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Archive for July, 2013

Live a life of balance; work, rest, recreation and worship. Remember, when the tires on a car get out of balance, the car begins to shake!

Pastor Bill

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JUST ONE OF THOSE DAYS

A number of years ago I was on a flight from Seattle to the east coast and I found myself at SEA-TAC International Airport in Seattle, with several hours to wait before my flight left. I was beat—downright exhausted. It was the middle of the night and it had taken me several hours of travel to get to the airport. I could not find a comfortable place to stretch out. I finally decided it would have to be on the floor, if I could find a spot away from any of the active gates and without many people. I knew from experience the floor would be hard, but hopefully I could catch a few hours of sleep.

But I was hungry and decided I needed to get something to eat before locating a place to “bed down.” I found that several of the airport restaurants I would have liked to get a meal in were closed for the night. I finally found a small deli that was open where you could either stand next to a counter against a wall and eat or, if you were fortunate and they had only a few customers, there were several tiny, round tables with hard metal chairs where you could sit and try and enjoy your food.

I got in line behind another fellow and began to look over the short menu in hopes I would see something I might like. Nothing looked real inviting until I heard the guy in front of me order teriyaki chicken. I thought about it and decided that sounded pretty good. I would have the same thing. The fellow ahead of me paid for his teriyaki chicken and stepped over to another counter to wait for his order.

I moved up to the counter and the clerk looked at me as if I was just one more unpleasant interruption in his day he would rather not have had to deal with. He muttered something unintelligible that I took was a greeting and I said, “I’ll have the teriyaki chicken.”

“We don’t have any,” he replied.

“You don’t have any?” I asked, “The fellow just ahead of me ordered some!”

“That’s all we had. We’re out,” the clerk said. “We have some teriyaki soup,” he added.

I was too tired to bother. I agreed to the soup, paid for it and stepped to the other counter to wait for it. I watched as the fellow who had been ahead of me picked up his order of teriyaki chicken and walked to one of the little tables to sit down and enjoy his meal. Just then a young man placed a bowl of soup in front of me. I picked it up, walked to one of the tiny tables, and sat down on the hard metal chair. One spoonful of soup was just about enough for me. To this day I am not sure what I was consuming but it tasted as if it had been on the stove for the past 24 hours or so. I could not tell what it really tasted like, nor could I determine all of the contents that swirled around in the bowl in front of my spoon.

After a few spoonfuls of the liquid I gave up in disgust, got up and headed out to find a piece of floor to sleep on, walking by the guy loudly smacking his lips as he downed his teriyaki chicken. Life’s just not fair sometimes.

Okay, it sounds like I was feeling a bit sorry for myself and was doing a bit of whining. There were whiners in the Bible, too. In Psalm 78:16-20, as it is written in the paraphrase of the Bible, The Message, we read these words: They whined like spoiled children, “Why can’t God give us a decent meal in this desert? Sure, he struck the rock and the water flowed, creeks cascaded from the rock. But how about some fresh-baked bread? How about a nice cut of meat?”

I find myself disgusted with the way some of the folks in the Bible behaved, and these were people that God was taking very good care of. Maybe, just maybe, when I find myself unhappy with what I have and all the blessings that are a part of each day of my life, I should remember that whining and whiners can be a pretty disgusting lot. I need to thank God for all that he has given me including food, shelter and life in a great country. Yes, I am truly blessed. I need to quit whining and remember that each day is a brand new day God has given me!

Prayer: Father, forgive me for the occasions when I have whined and complained about things that really make no difference in the end. Thank you for blessing me with so much. Thank you for life and the blessing of family and friends. Thank you for all that you have given 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."

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No matter what the cost, maintain your integrity, credibility and reputation.

Pastor Bill

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Don’t fall into the trap of allowing your joy to be dependent on people and how they act. You will be living under a black cloud all the time!

Pastor Bill

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As you go through life, be concerned with toughening your hide, but not your heart.

Pastor Bill

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Your actions reveal your faith, your doubts, your unbelief or your fears.

Pastor Bill

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I was browsing through a book store in Fairbanks, Alaska, where the long winter nights provide ample opportunity for much reading. By the way, book stores are still a big thing there, from what I can tell. In any case, I came across a title that caught my attention. I pulled the small paperback from the shelf and found myself looking into the face of a large bull moose. Someone had shot a photo of the huge animal, who was standing in snow, his eyes seemingly riveted on the person with the camera. The photographer was obviously shooting the picture from his front doorway. The title of the book read, “If You Lived Here, I’d Know Your Name: News from Small-Town Alaska,” by Heather Lende (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, PO Box 2225, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2225, published in 2006).

A brief description about the book states, “Tiny Haines, Alaska, ninety miles north of Juneau, is accessible mainly by water or air—and only when the weather is good. There’s no traffic light and no mail delivery; people can vanish without a trace; and funerals are community affairs.”

I thumbed through the book and finally ended up purchasing it. I still haven’t read it. I will someday, when I retire again. Maybe.

Anyway, the book is about life in a small town where everyone knows everyone else. That author makes it clear, “If you lived here, I’d know your name.”

I have been through Haines, Alaska twice, and I am guessing the title is probably true. If you lived in that little town for any length of time you would soon know everyone by name. And if you were a stranger passing through, like I was on both occasions, you would stick out like a sore thumb—and I did. In fact, it almost made me feel uncomfortable.

The last time I was there was on a cold October night. I ended up trying to sleep in my car, down by the docks. I had driven off a ferry, which had arrived late, and I could have headed north towards the Yukon Territory, but the border crossing point did not open up until 7:00 AM, so I was stuck. And I was the outsider. Everyone else seemed to know everyone else. I hunkered down in the car, catching a few catnaps until it finally began to get daylight. I got out and stretched, since cars aren’t the best place to catch up on your rest, and then headed in to the main part of town. That wasn’t far and it only took a few minutes to realize the restaurant was open. I parked, headed inside, and ordered biscuits and gravy as I tried to ignore the stares of the other folks who were up at this hour. I must have been standing out like that sore thumb I mentioned. No one knew my name. No one.

Much of life is like that. We spend a great deal of time among people who don’t know who we are or what our name might be—and we don’t know them, either. Yet, I am reminded when I read Luke 12, verses 6 and 7, that God, our Heavenly Father, knows me so well that he knows the number of hairs I have on my head, even though they must be getting easier to count as the years pass rapidly by! He said, “What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.”

Yep, God knows me, no matter the size of the town I am living in. I am glad about that!

Prayer: Father, thank You for reminding me that I am valuable in your eyes. You know me and You don’t just care about me—You love me! Thank you for that! 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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