Sunday, October 25, 2015

The King of Halloween

Halloween is just a week away. In most of the communities around the country, it is a time to decorate homes with dark and frightening images. Ghosts, witches, skeletons, and monsters are the order of the day. When the sun goes down on October 31st, many people believe the forces of darkness rule the night. They feel evil is at its most powerful, especially at midnight. The common belief is this, God and His righteous angels control the daylight hours, and the devil, with the fallen angels, have dominion over the night. Certain days are thought to be more holy: Good Friday, Easter, Christmas for example, and a day like Halloween is considered the devil's unholy day. If those thoughts are indeed true, than all men, christians included, should fear the night, and walk timidly on Halloween. 
What is the truth? 
Does our Mighty God's power and dominion only manifest itself in the daylight hours. Does our Lord share His rule with the devil? Do we really believe that Jesus' powerful influence is hindered by the hours on a clock? Are there really days of the year that only belong to God, and a day like Halloween is owned by the Enemy? 
What does the Word of Truth say?
In the book of Psalms, the psalmist writes, "EVEN THE DARKNESS IS NOT DARK TO YOU, AND THE NIGHT IS AS BRIGHT AS DAY. DARKNESS AND LIGHT ARE THE SAME TO YOU" (Ps. 139:12)
So, if I am understanding this verse correctly, it means, The Lord God of the Bible, the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, isn't intimidated by any man, or demon. This verse in Psalms is saying, God is King of the day and Lord of the night. This passage is unquestionablely stating that Jesus Christ rules every day on the calendar, and every hour.
It is time for the Body of Christ to march with boldness and fearlessness into the day, and into the night. Our God is as much a King at Midnight on Halloween, then He is at daybreak on Easter Morn. "DAY AND NIGHT ARE THE SAME TO YOU"  
This is what I believe. I believe the forces of darkess should, and do fear the Light. I believe, that our Holy God definitely do not run from the dark.  "THE LIGHT SHINES IN THE DARKNESS, AND THE DARKNESS COULD NOT EXTINGUISH IT" (John 1:5)  
So, if you ask me, that scripture settles it. 
Whether you are worshipping at a Christmas morning church service, or if you find yourself alone at midnight, on a stormy Halloween night.   Your God Reigns in Power! 
"I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD, HE THAT FOLLOWS ME SHALL NOT WALK IN DARKNESS, BUT SHALL HAVE THE LIGHT OF LIFE." (John 8:12)

Friday, October 23, 2015

Herding Cats

For those who have ever heard me preach, you know how much I enjoy using 'expressions' in my sermons. When I am frustrated, one of my more commonly used expressions is this one, "It's like trying to herd cats." Cats are not known for being the most cooperative animals. They tend to be very independent, and like to go their own way, usually scattering in all directions. Felines would not move smoothly along like a herd of cattle. Now try to imagine a herdsman attempting to move a herd of a thousand cats from one place to another. Can you see it? Crazy cats running every which way. Cats going in every direction, except the direction the herdsman wanted them to go.  Pure Chaos!
I'm sure anyone in Church leadership can relate. In the Scriptures, the people of God are often referred to as Sheep. But, more often then not, Christ's disciples act more like cats than sheep, running in every different direction, rather than moving together. It is a daily challenge to corral  independent, opinionated, talented, but busy christian people together. As I said in the beginning, it can be frustrating being a leader. If I had lived Two Thousand years ago, and a man had come up with the idea of the Church, and its success would be dependent on people working in unity together, I would have cynically said, "It will never work. People!, working unselfishly together? No Way!"  It would be as successful as trying to herd cats.
But, It was not a man's idea. It was God's.
The work of the Kingdom, and the success of the Church, is not totally dependent on Man. Jesus is the Good Shepherd. "I AM the Good Shepherd, and the sheep hear My voice... and they follow Me."
(John 10:1-4)         He knows how to herd cats. Thank God.
Two Thousand years later, the Church has reached every corner of the globe, and billions of people, people of every tongue and nation, know His story.  He definitely knows how to get 'cats' working together and moving in the same direction.
Christ proclaimed, "I will build My Church, and the gates of hell will not stop it."  (Matt. 16:18)
And crazy cats can't stop it either.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Lessons in a Leaf Pile

I have always had a vivid imagination, even as a young child. I can remember one occasion in particular, when I was around 8 years old. On that day, I really let my imagination run wild. Behind my house was a very large open field. It was a late autumn Saturday afternoon, and no kids were around to play with. The trees were losing their leaves in abundance, and the wind was blowing pretty strong. Hundreds of brown, yellow and red leaves were swirling and rolling across the ground. Most of the leaves were gathering in piles against the fences at the edge of the lot. As I watched this beautiful sight, I noticed that many leaves had become stuck, or entangled on rocks, or debris as they blew along the ground. Like I said, there were no friends outside to play with, so I decided to invent a solitary game. In my mind, I imagined that all the leaves were consciously trying to reach the fence rows. It was the goal and desire of each leaf to get to the fence line, and pile up there for a long winter's sleep. Therefore, It became my mission to release all the entangled leaves, and help them join their friends at the end of the field. Sounds pretty silly doesn't it? Well, I had a blast.
 I ran to and fro setting leaves free. If the wind was not blowing hard enough, I even helped individual leaves, by kicking them along until they reached their destination. I was out there for hours. To anyone watching me from their window, They must have thought,  "Look at that crazy kid out there. He must be nuts." Nope, I wasn't nuts, just an 8 year old boy having fun. Ok, maybe CRAZY fun.
I think it is important to tell you what I believe was at the core of my game those many years ago. Although, I might not have realized it back then. Deep inside, I think what I was feeling was this. Everything continues to have purpose, even when it seems like its usefulness is now over. Sometimes we just need a push to remind us. Even as a child, I never liked to think, that when leaves turn brown and fall off the trees, that there purpose has ended, and they are no longer important or useful. In my silly game, I imagined that when Spring returned, all those leaves would now go back to their tree homes and turn green again. They just needed to rest by the fence for a season.
For us as Christians, there is not retirement. There is never a season when we become useless and without purpose. Yes, there are different seasons in our service to the Lord. And yes, there are times for a momentary rest, But we never, never lose purpose. God always has a job for each one of of us in the work of His Kingdom, no matter what age we are. God makes this point very clear.
"Even when I am old and gray, O God, allow me to be used, give me time to tell the next generation about your wonderful works." (Psalms 71:18)
O God, please help us 'stuck' leaves. By your Holy Spirit release us and help push us along. Give us all fresh vision and purpose. Strengthen us, and empower us for service, until that time you call us home. We look forward to that day, when we all are made new, renewed like the leaves of Spring. Amen

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Time to come running back

Are you mad at God? Was there something you wanted from the Lord, and He gave you a clear No. Maybe it was not a no, but The Lord told you, "Not yet, You need to wait."  Are you confused about how God is dealing with you, and His answers seem unclear? So, because you did not receive the answer you wanted, you are now upset with God.    Is that you?
God continues to amaze me on how He teaches us about Himself, by using the simplest things in this world. Many of you know that Mary and I own a small Cairn Terrier called, Toby. You also may know how much we love our little furry companion. Since our children are now grown, and have their own families, like all dog lovers, these friendly pets become like a second child to us. (Although Toby definitely takes a backseat to our amazing grandchildren)  Pets can teach you quite a lot about yourself, and about God as well. We love Toby, but he is not a perfect pet. He is not always obedient. He is stubborn, sometimes refusing to come when called. He jumps up on the furniture and onto people, even though he has been commanded multiple times to stay down. He has an annoying habit of taking his food in his mouth, carrying it into the Living room, and dropping it on the rug to eat. When our patience finally runs out, and we grow tire of his rebellious behavior, we are forced again to correct him.
He definitely does not like to be disciplined. He cowers when we raise our voice, and does not like the gentle smack with a newspaper. I'm sure no one likes to be corrected, not man nor beast. You can tell by our dog's lowered eyes, and humble demeanor, that he is sad. After being corrected, he usually goes off into a corner of the room somewhere to pout.
However, Toby, or any dog for that matter, can teach us a lesson or two about love and forgiveness.
Even after he has been disciplined, even after he has been harshly reprimanded, he instantly, and I mean instantly, is ready to come running back. All we need to do is look his direction, catch his eyes, and just calmly call his name and he comes running.   Instant forgiveness!
 All Toby wants, is to be loved, and to hear the tone in our voice change, "Come here Toby, it's OK, we still love you. Come here boy." Instant re-connection , instant forgiveness, no stubborn grudge to stop him. It is like I can hear his mind saying, "They are not mad anymore, yippee! They want me back. If they are not mad at me, I'm sure not going to stay mad at them."
Are you holding a grudge against God? Did he correct you? Did you not get what you wanted, and He said, No, or Wait? Are you stubbornly refusing to come back into intimate relationship with your God?  Your Master's Voice of love, forgiveness and restoration, is gently calling you back.
If a dog can so quickly forgive, and run back to the one who had just corrected him, why can't we?
Why wait stubbornly in the corner, cowering away from God's embrace. He is calling you back. You are forgiven!   I guess the bigger question is this. Have you forgiven Him?
Thanks Toby, for a needed life lesson. Maybe you can teach a dog, (me,us) new tricks.

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Next Great wave

Was it a vision, or just spiritual mediation? Maybe it was my sermon preparation becoming imagery within my heart? I am not sure. But the things that went through my mind on friday, were powerful just the same. For those who were not in Church this past Sunday Morning, I would like to share what I said to the congregation of Walnut Grove Assembly of God.
As I was putting my final thoughts, for my sermon down on paper, these images developed clearly in my mind. 
I saw a river, with many people standing in its midst. They were energetically slapping and stirring the water with their hands. There were other people on the shore, intently watching, yet making no move to enter the river to join the others. I wondered in my mind, "Why were they not going out into the water?", even though they seemed very interesting in what was happening. 
Suddenly, a great wave of water rushed down the river, sweeping those who had been previously stirring the water along with it. Those who were being caught up in the great wave were not afraid, on the contrary, they were filled with joy. Again I looked at those on the shore, to see how this sight was affecting them. Many on the shore were now attempting to join those in the great wave of water, but they were unable to move out into the river.
I thought to myself, "Why can't they move?" My eyes were then directed to their legs. I now understood why they did not move. They all had chains binding them to the ground, making it impossible for them to reach the water.
This is when the images in my mind ended, and I and found myself focused again on finishing my sermon notes. 
What did it all mean? This is what came to my heart, as I pondered the question.
The People in the water, are those who are presently involved in service to the Lord. These are they, who are trying in their own strength and abilities, to make an impact in this world for Christ.
The Great Wave, is the next great Revival of God's Spirit throughout the Land. God's Anointing is going to sweep over those who are already serving Him, enabling them to make a far greater impact then they could in their own strength. When this next move of God hits, those faithful servants will be filled with excitement and joy. 
The others, who I saw standing on the riverside, I believe to be, those who desire to see the next great Revival. The type of revival they had only read and heard about in Church History. Yet, they are waiting to see the power and miracles first, before they are willing to make a decision to get actively involved in the work. 
But what are the chains? The chains are the same excuses, obstacles, and procrastination's that keep people from service now. Even when the next Great Move of God arrives, it will not be any easier to jump in the wave. Many will miss it. Just as they are missing what God is doing now.
(Matt. 7:24-27)  (Matt. 25:1-13)   (Lk. 16:24-31)



Friday, October 16, 2015

No Robots needed

Let me make this clear from the start. God does not need us
I'm not saying God does not love us, nor am I saying He did not have a plan to create Man from Eternity past.  Mankind has always been in the heart and plans of God from the beginning of time. The Heavenly Father is deeply in love with us. The fact of this love was clearly displayed in the giving of His Son, as a sacrifice to save us. But I want to state again, God does not need us.
So what I am I attempting to say here?
The Scriptures make it very clear that God is complete in Himself, and has need of nothing. He dwelt in perfect joy, peace and contentment, long before Adam and Eve were even created. He existed in pure love and fellowship within Himself, the Godhead: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. To say that the Lord needed someone to love, so He could be fulfilled, is to say He was incomplete without Man. Sorry, but to say that God of the Bible was lacking something, that only man could fill, is to lessen the Almighty God described in the Word. 
He didn't need us to be complete, but we sure do need Him to find complete purpose and fulfillment. We were the ones with the empty spot in out hearts, or as some have called it, 'that God shaped hole' in our soul.
I have always loved science fiction stories. I'm sure you already know that fact if you've been reading any of my other blogs. When I was ten years old, one of my favorite Sci-Fi movies was a futuristic space drama called, "The Forbidden Planet'. In that film, one of most fascinating characters to me was a robot, called Robbie. I was truly amazed by this robot's abilities. He could speak hundreds of languages, lift tremendously heavy objects with ease, protect against intruders, and even cook and houseclean. I wanted my own personal Robbie the Robot soooo bad. 
The real truth as to why I wanted a robot like Robbie, was not because of all the awesome things he could do, but I simply would have just loved to have had him as a friend. How great would it had been to be able to say to other kids, "This is Robbie. Isn't he cool? and by the way, He's my best friend."
In the book of Genesis, the Godhead proclaims, " Let Us make man in Our Image, according to Our Likeness" (Gen. 1:26) 
God did not need man, to fill some void of relationship. God has always processed complete relationship fulfillment. We are the one's who have the void, longing to be filled. Therefore, since Mankind is made in His Image and Likeness, there resides within our spiritual DNA as you will, Man's need for relational love and fellowship. 
God did not need us, but we desperately needed Him. He became Creator to the formless, Father to the fatherless, Husband to the the widow, Rescuer to the hopeless, Pardoner to the condemned, and Savior to a lost world. God is not looking for robots to mindlessly follow Him. He is looking for son's and daughters to willingly walk with Him.
How great is it to be able to say to others, "This is Jesus. Isn't He awesome. and by the way, He's my friend."

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Beware of Whirlpools

I don't often tell people about my dreams, let alone write about them. But last night's dream was so different; I thought I would share it.
I was walking along, what looked like an ocean beach. There were quite a crowd of people there, and they all seemed to be enjoying the water and relaxing on the shore. Suddenly my eyes noticed a large churning whirlpool close to the shore. It was so close to the water's edge that you could walk out, in what seemed like shallow water to reach it. No one seemed surprised, and all behaved like it was a normal, common occurrence. Even thought there were no signs posted, everyone in the dream knew it was a dangerous area to be avoided. Yet people calmly continued to walk out into the water, and stood very close to the edge of the swirling circle.
In my mind I was thinking, "these people need to be careful, don't they realize how dangerous that thing is?" Everyone acted oblivious to the danger. All of a sudden, a young girl who was leaning down to take a closer look in the whirlpool, lost her balance and fell head first into the hole. Without even thinking, I was able to quickly catch her by the foot and began to pull her back. As hard as I tried, I did not have the strength to pull her free from the tug of the watery pit. I thought to myself, "if I don't get her head out of the water she is going to drown."
 If my dream was not strange enough, it soon got even stranger. Even though I was in this life and death tug of war, no one around me joined in to help. Matter of fact, those looking on at this drama didn't seem concerned at all. The dream was so real, that I could literally feel my muscles straining and growing weaker. I was losing the battle, and time was running out for this poor girl, so I cried out, "Somebody please help me!" Finally one person grasped hold of her leg and began to pull with me. Slowly, very slowly, we began to make some headway, but it was still taking too much time. Would we get her out in time?
Sorry folks, but this was when I woke up.
I have been thinking about this dream all day. Was it just a, 'Pizza Dream', the kind you get when you eat too much before bedtime? (but I hadn't eaten any pizza) Was it a dream that had a natural, subconscious source? The writer in the book of Ecclesiastes says, "Dreams come when there are many cares" (Ecc. 5:3) Sometimes the cares and worries of our life, end up in our dreams.
Or was it more?
As a Pastor, I can see many parallels between this dream and my work for the Kingdom of God, and the struggles I face, sometimes it seems so hard and lonely trying reach the lost before it is too late.
For my blog today, rather than telling you what it meant to me.  What do you think? What is God saying to you?

Monday, October 12, 2015

Temple Builders

Just got finished watching the most interesting documentary on the country of Myanmar (formerly known as Burma).
In the documentary, one of the cities that was highlighted, was a city called, Mindat. Mindat is famous for containing the largest concentration of Buddhist temples in the world. The part of the report that particularly caught my attention, was this interesting, historical fact. When the king of Burma, in 1200 A.D. converted to Buddhism, he desired to honor his new found religion, by building as many temples as he could in his lifetime. Of course, he could not accomplish this great work without help. So the king recruited his people, specifically his best craftsmen, and set them to the task. What was the result? In the the city of Mindat, there now stands, in what was once inhospitable jungle, over two thousand ornate temples. Temples that were built because of the desire of a king, a desire fulfilled, by the help of his people.
Does this story sound familiar to you as a christian?
Paul writes in his letter to the church at Corinth these words, " You are the temple of the God, and the Holy Spirit dwells in you." (1 Cor. 3:16)  When a person gives their heart to Jesus Christ, they become like a temple to Him. A living temple of praise, worship, service, and witness to God. Along with that fact, we became servants to the King, and workers in His Kingdom. It is the work of a servant to carry out the desire of their King. His goal becomes our goal. We now join in the work of the King to carry out His desire.
And what is the desire of our King, Jesus Christ? 
His desire, is for his servants to go into the world, sometimes in the most inhospitable places, and build more temples, Living Temples.  "You are as living stones, being built up like a temple, a spiritual house of worship to God." (1 Pet. 2:5) 
Paul again writes, "We are co-laborers together with Christ... and with His help, I will be a wise builder, laying new foundations for Him." (1 Cor. 3: 9,10)


Saturday, October 10, 2015

Time for a Recharge

If you have any experience with electronic devices, you know they need periodic recharging. There are two ways, batteries in these devices lose their charge. The most common way a battery runs low is by use. The more you use your cellphone or tablet, the quicker it runs out of power and needs a boost.     Since I have begun to regularly blog, my tablet needs recharged almost every day. I don't mind though, it just reminds me that I'm being productive. 
The other way a device's battery loses power is by lack of use. I wonder how many people know this fact? If you let a cellphone or laptop sit unused for an extended period of time, the battery's power supply slowly dissipates. The same thing can happen to a flashlight sitting idle in our glovebox or kitchen drawer. When an emergency arises where you would need them, they have no battery power left to help. 
This brings me to the subject of church. I have always believed one of the main purposes for going to the House of God, was to get recharged. That is the comparsion I am attempting to make. The more you are actively engaged in daily serving God, the more you need those refreshing boosts of the Holy Spirit. Ministry is challenging, and wearying. As we pour out the Living Water into thirsty people's lives, we also need a continued re-filling from the Lord. I have found joining with my brothers and sisters in corporate Word and Worship, to be a perfect recharging station. (Heb. 10:25)
What a strange paradox concerning batteries and believers. 
The more you use and regularly recharge a battery, the battery actually holds a charge longer.
The less you use a battery, it will damage the battery over time. 
And I am no even counting all the work you are accomplishing by using a device, as opposed to it doing nothing and letting it just sit on a shelf.
The more a believer is active for God, and plugs into a church body, for those needed hours of fellowship, the more energy and joy is revived for the next task.
For the christians who remove themselves from a local church, they are removing themselves from an important place of usefulness, and a God ordained power station. If that is you, don't sit on the shelf any longer.
Come bring your giftedness, and add your light to the other flashlights. (Matt. 5:14,15)
So when the Lord calls on us to shine into darkness for someone, we will be charged.



Friday, October 9, 2015

Warning Signs

I'm sitting here in my office just typing away, preparing for my Sunday sermon, when I begin to notice some subtle changes in the room. The natural light in the room slowly, almost imperceptibly begins to dim. The temperature starts to drops a few degrees. The background noise from outside seems to drop off. The birds which were singing all morning have suddenly ceased. What is funny, my brain had already tuned them out, but now I suddenly noticed they had stopped. So, I pull back my curtains and take a peek out the window. Yep, it's what I suspected. A storm is coming. No need for a weather report. I have enough life experience to forecast what is coming, Rain. And in a few minutes there it comes, darkness, wind, noise, and a hard, heavy downpour.  Am I a prophet or what!
No, none of us need a prophetic gift to tell the signs of a storm. They are easy to see. We all have lived through them, watched them, and when we were little, taught by our elders what to expect.
Jesus told the unbelieving crowds that followed Him the same thing. They should be able to perceive the storms ahead. They had been taught from the Scriptures from childhood how to recognize God's visitation in Jesus Christ, lest they miss their Messiah. (Matt. 16:1-4)   But they refused to take a peek out the window. (Jn. 5:39)
Jesus also taught His Disciples the importance of recognizing the signs of the times, and to be prepared.
(Mk. 13:22-29)
When the signs of a rainstorm begin reveal themselves, we are thankful for the warning signs, and we quickly make preparation. (close windows, take in items from outdoors, protect our children)
Storms always announce themselves first. Thank God, for the natural warning signs of an impending storm.

Spiritual Storms always announce themselves as well, whether in our personal lives, or in God's dealing with the World at large. Each one of us needs to take a peek out into the World's Spiritual window, or better yet, inside our own heart's window. (Matt. 6:22-23)

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Follow the Road

It was a really foggy morning today in Pittsburgh. The weather reminded me of the fog I used to experience when I lived in central California. It would get so extremely foggy, you literally could not see beyond the hood of your car. The only way to safely navigate was to follow the reflectors in the road. You could not stop, or even slow down for fear of being hit from behind. You did not dare follow the car in front of you, because it may be running off the road because of the fog. You could not risk pulling over either, since you did not know where the side of the road was, or someone might be follow you over a ledge.
As I said, it was a really foggy drive into the church this morning.
Christians today are encountering the same dangerous foggy conditions, but in a spiritual sense. The Road of truth, morality, values, and who God is, have become an extremely treacherous  road to travel. The clear skies of the right and wrong, truth and error, have become increasing obscured by the fog of Man's opinions. What is the Believer to do, to safely navigate through such times? We do the same thing I did in California.
We follow the lines in the road.
"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, a light unto my path." Ps. 119:105
We follow the reflectors, set in the road by the designer.
"I Am the light of the world, they that follow me shall not walk in darkness."  Jn. 8:12
We don't slow down or stop, because someone is following you.
"I have set you as lights to this world, that you would show them the way to safety." Ac.13;47

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Family Reunion

I did not have to preach today. This allowed Mary and I to attend church with her mother, at her church. Mary's mom has been a long time member of St. John's Lutheran Church in the North Hills of Pittsburgh. It has been a very long time since I have worshipped in any other church besides an Assemblies of God church. I must admit, I did feel a little uncomfortable in a different church setting. I should not have felt so uncomfortable, but I did. 
The songs were unfamiliar. The order of service was different from my home church. The preaching was not my style. Even the way Communion was served was new to me.
But there it was AGAIN! That same feeling, the feeling I had experienced in my son's church this week in Arizona. That emotion I can only explain as a sense of belonging to a 'Family'. 
The enemy of the Church desires us to feel small and powerless. The devil wants us to stay divided and weak. He takes pleasure seeing the Body of Christ broken, and separated into little, competitive communities. That is his strategy, to keep us fearful and disconnected.
The children of Israel felt that same intimidation when they spied out the Promised Land. The Bible records their heart emotions, "there are giants in the land... and we are like grasshoppers in our own eyes" Nu.13:33   But the real truth was, Israel was the giant, a giant to be feared by the enemies of God. 
God's Church is HUGE. The Body of Christ is a mighty army. We are all part of a family that can be found everywhere. Where is my church? My church, your church, is in West Mifflin, the North Hills, Arizona, Mexico, China, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, everywhere. 
Paul's epistle to the Corinthians says it very clearly, "The Body of Christ has many members, but is one Body..." 1 Cor. 12-14 
I just needed to go on vacation to be reminded.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Where is the 'Pause' button?

Life can be filled with unwelcome distractions, like those annoying T.V. commerials that suddenly, abruptly, increase in volume. It is at times like that when I hunt for the mute button. I confess, I'm a hopeless channel surfer. In a day where the average person has hundreds of programs to choose from, my fingers are constantly switching from channel to channel. If I see something I don't like, I just quickly remove it from my view. I don't like to watch or listen to anything that makes me feel too sad or uncomfortable. 
Wouldn't it be great if we had a mute, pause, or change channel button for life. If such a button existed, we could simply avoid some of the pains and uncomfortable situations that suddenly pop up in life. I believe one of the saddest moments in life are connected to this phrase: "Good Bye". That word pops up in so many heart wrenching events in life.   Can I change channels please?
Today, I again said the word "goodbye" with a big lump in my throat. This was our last day visiting with our son, daughter, and grandchildren in Arizona.  With hugs and kisses, we said our goodbyes at the airport. I will not see them again until Christmas. Goodbyes can stink sometimes. Where is that pause button?
Life is filled with goodbyes. Goodbye to our childhood. Goodbye to our parents. Goodbye to college friends. Goodbye to our children. Goodbye to our health. And ultimately, Goodbye to our lives. As I said, "Goodbye is a depressing word."
Praise be to God, there is a day coming when the phrase , "goodbye", will no longer be needed. The Scripture in Rev. 22:4 says when we are in heaven, "He will wipe away all our tears.." To me, that means no more good byes. Every day with Jesus will be an eternal, "Hello" day. Hello to God, in person. Hello to eternal health. Hello to eternal youth. Hello to eternal relationships. No more good byes, only everlasting Hello.  Heaven is the ultimate Pause Button!  Can't wait!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Shouts in the desert

The Bible is full of references to Nature expressing itself. Isaiah 55:12 states, "the hills shall break forth with singing, and all the trees of the fields shall clap their hands." 
In the Gospel of Luke, the writer records the words of Jesus, " If these keep silent, the very stones shall cry out." Lk. 19:40. 
Paul, writing to the church at Rome exclaims, "all creation groans, and waits in earnest expectation for the return of Jesus Christ ." Ro.8:19,22 
So Nature can talk.
Today, I escaped the sweltering heat of the Phoenix desert, to spend a day in the cool mountain air of Northern Arizona. Nice change, from 107 degrees to 75 degrees.
Along with the pleasant respite from the heat, came an unexpected surprise. I was told that today would be a little more windy then normal. Believe me, I was not complaining about the breeze. It felt better than the still, dry, desert air below. But, it was more then the cooler temperatures that made the day enjoyable.
Up in this higher altitude, the wind joins in concert with the forest of cypress trees, to sing their special songs. As the breezy currents moved back and forth along the treetops, conducted by their own mysterious rhythm, to my ears it sounded like a crowd cheering. 
I mean cheering at a playoff game. The type of excitement that happens at a football game, in that moment when the Home Team runs out onto the field, that is what it sounded like. The Wind, and the Trees, ROARED!
For a moment, just a moment, it was as if they were cheering. And who did I imagine they were cheering for, you might ask. I'm sure you already know the answer. 
They were cheering for the Home Team, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. What were they cheering?    VICTORY!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Christian Contrails

I awoke to an early morning sky as blue as blue could be, without a cloud to be seen. Well, that is if you don't count Contrails as clouds. We have all have seen those white, straight, cloud like lines that crisscross the skies above. They are called Contrails. They are formed from the hot exhaust of passenger jets, which turns into water vapor at high altitude. Contrails definitely grab your attention. These cloud imposters are straight as an arrow, but have short lifespans compared to their natural cloud cousins. Within a few minutes they begin to spread apart, fade and are soon gone. That is the two simple facts about Contrails, they get noticed, and they don't last for long. The similarities between the Christian witness in this life, and a Contrail are just as clear. 
The Gospel of Matthew says it like this, "You are the lights of the world, like a city set on a hill that cannot be hidden..."Let your life so shine before men, that they will see your good works, and glorify God who is in heaven."  Matt. 5:14,16 
We need to shine for Jesus before this World. We need to do our best to live a life that catches people's attention, not attention to ourselves, but to the Savior of this world. We need to recognize, that like the fading Contrail, our time to shine for Christ is limited too.
Your task, point the Lost, straight to the Lord. The passenger airliners that make those vaporous paths across the sky, are headed somewhere, they have a destination. So do we! Our hope is if people keep watching us long enough, and our course stays straight and true, maybe the curious will book a flight along with us.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A world forever changed

I am sure for those few who have orbited the earth, the stars have forever changed in their sight. Those small twinkling points of light will never be the same. The planet they had tread upon just before their flight, now took on a glorious, new wonder from their lofty perch. I suppose all things take on fresh meaning when seen from a bigger view. 
When I decided to give Jesus my heart back in 1975, It was like being launched into a different orbit. Instead of circling Planet Bill, my new mission put me in a trajectory around Planet Jesus. 
Everything changed!
 As a child in school, when I held a World globe for the first time, I was fascinated by all the weirdly shaped continents and the strange sounding countries. Now, as a believer, I instead see a world filled with people who need to know the Savior who loves them and died for their sins. 
Everything changed!
A few days ago the world experienced a lunar eclipse. Before I was born again, those heavenly wonders were seen by me as only just normal, regularly occurring astronomical events. Now, from my new perspective, that eclipse also stirred thoughts of prophectic signs concerning Jesus and His Return. 
Everything changed!
Before I became a christian, the celebration of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter were just days to over eat, open presents, and enjoy guilt free chocolate. But now, from my new, expanded view around Planet Jesus, my heart is consumed with thoughts of His Provision, His Humility, His Love and   Sacrifice. 
Everything changed!!
Some NASA space missions send probes into orbit, and after a few orbits they return to earth. Other spacecraft are sent into the firmament to orbit strange, new worlds, never to return to the world they left behind. That is my desire as welI. I choose to stay in His orbit, forever. I was launched into the gravity pull of His embrace those many years ago...And Everything Changed!


Monday, September 28, 2015

Narrow Flight Path

Whether it is a space capsule reentering the atmoshere or an aircraft coming in for a landing, both of these have a very narrow, prescribed flight path. Once you miss those approach windows, it is not safe to land. The pilots are then forced to wait for another opportunity to come around for another try.
In the Gospel of John, it is written, "We must work while it is day, for the night is coming when no one can work." Jn. 9:4
The message of that verse is clear. We only have a limited amount of time and opportunities to complete our work for the Lord.
During my trip here in the Arizona desert, I am experiencing that verse in John in a sort of backward way. In the early morning we have pleasant cool weather. By late morning the temperatures have already soared up to 105 degrees or more. (talk about baking hot)  It does not cool back down to tolerable conditions until well after sunset. Because of those limited perimeters, you have to plan your days accordingly. Interacting with people, friends, and family takes a well thought out strategy. 
Is it any different with our service for God? 
Time is short. Opportunities to connect with people, and share the love of Jesus Christ is not at our convenience. Like the weather here in Arizona, some times are more productive to be out working in God's harvest field than others.
The SUN in Arizona is the boss, and it sets the schedule for work. For the the christian, the SON guides our schedule. And the boss says, "Now!, is the time to work."

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Holy Spirit, our Universal translator

One of the more common high tech gadgets often found in Sci-Fi television programs, (think Star Trek), is a fictional device called, the Universal Translator. This machine enabled space explorers visiting strange new planets, to be able to understand and communicate with the native alien races.
 Wouldn't it be awesome if such a item existed. We could travel to any country, and casually, intelligently, carry on a conversation with anyone we met, no matter what the language. To bad it is just a science fiction fantasy. Or is it? Who needs a make believe invention, when there is a real Universal Translator in action, The Holy Spirit.
This morning, it was a blessing to go to church with my son, my daughter in law, and the grand kids. I always enjoy visiting other churches when on vacation, especially when I can show off the grand children. (proud Grandpa here), But there is something I never fail to notice when worshipping with other believers and fellowshipping in their churches. Yes, our church buildings are different. The Church decor is widely varied. Song selections and worship styles differ. The ethnic mix and financial demographics are not exactly the same, and preaching styles run the gambit, from Pentecostal shouting, to quiet intellectual persuasion. Yet, there is a common language of the Spirit being spoken. I don't mean because we all share the Bible as our common book. Nor do I mean because we are using the same 'christianese' words in our vocabulary (praise the Lord, hallelujah, glory to God, Amen).
What I am trying to explain is this unique phenomenon that brings us together as the family of God. Though we are from different states, countries, cultures, and born again experiences, the Holy Spirit seems to bind our hearts together. Without speaking each others languages we click, we bond, we understand each other. The Holy Spirit is there in every service, every land to be the Church's, Universal Translator. 1Cor. 12:13 " We are by one Spirit are made together into one Body"
Even in Arizona, this Pittsburgh kid felt at home.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Lost in plain sight

How do you learn to hear the voice of God? How do learn to recognize the Presense of God's Spirit in our day to day lives? I think one way to be assured God is speaking, is by getting to know His voice through His Word. Let me explain. 
God's character is displayed and described in His dealings with men and women throughout Scripture. We are shown His attributes: His Love, Patience, Holiness, Power, etc. The more we read and study the Word, the easier it becomes to recognize Him in this confusing World. A picture of The Lord and how He works begins to develop more clearly in our minds.
Another way is to become familar with Him, is by prayer and quiet time. When we spent regular alone time in the quiet place of prayer, His divine interventions more clearly stand out in the everyday.  
Maybe this story will help illustrate my point.
This week we are out in Phoenix, Arizona visiting family. Mary, myself, and another friend from Pittsburgh borrowed my son's car to do some shopping. Thank God for GPS to help navigate around in this strange city. We park in the outdoor Mall lot and head into the stores. After a successful shopping excursion we quickly race back to find our vehicle to escape the 105 degree heat. You can probably guess what happpens next, we can't find the car. 
I was sure I parked it in the row where we stood, but I can't see it there. "What did it look like again?", I asked? Our friend replied,  "I'm sure it was a black car with gray interior.", but none looking anything like that is anywhere to be seen. "No!" I say. "It was silver, not black, I'm sure.", I confidently state.  As we stand scanning a sea of muli-colored steel, melting in the heat, I began to panic inside, "maybe it was stolen" I say to myself. How does the, 'Mystery Of the Missing Car' end? Where is it? Where did it disappear to?
Crazy as this may sound, we were standing right next to it. I mean, we were literally RIGHT next to it! There it sat, the lost Blue car with Beige interior. How is that possible? 
First, It was not my car. I had no personal history of purchasing it. Second, I had only driven this vehicle for the first time an hour before. My memory of it's color, make, or model had not been reinforced from numerous driving experiences. 
That is how it is with our peronal walk with the Lord. The more time you spend with Him, in prayer, in His Word, and in quiet meditation, the easier you recognize Him in the jumble of life's events. You establish a intimate relationship, reinforced over time. You build a history of experiences with Jesus Christ. "I am the Good Shepherd,.. My sheep listen to My Voice and they follow Me." Jn. 10:14,27

Friday, September 25, 2015

We are the Jetsons

Growing up as a child in the 1960's, one of the most popular saturday morning T.V. shows was a cartoon called ,The Jetsons. It was the comical adventures of George Jetson and his family. I can still remember the words and melody to the opening song, ( matter of fact I'm hearing it as I type..."his boy Elroy..daughter Judy..Jane his wife" ) The Jetsons lived in the future. They lived surrounded by flying cars, talking computers, video phones, giant screen t.v., servant robots, floating cities, casual vacations on the moon. To the kids of my generation we sat amazed and entertained from start to finish. We could not wait for some of those fantastic futuristic gadgets to become a reality.  Well guess what folks!, the future is now.
At this very moment I am sitting comfortably in an airliner at thirty thousand feet, floating along in the clouds. Here I relax, typing to you on my futuristic Ipad computer, sipping my ice cold soft drink. My West Coast destination that once took the early pioneers an entire year by wagon train to reach, I speedily will arrive to in a little over four hours. And if I need directions when I arrive, I'll just ask my talking robot servant, Siri, for assistance. Wow! I am George Jetson. And so are you.
The future has arrived. The future really is now. My wife asked me if I had brought along a book for the flight. My response was, "No. I have an entire Library of reading material on my electronic tablet.
Think about it, a library at our fingertips, (one of my apps has 20+ different versions of the Bible and commentaries). We have programs that we can have dozens of lanuages translated instantly for us. We can through Skype or Facetime, carry on face to face conversations to any point on the planet, in real time. They may not have invented the flying car yet, but I'm flying at five hundred miles an hour  right now.
So what is my point.
My point is this. What are we doing for the Lord with all these amazing breakthroughs? Are we reading and studying his Word more? Do we look for new and creative ways to use this technology to reach out to a lost world more effectively. If we can reach the ends of the earth quicker, and in some mediums instantly, are we open to the stirring of a misson call from God?
I can't help but think of this verse of Scripture, ' to him who has been given much, much is required. '











Thursday, September 24, 2015

Still Transmitting

If you have not already heard, the Glory Seven mission was a resounding success. To date, over Seven Thousand dollars has been raised for our Youth ministry, and donations continue to come in. Along with the monetary blessings, many news outlets covered the story and brought renewed interest in God's work through our Christian School and our other church ministries. Another important goal during my week long journey inside the Glory Seven capsule was to spend distraction free time with the Lord. My hope was, as God spoke to my heart, I could in turn share those special insights with others. God DID speak, and He daily continues to whisper new, and special revelations of His goodness.
This year the NASA New Horizons space probe finally reached its destination, a fly-by of the most distant planet in our solar system, Pluto. Pluto lays almost 3 billion mile away from earth. Radio transmissions carrying data and photos takes over 4 hours to reach us. NASA scientists say it will take years to receive and study all the amazing images and  information that is being slowly beamed to them. 
I feel the same way about the Glory Seven mission. I accomplished my initial goal of living in it's space for an entire week. God did some amazing things during that time. Yet, just like the New Horizons probe He is still transmitting new revelations to us. That is why I am going to continue to blog, God willing everyday. Our Lord has not exhausted what He wants to reveal to us.
'Great is Thy faithfulness, His loving kindness continues afresh each day." Lam. 3:23

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Go where the harvest grows

On my drive to the office this morning a saw a familiar sight to those people who live in Pennsylvania, on the edge of the busy highway stood a groundhog. For you who do not know what a groundhog looks like, picture a fat beaver without its tail. Well there he was, just a foot or two from becoming road kill, cars racing past, while he just stood there, oblivious to the danger. I slowed down to take a closer look and saw why he was so focused and unafraid. He was eating, just contently munching away on the greenery that was growing on the road side. My first thought was, " Mr. Groundhog, you are one silly animal. Why would you pick such a dangerous place to look for food." The reason for that thought was this. The entire side of the road, not just the highway edge, was covered with vegetation. Why I mused, "Why doesn't he just he stay in the safe confines of the lush interior?" "There is a banquet of food away from the highway. Go eat in there!"
As I drove away I believe the answer to Mr. Groundhog's peculiar dining location came to me. All the good plants to eat in the middle of the field had probably been consumed. The remaining untouched edible plants were on the dangerous edges of the road. Simple, you go where the harvest is, dangerous or not.
Jesus gave His disciples, (that means us too) this command, "Pray to the Lord of the harvest for more laborers to go into the field." Matt. 9:38
Sometimes that means going into dangerous situations, neighborhoods, and countries. Some places in this world have many workers, maybe even too many harvesters. Yet, there still remains those places, countries, peoples, tongues and nations that need a fearless groundhog to go harvest the ripe fruit. "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few."

Monday, September 21, 2015

Persistence of Presence

After a storm there always comes the calm. I exited the Glory Seven capsule yesterday, and preached outside in perfect, pleasant, sunny weather. The sun's warmth was only surpassed by the warm greetings and shining faces of God's people at the outdoor service. It was nice to be released from the confines of my small, cone shaped prayer closet, but oddly the persistence of the capsule's seven day presence lived on. Several times throughout the day, especially when I would close my eyes, I could still feel the presence of the Glory Seven's angled walls. At times the burned in image of it's painted panels would still appear in my optic nerve. I should not be surprised. It only makes sense that a powerful, prolonged experience would not quickly fade. 
Moses had such an experience. Forty days alone with God up on a mountain top is bound to have a profound, prolonged effect. The Scriptures say, "his face shone brightly when he came down from the presence of the Lord." Even the Bible shows this effect, which I call the 'Persistence of Presence'. Sadly the Scriptures also say, "Moses face began to fade." 
The truth is this, for the presence to persist, we must persist to stay in the presence. I loved my seven day mission, alone in the mock spaceship, just me and God. I felt his Presence. I felt his love. I loved hearing His still, quiet, tender voice. I WAS IN HIS PRESENCE. 
But now I am back to the real world, and back in my normal routine. The paneled walls of Glory Seven are fading from my eyes. It's shining form is felt less by my senses today. Normal life is pushing my short lived dwelling place out of my memory. Soon it's presence will be gone.
Can that happen with us and God. Of course it can. Unless we daily seek to to persist in his Presence.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Bumpy Re-entry

Real Astronauts as opposed to (Pastornauts), have described the Launch and Re-Entry of their spacecraft as being the two most bone jawing parts of the whole mission. True to form, my last night inside the Glory Seven was eventful as well. All week long I have experienced sunny, dry, beautiful weather, until around 8 o'clock last night. Heavy rain and wind blew through my flight path and shook my tiny craft, like I had entered some kind of cosmic storm. I lost power again, this time for the entire night. If there was a way for water to enter my seemingly airtight cabin, it found its way. My supply of trusty fix all Duct tape then ran out at the most inopportune time. I was able to protect my crucial electronic equipment (Ipad and Cell Phone), but not my blankets, sheets,or pillow, they got quite wet. On top of all that, the lightning and thunder was close to my location and threatening to strike at any moment.  Should I abort the mission, run into the warmth and safety of the church building until the storm passed. What is this lonely Pastornaut to do?
When the disciples of Jesus Christ pushed off from the shore, to head to the opposide side of the Sea of Galilee their mission was clear, to disembark on the other side. My mission is just as clear, finish the entire week, not just six days inside this capsule, but the WHOLE week. We know the Bible story, a great storm rocked their boat, the winds blew, the waves crashed, they got scared, BUT JESUS WAS IN THE BOAT.   So I stayed in the capsule, wet and cold, without power all night, believing Jesus was riding out the storm with me. And here it is the seventh day, the storm has passed, the sun is shining, I made it to the shore. Glory seven has Landed.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Sorry, I don't speak Klingon.

In the Television series Star Trek, its fictional universe is populated with dozens of alien races, each with their own distinct languages and cultures. One of the more developed storylines on the show involved a race of beings called the Klingons. Their language was a strange, harsh sounding speech. It was interesting to hear, but sorry, "I don't understand Klingon." Klingons and Earthmen like me just don't speak the same language.
When I woke up this morning I was surprised by another close encounter of the alien kind. Standing just outside of my capsule's porthole was a six point whitetail deer and his mate. I tried to imagine what they must be saying to one another about me and my spaceship, maybe it was something like this, "Hey look honey!, isn't that the strangest looking pine tree you have ever seen?" and her reply might have been, "Yes dear, but don't get too close. There is the ugliest looking animal in that tree."
I don't think it would had helped if I had yelled out, "Good Morning guys. Nice day isn't it. My name is Bill and this is my fundraising capsule, Glory Seven. Our church built it to help spread the Good News of Jesus Christ."  Truth is, the deer don't understand English and I don't comprehend Deerese. 
Two days ago a group of inquisitive neighborhood teens came down to look at the strange object that had landed on the church grounds. They were surprised when they peeked in the window and saw me smiling back. I opened the hatch and began to explain why I was willing to spend seven day alone in such an odd contraption. You would have thought I was speaking Klingon to them. They just could not comprehend why Jesus was so important to me, nor did they understand why I felt it was so urgent for people, and teens in particular to know Him? Their faces had that same blank expression like the visiting deer who came to take a look at me this morning. Clueless and Disinterested are the two sad words that come to mind.
So we have our work cut for us. My job, your job, is to help the World learn a new language, the language of the Good News of God's love, shown to us through His Son, Jesus Christ.
The Apostle Paul said this, "How can they call on Him they have not heard about...and how can they hear unless someone teaches them." Ro. 10:14

Friday, September 18, 2015

Time to adjust orbit

Everyday this week it has been the same consistent pattern. My day starts out with pleasantly mild temperatures, which slowly climb to extremely hot temps inside my capsule. Then as the Sun goes down, it begins to slowly chill to the point of uncomfortable, shivering cold. It's as if my sturdy starship was on a crazy highly elliptic flight path. At one moment I am heading closer and closer in toward the Sun, only to slingshot around and head out into the cold dark of distance space again.
The famous Halley's comet follows that exact same course every 76 years. It races in past the Sun and then heads back out to far beyond Pluto, only to circle around and repeat the cycle time and time again.
Sounds alot like how many church goers behave in their walk with the Lord. They circle in close to the SON during Good Friday, Easter, Christmas or whenever the mood strikes, only to distance themselves from the things of God until they circle back around for the next flyby of the next seasonal Church event. It must get cold out there without the daily warmth of His Presence.
The best orbit for the Glory Seven capsule is the one that keeps me on the proper course to fulfill my mission. The best course for us as christians, is the one that keeps us closer to the SON every day, all year long. 
May our lives forever orbit close around the Son.

Space Invaders!

That which all space explorers fear has finally come upon me. I have been invaded by ALIENS. In most Sci-Fi movies and books, intellent alien beings usually have an insect looking appearance. Well true to form my alien visitors also look like insects. "Hello Houston, this is Glory Seven, we have a problem up here. I have been invaded by ANTS!"
What started as a welcome visitor to this lonely spaceman by one solitary ant, as now turned into a full blown ant family reunion. That first ant went back to Ant Central and shared the news, "Hey guys that crazy man in the capsule is a messy eater, free food!" So all the Ants and Uncles and their relatives now live at my house.
God speaks in curious ways doesn't He. We are instructed in Proverbs 6:6 to, "Look to the ant...and become wise." This is the wisdom God spoke to me as my new roommates carted off my food.
Those other ants would not have come to the banquet unless the first ant had told them, "Hey guys!, follow me. I have something great to show you." Isn't that how the Gospel spread around the world, one person telling another of the Good News they had found, Jesus the Bread of Life. 
It remains the same today. We need to tell someone how to find the Bread.
And the wonderful truth above all, is this, The Ultimate Space Invader is Jesus Christ. He came into this world, into my space, your space, where He was not welcome, yet He showed us lost ants the way home.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

What do the stars look like?

It was during a Skype chapel service to our elementary school children that I was asked by a kindergarten student, "What do the stars look like?" I'm sure for many of the kindergaten children they thought I really was broadcasting from orbit. How refreshing to not have to answer another, "Where do you go to the bathroom Pastor Bill?" question. So without missing a beat I explained to the student the great sizes and distances of those small twinkling lights in the sky. If she believed I was soaring across the heavens in my little spaceship who was I to disappoint her.
What do the stars look like? For you older ones who are reading this blog I have a different answer. This afternoon our church intercessory prayer group came out to surround my capsule and me with their prayers. With uplifted voices they shouted, "the Heavens declare the Glory of our God." As I joined these faithful prayer warrior in their declarations, God revealed something to me. In the Book of Revelation, the messengers and leaders of the Church are referred to as stars. Rev. 1:16 
What do the stars look like you may ask. Next time you are in church, look around, they are sitting right next to you.

Danger! Asteroids ahead

Well it was only a matter of time before I would encounter my first asteroid strike. When you travel in the hostile environment of deep space you are bound to run into a meteor or two. Last night around midnight my peaceful world inside of Glory Seven was shattered by a loud boom. A rock of unknown size and unknown origin hit the side of my craft. Danger!,Danger!, Will Galus (For you younger readers that is a homage to a 60's T.V. show, Lost in Space) 
How did this intrepid christian spaceman react? Did I react with cool, calm professionalism? Sadly no. My first response was a little fear, wondering if I was about to be bombarded with a shower of meteors.       The next emotion was even less heroic. I got angry. I thought to myself, "what rotten person would do such a meanspirited prank?", "Probably some disrespectful juvenile delinquent."  "Why would a person do something like that?", I thought to myself.  "I would never do something like that.", I proudly pondered.
Why do people do wrong things? Simple answer, because we are sinners. We are ALL sinners. In my moment of rightous indignation the Holy Spirit quickly reminded me of all the stones I had thrown, all the windows I had broken, all the senseless, selfish delinquent actions and headaches I had caused innocent people. 
Who threw that stone last night. Just someone like me.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Small Moves

When you are confined in a small place like a simulated Mercury space capsule, small movements are the order of the day. Every move I make is slow, deliberate, and small. There are no sudden bursts of energy or wild random arm movements on this mission. I find myself consciously planning my steps, where before simple tasks were done without even thinking. In this confined space, to rush your actions is to just ask for a bruised head or your food spilled on the floor. Freeze dried food is bland enough without having to eat it off a dirty capsule floor. 
I believe our walk with Jesus would be more productive and meaningful if we moved slower and smaller. What do I mean by that. I Mean we are in such a rush to get where we are going, that we don't even think about why we are doing what we are doing. The steps along life's journey as a christian are just as important as the final destination. Slow down, think about what God is doing with you this moment, not just what He will be doing in your life a year from now. Let God speak and guide each day. Don't quickly, wildly run ahead of Him. Enjoy each day, each moment, each breath. You will avoid spilled beans that way.

Where's the Television?

Someone once said, "Kids say the darnest things." The First graders came out to the capsule to take a look from the hatch opening into the Glory Seven spacecraft. They asked the questions people, young and old have been asking me all week, "What do you eat, where do you sleep?" and of course the obvious one, "Where do you go to the bathroom?" I never tire of answering those inquiries and showing them my spartan facilities. It was one child's question that gave me a smile and a pause to think. She asked, "Where is the television Pastor Bill?" I chuckled and said, "I don't have a T.V. on this spacecraft. I don't have enough room. I can only bring the most important things."
To her young mind, and maybe many people, a television is an essential. It made me ask myself the question, "What are the things I consider essential in my life?"
If someone looked into the porthole of your life, what are the things they would see that you made room for? And maybe a bigger question is this, "What are the things you considered unimportant to leave behind?"  If a child could look into your soul, would she ask, "Where is God?"

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

It take a village to raise a child

We are all probably familar with the saying, "It takes a village to raise a child." The meaning is simple, It takes a team to accomplish complicated tasks, like the mission I am on right now. It must have taken literally thousands upon thousands of technicians,engineers,scientists,designers,builders,and workers of every type,etc.,etc. to get the Mercury astronauts off the ground and safely back. Not one person or astronaut did it all. So it is with my endeavor. It took a team of christians working together to bring the Glory Seven ministry event to reality.
 I'm sitting in this capsule today because of others hardwork,creativity,and support. I am reminded of what the writer of the Book of Hebrews said, 'Don't neglect assembling together as some people get in the habit of doing, but encourage one another, during these evil times." We need each other to accomplish our individual life's mission. The Church is called the Body of Christ for a reason. Where one person lacks, another member brings in their skill set and support. We go to Church to worship and hear the Word, but we go for more than that. We fellowship together because our mission takes more than we ourselves can do to launch and make it safely home.



Things that go bump in the night

First minor mishap of the mission. I rolled over last night and came to close to the edge of my tiny bed. If you can call it a bed. (it is only 5 1/2 by 2 1/2 feet) Well, I went crashing over and took the bed frame with me. I awoke from a sound sleep on top of my mini frig. With all that weight on one side of the cabin I was lucky my spacecraft did not tumble out of orbit. No harm done, found my light and got to work reorganizing. Took a while to put things back in order, but was soon back smooth sailing. (sleeping I mean). Getting things back in order is much easier if you have a sense of where everything belongs, even when you are taken by surprise and are weary. When life goes bump, it sure is comforting to know what to do to bring stability back. Go find the Light. Jesus the Light of the World. John 8:12

Monday, September 14, 2015

From Darkness to Light

How things change,From the dark and cold of midnight to the sunshine and heat of midday. Each day has its beauty and its challenges. With just a small fan to cool the capsule it heated up inside very quick. I enjoyed the quiet and solitude of the night. I am equally enjoying the sounds of children playing around the ship. One thing I have learned from these gray hairs on my head is this, look for something special in everyday. Those God moments are there if we will just look.

Monday

Spend a considerable amount of time yesterday rearranging my living space. Day went quicker than I thought it would. I placed my supplies and other furnishings in their best positions. I quickly learned what takes priority over something else. Sort of like life. We place too much importance on the things that do not matter and give too little priority to the areas we really need the most. When my power went out in the middle of the night it sure was nice knowing how to find the crucial things easily. I wonder if the same can be said of our life with God. In a life crisis would our lives be so prearranged to more easily weather the storm.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Darkside of the Moon

Sun has set. Temperature has really dropped. Not sure if I will use my heater tonight since it may blow a breaker and I would be without power all night. Will test it in morning when people are in the building to help. I will just use both my blankets. Dinner was freeze dried lasagna. Definitely not like momma used to make. I'm halfway through my Bible reading schedule for today,  will not go to sleep until finished. The peace of God and church's prayer support is strongly present.

To Infinity and Beyond

What a wonderful, encouraging day. People were excited and made me feel so very loved, even though they make think me a little crazy. So many showed their love by asking if I needed anything and being so concerned that I stay safe and healthy on my mission. Isn't it wonderful to belong to the Family of God. I shared in my sermon and in prayer at the end of the service, my need, all our needs, to get a renewed boost from a time with God. May God grant our prayers for a personal revival this week with our Savior. This truly is not just a mock space capsule, but a prayer closet, a war room with the Father.  
On a fun note. Houston We Have a Problem! Just cooked my first space meal and lost power to my craft. Had to call NASA (aka Pastor Armando) to come reset the power in building. It could be worse. I could really be hurtling toward Earth from space, then who would I call.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

T-Minus 1 and counting

Well, the capsule, Glory Seven is on the launch pad. All is set for the big day tomorrow. Many have asked me if I am ready, excited, or nervous. The truth is, how do you know if you are ready for something you have never done before. This I do know. I want to do this. I want to do whatever I can to serve the Lord and His Kingdom. I want to put financial resources into Pastor Ryan's hands to minister for Christ. The Youth of our nation need Jesus, and time is short to do it. So crazy or not, ready or not, here I go.