Click here to view a list of free MP3 messages MP3 MESSAGES

Saturday, May 14, 2016

A Pebble

How true! May our words (and thoughts!!) be pleasing to the Lord and others around us.

Drop a pebble in the water: just a splash, and it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on,
Spreading, spreading from the center, flowing on out to the sea.
And there is no way of telling where the end is going to be.

Drop a pebble in the water: in a minute you forget,
But there’s little waves a-flowing, and there’s ripples circling yet,
And those little waves a-flowing to a great big wave have grown;
You’ve disturbed a mighty river just by dropping in a stone.

Drop an unkind word, or careless: in a minute it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on.
They keep spreading, spreading, spreading from the center as they go,
And there is no way to stop them, once you’ve started them to flow.

Drop an unkind word, or careless: in a minute you forget;
But there’s little waves a-flowing, and there’s ripples circling yet,
And perhaps in some sad heart a mighty wave of tears you’ve stirred,
And disturbed a life was happy ere you dropped that unkind word.

Drop a word of cheer and kindness: just a flash and it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on,
Bearing hope and joy and comfort on each splashing, dashing wave
Till you wouldn’t believe the volume of the one kind word you gave.

Drop a word of cheer and kindness: in a minute you forget;
But there’s gladness still a-swelling, and there’s joy circling yet,
And you’ve rolled a wave of comfort whose sweet music can be heard
Over miles and miles of water just by dropping one kind word.

Author James W. Foley


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Women Be Silent in the Church

Just a quick thought.

1 Cor 14:34
"Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law."
 
The CHURCH is not a building, it's the BODY.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Love.

The bible has a lot to say about it, but how many really believe it? It is the fulfillment of the law - a pretty serious thing as far as I can tell. According to 1 Corinthians 13, even if your faith is so strong that it can move mountains, if you do not have love your faith means absolutely nothing. And even if you give every last thing you own to the poor, if you do not have love it profits you absolutely nothing. Or even if you have great knowledge and understanding of all mysteries, if you do not have love your knowledge is all in vain. You could even give your body up to be burned ... but if you do not have love, it means nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;  does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. ...
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Is this you? If you had to stand before the judgment seat right now, would the Judge say this was you? Do you suffer long with others? Are you kind to everyone? Do you seek to put the needs of others before yourself? Are you slow to anger? Do you think kind thoughts of others instead of evil thoughts? Do you shun and reprove gossip? If someone else falls, do you help them up?

It seems to me that as long as we have true LOVE for God and others, everything else will eventually fall in to place. If we are able to love others as Christ loved/loves them, we have his heart and are walking in his path. We are branches in the vine.

It starts and ends with love and love fills up everything in between.


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Knowledge.

I recently downloaded an app of the phases of the moon and have really been enjoying it. I like that I can scroll through each day, behind, current, ahead, and see how the moon will be. Each night when I lay down and each morning when I open my eyes, I look for the moon, and now I compare it with my app. I've always been a 'science geek', and this has really satisfied that side of me ... for now.

This all got me to thinking about how these are new technologies. We have so many things right at our fingertips ... and these seem to de-mystify once mysterious things. Think of looking up at the moon thousands of years ago. All that man knew about the moon was what God told us in his word. God knew right from the beginning. And then in recent history man starts getting 'smart', making all these advances in technology, and all the sudden he thinks he knows so much about the moon (and other things). Man thinks it was his discovery. But it wasn't. It's been there all the time, since the beginning, and God has known it.

We used to have to totally depend on God for that kind of knowledge, but now it's just taken for granted. I'll just download an app. Thousands of years of information, passed down from generation to generation, originally from God, and now within a few short years we think we know it all and have it all right at our fingertips.

This reminds me of the time we were flying in to a major airport in Canada. Tall buildings all around, large planes coming and going to and from destinations all over the world. What used to be only a dream and never actually attainable in ones lifetime has now become something you can do in a few hours. And man thinks he's so smart. All those buildings, planes, technology abounding everywhere you look.

It has an end.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Brighten the Corner Where You Are

In today's message David spoke briefly of an elderly woman some of us visit regularly. When we were singing there last week we asked her what song she'd like us to sing. She requested, "Brighten the Corner Where You Are." Here are the lyrics:

Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do,
Do not wait to shed your light afar,
To the many duties ever near you now be true,
Brighten the corner where you are.

Refrain
Brighten the corner where you are!
Brighten the corner where you are!
Someone far from harbor you may guide across the bar;
Brighten the corner where you are!
 
Just above are clouded skies that you may help to clear,
Let not narrow self your way debar;
Though into one heart alone may fall your song of cheer,
Brighten the corner where you are.

(Refrain)
 
Here for all your talent you may surely find a need,
Here reflect the bright and Morning Star;
Even from your humble hand the Bread of Life may feed,
Brighten the corner where you are.

(Refrain)

While you may not be able to go to Africa or India or some other place and "be a missionary", you CAN brighten the corner where you are. It's those little, seemingly unimportant things that come at us day after day that matter to God. How are we handling them? Do we take the next right step in front of us? Do we do everything to the best of our ability? "Whatsoever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might." "He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much."

David said in his message, "You are only as good as your worst day." I appreciate this thought. He also spoke of a thick chain with a lot of links - something really strong - except in the middle there was one link that was paper. "You are only as strong as your weakest link."

How can we be missionaries in some far off land if we cannot even brighten the corner where we are? In our homes? In our neighborhoods? In our communities?

Here is a link to the message if you'd like to listen or watch it. It's titled "The Weakest Link".

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Bible Camp vs. Reality

[Here is a post I had in 'draft status' for almost 2 years. I'm not sure why I never posted it, but here it is.]

My daughter had an observation that I thought was worthy of sharing. Though she has never been to a summer bible camp, she has heard plenty about them from some of her friends ... and from me (I have went to several summer bible camps in my youth, some a few years in a row).

The other day she spent quite a bit of time in a green bean patch. She said more spiritual lessons can be learned and gleaned working in a green bean patch for half a day than can be learned going to summer bible camp for one week. I agree.

The same youth that look forward to summer bible camp often times are the same youth that can hardly stand to do a half day of work and even if they did manage to put in a half day of work they can be heard complaining and seen poking around, not really wanting to do the task at hand. And too, serving the elderly with not even a thought of compensation is definitely out.

Of course this does not apply to all youth :) I know so very hard working youngsters and it's always a blessing to be in their company. They work with their parents and siblings side-by-side, happy, singing, etc. These same youth are glad to go to the nursing home or help an elderly neighbor with 'no strings attached'. This is how it should be. This is what should be considered 'normal' and the other not.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Learning: Studying vs. Hands-on

I was thinking the other day about ways to learn and how there are 'two kinds' of learning. There's the book learning ... where we get excited about something and just read and read and read. For instance, I'm getting goats next spring, Lord willing [and health permitting], and I've been reading all I can about them. Even still, I KNOW things will be different when I'm actually raising them. While it's good to be as prepared as possible, I know reading and studying will never give me a full picture of actually raising goats. The fuller picture will come when the goats are in my care and I have some real, hands-on experience with them. But even then the picture will not be 100% complete because I will only have one kind of goat, only have a few, etc... There are other variables too, but I'm sure you get the idea.
Not yet being a goat owner and still having only the 'book knowledge' of goats, can you imagine what a seasoned goat owner would think if I tried to correct them?! What if, when I go to visit the farm where I'm getting my goats, I told them they were doing "xyz" wrong? These people have been in business many years, breeding, showing, and selling the same kind of goats ... what do I have to offer THEM?! I'd do well to keep my mouth shut unless it's to ask questions and learn!

When I was younger I took an accelerated college degree for accounting (basically getting a two year degree in 1 1/2 years). I ate, slept and breathed accounting (well, I had to work the graveyard shift and Denny's AND be a single mom too ... but accounting was on my mind pretty much all the time). With all the classes and studying, I STILL did not have full knowledge of what it was to be an accountant. Then I took my internship and got hired where I interned - a major construction company in Omaha. My knowledge and experience in accounting was growing and growing all the time. By the time I quit being an accountant 5 years later, my boss said my experience far surpassed that of a person with a four year degree. Not only did I have the 'book knowledge' but, more importantly, I had the 'hands-on' knowledge that only comes through trial and error. But even still, there are all kinds of accountants!! And all kinds of businesses!! I was a general accountant and a job-cost accountant for a construction company. The only thing I ever did with payroll was cut the checks my boss got ready. What would a seasoned payroll accountant think if I criticized them for the way they were doing things? Or what would an accountant in a totally different industry think if I tried to fix her problems with my construction-only knowledge?
Which reminds me of when I had a few temporary jobs after the construction job. One was in a small office on a tree farm. VERY DIFFERENT but I was still an accountant. Another was in a large electrical contractor office. VERY DIFFERENT but I was still an accountant. I had to learn whole new ways of doing things in each job, but my title was the same: Accountant.

I believe this is the same with our walks with the Lord. We all have a cross to carry. It is ours and no one else's. Where some only have 'book knowledge', others have 'hands-on knowledge', yet sadly, many of the 'book-knowledge-only-folks' criticize and condemn the way the 'hands-on-knowledge-folks' do things. Let's be careful that we do not fall into this camp!! Instead of criticizing someone who is not carrying their cross the way we think they should be carrying it, let's come up along side of them and try to help bear their load; be an encouragement and a blessing instead of a stumbling block.

We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

As I [Christ] have loved you, so must you love one another.

The second greatest commandment is this: Love your neighbor as yourself.

Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you.

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands ...

whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, [dwell on these things.