Staff Devotions

 

Pastor’s Desk January 13th

Scripture Passage:  “When wisdom enters into your heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto your soul; discretion shall preserve you, understanding shall keep you.”  Proverbs 2:10-11

Dear Friends,

     Last week we talked about the fear of the Lord being the beginning of knowledge.  One of the telling signs of this kind of knowledge is a person’s respect for the things of God and their fear of God being greater than their fear of men.  Another sign of godly knowledge is the presence of discretion, prudence, and reasoning ability in their decision making process.  The idiom, “Discretion is the better part of valor,” was first penned by Charles Churchill in 1477.  It has often been used in times of crisis to remind those in positions of leadership to think before acting.  Every decision a person makes, both good and bad, carries with it an array of consequences.  Those consequences can have a positive impact, but most affect us negatively.  The idea is that we should weigh all these things out before we act in a foolish manner. 


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Pastor’s Desk January 6th

Scripture Passage:  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”  Proverbs 1:7

Dear Friends,

     For the past six or seven years I have been writing one article a week and posting it on our church web site under the heading of Pastors Page.  I have written about everything from my childhood to personal struggles I have encountered.  My audience is as varied as the congregation I minister to.  I have occasionally heard from people outside the country commenting on how a particular article spoke to them in their hour of need.  I do not have a lot of comments from people in my church, but the search history reveals there are many who faithfully read the article each week.  Writing the article is not nearly as hard as coming up with something to write about. So I am going to do something different in this New Year of 2020. 
 

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Pastor’s Desk December 30th

Scripture Passage:  “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”  Lamentations 3: 22-23
 
Dear Friends,
 
     I have never been one to make New Year’s resolutions.  For one thing, most people have no intentions of keeping them.  Secondly, a resolution is only as good as the result it is supposed to produce.  Most of the time a resolution is only a statement declaring what someone believes and has no binding authority upon the one issuing it.  I have sat through many state and national denominational business meetings where a portion of time is set aside for resolutions.  By the time it is all finished, I am resolved, to be resolved, to never present a resolve, that concerns a resolve,  that leads to a resolution.  (How’d you like that?)  I have been in too many business meetings, I considered a waste of time.  I prefer actions over talk.
 

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Pastor’s Desk December 23rd

Scripture Passage:  “And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”  Luke 2:7
 
Dear Friends,
 
     A baby changes everything.   My advice to young couples entering in to marriage is to wait a while before they begin to have children.  They need time to adjust to marriage and the opportunity to enjoy the pleasures of intimacy without having added responsibilities.
 

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Pastor’s Desk December 16th

Scripture Passage:  “And Hezekiah received the letter of the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up into the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord.”   II Kings 19:14
 
Dear Friends, “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.”  Abraham Lincoln
 

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Pastor’s Desk December 9th

Scripture Passage:  “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin.”  I John 1: 5-7
 
Dear Friends,
 
     The holidays are a time of immense joy and fellowship.  They are also a time of deep depression and isolation for others.  I have two very good friends that are going through this right now and my heart breaks and goes out to them.  They are both believers in Christ, but have hit a roadblock in their walk with the Lord because of medical and family issues.  Often friend’s question why someone goes through this, and even claim God is punishing them for sins they have committed.  Sometimes this is true, but most times it is just a part of an emotional roller-coaster ride or chemical imbalance in the brain.  Both are situations beyond the person’s control. The point I want to stress is that light is associated with good, while darkness is associated with evil.  God would never put the darkness of depression upon someone, so it has to come from the evil one.  So why does God even allow one of his children to go through this awful condition?  There are a few reasons that I have found that come from my own personal experiences.  I hope they will help you if you are struggling with depression right now.
 

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Pastor’s Desk December 2nd

Scripture Passage:  “The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, and caused me to pass by them round about:  and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and lo, they were very dry.  And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live?  And I answered, O Lord God, you know.”  Ezekiel 37:1-3
 
Dear Friends,
 
     The story of the valley of dry bones ranks right up there with David and Goliath in the ability to keep a child’s attention. Our Sunday school lesson a couple of weeks ago was on this very topic.  It was refreshing and exciting to go back in time (as well as Scripture) and be reminded we serve a sovereign God who is able to do the impossible.  Ezekiel was a prophet of God that was dealing with a hard headed and rebellious nation.  They had been provided abundant blessings from God, but took those blessings and exchanged them for the frivolous dainties of the world.  Ezekiel received several visions from God that were encouraging.  He also received visions that were disconcerting because the blessings were dependent upon the nation’s willingness to repent and follow God.   The question never was, “Can God do something?”  It was more “Will He do it?”  God’s love is always unconditional, but his deliverance and blessings are often preceded by the conjunction IF.
 

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Pastor’s Desk November 25th

Scripture Passage:  “The word of the Lord came unto me again, saying, What mean you, that you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge?  As I live, says the Lord God, you shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel.  Behold all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sins, it shall die.”  Ezekiel 18: 1-4
 
Dear Friends,
 
     How did we ever get in the mess we are in?  Common responses of school age children are:  “It is not my fault,” and “I didn’t do anything.”  Teenage responses are more like, “Everybody is doing it,” and “There’s nothing wrong with it,” or “It’s not that bad.”  Adult responses follow whatever logic is acceptable for the day.  “It’s my parents fault because of the way they raised me,” or “I am a product of my environment.”  “The public school system has failed to prepare me to make wise and acceptable decisions,” or my personal favorite, “It is the Republican/Democrats fault.” Whoever is in office at the time is attributed with the responsibility for generations of stupidity.  God spoke with Ezekiel concerning this logic and proclaimed, “Everyone is accountable for themselves and guilty because of the sins they have committed.”
 

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Pastor’s Desk November 18th

Scripture Passage:  “Honor thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou may live long on the earth.”  Ephesians 6:2-3
 
Dear Friends,
 
     The day of this writing is a day of broken records.  We have the record snowfall, the record cold temperature, and my sister turned sixty.  Whoops.  How did that get in there?  The snow is lingering and makes post card perfect scenery.  It is very cold, but the sun is shining and has the potential to be a beautiful day.  My sister, who was my childhood playmate, has reached the big 6-0 and her little brother is not far behind.  Judy is a beautiful lady who has lived long enough to retire.  She has a heart of gold and takes very good care of our mom and dad.  She has been a successful business women, but she has also had her fair share of bumps in the road of life.  In my opinion she has faced those challenges well and passed the test with flying colors.  I wish her many more happy, peaceful years filled with joy and good health.  I introduce her as my older sister, and she introduces me as her older brother.  This is true because I am seven years older than our baby brother Bobby, but I will never be as old as she is.

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Pastor’s Desk November 11th

Scripture Passage:  “So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.”  Nehemiah 4:6
 
Dear Friends,
 
     There are some Scriptures that seem to appear in my devotionals more often than others.  That is because they speak directly to my heart and the situations I am presently dealing with.  I love to preach through the book of Nehemiah because it is a practical guide and manual on rebuilding a church.  The same steps Nehemiah incorporated in rebuilding the wall are the same steps churches use when rebuilding.  The same obstacles Nehemiah faced and adversities he had to overcome are the same one’s the modern church faces on a day to day basis.  They may look a little different on the surface and may be identified in a different manner, but they consist of the same traits.  Even when a church is strong and void of major splits, there is wall work that needs to be done to keep the foundation strong and the perimeter wall intact.  If repairs are not made and foundations strengthened, it is just a matter of time until the whole structure collapses.   Sometimes it is good to remodel what is in existence to keep it fresh and attractive.  A church is just like a home.  There is always something that needs to be done and projects to be completed.
 

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