Saturday, August 11, 2012


Wrath, is anger out of control. Getting so mad you exhibit wrath is something in which no wise person indulges because is has a terrible effect on the person who gets mad. It is very destructive to ones personal relations with others. 

Anger is also a depressant of ones personal spirit as so much energy is expended in violent anger that the angry person is spiritually depleted. Anger that is less violent but seethes deep in the mind and simmers as a long term grudge is also self destructive. It permits a constant leakage of personal spiritual energy.

There is an effective method for keeping from anger even when you are confronted by the anger of someone else. It requires practice, but once you acquire the skill, you will be amazed by the amount of self control it will give you. It is found in Proverbs 15:1, "A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."

The next time you feel the anger rising up in you, remember and repeat several times this verse from Proverbs. You will be able to feel the effect on yourself. If you practice it in actions you will not transforming effects on your relationships with others. This is one of the golden keys to powerful spiritual living.

Friday, August 10, 2012

One Thin Dime

As an experiment take a dime, the smallest of American coins in size. Hold that dime at arm’s length and notice how small it looks. Then bring that same dime up close to your eye and it will look like the largest thing in the world as it fills your field of vision. One thin dime, the tithe of a dollar; not much to look at nor will it buy much. What can you do with a dime?

When we take that tithe of a dollar and put it with other dimes from other Christians and churches all over the country, its effects can be multiplied many times. When we use it through our missionaries, we can turn it into food, medicine, clothes, and Bibles. When pooled though the church that dime provides ministry in the name of Christ all over the world.

          One of the things we need to ask ourselves when we receive money is, “What can this become?” We can turn coins, even little dimes, into help for the people God loves. This is what Christian Stewardship is all about: using what God has given us in ways that are pleasing to God. How big is your dime and what will it do? Your tithe of each dollar will be blessed and multiplied when it is put to work for the Lord of life. Each time your spend a dime this week, ask yourself, “What could become of this, and whom could it help if we let it?”

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Un-holy Desecration

A female band in Russia chooses an English language name that is provocative and attends a Christian church to interrupt the worship with a profane political song.

A hate filled man enters a Sikh temple and shoots people at random.

A black Christian church is burned by racist white men.

A mosque is bombed by a different sect of the same religion.

Desecration of houses of worship has been going on for thousands of years all over the world. It is a way of expressing hatred for the different and trying to exert some control over others. We can not stop people from hatred and anger toward others and it is a problem world wide.

I feel that any house of worship no matter what religion should be respected and should be a safe place for those who worship there. In America we are guaranteed freedom of religion and we have almost all the worlds religions represented here.   I pledge my self to respect all houses of worship! Are you willing to make that same pledge?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

WWW ???

When I traveled to Jordan I was stopped by customs agents coming and going. Both the Jordanian and American customs agents asked me three questions before letting me pass. Who are you?
Where are you going?
What do you have to declare?

These are good questions for Christians to ask of ourselves as we look to the future. These are good focus questions to help us with the challenge of being Christians in our fast changing world. We can restate them as:
Who are we?,
Where are we going?,
What do we have to declare?

Who are we? As Christians, what is our role in our community and the world? How do we define our relationships with God, the Christian Church, other Christians and most importantly non-Christians?

Where are we going? More to the point what is God calling us to do and be as a part of God’s mission? Are we just sitting here doing nothing? Are we going in the right direction? Are we going fast enough?

What do we have to declare? What is our witness to a world in need of God’s love about the Gospel of Jesus the Christ? In deed do we bother to declare the Gospel to others?

The answers to these questions are significant for marking the difference between a healthy growing church and a social club that has religious overtones. My goal is that my answers will reflect a life dedicated and faithful to Jesus Christ and his mission.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Am I My Brother's Keeper

Gary Kelly wrote: "Pastor Larry I know we are not suppose to add anything to what is not there. Now in Genesis chapter 4 Abel was he not responsible for sharing with his brother what was pleasing to God? The shedding of blood an animal sacrifice. When we read the New Testament I John 3:12, Hebrews 4:11, even the words of Jesus Matthew 23:35 it makes it seem as if Abel was without fault, but he died (the wages of sin). just looking for some input from someone who seems to be knowledgable about scripture. The question was Am I my brothers keeper?"

There are many layers in the story of Cain and Able:

1.    Is blood sacrifice better than a grain offering? Perhaps it is more to the point of the attitude of the one offering the sacrifice. It says that Able offered the “First Fruit” or the best of his crop while Cain brings only an offering from his crop. Do we give of our best – first fruits – in our offerings? It does not matter what kind of offering if it is the best we have.

2.    Was Able with out fault? Able offered a blood sacrifice for the forgiveness of his sin, so he acknowledged his fault before God. His relationship with God was at peace. He died not because of his sin but because of his brother’s sin.

3.    Am I my brother’s keeper? I note here that Cain used that question as a means to deflect God’s question. Answering a question with a question is an old and well used tradition. Here is a clue to Cain’s problem not wanting to own up to his own responsibility for his actions in the way his offering was made and for the killing of his brother. Cain was selfish and self centered and it corrupted his relationship with God and that is the real issue of the story.

Monday, August 6, 2012


I am confronted regularly by people who want their religion [God] to protect them from all kinds of troubles. The Christian faith was never meant to make people withdraw from life and hide in a protective shelter. Jesus sent his followers out into the world with a mission, sometimes telling them to go without even a change of clothing. Jesus gave us a faith that enables us to handle life’s troubles rather than avoid them.

Christianity does not offer us release from our problems; it offers us ways to solve our problems or live through them. We are blessed with spiritual strength to face and conquer anything life might throw at us. We live in an uncertain world with men and women who do not fear God and will do anything to get their own way. The ones who attacked the World Trade Center two years ago and the ones who continue to terrorize innocent people create troubles for the rest of us. The attack on the Sikh temple on Sunday was done out of hate and confusion of the Sikh religion with Islam. The are two very different faiths.

Add to that the occasional natural disasters and uncertainty is the order of the day. An earthquake, tornado or flood is not God’s punishment on those people as some proclaim but nature doing what it needs to do. Jesus said, “It rains on the just and unjust alike.”

Our faith in Jesus the Christ gives us the power and understanding to overcome all uncertainty and to live with confidence. Through prayer, devotion, scripture study, and fellowship with other Christians we can undo any and all troubles that the evil ones send our way. Remember the words of St. Paul,  “I can to all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me.”[Philippians 4:13]