Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Got everything you need for the day?

The alarm clock goes off.  You hop in the rain locker (shower to you land lubbers), shave and get something to eat.  Get your keys, lunch money, and wallet.  Get half way to work, and you realize you left your cell phone on your dresser.  Most of America stops the car in its tracks, turns around and gets the phone.  We all think that we need to be constantly connected to friends and family, see what the latest Tweet is about and the constant need to tend our crops on Farmville.   Would you turn around to get something that connects you with something bigger than Facebook, Twitter and Google combined?

Did you know that you have, or should have, something that connects you to something bigger than the internet sitting on your bookcase?  Take a look, it is probably there, collecting dust next to Great Aunt Hepsabar's wedding pictures.

The Holy Bible is the NUMBER 1 bestseller of all time!  According to The Top 10 of Everything by Russell Ash The Top 10 of Everything, 1997 (DK Pub., 1996, pp 112-113.)

The Top 10 Bestselling Books of All Time:

  1. The Bible  "No one really knows how many copies of the Bible have been printed, sold, or distributed. The Bible Society’s attempt to calculate the number printed between 1816 and 1975 produced the figure of 2,458,000,000. A more recent survey, for the years up to 1992, put it closer to 6,000,000,000 in more than 2,000 languages and dialects. Whatever the precise figure, the Bible is by far the bestselling book of all time."
6 Billion copies sold 176 years.  That is simply amazing.  The question still stands: if you forgot your phone, you would get it, because you need to be connected to the "world".  Would you turn around on your way on a weekend trip, to get your Bible, so you could be connected with God?
I just asked one of the men on my boat, and he said he turn the car around.  He makes a habit of reading the Bible for an hour a day.  The Bible is a love letter, spanning 66 books, (78 if you are Catholic) between Jesus the Saviour and us, His people.  Do yourself a favor.  Get to Amazon,  your local bookstore, or Goodwill store.  Get yourself a copy of the All-Time Bestseller.  Take it home and read it.  Find a church Pastor, offer him a cup of coffee and pick his brain!

Father, we thank you for Your Word, Saint Paul wrote that every word of Scripture is God-breathed, and we believe it.  May this post motivate someone reading this to get a Bible for their library, that they seek help, encouragement,and advice from someone as they start a walk with You.
In Your Precious Name, we pray.  Amen

Monday, January 17, 2011

Found a song

I was channel surfing before going up to the wheelhouse tonight, and came across this song on the TV.  I found it on YouTube by Trace Lawrence also by Rocky Comfort Records.  The lyrics, if you listen carefully, are very profound:
"You can hope for the best and plan for the worst if lighting doesn't strike you first who knows whats going to happen in the end I just work like its all up to me and pray like its all up to Him"
Please take some time out of your day.  Take the time to "Pray like it's all up to Him", because it is.  We have the Father to thank for everything.  Everything that happens to us is because of Him.  We all fit into the Divine plan for the world.
In Luke 12:7, Jesus Himself tells us that the very hairs of your head are numbered. 

He knows us that well.  He Loves us that much!
Jesus, thank You for taking my sin debt, for purchasing me with your blood so I may know the freedom that comes from your love.  We indeed must work as though it's up to us, but we must also realize that everything in life is according to your perfect will. May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 
In your Name we Pray. Amen

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Time to plan for summer!

I know it's only January, and the snow is still deep, at least in the northeast, summer if just around the corner. What do your children's plans include for the summer break- soccer, softball, Scout Camp? It is time to start considering those things, but many churches in your area are at this minute beginning to develop Vacation Bible School curricula.

My wife recently received the Group Pandamania starter kit. We have been part of several Vacation Bible Schools at other churches, so last year we bit the proverbial bullet and approached the Pastor to see if we could have our own VBS. We had hoped, prayed and planned for 100 kids to come to our inaugural VBS session. We used another Group program then, High Seas Expedition. We did not see 100 kids, but 55 different kids came to our church that week. They learned a Bible story, coupled with a short movie, played games, had a snack, all of the typical summer camp sort of stuff.

Tony Kummer's website, Ministry to children.com has reviews of several different VBS programs, we settled on Group because of the success we enjoyed in other churches. There are many fine programs out there, some are free of charge. Take a look, Jesus himself instructed us to "take the little children unto Me."

While the common thought of the "target audience" of a Vacation Bible School is the children of the families who currently attend your services, using VBS as an outreach and missional ministry is very effective. The more times you can get the name of your church out here- in the papers, radio, etc, the better known you will be, and your church will surely be the better for it.

More on VBS later.

Father in heaven, look with favor on your church, as we start to develop a summer program for the kids of our communities. We seek to do your will, and know that part of that is bringing the joy of knowing You to everyone we meet. Help us all to become the ambassadors of Your Kingdom, through our deeds, thoughts and words. In Your Name, we pray. Amen.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Who is your Pilot?

Most people are familiar with the word Pilot, used in the aviation industry. Aboard a ship, we also have captains. Depending on the size of the vessel, we also employ pilots. I just watched a 965-foot container ship pull out of Port Elizabeth, New Jersey. A ship of that size employs two pilots, one with expertise in Ambrose Channel (the main entrance into New York) and a Docking pilot, who directs the assist tugs and actually puts the ship to the dock.

The Docking pilot has to have a complete working knowledge of how wind, current and tide affects his ship. It may be the first time he has ever been on it, but he is still responsible for advising the captain about how these things will affect his ship. He also has to direct the movement of the tugboats usually two or three of them, to make a safe landing to the dock. If the captain of the tug cannot understand what the pilot wants him to do, or the ship's crew, often from overseas cannot understand the pilot's commands, disaster can ensue. The pilot trusts his tugs to do what he has asked. The ship captain must trust the pilot to safely navigate his ship.

Do you have a pilot as you venture into the harbor of life? Do you have someone you can trust to navigate you though this world's strong winds and flood tides? Do you enjoy the comfort of having someone watching you so you do not drift off course and run aground?

Psalm 23, NIV says:

 1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
 3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
   for his name's sake.

Imagine being on the bridge of a ship, with Jesus as the pilot. He is the infallible, visible image of an infallible, invisible God. He will lead to the quiet waters. He will lead us along the right paths. His rudder commands are perfect. His plan is perfect. He is only waiting for us to be his assist tugs, waiting for His orders. If you trust Him to Pilot your ship to port, you will not be disappointed.

Jesus, Thank You for being the Pilot of my ship. Thank You for keeping me safe in the voyage we call life. You know where all of the hazards to navigation are, and while you may not direct us around all of them, we endure these hazards as part of your perfect plan, a plan where your will shall be done, on earth as it is in heaven. In Your name, we pray. Amen

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Building in the Bible

When building a home, many workers are involved. A typical house construction job includes many skilled tradesmen. Equipment operators prepare the ground for the masons to pour a foundation. Next are the framers. Electricians, sheetrockers, and plumbers are then needed to make the house complete. City and county officials will inspect the building and issue a certificate of occupancy if it meets certain minimum standards. It all starts with correctly placing the house and creating a solid foundation. Jesus instructs us to be as the wise man:

Mat 7:24
Every one therefore that heareth these words of mine, and doeth them, shall be likened unto a wise man, who built his house upon the rock:

Mat 7:25
and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and if fell not: for it was founded upon the rock.

Mat 7:26
And every one that heareth these words of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand:

Mat 7:27
and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and smote upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall thereof .(ASV)

Paul writes in his first letter to the people of Corinth that we should build upon our foundation, which is Christ Jesus, using precious gems, gold and silver, not wood, hay and stubble. In the light of day, each man's work will be seen for what it is, and purified by fire. Everyone has seen gold, silver and precious gems. These things represent durable work that will last the test of Divine judgment. In the King James Version, the word stubble used many times in the Old Testament, usually to describe something that is useless, consumed in God's wrath. Stubble is junk. Do not bring junk to build your house on the foundation of Christ! Jesus knows we have junk in our lives, and he can set us free from these things if we take it to Him and leave it at the foot of the cross. Peter instructs us to cast our worries to Him, because He cares for us. (1 Peter 5:7)

I do not know you, but He does. He knows that you have stubble, you have worries that only He can free you from. Go to the Cross now and give Him your troubles. He indeed does care for you.

Thank You Jesus for being with us. Thank You for taking my place on the cross, and paying my sin debt. Please guide me in building a glorious house on Your foundation. I want to bring only the finest gold, purest silver, the most precious gems. Help me to identify stubble in my life and help me remove it. Help me to identify and change the things in my life that are keeping me from You, and keeping me from my family. In Your peerless Name, we pray. Amen


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Matthew 6:1

My deckhand just walked up, with his smartphone in hand, he recently downloaded a daily bible verse program, and wanted me to help him understand Matthew 6:1

1 "Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

2 "So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. NIV

I told him that the verse could not be properly explained without using the context of the next few verses. In the next few verses, Jesus Himself tells us how we should pray: After warning us about not being like a hypocrite that stands on the street corner to be seen by all.

When you decide to give to the poor or help others in need just to be seen doing good, that is not acceptable to the Father, He is an all knowing and all seeing God. Saint Paul warns us that salvation is not based upon works, "that no man should boast." (Ephesians 2:9).

Many people feel the need to be seen doing good works, and may even think that being seen in the act is more important that the actual work they are performing. While it is important that we as Christians are to live a good and Godly life, we also must find that "happy medium". Since we are all a part of the body of Christ, doing His will in our everyday lives, we must be careful that we are not doing it in such a public manner that we are "as hypocrites on the street corners and in the synagogues".

I think this explanation is sound, but I welcome comments, perhaps we can better understand the Word together.


Father, help me to better understand your word, so that I may do my part to be part of your grand and perfect plan to bring the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Be with my deckhand as he begins to explore your word. In the matchless name of Your Son, Amen.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!


I was born a raised a Catholic, received my first communion around the age of 8 or 10, got confirmed in my early teens and live a good life. On January 7, last year, I went to a men's prayer summit in Jackman, Maine. The Maine District of the Church of the Nazarene hosted the summit. All through the weekend, (it was a Thursday to Sunday event) I felt at home with the other men present. They showed a special kind of love that I have rarely seen, especially between men. The men had somehow known that while I had been raised in a church family, that I had not yet pledged my Life to Jesus. The way these men interacted with each other made them special. I had only known them for a few days, yet they knew that I needed God; they knew that I had yet to receive Him. I had resisted the entire time we were at the summit. During the middle of the sermon, the Holy Spirit led me by the hand to the altar. I was lead in a prayer of repentance and asking for salvation by Pastor Chuck LaCombe, a modern day circuit preacher, travelling the country doing revival services. On this date in 2010, in the Jackman, Maine Church of the Nazarene, I was reborn of the Holy Spirit. Once I asked for forgiveness and salvation, the power of the Holy Spirit washed over me. It was simply an amazing feeling. There is none other like it.

If you have not gone before the throne of Christ and turned away from your sin, and accepted the gift of salvation, you owe it to yourself to do it. It is a gift freely given by Jesus. His grace is sufficient to save your soul. Man cannot be saved by good works, donating money to the poor or any number of charities, or simply sitting in a pew. You have not committed a sin for which Jesus cannot forgive.

"With a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, His love endures forever" Ps 136:12 NIV His love is greater than anything we can imagine.

Father, thank You for being there in Jackman, Maine, when I finally realized I needed your love and guidance in my life. You alone are worthy of all praise and glory. Please continue to pour out your blessings on my family, while I am away from them at sea. In Jesus' name, Amen