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Showing posts from June, 2013

Friday Coffee with PJ

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Hard to believe but Friday is here again! For you, it means the final day of the work week ... but, alas, not so
for me! But that's OK ... I love my job!

1. The shock waves of yesterday's Supreme Court decisions will continue to reverberate far into the future. As the homosexual community and their supporters celebrate, I have chosen to mourn. Marriage as instituted by God has taken a huge hit. Same-sex marriage ... is really not marriage at all. But this is a discussion for another day.  But concerning the court's decision, Al Mohler, one of evangelical Christianity's most lucid thinkers, said the following about the court's decision:

"Nevertheless, even as Justice Kennedy castigated Congress (and presumably former President Bill Clinton) for making moral judgments, he could not resist moral judgments of his own. He wrote of our society’s “evolving understanding of the meaning of equality and declared that the states have the right to confer on same-sex marria…

Thursday A La Carte

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Here are this week's offerings. I trust they will encourage you in your faith walk with Christ!

1. OMG is texting for .... Oh My God! Increasingly you can hear (and see) Christians using this common expression. But is this a good thing?  Check out some great insights on why we should think twice about dropping this expression whether my mouth or by text. 

2. How bizzare can our culture get? Check out the latest court case granting a transgender girl in Colorado the right to use the girl's restroom. 

3. Praise God for the power of the gospel! Here are some brief thoughts from Greg Laurie.

4. Here's a great song about our Mediator! 

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

Calling Sin 'Sin!'

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Joel Osteen pastors Lakewood Church in Houston Texas. This church is one of the largest if not the largest mega churche in America, averaging approximately 43,000 people in average weekly attendance. In an interview a few years back, Osteen was asked by Larry King of CNN if he ever used the word “sinners” in his preaching. Osteen replied, “I don’t use it. I never thought about it. But I probably don’t.” 

Never thought about it?   Hmm.  How do you not think about sin and sinners when the Bible uses the word some 2000 times? But Osteen’s approach, which is far removed from biblical teaching, is to focus on the positive and avoid mention of anything negative. This, of course, includes the concept of sin (and its subsequent judgment). 

But this is a BIG problem! Why?  Because humanity’s root problem … is SIN! It is sin that condemns us to hell. Sin which separates us from God. Sin which is at the root of every single problem we face as human beings (click here for some insights on the bibli…

Something to Think About

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Thought I would post a quote for you to think on as you hit day #2 of your work week (which is actually day #1 of my work week as Monday is my normal day off). The quote is from John MacArthur's excellent devotional book, Daily Readings From the Life of Christ, Volume 2. If you are looking for a good devotional that will keep you focused on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-3), this is a book I highly recommend.

"The rapid pace of twenty-first-century living is not very conducive to setting aside time to slow down, read the Bible, and pray and mediate on God’s Word. Yet such activity ought to be the daily priority of every Christian—it is the primary way God leads us in our sanctification. Just as physical nourishment is essential to physical life, so spiritual nourishment is essential to spiritual life—your growth in Christ depends on it."
Hope you make the time to read and then think about (meditate) on the Scriptures EVERY day this week! You will be better for it!

Thanks for stoppi…

Friday Coffee with PJ

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Well it's Friday ... and that means "Friday Coffee with PJ" --- so here are a few random thoughts for you to enjoy with your morning cup of joe.

1. This morning at 1:04, summer arrived here in Lancaster, PA. So that means we can look forward to some triple H days! These are the days saturated with Heat, Haze and Humidity. The days that we work up a sweat just thinking about going outside. Although we don't know how many of these triple H days we will have to endure, we do know that some are in the forecast. How so? Hot, steamy days are just part of the package that we call summer. So we can be certain that before too long, a triple H day will arrive. Just as summer brings these kind of days .... so life brings a number of things our way as well. One of these is interpersonal conflict. How so? Given that ALL of us are broken people whose sin all too often turns are gaze self-ward, it is inevitable that we will experience conflict. Therefore, we need to be equipped t…

Thursday A La Carte

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Here are just a few offerings for this week:

1. One of the most influential books I have ever read (besides the Bible, of course) is J.I. Packer's wonderful primer on God, Knowing God. I read this book about a year after it was first published in 1973. At the time I was half way through my freshman year in college ... and had only been a Christian for less than 3 years. If you want to get to know God better ... I can hardly think of better book that will help you in your pursuit. Here is a list of some great quotes from that book! 

2. Here is a "spot on" article, Should We Stop Saying, "The Church Hurt Me?"  I wish we could include this article as required reading for anyone who claims to follow Jesus!

3. "So was God in control when my dog died? Why would God kill my dog?"  Hmm. How would you answer those questions in light of the biblical teaching on God's sovereignty? Here is a great article, 3 Mistakes We Make When Talking about the Sovereignt…

Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus

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I borrowed the title of today's post from the New York Times #1 Best-Selling Relationship Book of All Time: MEN ARE FROM MARS, WOMEN ARE FROM VENUSThis book is based on the reality that all of us who have ever been in a serious relationship with a member of the opposite sex know - that men and women think about things and process life very differently (Men Are Like Waffles - Women Are Like Spaghettiis another book along these lines - and is a better book in my opinion!).  

This morning, one of my associates sent me a link to the video below which illustrates this truth in a humorous and a "been-there-experienced-that" sort of way. Enjoy. And then ... run out and get a copy of the waffle and spaghetti book. Your relationship will be much better for it! 




 Thanks for stopping by . . . pj

Broken Street Lights

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I saw a report on last evening's local news about a significant problem our state capital of Harrisburg is facing. It seems like there are a large number of broken and even downed street lights around the city. And with a crew of just four to do the repairs, many streets will remain in the dark until the crew can make their rounds. You can guess that a lot of city residents are not happy about that.

This situation Harrisburg is facing got me thinking about what Jesus said about those of us who have chosen to follow him. In the longest of his recorded messages, Jesus directed the following words to his followers:

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 5:14-16). 
I wonder how many of us Christi…

Friday Coffee with PJ

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I hope you enjoy your coffee as much as I do! But whatever your choice of morning brew, I trust you will enjoy these random thoughts that have been rattling through my mind.

1. Next week is VBS week here at Grace. And every Vacation Bible School week brings a boat load and then some of kids to our facility (as of this morning, 210 kids are pre-registered. This compares to 150 at the same time last year. That's a lot of kids!!!). For about the fourth or fifth year in a row, I will be one of the actors. This year, four of us will provide an opening skit (to introduce the day's theme) and, on Friday morning only, a closing skit (to wrap things up). This year I am playing the role of "Stan." Stan is "a little nerdy, but he's got a great heart. He loves Jesus and wants to share Him with others. Things don't always go right for Stan - he can be a little clumsy, extremely timid, and underestimates himself. Stan should be dressed in prim and proper clothes, to m…

Thursday A La Carte

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Here are this Thursday's offerings. Enjoy!

1. There are an increasing number of books being published about heaven. These are written by people who allegedly have been there and returned to report to the rest of us their celestial experience. Tim Challies has a book recommendation for any who would like to have some biblical insight into this phenomenon.

2. Again from Tim .... if you want to get more things done ... you might what to first get rid of some things. Here is his suggestion on 6 things to lose! 

3. Paul Tripp writes about something you cannot destroy ... no matter how hard you might seem to try!

4. Ed Welch writes about hoarding and the DSM 5(5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.)

5. On a lighter note . . . (classic Lucy!)

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

A Father's Painful Love

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When acting Chief of Police James Cavallo Sr. was paging through the local newspaper one evening several years ago, his eye was drawn to a story about a local bank holdup.  Along with the story was a grainy surveillance photo that showed a young Caucasian man wearing a baseball cap.  The longer Cavallo looked at the photo, the more certain he became that he knew the suspect.  It was his son, James Cavallo Jr.  So what did he do?  What any law respecting law enforcement officer would do – he turned him in.  When asked about his actions, Cavallo Sr., speaking from his home in rural MooreTownship, north of Allentown, said, “I knew I had to do it. There was no question about it.”
The next day, police arrested Cavallo Jr. and charged him with robbery, theft and receiving stolen property. After making a videotaped confession, he was taken to the Northampton County Jail and held on $500,000 bail.  According to the police, Cavallo Jr. claimed to be high on cocaine the night of the robbery. 

Hope Rises in the Central African Republic

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Friends,

Thank you so much for praying for the situation in the Central African Republic! The recent military coup has devastated the country ... a country already ravished by poverty. Yet, in the midst of this despair, hope is rising! Below is an email I just received from Dr. Augustin Hibaile, my friend and the director of the Center International for the Development of Ethical Leadership (CIDEL). He, along with two men from Encompass World Partners had an exciting and hope-inspiring meeting yesterday. Please read on ... and PLEASE continue to pray!


Greetings from C.A.R,

In my email today, I asked many of you to pray for the opportunity to meet with the President with the missionaries Mike (USA) and Frank (Germany). This morning we had a good audience with the Minister of Religious Affairs. He introduced us to the Head of the State this evening.
Frank, Mike, Pastor Banga Boniface and myself were received by the President in his cabinet this evening (6:15 - 6:45 PM). It's was a wond…

Friday Coffee with PJ

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Friday's here ... and although I did not get to my Thursday A La Carte offerings ... I thought I would squeeze in some time for my Friday Coffee with PJ post ... enjoy!

1. Earlier this week, Shane Bunting did what a lot of 22 year olds do ... he went to a party. But after being asked to leave the party as a result of an altercation, he did something that few 22 year olds do ... he returned to the party armed with a baseball bat and a pit bull. That's right ... a pit bull! He released the dog which proceeded to attack three different people (two of which were treated at Ephrata Hospital for dog bites). The local chief of police said during a television interview that he had never seen a pit bull used as weapon in a situation like this before. Really? Bottom line here - this man has anger issues! But he is not alone. A lot of people have anger issues. We live in an increasingly angry world! Why so? Because people in their sinful pursuit of self gratification get angry whenever …

"Take Heart! I am!"

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This past Sunday in our study of the Gospel of Mark, we took a look at two incredible miracles performed by Jesus. And in putting these two together, the result is a truly amazing portrait of our Savior! The two miracles were the feeding of the 5000 and His walking upon the water. Both of these point toward the reality that Jesus Christ as the Son of God is extremely great AND deeply compassionate. In both miracles he demonstrated his awesome power. In the first he did so by creating on the spot between two and three tons of food to feed a hungry crowd that may have been as large as 15,000 to 20,000 when factoring in women and children who were also present. In the second he manifested his power by defying the law of gravity to walk effortlessly upon the surface of the turbulent surface of the Sea of Galilee. In addition to Jesus' power, Mark refers to his compassion as Jesus looked out upon the crowd and saw them as "sheep without a shepherd" - and if you know anything…

Be the Hands of Jesus!

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In his book, The Jesus Habits: Exercising the Spiritual Disciplines of Jesus, author Jay Dennis relates a story about a church in Strasbourg that was destroyed as result of Allied bombing in WW 2.  After the bombing was over, the church members surveyed the damage. As they did they were pleasantly surprised to find a statue of Christ still standing.  The stature showed Christ with his arms outstretched in service.  When the church members got closer to the statue they noted that a beam had fallen in such a way as to sever the hands from the statue.  Knowing how much the statue meant to the church and the community (it had been sculptured several centuries before), a local artist offered to sculpt new hands for the statue.  After considering the offer, the church members declined it.  They thought the handless Christ would be a good reminder to them that God’s work of service is done though His people.
Wow!  That is a great illustration of a great truth.  God is doing a work in our wo…