Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Not Making This Up

Read a published article which contained this sentence:
They were ahead of the curb. . . 

Visualize that, if you will.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

First Things First

The final message in the series "Enough" is based on words of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew chapter six.  Jesus here begins with a discussion of worship, the elements of which are giving to the needy, prayer, and fasting.  In verses nineteen to twenty-one we read
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."  (NIV)
Pursuit of earthly treasures sets up idols in our hearts and lives.
We will never find fulfillment in treasures of this world.

Materialism is backed by misconceptions:
     1.  Having more things will make me happy.
     2.  Having more things will make life easier.
     3.  Having more things will make me more secure.
               Wrong, wrong, and wrong.

Materialism is the desire to gain what I do not need at the cost of what I do not have.

v. 25: Do not worry.
     40% of what we worry about never happens; 30% is about the past and cannot be changed; 10% is about health about which worry only exacerbates our problems.
Worry is useless, unhealthy for your soul.
Worry is a symptom of lack of faith.
Worry is what happens when you think you know best.
Worry is characteristic of one who does not know God.

WE ARE GOD'S CHILDREN.  He is a good Father; He knows what we need before we ask!  God is our provider.
vv.  34,35:  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Philippians 4:19:   And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
 Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

SEC, pffft

Class, Julie Peoples.  But then  no doubt she was just the messenger.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Generous Life

The scripture lesson is from chapter six of Paul's first letter to Timothy.

Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
But godliness with contentment is great gain.
For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

We allow money to corrupt our minds by stealing our peace.

Generosity is not just giving paper but it is giving of yourself in whatever situation a need exists. 
Pastor Amanda Blair
Sunday morning

Saturday, November 18, 2017

For What It's Worth

Old math teachers never die, they just cease to be a factor.

And they have bigger problems than that.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Happiness is a kicked football

Image result for charlie brown football
"Happiness isn't funny."  --Charles Schulz, when asked why he did not let Charlie Brown kick the football.  "It would make us happy, but happiness isn't funny."

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Dealing with Debt

or, Clean-up on Aisle Five

American families are over their heads in debt.  For example, even those with the lowest net worth (zero or negative) have an average of $10,000 indebtedness.

When will we have enough?

We go into debt, perhaps, to get the kids the "things we never had as a child."  Perhaps debt is the result of impulse buying, or believing that our "wants" are "needs."
Later, the only thing we have to show for it is a stack of bills.

*Debt is not a sin.
*Debt is not a salvation issue.
*God's Word is relevant and practical to our lives.

Whether debt is for a good reason or for a bad decision, the weight of it is the same.

 *Debt enslaves us.  The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.  --Proverbs 22:7 (NIV)

*Debt must be repaid.  Do not be one who shakes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts; if you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched from under you. --Proverbs 22:26,27

*Debt costs more than you borrow.    For who, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?  Luke 14:28

*Debt assumes upon a future.    Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.  --James 4:14

 Debt is an easy path to a harder tomorrow.  --Ron Blue

Now we turn to the scripture, II Kings 4:1-7 in which the recently widowed woman is facing the payment of her late husbands debt and has not wherewithal to pay it.  She cries out to Elisha and he responds with two questions.
1.  How can I help?   This is the miracle question.
2.  What do you have?  Check your inventory.

Jesus wants to work at the heart level.
Perhaps it is the case that debt is not the basic problem.
Maybe it is a result of lack of contentment. The need is a sense of gratitude, gratefulness and thanksgiving for what one has.
Maybe the issue is pride.  The need is humility.  It is not necessary to appear have more than the neighbor.
Perhaps the issue is  lack of freedom.  The need is breaking the bondage of a vice or addiction.

Debt may just be a symptom of a problem of the heart.
Once the woman in the story took a step of faith, God began to deal with the problem.  And so it will be for us.
1.  Take inventory.
2.  Set a budget.

Tell your money where to go instead of allowing money to speak for you.


WORK HARD.  God designed us to enjoy work.
If you want God to bless you, get off your backside and do something.


Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Life of Stewardship

 The scripture lesson is Matthew 25:14-30 in which Jesus relates the parable of the rich man entrusting his goods to his servants while he was away.  The amount of wealth entrusted to each is not the point, but rather the manner in which the servants cared for the wealth.

The American dream at its inception implied that each individual might have the opportunity to make something of himself.  It has morphed into the dream of acquisition and consumption of more and more goods.

When will we have enough?
     --When we begin to choose a different kind of dream.--

How will we deal with the resources Christ has entrusted us with?
---Five principles which must drive us.--

1.  I may hold it for awhile, but God owns it all.
     --Breaks the chains of selfishness.  We are not entitled:  it is all God's who has decided to bless us with it for awhile.

2.  My faithfulness cannot be dictated by the amount I have.
     --Must practice faithfulness in the "little"  which will be amplified in the "much."

3.  If I fear losing it all, eventually I will.

4.  True blessing is not when I have something, but when I give something.
     --God blesses us that we might bless others.

5.  For me to have enough, Christ must be my All.
     --Note that the happiness of the servants (v. 23) is not in the things with which they are entrusted, but in sharing the happiness of the Master!

Happiness is not based on what we possess.

It is good to have money and the things money can buy--
But check yourself:  make sure you have not lost the things money cannot buy.

Again:  To have enough, Christ must be my All!
Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Thursday, November 2, 2017

True Love

Mrs. W:  Who put the "True  Love" frame around our picture?"

I:  I did.

She:  That's sweet.  We do put up with each other."

I:  Is that your definition of true love-- putting up with each other?

She:  Mmm. Yes.