The Restoration Of Peter

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5 So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus *said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you [a]love Me more than these?” He *said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I [b]love You.” He *said to him, “Tend My lambs.” 16 He *said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you [c]love Me?” He *said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I [d]love You.” He *said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.” 17 He *said to him the third time,  “Simon, son of John, do you [e]love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you [f]love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I [g]love You.” Jesus *said to him, “Tend My sheep. John 21:15-17 NASB

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The Back Porch

My brother and his wife moved into a new house in the fall of 2015.  It is a beautiful home with wooded property on the other side of the fence.  Very quiet and peaceful.

On Monday, November 23rd of that year, my wife died in her sleep.  Her funeral was on Wednesday, November 25th.  Thanksgiving was on the next day, Thursday, November 26th.

I was asked to come to my brother’s house for Thanksgiving.  Everyone knew I would be hurting, but also knew I didn’t need to be alone.  I knew it as well, so I went for the day.

The house was full of family and little children.  I was used to my home being much quieter with just Terrie and me.  So it didn’t take a long time Continue reading

When God Changes Your Way

Have you every been in a strange location and come upon a detour sign?  You are unsure of where the detour will lead you, but trust that it will eventually get you back onto the road you want to be on.

There are detours in our lives that changes our coarse, our plans, and our desires.   When Terrie died, my life began a new and unexpected detour.  For you, it might have been a divorce or a loss of a job or health difficulties, but while disappointing and even Continue reading

Essentials For A Christian Life – Chapter Three

CHAPTER THREE

newgrowth_300Spiritual Gifts(A Love Gift From Jesus)

Each believer has been given a spiritual gift from God.  Our gift was received from God.  It was not chosen or earned by us.  It is essential for us to know which gift/gifts has been given to us and how we are to use them effectively within the church.  We find our greatest joy when we operate in the realm of using the gift given to us. Continue reading

Following, Not Fighting – round three

boxing-ring-corner_300I finally gave in to do what my doctor wanted me to do, I consented to have a colonoscopy.

He warned that I was long past the recommended age for having a colonoscopy done, which is 50 years old.  I was then 61.  So an appointment was made and I asked my friend to go with me, since Terrie could not leave her 6th grade class that she taught.

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But Lord, What About This Man?

Do you ever look around at others, perceiving them to have it all together, having the perfect faux Facebook family (my ____________________ is the most wonderful/beautiful/talented/smartest/   spiritual _____________________ in the world, y’all!!) and think to yourself, “Lord, How come I can’t have anything close to that?”

Or perhaps it may be when the Lord confronts you with a particular sin and you look around to point to others, who you think may have committed the same sin and say, “Yeah but, what about Johnny?”  Continue reading

The Sound Of A Bridge

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It’s funny the things your brain remembers.

I was remembering when I was a young boy, we lived in Lamont, CA.  Each summer, we would drive back to Lindsay, OK to vacation with my grandfather on his farm.  This would have been in about 1957 or so.

We would leave Friday evening after Dad got off work.  One of the reasons for leaving at that time was our car did not have Continue reading

The Pharisees Sin

pharisee_crucify_himI have always considered myself a common man.  Just one of the millions that goes to work everyday, pays their bills, and tries to live respectably.  Nothing special, not good looking or athletic or talented.  Just a regular guy.

I have a dislike for those that I have come in contact with who seemed to feel superior to the regular guys.  Now there are those who are good looking or athletic or talented and still are a regular guy, but there are some who come across as self righteous, being defined as having an attitude of being totally correct or morally superior, usually unfounded. Continue reading

A Goulash Life

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For those who know me, you know I don’t know how to cook!  Eating I can do!  Grill a steak or make a few breakfast items or microwave a frozen dinner – yes.  Creating a meal  – no!

So it was with interest, that I listened to a co-worker describe making goulash for his family.  He started with the basics- ground beef, elbow macaroni, water, chopped onions, garlic, tomatoes – sauce and diced, and seasonings.  As he was adding ingredients, the household non-cooks were suggesting additional ingredients found in the cabinets.  He said when the suggestions ended, he had a pot filled with multiple items that he allowed to cook slowly, blending the various flavors that each item brought to the pot.  And when it  reached the right time, they enjoyed all that was in the cookware.

That same week, I taught a Sunday school lessons from the Book of Esther, that highlighted influences that were applied to create the outcome that saved the Jewish race and eventually maintain the blood line of Jesus Christ.

Somehow in my simple mind, I married these two events to create a metaphor of my life and I suspect of your life as well.

That is, God adds people into our life to add flavor.  They help us to be seasoned: they may be our neighbors or may be a stranger.  People who have helped us, or challenged us.  Some people have hurt us.  Some brought healing to us.  Some complained about us and others encouraged us.  Some hated us and yet, by God’s grace, some loved us.

Again, not being a cook, I can only speculate that each item of the recipe had a purpose and was to be added in the proper sequence and at the proper time.  I can see protein and fiber.  I see some things would yield vitamins, some items would add a  particular flavor.  Water would be a blending agent.  Some items would bring a pleasing aroma and comfort.  Some recipes may add a bay leaf, which would be in the pot for a time and then removed before the goulash was served.

Our immediate family would be our first ingredients with their character and interest, then add extended family, school friends, co-workers, church members, etc.  Where we lived and how much or how little money our family had made for some of our ingredients.  Illnesses, diseases, and deaths adds to the pot.

And the most amazing thing of all – just how the Lord created us.  Our gender, race, personality type, abilities and talents, appearance, weight,  height, at what point in history we were born, our language or languages we can speak, our strong points and our weaknesses.  All of these things were beyond our control and therefore, we must yield to be the unique individual the God created.

There are some things we control in our pot of goulash called life.  We can determine to be kindly affectionate toward one another with brotherly love (see Romans 12:10-21).  We can look not only at our own interests, but also to the interest of others (see Philippians 2:4).  And we can give thanks in all things (1 Thess. 5:18).  There are so many items from the Scriptures that would enrich our pot.

What is your influence in the lives of those around you?  Is it to strengthen or encourage?  Is it to show kindness to the less fortunate?  What is your purpose?  Does it bring honor to the Lord?  Think about it.  Bon Appetit !!