Raised from the Dead

Raised from the Dead

Acts 2:24But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.

Agony of Death

Death is often agony. When illness slowly drains the life from a loved one, it’s agony.

When an accident suddenly snatches away a child, it’s agony.

When violence ends a life unjustly, it’s agony.

Death was not part of God’s original perfect creation. It slithered into the world through human rebellion against God’s loving authority. Ever since, death has held humanity in its icy grip of pain, grief and fear. Its skeletal shadow stalks every life.

Christ’s Agony

Jesus was no stranger to the agony of death. He wept at Lazarus’ tomb. He cried out when his friend died. He knew the stinging sorrow of loss and grief.

Jesus’ own death was infinitely more agonizing. As he hung dying on the cross, the sins of all humanity were laid upon his innocent shoulders.

The beloved Son endured the Father’s wrath for our transgressions. Though innocent, he suffered shame, abandonment and assault from evil powers.

The Savior’s anguished cry reveals the torment of carrying our sins to death itself.

Freedom from Death

But the grave could not keep Jesus! On the third day, God’s power raised him back to life. The bands of death were shattered forever by Christ’s resurrection victory.

He rose again to live eternally, the first-fruits of new resurrection life for all who trust in him.

For those who believe, Jesus’ resurrection completely transforms death’s agony into hope. His resurrection proves that death does not have the final word.

At the last day, those who follow Jesus will also rise again, raised to eternal life with glorified bodies.

United with Christ, we need no longer fear death or the agony of the grave!

Living Resurrection Hope

The promise of Jesus’ resurrection floods our lives with living hope. As we walk each day with our risen Lord, his overcoming life flows through us by the Holy Spirit.

No circumstance or suffering can ultimately defeat us, because his resurrection life carries us through.

May the reality of Christ’s resurrection free you from the agony and fear of death. Jesus is alive forevermore!

Fix your hope fully on his grace and victory. He will raise you to life eternal on the day he returns.

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Treasure in Jars of Clay

Treasure in Jars of Clay

2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

Followers of Jesus contain a treasure inside – the light of the gospel and power of the Holy Spirit. This wealth of purpose, hope and supernatural life far exceeds any earthly riches.

Surpassing Power

The power at work in us is all-surpassing, divine, and unlimited. It accomplishes more than we could imagine. This resurrection power raised Jesus from the dead!

Jars of Clay

But this treasure resides in simple clay jars – fragile human vessels. We are weak, flawed, and breakable. Yet God chooses to entrust us with His priceless truth and power.

To God Be the Glory

The treasure in jars of clay reveals God’s power comes from Him alone, not us. In humility, we rely on His strength working through our weakness, that He alone may be glorified.

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Walking in Goodness

Walking in Goodness

In the compact yet profound verse of 3 John 1:11, we discover a valuable insight that resonates with the essence of a well-lived life. The verse encourages us to imitate what is good, reminding us of the importance of embracing virtue and embodying positive examples.

Embracing Positive Imitation

The verse encourages us to imitate goodness, echoing the principle of learning by example. Just as an apprentice watches and mimics a skilled craftsman to refine their craft, we are called to observe and replicate the traits of goodness in our lives. This isn’t about mimicry for its own sake, but about allowing the virtuous qualities we see in other believers to take root within us.

The Power of Influence

Implicit in this verse is the notion of influence – the idea that our actions and character can impact those around us. Like ripples spreading across a pond, our choices resonate in the lives of others. By imitating what is good, we become agents of positive change, inspiring others to pursue godliness in their own journeys.

A Call to Discernment

The verse also nudges us toward discernment. Not everything that appears good is truly virtuous. Just as a connoisseur distinguishes between genuine and imitation, we are called to discern what embodies authentic goodness. This involves aligning our choices with godly values and biblical principles rather than mere trends or appearances.

Walking the Path of Goodness

Reflecting on 3 John 1:11, consider the trail of goodness you leave behind. Are you purposefully cultivating a life that’s worth imitating? Be mindful of the influences you absorb and project, knowing that your choices, will be imitated by someone close to you; a child, a sibling, a dear friend. Walk carefully; someone is watching you!

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Beauty of Contentment

Beauty of Contentment

Contentment, as depicted in this verse, is not a passive resignation to life’s circumstances. Instead, it’s a disposition that stems from a deep well of spiritual understanding.

Paul’s message here, directs us towards a profound truth: true wealth is found not in accumulating material possessions, but in the treasure of contentment.

Unveiling Spiritual Abundance

The verse subtly reveals the notion of spiritual abundance. While our culture often equates wealth with material possessions, this verse re-frames the concept. Spiritual abundance isn’t about acquiring more, but rather about discovering the riches of a heart aligned with God’s purposes.

As you contemplate 1 Timothy 6:6, consider the canvas of your life. Are you painting strokes of contentment and gratitude, or are you fixated on the pursuit of fleeting riches?

True spiritual wealth lies not in the pursuit of endless desires, but in the joyful contentment that springs from a heart in tune with God.

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Guided by Wisdom

Guided by Wisdom

In the pages of 1 Kings 2:3, we encounter a timeless nugget of wisdom that resonates deeply with our journey of faith. King David, nearing the end of his earthly pilgrimage, imparts to his son Solomon a profound insight that echoes through the corridors of history.

He encourages Solomon to walk faithfully in the ways of the Lord, observing His decrees, commands, laws, and regulations. Solomon did this for a while; but later in life he chose a different path; a path that was full of grief and pain. We would do well to heed the advice of Solomon’s father; but let’s now fall away!

Walking in God’s Ways

At the heart of David’s counsel lies the call to follow in the footsteps of the Almighty. It’s not a mere suggestion but an invitation to shape our lives around the principles and teachings of God. Just as a skilled artist imitates a master’s strokes to learn and grow, we are invited to emulate our God.

Through a life steeped in God’s precepts, we find a framework for decision-making and conduct that aligns us with His eternal purposes.

A Heart of Obedience

The verse highlights the significance of obedience – not as a rigid adherence to rules, but as a heart-response to the goodness and sovereignty of God. Obedience, in this context, is a joyful surrender to God’s guidance.

It’s a recognition that His wisdom far surpasses our limited human understanding. Much like an apprentice who yields to the guidance of a seasoned mentor, we too yield to God’s wisdom, trusting that His ways are higher and His plans are perfect.

A Journey of Transformation

David’s words set the stage for a transformative journey. As we walk in God’s ways and heed His commands, our lives become a canvas for His grace and truth to be displayed. Just as a student progresses from the basics to mastery through diligent study and practice, our spiritual journey unfolds progressively.

We are shaped, refined, and molded into vessels that reflect God’s character. This journey isn’t static; it’s dynamic, inviting us to draw closer to God with every step we take.


As we reflect on this verse, let’s remember that we are not mere spectators but active participants in God’s unfolding story.

Walk in God’s ways, nurture a heart of joyful obedience, and embrace the transformative journey that leads us ever closer to His heart.

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Considering Others

Considering Others

Today’s verse, 1 Corinthians 8:9 addresses the importance of considering the impact of our actions on others within the community of believers:

“Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.”

This verse reminds us to approach our freedom and privileges with sensitivity, love, and concern for those who may be spiritually weaker or easily influenced. It urges us to prioritize unity and the well-being of others over asserting our own rights.

Exercising Rights with Care

While we may have certain rights and freedoms as believers, 1 Corinthians 8:9 prompts us to exercise them with great care.

We must consider how our actions and choices may affect those around us, especially those who may be more vulnerable in their faith.

We should be cautious that our exercise of freedom does not become a stumbling block or a source of confusion for others.

This requires a thoughtful and discerning approach to ensure that our behavior follows the principles of love, respect, and consideration for the spiritual well-being of our fellow believers.

Sensitivity to the Weak

Not everyone has the same level of understanding or maturity in their faith. We are called to be mindful of their journey and to be considerate of their limitations.

This means refraining from activities or behaviors that may cause them to stumble or lead them astray.

It requires a compassionate and empathetic approach that seeks to support and encourage one another in their spiritual growth, rather than causing division or harm through our actions.

Love and Unity

Ultimately, 1 Corinthians 8:9 emphasizes the importance of love and unity within the body of Christ. It urges us to prioritize the well-being of others over asserting our own rights or exercising our freedoms without regard for the impact on those around us.

When we consider the needs and vulnerabilities of others, we create an environment where love flourishes, unity is strengthened, and spiritual growth is nurtured.

By living in a manner that reflects the selfless love of Christ, we build bridges of understanding and support, allowing all members of the community to thrive in their faith.

Be sure to approach your rights and freedoms with care and consideration; do not allow your freedom to become a stumbling block to another who may have just begun their Christian journey!

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Life Giver

Life Giver

One of the profound truths we encounter in the Scriptures is found in John 5:21, where Jesus says,

“For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.”

These words remind us of the incredible power and authority that Jesus possesses as the Son of God. He has the ability to bring life where there is death, to restore and renew that which is broken and lost.

Jesus reveals his role as the giver of life.

Just as the Father has the power to raise the dead, so does the Son. This speaks not only of physical life but also of spiritual life.

Jesus has the authority to breathe new life into our souls, to awaken us from spiritual death and bring us into a vibrant and transformative relationship with God.

This truth is not only a source of comfort but also a call to action. It reminds us that Jesus is actively involved in our lives, offering us the gift of life and inviting us to receive it.

It is an invitation to surrender our brokenness, our sin, and our despair to him, knowing that he has the power to bring healing, forgiveness, and restoration.

As we embrace this truth, we can experience the abundant life that Jesus promises and walk in the fullness of his grace and love.

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The Worst Sinner

The Worst Sinner

Have you ever felt unworthy of God’s love and forgiveness?

Perhaps you’ve made mistakes or struggled with certain sins, and you find it difficult to believe that God could still accept and embrace you. If that resonates with you, I want to share some encouraging words from the apostle Paul. He writes,

“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.” (1 Timothy 1:15)

Paul’s words remind us that no one is beyond the reach of God’s grace. In fact, Jesus came into the world specifically to save sinners like you and me.

Regardless of our past mistakes or the extent of our brokenness, Jesus offers forgiveness, redemption, and a new beginning.

Paul himself, who was once a persecutor of Christians, experienced this transformative power firsthand. He recognized his own need for God’s mercy and acknowledged that he was the worst of sinners.

Yet, it was precisely in his brokenness that he encountered the overwhelming love and grace of Jesus.

So, if you ever find yourself feeling unworthy or burdened by your past, remember that Jesus came to save sinners.

There is no sin too great, no mistake too monumental that His grace cannot cover. Embrace the truth that you are never beyond redemption and that God’s love knows no limits.

Allow His forgiveness to wash over you, and let His grace empower you to live a life transformed by His love.

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Have you ever felt like you were holding something back from God? Maybe you know deep down that you should be giving more of yourself, your time, your resources, or your money, but for some reason, you’re just not doing it.

If you can relate, you’re not alone. In the book of Malachi, God’s people were guilty of holding back their tithes and offerings, and God called them out on it.

God’s question in Malachi 3:8, “Will a mere mortal rob God?” is a powerful reminder that we are not just dealing with another person or entity when it comes to our relationship with God. We are dealing with the Creator of the universe, the One who has given us everything we have.

It’s humbling to think that we could rob God of anything, but when we hold back from giving to Him, that’s exactly what we’re doing.

But why does God care about our tithes and offerings?

It’s not because He needs our money or resources, but rather because our giving is a reflection of our heart.

When we freely and generously give to God, we are acknowledging that everything we have comes from Him and that we trust Him to provide for us. It’s a way of expressing our gratitude and worship to Him.


So if you find yourself holding back from giving to God, take a moment to reflect on your heart.

Are you truly trusting God with everything you have, or are you holding back out of fear or selfishness?

Remember that God has promised to provide for our needs when we seek first His kingdom, so let’s be faithful in giving to Him and trusting in His provision.

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Have you ever found yourself striving for more and more possessions, thinking that they will bring you happiness and fulfillment? I know I have.

However, this verse from Luke 12:15 reminds us to be on guard against greed and the belief that life consists of an abundance of possessions.

It’s easy to get caught up in the pursuit of material possessions, especially in our culture where success is often measured by what we own.

The reality is that no matter how much we accumulate, it will never be enough. There will always be something else that we think we need in order to be happy.

Instead of chasing after material wealth and “things”, let’s focus on what truly matters. Let’s cultivate relationships with our loved ones, invest in our spiritual growth, and seek to make a positive impact in the world around us. These are the things that will truly bring us joy and fulfillment.

Furthermore, when we prioritize our relationships and spiritual growth, we begin to see that we already have everything we need. We realize that true wealth lies not in what we own, but in the love and connection we share with others, and the peace that comes from a deep sense of purpose and belonging.

So today, let’s heed the warning in Luke 12:15 and be on our guard against the seduction of material possessions. Instead, let us focus on the things that really matter, and find joy in the richness of the relationships and experiences that make life worth living.

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A Word With You

A Word With You

I am frequently reminded of the encounter that would forever change the direction of my life. It was an encounter I did not seek; it was one I tried extremely hard to avoid. I was a broken man, hell-bent on destruction, consuming alcohol like water, neglecting my wife and children, and I was consumed with ME!

Say what you will about religion and religious people, but it was those religious types that began nosing around in my life, and it began very early.

My Grandmother loved a man called Jesus and spoke of Him often, frequently sharing my need for Him in my life. I had no clue who He was or why I should follow Him.

My parents did their best to bring me up in the context of a religious church. I remember little of it other than pretty people in robes stood up front and sang songs I did not understand, then a man in a robe would drone on and on about more things I could not understand; I quickly fell asleep every time he began to talk.

As I grew older, I became more resistant to this message about Jesus. I mean, who needs Him in their life? God and the stuff religious people talked about seemed to be the opposite of what I was all about!

The further I devolved into a life contrary to everything my grandma and parents tried to teach me, there was a persistent gnawing at my heart and soul, something I could not quite shake. There were those times I would want to know the God my Grandma talked about, but I was so far away from Whoever or Whatever God was that I was convinced He would have nothing to do with me other than crush me!

Then one hot July night, at a religious meeting I did not want to be at, it happened!

The summer of 1990, nearly 33 years ago, me and my wife Sherri encountered this Jesus in a very real and life-altering way!

We had been invited to a Christian Camp by some good “religious” folks; we had no clue where it was other than someplace near Kane, Pa.

Earlier in the day, I sent my wife Sherri to get me 2 cases of beer; she put gas in our van and came back with food instead! 𝗪𝗛𝗔𝗧 𝗪𝗔𝗦 𝗦𝗛𝗘 𝗧𝗛𝗜𝗡𝗞𝗜𝗡𝗚!

I was upset and frustrated on that hot July night. I got our two kids and Sherri, and we started driving aimlessly because “𝗥𝗼𝗰𝗸 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝗽𝗼𝘂𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴.”

We drove to St. Marys, then to Johnsonburg, and on past Wilcox; then I saw a sign that said Kane! 𝗢𝗵 𝗖𝗿𝗮𝗽! That church thing was over there somewhere; time to turn around! I took the next road to the right and started down. We approached a few twists and turns and the van started to chug and acted like is would stall out . . . 𝗥𝗜𝗚𝗛𝗧 𝗜𝗡 𝗙𝗥𝗢𝗡𝗧 𝗢𝗙 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗛𝗜𝗚𝗛𝗟𝗔𝗡𝗗𝗘𝗥 𝗖𝗔𝗠𝗣! Nooooooo!!! Not here, not now!

It was too late; people recognized us and started calling us to go in; we did, and we got there just as the service was starting.

As the pastor speaking that night was giving his final “Come to Jesus Plea” I was looking for an escape; panic anxiety was at level red, and 𝗜 𝗛𝗔𝗗 𝗧𝗢 𝗚𝗘𝗧 𝗢𝗨𝗧!

Sherri was already down at the altar, and I got up and was going to go out the back; but as soon as I got to the aisle, I felt a gentle touch on my shoulder, yet no one was there.

The next thing I knew, I was kneeling at that old altar rail. I recall saying; “𝗜 𝗱𝗼𝗻’𝘁 𝗸𝗻𝗼𝘄 𝗶𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗹 𝗼𝗿 𝗻𝗼𝘁; 𝗜 𝗱𝗼 𝗸𝗻𝗼𝘄 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗜 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗯𝗿𝗼𝗸𝗲𝗻 𝗺𝗼𝘀𝘁, 𝗶𝗳 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗼𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗱𝘀; 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗜 𝗮𝗺 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗵𝘆 𝘁𝗼 𝗯𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗲.” Then I said; “𝗜 𝗴𝗼𝘁 𝗡𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗼 𝗴𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂”

The I heard the words of Jesus to me . . . “𝗜’𝗹𝗹 𝘁𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗶𝘁!” Tears began to flow, and I wept for 25 minutes as wave after wave of grace flooded over me! The encounter that day changed me—or rather, the Person of Jesus, who met me there, changed me!

I would later go on to become a pastor and now an evangelist, proclaiming the Good News of Jesus to any and all who care to listen.

After 32 years of serving Jesus, I have a few takeaways. I won’t get religious with you; just the truth.

Everyone is broken, but not everyone knows this.

Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God.” In other words, the one who knows they don’t have it altogether is in a very good place; they are ready to meet Him. Those unwilling to recognize their need WILL NOT meet Him.

Jesus forgives those who break God’s rules.

We tend to place heavier weight on certain rules broken than on others; from God’s perspective, every broken rule of God carries an eternal death penalty! Now that’s heavy, and we are all guilty of breaking these rules. Jesus alone had provided the forgiveness needed, and He is reliable!

God loves everyone.

God created you; as a matter of fact, He declares that you have been created in the image of God. How awesome is that!

His love for you does not change and is not contingent on your station in life; rich, poor, criminal, gay, straight, gender status, educational achievements; it does not matter, He loves you! He also knows you are broken and in need of a Savior, His Name is Jesus.

God has an enemy; his name is satan.

The devil, or satan, was once an anointed cherub, one of God’s most powerful angels. He took issue with what God was planning, and he broke fellowship with God and was cast out. The devil has a malicious hatred for God and all God created and stands for, especially humans!

The devil hates all humanity, not just those who are aligned with Christ; he does, however, have a special hatred for that particular group.

Since my encounter with Jesus, I have had many attacks on my character and have had long-standing friends mock and ridicule me for my beliefs. One of the greatest honors ever bestowed upon me is to be mocked on account of Jesus!

The current world situation is pretty bleak, strangely lining up with what Jesus predicted it would be like just prior to His certain return.

Are you ready?

Do you know that you are spiritually poor?

Would you like to know Jesus in a real, tangible, and personal way?

Call out to Him; tell Him you are ready and that YOU NEED HIM!

He will come to you, and your life will change.

God’s Best to you and yours!

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Appearances are Deceiving

Appearances are Deceiving

As we reflect on the wisdom of 1 Samuel 16:7, we are reminded that God’s perspective is different from ours. Often, we may judge others based on their external appearance or achievements, but God looks at their hearts. As we seek to live a life pleasing to Him, we should strive to cultivate a heart that honors Him and loves others.

One way to cultivate a heart that honors God is through prayer and meditation on His word. As we spend time in prayer and study, we are transformed from the inside out. Our thoughts and attitudes begin to align with His will, and we become more loving, patient, and kind. Through this transformation, we begin to see others as He sees them, with love and compassion.

Finally, we should strive to live a life of humility and service. As we focus on serving others, we put their needs before our own and reflect the love of Christ.

This kind of life is pleasing to God and demonstrates the heart of a true disciple. Let us strive to cultivate a heart that honors God and reflects His love to those around us.

God looks at the heart, not outward appearances. To cultivate a heart that honors Him, we should spend time in prayer and meditation on His word, strive to live a life of humility and service, and see others through the lens of His love and compassion.

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Power of the Resurrection

Power of the Resurrection

I am constantly reminded that our journey of faith is not one that is meant to be stagnant or complacent. In Philippians 3:10, the apostle Paul speaks of his desire to know Christ and the power of his resurrection, as well as to share in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death. This verse serves as a powerful reminder that our faith is not just a destination but a journey that requires us to constantly seek and grow in our knowledge and relationship with Jesus.

As we seek to know Christ more deeply, we must be willing to not only embrace the joys and blessings that come with our faith but also the challenges and trials that may come our way. The Christian journey is not always an easy one, but it is in those moments of struggle and pain that we have the opportunity to draw closer to Christ and experience his grace and mercy in a profound way.

May we never lose sight of the importance of seeking to know Christ more deeply, not just for our own personal growth, but also so that we may be a light and a witness to others. May our lives be a reflection of his love and grace, and may we never forget that it is through him that we find true fulfillment and purpose in this life.

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As a follower of Jesus Christ, it is important to not be ashamed of our faith and to boldly proclaim it to others. In Matthew 10:32, Jesus says that if we acknowledge Him before others, He will acknowledge us before His Father in heaven. This means that if we confess Jesus as Lord and Savior in front of others, He will confess us before God.

We can acknowledge Jesus before others by sharing our testimony and the good news of the gospel. It can be scary to share our faith, especially if we fear rejection or ridicule. But Jesus promises to be with us and give us the words to speak when we are faced with opposition (Matthew 10:19-20).

When we acknowledge Jesus before others, we also demonstrate our love and loyalty to Him. It shows that we value our relationship with Him above all else, and that we are willing to endure any persecution or hardship for His sake. May we always have the courage and conviction to acknowledge Jesus before others, knowing that He is faithful to acknowledge us before His Father in heaven.

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Every year as Christmas and Easter come around; two unimaginable historical events; we wholeheartedly celebrate them!

However, year after year, these events are less and less about the historical fact of Jesus Christ, and more and more about two fictitious characters known as Santa and the Easter Bunny.

Worse; is the promotion of these two counterfeit deities to precious children; children who assume those who love and cherish them are truthful and would never lie about something so powerful.

The lie is often perpetuated year after year, until the child begins to question the veracity of the fantastical stories; then low and behold, the truth finally comes out! Disillusionment sets in as the hoax perpetuated upon them since birth, comes to light; Mom, Dad, Grandpa and Grandma were all in on it; they lied to me!

Now, for the “Christian family” a real quandary begins to unfold. How to try and convince these little ones that they have been deceiving, that Jesus is real?

 After all, Jesus truly:

Sees you when you’re sleeping
Knows when you’re awake
Knows if you’ve been bad or good

Is it any wonder why it is so hard to convince them that Jesus is not just another, even more elaborate fabrication? A fallacy that will ultimately lead to another, even more powerful disillusionment on the future?

Jesus was asked a question regarding who would be the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven; His answer should stun you!

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said:

“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

Consider carefully before putting a stumbling block before your children; He is watching, and will hold you accountable.

Be truthful to your kids from day one, and if you, or your kids get grief for truth telling; so be it. When your life on earth concludes, you will have just one set of fiery eyes to look into and give an account.

Oh, and by the way, millstones are quite heavy; choose now if you care to wear one or not!

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Baby Jesus

Baby Jesus

Just a reminder; Baby Jesus grew up and became a Man; a Man like no other! He came to earth commissioned by His Father to do something stunning; outrageous; even preposterous!
Baby feet wrapped in a blue blanket
God’s ONLY Begotten son, would take on human likeness; live perfectly among broken humanity; and at the proper time; a time determined by His own Father; He would offer His life as a ransom. A way to redeem broken humanity from the curse of sin!

That Dreadful Day came, and Jesus did NOT run from it; rather He embraced it; trusting His Father with the outcome. Jesus laid down His own life and the PLAN WORKED!

Jesus is no longer a baby in a manger, but He is the RISEN, POWERFUL, and GLORIOUS Savior; the LION of the TRIBE of JUDAH!
He comes with power, authority and fire in His eyes! Are YOU ready to see Him? Ready to gaze into those eyes of fire and give an account for your life?
Have you fallen in love with the One who redeems, or have you spent your life mocking and poking fun at Him, and those who follow Him? Time is running dangerously low for you to reconsider your position.
Living life with and for the living Christ is an amazing, and fulfilling life, full of joy, hope and especially, love!
Get you some of that!
For Inspirational Nuggets to brighten your day, be sure and visit our Inspirational Nugget page.

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Pray Upside Down – 15 Week Small Group Bible Study

Pray Upside Down – 15 Week Small Group Bible Study

We are pleased to announce that our Pray Upside Down – 15 Week Bible Study has officially been published by Abiding Line Publishing and is now officially available on Amazon.

We have updated all Scripture verses to the NASB (New American Standard Version) and added a few graphics, and made some slight modifications to the original lesson plan.


God’s great hope for us is not simply the forgiveness of sins and a place in heaven when we die; but rather, He wants us totally restored, in heart, mind and soul . . . NOW! 

As we enter into this amazing adventure with God, we soon recognize that we are a part of something tremendous, something that is beyond our earthy perspective, and we are transported into the heavens with Christ; we live, breathe, and find our being in Him!

This Bible study will help you rediscover how it all began, what happened in the Garden of Eden, who is the Devil really, and what is he up to today. 

You will head into the heavenly realms and discover profound truths concerning your relationship with God, and His incredible plan for you.

You will search your heart, preparing for a fresh baptism of the Holy Spirit. In this study, you will enter into God’s armory, suiting up with the whole armor of God.

You will discover the Keys to the Kingdom given to you, and learn what they unlock; discovering your true nature in Christ, the authority given, the Sword of the Spirit, the covering armor, and the mission ahead, you will truly learn to pray . . . Upside Down!

Available on Amazon now!



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Sing to the Lord

Sing to the Lord

One of the amazing capabilities we have as human beings, is the ability to sing; to make music in our hearts, and to let it spring forth!

There is something special about singing to the Lord songs of praise. It is as if He draws near; with an attentive ear, hanging on every note, drinking the love, affection, and joy our song presents to Him.

So, go ahead and sing to the Lord, sing a new song; make up a song as you go; delight yourself in the Lord, for He is very, very Good indeed!

Psalm 30:4

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Fire Burning

Fire Burning

I have a fire burning in my soul that gets hotter and hotter the older I get. As we travel around and speak in different churches, my heart aches, for the sleeping, carnal church.

It’s like the devil has sung them a soft lullaby and they have all gone asleep.

Some  say the “church” in America is weak and anemic; however I’ve been telling the churches I am preaching in, that the church belonging to Jesus Christ, is white hot and on fire,  it’s moving, breaking chains, saving souls; the sad truth is; much of what we call the church . . . is not the church!!!

Our pop culture has discipled the church into providing exactly what “itching ears” want to hear. Today, we seem to be reaping the unfortunate benefits of this “pseudo Christianity.”

There is hope though, if you can find yourself a high mountain someplace, and listen intently, you will hear a rising chorus of repentant hearts calling out to God; responding to His glorious invitation:

“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”   2 Chronicles 7:14

Join with me, and thousands of others, in this repentant chorus, do it now, don’t put it off one more day . . . too much is at stake!

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Son of Man

Son of Man

I am so thankful that God sent Jesus to come; flesh and blood just like us. He needed to come here and experience our sorrow, our suffering, and to ultimately be rejected by humanity.

He knew that His life here on earth would lead Him to the cross. The cruelest device known for torturing and suffering that man’s perverted mind could conceive. Jesus knew that he would suffer and die on one of those.

He didn’t have to. He could have walked away from it. He could have destroyed all of humanity. However, He loved us enough that he endured that agony; for those who would repent and believe, they might have life eternal with Him, in His glory.

I can relate to a Jesus like that. I can cry out to a God like that. I can say yes to Jesus, because I know He understands my frustrations, He knows how I feel inside; He knows my pain like no one else.

I accept His gift of salvation.

I can trust a Man like that.

 “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”  Luke 19:10

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Bible Study Series Released

Bible Study Series Released

We are thrilled to announce that our Faith Upside Down Bible Series “Learning How to Pray Upside Down” with companion Prayer Journals is now available on Amazon as a PAPERBACK or KINDLE.

We begin our journey together in the first study guide in this series PAPERBACK or KINDLE, “Conflict Begins” by going all the way back to the beginning, The Book of Genesis, rediscovering how it all began.

We will examine the devil, and some of the reasons he fell from his powerful position in heaven, gaining new insight into his motivation to deceive Adam and Eve. We will study his character, his scope of influence, along with his strategy and tactics.

In this study, we discover the awe-inspiring power and character of our God, along with His strategy, and we learn that our position in God’s family is secure; we are, “seated with Christ in the heavenly realms.”

In the second study guide, PAPERBACK or KINDLE, “Kingdom Life,” we head deeper into the Heavenly Realm.

We will become aware of this astonishing truth; we are expressing God’s Manifold Wisdom to the powers and principalities in the heavenly realms.

We begin to realize that our journey with Jesus is so much more than the salvation of our souls, but it is a participation in His Glorious work, advancing His Kingdom here on earth.

We take a fresh look at the importance of prayer, and learn that the “Lord’s Prayer” is a model for us to follow, not simply a prayer to recite.

Using Scripture, we will thoroughly examine our hearts, preparing for a Baptism of the Holy Spirit. We will learn how to operate with the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

In the final study guide, PAPERBACK or KINDLE, “Suit Up” we examine the full Armor of God. We learn what this armor is; how to wear it effectively, making sure we have a good fit.

After we put on the Whole Armor of God, we examine the Keys to the Kingdom, and learn what they unlock.

Finally, we will rediscover our mission, the very reason that God called us into His Kingdom, and has equipped us so completely.

We also are offering all three volumes in one book! The Learning to Pray Upside Down 15 Week Bible Study Guide, contains all three study guides mentioned above in one convenient volume.


Prayer, the most important discipline a Christian participates in; is also a discipline frequently overlooked. Our lives tend to be, jam-packed from the time we wake up, until we end the day, and far too often, we head to bed with a nagging feeling that we raced through the day, having little meaningful conversation with God.



A proven technique to help develop an effective prayer life is to begin a Prayer Journal. Taking a few moments each day to jot down your daily Bible reading notes, impressions from God’s Word, along with prayer requests and answers to your prayers, will help enlarge your prayer life.

Of all the things Jesus disciples saw Him do, they only asked Him to teach them one thing, and that was how to pray! This prayer journal will follow the outline of the Lord’s Prayer, helping and guiding our prayers.

Additional Scriptures related to prayer and faith, interspersed throughout the Journal, helping to ignite your prayer life.

3 Month Journal


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Bitter or Better – You Get to Choose

Bitter or Better – You Get to Choose

Anger is an emotion we all have, and how we express it is very important. Uncontrolled anger quickly turns to rage, a form of abuse.

Anger, when properly controlled helps shape new ideas, it is a healthy mechanism used to set boundaries and keep us from over reacting to situations. You may recall Moses becoming angry many times, as he encountered difficult people, and God used those moments to help shape the man Moses, and indeed an entire nation of people.

Uncontrolled anger turns to rage, and rage is very destructive, often becoming addictive. Anger in and of itself, is not bad. When we are faced with a situation that causes us to become angry, we need to talk it out, find solutions, set boundaries.

Unresolved anger turns to bitterness

The Bible tells us;

Ephesians 4:29-32

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Did you catch that? “Get rid of all bitterness  . . .”

Let’s look at this word for a moment.

The root word used for bitterness is:

Pikros             pik-ros’          (piercing); sharp (pungent), that is, acrid – bitter.

Bitterness is a powerful explosive

I grew up in Cameron County, a rather remote area in North Central Pennsylvania, the heart of the Pa. Wilds. Residents are familiar with the term Picric.

Early in the settlement of Cameron County, there was an abundance of Hemlock; it was everywhere. The hemlock trees were debarked, and the hemlock bark processed to produce tannin, in turn used in the process of tanning hides.

Picric (bitter) acid helped pull the tannin out of the hemlock bark. Since there was an abundance of Picric acid, also used to produce the powerful explosive TNT, factories sprung up across Cameron County in the 1800’s.

So . . . “Pikros” or bitterness is a powerful explosive, and the Bible says to get rid of it . . . all of it!

Bitterness usually manifests in three ways, bitterness toward God, toward others, and toward oneself.

Bitterness towards God

Bitterness towards God can happen many different ways, and I have seen it happen many times. A precious loved one is taken away, and there are no clear answers.

Someone prays for a healing, and the object of his or her prayers is suddenly gone!

Someone is faithful to God, serving the church, generous in giving, yet end up losing their job, the house is now in foreclosure, and they are about to lose everything!

The natural question in situations like these are; “why would a loving God allow this to happen?

It is easy to fall into the trap and begin to question God’s love, His mercy, and His wisdom. Perhaps you have been there!

You begin to feel angry at God, and you begin to shrink back from Him. You see God blessing others but you feel cursed and wonder why God is passing you by. I have heard people say; “when is it my time to be blessed!”

Your anger towards God grows, and you become resentful, and question everything God does, you even begin to question the very existence of God. A prime example of this, is found in the Book of Acts.

Acts 8:9-23

Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, “This man is rightly called the Great Power of God.” They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his sorcery. But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.

 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”

 Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.”

Simon had a bitter heart because he saw the real power of God being used in common everyday folks and he wanted it!

Bitterness towards others

The second way we become bitter is towards others. This usually begins with an offense and a hurt that is not forgiven.  Often this takes a lifetime to develop and can start at an early age. A child, abused emotionally or physically, finding no way to express the pain; become angry, and resentful to their parents or toward others.

I have seen families devastated when a cherished family member passes away. Heirlooms divided unevenly, the estate, managed improperly, and someone gets hurt, resentment sets in. As time progresses, the hurt festers, and bitterness of heart, overtake the person and they become toxic.

When a family lives with a bitter person, life can be almost unbearable! The bitter one cannot truly love, rarely if ever says the words “I love you,” unless spoken with an unhealthy dose of sarcasm.

The bitter person cannot find it within himself or herself, to express hope and encouragement to anyone, life revolves around them and their pain. The bitter heart always sees itself as the victim, the one who is always hurt, and if not hurt now, will most certainly hurt again soon.

The bitter person is almost always angry about something, works hard at producing guilt feelings in others, and when those they must live with distance themselves, more anger and guilt comes rolling out. A bitter person is full of poison and is toxic like picric, an explosion waiting to happen!

Bitterness to oneself

The last form of bitterness expresses inwardly, toward self. Some people see themselves as ugly, sinful, and disgusting. They have committed crimes against God and man, and simply cannot forgive themselves.

They feel as though God could never forgive them for the things they have done. I have encountered many a person with this affliction; when asked; they often say something like; “I hope God will forgive me.” They have not yet believed that God could, or would forgive them.

For this person, God’s forgiveness is just a bridge too far. Many times this person will do works for God, hoping somehow to earn His forgiveness and love!

Bitterness of heart settles in, and in the end, without forgiveness received, the person’s eternal life is lost; a sad end indeed.

The Bible warns us about bitterness;

Hebrews 12:15

See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

Bitterness will defile many if left unchecked and if you are reading this today, and you know you have the symptoms of bitterness; then let’s get healed of this disease today!

Get free of bitterness, once and for all

To get started, we deal with bitterness toward God. The first step is to realize that we live in a fallen world; a world full of sin and destruction. Remember, bad things happen to good people, and just because we are Christians, does not exempt us from the brokenness of this broken world.

The Bible does give us hope though:

Romans 8:28

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

While there will be pain and suffering in this world, God is working in ways we may not see clearly. In the midst of great pain and suffering, ask God to lead you, hold tight to His hand.

As we encounter painful experiences in this broken world, rather than despise God, let’s ask Him if there is anything that can be discovered from this? Not that God instigated the pain, but rather, can God help me through this and help me learn something too, perhaps something to help another.

Remember the Scriptures . . .

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

Many reading this have been through tremendous pain and suffering, yet you still love God! Could one of the blessings be that there is a way for you to comfort others who may be heading into a season of suffering?

Do not become bitter toward God, He is not your enemy, He is your salvation, trust Him, fall into His arms and love Him, let your bitterness toward Him dissolve!

Secondly, let’s deal with the bitterness toward others. Remember to make your anger temporary; recall Ephesians 4:26 “. . . do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.”

Do not allow your anger to cause you to sin; make up your mind you will not do it!

Forgive and forget! Now I know this sounds simplistic, but it works. For someone reading this today, you have kept a running list of every hurt, every offense, and you have learned to nurse them; holding them dear, not realizing that the very thing you clutch to your heart is killing you and is a contagion to those around you!

First, forgive them. That means letting go of the right to retaliate! Give the outcome to God; let Him be the Judge, and the One who has the final say. In your forgiveness, be sure to get rid of all malice, give it up!

Stop wishing harm to those who harm you, stop it!

Once you have made up your mind to forgive; then forget. By forget I mean that you will never bring up the offense again.

A man was meeting with a marriage counselor and he said; “please help me, my wife is historical, she’s absolutely historical!” The doctor said; “Don’t you mean she is hysterical?” “No,” the man replied; “she is historical and is always bringing up the past.”

We will not forget the incident, and the scar may last for a lifetime, but when we forgive, we leave it alone and determine not to bring it back up.

One more thought on this; if you are in an abusive relationship and you have within your power the freedom to leave, then do so; God calls us to live in peace. I have known people who feel it is their duty to live in an abusive relationship, to suffer great pain and humiliation, only to end up bitter, resentful and lost; this is not God’s plan.

It is one thing to suffer for Christ and quite another to suffer for man; you must discern between the two, and make a decision.

Finally, let’s deal with bitterness toward oneself. To tackle this one, you need to believe God’s Word. If you do, then there is real hope, if you do not, then you will suffer a long life of bitterness and die without Christ.

Those who suffer bitterness toward themselves often wallow in self-pity. Many, who struggle in this way, have what we often refer to as a besetting sin, the one thing that always trips them up! They tend to live in a cycle of sin and self abasement.

The Bibles says something wonderful;

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Remember that God has provided everything you need for salvation, including the gift of forgiveness. If you have sinned, then confess it to God, tell Him about it! Once you do, then forgiveness comes, it’s over, and He will remember it no more.

Avoid not forgiving yourself, this makes you become as God in your life. Are you stronger, wiser and more powerful than God? I don’t think so! Let it go!

So, let’s get rid of all bitterness today! Make this the first day of a life without bitterness.

For those of you who have experienced bitterness of soul, this is not easy; it will cause tears and great pain. Bitterness has been part of your life, and living without it will be a frightful thing at first. However, to live with it, will cost you your soul, because there will not be one bitter soul in heaven and if you do not deal with it here, you don’t get to go there!

Time to cast bitterness into the sea

For some of you, you have accumulated a mountain of hurt, so much pain and suffering! You have carried it for years and years; it is time to bring it to God.

Mark 11:22-25

“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered.  “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.  Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.  And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

It is time to cast off the mountain of bitterness; when you, by faith, release this burden to the Lord, He will cast it away into the sea, and sweet water will begin flowing into your soul!

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Pray Upside Down Series

Pray Upside Down Series

For many years I have been trying to put together a series of Bible Studies designed to help the Christian understand their true position in Christ.

Finally, I have set aside the time and put them altogether, The studies were born out of my own desire to understand the power of prayer, and how this meshes with our relationship to Jesus.

My experience in pastoral ministry took place in rural Pennsylvania; nestled in the mountains of Cameron County, the heart of the Pennsylvania Wilds.

A small community with big problems

 Like many small rural communities, the one my wife, Sherri and I served, had its fair share of problems. Having lived in the community for many years, we knew in detail the problems associated with the town; problems of drug abuse, alcoholism, suicide and sexual abuse. These issues were far more common than folks there care to admit.

As pastors in this community, we saw firsthand the hurt and pain the devil had inflicted upon the community, and we began earnestly to pray for the deliverance of this town.

For many years, every Sunday morning, Sherri and I would head to an overlook that provided a stunning view of our little town, and we would pray there.

On one particular occasion, I went alone and began praying over the town; what happened that day would change my life forever!

An encounter with God on the mountain

I stood where I could see the whole town and began praying against the powers and principalities that had been enslaving the people in my community.

Determined to see a breakthrough, I was passionately praying aloud, fists punching at the sky as if pounding on the devil himself!

It was then the most unexpected thing happened; the Lord seemed to draw near, I could sense His Presence, and while I was praying, He asked me a question. To the best of my recollection, here is how the conversation unfolded.

The Lord said to me; “Rock, what are you doing?”

I was somewhat taken aback, it seemed obvious to me what I was doing, so I answered the Lord; “I am praying.”

He said in the kindest way possible; “Why are you praying like that, punching at the sky?”

I was not sure what He was getting at, and I really did not know how to answer, so I responded; “This is how I do it.”

There was a pause, and then he asked me another question; “Rock, where are you?”

I am getting even more confused now, and all I could do was to say; “I’m here, Lord!” There was another pause, and then He rephrased the same question,

“Rock, spiritually where are you?”

I responded by saying, “I’m with you, Lord.” It was then that the Scripture from Ephesians 2:6 (And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus) came rushing to my heart.

The Lord asked me again; “Rock, where are you?”

 I responded; “I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms” What the Lord said next would forever change my life and ministry!

The Lord said to me; “Rock, stop praying with your fists pounding at the sky, as if you were fighting an enemy that you are in subjection to. Start praying from your true position in Me.

God taught me to pray Upside Down

Instead of praying with a down-side up mentality, pray from the up-side down; from the heavenly realm where you are seated; the battle is not over your head, but is under your feet.”

Wow, stunned by what had just taken place, I realized that much of my prayer life took place without recognizing the authority with which one could pray.

I learned that I do have authority and that I can pray expecting powerful answers. That day on the mountain changed everything!

 It was out of this encounter with the Lord on that mountain, the idea of Praying Up-side Down and consequently the name of our ministry; Faith Up-side Down came to fruition.

The Faith Upside Down Bible Study Series will help you to understand the truth of who you are in Christ and you will discover the powerful position you have, and your prayer life will take on new passion and power!

You can check out our new series at Pray Upside Down.

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Give it Away

Give it Away

Our world has a growing disparity between those who have much and those who have little. The society sees this, and cries inequality and demands justice!


The answer that quickly comes to the mind of some is the “Robin Hood” answer; take from the rich and give to the poor! We romanticize the story of Robin Hood, the outcast hero outsmarting and outwitting the snobbish, wealthy overlords, gathering their hoarded riches and giving to the poor.


Yet, this tactic of pressuring the wealthy, to give to the poor, seems unfair. Many wealthy people have earned their money legally, working smart and hard to get it. Pressuring them, even extorting them, into giving it to an oft times dishonest government to spend, seems as repulsive as Robin Hood stealing it!


As Christians who champion the teachings of Jesus, why we do we relegate the care of our neighbors to the government? Here is an idea, how about just giving your own money and wealth away, and doing it on your own accord.


To highlight the joy of giving to my congregation, I hatched an idea; we would pray and take the Sunday morning offering as usual; however, whatever amount came in, we would give it ALL AWAY the next Sunday! I talked it over with the leadership team of our church and they wholeheartedly agreed!


We received the offering that morning, and for our church, it was awesome; we took in just over $1600. So the next Sunday, we took 80 envelops with $20 in each one, making sure that everyone who came received an envelope; if you were old enough to walk, you got one!


I preached a message on giving, and the Scripture lesson was from Matthew 6:1-4


“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.


I challenged the folks to; secretly get the $20 bill into the hands of someone you felt could really use it. We would find out later that some folks used the money to put together a meal for a family; another bought the fixings for a steak dinner and gave it to a family. One young boy, about 8 years old, saw an elderly woman in the grocery store and he secretly slipped the $20 bill into her purse.


The stories of that day filtered in over the next few months and it was awesome!


Additionally, it really made no sense from a practical point of view, to give away the offering; our church could have really, really used it then; however God more than compensated what we gave away!


As followers of Jesus, we have the title of ambassador, and we are to represent the Kingdom of God to the residents of this broken world; why then would we willingly give that task to a broken government; let us do what God has called us to do!


Go ahead, get generous and bless a family. If you have enough money to take your family out to eat; then wait an extra couple of weeks setting aside a tip near the amount of your dinner and bless the waiter or waitress; the expression of joy far exceeds the $75 tip!


Pray and ask God to reveal the name of a family that could use a blessing; and then follow through.


An amazing blessing is to take one or two hundred dollar bills and put them in a “Thinking of You” card and write a quick line: “I wanted you to know that you have been on my heart, and I see your need, I hope this helps” ~Jesus


Oh, and remember, your time is more valuable than money, your willingness to befriend someone and walk with them through life, is a blessing that is priceless!


Remember, you are an ambassador and have the authority to use His Name!


Go for it!


Be a blessing and be blessed!

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Let it Shine

Let it Shine

I have been watching with great interest, the ongoing vilification of proposed Supreme Court appointee, Brett Kavanaugh. It is breathtaking to watch, as these allegations of sexual misconduct seem to appear out of nowhere, just days before his confirmation; should his nomination derail; woe to the next one to be chosen!


I have also watched how many people; consumed with utter hatred toward the current president, Donald Trump and the party he represents, seem to have lost their minds. I have never seen such hatred and vile comments ever made toward anyone . . . ever, let alone a sitting president.


As I have pondered these things, I realize too, there is a growing hatred toward those of the Christian faith. We are mocked, ridiculed, vilified, silenced if possible, and are becoming nearly as despised as Mr. Trump!


I have concluded that all these things must come to pass, and what we witness playing out before our eyes, is simply confirmation of what Jesus said to expect.


None of this is new; it has happened before in every generation since Jesus was crucified, buried and rose again.


What we are seeing displayed is the very reason that Jesus went to the Cross in the first place, which was to make it possible for the very people who wanted to kill Him, to have life!


So I watch with curiosity, the brutal and vile hatred demonstrated daily, and I pray!


I pray for those unjustly considered guilty of crimes they never committed.


I pray for those with utter hatred and contempt for those who believe differently than they do.


I pray for opportunities to share the love of Jesus with those who will listen, and I pray for those who despise me because of that!


Finally, I believe this is the greatest time to be a Christian; as darkness settles across the land, those with the Light of the Gospel, which by the way, is the Glory of Christ, will find the light brilliantly showing the way to thousands who simply want to stop stumbling in the darkness!


The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them. Isaiah 9:2 


So I think I will sing the little kid’s song which is familiar to many from Sunday School . . . sing it with me!


This Little Light of Mine


This little light of mine,

I’m gonna let it shine

This little light of mine,

I’m gonna let it shine

This little light of mine,

I’m gonna let it shine

Let it shine,

Let it shine,

Let it shine.


Hide it under a bushel? No!

I’m gonna let it shine

Hide it under a bushel? No!

I’m gonna let it shine

Hide it under a bushel? No!

I’m gonna let it shine

Let it shine,

Let it shine,

Let it shine.


This little light of mine,

I’m gonna let it shine

This little light of mine,

I’m gonna let it shine

This little light of mine,

I’m gonna let it shine

Let it shine,

Let it shine,

Let it shine.


Don’t let Satan blow it out,

I’m gonna let it shine

Don’t let Satan blow it out,

I’m gonna let it shine

Don’t let Satan blow it out,

I’m gonna let it shine

Let it shine,

Let it shine,

Let it shine.


This little light of mine,

I’m gonna let it shine

This little light of mine,

I’m gonna let it shine

This little light of mine,

I’m gonna let it shine

Let it shine,

Let it shine,

Let it shine.










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Old Man at the Grave

Old Man at the Grave

I started a new job driving a tractor-trailer in the spring of 2017. It was a daily route, taking me from my depot in Dubois, down through Philipsburg, then down over Bald Eagle Mountain to Tyrone, where I hang a left and on to Huntington and then to my pick up destination at Mapleton Depot.



When I stop at Mapleton Depot, I am loaded with about 53,000 pounds of silica sand, used in the production of glass. The truck is loaded, and I head back to Tyrone, back up Bald Eagle Mountain, through Philipsburg again, and then hit I-80 at Woodland.  I take the Penfield exit, and travel to Port Allegany to make my delivery to the Ardagh Group glass factory there; after unloading, I head back to the Dubois depot and park my truck for the day; round trip, about 320 miles each day. It is a pleasant, scenic drive.



I drive past a cemetery just outside of Philipsburg every day; once on my way down to get my truck loaded, and then again on my way back through. I noticed a freshly dug grave spot as I drove by, causing me to whisper a prayer for the family that was recently grieving.



A little later in the week, as I drove by, I noticed an elderly man sitting near the grave. He had a walker, one you could sit on from time to time if need be.



The man had white hair, and a matching white beard, all neatly trimmed. He sat with his hands folded, looking attentively at the freshly dug grave. My heart ached as I sped by, and I prayed for the man as I drove down over the hill on my way to Mapleton.



I loaded my truck at Mapleton and headed to my destination, and as I crested the hill that cradled the cemetery, I could see the old man, still sitting there as a sentinel at the grave; nearly 2 hours had gone by!



As the summer drifted by, I would see the old man at the grave, two or three times each week. When I saw the old man, I would often whisper a prayer, and think about the person he loved so much. I would also think of people in my own life; people that I loved dearly. I began to appreciate the blessings of cherished loved ones, and I found myself praying for some of those who I had taken for granted.



The summer ended and fall approached, the beautiful leaves exploding in color, then dropping lifeless; taking their beauty with them as they fell to the ground, blown around by the fall winds; until they found their final resting place; returning to the ground from where they came.



Even as the cool fall breezes began to blow, the old man remained at his post. Whenever the weather would permit, I would see his white crop of hair as I crested the hill to the cemetery.



Autumn gave way to winter and the old man no longer came to sit at the cold, frosted grave. Yet, as I drove by daily, I remembered his faithful watch, his unwavering devotion to whoever rested there.



Winter passed and the spring rains began to melt the snow and I wondered if the old man made it through the winter. As I drove past each day, I thought of him.



On one particularly warm spring afternoon, as I made my way back across the mountains, I spied the familiar crop of white hair as I crested the hill; there he was, perched once again at his watchful post.



 I felt a sense of joy and sorrow, mixed together. I was glad to see the old man; like a long lost friend, a sense of joy sprang to my heart; then sorrow for him, as he continued to grieve for the one so dear to his heart!



I decided I needed to know more about this man. I wanted to find out who it was he sat by, and how they met; I wanted to know his story. The cemetery had no place to pull over an 18-wheeler, so I made several trips to the area in my car, hoping to catch him as his post. Each time I stopped by, he was not there.



On one occasion to the cemetery, I stopped in my car and gently walked to the grave and looked at the name; then I searched for the obituary and found out that this was certainly the old man’s wife, Grace, and his name was Joe!



I went home, doing a little more research, and found out where Joe was living; it was a large apartment complex with many residents.



I was preparing for an annual personal retreat; a time for me to go out into the woods, to pray and seek God for direction; something I try to do each year. I took a Friday off work so I could have an extended weekend and as I made plans, it was clear the Lord was prompting me to go and see Joe.



I drove to the apartment complex where Joe was living, and as I pulled into the parking lot, I could see the familiar golden colored Chrysler Concord he drove to the cemetery; I knew I was in the right spot, and he was in there somewhere!



The apartment complex required a code to gain access, something I did not have, but as I approached the door, a man simply let me in! I made my way to the elevator and headed to the apartment where Joe lived. I stood outside his door, and then I started having second thoughts! Would he let me in, would I frighten him, and would I be in trouble for “sneaking” in?



I went back down to the first floor and went to the office. I told the attendant that I was looking for a man named Joe. I had told her that I was a truck driver and had seen him sitting by a grave for over a year and I wanted to talk to the man; possibly writing a story. She told me that he was in the social room playing bingo and to follow her, she would show me where he was.



We walked into the room and there he was; I recognized the familiar white hair and neatly trimmed white beard. He was engrossed in a lively game of Bingo with a couple dozen elderly folks. The office attendant went over to him and told him that I was there to see him.



He looked furtively at me across the room and nodded, I nodded back, and then I took a seat to wait for the bingo game to conclude. I waited, and waited and waited some more. The Bingo marathon had just begun when I entered the room. Finally, after 45 minutes of Bingo, the games concluded; Joe called out Bingo three times!



As the room cleared, Joe began to make his way out and I carefully met him in the center of the room. I asked him if I could have a few words with him and he agreed; we headed to a comfortable corner and sat down together.



I told Joe who I was, that I was a trucker that saw him at the cemetery often, and that I admired his faithful devotion to whom, I now knew was his wife. I asked him if he could tell me their story.



He looked at me and said that he was a trucker too, many years ago! The fact we had something in common gave Joe the freedom to share openly.



Joe was born in 1938, now 80 years old, his wife Gracie was three years older than he was. Joe said he knew Gracie from high school. He recalled a school dance where he approached Gracie to dance with him; she was a senior and he was a sophomore.



He said he got the courage to ask her to dance; he said she looked at me and said; “I don’t take seconds.” He said she crushed him! “Boy did she put me down right there, which really hurt me bad!”



As I recall, Joe said that after school he joined the Navy and spend 4 years there. After serving in the Navy, Joe came back home, and began working as a truck driver. I believe he said that his father got a hold of an old Mack truck that had two long gear shift levers, and his father could not shift them right. Joe said at 14 years old he would sit in the passenger seat and shift the truck for dad; learning how to drive a big truck early on.



Not long after he returned from the Navy, he said he went to a local nightclub and a dance going on, and Gracie was there. He said he got a little courage and asked Gracie for a dance, she smiled and said she would dance with him this time.



He said; “we danced a few songs and really hit it off, then they played a slow dance and Gracie said she did not know how to slow dance.” Joe said he looked at her and said; “Just follow my lead.” Joe said they danced the night away and began dating after that.



It did not take long for the two to fall in love; but problems brewing.  Gracie had two brothers who did not care for Joe at all; actually, they despised him for some reason. Joe recalled a night when he got in a serious tussle with the two young men.



He was in a tavern after work one night and the two brothers began mocking Joe and calling him some rather ugly names. Joe said he was not going to put with that and called them out on it. He said the next thing you knew a fight broke out, Joe said; “I got in some pretty good licks, but those two boys put a serious hurtin’ on me.”



It was a few days later, after this scuffle, Joe went to Gracie’s house to see her, and Gracie’s father answered the door. Joe said Gracie’s father grabbed him by the neck, nearly lifting him off the ground! He told Joe; “If you ever come around her again, so help me I will put you in the ground.”Joe decided that he probably would never see Gracie again, and made up his mind that he would not go back to her house.



Joe said later that night, around 2:00 in the morning, he felt someone shaking him awake.


He said; “I woke up wondering what was going on and who was in my room trying to wake me up, I reached over and turned on the light to see Gracie, tears streaming down her face.” He said; “I asked her what she was doing there” and she said; “I can’t live in that house with my father anymore, and I am never ever going back.”



Gracie would begin staying with some girl friends while she figured out what to do next. If I recall Joe correctly, this turmoil was taking place in the winter and very near Christmas. Joe recalled Gracie stopping by Christmas Eve, close to midnight, and she asked Joe if he would go with her to a church that was having a midnight service; Joe said I looked at her, and said; “sure, I will go with you” . . . how could I say no!



Not long after those tumultuous days, Gracie and Joe would set their minds to get married, and on June 21, 1962, they tied the knot and began life together. They would have two sons, both of whom Joe is very proud of.



Joe and Gracie had a wonderful life together and Joe recalled the depth of Gracie’s love for him by sharing this following story with me.



One of his best friends was married to a girl from Osceola Mills. Joe’s friend found out his wife was cheating on him and he was heartbroken. Joe talked with his best friend, trying to help him through the pain.



Joe told me that one night his friend jumped in a work van and drove down the hill to Osceola as fast as he could, purposely driving the van into a large tree, taking his own life; this shocked Joe to the core!



Joe, a truck driver, started a trip to Chicago a few weeks after his close friend died, and as he began the drive, he said grief and anxiety overwhelmed him, and he pulled the truck over at a truck stop.



He called Gracie and told her that he was feeling emotional and did not think he could make the trip and he asked Gracie if she would ride along. Gracie said she would love to.



Joe said Gracie drove to the truck stop in her car and jumped in the cold truck with Joe and rode all the way to Chicago, then back to Aurora NY for the return trip. Joe looked at me with tears glistening in his eyes and said; “I sure love that girl, I never could have made that trip without her.”



Gracie died on Friday, April 7, 2017 at her home; they would have been married 55 years that June. Joe said that the last 6 years of Gracie’s life, she developed dementia, and he took care of her until her passing.



Joe told me that he goes out to the cemetery to sit, where he says he prays for friends and family; it is peaceful there. He told me that not only is Gracie in that cemetery, but many relatives and friends are there too. Joe said that when I sit there, I feel surrounded by people I loved and it makes me feel better.



I told Joe that if I see him out by Gracie’s site, I will give a toot; and he said that would be OK.



I told Joe; “you know, in a world where abandoned marriages are normal, and relationships are increasingly hard to keep, it is refreshing to know that there is true love; the kind that endures through the ages; you and Gracie represent that kind of love to me. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with me”



I told Joe that I estimate that on any given day, while he sits there next to Gracie for those two hours, nearly a thousand people whiz by that busy highway; many of them thinking and wondering about the depth of love that old white haired man must have, and feeling a sense of tenderness toward their own loved ones.



Thank you Joe for your silent testimony, it means more than you will ever know!



I will keep watching that hill on my daily run, looking for that familiar crop of white hair, sitting beside the love of his life; now I know his story, and I am sure I only touched the surface. Joe said I could stop by anytime, and I think I might; perhaps I may even play a round of Bingo!



Mark 10:2-9


 Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”

 “What did Moses command you?” he replied.

They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.”

 “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied. “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’

 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”


























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My friend – Justin Willoughby

I have known this young man and have watched his journey; it is nothing short of amazing and is a testimony of what God can do.


Please, take the time to listen and then share his story.


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Carnival Barkers

Carnival Barkers

Every summer I recall my parents would take us kids to the Clearfield County Fair. As we wandered around, the sights and smells gave us a sensory overload!


We would start by walking through all the farm exhibits, cows, rabbits, chickens, hogs, horses; you name it, I think they had it! Mom would want to walk through all the exhibits that highlighted things like canned foods, knitting, quilts, paintings and the like.


While the animals and farm exhibits were interesting, I would catch glimpses of the Mid-Way; the rides, games, and cotton candy were beckoning me to come and see! I would tug on mom and dad’s hand, hoping they would get the hint.


Finally, we entered the Mid-Way . . . WOW what a site. Dad took me on the double Ferris-Wheel, and as we spun high above the clamor, we could see forever, or so it seemed! Getting a bird’s-eye view, we could see it all; and could even see mom; far below waving up at us.


As we began to walk through the gauntlet of games and attractions, some of the game operators began to call out to my dad, and I became a bit uneasy. They would say slightly demeaning things like; Hey you, why don’t show your boy how strong you are, take the hammer and ring the bell; make your boy proud!”


It seemed like every game we went by, some carnival worker would bark out stinging little slogans designed to get my dad to react and buy a ticket to play.


I recall stopping by a game where one of the players was having a dispute with the operator. The game looked simple; a pool ball placed in the center of a circle with a silver dollar on top of the ball.


The idea was to take a cue ball and knock the ball away, dropping the coin in the center of the circle, not touching the lines of the circle drawn on the table. One of the men who had been trying the game, declared it impossible to win; and the argument was heated.


Since we had a pool table at home, I knew I could do it! I asked dad if I could play. He was not too keen on the idea, since I had the money for the game, and he let me play.


I lined up the cue stick and put a hard spin to the left and hit the cue ball hard, it nearly missed the desired ball with the coin on top, but just nipped it, leaving the silver dollar drop perfectly in the center!


The carnival game operator made such a fuss about me accomplishing this task, that he gave me the largest stuffed animal he had; it was nearly as tall as I was! The man, who had been arguing, walked away in disgust!


The experiences at the carnival, reminds me of the current state of political unrest in our country. It’s as if the politicians have become nothing more than “Carnival Barkers” attempting to illicit emotional responses by shouting empty slogans, designed to get a quick reaction.


It seems both sides of the political spectrum are fully engaged with constant “Carnival Barking” hoping to gain the most attention in the shortest amount of time. The goal seems to be convincing those passing by, to join in the hate, and animus of the day.


How are we, as Christians, supposed to negotiate the constant clamor and confusing rhetoric coming from those elected to serve us?


First, we need to keep our “True” citizenship in perspective. Jesus reveals that we are not of this world anymore than He is! “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” (John 17:16)


When we decided to follow Jesus, and make our allegiance to Him, we became part of His Kingdom. The Apostle Paul declares in Colossians 1:13 “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love . . .”


Therefore, even though we love our country deeply, our first and strongest loyalty is to Christ and the advancement of His Kingdom!


So when the political “Carnival Barkers” shout demeaning slogans against people, created in the image of God, as you journey by, you can see it for what it is; an attempt to draw you out of the Kingdom of God and back into the kingdom of darkness.


Secondly, it is OK to get involved with the political system if you choose to. If you decide to jump in, be sure and do so with the prompting and leading of Jesus. Go in with a clear-eyed view of what you are doing.


Just like the little game I played and won; the training, confidence, and the backing of my dad, gave me everything I needed to do it and win; you need the same from your heavenly Father, and you will win too!


So, let the carnival barkers bark; it is what they do! Do not believe every word they shout; most of them are not true at all, it is only a ploy to get YOU off your game and into theirs. Enjoy the carnival . . . but be careful out there!


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Coffee with God

Coffee with God

In an ever increasingly distracting world, it is easy to get off course. The constant chatter on TV, social media, radio, and a host of other venues, beckons us into the world of chaos.


Once distracted, we ramble on down a pathway we should never have embarked on and we get in trouble. Too often, once there, we begin to justify our stay, and our trouble only worsens.


Now confused and struggling, we wonder what to do; then God suggests an amazing solution . . .


  One of my favorite passages in the Bible . . .

“Come now, let us reason together,”
says the LORD.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.
If you are willing and obedient,
you will eat the best from the land;
but if you resist and rebel,
you will be devoured by the sword.”
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
I just love this Scripture; God says; “Come now, let us reason together.” It is as if God has just poured a cup of coffee for you, and invites you to the table, One on one, to see if there can be a solution. God is awesome!
Even though you have rebelled, God wants to forgive you, but there is a condition, you must be willing and obedient. You have to be both.
It’s not enough to be willing, and it’s not enough to be obedient, you must be willingly obedient.
Settle this one before you start the day!
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Is It  Monday Already?

Is It Monday Already?

The weekend is over and it is time for Monday! I can hear the groans already! For many folks, Monday is a dreaded day. It kicks off another 5 days of drudgery, one more countdown to the weekend.


But . . . wait just a minute. Look at this from a different perspective. For many of my friends, we went to a church yesterday, we sang songs to God, we worshiped Him, celebrated His goodness, renewing our trust in His provision.


Yesterday was a celebration of what took place the week before, a renewing of confidence that God will lead us forward in this new week.


Therefore, having just celebrated God’s goodness yesterday, Monday is the Day for the Church to Shine!


So, it is time to buckle up and buckle in, time to set our sights on this brand new, never before seen MONDAY!


It is the beginning of another extravagant week of God’s blessings full of challenges to overcome, opportunities to seize and wonders to behold. Be sure to capture every moment . . . this is gonna be Good!


Let’s do this!

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New Life

New Life

I enjoy spring, the explosion of greenery; I like wild leeks, rainy weather, and the smell of mud rushing down swollen streams.


I savor the sweet smell of smoke pouring out of the sugar shacks, as the Sugar-Mapler’s boil their sweet brew! I delight seeing the farmer plowing fields getting ready to plant.


I love the way the mountains try to hold their bounty of snow; little pockets of white, peaking out behind the rocks, as winter slowly loses its cold grip on the landscape.


The coming spring season always reminds me of new life. The icy cold grip of winter kept the landscape barren and fruitless; we wondered if it will ever end!


During those cold, frigid days of winter, something stirs deep in the ground. The unseen work of the hand of God is moving, stirring and preparing for an explosion of life!


The same is true regarding the cold heart of man, which remains fruitless, hopeless, and barren. We wonder if there will ever be any change.


You can rest assured that God is working in the dark, cold recesses of those barren hearts. Something is stirring; new life is getting ready to break forth in a profusion of love, mercy and grace!


If you have been praying for someone with a seemingly cold, lifeless heart, do not stop! Persistent prayer brings the warmth of God to that person.


It is your unfailing devotion to the Savior, and your constant, insistent prayer, which causes the ground of that heart to thaw.


In due time, new life with emerge and the fruit will be stunning!


“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”    ~ Ezekiel




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Indescribable Gift

Indescribable Gift


Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!


Well, it won’t be long now, soon Christmas Day will be upon us; the greatest birthday party ever! We will be celebrating the most wonderful, most amazing event in the history of mankind; the Birth of our Savior!


Gifts will be exchanged, the Christmas Story will be read, and we will all come together because of Jesus. Even families that do not know Jesus get in on it!


What a miracle Christmas is!


When we stop to consider what God has done, we come away stunned!


The Old Testament Scriptures resound with the prophetic words of Isaiah:


Isaiah 9:2

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death, a light has dawned.


The people of Isaiah’s day were desperate people, many of them walking in hopelessness and despair; seemingly meaningless lives, being lived out under the oppression of wicked rulers. 


During the time of Jesus’ birth, the people were living under the thumb of Herod the Great,  and were also very difficult and trying times. Taxes were too high, the demands of Rome were exceedingly harsh, and those who administered justice were often cruel, and extortionary in their tactics.


It was in this world of hopelessness and despair that God brought forth His One and Only Son!


 Galatians 4:4-5

But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.


Times have not changed all that much, and for many people today, perhaps even you, life is a grind, a meaningless existence, a pointless journey to a place called death, and you may wonder; is there any real meaning in life?


I spoke with a man just recently and I asked him and his wife if they were ready for Christmas; his reply brought sadness to my heart. He said; “It’s just another day to me, like any other.”


The fact is; there is no other Day like it! It is an incredible Day, a Day in which the God of the universe humbled Himself and was born in a manger, surrounded by the poorest of the poor. It was the result of the Holy Spirit’s Seed, mingling with the seed of a young woman, resulting in the One and Only Son of God being born.


No, there is no other Day like it ever, and we will celebrate it!


Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!


God has given us the most incredible gift; the gift of Life by giving His Son.


Let’s take a few minutes together today to read that remarkable story. . .


Luke 2:1-20

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.


 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.  While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.


And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”


Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,


“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”


When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”


So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.


I hope you will read that story again Christmas morning, before you open a present, and relive the wonder of that glorious Day when God sent His son into this world. And give thanks to God. . .


Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!


What about this Gift God sent? Do we really need it? Is it for you?


The Bible tells us that “sin” which is defined as; transgression of the divine law; is something that every one of us is guilty of. We do not have to look hard to realize that all of us have sinned (Broken God’s Law) at one time or another.


The Bible says;


Romans 3:23         “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”


Sin entered mankind way back in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve were tempted by Satan, and they gave into temptation and sinned against God’s law!


His law to them was; “you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”


This problem of sin, which originated with Satan, created a serious situation, which called for drastic measures.


  • First, there MUST be consequences for satan’s sin.


A just and loving God could never ignore such a thing, and by His very nature must take action against sin. So God created a place for Satan and the angles that followed him.


According to Matthew 25:41 God has: prepared an eternal fire for the devil and his angels.


This is a literal place, a real place for Satan to reside for eternity, and the angels that follow him. To sin against God is a terrible thing, and it deserves a punishment fitting of the crime! The devil and his angels will be punished accordingly!


  • Secondly, there must be consequences for man’s sin


Genesis 3:16-19

To the woman, he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children.  Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”


To Adam, he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you;  through painful toil, you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.


 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust, you will return.”


Indeed, death certainly touched man because of sin. We have been struggling with sin ever since, and it has affected everything in the universe.


But God has a plan! You see; according to the Gospel of John:


 John 3:16

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.


This is the very reason that Jesus came into the world! He came so that we could have eternal life. That our sins (which are many) could be forgiven!


Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Jesus is the ultimate expression of God’s love for us! Jesus is God’s gift to us; this is why we celebrate!


Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!


How does one appropriate this incredible gift of life? The Scripture on Romans blazes the way!


Romans 10:8-10

But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.


Do you believe? Do you have faith to believe? God says you do, and that also is a gift from Him


Ephesians 2:8-9

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.


Well, there you have it!


Will you receive this great gift, and walk in ALL the Light it brings?


Like any gift, it has little value unless it is received, embraced, and taken in. Imagine taking the time and effort to purchase a special gift for one of your children.


The big day comes, and you present them with the present. They look over the gift, shake it a little, then set it down and simply tell you; “it looks good dad, but I really don’t think I will open it.”


How would you react? How does God react when we do the same thing when presented with His indescribable Gift!


Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!


So, a few closing thoughts. No one really likes to talk about hell; many people really don’t even believe that it exists; and if it did exist, God would never send good, kind and caring people there!


The fact is, He does not send people there; they go there of their own free will. Hell was prepared for Satan and his angels; it was never intended for humans.


God went to extraordinary lengths to redeem fallen mankind and offer forgiveness and a place in heaven with Him. One of the greatest gifts God ever gave mankind, was the ability to chose.


Unfortunately, many people chose to live a life contrary to all God has offered; renown author and pastor Max Lucado put it this way:


“Consider, then, this explanation of hell: Hell is the chosen place of the person who loves self more than God, who loves sin more than his Savior, who loves this world more than God’s world. Judgment is that moment when God looks at the rebellious and says, “Your choice will be honored.”

How about you? The gift has been given and placed at your feet . . . what are you going to do with it? The God who gave it is hoping with expectant hope, that you will open it; if you chose not to, He will honor your choice.


Chose well


Copyright 2017 – Faith Upside Down

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The Upward Way

The Upward Way

The Upward Way, Pressing onward to Christ

There seems to be an instinctive desire for human beings to go “up.” My earliest remembrance of this desire to be “up” was in the kitchen, of all places. My mother was an awesome cook. Every day she would spend several hours in the kitchen preparing meals for the day.


I can recall getting underfoot frequently, so mom came up with a marvelous solution to that problem; she would set me on the kitchen counter, where I could watch with glee as she scurried about the kitchen.


I was now “seated” in a special realm that was awesome. I now had a new perspective of what mom was up to; instead of looking at the pockets of her apron, I could now see into her eyes as she came by, grabbing ingredients from the cupboard; how very special this was for me!


As I got older, I learned how to climb trees and I would tackle every tree in the yard; going up as high as I could!


We had a big old White Pine in the backyard and dad helped me build a tree house in the branches near the top; it was amazing! Once into the tree house, I had a bird’s eye view of the whole yard!


As I got braver, I started climbing a large pine tree in the front yard; it was the tallest we had! Standing about 45 feet, I would climb all the way to the top where the tree was only about the 3 inches in diameter!


The tree would sway when the wind blew and was a little scary! However, from that perch, I could see nearly a half mile in any direction, I could see all the way to the creek behind our house; I could watch the whole neighborhood; listening to the conversations, and hearing laughter as kids played.


As I got older, I was compelled to climb the mountain behind our house; to an outcropping of rocks at the top. Once you got out on this rock ledge, you could see several miles in either direction. The whole valley was laid out down below; it was amazing!


The desire to go “up” has never left me; even recently, while driving with my wife Sherri and our grandson, I spied Sandy Ridge Fire Tower in the distance. We drove through the dirt roads for several miles and there it was! I climbed all the way “up” to the top! It was awesome!


So I have been pondering for the last few days, reminiscing about those years growing up; it dawned on me that the desire to “go up” is a desire that God Himself has placed in every human heart.


Oh I know, some of you are shaking your head NO, you have acrophobia, a fear of heights, and I understand that! Yet you have to admit, we are fascinated with going “up.”


Mankind has scaled Mount Everest, for no other reason that it is the tallest; we are now trying to head out into deep space; we are compelled to go “up, up and away!”


Why do we do this? We do it because we want to see more, learn more, reach more; we want perspective, so we expend all our energies upward!


The same desire compels us spiritually, to go higher too!


We long for new spiritual perspectives; to get closer to God, to learn more, get nearer, reaching higher and higher. We learn that it is God Himself that places this desire in our hearts.


For those who have come to faith in Jesus and brought into His family; we are told that we have been seated with Him in the heavenly realms!


“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6 NIV)


We have been placed on the counter-top of heaven if you will. We are given new perspective and can see things as they are and as they should be.


From this new position, we can see the trials and struggles on earth in a whole new light; heaven is our home and earth is our mission field; this new perspective changes everything!


An old hymn leaps into my heart . . . if you know it, sing it with me . . . if it is new to you, click this link and enjoy!


Higher Ground


I’m pressing on the upward way,

New heights I’m gaining every day;

Still praying as I onward bound,

“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”

Lord, lift me up and let me stand

By faith on Canaan’s tableland;

A higher plane than I have found,

Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.


My heart has no desire to stay

Where doubts arise and fears dismay;

Though some may dwell where these abound,

My prayer, my aim, is higher ground.

I want to live above the world,

Though Satan’s darts at me are hurled;

For faith has caught the joyful sound,

The song of saints on higher ground.

I want to scale the utmost height

And catch a gleam of glory bright;

But still I’ll pray till rest I’ve found,

“Lord, lead me on to higher ground.”


I’ll see you on the UP-side!

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The Can

The Can

I can remember a dramatic season in the life of our church; a season that came about through God’s response to relentless prayer; nearly 8 years of it!


We had prayed earnestly for our church;

“God send revival”


“God, pour out Your Spirit”

We called out with passion, and when God moved, the results were striking and swift! We were not prepared for what was about to take place.


Man of Prayer - Armin Gesswein

Armin Gesswein

We began to notice an increase in our church; both in attendance and in the awareness of the Spirit of God in our midst. Armin Gesswein, a noted student of revival, said that; “When God’s people recognize their need for the Holy Spirit, lost people recognize their need for a Savior” this is so true!


As the Spirit of God moved in response to our many prayers, we began to see all kinds of “things” happening.


We saw homes come under intense stress, even to the breaking point, we saw relationships struggle. Our “foundations” were being shaken. We watched in wonder as sinners came to our church, and found Jesus.


We watched in amazement as the struggle to break bondage to sin increased.


On one particular Sunday morning, as I came out to preach, an amazing event unfolded. We were holding the Sunday morning service in the auditorium of the former East 4th Street School in Emporium; now the Christian Center.


As I opened my Bible to start preaching, a young mother walked in through the double doors leading from the auditorium to the alleyway; she was holding a brown bag.


Walking right in and standing in front of about 80 people, she looked at me and said; “Pastor Rock, can I say something?” I was taken somewhat aback by this odd request; but I told her to go ahead.


She pulled out a fifth of Amaretto liquor from the brown bag and began to sob. After she regained her composure, she said this; “I keep going to this bottle instead of going to God and I need help.”


WOW! Not knowing what could be done, I called on everyone to come forward and gather around this young lady and pray for her! It was a turning point in her life and in the life of our church.  


The next Sunday morning, before the worship service began, I noticed an older gentleman suddenly come out of his seat and make a hasty trip to the stage and he quickly laid down a pack of cigarettes. He would tell me later that he felt God tell him to give these up and to do it right now!


As I prayed about what was going on, I decided to buy one of those bright shiny metal trash cans and I placed in on the stage. That next Sunday I said to the folks that I think God is trying to help us get rid of some things that may be hindering our walk with Him; let’s fill the can!


The following Sunday, I went to move the can prior to the service and it felt heavier. I opened the lid to find a half gallon of rum in there, the next week a fifth of Vodka found its way to the can, another pack of cigarettes, and much, much more!


On Sunday we found the half gallon of rum in the can; following the service, a young lady approached me on the stage and with tears in her eyes, she handed me a bag of marijuana and said; “Pastor Rock, God doesn’t want me to smoke pot no more.”


So that Sunday, I had a half gallon of rum in the can and a bag of pot in my pocket! Amazing stuff right there!


Over the course of the next 3 or 4 months, we filled the can several times! Did we really know what we were asking for when we prayed for “revival?” What were we thinking? What did we expect?


I remember going through a drought in Pennsylvania during the late 1990’s, we prayed for rain; but when it came, we did not realize, that with it, would come mud-slides, and falling trees. We needed the rain, but we were not prepared for the side effects that would come.


Neither did we expect the Spirit of God to come and begin to draw the “mud” out of our lives.


Perhaps we did not expect to have sin pulled out by the roots! Maybe we thought we were “alright”, and that God would just come and leave our landscape as it was.


Just like the powerful rains that created new landscapes for many homeowners, so it is with the Spirit of God when He comes, everything changes, old ways are cast down, and new ways are set in place. Sinful habits, both visible and invisible, come to light when the Spirit of God is among us.


So what will we do? Shall we keep praying, “God send revival?”  I should think so! I say, change the landscape, make ALL things new!


“Pour out Your Spirit Lord” and don’t stop till we are completely changed, inside and out! Draw the “mud” out of our lives, and uproot sin!


Lord, Reign on us, make us Holy, as You are Holy! Don’t stop until we are refined, purified, and made fit for the Kingdom of Heaven!


Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand.                                Daniel 12:10

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Rock & Sherri’s New Website

Well, hello there! I have been pondering the idea of a website for our new ministry endeavor;  Faith – Upside Down” and have put it off long enough!


Over the course of the next few months, we will be adding content to this site and learning all the ins and outs of website development . . . I am quite clueless, but nonetheless willing to learn. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks . . . but it “taint” easy!



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