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Grounded

Friday, February 1st, 2019

One of the worst fears of any ship or boat is being grounded. Hitting a sandbar. Hitting a reef. Being tossed on shore. (Think Gilligan’s Island! 🙂 )  But I’ve got another kind of grounding in mind.

G. Campbell Morgan, a British preacher who lived from 1863-1945 (that means he “saw” both the Civil War and both World Wars) once wrote:

If our Rock were not our Redeemer, we would be without hope. If our Redeemer were not our Rock, we might be afraid.  Let us never forget that our redemption has in it the strength of the Mighty One.

Since the first of the year (except the Sunday we had to cancel due to the weather), I’ve been looking at Psalm 27 and its truth as an anchor. For an anchor to hold there must be solid ground, something it can sink into. This Sunday’s Scripture show us there is something we can sink our teeth into, the solid ground of the Word of God. My sermon this week will be on Psalm 19: 7-11. There is so much richness there in those few verses! First, I’m going to look at 5 myths surrounding the Bible, then look at the solid foundation the Scripture offers us.

I’m excited about preaching this message. I love talking about the Bible’s strong foundation. I’d appreciate your prayers for this Sunday.

Shameless

Tuesday, January 8th, 2019

Shameless plug here. I make no bones about it. I’m not going to call it something else. I’ll call it what it is. 🙂 I wrote the following at my other blog, LivingintheShadow:

Ever since I read Wisdom Hunter by Randall Arthur in 1993-1995 for the first and second time, I have always been stopped by Psalm 13. There was a scene in the book where Yoma (a wise old man) led Jason (the main character) through this psalm. No matter how many times I read Psalms, I ponder this chapter because it made things so clear to me years ago and still does. Here is how it breaks down:

For the rest of the post and my thoughts please go here:

I would be honored if you would check out my other blog and consider subscribing. See the side bar for a direct link to LivingintheShadow. Thanks.

Fear

Saturday, January 5th, 2019

I’m a little late to the party this weekend.  It has been a crazy, busy weekend with Tami’s surgery as well as some others having cancer treatment. But I guess better late than never!

My theme for 2019 is Unsinkable. My thanks to Ryan (techgeek) for the banner. I am a typical Sanguine. I have great ideas but my ability to follow through on some things is limited. Ryan, on the other hand, is fantastic!  Okay…that’s enough of that. I’ll blow his head up so big even his wife won’t recognize him. But then again, Amanda will bring him back to earth. 🙂

It was March 4, 1933 while the country was in the terrifying clutches of the Great Depression that newly elected president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, made his famous one liner that is often quoted by others. Believing the greatest problem was not the absence of finances but the presence of fear, he said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

There is no question we live in a fallen world. Look around if you doubt my words. At the same time we live in the fallen world, we also have a God of grace who meets his children in moments of darkness and difficulty.  I’m going to be in Psalm 27 for 3 of the 4 Sundays this month. Psalm 27 is a rock in an unsure world. It is a lifesaver thrown out to a drowning man. “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” 

I’ll also be showing this video of CityAlight before I preach.

Prayers would be appreciated as I lay the groundwork for the rest of 2019 with this beginning message. Thanks.

Request

Thursday, January 3rd, 2019

This is a double request today.

First, at 11:00 EST our daughter, Tami, is having surgery. If you get this before that time, we would appreciate your prayers.  If after, then prayers for recovery would be appreciated. To put you at ease, it is not a cancer surgery. She is having a hysterectomy which we are praying will alleviate a lot of issues.

Second, for all of last year I wrote another blog called Be Transformed. It was my daily thoughts on New Morning Mercies. I’ve continued another blog but have gone with a new name and a new approach. I’m calling it Living in the Shadow. It is still my random thoughts and meditations on Scripture, or different devotions I may be using. You can access that by going here. I would appreciate it if you would give it a look and consider subscribing and ultimately join in the conversation. This past year Martha Orlando was a daily visitor and commentor, as well as Ryan, my resident techgeek. I’d love to engage your thoughts on the various topics. Here is an excerpt from today’s entry:

As I’ve been reading at the start of the year, one of the themes, one of the truths God has been drumming into me has been the Word. He wants me to see the Word in different ways. What I mean is this: go to the Word; study the Word; trust the Word; rely on the Word; handle the Word carefully. Now…that is not the book I physically hold in my hands, but the words contained in that book. Instead of blindly believing and accepting what is there, test it. Trust it. Investigate it. But, above all, don’t turn away from it. You can finish reading this entry here.

Thanks for your prayers for Tami. And thanks for visiting Living in the Shadow.

Contrast

Monday, August 27th, 2018

My last post was to mention my sermon for this past Sunday was on the Wise vs the Otherwise (Foolish). I thought I would pass along to you the contrast I showed between the two.

The Wise

  1. Wise people listen to wise instruction. Pr.1:3
  2. Wise people fear the Lord. Pr.1:7; 3:7
  3. Wise people choose good company. 13:20; 12:26
  4. Wise people are not “edgy.” (They don’t see how close to sin they can get without giving in).
  5. Wise people watch their words. 16:23; 10:19
  6. Wise people seek to influence others to trust God. 11:30  “The seeds of good deeds become a tree of life; a wise person wins friends.” (NLT)

The Otherwise (Foolish)

  1. Fools won’t learn from God’s Word.
  2. Fools can’t control their speech. 15:2
  3. Fools can’t control their temper. 12:16; 29:11
  4. Fools are proud and self-confident. 28:26; Jer.17:9
  5. Fools create problems not solve them.

The choice is easy is theory. In theory. But in reality? A bit harder. But worth it.

 

Fools?

Friday, August 24th, 2018

Years ago there used to be a “comic book” TV series that had a character that was fond of saying, “You fool!” (Can you guess what it is? Virtual high five if you do).

Charles Schulz and his cartoon strip “Peanuts” was a staple as I was growing up. Charlie Brown was the “fall guy” for so many pranks. Linus was his faithful blanket-carrying sidekick. One of Linus’ most famous lines was “I love mankind. It’s people I can’t stand.” Playwright George Bernard Shaw once said, “If the other planets are inhabited, they’re using the earth for their insane asylum.”  Now that is funny!

Proverbs talks about a lot of different kinds of individuals but the most common are those who pursue wisdom (the wise) and those who pursue foolish things (the fool).  I’m calling this week’s sermon The Wise and the Otherwise because I intend on showing the difference between the two types of people. I am taking a little bit different of an approach as well. Rather than hunt all over Proverbs from passage to passage, the Scripture will be printed out for them in the expanded outline and will also be on Power Point. This sermon is saturated with Scripture and the limited time we have on a Sunday morning needs to be used wisely. My plan is to share those with you in a series of posts next week.

I’d appreciate your prayers for me/us this week. Thanks.

Direction

Thursday, June 21st, 2018

Your viewpoint will often affect what you do. For example here are two pictures from my morning ride today. I got up, showered, dressed then sat down to do my Quiet Time (which involves my New Morning Mercies). Before I started I checked the weather on my phone and it wasn’t supposed to rain until 9:00. That was a change from when i went to bed (supposed to start at 3:00). So I did my Quiet Time, gathered my cycling clothes, came to the office to enter my devotion, then got dressed for a ride. Below are 2 pictures from my ride:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The one on the left is a cropped selfie looking behind me. The one on the right is looking ahead of me. I rode anyway hoping the weather man (for once) was right.  I was going in the direction of picture #2. Even if he wasn’t right, I knew I could find shelter pretty quickly on my route or if I dared…make a dash for the office. I turned around at the 10 mile mark, rode another mile and a half and saw this:

Yeah, that was rain. Fortunately, it was more south of where I was riding. I’m glad I did not let the appearance of rain stop me from my ride. My blogging friend, Martha, wrote about directions here.  I’m reminded of the Scriptures in several different places:

“The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? Psalm 27:1

“Your Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105

It is vitally important that we get our directions for the day from the correct source. I like to start my day in the Word. Today, may the Father be your guide. May His Word be your direction.

Did I get rained on? Well…there was a spit or two (rain not a driver) but it didn’t go any further. When I was done with my 20 miles, the only “wet” was my sweat. Now…time for a nap. 🙂

WORD

Thursday, June 14th, 2018

How important is the Word? I’d like to ask you to check out my other blog here to see what today’s New Morning Mercies is all about and how important the Word is.

Gone…for a little while longer

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

Today is Wednesday. Today is also the day, Lord willing, we will be heading back home. To our house. To my bed. Aaaahhhh home sweet home. 🙂 To a yard which I figure needs cut baled.  🙁

If you have been keeping up you know we were in Ohio since last Friday.

I told you about my possible 2019 experiment experience here. I hope you have taken the time to read the Scripture I left with you each day.  Another possible Scripture is this one here. It may be one of the most well-known of all the Psalms.  I hope you will take the time to read it today.

What was most meaningful to you in your reading? How can you apply it?

By the way,  I will check in to approve any comments.

Going…Going…Gone (Still)

Tuesday, June 5th, 2018

Jo and I are still away in Ohio for a few days. Read the previous three posts to find out about it.

My possible 2019 experience is explained here.

Your Scripture reading for today is here.

It is a tough one, but it can’t be skipped.

What part of this passage was most meaningful to you? How can you apply this to your life?

By the way, I’ll check in to approve any comments.