Tuesday, January 16th, 2018
LOVE IN THE POLITICAL LANDSCAPE
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yeah they’ll know we are Christians by our love.
Where is this love today, my friends, in the political landscape of this country? Serious Christians are drawn to the outermost poles of the political spectrum, from far left to far right, and seem to have nothing in common. Those who should know better squint to see their far-away fellow Christians and refer to them as they, spit out as if they were part of Satan’s hordes ravishing this country.
What can I do about this? you say. You can start seeing people as people and not ideological aberrations. You can find common ground and steer conversations to that landscape. And what may that be? you say. For those of you who are Christians, that’s the common ground. And love is the common commodity.
Friday, January 12th, 2018
A TEST FOR TYLER
Last week Tyler called me with the bad news that the motor on the car he had bought a couple months back had seized up and would never run again. A total loss.
He calmly said, “You know, Pat, this is the kind of setback that would have driven me to get high on drugs and alcohol two years ago before I put all my trust in Jesus. I’m not sure how He’s going to take care of this, but He will.”
And the Lord did take care of Tyler. The next day he found himself at a car dealership in St. Cloud. If you were on the sales team there, would you sell a car on payments to a guy who has two felonies and a horrible credit rating of 500? Probably not, unless the power of the Holy Spirit was behind the transaction.
Tyler drove out of the dealership in a 2009 Impala with 60,000 miles on it and a bumper to bumper warranty of 3 years or 30,000 miles. He has to pay 19% interest on the payments, but as he said, “It’s a high interest rate, but what can you expect with a credit rating like I have.”
I received a call from the dealership, I think the following day, since I was one of Tyler’s references. The guy asked how often I talked to Tyler. I answered, “At least twice a week. You won’t have to worry about that loan.”
He said, “I know. I thought he was a very nice young man.” Chalk up another one to the Holy Spirit.
Tuesday, January 9th, 2018
BECOMING LIKE JESUS
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. Luke 19:10
As He did for us, we are to do for others – the spiritually lost, the captives, the sick, the hurting, the mentally ill, the homeless, the victims of events and circumstances, and those experiencing all the other pains of living in this fallen world.
In Luke 10:37, Jesus talks to us about showing mercy: Go and do likewise. This is not a suggestion, it is a command and requires obedience. I don’t think Jesus is pleased by believers who sit on their hands and don’t make themselves available to those people listed in the second paragraph.
A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:34-35.
This very day, find someone in the list of “others” above that needs you to stand alongside of them. Don’t let this day pass without making a small difference in someone’s life.
Friday, January 5th, 2018
MAKE YOURSELF AVAILABLE
A few years back, I was having breakfast with Myron, the person who led me to Christ back in 1982 and who continues to mentor me in my Christian faith. He explained to me then that his motivation for being involved in the lives of others is to advance the kingdom of God here on earth.
“Jesus made Himself available to me, and I make myself available to others, in His name.”
Those words started me on my path of being available to others for the same reason – men in jail and out of jail and one in Adult and Teen Challenge, those suffering from depression, and a few struggling with life’s challenges. Not all at once, mind you, but some six men at the present time.
I’m not telling you my story to garner any accolades but to encourage you to jump onto this path that Myron showed me. It’s His kingdom work he’s calling you to. Make yourself available, in His name.
Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018
SEEKING THE LORD
Seek the Lord and live. Amos 5:6
It is not more knowledge I need this year but more seeking the Lord here and there and everywhere.
He is in the fireplace in the lower level and in the office upstairs. He is in the kitchen where I eat and in the bedroom where I sleep.
He is in the car that I drive and in the gym where I exercise. He is everywhere outside and in every home, store, or building in which I set my foot.
It is this seeking the Lord with abandon that will make 2018 different than 2017. I have been more or less seeking the Lord since becoming a believer in 1982, but not with abandon, not with every fiber of my being.
Friday, December 29th, 2017
There are two ways to worship God. One way is to do the things He wants done in His kingdom here on earth – be kind to everyone you meet; give generously to His causes; fight on His side; visit people in hospitals, nursing homes, and jails; and other such things.
The other way is to do things for Him that you need to do – talk to Him throughout the day; read His Word; sing songs for Him; give up things for Him; make a fool of yourself for Him; seek Him with all your heart; and love Him with everything you’ve got.
Tuesday, December 26th, 2017
SAVING A LIFE
I was on the phone several times with Tyler yesterday and once this morning. A friend of his from back in high school called him to announce he had downed a bottle of pills with a pint of whiskey and wanted to say goodbye. Tyler talked to Dan about Jesus and getting into rehab at Metro Hope (the Christian facility where Tyler was a resident for 14 months). Dan suddenly decided he didn’t want to die, and Tyler told him to purge his stomach by throwing up, but he was unable to do so. That’s when Tyler called me.
I told Tyler to find out where Dan was staying (he was homeless and lived with various friends) and then call the police. Dan was barely able to answer the phone and mumbled an address to a persistent Tyler, who then called the police. It was nip and tuck for them to get there and haul Dan to a hospital in time to have his stomach pumped. Tyler, in the meantime, was in constant contact with the police.
Dan will be in a mental ward in lockdown for the next 72 hours. When he is released, Tyler will try to convince him to go to Metro Hope for a year or so, offering to bring him there and visit him every so often. This morning, he texted Dan to write his phone number on his hand, in case they take away his phone, and call him before he’s released, so Tyler can come pick him up.
I am in awe this morning with how God intervened in this whole affair to save Dan’s life through Tyler, with me as a spectator and minor participant to it all. Dan is alive today because of Tyler. Praise God!
Tuesday, December 19th, 2017
A MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE
It’s not so much what you do but where you are standing when you do it. Whatever does that mean? you might ask, with a frown on your forehead and a blank stare at the wall.
Well, there are two worlds you can choose to stand in. One is the natural world – the one Adam is the head of, you know. He was a man of pride who chose to go his own way, along with his wife, Eve, whom he blamed for the whole incident. It’s a world where we listen to the Adams and Eves of this world who tell us to strap up our boots and make our way in the world as best we can. The other is the Spiritual world – the one Jesus is the head of, along with His Father and the Holy Spirit. It’s the world where we operate under the power of the Holy Spirit to do God’s will in His kingdom.
When you are kind to your spouse or children or the next-door neighbor, is it your natural goodness or the goodness of Jesus? When you give money to your church or a favorite charity, is it out of your richness or out of what God has given to you. You can do the same thing in the natural world or the spiritual world. The one is of little value and the other of great import.
Jesus says in John 15:5 that “apart from me you can do nothing.” I expect all of you believe that, but do you live it out? Is Jesus the reason for everything you do every day of the year? Or do you slip away by yourself here and there and do things under your own power? Be careful where you are standing. God is watching. And your family and friends as well.
Friday, December 15th, 2017
ECHOES IN ETERNITY
Night is coming—for you and for me. Getting to heaven has nothing to do with our righteous works. Our entrance fee is paid for fully by Jesus and his perfect sacrifice. But Scripture is clear that our treasure in heaven is connected to our lives on earth. It is possible to go into eternity with a saved soul and a wasted life. The missionary Amy Carmichael said, “We will have all of eternity to celebrate the victories, and only a few hours before sunset in which to win them.” This fact should motivate us as it motivated Paul, who said, “Whether I live today or die—I only want to please Him.”
The devil will do anything he can to keep you from sensing the urgency that will mark your life if you wake up each day knowing it could be your last. He won’t try to talk you out of doing the things you are intended to; he’ll simply tell you to put it off. One of his biggest lies is, “You can do it tomorrow.” He knows what you need to know—there might not be a tomorrow. Today could be your one and only chance to be kind to that stranger, tell your kids about Jesus, or invite that person to church. You need to carpe the heck out of this diem!
From Levi Lesko You Version plan
Tuesday, December 12th, 2017
THE DIVINE ECHO
Pastor Bill’s sermon this past Sunday was about The Divine Echo. The Holy Spirit speaks to you what God wants you to hear. Are you listening?
The Holy Spirit continues to call us and guide us and minister to us, like an echo reverberating through the mountains. Are we listening? Do we recognize His voice? But more importantly, do we act on what we hear? We are not advancing His kingdom if we only hear and don’t act.
We don’t need more information. We need more submission and obedience.