Showing posts from July, 2014

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Friday Coffee with PJ

Well ... running a bit late this morning. Already had my coffee ... may have another cup. But for what they're worth, here are a couple of random thoughts for your day.

1. All of us need daily reminders. In fact, both the App Store (Apple) and Google Play (Google's version of Apple's App Store) have numerous offerings to help us remember the stuff of life. But there are some really important things that we need to remind ourselves of on a daily basis.These are big realities about God and us that can easily get pushed aside. And when that happens, we can lose our grip on what really does matter in life. Take a moment and read Ten Big Daily Reminders, one of Desiring God's most read blog posts of all time. You will be better for it!

2.  A cease fire accord was signed Wednesday by the warring factions in the Central African Republic. So perhaps this is a good first step toward greater stability in this impoverished and war weary country. Please continue to pray for the p…

A Quick Reconnect with a Friend!

This past week, our Fellowship of Churches conducted it's annual conference for adults (vs. the annual conference for youth known as Momentum).  Although I had planned to attend the entire conference, our plans changed at the last moment. Since the conference was being held in Washington, D.C., my wife and I were able to attend the final day. One of the many joys of the day was a brief reconnect with a dear friend from the heart of Africa. I first met Dr. Hibaile when he spoke at our church here in Lancaster back in 2007. Little did I realize then that two years later would see me ministering at his side in the Central African Republic. Since my trip there, three of us established a web site for the Friends of CIDEL (Center International for the Development of Ethical Leadership - Dr. Hibaile's ministry).

During the recent violence and instability in the CAR (here is an update on the situation) in which many people were killed and homes looted, Dr. Hibaile and his wife discus…

Friday coffee with PJ

Go ahead and pour your favorite brew (I hope it's coffee) and join me for a few random thoughts.

1. For the second week in a row I will have the privilege of officiating the memorial service for a follower of Christ. Now I am not really all that surprised that we have had a death in the church family two weeks running. It's happened before and will doubtless happen again.  Death is part of the package we call life. And Christians don't possess a "Get out of jail" card when it comes to the grave. In fact God's word says that it's appointed unto every one to die and after death comes judgment (Hebrews 9:27).  Given this realty that one out of every one dies, that means you and I will both one day die and then face judgment. So are you ready? Are you prepared to meet the God who made you? If you have any doubts about your readiness, I encourage you to check out Two Ways to Live: a Choice We All Face.

2. As I'm writing this, the news has just broken that…

Are You Bored with the Bible?

I am sure you have had the experience (more often, I'd guess, than you would like to admit) of opening your
Bible only to find yourself staring at blank pages. And when you close it, you've wondered what it was you just read.

I encourage you to take just five minutes to listen to Pastor and author John Piper as he answers the question, "Pastor John, what do you do when you find yourself bored of reading the Bible." Here's John Piper's answer! 

Thanks for stopping by . . . and SEIZE THE DAY by KNOWING and LIVING God's Word!

Friday Coffee with PJ

Currently on my second cup of coffee (or is it my third?) ... well, who's counting! Thanks for stopping by

1. Yesterday I performed one of my pastoral "duties." I officiated a memorial service. Increasingly in our society, funerals are seen as "celebrations: (in fact, the expression "celebration of life" is really in vogue -  as you will see when you read an obituary). Gone are the days of black attire and somber moods. Now its all about celebrating the good things a person did and being glad he or she is in a "better place" - wherever that might happen to be! The sad thing about many funerals today is that all the celebrating is not based on any solid foundation. Not so with the memorial service I was privileged to lead yesterday! The woman who had died had indeed left behind the fruit of a "well lived life." What made her life so was her devotion to Jesus Christ, her love for her family, and her compassion toward others. It w…

Defending the Bible

Yesterday I did a Google search for quotes about the Gospel. My search led me to the site,   As I read through the quotes, I noticed several quotes from Scripture. Several were quotes of Jesus, another was a quote of the Apostle Paul. What struck me was these quotes were all labeled "anonymous." Curiously, I clicked on "anonymous" which linked to another page. On this page, the reasons were given as to why a quote received the "anonymous" label. Here is what I read:

Books can be attributed to "Anonymous" for several reasons: 
* They are officially published under that name * They are traditional stories not attributed to a specific author * They are religious texts not generally attributed to a specific author

Upon reading this, I thought to myself, "Really? Since when are these "religious texts," these quotes from the Bible, not generally attributed to a specific author? Only a bias against the Scriptures could lead a…

When Germophobia Flies Over the Top!

The following list which was printed in this morning's Lancaster newspaper grabbed my attention:  The Top ten areas and objects to avoid during air travel. Here's the list:

Tray tables
Seat controls
Latches on overhead bins
Arm rests
Airplane bathrooms, especially the doorknobs
In flight magazines
Hand rails on escalators and shuttles
Chairs and seats
Airplane pillows and blankets
Luggage carts and wheelchairs

Hmm. As I looked over that list and thought of my flights last November to India, here's what ran through my mind:

Tray tables (Guess I could avoid this if I don't mind holding my food tray on my lap - sure hope the coffee is not that hot!)

Seat controls (No problem ... just sit straight up for some 16 hours or so)

Latches on overhead bins (I guess I could wear the same clothes for a week so I would not have to use the overhead bins; and medicine - who needs medicine especially if I avoid all these germs?!)

Arm rests (Tough one here ... do I check my arms when I…

Holiday Edition of Friday Coffee with PJ

It's that time again to pour yourself of the best beverage in the world ... and join me for a few random thoughts.

1. I had lunch the other day with someone who reads my blog. He asked me if I really enjoy coffee as much as I say I do on my blog. The answer? ABSOLUTELY! Of course, he is NOT a coffee drinker ... and so he just does not understand! But I can't think of a better way to start the day than A, B, C!

                       A - Acknowledge God's ownership of me and all the world
                       B - Bible, Bible, Bible - spending time reading and reflecting on God's Word
                       C - Consuming the best beverage in all the world - COFFEE!

Not only does coffee taste great, many believe it brings a number of benefits to those who consume it. To read about these, click here. Who knows, if you are not a coffee drinker now, perhaps after reading all of its benefits you just might decide to become one!

2. In light of the world cup, you just have …

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men

A poet once penned the following line, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”  All of us have experienced this truth (at least from the humanity side of things!). As I write this, the National Weather Service has posted a Hurricane Watch for much of North Carolina's Outer Banks. Tropical Storm Arthur is expected to intensify into a category one hurricane and brush the Outer Banks ... although a more substantial "strike" is not out of the question. This is forcing many vacationers, planning to head to the region for the Fourth of July holiday, to think about changing their plans .... if not in whole at least in part. As a result, there are a lot of eyes hungering to see each updated forecast from the National Hurricane Center. 

As I thing about this weather event, the following words from the Bible come to mind, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’S purpose that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21).  God is sovereign.  He is working out His purpose…

Why the Supreme Court's Decision Is So Important!

Yesterday the long awaited Supreme Court decision in the case of the Lancaster County based Conestoga Wood Specialties Inc., was handed down. Not surprisingly, the decision was a 5-4 split among the justices. Surprisingly (at least for me) they ruled in favor of Conestoga Wood Specialties (for Lancaster Online's coverage, click here).

So why does this all matter ... or doesn't it? And if it does matter, why?  To help you understand, I have listed below some thoughts by others who are much better thinkers and writers than me. If you take the time to read through what they have written, you will have a better  understanding of what this all means ... especially for religious liberty in our country (note, Hobby Lobby also sued the government, and since it is the larger of the two companies, its name is given the headline nationally).

Why Hobby Lobby Matters,by Russel Moore.

The Hobby Lobby Decision: A Big Win for Religious Liberty - and a Very Revealing Divide on the High Court, b…