If Thy Hand Offend Thee

Matthew_5:30  And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

 

I never did post anything about On Course Youth Conference that took place two months ago. Truly, it was a wonderful conference that our young people were blessed to be able to attend. The preaching was powerful and anointed, and it was beautiful to see the response of so many young people during altar service times. Although this conference is geared toward youth, there have been many times where God has talked to my heart through the preaching of the Word.

The message that Brother Paul Bertram preached with the above Scripture as his text is the one that stands out the most in my mind. He shared with us the true story of Aron Ralston, an experienced outdoorsman who through a freak accident had his hand pinned under a boulder, from which he was unable to break free. After being trapped for 5 days in this condition, Aron realized that his hand was rotting under the boulder, and the only way he was going to be able to survive was to cut off  his hand. So, he did. It still makes me cringe when I think about it.

Brother Bertram began to talk about how we can hold onto things that can slowly kill us spiritually. An area he dealt with a lot was cell phones. These devices are so popular in our society, and while they are very useful, they can also cause great harm to us spiritually when we use them inappropriately or devote too much time to them to the neglecting of more important things. God dealt with me during that service about something on my phone. It wasn’t a sin but something that was becoming  a weight, and I knew God was speaking to my heart to delete it, and so I did. I’m so glad that God cares about us enough to show us areas in our lives where we need correction or things in our lives that could become stumbling blocks!

We do need to exercise caution with cell phones and technology. It seems everywhere I go nowadays, I see people staring at screens, whether it be cell phones, laptops or I-pads. I wonder what would happen if we spent as much time in prayer and Bible reading as we do on our devices. I wrote the following while musing on that a couple of weeks ago. While it is a satirical piece, and I don’t really believe getting rid of our cell phones would bring instant revival, limiting the time we spend on them and dedicating more time to seeking God would certainly help.

Cell Phone Phenomenon

We stare at it while we cross the street.

It must accompany us when with friends we meet.

Oh, why can’t we seem to leave it alone;

this technological wonder we call the cell phone?

 

The husband and wife go out to dinner

to have quality time alone;

as they sit across from each other,

both of them on their phone.

 

And what shall we do with our cell phone next?

Should we start a photo stream or send out a text?

Our day is just not complete, it seems

without sending or receiving the latest memes.

 

Of course, there are amusements and games galore

to keep you awake until 3 or 4.

And there’s pressure to upgrade to the latest.

That I-phone 1,000 is just the greatest!

 

The apps to choose from can catch your breath.

There is even one to predict your own death!

Oh, all the wonders the cell phone is giving.

Before its’ time we weren’t really living.

 

It’s a glorious device upon which we spend time,

almost without care, reason or rhyme.

It’s so easy to squander the minutes away

held in the cell phone’s hypnotic  sway.

 

You may think I’m totally under delusion,

but my ponderings have brought me to this conclusion.

If cell phone time was replaced with prayer and reading the Bible

we’d have an earth shaking, devil chasing, Heaven sent revival!

4/20/17

 

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Who Is She?

She glides through the village with perfect poise and grace,

a look of steady purpose, determination on her face.

Along the pathway she approaches the first passerby

who rudely cruises on his way with an irritated sigh.

The market place, the destination, where the lady arrives next

to a host of indolent youth that sit around and text.

She tries to catch their eye, begins to lift her voice

but they seemingly ignore her, definitely by choice.

Though what she has to offer, is better than silver and gold,

they won’t hear her instruction. She’s left out in the cold.

She’s been around a long time, before earth’s grand creation;

before so many traded her for pride, self -exaltation.

Yet, it is by her, that some kings and princes reign.

She gives to common men, a life that is not in vain.

All are truly blessed that choose to keep her ways

applying her sound counsel all their earthly days.

Fools that reject her will suffer eternal shame.

“Who is she?” you may ask. Wisdom is her name.

 

5/2/17

Inspired by Proverbs 8

The Word Is Still God

While at West Coast Conference, one of my favorite things to do is take some time to peruse the bookstore that is set up each year. I was walking around scanning titles, and my attention was drawn to this book. I picked it up because I recognized the name of the author. If this was the same person, he was close to my son’s age and someone we had met through our involvement in Bible quizzing when our kids were younger. Sure enough, when I looked at the author’s picture on the back cover, there was no mistaking that this was the same young man, who back in the day, was an incredible Bible quizzer. 

“Wow, Garrett wrote a book!” I thought to myself. Upon reading more about the book, I saw that it was a study of the Oneness of God, which has always been interesting for me. I bought it, and I have been enjoying it!

Garrett starts with the book of Genesis and goes through each book of the Bible in order, bringing out different aspects of the Oneness of God. I’ve been amazed at some of his insights and nuggets of truth that he shares. It’s so amazing to see the Oneness of God in each book of Scripture. 

I haven’t finished reading the book yet, but I’ve read enough to know that this is a book I would recommend. If you want a fresh, new appreciation for the Bible doctrine of the Mighty God in Christ, this book is for you.

Fat Bones Monday

” The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart: and a good report maketh the bones fat.” Proverbs 15:30

This sweet 10 year old girl received the Holy Ghost this past Friday night. If the angels rejoice over one sinner that repents, (Lk. 15:7,10) I wonder what they do when that repentant sinner receives the precious gift of the Holy Ghost. I’m thankful and still rejoicing today.👏🏻🙌🏻

H.O.O.F. 2016

This past Saturday our church had the opportunity to participate in the Heart Of Oakley Festival, which was held in the downtown area of our city. We had a booth where we gave out free bottled water, made balloon animals for kids, passed out church invitations and literature and offered people a chance to win a $50 gift card to a local restaurant by filling out a brief survey. Here are a few pics from the event.


These are set up photos. The triangular thing at the end of the table is a lollipop tree. Kids could pick out a lollipop, and if they pulled one out with blue marker on the stick, they would win a $5 gift card to McDonalds.


Sis. Miranda getting ready to give away some ice cold waters.


People visiting our booth.


Some of our young people stood in a shady spot across the street from the booth and made balloon animals to give away along with invitations to children’s church.


It was a super hot day in the high 90’s. Our booth was just a few yards away from the city water fountain. I had chugged a bunch of cold water but was still roasting. I saw children running under the fountain and getting soaked. “Should I?” I privately asked myself. My inner child was screaming, “Do it!” Hmm, didn’t Jesus say, “Except ye become as little children…..”  Okay, I didn’t really think that, but I did make the decision to go ahead and get wet. It felt so good! 😅

Although it was a hot day, it was also fun, and I know God blesses our efforts. I was proud of everyone who came out and worked hard. What we do for the kingdom is not in vain.

PCC-Making An Eternal Difference

  


Rom 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. NLT

 

There is an unseen battle that takes place everyday in the lives of those who are truly striving to live their lives in accordance with the Bible, God’s Word. We will either succumb to the pressures that this world hurls against us and conform to ungodliness or we will be transformed in our minds, that our behavior might be pleasing to God. This battle can be especially intense for young people who are in their formative years and are making choices and decisions that will determine who they are and ultimately, where they will spend eternity.

I am so thankful for Pacific Coast Camp, which I was privileged to be able to attend last week with my family and other members andoung people from our church. I can’t remember the exact number of campers (ages 7-25) that were there, but I know it was over 300. Most of the young people that attended have already received their initial salvation experience of repenting of sin, being baptized in the name of Jesus and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. However, there is a whole lot more to living for God than obeying Acts 2:38. We still have a sinful nature to contend with and a devil that does all he can to hinder our salvation experience from becoming a growing and wonderful relationship with Jesus Christ. At Pacific Coast Camp, young people were given an opportunity to disconnect from the hindrances of technology(cell phones, ipads, ipods, MP3 players, etc.) and connect with God through the preaching of the Word, prayer, praise and good fellowship.

The teaching of Bro. Lackey each morning and the preaching of the good elders in the evening services was outstanding. It was so uplifting to see the response to each message as young people would flood to the altars to rededicate themselves to God. How helpful it is for young people as well, to see other youth from different churches who are endeavoring to live for God too. It is encouraging to know that you are not alone in choosing to walk in a way that is contray to the practices of this world.

I am grateful to the men that had the burden and vision to bring this camp into existence. This was the camp’s 10 year anniversary, and I believe it was our 6th year of being in camp with a group of young people from our church. There is much time, work and sacrifice involved in putting together such a powerful meeting, and I know God does reward and will reward those who played a part in it.

I believe the greatest reward will be seeing those that make it to heaven, because something they received at camp got embedded deep in their spirits, and they remained faithful. Thank God for Pacific Coast Camp!