Do you waffle?

Do you waffle? Not in the sense of food but in your answer. How many times have we given our word or made an oath and not honored what we said? We are reminded in Matthew 5:37 how we are to be people of conviction, “Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ be ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” Are you known as a person of your word? We have all probably had shortfalls in this area before, but it is certainly worth striving for. Make every attempt to honor your word. “Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted counts.” Albert Einstein  ...

The Other Side

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”                                                                                                                                                                                           -Exodus 20:17 “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” At least, that’s what the saying claims. In Arkansas County, however, the saying could be phrased “The road is always smoother on the other side of the yellow line.” What does that mean? Ride with a local down Pleasant Hill road, or the St. Charles Highway, and you’ll figure it out real quick. Hardly anyone here seems to drive on the right side of the road. They drive on the other side to avoid bumps going east, then do the opposite returning west. Ask someone about it and you’ll likely hear a response like “I figure I pay taxes on both sides of the road, so I can drive wherever I want!” There’s just something about the other side that’s tempting. It isn’t ours. We might not really need it. In fact,...

Stand

“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your STAND against the devil’s schemes.” -Ephesians 6:11 One of the most important words that a person can hear during spring in Arkansas County is “stand”. In an agricultural sense, stand is used to describe the overall success of seeing a crop which has been planted break through the soil and become established for the growing season. Many obstacles such as weather, animals, and the occasional absent-minded farm hand, work against a crop on a daily basis. The power of a stand, however, is not found in individual plants coming up, but rather in hundreds of thousands springing up at once. To witness a planted field turn from looking milky-white, to having a hint of a green tint, to having an established stand throughout the field, brings joy to every farmer and hand in the county.  We are often tempted to place our emphasis on the individual. “Who is the MVP?”, or “I passed my class!” are common examples of the importance of individuality. What if a farmer took the same individualistic approach to farming as we do for life? “I got one plant out of the ground”, would hardly scream success. In order for a crop to be successful, more than one seed has to come up. Thousands have to come up at once! So here is the point: Men, too often we hear in church that each individual man is responsible to stand. The individual man is told that he must face insurmountable odds by himself. The focus is placed on one man standing, when the focus should instead...

Deception

“A malicious man disguises himself with his lips, but in his heart he harbors deceit. Though his speech is charming, do not believe him, for seven abominations fill his heart. His malice may be concealed by deception, but his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.” -Proverbs 26:24-26 Deception is a reality in every one of our lives. There are many who seek to trick us into accepting and believing something that is not true. Whether the deception is in the arena of politics or work, adulthood or adolescence, at all stages of life one must be astute to the truth. This past weekend I witnessed a powerful deception, one which likely was not intended. The culprit: a channel cat. This past weekend we met family at a lake in Texas to camp and fish. One morning, while my father, brother and I were out fishing, the wind began to blow rather hard. We found a spot where we would receive some shelter from the wind yet still have the advantage of the waves blowing against the shore. As we sat in the semi-calm hole, my cork began to drift. The drift would have been normal, for it was windy, but something didn’t seem right. As I watched my cork I noticed the deception taking place: what appeared to be wind blowing my cork was actually a catfish, who was slowly pulling his meal into the cover of a fallen tree. It seems that at times we, like the catfish, think that if we do something slowly enough that others will mistake what we are doing and accept our deception....

Mom

  Mother’s Day 2015. I expect many different tributes about Moms will be given today. All our stories are unique, I get that, but I think we can agree on a couple attributes about Mom that make this day special. I want to share my thoughts on Mother’s Day from what Mary, mother of Jesus, displayed. A simple girl given eternal responsibility. Did she ask for it? No. Could and would she handle it? Yes. Being a mom means accepting responsibilities that you may or may not have asked for. Maybe they feel like too much. Maybe you just don’t want to do them. Maybe you need some help. Maybe the responsibilities become lighter if you see them in light of Mary. Imagine her situation. She wasn’t sure. But with God, she was reassured she could handle the task. “For nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37).” Simple devotion. From the very beginning Mary was committed. In Mary’s song, Luke 1:46-55, because of divine inspiration, she already knew THIS child was special. She would be raising the King of kings. While you may not be raising a king, you do have a divine charge to raise and love your kids in the Lord. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and will all your strength. These commandments I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up (Deut. 6:5-7).” Love conquers all. A...
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