How Closely Do We Look?

I was reading a book by one of my favorite authors, Jared C. Wilson, and he was talking about how we often don’t pay much attention to the things we’re familiar with. He used an example of a penny. How many of us could say (Without looking) whose face is on the penny, which direction that face is looking, what is on the other side of the penny, and any other words or letters on either side? We have all seen plenty of pennies over the years so we don’t pay attention to the details of it. Maybe it’s because a penny isn’t worth much, or maybe it’s because we just don’t care, or perhaps a combination of reasons. The point Mr. Wilson is making is that the things that are familiar to us, we tend not to look at very closely. Is it possible that we do the same with Jesus? 

Read more...

Faith Is Essential

I’ve been preaching in our church about faith at the start of 2018. As I was contemplating what to preach after the holidays, the word “Faith” kept coming to my mind. I believe that this word was given to me by the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense to start the new year off with a series on faith. After all, faith is essential to all things pertaining to life. Maybe you thought oxygen was, or a steady heart rate, but the Bible tells us it’s really faith.

Read more...

Government Shutdown?

You’re probably expecting this blog to be a political statement. Well, even though our Congress has had it’s myriad of problems lately and yes, our government temporarily shut down, that’s not what’s on my mind today.  I’m sorry to disappoint but I don’t like politics at all and I just used this title to get your attention. (Yes, I’m a little mean sometimes!) What I do want to talk about is what we might call Christian Shutdown. What happens when a follower of Jesus Christ quits growing, quits learning, quits following the Lord? Well, if you’re interested, read on.

Read more...

How Things Have Changed

2018 – A new year with new hopes and dreams. I hate to use cliches but time really does speed by. I looked at the date of my last blog and couldn’t believe it said September 12, 2017. Really?! Has it been that long since I entered a blog? Of course, this blog is more like a personal journal because I’ve only ever had one person tell me they actually read my blogs. (Thanks Kurt Hogan!) But still, I can’t believe it’s been that long. I guess it’s time to hunker down and write a new one. So here goes…….

Read more...

God’s Incredible Love

This past Sunday, I began a new sermon series. I’m preaching from each of the so called Minor Prophets in the Old Testament. The first message was from Hosea. Now, if you know the story of Hosea, you may understand why I would call this article “God’s Incredible Love”. To summarize the book for those of you unfamiliar with it, God told Hosea to marry a woman named Gomer. Shouldn’t be a problem, right? Wrong! You see, Gomer had a serious commitment problem. Actually, she was a prostitute and apparently was well known in the community. Now why would God tell one of his chosen prophets to marry someone like that? Well, God wanted to make a strong statement to the nation of Israel. His message to them, and thousands of years later to us, is that even when we are unfaithful to Him, He remains faithful to us. His love never wavers. I find that simply incredible!

Read more...

Why Bad Things Happen to Good People

We have all been in shock as we have listened to the news reports of all the devastation in Texas and surrounding areas. The news media has declared this a record rainfall in all the history of the United States. Unfortunately, I have to disagree. I recall reading about an event just a few thousand years ago called the Great Flood. A man named Noah was given an assignment to build an ark to save him, his family and two of every animal. But the rest of creation, yes the whole world, was destroyed in the flood. Of course, some theologians do not believe this event actually happened. I, on the other hand, believe it DID happen just the way the Bible records it. But why would God do such a thing? Or to be more current, why would God allow such a devastating storm to hit major metropolitan areas like Houston? Literally millions of people have lost everything, and some have even lost their lives! Why would God allow such bad things to happen to good people? Well, read on….. 

Read more...

What a Weekend!

Now that the 2017 total eclipse is over, I would like to reflect back on the entire weekend. It was as busy a weekend as I’ve had personally in quite a long time. As I ponder everything that took place, I would have to give our little town of St. Clair a grade of A-. The events planned were great and I believe most people had a good impression of our town when they departed late Monday afternoon or evening. It all started with a parade and fireworks on Friday night, then a bluegrass festival at Orchard Park on Saturday, along with several other smaller events around town, then an outdoor worship service on Sunday morning followed by a car show Sunday afternoon. Then the climax of the weekend took place at 1:15 PM on Monday afternoon when we were privileged to witness an incredible phenomena, the solar eclipse.

Read more...

Hatred….A harsh word!

In light of the recent violence in Virginia, I feel a need to speak out on the issue of hatred. Hate is one of those four letter words that I was always taught as a child to avoid using. It’s certainly a strong word and it conveys strong emotions. Of course, we’ve all used this word in our lifetimes to describe things we really don’t like. For example, I’ve said many times that I hate spinach. I’ve also said I hate traffic jams, at least when I’m in the middle of one. So I understand how this word can be used in these ways to let people know that you feel very strongly about something….like spinach. But here’s where the word takes an ugly turn. When we use hatred to describe how we feel about a person, or a group of persons, or a race, or culture, then we are making an attack on one of God’s most prized creations, humankind. There’s just no place for that language in our society, and especially in the language of someone who calls themselves a Christian.  

Read more...

Fun in the Sun?

Don’t let the title of this blog fool you. Most of us are NOT having much fun due to the intense heat wave we’ve been experiencing. I must admit I get a little amused by comments made each summer. It’s like we’ve never lived in the Midwest before and have no idea of how hot it gets. I suppose we forget. Social media always gets in on the fun too. People can’t resist posting a picture of a three digit temperature, or you read comments about the heat and how we want it to cool off. One post I saw actually made me chuckle. It said, “Satan called and wants his heat back”. As humorous as this might seem, it just reminds me that few people really have a handle on what hell will be like. 

Read more...

A Jury of My Peers

Have you ever had the opportunity to serve on a jury? Most people dread jury duty and when those notices come in the mail they hope and pray that the issue is resolved before they have to show up. But I’m a little weird. I really like jury duty. I always hope I’ll get called in and if I do get called in I always hope they pick me. At least that’s my usual attitude. So let me tell you my story about being on a jury.

Read more...