Jim’s Blog

 

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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Courage to Stand

The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were
Shiphrah and Puah, “When you help the Hebrew women in childbirth and
observe them on the delivery stool, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her
live.”  The midwives, however, feared God and did not do as the king
of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live.
-Exodus 1:15-17
 
WITH THE SNOW THAT CAME THIS PAST WEEKEND walking to the car at the head of our driveway has become rather risky business.  To start with, the ground was not frozen when then snow came, so the lower few inches of snow were a little wet and slushy. After driving in and out of the driveway several times the snow is now quite packed down.  With the daytime thaws and the nighttime freezes, it didn’t take long for the driveway to become treacherously uneven, icy and slippery.

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Celebration of Light

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.”
–Isaiah 9:2

 
CHRISTMAS IS A SEASON OF WONDER AND JOY, a time of promise and hope—a celebration of light.  The Fall of Adam plunged mankind and all of Creation into spiritual darkness.  It is only in The Promise of God that The Light mankind so desperately needs and longs for will be known.

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At Just the Right Time

“But when the time set had fully come, God sent His son,
born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law,
that we might receive the adoption to sonship.”
-Galatians 4:4-5
 
HAVE YOU EVER NOTICED, TIMING IS EVERYTHING? Right place. Right time. Right circumstances.  Right conditions.  Whether you’re talking about getting just the right picture or that job promotion, timing is everything—or is it? 

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Happy Hearts

 
“Each person should give what he has
decided in his heart to give,
not reluctantly or under compulsion,
for God loves
a cheerful giver.”
-2 Corinthians 9:7
 

THE SEASON OF THANKSGIVING IS HERE and should be a time of incredible joy and happiness, for truly we are a blessed people.  We live in a land of incredible opportunity and bounty, and as Christians God has “blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). 

How do we say “thank you” for incredible blessings such as these?  The simple answer, though not so simply demonstrated, is . . .

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Identity Crisis

“This Ezra came up from Babylon.
He was a teacher well versed in the Law of Moses,
which the L
ORD, the God of Israel had given.”
-Ezra 7:6
 

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What is Truth?

Jesus answered [Pilate], “You say that I am a king.
For this purpose I was born, and for this purpose I have come into the world
—to bear witness to the truth.
  Everyone who is of the truth, listens to me.”

Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”
-John 18:37-38 (ESV)
 
 
WHAT IS TRUTH?”  This was Pilate’s infamous, sarcastic and snarky response to Jesus’ statement of purpose—that of bearing witness to the truth.  It is clear that our generation is not the first to lose its grip on truth. 

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Finish Well

My only aim is to finish the race and complete
the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying
to the good news of God’s grace.
-Acts 20:24 (NIV)
 
THIS WEEK I WILL ATTEMPT TO COMPLETE my 7th annual ride of the Ohio to Erie Trail, a 320-mile bicycle ride of several contiguous trails linking the Ohio River to Lake Erie.  There are 12 riders in this year’s crew—most of us preachers.  The comradery and brotherhood alone are worth the trip.

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