Showing posts from December, 2014

Making and Breaking Those Dreaded New Year's Resolutions

As we approach the beginning of a new year, there is something inside of us that awakens to say, "Hey, don't you think it's time to make some changes?" And so many of us will sit down and make a list of goals or resolutions that we are determined to keep (unlike every previous year where we make it to the third week of January at best - and I speak from experience!). So should we just throw out this urge to come up with a list of new year's resolutions? Not at all. But I do think we should approach the process with some good old common sense. So ... here is PJ's common sense approach to making resolutions that stick. 
1. Keep your list short. I suggest you take stock of how your doing by examining each of five major areas of life: physical, intellectual, spiritual, financial, relational. After a good long (and HONEST) look in your mirror, identify one glaring need for improvement in each of these five areas. So ... when you draw up your resolutions, you will…

Twas the Day before Christmas

Twas The Day Before Christmas                            
And deep in my heart Was a compelling desire To dash off to Wal Mart!
But I fought off the urge  And instead opened God’s Book To Luke’s second chapter  Where I took a long look. 
For in Luke chapter two  We hear the angels proclaim A message of peace, hope and joy As they tell how Jesus came.
“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth, peace, goodwill to men!”  This is the message of Christmas Day, An indescribable gift from God. Amen! 
Merry Christmas! 
Thanks for stopping by . . .  pj

Christmas Caroling, Inc.

As a youngster growing up in the city of Harrisburg, my friends and I discovered a cool (perhaps I should say cold!) way to make money around the holidays.  I don’t recall how the discovery was made, but I do remember how thrilled we were with it.  We found out that by going door-to-door singing Christmas carols, people would invite us in out of the cold and give us steaming hot chocolate to warm our cold little bodies.  To go along with the hot chocolate, they would offer us a wide array of delicious home-baked Christmas cookies.  And often, as we said our good-byes, they would give us each some money.  Either we looked pretty poor and they felt sorry for us – or they viewed us as cheap holiday entertainment! I must say, we made out pretty well the two Christmas seasons we went caroling!

Last Thursday evening, I was at it again!  Our Life Group caroled at the Presbyterian Home in Quarryville. And again, we made out pretty well.  This time it was not because of the hot chocolate, cooki…

To Lighten Up Your Day

Here are a few "clean" jokes I recently ran across that I thought might bring a smile to your face. Enjoy!

About Wedding Attire
A little girl finally got to attend a wedding for the first time. While in the church, the girl asked her mother: “why is the bride dressed in white?” The mother replied to the girl: “because white is the color of happiness and it’s the happiest day of her life today.”
After a little bit, the girl looks up at her mother and says: “But, then why is the groom wearing black?”

About Marriage and Coffee
Shortly after tying the knot, a young married couple started arguing over who should make the coffee. Being a good Christian woman, the wife went to the scriptures for her answer. She said that the Bible specifically stated that men should be the ones to make the coffee.
Puzzled, the husband asked her where in the Bible it said that. Very confidently, the wife opened up her Bible and said: “It’s right here—HEBREWS.”

In Sunday School
During a Sunday school lesson…

A Wonderful Staycation

Last week, I enjoyed a week off. But unlike most of our vacations during which we spend at least some time away from home ... this time we were at home for the entire week.  The reason we took a "staycation" was due to my arm and my wife's knee. That might sound a bit strange. But I had some scheduled physical therapy to go to ... and my wife was scheduled to undergo an MRI on her knee, with a follow up with the orthopedic later in the week (at which she received a cortisone injection and returns for another evaluation in 6 weeks). But in between those health related appointments, we did manage to have a great time of kicking back and getting some down time (and spending some extra "quiet" time with God).

Among other things, we enjoyed one meal with a group of friends and another with my twin brother and his wife. We finished our Christmas shopping while browsing the shops of East Main Street in Lititz. We checked out our son-in-law's new district office (…

Friday Coffee with PJ

I just love the smell of freshly brewed coffee. And when the weather outside is a bit frigid, it tastes all the better! So ... pour yourself a cup of your favorite joe ... and join me for a few random thoughts.

1. This past Tuesday I posted a request for continued prayer for me. But this time it was not about the struggles that I have had with my recovery from my biceps tendon surgery. Rather I was asking for prayer that focused on my walk with God (thanks to those of you who have been praying). Now when my post went live on Tuesday morning, little did I know that I had made a small omission that would have caused a HUGE stir if it had not been caught right away. Here's what happened.

We were in the middle of our staff meeting on Tuesday morning when one of my staffers got a text asking him if it was true that I had committed some sort of moral sin that would disqualify me from my pastoral ministry. Puzzled and a bit stunned, he leaned over to me and told me about the text. I kne…

Please Keep Praying!

Across the course of the past almost three months, I have often asked you to pray for me. These requests have centered on the surgery to repair my torn biceps tendon and the subsequent recovery. Again, I ask you to continue to pray for my recovery as I "keep on keeping on" with the physical therapy.

But this morning, I want to ask you to pray for me concerning my walk with God. No, I have not strayed. I have not fallen into a sin which would disqualify me from continuing in my pastoral ministry. But I do want to walk closer with God. With that in mind, when you think of me, please pray for the following:

1. That I would walk in a greater dependence upon the Holy Spirit's work in my life (Ephesians 5:18-20).

2. That I would push back from the demands of ministry to PRAY (Luke 5:15-16).

3. That I would walk worthy of my calling (Colossians 1:9-10).

4. That I would love my wife as Christ loves His Church (Ephesians 5:25).

5. That I would be the kind of pastor that God desi…