January 4

Well this is the first post of 2021.  I hope that this year we all will continue to see God’s blessings on us all.  Sometimes his blessings are not what we expect and some are hard to accept because they all do not come to us as good things.  Sometimes his blessings come as difficult circumstances that help us grow.  Sometimes they take the form of discipline and rebuke when we stray in order to correct us and get us back to following him.  Sometimes they are times when we need to cuddle close to him for comfort and encouragement.  Sometimes they are sickness that help us depend on him.  But they are all blessings.  So do not look only for the blessings that look most beneficial.  There are many more things God wants to do in your life to bring you the greatest blessings.

December 28

Posting this a few days late because of family get-togethers.  My hope this week is that God will continue to bless us as we end one year and start another this week.  As in the sermon, 2020 was a year of trials, but God was faithful and will continue to be faithful as we start another year of our Lord.  May God richly bless you and may you continue to grow more like Christ in 2021.

December 21

   This year has been one of changes and challenges.  And yet, we sit year on the verge of a new year with a God that has been faithful in the past.  With this in mind, I hope that we all are looking forward to this next year.  God will still carry us through it.  Will it have some of the same struggles?  Will we go through even more upheavals?  Or will this year be one of recovering and rejoicing? 
   I want to take this time to wish all who are reading this a very Merry Christmas and I hope that you will have one filled with the wonder of the year.  It truly is the most wonder full time of the year.

December 14

I just love looking at the names of God.  I have read books about it and taught different lessons about them.  Each one is unique and has a special emphasis and meaning.  They help explore the many different characteristics of him.  And it is no different with Jesus and his names.  I probably could have had three or four messages that talk about the names of Jesus given to him at his birth (or before his birth).  Many names were given by the prophets.  Others by the writers of the epistles.  In fact, I just started reading in the book of Hebrews for my devotional time this morning and found more names I could have used in the message yesterday.  So I would encourage you readers to find and examine other names of God, Jesus, and even the Holy Spirit and see what a difference these names will make in your life.

December 7

Wonderful Grace of Jesus.  The hymn is one of my favorite.  And not just because of the musicalness and with the men singing most of the refrain, but because of the words.  If there is anything in the word more important to sing about than grace, I do not know it.  God’s grace is so significant, words cannot describe it (How can my tongue describe it? Where shall my praise begin?) right?  This is why we sing, this is why we praise, this is why God deserves it all.  So why don’t we give Him are all this year here at Christmas and make this Christmas the most wonderful time for us.

November 30

I cannot express how much I love this time of year.  Everything about it excites me, including the snow.  Here in central Illinois, we don’t get as much snow as I did while I was growing up in northern Michigan, but I love it anyway.  While snow is mentioned in the Bible over 20 times, it usually is using it to describe how white something is (whether it be leprosy, or our cleansed sins, or clothing).  But my favorite verse about snow is from Psalm 148, “Praise the LORD from the earth, . . .  all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding, you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, . . .” (vs 7-9).  All these inanimate objects are praising the Lord and doing his bidding.  The verses surrounding do describe humans and animals also praising God, but even things that cannot move or have a life of their own are a part of the praises reaching heavenward.  As another verse mentions, “If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” (Luke 19:40)  I hope this wonder-full season will keep you praising him too.

November 23

Contentment is a hard thing to apply to our lives, especially with all the discontentment around us.  Yet, Paul tells us the main way of gaining this hard fought idea.  It is not anything you can do.  It is done by relying on God.  It is gaining strength from the strength he has.  Who or what are you relying on that is as true and faithful as he?  Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!

November 16

We can be the kind of examples people can follow.  And something I did not include in my message, is that you already are an example in many cases whether you know it or not.  You may not think others are looking to you as an example of Christianity, but more than likely you are.  The question is, are you a good example or a bod example?  Just remember that being a good example does not mean you are perfect or have it altogether.  We all stumble in our Christian walk.  What matters is how you deal with your stumbles and downfalls.  The important thing to remember is to always live your life as if someone is watching.

November 9

The elections were this last week and a lot of people nation wide voted.  It is good to see so many using the freedoms that this country offers in a productive way.  But we also need to remember, as I preached on Sunday to run with the end in mind.  Jesus is the one we really need to please.  He is the one we need to follow.  And if we seek him, he will see us safely home.

November 2

I am stealing this quote from Charles Colson’s book Loving God.  It falls right in line with what I preached on Sunday.  “We Christians are usually quick to say we want to ‘be like Jesus’.  But if we are honest about what those familiar Sunday School words really mean, we’ll see that compel us to adopt His attitudes; and that means belief in, and submission to, the Scriptures . . . It requires us to dies to self and follow Christ.  It demands that we recognized the sin in our lives and that we acknowledge and repent of that sin.”