Phil Us Up!
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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.




November 6, 2012, 1:42 PM

It's been decided, I hope!


It’s been decided, I hope.

   As I write this, its election day. By the time you read this, my hope is it has all been decided. Maybe it’s a sign of just getting older, but I find myself wishing the campaign season was a lot shorter. I just want the whole thing to be over. I have been amused over the past few weeks listening to both sides talk about this election. The future hangs with the outcome of this election. Prosperity on one side, doom and gloom on the other side. It all depends on who you are listening to and which candidate they support.

  As God’s people we will still be able to seek the Kingdom of God regardless of who “wins”. That’s what I will focus on as the results come in late tonight and probably on into tomorrow morning. I love our country, and I am proud to be a citizen of the United States of America, and as much as we are blessed by living here, America does not have my ultimate loyalty. The USA is not the Kingdom of God, and the Kingdom of God does not depend on the success or failure of America.

   I have lived long enough to hear this statement several times. “This is the most important election of our lifetime. Everything we hold sacred is at risk.” In as much as every election is important, tomorrow morning this I know will be true. God will still be sovereign over His universe, He will still rule over the hearts and lives of His people. As great as our country is, nothing can compare to the great things God has done for His people in His son.

   Paul wrote in the glory days of the Roman Empire, “We are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior”.

   No matter what happens today, I know where my allegiance is, and I wait for my King’s return! God bless you all!   Philip


   “Make the Master proud of you by being good citizens. Respect the authorities, whatever their level; they are God's emissaries for keeping order. It is God's will that by doing good, you might cure the ignorance of the fools who think you're a danger to society. Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules. Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government.”  1st Peter 2:13-17

October 16, 2012, 11:51 AM

Bread for Eternal Life


Showing Jesus

   This Friday we have a chance to show compassion to some folks we don’t see every day. We will fill the boxes on Friday and then hand them out Saturday morning. I admit it is not one of my favorite ministry opportunities! It’s uncomfortable looking at all those in our community who for whatever reason don’t have the resources most of us enjoy. It calls me to get out of my comfort zone. Everyone who will come through that line Saturday morning represents a person who needs compassion, mercy, and grace, and more important each one is a soul in need of Christ.

    The most often recurring theme in Jesus’ ministry was the compassion He had on people. Whether it was a group that followed him like sheep without a shepherd (Matt. 9:36-38); a widow burying her son (Luke 7:13); thousands who followed listening to His teaching (Mark 6); or a leper who needed healing (Mark 1:41). Jesus had compassion. He met their physical needs.

   While Jesus our Savior met their physical needs, He never did it without recognizing and addressing the spiritual need of relationship with God through Him. What strikes me is He did both out of compassion. His goal for coming to earth was to provide an opportunity for people to have eternal relationship with God through Him. I wonder sometimes if we have lost that level of compassion for those around us. The question I have to answer is this, how do I view people—like Jesus did. That is my great challenge this week and every week. God help me to see people with the eyes of Jesus, so my heart will be moved to compassion!

John 6:51

            “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.”

I love you all!                                   Philip

October 9, 2012, 9:25 AM

That's unreasonable!


It’s unreasonable, unnatural and unnecessary!

“On a good day, enjoy yourself; on a bad day, examine your conscience. God arranges for both kinds of days so that we won't take anything for granted.” Ecclesiastes 7:14

   How many times have you noticed one minute you can be the hero and the next minute be….. well, the goat? It seems to work that way in this world. No matter how much we have, it can all be gone in a split second. We see it, or worse, we experience it. So it seems we can’t help but worry about what’s going to happen.

    Jesus has a lot to say about worry. First He says it’s unreasonable. (Matt. 6:25) Jesus tells us to stop worrying about the stuff that is not eternally important. Be worried about what’s going to last forever, now that’s important! He says it’s unnatural. (Matt.  6:26) Jesus says the birds and the plants don’t worry about that kind of stuff. God will take care of them! Have you ever thought about this? Out of all of God’s creation human beings are the ones that don’t trust God to take care of them.  He says it’s unnecessary. Worrying about “stuff” comes from a misunderstanding about God and what He has promised! We always get in trouble when we either forget or fail to understand Him. God says we are His children, and He will take care of us.

   Worry is really playing God. It’s assuming responsibility for something God says He will take care of. Paul writes to the Philippians “my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. This week try to rely more on the promises God gives; He will take care of you! Have a great week!                                                           Philip


September 24, 2012, 2:13 PM

Why Not Pray This Prayer


Why not pray this prayer?

   The Bible is full of prayers some famous, most are not. The famous ones I hear people pray often. I suppose the most well-known is what we call the Lord’s Prayer. It’s really an example prayer for us to pray, taught by Jesus himself. We hear it often, and I’m sure we should. I ran across one I don’t think I ever heard anyone pray. It helped me to understand the prayer Jesus taught.

Proverbs 30:7-9 "Two things I ask of you, O LORD; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who is the LORD?' Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.

    It occurs to me that I have never heard this prayer…” God don’t give me too much!” It helps me understand Jesus’ teaching when He told us to ask only for our daily bread. You see if I have more than I need, well it’s so easy to say I don’t need You any more God. I have all I need! If I receive less than I truly need, well it’s easy to go out and dishonor Him.

  I hear and see frequently how America has wandered far away from God. I also hear and see frequently how blessed we are. We have more than we really need. Maybe this prayer in Proverbs 30 is teaching us what we need to remember and pray for. The biggest fear I have for us and our country is we may have come to the place where we have so much, we now ask, “Who is the Lord?” Maybe what we need is not more…. but less. Less, so we might trust Him more. Lord God, give us just what we need for today so that we might learn how to depend on you more tomorrow.

I need You more
More than yesterday
I need You Lord
More than words can say 
I need You more 
Than ever before 
I need You Lord 
I need You Lord 

Today may we receive only our daily bread, so we might learn the need to trust Him more.  Have a great week!     Philip


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