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Showing posts from February, 2014

Friday Coffee with PJ

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Grab your cup of morning coffee, or if you must, tea (and on this frigid morning why would you not want to be drinking something hot?), and take a moment to join me for a couple of random thoughts.

1. If you are anything like me, you are really (and I mean REALLY) hungering for spring! Yesterday, just to get my thoughts off of this brutal, never-ending winter weather, I changed the photo on my smartphone's lock screen. Now when I pick up my phone and turn it on, there before me is a picture of me holding a nice size bass that I had caught fishing a private pond down in Virginia ... last April, I believe. Ahh ... April is indeed just around the corner! As I thought about how anxious I am to experience the warm, gentle breezes of spring, I got to thinking: Am I as anxious to experience the awesome presence of God in my life? Am I hungering for God as much as I am longing for spring? That's something all of us should spend some time reflecting on. And if we find our appetite for …

In His Grip!

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It seems like Old Man Winter has us in an iron-like grip that just won't relax! Cold, snow, more cold and more snow. The weather reports could be reruns and it would make no difference! The very words "cold" and "snow" are becoming more distasteful than a spoonful of sauerkraut topping off a bowl of dill pickle ice cream! And the long range forecast for the month of March? More of the same!

Now as firm as winter's grip has been, it is nothing in comparison to the grip our God has upon those of us who are his children! King David realized this. He expressed his thoughts about it in Psalm 139:7-10 where he states that no matter where he might go, God's right hand (the hand of power) would hold him fast (i.e. - would be gripping him firmly!). Isn't it great to know that when life begins to crumble around us and we don't know where to turn . . . God has us firmly in HIS grip! Wow! Now that's worth a hearty "THANK YOU LORD!" Yes?

Thank…

Throwing Rocks at the Devil!

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Recently our church staff finished reading through (and discussing through) an excellent book by Charles Stanley titled, When the Enemy Strikes.  It is an excellent treatment of what the Bible teaches on the spiritual battle that is raging around us.
Contrast this solid truth with what happens across the globe in Saudi Arabia. Every year, two million Islamic faithful take their once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to Mecca (all physically and financially able Muslims are required to make this pilgrimage at least once).  One of the rituals of this pilgrimage is the “stoning of the devil.”  During the course of three days, the pilgrims throw a total of 49 pebbles at three statues representing Satan (multiply 49 by 2 million and that is a lot of stones!).  In doing so, the pilgrims hope to destroy the work of Satan against their faith.  How sad.  To think that mere stones can destroy Satan and his work!  When I was a kid, my mom taught me the old rhyme, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, b…

A Prayer for Resetting Your Heart on Jesus!

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Here's a prayer for your Sunday from one of my favorite devotional books. I encourage you to read through this prayer and make Scotty's prayer YOUR prayer! May God bless you abundantly with his presence on this Lord's Day and everyday!

Gracious Jesus, I don’t think I’ve ever praised you for a phone with GPS before today. But as someone born with neither an internal compass nor a gyroscope, someone who labors to find his parked car, someone who walks out of a hotel room not remembering if the elevator is to the right or the left . . . I give you praise for the good gifts of modern technology. Jesus, in a far more profound way, I’m praising you this morning for the Scriptures, for they are constantly redirecting my wandering heart to its true destination. And I’m praising you for the gospel, for the gospel is not only my GPS but the car that gets me home. Indeed, Jesus, I’m resetting my heart on you this morning (Colossians 3:1-4). You are my destination and my delight. By …

Friday Coffee with PJ

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Friday Coffee with PJ will return next Friday. Just ran out of week. But before I go ... here is something to chew on.

"Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less" (C. S. Lewis).
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others" (Phillipians 2:3-4). 

Thanks for stopping by . . .  pj

Lawbreaker Beware!

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Recently, my wife and I enjoyed a few days at one of our favorite places to get away ... Colonial Williamsburg. We both love history, and each trip there results in learning something new about the founding of our country. Our recent visit did not disappoint!

On this particular trip, I unfortunately ran afoul of the law and got thrown into the stocks. Well ... not quite! I willingly got into the stocks for this photo opp! But let me tell you - this wouldn't be something I would ever opt to do for any length of time. I would think it must have proved to be a deterrent to crime back in colonial days. Along with the physical discomfort, the public humiliation must have been great indeed! The message of the stocks was: lawbreaker beware!

This same message is the message of the Bible: Lawbreaker beware! The law in question is not a law written by human hands. No ... the law we are all guilty of breaking is the law written by God himself. In fact, the Bible makes it clear that since we…

Friday Coffee with PJ

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On this fine winter day ... during a winter that does not seem to want to release its icy grip ... why don't you grab a cup of hot coffee, tea or chocolate and join me for a few minutes of random thinking.

1. Today is, let me think . . . ahh, yes . . . today is Valentine's Day. Just kidding of course! I am guessing the day probably means more to women than men, which is quite a shame, really! As I see it, this day is a great reminder of just how we husbands need to be treating our wives. The Bible is quite clear on this as we are commanded (did you hear that guys? COMMANDED) by God to love our wives. And this is not some sort of casual love that is being mandated ... but a love exemplified by Jesus Christ himself when he gave his life for us "while we were yet sinners" (Romans 5:8). So husbands ... are you loving your wives as Christ loved the church, His bride (Ephesians 5:25)?  If she were to be asked, :"Does your husband cherish you?" how do you think s…

Cheer Up! Spring Is on the Way!

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I am going to guess that you probably feel a lot like I do concerning the approaching winter storm. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Of course, I realize that there are some rather strange people among us that no matter how much snow falls, it is NEVER ENOUGH! Well, in my younger years, I may have leaned in that direction, but now now! Especially when I scheduled this weekend as a vacation weekend during which my wife and I are hoping to head south to Williamsburg, Virginia (of course, that's all "up in the air" right now - no pun intended!).

But ... I do have some good news. When I flipped my calendar just ONE PAGE ... I saw, staring me in the face, MARCH 20th! What's so special about that particular date? Well ... March 20th is the first official day of SPRING! Yes! Yes! Yes! And I just LOVE spring, this spring probably more so than usual! In fact, I thought I would list for you the top ten reasons as to why I get excited just thinking about spring:


10.Spring means winter is over…

Loving God and Loving Others!

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This past Sunday, we walked through the passage in Mark in which Jesus spells out the two "Great Commandments" ... to love God with all that we are and with all of our energy AND to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. The two are related in that if we are not loving the Creator ... then we cannot love his creatures. In addition, if we do not love others whom we can see, how will we ever love God whom we cannot (1 John 4:20)?

So, my friends, I encourage you today to spend some time evaluating how you are doing in loving God and loving others. Now the second commandment (to love others) is easier to get a handle on. If I truly love others as I love myself, then I will treat them as I would want treated, I will seek their welfare and give to their needs (even if it costs me), I will pray for them, etc., etc., etc.). But it proves more difficult to evaluate how we are doing with the first great commandment to love God with all our being and energy. With that in mind, here …

A Brief Prayer for Your Sunday!

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Sunday is the day we set aside to come together as God's family to focus our thoughts and affections upon Him. Here is a prayer for you! Please take a moment and read it ... and then pray it for yourself and all you love! 
Father God, 
On this day, I feel a great need for you,  I fear that all too often I allow the stuff    and activities of this world to eclipse     my view of you. Some times this     eclipse is partial, other times total.  Today, I need a fuller glimpse of you.  Please open the eyes of my heart and soul    to see you more clearly so that I can     know you more fully and therefore    love you more deeply. 
Knowing you is indeed the key to     loving you. So this day, as I spend     time in your Word, may your Holy Spirit    teach me what I need to know about you:     your nature, character, will and ways.  Grant me a heart willing to respond to     whatever you have for me. 
I ask this ... all by your grace and for your glory!  AMEN. 
Thanks for stopping by . .…

Friday Coffee with PJ

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Well .. it's Friday of what has proven to be a looonnnggg week (at least as far as the weather has been concerned). Snow ... then ice ... now perhaps more snow over the weekend? Here's one guy that's hoping this winter weather train gets derailed! All that said, grab a cup of your favorite hot brew and join me for a few random thoughts.

1. Puzzles.Of course, puzzles take numerous forms from the million piece puzzles that can frustrate to hours, to the many forms of digital puzzles that one can spend hours on, to the colorful rubik's cube, to a crossword puzzle ... and on and on it goes. Some people love to tackle puzzles and will spend hours doing so. Others would be heading out the door should they be asked to help solve one. However, all of us deal with a puzzle ... and we deal with this particular puzzle 24/7/365. It's called "LIFE." And yes, life can be a puzzle (and if you don't agree, then let me ask you ... Do you have an explanation as to why…

What a Name!

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On Monday as I was watching the local television station's coverage of the snow storm, they interviewed the manager of an adjacent county's Penn DOT snow removal operation. His last name really grabbed my attention. It was "Storm!" Sure appropriate for the situation!

When it comes to names, there is no more appropriate name than the one given to Jesus. His name means "savior." Joseph was instructed by an angel of the Lord to give this name to the baby born to his bethrothed Mary. According to the angel, this baby would go on to "save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:18-25). The Apostle Peter understood the significance of the name, "Jesus," for he told the leaders of the Jews that "is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). In addition, the Apostle Paul writes that there is coming a day when at the name of Jesus, "every knee should bow,in heaven and on earth and under the e…

Frustrated by the Weather?

One of my favorite meterologists tweeted the following tweet this morning: "Snowstorms for the Eastern U.S. are backed up all the way to China this morning." So ... it does not look like this weather pattern of cold, snowy weather is going to change any time soon. Therefore I thought you might want to lighten up your day. So take a minute to view what I thought was one of the funniest Super Bowl ads I have seen in a while. When I saw it Sunday evening, I almost fell of the couch laughing! The scary thing is that I once saw a dog that looked something like this (that dog was a mix between a German Shepherd and a beagle!).  Enjoy!




Thanks for stopping by . . . and don't forget to SEIZE THE DAY by getting into God's Word!
pj