Sep 5, 2015 - Hearing From God, Prayer    2 Comments

SHAKEN AND STIRRED

You and I can be shaken by a special event or an occasion, but never stirred to make a difference or any changes in our life or the lives of others.  I am reminded of the James Bond movies I use to go see as a child growing up.  In case you are not familiar with the James Bond movies, they were about secret agents whose job it was to protect and secure the British Government and its people.  James Bond, also code name Agent 007, would always say these words whenever he was ordering his favorite drink, “I like my Martini shaken, but not stirred.”  This saying always stuck with me for whatever reason.  When I think about this, even now, I am somewhat amazed at the things that I allow to impress me.

Somehow I got thinking about this phrase shaken but not stirred and began to meditate on it.  One night while out to dinner I asked my wife Amy what she thought about it.  Amy gave me a great IMG_0834illustration of the difference between the two.  She took two water glasses from the table, one glass had only ice in it and the other glass had ice and water.  Amy took the glass with just ice in it and shook it hard.  What I noticed was it made a lot of noise but once she stopped shaking the glass everything stopped … no more noise and no more movement. Then Amy stirred the glass with the ice water.  There was little or no noise but when Amy stopped stirring the water and the ice continued its motion.  My point is that often being shaken will get your attention and often the attention of others.  But once the excitement wanes, then what?

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Aug 12, 2015 - Faith, Worship    4 Comments

WHAT’S YOUR SUNDAY’S BEST?

Several months ago I was sitting in a booth at Bruegger’s with my wife, Amy, and our youngest daughter, Ella.  A waitress named Sue Ellen commented on the black Fedora hat that I was wearing.  As Sue Ellen continued wiping down the tables around us, she shared how she remember the times when men wore Fedoras and how she loved that.  These days, people dress any old way they please, she continued.  Sue Ellen went on to share how she saw a lady in church one Easter Sunday wearing an Easter hat. After service she followed this young lady outside.  Sue Ellen told the woman how great she looked and how she so much appreciated seeing people coming to church dressed in their Sunday best.

I knew exactly what she meant by Sunday’s best.  I, too, grew up in an era where when you entered into the House of God you wore your best.  Everyone had at least one set of dress clothes that they wore to church known as “your Sunday’s best.”  Even though it was the same outfit every Sunday, it was the best you had.  It wasn’t a matter of looking better then someone else, you just wanted to honor God with what you had.  Even if it wasn’t much … like hand-me-downs from another family member or friend.

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I guess times have changed and with it comes our new value system in what one believes will bring honor to God.  The truth of the matter is some of us no longer care how we dress or look. There seems to be now a loose dress code that we put under the pretense that we don’t want to make others feel uncomfortable when they come to worship.

I would that we all felt the same way about our sins towards Jesus and how we affect other people when our behavior doesn’t match our faith.  We have great freedom in the Spirit. But, our freedom should never allow us to become so lax, just to make others feel more comfortable by lowering the standard (bar) just for the sake of it.  What cause or occasion would they then have to raise the bar (standard) if we have grown so lax?  Don’t get me wrong, this is not about clothing or a dress code at all, it’s about the condition of our hearts.

APOSTLE PAUL’S USE OF HIS FREEDOM.

I don’t believe that’s what apostle Paul meant when he said, “Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.  To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law.  To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law.  To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.  I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” 1 Corinthians 9:19-23

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NOW FOR THE ANSWERS

Last time, we took at look at God’s TRUTH.  I hope that message got you thinking and looking for God’s truths … our guide to the WAY we should go and to the LIFE we should live.

So many of us and so many times, we take LIFE for granted.  But when life is threatened it will sends shock waves of fear into the heart, if not the very souls of men. Yet this most valuable gift called LIFE, which God chose to clothed us in, is as fragile as earthen jars of clay and we must never take it for granted.

2 Corinthians 4:7

We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.  

As fragile as life is, I thank God that LIFE is in strong hands, His hands.  We are to be a witness to this world that God is the giver of LIFE and LIFE ETERNAL.

LIFE IS PRECIOUS

When God created all life He created it out of one purpose, LOVE.  It was out of His great love that He made man.  He provided everything that mankind would need to sustain his life. However, His creation was not created so that the bond between mankind and his creator could ever be separated. Yet by the choice of one man’s free will to sin by disobeying, God broke that bond and left a hole in all mankind. And thus we come to the meaning of LIFE.

JESUS AND A SMARITAN WOMAN

JOHN 4:1-26

Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John—  although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples.  So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

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Now he had to go through Samaria.  So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph.  Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?”  (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

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