Share Your World With Cee 2015 Week #26

“The Share Your World Challenge” is an opportunity to share your experiences, likes and dislikes by answering five questions posed by the challenge’s host, Cee. You can read more on the challenge by clicking on the icon below and going to Cee’s Photo Blog and the current Share Your World Post.

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Here are this week’s questions and my answers:

In a car would you rather drive or be a passenger?

I would rather be a passenger but since I am a one horse show riding in the passenger’s seat doesn’t get me very far. Next time you see me on the road I will most likely be driving.

If you were handed free opera tickets, would you go or sell them? Why?

I would totally go. I love the opera!

Describe your own outlook on life in seven words or less. (NOTE:  does not necessarily have to be a sentence.)

Eternal life is God’s gift to mankind.

Which would you prefer:  a wild, turbulent life filled with joy, sorrow, passion, and adventure–intoxicating successes and stunning setbacks; or a contented bordering on happy, secure, predictable life surrounded by friends and family without such wide swings of fortune and mood?

I feel like I have had the first type of life wild turbulent, full of great joy, incredible sorrow, passion and adventure. The trick has been to act like I am having the second lifestyle while walking through the first.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I feel like a broken record. I am glad our church was able to navigate through this week’s funerals and that God brought His great comfort in the midst of trial. I am looking forward to preaching two services on Sunday morning at Cornerstone Church. The title of my sermon is: “Little Heroes In a Big World.”

Here is some opera I would love to see

2 Kings 17:41, Acts 20:9 (Fence Riders)

You can say that again!

THE RIVER WALK

Not Even Close

So while these new residents worshiped the Lord, they also worshiped their idols. And to this day their descendants do the same. (2 Kings 17:41)

As Paul spoke on and on, a young man named Eutychus, sitting on the windowsill, became very drowsy. Finally, he fell sound asleep and dropped three stories to his death below. (Acts 20:9)

Read: 2 Kings 17:1 – 18:12, Acts 20:1-38, Psalm 148:1-14, Proverbs 18:6-7

Relate: The Kentucky Derby has been called by some the most exciting two minutes in sports. My guess is that this claim is usually made by gambling men and it isn’t the race itself that excites them so much as what has become of their money. The thing is, in most races if it wasn’t for the announcers giving the play by play, it would be difficult to know just exactly who won. Those horses are usually so close…

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And that’s the rest of the story (Paul Harvey)

Not just the rest of but the true story.

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I recently came across a short essay by Paul Harvey, conservative American radio broadcaster for the ABC Radio Networks.  He broadcast News and Comment on weekday mornings and mid-days, and at noon on Saturdays, as well as his famous “The Rest of the Story” segments. From the 1950s through the 1990s, Harvey’s programs reached as many as 24 million people a week. Paul Harvey News was carried on 1,200 radio stations, 400 Armed Forces Network stations and 300 newspapers.  Written in 1996, this was an update of a broadcast he had done in 1965.

Image result for and that's the rest of the story             

If I were the prince of darkness, I would want to engulf the whole world in darkness. I’d have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree — thee. So, I would set about however necessary to take over the…

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Little Problems Pt. 2

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“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” 2 Cor. 4:17

I have been reblogging a lot of great thoughts from other writers these last few weeks, mostly because my own schedule continues to remain massive as far as ministry is concerned.  Our pastor’s wife fell in the church fellowship hall a week or so ago and shattered her knee. She had surgery on Wednesday to put in a plate. Pastor has been staying with her and working from home for the last few days. So I am running the services at church tomorrow and planning the funerals for Monday and Tuesday (yep two more folks).

A few day ago I wrote a post entitled  Little Problems.

This post is a continuation of those thoughts and I write it in light of all that has gone on in our church this last month.

Now perhaps our present problems aren’t quite as big as Paul the Apostle’s (or maybe they are). I guess it doesn’t really matter problems are well… problematic and by their very nature they cause us pain. Problems and pain…pain and problems…the two things are inextricable. They are two sides of the same coin. Whether it’s a broken toe or bankruptcy or someone’s taken a hit out on us problems are painful. But there is something else problems can be. They can be creators of glory.

Paul said just that very thing to the Corinthians in his second letter.

James the Lord’s brother said it this way, ” 2Count it all joy, my brothers,b when you meet trials of various kinds, 3for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Jas. 1:2-4

And Peter said this, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed’ 1 Peter 4:12

In the world as it stands in order to get glory released there must be affliction. Victory comes at the end of a battle. Miracles come to resolve unresolvable conflicts and resurrection only happens after death. It is the way it works in the fallen world. Even secular voices understand that.

“No pain, no gain.” Jane Fonda

“No guts no glory.”  Cath Crowley

“Be still sad heart and cease repining;
Behind the clouds the sun is shining,
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life a little rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.” Longfellow

Here’s the thing, not every problem creates glory. Some problems just create pain. What becomes of all our little problems is determined by what we do with them. Do we wallow or do we worship? In the face of our difficulties do we blame others or do we become new and better in our own behavior? Do we groan or do we grow?

What eternal weight of glory is being released in your life today?

THE STATE OF THE UNRAVELING ON INDEPENDENCE DAY, JULY 4, 2015

We are not what we once were.

Citizen Tom

The Prayer at Valley Forge From the original painting by Henry Brueckner (from here) The Prayer at Valley Forge From the original painting by Henry Brueckner (from here)

Article II., Section 3 of The United States Constitution says the following.

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

Like much of the rest of our Constitution, the interpretation of that section of the Constitution has degenerated. Thus, the State of the Union has become…

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Memory of a Child #poetry #parenting

Feeling nostalgic about my “not so little ones today.”

poetry penned in moon dust

But I smiled yes I smiled

at the thought of your little hand in mine

we walked on rugged terrain

lots of ups and downs and arounds

you grew yes you grew

I turned one full rotation

and your were grown yes on your own

so many memories trapped in my heart

questions of a child wove through my mind

like glistening ripples in colored water

and I smile yes I smile

merry go round ride

To each of you who have loved or parented a child this poem is for you. For without these smiling children our world would have little hope for a warm future.

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Little Problems

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Paul the apostle wrote, “ we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, ” 2 Corinthians 4:16,17

Now I don’t know about you, but when I think of momentary light afflictions I think of things like having to wait too long in the line at the grocery store or forgetting my wallet at home and realizing it after I have pumped the gas into my tank at the gas station. These are problems easily solved and while irritating, in the grand scheme of things they don’t really change our lives for better or worse. But Paul defines the things he considers his momentary light afflictions a few chapters later in 2 Corinthians and let me just say the things I mentioned certainly don’t make his list. Here are Paul’s momentary light afflictions:

…far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. 24Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. 25Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. 26I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; 27I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 28Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. 29Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern?

      30If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness. 31The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, He who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. 32In Damascus the ethnarch under Aretas the king was guarding the city of the Damascenes in order to seize me, 33and I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and so escaped his hands. 2 Cor. 11:23-33

This list kind of makes most of our afflictions look like luxuries doesn’t it?

Let me ask as I finish up today, What do you think made Paul consider his list, of what I can only call tragedies, as momentary LIGHT afflictions?

Sunday Stills: Wicked Big Buildings

Well this week’s Sunday Stills Challenge, which by the by I have not participated in for a wiiiiicccckkkkeeeedd long time, is to portray buildings over four stories tall. Now maybe where you are from that is not a really big building. But where I live that is as we might say in the New England vernacular,  “wicked big”.

Click the words “Sunday Stills Challenge” above and you can see how other people viewed “wicked big”. Here are mine:

When will Christ Return?

We need to get ready to be witnesses not to leave the Earth!

Another Red Letter Day

When will Christ Return?

Words are flying these days about proximity of the end. Talk of rapture and judgement has ramped up again.

When people ask me about the end times, I usually shrug my shoulders.

In His last days in flesh and bone the boys asked Jesus about the end.

So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?”

He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” – Acts 1:6-8 NASB

During His ministry, Jesus made some statements about His second coming, but His discourse…

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No Names Intimate With Christ

“They fight to love” Now we could use a lot more of that kind of fighting today!

Pure Glory

imagesby Apostle Gabriel Cross

Today, the Lord is pouring out fresh Grace, like dynamite sparkles of extraordinary glory and power. There is a river flowing with crystals of joy and delight, from God’s city, making glad the chosen people of God.

There is an army of “no names,” who intimately know My Name, rising in the earth. The Lord God Jehovah is fulfilling his promises to them. They are walking in a greater power and authority of Glory because of what they have allowed Me to walk them through, says the Lord. Their seat is in higher places. in the heavenlies, because they willingly took a back seat and lower seat, in the past. They move in a greater clarity and accuracy of heaven, because of what they have endured and done without, in times past.

Character. Character. Christ’s Character is within them. Christ’s integrity lives in them, they are quick to listen, quick to…

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