Jim’s Blog

 

Dancing in the Rain

“[God] causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good,
and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

-MATTHEW 5:45 (NIV)

 

WE’VE ALL HEARD THE SAYING, “When it rains it pours.”  It is the slogan for Morton salt, and the slogan seems to be proving itself accurate in our neck of the woods.  David Wright wrote the following in our local Press Gazette newspaper just this past Sunday of our little city, Hillsboro.

“Rainfall in the Hillsboro area so far this year is just a few slots shy of breaking a 120-year record, a meteorologist said, and further showers in coming days will likely complicate planting for local farmers already late putting their crops in the ground.

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Kids Are Special

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them,
for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.
-MATTHEW  19:14 (ESV)
 
KIDS ARE SPECIAL.  I AM REMINDED OF THAT EVERY MORNING this week as we are off and running into a marvelous week of VBS (Vacation Bible School). The enthusiasm and excitement of both kids and workers is contagious.
 

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Times & Seasons

For everything there is a season,
and time for every matter under heaven.
-ECCLESIASTES 3:15 (ESV)
 
THE SEASON OF CHANGE IS UPON US.  The trees and plants have awakened from their winter’s sleep.  Seniors have made their final walk down the halls of their respective schools, receiving their hard-earned diplomas. Spring is about to slip into summer.  Day after day,  week after week, year after year the earth turns and brings with each turn inevitable changes—some of them welcome, others not; some of them needed, others not; some of them to be embraced, others rejected.

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The Call of Obscurity

They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute,
persecuted and mistreated—the world was not worthy of them.
They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.
-HEBREWS 11:37-38 (NIV)
 
WHEN I ENTERED THE COMPETITION my hopes and dreams were big.  I thought that maybe—just maybe—God was opening the door for me to pursue a concert ministry that would lead to recording contracts and—if I’m really going to be honest—a degree of recognition or notoriety.
 
It was 1986 when I first entered the vocal competition at the
Christian Artists Seminar of the Rockies held annually at the YMCA of Estes Park, Colorado. 

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Where Do You Go?

15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said,
 “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”

16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.

18 “Bring them here to me,” he said.
     -Matthew 14:15-18
 
DO YOU REMEMBER THE EVENT when Jesus miraculously fed 5,000 men, not counting women and children?  This most likely means there were several thousand more women and children, compounding the dilemma of the disciple’s while magnifying the power and authority of Christ.  This event is one of only two which are detailed in all four of the gospel records, underscoring its importance and overwhelming impact upon the disciples of Christ.  Here is the upshot of this unprecedented historic event:

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Forever Young

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 
 -LAMENTATIONS 3:22-23
 
SEVERAL YEARS AGO, while living in Colorado, we were privileged to have a rather spectacular view of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains from our home.  The photo above is the sight we would see every day from our front porch.  The twin mountain peaks, Long’s and Meeker, were an incredible gift from God that we grew to love.  Each new snowfall in the mountain range just west of our community of Longmont brought new and breathtaking beauty.  It seemed that we just couldn’t get enough of this unique visual feast. 

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Courage to Be Different

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you
out of darkness, into His wonderful light.”
-1 Peter 2:9 (NIV)
 

IF YOU HAVEN’T NOTICED, nearly every aspect of our calendars is ordered around the rhythm of the school year.  We even program much of our church calendar with sensitivity to what happens on our school campuses.  Big yellow people movers, we call “school buses” (I used to drive one), keep us constantly alert and aware of the precious cargo they carry.


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Always Prepared

“We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned to us by the One who sent us.
The night is coming, and then no one can work.”

-John 9:4 (NLT)
 

BEING CAUGHT UNPREPARED is a most uncomfortable and embarrassing situation and can be quite costly, or even deadly, depending on the nature of that situation.  Yet knowing this, we still often find ourselves unprepared for many of the curve balls life throws at us. 


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Serve & Protect

Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care
serving as overseers, not because you must, but because you are willing
as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it
over those entrusted to but being examples to the flock.

-1 Peter 5:2-3
 
RECENTLY I WAS INVITED TO BECOME A PART of a team of pastors serving as chaplains for the
Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District and The Hillsboro Police Department.  My responsibilities as a part of that team include being available to encourage and assist our community’s first responders in any way possible, especially in regard to spiritual and emotional support in times of intense trial or crisis. 

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Heal or Destroy

The tongue . . . is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body.
It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire,
and is itself set on fire by hell. . . .  No man can tame the tongue.
James 3:6, 8
 
 

I LOVE A WARM FIRE IN THE WOOD STOVE on a cold winter day.  There is nothing quite like it.  Some of my fondest memories are centered around fireplaces, wood stoves, campfires and winter bonfires at sledding parties in Michigan as a young boy.

Fires are wonderful things when they are in the proper place and in a controlled environment.  Useful tools and implements are forged in fire.  Gold and silver are purified in fire.  Cars run on the fiery heat of a combustion engine.  But fires can also be devastatingly horrific—like forest fires.

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