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Archive for March, 2014

Don’t forget that Jesus said, “My sheep know my voice, and they follow me.”

 

Pastor Bill

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Do what honors God, and then be patient.

Pastor Bill

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“Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.” (Proverbs 16:3, NLT)

 

Pastor Bill

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God often gives us guidance through Christian friends and spiritually mature believers.

Pastor Bill

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SPLASH!

The motion of my friend’s arms, which had been going in small, irregular circles as he stood on the log over the middle of the stream, suddenly begin to swing more wildly and in larger arcs. In fact, I would have to describe it as wild flailing of the arms. And along with that came some odd sounds out of Robert’s mouth.

“Ah! Ooooh! Aaaaah! Oh, oh, oh, oh, nooooooooooo!”

As these noises were coming out of his mouth he began to lean forward, then backward, then forward again. Yah, I really did wish I had brought my camera with me! What a rotten thing to be thinking at a time like this.

Robert, with that last, long drawn-out “No!” suddenly fell forward, his arms continuing to swing wild arcs in the sky around him. It made no difference. He was a goner. As his feet slipped off the surface of the log he made what appeared to be a final thrust of his body, backwards, so he would not land in the cold water face-first. Splash! It worked! He ended up going into the river, feet-first. And was he ever lucky! It was quickly obvious that the river was only about 4-5 feet deep at that point. His booted feet hit the bottom of the stream with the water only going up a bit below his armpits. Lucky, right?

But then my friend had to get to the edge of the stream and up the snow-covered bank. I needed to help him. Yes! And so I began to cheer him on as he thrashed his way through the icy water towards the bank.

“C’mon, Robert! You can do it. C’mon, man! Give em’ Green River! Don’t drown on me!”

The “Green River” part was our Boy Scout Mountain Man Patrol yell. And maybe I overdid it a bit with the drowning part, but where his arms had been flailing through the air moments before, they were now flailing through the water. Drowning did not appear to be any threat. I don’t know if my words really helped Robert, or not, but he quickly neared the bank of the stream and I moved back out of the way so he wouldn’t splash water on me. This wasn’t a good day to be getting wet, you understand.

In Psalm 18:16-19, King David recounts an experience when Saul was after him, trying to kill him. Later, David said this: But me he caught—reached all the way from sky to sea; he pulled me out of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos, the void in which I was drowning. They hit me when I was down, but God stuck by me. He stood me up on a wide-open field; I stood there saved—surprised to be loved!

I don’t recall Robert ever telling me that he thought he might drown. But I am not sure that he felt as if I was sticking by him as closely as God stuck by David, either! Maybe that was something I needed to work on. But Robert and I remained friends over the years, and I still remember an occasion when I was on the other end of things, so to speak, and he stood by me. It is good to have friends, and be friends with God!

Prayer: Thank you, again, for the friends you have given us, Lord. Thank you for friends who stick close to us through all phases of life—the good times as well as the tough times. Help me be that kind of friend to those around 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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If my desires are not in conflict with God’s Word, I have freedom to act.

 

Pastor Bill

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God never plants within our hearts and minds desires that are contrary to His will.

 

Pastor Bill

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If we are living our lives the way God wants us to, we can do what we want to do!

 

Pastor Bill

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Anxiety never solved anything; but prayer does.

Pastor Bill

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I stood watching my friend, realizing after a few moments that I was holding my breath. Robert had scooted out onto the snow-covered log until he was nearly half way across the stream flowing by beneath him. I slowly let my breath out in a foggy stream as Robert stopped again. “I don’t like this. I think I’m coming back.”

“Oh, boy! Now, just how was he going to go about that?” I wondered silently to myself.

“I wish I had a camera, right now,” I hollered.

“Ha, ha!” he replied. “You’re really funny!”

“Don’t you think it would be better to go on across, and then come back?” I asked him. “Then you would have the log all cleaned off of the snow!”

“I really don’t care about the snow,” he replied. “I’m not about to fall into the water!”

With that, Robert began scooting his feet in tiny motions as he began his attempt at turning around on the log. He was going to come back!

“Don’t fall in!” I yelled at him. “That water looks really, really, really cold.”

I wanted to be as encouraging as I could, you understand! Say, this was something to watch. Robert now had his arms outstretched and was beginning to wave them around a bit. It was obvious that his sense of balance was not quite what it had been a few minutes earlier. His turn finally reached the point where he was half way around on the log, and facing upstream.

“Don’t look down at the water,” I volunteered. “You might get dizzy and fall in!”

In the Old Testament Book of Job, there is an account of a man who seemed to have nothing but troubles for a long stretch in his life. He had some friends like Robert, apparently, for Job 12:4 says, “Yet my friends laugh at me, for I call on God and expect an answer. I am a just and blameless man, yet they laugh at me.”

I am not sure Robert had reached the point where he was calling on God, but he may have placed me in the same category as Job had his “friends.”

But, if you continue to read, you in in Job 42:10-11, the following: “When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes. In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before! Then all his brothers, sisters, and former friends came and feasted with him in his home. And they consoled him and comforted him because of all the trials the Lord had brought against him. And each of them brought him a gift of money and a gold ring.”

I’m not sure Robert was at the point of praying for his “friend,” as he stood on the tree, just above the surface of that cold water moving past beneath him. Yet, years later, he did pray for that friend at a critical time in my life, and I was certainly thankful for that. It really is a good thing to pray for our friends, and others, as well. It seems clear that is what God would have us do.

Prayer: Thank you for the friends you have given us, Lord. Remind me to pray for them. And place in my heart and mind others that you would have me pray for, as well. Thank you, that we have prayer as a means of communication with you! 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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