Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Grand Garden"

This Spring two of our grandchildren, Amber and Trey, planted a garden after their Daddy prepared the spot for them. It has been fun watching the vegetables grow into a very plentiful garden. I would have to say they have "Green" thumbs. Since they are our "grand"children I titled this post "Grand Garden".
Good job, guys!





The Beginning!


Getting Bigger!


Full Grown!


Red Sunflowers


Yellow Sunflowers


Butternut Squash

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

HOW TO BE ABSOPBED IN SCRIPTURE DAILY

Here are some simple steps that I find helpful in making the most out of my time alone with the Lord and then allowing the truths I learn be absorpbed into my life.

In Your Time Alone With God . . .

1. Pray . . . Ask God to speak to you in a way you’ll understand
2. Reflect . . . Think back on your walk with the Lord over the last day
3. Preview . . . Look over the scripture passages you have selected to read and get an understanding of the context before you read.
4. Read slowly. . . The scripture letting the Holy Spirit speak as you read. Look for the correct understanding (interpretation) of what God has said “one time for all time.”
5. Observe . . . What you see in the scripture considering the implications of what God has said and journal the observations.
6. Apply . . . Given the implications of what God has said now consider and write down how you’ll apply a truth God has shown you.
7. Index Card . . . write a verse, associated hymn or song, a thought, a quote for your day. Include clear application you want to live out today.
8. Pray . . . Ask God to help you live these truths
9. Share . . . Look for an opportunity to tell someone today what you leaned today and it will bless them and reinforce it in your own life.

I have found that making it a priority to spend an hour a day alone with the Lord using the above as a guideline has been very benefical in my own walk with the Lord. I hope something here will help and encourage you!

PB

The Value of Values

WHAT ARE YOUR VALUES ? Have you recently given examination to that question? It is easy to say we have "family values" or "biblical values" but do we when it comes to actual practice as we live out our lives? Here are some helps in making an evaluation for yourself.


Your Values In the Area of RELATIONSHIPS

1. How high a value do I place on my relationship to the Lord?
2. How high a value do I place on my relationship with my spouse?
3. How high a value do I place on my relationship with my children?
4. How high a value do I place on my relationship to my local church?
5. How high a value do I place on my relationship to my employment(er)
6. How high a value do I place on my relationship to lost people for the purpose of winning them to Christ?
7. How high a value do I place on my inner circle of friends and helping them and letting them help you become more like Christ through discipleship and "one anothering."



Your Values in the area of the use of Your TIME

1. Does my schedule reflect the value I say I place on each area of my relationships?
2. How much time do I spend on each area in a given day or week?
3. Are there areas I highly value but they are not getting my attention?
4. What would have to change to bring my stated values in line with my use of time?

Values as seen by my BUDGET - USE OF RESOURCES

1. Do my expenditures align with my stated values?
2. Do I know how I spend my resources?
3. Do I have a budget or a spending plan?
4. Do I love money?
5. Am I materialistic?
6. Am I an owner or steward of my resources?


TEN GOOD QUESTIONS IN DEFINING MY VALUES

1. Is the Bible the inspired Word of God and as such the final authority for your life?

2. Is it my purpose in life to seek God with my whole heart and to build my goals around His priorities?

3. Have I dedicated my body as a living sacrifice, with the daily awareness that I am the living temple of God, and as such not defile myself with the lusts of this world?

4. Is my church teaching the foundational truths of the Bible and reinforcing my basic convictions?

5. Do I believe my children and grandchildren belong to God, and it is my responsibility to teach them Scriptural principles, Godly character, and basic convictions?

6. Am I committed to my brothers and sisters in Christ in such a way that my activities would never weaken the scriptural convictions of another Christian?

7. Do I regard my wedding vows as a life-long commitment to God and to my marriage partner?

8. Do I see my money as a trust from God and must be earned and managed according to Scriptural principles?

9. Are my words in harmony with God’s Word, especially when reproving and restoring a Christian brother/sister or do I talk behind their backs instead?

10. Are my affections set on things above, and not on things in the earth?

There is a great value in having the right values. "So let a man examine himself . . ."

PB

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It’s often the little things in life that determine the big things

Thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Matt. 25:21


The widow’s two mites were greater than all the gifts of the big givers. A little leaven leavened the whole lump. Faith as a grain of mustard seed can move a mountain. One little stone and one young shepherd boy defeated a giant. Yes, little things handled faithfully and in faith bring about big things for God’s glory. Inversely, little soft decisions made in the flesh can also bring a big reproach upon the name of Christ.

When we are faithful in little things The Lord allows us to be used in making a big impact. Your faithfulness to pray for the things that are the heart beat of God as revealed in the scriptures may seem like a little thing but it is much bigger than you realize. Any given Sunday at our church, or yours, it is the small little faithful deeds of many that allow the body to corporately worship our Great God and Savior as we do. In the context of family it is the little daily things done by each member faithfully that make a family strong and a refuge from the world. As the people of God we very much need to be alert to do the little things responsibility and faithfully. We also should be quick to encourage others with our words of gratitude for their faithfulness in doing the small things that make all our lives so much better.

One friend of mine would carry a few “little pebbles” in his pocket each day. He would find ways to share the gospel each day and when he had he spoken with someone about Christ he would transfer a small stone from one pocket to the other until all the stones were transferred. It was a very small thing that he seldom mentioned to anyone but it was his way of keeping himself accountable to do the little daily thing faithfully for the glory of God.

What “little thing” does God have for you to do today? What “little thing” can you begin to put into your life, by faith, which has a big potential for eternity?

No one of us can do it all, whether that is pray, witness, serve in the church ministry, or give. When each of us does our little part faithfully as unto the Lord, God multiplies and makes it into something really big for His glory!

PB

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Wisdom Needed!

Wisdom - - - Knowing the right thing to do at the right time for the right purpose

Several years ago we had a large group of children in Roanoke visiting the zoo among other activities planned for the day. We took them there in one of our famous, very old, yellow school buses. When it was time to leave the zoo the bus wouldn’t start. One of our very talented mechanics was called to the rescue. He drove to Roanoke, crawled under the bus with a hammer and gave the starter a good whack with that hammer. The bus started right up with no problem. We were very thankful this talented brother was part of our staff. If we had to call an auto shop to send one of their mechanics to fix the bus they would have sent us a bill, the bill would have been for about $200. The bill would have been itemized it may have read something like this: For hitting the starter - $1; for knowing where and how to hit the starter - $199. :)

James 1:5 says “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” I thank the Lord for people like those who work with me on the staff of our church and school that use the wisdom God has given them for God’s purposes and His glory. God tells us in this verse that all wisdom comes from Him. To receive this wisdom we must humble ourselves and ask for it. When we receive wisdom from above we have a tremendous responsibility to use it for His purposes and not our own. Each of us can have this wisdom on a daily basis.

Someone else has said that wisdom is seeing life from God’s point of view. And the prophet of old tells us “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.” (Jer. 9:23-24) As a church it’s amazing all the wisdom and talent we have assembled here in this ministry. There is almost no limit to what we can do for the Lord. I praise the Lord for this.

Let us never forget where the wisdom and ability to do things comes from . . . above! It’s a wonderful privilege to access His wisdom and use it for His glory. And all the glory goes to our great God and Savior. During these days of “recession” and financial decline we need wisdom to know how to adjust. We need that as a ministry and perhaps you need it personally in your own finances. God ultimately is our source of provision and it is to Him we look for wisdom, grateful for what we have. (We are told that with food and raiment we are to be content - even in the recession we are blessed above measure!)Regardless of what area of your life you need wisdom for don't look to yourself rather look above.

I’m reminded all over again that only God can give us the wisdom we need to respond to this new challenge. Please pray for your church leadership team as we seek to know how to handle the potential decreased enrollment in our Christian school and the decreased offering at our church.

All real wisdom comes from Him, even for something as simple as knowing where and how to hit a starter with a hammer. :)

Pastor Brodie

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Closet Door and the pursuit of 6' 4"


As a child growing up, dad would measure us once a year on our birthday. He would put a mark with the date inside the closet door so we could see how much we had grown in the past year. I wanted to grow up and be much taller than my dad who was a little man of about five foot eight. I dreamed of being six feet four inches and playing basketball for the Boston Celtics. The day came when I was about sixteen that I became taller than my dad. That was an exciting day for me. That excitement was short-lived as soon after that I stopped growing. I began to realize I wouldn’t even come close to the six-foot mark, and basketball would not be my life long profession.

These were all wrong standards for me to be using in measuring my life. I guess we all get in trouble when we hold up wrong standards. By the grace of God someone shared the gospel with me. I saw myself measured by the only true standard – the Bible, God’s Word. When compared to that perfect standard I fell “short of the glory of God – way short!” Without any doubt I was a great sinner standing in condemnation before a holy God lost in my sin and in desperate need of a Savior. And the “good news” part of the gospel was that Jesus Christ had paid the penalty for my sin on an old rugged cross and He offered me forgiveness of sin through a supernatural change where my sin could be exchanged for His righteousness. The wrath of God could be totally satisfied and I could be born again into the family of God. My part was to repent from my sins and believe by faith in the finished work of Christ in my behalf. He drew me, He enabled me, He saved me, He keeps me, he is making intersession me, he is preparing a place for me and He has promised to return for me so that where He is I can be also (Heaven). Wow – What amazing grace! (Rom. 3:23, 6:23, 5:8; Eph. 2:8-9, Jn. 10: 27-30, 14:1-6)

Many years have gone by since my boyhood dream of being a professional basketball player. More than 30 years have gone by since the day I responded to the gospel with repentance and faith. He, Jesus Christ is now my life. I still fall short of His glory but the gospel is now forever applied to my life! Praise His dear name. (Gal. 2:20) God gave me a new heart and a new life. Now I live under the authority of the Scriptures and measure my life accordingly. And because I’m walking “in” His righteousness and because of His sacrifice the standard is always met.

God measures us by His Word – it is His measuring door. He knew we could never measure up so he provided the necessary “lifter” – Jesus Christ. Being found “in Him” (Phil. 3:7-10) and having His “lifting” righteousness is the only mark (Phil. 3:14) that matters in this life. That’s far more important than growing up to be six-foot four as measured on the closet door!

Dad always measured us on our birthdays. One never knows when you’ll have the last opportunity to be measured by God before the judgment. A King named Belshazzar thought he measured up just fine but then God came and measured by the only measurement that counts and this is what God told him (Daniel 5:27), “God has numbered the day of your kingdom and brought it to an end, you have been weighed in the balance (measured on God’s door) and found short! Jesus paid it all so you could “measure up” with God and Jesus alone is the very door by which everything is measured upon. (Jn. 10:7-10)

Do you measure up? Are you ready to be measured?


PB

Our Graduating Grandaughter :)


Our oldest grandchild finished her homeschooling education one year early and we are so very proud of her accomplishments. She would be the first to say math and struggling through Dyslexia has not been easy. We have watched through the years as her Dad and Mom have persevered educating while going through tough pregnancies and just plain every day life. Some days brought tears and other days great joy but the accomplishment of a "job well done" has been completed. Ashley will be helping her parents with homeschooling her younger siblings in preparation for her own family, the Lord willing.

Ashley, Babum and Nanny are very proud of you and pray you will continue to keep the Lord first in your life. Thank you for so many wonderful memories and letting us share in your life in so many tangible ways. We love you and may the Lord continue to bless your life as you put Him "Above All".

Friday, July 10, 2009

Need Some Extra Peace and Strength?

Here are SIX SIMPLE SUGGESTIONS that I have found help me.

1. TIME ALONE WITH GOD – At least 30 minutes and no exceptions (an hour is better)

IS. 26:3-4 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

2. BE OPEN AND HONEST WITH YOUR AUTHORITIES

ROM. 13:1-2 ¶ Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

• NO DECEPTION ABOUT HOW YOU ARE UTILIZING YOUR TIME AND THE PRESSURES YOU ARE FEELING.
• ASK YOUR AUTHORITY TO PRIORITIZES YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES

3. PLAN SOME SPACE AND FUN INTO YOUR SCHEDULE RATHER THAN NO BREATHING ROOM

ECC.3:1 ¶ To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;

4. REGULAR PHYSICAL EXERCISE ( 30 MINUTES EVERY DAY)

1Thess. 5: 23 ¶ And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved

5. SEVEN HOURS OF SLEEP PER NIGHT ( +1, -1 NORMAL RANGE)

1 KING 19:4-6 But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat. And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again

• TOO LITTLE SLEEP OR TOO MUCH SLEEP BOTH LEAD TO DIFFICULTIES
• THE TIME YOU MUST GET UP SHOULD BE THE GAUGE FOR WHAT TIME YOU MUST GO TO BED. SUFFICIENT SLEEP MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD!

6. REMOVE CLUTTER- “DE-JUNK”

1Co 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

• CONFUSION ISN’T OF GOD. YOU’LL BE AMAZED WHAT FREEDOM, STRENGTH AND PEACE COMES BY JUST CLEANING A DRAWER OR CLOSET. WORK DILEGENTLY TO KEEP YOUR WORK AREA AND HOME FREE OF CLUTTER. (A REAL GOOD IDEA FOR YOUR MIND TOO!)

MY SUGGESTION ISN'T TO PICK AND CHOSE THESE SIX THINGS BUT INACT FAITHFULLY ALL SIX AND SEE WHAT A DIFFERENCE IT MAKES IN HOW YOU FEEL AND YOUR ENERGY LEVEL AND OUTLOOK ON EACH NEW DAY.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

De-Cluttering De-Closet

Here I go again...De cluttering the clothes closet,ugh!! Not a fun job to do but what a wonderful feeling of accomplishment when it's completed. I've learned that just because it is all neat and tidy now, it won't stay that way. Unless, of course I stay disciplined and make an effort to put things where they belong. It's amazing what you can stuff in a closet and oh the frustration it brings especially when in a hurry to get ready to be some place at a designated time (like church on Sunday morning)!

I've found my mind gets spiritually cluttered when I don't stay disciplined with a proper focus. I focus on all my weaknesses instead of the Lord's strength in my life. My thinking is "Woo is Me" instead of "Great is He". And what does it take to focus on the Lord? Discipline! Discipline to see my Savior and all He has done on my behalf. Every weakness (sin) I experience He has already nailed it to the cross. I discipline myself by focusing on His Word not my words. A very good and uplifting verse for me to focus on is Proverbs 3:6 "In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths". When "my ways" turn to mental clutter I can refocus by acknowledging The One who died for each wrong thought and throw it out and put in it's place truth! That is a correct and uplifting focus which makes for a neat and tidy mind, Ahhhhh!







Where do I start? One piece at a time!



A new start!



Neat and Tidy!



"Mission Impossible"



"Mission Accomplished"

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

"Mini-Getaway"

We recently got away for a couple of days to a near by town for a little relaxation and change of scenery. We didn't have to go far or wait long to see some beautiful clouds or mountain ranges. And of course there was lots of shopping and some good eating. It is fun some times to just get away and not have a schedule. It doesn't have to be far or expensive. We are in a season of life when we can do this type of thing without much planning. Even when our kids were small we tried to get away and spend time alone. I'm glad we did back then and still do now.



Our hotel was located near the airport... why did I choose the fourth floor????



Seen from our hotel window.



Look and see that the Lord is good!



We praise His awesomeness!



I never get over God's masterpieces for us to enjoy.