Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for August, 2010

GOING HOME

I have always found it encouraging that Jesus seemed to spend quite a bit of time hanging around with what we would probably see as the common, every-day type of folks. He could have selected a bunch of well-known businessmen, maybe several CEO’s of some of the successful Hebrew corporations of the day—but, no, he chose a varied group of men, most of whom were simply ordinary fishermen.

Peter was one of those fishermen. He had no doubt grown up near the shores of Galilee and had probably been going out on the water with his father since he was a small boy. He may have experienced a period of time when fishing seemed like nothing but just simple, hard and many times unpleasant work. But I wonder if, at the point we begin to hear about him in the New Testament, fishing was not only his livelihood but also something he enjoyed and found himself irresistibly drawn to?

Then Jesus came along and selected Peter to become one of those closest to Him; one of the disciples. For the next three and a half years Peter followed the Master, watching Him, listening to Him, observing some outstanding miracles take place. And then came Jesus’ arrest, followed by the cross and the tomb. And thrown into the mix was that dark night when Peter shamed himself so terribly by claiming he didn’t even know Jesus.

I imagine that the waters of Galilee must have pulled at Peter like a magnet after Jesus had died. It was a place he knew—a scene where he felt comfortable. It was a place where he could spend time trying to get his emotions sorted out and his thoughts in order. He was familiar with all the sights, the sounds and the smells associated with fishing. Sure—getting back to the water was the place for him to be during a time of upheaval and uncertainty.

I was reading a portion of that beautiful story in the Old Testament in the Book of Ruth. In the first chapter, beginning in verse 6 as recounted in The Message, it is speaking of Naomi after the death of her husband, and later her two sons. It is at that point we read: One day she got herself together, she and her two daughters-in-law, to leave the country of Moab and set out for home; she had heard that God had been pleased to visit his people and give them food. And so she started out from the place she had been living, she and her two daughters-in-law with her, on the road back to the land of Judah.

You notice that Naomi was going back to a place familiar to her—she was returning home. Kind of like what Peter was doing after all of the recent upheaval in his life. He was returning to something familiar—fishing.

Maybe you are at a place, right now, where you find your life is facing upheaval and uncertainty. Maybe it is time to “return home” to Jesus and find renewed stability and peace enveloping your life. He is waiting…….

Prayer: Father, thank You for the invitation you extend to each of us to “return home” to You whenever we have strayed and found that we have been caught up in all the “stuff” of life, whether it be all of the busyness or even some manner of tragedy. Thank You for loving us so much. Don’t let me ever forget that. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.

Pastor Bill

 

Scripture quotations from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © by Eugene H. Peterson 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group."

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

If your eyes are on Christ they won’t be watching someone else.

Pastor Bill

Read Full Post »

“Impatience with God is a sign of a weak faith.”

(In a sermon by Pastor Jerry Welch, Whale Pass Bible Church, Whale Pass, Alaska)

 

Pastor Bill

Read Full Post »

Many people find silence uncomfortable. We are so used to sound—to noise. Like the noise of the television or the constant ringing of a cell phone. We live in a world and a society where mechanical or electronic-generated sound is all around us. And when we suddenly find ourselves in a location where it has become quiet—really quiet—we often become uncomfortable. It is not unusual for us to want to hear noise, or even create or make noise, to fill such silence. We can find ourselves feeling a bit awkward and uneasy. Such silence may feel somewhat painful or even embarrassing. We just don’t know what to do with it.

And yet, it is in those times of quiet—those times of silence—when we often find that we are able to become quiet inside. It is during such times that God—our Heavenly Father—can begin to speak to us and we can actually hear Him!

Several years ago I happened to be watching a movie—that in itself is unusual for me as I find it hard to sit still for so long. But this was a good movie and it held my attention. At one point during the movie a Navaho Indian woman made a statement to a relative—a relative accustomed to the business and the hustle and bustle of city life. She said, “Do not try to fill the silence.”

Her remark really caught my attention: “Do not try to fill the silence.” I have thought of that statement often since watching that movie. It made me wonder how many times I might have missed the voice of God speaking to me because I tried to fill the silence. How many occasions have there been when I simply did not experience the joy of listening to my Heavenly Father because I was too uncomfortable with the silence around me? I have wondered—what have I missed that God wanted me to hear—but I was too concerned with filling the silence.

Being with friends and around people can be great but there is real value in spending some of your time each week day, if possible, alone. Try to get away—outdoors if at all possible—all by yourself. When you do, you may find you are literally enveloped by a silence that might even seem somewhat foreign to the busy life you lead. Don’t dry to fill that silence but simply listen—really listen—and see if you don’t hear the voice of God speaking to you. Oh, there will be sounds you will hear—the sound of God’s creation all around you. Yet, allow that to be the background for a silence in which God can speak to you. Listen for Him!

I have shared this Scripture in previous posts but I want to mention it again . . . . . . in Lamentations 3:28, in the paraphrase The Message, we find these words: When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions: Wait for hope to appear.

Don’t try to fill the silence, but listen for the voice of God speaking to you. I am convinced He will.

Prayer: Father, help me to get away by myself and allow You the opportunity to draw close to me and speak to me. I really need that time, Father. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.

Pastor Bill

 

Scripture quotations from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © by Eugene H. Peterson 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group."

Read Full Post »

“It is better to be drawn to God than to be driven to Him.”

(In a sermon by Pastor Jerry Welch, Whale Pass Bible Church, Whale Pass, Alaska)

 

Pastor Bill

Read Full Post »

One of my favorite portions of Scripture is the last chapter of the Book of John, in the New Testament. It is a story literally saturated with deep meaning and life lessons for us.

Jesus had died a horrible death on the cross and the lives of his disciples had been thrown into chaos and confusion. Things simply had not gone according to their expectations. The disciples knew that Jesus had come back from death—they had each seen Him on at least a couple of occasions. But they must still have been filled with questions. What did their future hold? What was ahead for them?

In John 21 we find a group of 7 men who had been followers of Jesus—men who had been the very closest of those who walked in His footsteps, and they are hanging out down at the beach, probably feeling just a bit sorry for themselves and wondering what their future held. It was getting on toward evening and suddenly Peter speaks up, “I’m going fishing. Anyone wanna’ come with me?”

In moments the entire group of seven men get their gear and climb into the boat and they are on their way, no doubt headed for a spot on the lake where they had caught fish before. They fished and fished throughout the long night, hour after long hour, and caught nothing. They did not even get a small one to throw back. They just simply were not catching anything.

I can’t help but think there must have been some grumbling at the outset as the night grew darker and the hours dragged by. It probably began to cool off quite a bit and those guys may have had to deal with a rain shower or two. But they weren’t bothered by any fish! They no doubt cast the net off one side of the boat and then the other. They probably tried one spot and then another. Nothing seemed to work—nothing.

I wonder what kind of thoughts may have been running through their heads as that night wore on. Maybe they became quieter. Maybe they began to take longer periods where they rested, not worrying so much about catching fish as they did just resting—and thinking. Thinking about all that had happened in recent days and what might lie ahead.

Yes, I would expect these men grew quieter as the night wore on. They were probably lost in their own thoughts with only the sound of an occasional fish jumping, the cry of a bird, or having to sway a bug away to interrupt their thoughts.

You and I have all had times like the disciples experienced when nothing seems to go the way we would like. We feel like we must have gotten up that morning on the wrong side of the bed. If we could have started the day over again—we would. Yet, it is during the difficult times of life we need to keep on keeping on. The first 7 verses of Psalm 37 encourage me in that regard. Think about these words:

“Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him . . . . . .”

Hey! Those are good instructions for all of us.

Prayer: Father, help me to remember how much You love me and never forget that You walk each and every step of this journey through life with me. Thank You, Father. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.

Pastor Bill

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™  Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

Read Full Post »

The first basic truth that should be on every believer’s mind is that God loves them unconditionally.

Pastor Bill

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »