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Archive for March, 2012

If you are an authentic Christian, you can’t sit off by yourself in the corner watching the world go by.

Pastor Bill

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Late in the afternoon our group of Boy Scouts came straggling back into camp. Really straggling! Instead of a group of boys all in a line and following each other closely, we were now spread out over a distance that was probably a couple hundred yards long. There was plenty of hard breathing going on as well as an appropriate amount of complaining an d downright whining.

I was part way back in the line, doing my best to keep up and not allow any more scouts to pass me by. But my legs were killing me! Walking on snowshoes is not a natural exercise for most of us. You have to walk with your legs spread apart a good distance to keep the shoes from hitting each other. It had been uncomfortable at first but now, after three miles, I thought I was about ready to die!

I finally reached the area in front of our cabin, finding that those boys who had arrived earlier had their snowshoes removed and were standing around laughing it up with the scoutmaster. I didn’t feel as if I could even bend over to undo the buckles and straps of my snowshoes. I fell over to one side into a pile of snow and just lay there for a few minutes. I finally gathered enough strength to get to a sitting position and go to work on removing the shoes. The straps and buckles, coated with snow and ice, did not cooperate. One of the other scouts who had arrived earlier came to my aid and undid the buckles so I could remove the snowshoes. I don’t know when it felt so good to stand up and walk around without those contraptions on my feet. It seemed like another world! What a relief! It seemed as if I had been set free as I walked around stretching my sore muscles.

Psalm 118:5 contains a comforting message of freedom. It is a message for the person willing to trust in God. Just think about these words: “In my distress I prayed to the LORD, and the LORD answered me and set me free.”

Up in the mountains along the Palouse River that winter I was distressed and felt as if I had been freed up when I got those snowshoes off my feet. But God will free us from the distresses of this life if we will but pray to Him, ask Him to remove any burden we might be carrying, and then simply trust Him to do it. He will set us free!

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for your willingness, and your readiness, to set me free from the distresses I may find I am facing in this life. Lord, help me to have the humility to quietly ask you to help me. Then allow me to simply trust you—trust you to set me free. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.

Pastor Bill

 

 

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

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Remember that all those who call themselves Christians, aren’t.

Pastor Bill

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FACTION

I have a sister and two brothers. The two brothers each do a little writing, and at times have done quite a bit of it. A few weeks ago I was looking at some posts my older brother had written on his blog and he had a brief note that caught my attention. It dealt with something that I had been thinking about, and which I felt a need to comment on to the readers of The Shelter Tree. Here, in part, is what my brother wrote:

Just a note about my kind of prose. I do three kinds of writing. Some fact, some fiction, and some faction. Most of what I write falls into the faction category. A little fact, a little fiction, seasoned with a few downright lies.

I really like that, because it is a good explanation of much of the writing I do—faction! I hope you understand that. I am guessing that most of you already suspected that.

Thank you for reading The Shelter Tree. If you would like to take a look at some of my brother’s writings, check out The Tamarack Adams Journal, at http://www.tamarackadams.com/index.html and remember, he writes faction!

Blessings to you.

Pastor Bill

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SNOWSHOES

“Scouts! …….. Scouts! …….. SCOUTS!!!!”

The young scoutmaster finally caught our attention as one last snowball went whistling through the air, striking a tree alongside the cabin. Several arms were in mid-swing but stopped in response to the scoutmaster’s yells.

“Okay, scouts! We’ll have a snowball fight this afternoon. Right now we need to get ready for our snowshoe hike. We leave in 30 minutes. The cabins have to be clean and everyone’s bunk made up. Let’s get with it!”

After tidying the cabin up a bit we filed back outside and gathered around our scoutmaster. This ought to be a blast! I had only tried out snowshoes a few times. Once in the yard next to our house, and another time on a little longer trek across a field back of our house. But this was going to be a three-mile hike. Yipee! I was ready!

The scoutmaster and two of the patrol leaders gave each of us a pair of rustic looking snowshoes and we began trying to figure out how to get the tight leather straps to work properly. After an appropriate amount of complaining and fussing we were all ready to go. The scoutmaster told us to get in a line behind him and he would lead us as we headed across the meadow and into the woods. We had barely begun before one of the scouts tripped over his own feet and ended up in a heap in a snowdrift. He became the brunt of several smart-alec remarks until a second boy, and then a third were laying flat in the snow. The hoots and hollers from those still on their feet was little comfort to the boys trying to get back on their feet. Most of the guys were finding that snowshoes could be a little difficult to travel in.

“C’mon, you guys,” someone yelled out, “didn’t your parents teach you how to walk? Get up and start acting like real men!”

Too often in life, or so it seems, there are those quick to remind you of some mistake you have made; who will simply try to humiliate you for some supposed failing. In Psalm 44:15-16, we are told: “We can’t escape the constant humiliation; shame is written across our faces. All we hear are the taunts of our mockers. All we see are our vengeful enemies.”

The writer of Psalms didn’t say he had just fallen into a snowdrift in a heap after his snowshoes became tangled up, but apparently someone was harassing him pretty badly. Later on, though, in Psalm 119:41-42, the writer states: “Lord, give me your unfailing love, the salvation that you promised me. Then I can answer those who taunt me, for I trust in your word.”

This writer understood what mattered; he trusted in God, over and above the taunts or criticism of others. That’s pretty good thinking. It is a good lesson for all of us.

Prayer: Lord, when I find myself facing the cynical comments or taunts of someone, help me to recall that you care for me, you love me and I can trust in you. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

Prayer: Ah, Lord. Help me to be the kind of example, to the kids and young people I may be around, that you want me to be. Help me to stand "straight and tall” as it were, in the eyes of the young that I may have influence upon. Yes. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.

Pastor Bill

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Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

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Can we picture Christ saying the same things we are saying about some of the people in our church? It not, maybe we better be a bit more careful in how we speak about them.

Pastor Bill

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Sincere and authentic love does no wrong to its neighbor.

Pastor Bill

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