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Archive for January, 2012

STARS

It seemed to take only a matter of moments for our Scout troop to get safely across the swaying footbridge and onto solid ground on the other side of the river. Our scoutmaster looked over his should several times to make certain each of us had made it safely. We then followed him as he led off into the darkness, following a narrow trail in the deep snow. Within a short time most of us were huffing and puffing beneath the heavy packs we carried on our backs. As I looked forward over the shoulders of the fellow in front of me, I could see streams of vapor ascending into the cold, dark night air as we exhaled. Hey! It might be cold but this was going to be fun!

Conversation slowed as we trudged along the snowy trail, our boots squeaking appropriately in the cold snow that was a good two feet deep around us. I glanced up into the dark sky and, even as a young boy, marveled at the sight. All around us the dark, tree-covered mountains framed a moonless sky that was filled with a mass of stars. What a sight to witness!

On numerous occasions during my lifetime I have stood in awe beneath a night sky, literally amazed at the beauty and incomprehensible size of God’s creation. To glimpse even a small portion of such a sight, while trying to understand the reality of the fact the God loves me, causes me to shake my head in wonder. I think the writer of Psalms may have felt that way at times. In chapter 8 he wrote: “When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—the moon and the stars you set in place—what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?”

You know something? He does care for us! Sure, He does!

If you have not been out on a cloudless night, far from man-made light, to view God’s creation first-hand…..do it soon! You will be glad you did.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the beauty of this world in which we live. Thank you for the exquisite splendor and magnificence of your creation that goes beyond anything humans could ever fabricate. Thank you, Lord, for this gift you have given us. 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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If your confidence is in your personality or in your worth, you’re not going to make it. If your confidence is in God, you will!

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Dreams never die, just the dreamer. Songs never die, just the singer. Don’t allow a few negative people to control your dreams and your joy!

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INSTRUCTIONS

Just as the line of chattering Boy Scouts reached the end of the narrow footbridge that stretched precariously over the swift-flowing river, our scoutmaster raised his arm into the air and turned towards us, signaling that we were to stop. Several of the boys who were talking and not paying attention ran into each other as the line finally bounced to a stop amid comments like “Hey! What’s goin’ on?”

“Listen up, men!” the scoutmaster shouted at us.

I peered ahead through the darkness, trying to see what was taking place up front from my spot near the end of the line of boys. Our breath was making small clouds in front of each of us as we exhaled into the frigid winter air. The darkness of the night seemed to make the air feel even colder as some of the boys stamped their feet and pulled their coats tighter around their necks. A speck or two of light could be seen flickering through the windows of a cabin located across the river and in the trees. Hopefully someone had a good fire going to help us get warmed up.

“Hey! Quiet down and listen up,” the scoutmaster yelled out as most of the boys finally quit talking and strained to listen.

“Okay, men, here’s the deal,” he said, and for the next few minutes we listened to his instructions about what we were to do and not to do as we walked over the long, narrow and sagging foot bridge that spanned the dark, cold waters of the river flowing past in front of us. There was to be no shoving, bouncing or horsing around. We were to walk slowly and carefully and be sure we gripped the steel cables that served as handrails very tightly.

The Bible certainly holds within its pages numerous warnings, but also a multitude of instruction—instructions that, when followed, bring life! In the Old Testament Book of Isaiah the prophet gave many warnings to a nation that had turned its back on God. But he also gave instructions that would reap rewards for those who followed them. In Isaiah chapter 28 the prophet said, “Listen to me; listen, and pay close attention. Does a farmer always plow and never sow? Is he forever cultivating the soil and never planting? Does he not finally plant his seeds—. . . . . each in its proper way, and each in its proper place? The farmer knows just what to do, for God has given him understanding. . . . . .The LORD of Heaven’s Armies is a wonderful teacher, and he gives the farmer great wisdom.” (Isaiah 28:23-26, 29, NLT)

It intrigues me that Isaiah used those words “listen, and pay close attention.” He obviously wanted them to “listen up” to the message he had for them. But I like the way he ends as he tells them the Lord is a “wonderful teacher, and he gives ….. great wisdom.”

You know something? He still does!

Prayer: Lord, thank you for giving us the Bible—your Word—that is filled with instructions for us. And they are truly life-giving instructions. Help me, when confronted with difficult challenges and situations in life, to go to the Bible and seek your direction. Thank you for being faithful. 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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We don’t win the world to Christ by force or multiplied words.

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Do you spread peace and goodwill as you go throughout your day? If you do, you will find that your actions and their positive results will return to you in even greater measure!

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