Listen to the Spirit who prompts you to talk to others about the Good News. You don’t know when they are ready to have Christ clarified in their minds.

These are just a few of the gems that come from God and our relationship with the Creator. take time each day to acknowledge the blessings He gives us and realize that everything we have comes from God…….Amen

Noah 2017

July 31, 2018

Sign of the times..
In the year 2017, The Lord came to Noah who was now living the the United States and said “once again the earth has become wicked and over populated and I see the end of all flesh before me.
Build another Ark and save 2 of every living thing along with a few good humans”
He gave Noah the blueprints saying “You have 6 months to build the Ark before I begin to send the rain for 40 days and nights”
Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his yard-but no Ark. “Noah!” he roared . “I’m about to start the rain, where is the Ark?”
“Forgive me Lord” begged Noah, “but things have changed. I needed a building permit. I have been arguing with the inspector about a sprinkler system. My neighbors claimed that I violated the neighborhood zoning laws by building the Ark in my yard and exceeding the height limitations. We had to go to the Development Appeal Board for a decision.”
“Then the Department of Transportation demanded a bond be posted for the future costs of moving he power lines and other overhead obstructions, to clear the passage for the Arks’ passage to the sea. I told them that the sea would be coming to us, but they would hear nothing of it”
“Getting the wood was another problem. There is a ban on cutting local trees in order to save the spotted owl. I tried to convince the environmentalists that I needed the wood to save the owls–but no go!”
“When I started gathering the animals, an animal rights group sued me. The insisted that I was confining wild animals against their will. they argued that the accommodation was too restrictive, and it was cruel and inhumane to put so many animals in a confined space. ”
Then the EPA ruled that I couldn’t build the Ark until they had conducted an envrionmental impact study on your proposed flood.”
I’m still trying to resolve a complaint with the Human Rights Commission on how many minorities I’m supposed to hire for my building crew. Immigration and Naturalization are checking the green-card status of most of the people who want to work. The trade unions say I can’t use my sons. They insist I have to hire only Union workers with Ark building experience.”
“To make matters worse , the IRS seized all my assets, claiming I’m trying to leave the country illegally with endangered  species”

“So,forgive me, Lord, but it would take at least 10 years to finish the Ark” Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine. and a rainbow stretched across the sky. Noah looked up in wonder and asked “you mean you are not going to destroy the world?”

“No” said the Lord. ” The government beat me to it”


June 29, 2018

I came across this the other day and I felt compelled to share it with everyone.

After being interviewed by the school administration, the eager teaching prospect said:
“let me see if I’ve got this right, you want me to go into that room with all those kids, and fill their every waking moment with a love for learning, and I’m supposed to instill a sense of pride in their ethnicity , modify their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse and even censor their t-shirt messages and dress habits.
You want me to wage a war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, check their backpacks for weapons of mass destruction, and raise their self-esteem. You want me to teach them patriotism, good citizenship, fair play, how to register to vote, how to balance a checkbook, and how to apply for a job.
I am to check their heads for lice, maintain a safe environment, recognize signs of anti-social behavior, make sure all student s pass the state exams, even those who don’t come to school regularly or complete any of their assignments.
Plus , I am to make sure that all of the students with handicaps get an equal education regardless of the extent of their mental or physical handicap, I am to communicate regularly with the parents by letter, telephone, newsletter and report cards.
All of this I am to do with just a piece of chalk, a computer, a few books, a bulletin board, a big smile AND on a starting salary that qualifies my family for food stamps! you want me to do all of this and
and you tell me…….


God Bless our teachers! Amen

Verbal Abuse

June 9, 2018

“Can’t you do anything right?”; “Well I should have guessed that you would mess this up”;; I wondered just how dumb you were”

These statements provide examples of verbal abuse. Verbal abuse can take the form of threats, and insults or comments that seem like jokes, but hurt. Verbal abuse in any relationship can leave emotional scars. Verbal abuse may appear more subtle than other kinds of abuse but it can do just as much damage.

Verbal abuse can happen in any relationship. Parents can abuse children. one spouse in a marriage can abuse the other spouse. Adult children can abuse elderly parents. Although men are more likely to abuse their wives physically , women can and do abuse their husbands. Abuse of any kind arises out of a desire for power and control. Because of the control, the victim may need help in breaking the cycle.

What you say and what you don’t say are both important. Proper speech is not only saying the right words at the right time, but also controlling the desire to say what you shouldn’t
James admonishes us with these words” People can tame and already have tamed every kind of animal. bird,reptile and fish. No one can tame the tongue , though. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we both bless the Lord and Father and curse human beings made in God’s likeness.
Blessing and curses come from the same mouth; my brothers and sisters it just shouldn’t be this way”

James used a series of creative metaphors to make his point about the damage the tongue can do. Controlling the tongue compares to bridling a horse; steering a ship; putting out a forest fire and domesticating wild animals.

Churches can suffer serious harm from a poor choice of words. Gossip can destroy a persons reputation. One temper tantrum can wreck a Sunday School class, a committee or a whole church. James reminds us of the wisdom of Proverbs 17:28: “fools who keep quiet are deemed wise; those who shut their lips are smart” We are told by James that the tongue expresses what comes from within us. It actually reveals the undisciplined emotions of our hearts

Some questions for reflection:
When have you seen bad speech hurt a family, a class, a church?
What can you do heal such situations?
What do you consider the root cause of temper tantrums, angry speech and gossip?
How can we stand up to hate speech and words to intimidate others?
Take time to read James 3: 1-12 and reflect on what he is saying. We all need a lesson in elevating our faith by allowing God to discipline our speech……..Amen