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Archive for June, 2014

Teach or instill within your children, and your grandchildren, a positive self-image. That will impact every area of their lives.

Pastor Bill

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Teach your children, and your grandchildren, that Christianity is a daily walk. Consistency results in dividends down the road.

Pastor Bill

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Teach your children, and grandchildren, how to accept responsibility. Success comes from character, not talent.

Pastor Bill

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Teach your children, and your grandchildren, respect for authority. Respect for God follows.

Pastor Bill

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Bonnie and I had driven up to a high spot on the mountainside south of the community we had recently moved to. We found this to be a perfect place to view the surrounding countryside from what was a high vantage place. Later, driving back down the mountain towards home, we passed beneath a set of huge electric power transmission lines which run east and west, south of town. Something seemed vaguely familiar about all that I was viewing, but I could not place my finger on just exactly what it was.

Over the next several weeks, as I continued to become acquainted with more of the area surrounding our new home, it seemed as if possibly—just possibly—I had been here before. But when would that have been? How long ago was it? While looking through some boxes for some paperwork several weeks after our trip up the mountain, I found part of the answer to the questions that had been plaguing me about all of this. They were contained in a small blue book. As I opened the book and began to look through the various handwritten entries, a flood of memories began to return. Oh, yes. Now I remembered. I recalled that morning . . . . . .

I remember the roar of the plane’s engines as the crescendo of sound cascaded through the opening from which the door had been removed. There were six of us in the Beech 18, a twin-engine plane used to drop smokejumpers on fires that might be burning far from any roads or other means of quick and easy access. The pilot and the spotter/jumpmaster were in the cockpit of the aircraft. I and the other three smokejumpers were in the cabin.

The air, which had been warm on the ground, cooled quickly as we climbed away from the airport, turning south towards the blue-green peaks far off in the distance. It seemed as if it was only a short time before we found ourselves circling the top of a high mountain peak. My partner and I peered out a window, trying to catch a glimpse of the ground beneath the plane as the wind whipped at our eyes. We finally saw it—a small wisp of blue smoke rising from the base of an old, dead tree that was located high on the top of a narrow ridge. As the plane continued to turn and we had a better view, we saw that the smoke was climbing almost vertically into the sky, indicating that there was very little wind—or possibly none at all. There were several openings among the trees and rocks, and it looked like this jump was going to be a "piece of cake."

Minutes later I was seated on the floor in the open doorway with my legs hanging out into the 100 mile per hour wind created by the plane’s movement. I leaned out in an attempt to get a view of the ground, but the wind blasting through my helmet made my eyes water instantly and I could only see a green blur beneath me. I leaned part way back into the airplane and turned by head to watch the jumpmaster. He was bent over, staring intently through a small glass window in the floor of the plane. Suddenly, he began to raise up slowly—it was almost time! I knew from his actions what was going to happen within the next several seconds. I turned my face back to the door, placed my gloved hands on the floor at the bottom edge of the doorway with a tight grip, and looked out towards the faraway horizon. Suddenly, I saw movement out of the corner of my eye, felt a solid slap on my shoulder, accompanied by a loud "GO!" I leaned forward, giving a hard shove with my hands, throwing myself away from the airplane and out into the air as I dropped towards the ground far below.

In a matter of seconds there was a loud snap as the parachute came open and filled with air. For a moment I looked up at the huge red and white, nylon canopy, which now supported me. Everything looked fine. I could not see any tears or rips in the material. I turned my attention toward the ground, looking for the spot between the trees that we had selected a few minutes earlier where we would attempt to land.

As so often happened, I was struck by the sudden stillness—the deep sense of quietness—as I drifted slowly towards the ground. I could still hear the distant sound of the airplane as it travelled away from me, making preparations to circle around and drop my partner. I could hear the soft whisper of the air moving through the folds of my parachute as it supported me, yet lowered me gently towards the earth below. As I neared the ground I began to hear birds singing, and a chipmunk was chattering away nearby. The dark green of the grasses and plants and numerous species of fir trees was colored with a beautiful mix of wildflowers. I took a hurried moment to glance around me, observing high, rugged mountains, deep canyons, lakes and streams in every direction. I am sure I must have felt a sense of exhilaration. It seemed as if I were dropping into a huge cathedral fashioned by the hand of God. It was a beautiful scene. It was so peaceful!

In Isaiah 32:17, we have these words, "The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever."

If you know Jesus—if you have a personal relationship with Him—you also know the blessedness of a peace only He can give! You have escaped the "roaring winds," of life to live in the blessed quietness offered us by our Heavenly Father. And you have an eternal confidence, borne of the knowledge that no greater sacrifice was ever made, than that by your Savior, for all of us—because He loved us! Thank you, Lord!

My hope is that you know Him, the Creator of this world in which we live. If you don’t have a relationship with the Heavenly Father, you can. It’s as simple as praying a prayer such as this one. . . . .

Prayer: Dear Jesus, I do want to know you and be able to live with the peace—real peace—that only you can provide. Lord, please forgive me of my sins. I am sorry for all the wrong things I have said and done. Please come into my heart and change my life right now. I give my life to you. Thank you, Jesus, for giving me the gift of real peace. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Pastor Bill

 

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™  Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Teach your children, and your grandchildren, that Christ is the first priority in your life. Keep in mind that it is “caught,” more than it is taught.

Pastor Bill

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Don’t ever let your joy be dependent on people and/or circumstances.

Pastor Bill

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Christ cannot begin to work the way He wants in your life until He has total ownership. It is then that He begins to work.

Pastor Bill

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There are two simple prayers that can change the life of a Christian in a positive and powerful way: “Lord, take me.” and “Lord, make me!”

Pastor Bill

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About the time I think I have lived long enough to have seen everything, I get brought up short by being witness to something that leaves me shaking my head. Now, I must admit, that odd things like this don’t happen with the frequency they once did, but they do occur often enough to remind me I just haven’t seen everything—yet!

It happened again several days ago. My wife and I had gone for a quick lunch in a local fast-food restaurant. We go there often enough that I don’t have to ask for the "senior rate," except on rare occasions. They seem to recognize me and they know I get that meager benefit for dining out with them. Anyway, I was about half way through my "healthy" salad, while my wife enjoyed her large chili with cheese and onions, when she leaned towards me and said, "I can’t believe what I am seeing!" Then she added, "The guy directly behind you is flossing his teeth!"

Hey! I’m all for good dental hygiene, but it always seemed to me that taking care of a person’s teeth usually took place at home, and usually standing at the bathroom sink. But flossing your teeth while seated in a fast-food restaurant? While surrounded by folks working at enjoying a quick lunch? Nope. No way!

Before I turned around to give a casual look in this fellow’s direction, I imagined him with a long piece of dental floss, whipping it back and forth in the gaps between his teeth, working hard to get things cleaned out. Nope! This dude had taken things a step further. He had apparently forgotten to pack his dental floss when he headed out the door for the restaurant on this particular morning. This fellow must have really felt a pressing need to get the pieces of double bacon cheeseburger from between his teeth. He was seated across from a lady who appeared to be his wife, and he was hard at work flossing his teeth, alright, but with a long strand of plastic! He had obviously taken a piece of the clear plastic wrap the spoons and forks came in, torn it apart lengthwise, and fashioned his own dental floss from it. And working away he was, with his mouth agape and his head twisted oddly to one side, as he worked his way along his uppers and lowers. I am guessing this guy’s dentist would be proud of him! Well, maybe…….

I don’t know that I had given much thought to whether or not flossing was discussed in the Bible. I couldn’t find it spoken of anywhere, but teeth are referred to quite often. In fact, in Proverbs 10:26 it talks about how a lazy employee is as bad as vinegar to the teeth. I don’t know that I have ever, deliberately, gargled with vinegar, but apparently it is a bad thing or it would not have been mentioned quite like this.

In Proverbs 30, teeth are spoken of in a completely different vein. It talks about people who are the kind most of us probably don’t enjoy being around all that much. In verses 11-14 we find these words: “Some people curse their father and do not thank their mother. They are pure in their own eyes, but they are filthy and unwashed. They look proudly around, casting disdainful glances. They have teeth like swords and fangs like knives. They devour the poor from the earth and the needy from among humanity.”

Like I said, most of us would probably not want to hang around such people very much. But, is flossing in a fast-food restaurant all that big a deal? I haven’t reached a decision on that, just yet, but if I see you in one of these places, wearing a t-shirt that mentions something about dental hygiene on the front or back, I am going to start watching you!

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for the many blessings you have showered upon us. Thank you for the humor that you bless us with. Thank you for our parents. I pray that each of us will be careful to treat our parents, and our children, as you would desire. Work in our lives in such a way that Godly treatment of family and friends becomes a lifestyle for us. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus Name we pray. Amen.

 

Pastor Bill

 

 

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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