Jim’s Blog

 

The Air I Breathe

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from Your presence; take not Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and sustain me with a willing spirit.
PSALM 51:10-12
 
HAVE YOU EVER FELT LIKE YOU WERE JUST TRUDGING through life? that the things and activities that once brought you joy and energized you now felt like drudgery or a heavy drag? that the delight you once experienced in your Christian walk and relationships has grown cold?   Maybe God is trying to get your attention.
 

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The June Drop

“. . . let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that
so easily entangles.  And let us run with perseverance the race marked out  for us,
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. . . .”

-HEBREWS 12:1-2 (NIV – 1984)

I GREW UP IN RURAL COMMUNITIES AS A CHILD and have lived nearly all of my adult life in the country—many of those years were also spent farming.  In all that time I had never heard of “the June Drop.”  This past week I learned of this phenomenon from Cheryl Greene, via the Internet.  Cheryl, in her Facebook post at the Greene Beanery Coffee Roastery, shared some thoughts certainly worth passing along as filtered through my own heart and mind.

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Don’t Forget

Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them.
Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will watch over you.

-PROVERBS 4:5-6 (NIV)
 

I TEND TO BE A LITTLE FORGETFUL AT TIMES. Whether that is because I truly forget a thing, or that I have not paid careful attention is open for debate.  There are those who are certain it is the latter.  No doubt that is true far more often than I would care to admit. 

Most of us forget things:

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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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