Friday Coffee with PJ

It's good to be back with you all after a week of vacation. My wife and I traveled to up state Pennsylvania where we enjoyed a few days of total relaxation. But for now ... pour yourself a cup of coffee (go ahead Gary, you might actually enjoy it!) and join me for a few random thoughts.

1. One of our vacation stops was the quaint little town of Punxsutawney. Even though most of you have probably never set foot in this small town (last week was our first visit), you have doubtless heard of it and actually seen a portion of it on television and internet reports come every February 2nd (by the way, the Bill Murray movie, Groundhog Day, was NOT filmed in Punxsy ... it was filmed in Woodstock, IL). Punxsutawney is the home of the most famous groundhog in the world (sorry Octorara Orphie!). Every Groundhog Day, Punxsutawney Phil predicts whether or not we will have an early spring. If he sees his shadow and returns to his burrow, we will have 6 more weeks of winter. If he doesn't see his shadow, an early spring is just around the corner. According to a display located at Gobblers Knob, approximately 30,000 people descend upon Punxsatawney every February 2nd (my wife and I were trying to figure out where
they parked all the cars!). All to see some furry, chubby creature prognosticate the weather! I think it's sad that a groundhog can draw such a crowd ... but in many churches across America where the main attaction is God ... all too often people find a whole lot of excuses not to attend worship services. How about YOU? Do you make involvement in a church family a priority of your weekly schedule? If you don't, other things will quickly take its place and before you know it, you will be doing other things on Sundays. And that, my friend, will be to the detriment of your faith. 

2. Do you ever think about how our society is so interested in quick fixes.  If we have a problem (headache, need to lose weight, depressed, etc.) there must be a pill that we can take to solve our problem (now I realize there are times that popping a pill does help).  However, often the solution to a problem is far more involved than just a prescription.  Hard work, lifestyle adjustments, discipline – these are often what’s needed to overcome whatever it might be that continues to nag us. Take personal finances for example. All too often we are spending money we don't have to impress people we don' like. And because we want to keep up with everyone else around us when it comes to having the latest technology or a bigger house, we end up piling up our personal debt. And when the pile gets deep, we look for some sort of easy fix to get out of the mess we have made.  My friend, we could wish life’s problems could all have easy fixes. But they don't.  And when it comes to growing in our faith, Paul tells us to “discipline ourselves for godliness” (1 Timothy 4:12).  We need to stop looking for the quick fix.  Instead, let’s roll up our spiritual sleeves and get to work – striving to grasp spiritual maturity in Christ.  All by HIS grace and for HIS glory!

MID MORNING UPDATE: One blogger that I follow is Dr. Jim Denison. He writes on truth and culture from a biblical perspective. If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you should be familiar with his name and his writings. Jim lives in Dallas where, last night, law enforcement was hit hard (greatest loss of life in a single event since 9-11). As of this moment, five officers are dead. When I heard the news late last night, I was so troubled with this ... another act of violence following so many other acts of violence across the past couple of months ... that I found it difficult to sleep. I found encouragement in Jim's cultural commentary today. I encourage you to read it! 

Thanks for stopping by . . . 

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Friday Coffee with PJ

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