Month: November 2011

Words We Can Build On

Shopping, shopping and shopping. Most have already started doing some shopping and if you have not started yet you will be among the many more that plan on doing it quite a bit over the next few weeks. Electronics, clothes, toys, toys and toys are the targets of most.

“Toys” have come a long way since I was kid and even further for those of you that are only a few years older than me. Toys used to require some imagination from kids but now they come ready to talk, move, act, react, light up, fly off and even learn from its interactions. But in all the technological advances that toys have made one toy that is rather “low-tech” but “big-thinking” has managed to hang in there. It’s Legos. These building blocks have caused kids to think while having fun for over fifty years now and it’s from these little toys that I want us to learn an important spiritual lesson from.

The most amazing thing about the Lego brand building blocks to me is that the blocks that were created back in the 1950’s still fit the blocks that roll off the line today! It’s because they use the same pattern to create the blocks today as they did over five decades ago. Isn’t that a novel idea – use the same pattern and you get the same result every time and it just naturally fits no matter how old it becomes. Is this some kind of new principle? Not in the least. It’s a principle used by God for millenniums. He has given us the spiritual pattern and the spiritual words to build our spiritual lives on and it will fit if we follow it. (more…)

An Aching Heart

“O my soul, my soul! I am pained in my very heart! My heart makes a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, Because you have heard, O my soul, The sound of the trumpet, The alarm of war.” (Jeremiah 4:19)

Jeremiah was a “preacher’s preacher” when it came to the seriousness of sin and God’s judgment. He refused to even “wink” at the things that Judah had “closed their eyes to.” He was a staunch opponent of the attitudes and activities that pulled the hearts of his people away from their God. And while all of that is true, Jeremiah still had a soft heart wrapped inside his hard words. It painfully hurt God’s prophet to watch the people he loved make decisions that led to their own downfall. Jeremiah was not a “blood thirsty” preacher that looked forward to the punishment of the people for their sins – HE DESIRED REPENTANCE!

There are times when a preacher must preach on sin and judgment not because he gets a kick out of it, but because it is his JOB! (2nd Timothy 4:1-5) A preacher can be angry at sin without being angry at the sinner.   A preacher can have a loud voice and a tender heart at the same time. Yes, unfortunately there are times when preachers confuse the opportunity to get up and present the message of Christ’s cleansing blood with an opportunity to get up on their own cleansing “soapbox.” But many more times, like the nation of Judah did, I am afraid that people end up confusing an actual lesson on sin with a lesson on a person’s opinion.

We must not confuse a sermon on righteousness with a sermon on self-righteousness. (more…)

The Week Poison Ivy Took Me To School

When I was little I often took poison ivy (or at least its effects), pink polka dots and all, to school with me. Eight years removed from school, me and my dreaded foe met once again (we have our own little reunion about every two years); only this time it took me to school and the lessons learned were not fun!!! Here are only three of them:

Lesson #1 – Appreciate Your Health

The little plant with no hands practically managed a KO on me physically. With eyes swelled half-shut and fingers swollen two to three times the normal size I sure did miss my poison ivy free skin. I missed time from church and work. I could not sleep for waking up every two to three hours with an itch that could not be scratched. Concentration on anything other than the TV was nearly impossible. I spent more time in the doctor’s office in one week than I usually do in one year.

The only thing that was not afraid to touch me was my cat! I seriously missed my normal health (3 John 1:2). Over a week and a half later the skin I loved to be in finally started making a comeback. Good health is a blessing that is easy to take for granted. God forgive us when we do.

Lesson #2 – Patience, Patience, Patience

Most people do not like to admit his or her flaws. But admitting one’s flaws and being “proud” of them are two different things. One of my flaws that the poison ivy made apparent was my patience. A couple of days into my “ordeal” I was ready to wage war on my own skin. I knew that the breakout would not last forever but I was ready for it to be gone yesterday. There was not a medicine that could work fast enough, although I must brag on the shot the doctor gave me.

There are things in life that must run its course I have been told. Easier said than remembered when the “things” are being experienced, right? Seriously though, I do have to remember that there will be times in life when patience is not just the best route to take, it is the only route. (more…)

Who Started the “Common Era”?

Parts of the western culture have become so desperate to rid the world of the name of Jesus Christ that many of the “intellectuals” now substitute the abbreviation B.C. (Before Christ) with B.C.E. (Before Common Era) and A.D. (Anno Domini which means “In the year of our Lord”) with C.E. (Common Era) when referring to time lined events of history.

Nice try people, but it really does nothing other than pacify for a moment.

Why’s that? Because what answer will you have to give the person who asks, “Why is there a split in the timeline to begin with?” Who will you have to talk about to explain that?

You cannot get around or away from Him. So why not come to Him? (Matthew 11:28-30)

We live in a great time because it is His time and there is no timeline where Jesus the Christ is not the beginning, the middle and the end.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8)

Confused About Creation

There was a little boy who returned home from Sunday school very excited about the lesson on creation he was taught and he told his parents about all that he learned concerning Adam and Eve. A few days later, he came home from school apparently distressed about something. When his mother asked what was bothering him, he said, “Mom, my side hurts; I think I’m going to have a wife.”

I have heard a lot of jokes stemming from the Bible’s account of creation, but that one is probably the cutest. Life is an amazing thing. The Earth is an amazing place. The universe is an amazing space. God is an amazing Creator. From the billions of plants and animals to the billions of people and on up to the billions of the stars that are always out there, God has shown us His handiwork (Psalm 19:1).

Today, more than ever before, God can be seen in all of these things due to the increase of our technology. We can see the inner workings of plants, animals and people and see the heavens up close with our amazing microscopes and telescopes.

You would think that the amazing intricacies of life that we have discovered would convince even more people of the existence of a Grand Designer of life. Sadly this is not the case. Like the Bible says of the generations of old: “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,” (Romans 1:22).

The biggest joke I have ever heard about the creation of life is the one that begins with “long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away there was a big explosion….” I guess the next time I want to build a house I can just stick some dynamite in a tree! But really, the only the thing sadder than an atheist denying the Bible’s account of creation is a self-confessing “Christian” that is “confused” about the first and second chapters of the great book of Genesis and its literal account of God’s creation of Adam and Eve.

Deny if they want, deny if you want – but God created Adam and Eve. I thoroughly believe that every person you see today came from one man and one woman. (more…)

In Search of Life

Science (N.A.S.A.) is currently in the middle of spending astronomical amounts of money in search of life beyond our little blue planet. They have super-telescopes hurdling through space in hopes of catching a glimpse of a “familiar” looking planet. They have sent and are sending hi-tech machines to make photographs, collect soil samples and compile all sorts of data from the planet Mars. Other planets such as Jupiter have been specifically targeted recently too.

Why all the scurrying around from one end of the solar system to the other and beyond? It’s all in search of life. Scientists are chomping at the bit to find the smallest, minutest and most microscopic sized traces of life somewhere other than here.

There’s something funny about that. Sadly, it’s how hypocritical science’s (or maybe some scientists) definition of life can be. If they ever found some microscopic organism in some piece of ice the headlines would proudly and boldly proclaim that LIFE had been discovered. The national news media would talk nonstop about the LIFE that has changed the world. All the talk around the water-cooler would revolve around the LIFE found in outer space. Yes, that little LIFE would be cherished and held in high regard among science’s intellectuals despite its little, tee tiny or even microscopic size.

Oh how wonderful it would be if all of the same people who would shed tears if something happened to that “little living micro-organism” would give the same amount of credence to an unborn child!

Why are so many people willing to disregard and downgrade the LIFE of an unborn child to a choice? Why are so many “educated” people so willing to apply the term “life” to anything but a human embryo?

There is life out there, but He won’t be found with a telescope. And He knows when life on Earth begins and He thinks highly of it (Jeremiah 1:5Matthew 18:6). Have we grown so busy searching for life “out there” that we cannot see the life in front of us anymore? EA

Keltonburg Church Bulletin

If you would like to receive the bulletin from the congregation that I preach for you can send your request to keltonburgcoc@gmail.com and I will get you added to the list.

The bulletin is sent out once a week and contains more bulletin articles than it does personal congregational material with the exception of birthdays, anniversaries and small reminders. So if you like to read relatively short articles with good Biblical content check us out. If you don’t like what you read you can also stop receiving them by request…no obligations. And your email address will not be shared with anyone.

Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)

Giving the Right of Way

In discussing the Christian’s freedom from sin through faith in Jesus, Paul deals with the Christian’s proper mindset toward sin after being raised to newness of life through the watery grave of baptism. He says in Romans 6:11-13, “Like wise reckon [consider] ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members [body] as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.”

I really appreciate the King James’ translation when it uses the word “yield” in verse 13. The idea being brought out is the mindset that rejects the rule of sin (hence the old right of way we gave to sin in our body) in comparison to the mindset that now willingly submits to the rule of righteousness (hence the new right of way we give to God with our body). This idea can easily be understood when we think about the rules of the road. When a person drives up to an intersection that contains the important, yet often ignored, upside-down triangle-shaped YIELD road sign the proper mindset knows what to do. A failure to give the right of way can result in an at fault wreck. Paul is reminding us that with the new way of life comes a new right of way and the time for yielding to sin is over (Romans 6:22-23).

So the next time you come to a yield sign ask yourself who gets more of the right of way in our life – that oncoming vehicle or the oncoming God? (Romans 14:11-12)

“Will it be Thanksgiving or Thanks-Given?”

Is it possible to know a word but not know what it really means? Sure it is. In school I learned that “supercalisragilisticexpialidocious” was actually a word, but until I started writing this article all it meant to me was “write-off.” But how about when it comes to words that are little more common? How about a word that we have heard or used so much this week? Take the word “thanksgiving” for instance. Is it possible that we can use a word that so many ears recognize without truly understanding the meaning it is meant to have? Has thanksgiving become a misunderstood word taken for granted? Despite the fact that thanksgiving is a word that we say and hear so much this time of the year the true essence of the word describes what our words sound like to God.

The word thanksgiving means, “gratitude, grateful language to God as an act of worship; thankfulness.” Thanksgiving Day is not meant to be a day that bottles up our recognition of God into one meal. It is meant to make us slow down and show some emotion. Thanksgiving is something that God enjoys, desires and deserves. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” It has to do with how we feel about our blessings. We cannot trust our emotions to lead us to salvation (Proverbs 3:5; Jeremiah 10:23; 17:9 & 1 John 5:13) but that does not change the fact that salvation and all the other recognized blessings of life will lead a person to certain emotions (Acts 8:26-39; Philippians 4:4 & 1 Timothy 6:7-9). (more…)

Change for the Better…or Rather for the Best

One can always wonder (or even worry) about making the right decision when something new comes our way. Change is not always at the top of our list in life when we are comfortable.

One thing that I can admire about Andrew is that while he may have been comfortable following John as a disciple he took on change head first when he met Jesus (John 1:35-40). John had been preaching about a “Greater One” than him and he had publicly declared Jesus to be the “Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29) and Andrew took his trusted teacher’s comments seriously.

Andrew would eventually have to face more change in his life because of his decision to follow Jesus and no doubt it was never a change that he regretted.

As followers of the Christ we are challenged to meet change in our life with a positive attitude. I’m not talking about the changing of jobs or something trivial like buying a new vehicle; but rather the change that we will confront solely because, like Andrew, we decided to follow Jesus (Luke 9:23,24).

Change may not always be fun but it will definitely  be worth it if the change is to become more like Jesus (Luke 14:16-33 & Matthew 19:27-30). Only then will we go from change for the better to change for the best.

God bless,

Eugene