Musings from the Peterbrian

Some musings from someone who has been given the time to contemplate:

In 2008 we as a church put together a Christmas devotional with the intent of continuing in the succeeding years.  Well, here we are in 2016 and we haven’t had another church inspired Christmas Devotional.  I want to challenge all of us to start writing now and through October in order to present our church's 2016 Advent Devotional.  Over the years we have come up with several good ideas, but have sometimes failed to follow through.  Let us not let this one die a lonely death.  In the same accord, let us not forget that we as a church have committed to serving Christ in the Yucatan.  I am certain that Rick will not let us forget that. We did a great job in 2015.  Let us do even greater things this year and in the succeeding years as well.

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"Where the Sidewalk Ends"

Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”  Luke 18: 16-17.

"Where the Sidewalk Ends" by Shel Silverstein

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

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"Tend My Sheep"

"…Do you love Me?…Tend My sheep." —John 21:16

Jesus said to look after His sheep, to see that they get nourished in the knowledge of Him.  We consider what we do in the way of Christian work as service, yet Jesus Christ calls service to be what we are to Him, not what we do for Him.  Discipleship is based solely on devotion to Jesus Christ, not on following after a particular belief or doctrine.

On the inside,

Pete

When State Met Church

Imagine if you will, representatives of the people of the United States of America coming together to recognize God and our dependence on Him, and declaring their need to humble themselves, fast, and pray.  Imagine political leadership acknowledging the truth of Holy Scripture and asking for forgiveness of our national sin.  Imagine a president who fears the LORD and who asks his people to repent.  152 years ago we had them:

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

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A Thankful Heart

Soon we will be seeing “Christmas in July” sales ads on TV.  Having just returned from the Xoy, Mexico Living Waters for the World Mission, I believe I need to be more thankful for all of Our Lord’s Grace and Mercy.  So please let me offer these “Thanksgiving” scriptures:

  1. 1 Thessalonians 5:18  Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
  2. Psalm 107:1  Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
  3. Ephesians 5:20  Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
  4. Colossians 3:15-17  And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body.  And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
  5. James 1:17  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

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Saved for Works, Not by Works

There are times that I think: I plow the field, plant the seed, and others gather the grain; I tend the vineyard and others press the grapes; and I do all the work and others enjoy the riches.  I sit dazed and confused; however, I’m not listening to Led Zeppelin.  I feel like the elder son without a fattened calf, working in the field while my brother is having a party with his friends.  I’m busy doing the Lord’s work. Work, work, work.

The religious Jews of Jesus' day had more than just the Law of Moses to keep; they also had centuries of customs, traditions, and rabbinical commandments to observe (Mark 7:3-4).  The only religion they knew was one of works, and they wondered what new works might be required by the teachings of Jesus.  Imagine, then, their surprise at the Lord's wonderfully simple reply: "This is the work of God; that you believe on him whom he has sent" (John 6:29).

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Be a Salty Saint

Our Presbytery is currently mulling the Amendments from last summer’s General Assembly.  Please give some thought to the following… Pass the Salt – Adrian Rogers, ‘Life Worth Finding’.  “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted?  It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.”  Matthew 5:13

Christians are the salt of the earth, and Christ calls us to live salty lives so that we can make a difference in the world.  However, some Christians are like salt that’s lost its savor: good for nothing but to be thrown out and walked on.

Salt is necessary for life.  Table salt is actually sodium-chloride, which is often used in chemistry classes.  You can get hydrogen by dropping sodium into water, and you can get poisonous gas from chloride.  These are two dangerous elements by themselves, but God, in His chemistry, has put them together to make something necessary for life.  In the same way, God took the deadly part of us and through the chemistry of the cross, made something new and alive.  Like salt, we used to be something deadly, but now we’re to be the salt of the earth!

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