Showing posts from November, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Psalm 86:12I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.
The Thanksgiving Day holiday is always a good reminder of something that needs to be woven into the very fabric of our day-to-day routine. We need to give thanks to God day in and day out. Why so? Beyond the fact that thanking God is a clear mandate of Scripture ... we must also thank God because EVERY blessing we enjoy in life is from HIS gracious hand (James 1:17). Thanking God should become as natural to us as breathing! I encourage you to get more intentional about giving thanks to God ... not merely on the fourth Thursday of every November . . . but on every day of the year!

Thanks for stopping by . . . pj
By the way . . . I want you ALL to know how much I thank God for YOU! 

A Few Moments with a Friend!

On the first leg our our journey home from Naya Akola, India, we made a stop at Prakash Institute in the city of Nagpur. In the past few years, Children's Fellowship of India has sent a number of boys to Prakash to learn a trade (Computer Operation, Welding, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning and Electrician are the four courses of study opened to boys). On all four of my trips to India, I have had the privilege to share God's Word with the male students. It has always been a joy.

In addition to preaching, I had the opportunity to briefly reunite with a pastor friend I had made during my last trip to India in August of 2010. Promot might be short of stature but he is long on love for others and for God. He lives and serves in the city of Nagpur. I have met few people who can beat his smile (don't you agree?). 
Promot has not had an easy life. He grew up in an orphanage and, when it was time for him to get married, he was often stymied in his attempt to find a wife. Most wo…

Back from the Far Side of the World!

Every time I have gone to India (and this was my fourth trip), I come back home both totally drained and fully satisfied! Sounds a bit strange, yes? Allow me to explain.

What drains me most is the travel required to get there: three crowded flights (two of which are over 8 hours in length), two van rides (of about 3 hours each) and a partridge in a pear tree! (Sorry ... got a bit carried away there with the holidays fast approaching!). Add to the planes and vehicles was a bunch of time just waiting around three different airports! If that 30+ hours of continuous travel was not enough, we got do do it all in reverse as we traveled home. I am still trying to get my energy back!  Indeed the travel demands are heavy! But I also find myself drained by the overwhelming need we encounter in India. Spiritual darkness lies like a heavy blanket upon the land. The poverty and its devastating impact upon so many is constantly in one's face. And this leads me to what I find most satisfying abo…

Today is D Day (Departure Day!)

As I stumbled out of bed this morning it hit me – today is the day we leave for India! At that, thoughts began to flood my mine. Thoughts like: “Goodbye nice comfy bed!” “Now what important, vital-to-life item did I forget to pack?” “I’m really going to miss the Fam!” “Do I really want to go to INDIA?” etc., etc., etc. By the time the fog in my mind cleared and the thoughts began to subside I was standing in front of my bathroom mirror. I looked at my reflection. My reflection looked back at me. Together we smiled – yes the day that had been set for our departure was here! All the praying, all the planning, all the prepping is now complete. It's time to "hit the trail!"

As I think about this trip I am grateful for a number of things. I am grateful for the group from Grace who will be accompanying me (see the prayer list). I am thankful for Philip Dongre. I have met few like him. His passion for Christ and the children of Children’s Fellowship of India is con…

Off to India!

In just two days, I will be departing for a two week trip to India. Traveling with me will be ten other individuals. We are heading to Naya Akola, India which is located pretty much in the center of the country. Now Naya Akola is not on any Trip Advisor list of places to visit in India. In fact, the village contains not much more than a run down school, a few shops and a handful of huts and houses. But just on the "outskirts" of town sits the campus of Children's Fellowship of India, home to nearly 200 orphaned boys.

Now whenever I travel to India ... it takes only a moment off the plane in Mumbai to realize that I am not in Lancaster County any more! The smells, sounds, sights in India always initially appear WEIRD to my senses – very different from what I am accustomed to smelling, hearing and seeing back home. Some of these sensations are pleasant, many are not. Talk about feeling out of one's comfort zone!

As I was reflecting on this, God reminded me of somethin…

How Long Will YOU Live?

According to a government statistics, life expectancy in the U.S. now stands at 78.64 years (76 for men; 81 for women).  This is an all time high and is up from 75.4 in 1990.  The government attributes this to advances in medicine combined with a drop in some unhealthy practices like smoking. As I thought about all of this, my mind went to these words of King David, All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16). God knows (because he numbered our days!) just how long each one of us will live on this earth. That information is something He is not telling us!  So should we worry and fret that this day might be our last?  Absolutely not!  Our earthly existence is in the hands of a loving and faithful God who ALWAYS does what is right.  We can trust Him with our lives.  What we must be doing is living each day for Him.  After all, each day we live and each breath we take is a precious gift from Him.  Don’t waste a moment but “carpe d…

Friday Coffee with PJ

The other day when I was out and about, I went through a Starbucks drive thru. Ordered a cup of their boldest brew and boy was that good!  Glad you could stop by and join me for this edition of Friday Coffee with PJ!

1. I heard a report on my car radio the other day about the practice known as "wardrobing." If you are not familiar with this, wardrobing involves purchasing an article of clothing (usually on the more expensive side), wearing it once (without removing the tags) and then returning it to the store for a refund. When I heard this, I asked myself, "Do people really do this?" Yep. And probably more than you would think (retailers estimate that this practice of wardrobing cost the industry almost 9 billion dollars last year!). But in the minds of many wardrobing sure beats laying out the money for a fancy outfit that you will probably only wear once! Some retailers are now fighting back by placing gaudy tags on the more expensive garments. And if you try t…