PJ

PJ

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Coffee with PJ

Grab your coffee ... and spend a few minutes with me as I share a few random thoughts with you.

1. In the past couple of weeks, I have heard news about people that has reminded me over and over again that we live in a broken world. Whether it be someone losing their job or their life . . . these reports about people, many of whom I know, make me long for heaven. Oh for that day when pain, heart ache, grief, hurt, disease, death are all "a thing of the past!" And that day is coming! Take a moment and open a Bible and read the last four chapters of Revelation, the Bible's final book. As you contemplate earth's final days, ask yourself . . . AM I PREPARED TO MEET MY CREATOR? If you have any doubts, I encourage you to check out Two Ways to Live: The Choice We All Face. 

2. This week the Christian cyberspace lit up with all kinds of opinions about World Vision's decision to hire openly "married" gay partners. The controversy continued when, two days later World Vision reversed their decision. So what are we to make of all of this? Kevin DeYoung offers up Three Final Reflections. His thoughts on the topic are worth chewing on!

3. As I write these words, I feel very tired. Part of my fatigue is physical in nature (which results when one awakens at 3:45 in the morning and is unable to fall back to sleep). But the other part ... and perhaps the bigger part ... is the weariness of soul I am feeling right now. One reason for this soul-weariness is all this news I have received of late of people facing difficult circumstances in their lives. Another reason is the pressure I feel from my every growing "to-do" list. All that said, I am going to sign off now and complete one other task. Then I am going to go and spend some time quietly before God (see Tuesday's post).

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Two Mysteries!

During my twenty hours or so of driving last week, I listened to a lot of Fox News on SirrusXM radio. And of that time, I am sure that 75% was spent on a discussion of the mystery of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. I must admit, I found the various possible scenarios of the plane's disappearance rather fascinating. It seems a bit odd in this age of technology that a Boeing 777 with over 200 passengers and crew on board could simply disappear ... and disappear in the strange way that it did! Now since last week, Malaysian authorities have determined that the plane crashed in a remote area in the southern reaches of the Indian Ocean - apparently after running out of fuel - a conclusion that not everyone is buying. If the Malaysians are correct, the area where the plane is alleged to have gone down is so large and the ocean there is so deep, the airliner may never be found. Therefore, the mystery of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 may remain just that, a mystery laying deep in the waters of the Indian Ocean.

As I reflected on this, my thoughts turned to our God. You see, there is a certain "mystery" about God ... and this, I believe, makes many of us uncomfortable. We would like to have God "figured out." After all, in this information age in which we live, an answer to any question should be only a Google search away! Now it is true that there is much that can be known about God, if we take the time and effort to study the Bible. For the Bible is the written revelation of God ... His character, nature, wisdom, will and ways. Yet the Scriptures do not reveal everything there is to know about God. And this is where this concept of "mystery" comes in to play. God's ways are not our ways and his thoughts are not our thoughts. There is an infinite gulf between Him as Creator and us as the creatures of his hand (Isaiah 55:8-9). In addition, God has chosen NOT to reveal everything He could have possibly revealed. Some things He has chosen to keep "secret" (Deuteronomy 29:29).

At the end of the day, we must keep in mind the words of the Apostle Paul when, in writing of the incarnation of the Living God, wrote, "Oh the MYSTERY of godliness is great . . ." (1 Timothy 3:15-16). I'm OK with that ... and I trust you are, too!

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

An Unusual Occurrence


Last week I logged over 1200 miles of highway driving. During those 20 hours or so I experienced many "usual" things ... like pulling into roadside rest stops, filling up my gas tank, and, of course, keeping an eye out for any upcoming Starbucks (and if a Starbucks was not available, I settled for a McDonald's). But there was one "usual" that I did not experience (and believe me, I am NOT complaining!). I did not experience one traffic slow-down. No construction slow-downs, no accident or disabled vehicle slow-downs and no "what was that slow-down about?" slow-downs. I can't recall a road trip that I recently have taken on which that  has happened! Oh, if they could all be like that!

You see, in our "let's get where we are going ASAP" society, none of us like slow-downs, no matter what form they may take. We are always in such a hurry to get from here to there or from there to here! And I am guessing that I am probably guilty of this more than the average person! All of us should take the advice offered up to us in Psalm 46:10 ... to "be still and know that God is God!"

As a young Christian, I was introduced to the concept of practicing a daily "quiet time." That has become an MO (Modus Operandi) of my life. We all need to carve some time out of our busy and loud world so that we can spend some time quietly before God ... in HIS WORD ... so that we can hear HIS voice!  So ... given this, here's a question for you: Do you practice a quiet time each day? If you don't, you should. If you do, continue to guard it. Your life will be better for it and your relationship with God will be far richer!

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Future Wedding Celebration that Will Be Out of This World!

My wife and I before 2008 wedding of our oldest daughter
Recently over breakfast, I shared a bit with my friend about how I felt when I returned my final of three tuxedo rentals following my oldest daughter's wedding (who was the last of my three children to be married). It was, for me a bitter sweet experience. Sweet to know that all my children were now moving on in their lives with wonderful partners at their sides. Bitter, though, to think that I would never again enjoy being the father of the bride or groom at a wedding - which I found to be most fulfilling and fun . . . until, that is, I had to reach for the checkbook! :)

As much joy and pleasure that was mine at the wedding receptions of my three children, there is coming another wedding banquet that will far surpass those experiences! I am speaking of what the Bible refers to as the “Marriage Supper of the Lamb.”  This "wedding reception" is by invitation only! But don't worry. If you have made a faith commitment to Jesus Christ, you ARE on the invitation list. But don't be looking for a "save the date" card, for that date is known only by God and he is not telling! 

This heavenly banquet is discussed in Revelation chapter 19.  In verses 7 and 8 we read, “Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!  For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear. (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints)." Did you catch what was said about what we will be wearing to this tremendous celebration?  We will be wearing fine linen – and this fine linen stands for our “righteous acts!”  So I  rented the tux which I wore for my daughters' and son’s wedding, but for THE SON’S wedding, I will be wearing attire that I myself make.  And I am making it right NOW – in this life.  Gulp!  And this is true for every follower of Christ.  So the question for me – and for YOU is this: How will we be dressed at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb?  Rags?  Scruffy tee shirt and ratty jeans?  Or will we be in attire more fitting for a wedding celebration?  It’s all up to YOU (and me!).  Living for Jesus will weave for us attire appropriate for that occasion.  So by God’s grace – let’s go live for HIM and get ready for the wedding to come!  

Thanks for stopping by . . . 
pj

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Coffee with PJ

Grab your coffee and take a few minutes to join me for some thoughts that have been rumbling through my mind of late ...

1. Browsing through a Christian bookstore these days can be quite the scary activity. I am amazed at some of the books that are on the best seller lists of Christian books. The content of many of these books are far removed from the content that the Bible actually teaches. If you have a little bit of time, you might want to listen to the Bully Pulpit: Browsing the Christian Bookstore. Quite sobering indeed!

2. Spring is now less than one week away. Yet as I write these words, the temperature is only in the mid twenties (but it feels like the single digits!) and it is 1:45 in the afternoon! This may be the year we have no spring. The weather will remain winter like and then, one day, summer will break through. Ahh ... that word "summer" sure is sounding better and better to my ears! And speaking of words ... there are no better words than those spoken by God. And yes, we have them! They are contained in 66 different books that make up the Bible. And I hope you are spending time in God's Word. I know ... I probably sound like a broken record ... but so be it. For there is NO GREATER FACTOR in your spiritual growth than the Scripture. In its pages are everything you need to know about God and HIS will. So ... if you have not taken up the challenge to SEIZE THE DAY by seeking to KNOW God's Word and striving to LIVE God's Word, I encourage you to take a moment and check out our CARPE DIEM Blog.

3. Finally, I want to let you all know that I thank God for each and every person who stops by my blog to read AND, I hope, glean some tidbit of truth that will spur them on in their walk with God. Life is too short (and wow, I hit 58 yesterday!) and the opportunities too great to waste our lives in trivial pursuits. So I pray that God will give all of us the wisdom to number our days and make the most of our time (Psalm 90:12; Ephesians 5:15-16).

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Twenty Two Pound Cat Acts Like the Devil!

What would you do if your 22 pound cat (that's right ... 22 pounds!!!) attacked your baby and then starting coming after you? You'd probably react just as an Oregon couple did earlier this week. They grabbed the baby, ran into their bedroom, slammed the door behind them, and called 911 and then waited for the police to arrive (the 911 dispatcher said she could hear the cat growling and screeching in the background!).

You might be thinking I am making this up ... but I am not (click here for confirmation). According to the owners, the cat has a history of violent behavior. But they are not going to give up on their cat. They plan to get it the medical attention and therapy that it needs to become a quieter and gentler feline! Hmm. That's not quite what I would be doing if the cat were mine. But I don't really have to spend a lot of time thinking about what I would do in that situation as I would never have a cat to begin with. No offense to all you cat lovers out there, but I am perfectly happy living with just my wife (with the occasional invasion of the grandkids!).

As I thought of this rather humorous news story, I thought of something that is far more serious. And that is the spiritual attacks we face day in and day out. The Bible makes it clear that Satan (and company) is on the prowl. Therefore, we must be alert (1 Peter 5:8). We are told that we must resist him and we are promised when we do so, Satan will flee (James 4:7)! We resist by putting on the full armor of God as detailed by Paul in Ephesians 6:10-18). For more biblical insight into this vital topic of spiritual warfare, check out What the Bible Has to Say about Spiritual Warfare. 

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday Coffee with PJ

Pour yourself a cup of your favorite morning brew and join me for a couple of random thoughts.

1. If you think Americans drink a lot of coffee ... you are both right and wrong. The United States ranks 25th in the number of cups of coffee consumed per person. The average American drinks 1.6 cups of coffee each day. Now when you consider that a number of Americans don't touch the stuff, that means that some Americans are drinking quite a bit of java! And if you are wondering what country leads the world in per capita (per person) coffee consumption, you don't need to wonder any more. I am going to tell  you. It is FINLAND! The Finns drink a whopping 4.7 cups of coffee for every person in the country. Coming in at a distant second is NORWAY at 3.9 cups per person. Now this should not surprise us. If you think our winters are long and cold ... plan a trip to Finland or Norway next winter! In order to stay warm, these Scandinavians drink a lot of coffee! I don't drink coffee to stay warm. I drink it because I like the taste of it. Others can't stand the taste. To each his own, I guess.

2.  I am thinking most people here in Lancaster County (and many other places around the country) are about done with winter! I know I am! It was so cold this morning, that when I pulled into a car wash to get all the corrosive salt off of my car, the first spray of water that hit my windshield froze on contact! Now that's cold! I am so very glad that spring (at least on paper!) is only 13 days away. That is less than TWO WEEKS! Yea! I can't wait! Now I am going to guess that once spring does arrive and brings with it the annual mulching of the flowerbeds and the weekly mowing of the grass . . . that it won't be long before I am complaining about having to do all that! When it comes right down to it, we human beings are really really good at complaining. Yep. That's me alright! So ... if you are anything like me (and I am thinking you are!) ... the next time you catch yourself complaining (and I guarantee you won't have to wait long IF you are listening to yourself talk) ... put off the complaining and put on in its place some thanksgiving to God! You (and those around you) will be better for it and God will be honored in the process!

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Procrastination is My Sin; I Will Confess it to God – Tomorrow!

Mark Twain once said, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow.”  There’s a word to describe that attitude.  It is the word procrastination. The dictionary defines procrastination as the act of putting off doing something, especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness. OK. If we were all honest for a moment (sometimes it’s tough to do so – why is this the case?  That’s a topic for a future blog!) we would all admit to procrastinating.  Yes, some of us are better at it than others.  But all of us are guilty of it from time to time.  For me I tend to be an expert at procrastinating when it comes to the tough stuff of life. Things like a major project that needs started; the heavy letter that must be written; or the confrontation that must be done. I find it easy to put these things off until tomorrow (or the day after tomorrow!).


Even though procrastination is relatively acceptable in our culture (and therefore easy to ignore), I believe it is a tendency all of us must fight.  Life is too short. The opportunities for Christ are too great.  Therefore, we cannot allow ourselves to slip into this destructive pattern.  Listen to and apply to your life these words of the Apostle Peter: “Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled” (1 Peter 1:13). Let’s purpose to stop procrastinating and get to the tasks to which God is calling us. And let’s do so TODAY!  

Thanks for stopping by . . . 
pj

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

At the Heart of Being a Follower of Jesus Christ

Did you ever stop and think about what is at the very heart of being a follower of Jesus? Is it giving to the poor? Standing up for justice? Bible reading and prayer? Personal and corporate worship? Tithing to one's church? Sharing the faith with those outside the faith? Now, it is true that all of these things will be done by a true disciple of Christ. But none of these, taken alone, is the very heart of following Jesus. So ... if not these, then what?

We don't have to guess about the answer or google to find it. Jesus already gave it to us. The answer is found in his final instructions to the Church. In what is known as his Great Commission, he tells us that our mission must be to "make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you" (See Matthew 28:18-20 for the entire text). You see, at the very heart of following Jesus is not just KNOWING the commands of Jesus, but OBSERVING them. The Church is called upon to make disciples who practice God-honoring, Kingdom-advancing obedience to the Word of God. So when you and I, who have chosen to follow the Lord of the universe, CHOOSE to obey his commands, even at personal cost to us ... we prove that we are truly HIS DISCIPLES. And in the process, Jesus gets glory and we get blessed! There is no more fulfilling blessing than the blessing of God! 

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj  

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Coffee with PJ

Grab your coffee ... and spend a few minutes with me as I share a few random thoughts with you.

1. In the past couple of weeks, I have heard news about people that has reminded me over and over again that we live in a broken world. Whether it be someone losing their job or their life . . . these reports about people, many of whom I know, make me long for heaven. Oh for that day when pain, heart ache, grief, hurt, disease, death are all "a thing of the past!" And that day is coming! Take a moment and open a Bible and read the last four chapters of Revelation, the Bible's final book. As you contemplate earth's final days, ask yourself . . . AM I PREPARED TO MEET MY CREATOR? If you have any doubts, I encourage you to check out Two Ways to Live: The Choice We All Face. 

2. This week the Christian cyberspace lit up with all kinds of opinions about World Vision's decision to hire openly "married" gay partners. The controversy continued when, two days later World Vision reversed their decision. So what are we to make of all of this? Kevin DeYoung offers up Three Final Reflections. His thoughts on the topic are worth chewing on!

3. As I write these words, I feel very tired. Part of my fatigue is physical in nature (which results when one awakens at 3:45 in the morning and is unable to fall back to sleep). But the other part ... and perhaps the bigger part ... is the weariness of soul I am feeling right now. One reason for this soul-weariness is all this news I have received of late of people facing difficult circumstances in their lives. Another reason is the pressure I feel from my every growing "to-do" list. All that said, I am going to sign off now and complete one other task. Then I am going to go and spend some time quietly before God (see Tuesday's post).

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Two Mysteries!

During my twenty hours or so of driving last week, I listened to a lot of Fox News on SirrusXM radio. And of that time, I am sure that 75% was spent on a discussion of the mystery of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. I must admit, I found the various possible scenarios of the plane's disappearance rather fascinating. It seems a bit odd in this age of technology that a Boeing 777 with over 200 passengers and crew on board could simply disappear ... and disappear in the strange way that it did! Now since last week, Malaysian authorities have determined that the plane crashed in a remote area in the southern reaches of the Indian Ocean - apparently after running out of fuel - a conclusion that not everyone is buying. If the Malaysians are correct, the area where the plane is alleged to have gone down is so large and the ocean there is so deep, the airliner may never be found. Therefore, the mystery of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 may remain just that, a mystery laying deep in the waters of the Indian Ocean.

As I reflected on this, my thoughts turned to our God. You see, there is a certain "mystery" about God ... and this, I believe, makes many of us uncomfortable. We would like to have God "figured out." After all, in this information age in which we live, an answer to any question should be only a Google search away! Now it is true that there is much that can be known about God, if we take the time and effort to study the Bible. For the Bible is the written revelation of God ... His character, nature, wisdom, will and ways. Yet the Scriptures do not reveal everything there is to know about God. And this is where this concept of "mystery" comes in to play. God's ways are not our ways and his thoughts are not our thoughts. There is an infinite gulf between Him as Creator and us as the creatures of his hand (Isaiah 55:8-9). In addition, God has chosen NOT to reveal everything He could have possibly revealed. Some things He has chosen to keep "secret" (Deuteronomy 29:29).

At the end of the day, we must keep in mind the words of the Apostle Paul when, in writing of the incarnation of the Living God, wrote, "Oh the MYSTERY of godliness is great . . ." (1 Timothy 3:15-16). I'm OK with that ... and I trust you are, too!

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

An Unusual Occurrence


Last week I logged over 1200 miles of highway driving. During those 20 hours or so I experienced many "usual" things ... like pulling into roadside rest stops, filling up my gas tank, and, of course, keeping an eye out for any upcoming Starbucks (and if a Starbucks was not available, I settled for a McDonald's). But there was one "usual" that I did not experience (and believe me, I am NOT complaining!). I did not experience one traffic slow-down. No construction slow-downs, no accident or disabled vehicle slow-downs and no "what was that slow-down about?" slow-downs. I can't recall a road trip that I recently have taken on which that  has happened! Oh, if they could all be like that!

You see, in our "let's get where we are going ASAP" society, none of us like slow-downs, no matter what form they may take. We are always in such a hurry to get from here to there or from there to here! And I am guessing that I am probably guilty of this more than the average person! All of us should take the advice offered up to us in Psalm 46:10 ... to "be still and know that God is God!"

As a young Christian, I was introduced to the concept of practicing a daily "quiet time." That has become an MO (Modus Operandi) of my life. We all need to carve some time out of our busy and loud world so that we can spend some time quietly before God ... in HIS WORD ... so that we can hear HIS voice!  So ... given this, here's a question for you: Do you practice a quiet time each day? If you don't, you should. If you do, continue to guard it. Your life will be better for it and your relationship with God will be far richer!

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Future Wedding Celebration that Will Be Out of This World!

My wife and I before 2008 wedding of our oldest daughter
Recently over breakfast, I shared a bit with my friend about how I felt when I returned my final of three tuxedo rentals following my oldest daughter's wedding (who was the last of my three children to be married). It was, for me a bitter sweet experience. Sweet to know that all my children were now moving on in their lives with wonderful partners at their sides. Bitter, though, to think that I would never again enjoy being the father of the bride or groom at a wedding - which I found to be most fulfilling and fun . . . until, that is, I had to reach for the checkbook! :)

As much joy and pleasure that was mine at the wedding receptions of my three children, there is coming another wedding banquet that will far surpass those experiences! I am speaking of what the Bible refers to as the “Marriage Supper of the Lamb.”  This "wedding reception" is by invitation only! But don't worry. If you have made a faith commitment to Jesus Christ, you ARE on the invitation list. But don't be looking for a "save the date" card, for that date is known only by God and he is not telling! 

This heavenly banquet is discussed in Revelation chapter 19.  In verses 7 and 8 we read, “Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!  For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear. (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints)." Did you catch what was said about what we will be wearing to this tremendous celebration?  We will be wearing fine linen – and this fine linen stands for our “righteous acts!”  So I  rented the tux which I wore for my daughters' and son’s wedding, but for THE SON’S wedding, I will be wearing attire that I myself make.  And I am making it right NOW – in this life.  Gulp!  And this is true for every follower of Christ.  So the question for me – and for YOU is this: How will we be dressed at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb?  Rags?  Scruffy tee shirt and ratty jeans?  Or will we be in attire more fitting for a wedding celebration?  It’s all up to YOU (and me!).  Living for Jesus will weave for us attire appropriate for that occasion.  So by God’s grace – let’s go live for HIM and get ready for the wedding to come!  

Thanks for stopping by . . . 
pj

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Coffee with PJ

Grab your coffee and take a few minutes to join me for some thoughts that have been rumbling through my mind of late ...

1. Browsing through a Christian bookstore these days can be quite the scary activity. I am amazed at some of the books that are on the best seller lists of Christian books. The content of many of these books are far removed from the content that the Bible actually teaches. If you have a little bit of time, you might want to listen to the Bully Pulpit: Browsing the Christian Bookstore. Quite sobering indeed!

2. Spring is now less than one week away. Yet as I write these words, the temperature is only in the mid twenties (but it feels like the single digits!) and it is 1:45 in the afternoon! This may be the year we have no spring. The weather will remain winter like and then, one day, summer will break through. Ahh ... that word "summer" sure is sounding better and better to my ears! And speaking of words ... there are no better words than those spoken by God. And yes, we have them! They are contained in 66 different books that make up the Bible. And I hope you are spending time in God's Word. I know ... I probably sound like a broken record ... but so be it. For there is NO GREATER FACTOR in your spiritual growth than the Scripture. In its pages are everything you need to know about God and HIS will. So ... if you have not taken up the challenge to SEIZE THE DAY by seeking to KNOW God's Word and striving to LIVE God's Word, I encourage you to take a moment and check out our CARPE DIEM Blog.

3. Finally, I want to let you all know that I thank God for each and every person who stops by my blog to read AND, I hope, glean some tidbit of truth that will spur them on in their walk with God. Life is too short (and wow, I hit 58 yesterday!) and the opportunities too great to waste our lives in trivial pursuits. So I pray that God will give all of us the wisdom to number our days and make the most of our time (Psalm 90:12; Ephesians 5:15-16).

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Twenty Two Pound Cat Acts Like the Devil!

What would you do if your 22 pound cat (that's right ... 22 pounds!!!) attacked your baby and then starting coming after you? You'd probably react just as an Oregon couple did earlier this week. They grabbed the baby, ran into their bedroom, slammed the door behind them, and called 911 and then waited for the police to arrive (the 911 dispatcher said she could hear the cat growling and screeching in the background!).

You might be thinking I am making this up ... but I am not (click here for confirmation). According to the owners, the cat has a history of violent behavior. But they are not going to give up on their cat. They plan to get it the medical attention and therapy that it needs to become a quieter and gentler feline! Hmm. That's not quite what I would be doing if the cat were mine. But I don't really have to spend a lot of time thinking about what I would do in that situation as I would never have a cat to begin with. No offense to all you cat lovers out there, but I am perfectly happy living with just my wife (with the occasional invasion of the grandkids!).

As I thought of this rather humorous news story, I thought of something that is far more serious. And that is the spiritual attacks we face day in and day out. The Bible makes it clear that Satan (and company) is on the prowl. Therefore, we must be alert (1 Peter 5:8). We are told that we must resist him and we are promised when we do so, Satan will flee (James 4:7)! We resist by putting on the full armor of God as detailed by Paul in Ephesians 6:10-18). For more biblical insight into this vital topic of spiritual warfare, check out What the Bible Has to Say about Spiritual Warfare. 

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday Coffee with PJ

Pour yourself a cup of your favorite morning brew and join me for a couple of random thoughts.

1. If you think Americans drink a lot of coffee ... you are both right and wrong. The United States ranks 25th in the number of cups of coffee consumed per person. The average American drinks 1.6 cups of coffee each day. Now when you consider that a number of Americans don't touch the stuff, that means that some Americans are drinking quite a bit of java! And if you are wondering what country leads the world in per capita (per person) coffee consumption, you don't need to wonder any more. I am going to tell  you. It is FINLAND! The Finns drink a whopping 4.7 cups of coffee for every person in the country. Coming in at a distant second is NORWAY at 3.9 cups per person. Now this should not surprise us. If you think our winters are long and cold ... plan a trip to Finland or Norway next winter! In order to stay warm, these Scandinavians drink a lot of coffee! I don't drink coffee to stay warm. I drink it because I like the taste of it. Others can't stand the taste. To each his own, I guess.

2.  I am thinking most people here in Lancaster County (and many other places around the country) are about done with winter! I know I am! It was so cold this morning, that when I pulled into a car wash to get all the corrosive salt off of my car, the first spray of water that hit my windshield froze on contact! Now that's cold! I am so very glad that spring (at least on paper!) is only 13 days away. That is less than TWO WEEKS! Yea! I can't wait! Now I am going to guess that once spring does arrive and brings with it the annual mulching of the flowerbeds and the weekly mowing of the grass . . . that it won't be long before I am complaining about having to do all that! When it comes right down to it, we human beings are really really good at complaining. Yep. That's me alright! So ... if you are anything like me (and I am thinking you are!) ... the next time you catch yourself complaining (and I guarantee you won't have to wait long IF you are listening to yourself talk) ... put off the complaining and put on in its place some thanksgiving to God! You (and those around you) will be better for it and God will be honored in the process!

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Procrastination is My Sin; I Will Confess it to God – Tomorrow!

Mark Twain once said, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow.”  There’s a word to describe that attitude.  It is the word procrastination. The dictionary defines procrastination as the act of putting off doing something, especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness. OK. If we were all honest for a moment (sometimes it’s tough to do so – why is this the case?  That’s a topic for a future blog!) we would all admit to procrastinating.  Yes, some of us are better at it than others.  But all of us are guilty of it from time to time.  For me I tend to be an expert at procrastinating when it comes to the tough stuff of life. Things like a major project that needs started; the heavy letter that must be written; or the confrontation that must be done. I find it easy to put these things off until tomorrow (or the day after tomorrow!).


Even though procrastination is relatively acceptable in our culture (and therefore easy to ignore), I believe it is a tendency all of us must fight.  Life is too short. The opportunities for Christ are too great.  Therefore, we cannot allow ourselves to slip into this destructive pattern.  Listen to and apply to your life these words of the Apostle Peter: “Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled” (1 Peter 1:13). Let’s purpose to stop procrastinating and get to the tasks to which God is calling us. And let’s do so TODAY!  

Thanks for stopping by . . . 
pj

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

At the Heart of Being a Follower of Jesus Christ

Did you ever stop and think about what is at the very heart of being a follower of Jesus? Is it giving to the poor? Standing up for justice? Bible reading and prayer? Personal and corporate worship? Tithing to one's church? Sharing the faith with those outside the faith? Now, it is true that all of these things will be done by a true disciple of Christ. But none of these, taken alone, is the very heart of following Jesus. So ... if not these, then what?

We don't have to guess about the answer or google to find it. Jesus already gave it to us. The answer is found in his final instructions to the Church. In what is known as his Great Commission, he tells us that our mission must be to "make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you" (See Matthew 28:18-20 for the entire text). You see, at the very heart of following Jesus is not just KNOWING the commands of Jesus, but OBSERVING them. The Church is called upon to make disciples who practice God-honoring, Kingdom-advancing obedience to the Word of God. So when you and I, who have chosen to follow the Lord of the universe, CHOOSE to obey his commands, even at personal cost to us ... we prove that we are truly HIS DISCIPLES. And in the process, Jesus gets glory and we get blessed! There is no more fulfilling blessing than the blessing of God! 

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj  

Are You Preparing for Eternity?

Our journey on earth is but a breath ... a heart beat when compared to the expanse of Eternity. We all must remember that how we live live in the here and now will impact our experience in the then and there.

Thoughts on how biblical truth impacts all of life.