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November 21, 2014

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Chaplains Corner


11/21/2014
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...  

11/07/2014
Chaplain’s Corner

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...  

10/17/2014
Halloween 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...  

10/03/2014
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...  

09/12/2014
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...  

08/29/2014
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...  

08/15/2014
Faulty foundations

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...  

08/01/2014
‘Lord Why’

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...  

07/17/2014
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...  

07/03/2014
Our Captain

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...  

06/20/2014
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...  

05/30/2014
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...  

05/09/2014
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...  

04/23/2014
Why

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...  

04/11/2014
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...  

03/28/2014
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...  

03/14/2014
Abundant life

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...  

02/28/2014
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...  

02/14/2014
A Valentine’s Day Lesson

This Valentine’s story was recently shared online. I thought I’d share it with you. Writer Drew Duke recalled her from childhood her second grade Valentine’s Party. Her mother had bought 35 Valentine cards. “Why did you buy so many?” she asked.   Her mother replied, “So you can give one to each person in your class. ” “No,” she said. “We only give cards to our special friends. I only need four cards. I don’t even like some people in my more on this story...  

01/31/2014
Snow

I love snow.   It is one of my favorite things.   When I spent eight years in Texas, I was miserable every winter for lack of snow, and always so delighted if on my Christmas visit home snow should happen to come.   My grandmother would scold me like a child for running outside to play in it and take pictures for my less fortunate southwestern friends. No one seems to share this sentiment with me.   My great-grandmother used to say winter reminded her of death.   Even a dear friend and pastor’s wife who loves all things nature more on this story...  

01/17/2014
God is with us

In Matthew’s Gospel we find the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. Matthew 1:18-24. Mary was engaged to marry Joseph, but before they married, she learned she was pregnant by  the power of the Holy Spirit. Mary’s husband Joseph was a good man , he did not want to disgrace her in public, so he planned to divorce her secretly.   An angel of the Lord came to Joseph in a dream, the angel said, Joseph don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the baby that is in her is from the Holy more on this story...  

11/27/2013
Jesus and Thanksgiving

Giving thanks to God is vital to one’s spiritual life. The Thanksgiving holiday celebrated each November originated from the early colonists of Massachusetts Bay giving thanks for the bounty that God had given.   We should always be thankful for everything the Lord does for us.   Jesus gave thanks many times throughout his ministry.   While resting near the Sea of Galilee many people who followed him were healed.   There were a great number of people who had been with him for three days.   Jesus had compassion on them, the Bible says, “And more on this story...  

11/15/2013
Changing Seasons

As I sit down to write I’m surrounded by a swirling white mass of snow. It is beautiful, but it is no surprise. The fact that it is mid November and the deer were in my yard last night eating everything they could, tell me snow is coming. These and more were signs that the seasons are changing. I could be busy and forget the time of year, or ignore the deer. That would never change the reality that winter is coming. I wonder if we are observant of where God more on this story...  

11/01/2013
I found Him

The seasons are changing and Daniel 2:21 reminds us that it is God who changes the seasons. Every season is a reminder of God’s creative power and his love for us. Chessie Cornette, whom I came to know and love, expressed it beautifully in her poem “I Found Him” I found Christ one day when the season was turning gold.   All alone I had been, although with many friends And hope was almost gone. I had known He was there in the wind, the trees, the flowers, more on this story...  

10/18/2013
Beautiful

One of our own PMC employees, having compassionately served oncology patients for many years, recently underwent her own battle with cancer.   When her treatment was ended, she had a remarkable experience.   I share it with her permission. While traveling in another state, she stopped at a service station.   She noticed a stranger continually watching her as she made her errands around the station.   As she prepared to leave, the man approached and spoke to her.   He told her that she was beautiful, and to never be ashamed to wear her scarf.   He went on to explain more on this story...  

10/04/2013
Good Deeds Matter

A recent example of a story that went viral is that of 19-year-old Minneapolis Dairy Queen manager, Joey Prusak.   A blind customer accidentally dropped a $20 bill.   A woman standing in line behind the blind man quickly grabbed the money and put it in her purse. Mr. Prusak asked the woman to return the $20. When she refused, he asked her to leave.   What really made the young man stand out, was after he had waited on the other customers in line, he walked over to the blind man and took more on this story...  

09/06/2013
Transforming power

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 follows any lead in pursuit of a cure. We are no different than Naaman in this regard. Introduced to the prophet Elisha by one of his servant girls he is subsequently healed. His healing did more on this story...  

08/23/2013
The empty tomb

 Recently, my wife and I were on the campus of Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia and saw a little chapel  that contained the tomb in which the body of General Robert E. Lee lay.   It amazed me at the number of people who were there to see this great warrior’s grave one hundred and forty three years after his passing and the splendor of his final resting place. It brought to my mind another tomb in Jerusalem which is not at all fancy, the place where Jesus was buried after his crucifixion.   There is more on this story...  

08/09/2013
God guides us along

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...  

07/26/2013
Sacrificial love

You may remember the March 11, 2011 tsunami that devastated Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant. Masao Yoshida the ex-head of Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant died at a Tokyo hospital of esophageal cancer on July 9, 2013. His actions prevented widespread nuclear disaster. When the tsunami devastated Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant, he disobeyed a company order to use seawater to cool the plant (an action that could have led to a Chernobyl level nuclear disaster). He decided to place himself in danger to maintain cooling manually, more on this story...  

07/12/2013
Baby Steps

I had the pleasure of witnessing my youngest niece take a few first steps after we celebrated her first birthday party.   She had been doing the “pull-up” thing in the past few days, clutching furniture and other stable items and pulling herself into a standing position.   My sister had videoed her tracking sideways along a sofa, looking very pleased with herself for the progress she discovered. Following the little one’s birthday party, surrounded by only family and close family friends, the baby pulled up to a standing position with the support of a father-figure friend.   She more on this story...  

06/21/2013
Endless summer

I have always loved the long days of summer. The longest day of the year is June 21, the first day of summer.   Mark Buchanan writes that in some ways summer is a foretaste of heaven; a rehearsal of Paradise; a preview of the Promised Land. Revelation 21-22 describes the new Jerusalem – the kingdom of God in its fullness. The image describes: “on each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing 12 crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of more on this story...  

06/06/2013
Praise Him through the storm

Felix of Cantalice was born to a poor farming family in 1515 and devoted his life to God’s service in his late 20s.   Felix spoke little, even within his friary, preferring action to words; yet he was known to spontaneously compose and sing praise hymns.   The people he served nicknamed him “Brother Deo Gratias” (“thanks be to God”) because he always used that blessing.   He refused to retire, even when he was ordered to decrease his responsibilities due to age, and ministered until just days before his death. more on this story...  

05/17/2013
Gracious words

Gracious words impressed those who heard the first sermon of Jesus (Luke 4:22). Words reveal the character of a person. Jesus spoke words that build up and encourage.   Proverbs 18:21 says, “the tongue has the power of life and death. ”  Could it be that every time we open our mouths either life or death comes out? The psalmist prayed “let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight O Lord my strength and my Redeemer. ” We read in Matthew 12:13 “for out of the more on this story...  

05/03/2013
Your kingdom

I have experienced a great deal of focus of late on “God’s Kingdom. ” I’ve just read three Ted Dekker novels, a favorite author who consistently sets his story themes in the reality of God’s Kingdom. The Kingdom of God is immeasurably more real than the world we perceive around us, even if we rarely get a glimpse of it. A seminary friend told me this favorite faith story. George Muller was an orphanage founder and man of great faith.   One day in a particularly trying time, the orphanage was broke and had no food for the more on this story...  

04/17/2013
Come On Down!

It has already started; strange creatures are running around Pikeville wearing strange clothing of all colors and designs.   They drive something with four wheels resembling an automobile.   They appear to be having a lot of fun. Their music is a bluegrass style and you hear it sounding from cars, in the courthouse square and in the city park.   There is much merriment and actually fellowship with all who attend.   You hear people saying come to downtown Pikeville and enjoy the fun, food and fellowship. Hillbilly Days started in 1977 when two Pike County Shriners got more on this story...  

04/05/2013
Bible and anxiety

Anxiety is a powerful feeling.   Worrying and living in fear can have devastating effects on one’s life and it can lead to long-lasting psychological problems that can be difficult to overcome.   The causes can be real or imagined, leaving some people to the point of not being able to go outside their homes.    A small amount of anxiety is normal, but the constant dread and fear of the unknown can be debilitating.   What does the Bible say about anxiety?  Simply put, we are to give all our more on this story...  

03/22/2013
Live wisely!

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...  

03/08/2013
The main thing

I was recently reminded of a quote attributed to Lee Iacocca, “ the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. ” It is easy to lose focus and get distracted by secondary things that often are good things. For many Christians, Lent is a season to help them focus on the “ main thing. ” The season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and leads to Easter Sunday. Christians around the world from many theological traditions observe Lent in a variety of ways. Some commit more on this story...  

02/22/2013
Horse Sense

In an amazing “dream come true,” God blessed me to perform on the Macinac Island Grand Hotel theatre stage.   I saw “Somewhere In Time” as a young girl, knew I wanted to be an actress, and secretly prayed to one day perform on that very stage.   It was a delightful dream for God to answer. During our Macinac tour, my company wanted to bike around the Island.   (No vehicles are allowed on Macinac except emergency ones; thus, everyone rides horses or bikes. )  I preferred a horse and set out on my own.   I met a very more on this story...  

02/08/2013
God Spoke

God spoke to his people and they didn’t hear him. He did many miracles and the people didn’t know what they meant. God revealed himself many times to the Israelites, and yet they continued to worship idols instead of worshiping him.   When Jesus entered the world and became flesh and dwelt among us they did not respond to him . Sometimes I run into similar situations or reaction when trying to reach a friend for Jesus. You may show them Christian love, invite them to church, provide them more on this story...  

01/24/2013
God will meet our needs

I have always had a love of ornithology, or the study of birds, and one day I was observing some swamp sparrows (Melospiza Georgiana) feeding in what seemed to be a barren landscape in the late Fall.   They hopped around feasting on grass seeds and whatever else they could find.   What I was witnessing reminded me of a passage in the Bible about the love that God has for us and that he does not want us to worry and fret about the future.   In the Gospel of St. Matthew, Jesus said; “Therefore I say more on this story...  

01/11/2013
Closer Than You Think

I have a grandson who lives near the Pacific Ocean in Western Oregon. There is a lot of space between us, mountains and rivers; canyon and desert; rolling grassland and asphalt covered metropolis. Or so it seems. It wasn’t too many years ago a letter or if you were lucky a phone could connect you for a moment. Now, in today’s technology crazy world we can talk face to face. Phones and computers with cameras offer a connection more akin to sci-fi of the 50’s with the more on this story...  

12/28/2012
Live Nativity

The Live Nativity scene is one of the high points of the Christmas celebration at Pikeville Medical Center.   It is made up of live animals and Pikeville Medical Center employees dressed as shepherds, the Wisemen, Joseph and Mary. (A special thanks to all who participated) It is fascinating to see the children’s response to the camels, sheep and donkeys (as well as the animal’s response to the people).   The Live Nativity is a vivid reminder of the humble circumstances of Jesus birth.   It is amazing how his birth, though not sensational, has made such a positive more on this story...  

12/14/2012
Waiting on joyful hope

Throughout the years I lived in Houston, Texas, I regularly planned a retreat at a local convent, a wonderful old place, very much like a castle set on the edge of the city.   The sisters who lived there were just darling — all Irish, and of retirement age, but still working diligently for the kingdom.   One nun I visited quite often was Sister Adeline.   She gave me a Christmas lesson I will never forget. I adore the season of Advent.   The nuns described it as “waiting in joyful more on this story...  

11/21/2012
Thanksgiving Blessings

Buford Easley was a classmate of mine in New Orleans Baptist Seminary for whom I had great respect.   He was a gifted student pastor with a passion for Jesus and people.   One evening he was returning to New Orleans on Interstate 10 and came across a car stranded on the Slidell bridge.   True to his character he stopped to help.   He was struck by a car and suffered life-threatening injuries.   After several weeks of recovery he was able to return to his studies at the seminary. One evening more on this story...  

11/08/2012
Be Aware

This past Sunday, I was traveling home from a palliative care conference in Miami with Nita Armstrong, a palliative care mentor and colleague.   Feeling tired toward the end of the journey, it was a slight irritant when our gate in Atlanta was suddenly changed and we had to drag our traveling belongings to the end of the terminal.   When we had finally gotten seated and somewhat organized, we noticed a young man sitting on the floor in front of us.   He was leaning against the wall, speaking quietly into a cell phone, weeping uncontrollably.   There more on this story...  

10/25/2012
God's Creation

  I have really enjoyed the last two weeks by taking advantage of God’s creation. How anyone can doubt there is a God, when they look at God’s artistic work in the mountains of eastern Kentucky, and other mountains. It has been breath taking this past week looking at all of the beautiful colors, God’s trees are so beautiful . I find myself wanting to go for a drive every evening when I get off work. Jo and I just started driving Saturday afternoon looking at God’s more on this story...  

10/05/2012
Personal Touch

If you lived in the Pikeville area during the 1980s, you are likely familiar with a local radio program called the “Personal Touch. ”  I have many memories of my grandmother tuning into the endearing show while cleaning up after a family dinner to enjoy music, stories, and other “personal touches” from host Lucille Smith. (“I got the sun in the morning and the moon at night — come on everybody, sing along!)  There was much sentiment and nostalgia, but also a sense of personal connection that drew listeners in like few shows did. We often talk more on this story...  

09/14/2012
Conections in high places

I read in Daily Bread (August 16) about a woman who was working at home on her computer and noticed her laptop battery was low.   The computer was about to shut down. The computer was plugged in and should not have been using the battery. She traced the laptop cord to the extension cord. She discovered the extension cord was actually plugged back into itself – instead of the wall outlet. That reminds me of trying to live the Christian life without being connected to Jesus as a source of power for Christian living and abundant life. more on this story...  

  

11/14/2014
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...  

10/24/2014
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...  

10/10/2014
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...  

09/26/2014
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...  

09/05/2014
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...  

08/22/2014
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...  

08/08/2014
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...  

07/25/2014
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...  

07/11/2014
Hummingbirds

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...  

06/26/2014
Complete

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...  

06/13/2014
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...  

05/16/2014
Intersections

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...  

05/02/2014
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...  

04/18/2014
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...  

04/04/2014
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...  

03/21/2014
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...  

03/07/2014
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...  

02/21/2014
The reward of patience

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...  

02/07/2014
True Love

February is the month when love is in the air.   We celebrate this on St. Valentine’s Day, the 14th of the month with flowers, candy and expensive cards to our significant others.   Some people send love letters hoping to sweep the object of their desire off their feet with everlasting devotions of love.                 The greatest love letter ever sent was God’s letter to us in the form of the Holy Bible.   It outlines his love from creating us from the dust of the earth to his sending Jesus to die in our place so that more on this story...  

01/24/2014
Go Forward in Love

I have a grandson who lives on the West Coast. He doesn’t know his biological father because his dad left soon after he was born. That does not mean he doesn’t have a father in his life. He is very fortunate to have a kind and caring ‘dad’ in his life. Josh has loved and cared for my grandson as well as any man could. I’m very proud of Josh. It is difficult for many to love and care for someone else’s child. The Gospels introduce us to one of the most daunting of all more on this story...  

12/13/2013
Do you have room for Jesus Christ?

This Christmas I want to tell you about a man who  was so caught up in his own problems that he missed the opportunity to be part of one of the greatest events of all time.   This man actually missed Christmas altogether. The Bible doesn’t tell us the name of this man, but we can read his story in the Gospel According to Luke, in the second chapter and the seventh verse.   That verse tells us enough, and more than enough, about the innkeeper, the man who missed Christmas: Mary brought forth her firstborn son, and more on this story...  

11/22/2013
Just a boy

I have not celebrated Halloween in two decades; so when my mother asked me to help pass out candy this year, witnessing the throngs that traversed our street was somewhat of a shock. One little boy particularly stood out to me.   He was a small fellow dressed as a policeman, complete with sky blue uniform and shiny black cap.   As he politely thanked me for candy, I said, “Keep the neighborhood safe, little man. ”  In great humility and not a little fear, he removed his cap and clutched it dutifully to his chest.   “I’m just a more on this story...  

11/08/2013
Listen to the master

Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. Matthew: 13:18. The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them.   Proverbs 20:12 What a joy it was for the disciples to sit beside the sea and listen to the Master, to ear with Him, to talk with Him.   What a joy it would be if we could hear Jesus our Master speak in person today. We hear Him through His word. We hear Him through the Holy Spirit and we hear Him through witnessing Saints. The disciples more on this story...  

10/25/2013
A Halloween 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. more on this story...  

10/14/2013
God's treasure map

In the beginning there was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1 The Bible has been banned, burned, scoffed and ridiculed. Kings have banned it as illegal, scholars  have mocked it and called it foolish. Many times a grave has been dug, but somehow the Bible never stays in the grave. Not only has it survived, it has thrived. The Bible is the most popular book in all of history and has been the best selling book in the world for years. There is no way more on this story...  

09/20/2013
Rest

September delights my soul.   I love the deeper shade of blue in the sky, the cool touch in the breeze, and the beginning of turning of leaves that promises blazing autumn beauty in the weeks to come. There is something in the air at the beginning of autumn that draws us toward rest.   Many people vacation in the fall of the year to enjoy the season’s splendor in favorite places.   The temperature grows comfortable, as summer’s heat passes yet winter’s cold is still ahead.   A light jacket is all we need to answer the call to more on this story...  

08/30/2013
Safe Room

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 up on top of their desks but more on this story...  

08/16/2013
‘Be holy, for I am holy’

My Mom and I had a fun 80’s moment last week.   We were running an errand when a mutual favorite from my childhood, Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love A Bad Name,” came on the radio.   To my surprise and delight, my Mom started singing it.   It was quite fun. We can find a biblical truth here.   The Bible tells us to be holy as our Father in Heaven is holy.   Have you ever heard people say they don’t trust Christians because they go to church one day of the week and act like the devil the more on this story...  

08/02/2013
A good leader

One day Samuel said to Saul, “I crowned you king of Israel because God told me to”.   Now be sure that you obey him {I Samuel 15:1). We are taught early in life to obey in the position of authority. As Christians we must obey God every day. God has placed a higher level of moral responsibility on Christian leaders.   Don’t misunderstand, God wants all his followers to live right and follow Him, but He wants His leaders to set godly examples, that is where you and I come in. God doesn’t more on this story...  

07/19/2013
Great things to come

When we think of the Book of Revelation (sometimes referred to as the Apocalypse), fearful images are brought to mind.   We are reminded that the end will come some day.   Some choose not to read or study Revelation because it is referred to as scary and difficult to understand.   Upon a closer examination, however, there are some great things to come to believers in Christ.     In Revelation 21, verses 3-5 we read, “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of more on this story...  

06/28/2013
Fishers of Men

In Mark 1:14-8:30,  we find the servant working. There is a continuous, unbroken service of the servant recorded in this gospel. We read, “and he did this, and he said that. ”  He must teach men:  they were in darkness.   He must cheer men;  they were without hope.   He must heal men; they were sick and suffering.   He must free men, because they were under the power of Satan.   He must pardon and cleanse men, because they were sinful. We see Jesus preaching by the seashore, and selecting four of the fishermen to more on this story...  

06/16/2013
The Word is a Powerful Tool

Hebrews 4:12 describes it as “Quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. ” We should read the Bible daily and memorize scripture verses and they will come in handy when we are undergoing trials or are tempted by the devil.       After Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River he went into a desert area generally referred to as the wilderness where more on this story...  

05/24/2013
Following God

King Hezekiah is a rare example of someone who followed God during a time of sin and rebellion. Hezekiah removed the shrines on the hill, broke down the obelisks, knocked down the shameful idols of Asherah and broke up the bronze serpents that Moses had made.   He did this  because the people of Israel had begun to worship it by burning incense to it; even though, as King Hezekiah pointed out to them, it was merely a piece of bronze. (2 Kings 18:4-10) He trusted very strongly in the Lord God of Israel. King Hezekiah more on this story...  

05/10/2013
The Lord is my shepherd

I was reminiscing about the elementary school I attended in the 1970s. In those days, a lady who we called Ms. Grace would travel from Southland Bible Institute once a week with her flannel-board and teach us Bible lessons. We would receive certificates with gold stars or win various prizes for memorizing Bible verses.                   One in particular which stands out in my mind is Psalm 23, “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:  he leadeth me beside the still waters.   He more on this story...  

04/26/2013
Helping hands

Our hands, we take them for granted. I’ve spent a lot of time lately thinking about the work of our hands. Particularly I’ve considered how extreme the role of hands played in the recent Boston Marathon bombing. Four hands assembled the deadly and devastating contents of those two pressure cookers. In the midst of the carnage (the work of the brother’s hands) an immense number of other hands come together to comfort, save and heal. Applying a tourniquet, holding another’s hand, wielding a scalpel, an IV or more on this story...  

04/12/2013
‘Our Daily Bread’

The April 5 devotion in “Our Daily Bread” reminded me of the “small print” that is so much a part of advertising today.    Because the print is so small, many people do not read it. It looks good when it says an item is 50 percent off, but after reading the small print, you realize that does not hold true unless you have purchased the first item at full price.   The face value of many coupons is not valid unless you buy two, three or more items.   A dollar coupon may be more like a more on this story...  

03/29/2013
It’s Holy Week!

This is Holy Week!— my favorite season in the church (until Advent comes around again — then it will be my favorite).   I took a road trip last week to meet friends from Houston I haven’t seen since leaving Texas. The lengthy drive turned into a wonderful prayer and praise session, with much singing and pouring my heart to the Lord.   A particular song I haven’t heard in years refreshed my soul; an old Vineyard worship song, “Break Dividing Walls. ”  The chorus: We will break dividing walls In the more on this story...  

03/15/2013
Tell others about Jesus

There may be no better form of advertising than word of mouth. I listen carefully to the reporting of others who have tried a new restaurant or store. If I hear good news I’m inclined to try it myself, and so goes the chain of advertising and promoting. The more people that share, the more exponential the growth and before long many people have heard about the good thing you’ve found. Long ago, before newspapers, radio or television word of mouth was the only form of advertising. more on this story...  

03/01/2013
Paging Dr. Jesus!

Sometimes, when we are ill, we might think that God is punishing us for something we have done.   This is not always the case; however, some of our illnesses can be from the results of lifestyle choices.   For example, we can contract hepatitis from sharing needles with someone who is already infected and cause a lasting illness.       God can use an illness to glorify himself through it and measure how strong our faith is in Him.   In the Gospel of St. John chapter 11, God allowed Lazarus to die.   Jesus went to his tomb more on this story...  

02/15/2013
Expressing their love

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. ” John 3:16 In the middle of this well known scripture regarding the love of God, “valentine” is spelled out. . . literally. We celebrate Valentine’s Day mostly as a romantic holiday (believe me, I enjoy this aspect of the holiday) but we would be missing the boat if we left it at that.   The love expressed in  the scripture quoted above reminds us that the more on this story...  

02/01/2013
Reminders

Some people may remember July 20, 1969, the day Neil Armstrong landed on the moon.   He certainly was a pioneer in the 20th century. In Preaching Magazine, J. Michael Shannon relates a story that was told at Armstrong’s memorial service.   On one occasion, he was introduced to Tom Moe, a retired Air Force colonel who served as a fighter pilot in the Vietnam War.   A malfunction forced his plane to land behind enemy lines.   He was quickly captured and remained a Prisoner of War for five years.   more on this story...  

01/18/2013
In The Potter's Hands

Robert Alewine is a hero of mine.   He is the founder of Alewine Pottery in the Craftsman Community of Gatlinburg, Tenn.   He started with a passion for pottery as a teen and began a thriving business now blessing a third generation of his family. I have always been drawn to pottery.   I tried my hand at it at a young age.   I think I was about seven years old when my grandparents, encouraging my artistic talents, gave me a small, battery-operated pottery wheel for Christmas.   I was thrilled to try it.   It was not what I more on this story...  

01/04/2013
The Father's Will

“Which of the two did the Father’s will?” (Matthew 21:31) The story is told of a rather tight-fisted elderly man who arrived at the Pearly Gates where he was greeted by an angel. “Before I can open up the gates and let you in,” the angel said, “I must ask you a few questions. ” First question: “Were you a person of good intentions?” The man answered, “Yes, there were lots of good things I intended to do I just never got around to doing them. ” Second question:  “Name the good more on this story...  

12/21/2012
Meaning for the Holiday

 Once upon a time, but not so far away, A small child asked, “What is the Holiday?”  Eyes became wide and all noise was hushed, Many people told the child to shush.  But an elderly man, whose eyes began to tear, Beckoned the little child to come near.  He said; “Many years ago a baby was born, “In a manger of hay on a special morn.  “Wise men and shepherds came from afar, “Led by the light of a brilliant star.  “They brought the babe gifts from their distant more on this story...  

12/07/2012
Hope you invest

As a young man I worked for a small independent auto parts store. About this time of year, we would be getting ready for Christmas and inventory. It was always tedious but necessary! We had to know what we had. Each of us as human beings should find time to take inventory of what we have — we need to know what we’ve got! Now you know I’m not just talking about things, more importantly I’m talking about taking inventory of the blessings we have so that we may help more on this story...  

11/16/2012
Thanksgiving

The word “thanksgiving” evokes images of turkey, dressing, and a day off with pay; however, thanksgiving has a much deeper significance than that with our relationship with God:  not just one day, but every day of the year.   We are commanded to give thank.   For example, Philippians 4:6,7 says,  “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. ”  Another example can be found in Psalm 50:14,15:  “Offer unto God thanksgiving:  and pay thy vows unto the most High:  more on this story...  

11/02/2012
Busyness can blind us

In the last few days it seems as though a switch was thrown and the seasons changed. Warmer clothes have come out of storage and the radio is reminding me that there are many children who don’t have a good coat to keep warm. Equally disturbing is many in our community finding themselves with little to eat. My phone rings or my computer dings with pleas for assistance, and not just my phone but every pastor and helping agency in our area is over run by requests for help. On top more on this story...  

10/19/2012
Unanswered Prayers

A quote from Lou Holtz, ESPN college football analyst and former coach at Notre Dame, on unanswered prayer deals with an issue many people struggle with.   Billy Graham’s wife, Ruth, said she was glad God did not answer all her prayers.   If he had, she would have married the wrong man several times.   Holtz’s quote does give some insight on unanswered prayer:  “I used to pray that God would make me a great athlete, and he never did.   Yet he put me in the coaching profession, where more on this story...  

09/21/2012
Be An Eagle

How many times have you said or heard someone say, “Aw, everyone else is doing it?” Have you ever given that as a reason for wishing to do something  that others did not think you should do? Perhaps you did not really believe it was the right thing to do, but only wanted to be with the crowd. If all the other boys are stealing apples or watermelons or shooting at birds, you may find it hard to resist following the crowd. Most of us find it hard to more on this story...  

09/07/2012
God's Blessings

Israel’s wanderings in the wilderness relate to the battles the individual Christian face in receiving God’s blessings.   It is a picture of human nature conflicting with walking by faith.   We seem never to be satisfied and constantly wanting more and complain when we do not get what we want.   Our complaining, like the Israelites, is one of our main challenges we must constantly face.   God provides what we need and we should be satisfied.     The children of Israel came to a place called Marah where the water  bitter and not safe to drink.   In more on this story...  

 






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