Phil Us Up!
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January 3, 2013, 9:52 AM

Happy New Year!



 

Watching the news the past couple of days, well I wonder what kind of New Year many people will have. It seems kind of a rough start to begin with the task of avoiding a cliff! So many of us are compelled to worry about such and wonder what is going to happen in 2013. Now don’t get me wrong, I do wonder, but I am not afraid of the New Year in spite of the cliff. It occurs to me as to why so many are afraid is because of where their confidence comes from. Here is part of a Psalm from David. Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the Lord our God.”

In the coming New Year the only safe place to put our trust is in God and His Son. I learned enough in 2012 to know we can’t put our trust in men or in nations and certainly not in the economy. That whole cliff thing is still staring us in the face!

The only safe place to put our confidence and our trust in 2013 is in God. "Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him" (Psalm 2:12). "Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!" (Psalm 34:8).

The New Year is always full of resolutions. Let this one be yours from Psalms (18:2). The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold"

Put your trust in God! For where your treasure is, there you'll find your heart. He won't let us down.  May this be our resolution for 2013!

Happy New Year! I love you all! Philip




December 27, 2012, 9:11 AM

Only 364 days until Christmas!



 

     Well another Christmas is in the record books. I think many people feel like I do, we really enjoy the holidays but are glad when it all can get back to normal. Christmas brings memories of  all the others I have celebrated through the years. This one was the second “white” Christmas we have had since Leigh and I have been in Haskell! So we put some more Christmas memories in the bank this year. It is my prayer you did the same.

   I also realize this can be a time of difficulty for many. I wonder how Christmas will be looked at 364 days from now in Connecticut. Or for others who suffered some kind of tragedy this year or in years past.

  Whatever memories are stirred during these times I hope we all take time to think about how much God loves each and every one of us. This is the time of year we most often think about Jesus coming into the world as a demonstration of that love. I also know for some of us, memories of Christmas past  and even Christmas present  will make the holidays more difficult. For me these days are a reminder of all the love that has passed down through the years of my life, and the gratitude I share for simply having known that. Remember, even in your darkest moments, when you feel most separate, you are still loved! Beyond traditions, beyond faith, beyond hope there is love. God bless you with these thoughts this year.

   “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

God bless you all, and have a happy and blessed new year!     Philip




December 4, 2012, 1:44 PM

Better than Santa



   I read this definition of the gospel the other day, “God created us, loves us, and will not – in spite of our sinfulness – leave us to the horrible fate we deserve”. So God comes after us, sends His own Son from heaven to pay the debt we owe. He invites us to His grace only because He loves us. That is the simple truth of the gospel.

   I remember growing up and not celebrating Christmas as the birthday of Jesus. (We do know, December 25th very likely is not Jesus birthday.)  I also remember growing up having lots of discussion about the truth of Santa. Once in a while you hear of someone getting in trouble because they say there is no Santa! Here is what I know now, the gospel story is TRUE, and the Christmas story must be told. It seems to me the greater problem are Christians who have no problem with sharing Santa, but have some problem in telling the TRUE story of a baby being born of a virgin. The story of how God’s love came to earth as a baby and the start of realizing the promise to reconcile sinful man to Him.  

  We were blessed with a beautiful white Christmas a few years ago. For me the picture of a white Christmas is more than a blanket of white snow. It’s the picture of a human heart, washed as white as snow by the blood of a baby born of a virgin in a manger long ago. It’s an open invitation to come to Christ and be washed clean. It’s an invitation for a life filled with a new Hope and new Life. You see Christmas is about gifts, but not from a man dressed in red and white, but from a little baby wrapped in swaddling clothes.

            “And this shall be a sign unto you; You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”

   It is my prayer we embrace the true Christmas spirit this season, giving the gifts of love, hope and forgiveness. And we give those gifts because they were given to us by that little baby who grew up strong enough to carry a cross.   I love you all.     Philip




November 28, 2012, 9:30 AM

Cutting loose dead weight



 

 

   There are times I really do miss the ocean and deep-sea fishing. I was telling some old fishing stories this morning because it was way too cold to go fishing! One thing I don’t miss is pulling the anchor.  I would start the engine then crawl out to the bow and hand pull in at least a 100 ft. of anchor line then about 20 ft. of chain. Even though I had started the motor, it was obvious the boat was not going anywhere until I had “pulled the anchor”. At least one time I had to cut the line because the anchor just wouldn’t come up.

  I am often reminded the Christian life is one of transformation. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

  It seems to me that many of us don’t experience the “new creation” because we won’t, or think we can’t pull our anchors. We make the same mistakes over and over again because; well it’s what we know. For example, people who grow up with violence and abuse often become the violent and the abusers.

   We all need help sometimes to “pull our anchors”, move away from the past so we can move on to a new destination God has planned for us. I know it can be scary but we will never get anywhere as long as we are anchored here.  Be brave, cut loose from the dead weight and get ready to move where God will lead us! Paul says, “We are being transformed into His likeness with ever increasing glory! Move and have a great week!  Philip




November 14, 2012, 11:18 AM

My only option



 

My only option

   Scripture tells us over and over we are all sinners, evil doers, people who have fallen far below God’s intention for us. Simple law-breaking isn’t the real point. We have broken God’s heart, but He still loves us and seeks to have relationship with us through Jesus.

   I read the heart breaking story of a murderer being sentenced last week. The wife and mother of the two victims asked the court to read her impact statement. Oh boy here it comes, and the murderer deserves what’s coming. Instead something else happened. She offered forgiveness, and asked the court not to sentence the un-repentant man to death. The judge so moved by her words spared the guilty one and sentenced him to life. Maybe you respect what she did; maybe you think she robbed justice. It really doesn’t matter but it did give me some perspective.

   All of us have been hurt or seen loved ones hurt by those who break the rules, violate laws and betray trust. Some would say it’s really hard or even impossible to forgive…….Really? Tell that to the woman who lost her husband and child. Or better yet tell God, whose son was murdered for mine and your evil doing.  Now don’t get me wrong, evil doing must never be minimized and consequences are real and often painful. Then I see what this wife and mother did, and I think of what God did after his Son was killed. I know it’s going to be hard to do but my only other option may be worse! If I hold on to the scorn, hatred or anger MY soul is in danger. My reluctance to forgive is rebuked by this wife, mother and by God. This week I pray for more strength to forgive instead of more chances to get even.

 

Luke 23:34

   "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."

Acts 7:60

   "Lord, do not hold this sin against them."

 

Father this week, give me strength to forgive.

Philip

 

 


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