Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Shepastor: "Gratefulness Pushes Us Beyond Our Pain..."

O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Psalm 136:1, KJV

Dear Shepastor readers, it is my prayer that each of you will embrace the goodness and mercy of God with a thankful heart, not only during the Thanksgiving season, but each day of your life. In the midst of life's struggles, gratefulness is a choice. In the midst of pain and despair, gratefulness can be a struggle, yet a choice. In the midst of frustration, misunderstandings, doubt and fear, gratefulness may seem to elude us, yet gratefulness remains a choice.

Gratefulness pushes us to see beyond our pain. Gratefulness opens our heart to receive insights and possibilities that bitterness cannot afford. In despair, gratefulness may appear beyond comprehension. In our own strength it may not be possible. But with the help of God, all things are possible.

Open your heart to gratefulness and behold the that is not perceivable with the natural eye.

May you and yours have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Shepastor: “STOP! Going the Wrong Way…”

The prudent see danger and take refuge,
but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.
Proverbs 22:3, NIV

The other day as my family and I entered the on-ramp of the expressway, we observed two big bright signs that read, “STOP – WRONG WAY.” The signs have been enlarged and conspicuously placed right near the on/off ramp of the highway.

Recently, there has been an uptick in the number of cars going the wrong way on the highway. Unfortunately, several accidents have occurred as well as several fatalities. Highway officials are making every effort to ensure that drivers can clearly see the signs posted so that if they find themselves going in the wrong direction, they can find a way to quickly turn around.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if life provided literal big red signs that read, “STOP – WRONG WAY!!!” While no such signs physically exist, certainly there are warning signs that yell at our spirit and tell us “STOP, TURN AROUND, DO NOT ENTER – YOU ARE GOING THE WRONG WAY!!!” How often do we ignore the warning signs?

Proverbs reminds us that when we “see danger” we should take refuge. In other words, when we hear the voice of the Lord saying to stop or the wise counsel of an elder, mentor, friend or even a stranger, we should never ignore those warnings. When we keep going in a direction that we have been warned to avoid, we are “kicking against the pricks.” When we behave in this way we are behaving “simple,” and will have to pay the penalty for our willfulness.

What words of wisdom are you ignoring? What warning signs are yelling “STOP – WRONG WAY” and you continue to keep going? Are you allowing pride to stop you from turning around? Isn’t it hard for you to kick against the pricks? Your simple behavior may not only harm you, but others. Just as a car going in the wrong direction can produce deadly results, your decision to continue to move down a path that is ill advised can produce long-term circumstances that cannot be easily or quickly remedied. Remember, your choices will not only impact your life, but the lives of those around you. Be wise, turn around. Stop. Back up. Begin again. Your life and the lives of others may be spared from major heart ache.

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Until next Wednesday,

In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris