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Monday, September 19, 2016

I was dying ...

 
First I was dying to finish high school and start college
And then I was dying to finish college and start working
And then I was dying to marry and have children
And then I was dying for my children to grow old enough so they could go to school so I could go back to work
And then I was dying to retire
 

And now...

I am dying ... and suddenly I realize I forgot to live.

-Anonymous.

Make you think? Share this! 
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

A Poem: Father & Daughter

This humid Pennsylvania afternoon I laid my head to rest. 
My son Carmen, in his crib, lays sleeping so when he wakes, he will be his very best.

But something else.
Something more
Captured my attention on this lazy afternoon.
The compassion of a 3 year old, my daughter, was in full bloom.

I felt the touch of her small hands as I lay, 
And peaked with one eye so observe what I may.

Over to the corner to grab a warm, cozy, blanket she goes...
Covering dad, from his head down to his toes.

I sat still and watched her closely while hiding my face,
All the while inside of my chest sat a fluttering heart because of her grace.

There is something special about a father and his daughter, they say... 
It reminds us of a bit of heaven on earth, and that is what I experienced today.

Written for Isabella Grace.
9-10-16

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Be like the Bee.

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! 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Jesus Understands

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?

Monday, July 18, 2016

Mr. Destiny


Monday Morning Sermon Summary

Good day everyone!

This Sunday wrapped up our series on the first Psalm.  I opened the message reminiscing about one of my favorite movies when I was a kid, Mr. Destiny.  In the movie, Frank Burrows played by Jim Belushi had his total life altered one fateful baseball game when he struck out in the championship game during the bottom of the 9th.  With runners on base, he could have hit the ball, won the game, and then became a legend in that hometown.  This would have changed his destiny.

Like Frank Burrows we could change our destiny if we decide to do a few things.  The verses that I preached from this Sunday were:

V. 5Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
V. 6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish.
 
Image result for mr destiny
 
The first is to “know” God.  According to the Psalm, the, “Lord knows the way of the righteous.”  Let’s focus in on that word, “know” for a second.  In the Bible, the term “know” is often a term that brings a lot meaning.  It can mean:  Approves, or, has regard to” … Do you recall how the Bible describes Adam’s relationship with Eve in Genesis?  The Bible teaches that “Adam knew Eve.”  No need for a biology lesson here folks, the point is that they were intimate.  So when we read that, “the Lord knows the righteous” we have to understand that there is an intimate relationship established between them.  They share mutual affection.  This is a two-way street.  Step one:  get to know the Lord.

The second means to change your destiny is walking in the way of the Lord.  Notice that verse 6 uses the term, “way” twice.  The way or path one takes in life will reveal their lifestyle.  Jesus taught, Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.   See friends, at the end of the day there are only 2 destines available for you and I. You can either follow after the Lord or the lure of the world.  Jesus is clear that one road will be full while the other sparse.  The question is -what path are you currently on? 

If you circle back to verse 5 you will notice that the final destination of the wicked is bleak!  Standing in front of God will reveal whether you:   Know the Lord and have taken the narrow road.

As you read this you are like Frank Burrows standing at the plate in the bottom of the 9th, with men on base.  You have the opportunity to change your destiny!  May you thoughtfully and prayerfully consider doing so.