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Archive for July, 2012

If you want to follow Christ, He tells us we will have to deny ourselves, pick up our cross and follow Him.

Pastor Bill

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If you want to know the heart of the Father, look at the example of Jesus—and get to know Him.

Pastor Bill

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If you give me a God who is in the gutter with my brother, I might have to get in there with him.

Pastor Bill

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If we always depend on sight, and what we can see, there will never be any real faith or belief.

Pastor Bill

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LOOKING GOOD

I was seated in the open doorway of the twin-engine plane, the wind whipping through my face mask and causing my eyes to blur. I saw the small meadow coming into view beneath the wing of the plane and realized we needed to turn the plane just a bit so we would go directly over the center of it. I leaned back into the plane and yelled to the pilot, “Five right!”

That told him to turn the heading of the plane five degrees to the right, which he did immediately. As I looked down again I saw we were in perfect position. As we started to cross over the meadow I saw two elk nervously begin moving away from the lush, green grass and towards the safety of the trees. They weren’t sure what was going on, but they no doubt were more than a little apprehensive about this noisy object in the sky passing by overhead.

I had selected a small, darker spot of green in the meadow as my jump “spot,” and as I watched intently below me it suddenly appeared between the heavy boots I was wearing. It was time to go! I sat up a little straighter and gave a forceful shove with my gloved hands against the floor of the plane and launched myself into the air. For a brief instant I was traveling at 100 miles per hour, the same as the plane, but as I dropped away from the aircraft my forward speed slowed as my speed towards the ground increased. Suddenly there was a series of jerks and snaps to my harness and from the corner of my eyes I saw the parachute begin to billow out. There was another loud snapping of material and I was jerked to what seemed a complete stop.

I looked up at the large 32 food diameter piece of red and white nylon material and could see no tears or snags anywhere. I had a “good chute.” I then directed my attention towards the ground and realized I had already begun to drift away from the meadow and over the trees. I grabbed the two steering lines, one in each hand, and pulled the right one down, causing my parachute to make a wide right turn back towards the meadow. The parachute was designed to travel forward at 4 to 5 miles per hour so I was back over the meadow in a few brief moments. Everything was looking good. I should be able to land right in the center of the meadow. Yes, things were looking good.

I became curious about that phrase “looking good,” and did a little research to see if it was used in the Bible. It is. In the Old Testament there is one small book written by the prophet Amos. In Amos 6:3-6, as written in the paraphrase of the Bible, The Message, these words are written: “Woe to those who live only for today, indifferent to the fate of others! . . . . . . Woe to those addicted to feeling good—life without pain! those obsessed with looking good—life without wrinkles! They could not care less about their country going to ruin.”

Hmm. Interesting.

Prayer: Lord, help me to live life in such a way that I am not indifferent to the plight of others around me—so many unfortunate people who live, desperately trying to find enough food for each day, or earn enough money to simply pay the bills they always seem to be behind on. Help me to live life concerned and compassionate about the lost and hurting all around me. 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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If you can’t see God in the day-in and day-out experiences of life, you probably won’t see Him.

Pastor Bill

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The traditions of men often bring about disobedience to the commands of God.

Pastor Bill

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Jesus was on a selfless journey as he walked this earth. Compassion is a heavy thread we see running through all he was about.

Pastor Bill

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If you talked to the people around you as much as you talk with God, how long would these relationships last?

Pastor Bill

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I scooted over to the door of the plane, sat down and swung my legs out into the wind whipping past. The 90 mile per hour wind bent my legs back toward the tail of the plane as I scooted forward further until I was seated on the floor, right on the very edge of the door. I leaned forward, my hands tightly gripping the edge of the doorway on each side of me. I leaned forward a bit to see if I could spot the meadow. The wind howled through the heavy wire mesh that was attached to the front of my helmet, bringing tears to my eyes almost instantly. That wire mesh was necessary and would protect me if I happened to crash through the tops of any trees upon landing. That shouldn’t be a concern on this jump with the pleasant looking meadow below me.

The meadow came into view as I looked forward under the wing. It looked as if the pilot was going to go right over the top of it. That’s what I wanted! As we got closer to the meadow the pilot reduced the power to the engines a little more and I knew it was almost time. The jumpmaster was looking out a corner of the door and then he rose up and yelled at me, “Go whenever you want to!”

Hey! I liked that. The jumpmaster then backed up and out of the way. The rest was up to me. I could give the pilot any last minute instructions for a change of direction and then it would be up to me to determine when it was time to leave the plane and head for the ground. Everything was in my hands, now. If I jumped too soon I could miss the meadow completely and land in tall trees. If I waited too long to go out the door, the same thing would happen. I would end up in the trees. It was up to me. The decision was mine to make. All the choices were mine to make.

There is a lot in the Bible about making choices and one of those places is in the Old Testament, in Joshua 24:14-16. Listen to this: “So fear the Lord and serve him whole-heartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord alone. But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve…………..But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”

There are some thought-provoking words in those verses. . . “But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.” I like that!

Prayer: Lord, help me to always make the correct choices when I find myself faced with the many decisions in this life. Give the integrity and courage to serve you faithfully. 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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