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Spiritual Maturity

In the letter Paul wrote to the Colossians, he stated his goal was to “. . . present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (1:28). How serious was he about that? The next verse tells us. He wrote “I also labor” and used a word meaning “toil resulting in weariness, laborious toil.” But, he also added, “striving,” a Greek term that gives us our word “agonize. ” The next chapter begins with him expressing deep concern for them (2:1). The…

I Heard My Savior Say: Follow Me

“I came to Jesus as I was, weary, forlorn and sad,” Knowing His promise I ’d heard before: That He would make me glad! “Teach me Your laws and Your morals and such – I’d like to know them all, We ’ll conquer sin and Satan and death with Your banner, flying tall!” My child,” said He, “if you truly wish to come after Me, Denial of self is the very first key: Give up malice and greed and envy…

Remember Two Things

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus enumerated several “twos” to remember. In these, man always has a choice. In the outcome, the destiny is either eternal reward or eternal punishment: (6:19 -21) There are 2 Treasures : Some have lived their life by this principle and their confidence is found completely in their bank account. Heaven is the place where treasures should be accumulating (Mark 8:36). “What ’s my spiritual bank balance?” (6:22 -23) There are 2 Focal Points…

“Tell them I Said Hi”

Have you ever been on a phone call when you are interrupted by a curious family member? “Who are you talking to?” “Nana.” “Oh! Tell her I said hi!” Or perhaps you know someone who is on a trip visiting a congregation so you ask them to, “Say hi for me” to someone you know. These kind greetings take only a moment but always come from a place of love and affection. They let a person know that they are…

Forgetfulness

Ever forget something? Sure you have. If it is any consolation, you are not alone. All of us can forget and often do. Some years ago, a researcher from Johns Hopkins University compiled a list of what we forget most often. At the top of the list was names (83%), followed by where something is (60%), words (53%) and faces (42%. Any of those a problem for you? It is obvious that the researcher forgot to check on spiritual forgetfulness.…

Honor to Whom Honor is Due

It is amazing how quickly things change! Even in the congregation here, the past two years have seen a number of changes that few could have anticipated. Sometimes we are tempted to think that things will just keep going like always and when notable milestones are achieved, they leave us wondering where the time went! Such is the milestone to which I bring your attention. Marjorie Vickers and Betty Hathorn have faithfully taught together for fifteen years. There is an…

“My Preciousss…”

Gollum/Smeagol is one of my favorite literary characters in Tolkien ’s Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Gollum talks to himself obsessively over the One Ring —even after he loses it in the deep caverns of the Misty Mountains. He constantly seeks his “precious” ring which Baggins finds. While Peter writes some two -thousand years before Tolkien, he talks about the spiritual things that Christians ought to see as precious. In Peter ’s letters, he writes as we journey…

On COVID, Camp, and Certainties

Despite several staff members and campers getting COVID at Peach Valley, I am glad that camp happened and that I was able to attend. It was a blessing my heart badly needed! The risk of illness was not greater than the blessing God provides by His people coming together. Here are some things I gleaned from the week that may help you as you live by faith: “Blessed, blessed, blessed are we!” We learned a new song at camp by…

A Worthy Mission

If Luke, guided by inspiration, included three separate looks at what happened to Paul on the road to Damascus and his subsequent obedience to Christ, you would be inclined to believe it was important. From the actual events (Acts 9) to Paul ’s retelling of them before hostile Jews (Acts 22) to the apostle explaining it again to King Agrippa (Acts 26), we see what many consider the most dramatic conversion recorded in the New Testament. The fierce persecutor became…

Taking the Big Top Down

Vacation Bible School for 2021 is in the books and what a great week it has been. Along with the numerous “thank you ’ s” I offer for all those who were a part, I offer that I have learned so much more than our kids have! I am reminded about what wonderfully, sacrificial people we have who are able to meet needs, anticipate needs, and to communicate needs in the family. So much of what we do as the…

“Things for Which We Must Pray”

It ’s a simple enough title and concept, but for each season and busy opportunity in our lives, there ought to be a reminder, “this is something for which I MUST pray” (Ps. 55:7; Zech. 8:21; 1 Thess. 5:17). Here are some things God ’s people need to be lifting up and praying about NOW: Pray for our country (1 Tim. 2:1 -2). Our nation is in rapid decline. As a whole, our rulers, leaders, and educators are invested in…

Diligence and Neglect

The apostle Peter, in the early part of his second letter, gives emphasis to the importance of Christians being diligent in the development of spiritual qualities. How diligent did he want them to be? He urges, “…giving all diligence…” (II Pet. 1:5). Later, he adds, “…be even more diligent…” (II Pet. 1:12). Since Peter wanted these saints to be diligent, he also knew the need for him to be certain he did not neglect his duty to call their attention…