PJ

PJ

Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday Coffee with PJ

It's that time of the week again. So go ahead and pour a cup of your favorite Joe. And as you enjoy it, think on these random thoughts.

1. Kaci Hickox is a nurse. But she is not just any nurse. She just may be the most talked about nurse in America right now. If her name doesn't ring a bell let me remind you of who she is. She recently spent time in West Africa treating Ebola patients. Upon arrival back in the states, she was placed in a tent under quarantine for three days at the Newark airport. During that time she went on record as believing her constitutional rights were being violated. Since being released from that quarantine, she has returned to her home in Maine. She is under orders to remain at home. But in a newscast which I saw Wednesday evening, she made it clear in no uncertain terms that she had no intentions of doing so. Even as I am writing this blog post, I just saw an Internet report that she left her home this morning to take a bicycle ride. Now… I am no health expert. And I know that there are some health experts who say a quarantine for those returning from treating Ebola patients in West Africa is not necessary. Even our president does not believe it is necessary. My question in all this is simply: what has happened common sense? Can this nurse who is being so defiant, insisting on her own rights, be absolutely certain that she is not infected with the Ebola virus? She needs to learn, and all of us need to be reminded, that our own individual rights extend only as far as our nose. The stakes are high, and if we make any error it needs to be on the side of caution. And as for Kaci's attitude, on the one hand I am somewhat surprised that someone who would sacrifice to travel to West Africa to treat Ebola patients would on her return display such a selfish attitude. We, too, must beware of self-centeredness. It is after all the default setting of our fallen humanity.

2. Eric Frein has been on the run since September 12th. That's 49 days that he has been able to elude police. Of course, there are number of reasons for this. The area where he is hiding is quite remote. In addition, he has had at least two years in the planning of this horrendous crime and his plan to hide - so no one knows how many hiding places he had carefully prepared. However the day is coming, when he will be found. Law-enforcement will continue their search and will not stop until they get their man. In a similar way, humanity is running from God. But there is coming a day when God will also get his man. And when I use the word "man" I am referring to all of humanity. The Bible's final book describes the scene in Revelation 20:11-15. If you have any questions about your readiness to face God, please take some time to check out, Two Ways to Live: The Choice We All Face. 

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Maneuvering a Big Load

This morning I watched an extra long 18 wheeler back up and turn around. As the truck drove on its way, I just shook my head and chuckled as I tried to imagine myself at the wheel doing the same. Never happen. I can't even back up and turn my little Nissan around without working up a sweat!

Life is a lot like this. We all have to maneuver big loads at times. The load might consist of health issues (hmm ... I can relate to that one!), financial pressure, relational conflicts ... and the list goes on and on. But always remember ... no matter the load, no matter how big, you do NOT have to carry it alone. God in the person of the Holy Spirit is your constant companion (John 14:16-17), and his shoulders are much broader than yours! So allow him to help you carry whatever it is that is loading you down. Life will be hard at times ... but God will always be good (Psalm 23:6)!

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday coffee with PJ

I've already enjoyed 2 cups of my favorite brew, and I am considering a third. And it's only 8:00 in the morning. This morning's post will be brief, as I am still moving quite slow as result of my recovery from my surgery five weeks ago. I would appreciate your prayers as I return to the orthopedic surgeon next Tuesday, and then walk across the hall to see the physical therapist. My therapy is supposed to begin "in earnest" this upcoming week (gulp!).

1. One of the keys to personal evangelism is relationship. As one writer states, "Evangelism for most Christians comes, not out of giftedness, but out of relationship." The first key relationship is that of a dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ. We don't begin to "fish" until we first follow Jesus (Matthew 4:19). The second relationship that has huge implications for evangelism is involvement in a personal way with people who don't know Christ. One look at Jesus and how he related to the loss people around him, and you will see among other things compassion (Matthew 9:36-38). So if you want to be used by God to reach the lost, ask yourself how you're doing with these two key relationships.

2. Our God is known as a "covenant-keeping God" and with good reason! Throughout both the Old and New Testaments, God is seen as one who makes covenants and keeps covenants (Genesis 9:9, Genesis 15:8, Exodus 19:5, Deuteronomy 7:9, Mark 14:24, Hebrews 8:8, etc., etc., etc.). In other words he is very different from us in this regard. Not that we don't make promises. But all too often the promises we do make we break. Sometimes intentionally and sometimes not. So whereas God is a Promise Keeper by his very nature, we in our sinful, broken, fallen nature are not. But we can find great encouragement in God's character in regard to his promises. For every time we pray it is to this faithful covenant-keeping God that we pray. That my friend should spur us on to pray better and to pray more!

Thanks for stopping by,
PJ

PS - Post not as brief as I had anticipated ... just got going on these vital topics that I hope spur you on in your journey of grace!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Be Real!

The other day as my wife (a.k.a. "Grammy") was watching our 2 1/2-year-old granddaughter, Molly. She approached my wife and said, "let's play!" She then went on and said "let's be real." What she was trying to communicate was that whatever she had on her mind to play, she didn't want to just pretend. She wanted to "be real!"

That's good advice for all of us who claim to follow Jesus. We need to be real. Too many of us wear masks which hide the real us from those we encounter. We do so for a variety of reasons. Sometimes we are ashamed for people to see us for who we really are. At other times we want to impress people and so we pretend to be something that we are not. But what people really need to see is that we are real people. We have real problems, real struggles, real ups and real downs. Yet in the midst of all of that "realness," they need to see our real relationship with Jesus Christ. So… How is your relationship with Jesus these days? When people look at you, talk to you, listen to you… does your relationship with Jesus Christ shine through?

Thanks for stopping by,
PJ

Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Coffee with PJ

Thanks for stopping by for today's edition of Friday coffee with PJ!

1. Sometimes when I watch the national news on television, or read Internet news reports, I sometimes get the feeling that the media doesn't merely report the news, but in reality makes the news. The hype that is placed upon local and world events can be sometimes overwhelming. Everything is a crisis. And major steps must be taken before tragic consequences ensue. Now, I don't mean to minimize the severity of some of the events going on in our world today. Ebola. The advancement of ISIS. The weakness of the global economy. And the list could go on and on. These are things that we do need to be concerned about. But, we don't have to go into panic mode over them. When I read my Bible, I see that God is sovereign. He is Lord over all. That means all of these things I just mentioned (and the many more that I did not). As the sovereign God (Ephesians 1:19) he has a plan for us and our world. And in some incredibly mysterious way, he is able to weave even evil events into the tapestry of his plan with the end result that his will in the end shall be done ... for our good and his glory(Romans 8:28)!

2. Yesterday I measured over 4 inches of rain in my rain gauge (yeah I know I'm kind of a weird weather geek). Now that is a lot of rain (almost 10% of the average annual rainfall for Lancaster, PA)! When we first moved into our house, that amount of rain in that short of a period of time would have often meant a wet basement. But we have taken steps the past few years which have greatly reduced that threat. As a result, our basement remained dry yesterday, just as it has remained dry for the past couple of years in spite of monsoonal type rainfalls. But there may have been some yesterday who were not as fortunate, and came home from work only to be faced with water in their basement. However I do not believe this was widespread. Why so? Before yesterday's rain, we were facing a significant deficit in our rainfall. Since the ground was so dry, much of the rain soaked into the ground. If the ground had been already saturated, the situation would've probably been far different. All this to say, that sometimes heavy rains are welcome, as was the case yesterday. But there are other times that rainfalls of this magnitude are anything but welcome! It's all a matter of timing. This is true of many things in life. Always remember that God"s timing is perfect (Ecclesiastes 3:11)!

3. It has struck me recently as I have had conversations with a number of people, that how few of us truly listen to what others are saying to us. Being a good listener is a skill that must be learned. And once learned it must be intentionally put into practice. One of the greatest ways you can minister to someone today is just listen to them. In doing so you communicate to them that they are important to you and what they have to say really does matter. And that may just make their day!

Thanks again for stopping by…
 PJ

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Posture of True Strength

In one of the many blogs that I read during the week, I ran across the following quote that really got  me thinking: "You and I are only truly living to the degree that we surrender our lives to Jesus. . . . We often associate humility with weakness when in reality declaring our weakness before an Almighty God is the only posture of strength we can take" (Graig Denison). 

I am thinking that Craig may have had the apostle Paul's words in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 in mind. Or perhaps he was thinking of 1 Peter 5:5-6....or maybe something Isaiah the prophet said in Isaiah 57:15. The point I'm trying to make is this: What Denison wrote about the true posture of strength is consistent with what God tells us in his word. True strength comes our way only as we own up to our weakness and turn to the one who is the pillar of strength. How about you? Are you surrendering yourself to Jesus Christ today? Are you leaning on his strength, realizing that any strength you can conjure up on your own is a mere pittance? Today live out the words of Proverbs 3:5–6 ... By God's grace and for his glory of course! You will be better for it!


Thanks for stopping by…

Pj

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday coffee with PJ

Well it's that time again to pour yourself a cup of your favorite coffee and join me for just a few random type thoughts.

1.  I don't know about you, but I find myself so much more prone to grumble, gripe, and complain than I am to be thankful. Yet I have much more to be thankful for in my life than to complain about. And why is that? The Scripture is clear. The only thing I deserve in life is the judgment of God. I was born a rebel. I continue to sin. And therefore, I deserve God's judgment. However, in his grace and mercy, God has judged my sin and rebellion through the death of his son Jesus Christ! So now I do not have to fear ever facing God's wrath for my sin because Jesus already did so! In addition, God graces me every single day. He gives me life, health, a home, family, sight, hearing, and the list goes on and on and on! The Thanksgiving holiday is a mere seven weeks from today. But let's not wait till Thanksgiving to begin cultivating a thankful heart. My friends we have so very much for which to thank our generous and gracious God (James 1:17)! Take a moment and spend some time counting your blessings and thanking the God who gives them to you (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

2. Last Saturday afternoon, My wife and I spent time with our three children and their children exploring Cherry Crest Adventure Farm. We had a boatload of fun! The picture shows my two grandsons, Nolan age three (Brown and orange hat) and Jack age four (Blue hat) looking at a map of the farm as they were discussing what they should do next. This is one of those absolutely cute moments of grand parenting. I was very glad I was able to capture it in a photo. In a similar way, even us adults have those same kinds of questions. As we journey through life, we often come to crossroads. At those times we must make a decision as to where we will head next. I hope as you come to your crossroads, you will look to God, asking him for his wisdom to help you make the best decision. And remember, any decision that will pull you away from God, is certainly not on his road map for your life.

Thanks for stopping by,
Pj

"We still tend to value comfort and pleasure more than we love redemption." (Paul Tripp)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Change in Wardrobe

Yesterday was my day off. It was also an "errand" day. Leaving the house about 10:45 in the morning, my wife and I were out and about until we arrived home close to 5pm. Our stops included the physical therapist, the bank, Walmart, Cracker Barrel (for a good old-fashioned lunch at a good old-fashioned price), the Mennonite home (where my mother-in-law resides), and Boscovs department store at the mall. All in all it was a very busy and very productive day!

Now our stops at Walmart and Boscov's were somewhat related. I have had to do a wardrobe readjustment these past couple of weeks. With first a cast and now a brace on my left arm, I have had to alter some t-shirts and sweatshirts to be able to get them on. So the stop at Walmart was to buy an extra large fleece (one which I could more easily pull over my brace) so I could stay warm in these cooler October temperatures. The Boscov stop, enabled me to pick up some very affordable T-shirts and sweatshirts to replace the altered ones that will eventually be used as cleaning rags.

As I reflected on this, I got to thinking about the wardrobe change the New Testament calls for. Several times we are told to "put off" and "put on." Specifically we are to work at putting off all that characterized our old life prior to our faith commitment to Jesus Christ. Then, we are to put on all that should mark our new life in Christ (Romans 13:11-13; Ephesians 4:21-23; Colossians 3:8-10).

What is something from your old life (think "before Christ") that you can put off today? Perhaps it might be a gossipy word about someone? Or a lustful glare? Or an unforgiving attitude toward someone who has wronged you? But whatever it may be, God calls you to put it off. And in its place put on a word, deed, attitude, motive… that will honor Jesus Christ! Only then will you be dressed in a way that will reflect positively on the gospel (Philippians 1:27)!

Thanks for stopping by,
Pj


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Pain with a Purpose

Yesterday I had my postop visit with my surgeon. A nurse first removed the cast and the stitches. Everything looked good. Even the surgeons initials which he wrote on my forearm with a purple marker were still visible. Up until yesterday, I really hadn't experienced a whole lot of pain. In fact, the doctor was a bit surprised that I did not take more pain med then I did. So I guess I have something to really be thankful for! However, once the cast was off and they fitted me with my new brace, I started having some pain. And the pain continued off and on throughout the rest of the day and even into this morning. Since I have quite a bit of physical therapy to go through, I'm going to guess that pain will be a rather constant if not welcomed companion of mine for the foreseeable future.

But that's not a bad thing. For starters, I have to get through the pain to find the healing that my arm needs. In addition, God uses pain in our life to refine us and to conform us to the image of his Son. In fact, the Bible often speaks about pain in a positive way. A quick look at James 1:2-4 and Romans 5:3-5 will make that plain. CS Lewis often referred to pain as the megaphone of God. So this morning I prayed and asked God that he would help me to be a good student ... that across the course of the next couple of months I would learn the lessons he desires for me to learn. Would you please pray along with me? Thank you so very much!

Thanks for stopping by,
Pj

Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday Coffee with PJ

It's that time of the week again. So go ahead and pour a cup of your favorite Joe. And as you enjoy it, think on these random thoughts.

1. Kaci Hickox is a nurse. But she is not just any nurse. She just may be the most talked about nurse in America right now. If her name doesn't ring a bell let me remind you of who she is. She recently spent time in West Africa treating Ebola patients. Upon arrival back in the states, she was placed in a tent under quarantine for three days at the Newark airport. During that time she went on record as believing her constitutional rights were being violated. Since being released from that quarantine, she has returned to her home in Maine. She is under orders to remain at home. But in a newscast which I saw Wednesday evening, she made it clear in no uncertain terms that she had no intentions of doing so. Even as I am writing this blog post, I just saw an Internet report that she left her home this morning to take a bicycle ride. Now… I am no health expert. And I know that there are some health experts who say a quarantine for those returning from treating Ebola patients in West Africa is not necessary. Even our president does not believe it is necessary. My question in all this is simply: what has happened common sense? Can this nurse who is being so defiant, insisting on her own rights, be absolutely certain that she is not infected with the Ebola virus? She needs to learn, and all of us need to be reminded, that our own individual rights extend only as far as our nose. The stakes are high, and if we make any error it needs to be on the side of caution. And as for Kaci's attitude, on the one hand I am somewhat surprised that someone who would sacrifice to travel to West Africa to treat Ebola patients would on her return display such a selfish attitude. We, too, must beware of self-centeredness. It is after all the default setting of our fallen humanity.

2. Eric Frein has been on the run since September 12th. That's 49 days that he has been able to elude police. Of course, there are number of reasons for this. The area where he is hiding is quite remote. In addition, he has had at least two years in the planning of this horrendous crime and his plan to hide - so no one knows how many hiding places he had carefully prepared. However the day is coming, when he will be found. Law-enforcement will continue their search and will not stop until they get their man. In a similar way, humanity is running from God. But there is coming a day when God will also get his man. And when I use the word "man" I am referring to all of humanity. The Bible's final book describes the scene in Revelation 20:11-15. If you have any questions about your readiness to face God, please take some time to check out, Two Ways to Live: The Choice We All Face. 

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Maneuvering a Big Load

This morning I watched an extra long 18 wheeler back up and turn around. As the truck drove on its way, I just shook my head and chuckled as I tried to imagine myself at the wheel doing the same. Never happen. I can't even back up and turn my little Nissan around without working up a sweat!

Life is a lot like this. We all have to maneuver big loads at times. The load might consist of health issues (hmm ... I can relate to that one!), financial pressure, relational conflicts ... and the list goes on and on. But always remember ... no matter the load, no matter how big, you do NOT have to carry it alone. God in the person of the Holy Spirit is your constant companion (John 14:16-17), and his shoulders are much broader than yours! So allow him to help you carry whatever it is that is loading you down. Life will be hard at times ... but God will always be good (Psalm 23:6)!

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday coffee with PJ

I've already enjoyed 2 cups of my favorite brew, and I am considering a third. And it's only 8:00 in the morning. This morning's post will be brief, as I am still moving quite slow as result of my recovery from my surgery five weeks ago. I would appreciate your prayers as I return to the orthopedic surgeon next Tuesday, and then walk across the hall to see the physical therapist. My therapy is supposed to begin "in earnest" this upcoming week (gulp!).

1. One of the keys to personal evangelism is relationship. As one writer states, "Evangelism for most Christians comes, not out of giftedness, but out of relationship." The first key relationship is that of a dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ. We don't begin to "fish" until we first follow Jesus (Matthew 4:19). The second relationship that has huge implications for evangelism is involvement in a personal way with people who don't know Christ. One look at Jesus and how he related to the loss people around him, and you will see among other things compassion (Matthew 9:36-38). So if you want to be used by God to reach the lost, ask yourself how you're doing with these two key relationships.

2. Our God is known as a "covenant-keeping God" and with good reason! Throughout both the Old and New Testaments, God is seen as one who makes covenants and keeps covenants (Genesis 9:9, Genesis 15:8, Exodus 19:5, Deuteronomy 7:9, Mark 14:24, Hebrews 8:8, etc., etc., etc.). In other words he is very different from us in this regard. Not that we don't make promises. But all too often the promises we do make we break. Sometimes intentionally and sometimes not. So whereas God is a Promise Keeper by his very nature, we in our sinful, broken, fallen nature are not. But we can find great encouragement in God's character in regard to his promises. For every time we pray it is to this faithful covenant-keeping God that we pray. That my friend should spur us on to pray better and to pray more!

Thanks for stopping by,
PJ

PS - Post not as brief as I had anticipated ... just got going on these vital topics that I hope spur you on in your journey of grace!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Be Real!

The other day as my wife (a.k.a. "Grammy") was watching our 2 1/2-year-old granddaughter, Molly. She approached my wife and said, "let's play!" She then went on and said "let's be real." What she was trying to communicate was that whatever she had on her mind to play, she didn't want to just pretend. She wanted to "be real!"

That's good advice for all of us who claim to follow Jesus. We need to be real. Too many of us wear masks which hide the real us from those we encounter. We do so for a variety of reasons. Sometimes we are ashamed for people to see us for who we really are. At other times we want to impress people and so we pretend to be something that we are not. But what people really need to see is that we are real people. We have real problems, real struggles, real ups and real downs. Yet in the midst of all of that "realness," they need to see our real relationship with Jesus Christ. So… How is your relationship with Jesus these days? When people look at you, talk to you, listen to you… does your relationship with Jesus Christ shine through?

Thanks for stopping by,
PJ

Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Coffee with PJ

Thanks for stopping by for today's edition of Friday coffee with PJ!

1. Sometimes when I watch the national news on television, or read Internet news reports, I sometimes get the feeling that the media doesn't merely report the news, but in reality makes the news. The hype that is placed upon local and world events can be sometimes overwhelming. Everything is a crisis. And major steps must be taken before tragic consequences ensue. Now, I don't mean to minimize the severity of some of the events going on in our world today. Ebola. The advancement of ISIS. The weakness of the global economy. And the list could go on and on. These are things that we do need to be concerned about. But, we don't have to go into panic mode over them. When I read my Bible, I see that God is sovereign. He is Lord over all. That means all of these things I just mentioned (and the many more that I did not). As the sovereign God (Ephesians 1:19) he has a plan for us and our world. And in some incredibly mysterious way, he is able to weave even evil events into the tapestry of his plan with the end result that his will in the end shall be done ... for our good and his glory(Romans 8:28)!

2. Yesterday I measured over 4 inches of rain in my rain gauge (yeah I know I'm kind of a weird weather geek). Now that is a lot of rain (almost 10% of the average annual rainfall for Lancaster, PA)! When we first moved into our house, that amount of rain in that short of a period of time would have often meant a wet basement. But we have taken steps the past few years which have greatly reduced that threat. As a result, our basement remained dry yesterday, just as it has remained dry for the past couple of years in spite of monsoonal type rainfalls. But there may have been some yesterday who were not as fortunate, and came home from work only to be faced with water in their basement. However I do not believe this was widespread. Why so? Before yesterday's rain, we were facing a significant deficit in our rainfall. Since the ground was so dry, much of the rain soaked into the ground. If the ground had been already saturated, the situation would've probably been far different. All this to say, that sometimes heavy rains are welcome, as was the case yesterday. But there are other times that rainfalls of this magnitude are anything but welcome! It's all a matter of timing. This is true of many things in life. Always remember that God"s timing is perfect (Ecclesiastes 3:11)!

3. It has struck me recently as I have had conversations with a number of people, that how few of us truly listen to what others are saying to us. Being a good listener is a skill that must be learned. And once learned it must be intentionally put into practice. One of the greatest ways you can minister to someone today is just listen to them. In doing so you communicate to them that they are important to you and what they have to say really does matter. And that may just make their day!

Thanks again for stopping by…
 PJ

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Posture of True Strength

In one of the many blogs that I read during the week, I ran across the following quote that really got  me thinking: "You and I are only truly living to the degree that we surrender our lives to Jesus. . . . We often associate humility with weakness when in reality declaring our weakness before an Almighty God is the only posture of strength we can take" (Graig Denison). 

I am thinking that Craig may have had the apostle Paul's words in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 in mind. Or perhaps he was thinking of 1 Peter 5:5-6....or maybe something Isaiah the prophet said in Isaiah 57:15. The point I'm trying to make is this: What Denison wrote about the true posture of strength is consistent with what God tells us in his word. True strength comes our way only as we own up to our weakness and turn to the one who is the pillar of strength. How about you? Are you surrendering yourself to Jesus Christ today? Are you leaning on his strength, realizing that any strength you can conjure up on your own is a mere pittance? Today live out the words of Proverbs 3:5–6 ... By God's grace and for his glory of course! You will be better for it!


Thanks for stopping by…

Pj

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday coffee with PJ

Well it's that time again to pour yourself a cup of your favorite coffee and join me for just a few random type thoughts.

1.  I don't know about you, but I find myself so much more prone to grumble, gripe, and complain than I am to be thankful. Yet I have much more to be thankful for in my life than to complain about. And why is that? The Scripture is clear. The only thing I deserve in life is the judgment of God. I was born a rebel. I continue to sin. And therefore, I deserve God's judgment. However, in his grace and mercy, God has judged my sin and rebellion through the death of his son Jesus Christ! So now I do not have to fear ever facing God's wrath for my sin because Jesus already did so! In addition, God graces me every single day. He gives me life, health, a home, family, sight, hearing, and the list goes on and on and on! The Thanksgiving holiday is a mere seven weeks from today. But let's not wait till Thanksgiving to begin cultivating a thankful heart. My friends we have so very much for which to thank our generous and gracious God (James 1:17)! Take a moment and spend some time counting your blessings and thanking the God who gives them to you (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

2. Last Saturday afternoon, My wife and I spent time with our three children and their children exploring Cherry Crest Adventure Farm. We had a boatload of fun! The picture shows my two grandsons, Nolan age three (Brown and orange hat) and Jack age four (Blue hat) looking at a map of the farm as they were discussing what they should do next. This is one of those absolutely cute moments of grand parenting. I was very glad I was able to capture it in a photo. In a similar way, even us adults have those same kinds of questions. As we journey through life, we often come to crossroads. At those times we must make a decision as to where we will head next. I hope as you come to your crossroads, you will look to God, asking him for his wisdom to help you make the best decision. And remember, any decision that will pull you away from God, is certainly not on his road map for your life.

Thanks for stopping by,
Pj

"We still tend to value comfort and pleasure more than we love redemption." (Paul Tripp)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Change in Wardrobe

Yesterday was my day off. It was also an "errand" day. Leaving the house about 10:45 in the morning, my wife and I were out and about until we arrived home close to 5pm. Our stops included the physical therapist, the bank, Walmart, Cracker Barrel (for a good old-fashioned lunch at a good old-fashioned price), the Mennonite home (where my mother-in-law resides), and Boscovs department store at the mall. All in all it was a very busy and very productive day!

Now our stops at Walmart and Boscov's were somewhat related. I have had to do a wardrobe readjustment these past couple of weeks. With first a cast and now a brace on my left arm, I have had to alter some t-shirts and sweatshirts to be able to get them on. So the stop at Walmart was to buy an extra large fleece (one which I could more easily pull over my brace) so I could stay warm in these cooler October temperatures. The Boscov stop, enabled me to pick up some very affordable T-shirts and sweatshirts to replace the altered ones that will eventually be used as cleaning rags.

As I reflected on this, I got to thinking about the wardrobe change the New Testament calls for. Several times we are told to "put off" and "put on." Specifically we are to work at putting off all that characterized our old life prior to our faith commitment to Jesus Christ. Then, we are to put on all that should mark our new life in Christ (Romans 13:11-13; Ephesians 4:21-23; Colossians 3:8-10).

What is something from your old life (think "before Christ") that you can put off today? Perhaps it might be a gossipy word about someone? Or a lustful glare? Or an unforgiving attitude toward someone who has wronged you? But whatever it may be, God calls you to put it off. And in its place put on a word, deed, attitude, motive… that will honor Jesus Christ! Only then will you be dressed in a way that will reflect positively on the gospel (Philippians 1:27)!

Thanks for stopping by,
Pj


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Pain with a Purpose

Yesterday I had my postop visit with my surgeon. A nurse first removed the cast and the stitches. Everything looked good. Even the surgeons initials which he wrote on my forearm with a purple marker were still visible. Up until yesterday, I really hadn't experienced a whole lot of pain. In fact, the doctor was a bit surprised that I did not take more pain med then I did. So I guess I have something to really be thankful for! However, once the cast was off and they fitted me with my new brace, I started having some pain. And the pain continued off and on throughout the rest of the day and even into this morning. Since I have quite a bit of physical therapy to go through, I'm going to guess that pain will be a rather constant if not welcomed companion of mine for the foreseeable future.

But that's not a bad thing. For starters, I have to get through the pain to find the healing that my arm needs. In addition, God uses pain in our life to refine us and to conform us to the image of his Son. In fact, the Bible often speaks about pain in a positive way. A quick look at James 1:2-4 and Romans 5:3-5 will make that plain. CS Lewis often referred to pain as the megaphone of God. So this morning I prayed and asked God that he would help me to be a good student ... that across the course of the next couple of months I would learn the lessons he desires for me to learn. Would you please pray along with me? Thank you so very much!

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.