Friday, May 26, 2017


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“. . . choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers in the region served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in the land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.Joshua 14:15 (NIV)

One morning, I awoke and started thinking about the choices we make in our lives. We start doing this when the alarm clock rings, awakening us to begin a new day. There is a feature on them today about which I have learned to have conflicting emotions, the snooze alarm. If I have not slept well or not at all, I always push it repeatedly. Each step of the day presents alternatives to our lives, we can choose plan A or plan B. Let’s look at the scripture and see what we can learn.

“Choose” definition: to pick out or select (someone or something) as being the best or most appropriate of two or more alternatives. Or decide on a course of action, typically after rejecting alternatives..(1)
            We choose what we wear for the day or the evening. We choose what we want to eat or purchase for ourselves or our families. We select our form of entertainment, what television shows we will watch. We even pick out the time we will retire for the night.

“Serve” definition: perform duties or services for (another person or an organization). Or present (food or drink) to someone. (2)

We will celebrate Memorial Day, a time to remember those who lost their lives while serving our nation, this weekend.
            People who work for our towns, cities, states, and our nation serve the people of their areas.
Those in the military are serving our country. When I was growing up, my parents used to say that someone was ‘in the service’ when that person was in the Army or any branch of the military. Some of these men and women choose to spend 20 or more years in the military.
            When we go out to eat, we receive assistance from servers who see to it we have an enjoyable experience as we partake of our meal.

            In our faith communities, we have leaders who choose to commit their lives to full-time Christian service. They serve God and the people of the church, the majority of them doing this their whole lives. I personally know of two pastors who served churches in their retirement years. Another pastor worked after he retired, on the chaplaincy staff of a hospital in our town.

            The laity is made up of people who choose to give their time and talents to the church as God leads them. I know a woman who does a lot for her church that most of the people with whom she worships don’t know she does.

            God has chosen us to serve Him and His people. From time to time we need to take stock and see if we are serving Him as we should.

1.    1.    Google search 5/25/2017

2.    2.    Google search 5/25/2017

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Storms of Life

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            On our return from a recent vacation, we drove through two heavy rain storms.  Cars and semi- trucks inched along. Visibility was approximately three yards. Then, all we could see were the outlines of vehicles in front of us. Most vehicles turned on their hazard lights in order to be seen.
            This rain storm was possibly the second worst one we had ever been in. One time in Kansas, we had to stop under an overpass on I-70 and wait for the rain to diminish. That time, visibility was zero. We couldn’t see beyond our windshield wipers.

            These storms caused me to think of the storms of life we have faced and come through.

Family illness       Friends moving away
Unemployment     Loss of family through death
Loss of a child        Personal Illness

            As each storm comes to us, God stands with us. We are to trust Him, seek His guidance, and ask for His presence to endure.

            After the issue leaves us, we should give Him praise. When we look back on our lives, we can see growth- mental, emotional, and spiritual.

            When we or those close to us go through these storms, we cannot ask God to take them away. Because God may have a lesson for us to learn through those times.

            As I think about this subject. I realize how precious God is to me as I reflect on all the ‘storms’ He has brought me through and how I sometimes made them worse by not stepping back and allowing Him to do His work. Yes, I had to learn this lesson, sometimes it was a hard one for me. However, God was patient with me and always forgave me for wanting to do things my way.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Dual Citizenship

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“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it, we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
(Philippians 3:20, ESV)

            Several years ago, the mother of a friend of mine explained to a group of us that, at one time, she and her husband had dual membership in two local churches.

            The church where they raised their family was the one I knew them from. That congregation helped plant a church in the northeast part of our town. This couple and their eldest daughter and son-in-law helped establish the church plant.

            The apostle Paul states that our citizenship is in heaven. What does this mean to us who believe in Jesus Christ? Simply stated, we have citizenship in heaven as well as our native or adopted countries. As citizens of our earthly country, we find ourselves concerned about its state of affairs.

            Since we asked Jesus into our hearts, our desire has been to be used to enlarge His kingdom. We are not to be as concerned about our earthly home as we await our admittance to our heavenly home.

            We assist Jesus in building His kingdom by praying for those around us, reading and studying His Word, choosing to allow God to guide us through our days (especially, the difficult ones.) Sometimes we have to let Him choose our words and our behavior. When we are the better person in an issue, people in the world notice our behavior and wonder what causes us to stay controlled. We may or may not do any more than plant the seed. “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.”(1 Corinthians 3:6, ESV)

            When we donate to a mission projects, para-church organizations, or mission trips, we aid in helping spread God’s grace to others. As we grow in the Lord, we learn what community is all about. We are all God’s children, we confer with those who work in the field.

            Having dual citizenship for a Christian makes one realize that he or she has the responsibility to live for the Lord at all times. As we grow closer to the Lord, we learn that we are to emulate Jesus Christ each day He gives us.

            Is there something we can be more faithful about in living for Him here as we await our time to enter Heaven?

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...