Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for October, 2012

Too often, after becoming a Christian, we tend to cloister ourselves together within the circle of the church. We pull away from those on the “outside.” This is not following the example Christ gave us!

Pastor Bill

Read Full Post »

Salvation is by faith and it’s for anyone and everyone.

Pastor Bill

Read Full Post »

SULFUR CREEK

The trail we followed was actually pretty easy walking. It didn’t appear to be used much and there was no sign that any humans had been on it for a long time. We did have to climb over or walk around a few trees that had fallen across it, but most of our travel was slightly downhill. That was much better than uphill with the packs we were carrying!

We had been walking for about an hour when we came out into a long meadow. We stopped at the edge of the trees to survey the country ahead of us. We immediately realized there was a creek meandering through the tall grass. On the map we had been given before leaving the plane the day before, it was called Sulfur Creek. We could see it in a few places and we could hear the water running. Now all we needed to do was find an easy place to cross.

We headed out into the meadow, still following the faint signs of the trail through the grass. As the trail came up to the edge of the creek, we realized that this was no tiny stream of water! It may have been called a creek on the map, but it looked more like a river right now. The later spring and early summer runoff had the “creek” running full—right to the edge of its banks. And it was moving along fast!

As we stood at the edge of the stream, where the trail disappeared into the water, we could see faint signs on the other bank where they trail came back out of the water. We realized that people using the trail, and crossing the stream at this point, must have done so at times other than during the spring runoff. It might have been easy to cross in midsummer but the water looked as if it might well be shoulder deep, or more, right now! We weren’t going to be carrying our 90 pound packs across this piece of water! We needed to have a plan.

We backed away from the edge of the stream and took our packs off. Wow! I felt like I was walking around on tip-toe after getting all that weight off my back. What a relief! It felt mighty good. It was time to take a break and do a little scouting up and down the banks of the stream to find a place where we could walk across in shallower water.

As I was writing this, I came to the part where I commented on how it felt so good to get out from beneath the weight of that heavy pack. It actually made me feel kind of “giddy” for a few minutes as I hopped around, letting the air cool the sweat-soaked shirt on my back. It was nice to be out from under that for a time! But it got me to thinking about places in the Bible that spoke of “weight.” One of those places is in Hebrews 12:1-2. Here is what it says: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.”

Say, now! That is good advice for each of us! I would only add one suggestion—take a few minutes and read chapter 11. Then you will understand why chapter 12 begins with that word, “Therefore”. God bless you as you read.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for words of encouragement and faith that you provide us consistently throughout the pages of the Bible. Thank you for the understanding, wisdom and insight for living you give me as I read your Word. Yes! 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.

Read Full Post »

People outside the church need to know that Christianity is simple and its attainable.

Pastor Bill

Read Full Post »

Christianity was never meant to be weird. The New Testament Church wasn’t weird. Some of the antics taking place in “churches” today drive people away.

Pastor Bill

Read Full Post »

Success in the Christian life comes not from position or title, but from humble Christian service.

Pastor Bill

Read Full Post »

The church should not be in the position of placing non-Biblical rules on their people.

Pastor Bill

Read Full Post »

PACKING OUT

We finally had the last of our gear stuffed into the large pack bags that our gear was carried in. Each of the bags contained our jump suit and helmet, our large main parachute, our reserve/emergency parachute, a shovel and a Pulaski, the remainder of our grub, and any added personal gear we might have brought with us such as a change of clothes, camera, etc. We flipped a coin to see who had to carry out the cargo parachute to which our gear bags had been attached. My partner lost the coin toss, so he ended up with an extra 8-10 pounds. Now, the really hard work was about to begin.

My partner came over and took hold of my bag, to hold it upright as I sat down on the ground in front of it and backed into the straps. He then helped me as I rolled over onto my hands and knees and pulled myself to a standing position with the help of some low branches on a small pine tree that was close by. I wheezed and puffed, grunted and groaned for an appropriate length of time and then asked him if he was ready. I walked over to his bag and balanced it as he went through the same procedure to get it onto his back and struggle to his feet.

“Well, there’s no sense in putting it off. We just as well get goin’,” my partner said.

I agreed with him and turned to head off through the tall grass of the meadow, walking northward as we had been directed. In a short time we left the relatively easy walking through the meadow and started working our way through the trees. It was actually pretty decent walking, as the trees were tall and there was only a small amount of brush beneath them. The trek was also made easier because we were going up a very gradual incline. We were thankful for that! The packs were heavy enough, without the added stress of having to climb a hill or a mountain beneath their wait.

It was probably only 30 – 40 minutes before I stepped around a large pine tree and saw the faint outline of a trail crossing our direction of travel. I stopped and looked each direction. It was definitely a manmade trail but it was obvious it had not been used much recently. We took a moment to catch our breath before heading out towards the creek we had been told about. The walking should be a lot easier now.

I learned there were several places in the Bible that spoke of trails. One of those places can be found in Psalm 119, beginning at verse 57, as it is recorded in the paraphrase of the Bible, The Message. Here we find these words: “Because you have satisfied me, GOD, I promise to do everything you say. I beg you from the bottom of my heart: smile, be gracious to me just as you promised. When I took a long, careful look at your ways, I got my feet back on the trail you blazed. I was up at once, didn’t drag my feet, was quick to follow your orders.”

It sounds as if the writer, once he considered carefully the ways of God, determined it was time to “get back on the trail” and follow the Lord. Good plan—for any of us!

Prayer: Lord, thank you helping me to “stay on the trail” that you have prepared for me throughout this life. I want to always journey with you, and on the path you have chosen for me. 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."

Read Full Post »

The cost is incredibly high for those who choose to turn away from God and go their own way through life.

Pastor Bill

Read Full Post »

If we love Jesus we will follow His commandments, and we will do it quite naturally.

Pastor Bill

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »