Poem – That First Sunday

I found a poem I wrote as a 19 year old as I was rearranging some files.  It is not world class, by any means, but shows the grateful heart of a young christian.

 

That First Sunday

Many years ago, when I was but four,
At our house in Midland came a knock on the door.

My Mom opened the door and he said, “Hello!
We’ve a bus from the Church, May your children go?”

My mom, a good mother, was worried a bit,
But he won her over with his charm and his wit.

Mom said, “Yes. They may go, if you watch them with care.”
“Don’t worry,” he said. “They will go as a pair.”

That first Sunday we went, my sister and I.
We stepped on the bus with a gleam in our eye.

We sang songs about Jesus. Oh, we had fun!
We learned from the Bible what Jesus had done.

How He came down to earth and died on the Cross
To pay for the sin of all of the lost.

And if they’ll only but ask Him, they He will receive.
He’ll take them to Heaven if they’ll only believe.

Many things have changed since that first day.
I’ve finally grown up. I’ve matured many ways.

Now on my way to Heaven, thank God I’ve been saved.
Now I’m a preacher. Now I’m God’s love-slave.

I’m glad to heading down God’s bright way,
But it all started on that first Sunday.

 

By Paul Chapman in 1996

The Privilege of Prayer

The Privilege of Prayer

 “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.”   Matthew 6:9happy man outdoor

Have you considered what a privilege it is to  pray to God?  Too often we see prayer as something that we “must” do, or as a task we have on a to-do list.  Prayer is so much more!  It is a great privilege!  Consider that in many of the world’s religions, access to a deity something to be earned.  Some require personal sacrifice of money, possession or hardship to get the “attention” of the deity. Some teach that they must go to a designated person or priest to get their prayers heard.  Still others teach that you must go to a specific place such as a church or temple for the god to hear.  Some even require a sacrifice of blood for difficult requests!

Compare that to the privilege of Christian prayer.  We have unfettered access to God Almighty through Jesus Christ.  We can pray about anything, during anytime, being anywhere and be heard by the Creator of the universe.  This is a radical doctrine when compared to false religions!  There are no hoops to jump through, no places to travel, no priest to consult.  When you were saved by faith in Jesus Christ, you were given a direct line to God.  No voicemail, call waiting or answering service.  Just God and you.  God wants to hear from you today.  He cares about the smallest details of your life. He wants to be the first person you speak to in the morning and the last person you speak to at night.  He desires that you be connected to Him throughout the day in a spirit of unceasing prayer.  Today, take your burdens to Him and they will be lighter.  Ask Him for the needs of this day and you will receive them.  Delight in the great privilege God has given you and pray!

Interesting Article about God and Science

consciousIf you have a technical mind and enjoy science, this is an interesting article that discusses how science is biased against the concept of consciousness, spirituality, etc, and how that bias leads to an incomplete understanding of our Universe.  The writer does not claim to be a Christian, but explains how an honest view of our Universe requires the existence of a Creator.

It is not a Bible study and thus is not theologically correct, but it is an interesting piece that will engage your mind and help you be prepared to discuss the issue of God and Creation with others.

Let me know what you think.

http://www.naturalnews.com/036376_Higgs_boson_conscious_cosmology.html

100 Ways to Say I Love You

“Say I Love You” was the theme of our Valentine Banquet this year.  I took about a week and asked the Lord to teach me 100 ways to tangibly say “I Love You” to my wife with words and actions.  This list below is what God gave me.  I shared it with the folks at the banquet.  You will probably find items that you do regularly and others that are out of your comfort zone.  I encourage you to look at this list daily and pick a few of these ideas to show true love to your mate.  I challenge you to do it faithfully for a month and watch what effect true love can have on your relationship.  Let me know how it goes!

Say I love youSay I Love You

  1. By listening to their words with love.
  2. By being patient with their faults.
  3. By looking at them with kind eyes when they speak.
  4. By holding their hand with a smile.
  5. By cuddling when seated together.
  6. By a kiss goodbye every time you leave.
  7. By gentle touch any time you are near.
  8. By kissing passionately without prompting.
  9. By choosing to be with them over other people.
  10. By protecting their reputation when attacked.
  11. By protecting their spirit from harm.
  12. By promoting their good above others.
  13. By fulfilling their desires when possible.
  14. By a hello kiss when you meet.
  15. With long hugs for no reason.
  16. By desiring them intimately.
  17. By saying why you love them.
  18. By thanking them for their work.
  19. With concern when they are hurt.
  20. With comfort when they are troubled.
  21. With an apology when you are wrong.
  22. With longsuffering when they are angry.
  23. With humility when they hurt you.
  24. With joy when they are blessed.
  25. With laughter when they are happy.
  26. With tears when they cry.
  27. With security when they are afraid.
  28. By happily caring for their needs.
  29. By helping them fulfill God’s will.
  30. By serving the Lord together.
  31. By praying for them often.
  32. By praying with them daily.
  33. By encouraging them regularly.
  34. By asking them for their thoughts.
  35. By learning how to please them.
  36. By learning how not to displease them.
  37. By lifting their load when it gets heavy.
  38. By reading a book on marriage.
  39. By listening to sermons on marriage.
  40. By talking about how to make your marriage better.
  41. By asking how you could make their day easier.
  42. By asking how you could better meet their needs.
  43. By going to church with them each service.
  44. By voicing your pleasure with them.
  45. By saying “please” and “thank you”.
  46. By helping them with their household duties.
  47. With a foot massage after a hectic day.
  48. With a relaxing back rub when tense.
  49. With a full-body massage before bed.
  50. By gently caressing their face.
  51. By exercising together on schedule.
  52. By cooking their favorite meal.
  53. By dropping everything when they need you.
  54. By taking them to a favorite restaurant.
  55. By taking them on a picnic.
  56. By taking them on a walk.
  57. With a date by the ocean.
  58. By putting the kids to bed early and spending a quiet night together.
  59. By turning the TV off and talking about nothing.
  60. With reassuring words of love.
  61. With kind words and facial expressions.
  62. By telling them why you love them.
  63. By being their best friend.
  64. By looking for their needs.
  65. By happily fulfilling their desires.
  66. By being easy to please.
  67. By being hard to disappoint.
  68. By not keeping track of wrongs.
  69. By forgiving sins quickly.
  70. By not being selfish.
  71. By putting God first in everything.
  72. With stability and consistency.
  73. With a hand-written note.
  74. By texting them words of love when apart.
  75. By transitioning your mind before you meet.
  76. By reminding them that you made a good choice.
  77. By thanking God for bringing you together.
  78. By respecting their opinions.
  79. By never putting them down.
  80. By never calling names.
  81. By never saying the word “divorce”.
  82. By responding with respect.
  83. By respecting them purposefully.
  84. By scheduling time for them daily.
  85. With unexpected surprises.
  86. By bringing them something they enjoy.
  87. By looking them in the eye.
  88. By still pursuing them after the wedding.
  89. With soft words when they are upset.
  90. By putting yourself in their shoes.
  91. With a Spirit-filled demeanor.
  92. By trusting God in times of need.
  93. By protecting your home from sin.
  94. By yielding to God every day.
  95. By thinking about them when you are apart.
  96. With a quick call during the day to confirm you love.
  97. By learning their love language and using it often.
  98. By entering their world and enjoying their interests.
  99. With a quantity of quality time.
  100. By spending the rest of your life finding new ways to Say I Love You!

God’s Love is the Greatest

sf_greatestLove_02
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.     

(1 Corinthians 13:13)

I Corinthians 13 is the famous chapter of the Bible defining and describing godly love.

This chapter is important because the love that God has for us and expects us to have for one another is a difficult concept for us to grasp.  It is infinitely higher and better than human love.  We can only experience this love through our relationship with God.  We love Him because He first loved us.  As we learn how He loves us, we are taught to love one another.  Human love is based on relationship, commonality, conditions and mutual benefit.  God’s love is based on choice, commitment and selflessness without conditions.

The idea of godly love is so foreign to human experience that when God inspired the Bible He gave us a new word to denote His love.  The greek word agape’ used in the New Testament to define God’s love was not used before the inspiration of the Bible.  It is fitting to have a special word to teach us of His Divine love.

The word agape’ is translated into the word “charity” in this chapter of the King James Bible.  This is a perfect English word to describe God’s selfless & unconditional love.  If we give money or property to a charitable organization, we understand that we are giving it for their benefit and expect nothing in return.  Likewise, when we truly love someone the way God loves us, we give that love freely for their benefit without conditions or expectation of return.  Every relationship of life will be transformed as we are filled with the knowledge and power of God’s eternal love.

I Corinthians 13 gives us an outline proving the superiority of God’s love.

The Greatest Speech

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.     (1 Corinthians 13:1)

The Greatest Gift

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.     (1 Corinthians 13:2)

The Greatest Motivation

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.     (1 Corinthians 13:3)

The Greatest Character

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;     (1 Corinthians 13:4-6)

The Greatest Strength

Beareth all things,     (1 Corinthians 13:7)

The Greatest Faith

believeth all things,     (1 Corinthians 13:7)

The Greatest Hope

hopeth all things,     (1 Corinthians 13:7)

The Greatest Endurance

endureth all things.     (1 Corinthians 13:7)

The Greatest Guarantee     

Charity never faileth:     (1 Corinthians 13:8)

God’s love is great!  It is a language that all humans understand.  That’s why Jesus tells us in John 13:35, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”  Agape’ love is a powerful evangelistic tool.  It proves the sincerity of God’s people to the world.  It is a stark contrast to the fickle human love that is prevalent in the world.  Seeing true love in action wets the appetite of the lost to experience God’s love.  God placed in the human heart the desire to be truly and wholly loved.  We must teach people everywhere where to find fulfilling and satisfying love God desires to give them.  It is found through faith in Christ and fellowship with sincere believers.

Have you considered how much God loves you today?

Will you ask God to teach you the breadth, depth and height of His love?

Will you be a conduit to bring God’s love to the world around you?

Right now, ask God to fill you with His love and empower you to convey that love to every relationship in your world.

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.     (1 Corinthians 13:13)

Truly, God’s love is the greatest!

Biblical Goals for the New Year

GOAL DICTIONARYFor all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

(Psalms 90:9-12)

Time was designed by God as a tool for man to number his days and apply his heart unto wisdom.  If we do not pay attention, life will pass us by so quickly that we waste it and lose our opportunity to make a significant difference in the world.  Time has built-in checkpoints to remind us to pay attention to where we are and where we are going.  We call them minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, etc.  The New year is a great time to reevaluate our lives.  Below is a list of Biblical Goals for the New Year as given in a sermon at Curtis Corner Baptist Church.  You can listen to the sermon here for details on each point.

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Rhode Island Christmas in the news again

Gov. Chafee is in the news again this year with his antics about Christmas.
News Story
Let’s pray for him and all of our politicians & courts to stop the madness.