We All Need Hope  - 5-22-20


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What About "Booda?"

I was able to go to Cameroon, Africa in 2012.  It was a great trip and one that I certianly will never forget!  In Cameroon they speak English but it is not an English that we are used to.  It is called pigeon English, which is a broken English that is spoken, but they would spell everthing the same.  Her is a memory I want to share with you today from when I wrote when I was in Africa. I think I am getting a hold of this “pigeon’ language better.  Pigeon is a broken English with a strong dialect to it.  Our dialects only hold us back a little.  The people here talk too fast, and they say the same about me.  I was talking to one of the students about what we had at dinner and telling him that Elangwe offered me “booda.”   What he was saying was "butter" which is important to this story.  I wanted to see if the students knew what Brother Elangwe was talking about, because I didn’t.  Well the way I said, “booda” they thought I said “bottle.”  When they say “bottle” they associate that with whiskey.  So with the student looking very confused at me, I got the impression that something was not right.  So once we finally spelled it out in the dirt, they understood that Elangwe offered me ‘butter’ and not ‘bottle’ (whiskey).  I am glad we got that cleared up.  That could have been bad for the school of preaching and for the director (brother Elangwe) and myself.  The point is that words have very important meanings and is the way by which people communicate.  Make sure that we are communicating things correctly and not sending the wrong messages.  Let us be careful of our tongue.  It is something that cannot be tamed (James 3).  The words by which we speak can be detriment to other or ourselves if we are using them negatively such as gossiping, backbiting, lying, etc (Romans 1:30).  Rather, let us edify one anther (Heb. 10:24).  Tell others about Jesus Christ and salvation (2Tim. 4:2). Let us use it to praise God and glorify Him for the things He has done for us.  What will your words communicate to others? 

Most Deadly Jobs 5-4-20

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Did you know that one of the most dangerous jobs that you can do in America is either that of logging or crab fishing.  I suppose logging due to using heavy machinery, saws, large trees, and tireless work.  Loggers have a fatality rate of 20-30 times that of the national average.  If you have ever watched Deadliest Catch, a tv series showing life on a crab boat. The title makes sense when you know the fatality rate was 80% of the national average according to one statistic. 2 of the most deadly jobs. Another deadly job, spiritually speaking now is being a worker of iniquity.  That is a fancy word for sin.  Sin has a 100% fatality rate of everyone who continues working in it.  Rom. 6:23 - “the wages of sin is death.”  But…. the gift of God is eternal life.  Paul has told us how to obtain this gift earlier in the same chapter.  Read v. 1-6.  What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. There is nothing more deadly than sin.  Make sure that you do not fall into the deadliest of jobs.  And if you do, thanks be to God that we have a way out and can have your sins washed away.


Let Not your heart be troubled 4-24-20

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Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me” (John 14:1).  During times of crisis, we may call these storms in our lives, our heart can become wearied and troubled!  Jesus reminds us through the apostle John, let not your hearts be troubled.  What he means by this word “trouble” is anything that would agitate us, to cause an inward commotion, or to take away calmness of mind.  This can happen in many ways and at many times.  So the question becomes “How do we not let our hearts be troubled?”  He says that if you believe in God, then we can also believe in Him (Jesus) ! Jesus would then explain that there is something that better waits us… a dwelling place with God!  We don’t have to let our heart be troubled about daily things here in this life if we believe what God has promised us in the life to come! 

“Keep Your Fork” - A woman was making arrangements with the a preacher saying, "I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand."  The woman explained, "In all my years of attending church socials and potluck dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main courses were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, "Keep your fork." It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming, like strawberry cake, lemon pie, or banana pudding! So, I want people to see me in my casket with a fork in my hand and wonder, "What's with the fork?" Then I want you to tell them: "Keep your fork. The best is yet to come." Let now your heart be troubled… God is in control today and everyday and the best is yet to come! 



He is risen, Now what? 4-14-20

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Jesus has risen from the dead and ascended to sit at the right hand of the majesty on high!  Now what do we do? I want to give you 2 bits what the apostles did. First, they spoke boldly in His name.  We see in Acts 4:13, Peter and John had boldness in preaching the message of Jesus! The apostles were not ashamed of the Lord, but rather bold in what they knew.

The second bit is found in Acts 19:8 where Paul is  reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God. Let’s follow suit.  We should preach boldly about Christ. You may remember the saying, “Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.” You may be the only Bible that people ever read, so preach! Live Christ everyday! 

We must reason and persuade people about the message of the cross! I must ask myself “Who have I not been bold enough to tell about my Jesus?”   What will you do with the message of the risen Savior? I encourage you to be bold, confident, and courageous. The Lord is with you! He will not leave you nor forsake you! Blessings for today!



My Lord & My God 4-9-20

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After Christ's death, burial, and resurrection the apostles make the claim that they have seen the risen Chist.  John 20:25 - Thomas (one of the 12) said, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”  After eight days, Jesus shows himself to Thomas and then the words were uttered, “My Lord and My God’ (John 20:28).  Thomas believed after seeing. Why would we believe without seeing? 

I believe because the Scriptures in the Bible are quoted as authority and used or referred to by reputable people, such as Polycarp, Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Origen, and Irenaeus, to name a few, who would have been audited by the public for inaccuracies if their claims about Jesus were untrue.  I believe because of pagan sources that affirm Jesus Christ was on the earth such as Thallas, Mara-Bar- Serapion, Cornelius Tacitus, and Pliny the Younger, governor of Bithynia, making reference to Jesus the Christ.

I believe that Jesus died and was buried in a tomb, due to the executioners examinations and proclamations of Christ being dead.  The eyewitnesses that saw Him be put in a tomb. Soldiers were put guard to secure the body so that no one could take it claiming that Christ had risen. Every possible precaution was taken. I believe Jesus rose from the dead because of the empty tomb! (Matt. 28:6) Second, because  Roman guards were placed to ensure Jesus’ body wasn’t stolen. Third, because Joseph of Arimathea, whose tomb Jesus was buried, was a historical figure and member of the Sanhedrin. You wouldn’t want to make up a story with such a prominent figure of society if it were not true. Fourth, the testimony of the women. They would not use a woman’s testimony, unless in this case it could not be denied. Fifth, because of all the fulfilled prophecies.  Sixth because of the apostles new found courage to preach that Jesus was the Christ and not be hiding behind closed doors. Seventh are the eyewitnesses (1 Cor. 15) He was seen by Peter, the twelve, James, Paul, and over 500 brethren at one time.  Eighth because of Saul’s conversion. Nothing but the Risen Christ could had persuaded this Christian murder unless Saul had seen the resurrected Christ. I believe because He Is Lord!  Jesus is who Thomas claimed Him to be, and who I claim Him to be… MY LORD & MY GOD!


Hold To God's Unchanging Hand 4-3-20

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James 1:17- “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” A song which emphasizes this verse is the song titled “Hold to God’s Unchanging Hand.” It was written by Mary Jane Wilson in 1904,The words of this song compare the transitory nature of this life to the eternal nature of God and heaven.

1.Time is filled with swift transition, Naught of earth unmoved can stand, Build your hopes on things eternal, Hold to God's unchanging hand - Our life is but a vapor, it is swift Jas. 4:13 and this earth will eventually pass away(2 Pet. 3:10) But God is eternal! (Deut. 33:27). Hold to His hand.

2. Trust in Him who will not leave you, Whatsoever years may bring, If by earthly friends forsaken, Still more closely to Him cling. - Our friends may forsake us, but God will never leave us or forsake us: (Deut. 31:6).  Hold to the one who is always faithful!

3. Covet not this world's vain riches, That so rapidly decay, Seek to gain the Heavenly treasures, They will never pass away - Matt. 6:19-20 encourages us to seek the heavenly treasures which will never pass away.

4. When your journey is completed, If to God you have been true, Fair and bright your home in glory, Your enraptured soul will view - When we come to the end of our journey the question that begs an answer is, “have I been faithful to God?” (Rev. 2:10).  If so we have an eternal home awaiting us! 

The chorus exhorts us to keep on holding to God’s hand. Build your hopes on things that are eternal. Hold to God’s hand and never let go!



Elijah & worry in a time of crisis 3-30-20

A few bits we can gleen from God's word of how to deal with worry and anxiety in a time of Crisis.

1. 1 Kings 19:5,7 - Take Nourishment.  God told Elijah to arise and eat.  We need to take physical & spiritual nurishment. 

2. 1 Kings 19:15 - God tells Elijah that there is work to be done. Physical work helps with our worry as well as Spiriitual work such as: Encouraging others, memorizing scripture, or having a bible study. 

3. 1 Kings 19:18 - God reminds Elijah that "You are not alone."  Even thought Elijah thought he was the only one, God reminds him that he is not alone.  


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Redeeming the Time 3-26-20

  • Ephesians 5:15-16 - Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16making the most of your time, because the days are evil.
  • “Therefore” means, because of those things that have just been mentioned.  What has just been mentioned?
  • V.6 Let no on deceive you with empty words
  • V.7 – Don’t be partakers of disobedience
  • V.8 – Walk as children of light
  • V. 10 – Learn what’s pleasing to the Lord.
  • V. 11 – expose deeds of darkness
  • V. 14 – Awake, sleeper and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
  • Therefore because of these things mentioned above, walk in wisdom!
  • “Make the most of your time.” (NASB)  “Redeeming the Time” (NKJV)

Question:  How can you make the most of your time with your family and growing closer to God?  Notice what Paul wants us to do…


-“Walk as children of light” (v.8) – let us know how to walk in the light by reading the word (Read Eph. 5:8-14 each person in your family together)


- “Finding out what is acceptable to the Lord” (v.10)  - How do we know what is acceptable to God?  Get into His word!


- “Walk wisely” (v.15)  - How do we gain wisdom?  Go back to God’s word who when we ask for wisdom, He gives to us liberally. (James  1:5).


(Read Eph. 5:8-14 each person in your family together. Take turns reading the passage through multiple times.)


Encouragement … Make the most of your time while you have a little extra with your family.  Talk to your kids 1 extra time about the bible today.  Say 1 extra prayer of thanksgiving today with your family.  Play 1 extra game today as a family.  Encourage 1 other person today as a family.

 

May God bless you as you Serve Him!