Sunday, March 27, 2016

Jesus: the Resurrection and the Life

I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. --Jesus Christ

The scripture lesson is in the eleventh chapter of John's Gospel.  It is the account of the death, burial, and resurrection of Lazarus.

Death puzzles and disturbs us   But death is something we cannot beat.
We don't like death because we were not made for it.  We were designed for much more.

What lesson can I take from this scripture?
  • Many are breathing but dead.
  • The disciples in this lesson were dead in their doubt, to the point that they were attempting to instruct Jesus, trying to explain things to God.
  • Do you have doubt?  Where there is doubt there is darkness.
  • Delay: things may get worse before they get better.
In the midst of doubt, discouragement and delay He will change your life.

Those who are dead in trespasses and sin come alive in Jesus Christ!

Jesus asked where is the tomb, then being led there, he ordered the stone rolled away, called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth."  Lazarus in his graveclothes came from the tomb.

What is your tomb?  What graveclothes are you wearing?

God can call you out of your grave, your graveclothes.
"Come forth."

Christ gives New Life!

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Easter Sunday morning

Saturday, March 26, 2016

When Will He Ever Learn?

Inasmuch as my yard abuts the Bitterman's yard, I am often an inadvertent eavesdropper on their, ah, discussions.

It has been my observation over the years that Tildy pretty much has to have the last word which begs the question Why did Herk not learn years ago that the sooner he shuts up the sooner the, ah, discussion will end?

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Not What We Expected

The scripture lesson is Luke 19:28-41 in which we read the account of The Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, the Palm Sunday story.  Pastor lifted several points for emphasis and illustrated others with connection to Old Testament history.

The selection of a donkey on which to ride was not merely a fulfillment of Ezekiel's prophecy, it was symbolic.  The King came not on a horse as conqueror but on a lowly donkey representing the fact that Jesus was King but not what the people expected.

The laying down of their coats in the pathway was a symbol of submission.  The people recognized Jesus as King, and He verified that He is indeed King.

The people expected a King who would give them what they wanted, but what they wanted was not what they needed.

Jesus came to bring men peace with God, not temporal blessings but eternal blessings.

Jesus came not to rule an earthly kingdom, but to rule the hearts of men.
We cannot fix ourselves.    When the pressures are too great, life is swirling out of control, cry out, "Jesus, I need you."
The King we need wants to rule every part of our lives.

Jesus wants not a piece of you, but all of you. 

Pastor Joe Deckard
Sunday morning

Friday, March 18, 2016

Election Cycle *grrr*

Our primaries are still six weeks in the future, long after everything on both sides of the ticket may have been decided.  But the robocalls have started, "Hi, I am _____   ______ and I approved this message."

No, you are not.  You are a machine cranking out thousands of unwanted annoying telephone messages.

Proverbs 25: 14 Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.

19 Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint. (KJV)

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Today's Selection from the Psalms

Ps.139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:

24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, 

Ps. 31:2 Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me.

3 For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me. (KJV)

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

C'est plus change...

Just reading around here and there during my too frequent idle moments:
"Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it." --MT
I think about this often, especially during an election cycle.

"[He] was endowed with a stupidity which by the least little stretch would go around the globe four times and tie." --MT
 Does this bring anyone in particular to mind?  Well, no one with whom I am personally acquainted.

Sunday, March 6, 2016


Bob is back.  Attended church this morning for the first time since January 17.  Different in the physical sense in that two services on Sunday morning has reduced the present attendance in both meetings.  Seating has been moderately altered in order to make wider spaces between rows-- and wider spaces between occupied seats giving a "welcoming appearance" offering plenty of room for any and all.  And that is the mission, to refill the empty seats.

Two services also means that I missed seeing some of the people I am accustomed to seeing on Sunday morning, but then we are assembled to worship, are we not?  New decor in the foyer is pleasant and the "welcome back" by the attendees was gratifying.

So was I up to taking notes on the sermon?  Of course.  It is a habit of long standing, for it helps me be more attentive to Pastor's words and is a deterrent to falling sideways in my chair and awakening myself with a snork!  And embarrassing myself.

Am I up to transcribing the notes onto the blog?  Questionable and doubtful; but here are a few one-liners I heard this morning.

Sanctification: God's desire for us.

 Scripture:  Mark 1:4-8  "I baptized you in water; But he shall baptize you in the Holy Spirit." v. 8

If you "married up," your spouse "settled."

*The expectation God has for us:  holiness.  God expects us to be a holy people.*
Sanctification is a cleansing, a changing of our desires.  It is God taking our will and making it His.

It is fixing the alignment of the heart on Jesus.

It pours into our spirit the spirit of love; love begins to flow through the soul.

With God's power you are capable of more than you have imagined.  Do Not Settle for Less!

God makes us holy.  There is nothing we can do; it must be God's work in us over time.
We can put ourselves in a place where God is more prone to pour out the Holy Spirit on us.
a) Be with Him.  A relationship with God requires our time. Commune regularly with God; study His word.
b) Gather with God's people.  A gathering in His name is God's throne room.  He will always show up.  We cannot be holy without the community of the brotherhood.  God uses the Body of Christ to make us holy.
Do not settle for a cottage when a palace is available.
Stop settling.  Let God.

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning