This morning I arrived at the church building and was about to pull into my regular parking spot...which isn’t actually a parking spot as defined by the yellow lines. Anyway…
I happened to catch a “sparkle” out of the corner of my eye. The sun’s rays were just right and I knew right away what it was that I saw. Right in the spot where my left front tire was going to end up, was a nail (I wonder where that came from?)!
Fortunately I saw it ahead of time and not after it was too late. I picked up the nail and threw it away. Hopefully our contractor has one of those big magnet things that will do a much better job removing the nails and screws from the parking lot.
I tell you this for two reasons. First, as many times as people have walked the parking lot looking for nails, screws, etc. there are still some out there. So please be careful and if you see something pick it up (with your hand, not your tire) or let one of our younger-ish people know and they’ll be glad to pick it up for you.
The other reason is to make a point. No matter how thoroughly we clean up after making a mess of our life, we will always miss something that might come back to hurt us later on, if we are not careful.
So how do we deal with the messes in life? How do we make sure that when we clean them up, they don’t leave any residue that can haunt us?
It’s really simple: we don’t! We don’t try to clean it up ourselves. We don’t sweep and clean and straighten and mop and polish our messed up life.
Instead, we turn it over to Jesus. We let Him clean up our messed up life. Certainly we help Him...but we never try to clean up by ourselves. If we try, we will still have left over “stuff” that can hurt us.
But when Jesus cleans up, He does so through a job that, even when Satan comes along to remind us of our mess, there is not even a trace of a screw or a nail or even of a mess. That’s something to be thankful for!
Perhaps you noticed that the trees damaged last month have been removed. If not, they have! Also yesterday (Tuesday) we received the insurance report for the building and a check...so the building repairs should be starting soon.
A couple of weeks ago it had been raining off and on for about a day. While I was sitting in my office, I heard a loud crashing noise from somewhere in the building. Naturally I went to investigate.
I found the source of the crash: the ceiling tile in the fellowship room that fell. Apparently enough water made it through the tarp on the roof, that the insulation above that tile got so heavy it collapsed (that’s my best guess at what happened).
The roofers patched the roof as best as they could while we were waiting on the insurance company. But a temporary fix is never as good as replacing the damaged roof.
Every so often, “holes” are punched in our lives. Something comes along and disrupts our life: maybe it’s a financial crisis, or a health crisis, or a family crisis, or, well, you get the idea. How do we respond to the holes?
“Holes” have to be repaired. Just “covering them up with a tarp” might help in the short term, but eventually the holes need to be correctly and completely repaired.
Sometimes that repair involves more than just surface work. Sometimes you have to get all the way down to the decking. Sometimes even the decking has to be replaced. Sometimes the repair can require quite a bit of work on our part and, sometimes it can take a little while.
Aren’t you glad that, when it comes to “holes” in our lives we don’t have to wait on an insurance company to “approve” the fix?
Aren’t you glad that the One who fixes “holes” in lives is on call 24/7 and never makes us wait?
And aren’t you glad that when He fixes the “hole,” it is not a temporary solution that may result in additional “holes” down the road?
So, if you have holes in your roof or any other damage from the storm that you need fixed, let me know: I know a guy who can fix it.
And if you have “holes” in your life or any other damage from a “storm” that you need fixed, well you know The Guy who can fix it. All you need to do is call Him and He will go to work immediately!
As most of you are aware, this past August, I turned 50. I honestly don’t feel “old,” but a few years ago I remember thinking anyone who was 40 was old!
Now when you turn 50, there are certain medical “procedures” that are recommended. This is especially true if you have a family history of certain health issues...or if you have an unknown family history of health issues (like I do, since I was adopted and have no knowledge of either “birth parent”).
So the other day I had a get acquainted session with the general surgeon who is going to do a “non-surgical procedure” (a colonoscopy) on me on Friday, November 22. Prayers would be appreciated.
So while we were talking, he stressed the importance of the “cleansing process”. The doctor said it was like driving a car and he had to navigate four turns...and he didn’t want to miss any of them or miss anything else covered up by, well, previously eaten food.
I feel certain you are wondering why I’m telling you this. What possible spiritual application can be made? Well, try this on for size…
As we journey through this life, we encounter many things...some are good, some are not so good with the potential to turn bad, some are just plain bad. We need to be able to see clearly so that we don’t miss something in the later two categories.
There are a lot of places who claim to be Christian, but they are teaching a lot of things that are not found in the Bible. If you do a little research (even just look at their website), you’ll find out that they are teaching things foreign to and, in some cases, in direct opposition to the Bible.
In order to have a “cleansed” path to heaven, we need to be careful about what we allow to enter our heart. This starts with what we allow to enter our eyes and ears.
What I am saying is that we need to be careful about who and what we listen to (and, for those with younger kids, what and who we allow them to listen to).
Confusion abounds in our culture. Spiritually speaking, we need to be certain that we keep our hearts cleansed of ideas, thoughts, and doctrines that may allow something anti-Biblical to take root in our heart.
If you don’t believe me, check out 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22.
This past Tuesday morning, I was running a little bit behind in getting to the office. I try to be here by about 7:30 so that the building is opened and the heat or A/C is turned on for the home school group that meets in our building on Tuesdays...but it was already 7:45.
Well, I was on 412 and, just before the big bridge I looked at my speedometer and saw 65! I knew I was in a hurry, but I also know that the other side of the bridge is a favorite hangout for local law enforcement, I immediately slowed down to 45.
After being passed by several cars, getting some “frustrated” looks from other drivers, and thinking to myself that it felt like I was driving so slow, I happened to notice that, for whatever reason, the 65 I had seen and the 45 I was driving was in kilometers per hour. So I switched the display back to miles per hour and discovered that I was actually driving considerably less than the posted speed limit.
On the steering wheel of our van is a button that switches the digital display of speed from miles per hour to kilometers per hour...and I must have accidently pressed that button.
It was a simple mistake that had influenced everything I did afterwards: panicking, slowing down, etc. But none of that really dealt with the underlying problem. Until I corrected the mistake, I would have continued to live with the consequences of that one small mistake.
Sometimes sin is just like that. We make a simple mistake and it influences everything else we do. So we repent of that sin (or we think we repent of it). Yet we fail to understand why our lives don’t just go back to the way they were.
The problem may be that we haven’t taken the appropriate steps to correct the problem. Repenting doesn’t mean that we say we are sorry and continue to engage in the activity. Repenting is turning away from the activity and making the necessary corrections to prevent continuing to sin.
Consider this, if you are traveling and you’re off course by just one degree after a mere 100 yards, you’d bee off by 5.2 feet. After a mile, you’d be off by 92.2 feet. The further you travel, the more off course you’d be. If the Apollo missions that went to the moon were off by just one degree, they would have missed the moon by 4,169 miles.
Sometimes the correction needed is something simple; sometimes it is a little more involved. But until we make that correction, no matter how “small” it may seem, our lives will continue to be blown off course by that simple mistake.
Remember that God has given us a road map. He tells us how to conduct ourselves so that we can reach our final destination. So if you find yourself off course, even by just a “degree” make whatever correction you need to so that you get back on course...before you end up someplace you really do NOT want to be!
Did you realize that November starts later this week? (It may have already started, depending on when you read this!) 2019 will soon be history and 2020 will be the present...where does time go?
With everything “out of the ordinary” that has been going on lately, I thought I would take this opportunity to make you aware of some of the ordinary things that we traditionally do during the upcoming months.
First, remember that November 10 is our monthly fellowship meal and congregational meeting after our morning services. These meetings are always important, but especially now as information regarding the repair of the building will be given at this meeting.
Also remember that November 27 will be our annual “Soup and Chili Supper” and our traditional “Thanksgiving Eve Devotional.” The fun, food, and fellowship starts at 6:00 PM.
The next big event will be our annual “Holiday Dinner” following services on December 8. This is always a fantastic time for our congregation...so plan to stay after our morning services for the fellowship!
December 14 is the day of the world famous “Dye Family Christmas Open House.” More details will be given a little later, but 99.995% of people who have come in the past look forward to coming again...so put this on your holiday to-do list.
After Sunday evening services on December 15 the Hatfields will be hosting the annual white elephant gift exchange. Youth of ALL AGES are encouraged to attend.
That takes us to Wednesday, December 25. We WILL NOT be having services that evening.
Finally, on Wednesday, January 1, 2020 we will have a special “New Year Devotional.”
We’re entering a busy time and the building repairs may make it even busier, but one thing remains the same: we will come together as a church family to fellowship with each other and to glorify God!