It's Friday ... meaning it's time to pour yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy (I hope) some spiritual meanderings with me.

1. For anyone who lives within 100 miles or so of where I live, last weekend's snow storm is one that we all will loooonnnnngggg remember! The storm dumped just shy of 2 1/2 feet of snow on Willow Street, Pa (where I currently live). Across the course of two days, I spent somewhere between 5-6 hours in snow removal. Digging out of that much snow is not much fun at all! I am just very thankful that I do have a snow blower ... not the biggest ... but still able to handle the snow in my driveway (of course, I had to do it in shifts). Now I must admit that I did my share of complaining. I loved snow as a kid. But now ... let's just say that love affair has long been over! Yet as I complained about the snow I was in fact, complaining against God. Really? How so? In Job 37:6 we are told that God tells the snow to fall. God is sovereign over the weather .. yes? And here we see that means he is sovereign over the snow. So, for whatever reason (and given the wisdom of Almighty God it was a good reason), God allowed this storm to form and dump this snow upon us. But, not only he sovereign over the weather (and the storms it brings), he is sovereign over our lives (and the storms life brings). None of us like to "weather" the storms of life. They bring pain, grief, sorrow. But in the midst of them, we must learn to trust God in our belief that all things work together for his glory and our good (Romans 8:28-29; James 1:2-4).

2. If you are anything like me, I am sure you can get discouraged when you read a book or an article which tells you to attempt big things and expect God to then accomplish great things through you. And so you do your best at thinking, praying, doing "Big," Yet (at least from your perspective) you have little to show for your efforts. Now ... I am not saying we should not think "Big" in our living for the king, but we should not neglect the "small." Take a moment to read the article, Do Something Small for God. I think you will find much encouragement to do the small things God is calling each of us to do every day!

3. Far more often than I would like I hear of a fallen leader in the evangelical world. Whether it be money or sex (or both), the end result is the same: a damaged (if not shattered) ministry and a lot of broken and bitter people. And you can count on the media to make the most of these rather juicy news morsels. These "falls from grace" are indeed tragic.  At the same time, however, they are not totally surprising.  Even though as followers of Christ we are forgiven – we are not perfect.  We all are tempted to sin – and all too often we give in!  Before we look down our spiritual noses at these fallen spiritual leaders – let us each commit to look elsewhere.  Let’s determine to take a long hard look within – at our own hearts. Proverbs 4:23 urges us to “above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life!”  Here is one of the many reasons the book of Proverbs is called the Book of Wisdom.  One of the wisest steps we can take in life is to be guarding (24/7/365) our hearts.  How about you?  Are you guarding your heart against temptation and sin?  All too often we leave our guard down and in so doing leave many others down too.  My friend – PLEASE ABOVE ALL ELSE (i.e. make it one of life’s top priorities) GUARD YOUR HEART for out of it flow all the issues of life!

Thanks for stopping by . . .

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Friday Coffee with PJ

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