by Jim Ramsey
Mark’s Gospel is a “busy” book in which Jesus seems the busiest, moving from one event to another. In his “Gospel of the Servant” narrative, the emphasis is on the deeds of Jesus more than on the words of Jesus. One of those many deeds is recorded in the first twelve verses of chapter 2. It is an account that displays the extremes to which four men went to take a paralyzed friend to Jesus, the only One who had the power to change his condition. This “quartet” literally “raised the roof” to lower their friend into Jesus’ presence. Get the picture? They didn’t let the curious crowd that was in the way deter them, they didn’t let the necessary labor involved discourage them, and they didn’t let possible criticism and opposition diminish their faith in Jesus’ ability to help their beloved friend. Motivated by love, they found a creative way to accomplish the seemingly impossible task at hand.
By Jesse Becker
Things change. The weather. The political scene. The stock market. Our health. Our families. Our attitudes and outlooks.
Near the very beginning, after God created a perfect world, sin entered in and everything changed. God’s relationship with man was interrupted, and the curse of sin prevailed throughout the universe.
But God set a plan in motion to reconcile sinful man back to Himself, and it all centered on the cross. For centuries those who believed God looked forward with hope to the sacrifice and salvation He would provide. And for 2,000 years since, those who believe God look back to that day when Jesus laid down His life and took our punishment — our separation from God.
by Jim Ramsey
Ah, the subway! Allow me once again to reflect on a vacation experience (sorry no photos) that, believe it or not, I really enjoyed. I am a “people person,” and riding the subway in Boston was a time to rub elbows (literally!) with a great host of them as we spent a couple of days getting from place to place. What a blessing it was not to have to drive in the sometimes terrible traffic, and especially to avoid parking on the busy streets.
By Daniel Fleet
The words that we use are powerful and they have an impact on those around us. A hammer can be used to tear things down or build things up and our words are no different. The words we speak, text, or write can be used to nurture, heal, and protect, or, they can be used to ruin, tear down, and destroy. How you use your words will determine how successful you are in the relationship with your wife, kids, family, and co-workers.
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 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 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 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!