Month: February 2018

Dance with Me

Dance with Me

The following story I wrote for my true love, Sherri for Valentine’s Day, 2018.


Falling in love is easy, and can happen instantly, staying in love and living life together can be hard. A marriage is like a dance, It requires give and take, and yielding to each another.


This true life love story, is a heart-warming journey of one couple and the dance of life they began together.


Would they make it; or would they need an intervention from the Master Dancer?



Dance with Me


I dedicate this story to Sherri, the love of my life. She captured my heart many years ago, and I am still captivated by those inviting, mysterious eyes.


I have uncovered many treasures exploring the heart of this amazing girl; perhaps there are still undiscovered treasures; I will keep searching until I have them all!




A silver thread


It is January, and getting late in the evening; it is cold outside, four below zero, according to the weatherman. The wintry wind is gusting hard, and there is a chill in the house.


I glance across the living room and I see her, sitting sideways on the couch, feet stretched out, her favorite blanket snuggly tucked in around her.


As look over at her, I smile to myself; so glad she is warm on this cold night. As I walk past her, on my way to the kitchen, I see something unusual; a small silver strand, could it be? On my way back from the kitchen I walk closer to her, looking to see if my suspicions are true, and yes, there it is, a single silver thread, peeking out from her beautiful golden blond hair.


She notices my glance and quickly asks what I am looking at; “Oh, nothing” I say, as I head back to my seat, across from her, in our living room.


I dare not tell her what I found, or she would certainly be off to the hairdresser to vanquish that silver thread from the other recently highlighted strands. As I sit there, looking in her direction, she notices and asks what I am looking at; I just smile.


The silver thread causes my mind to drift back in time, the silver tint bringing memories of our first meeting; well at least the meeting that stands out to me. She recalls meeting me much earlier, and I vaguely recall it.


I do not dance!


I had just turned sixteen years old, recently getting my driver’s license and was out cruising. I decided to check out a school dance. As I went in to see what was going on, I recall a little blond-haired girl, all bubbly and chatty, bouncing over to me with some of her little friends; asking me to dance. I do not recall having ever seen her before, but as it turned out, she was best friends with my kid sister.


I looked at her and said quickly; “I do not dance;” thinking to myself, even if I did dance, I would not be dancing with a little twelve-year-old girl. I decided I had better get out of there, and off I went, never thinking again of the little blond-haired girl I had just met.


Little did I know that after I left the dance, she would go and tell all her friends that one day she was going to marry that boy she just asked to dance!


She recalls that meeting clearly, for me, it was a vague memory. Five years later, however, I would meet her again, a meeting that would change my world, and I will never forget it!


Who is that girl?


I had been away for nearly a year, living in the Pacific Northwest. I had returned home that winter, certain I would be heading back soon. I had been home for a few weeks and on one occasion, while stopping in to see my parents, there she was; the same little blond-haired girl that asked me to dance 5 years ago; wow . . . could this be the same girl?


She was still best friends with my kid sister and was down at my parent’s house visiting when I stopped in. My sister introduced me to her; reminding me that I had seen her before. If I ever did see her before, I never took much notice, but today, she had my full attention.


She was wearing blue jeans and a super soft, tight-fitting, long-sleeved turtleneck sweater; grayish silver in color, a perfect match to the silver strand I saw just peeking out from her golden hair a few moments ago in our living room.


She was all grown up now, she had all the right parts, in all the right places, and I took notice! I often joke with her, that I fell in lust with her that day, but truth be told, there was something much more intriguing to me than her perfect looks.


She makes my heart giggle


Our conversation was not very long that day, but as we chatted, I began to study what I was seeing, and I liked it . . . a lot!


She had a cute little thing she did with her glasses that made my heart giggle. She wore glasses that would occasionally slip down on her gently upturned nose; rather than constantly push them up with her finger, she would wrinkle her nose a little, and while doing that, her eyebrows and ears would lift a wee bit too; it was the cutest thing ever!


She still does it, and it is as cute today, as it was then.

It was not the glasses or the cute way she moved them with her nose that gripped me that day, nor was it her perfectly proportioned body; it was her eyes; gentle, olive green, with brown accents; tiny specks of gold dancing behind the lens of her glasses.


It is getting hot in here!


When I moved a little closer to her and she looked at me, I was startled; I felt flushed and could feel my face beginning to redden, so I moved off to the side of the room, pretending to look out the window, hoping she would not notice my reaction.


When I regained my composure, I wandered back over to her and we spoke some more; I needed to get another look at those eyes. There they were, captivating and mysterious. I could see that there was treasure hidden inside those eyes, there was an adventure in those eyes, and those eyes were calling me.


In that brief moment, time seemed to stop, those eyes were calling me to dance; not in the sense of being on a dance floor, but more like; “do the dance of life with me.” Her eyes were not asking me to dance; they were challenging me to dance; almost like, “I dare you, to dance the dance of life with me!”


Whoa! What was happening to me! Again, I felt flushed and I knew I needed to get some air. I made some lame excuse to leave, and jumped into my car and sped away, going for a long drive.


It was still winter, but I drove with the window down, trying to cool off, trying to shake the crazy feelings going through my being!


Was I falling in love?


A few weeks went by, and I still could not shake the feeling I had; was I in love? How can that be? Torn inside, all I could see were those eyes, calling me, beckoning me, and daring me.


Well, it turned out that my kid sister had a crush on my best friend, so it seemed like a good idea, to get together for a double date. Yes! I was so excited, I would get to spend a whole evening with this girl; I could not wait.


A day before the date, we got word that she could not go; her parents refused to allow it. Not wanting to ruin the weekend for my sister, another girl would take the place of her best friend on the date.


She was a cute little blond-haired girl, bubbly and full of herself. We all went out and tried to have fun, but my mind was in another place; all I could see were those eyes, those beautiful eyes, calling me.


I tried to be attentive to this other girl, but was distracted; to be honest, I could not wait for the night to be over. I am sure the little blonde-haired girl knew I was distracted too; the night finally ended and I laid awake, thinking of how I could get close to those eyes again.


It is time to meet her father


I got courage a couple of weeks later and decided to go to her house and take her for a ride. I recall knocking on the door of her home and her father answered the door.  I stood there and I said to her father; “Hi, I am here to see your daughter.”  It only took him a millisecond to say; “no you’re not” and he promptly shut the door in my face! Well, that did not go the way I thought it would!


I found out that she was a babysitter on the weekends, so I decided to stop in and “help” her. I would go week after week; then my car broke down, and then I would walk, run, or hitchhike the 6 miles to town just to see her. I had fallen deeply in love with this girl; I was in, lock, stock, and barrel; I wanted to dance!


Later that summer, I had a job offer; it would take me to Ohio. I needed work, and was having trouble finding a job in our hometown; I made the decision I would go to Ohio and take the job. I would be leaving in a couple of days.


Arrest warrant issued for kidnapping . . .


I asked her if she wanted to go too, and those eyes looked back at me and in a flash, said yes! I would pick her up at midnight; she came sneaking out of her house, with a pillow and some clothes; jumping into the car, we sped off into the night . . . is this what it means to dance?


We ran off to Ohio, soon to realize that her family was not happy about this; since I was 21 now and she was still only 17, there were warrants put out for my arrest; the charge was kidnapping! Her father was best friends with the county sheriff!


She was able to call home and told her father if he ever wanted to see her again, to get the charges dropped, which he did, and we proceeded to dance in Ohio.



Neither of us knew how to dance the dance of life, so we just went for it; creating our own dance moves; some of those moves were wild, crazy; even dangerous.


No constraints to hold us back, no idea of what the future looked like, we were dancing out of control but did not care, we were together, and that was all that mattered!


My mind comes back to the living room, I glance back over at her, still snuggled in her favorite blanket; a new pair of pink slippers, caressing her feet; a recent Christmas gift from our daughter; our firstborn child, and the memories return once again, and my mind drifts back . . .


We are going to have a baby!


Later that fall; still living in Ohio, I came home from work one afternoon, she looked at me, her eyes full of concern; she was pregnant; we were going to have a baby!


Oh no, what are we going to do? We decided it was best for us to head back to our hometown and I would find a new job. In May, we are going to have a baby!

I will never forget the week our daughter was born. It began Sunday evening; labor pains began in earnest, but a false alarm, no baby yet. The next day the pains would come again, even stronger now, still no baby.


I remember on the 27th, the pains were unbearable and she was struggling. She motions for me to come near and I bend down close to her; as she begins to have another contraction, she reaches up, grabbing my beard, pulling me close to those eyes and she says; “I hate you, I hate you.” 


I pull back a bit, her eyes are full of fear, unsure of what is next, she grabs my hand and pulls me in closer, and says; “I love you, I love you.”


Those beautiful eyes looking into mine and they say; “Is this dancing?”


On the 28th, we became proud parents of the most beautiful baby girl; and we continued to dance the dance of life together.


Time for a wedding


Not long after our daughter was born, we decided it was time to tie the knot, so we got married. I remember the excitement of that day. It came time for the wedding dance, and she stood on my feet; eyes sparkling, and she looked at me and said; “Dance!”


I laughed as we danced around and around, her feet on top of mine.


After the wedding, we jumped on my dad’s motorcycle; I did not have a license to drive one, but it did not matter. We had a small overnight bag strapped on the back of the motorcycle and we headed off to the movies, watching The Fox and the Hound on our wedding night!


Not many years after our wedding, we began to realize that our dancing was becoming harder to do. I was working away from home each week; she was raising our daughter alone and without much support.


It seemed that we were each dancing a different dance and our lives seemed to be drifting apart.


Her eyes were on fire!


I recall one night, coming home from work, and rather than heading straight home to be with my wife and daughter, I decided to stop at a nearby pub to unwind.


I recall hearing a loud noise, it was the front door of the pub slamming hard, everyone turned to see, and there she stood, holding our little daughter in her arms; those beautiful eyes that once dared me to dance, were now on fire!


Her words were sharp; “Your wife and your daughter would like to see you this weekend if that’s not too much to ask!”


She spun around, taking our daughter home; I felt like she just threw her dance shoes at me. I wondered; are we finished dancing? Is this the end?


We tried to change our lives, but it was so hard. We would have another child soon, a son and we did our best to keep dancing.


Our dance moves became confused; I still wanted to dance to all the fast songs, she wanted to dance the slow dance. We began to step on each other’s toes, and the dance of life was getting harder and harder to bear. We were growing weary and did not know what to do.


Back in my living room, emotions are welling up, as my mind takes me on the roller coaster ride, which was our life. She is still over there, and she looks over at me and asks if I am ok, I smile and say; “I’m fine.”


I noticed a new purple Bible in her hand, another recent gift. She has become a real student of that Book, and once again, the memories come in like a flood!


The Master Dancer


One hot summer night, we found ourselves in a new dance hall; a place we had never been to before, with people we barely knew.


As the last song was being played, I found myself at one side of the dance hall, and she at the other; both of us in tears, not knowing what the future would bring; we were both out of dance moves, perhaps this was, the last dance.


As the last song began to wind down, the Master Dancer brought both of us together. He looked into our eyes, and without saying a word, His eyes said it all; “Dance with Me.” It was there, in that hot, musty old dance hall, we said yes to the Master Dancer, and we asked Him to teach us how to dance.


We learned new dance moves


Since then, we have learned some new moves, we have learned how to let the other lead, we have learned when to slow dance and when to dance fast. The Master Choreographer has given us new dance steps; dance moves we never knew existed.


Not long after we met the Master Dancer, we found out that we were going to have another baby; something we did not expect! We would have another son, and what a blessing! Is this what it means to dance?


Oh, occasionally we have stepped on each other’s toes, but we have the best Coach, He is always there to help us when we falter. We have learned to love the Master; He has taught us so much about life, about ourselves, and about Him.


Over the years, we have danced in front of hundreds of people. The Master called us to lead by example, showing others how to dance the dance of life.


The Master has allowed us to dance in many places; we have danced in Canada, Norway and we have danced all the way to the Pacific Ocean and back. We have danced in the Caribbean Ocean, in Puerto Rico, and a hundred places in between.


I am a blessed man!


Back in my living room, as I look over at that beautiful person across from me, I truly begin to understand how blessed I am. I have been dancing with this girl for nearly 40 years, and I plan to finish the dance of life with her. She is my lover, my confidant, and my best friend.


Someone once said, that falling in love is not a choice; but staying in love is; those words are true. When I walked past that 17-year-old girl in my parents’ house that winter afternoon, and I saw those eyes looking at me; calling to me; I fell in love; smitten if you will! No dating necessary, no long courtship needed, I was in love.


To stay in love required more than I was capable of giving, my own shortcomings got in the way, my own wants, my own desires, began pushing out hers, and this would become a great problem.


I am forever grateful for the intervention of the Master Dancer in our lives; He rescued us in so many ways.


To the dear blond-haired girl, with the captivating eyes, I just want you to know how very much I love you. You mean the world to me; thank you for dancing with me for all these years. I cannot wait to see what new moves the Master Dancer has in store for us; whatever they are, dancing with you, will always be a joy.


To those who have been listening in . . .


To my children, grandchildren, or anyone else, who may have a chance to read this love story, I encourage you; do not be afraid to dance.


If you choose to live your life as a single person, make sure your dance partner is the Master Dancer. Life with Him will NEVER be dull, boring, or unfulfilled, learn His steps, and do the dance with Him; your life will have meaning, substance and great joy.


A single person can live a life unfettered by the demands of raising a family and can do amazing things with the Master.


If on the other hand, you wish to fall in love, as we did, let me warn you, it is risky business. Look into those eyes if you dare, and if it is the right person, you will know. Open your heart to them, keep nothing back, and keep pressing in.


A married life is not easy, it requires that you submit to one another, it requires a yielding of your lives to each other; this can be very difficult; you will need much help.


Be sure that the Master Dancer is a part of your lives. Learn from Him, trust Him, and let Him lead. If you do this, your life together will one of tremendous joy full of many great rewards.


Life is risky, after all, none of us get out of this life alive; however, with the Master Dancer, the dancing does not stop when this life ends; it continues and with much more fervor and energy!


So . . . are going to just sit there, or are you going to dance? The music is playing, it’s time to put your dancing shoes on . . . Go!


What the Master Dancer says about Marriage


Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.


Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.


So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body.


For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great, but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.  Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.





Posted by onthesolidrock in Faith, Family, Ministries, Trust, 0 comments
A Distant Rumbling – Do You Hear It!

A Distant Rumbling – Do You Hear It!

Hallelujah! Spring is in the air!


A smile came to my face the other day as I rounded a corner on the road and saw several hundred buckets collecting sugar maple sap from a grove of trees.


It seems like we have had a “real” winter this year, and I for one, am looking forward to the smells of flowers, and fresh cut lawns!


Living in the mountains of Northwest Pennsylvania, we sometimes get to witness an awesome event. If the winter is cold enough, the mountain streams ice over, and depending on how cold it is; the ice can get thick.


When the weather warms up enough, the rivers begin to melt and at just the right time; the ice begins to break up and go down the river. If you have never experienced the ice going out, you need to see it once in your lifetime; the power is incredible!


I remember growing up in the Village of Cameron, and one night, I believe it was during March, the ice went out. It had been raining off and on all day and the water was coming up over the top of the ice.


It was about 9:30 at night, and we heard the windows shake in the house, we could even feel the vibrations rumbling in the ground. Dad and I, along with a neighbor, grabbed flashlights and headed down to the river behind our house, which was only about 300 yards away.


When we reached the river, the sight was unbelievable! Behind our house, there is a long sweeping corner in the river, and the ice was jamming up. There are two big rocks back there, that are about 15 to 20 feet tall, and ice was going up over-top and crashing down on them.


We could feel the earth shake under the incredible crushing power, of about 6 miles of ice, pressing down around the corner. I will never forget the power and awe of that night!


Once that ice begins to move, nothing can stop it!


How crazy it would be if a person were to get in the way of such a powerful force. A person would be very crazy to go and stand on the ice in front of that flow. They would be ground to pieces!


Yet, today so many are resisting another incredible force; a power that is even stronger and mightier than any ice flow. I am amazed at the flagrant violations of God’s Holy Way that are taking place in our world, and I fear for those who do not know what is coming down the valley.


Some mock God openly, taunting Him to action, while others are just oblivious to the pending danger. We know that God is a God of love, but time is running out for many, and the time of God’s favor is ebbing.


For those of us who know God, we must remember that God is also a God of wrath! His wrath is not for us, but for those who will not inherit the Kingdom of heaven.   


John 3:36

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.


There is a mighty power coming, and those who do not heed the rumblings, will be ground to pieces, I think it is time that we get serious about gathering in the lost, while we still have time.


To experience the wrath of God will be more terrifying than any ice flow. Let’s gently warn those around us of the pending danger, if they choose to get on board, praise God, if not, well then at least they were warned.


Luke 20:17-18

Then He looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written: ‘The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone’? “Whoever falls on that stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”


See you down by the river



Posted by onthesolidrock in Faith, Holiness, Humility, Trust, 0 comments
Lost Love

Lost Love

Today is Valentine’s Day and I thought it would be appropriate for us to talk about love. We are going to take a look at the Book of Revelation in just a moment, but first, for informational sake, St Valentine was a real person.


Who was St Valentine?


He was a Roman priest during the time of the emperor Claudius. This emperor had issued an edict that young people not be married. Due to his desire to have the strongest military, he felt it was important that ALL of his young soldiers be unmarried.


He reasoned that those who were married would be less likely to die for the Roman cause, since they would be worried about their families.


St Valentine would secretly marry these young couples. Eventually he was caught and was put to death for his actions.


“One of the men who was to judge him in line with the Roman law at the time was a man called Asterius, whose daughter was blind. Valentine was supposed to have prayed with and healed the young girl with such astonishing effect that Asterius himself became Christian as a result.”


In the year 269 AD, Valentine was sentenced to death; the story goes that the last words he wrote were in a note to Asterius’ daughter. He inspired today’s romantic missives by signing it, “from your Valentine.”


Today however, we are going to move past St Valentine to Another in Whom our love and affection needs to remain constant. To do this, we will take a look into the Book of Revelation.


Have you lost your first love?


In chapter 2, the risen Christ begins addressing the seven churches; the first of which is the church of Ephesus, and this will be our focus today.


Revelation 2:1-7


“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands: 2 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. 3 You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.


4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. 5 Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. 6 But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.


7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.


The letter to the church of Ephesus begins with several affirmations; and they are:

  • deeds done
  • hard work
  • perseverance
  • intolerant of wicked men


After these 4 affirmations, the Lord now shares something that He is holding against them.


If you were the church in Ephesus, and just received this letter from a messenger sent from God, and heard those words; “Yet I hold this against you” you would get that nagging pit in your stomach, and the words following would cut to the heart; let’s look at what Christ had to say in greater detail.


Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.


The word that is translated “forsaken” comes from the Greek word:

aphiēmi           af-ee’-ay-mee              forsake, lay aside, leave, let alone

It means to lay aside, or let alone.


The second word in this phrase is this:

prōtos                        pro’-tos                      foremost, best


The last word in the phrase is the word used for love:

agapē              ag-ah’-pay                   love, that is, affection or benevolence


When we put these altogether, we begin to get an idea of what Christ was saying. A paraphrase of this verse might read;


“You have set aside your best and foremost, affectionate love.”


You might ask the question; how does a person get to this place of laying aside their foremost and first love? Does it happen overnight? What is the driving factor?


How does one go about losing their first love?


To begin, what was it like when you first fell in love with Jesus? For most there was:


  • Passion                      
  • Hunger for His word                       
  • Fearlessness             
  • Unashamed  
  • Joy unspeakable      
  • Faithfulness              
  • Relentless pursuit   


Then, slowly, over time, the pressures of this world encroach. People change, Christians turn on each other, the ugliness begins to press hard and you become disillusioned.


You cry out to God for relief, yet sometimes He seems distant. The passion you once had begins to cool and you struggle.


Matthew 24 contains a clue to the mystery . . .


The disciples had asked Jesus what things would be like prior to His coming again.


Matthew 24:9-14


“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.


One of the things we need to be on the alert to, is the increase of wickedness that is taking place today. This increase of wickedness has a numbing effect on our senses. It is a gradual thing, a gentle slide, if you will.


We live in a wicked world; evil is rampant!


In our society, wickedness is quite rampant, and because of the increase of technologies, we are able to see it in a moments notice. We hear of atrocities happening all around the world. Even today’s popular TV shows and movies invoke great evil.


We become desensitized to the wickedness around us, the faces of the people involved begin to blur, we lose compassion for the lost, we slowly enter into tunnel vision, and we tune out the reality of living in a lost, broken, evil world.


This coupled with painful experiences; some of which may have taken place in the context of “church-ianity”, can lead to the chilling affect that Jesus spoke of!


Those closest to Jesus, experienced this phenomenon too; do you recall James and John, nicknamed “sons of commotion” or “sons of thunder.” I do not suspect that you will get this kind of reputation by being gentle and easy going, but by being boisterous, loud, and perhaps even confrontational. In the Gospel of Luke we get an insiders look, let’s take a peek!


Luke 9:51-56


As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; 53 but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. 54 When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” 55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them, 56 and they went to another village.


By the way, John who mentioned here is the same one who wrote the Book of Revelation!


What was going on here? James and John were beginning to go into what I might call an intolerant protective mode. By that, I mean they were getting the first hand view of how the increase of wickedness was affecting the world around them.


When Jesus was insulted, they took it personally; even having a desire to destroy those who would come against Jesus!


Peter really highlighted this! You will recall Peter, was the first of the disciples to “get it.” Recall the Scriptures . . .




When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” 14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.


Peter knew who Jesus was; truth revealed to Him by God Himself. As Peter began to get an understanding of this reality, he became overly protective of Jesus. Recall Peter was the only disciple who had the nerve to rebuke Jesus.


Matthew 16:21-23


From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must

go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. 22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” 23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”


The fact Jesus mentioned that evil men would do bodily harm to Him, repulsed Peter; he (Peter) would never stand for it! Peter got angry at the mob came to arrest Jesus . . .


John 18:10-11


Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) 11 Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”


What was happening to Peter, to James and John? The increase of wickedness was “on.” They saw the hatred in the eyes of those coming against them; but more specifically, against Jesus, the only begotten Son of God!


These men began to lose their first love. Perhaps they had forgotten the joy of “agape love” when they provided thousands of men, women and children, a meal of fish and bread; looking into those eyes, hungering for sustenance that day.


Maybe they forgot the wonder of “agape love” as commanded by Jesus, to go out into the villages and towns, healing the sick, casting out demons; doing the work of a “sent one.”


Now, as the reality of living in an evil world begins to press in, they felt the need to protect God, as if God needs protecting! The love they once had for fallen humankind was waning, and they started to become part of the problem, instead of the cure.


Now we begin to get an idea of why Jesus places this rebuke right after He affirmed the church in Ephesus concerning their testing of false apostles.


They would have certainly put the false apostles out of the church, but perhaps they did so with a sense of pride. Maybe they began to take on the old attitudes that James, John, and Peter had.


Perhaps they forgot that behind the false prophet was man, a sinner in need of redemption. Maybe the fact that another human being could be eternally lost no longer broke their heart.


They had indeed lost their first love. The flame was dangerously low, if lit at all, and Jesus tells them; “Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.”


What a rebuke! A powerful warning to everyone who have ears to hear!


Love being restored


We will conclude our talk today by looking at an encounter that Peter had with Jesus after the resurrection. Remember, Jesus rebuked Peter; after trying to kill one of the crowd who came to arrest Jesus, and he had denied Jesus three times; in Peter’s estimation, quite a failure.


Let’s pull up a seat by the fireside chat, and listen in. . . .


John 21:1-19



Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.  He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered.


 He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.


 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.”  Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.


When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?”  “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”  Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”


 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?”  He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”  Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.  I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”


In this remarkable story, Jesus reaffirmed His love for Peter by His actions. He could have criticized Peter, ridiculed him, and said; “I told you so!”


Sitting by that fire, Peter experienced what I would call blazing, majestic, overwhelming love, coming from the Risen Christ! It must have been overwhelming!


The issue that Jesus was trying to bring to Peter’s attention was not that He (Jesus) loved Peter; that was now very evident. The question was; Peter, do you love Me?


Jesus simply asks you; “Do you love Me?”


Jesus calls us to repent, and do the things we did at first. I encourage you today, to renew your commitment, not only to Jesus, but also to the lost, wicked world around us. Recall the greatest commandment:


Matthew 22:37-39


‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.





Posted by onthesolidrock in Discipline, Faith, Holiness, Humility, Trust, 0 comments
Get Up . . . It’s a NEW DAY!

Get Up . . . It’s a NEW DAY!

It is easy to fall into a boring routine if we are not careful. I do not know how many times I have walked into the nearby convenience store to grab morning coffee and bump into an old acquaintance.


The standard greeting; “Hi, how are you doing today?” unfortunately the common reply is usually something like; “Same stuff, different day” or “another day, another dollar” or some other variation.


Have you ever felt like that? It is an easy trap to fall in. I would like to encourage you to think differently today as you begin the new week . . . it IS NEW!


Think of this; the day you about to embark on has NEVER been lived before; it is NEW. As you head out the door, look for it! Look for the blessing of God. Look for His fingerprints on the day ahead; you will find them!


Ask God to reveal Himself to you today; ask Him to give you a new vision and clarity of heart and mind; you will be surprised at what you see! Hang on . . . this is going to be good!


Lamentations 3:21-23

Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Posted by onthesolidrock in Faith, Holiness, Humility, Thankfulness, Trust, 0 comments