Friday, April 28, 2017


Antsy.  Man, I miss watching that giraffe pace around and around her cage.  ^_^

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Meme Clarification

This meme is going around.  Isn't it the sweetest thing?

 "As your mother I promise that I will always be in one of three places.

"In front of you to cheer you on, behind you to have your back, or next to you so you are not walking alone," she said. 
 End meme

As your dad, I'd like to clarify my position.  "I will always be in one of three places. 

"In front of you to pull your chain, behind you to kick your butt, or next to you to keep track of where you are."

Sunday, April 23, 2017

#Adulting --1

Adulting:  Growing up is scary.  Growing up is important.

     Hebrews 5:12 We need to give up existing on milk alone but get into the strong meat (of the Word).  Growth in age gives wisdom and discernment.

It is important to take seriously the call of God to grow up in faith.
If you are the same person you were a year ago, there is no growth.

We are designed such that in our relationship with Jesus Christ we begin to look like him, to act like him.

Peter says we need to add to our faith.  We must be able to step into the role Christ intends for us.

              The scripture lesson is I Peter 1:3-11

We are to add to our faith goodness.   Purpose in your heart  to be like Jesus.  Take on the nature and characteristics of goodness.

When the Holy Spirit imparts a Jesus spirit within you you begin to act naturally like Jesus.

Be so in tune with the divine nature within that you act naturally as Christ would act.

We no longer have to be intentional in our acts-- they come naturally.

We pick up the characteristics of those we hang out with.

Do you really want to be like Jesus?  
Are you willing to do what it takes?  Then,
    1.  commit to grow.   (pray)
    2. open your heart.   (pray)
    3. surrender to Christ's will.  (submit)  

The closing song:  "I Surrender All"

(Editor's note:  It is encouraging to hear the Lordship of Jesus Christ and submission to His will taught freely and forcefully from the pulpit.) 
Notes on message by
Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

And the Lord said

Dear Lord, please take away this knee pain so I can get these chores done.  I've asked repeatedly for healing, but that seems not to be your will.  So relief, at least.  Please!

"I've sent you seven unsolicited calls from knee-brace vendors this week alone and you keep hanging up on them.  Oh, and five Facebook cures."

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Good News and Good News

BAD NEWS:  "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."  (Romans 3:23).

General:  All have sinned.
Categories, sinners
     1.  Criminal:  overt lawbreaker.   Must get honest. 
     2.  Pharisee:  Thinks he's above sin; self-righteous.  Must get humble.
     3.  Hypocrite: Fake; inside a wreck. Doesn't want anyone to see, not real with people. Must get real.
 GOOD NEWS:  "God demonstrates his own love for us in this:  While we were yet still sinners, Christ died for us."  (Romans 5:8)

BAD NEWS:  "For the wages of sin is death."  (Romans 6:23a)
     Relationships are destroyed; we earn what we deserve.

GOOD NEWS:  "The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."  (Romans 6:23b)
     Get honest, get humble, get real.


"If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified and it is with you mouth that you profess your faith and are save.  Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord is saved." (Romans 10:9-10, 13)

The enemy trains us to buy into only the bad news.

Jesus rose from the dead, defeated death.  "lt is the day that He called the death out of me." (JB)
Grace goes so much farther than my sin.

Grace goes farther, deeper, wider than anything in your life.

 Pastor Johnnie Blair 
(and the Apostle Paul)
Resurrection Sunday morning

Thursday, April 13, 2017


Celebrating National Scrabble Day!

But then, we play quite often.  As it happened, this was a very difficult and low-scoring example of our efforts.  But always challenging, always fun.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

About Heaven

Concluding his prayer, John 17:24, Jeaus prays, " “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world."

This expresses the heart of Jesus' desire.  He really, really, really, really, really, wants you to make it!

Heaven transcends our wildest dreams and imaginings.  What do we know about Heaven?

We know Jesus is there!  Heaven is not about the real estate, but the relationship.
Love is a constant reality.  The Father loved Jesus before the creation of the world.  His love is constant.  Constant kindness, unending, uninterrupted.

Hope is no longer needed.  Hope helps us cope now.  Hope is a dream not yet a reality, but then when the reality appears hope is unnecessary.
Glory is on full display.  We see a glimpse of glory through the cross and the resurrection, but then there will be no darkness.  Why?  Because Jesus is there! 
Believers are there! John 3:16 "Whosoever believes. . . "  John 17:24 "Those you have given me to be with me and to see my glory. . . "

There will be those in Heaven whom we did not expect to see there.
But-- There will be those we expected there who will be in hell and that is terrifying!  

His presence in you in your life right now is a deposit of being with Him in Heaven.  The love of God is a constant in your life.  Let the glory of God be revealed in your life.

Ask Him to lead and guide.  Seek gain for God's kingdom, not for yourself.

His love never sways.  This Palm Sunday think of Christ entering Jerusalem.  He came into the city bearing the hope that could save them all.

His constant love is ready to supply an eternal hope for everyone.




Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Thursday, April 6, 2017

See You in the Funny Pages

I read a select though small catalog of comic strips in the daily paper.  I learned this from my father way back in the '40s when he told me, "The only things you can believe in the newspaper are the funnies."

Sadly, things have not improved in that regard.  I still rely on the comics.  A recent example in Scott Adams' "Dilbert."

Asok:  I can't tell  if you are wise or lazy.

Wally:  I know.  It took me years to find that sweet spot.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

That They May Be One

or, How to get along and keep the main thing the main thing.
Continuing with the prayer of Jesus, John 17:20-23 in which the Lord presents His petition to the Father for unity of believers with one another, with Himself, and with the Father
  • Christian unity is based on our shared life in Jesus Christ.
  • Christian unity is based on our shared life through faith in Christ through the apostolic witness to Him.
  • Christian unity is important because it is a major factor in our witness to the world.
  • Christian unity is expressed by believers' common love and common mission.
 With 40,000 denominations and innumerable non- and inter- denominational bodies it is critical that Christians act in unity to promote the gospel message.
  • God did not get a prize when he took me.  He didn't get one when he took you, either.
We must pray for one another and pray, as Jesus did, for the bond of unity in Christ.

We must not compromise the essential elements of the gospel.  They are belief in
  • the triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
  •  the total divinity and the total humanity of Jesus Christ
  • the crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus
  • the Second Coming of Christ
  • salvation only by God's grace through faith.
These define the Christian, his membership in the body of Christ.  We should act in unity with all who believe and teach these principles.  Other differences are unimportant.

Man has done his best to thwart Christ's prayer.  The Christian must pray as He did, follow in his footsteps.
  • We should be praying for unity in the Body of Christ.
  • Pray for individuals and organizations who are stepping out and doing what God commanded in terms of unity without compromising essential biblical truth.
  •  Pray for other believers in your world who are living for Christ in their world. 
  • Finally, ask God to use you as a vessel in your local church, in your family, and in your world to be a person who builds unity rather than dissension.  
We tend to be blind, and to be blind to our blindness.

Think others have quills? You have quills, too.
Guest speaker Rob Cochrane
Sunday morning

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Small engines and Big governments

If it is running a little rough, dismantle it.  If you can't put it back together, oh, well, it wasn't running right anyway.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Hungry for Truth

 This Sunday's lesson continues our study of the Prayer of Jesus.

Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.  As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.  For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.  John 17:17-19 (NIV)

The Word of Truth restores purity.
Sanctified: Dedicated to God; He unifies us to Himself.  We are set apart to His  service in an evil and chaotic world.
The Word of Truth gives purpose.
Jesus immersed himself in the world, His own creation, so that He could know our grief, our sorrows, our temptations.   Find your purpose?  NO!  Find God's purpose for your life. 
The Word of Truth calls us to action.
It is not enough to talk about God's plan, or pray about His plan.  We must act.  Christ carried out God's plan.  We are to do the same.


God's truth does not vary from culture to culture, from age to age.
To know the truth we must be saturated in the Word.
The Bible is one of the channels through which God pours out his grace.

To be saturated in the Word:

1.  Repetition  We internalize the Word.

2  Concentration  Distraction is the order of this day and age.  Discipline ourselves.

3.  Comprehension   Thus we build knowledge of the truth.

4.  Reflection  See things from God's perspective.  Approach the word as a student, not a teacher.

Saturate so that we may bear the Word to the world.

May God's Word make clear to us the places He has called us.

May his Word, Truth, set us apart.  (Sanctify)

The religion God honors is one of action.  

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Ring! Ring!

Wife's cell phone rings.  I normally don't answer it, but it was lying right beside me on the end table.

I:  Hello!


I: (louder) Hello!

Moron:  This is not McDonald's, is it?

I:  You got that right.

Moron: You don't have to yell.  You are a (adjectival expletive) (expletive).

I: You are an idiot, ya know that?  A complete idiot.

(End of conversation)

In the day in which I grew up and during most of my adult life when one dialed a wrong number he simply said, Sorry, I got the wrong number.  And the person who was disturbed by a call not intended for him might say, That's all right.

But what a day and age we now occupy.

And people wonder at old coots who express longings for "the good old days."

Friday, March 24, 2017

Q & A

Q:  What is wrong with this picture?  

A:  The sack is empty.  😭            

Sunday, March 19, 2017


The Jesus joy is the answer to all your problems.

The joy of Jesus Christ goes deeper than any emotion, any circumstance.

How do I get that type of joy?
     It is found in unlikely places.  Ir is never found in any external thing.
     It is found in places you would never go alone.  It is found in places you would not go at all.

You must be willing to walk in the footsteps of Jesus!

 Joy is found in these unlikely places:
1) Submission; 2) Suffering; 3) Consecration.

1) Joy is found in submission to the Father's will.
     John 15:9-11  Obey "that your joy may be complete.

     Find joy in aligning yourself with the Father's will.  Following Christ may be difficult, but it always results in joy.  Walk willfully in the will of God.

2) Joy is found in suffering.
     John 16:20-22 Pain gives way to joy.   Christ used the illustration of the joy supplanting the pain suffered in childbirthPastor expanded on, emphasized this analogy.
Jesus was "a man of sorrow, acquainted with grief."  Yet he had such joy!
Sow in tears, reap in joy, a joy the world cannot take away.

3) Joy is found in being set apart, consecrated.
    Jesus prayed not that we would be taken from the world, but that the Father would protect us while we are in the world.  Allow Him to set a mark upon you which separates you from the world.  Be set apart to His purpose; we do not belong here.

In his Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5) Jesus tells us faithful followers will be despised, rejected, abused by the world.  When this happens, He said, "Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven."

Joy is found in an unwavering relationship with God.

Resolve to carry out the Father's will. 

Notes on sermon by
Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Protect Us from the Evil One

Today's scripture: John 17: 9-15.

     Man has always wrestled with the problem of good and evil.  Here are some theories, or notiions that have been put forward from time to time.

1  We live in a random world; stuff happens.  But there are times when a very active force is at work.

2.  Evil and suffering are all in the mind.  But tell that to someone who is hurting or in pain.

3.  These evils are deserved; punishment for all the wrong things we do.  But bad things happen to good people.

4.   God is not sovereign.  His own creation is out of control.

5.  There are two warring deities, a good one vs. an evil one.  No, there is one God only.

6.  Evil is God's will.  God is love; He is just.  To say that God perpetuates evil is blasphemy.

The message:

1.  Our world does not fully understand the concept of evil, and what makes that dangerous for us is that we have grossly underestimated it.

2.  The problem of evil is real and it is near.  Pain and trouble exist; they are all around us.

3.  John Wesley referred to the devil as the one who reigns in this realm (earth).  The devil is an adversary, on the prowl; he is a pretender, feigning harmlessness. He is a thief, a murderer, and the father of lies.

4.  Jesus knows about the evil in this world.  He prayed about the issue of evil we would face.

5  Jesus prayed for our protection from the evil one.  Jesus is concerned for the safety and well-being of our soul.  He taught his disciples to pray, "deliver us from evil."

6.  Jesus gave us a promise when He said, "I told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble, but take heart!  I have overcome the world."  (John 16:33)

We are in the world but not overcome by it.
We are to be the Good News to the world.  Must carry the Light into darkness.
Do we carry the Good News? 

The enemy of your soul is out to get you.

Jesus's prayer is not for the world, but for those given to Him by the Father. (v. 9) He prays for our protection from the evil one!

From notes on the message by
Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Aging Gracefully

Watching 40-year old sitcoms on Antenna TV.  (Baby, it's cold outside!)

Unique Home Solutions commercial, advertising their roofing system:

"How old will you be in fifty years?"

"A hundred thirty-three!" I shout with glee.  What a pick-me up, what a future!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

How on Earth. . .

do the meteorologists on tv manage to turn such a small amount of information into interminable minutes of blather?  Puzzles me.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Jesus Dream

The scripture passage is John 17:1-5, Christ's high priestly, intercessory prayer.

The prayer, just prior to his arrest and crucifixion, is a glimpse into the heart of Jesus.
This is an amazing passage of scripture, a conversation between Christ and His Heavenly Father.

With Christ is this reality:  Jesus can make impossible things possible.

The glory of Christ was revealed through the Cross!
Without the cross we would never be able to see the glory of Christ.  Upon his death on the cross it was observed, "Truly this is the Son of God."  That He was the Messiah of the world was substantiated as he hung upon the cross.

Salvation is only possible through Jesus Christ who found Glory on the Cross.  Through the glory of the Cross He rescued us!  He knows what His glory costs.

The world needs to hear from those who came face-to-face with the Cross yet live in Christ.

Prayer: May God be glorified!  May my life glorify You, Lord.  May I be a disciple who brings honor to your name.

Bring me face-to-face with the reality of my need for the Christ who bore the cross.
How can I practice self-denial and bring You glory?

At no time in your life are you more like Christ than in suffering.  "Take up your cross and follow Me," Jesus said.  Glorify God and lean in to hear Him. 

Eternal life is only found through Jesus Christ who found glory in the Cross.

The Cross is fundamental to our faith.  Without the Cross we do not experience the Grace and Glory of God!

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning
   Personal conviction as I listened to the message this morning:  Taking up the Cross of Christ and following Him does not mean simply to endure suffering.  More, it means I must die to self, even as Christ died upon the cross.  Lord, help me to live in such a way as to bring honor and glory to You.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Covering of new snow this morning.  Forecast: 55o this afternoon.  That should take care of it!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

It seems to me that when someone who is higher than we in the pecking order slips we demand that he be held to a higher moral standard than we are.  The flaw in this scenario is this: right is  right, wrong is wrong, no matter to whom the standard is applied.

Or, as it has been said,

Beware the pot calling the skillet black.

Monday, February 27, 2017

News. Really?

Monday night,  news reader presents the "most talked about story" of the day.  Turns out to be a non-story, something  about a "mistake" at  the Oscars presentation the previous evening.  "Someone will  have to be held  accountable. . ." 

The considered "opinion" of the news  agency seems  to be  that  the Academy is likely to sever  its relationship with Pricewaterhouse.  Well, of course.  There's accountability for you, is it not?

I propose a different take on the whole thing.  It was Hollywood, right?  The whole thing was a carefully orchestrated and well-acted farce designed to extend unwarranted attention of the country to the tedious annual self-congratulatory mess.


Sunday, February 26, 2017


 Today's lesson is taken from the Sermon on the Mount, the greatest sermon ever preached, as spoken by Jesus Himself.  Text reading Matthew 5:13-16.

Pastor spoke  about the phenomenon of "mission drift" in the church which he said occurs when the focus becomes the self rather than Jesus.  

Jesus said "You are salt. . ."  This addresses the practicality of  being  a believer in Jesus.
A believer is down-to-earth, useful, approachable.  Are you the type people want to be around because you make things better?  Are you good for others?

Jesus said, "You are light. . ." This asserts that we have the answer: hope for the world even if  the world does not realize it needs the light.  Good people who do not know Jesus have a problem.  It is not enough to be a good person.  One must come to know Christ.

Our actions  must bring honor and glory to God.

Five things we at Trinity believe.

     1.  We  believe Trinity is here for people who are not here yet.   We must operate like we believe this.
     2.  We believe we  exist to see people begin and grow in their relationship with Jesus.  
     3.  We believe we are a place where broken people belong,  a place where broken people find belonging and healing.
     4.  We believe people will choose to follow Christ if they see and experience authentic Christian living.  The world is hungry to see what is real.  If they see authentic Christians they will want to know what Jesus has for them.
     5.  We believe that we are called to follow in the footsteps of Jesus such that we bridge the gap between the world and God.


 If you have no friends outside the church, go find some.
Do your neighbors know you love them?
There are  approximately 10,000 unchurched people in the county.

Invite someone!

Connecting people with Jesus only works if each individual participates.

The people we are called to connect with Jesus are those around us.

Will they be able to see our transformed lives?  Give God the glory.

 Ask yourself, How can  I be a practical evangelist in everyday life?

Pastor Johnnie Blair
 Sunday morning

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Robocall # *&^%

Phone:  Get the phone! (I see it is a 210 area code.)

I:  Hello!

Perky Female Voice:  This is your last and final notice. . .  (Last and final.  Wow!  That sounds like Armageddon.)

I:  Good!  I am glad you won't be calling anymore.  (But the robot voice goes on and I hang up.)

Monday, February 20, 2017


Today is Birthington's washday.  Mine, too.  Wednesday is Washington's Birthday.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Have any Giants?

The scripture lesson is from I Samuel 17 which relates the encounter of the Isrealites with the Philistines in which David ultimately dispatches the Giant, Goliath.

No matter what giants you have in your life,  no matter what sins encumber you, try this formula for overcoming them.

1To become a giant killer I must identify the character defining moments in my life.
      When the desires of the heart come to the fore, we must always pick a side.

2.  Learn to see what God sees.
     Sin is  too big for you to handle is a lie of the enemy.  Whatever you face, it is nothing to what God can do.  Nothing can defeat you so long as you see what God sees.  Call sin what it is.

3.  Believe in my heart that God is able to deliver me.
     Begin to change, with God's help, and build on successes.  David killed both the lion and the bear before he slew Goliath.  Rather than to be seized by fear, believe that God is able.

                   God will make a way!

4.  Give God the credit and the glory for every victory.
      David placed Goliath's sword in the tabernacle, gives glory to God rather than to himself.  In chapter 21 we see the priest returning the sword to David.

What the devil wanted to use to destroy you will  one day be turned on him.

The Holy Spirit aligns my thinking with His so that I may see what God sees.
I am a child of the Living God.
This giant shall have no power over me.

No weapon formed against you shall prosper. --Isaiah 54:17 (Read the entire verse.)

 The ultimate goal is not just to kill giants but you will, over time, become a Person after God's own heart!  Then there is nothing that can defeat you.
  Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Monday, February 13, 2017


Just heard on the news about a new phenomenon: Netflix cheating.

Run!  The relationship was doomed before it started.

What is the matter with people?  Don't answer that.

Sunday, February 12, 2017


The scripture lesson is 2 Samuel 11, which is the same passage that has been used throughout this series on the deadly sins.

Anger is an emotional response to something that causes emotional hurt or pain.

Anger is not necessarily a sin.  It may stimulate a desire to see justice done; a desire to right a wrong.
Anger has a dangerous side, a sinful side.

Anger is called one of the seven deadly sins for a reason.  It is the one that is called forth to defend us when we are called out for one of the other deadly sins.  
When one is called out for a wrong behavior, anger comes to his rescue.

Most terrifying: anger may wear different faces such as rage or violence.

**Anger covers up for something that is going wrong within.**

Anger very rarely admits to wrong-doing.  When we are called out we are guilty, offended, and insulted.

In anger we will push away that which we should cherish most.  It is the denial of a truth at the expense of another person's pain.

Passive aggression is not less deadly than open hostility, and sometimes it is more damaging.

Anger never affects only the target, but others as well.

Some symptoms of sinful anger:  sarcasm, foul language, the silent treatment, course  joking. 

Anger is a control issue.  We want to be in control.  Anger reflects a need  for control.  Sequentially it is followed by a desire for vengeance.

      [Pastor related that anger in his own household is characterized as "intense moments of fellowship."]

In surrender to God we find release from anger.

Give up your anger and in return find forgiveness and peace.

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Bullies: Envy and Greed

A bully becomes an internal voice.  "Do I measure up?"

Our desires are bullies within.

Envy and Greed are bullies.
     Envy: the feeling of discontentment aroused by desire for others possessions or situations.
     Greed: the desire to acquire or possess more than one needs.  (See James 4)

We try to accumulate possessions, power, authority.  When we compare our situation with others the bullies within tell us we are not quite good enough.

Instead of rejoicing with others, we wish we were in their position.

In First Samuel 18 we see envy bullying Saul.  He begins to keep a close eye on David.  He is envious of the praise and adulation David receives; Saul is greedy of the throne.  He is so driven by envy and greed that he determines to kill David.  Envy and greed ultimately destroyed Saul.

David, too, was bullied by envy and greed.  (Refer back to Second Samuel 11 and last week's message.)
     --Sin will always take you farther than you want to go.
     --Sin will always cost you more than you want to pay.
     --Sin will stay longer than you ever planned.


The problem with envy and greed is that  one will never have enough.

Symptoms of the discontent of envy and greed.
     1.  Consistent restlessness.  Underestimating the self, overestimating others.
     2,  Materialism.  Want more  of  the best.  Oh, the joy when others covet what you have!
     3,  Accumulation of debt.  Results in pain and humiliation.
Many are beaten down by these three symptoms

Make a commitment to keep these three things in mind.  Write them down if need be.
     1.  I am who I am.  It is not about possessions, but about character of heart.  Stop playing the comparison game.
     2.  I have what I  have. Be content in whatsoever state you are in.  (Philippians 4)  To want  more of what others  have is to assume God made  a mistake.
     3.  Lord, help me to give back all that I have been given.  The consequence of envy and greed  is to lose everything; the cure is to give it away.  Watch the blessings  of God flow over your life beyond measure!
Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sexual Sin

As was last week's sermon, today's message is based on II Samuel chapter 11.
Looking at the scripture and reviewing David's lust and sexual sin we note these cracks in the man's character.
1.  Becoming desensitized  II Samuel 5:13 we note David is building his harem.
2,  Carelessness Sometimes we see inadvertently, but taking a second look is  careless.
3.  Obsession David allowed his assessment to become an obsession, which resulted in
4.  Ungodly actions 

Practical application
     1.  Do not  trust yourself.  David fell,  anyone can fall.  David is a warning.
     2.  Build hedges around your marriage, or around your purity if you are single.
          Accountability partners are hedges against sinful behaviors.
     3.  Force yourself to consider the consequences of sin.  Consequences do not go away with repentance.  The rest of the book of II Samuel is riddled with the consequences of David's sin.
Read Psalm 51 which is David's plea for restoration.

Weeds grow where the grass is thin or nonexistent. 

When one is out of the way of duty, he is in the way of temptation.

Take the energy of lust and put it toward your relationship with Jesus Christ.

Rob Cochrane, guest speaker
Sunday morning

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Football? If You Say So.

A testimony to how bad all  the other  teams  in the NFL must be.  How did  it happen  that both  the NFC and  the AFC championship games were so lopsided?  If those were the four best  teams. . .

I don't  care  if the  final  score is 3-0 or 49-48,  it  is  supposed  to  be  interesting, riveting, a chance right  to  the end  that  either  team may be  the victor.

What a total waste  of my time last Sunday. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017


Scripture lesson 2 Samuel 11:1.  King David stays in Jerusalem while the troops go to  battle.

David  looked  on Bathsheba and self-indulgence led  to over-indulgence and  to  adultery and  murder.

David had a life-long woman  problem  and a  lack  of  restraint.  He embraced it.

Over-indulgence is more than a physical thing, it is a spiritual flaw.
It is idolatry in  which one turns to self-gratification instead of God.

Self-indulgence looks like a lot  of different things: lust, gluttony, greed.

After self-indulgence defeat hangs like  a heavy weight around the neck.

We believe we will find happiness in indulgence, but
Happiness comes  not from earthly pleasure but  from God.

Self-control is freedom; gluttony is bondage.
Self-control comes  from God.  It  creates a space in which we  enjoy the presence of God.

There is no excess with Jesus.   One cannot have too much of God.

*Give thanks.
*Memorize scripture.
*Stay active; not just physically, which is good, but spiritually.  Pray and  read your Bible.

What is consuming me?  Is it God? 

Pastor Joe  Deckard
Sunday morning

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Game of the Day

Today's game seems to be guessing  and  lining up who will attend  the  inauguration and  who won't.

Let the record show that I shall not be  in  attendance.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Sin of Pride

The Scripture: James 4:1-10  (NIV)

Submit Yourselves to God

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
You adulterous people,[a] don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us[b]? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
“God opposes the proud
    but shows favor to the humble.”[c]
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Most sin begins with pride.
  • Obvious pride
  • Subtle pride
  • Deadly pride, which includes pretense to humility.  
 Low self-esteem is just pride inverted: One sets the standard so high he cannot achieve it.

In II Samuel 12 we see Nathan calling David out for his sin.  "You are the man."  David was so prideful he did not recognize his own sin.  Deadly pride.

Pride makes everyone sick except the one who has it.

Have a pride problem?
1.  Give God his throne back.  (Daniel 19:23)
2.  Crucify the carnal nature.   Cannot do this on your own: let the Holy Spirit into your life.

Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Jesus Christ.

Brief notes on the sermon of 
Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Friday, January 13, 2017

It may be foie gras to you, but it is goose liver nonetheless.

The amount of ink and air time devoted to the "news" that an alien entity meddled in our election process is fascinating, especially the "how dare they?" aspect.

Truly, it is as though we have never meddled in the internal affairs of another political entity.

Study your history.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Engaging the Culture

engage: to attract or please

engage: to mesh, as gears

engage: to bring into conflict

When the  church today speaks of "engaging the culture," I get the queasy feeling that they mean to attract or please.  This then might well lead to meshing with the culture, and if so then there is no need for the church.  The culture will do just fine.

I think that for the church to engage the culture it must bring itself into conflict with the culture,  The church must be ready and able to address the worldly culture with holy truth,  never shying away from the necessity of the culture to change, to conform to Christ.  Christ will never change to accommodate the culture.

But that is scary.  Yes, it is. Jesus said, "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."

To arms!  Engage the culture!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

The promise:  "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor."

The unintended consequences:  The doctors by the squad folded their practices and went on to do something else with their lives.

Mine did.  And here I sit, sick as a dog and have no physician.  I have insurance, though!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

The Year of the Lord's Favor

Pastor prefaced his sermon with a review of 2016.  We laughed.  Then he gave this advice to the Millennials:  The Builders and the Boomers already think you sit around and do nothing.  Stop making and posting videos that prove their point.

In the Book of Leviticus we read that every fiftieth year was the Year of Jubilee.  Jubilee was a reset in which debts were cancelled, servants were released and the land went back to its original owners.

In Isaiah 61 we read the promise of the coming Christ in which as in years past we had Jubilee, upon His coming we will see The Year of the Lord's Favor.  Then turning to the scripture lesson we find Jesus in the assembly in his home town being handed the scriptures from which he reads the passage from Isaiah and reveals that the Year of the Lord's Favor has come.  The King of Israel is also the Head of the Human Race!  We are living in the Year of the Lord's Favor.

We are called to join in on Christ's mission by living out the Year of the Lord's Favor.
-----Face 2017 knowing the favor of God is on your life.  (This is not a prosperity gospel proclaiming that you will be rich in material things and free from problems.)
-----Start thinking about His mission more than our own.  In this we will attain His favor.

Pastor proclaimed that. . .

-----This will be a year of divine Acceptance.  Acts 10:34,35 asserts that God does not show favoritism, but accepts those who do right.

-----This will be a year of divine Anointing.  God wants you to be a presence in 2017.
 The anointing:  God places his hand upon you to a purpose.

-----This will be a year of divine Authority.  In Acts chapter one we are told that we shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon us.
The power enables us to live a victorious life; to live above the things that used to keep us down.

Living on our own is a restricted life; with God we have unlimited possibilities.

*Jesus is right for whatever is wrong.*

When the Holy Spirit dwells within you, people will see and want to see Jesus.

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning