Followers

September 19, 2010

Rimes With Reason by Charles Rimes

    I used to hear relatives, especially male ones, exclaim “It’s hell to get old.” Every year when my birthday comes around I keep wondering if I will ever feel that way.  So far I have been blessed and feel that “It’s great to be old.” I don’t consider reaching the age I am now was caused by always living right, but I’m thankful to God that He’s allowed me to  last this long.  I’m not sure that correct diets, good or bad habits, anything healthy or even detrimental to our bodies is a complete reason for longevity.  I’ve known young people to succumb early by drinking or smoking and I ve read of those whose ages are a hundred or more and who still drink Jack Daniels and have smoked all their life.  Only the Lord determines our death date.  

    Now we are in the middle of September 2010 and during these next two weeks Summer changes to Autumn. Throughout my memory there has always been a comparison of a person’s age to seasons.  Newborns and youngsters were compared to Spring. Teens and younger adults are compared to Summer. Older adults are Autumn and those in the latter stages of life are Winter.  You may have heard stories of marriages by comparing them to seasons.  An example would be like someone in the Autumn years of their life marrying a Spring chicken. As we get older and are still able, our memory of times past sometimes becomes clearer than things that have happened recently. 

    The Bible has many things to say about being older and remembering back.  Consider these verses: “I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times.” - Psalms 77:5.  Even cities had memories: “Jerusalem remembered in the days of her affliction and of her miseries all her pleasant things that she had in the days of old, when her people fell into the hand of the enemy, and none did help her: the adversaries saw her, and did mock at her sabbaths.” - Lamentations 1:7.  Poor old Biblical Job, in times of his misery, had memories: (2) “Oh that I were as in months past, as in the days when God preserved me; (3) When his candle shined upon my head, and when by his light I walked through darkness; (4) As I was in the days of my youth, when the secret of God was upon my tabernacle; (5) When the Almighty was yet with me, when my children were about me; (6) When I washed my steps with butter, and the rock poured me out rivers of oil”; - Job 29:2-6.  Isaiah was prophesying to not remember: (18) “Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. (19) Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” - Isaiah 43:18-19.  Also: “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” -  Isaiah 65:17.  King David had memories:  “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.” - Psalms 143:5.  The apostle Peter lied about his memory: (66) “And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest: (67) And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth. (68) But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand  what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew.” - Mark 14: 66-68.  Paul couldn’t always remember: “And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.” - 1 Corinthians 1:16.

    And the most important thing to remember when you are saved is from our Lord: “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” - Hebrews 10:17.

Living a Life of Love by Rev. Chad Jenkins

    The word (and maybe the concept of) “love” has been hijacked in our culture. One might say, “I love pizza,” or “I love the Saints.” You could claim love for your pet, a car, or even an idea. So what does it say to us when we read:

    Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Eph 5:1-2 (NIV)   

    Do these words hit the same chord with us as that did with the Ephesian church? As you may know there were three words for love in the New Testament, and the word Paul writes here is the most intense of them. It is the same word used to describe God’s love for us. It is an abiding, all-powerful, unconditional love. It is the love that was exemplified by Jesus.

    If we are to live in this love we should necessarily strive to see it at it’s finest, and that is in life of Jesus. The Bible says, “Greater love has no man than He would lay His life down for his friends.” Jesus painted with broad and bold strokes the picture that we are called to follow. I recently read of a mother trying to carefully explain to her young son about the love of God. He was inquisitive about the Lord and his work, and he asked his mother, “How can I know God if I can’t see Him?”

    The mother asked her son, “You know your Daddy, don’t you?”

    “Yes,” came his reply.

    “And, if you were blind, would you still know him?”

    “Sure.”

    You’d know what Daddy is like by the things he says, wouldn’t you?" He nodded again.

    “And we know what God is like, too, by the things He says in His Word. And you’d know that Daddy loves you, because he would tell you so & do everything he could for you. That’s how we know God loves us, too. He tells us so, & He has given us so much to help us have a wonderful life. But most of all, He gave us Jesus to take away our sins & to show us what God is really like. And even though you couldn’t see Daddy—if you were blind—you could hear his voice & feel when he is near. And in the same way, through Jesus we can hear God’s voice & feel Him near, too. That’s why, even though we can’t see God, we can be very certain what He is like."

Finally the little fellow exclaimed, "I know," he exclaimed, "We don’t see God outside. We see Him inside."
There is a lot of truth in that conversation. We need to know God’s love before we can truly love others.

    Secondly, we need to express that love to others. This may take on many forms as it did with Jesus. He loved the “untouchables” of the culture. He welcomed the despised and the common and rich and the powerful all on equal footing. He prayed for those who walked with Him and for those that rejected Him. He spoke encouragement to the down trodden, and rebuked His closest friends when they stumbled into sin.

    The Lord loves us at our weakest and our best, because he loves us unconditionally. One way the culture has hijacked love is summed up in the buzzword “tolerance.” We need to understand that the love of Jesus makes us accountable. One of the most dangerous teachings that Paul faced and that we still face today, is apathy toward sin.

    Recently, a wanted criminal called his sister for help. He had been on the run for days, now the police had him in hiding and he needed help. The sister was torn, she loved her brother, she didn’t want him to be harmed, but she knew what he had done. Out of love for him, she called the police exactly where he was. Some might scoff at that and call it betrayal, but this woman knew that her brother was going to end up dead if she did not take action.

    How many of us, if our children were drowning, would casually mention there need to swim, and hope that they found a life vest? Hopefully no one reading this could be so cold. Yet that is exactly what we do everyday and call it love. We tolerate the sin of those we love to avoid confrontation, to avoid conflict. Meanwhile, they are drowning in there sin.

Friends, if we are to “live a life of love,” we must jump in and share the love of Jesus with all those who need it.

LIFE’S DESTINATION By Joyce Mizell

The ship of life sails the moment that we first breathe
From beginning to end we may encounter rough seas
Clear vision is needed to bring our vessel safely home
In boisterous winds and angry water we’re not alone

If our vessel seems to be sinking and we have no hope
Anchor in Jesus Christ our Savior; let him hold the rope
Jesus will never leave or forsake us; his words are true
Sail to safe harbor and there he waits for me and you

Heaven is our final destination; our eternal home of rest
We must obey God’s Word repent our sin, do our best
What beauty when we have arrived on Heaven’s shore
Our Destination reached to live with Christ for ever more
                              Joyce Mizell
                              September 5, 2010

Gossiping And Backbiting By Brother Shelton

    Today is a time when a lot of things are going on. From people being killed to banks being robbed to children being beaten up to couples just living together, if you look hard enough and know enough people I am sure that you will see something that you think that everyone should know about or you just want to tell a close friend so they will know. That is called gossiping and in some cases backbiting.

    It has been said that, “We should say nothing of a person in his absence that we are not willing to say if he were present.” How few of us govern our conversation according to this rule. There is a very small poem that say’s, “Guard well thy tongue –It stretches far; For what you say, tells what you are.” You know that if you talk bad about someone then most likely you are judging them and you should not do that to anyone. In chapter 7 in the book of Matthew  verses 1-6, it says, 1"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.  3Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.  6Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.” You see you may tell your friend one thing, but when they tell someone else they will add something about you and the further the story goes, the bigger and worse it gets.

    You see also in Matthew chapter 5 verse 13 it say’s, “Ye are the salt of the earth; But if the salt has  lost it’s savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing , but to be cast out and to be trodden under foot of man.” So you see you are considered important in this world to man and to God, so you should watch what you do and what you say. For someone may be counting on you to show them the right way to that go in life. Not only by doing but by words. You see we are in a spiritual war with a deadly foe tracking us ever hour of the day. We need to be in the best shape possible to cope with the darts and arrows he hurls our way. Flabby, overindulged, pampered, Christians just don’t have stamina to fight this battle. Thus the Lord puts us on a spiritual treadmill every now and then to keep us in good fighting condition and sometimes it is to try your faith. You see if you see someone doing or  saying something wrong, you should not go to your closest friend and tell them, but take the person who said or did it off to the side alone and with a very friendly composure, tell them that what just happened or said was wrong and do not judge them or tell anyone. If you do, you sin as much as they do. In the book of Luke chapter 17 verse, 1—4, Jesus said to His disciples, “Things that causes people to sin are bound to come , but woe to that person through whom they come . It would be better for him to that be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. So watch yourselves, If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you says, “I repent”, forgive him. You see he will have to answer for his sins just like you. That is why you must walk close with him every day and talk with him every day.

    You see I thought you might like to think about this. “Across the fields of yesterday, He sometimes comes to me, A little lad just back from play. The boy I used to be. He smiles at me so wistfully, when once He’s crept within, it is as though he’d hoped to see, the man I might have been.” You see no one is perfect in life but we must not stop trying. I also found this poem that I thought you might like called “Divine Power”.
With his love,
Brother Shelton

Confidence in God By Elder Burdette Thomas

    We are going to do our lesson today on having confidence in the Lord. We have confidence in some people of today. We have confidence in preachers, mothers, fathers and many other people we have had an impact on our lives. What I would like to get us to realize is that we need confidence in the true and living God. By the help of our Lord I would like to take some men in the Bible and help us see the confidence they had in God. If you will read Genesis Chapter 22, you will find that a man by the name of Abraham had confidence in God. God had promised Abraham and Sarah a child. God full filled that promise and gave them a son and they named him Isaac. As the child grew there came a day when God spoke to Abraham.

    1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. 2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. Gen 22:1-2 (KJV)

    We find that Abraham did not hesitate. The next morning he and the lad rose up and began their journey. They would journey to place that God would show him. On the third day Abraham saw the mountain the place he was to offer his son as a sacrifice unto God. Abraham had enough confidence in God that he was willing to take his son up that mountain and offer him to the Lord. He might not have understood how God was going to do it but he was sure of one thing that he was going to bring Isaac back down that mountain alive.

    5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. Gen 22:-5 (KJV)

    After Abraham built the altar he laid the wood in order and bound Isaac and laid him on the altar.

    10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. 11 And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. 12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. Gen 22:10-12 (KJV)

    God provided a ram for the sacrifice. So Abraham and Isaac returned down the mountain and then went home. He had great confidence in God. Why can’t we have this kind of confidence in God? He is still the same today as He was then. Now we will go to a young lad by the name of David. In 1 Samuel 17 we find a story that we were told as little children. A story that is so true about David and Goliath. David was just a lad when he came to the place where the Philistines were making war with Israel . When David heard Goliath defy the army of God he said is there not a cause. No one would go out and fight this giant. David said I will go fight this giant. You have to realize that Goliath was a man of war. He had fought many battles and never lost a one. But this time he was fighting a young lad that had confidence in God. David was sure that God was going to give him the victory.

    37 David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee. 1 Sam 17:37 (KJV)

     45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel , whom thou hast defied. 1 Sam 17:45 (KJV)

    49 And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. 50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David. 1 Sam 17:49-50 (KJV)

    So you see David prevailed because he had the utmost confidence in the God he served. We are serving the greatest God that there has ever been. A God that moves mountains, dried up the Red Sea and makes the sun, moon and stars to shine. We have seen the great hand of God in our lives so there is no reason that we can’t have this confidence in God. In the Job Chapter 19 we read about another man who had confidence in God. Even after every thing he went through he still believed and trusted in God.     25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me. Job 19:25-27 (KJV)

    You see Job realized that it did not matter what happen to him in this life that he would see God on this earth with his own eyes. That is confidence in God. In Daniel we read about three Hebrew children that would not bow to any other god. Their lives were threatened. The king told them that if they would not bow to his image they would be cast into a fiery furnace.

    16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. Dan 3:16-18 (KJV)

    These young men were not afraid to put there trust in their God. The reason is because they had confidence in him that he would take care of them. I could go on and on with this but time and pages would not permit. So ask us do we have this kind of confidence in God. You can put God to the test and he will prove to be true every time. He will bring you through things in your life that you never dreamed possible. Let me plead with us to put our confidence in God and not in man. Man will let you down when God never will. I trust that this lesson has been a blessing to each of you that would take the time to read.        
Yours in Christ
Elder Burdette Thomas

One Face-Two Names By Joyce Mizell

    Saul was the man raised in the Jews’ religion and later believed on Jesus Christ and became Paul.  He saw the LIGHT and His life was changed.

     On the day of Pentecost God inaugurated his gospel for the apostles and others to tell all over the world.  After Saul saw the Light he became one of the chosen apostles. What a permanent change in this man.  The Holy Spirit gave him a new way of life.  The New Testament is filled with his writings. Paul, himself tells us he saw the Light of God.  He became a God fearing believing     Spirit filled Christian.  What a drastic change for the old man Saul who thought Christians should be killed. Jesus and the Holy Spirit in his life made the difference.  If we used street talk one may say, Paul had been there and done that!

    Through the Word in the New Testament Paul confessed his sins.  He thought he should do things contrary to the name of Jesus Christ before his conversion.  Acts 26:9-I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.  10-Which things I also did in Jerusalem and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the CHIEF PRIESTS, and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them.  Yes, One Face-Two Names. The writings of Paul are so important!  We’re so blessed that he saw the Light!

    In the History of time it’s easy to see and understand how Satan has tried to stop the Word of God.  The name of Jesus has been abused, misused, re-named, defamed and more adjectives I haven’t written down.  We can be certain that God’s Word will never be changed!  It’s forever settled in heaven and man’s wicked ways will never stop it.

    The old man Saul had done so much against Christians that he felt the least of the apostles after his conversion.  1 Corinthians15: 9-For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God .  His belief in Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit changed this One Face With Two Names to One face and one name PAUL

    Paul (as Saul) had all the things by law performed on him by his parents but after he believed on the Lord Jesus Christ he counted it all loss for Christ. Phil. 3:6.  We may ask the question, why did he do so much against Christians?  The Word tells us he did it ignorantly in unbelief.  1 Timothy 1:13 - Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious; but I found mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

    Betty Jean Robinson sings a song I love-Don’t Let The Door Of Mercy Close On You.  What a testimony we have in Paul. He found mercy in believing in Jesus Christ.  God made a place in his kingdom for one and all.  Read all about it in John 3:16

September 1, 2010

SEPT. 1, ‘10 - Baptizing by Elder Burdette Thomas

I would like to do my study this week on baptism. People have so many different views on this subject. By God’s help I would like to take scriptures and let us know what the Bible says.
   
First of all we read in Matthew  28:19, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” This is the great commission that Jesus gave to the church. He gave the church the authority to baptize. Ministers don’t even have the right to baptize; this comes from the church and only the church. Jesus is teaching us here the way to baptize, and that is in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Some people say that baptizing a person is not important. Some say you have to be baptize in order to be saved. Baptism is important and as a child of God we should want to follow Christ in baptism. As we know he set the example for us in Matthew 3:13-17, “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbade him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comst thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straight way out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending, like a dove, and lighting upon him. And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”    

So if our Lord was willing to be baptized why should we put up a fuss about it. So it is important in its own way.
   
Now it is not a must for salvation. You can be saved and never be baptized. You see you are born in to the family of God and than you are baptized in to the church. The reason I can say that you can be saved and not be baptized is that in Luke 23:42-43, “And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comst into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”

You see this thief turned to the Lord while hanging on the cross and asked for forgiveness in his own way. He ask the Lord to remember him and he did. He was never baptized but he was saved.

Baptism comes after salvation. We find many in the scriptures that follow the Lord and His example in baptism. Acts 8:26-40, teaches us of a man by the name of Philip and the eunuch. The eunuch had went to Jerusalem . While he was there he heard some teaching from Isaiah. When he was returning home, he was reading but could not understand what he was reading. God had all ready provided a man to go and help him. When Philip joined himself with the eunuch he begin preaching Jesus unto him. Before long the eunuch was saved and wanted to be baptized. Philip baptized him and then that went their separate ways. Paul himself was baptized after he was saved in Acts 9.
   
In Acts 16:25-40, we read where Paul and Silas were in the Philippian jail. They had been beaten and case in to prison for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Then about midnight Paul and Silas began to sing and praise the Lord. The others in the prison heard them, but not only did they hear them God heard. He sent an earthquake that shook the very foundation of the prison. All the doors were opened and every mans bonds was loosed. The jail being asleep, awoke and seeing all these thing pulled his sword and was about to take his own life. Paul seeing this said, sir do thyself no harm for we are all here. The jailer call for a light and fell before Paul and Silas and said, sirs what must I do to be saved. They told him and after salvation he was baptized.

So you see baptism is important. It entiles us to be a part of the greatest work known to man. Part of the church which belongs to God. When you get right down to it baptism represents the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord. I trust I have been a blessing if you need to talk with me please call.
Yours in Christ
Elder Burdette Thomas

SEPT. 1, ‘10 - Rimes With Reason by Charles Rimes

Now that summer officially ends  this September it’s time to get that vacation wanderlust spirit out of our thinking and settle down in our homes for a while. Many of us feel secure staying in or coming back to our homes. However, if you take time to  look, there are people around us, also those seen on TV, who have lost  homes because of  financial meltdowns, fires out of control, floods, tornadoes or hurricanes. These tragedies have taken a huge toll on home living across the globe.
   
Through the years I  have lived in several different homes and I’m sure many of you have as well.  I have also spent nights in tents, camps, motor and mobile homes, rentals, bed and breakfasts, hotels, motels and have slept outside under stars on several occasions. It’s always better though for a good nights sleep to be in a location and in a bed that you’re used to and where you feel safe.
   
The Bible talks often about homes, houses and locations where some have resided. Take these examples: Mobile living - “He (Abram) moved on from the Negev, camping along the way, to Bethel. . . .”-Gen 13:3-MESSAGE.   A cave residence- “And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters.”-Gen 19:30-KJV.  An Ivory palace -“Now the rest of the acts of Ahab, and all that he did, and the ivory house which he made, and all the cities that he built, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?”-1 Kings 22:39-KJV. Tomb residences -(10) “For all can see that wise men die; the foolish and the senseless alike perish and leave their wealth to others.  (11) Their tombs will remain their houses forever, their dwellings for endless generations, though they had named lands after themselves.”- Psalms 49:10-11-NIV.  Some tents are better than houses -“The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the upright will flourish.” Prov.14:11-NIV. A lazy man’s house - “If a man is lazy, the rafters sag; if his hands are idle, the house leaks.”-Ecclesiastes 10:18-NIV. A seaside residence - (5) “And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: (6) He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.”-Acts 10:5-6-KJV. Winter and summer houses -“And I will smite the winter house with the summer house; and the houses of ivory shall perish, and the great houses shall have an en d, saith the Lord.”-Amos 3:15-KJV. Jesus had no residence -(19) “As they left, a religion scholar asked if he could go along. ‘I’ll go with you, wherever,’ he said. (20) Jesus was curt: ‘Are you ready to rough it? We’re not staying in the best inns, you know.’-Matthew 8:19-20-MESSAGE. Rental house -“And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him.”-Acts 28:30-KJV.  Residence of demons -(29)  “For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For  oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness. (30) And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.”- Luke 8:29-30-KJV. Our earthly bodies are like a tent -“For instance, we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven–God-made, not handmade and we’ll never have to relocate our ‘tents’ again.” 2 Corinthians 5:1-MESSAGE. Eager for heavenly home -“The Spirit of God . . .puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less”-2 Corinthians 5:5-MESSAGE.

SEPT. 1, ‘10 - A Life Worthy of the Lord - Colossians 1:9-14 by Rev. Chad Jenkins

In looking at our lives, we should ask, “How inviting is my faith?” Anyone who has ever worked door-to-door  tell you that some places are inviting and some or not. You probably know what I mean. You can probably recall a house that you avoided; you made a point to walk on the opposite side of the street. On the other hand, you probably know of a home that always seems open and accommodating where you always feel welcome. Look at this passage again.

9For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully 12giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. 13For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.  Colossians 1:9-14
   
Paul and the other believers are praying for the recipients of this Word that they might “grow” and “be  strengthened.” That can only happen in a “shared life.” A life worthy of the Lord is a shared life.  We were built for relationships. We were wired to connect with others. So much of what Jesus taught involved relating to others in our faith. The Ten Commandments are all “relational” in nature. The first four deal with our  relationship with God; the last six comprise our relationship with other people.
   
So it bears the question, “How do we grow?” First we grow through nourishment. We should be consuming the Word of God, “the bread of life,” consistently. It is not enough to whip out our Bible and find a power verse in a desperate time. This is the spiritual equivalent of starving for weeks and eating a cracker now and then to sustain ourselves. We need to FEAST on the Bible. We need to savor every morsel of the rich bounty that is Scripture.
   
Secondly, to grow we need to face resistance. Again. This comes with relationships. Many today have decided that isolation is the key to peace. They find it easier just to put up “No Trespassing” signs in their lives than to risk being hurt. Unfortunately they are wrong. Every person that I have seen make this choice not only misses the peace they hoped for, they become bitter and angry and sad having no one to share their lives with. Understand this the Scriptures speak of the “Trials that worketh patience.” (James 1:3) Just as an athlete builds strength through resistance, such as weight lifting, our spiritual lives grow through resistance.
   
Avoiding conflict, or even worse ignoring conflict, only leads to resentment and further isolation. We have to accept the fact that we are not going to always see eye-to-eye with everyone, but when we face our differences head-on God can help us to be strengthened.
   
In the late sixties there was a lot of social rebellion. One hub of that rebellion was in Ashbury district in San Francisco. There a young man, a seminary student named Kent Philpott, was drawn to start an outreach to this hippy generation. Kent developed a friendship with a David Hoyt, a practicing Hare Krishna. For all the “peace” and “love” that was volleyed about in the hippy culture, most (like David) were still desperate and searching. Over the course of many months Kent opened his home and his heart to his new friend. Patiently and persistently he shared the love and the truth of Christ with David. Ultimately, David came to Christ, and became a great teacher and leader in what has been called “the Jesus Movement.”
   
Unfortunately today, in the age of drive-thru wedding chapels and microwave pizza, we want everything to be quick and easy. We rarely exhaust the effort needed to truly share our lives with others, let alone patiently turn them toward Jesus. But isn’t that what we are called to? For Jesus did not say, “Go ye therefore and make converts.” said, “Go, and make DISCIPLES!” 
   
Is your life a “shared life?” Or does this fit you better?

                 There was a very cautious man
                  Who never laughed or played.
                He never risked, he never tried
                    He never sang or prayed.
                And when one day, he passed away
                    His insurance was denied
                For since he never really lived
                  They claimed he never died.

   

SEPT. 1, ‘10 - Our Heavenly Father by Joyce Mizell

God is all wise when dealing with grumbling people.  It’s no wonder the parable Jesus gave of the Prodigal Son in Luke Chapter 15 is referred to as the gospel within the gospel and the crown and pearl of all the parables.
    
Jesus in response to the griping and grumbling of the scribes and Pharisees structured this parable around the Jewish custom.  This parable covers all facets!
   
1-The younger son whom Jesus received (the prodigal’s sin, misery and repentance.) 
   
2-The Father’s happiness at the return of the prodigal son (God’s welcome home to the repentant sinner.) 
   
3-The bitterness of the older brother ((the spiritual poverty of the scribes and Pharisees.)
   
THIS IS A PERFECT REMINDER THAT GOD LOOKS AT THE HEART NOT OUTWARD PIETY
   
If we take the time to study this parable once again we learn so much!  It seems both sons may have been prodigals in their own way.
   
I see Our Heavenly Father as the IMPORTANT ONE!
   
A sub-heading for my article would be WE HAVE HOPE.  Regardless if we are a noticeable Prodigal Son or think we are a Goody two shoe, we have hope
   
Trusting our heavenly Father.  Another reminder, Jesus was accused of sitting with sinners.  Of course he did, he came to earth and gave his life for SINNERS.


WHAT A SAVIOR!
   
I’m sure most every one knows the parable of the Prodigal Son.  The younger son got his inheritance, left home and wasted all he had.   He lived high until he had to slop hogs for a bite to eat.  Be sure and pay attention to the scripture which states that both sons got their inheritance.  Luke 15:12-And the younger of them said to his father, Father give me the portion of goods that falleth to me.  And he divided unto THEM his living.  This is a picture of our perfect Heavenly Father. The scripture in Deut 21:17 said the older son would receive a double portion. This makes me wonder why the older son was in such a tizzy when the Prodigal came home.  No need to wonder the answer is in God’s Word. No matter how right we try to live I wonder how many times we “drop the ball” so to speak.
   
Oh yes, this parable is a daily lesson for each and everyone.  We can be absolutely certain no matter if we slop the pigs and eat husk because of our own choices that God is waiting for us to repent and come home.  We have hope trusting in Jesus Christ.  The Prodigal received the Royal Robe from the Father and so can we.
   
Etch this parable in memory and remember to repent and come home to the Heavenly Father.  Don’t let pride, bitterness or any thing else stand in the way of heaven.  After reviewing this passage of the Bible I’m inclined to think the older son had some repenting of his own.  He seemed to be self righteous.
   
Remember how he reminded the father what all he had done.  Take my word for it; God doesn’t need any reminding about how wonderful we are.  He keeps perfect, righteous records.
  
Luke 15:24 For this my Son was dead and is alive again, he was lost, and is found, and they began to make merry
   
WE HAVE HOPE IN OUR HEAVENLY FATHER.  Make your way home to him he’s waiting to show mercy grace and repentance to everyone.

SEPT. 1, ‘10 - My Own Rose Garden by Joyce Mizell

My rose garden is special; I cherish it in my mind
All the roses in it are filled with roses and a unique kind
My life has been filled with roses since I was born
The lovely roses I have enjoyed didn’t have thorns

The roses filled my pathway from many years ago
My life has been better because of the roses I know
A rose could be over looked stumbling on our way
People touching my life have been roses of the day

A life touched by another is like the petal of a rose
Soft and gentle only a friend could feel and know
When the sun didn’t shine to brighten up my sky
A rose came from nowhere bringing joy for a while

My life has been touched by the roses of many kind
I’ve gathered roses for my bouquet time after time
I remember the family and friends who mean so much
Each one is a special rose: I’m glad our lives touched