Staff Devotions

 

Pastor’s Desk August 5th

Scripture Passage:  “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”  Romans 8:28
 
Dear Friends,
 
     I have dealt with some situations in the last six months that have caused me to question the accuracy of this passage of Scripture.  We all know it by heart and believe it most of the time, but overwhelming sadness and sorrow leave us questioning “Where is the good?”  When friends or family turn against us and we seek to understand why, there is often no logical explanation.  A heart that is going through a valley is like a harp hanging in top of a willow tree.  There is just no song to be sung.  During these times I begin to look for nuggets of encouragement to get me through the darkness till I can feel the Son shine again.  Here is one of those nuggets.
 
    One Sunday morning at a small southern church, the new pastor called on one of his older deacons to lead in the opening prayer.  The deacon stood up, bowed his head and said, “Lord I hate buttermilk.”
 
    The pastor opened one eye and wondered where this was going. The deacon continued, “Lord, I hate lard.”  Now the pastor was totally perplexed.  The deacon continued, “Lord I ain’t too crazy about plain flour.  But after you mix’ em all together and bake’ em in a hot oven, I just love biscuits.”
 
    “Lord help us to realize when life gets hard, when things come up that we don’t like, whenever we don’t understand what you are doing, that we need to wait and see what you are making. After you get through mixing and baking, it’ll probably be something even better than biscuits. Amen.”  
 
 
In Christ,
Pastor Johnny


Pastor’s Desk July 29th

Scripture Passage:  “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.”   I Peter 5:10
 
Dear Friends,
 
     I hate mistakes.  I like things done right and the right way.  I have a low tolerance for stupidity.  My motto is, “No excuses.”  I want my work to be exemplary and anything my name is associated with to be top notch.  I want to be perfect in my profession and spotless in my calling.  I have one major problem.
 

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Pastor’s Desk July22nd

Scripture Passage:  “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”  II Timothy 4:7
 
Dear Friends,
 
     Midway through a basketball and football game the teams go to the locker room for halftime.  During this time they review the first half of the game.  They question, “What went right and what went wrong and how can we make adjustments to be able to finish the game strong?”  Sometimes the coach chews you out and sometimes he encourages and brags about how well you did.  Before you leave the locker room they remind you that “It’s not over till it’s over.”  Forget the first half and prepare to play the second.  If you do not work hard and play hard you can lose in the second half what you accomplished in the first.  Keep going until you hear the final buzzer.  From my perspective it does not matter how well you start the game but how well you finish that really matters.

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Pastor’s Desk July 15th

Scripture Passage:  “Go to now, you that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas you know not what shall be on the morrow.”   James 4:13-14a
 

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Pastor’s Desk July 8th

Scripture Passage:  And the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land: which spoke unto David saying, “Except you take away the blind and the lame, you shall not come in here,” thinking, David cannot come in here.  II Samuel 5:6
 
Dear Friends,
 
     In all the world, no city is held in such high reverence as the city of Jerusalem.  It is revered by Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike.  Scholars believe this site to be the same as Salem in the time of Abraham.  The high priest Melchizedek received offerings from Abraham after his victory over the kings.  Genesis 14:18-20   Hebrews 7:1-2    The city of Jerusalem is mentioned directly in the Bible for the first time during the struggle of Joshua and the Israelites to take the land of Canaan.   Joshua 10: 1-4    They could not completely conquer the city and the remaining inhabitants were Jebusites, so the city was called Jebus.  Judges 19:10-11
 

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Pastor’s Desk July 1st

Scripture Passage:  And the chief captain answered, “With a great sum obtained I this freedom.”  And Paul said, “But I was born free.”  Acts 22:28
 
Dear Friends,
 
     This year marks the 234th anniversary of the signing of our Declaration of Independence from the British government.  We often forget that the signers of the Declaration were issuing their own death warrants.  Debates had taken place across the thirteen colonies where heated discussion had often turned into confrontation.  There were those who wished to remain loyal to the crown.  They had business investments and family ties that linked them to the crown and British Parliament.  We were, in fact, colonies of the British government.  The cost of the French and Indian War fought on the North American continent had brought financial hardship on all British subjects and parliament was looking for ways to raise funds to offset its cost.  People in England did not feel it was right for them to bear the cost alone.  The Americans felt that each tax placed upon them to raise these funds was unfair and that they were not properly represented by having duly elected representatives speaking for them in parliament.  The battle of words and rebellion continued for over ten years until our forefathers came together and asked Thomas Jefferson to draft an official declaration of independence. The signing of that document brought about the declaration of war and the American Revolution began.
 

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Pastor’s Desk June 24th

Scripture Passage:  “And he said unto them, Come you yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.”  Mark 6:31
 
Dear Friends,
 
     The vacation season has begun.  The busy months of June and July usually mark the time families set aside to take trips and visit family.  Many businesses shut down over the Fourth of July weekend making it a convenient time for families to get away.  Others have to schedule a year in advance to be able to have people cover their shifts while they are gone.  Some have the luxury of being able to travel any time they please because of retirement and minimal responsibilities.  One thing I am convinced of – people have a lot more money than they did years ago, so the economy must be doing pretty good.
 

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Pastor’s Desk June 17th

Scripture Passage:  “And you fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”  Ephesians 6:4
 
Dear Friends,
 
     Happy Father’s Day to all my male friends who belong to the elite club of fatherhood.  I often say anyone can father a child, but it takes a special man to be a daddy.  I look back on the years when my children were small and think about the worries and responsibilities I had as a young man.  I thought when they grew up and could do things on their own, my worries would be over.  I have found that not to be true.  My worries have increased even if my responsibilities have declined. All my children are on their own and doing quite well, but they are always on their daddy’s mind and in his prayers.
 

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Pastor’s Desk June 10th

Scripture Passage:  “And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:  He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.”   Exodus 13:21-22
 

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Pastor’s Desk June 3rd

Scripture Passage:  And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.  But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God.  Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.”  And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.  Mark 10:13-16
 

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