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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Which type of B are you?

When it comes to what we do with the Bible, H. P. Parker gives this memorable story that points to the need for both knowing and applying Bible truth:

As I looked out into the garden one day, I saw three things.

First, I saw a butterfly. 

The butterfly was beautiful, and it would alight on a flower and then it would flutter to another flower and then to another, and only for a second or two it would sit and it would move on. It would touch as many lovely blossoms as it could, but derived absolutely no benefit from it. 

Then I watched a little longer out my window and there came a botanist. 

And the botanist had a big notebook under his arm and a great big magnifying glass. The botanist would lean over a certain flower and he would look for a long time and then he would write notes in his notebook. He was there for hours writing notes, closed them, stuck them under his arm, tucked his magnifying glass in his pocket and walked away. 

The third thing I noticed was a bee, just a little bee. 

But the bee would light on a flower and it would sink down deep into the flower and it would extract all the nectar and pollen that it could carry. It went in empty every time and came out full.

John MacArthur says, “Some Christians, like that butterfly, flit from Bible study to Bible study, from sermon to sermon, and from commentary to commentary, while gaining little more than a nice feeling and some good ideas. Others, like the botanist, study Scripture carefully and take copious notes. They gain much information but little truth. Others, like the bee, go to the Bible to be taught by God and to grow in knowledge of Him. Also like the bee, they never go away empty.”

Which is it for you?

Do you bounce around, fluttering from one thing to the next? Do you immerse yourself so much in study that you never lift your eyes up? Or are you the bee that drinks deeply; steadily, and then goes out spreading the joy of the Gospel?

If you are a bee, share this message! 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Audience of One

A STORY:

There was a concert pianist in the last century that longed to play in the great concert hall in Vienna. When he finished his first concert before thousands, the people gave him a standing ovation.

Afterwards, he was asked, “Was it the greatest moment in your life to receive this long applause?” The concert pianist replied, “No! I liked it, but it was not the most important thing to me.”

He said, “When the people all sat down, an elderly man who sat in the top corner of the balcony simply nodded his head at me. That was the greatest moment of my life because he is the master who taught me for 30 years. One nod from him was worth much more than the long applause of the masses.

We all play to an audience –even the self-deluded that go around and tell others that, “they don’t care what others think about them.” We all concern ourselves with the thoughts and expectations of others; albeit some have a larger audience while others have a smaller …yet, we all care. And there is nothing wrong with caring. In fact, the Bible tells us to care what others think … let me restate, the Bible informs us to care what the right person thinks. In short, our lives should be directed to a proper audience member. Take for example what the Apostle Paul writes in the book of Galatians, “For am I now trying to win the favor of people, or God? Or am I striving to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ.” See that word, “please” above? The Greek term used is, ar-es'-ko which means, to accommodate one's self to the opinions, desires and interests of others. Here Paul places mankind’s two ultimate conclusions right next to each other; either you will mind man or God. There is an ultimate standard to which everyone of us will appeal. In fact, some of Jesus’ most popular teachings deal with this issue, “There is no servant who can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will honor the one and he will neglect the other …” (Luke 16:13). 



Hear this, I am not commissioning you to drive into the wilderness or ignore all humanity, this is a call for you to draw a line in the sand as to whom you will give ultimate allegiance to. I promise you, when you do this many many (many) things will begin to shift in your life. And since I can’t help to stop my pastoral heart from beating when I offer this challenge, I offer to help you along this journey …

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Good morning, fellow Lepers

Joseph Damien was a nineteenth-century missionary who ministered to people with leprosy on the island of Molokai, Hawaii.

Those suffering grew to love him and revered the sacrificial life he lived out before them. 

One morning before Damien was to lead daily worship, he was pouring some hot water into a cup when the water swirled out and fell onto his bare foot. It took him a moment to realize that he had not felt any sensation. Gripped by the sudden fear of what this could mean, he poured more hot water on the same spot. Again, there was no feeling whatsoever. Damien immediately knew what had happened. 

As he walked to deliver his sermon, no one at first noticed the difference in his opening line. He normally began every sermon with, 'My fellow believers,' but this morning he began with... 'My fellow lepers.' 
                                                                               (Story told by Ravi Zacharias)

Damien could fully relate to the lepers because he became a leper. He knew personally the struggles that they faced. He could actually feel their pain. Let's think about Jesus for a moment. He was made like us and therefore understands the hurts we experience.  According to the book of Hebrews, we learn, "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin." 


I think I can speak for everyone in regards to our need for a Savior that identifies with our human struggles. Isn't it comforting to know that the frustrations we carry, the sorrows compounded in our hearts and even our failures can be understood by the God-Man, Jesus Christ?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

5 STEPS FOR THE PERFECT SHAVE

Shaving Tips

5 STEPS FOR THE PERFECT SHAVE

1. Prep

Wet your face with warm water! One of the most important steps in achieving the perfect shave is to make sure you get plenty of warm water on your face, this will soften beard hair and open pores. If possible, always shave after you step out of the shower or apply a moistened hot (warm) towel to your face for a few minutes before shaving.

2. Pre-shave

Lightly rub pre-shave formula onto your face and neck prior to applying shaving cream. This step will help protect your skin by allowing the razor to glide over your skin, reducing the chance of nicks, cuts, and razor burn.

3. Lather up

With a quality shaving brush or your fingers, gently massage lubricating shave cream onto your face and neck. This step will help the beard hair to stand up away from the skin resulting in a closer more comfortable shave.

4. The battle of the blade

Always use a sharp blade, there is nothing worse than dragging a cold piece of dull steel across your face! Shave in the direction of your beard growth (with the grain) Shaving against the grain can lead to irritation and ingrown hairs. If you dare to get as smooth as possible, go for a second pass against the grain this time using light pressure and short strokes. Always rinse the blade under hot water before you start shaving, and every couple of strokes during your shave. Rinse face with cold water and pat dry, not rub dry, pat dry.

5. Protect

Apply light non greasy non oily soothing after shave lotion. This lotion will nourish while protecting your newly shaven skin.

Following these 5 simple steps should help you to achieve the perfect shave. Never ever rush your shave, it’s the only face you got so take your time and enjoy this manly ritual!

*Tips provided by Crown Shave co.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Do you have your Father's eyes?

I heard a song in church yesterday titled, “Father’s Eyes.”
Below are some of the lyrics ...

“I may not be every mother's dream for her little girl
And my face may not grace the mind of everyone in the world
But that's all right as long as I can have one wish I pray
When people look inside my life, I want to hear them say
She's got her Father's eyes, her Father's eyes
Eyes that find the good in things
When good is not around
Eyes that find the source of help
When help just can't be found
Eyes full of compassion, seeing every pain
Knowin' what you're going through, and feeling it the same
Just like my Father's eyes ... “

As I listened I thought to myself how this could be every Christian’s first prayer of the day.
Before you and I ever walk out the front door to whatever beholds us we can pray to see the world through our Father’s eyes. Imagine how you would see things differently for a moment:
-That annoying kid that keeps cutting through your yard turns into a lonely young man that needs a mentor.
-The group of trashy gals dressed inappropriately morphs into young women that need a proper identity.
-Your frazzled co-worker transforms into a tired mother that needs a hug.

In the New Testament book of Ephesians, Paul is writing the church in Ephesus and tells them that, “I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power.” This may not strike you at first, but I want to you re-read the passage with an eye on 4 simple words: GIFT OF GOD’S GRACE. There it is. The ultimate perspective change. Before Paul was the Apostle Paul, he was Saul the persecutor (See book of Acts, chapter 7 & 8). Paul met Jesus on the Damascus road and had a radical worldview shift. He met the risen Christ and immediately started seeing through his Father’s eyes. Paul could never be the same thereafter, his life was totally devoted to knowing Christ and helping others discover a new set of eyes.

What about you? Whose eyes do you see through? Do you have your Father’s eyes?
If this is something that interests you I’d like to take a second and invite you to a bible study on Thursday Night’s where you will meet at diverse group that seeks to accomplish this very task. We meet at Northminster Presbyterian Church, (the church in Neshannock next to McDonalds) 6:30 p.m. I know this sounds like a shameless plug and it really is; though I feel it necessary to extend an invitation for those that want to see the world differently ... Those that choose to pray every day:

“When people look inside my life, I want to hear them say
She's got her Father's eyes, her Father's eyes
Eyes that find the good in things
When good is not around
Eyes that find the source of help
When help just can't be found
Eyes full of compassion, seeing every pain
Knowin' what you're going through, and feeling it the same
Just like my Father's eyes ... “


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