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Archive for June, 2011

LET’S BE FAIR

Okay, it was time to quit sitting around. We needed to get with the program and pull our car up that hill so we could finally try it out. I wanted to ride this thing and I was getting impatient. I looked at my younger brother and said, “Okay, let’s be fair about this. You pull it up the first half of the hill and I will do the second half!”

Now that seemed as fair as fair could be, to me. My brother would get all his work taken care of and out of the way right at the beginning, and then he could take it easy. I was being downright kind to him, in my way of thinking. But, my brother and I did not always think alike. His response was quick and to the point, “No way! That’s not fair! You go first!” The set of his jaw and the way he had his arms crossed over his chest made it clear that he meant business.

Oh, well. I would just have the “joy” of getting my share of the hard work done first. Sure! What did he know about being fair, anyway? I stood up, took hold of the steering rope that was tied to the front of our homemade car, and started up the hill, following the dusty trail the cows had been making over the years.

Over the years I have heard people make the statement, “Life’s just not fair!” I suppose that many agree with that comment, but it seems, more often than not, that it is usually people who aren’t fair. And the subject of fairness is spoken of at times in the Bible. In First Timothy 5:21, in the Contemporary English Version of the Bible, the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, telling him, “In the presence of God and Christ Jesus and their chosen angels, I order you to follow my instructions! Be fair with everyone, and don’t have any favorites.”

That seems to be pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? “Be fair with everyone, and don’t have any favorites.”

Prayer: Lord, please forgive me for the times when I haven’t been all that fair in dealing with people. Please give me the courage and inner strength to do just as you desire and be fair with everyone, having no favorites. I guess we can take it for granted that we are all your favorites, in a sense. I am thankful for that, Lord. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.

Pastor Bill

 

Contemporary English Version (CEV), Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society.

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The greatest enemy to complete spiritual health is harboring unforgiveness.

~ Reflecting God, Dec. 16, 2007

Pastor Bill

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Complete healing does not happen apart from forgiveness.

~ Reflecting God, Dec. 16, 2007

Pastor Bill

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COW TRAIL HILL

“Yes, this was gonna’ be fun. In fact, this was gonna’ be a blast, for sure!” This was one time my brother and I were in complete agreement, as we stood gazing up the cow trail that stretched nearly the full length of the long hillside in front of us. The dusty trail went up the hill in a long sweeping curve through green grass that the cows must have enjoyed on occasion. The trail became smaller and somewhat faint to our searching eyes as it approached the top of the hill far above us. The first test run of our car was only minutes away, and we were ready!

We quickly realized that there was one little chore that had to be completed before the wind was blowing against our faces. And it was kind of an unpleasant chore, to say the least. You see, we were going to have to hike up that long hill, pulling the car behind us, to enable us to get to a point where we could turn it around, point it down the hill, and hop on and go. It was too bad we couldn’t just snap our fingers and suddenly find ourselves sitting at the top of that long hill. Why did there always have to be hard work associated with good times? With that thought in mind we decided that we probably should sit down and rest up a bit before we tackled this next step.

Why is it that some people seem to shy away from hard work? I am not saying hard work is enjoyable. It can be, well, hard! But I like the way The Message speaks of hard work in Proverbs 14:23. “Hard work always pays off; mere talk puts no bread on the table.”

You will notice he didn’t say that hard work “might pay off,” but he stated very clearly that hard work “always” pays off. I think he was right.

Prayer: Lord, help me to remember, on occasions when the work I am involved in seems unusually difficult or hard, that there is a “pay off,” at some point. Help me to keep the proper focus during such times and look to you for my strength. Help me to remember those words you have given us in Proverbs. Thank you, Lord. 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."

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“Our spiritual lives are never meant to be lived in isolation. Jesus not only called us to believe, but to belong.”

~ Rev. Jerry McConnell, May 15, 2011

 

Pastor Bill

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GONNA’ BE FUN!

It was probably close to an hour before we reached the narrow dirt road where we left the gravel highway and walked down a gradual slope and into the shade of some trees. Say, it was sure nice to get out of the hot sun. Our car was easier to pull now that we were going downhill instead of up. And now that we were off of the highway, we didn’t have to put up with the clouds of dust from the trucks and cars that were continually passing us. And we could see our goal ahead of us. We were almost there! Oh, was this ever going to be a blast!

Our goal had been a long steep side hill that was close to a mile outside of town. It was part of a farm, but there were no fences and there was no problem with our going onto the property. And best of all, there was a long, wide path on this hillside that had been made my cows walking back to the farm on a regular basis. The path was wide enough for our car, in most places, and had just the right amount of dust to kick up as we came coasting off the hill. It began up near the top of the hill and came down across the hillside and then became steeper as it began a long, sweeping curve, finally ending up on the narrow dirt road we were now walking along.

My brother and I walked past a small, rustic home where an old fellow lived, and then out into a meadow, finally coming to a stop where the “cow trail” came onto the road. We stood looking up the long hillside, a sense of excitement building inside. “Boy, oh boy, oh boy! Was this ever gonna’ be fun! Yes!”

Don’t you just love to watch little children and boys and girls when they are excited? And it is even enjoyable to observe adults when they are excited over something. There are a number of places in the Bible where it speaks of people who became excited. One of those accounts I have always enjoyed reading about is found in Luke 19, and you will remember the story. It had to do with the little guy—Zacchaeus. In verse 6, in the New Living Translation of the Bible, it reads this way: Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy.

I suppose some of the folks who were crowded around Zacchaeus that day, probably thought something along the line of, “Good grief! He’s acting worse than a little kid!”

I don’t know about you, but I would much rather be around the type of Christian who is excited and full of joy about Jesus and what he has done in their lives. Sadly, too many Christians seem dull and lifeless when it comes to their relationship with the Lord. Give me a Zacchaeus, anytime!

Prayer: Lord, help me to demonstrate my love for you with a sense of positive excitement and joy. You have done so much for me; and you continue to love me and care for me. You are always with me. You never leave me. You are always there to take care of me. That is good news and something to be excited about! Thank you, Lord. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.

Pastor Bill

 

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved

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“The power of sin is far too subtle and deceptive to handle on our own.”

~ Dr. Morris Weigelt, Reflecting God, May 21, 2011

Pastor Bill

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