Short People

Big, little, short or tall, Jesus Christ still loves us all.

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Whether you’ve been called short, vertically challenged, half-pint, small fry, pipsqueak, squirt, or oompa loompa, if you’re less than average height, you have been made aware that others have noticed it.  I’ve discovered that over the years I have shrunk an inch.  Since I was only 5′ 7″ tall to begin with and with the average height of American males being just under 5′ 10″, I guess I definitely fall into this category.

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Back in 1977 Randy Newman wrote a humorous (and totally politically incorrect) ditty that got a great deal of airtime.  One part really stood out for me:

Short people are just the same as you and I,
A fool such as I.
All men are brothers until the day they die.
It’s a wonderful world.

Criticisms of various aspect of our lives is something that we have all faced at one time or another.  Someone is too…

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Pressing In and Pressing On

I am on the road today, picking up my son in New Jersey so he can begin the next leg of his journey towards the nation of Korea. I drove the 6 hours yesterday with God as my copilot and He had me thinking on many things.

In our worship leader’s meeting Sunday afternoon two themes arose that seem to be directions for our church’s worship:

1. A move of repentance

2.The need to press in and press on.

A third theme came to mind as I meditated on the Lord yesterday and that was, the need for a transcendent God.

Like never before we need to comprehend that we have a God who is not controlled or determined by the forces of this world. Like never before we need to draw close to Him and away from the world’s ways. This act will cause us automatically to advance into the work He has given us to do (pressing in and pressing on), and that work is massive.

I have heard a lot of talk in the church world about how Jesus may be coming this fall. In sincerely hope He doesn’t. While I really want to see my Savior, at the moment only 2% of the population in my area (New England) reports themselves as born again. If Jesus should come in September 98% of New England would by their own admission not go with Him into glory.

The church has a lot of work to do and little time to do it in. We need to turn from our entertainments and press in and press on with a God who is big enough to help us with this work.

Who will join me ion the harvest field? Your help is needed. We are about to lose the harvest!

Psalm 12:5 (Rescue)

An important story. Please read!

THE RIVER WALK

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The Lord replies, “I have seen violence done to the helpless, and I have heard the groans of the poor. Now I will rise up to rescue them, as they have longed for me to do.” (Psalm 12:5) 

Read: 1 Chronicles 22:1 – 23:32, Romans 3:9-31, Psalm 12:1-8, Proverbs 19:13-14

Relate: Paul and Theophilus. By dropping those two names right up front, I am guessing most people reading this would be thinking I am about to talk about something from the book of Acts. Theophilus was the man to whom Luke wrote and Paul is a primary figure for most of the book but, no. I am talking about a different Paul and Theo. The story I have to share is far more tragic than anything we would come across in Acts.

The story I have to share begins with a young woman named Okoangbele Quincy. She was a young…

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Strengthen Yourself

Another reminder to keep a heart of praise. We are hearing this encouraging warning from every corner. I think we ought to listen.

Another Red Letter Day

photo credit: 2005Mar-AustinTypeTour-033 - Hyde Park Gym Muscle via photopin (license) photo credit: 2005Mar-AustinTypeTour-033 – Hyde Park Gym Muscle via photopin(license)

As I pondered Psalm 103 this week, I found myself remembering David’s live and one story in particular.

Here’s a key piece of the story. I hope you’ll go and read the surrounding scripture and get the whole picture, but this will bring out the idea, in any case.

Then David and the people who were with him lifted their voices and wept until there was no strength in them to weep. Now David’s two wives had been taken captive, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite. Moreover David was greatly distressed because the people spoke of stoning him, for all the people were embittered, each one because of his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God. – 1 Samuel 30:4-6 NASB (emphasis mine)

David was having a bad…

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Share Your World 2015 Week #28

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It’s time to share little bits of my world with y’all again! When you’ve done with my world shoot on over to Cee’s by clicking the icon above and see how the rest of the world is sharing!

Here are the sharing questions for the week posted by Cee herself:

What is your favorite comfort snack food?

I love nutty buddies, peanut butter ice cream and peanut butter sandwiches (with or without spaghetti sauce). I think peanut butter is the key. What do you think?

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If you had to spend one weekend alone in a single store but could remove nothing, which store would you pick? (except food or beverage)

Barnes & Noble of course. I could get through a couple of books in that time and I could nap in their big comfy chairs. I think they sell Peanut Butter cookies so I would be all set there.

What was the largest city you have been to?  What is the one thing you remember most?

I think the largest city I have been to has to be Manhattan NYC. I remember there were so many people on the side-walk I couldn’t stop because I was being carried along by the crowd. If there had been a peanut butter sandwich on the ground I could not have rescued it without being trampled to death myself.

Finish this sentence:  It has recently come to my attention that ….

I have a thing for Peanut Butter.

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

I am very grateful for the opportunity to spend a day in Boston with Evangelist Dorsey Ross and missionary Brenda Lillie. This week I am looking forward to further editing the chapters of my book.

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Me at Boston Harbor

Pastor Wrinkles: Little Heroes, Big World Pt. 5

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Today we continue with our series on being little heroes with little power in a big and scary world taken from the Book of Haggai chapter 2

If you missed any of the earlier portions of this series they can be found at

Little Heroes Big World Pt. 1

Little Heroes Big World Pt. 2

Little Heroes Big World Pt. 3

Little Heroes Big World Pt. 4

Now let’s get on with today’s thoughts:

the idea that we must “chazaq” or be strong in the Lord (from Little Heroes Big World Pt. 4)  leads naturally to the next part of Haggai’s advice to us as little heroes with little power in a big world. If we are to be strong in a practical sense then: We have to work

Haggai says, “Be strong, all you people of the land,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work. For I am with you,’ declares the Lord Almighty.” Haggai 2:5

One of the dangerous extremes some Christians fall into is believing that because salvation is through grace alone by faith alone that  good works play no part whatsoever in the Christian’s life. Nothing could be further from through. Paul the apostle said, For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10

You see it is not works that save us. It is grace that saves us through faith but when grace comes  it saves us not from works but to works. Good works, Kingdom of God works won’t save you; they are a part, a result of, a by-product of your salvation. You are saved from sin and you are saved to do good works. There is a work you are to do in order to fulfill the plan of God in your life.

Our church has had lots of funerals lately. One of the side effects of having lots of funerals is you have a lot of opportunities to talk about eternity with a lot of people you would never have the opportunity otherwise. I was speaking with someone at one of the funeral luncheons recently and I had the opportunity to share about Christ and his work on the cross.

At some point in our conversation I came to the point where I told the man, “Christianity is not really about what God does with us but about what we do with God. You see Christ died for us on the cross to restore relationship between us and God and with His dying breath he said, ‘It is finished.’”

I explained to the man, “You see Christ’s work is done. He has done everything he can to restore relationship with us. Whether or not that relationship is restored is no longer up to Him because He has done everything he can do. The rest is up to us. It is about what we do with God, about what we do with Jesus Christ. Will we accept his death and ask forgiveness for our sins and receive the gift of salvation or will we keep trying to impress God with our own works trying to reach God without going to Jesus? Or  worse yet, will we just ignore God and pretend He doesn’t exist denying we have any sin?”

You see our salvation is dependent on what we decide to do about God. Likewise our success in carrying out God’s plan for life will depend on what we decide to do in regards to that plan.

So many people look at the plans God gives them and then look at what they can do to move towards those plans and they say, “What I can do will never be enough to fulfill God’s plan so I just won’t do anything.”

For Instance, God may have said to you “My plan is to get you out of debt.”

You may look at it and say, “Lord I owe $70,000.00 and I am out of work.”

Does God then say, “Oh that’s right. I forgot about the $70,000.00 thing. Oh well plan B I guess?”

No! He says, “Child my plan is to get you out of debt.”

So typically this is when we say, “OK God lay it on me.”

That is just about the time, an opportunity opens up at McDonald’s to work at minimum wage and we might say something like, “Wow that’s not big enough. I’m not taking the job.”

Can I just encourage you Haggai didn’t say “work if the job you want or the job you need is offered.” He said, “Work.”

Of course the job isn’t enough to meet the need. It never is. Of course the work isn’t going to provide the answer. It never does. God’s plans aren’t about what you can do. They are about what you and God can do together. You are not working at this thing alone. God is working with you and He is going to make up the slack that you can’t provide for, but make no mistake He is not going to do your part. If God’s plans fail in your life it will not be because God did not do His part but because you did not do yours.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

With a Song in my Heart

Just sing a song. Make it loud! Make it strong!

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Speak to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:19)

    with a song in my heart

I love to whistle.  I do it a lot, often with out even thinking about it.  When my wife and I go shopping,  if we should go our separate ways in a store,  she can always find me by the sound of me whistling.  When I am working in my yard, riding a stationary bike, or driving our car.  I find my breathing adapts to the rhythms of whatever song is going on inside of my head.

This may seem trivial to some–especially the whistling.  Others may think of it as a distraction.  But I was reminded by a devotional in “The Word for Today” that music can be a form of prayer, an expression of joy,  or of thanks giving.  All it takes is to invite…

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“But What About Their Sin?”

We need to get this.

J.S. Park: Hospital Chaplain, Skeptical Christian

Very often when I talk about the love of God, some of the first go-to responses are, Well what about repenting from sin? What about conforming to the image of Christ? What about purity and holiness and the narrow road? What about wrath and hell and judgment? What about discipline and submission and obedience? What about selling all your stuff and moving to a hut in Taiwan and getting wrecked and radical for Jesus?

I do believe these things are important and they need discussion. A God of love must also be a God of justice, and Jesus had some very hard things to say to us. We can’t skip them. I’m completely against sugarcoating and watering it down – the truth exists regardless of my whimsy. Christianity is not a feel-good fuzzy for tickles and giggles, and it really does require your whole life.

I just think that some…

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Pastor Wrinkles: Little Heroes, Big World Pt. 4

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Today we continue with Pt. 4 of “Little Heroes, Big World”.

If you missed any of the previous installments of this study they can be found by clicking on:

Little Heroes Big World Pt. 1

Little Heroes Big World Pt. 2

Or

Little Heroes, Big World Pt. 3

Now here is the next installment for your consideration

 In our previous installments we have seen that Haggai has some great advice for people who are feeling like little Heroes with little power in a big world. If the work God has called you too is bigger than you are. If life is a little overwhelming just now God says to you three things through the prophet Haggai.

The first things he recommends is Be Strong!

“But now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ declares the Lord. ‘Be strong, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land,’ declares the Lord,” Hag. 2:4

The word used for “Be Strong” here is  the word “chazaq” and the idea behind it is to strengthen yourself by having or taking hold of, retaining, holding up, sustaining or supporting yourself.

The Bible tells the story of David living among the Philistines. While he was with them he acquired a city for himself and his people called Ziklag. One time while he was away on campaign fighting, enemies broke through the gates burned Ziklag and kidnapped all the wives and children of the city. When David and his armies returned to find their homes burned and their wives and children kidnapped the men turned on David and began speaking against him but David refused to give up. The Bible tells us that “David encouraged Himself in the Lord.” He then organized his angry men and set off on a rescue mission that ended up bringing the restoration of all the wives and children and many of the possessions they had lost. David had chosen to “Be Strong”. He held on. He didn’t give in to despair. He sustained himself IN THE LORD. And as a result he won even when everything stood against him.

We are called to Be Strong  like David was and there are things we must do to accomplish this task

First we must encourage ourselves in the Lord…BY

Praying  over everything and I do mean everything.; And once we have prayed let us worship God that He is about to bring and answer!

Second, start thinking positive. Christian, It’s not over! It is just a new beginning! You aren’t dying! You are entering newness of life. You haven’t lost! You just have another battle to fight, and you are going to win!!!!

Finally, we have to refuse to believe the evil in the report. Don’t ignore the facts but refuse to accept that those facts are God’s final word. The battle you are currently facing is not God’s final word. It is only a sentence in the book, and God hasn’t written “The End” yet. There is a lot more of your story still to be written but you and God have to determine to write it together.

So what do you need to do to be strong? Pray more? Think positive? Stop believing the evil IN  the report? I would love to hear your thoughts on being strong!