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, October 25, 2014


     BAM, BAM, BAM, came the sound at the front door of the Peterson's house along with a loud angry growl. BAM, BAM, BAM, came the sound again along with someone YELLING out “OPEN UP THIS DOOR NOW OR I'LL KILL HIM!” BAM, BAM, BAM, went the sound again. And this time the voice yelled out “I'LL KILL HIM EVEN IF YOU DO OPEN THE DOOR!”

     It was Mindy Miller and boy was she mad. “OPEN UP THIS DOOR NOW!” She screamed out as she continued beating on the door. “I KNOW YOU'RE IN THERE HAROLD AND IF YOU DON'T OPEN UP THIS DOOR I'M GOING TO BREAK IT DOWN.” Then, as she gave one last push on the door it flew open and there stood Sergeant Halfway.

     “Sergeant!” Mindy called out in surprise, “What are you doing here? Did you come to arrest that pipsqueak Harold?” “Actually,” Sergeant Halfway said, I'm here to protect Harold and arrest girls like you who keep threatening to kill him.” “Well, he deserves it!” Mindy yelled out with a loud growl “And you're not going to stop me.”

     “You better calm down Mindy,” Sergeant Halfway said calmly, “You sound like your going to explode.” “ I am going to explode.” Mindy responded. “And when I do.... (Growl) watch out.” “What are you so angry about?” Halfway asked. “Harold ruined my date.” Mindy said. “How did Harold ruin your date?” Sergeant Halfway asked, “I thought he’s been being good and helping people.”

     “Helping people?” Mindy said with a snort, “Making those silly potions is not helping people. If I could catch him I’d pour the entire bottle down his throat.” “What potion?” Halfway asked, “Do you mean the one that gave everybody freckles? Form the looks of things you must have drank the potion too.”

     “Precisely.” Mindy growled, “If it wasn’t for that potion I wouldn’t have had to cancel my date.” “And just how did that potion mess up your date?” Sergeant Halfway asked glaring into her eyes. “Have you ever been covered with big itchy freckles from head to foot?” Mindy asked starting to feel a little uncomfortable.
Even though it was quite obvious to him, Sergeant Halfway asked, “Do you mean to say that you drank that potion too?” “Well, Uhm, Ahh, Yes.” Mindy stammered. “And did Harold make you drink it?” Halfway sternly asked.” ““Well, Uhm, Ahh No.” Mindy stammered again, “But everybody else was drinking it.”

     “Sounds to me as if you’re just blaming Harold for your own greed.” Sergeant Halfway said. “Well, somebody has to take the blame.” Mindy snorted with a growl.” “Then why don't you?” Sergeant Halfway asked. Not wanting to hear that, Mindy let out a loud growl and took off.” “Well,” Halfway said, “I sure hope she doesn’t do something stupid in her anger.” and went back to guarding the Peterson's house.

     So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth
Genesis 1:27-28a (ESV)

     We've seen that God created Adam and Eve and we see that God commanded them to be fruitful and multiply but that doesn't mean have fruit and do math. They were to have kids – lots of them. But as you may know, siblings don't always get along.

      Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, "I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD." And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it." Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" He said, "I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?" And the LORD said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth." Cain said to the LORD, "My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me." Then the LORD said to him, "Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold." And the LORD put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him. Then Cain went away from the presence of the LORD and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
Genesis 4:1-16 (ESV)

     Adam and Eve start having kids, First is Cain, Second is Abel. For some years they seemed to have gotten along together. Cain became a farmer of plants while Abel became a shepherd and in time they brought sacrifices to God from their work. While we are not told out right why, Cain's was rejected and Abel's' was accepted. Cain got angry and in his anger killed his brother.

     A key verse in this story is verse 7 which states “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” Sin waits for us to get angry but it doesn't need to get us. Here are a few verse to consider when thinking of anger.
  • Ecclesiastes 7:9 Don’t let your spirit rush to be angry, for anger abides in the heart of fools. (HCSB)
  • Proverbs 19:11 Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense. (ESV)
  • Ephesians 4:26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, (ESV)
  • Proverbs 16:32 Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city. (ESV)
      What would thing have been like if Cain had controlled his anger?

      Here's Something To Ponder
  • What is it like when you control your anger?
  • What is it like when you fail to control your anger?

Saturday, October 18, 2014


     Stella Peterson was going out of her mind and she, well, needed to do something so, she decided to go visit her best friend Bernadette Henderson. When she walked up to the door of Bernadette's house and started knocking on it instead of hearing a come in, she heard “Itchy, itchy, itchy.” and “Go away!” followed by another round of “Itchy, itchy, itchy.”

     “Bernadette,” Stella called out, “Is that you in there making those funny noises?” “No! Yes! I don't know.” Bernadette answered, “When I looked in the mirror this morning I didn’t look like me so I’m not sure who I am.” “Well, why don't you open the door and I'll tell you.” Stella said. “No!” Bernadette said, “I'm staying in here. Itchy, Itchy, Itchy.”

     “Come on, Bernadette.” Stella pleaded, “I'm your best friend. Why won't you open the door?” “It's all your brother's fault.” Bernadette replied, “Harold's the one that made me like this.” “Like what?” Stella demanded to know but the only reply she got was “Itchy, itchy, itchy.”

     “Just come on up here.” Stall demanded next, “It’s seems silly for me to talk to your front door.” “Then just go away.” Bernadette said, “I'm not opening the door, somebody might see me.” “But I'm the only one here.” Stella protested, “Now tell me what's wrong, why won't you open the door.” “I told you.” Bernadette replied, “It’s Harold’s fault.”

     “Alright,” Stella said, “What did Harold do?” “He made that silly potion to make people more like God.” Bernadette said. “Don’t tell me you drank some of it too.” Stella said, “It doesn't work.” “I thought it would keep me from being shy.” Bernadette told Stella, “And now I'm covered with freckles. Itchy, itchy, itchy.”

     “And that's why you won't open the door.” Stella stated. “ They keep calling out to be scratched,” Bernadette called back through the door, “But the doctor said that if I scratch them they will open up and spread.” “That's because they're not freckles.” Stella said, “If you leave them alone and don’t scratch they’ll go away. Or at least that's what the doctor told me. Have you been scratching them?”

     “Yes!” Bernadette called out and then flung the door open, “Did you drink the potion too?” “AUGH!” Stella called out when she saw Bernadette.” “AUGH!” Bernadette called out when she saw Stella. “You look horrible.” Stella said. “So do you.” Bernadette replied, “And why are you wearing mittens? It's not that cold out yet.”

     “The mittens are suppose to help me keep from scratching.” Stella said. “Is it working?” Bernadette asked. “Some.” Stella said, “But I'm still not becoming more like God. I even drank some more of the potion this morning and Itchy, itchy, itchy.” “Why did Harold ever have to make that potion?” Bernadette asked. “Because I asked him to.” Stella cried.

     And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."
Genesis 2:16-17 (ESV)

     Do you ever get hungry? Have you ever tried to eat something you shouldn't when you were hungry? God gave Adam and Eve plenty to eat but there was one tree from which they were to never eat. Guess what?

      Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God actually say, 'You shall not eat of any tree in the garden'?" And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.' " But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, "Where are you?" And he said, "I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself." He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?" … To the woman he said, "I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you." And to Adam he said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, 'You shall not eat of it,' cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return." … therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.
Genesis 3:1-24 (ESV)

     Is it sin to be tempted? If it is then we are in BIG trouble for we read in Matthew 4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. (ESV) But we also know from Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest (Jesus) who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. (ESV)

     Sin comes not because we are tempted but because we give in, like Adam and Eve and it is usually our desires that Satan uses to tempt us into sin as we read in
  • James 1:14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. (ESV)
  • 1 Timothy 6:9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. (ESV)
     When it comes to sin as a result of temptation we need to remember
  • 1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (ESV)
  • Hebrews 2:18 For because He Himself has suffered when tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted. (ESV)
     We also need to remember that the tempter will come back time and time again. Even after failing to get Jesus to sin we read in Luke 4:13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time. (ESV)

      So, Here's Something To Ponder
  • Do you desire like those in Pupperville to be more like God?
  • In what ways to you avoid temptation or giving into it so that you may be more like God.

Saturday, October 11, 2014


     Daisy Smith was busy cleaning house. Of course there wasn't a lot to clean but there was some laundry and as she went into Louie's room to put his clean clothes away she couldn't help but notice a rather forlorn looking, freckle faced, red headed boy sitting on his bed with a Bible in hand. “Hello there” Daisy said but got no response.

      As she finished putting Louie's clean clothes away she walked over and sat down beside him. “Are you okay?” she asked but still Louie gave no response. Next she tried waving her hands in front of his face but still Louie didn't respond. “I'm going to tickle you if you don't say something.” Daisy said next to which Louie giggled and said “Alright”

      “What has you so preoccupied?” Daisy asked “Well,” Louie started to answer, “Ever since the science fair I have been wondering, Does God have freckles?” “Does God have freckles?” Daisy repeated wondering what brought that on. “Yeah.” Louie said, “And what color is He? Does he look like me or Barney? By the way, did you know Barney now has freckles?”

      “Why did you want to ...” Daisy started to ask but finished her sentence with “Barney doesn’t have freckles.” “He does now.” Louie said, “And so do a lot more people thanks to Harold.” “Uhm,” Daisy started to say, “Does this have something to do with the science fair? Randy said he almost blew up the church working on some kind of potion.”

      “Since he couldn’t make a potion that would take away evil,” Louie answered, Daisy, “He tried making a potion that would make us more like God.” “Not another potion.” Randy said sticking his head in the door. “It tasted like banana soup.” Louie said lowering his head and looking at the floor. “You mean you had some?” Daisy said in surprise. “Lots of people were taking it.” Louie replied.

      “And did people become more like God?” Randy asked. “I’m not sure.” Louie said looking up at Randy, “As for myself nothing happened. I don’t feel any different. As for everybody else, well, they don’t appear to be any more like God unless God has freckles.” “Freckles?” Randy said a bit puzzled.

      “Yeah,” Louie piped up, “Everybody that was drinking the potion looks like me now. They are covered with freckles.” After a slight pause, Louie added, “So, does God have freckles?” “NO” Randy said. “Than I guess the potion didn’t work.” Louie said After a long pause, Louie asked “Would you like to hear how my science project did at the fair?”

      “I would love to.” Daisy said “But I need to get some supper in the oven. Can you tell me about it while I'm working?” “Uh, oh.” Louie said when he heard that, “You might not want to use the oven for a while. My experiment kind of, well it, uhm.” How about we all go out to eat.” Randy piped in to which everyone readily agreed.

      Many believe that millions and billions of years ago a bunch of pond scum produced life which mutated over time into human beings. If this were true we would be nothing more than over sized mutations. Science shows us that, that can't happen and God's word tells us it didn't happen. God's word tells us that we were created in God's image.

      When the LORD God made the heavens and the earth, there were no plants or grain growing on the earth, for the LORD God had not sent any rain. And no one was there to cultivate the soil. But water came up out of the ground and watered all the land. And the LORD God formed a man's body from the dust of the ground and breathed into it the breath of life. And the man became a living person. Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he placed the man he had created. … to tend and care for it. But the LORD God gave him this warning: "You may freely eat any fruit in the garden except fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat of its fruit, you will surely die." And the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a companion who will help him." … So the LORD God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep. He took one of Adam's ribs and closed up the place from which he had taken it. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib and brought her to Adam. "At last!" Adam exclaimed. "She is part of my own flesh and bone! She will be called `woman,' because she was taken out of a man."
Genesis 2:4-25 (NLT)

      Genesis 1:27 says God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (ESV) Psalm 139:13-16 Tells of His creating us while in the womb For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them. (ESV)

     With this in mind, How special might we be?
  • Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth." (ESV) .
  • Matthew 10:30-31 God even knows how many hairs are on your head. So don’t be afraid. You are worth much more than many sparrows. (NCV)
  • 1 John 3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. (ESV)
     God Himself does not have a body, Jesus tells us in the New Testament that He is spirit but He did take on a body in Jesus and Jesus tells us that if we've seen Him we've seen God. And while God may not have a body like us we do have a spirit, we have a part of us that is not physical but more like God, a part we don't really see and all to often forget exists. We need to remember that we are God's creation.

      Here's Something To Ponder
  • Do you see yourself and those around you as being created in God's image?
  • Are you letting God's image be seen in you?

Saturday, October 4, 2014


     It was the first Sunday of October, Church was done for the morning and Randy was relaxing in his office while looking out the window at the brilliant colored leaves. “I suppose it won't be long now until I have to grab some rakes out of the shed and start raking leaves.” He thought out loud as he gave a big sigh “Maybe I can get the youth group to do it again.” he thought but that was suddenly interrupted by the sound a an explosion and somebody yelling “Quick!! Somebody!! Call the fire department!!”

     Somebody was in that shed and now he was running around screaming like a maniac and “Is that smoke coming out of the shed?” Randy hollered and took off. “Who's there?” He hollered out as he came around the corner to the shed, “Are you all right?” “It's still isn’t working.” came a coughing and sputtering response.

     “Is that you Harold Peterson?” Randy asked as he looked over a boy covered in, well, covered in something. “I think it’s still me.” Harold answered still coughing and sputtering. “What are you doing?” Randy demanded to know, “Are you trying to blow up the church?” “No.” Harold responded, “It It was my experiment - again.”

     “Experiment?” Randy said, “ What experiment?” “The one I am working on for the school science fair.” Harold said. “Well, why are you working on it in the church's shed?” Randy asked. “Because they wouldn't let me back in the lab at school?” Harold said, “It kind of no longer exist. I had to much powder in my experiment and it blew up.”

     “And now your trying to blow up the church.” Randy stated. “No.” Harold said as he started to clean himself off, “I’m just trying to come up with a cure for the science fair.” “A cure?” Randy questioned, “What are you trying to cure, cancer?” “Somebody else is trying to do that.” Harold said, “ I wanted to create a cure for something even worse.”

     “Something worse?” Randy asked wondering what it could be. “A cure for death?” “Well, maybe sort of but not really.” Harold said confusing Randy “You see,” Harold went on, “Death is the result of sin, and, well, I’m trying to come up with a cure for sin. All you would have to do is drink my potion and you would never sin again.”

     “And just how would you get people to drink it?” Randy asked. “Well, why wouldn't they?” Harold asked sure everyone would want it. “God has already provided a cure for sin and most people don’t want it?” Randy told Harold. “What?!” Harold shouted, “He beat me to it? Oh well, the stuff didn’t taste very good anyways. Well, back to the drawing board. By the way, do you have a drawing board I can borrow? The one I was using was destroyed in the explosion.” “No.” Randy said, “But I do have some rakes and a church yard that is going to need some raking.”

     Through out the Bible references are made to something in the beginning of Genesis. It is the first story in Genesis, the first one in time, it is the story of creation. The story of creation can be found in Genesis 1:2-2:3 and can be summed up as follows:
  • Day 1: God created space, time, matter and lightened
  • Day 2: God separated the waters
  • Day 3: God produced dry land and plants
  • Day 4: God made the heavenly bodies such as the sun and stars
  • Day 5: God made birds and fish
  • Day 6: God made the land animals and God made man
  • Day 7: God rested.
     When we read the story of creation one thing we read over and over again is that what God made was very good. We can see that in Genesis 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25 & 31. The last time God says what He made was good He say it was “Very Good.” You can't get any better than that but is it still good?

     When one looks around us today, what we see is far from very good. Romans 5:12 says that Sin came into the world because of what one man did, and with sin came death. This is why everyone must die—because everyone sinned. (NCV) Ever since that day sin has plagued mankind and all of creation but is there a cure?

     One may try to solve the problem of sin and its consequences like Harold with some kind of potion but God has given us a cure. Romans 6:23 says For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (ESV) and John 3:16 says For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. (ESV)

     One day everything will be restored. We are reminded of this in...
  • Romans 8:19-23 For all creation is waiting patiently and hopefully for that future day when God will resurrect his children. For on that day thorns and thistles, sin, death, and decay --the things that overcame the world against its will at God's command--will all disappear, and the world around us will share in the glorious freedom from sin which God's children enjoy. For we know that even the things of nature, like animals and plants, suffer in sickness and death as they await this great event. And even we Christians, although we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, also groan to be released from pain and suffering. We, too, wait anxiously for that day when God will give us our full rights as his children, including the new bodies he has promised us--bodies that will never be sick again and will never die. (TLB)
  • 2 Peter 3:10-13 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. (ESV)
     God did make everything good, go ahead and read the story for yourself. And as you do, Here's Something To Ponder
  • As you look at creation can you see past the corruption to see the good?
  • Will you acknowledge God as Creator?