Thanksgiving Day is a national Holiday in the United States — commemorating the harvest of Plymouth Colony in 1621. The event followed a winter of great hardship. For the real meaning of the word, Thanksgiving, Christians look to one person, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Because of Him, Thanksgiving is more than a day on a calendar, or more than a day with turkey and trimmings. Because of Him, we cry out with praise and worship. “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. ” more on this story...
We are blessed here in Kentucky to have such mild weather. Yesterday it was so warm that my father and I took our boat out on Fishtrap Lake. The sun was very bright and the temperature was about 82 degrees. The only thing that came to mind as I looked around at the potpourri of colors as though they came from an artist’s brush and the large fluffy clouds reminiscent of cotton fields was “Thank you, Jesus!” It is amazing to think of God’s creation and the perfection involved. Cares more on this story...
As we continue to remember former Chaplains here at Pikeville Medical Center, I want to share some things about my friend Rev. Mark Walz. Mark was a good Chaplain, and he loved the people he worked with. Mark provided patients and staff with spiritual care for more than 10 years. Mark played an influential part of fulfilling the hospital’s mission, “to provide quality, regional health care in a Christian Environment. ” Mark participated in patient visitation, prayer groups, bereavement counseling, praying for the sick and rejoiced at a new birth. Mark was also active in many more on this story...
Our friend Troy
Our October theme of sharing stories of pastors/chaplains who have been an inspiration to us in our community, one comes to mind; Troy Tackett. He was the first pastor to welcome me to Pikeville in 1998. I appreciated his friendship and encouragement over the years. Troy was not only a fellow pastor but also a chaplain at Pikeville Medical Center. He was always a source of much encouragement to patients and staff alike. A smile, a song or a chuckle were never far away. At all times a servant of Christ helping others. One of the more on this story...
Do not pass me by
During a recent family meal, my eldest niece was planning an adventure walk with me. Her little sister stared at us across the table with quivering lip and pooling eyes and said, “Don’t forget me. Don’t leave me. ” It nearly brought me to tears. We all suffer fear of rejection sometimes. Genesis 27:38 says Esau begged, “Bless me, even me also, O my father!” and wept aloud. A popular hymn pleads, “Savior, Savior, hear my humble cry: while on others Thou art calling, do not pass me by!” It is vital to remember more on this story...
Where God Leads I Will Follow
In the daytime also he led them with a cloud, and all the night with a light of fire. Psalm 78:14 The chosen people were afraid. They had to cross a barren wasteland, a desert, with no provisions and no definite sense of where they would end up. The scorching sun frightened them. The dark, cold nights frightened them. They were a people afraid But the Lord saw their fear, and He sent a cloud to block the scorching sun, and He placed a bright fireball in the sky at night to more on this story...
How big is our God
I have always loved the science of astronomy and have studied it extensively. On a clear, still night, one can look into the sky and see the same stars that astronomers in King Nebuchadnezzar’s day saw thousands of years ago. It is believed that the light from the star Deneb in the constellation Cygnus left over a thousand years ago and we are just now seeing it. In fact, no one can precisely calculate the exact distance of Deneb because it is so far away. The Universe which we see is like God, it has no beginning nor any more on this story...
Ring Your Bell
A large brass bell adorns one wall of the chemotherapy room at our Cancer Center. For visitors and newcomers, it draws curious looks and questions. For those who have been receiving treatment for some time, it is a visual symbol of a goal. When a patient completes their chemotherapy, staff and loved ones surround them to celebrate them as they leave, and on their way out they ring the bell. Many an emotional celebration has taken place at the bell. Patients and staff cheer as the resounding tone more on this story...
My son and I along with friends plan to attend the Grand National Street Rod meeting in Louisville this weekend, an annual event that I always look forward to, not only to see the beautiful classic cars, but to renew old friendships and make new ones. Wheels play such an integral part in this event. They are circles with a purpose. They are part of the beautiful vehicles of the past and one of man’s greatest inventions. Without them, life would be much more difficult. more on this story...
I have always been fascinated with hummingbirds and thought it would be neat to see one up close. I had that opportunity one beautiful Saturday afternoon this past June after mowing my lawn. As I was putting the lawnmower up I noticed a hummingbird inside the garage. It was desperately trying to get out but with little success. I tried every way I knew to get the hummingbird to fly out through the open garage door. The little bird did not trust me or understand my desire to help it find freedom. I more on this story...
Our busy lives
My days seem to get busier, how about yours? The world, from my vantage point has joined in the frantic and frenetic pace, too. As our world gets busier, so does our mind. We reason that we must increase our brain speed to keep up with everything else. But, be careful folks, we may not be thinking clearly. You know what happens when everything speeds up…it becomes a blur. Everything is fuzzy, little is clear. What is the remedy? Work to put on the brakes, slow down! I’m reading a book entitled “Slow Church” and more on this story...
Not seeing is sometimes believing
When watching the news, we are sometimes overwhelmed at what is presented. I find that most news regarding Christianity is negative. If a pastor or an entire church stumbles, it portrays Christianity as a whole as something less than desirable. The vast majority of good Christians do go unnoticed. Many Christians take time to mend a neighbor’s roof, fix their car or help collect funds to pay overdue bills. They forsake their own needs to help others less fortunate for God’s glory. So more on this story...
Looking for a hand
Have you ever had one of those life situations that made you wonder why we don’t have three hands? I was thinking about a situation I found myself in years ago. Walking around town reading water meters I stumbled into a gentleman trying to start a bolt into his old truck. I don’t know how long he’d been working at it but I do know he was very frustrated. A few minutes later with a little help everything was back together. The extra hand was all he needed. What about your spiritual life, would you more on this story...
How Time is Short
I have an old halfpenny which was minted in the year 1746 and to look at it, one can almost sense all the hands it has passed through over the past 269 years. It seems like such a long time ago, but in the scope of eternity, it was not really that much. William Shakespeare said of time; ‘Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day, to the last syllable of recorded time; and all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!’ (Macbeth more on this story...
Be a Giver
I was on my way to visit a patient recently and was surprised to find a
department director at the bedside feeding the patient. The
patient felt very weak that day and was not eating alone. They were
having a delightful conversation and looking at pictures between bites.
The patient took a picture with the director. “So you can remember me,” the patient said. Later that day, the patient was found clutching the picture in sleep. The
patient, whom we all became quite attached to, passed a few more on this story...
He Has Risen
They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we don’t know where they have put Him (John 20:2). Today is a day He has blessed us with, it should be a day of joyous celebration for we Christians. Why is it we celebrate with such intensity? We should celebrate Easter every day, God has done a great work raising Jesus. Everyone knows, of course that God has raised Jesus from the dead. It is an historic happening. It is an event that has made all the difference for us ever since more on this story...
Easter Sunday rarely falls on the same date. It can be in the months of
March or April, but never has a fixed date like Christmas. Have you ever wondered why this is? The answer is relatively simple. In the church calendar, some holidays are referred to as “moveable feasts,” meaning the date varies from year to year. Long
ago, there was debate over the date of Easter Sunday and it was finally
set as the first Sunday following the full moon after the Spring
Equinox. more on this story...
Most Precious Gift
What do dying people want? This is the title of a book on my shelf and a unique and helpful resource. Before I explore any further with you about this topic, I want you to understand who the audience is that I am addressing. Look around the room you’re in or the Easter table you’ll soon sit around – How many of those you see will die? All of them, of course! Now each of us should look in more on this story...
BE A BLESSING
Spiritual lessons are scattered all around us. The other night I prepared a squash for dinner. Gazing at the outside took me back to the garden as a boy. The shape and color alone brought to me a flood of memories. There was the planting of that little seed and the many offspring it would produce from all that vine. It came from a seed. As I cut that squash and scraped out those seeds a spiritual lesson unfolded too. Christian Scripture says more on this story...
Jonah 4:6-7, 9: The Lord God prepared a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be shade for his head to deliver him from his misery. So Jonah was very grateful for the plant. But as morning dawned the next day God prepared a worm, and it so damaged the plant that it withered. Then God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?” I was on a mission trip one summer in a very beautiful, but unsafe, environment, and I felt extremely stressed the entire time there. more on this story...
In today’s world most people do not wait. They rush headlong into worthwhile but self made works. Most people, impatient to find true significance, become busy. In practice, we become self important. So what does a busy person receive for all their toil and striving?” All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest” (Ecclesiastes 2:23). When you start to get busy: Stop. Ask yourself: “Does this business flow from the work God has revealed to me? Or am I merely busy, searching impatiently for strokes to make more on this story...
Two dogs usually sleep on my bed. Regardless of the weather reports and how many times I check them, it inevitably rains every time I change the bed. Thus, I come in expecting a fresh, clean bed, but find muddy paw prints instead. I recently cleaned stalls for a friend who has several horses. I realized I was becoming fatigued when I began to thank the horses for going in the same spot. This reminded me of Proverbs 14:4: “Where no oxen are, the trough is clean; but much more on this story...
Christ was born to be king
Jesus Christ was born to be King. From his very birth he was recognized as King. Something about him inspired allegiance, loyalty, and homage. Wise men brought him gifts. Shepherds fell down and worshiped him. And angels, knowing more than men that he was truly King, became celestial minstrels before his manger throne. Herod realized that there is never room for two thrones in one kingdom and sought Jesus’ life. As Jesus came to the age of approximately 30 years and began his ministry, his claims upon people’s lives were total and absolute. more on this story...
A Christmas Rhyme
Many years ago, shepherds watched their sheep at night, And saw a star in the East shining high and bright. Angels proclaimed that a Saviour was born! The shepherds made haste to see in the morn. To a town called Bethlehem, full of danger, A wee small babe lay in an humble manger. Later, three Wise Men came more on this story...
God guides us
In the past I’ve written about my funny passion for pens. If you don’t know already I have placed a great deal of value on the role of my writing instrument. Today I hold in my hand a unique piece of American history. It is a pen crafted from a beam of the USS Constitution. It is inspiring to hold and pretty to look at, but still just a pen. The pen is just a patriotic relic unless it is placed into an inspired hand. It tells more on this story...
Be not troubled
On Nov. 11, 1918, the guns fell silent in Europe ending four years of carnage and turmoil referred to in its day as “the War to End all Wars. ” The euphoric peace and prosperity which followed was short-lived, ending in economic depression, and it ushered in an even greater conflict 20 years later costing millions of lives. Now nearly a century later, when we turn on the television set, we are still bombarded by constant headlines of wars, diseases, social controversies, etc. It seems as if the world is more on this story...
Darkness is secretive and ever active in the art of deception. I sit in darkness every morning waiting for the moon and stars to fade and the world around me to come out of hiding and into the light. As the much anticipated sunrise draws near, the world around me changes second by second. Once-hidden shapes begin to emerge and muted colors begin to thrust their way through the darkness as light lifts the curtain of night to expose a new day. These ordinary, yet sacred, events are captured in more on this story...
Once upon a time, on a Halloween night, The eve was cold and the moon shone bright. A young man going home became ever so lost, He knew he must hurry along at all cost. Out of the shadows a strange figure appeared, The young man stopped and was very afeared. The rushing wind made a frightful noise, ‘Who are you?’ he cried in a quivering voice. ‘My name is Lucifer, you have nothing to fear,’ ‘Follow me always and I’ll give you everything dear!’ more on this story...
Gratitude is transforming
The greatest healing is one that affects both body and soul. You have a great deal of influence regarding finding this wholeness and healing. Naaman, a Syrian military leader during the days of Elisha, was a man in search of healing his leprosy. No one seemed able to rid him of his disease and, in desperation, he followed any lead in pursuit of a cure. We are no different than Naaman. Introduced to the prophet Elisha by one of his servant girls, he was subsequently healed. His more on this story...
Nothing is new
The Bible says, “And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and more on this story...
It’s okay to ask for help
Are you one of America’s many proud folks who always think they can do it themselves? I must confess, I struggle with this aspect of myself. I can’t tell you how many things I’ve needlessly broken just because I think I can do everything. In a way, we sin by not seeking help – its called pride and it is contrary to the ways of God. In our world today, rugged individualism is lauded, but Jesus says… “Ask and it more on this story...
A few weeks ago a television news story illustrated the importance of foundations. A beautiful $700,000 Lakeside home was condemned because of a faulty foundation. A later update on the story showed the house burning to the ground. It was set on fire to minimize pollution in the Lake. It was sad to see the dreams of the homeowner going up in smoke because the building contractor had built on a faulty foundation. Eugene Peterson writes in The Message, “These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your more on this story...
Have you ever had an experience that caused much suffering in your life, and you had no idea why? Have you ever asked God why the situation occurred or why He allowed it? I know some say it is wrong to ask God questions like, “Why?”. But when we consider men of Scripture God Himself esteemed like David and Job, and we read their urgent pleas to understand the turmoil in their lives, we can understand that God is not only comfortable with our emotions and questions but welcomes them. more on this story...
Days from the Lord
The Psalmist wrote this is the day the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24). As
I started my day Saturday, I was wondering what kind of weather wise
the Lord would bless me with. Would the sun shine? Would it rain? I
wanted to go to a car show at the Breaks Interstate Park. Rain
is never good for car shows, so I was hoping for a sunny day which the
Lord granted. Rainy days are loved by farmers. Snowy days are loved by
children more on this story...
Recently, I was standing by the sea-shore listening to the crashing waves and the rush of wind over the water. In the distance, I saw some ships entering into a nearby harbor and it brought to mind my ancestors crossing that same sea in little wooden boats from England many years ago. They did not have much with them, but they trusted in God to steer them over the endless waves to forge a life in the New World. Among my many thoughts was of one of my favorite Psalms: “They that go down to the more on this story...
Are we listening?
Do you take time to get away from the busyness of our modern world? Do you plan for care of your spirit? These are questions I hope you will consider and plans I hope you will make — it could change the world. I know, you’re thinking I’m crazy! Is it preposterous to believe that a trip to a mountain retreat center could impact our whole planet? A dozen or so people getting away from the downtown crowds to talk with God, to listen to God, can change the world. Consider this, Jesus instructed the eleven to go to more on this story...
Do we glorify God?
One of my favorite books of the New Testament is the Third Epistle of John found near the end of the Bible. The book is only 14 verses and deals mostly with Christian hospitality (interestingly, however, Jesus Christ is not mentioned in this epistle). One who is mentioned by name is a man known as Diotrephes, an early Christian, but not in a good sense; he wanted glory for himself. In verses nine through 11, it reads; ‘I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I more on this story...
The word of God
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Psalm 48-1 I started reading the Bible from the beginning, the first of this year, and am enjoying my journey through the scriptures. A journey through the holy scriptures can be a thrilling experience. To hear the tales of God and His people is a joy. No one can deny the power of the scriptures. When I find my faith on the ebb I need only to turn to the Word of God in order to find renewal. The greatness more on this story...
Sometimes in my position, I am asked many difficult questions like what is God? Who is Jesus? Why am I here? Does God love me? Why did he take my loved one? I think perhaps the most difficult and perplexing question is, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” This question has baffled mankind throughout the ages. Job literally lost everything he had but was a very God-fearing man who always did what was right. Job was faced with that very question to which his response more on this story...
Loving our enemies
I hope you see the Bible come to life all around you, somewhere, somehow, every day. Not too long ago, while sitting on my couch, our crippled Chihuahua, Tootsie, waddled to my feet and begged to be picked up. Now curled up beside me and enjoying the view and the warmth she is greeted by her enemy, Butterscotch, our cat. Tootsie protests her presence but Butterscotch ignores her and then curls up next to her. Tootsie puts her head down and the two of them settle in for a long nap. more on this story...
How is your spiritual health?
A trip to the doctor can sometimes mean a trip to the pharmacy. Our doctor writes out a prescription and we get it filled. We follow the directions for taking our medicine because we want to feel better, recuperate, possess wholeness in our body. Sometimes, our prescriptions are for a short period of time, and other times it may mean we will be taking a certain drug for the rest of our lives. The latter is one I’d like us to consider when we think of our spiritual health. more on this story...
In reading one of my favorite works, 'Julius Caesar' by William Shakespeare, I came across a passage in which he and his wife, Calpurnia, are talking about a dream she had. The dream provoked a fear that he will be murdered on the Ides of March to which he replied; 'Cowards die many times before their deaths, the valiant never taste of death but once. Of all the wonders I yet have heard, it seems to me most strange that men should fear. Seeing that death, a necessary end, will come more on this story...
Exploring God and his creation
Recently we spent a Sunday afternoon hiking. One of the members of this party is my 4 year old grandson, Eli. The hike was for the joy of a sunny weekend afternoon, exploring somewhere we’d never been and of course, some exercise. Watching Eli and his older brother was worth the whole trip. Early on, Eli announced “I need injury” and his father was there to help him understand the difference between injury and energy. All along the way it was discovery and excitement. A rock was more on this story...
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Thankful and blessed
On September 16, 1620; 1,102 people left their home to go to a new country. They did not know what was in store for them, but they did know it had to be better than being under the tyranny of the Church of England. They faced hardships, trials, starvation, and for some, they faced death. No matter what they faced, they knew God was with them. Next week we’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving. Let us never forget the sacrifices these individuals made so they could come to a place where they envisioned a more on this story...
God at work
“Pray as though everything depends on God. Work as though everything depends on you. ” I am not sure of this famous quote’s origin as it has been attributed to various saints; but I did get a hardy taste of its message recently. I have invited several musicians to play for patients at the Cancer Center. Schedule conflicts continue to foil our efforts. Yet God seems to randomly provide musicians on His own time! One day an EMT who arrived with a patient sat down at the piano and began to play beautifully. Another more on this story...
The Great Shepherd
When meditating on the 23rd Psalm, instantly the name Roger Howard comes to mind. Roger was my shepherd and was present at a pivotal point in my life. When I first heard God’s call to ministry, I was confused, nervous and doubtful that God could or would use me. Roger never tried to discourage me but provided encouragement that only a Shepherd could do. He led me to scripture, protected me when doubt arose and was there to embrace me when I was fearful. Most of all, he believed in more on this story...
During the month of October we will be sharing stories of pastors, chaplains, etc. , who have been an inspiration to us and or our community. We hope you are inspired by those who have brought us a little closer to God. We begin this recollection with a thank you to one of Pikeville’s sons of encouragement. The name given to Joseph of Cyprus after his conversion to Christianity was Barnabas. It means “son of encouragement. ” Our pastor today could have just as easily been renamed Barnabas, too. You all knew him more on this story...
Have you found yourself in a waiting room lately? Do you feel grumpy and inpatient? Waiting is typically something we don’t do well. We don’t like to wait for anything anymore. I am as guilty as anyone. I have to tell myself to relax. I remind myself waiting rooms are a great place to reflect, catch your breath and realize your Dr. is near. The hardest and yet most rewarding thing we do as Christians is wait for the Lord. more on this story...
THE LOVE OF GOD
By PMC Chaplain Chris Gilley Have you ever pondered how great the love of God is? Frank Lehman apparently did. He penned a hymn on that very subject. In his hymn, Love of God, he tells us that no matter how much ink we have or how large the scroll is, we could not begin to record the depth of God’s love. The love of God is peace, joy and hope in a dark dreary time. The love of God is happiness and joy in a more on this story...
You are my Beloved
Jean Vanier founder of the L’Arche Communities writes of one of the residents, Peter, a man with Down Syndrome. “When asked if he liked to pray, he said that he did. So the person continued and asked him what he did when he prayed. He replied, “I listen. ” What does God say? Peter looked up and said: “He just says, ‘You are my beloved son’. ” “When someone has lived most of his or her life in the last place, and then discovers that Jesus is there in the last place as well, more on this story...
An “eye” in team
Most of us have heard the expression “there is no “I” in team. ” The purpose being we should never forget that as a team we are never an individual. The beauty of working together on a team is knowing we aren’t alone. We have more hands and feet, experiences and perspectives. The team is comprised of individuals educated in particular aspects of care (Dr. ’s, Nurse’s, Social Workers, Radiology, various techs, Administrators, Housekeepers, Dietary, Chaplains, and many more…), but with the same goal in mind. Because we choose more on this story...
There are many words in our English language that have essentially vanished from everyday use. One word which we scarcely use anymore sums up God’s love for us; amaranthine. The word means eternal, everlasting or forever. Did you know God loved you before the Earth was ever created? Ephesians 1:4 reads, ‘According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love. ’ It is difficult for our minds to comprehend the concept of more on this story...
Faith of a Child
I have a delightful little lady in my family who seemed to have an early gift for communicating with God. Once, as a very small child, I asked her to thank God for our meal. She looked up from the window and exclaimed happily, “Thank You, God, for the food!” Then, with quiet excitement, said, “God spoke to me!” Also I noticed at an early age she stopped any activity for prayer whenever she heard a siren, notably praying for everyone she thought involved. This habit continued when she entered her school years. One of her teachers, a more on this story...
According to a 1974 newspaper item, Leo Fortier had rung the bell of his parish church in Three Rivers, Quebec, every Sunday for 52 years. This showed quite a record of faithfulness. When you read an account like this, it challenges you to think about your own life and what evidence of faithfulness you can claim. Few, if any, of us can match the record of the man in the story. Think of it! Every Sunday in good weather and bad. Every Sunday whether he felt well or not. Every Sunday company or more on this story...
He Knows Your Needs
One childhood Christmas I wanted a robot. I made a deal with my grandfather. I told him I would give up chocolate until Christmas if he would buy me a robot. I planned carefully the element of self-sacrifice for the desired goal. There was only one problem: my grandfather adamantly maintained that I did not need a robot and never agreed to buy me one. Christmas day came, and there was no robot. I don’t recall what my grandfather gave me that year; surely something practical, loving and thoughtful. He was right. I didn’t need a more on this story...
Ask the animals, and they will teach you; the birds of the air; and they will tell you. Job 12:7 I believe we can learn much from God’s creatures. Our family Rat Terrier, Bandit, is no exception. With every joyful movement of his slender body, he eagerly greets me with a relentlessly wagging tail, enthusiastic attentiveness and a willingness to be by my side. Bandit consistently behaves this way no matter the day, no matter the weather and no matter what mood I am in. Each time I more on this story...
Give yourself to God and be set free
I have always been fascinated with hummingbirds and thought it would be neat to see one up close. I had that opportunity one Saturday afternoon after mowing my lawn. As I was putting the lawnmower up, I noticed a hummingbird inside the garage desperately trying to get out. I tried every way I knew to get the hummingbird to fly out through the open garage door. The little bird did not trust me or understand my desire to help. I thought if I could communicate that I more on this story...
Gardening with God
Our local ministerial association is like a garden, all located inside a specially-prepared lot and organized by variety — row after row, or section after section of like-minded yet different vegetables. Standing back and gazing at the totality of it, you see peas in their place, beans in another section and then the corn planted so that its shade hurts nothing else. Be careful, don’t think this is the end of the analogy. Everything that was planted has a purpose. The intent is to bear! That’s why we call it produce! If we are not more on this story...
In the winter months I can see a solitary pine tree at the end of the ridge behind my house. This tree really stands out in the first rays of sunrise and the last rays of sunset. This evergreen tree is a reminder that winter will soon pass. This lonely tree reminds me that the beautiful green leaves that surrounded it last spring will return in all their glory. The snows have fallen and the floodwaters have risen, but now the beautiful green leaves and blooms of spring are returning. Thomas O. Chisholm writes in the more on this story...
Cross in the storm
A youth recently shared a “cross” picture taken during a storm on social media. It was, in fact, a telephone pole that had been ripped out of the ground and was suspended in the air in a surreal manner over frantic traffic. Looking at the photo, I marveled that a young person would perceive it as such and be in the state of mind to capture the photo. My wonder turned to dismay as, among the affirmations and praises, a string of viewers posted blasphemous messages: anti-God, anti-cross, anti-Christian. The Bible says the cross of Christ is a more on this story...
Prayer, at its root, is not a way of keeping God informed about our life situation. He already knows everything there is to know about it. Prayer, at its root, is not a method of telling God what we, in our finite wisdom, think we need. He already knows everything there is to know about our needs. Prayer, at its root, is a willingness to let God be God. “Pause awhile and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10). Thus said the Lord to the Ancient Psalmist. Prayer, at its more on this story...
Ron Hutchcraft writes of some amazing things that happened during the tornado that devastated areas of Moore, Oklahoma. Almost every broadcast featured stories of heroic teachers. One teacher at Briarwood Elementary, aware of the potential devastation of the oncoming storm, directed her students to line up their desks and get under them and play “worms. ” They sang loudly a song that many of us sung as children. “Jesus loves me this I know. ” That is great to know when your world is falling around you. The roof of the school ended more on this story...
Snow is transforming
Transformation, it is happening as I write. The snow is piling up and the landscape is changing by the minute. More and more of what I can see is being covered in a blanket of white. Things that were dingy or broken just hours ago are now muted and covered so peacefully. One of my most favorite things about snow is its ability to hide the unsightly. It makes me want to throw myself in the yard and let the snow cover me up! The prophet Isaiah more on this story...
‘I am the Resurrection’
Near Jerusalem was a town called Bethany, and three siblings lived there; Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Jesus loved this family dearly and it was Mary who both anointed him with oil and washed his feet with her own hair. She loved to listen to Jesus and had great faith in him. One day, their brother Lazarus became ill and Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus to come and heal him. Jesus said; ‘This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the more on this story...
Find God and you will find your value
During a recent extended illness, I had plenty of time to consider my value. It is easy to assess the value of your house or car, but where are the little books that tell us our value? My work-all-day world had been turned upside down and I couldn’t work. I soon began to realize that I put a lot of my value in what I did for a living. I was suddenly unable to do that for which I had been trained and more on this story...
Light of life
Christmas is celebrated with lights. By now most of the lights of Christmas have been put away until next year. But the true light of Christmas continues to shine in the darkness of our world. “ In him was life, and the life was the light of men. ” (John 1:4) Because the light has come and continues to come we know how we are to live in the world. In the sermon on the Mount he shows us how to live in relationship with His Father and in relationship with each other. He shows us how more on this story...
Near to the brokenhearted
I still remember the first time I ministered to a family after a loved one had passed. I can recall specific details surrounding that event. What I remember mostly was that it was the night before Christmas Eve. My heart could not reconcile the sound of Christmas carols with the sorrow of a grieving family. Since that first experience I have spent time with many families as they grieve the loss of a loved one during a holiday season. Grief is severely painful any time it occurs; but more on this story...
Jesus’ First Miracle
Jesus’ mother was a guest at a wedding in the village of Cana in Galilee, and Jesus and his disciples were invited. The wine supply ran out during the festivities, and Jesus’ mother came to him. “I can’t help you now,” he said. “It isn’t yet my time for miracles. ” But his mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you to. ” Six stone water pots were standing there. Jesus told the servants to fill them to the brim with water. When this was done he said, “Dip some out and take it more on this story...
Full of Mystery
Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the Lord, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you. Hosea 10:12 This verse intrigues me. It seems so simple and practical, yet is full of mystery. I would love to hear the wisdom of an old farmer for the rich details. “Fallow ground” comes from the Hebrew word niyr, meaning unused ground. The ground may more on this story...
Protection from Intruders
It was no surprise that a security breach at the White House was a top news story. An intruder jumped the fence that surrounds the White House. He made it into the White House and was tackled outside the Green room by an off duty Secret Service agent. This is reminder of the need to be prepared for unwelcome intruders. Philippians 4:6 – 7, reminds us of the peace of God that surpasses comprehension. We will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus from the unwelcome intruder of anxiety and worry. The Message puts it more on this story...
Lesson from a spider
One day a woman who strove with all her heart to serve God yet faced many struggles in her life was lying in her garden trying to pray. As she watched the sky and sought to hear from God, she was distracted by a silvery thread, so beautiful and yet so fragile, gliding past. It was a spider on a single strand of silk riding the wind. The site seemed surreal and almost magical. The lady watched the web and thought how uncertain the little spider’s life must seem; and yet it trusted more on this story...
Jesus is coming
Some people ask the question, when is Jesus Christ coming back? Jesus
told us not to speculate about a certain day, but He did leave some
signs for us to watch for. The Holy Spirit, who directed the writing of
the Bible, put tremendous emphasis on the fact that Christ is coming
back to earth again. Why will Christ return? Here are some
reasons why Christ has to return. Jesus must come back because of the
promises of the old testament that have yet to be fulfilled. Scores of
prophecies were fulfilled concerning His First Coming. more on this story...
As little children
My first overseas mission experience was in Panama (the country, not the city in Florida). I still clearly recall some of the “culture shocks” associated with that trip: hoping my Spanish kicked in when I first needed a bathroom; carrying toilet tissue in pockets because the communal hole in the ground wasn’t stocked with it; feeling safe yet somewhat concerned because the security guard with the machine gun finally smiled and returned my greeting. One grand day my team was traveling into the mountains to teach choir and hold a Bible study with a local tribe more on this story...
Reach out to others: People who are hurting need to know that someone cares.
“Reach out and touch someone. ” We could all take seriously the slogan coined for Ma Bell several years ago. All around us, people are hurting. Children and adults are experiencing various forms of abuse. Married couples split up daily. Long-term employees are being downsized and left without income. Bad investments leave people in debt. Serious illness can strike at any time. What those people need is someone who cares. If you know someone who is in pain, physical, psychological or financial, let that someone know you care. Offer more on this story...
A new name
Have you ever heard an old Gospel song titled, ‘There is a New Name Written Down in Glory’? There is a lot of significance in a name. We are given a name at birth for identification and a surname which is reflective of our heritage. God knows our name and according to the Bible, we will receive a new name when we reach Heaven. In the Book of Isaiah a new name is mentioned: “Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for more on this story...
Our busy life
My days seem to get busier, how about yours? The world, from my vantage point has joined in the frantic and frenetic pace too. As our world gets busier, so does our mind. We reason that we must increase our brain speed to keep up with everything else. But, be careful folks, we may not be thinking clearly. You know what happens when everything speeds up…it becomes a blur. Everything is fuzzy, little is clear. What is the remedy? Work to put on the brakes, slow down! I’m reading a book entitled “Slow Church” and more on this story...
I have always been fascinated with hummingbirds and thought it would be neat to see one up close. I had that opportunity one beautiful Saturday afternoon this past June after mowing my lawn. As I was putting the lawnmower up I noticed a hummingbird inside the garage. It was desperately trying to get out but with little success. I tried every way I knew to get the hummingbird to fly out through the open garage door. The little bird did not trust me or understand my desire to help it find freedom. I thought if more on this story...
I am thoroughly enjoying a new series by favorite Christian author, Ted Dekker, in which readers are challenged to a whole new level of surrender to Christ. The premise is that those who are in Christ are complete: needed nothing, lacking nothing. As Christians, we believe this through Scripture. Paul said, “For in Him [Christ] dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. ” (Colossians 2:9-10) Do we live a life that reflects this belief? James, the earthly brother more on this story...
God’s magnificent creatures
Ask the animals, and they will teach you; the birds of the air; and they will tell you. Job 12:7I believe we can learn much from God’s creatures. Our family Rat Terrier, Bandit, is no exception. With every joyful movement of his slender body, he eagerly greets me with a relentlessly wagging tail, enthusiastic attentiveness and a willingness to be by my side. Bandit consistently behaves this way no matter the day, no matter the weather and no matter what mood I am in. Each time I am with him I smile and feel unconditional acceptance and love. I am more on this story...
On a trip to England, Scotland and Ireland, we rented a car for two weeks to see the city and countryside. It was quite an experience. Two minutes from the airport I found myself in one of the busiest intersections I’ve ever seen. I was met with a three- or four-lane circle spinning with cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles. No one stopped. They dodged in and dodged back out at their exit. It seemed so chaotic and more than just a little nerve wracking. People were coming and going in every direction, yet in two weeks and hundreds of more on this story...
Actions speak louder than words
Having just celebrated Easter 2014, we are reminded that the greatest love and greatest power the earth has ever known was demonstrated in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. From the foundations of the earth, the will of God was set to love his supreme creation, humanity. Love is more than words, or God could just have said that he loved us but done nothing about it. “But God proved his own love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us!” (Romans 5:8). “No greater love than more on this story...
The piano lady
Holy Week is a very special time, and a time when we often reflect on our service for Christ. When I came to PMC in 2008, one of the first people I met was a tender saint affectionately known as “the piano lady. ” Her real name is Eileen Martin, and she had quite a unique personal ministry to the patients —and staff — of Pikeville Medical Center. Eileen came to the hospital every week and played the piano in the cancer center while patients were receiving chemotherapy treatments. She also played in the more on this story...
Christ the risen King reigns
Here it is the month of April, and the first quarter of 2014 is gone. It seems like only yesterday we were celebrating the Birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; now we are preparing to celebrate His resurrection. Christ the King is Risen. Many people have asked me, where is God’s Kingdom? Where is Heaven? Is it off on some distant planet or star? The Bible teaches that Christ does have a Kingdom on earth. His Kingdom is in the hearts of all who trust him. He has pronounced a special blessing on those more on this story...
Evidence of things not seen
I am fascinated with my atomic clock with outdoor temperature and moon phase. The clock receives the time signal transmitted from NIST radio station WWVB located in Fort Collins, Colorado. As the clock is placed in a place facing Colorado it receives the correct time. Each year when daylight savings time begins on the first Sunday in March at 2 AM, the clock changes to the correct time without my assistance. I cannot see the radio signals but I do see the results of them. That reminds me of many things that I cannot see that more on this story...
We are dust.
One very warm Ash Wednesday in Houston, TX, I attended the noon
ceremony. The church was filled with eager Christians ready to receive
the sign of the cross in ash on their foreheads and begin the devotions
of Lent. One lovely young woman came forward carrying a baby.
The priest marked the woman with an ashen cross, gave the baby a simple
blessing, and they were ready to move on — but a beautiful thing
happened. The baby — quite new to the world — erupted in a
beaming whole-body smile more on this story...