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Monday, April 7, 2014

Blinding Darkness

One year, my elementary school took a field trip to Crystal Caverns in Kutztown, PA.  We were thrilled and excited to both go to a famous cave, but also to be out of school :).  Those working at Crystal Cave knew how to capture us kids' imagination.  They allowed us to "mine" for "jewels" in the bags of dirt they gave us.  Even though we knew they had placed those plastic jewels in the dirt, we were thrilled.

As they led us through the cavern, they brought us to a place deep within where they instructed us to no longer move around, but remain very still.  They intended to turn off the lighting.  Once the light were off, we were instructed to place our hand in front of our faces and try to see our own hand.  It was amazing, although my hand was only a few centimeters away from my eyes, it was Blinding Darkness.  The room was completely void of light. 

They allowed the darkness to settle in the room, to the place you could almost feel the black covering.  Our guides were not creating a scarey atmosphere, like perhaps some experience on halloween events.  It was simply the first time most of my classmates and I had ever experienced a space void of any light!

In the beginning of the Gospel of John, he introduces us to Jesus in his opening word as the light.
In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

For many, spiritual darkness has been all they've know their entire lives.  It is beautiful to see someone exposed to the light for the first time.  At first they shrink away from the blinding shine as it is uncomforable for their eyes.  However, once the initial shock wanes, the light changes everything.  

I pray that the Light of Jesus would shine into your life, into your home and into your circumstances.  For when His Light shine, the result is LIFE! 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Sower and Eaters

In my studies, I recently came across an on-line article written by Andrew Wommack that really impacted me.  I though I'd share a portion of it with you!

2 Corinthians 9:10 says,
For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.

This verse says that God gives seed to sowers and bread to eaters. These terms are being used metaphorically to talk about how God gives extra to people who are givers and supplies the basic needs of eaters.

Eaters are those who are using their finances primarily for their needs. Sowers are those who use their finances primarily to give to others. This is about the attitude of the heart toward giving. Those who desire more money so they can get more “stuff” are eaters. Those who desire more money so they can give more are sowers.

Of course, sowers have to eat too. So, as the money flows through, there is always plenty for you. But those who are only seeking to get their needs met, will only get their needs met. They won’t have the abundance that comes with being a giver.

This answers a lot of questions. Eaters are always focused on what they need, and therefore, God doesn’t give them an over-abundance. They would just spend it on themselves. Just two verses prior to the verse we are studying, Paul said,
“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:”

Notice that the reason God makes grace abound toward you is so you may abound unto every good work. Prosperity is not for you. It’s so you may bless others. That’s a radical thought.

Many people believe prosperity is all about greed, and that’s why they oppose it. But true Bible prosperity is so you can be a blessing to others. The attitude that says “I’ve got enough. I would never ask for more” is the wrong attitude. That’s selfish. That shows the attitude of an eater, not a sower.

If you are a sower, God will bless you with a super abundance of finances that will more than supply your need and enable you to give as you desire. Second Corinthians 9:10 says God gives seed to sowers, so it’s accurate to say that if you are short of seed (finances), then you are not sowing like you should. God will see to it that sowers have money to abound unto every good work. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

21 Days of Faith, 2014

God has called our church seek Him while he may be found.  This is the purpose of 21 Days of Faith.  Please watch this video and prepare to participate in this spiritual emphasis on March 24-April 13.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Celebration Time

Growing up in Pittsburgh in the early 80's, the Pirates and the Steelers gave you much to celebrate. Between Willie Stargelle and Terry Bradshaw, there were many opportunities to sing the song by Kool and the Gang, "Celebration". 

This past Fall we celebrated 75 years of faithful ministry as a church.  As we began the process of planning this weekend, we had no idea what we might find.  What we discovered was significant. 

The ministry of our church began in the first Pentecostal prayer meeting in Northern Baltimore County in the house of Laura Day in 1919.  Little did she know those early times of prayer would set into motion 3 churches that would be started, and thousands of people touched with the Gospel. 

THE MESSAGE:  You never know what your faithfulness will set into motion!  The key is to be faithful in doing your part.

So this year, get busy, stop your excuses and begin investing in relationships and depositing eternal currency.  It could impact generations to come!

Friday, December 13, 2013

5 Ways to Keep your Sanity during the Christmas Season Schedule

Christmas Shows, Decorations, Parties, Shopping, Concerts, Basketball, Gymnastics, Wrestling, etc...

If you're anything like us, Christmas is the Most Wonderful Time of the Year... but is it also the busiest.  And with the hectic schedule, a lot of stress can arise. So, is are all our crazy schedules a true celebration of the Chrsitmas season, or should we just rent a cabin in the mountains and hide during the Christmas Season.  Is the stress we experience worth it?

While my family struggles, like yours, in finding the right balance during the Christmas season, there are things you and I can do in order keep this Season Holly and Bright!!!  
  1. Define what you Want this Christmas Season:  No, I don't mean the "making a list and checking it twice" list.  Rather, literally ask yourself the question, what do I and my family want or perhaps need to get out of this Christmas Season.  Your list might look different than mine, but it might include:  Time with Family, Down Time, Giving to Those in Need, Making Christmas a Faith Experience, etc... Knowing what you want, allows you to determine what you don't want or what you need to say no to. 
  2. Schedule the Season's Priorities:  This doesn't necessarily mean you won't be busy, but scheduling our your holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Years) helps everyone stay on the same page.  However, you'll probably need to re-examine the schedule regularly.  
  3. Set Limits:  My wife helps me with this one.  You can't say yes to everything.  Whether it is how much you'll spend on each child or grandchild, or how many nights our a week you can handle, if you don't set your limits for you and your children, no one else will.  If you start feeling anxious, know that your near the edge of your limits and you shouldn't go much farther.  
  4.  Enjoy Each Experience:  Remember, each party, school event, Church musical, sporting event are all experiences in themselves.  Be fully present no matter where you are.  Don't get so stressed about the next place, and not enjoy the NOW.  
  5. Play Christmas Music:  In the Kitchen, the Car, the Office, etc... Make sure you play Christmas music.  It's hard to not get in the spirit of the season with cheerful music reminding you of Christ's birth, positive memories, and the blessings you do possess.  ]
Christmas is a  time of year to celebrate what we DO have, not trying to figure out how to get what we want.  You'll discover that the joy of the season comes from bring joy to others.  And if none of the above items work for you, Start with a Smile and see where it takes you.