by Jim Ramsey
Would you like the world to be a better place for your having been here?” This is the question posed by Ken Blanchard in his forward to Bob Bickel’s book Finishing Well. The premise of the book and its entire focus is on individuals who had a plan that they followed in an effort to make their later life one of significance, not just one of success. Bickel speaks of “Life I” when we have to “prove ourselves,” and “Life II” when we should “give back and make a difference.”
by Pastor Troy Dorrell
According to the data provided by a Harvard study on dietary habits to stave off type 2 diabetes, sometimes people may choose to live greatly diminished lives rather than change. That last statement is probably overstated and doesn’t consider a number of variables. However, it is true that Harvard researchers found that many people chose to suffer the consequences of refusing to make dietary changes in the face of serious health consequences. The point is that ingrained behavior is hard to change even when we have incentive to do so.
By Jim Ramsey
An old song written by Dottie Rambo just came to mind that says:
“The holy hills of Heaven call me to mansions bright across the sea
Where loved ones wait and crowns are given when the hills of home keep calling me
This house of flesh is but a prison! Bars of bone hold my soul
But the doors of clay are gonna burst wide open when the angel sets my spirit free!
I’ll take my flight like a mighty eagle when the hills of home start calling me.”
We should praise the Lord for the wonderful life He has given us here on earth, in this “dressing room for eternity,” if you will. The greatest thing, however, is that the best is yet to come! Here’s an encouraging promise from God: “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” I Corinthians 2:9
By Andrew Calabrese
For those of us who are not senior pastors, we cannot fully understand the burdens that they face on a daily basis. While being in ministry is no doubt the most rewarding life one can live, it has also proven to be the most difficult one too. There is an immense need for God’s people to have a greater burden to refresh their pastor. According to 1 Timothy 5:17, each church member has the privilege and responisbility to be a blessing to his pastor: “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.”
By Joe Monds
Have you ever had a disobedient dog? They will chew things he shouldn’t chew, bark when it is inappropriate, lay on things he shouldn’t lay on… excrete on things he should not excrete on (gross). One especially aggravating trait of a disobedient would be when they run away when they are called. Nobody likes to chase around a disobedient dog.
By Pastor Dorrell
There are many needed and necessary things that should be done to encourage masculinity in our churches. To do nothing deliberately is to abdicate our congregations to cultural forces, which obviously have gender-neutral or feminist bias agendas. The approach I would like to ask you to consider is to simply teach and preach on the subject of what genuine masculinity looks like from your pulpits.
By Jim Ramsey
Here in beautiful, cool New England we have had a wonderful time out of the everyday routine of life on the home front. We were privileged to spend most of our time off in Maine where Linda was born and spent the first eighteen years of her life. Maine is called “America’s vacationland, the Pine Tree state,” and the scenery is amazing!
By Andrew Calabrese
Our words are incredibly powerful. In fact, Solomon said this about our words in Proverbs 18:21: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue:” To summarize, Solomon was saying that the words we speak can be life-giving words or they can be life-taking words.
By Jesse Becker
What excites you? Ask any child that question and they’ll often reply with my birthday or Christmas. Those are exciting times for them for a couple reasons. First, they will most likely receive gifts. Who doesn’t get excited about a gift! Second, these days come only once a year, so they are more special than other days.
As Christians there is an exciting day in our life where we received God’s gift of eternal life and forgiveness from our sins. No gift could ever compare to that. If that day was more recent for you, you may still be able to recall that feeling when you knew that your sins were taken away. For many, that day was years ago and those feelings have been overshadowed by countless days of worry, stress, and fatigue. That’s OK. Life happens. But the neat thing is that we can restore the excitement of God’s miraculous gift in our heart with these three steps:
- Sanctify – Read Psalm 51 and see what this looks like. David sincerely asked God to cleanse his heart and restore the joy of Thy salvation.
- Sing – When participating in corporate worship, make a conscience effort to earnestly think about the words of the songs you are singing. These good songs hold awesome truths that can excite your heart about what God has done.
- Share – Just imagine having been cured from cancer and excitedly telling others how they can be cured. That’s what sharing the gospel is like.
Sanctifying, singing, and sharing. Reignite your heart today!
By Jim Ramsey
It’s amazing how God takes care of every little detail of life! The sad thing is that oftentimes I never even realize or acknowledge when He does it! There have been numerous times when I have been “out and about” and “accidentally” ran into someone I never expected to meet. Sometimes it’s someone from the distant past, sometimes someone from a recent connection, but always someone with whom the conversation seemed to benefit us both. God help me to see such “divine appointments” as opportunities that I must not squander.