Friday morning coffee with PJ time! I hope you are ready to enjoy a hot cup of coffee and a few random thoughts ... the coffee will warm your bod .... and I hope the thoughts will draw you to God!

1. Meditation. When we hear this word, we often envision a group of monks dressed in flowing robes, surrounded by a cloud of incense, chanting as they "empty" their minds of any thoughts of this world in order to focus on a mystical, other-worldly (and non existent!) god. Therefore, we who have chosen to follow Jesus often dismiss any thought of meditating. After all, its for eastern mystics ... right? Wrong! The Bible uses the world "meditate" in some form about two dozen times. As we examine these occurrences, it becomes very evident very quickly, that the Bible's portrayal of mediation is nothing like what is mentioned above. The Bible is clear. When we meditate, we are to meditate upon the Scriptures (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:1-3). This meditation is not something we should do if we can squeeze it in once in a while ... but rather it is something God calls us to practice "day and night!" Given the importance placed upon meditating on the Scripture ... what does that look like? I encourage you to take the time to read the article, Five Steps to Meditating on the Bible. You will be better for it!

2. Recently I have been struck by the number of commercials I have seen promoting products that will supposedly help pets live long and prosperous lives. In addition, on more than one occasion I 
have scratched my head at television news reports of some tragedy involving an animal. It just seems to me that increasingly our society is valuing animal life while at the same time devaluing human life (PLEASE ... don't get me wrong. Even though I have not pets in my house at the present time, I have had them in the past. I really do love animals!). But when more of an outcry is made over dying or dead chickens than millions of unborn human babies ... something is wrong. Very wrong! I happen to believe that human life begins at conception. Therefore, to destroy an "fetus" is to destroy a human life. If you would like to further investigate why I believe abortion is wrong, check out Ten Reasons Why It Is Wrong to Take the Life of Unborn Children. And if you do happen to agree with me, then let me ask you, What have you done of late to help save some of these yet-to-be-born babies? If you don't know what you can do to help ... check out the website for Susquehanna Valley Pregnancy Services.

3. In the midst of all the ups and downs of the past 7 weeks since my wife's knee replacement, I have continued my Sunday morning teaching through the New Testament book of 1 Thessalonians. The church in Thessalonica was a young church. But it was also a suffering church. Birthed in the midst of chaos and persecution ... that continues long after the Apostle Paul and his church planting companion Silas, were run out of town. And it was to this young and suffering church that Paul wrote this first of two letters addressed to this group of first century believers. Last Sunday's passage yielded some principles that help us persevere through life's difficulties. The following day, I received this email which strengthened my weary soul:

Dear Pastor John, 

I believe God is birthing something new among us, something more than just the daughter church. The Holy Spirit is at work in each of us in powerful ways through the trials we are facing. We are all learning to depend on Him more completely.

Your message yesterday was God's provision for all of us as we face these "labor pains" - take God at His Word, stand together as His church, and look ahead to our blessed hope!
Praying for you and Sharon today!

Thanks for stopping by . . . 

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Friday Coffee with PJ

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