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Showing posts from June, 2014

Friday Coffee with PJ

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Ahh .... morning coffee time! Yes! The best way (at least for me) to start my day!  Thanks for joining me for a few random thoughts.

1. This week I read an article about a person who left the evangelical church. Now, I will ignore the need to define "evangelical" (although I perhaps should define it, because the term is such a broad one and means many different things to many different people). This person claimed that, among other things, she became disillusioned with the "lilteral" approach to interpreting the Bible. In her own words, "I have long had trouble with a literal reading of the Bible that deliberately ignores the historical, sociological, and religious contexts in which the various Biblical texts were written." As I reflected on that ... I thought, Hmm. I have heard this argument against a "literal" reading of the Bible so often (and I believe her view of a "literal" interpretation of the Bible is certainly NOT my view ..…

A Prayer for Your Wednesday

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We can learn much from those who have gone before us in the faith. These men and women have left behind a wealth of biblical writings and devotional thoughts. Many of these individuals had a fervent faith that we need to imitate. I hope from time to time you will make an effort to spend some time reading what these saints of yesteryear have left for us to examine. With a little bit of effort, we can mine many gold nuggets of great value that will provide us with much encouragement for our own spiritual journey.

Here is an old prayer and a great prayer. I would encourage you to spend a few moments praying it back to God. You will be better for it!

Gracious and holy Father,  please give me: Intellect to understand you;  Reason to discern you; Diligence to seek you; Wisdom to find you; A spirit to know you; A heart to meditate upon you; Ears to hear you; Eyes to see you; A tongue to proclaim you; A way of life pleasing to you; Patience to wait for you; and Perseverance to look for you.

Is the same-sex marriage battle lost?

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Many have spoken to me of late as to their discouragement concerning the apparent demise of traditional marriage and the growing acceptance of homosexual marriage. I encourage you to take a few moments to read what Jim Denison has to say about the battle for marriage as defined by our Creator-God.


Is the same-sex marriage battle lost?

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

Friday Coffee with PJ

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Ahh ... time for that wonderful cup of coffee! Why not pour yourself a cup and join me for a few random thoughts.

1. On our recent vacation, my wife and I enjoyed the 1.5 mile hike up the gorge in Watkins Glen State Park. The climb up involved over 800 steps (fortunately not all at once). The trail follows the stream which runs through the gorge. It is a fabulously beautiful (at at times refreshingly wet) hike! As I think back on how the rushing waters turn this way and that as they cascade down through the gorge, I think of what God tells us in Proverbs that a king's heart is like a stream of water that God turns as HE wills (Proverbs 21:1). Even the "mightiest" on earth are not independent of the will of Almighty God! Certainly this reality should bring us much comfort in these turbulent days in which we live! Our sovereign God has a plan and he is working that plan! And there is absolutely NOthing that can stop Him!

2. Also on our vacation, we connected with some lon…

Friday Coffee with PJ

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As you pour your cup of Joe (and I hope you enjoy yours as much as I do!), please pull up a chair and join me for just a couple of random thoughts. 

1. For the past number of years, I have served on the board of a small Jewish mission with an every growing ministry! Hebrew Christian Fellowship has been engaged in reaching Jews for Messiah Jesus since 1943! Among the number of affilitated ministries in the land of Israel is Israel College of Bible. Erez Soref, the president of ICB has been to Grace Church twice in the past. In recent years, the college has seen an explosion of growth of an ever expanding student population. And what is most exciting about the students is not the number of them ... but who they are. The student body includes both Israeli Jews AND Arabs! All coming together as one to study God's Word!  One of the ministries of ICB is Five Alive. It is a weekly video devotional based on one of the five books of Moses (hence the name FIVE alive!). David Salinger, son of…

"Mirror, mirror on the wall . . . "

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"Mirror, mirror on the wall" are familiar words to children of all ages. Spoken by the wicked queen in the tale of Snow White, they flow out of a heart of vanity and pride. We Christians would do well to follow her example of looking in the mirror. But not some magic mirror. Rather, it is the mirror of God's word that we must stand before and look (James 1:22-25). To help you do so, here are some great questions for self evaluation, written almost 60  years ago by A. W. Tozer.in his book, The Root of the Righteous. They are as probing and penetrating now as they were then!

1. Of what do we think when we are free to think of what we will?
2. What object gives us inward pleasure as we brood over it?
3. Over what do we muse in our free moments?
4. To what does our imagination return again and again? 
I encourage you to spend some time reflecting on these questions. Then measure your answers with what God's Word says is important! You will be better for it! 
Thanks for …

Friday Coffee with PJ

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It's that time again to grab you favorite cup of morning brew (or if it's later in the day, perhaps some other beverage) and join me for a few random, but I trust, relevant thoughts.

1. Life can be hard. Very hard at times. When difficulties crash into our lives and bowl us over, it is very easy to lose perspective. When that happens, we often (not always, but far too often) tend to cast a blaming look toward heaven. After all, if God is indeed sovereign and in control of all things, then he could have easily kept this trial from causing us so much pain. Right? My friend, it is at this point that we must proceed with faith. Yes, God is sovereign, but yes God is good. And when "stuff happens" that crushes the life out of us, we must, by faith, recall to our minds that the God who loved us enough to die for us still has us firmly in his grip. Whatever is happening to us and around us is part of his good and perfect plan for us. Ultimately it is all for HIS glory and o…

Serve One Another!

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Recently I took my Nissan Versa to the Nissan dealership where I bought it. They serviced and inspected the vehicle.  They told me it would take about an hour or so to complete.  Sure enough, just a bit over an hour later, I was out the door and on my way.  I wish more of life worked as smoothly!
The next day I received a follow-up email from the dealership.  They asked me a few short questions about the service I received and then thanked me for bringing the car to them.  As I completed the brief survey, I remember thinking to myself, “Now that’s how to run a business!”  Here was a car dealership that really cared about me and what I thought about their service.  
God calls us to service – not ourselves (which is what so many of us spend most of our time doing!) – but others!  In Galatians 5:13 the Apostle Paul writes ”You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.” As we strive to obey God’s co…

Don't Bash ... Do Pray!

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When our president's decisions, as the one yesterday which resulted in the freeing of five "hardest of the hardcore" (John McCain's words) Taliban prisoners, it is easy to begin "Obama bashing!" Now by this I am not referring to the asking of legitimate questions in a civil manner. No. Bashing goes way beyond this. Bashing involves name calling, character assassination and more! Is this an appropriate response to for a Christ follower ... no matter how wrong we might believe his decisions to be?

God gives the answer to this question in his Word, and it is found in 1 Timothy 2:1-2: God calls us to pray for those in authority (which obviously would include our president). So as Christians who desire to put into practice God's Word, let's put off the bashing and put on praying in its place. Yes ... continue to engage in the political discussion. Weigh in with your disagreement (and the reasons for it). But as you do so ... please don't forget to p…