Archive for January, 2015

Too often, when things begin to go wrong in life, people become embittered about something, or with someone. It is at such a point that they begin to drift away from God and the church. Yet, it is God and the church towards which a person needs to draw close at such times!


Pastor Bill

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Several minutes earlier, at more than two miles above the ground, the small, single-engine airplane had been emptied of its cargo of two parachutists. The two men who had stepped out of the perfectly good airplane had plummeted through the sky to 3000 feet above the surface of the earth. There they had each pulled the ripcord to open their parachute and, beneath the brilliantly colored, billowing nylon canopy of material, had safely reached the ground.

I looked from where the two men were each unhooking from the harness which had held them to their parachutes and turned my gaze towards the cloud-filled sky overhead. The plane the parachutists had left several minutes earlier was in a steep spiral towards the ground, a trip which would be much faster than the long, laboring climb of nearly a half hour that had been necessary to reach the altitude from which the parachutists had jumped out.

I could only hear the engine of the plane intermittently as I continued to watch it, since the pilot had pulled the throttle back so the engine simply idled as he glided steeply downward. The plane soon reached what is referred to as "pattern altitude," or that elevation above the ground at which airplanes approach most small airports in preparation for landing. I began to watch more intently, waiting to see what kind of a landing the pilot would make. This pilot was either extremely skillful or everything, including the wind, was in his favor. The plane was "greased," smoothly onto the runway with no hint of a bounce. I barely heard the squeak from the complaining rubber of the tires as they made contact with the black asphalt runway. Then something unusual happened. As the plane slowed in preparation for turning off the runway, the propeller, which had been spinning as the plane dropped out of the sky, suddenly slowed and came to a stop. There the plane was, gliding along the runway, with the propeller stationary and the engine silent.

"My, this pilot must really want to save on gas!" I thought. My attention was now firmly fixed on the plane as the pilot reached a place where he could turn off the runway and, the propeller still stopped, turned onto the taxi strip, continuing to slow all the while. The plane had almost rolled to a stop when I saw the propeller begin to turn again and heard the pilot engage the starter. In a moment the engine roared to life again and now, under power, began to roll steadily along the taxiway. But, instead of turning into the area where the parachutists normally boarded the aircraft, the pilot travelled past and disappeared out of sight towards another part of the airport.

Sometime later I heard the plane again and it soon came into view. The pilot turned towards where I was standing, visiting with the fellows who had parachuted from the plane earlier, and in a short time he swung the aircraft around, braked to a stop, and shut the engine off.

The pilot, an acquaintance of mine, climbed out of the airplane and stretched. As I walked up to him he stated, “That’s cutting it a little close!”

When I asked what he was referring to he asked if I had noted the engine quitting just as he touched the ground. When I answered in the affirmative he said, “I ran out of gas! I had just enough to start it again and get to the fuel pumps after I landed!”

“I usually carry just enough to get up and back," he said, “That way I don’t have to carry all the extra weight while I am climbing with the jumpers. But I think I cut it just a little close that time. I think I will begin carrying a little more than just enough to get by!”

Do you know people who try to get by in life with just the bare minimum of those things related to Christianity? You know what I mean; just enough attendance at church so that they feel they can get “in” if anything unexpected or untimely happened to them. And they will pray just often enough so that they kind of keep their hand in things and can pray if they get caught up in a crisis that was not part of their plans. These are folks who are always operating or living on "fumes!" Their "tank," is nearly always empty. In fact, they may never have known what it is to experience the fullness of a life lived committed completely to Jesus Christ.

Listen to the Apostle Paul’s words as he wrote to the Colossians in chapter 1, beginning with verse 9:

“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.” (Col 1:9-12)

We are truly missing out when we live without the fullness Christ wants to impart into each of our lives. We open the door to that fullness when we consecrate/commit our lives completely to Him!

Prayer: Father, help me to be careful, in the months ahead, to walk through life with my “tanks” full. Give me an insatiable thirst for your Word and cause me to carefully set aside time each day to talk to you in prayer and to think about the things of God. Thank you for your willingness to walk through this life with me. In Jesus Name I pray. Amen.

Pastor Bill

(This post was originally posted on The Shelter Tree in January of 2010.)

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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The church needs to be a place where never is heard a discouraging word!


Pastor Bill

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Let God work in your life the way He wants to, and not as you think He should.


Pastor Bill

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Never allow yourself to be in bondage to what you might think are necessary emotions in your relationship with Christ, as a result of someone else’s experience. We are all uniquely different!


Pastor Bill

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We can experience a complete peace within, no matter how harshly the storms of life may batter us, when we give God control of our lives.


Pastor Bill

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Some of you reading this may remember when you could purchase “saving stamps” at your local Post Office. That’s right! The local post office in every community was a type of savings institution for a good many people prior to and during World War II. The government ended the program in the late 1960’s. Well, I best get on with the story.

My father was a postmaster in a small rural post office for most of his adult life. One day the minister for the community’s little church came in with a request. He and his family were going through difficult times financially. The minister’s boy was in college and their daughter was going to be graduating from high school in a short time and had her own dreams of enrolling in college in the fall. The minister was carrying a book of saving stamps with him. He asked my father if he might be able to cash in the stamps for a little money to help them out.

Upon looking at the book of stamps my father informed the minister he could only accept U.S. Savings Stamps. The stamps in the book the minister had were British. It turned out that relatives of the family in England had given them to the minister’s wife. My father suggested the minister mail them to England—it would not require much postage—and he would no doubt receive a few dollars for them. The stamps were from the World War II period and there was a possibility the British government might even pay some interest on them. The minster mailed them and probably forgot about them.

Several weeks later the minister entered the post office quite excited. He related that an almost unbelievable thing had happened. He had been notified by his bank that they were in receipt of a bank draft for $5,000 dollars, to be credited to the minister’s account. The minister and his wife were sure there must be some kind of mistake.

It did not take long before the mystery was cleared up. There was no mistake. The minister’s wife had a relative in England who had died having included her in his will. The attorneys handling the state had been unable to locate her to give her the funds. When the little book of saving stamps arrived in England from the United States, to be converted into cash, the firm handling the estate somehow became aware of it, providing them with the address they needed. They followed up by sending the minister and his wife their share of the inheritance.

In the New Testament, In Matthew 6, being with verse 25, we read, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

Yes, our Heavenly Father watches over those who belong to him! Are you one of his?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the manner in which you take care of each person who has chosen you as their Savior. Thank you for the way you always take care of us, in every way possible. Thank you for the many reminders of this fact that you have given us in the Bible! 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.clip_image001clip_image001[1]

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