From My Heart to Yours

                  

 

Bro. Bill Scroggs

 

Just Wait

March 5, 2023

These are two little words that carry a lot of ‘weight.’ From the time we were
youngsters we were told to ‘wait’ almost all the time. But… as often as we

hear it and get to wait, it doesn’t seem to get any easier. We live in the
microwave society that wants it now. Past generations waited until after eight
o’clock to call friends and family so the rates were cheaper. The generations
before that depended on waiting days between sending letters back and forth.

I remember one time when Mother was trying to motivate Dad to hurry, he
reminded us all that, “Patience is a virtue.” Needless to say his attempt to
diminish an already tense situation didn’t amuse Mom.

I think of many things every day I wish that could be cured, removed,
cancelled, taken care of, or settled in minutes, days or weeks. However in
most cases, time will be a deciding factor on most of my concerns, so I
guess I will continue to have to hurry up and wait. I guess that waiting is good
for me as Isaiah 40:31 reminds us, “They that wait upon The LORD shall renew
their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not
be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” When you can’t change it, enjoy
the wait.

 

There Are Some Things I
May Not Know

February 26, 2023

As a matter of fact, there are many  I may not know, but at least most
of the time I don’t keep on trying to talk about it. I am glad I am not a politician.

I could have continued to elaborate, but I have sense enough to stop there.
In fact, there are a lot of things I don’t even want to know or want to
experience. But I am sure of this one thing: That GOD is real, for I can feel
HIM in my heart. (Lyrics of My GOD is Real by Kenneth Morris)
When Jesus asked HIS disciples who others said HE was, it was Peter who
answered in Matthew 16:16, “Thou art The Christ, The son of the Living GOD.”
Then Jesus answered in verse 17, “flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto you,
but my Father which is in heaven.”

With all the faults that Peter had, he got that right. The same is true for me. I
don’t know a lot of things, but this one thing I know, “my GOD is Real for I can
feel Him in my soul!”

It was not because of who I am, but WHOSE I am. Praise GOD for loving me
and letting me be a part of HIS family and plan.

GOD Bless you.

 

What Is Happening?

February 19, 2023

A siren goes by and our curiosity demands to know what is going on. We hear a news
story, and we wonder, ‘what is the rest of the story.’   We have a natural (maybe)
impulse to see what is going on. Sometimes even to our detriment where we find out
more than we want to know.

So, when we hear about a movement as in the Ashbury event that began on February
8 th where a group of about 30 students were so moved by a sermon on love and
repentance they continued to hang around and worship and fellowship long after the
service ended. We are blessed many times when even our visitors want to hang around
and visit and fellowship since the Spirit of GOD is present and is not felt in all places.
Our Nation and World needs a movement of GOD and when we see a movement such
as the one at Ashbury there are mixed reviews just as there are when an accident
is witnessed.

We need to follow the Apostle Paul’s advice in Romans 12:9 that says, “Let love be
without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to that which is good.” And also in verse 15
which says, “Rejoice with those that rejoice.” We must be careful not to join the
scoffers and in doing so blaspheme to Holy Spirit because GOD didn’t show up as we
were expecting as did the ‘religious’ leaders in Jesus’s day. I say as James said in James
4:8, “Draw near to GOD and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you
sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded.” Rejoice and let GOD be GOD!

 

What Was I Thinking?

January 29, 2023

Have you ever had a “What was I thinking moment?” I can remember a
few in my lifetime and that got me to thinking (which gets me into trouble
sometimes.) I know Jesus knew everything about His disciples and yet
He trusted them with the missions He gave them to do. He even knew one
would betray Him and one was going to deny Him three times and yet He let
them complete the plan.

I know Jesus was privy to all knowledge both the present and future plans, but
after He saw the completion of what He had foretold at the last supper, I wonder
if He thought, ‘What was I thinking trusting these clowns with my plans?’
Of course, that would not be His way because as God says in Isaiah 55:8-9,
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith
the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher
than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

So, I guess that is another indication of ‘What was I thinking?’
 

How’s it Going?

January 22, 2023

This question is often asked as rhetorical, but sometimes we might want to stop and give it a thought. This year is marching on and even though it is only just over half of the month gone, it seems to be speeding faster than usual.  When someone asks, ‘How’s it going?’ they may not always expect or want an answer. The anticipated response is, ‘Fine’ or ‘OK’ or some other general casual, thoughtless answer.

The world only seems to get more and more confusing so sometimes it is better left as a rhetorical question. At some point I think most of us thought we had at most or at least some of the answers, but now it seems like we are not even sure what the questions are.

When the world gets too fast or too confusing, we need to find the answers or at least comfort in GOD’s word, the Bible. Romans 8:28 reminds us, “All things work together for good to those that love The Lord and are called according to His purpose”.

We may not always know ‘How it’s going,’ but praise GOD we can know how it turns out.

 

Following Directions

January 15, 2923

At the beginning of the year, we think about many things pertaining to fresh starts and starting over.  When we start anything, it is often best to follow the instructions. Someone has said the Bible is Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth (B.I.B.L.E.).

The Bible has many things to think about including Genesis 1:1 that says, “In the beginning GOD created the heavens and the earth.” As I often say, I believe if we get that first verse wrong, we will have trouble with the understanding of many other parts of the Bible and even our very own lives.

Proverbs 9:10 reminds us, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” That also sheds some light on why we have so many problems with some people not having a certain wisdom because they have no fear of the Lord.  And again, I go back to Matthew 6:33 that says, “Seek ye first the kingdom of GOD and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Follow the directions to get it right.

 

 

Seek Ye First

January 8, 2023

A new year and some things have changed, and many have remained the
same. As usual, by the end of the first week we are seeing or hearing folks
who have already given up on their New Year’s resolutions.

So, as we watch the process of trying to elect a speaker of the house it shows
what is right and wrong with our governing process. Yes, each person
theoretically has a vote and there by significance. However, we also are
seeing as usual, a minority many times gets to control the majority. That
reminds us of the age-old expression, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”
This is a reminder that our confidence can never be placed in men (at least
many of them) or in the systems of men.

That is why we must “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,
and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

Let us boldly go forward into the new year with a fresh and more fervent
desire to make GOD and his will supreme in our lives.

 

The New Year

January 1, 2023

As we start a new year, there will be many things the same, and some changes we are
facing are different. A big change we will see is the second pew from the front on the
left (at least to me) will no longer be occupied be Mrs. Agatha Joy Gasaway.

As Mrs. Agatha peacefully transitioned into her eternal home the week before

CHRISTmas, she was able to rejoice with her friends and family who had gone on before
her. During this time after she went to her heavenly home, many kind words, thoughts
and stories were shared of deeds, actions and the impact Mrs. Agatha had on
hundreds and possibly thousands of her students and the generations following the
ones she had taught.

One of the students that Mrs. Agatha made an impact on grew up to be a principal and
shared her story and challenged her new teachers to be the “Mrs. Agatha” to the
students they were teaching. Fortunately, Mrs. Agatha and this principal had
compared stories so Mrs. Agatha could share how she found that girl and how she
was able to see more than others and challenge the young girl.

Each of us is called to differing calling based on our differing gifts. Ecclesiastes
9:10 tells us, “Whatsoever thy had findeth to do, do it with all thy might; for there is no
work, nor device nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.”

While we have time, we must follow Mrs. Agatha’s example of impacting others and
letting others know of their value. Let’s make it a Great New Year!

 

 Peace On Earth

December 25, 2022

In the world where we live it is hard to believe such a thing as ‘Peace on Earth,’ is possible.  The truth is there has seldom been a time since the creation of the earth and the addition of man has there been much of an opportunity for any kind of ‘peace on earth.’

GOD in HIS infinite wisdom had found the only way to bring salvation to mankind which is the only way to restore ‘Peace On Earth.’

GOD’s love toward us with HIS amazing way of cutting through all our sin and corruption brings the only solution to us that makes peace on earth possible.

GOD understood we were not able to straighten up to help bring about even a limited peace, and with incredible love toward us he sent the perfect sacrifice to the world, HIS Son Jesus.

This baby born in Bethlehem caused a multitude of heavenly host to praise GOD and say, “Glory to GOD in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!” (Luke 2:14)

 

It Is Hard To Imagine

December 18, 2022

In the little town of Bethlehem at the time of the birth of Jesus, I can’t imagine a quiet place for the birth of a child when the city was so packed.  It is hard to imagine the angels proclaiming the birth of our Saviour to the shepherds out in the country in the fields.

It is hard to imagine the shepherds leaving their flocks and going into town to find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.

It is hard to imagine the hardness of anyone to desire to destroy a child, much less one heralded as King of Kings.

It is hard to imagine GOD loving us enough to send HIS son to earth to go through all HE had to go through to pay the price for our salvation.

It is hard to imagine many other things that I we could think about, but GOD’s ways are higher than our ways. However, it is just like GOD, because as Isaiah 55:8 reminds us, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.”  And friends, that is why I can’t even imagine all of the immeasurable ways GOD moves on our behalf.

 

Over The River and Through The Woods

December 11, 2022

Those words conjure up memories from my childhood. Even though we were at least a generation away from going to grandma’s house by sleigh and teams of horses, we sang the song and enjoyed the trip.  Maybe if we had made the trips with as many hardships as generations before, we might have been more able to relate to the journey made by Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem.

If we get hot, we turn the air on in our cars, and if we are cold, we are blessed with heaters. Things may have changed, and I might even say some things for the better, but our visits in our own way bring blessings to friends and relatives. Mary and Joseph made their trip to help complete the journey of Jesus. He came from eternity past to humanity to bring salvation to us.  At the birth of Jesus, the multitude of the heavenly host praised GOD saying in Luke 2:14, “Glory to GOD in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

This season, rejoice and bring good news and great joy to those with whom you are able to fellowship.

 

Making A List

December 4, 2022

Working toward Christmas and the New Year each of us will make lists and check off items each day as time goes faster and faster reaching for the end of the year.  Thanksgiving is over, check.  Black Friday sales are over, check. Monday over, check.  Every other retail trick to attract your attention and siphon your dollars has been used, check.  Looking over your list to be sure you have not forgotten anyone or any detail that is important, check.

With all of our lists have we planned CHRIST right out of Christmas? Anna Cody has sung a song before that asks the question, “Where is the line to see Jesus?”  Too soon we will turn around and the New Year will be here, and many will not have even made a place for the true reason for the season.

Yes, time is short, as James 4:14 reminds us, “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”  Remember, make your list and be sure to include GOD and HIS Son JESUS, not only on the list, but first!

 

Are You Interested?

November 27, 2022

That by itself is an interesting question.  Of course, the answer would most likely
be dependent on what the second part of that question is. When I started with this
thought, I was thinking about how many of you would be interested in pursuing a
public office. Would that change your answer? I also thought about would you
be interested in doing ________ for the church. Does that change your answer?
Does it matter what is filled in the blank?

There are some things if asked, I would have to say no. For instance, if you ask if
I am interested in playing the piano for our services, I would have to answer it
this way, “I am interested, but I am unable.” Other than that, I have served
in almost every capacity in GOD’s service from the nursery to plumber all
the way up to custodian.

Are you interested…  1) in serving in the choir, 2) in teaching a class, 3) in doing
GOD’s will, 4) in seeing folks saved either here or around the world? The
wise writer of Ecclesiastes 9:10 gives us this prompting, “Whatsoever thy hand
findeth to do, do it with all thy might.”  Are you interested? Fill in the blank with
what you are interested in and able to do.

 

 

Giving Thanks

November 20, 2022

Now is the time to give thanks! Not just now, but yesterday, today and
tomorrow and forever. It is the same principal that the apostle Paul
challenges us to do in Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in The Lord: always and again I
say, Rejoice!”

Our reasons to rejoice are because of the blessings for which we have to give
thanks. We are blessed beyond what we deserve. We live in a country where
we have been blessed since our inception and only when we take our
eyes off Jehovah GOD and look in the weeds and snares do we become
confused.

We must remember these words in Psalm 33:12, “Blessed is the nation
whose GOD is The Lord.”We are reminded in James 1:17, “Every good
gift and every perfect gift is from above.”

To return to our proper place of rejoicing and praising GOD we will
return to these words of Proverbs 14:34, “Righteousness exalteth a nation;
but sin is a reproach to any people.”  How do we get back to being a
righteous nation again? We must follow these words of 2Chronicles 7:14, “If my
people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray, and
seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and
forgive their sin, and heal their land.”

Then when righteousness is restored, we will have even more reasons to
rejoice and give thanks.

 

 

Year Long Learning

November 13, 2022

This week a school in hot Springs is having discussions about having school
year around. This is not necessarily a new idea, but it is new for our area. It is
not as good or as bad as it sounds. The days of learning would still be about the
same, just with a shorter summer break and longer fall and spring breaks.

The idea is to cut down on periods of time with no learning where the
students tend to lose what progress they have made. The same concerns can
be made in our spiritual growth. When there are long breaks in our spiritual
growth, we tend to have a drop off in our spiritual progress. No one would
want to stunt the growth of wisdom in our children, or in ourselves for that
matter.

We must exercise the same due diligence in the pursuit of our
relationship with GOD. We must, “seek first the kingdom of GOD, and HIS
righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you (Matthew 6:33).”
Is all learning good? No, we must remember these words in Jeremiah
10:2, “Thus saith the Lord, ‘Learn not the way of the heathen’,” I couldn’t agree
more. What you learn matters.

 

 

The Choice

N0vember 6, 2022

In November you will have many choices. One choice is when and where will you vote. While early voting gives you some freedom with your schedule, the where may be important in the future if we are to keep our local polling places. The choices of who and what is on the ballot is more and more important as we see how elections effect our families and futures.

Choices toward the end of the month involve ham or turkey, dressing or dumplings, pecan or apple, etc.… These choices will impact our health and wellbeing sooner than some of the previous decisions however the earlier choices may have consequences all the way to our future generations.  Some choices we make daily have little or no impact on our future. In fact, some choices may be delayed with no impact.  One choice each of us must make, and the sooner the better, is about your relationship with The LORD.

The apostle Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 6:2, “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”  As a reminder, to not choose is to make the choice of rejecting Christ.  As Joshua put the choice before the children of Israel, “Choose this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15).

 

Tis The Season

October 30, 2022

We are entering into a season of celebrations and traditional family
gatherings that keep most of us fairly busy this time of year. There are
children’s programs, choir cantatas, Veteran’s Day parades and programs
that sometimes make you wonder how we can cram one more in.

It makes me grateful that I only have two daughters and x-number of grands
and greats that limit the directions I will be obliged to go to attend the awesome
events they want me to come see. It gives me more reason to pray for those
of you who have been blessed with larger families.

As I was beginning to write this and had a direction in mind, I got wind of an
event being postponed. While it was one I looked forward to, it was cancelled
due to rain. The person who had invited us mentioned that we would always
trade eating for rain this year, and I have to agree.

The apostle Paul reminds us in Romans 8:28, “All things work together for good
to them that love the LORD and are called according to his purpose.
Have a Blessed Day!

 

 

Praise The LORD!

Oct0ber 23, 2022

This week an old hymn has been playing in the back of my mind. The song is “To
GOD Be The Glory,” by Lou Fellingham. While there are situations all around us
to be down and discouraged, GOD is worthy to be praised. I love the spring, I
love the fall, I love a rain after a long dry spell, I love a good snow, and I love
when a snow melts and flowers start popping out. I am a simple man with a
simple mind and it doesn’t take much to raise my spirits to get to praise HIM!
We had a decent rain this past week that helped relieve the drought. Also,
the temps fell to freezing to cool things off. The leaves are falling and as dry as it
has been they may not be as pretty as some years, but parts are just as
gorgeous as ever.

So the song goes, “Praise The Lord, Praise the LORD, Let the people rejoice.
Come to the Father through Jesus His Son, and give Him the glory, Great
things He has done!” As the apostle Paul says in Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the
LORD always, and again I say Rejoice!”

 

 We Are Blessed

October 16, 2922

In January of this year, we held a Vision Meeting and came up with several good ideas (solutions to challenges we have). As of the past couple of weeks we have seen two items checked off the list.

The largest and most expensive project was our parking lot expansion. When you embark on a project of this magnitude it usually costs more and takes longer than we usually think. During the process it rained, a gas line was found that had to be moved and of course fuel prices were higher than it would have been a couple of years ago.

However, GOD has provided the finances for the complete project and more. The size is larger than I anticipated, and most folks are excited by the number we will be able to park. Landscaping is being done by Cecil and EK, Clayton and Linda Jones, Cylinda, Abigayle, Jeffrey, Ariel, Easton as  well as Nolen Owen, Bob & Anna Cody, Wayne Adams and probably others of whom I may not be aware.

Another project we have had the need for was the devices for hearing impaired members. After some different options we were able to obtain some that seem to have made a positive impact. I have heard several positive comments, with the most exciting being Mrs. Agatha exclaiming, “I can hear!” What a blessing.

These projects have been completed while exceeding our mission goals and putting in a new AC unit in the fellowship hall. Again, the blessings that cause us to, Rejoice in The LORD always and again I say Rejoice (Philippians 4:4)!”

 

Is It Weird… Or Is It Just Me

October 9, 2022

We are blessed to live in a small pocket of semi-sane folks amid a nation of folks
bent on causing us to question all that we know is real. We are told our
country was not created on Christian principals. Our leaders who are in
charge are putting people in charge who have no experience and are only chosen
based on their wicked agendas and lifestyles.

When we stand for righteousness, we are vilified as the next generation is
being taught in our schools to question authority. Instead of teaching reading,
writing and arithmetic, the children and taught in social experiments to accept
the lgbtq+ agenda as the normal lifestyle.

Folks we are in a battle for the souls of our families. A battle for the souls of our
children, grands and great grandchildren. The apostle Paul gave
this advice to us in Titus 2:11-15, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation
hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly
lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;  Looking
for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our
Savior Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all
iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man
despise thee.”

Yes, things are weird, and we must be a peculiar people living in righteousness
for GOD.

 

 

Is It Weird… Or Is It Just Me

October 2, 2022

We are blessed to live in a small pocket of semi-sane folks amid a nation of folks bent on causing us to question all that we know is real.  We are told our country was not created on Christian principals. Our leaders who are in charge are putting people in charge who have no experience and are only chosen based on their wicked agendas and lifestyles. 

When we stand for righteousness, we are vilified as the next generation is being taught in our schools to question authority. Instead of teaching reading, writing and arithmetic, the children and taught in social experiments to accept the LGBTQ2+ agenda as the normal lifestyle.

Folks we are in a battle for the souls of our families. A battle for the souls of our children, grands and great grandchildren. The apostle Paul gave this advice to us in Titus 2:11-15, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.”

Yes, things are weird, and we must be a peculiar people living in righteousness for GOD.

 

Once Upon A Time… Happily Ever After

September 25, 2022

Almost every fairy tale starts off, with “Once upon A Time…” and concludes with, “Happily Ever After.” This week demonstrates real life as usual. The queen had prepared for her death and wake and funeral for several decades and everything was to have a fairytale ending.  However, the world continues to spin and things don’t always’ turn out, ‘happily ever after.’ Not only is there turmoil in the royal kingdom, but it seems wherever you look there is bitterness, hatred, jealously, disease and a myriad of other confusions to disturb our peace on earth.

Once again, the world has been forced to reflect on each of our own immortalities. The Queen’s funeral was watched by the largest audience ever and throughout the service the viewers were shown the glory of GOD and HIS plan for salvation. The writer of Hebrews 9:27 reminds us, “It is appointed unto men once a time to die, but after this the judgement.” From all indications the Queen had made her preparations for everything including her final stop into eternity.  More important than everything else you may or may not have seen, the important thing is have you made you preparations for your final destination for the judgement so you can, “have everlasting life (John 3:16?)”

 

Being Flexible

September 18, 2022

Being flexible is not easy for someone my age. I like my plans to go the way I want them to go, after all I had plans for this past week, I had made almost a year ago.  My first cousins had planned a reunion for this past week, and I looked forward to seeing some of them for the first time in forty or more years.

The worst part has been being sick and not being able to control my schedule. A blessing was that I missed getting to see Dad on Tuesday since he was out of pocket when I went to see him.  

I left Jonesboro after completing what I wanted to get done so I could make it to the Petit Jean Mountain Community meeting.

When I got home, I told Reta I was just not feeling like going and she said indicated she felt too tired to go also. I am glad we did not go as we were able to make it to bed early. By Wednesday morning we realized it was more than just allergies.

The worst part is not being able to think straight to handle details. We are both doing better and look forward to seeing y’all next week.

The good news is we have Bro. Bruce Venable from the ABSC to share with you this week. So remember Paul’s words in in Romans 8:28, “All things work together for good to those that love the Lord and are called according to His purposes.”

 

From Start to Finish 

September 11, 2022

God’s awesome love toward us is demonstrated from the first pages of
the Old Testament all the way to the end. God loved us from the very
beginning in that He created us in His image. From the first sin of
disobedience, we see God displaying His love to man by
providing the sacrifice for Adam and Eve to be reconciled back to Himself.

In the days of Noah, just eight generations from Adam, we are told
that it repented God that He had made man and was ready to destroy
him. But… Noah found grace in the eyes of The Lord, and he provided a
way of escape for Noah and his family.

Time after time God provided protection, deliverance and salvation
for our patriarchs in the Old Testament. Then in due time God
sent His own son to show us personally how much He loved each
of us. John 3:16 the simple verse most of us learned as a child sums
up the love of God toward us with these words, “For God so loved the
world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him
might have everlasting life”. This love (a gift) to us requires a
decision. You either choose to love God and follow Him, or you reject
Him, and not to make a decision is to shun or reject God’s love toward
you. That is the beauty of the love of God, He won’t force you to love Him,
but he gives you every opportunity.

From beginning to the end God loves you.

 

The Macedonian Call

September 4, 2022

This past week I was asked about a line in one of
our hymns that says, “We have heard theMacedonian call,” and I wanted to share some
insights I have found. After being redirected twice, Paul was at a standstill in Troas, on the
eastern coast of the Aegean Sea. There Paul received what has become known as ‘the
Macedonian Call’: “During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and
begging him, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us’” (Acts 16:9). This vision was the clear
direction they needed. “After Paul had seen the vision, he got ready at once to leave for
Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them” (Acts 16:10).

Some believe that Luke was the “man of Macedonia” that Paul had previously seen in his
dream and that, once Paul met him, he knew beyond a doubt that he was to accompany Luke
on a western voyage. Paul obeyed the vision. If the Macedonians needed help, then they would
go to Macedonia (the northern and central parts of modern-day Greece). Many historians credit
Paul’s heeding the Macedonian Call with the spread of Christianity into Europe and the
Western world.

Paul planted several churches in Macedonian cities. Local bodies of believers were established
in Philippi (Acts 16:40), Thessalonica (Acts 17:4), and Corinth (Acts 18:1–11). Five of the New
Testament Epistles were written to these three churches. The history of the church—and of the
world—forever changed because of the God-given dream known as the Macedonian Call.
Our call today is: Give, GO or Pray… or all three. 

 

Answered Prayer

August 28, 2022

Name three prayers you have had answered in the last week… in the last month… in the last year. Some folks may have trouble recalling answered prayer while others will be able to name one after another.  Many will not remember because they have trouble asking for things that they are able to control and others have trouble asking for things that are bigger than they can control.

Some folks are able to remember answered prayers because they are constantly praying and asking God for even the so called ‘little’ things in life. Jesus taught His disciples to pray in Matthew 6:11, “Give us this day our daily bread.” So it is important for us to ask God even for the things we have or think we have control over.

James tells us we have not because we ask not and when we do we ask amiss. What the Bible is teaching us is to depend on God by asking for His provision and then recognizing it when He does provide for us. If we were to write down our requests and then record answered prayer and provisions He gives us in spite of us forgetting to ask we would be amazed.

Count your many blessings… Name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done…

 

Showers of Blessing

August 21, 2022

This week we were blessed with rain that was much needed.  This should finalize driving the burn ban away for the fall and bring some nice color to our leaves.  Of course, the cooler temperatures have also been appreciated, especially as the political season heats up.  Fortunately, it has been fairly quiet for the past few months since our primary election in May.

Sport are being discussed in positive tones and there is much excitement with some fanatical fans even talking about us defeating Alabama, (not rational fans mind you) but it is early and after the first snap reality could allow our fans to return to earth.

The blessing of rain and cooler temperatures enough for us to rejoice and have hope for the days ahead.  The apostle Paul gives us this advice from Philippians 4:8, “Finally, Brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Then we can count our blessings.

 

Exciting Times

August 14, 2022

The end of summer has many reasons to be excited. The new school is starting which means Football is about to start.
There is a possibility of cooler weather.  The hunting seasons are about to open, we were able to support our Arkansas
Baptist Children’s Homes with a back to school offering as well as offerings to the mountain children who have
connections to our church.

Now to top it off we get to participate in The Dixie Jackson Missions offering for Arkansas state missions! To me this is
exciting because as recipients of grants from the Dixie Jackson Offering helped to build our church, this is our privilege
to give back and pay it forward to the next generation of churches and ministries in our state.

We are blessed to have Roger Gaunt with us today to share about things going on in Arkansas. Roger has been a
longtime friend of our church and has seen many changes in his partnership between us and the state convention.

This year’s theme is, “While It Is Still Light” based on John 9:4, “I must do the works of Him who sent me, while it is
day; the night cometh when no man can work.” Let us be found to be about our Father’s business.

 

I Think I Have a Problem

August 7, 2022

I have missed the problems of the past two years with COVID, but I am experiencing some strange symptoms. I get headaches easily, my pulse rate is elevated, my blood pressure jumps erratically, I find extreme tightness in my chest with difficulty breathing and constricting accompanied by some growling in my throat. The underlying problem seems to have a common denominator. I am having these reactions from the coverups and misinformation coming from some of the news outlets that try to keep us from believing the truths that we see and know from a discernment that comes from GOD.

Our world is in trouble and that is compounded by the media covering up the truth that sin is the root cause of most of our problems. Fortunately, I have found a solution to my malady. Jesus told us in John 8:32. “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”  The apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of GOD, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and mind through Christ Jesus.”

Remember, Jesus reminded us in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” We must come to the truth and not get lost in the weeds all around us.

 

Have You Ever Wondered?

July 31, 2022

There has been a lot of trial and error before we were ever even born. We are blessed to live in a time where we can go to
the grocery store and pick out foods we enjoy with very little thought or effort. We can even pick out and try foods we have
never seen or tried before. But what caused the first person to say, “I think I will put that in my mouth.” How many folks had
to det sick or die before someone said, “Don’t eat that, it is not good for you?” Or how did they find out some things that will
kill you can be prepared just a little differently and it is edible and, in some cases, even good for you?

Today someone can tell you something you have never tried is good or good for you, and you will or might try it. Sometime the
one advising you was your parents or a friend. The same thing can be true for a relationship with GOD. Maybe your parents
or a friend introduced you to GOD and you paid attention because you trusted them.

How are our children and friends going to know and follow GOD unless we tell them? Acts 1:8 reminds us that we must be
“witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and unto the uttermost parts of the world.” That means start at home with our family, friends and
everywhere else we have opportunity. Let’s not wonder what would happen if we don’t.

 

Dog Days...

July 24, 2022

While the world turns, and we get more ‘senior’ we/I don’t always remember things the way they were. I remember
prior to my teen years hearing for the first time the phrase, ‘Dog days.’ When Iasked what that meant, the explanation
was, “The days are so hot and miserable in August, that they are not fit for a dog.”

This year I have given a lot of thought to these hot dry days we have gone through in not just July but starting in
June.  We must pray the trend does not continue.

I thought rain was bad when I was young, but my mind has been changed as I grew older. Several folks over the
years have said, “Any rain is good in August.” Now we can say any rain is good in June and July. We are grateful
for the showers we got this week, but the drought is nowhere near over.
Pray… Pray… Pray…

I also thought I could handle a lot of things by myself. That I now know is definitely not the truth. I must ask for
help from GOD daily. We are reminded in Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it shall be given you.”  Now that is advice to
remember.

 

What Causes That?

July 17, 2022

This morning I was sitting outside drinking in the cool of the day and watching the trees gently swaying and
listening to the birds singing to each other. As I sat there my eye was drawn to a branch in the center of a group of
trees where one branch was moving in a rhythm contrary to the rest of the tree. At first, I figured it was a squirrel
climbing through the tree, but it kept moving only about 3-4 inches in a predictable pattern and frequency.

While I focused in on the action, I saw a little bird pecking on a pinecone. I am not sure what or if the bird was getting
anything out of its target, but I was entertained by the persistence the bird was demonstrating.

Every day we have someone or more than one observing us in our lives. Are we as consistent and persistent in our
walk with CHRIST? Do we build up or are we tearing down our friends and family?
Do others see JESUS in us? We are reminded in Galatians 6:9, “Let us not grow weary in well doing: for in
due season we shall reap, if we faint
not.”

 

Can You Tell?

July 10, 2022

I learned how to cook in most ways from my Mom and Dad.  Mom could cook anything she wanted to and was even willing to follow directions in a cookbook or her personal file.  I remember asking her how to make this or that and many times she would go to her recipes and give you this textbook answer rather than trying to guess how to do it.

The best meal for Dad’s expertise was breakfast and I don’t remember recipes, but I do remember his whistling and watching it all come together with his fluffy scrambled eggs.

Much of the joy I got for cooking was from my parents.  I learned how to ‘thump’ a watermelon to tell if it was ripe and consider myself to have learned that skill fairly well.  I learned how to tell the status of a steak by touching it with my finger as it comes close to being done.  Sometimes, but not always I can judge the quality of the roast or steak by looking at it.

God looks at us and HE can see we are all no good.  Yet even though we are not any good, God commended HIS love toward us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8) Yes, HE can tell we are not worthy, but HE loves us too, warts and all.

 

Celebrate Your Freedom!

July 3, 2022

I can remember stages of my life where my personal freedoms were extended and others where they were limited. When I received my driver’s license my freedoms were expanded exponentially. I was more mobile than before, allowing me to get to work and other places without having to depend on someone else to take me there. With       the freedoms came the responsibilities of taxes, insurance, maintenance, and fuel costs.

With privilege comes responsibility and many of my limits were due to expenses related to the ownership and maintenance of my car. Very early on I understood that not only does fuel cost, but tires and other components also wore out.

Then because I was free, I joined the U.S Army. I was able to ‘choose’ to wear the same clothes as the other 1500 troops in my Battalion ‘chose’ to wear. My freedom to awaken, eat, rest and exercise was restricted to what was on the ‘Orders of the Day.’

The greatest Freedom I enjoy is my Freedom in Christ JESUS as written in John 8:36, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” Celebrate every day! Free, Free, Free indeed!                            

 

Thank You!

July 26, 2022

I feel like I owe everyone a month of “Thank You!” Thank You for helping Reta celebrate her retirement, and those of you that helped encourage her in this next step.

Thank you for the time we were able to get away “the gift to celebrate my birthday.  I remember as a youngster (last year,) I thought, “I can’t wait until next year.” Now as I celebrate another year I am reminded that we are not promised another minute much less a day, week, month or year.

At this stage of life, we understand the words of James 4:14 that says, “You do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and vanishes away.”  Thank you for allowing me to serve here at FBCPJ as your pastor and also to serve with you as we serve GOD in this part of the world where HE lets us serve.

“Give thanks in all things…”

(1 Thessalonians 5:18.” Thank You and GOD bless you.

 

Father’s Day

June 19, 2022

The institution of Father’s Day is credited to a woman by the name of Sonora Smart Dodd. She wanted a
special day to honor her father, Henry Jackson Smart. Her father was widowed when his wife died during the birth of
their sixth child. Mr. Smart was left to raise the newborn and his other five children by himself on a rural farm in
eastern Washington State.

As an adult, Sonora realized the sacrifice her father had shown in raising his children as a single parent. In the eyes
of this daughter, he was a courageous, selfless, and loving man. Some of my fondest childhood
memories were times Dad would load us 3-5 children depending on how far back and go off on adventures that
might be swimming or it would be a fishing trip whether a creek, lake river or pond. I remember the patience of
Dad when dealing with five children with as many demanding needs. As a parent the demands made me
appreciate all the sacrifices Dad made for us.

Thank GOD for my Dad, I am grateful to GOD as my heavenly Father and for who He (GOD) is in our family’s life and what
He has taught my Dad and each of us. Matthew 7:11 reminds us, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts
unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” 

What a challenge!
 

Grateful

June 12, 2022

It seems most of us are able to find reasons to be grateful every day for something… If we halfway look. While
we find many bitter people who don’t like anything around them, others in spite of bad circumstances are able to
‘rejoice’ and praise GOD for showers of blessings.

I am grateful for healthy children and grands and now greats that GOD blessed us with. I am grateful to have
my children serving GOD and now some of the Grands are working in Vacation Bible Schools, carrying on traditions
Reta and I have left for them. I am grateful Reta was able to work with children all of her life, not only our
children and their progeny, but hundreds and maybe thousands both in church, community choir but at this last
part of her life in the public school. I am grateful for Reta and the hours she has invested in kids, and in my life. I am
grateful for HIS protection on both her health issues as well as mine. We are less than half a year until our nation
celebrates Thanksgiving but let us not wait until then to give GOD praise.

Psalm 86:12 gives us this encouraging word, “I will
praise thee, O LORD my GOD with my heart all my heart: and will glorify thy name forever.”

 

Memorial Day

May 29, 2922

Many will celebrate the day off without giving a thought to the men and women who gave their lives to protect our country and others around the world to keep us free and safe.  As each year passes, we are reminded that our peace and safety came with a price and that price continues to grow as the terrorists continue to show us how vulnerable our soldiers are and in turn how insecure it even makes our loved ones.

I am proud of the men and women in uniform serving our country and stepping up to answer the call as countless soldiers have in the past.  We are reminded of these words from Psalms 33:12, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” As we remember the ones who gave their lives, let us remember our creator who made us the country we have been.

May we return to being a nation whose God is The Lord.

 

Who Told You…

May 22, 2022

It was not long after the creation and GOD saw that it was good that the lies started. The evil on brought doubt to Eve and Adam that GOD was trying to keep something good from them.  At least at that time there was still a sense of shame and the couple realized they were naked and with their own poor efforts to cover up not only their bodies, but the sin they had committed.

GOD asked them why they were hiding and the reply was, ‘I was naked and afraid, so I hid myself.’ Next GOD asked, “Who told you you were naked?”  Then the blame game begins with adam even blaming GOD for giving him the woman that gave him the fruit.

This though came to me as I watched the world’s progression of trying to place you at the center of blame and confusion.  We have been told we are the cause of all of the problems of the world. We are told we are racists, homophobes, the cause of climate change and at least a hundred other problems.

Yes the answer to Adam and Eve’s problem is still the answer to our ‘situation.’ Isaiah 5:20-21 gives us this advice, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil; who put darkness for light and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes , and prudent in their own sight!”

In truth sin is at the root of all these problems. The answer is still the same. We are told in 1 Corinthians 14:33, GOD is not the author of confusion, but of peace.”

 

Sleight of Hand

May 15, 2022

Many of us enjoy watching an illusionist as they weave stories moving with words and sleight of hand to make you think you see something you really don’t see. It is such a science; I am afraid that real life is trying to do the same thing to us. We are told things we can perfectly see are not really so. In fact, sometimes we are so fooled if we are not careful the world’s lies begin to confuse us. We can’t always believe what we think.

At times like this instead of getting caught up in the world’s confusion we must trust in The LORD. GOD is not confused or dismayed by all the ‘strange’ things going on. We are reminded in Galatians 6:7, “Do not be deceived, GOD is not mocked.” The world may fool its own, but GOD isn’t confused. That is why when the events seem strange and we don’t really know what is going on, we must, “Trust in The LORD with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).

And… I say, today we must trust even more in The LORD!

 

Mother’s Day

May 8, 2022

The celebration of Mother’s Day is always a time of mixed emotions. It is a time to welcome new moms getting to celebrate their first Mother’s Day and for some it is a time of reflecting on their children and where they are.

For some of us whose moms have gone on it is a time to remember the contributions they made to our lives. It causes us to remember the times we have questions we wish we could ask them.  We remember the milestones we would like to share with them and have them share with our children, grands and greats.

If your mother is still here find her and at the very least thank her for giving you life. There are no perfect mothers because all are human, but most do the best they can.  Some of us have spiritual moms we also need to give thanks to and for. Don’t wait for a certain day, show your love and appreciation while you can.  

“You do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:14).

 

Truth In Advertising

May 1, 2022

Is it true? Or… is it close? We live in a time when you can watch two or more advertisements and your mind goes back to, “did he really say that, or did someone else just say the opposite of that?”

I have often said, “I wish they had to wear a shocking collar to see if they are telling the truth.” For those who do not know what a shock collar is, we used them to train coon dogs. When the dog was running a deer and we were wanting them to run coons, he was lying to us. The shock would reinforce teaching them to bark on a coon and not to try to make us ’think’ they were running a coon. That is where we get the term “Lying Coon dog.”

In a world filled with confusion at least and deceit in reality we need something we can count on. “In the beginning GOD created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). When someone gets confused and lies about the origin, no wonder other issues get twisted as well. We must get back to the truth and align our live and decisions on the truth. In John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  And… that’s the truth.

Happy New Year?

April 24, 29022

 The feeling I get after celebrating the Resurrection is very close if not more exciting than January first.  The calendar new year follows Thanksgiving and Christmas which, even with spiritual aspect of the birth of Jesus, is a stressful time.  After January first there is a “whew” moment of release from all of the stress of the hustle and bustle.

However, at the celebration of the Resurrection there is a fresh newness of elation in my heart!  True, things are blooming while other things are greening up, but more than that I feel halleluiah moments of elation grasping once again the joy of knowing “HE is not here, HE is risen, just as HE said! (Matthew 28:6)

On The Way To The Cross

April 17, 2022

There is a lot of focus on the last week of Jesus’ life as He is headed to the cross. But in reality, from the first sin of man, Jesus began each step of His journey going to the cross for our salvation.

He witnessed the fall of Adam and Eve as they sinned. He watched and listened as Adam blamed Eve for his part in the sin. He saw the first murder in the history in only the second generation.   He saw the degeneration of mankind that brought God to the point of being sorry that He has even made man by the eighth generation. He looked on as Noah and his family were extended grace as the rest of the world was destroyed by the flood.

He watched as each man sinned and was not able to maintain a righteous relationship with God until the time was right to be born of a virgin and live as a man without sin, yet tempted in all ways remaining without spot or blemish so He could take on our sins and become the ultimate sacrifice.

On the way to the cross, “God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!” (Romans 5:8).

Rejoice!

 

Which Piece of Chicken Do You Like?

April 10, 2022

When I was growing up, we seldom got to choose which piece of chicken we would rather have unless it was the neck, backbone or the gizzard.  In those days chickens had a pulley bone which actually meant you had one more piece of white meat and another piece you were only able get one out of four times.

At no time before I was in my twenties would you have heard anyone say, “I’ve got dibs on the six-piece!”  We all probably remember someone asking, “From what part of the chicken do you think the nugget came?”

Chickens have different parts because each of us has different preferences. GOD has made each of us unique because HE has need of your abilities. And… HE chose you because He Loves you.

Each of you is important and you attract others with your giftings. Remember these words in Ecclesiastes 9:10, “Whatsoever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” Be what you were meant to be.

 

What Did You Expect?

April 3, 2022

Spring is here, isn’t it? I mean we are six weeks past Ground Hogs Day, we are past March 20 which is supposed to be the start of spring and we have entered April.

Where did this freezing weather come from? The beauty of our weather is there is only one thing for sure, and that is, the weather will change and surprise is almost guaranteed.  Right now you may need a coat as you leave the house in the morning and short sleeves in the afternoon. Already this past month we had at least one morning in the sixties and afternoons in the seventies to almost eighty.

Even in the ice, snow and cold temperatures we have already seen some beautiful flowers. With the beauty breaking forth from the bad around us, isn’t that GOD’s way? Even in the bad or confusion GOD is with us and shows HIMSELF strong.

Before Jesus left HIS disciples on earth HE told them in Matthew 28:20, “and behold I am with you, to the end of the age.”  And folks, that you can expect.

 

For The Beauty of The Earth

March 27, 2022

These beautiful spring days bring to my mind the lyrics in the title above. We can see so many bad and horrible things in our world we might miss the beauty before us.

I have seen the beautiful moon this week lighting our night and early morning sky. I have heard birds singing, seen flowers blooming and even a few of my grape hyacinths brightening up our days.

On one of the ice/snow days I saw a Robin which some people equate with spring. I have seen geese and ducks flying north hopefully for the last time this year.

I have been blessed to see children’s bright eyes and smiling faces on unmasked children. Nothing is as precious as a happy, giggling child.  

The writer of Ecclesiastes 3:2 reminds us, “There is a time to plant…”  All of these signs remind us that maybe, just maybe… spring is at least on the way.

 

Thank You!

March 20, 2022

It takes each of us doing what we can as a small church to have an effective overall program. From our music program to missions and everything in between each of us has a part.

As in a sports team it is always a blessing to have a good substitute. While our main piano player, Phyllis Adams, has been out of commission caring for her helpmeet, Wayne, Wanda Owen stepped in to not only handle the duties on the piano, but also the scheduling of the songs and the singers.

She has handled the challenges well even though several times changes had to be made due to illnesses. Then illness put Wanda on the sidelines Wednesday and Anna Cody stepped up to play backup for Wanda.  Doug Scroggs fortunately was able to be home, as Reta had parent-teacher conferences at school, and led our music and gave us a great special.

With everything that is going on we have reached our goal of $1800 for Annie Armstrong Mission Offering. All I can say is as the apostle Paul said in Philippians 1:3, “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.” Thank you, You are a blessing to me for your faithfulness.

 

March, It’s an Adventure!

March 13, 2022

To say March came in like a lion is partially true. March has been interesting to say the least.  We have had snow, sleet, rain, tornados and even beautiful days. Everyone should have had a little bit of weather that pleased them even if it was only for a few hours. We have had some days where it started off pleasant and by the end of the day you are in a jacket. Likewise some days started off cold and wearing a coat, but by the afternoon we were in short sleeves, at least some of us anyway.

March is in reality, like life. Our best plans get modified or completely scrapped, but GOD is still in control.  We are reminded in Romans 8:28 by the apostle Paul that, “All things work together for good to them that love The LORD and are called according to HIS purpose.”

What a blessing that not only does GOD create adventures for us, but is with us all along the way.

 

Spring Is Here?

March 6, 2022

This week I heard weather person talking about March 1st being the beginning of ‘Meteorological’ Spring. Now I have always followed the experts that relied on the ground hog principal, which almost always indicates mid-March. The Spring Equinox is the first day of spring ‘Astronomically’ speaking which falls on March 19, 20 or 21 every year.

The best indicator of Spring is those 5-8 pleasant day before it becomes the blazing hot days of summer. The good news for the week is we have enjoyed sunny skies, warmer weather and spring flowers poking through the ground and some even blooming.  With all the bad news around the world it is a real treat to enjoy the beauty GOD has given us this week.

Another sure sign of spring in most states is Daylight Saving Time. Next week we will get to lose an hour of sleep so we can save it for an extra hour of sleep in the fall. The good thing about that is it might be a benefit in the fall after a long football game.

There are many ways we can see the truth of apostle Paul’s in Romans 8:28, “For we know all things work together for good to those love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.”

                                            

Hope and Faith

February 27, 2022

During a study at Harvard in the 1950s, Dr. Curt Richter placed rats in a pool of water to test how long they could tread water. On average they’d give up and sink after 15 minutes. But right before they gave up due to exhaustion, the researchers would pluck them out, dry them off, let them rest for a few minutes – and put them back in for a second round. In this second try – how long do you think they lasted? Remember – they had just swum until failure only a few short minutes ago…How long do you think?

Another 15 minutes?

10 minutes?

5 minutes?

No!                                                                    

60 hours!               

That’s not an error.

That’s right! 60 hours of swimming.

The conclusion drawn was that since the rats BELIEVED that they would eventually be rescued, they could push their bodies way past what they previously thought impossible. I will leave you with this thought:  If hope can cause exhausted rats to swim for that long, what could your faith do for you?  Remember of what you’re capable.  Remember why you’re here.

 Remember to whom you belong. The apostle Paul reminds us in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”

 

What Is It Worth?

February 20, 2022

With inflation and supply shortages a question we have to consider often is, ‘What is it worth?’ The answer is always whatever you are willing to pay.What is the value of a teen worker compared to a young adult worker or a more seasoned worker? What is the value of a senior adult or the value of a child or a baby?

There is one who knows our true value. One who is not confused or surprised by your own sense of self-worth or lack thereof. It is GOD who knows every detail about you and places a higher value on you than even most of us would place.

GOD’s grace places great worth on us. GOD so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

What a value! He loves us enough to use His own Son to save us! What a Savior!

  

Do You Love Me?

February 13, 2022

When we were in grade school or maybe early Jr. High School a safe way to test the waters was to send a note through a mutual friend to someone you liked.   You would say something like “Do you like me? Circle one, Yes or No. Then you waited for a reply to work its way back to you. By the time you had the reply several other parties may have known the answer. And heaven forbid your note was intercepted by the teacher who felt compelled to read it out loud.  It is probably easier in this day of technology because you can send a text and it doesn’t have to go through two or more hands where you could be compromised.

Can you imagine the directness Jesus used as HE questioned Peter in John 21:15, “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?”

As direct as the question was to Peter, it is also asked to us daily, and each day in our own way we answer by our actions.

Do you love GOD more than ________? (fill in your blank.)

 

Just Around The Corner

February 6, 2022

Ok, Ok, we have had our winter and now we are ready for our spring to get here. However, the groundhog reminds us there are six more weeks of winter, or so they say. We have been blessed with weather that is not as bad as it could have been. Even the storm we had this week was not as severe as it looked like at first, but it doesn’t take long to get enough to satisfy most of us.

Every day brings us closer to the kind of weather we are looking forward to seeing. This time of year has the early flowers trying to stand tall and push through the ice and frozen ground. Hopefully we will be above freezing all day and make everyone happier. I am one who enjoys the cooler weather, but the more senior I get, the less cold it takes to make me happy.

The hot and the cold help us to appreciate the ‘perfect’ weather we desire all the time. Peter puts it into perspective in Acts 10:34 when he says, “Of a truth, I perceive that GOD is no respecter of persons.”  For sure GOD loves us all equally and has a purpose for every one of us and we will see better days ahead.

 

Is There Anything Good

About Winter?

January 30, 2022

As the weather has turned cooler and the sky seems to be gray more often, we find ourselves cooped up and slowed down. When the temps fall lower you can always put on more clothes than the law allows you to take off to stay comfortable. The leaves have mostly fallen and been mulched and done away with for the winter. The grass has gone dormant for the year so the need for mowing the yard is over, at least for a few months.

The cold weather gives us a glimmer of hope for the beauty of a winter wonderland with snow covering our yards. Snow causes most of us to have the flicker of kid in us to be stirred.  

While the earth is resting it allows us to rest and prepare for the coming more active months. The cold days let us dream and hope for the time when we can see flowers blooming and get our gardens planted.  The wise writer of Ecclesiastes 3:1 reminds us “To every thing there is s season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”  We may not understand everything, but we can know it has a purpose.

 

Is It Too Early?

January 23, 2022

Is it too early to talk about…   I have already seen some folks counting down the weeks and days until Christmas. I have already been asked about gathering for Thanksgiving. I have seen ads for Summer Fun and this week I even saw advertisements for Valentine’s Day. My goodness, we have passed right over Ground Hog Day and even Ann Vance’s Birthday (as if that would be possible). I for one am looking forward to Spring.

Is it too early for that? I always looked forward to Ground Hog Day because not only it is Mom’s Birthday, but I hoped for an early Spring.

Sometimes we are trying to wish our life away by getting ahead of ourselves and missing the opportunities of the moment before us. How many sunrises and sunsets have we missed while focusing on the day or week ahead?  How many hugs, kisses and even smiles have we missed from our children and spouses because we were already contemplating on our next weeks or months and neglected to see the outstretched arms reaching for us?

The writer of Ecclesiastes 3:1 reminds us, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”  It is never too early to enjoy the day we have. Don’t chase the nickel ahead and miss the treasures in front of you.     

 

Is It Contagious?

January 16, 2022

In the past couple of years, by the time a cough or sneeze is heard we are driven to protect ourselves from the maladies at hand. Demonstrations have shown just how far a cough or sneeze can travel through the air. Compound that with a hug or handshake and see how quickly a bug can be transported around a room.

But there is something even more infectious, yes even more contagious than the Flu, Cold or Virus and that is Love.  Communicable diseases debilitate and cramp the body but Love affects the world. 1 John 4:18 reminds us, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear.”

Yes, “Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things” (1 Corinthians 13:7).  Yes, it is contagious, indeed infectious. Let us spread GOD’s perfect love to others.

 

Whether The Weather

 January 9, 2022

When it is winter how are you supposed to dress? In the past month it has been both flip flop weather and polar bear weather.  It has been seventy to eighty and now in the teens with wide swings on almost a daily basis. We were told we had to ‘worry’ about global warming, but now it is climate change to make it easy to shift the focus.

“Everybody talks about the weather, But nobody does anything about it (largely attributed to Mark Twain).” The truth is weather changes and is cyclical. GOD is in control and I think sometimes HE wants to show us how finite our minds are and how infinite HIS mind and ways are.

Some folks like it warm and some like it cold, so the good news is, at least some people are pleased each day. I hope you were blessed to get to see at least a portion of a day that made your approval. “

We are reminded in Matthew 5:45 that, “it rains on the just and the unjust.” Each day GOD gives us is an opportunity to serve HIM and our fellow man. Let’s be good stewards of the days HE gives us.

            

Happy New Year!

January 2, 2022

 As the dates at the end of the increase, I had the feeling of the sands of time ticking down.  I work on each day of my ‘nugget’ devotionals and  notice the ascension  of the days meaning the end of 2021 was quickly approaching. The end of the year brings reflections on the blessings of the past year, the accomplishments of the year and a look at what was left unfinished as well as what 2022 can bring.

We have been blessed to return to a reasonable sense of normal after the challenges of 2020. Our church attendance is doing well, and it surprises me that several churches are still struggling with whether to return to in person worship or not.

As we enter 2022, “Let us enter His presence with Thanksgiving and enter His courts with praise.” (Psalm 100:4) and not just this week, but throughout this year ahead. Happy New Year!