Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely , whatever is of good report, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, ponder on these things. - Philippians 4:8

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Making the best use of the time, Ephesians 5:16a (ESV)

      Some days really make you wonder why you ever got out of bed. Such was the Sunday morning when Randy started to hear ringing. He was trying to lead a time of singing when from some where in the pulpit came a loud ringing. It was a phone. “Can you answer that!” Stella hollered out from the second row. “I’m expecting a call from a friend.” With a roll of his eyeballs, Randy answered the phone and turned it over to Stella.

     About five minutes later, Randy started hearing ringing again. This time it was coming from the chalkboard behind him. “Alright,” Randy called out, “Who left a phone on the chalkboard?” “It’s mine.” Stella called out, “Can you answer it for me, it might be an important call.” Even though he wasn’t thrilled with the interruption, Randy answered the phone and than turned it over to Stella.

     A couple of minutes later, as the pianist was getting ready to play another song, the piano started to play on it’s own. The pianist let out a shriek and fainted and Stella jumped up and said “Can somebody answer my musical phone? I think I left it in the piano.” As somebody assisted the passed out pianist, Randy managed to find the phone in the piano and turn it over to Stella once again.

     Ten minutes later as the congregation was getting ready to pray something started beeping. Somebody thought it was the fire alarm and as they started to evacuate the building Stella jumped up and hollered to Randy, “That’s not the fire alarm, it’s my other phone. Will somebody help me find it?”

     After a frantic search, Randy finally found the phone in the baptistry but this time he wasn’t giving it to Stella. Without answering, he shut it off and tuned to Stella, and said to her, “I think we need to have a talk about all of these phones.

     “What’s wrong?” Stella innocently asked, “Don’t you like their colors? Or is it because there isn’t enough for you to talk too.” “That’s not it at all!” Randy said as he tapped his fingers on the pulpit “Oh, I know.” Stella spoke again, “You’re jealous because no one ever calls you.”

     “Stella!” Randy said with a raised voice, “What!” Stella asked. “Besides being a major interruption,” Randy started to tell her, “You’re spending to much time on the phone. There are other things that you should be doing with your time.” “There is?” Stella questioned and before Randy could say another word, She answered her self, “You’re right, I should be watching my favorite TV show right now.” And with that Stella gathered her phones and left.

      Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
Ephesians 5:15-16(ESV)

     Wise king Solomon made the following observation. There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven ... A time to be silent and a time to speak. - Ecclesiastes 3:1,7b (NAS) Like Stella we often don't know the difference between when to be quiet and when to talk, when to do this and when to do that. We fail to make the best of our time - we waste it.

     How do we waste time?
  • By not really being efficient
  • By watching meaningless television shows
  • In the evenings at home just doing nothing
  • By what we read
  • By unprofitable activity on weekends
  • Spending to much time in bed
  • Procrastinating
  • Etc...
      Time is the gift of God and we are to make the best use of it that we can. We can sit and twiddle away hours and engage in activity and conversation that is of little, if any, value or worth; or we can use time wisely, keeping our thoughts and hands busy...
  • In our profession and work, contributing to the good of society.
  • In our worship, and service for Christ
  • In meeting needs
  • To witness and share Christ.
  • To pray
  • Etc..
     The amount of time we have is limited. We do not know how much we have left we may have seconds, we may have decades. What ever we have Psalms 90:12 says Teach us how short our lives really are so that we may be wise. (NCV)

      Here's something to ponder
  • Are you wasting your time?
  • How might you use your time more wisely?

Saturday, May 21, 2011


"Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." - Matthew 4:19b (NAS)

      It was a beautiful afternoon and Harold didn’t feel like doing much of anything except getting in his dad’s way. “Why don’t you go find Barney and go fishing.” His dad finally told him “But,” Harold started complaining, “I don’t have a fishing rod anymore.” “Than here’s some money,” his dad said as he handed him thirty dollars, “Go buy yourself one!.”

      An hour later Harold was knocking on Barney’s door “Let’s go fishing” He said as soon as Barney opened the door. “I thought you broke your fishing rod.” Barney replied “I got a new one” Harold said as he showed off his new rod to Barney. “And this time, I’m not going to break it over my sister’s head.” “I wondered how you broke it” Barney laughed when he heard that.

     “I’ve even got some real bait this time” Harold told Barney “You do?” Barney questioned, “What kind of bait?” “ Mrs Miller gave me a bunch of frogs,” Harold replied, “And I heard the fish are really biting on them.” “What was she doing with frogs?” Barney asked but before Harold could reply Louie walked up to the door and said “She got them from her Daughters for her birthday”

     “Louie!” Harold hollered “Would you like to go fishing with us?” “No thanks.” Louie quickly replied, “The last time I went down to the fishing hole to fish I almost drowned when a big one pulled me in, besides, I already did some fishing today.” “Why didn’t you come and get us?” Harold asked. “I didn’t think you would have wanted to go fishing for men” Louie replied

     “Fishing for men?” Harold complained, “That sounds like something form Sunday school class last week.” “That’s right.” Louie exclaimed, “Does that mean you payed attention this time?” “Actually,” Barney piped in, “He slept through class, I filled him in later. So, have you had any luck yet?” “No” Louie said sadly.

     “Maybe some of our frogs will help you with your fishing.” Harold said cheerfully “No thanks” Louie replied, “What I would really like are some Bible tracts from Randy I think they will work better than frogs.”

     “Can I go with you?” Barney asked “Sure” Louie told him and than turned and asked Harold if he wanted to go to. “No thanks,” Harold told him, “These frogs won’t last that long. Besides, I’m getting hungry for a big fish dinner.” “When aren’t you hungry” Barney laughed and away everyone went to do some fishing, some for men, and one for supper

      Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And He said* to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.
Matthew 4:18-20 (NAS)

     Follow and Fish, Follow and fish, Follow and Fish, Jesus said come follow Me and I will make you fishers of men. Following Jesus is a must for all, but even more so for those who would call themselves Christian.
  • John 12:26 - "If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. (NAS)
  • Matthew 16:24 - Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. (NAS)
     What is the way to become an efficient preacher? "Young man," says one, "go to college." "Young man," says Christ, "follow me, and I will make you a fisher of men." How is a person to be useful? "Attend a training-class," says one. Quite right; but there is a surer answer than that - Follow Jesus, and he will make you fishers of men. The great training-school for Christian workers has Christ at its head; and he is at its head, not only as a tutor, but as a leader: we are not only to learn of him in study, but to follow him in action. "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." The direction is very distinct and plain, and I believe that it is exclusive, so that no man can become a fisherman by any other process. This process may appear to be very simple; but assuredly it is most efficient. The Lord Jesus Christ, who knew all about fishing for men, was himself the Dictator of the rule, "Follow me, if you want to be fishers of men. If you would be useful, keep in my track." - Spurgeon's Collected Sermons (Met. Tabern. Pul.)

     Every spring thousands hit the lakes to fish - along with following we need to be fishing for men.
  • James 5:20 - Remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins. (NIV)
  • 1 Corinthians 10:31-33 - So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God-- even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. (NIV)
  • Proverbs 11:30b - He who wins souls is wise. (NIV)
     Of course, I've never seen a fishermen catch a fish sitting in his easy chair in front of the TV. to catch fish he goes to the fish and works to allure them. Fishing for men is not much different. Borrowing from Spurgeon again -
  • A fisherman must be acquainted with the sea - he must know the locality in which he has to work.
  • A fisherman must also know how to allure fish.
  • The fisherman must be a man who can wait with patience.
  • A fisherman is one who must run hazards.
  • The fisherman must be one who has learned both how to persevere and how to expect
     1 Corinthians 9:19-23 - I am free and belong to no one. But I make myself a slave to all people to win as many as I can. To the Jews I became like a Jew to win the Jews. I myself am not ruled by the law. But to those who are ruled by the law I became like a person who is ruled by the law. I did this to win those who are ruled by the law. To those who are without the law I became like a person who is without the law. I did this to win those people who are without the law. (But really, I am not without God’s law—I am ruled by Christ’s law.) To those who are weak, I became weak so I could win the weak. I have become all things to all people so I could save some of them in any way possible. I do all this because of the Good News and so I can share in its blessings. (NCV)

      Here's Something to Ponder
  • Are you following Jesus?
  • Are you fishing for men?

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have - Hebrews 13:16a (ESV)

      It was a beautiful afternoon as Helen Gray and Tracy McDonald strolled through the park. “Won’t it be nice when spring finally gets here?” Helen asked Tracy. “I can’t wait.” Tracy told Helen, “I love helping my Dad drive the tractors around in the field.” “Will you get to drive the tractor this weekend?” Helen asked as they turned to walk back towards the picnic area.

     “No, my Dad is going to.” Tracy responded, “I want to stay on the hay wagon with the rest of the kids.” “It sure is nice of your dad to offer to host a hay ride.” Helen told Tracy, “It will be a good way for the people of the church to get to know the two of you better, and for you to know them.”

     “We’ve been here for months.” Tracy said, “And there are still lots of kids I haven’t met yet. I know I saw that orange haired boy standing over there in church last Sunday but I have know idea who he is.” “I’ve have no idea either.” Helen told Tracy, “I’ve never seen him before.” “It sounds like he’s crying” Tracy said, “Maybe we should go see if he’s okay.”

     As the two of them walked over to Joel, Helen called out to him to see if he was okay and ask why he was crying. “I’m not crying. Coooool kids don’t cry.” Joel cried out, “I got something in my eye.” “Can I look at your eye?” Helen asked as she walked over to him. “NO!” Joel shouted at her, “Go Away! I can do it myself!”

     “Why aren’t you with your friends?” Tracy asked “Because, I...I...I...I... Don’t have any friend.” Joel said and started to cry some more. “You don’t!” Tracy said a little surprised, “Would you like to make some? You could come to a hay ride next Saturday afternoon. It will be a lot of fun and you might make some friends.”

     “That would be a great idea.” Helen piped in, “There is going to be lots of kids there and games to play and food to eat, and” “FOOD! Did you say FOOD?” Joel interrupted. “So, you like food,” Helen responded. “Maybe you’ll like my Grandson Harold Peterson!” “I think I already met him.” Joel said, “By the way, I’m Joel Brady and I’m a coooool dude.”

     For the next hour, Helen and Tracy shared a little more about themselves, learned more about what a “dude” was and told Joel how he could get to the hay ride. When Joel left he was no longer crying and was definitely thinking about going to the hay ride.

     Then Jesus said to the man who had invited him, “When you give a lunch or a dinner, don’t invite only your friends, your family, your other relatives, and your rich neighbors. At another time they will invite you to eat with them, and you will be repaid. Instead, when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind.
Luke 14:12-13 (NCV)

     As Christian's we have much to share with the world and the Bible reminds us that we are to be a sharing people:
  • Isaiah 58:7 - Share your food with the hungry and bring poor, homeless people into your own homes. When you see someone who has no clothes, give him yours, and don’t refuse to help your own relatives. (NCV)
  • 1 Timothy 6:18 - Tell the rich people to do good, to be rich in doing good deeds, to be generous and ready to share. (NCV)
  • Hebrews 13:16 - Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. (ESV)
     Many time people will go out of their way to host an event such as a hay ride so as to be able to invite, to share with, people who are not christian in a way that creates opportunities to share even more.
  • Galatians 6:10a - When we have the opportunity to help anyone, we should do it. (NCV)
  • Colossians 4:5-6 - Be wise in the way you act with people who are not believers, making the most of every opportunity. When you talk, you should always be kind and pleasant so you will be able to answer everyone in the way you should. (NCV)
     The ultimate goal for sharing with others, I think, should be to create opportunity to be a witness for Christ, to lift up Christ so He may draw others to Himself.

      Here's Something to Ponder
  • How do you share what you have?
  • What purpose do you have in sharing with others?

Saturday, May 7, 2011


For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Galatians 1:10a (NAS)

      There was a new kid in town and Harold was following him in hopes of finding out who he was. As Harold climbed over fences and hid behind trees, you could hear him muttering to himself “This is sure hard work trying to follow that kid with the orange hair. He just keeps going and going and going. I wonder if I’ll ever catch up to him.”

      After following him for more than two hours, the orange haired kid stopped moving. “Finally,” Harold said, “Maybe now I can catch him.” As Harold snuck up behind him, he heard the kids says something about what a coooool day it was. As Harold stood hiding behind a tree only a few feet away, he suddenly sneezed.”
“Who are you my man?” came a voice from the orange haired kid. Shaking and scared from being caught, Harold squeaked out his name and asked the orange haired kid his name. “Everybody knows who I am.” came the response, “ I am Joel Brady, and I’m the coolest dude, around my man.”

      “I saw you at our church on last Sunday. Are you a Christian?” Harold decided to ask. “A Christian?” scoffed Joel, “Who needs to be a Christian when your as coooool as I am. Do you have a light my man?” “A what?” Harold asked “A light, my man. It’s time to go and have a drag.” Joel told him

     “I still don’t know what you’re talking about.” Harold told him. “The kind of light I want is a match so I can light up my cigarette to smoke.” Joel said with a grunt. “What!” Harold shouted in surptise, “You shouldn’t be smoking.” “All coooool kids smoke.” Joel responded, “ If you don’t smoke than you’re not coooool.”

     “You’re not coooool” Harold snapped back. “You’re just a loser. The only coooool people are those who know Jesus and have given their lives to Him. Smoking doesn’t make you coooool, it makes you stink, turns your teeth yellow, fills up your lungs with bad stuff and it could even kill you. If you really want to know how to be coooool you need to read your Bible.”

     “Read a Bible to find out how to be coooool?” Joel scoffed back, “I can find out from my friends how to be coooool.” “Friends?” Harold laughed, “I bet you don’t even have any.” and with those words Harold stuck his nose in the air and walked away. “Friends! I don’t need friends. I’m so coooool,” Joel hollered at Harold and than he started to cry

      When one goes to the dictionary to find out what "cool" means you find that it means to be - very good, excellent, all right, fashionable, hip. Like Harold and Joel, we each have different ideas on what it takes to be coooool and those ideas are often based on who we want to impress with our coooool-ness.

     There are in the world those who are people pleasers those who would want to be cool in the eye of those around them.
  • John 12:42-43 - But many believed in Jesus, even many of the leaders. But because of the Pharisees, they did not say they believed in him for fear they would be put out of the synagogue. They loved praise from people more than praise from God. (NCV)
  • Acts 12:1-3 - About that time King Herod cruelly attacked some who belonged to the church, and he killed James, John’s brother, with the sword. When he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter too, during the days of Unleavened Bread. (HCSB)
     There are those who are here to please God those who would be cool in the eyes of God like the apostle Paul
  • 1 Thessalonians 2:3-4 - Our appeal does not come from lies or wrong reasons, nor were we trying to trick you. But we speak the Good News because God tested us and trusted us to do it. When we speak, we are not trying to please people, but God, who tests our hearts. (NCV)
      The same apostle tells us to be a God pleaser rather than a man pleaser. To do what it takes to please God
  • Ephesians 6:5-6 Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. (NAS)
  • Colossians 3:22-23 - Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, (NAS)
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:1 - Brothers and sisters, we taught you how to live in a way that will please God, and you are living that way. Now we ask and encourage you in the Lord Jesus to live that way even more. (NCV)
  • Hebrews 13:16 - Do not forget to do good to others, and share with them, because such sacrifices please God. (NCV)

     Here's Something to Ponder
  • Do you want to be coooool in the eye’s of people or in the eyes of God.
  • What are you doing to be cooool