Quit Quitting

The father was concerned that his son never stayed focused, or committed, to anything that he attempted.  The son so easily gave up on every pursuit and quit.

            Therefore, the father sought to encourage the youngster to persist, even when things became difficult.  So, he said to his son, “Son, you give up too quickly on things.  You have got to hang in there when things get tough.”  As the father continued, he said, “Look at Abraham Lincoln.  He did not quit.  Look at Thomas Edison.  Despite his many failures, he did not quit.  Look at General Douglas McArthur who continued until the World War was won.  He did not quit. Then, he said, “Look at Elmo Dingle.” The son said, “Wait a minute, dad, who is Elmo dingle?”  To which his father responded, “See, he quit. No one knows him.  He gave up. He failed in his expectations.  He fell short of the potential, and the strength, that he possessed.”

In the Christian walk, there will, always, be stumbling blocks.  Temptations and tragedies will be used by Satan to attack one’s faith, in an effort to get them to “give up.”  Peer pressure is one of the Devil’s greatest methods of infiltrating the lives of believers, to cause them to take their eyes off of the goal, and, yes, give up the commitment to Christ.

            The thing lacking in the young boy was persistence and will power.  Persistence in the will of the Father, through the Holy Spirit, by whom we have been empowered, is in the responsibility of a follower of Christ, in obedience.

            Praise God for His love in providing the strength of Christ, through the Holy Spirit, “to do all things.”

 

Gal. 6:9; Heb. 10:36

 

                                                                                                                          In Christ,


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Don’t Draw A Penalty

Have you noticed that all sporting events have boundaries?  The boundaries establish the lines, and space, within which the game is to be played.

            In football, sidelines and goal lines set forth the playing area.  Likewise, for tennis, baseball and all other sports, these confining lines invalidate the legitimacy of that which occurs outside of their limitations.  The boundaries are designed to maximize the game and to allow enjoyment of the competition.

            Picture a football player, not wanting to be tackled, run up into the stands, out into the parking lot, and through an adjacent building to arrive at the goal post?  Without boundaries there would be chaos.  If a game is to be played, it cannot be a free-for-all where the players are obliged to do anything that they wish.

            By the way with the Ten Commandments, God established boundaries, both to establish limitations and

 to maximize the game of life.

Ex. 20:1-21; Deut. 5:1-22

 

                                                                                                                          In Christ,


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Weighed Down

I know it is hard to believe, in fact unimaginable, but I used to be a weigh lifter.  When you stop laughing, I share with you a thought.

            When you go to the gym and lift weighs, it is painful.  But, you are experiencing a burden with a purpose.  If you are working with a partner, their function is to add weigh to your burden, while protecting you.  The enduring of this weight burden is a positive thing.  It is all for the purpose of building muscle.

            Now, if someone took those same weighs and threw them, in an attempt to strike you, those weighs would have been used to cause you harm.  The same weigh caused pain, in both instances, but not for the same purpose.  One activity was purposed to develop, or improve while the goal of the other was destruction.

            Satan delights in bringing trials and temptations into the lives of believers that he might destroy.  God desires that, in the midst of such trials, we, through faith and prayer, will “develop” (grow) spiritually.

            The prayer example that Jesus gave to His disciples, petitions the Father to protect them against temptation and to deliver them from evil.  Such reliance upon prayer, in faith, is the key to the Christian walk.  The church needs to commit to continued, and fervent, prayer in preparation for Satan’s activity.

 

                                                                                                                                                In Christ,


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Chasing The Ball

A man took his new Italian wife to her first football game.  After the game, he asked her how she liked it.  She said she was a little confused, to which, he inquired as to the source of her confusion.

            Well, she said, “At the beginning of the game it appeared that a man in a striped shirt threw a quarter into the air and, then, gave it to one of the teams.  After that, for the next hour, the men chased each other, up and down the field, grabbing each other and throwing each other to the ground.  And in the stands the people kept hollering, “get the quarter back!  get the quarter back!”  It was just a quarter!  I do not understand why they were fighting each other over a quarter.”

            In life, so often we spend a life time in pursuit of the insignificant.  Many seek wealth, while others crave power and prestige.  They run up and down the corridors of life with all of their energy and resources, only , to find the lack of value of those objectives when death comes.

            Jesus said, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt and where thieves break through and steal.”  His emphasis for each day, numbered as they are, is “…to lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…”  Of course, Jesus was reminding the church that the thing which is most important to us, is where we will devote ourselves; the physical or the eternal.  Little gods can become God.

 

Matt 6:19-21,24

                                                                                                                                                 In Christ,


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Freedom Ain’t Free

It has been said that, “Those who won our independence, believed liberty to be the secret of happiness, and courage, to be the secret of liberty.”

            Freedom is easily taken for granted, and the difficulty of obtaining that freedom is unaccountable two hundred years ago.  For freedom requires sacrifice and, if one is not prepared and ready to die, the word “freedom” should be removed from one’s vocabulary.  Praise God for the freedoms that we celebrate on Independence Day and for the sacrifices of many to establish and preserve those freedoms; freedoms that remove restraint, voice, and confinement.

            Likewise, God provided freedom from the burden and consequences of sin, when He made the, ultimate, sacrifice by which that freedom is achieved.  He sacrificed His “only begotten Son” that “whosoever believeth in Him, shall not perish but have eternal life.”

            Physical freedom from bondage and oppressions is a glorious gift.  But, even so, it is but for a season.  However, the freedom from sin, is an eternal release from the everlasting constriction and eternal, never ending, confinement of punishment.

            This week we celebrate the precious national freedoms from oppression. As such, we thank, and praise, God for such.  At the same time, we thank, and praise, Him for the spiritual freedom that is ours, in His mercy and grace.

            As Jesus said, “Greater love hath no man, than this, that he lay down his life for another.”  As our forefathers fought for our nation’s freedom, Jesus laid down His life, willingly and obediently, out of love, for the eternal freedom of all mankind.

                                                                                                                                       In Christ,


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Put It On My Tab

If your company sends you on a trip, in their behalf, they are responsible for paying the costs involved.  But, when you take a trip of your own, or vacation, the company does not pay for those expenses.  You incur those expenses, for those expenditures are your responsibility.  Responsibility, therefore, is dependent upon the purpose of the task, and for whom it benefits. 

        Whenever one ignores, or runs from God, you have to pay the tab.  The trip away from Him, is a decision of will that results in personal responsibility, for the detour from His presence.  You must pay the tab.

       When you are in God’s will, even if it is not your personal will, God will pick up the tab.  He will assume the responsibility and His Word confirms victory.  In His grace, as He did at Calvary, God desires to take control, and responsibility, of a trusting, faithful, submissive life.

Duet. 29:18-19; Judges 17:6; Isaiah 53:6

                                                                                                                                                             In Christ,


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From the Pastor’s Heart – 4/22/2018

 A young military man was talking to a young lady with whom he had fallen in love.  He was about to deploy over seas and asked her to wait for him.  He vowed that he would write her, every day, to show his devotion to her and his seriousness in pursuing her.
 
 

True to his word, day after day, every day, for a year and a half, he wrote her and she received his letters, each and every day.  After that year and a half, he returned home.  To his chagrin, he found that she had married the mailman.

 It is not enough to desire salvation for the lost.  It is not enough to make contributions to missionaries.  It is not enough to, idly, pray for corporate redemption.  To comply with the Great Commission, given by our Lord, we must be persistent in seeking out the lost.  We must be on the move to witness, by sharing God’s saving grace.  We must be seen.  We must be visible and available.  Sending cards or tracts, alone, is, generally, insufficient to one accepting Christ.  Witnessing is an every day, every way, and everywhere undertaking.  To the visible goes the victory of soul winning.

 Matt. 28:19-20; Ps. 89:37; Romans 2:15

                                                                                                             In Christ,  Mike Whaley


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From the Pastor’s Heart – 4/15/2018

A very religious man was trying to teach his horse to obey “stop” and “go” commands, using religious statements.  He was, eventually, successful in this effort.  On the command, “Praise the Lord!” the horse would go.  Conversely, when given the command, “Hallelujah!” the horse would stop.
 
 

Shortly thereafter, the man was out riding when his horse began to run, and man lost control of his steed.  Unfortunately, he had forgotten the command phrases, and ahead lie a cliff toward which the horse was travelling at full speed.  Desperate to recall the commands, the man called out “Amen!, Jesus saves, Worthy, Holy.”  None of the terms worked.

Just as the horse came near to the precipice, with death seemingly imminent, the man shouted, “Hallelujah!”  Upon hearing that word, the horse stopped, suddenly, right upon the edge of the ravine.  The man, overcome with thanksgiving, wiped his brow and said, “Whew, Praise the Lord!”

Praising the Lord is not some causal, meaningless exercise.  It is not a robotic activity.  Praise is serious worship, acknowledging that the One is worthy of worship.  Worship is personal and requires focus and sincerity.  There is power in praise.

James 5:13; Ps. 150:1-6         

                                                                                         In Christ, Mike Whaley


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From the Pastor’s Heart – 4/8/2018

Everything that we do with our bodies, is controlled by the brain.  The brain is the “computer like” organ that channels the communication that directs the actions of our motor functions, our speech, and the remainder of our bodily operations.  If a portion of the brain is damaged, those things controlled by that area of the brain, can no longer be summoned to act.  When the whole of the brain is dead, all of the activity of the parts of the body must cease, for lack of direction. For the body and the brain work in concert.  When the brain is dead, likewise, is the body.
 
 

In addition to the physical responsibilities of the brain, the brain is the source of the human will and the seat of the spiritual.  It is up to the reasoning, and acceptance, of the brain to acknowledge the spirit of the Living Lord, and recognize His mercy in redemption.  The brain, the person, has the freedom to choose through free will.

The function of the brain to consent to Christ, as a Savior, is an eternal decision.  The rejection, by the consciousness of the brain, of God, is as though that part of the brain were dead and the effect, in actuality, is eternal death.  Death in unrepentant sin and suffering, the consequences of that rejection.  Salvation demands surrender of the heart, mind, and soul.

I Cor. 2:16
 
                                                                                           In Christ, Mike Whaley

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From the Pastor’s Heart – 4/1/2018

 

Mrs. Stephen’s fourth grade Sunday School class entered the classroom on Easter Sunday.  Mrs. Stephens wanted the children to understand the significance of Easter, not just the superficial receiving of chocolate bunnies and new clothes.  More than family gatherings, egg hunts, and luscious food.
 
 
After sharing the biblical account of Jesus’ resurrection, she gave each student an empty plastic egg.  She told them that they were going to take a walk outside and instructed them, to each, find one sign of life and put it in their egg.
 

Filing back into the classroom, the children each placed their eggs on Mrs. Stephen’s desk.  Within her class was a boy named Danny who was a Down syndrome child, who always, warmed her heart with his bubbling countenance and smile.  He had taught her so much about God’s unconditional love and the simple joy of being a child of His.

As she opened the plastic eggs, one contained a lady bug, another an ant.  Some had flowers, some had twigs.  But one of the eggs was empty.  There was nothing in it and the children began to giggle, for everyone knew that egg had to be Danny’s, and they were correct.  Giving the class a stern look to discontinue making fun of him, Mrs. Stephen’s asked Danny why he had not put anything inside his egg to show signs of life.  Suddenly, Danny’s face broke into a smile and he responded, “Because the tomb was empty.”

Little Danny was the smartest of them all, for he understood the profound truth of Easter.  You see, the “empty” tomb, is the ultimate sign of life, and a miracle like none other. The resurrected Lord can breathe new life into one’s heart and mind, for the present, along with the assurance of a life resurrected, to an eternal “new life.”  Because He is Risen!
 

                                                                                              In Christ, Mike Whaley


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