As we look at finishing up the year it may seem amazing that its already here. Where did the year go? Seriously? For some it has been a crazy ride, maybe a hard ride. If you’re like me, it certainly been filled with surprises. I want to tell you about one we had here today that kind of threw us for a loop  and left us seeking God’s wisdom, which He gave us.

Our refrigerator died today. Since it came with the house, we really don’t know how old it is.  The ice maker didn’t work, but everything else was great. Occasionally though it would make weird noises, like it was trying to do something but couldn’t.  Then last night, it started making a hum-click, hum-click sound which I knew wasn’t right. Gradually I realized that it was probably not repairable and not worth trying. We picked out a new one and ordered it today. We will be using two  ice chests in its place.

As I sit here on the couch looking at the now defunct refrigerator, I’m thinking “Why is that thing still here? It needs to be out of here.” And so it is with our past, whether this year or this lifetime. There will always be a time when the old has to go, that is, we need to let it go. God is always moving us forward, and we need to keep going in the flow of His Spirit and His leading. We need to press on, to keep moving forward.

May God give us the grace to be thankful for the ways God has blessed us and been with us in the past, and the way He is leading us into the future. I don’t know what 2019 holds, but I know it will be good, and that God will be with me and lead me through. I pray that God will bless  and anoint your year as well.

One day at a  time, good people. 

White side by side refrigerator

The old has to go

Blessings,
Pastor John

Okay, I’ve got to share this one with you. It was a good one! 

I had just finished brushing my teeth and rinsing it all out. My normal routine in the morning. After that, I clean my glasses. I have a small bottle of glasses cleaner. It is a spray bottle. In my mind I remembered “plastic bottle” apparently, because I reached over for the bottle, sprayed my glasses, then realized I had just sprayed them with foot spray! It actually worked to clean my glasses.

Now for my next trick … stay tuned! 🙂 

Talking to My Soul

Vs. 1
Sometimes I have to give myself instructions. I have to say things to my soul. I don’t want to head into destruction, so I listen to these words to make me whole.

Chorus:
“Rest in God alone, not your thoughts, not your phone. He is your rock and your friend. Your fortress around you. His presence surrounds you. He stays with you right to the end.”

Vs. 2
If only I would listen to that voice inside my head, the one the Lord has placed there for my good. He tells me what to do, what to say, and where to go. If only I would listen as I should.

Chorus:
“Rest in God alone, not your thoughts, not your phone. He is your rock and your friend. Your fortress around you. His presence surrounds you. He stays with you right to the end.”

Tag: I remember now: Jesus is my friend.

Psalms

Psalms 62:2

God is my rock and my fortress

62: 5-8

5Rest in God alone, O my soul,
for my hope comes from Him.
6
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
7My salvation and my honor rest on God, my strong rock;
My refuge is in God.

8Trust in Him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts before Him. God is our refuge.

Sometimes God gives us instructions, and we say “Yeah, I really need to do that. I need to get that done. I know, Lord, that I need to talk to that person, pray for them, forgive them. Remind me to get on that in the morning. Good night. Oh yeah, I almost forgot what I was going to ask. Can you help me get stuff done around the house? I am really behind on that – oh, and I could use some help in a lot of other areas too. Thanks for listening.” Oops.

I think that kind of prayer is missing something – obedience. We can’t expect God to answer our prayers if we are not doing what we know He’s already told us to do – pray, forgive, speak, be quiet, sing, whatever the Spirit has impressed on our hearts.

God is generous to listen to us, His children. Sometimes we need to be a little quicker to listen to Him. (Does anybody else find this writing to be as convicting as I do?) Lord, have mercy.

Until next time,
Pastor John

(Now what was it God was asking me to do? I know it was something.)

In James 1:19, we are instructed as follows: “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” It goes on to say that our human anger does not produce the righteousness that God requires. (verse 20). We are to be quick to listen.

God is love, and in that love He is giving us this instruction to listen. Our listening to each other reflects His love. Listening is God’s design. (Maybe that’s why He gave us two ears and one mouth – we will listen twice as much as we talk.  Well, I’ve heard that anyway.) I digress. God wants and expects us to listen. But why? I can think of two reasons off hand. You can probably come up with more. If you do, comment below this post.

One reason we are instructed to listen is because it is very effective. Not just listening for information, but listening to each others’ hearts – listening to show compassion. It is very healing to have someone listen to us.

One study I read about did an experiment with people in counseling. Half the group did the professional counseling, which itself can be very healing. Get hold of a Christian counselor, and it will help. I know it helped me. The other half just had someone listen to them. In the end, they measured the results, and the study found that both groups showed equally positive results. Both were very effective. It helps us a lot when people listen to us.

Yes, listening reflects God’s love, but it also reflects His character. He wants us to be like Him, and God listens. I said God listens. I need that reminder. Not only that, I think it is fair to say that God is quick to listen. He wants to hear us. He wants us to pour out our hearts to Him and to come to Him with confidence.  Hebrews 4:16 says “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

God is ready to listen right now. I want to be that way too. I’m going to get started with this – “Heavenly Father, it is a privilege to write these words that hopefully reflect Your word. I pray for whoever reads this right now, that they (and I) will listen to You, even as you are always ready to listen to us. God bless the readers of these words. In the strong name of Jesus, who makes all this listening connection to you and to each other possible. Amen.”

Sometimes our timing and God’s timing are completely different. He has a lot bigger puzzle to solve than we do. Here are two scriptures to look at in regards to waiting for prayers to be answered:

Hab. 2:3 –“This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.”

Rom. 8:24-26 – “For in this hope we were saved; but hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he can already see? But if we hope for what we do not yet see, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know how we ought to pray, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans too deep for words…”