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Whose Side Are You On?

Thought For The Week…

In our neighborhood, as a child, there were many folks to play with. Most of our Summer vacation from school was spent playing together in the woods and IN the creek. Occasionally, we played certain games which required us to determine whose side each of us would be on. As innocent as this may seem, people can really show some signs of severe behavioral disorders in their grandiose emotional expressions for who is going to be on THEIR side! Lol!

Nothing has changed since my childhood days. People are still people and we can put on quite a show when trying to get folks on our side of any issue. Our recent elections, here in the United States, are a prime example of the lengths people go to when endeavoring to get folks to choose sides. Millions of dollars were spent, and thousands of man hours were needed to pull it off.

In view of this innate desire to have individuals on OUR side, a question comes to my mind. “Shouldn’t we focus our efforts on trying to be on God’s side of things?” The Tea Party, for example, has spent a lot of man hours spreading their message and have been able to make a huge impact upon today’s politics. I am not against the Tea Party, but I wonder what would happen if people used as much enthusiasm when spreading the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

In the absence of Moses, Aaron allowed himself to be manipulated, and led Israel into false worship with a golden calf which HE made. While Moses is up on the mountain getting the Ten Commandments, Israel was engaged in the idolatry! When Moses comes into camp he immediately calls everyone to the carpet. He handled this issue with great simplicity. He began with a question which required everyone to answer with immediate action. He said, in part, “…Who is on the LORD’S side? let him come unto me…” (Exodus 32:26)

There is a lesson to be learned here. Instead of trying to get people on our side, may we point people to Jesus and His Word! Sometimes we, even as believers, find ourselves on the wrong side of the equation. It is far better to focus our energies on lifting up God’s way and attempt to stay on HIS side!

Precious Memories!

Thought For The Week…

As Creator, God fashioned our bodies from the dust of the Earth. Every part of our body is important and serves a function. Of the many things a person should be grateful for, the ability to remember should be at the top of the list. Memory can be a sweet blessing, and is often not really appreciated until it begins to slip as one begins to age.

Memory is with us 24/7. We can never escape it unless we suffer from an illness which robs us of our ability to recall. Memory certainly isn’t perfect, but is honest. Our daily activities and actions, good or bad, are stored away like a computer encrypts code on its hard drive. We are told by physicians that we only use a small portion of our brain’s capacity which is quite amazing, but obvious in some people… just saying! Lol!

Memory becomes more precious to me the older I get! For instance, February 16, 1992 I accepted Christ as my Lord and Saviour! I often relive that event in my mind which brings tears to my eyes. In early February 1993 I surrendered publicly to the call of God on my life to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Again, I can give you details as to how that event unfolded. On March 5, 1999 I stood at the altar in Gospel Light Baptist Church of Walkertown, North Carolina with my sweet heart, Shilo Dowdy. We were married day and have never regretted it!

One of the reasons someone should live a clean life, as a child of God, is to limit the scars of sin upon our mind. Though I can instantly recall fond memories, I can also remember some awful memories! There are some events of my past that I wish I could forget, and memory can be a brutal teacher.

Without a doubt, I do love my God-given ability to remember. My Lord has been good to me! Pondering His blessings and how He has proved Himself to me is simply amazing. Our Heavenly Father wants us to remember Him and we should do our best to harbor our lives around His Word. Making daily memories with Him becomes to us like the song is entitled, “Precious Memories!

Precious Memories

Precious memories, unseen angels
Sent from somewhere to my soul
How they linger, ever near me
And the sacred scenes unfold.

Precious memories, how they linger
How they ever flood my soul
In the stillness of the midnight
Precious, sacred scenes unfold.

Precious father, loving mother
Fly across the lonely years
And old home scenes of my childhood
In fond memory appear.

Precious memories, how they linger
How they ever flood my soul
In the stillness of the midnight
Precious, sacred scenes unfold.

In the stillness of the midnight
Echoes from the past I hear
Old-time singing, gladness bringing
From that lovely land somewhere.

Precious memories, how they linger
How they ever flood my soul
In the stillness of the midnight
Precious, sacred scenes unfold.

I remember mother praying
Father, too, on bended knee
Sun is sinking, shadows falling
But their prayers still follow me.

Precious memories, how they linger
How they ever flood my soul
In the stillness of the midnight
Precious, sacred scenes unfold.

As I travel on life’s pathway
Know not what the years may hold
As I ponder, hope grows fonder
Precious memories flood my soul.

Precious memories, how they linger
How they ever flood my soul
In the stillness of the midnight
Precious, sacred scenes unfold.

Stop Chasing Crows!

Thought For The Week…

I love to watch documentaries. Recently, while viewing a program on Bald Eagles in North America, I learned some interesting facts and a very insightful characteristic about their behavior which I thought illustrated what Christians should do in their own lives.

Did you know that at one point there were approximately 400 mating pairs left in the lower 48 due to pollution from pesticides and other issues? That’s right! This beautiful bird was in danger of going extinct, but thankfully it is not so now. God, in his providential care, has let man learn the error of his ways. The eagle population is thriving due to strict laws and the utilization of better practices of man.

Anyone who has personally seen Bald Eagles, in the wild, knows that they can grow to be rather large creatures. It is an interesting thing to me that because of their great size they limit their reaction to certain behavior by others. For example, when other birds, such as crows, get near them, they simply fly away. Instead of expending vital energy on chasing away the crow, it is more fruitful to leave.

There is a lesson to be learned here. You and I do not need to chase away the “crows” in our life. We should simply walk away! Every time we try to reason and defend ourselves we are wasting precious time and energy. The Apostle Paul faced many trials in his life. Under Inspiration of the Holy Ghost, He wrote these precious words in Romans 12:19, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”

As the crown of God’s Creation, and as His child, we would better serve ourselves by letting God take care of those aggravating “crows”. The eagle could make minced meat of that crow in a second, but he chooses to let the crow have the platform for the moment. Yes, you and I could put people in their place, would more than likely win the argument, and/or could inflict pain in retaliation for their actions toward us, but what purpose would that serve?

The eagle’s way… might I say, “God’s Way” is the best way! Stop chasing crows and soar above. Enjoy the freedom of Providence!

How’s Your Eyesight?

Thought For The Week…

One of the hardest days of my life was when I realized I needed eyeglasses. For several months I noticed that I could not read the clock on the back wall of the church. While that can be seen as a rather humorous situation to be in as a pastor, it was actually very humbling. For many years I could see quite well, but not being able to see something that I should discouraged me immensely.

There are many Christians today who need to correct their vision, but not with a pair of prescription eyewear purchased from the local Optometrist. Many of God’s people have allowed themselves to be desensitized to the needs of others. This can happen sometimes due to the fact of not paying attention to those around you. While looking at people, we may actually not see them at all! Jesus was not like this. The Bible indicates that He was MOVED with compassion when He SAW the multitudes.

(Matthew 9:36) “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.”  (KJV)

We need to see people the way Jesus views them. As our Lord ministered to people each day, He took time to not only be around them, but He observed their needs as well. In the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, we need to slow down and notice the needs of other people. This, of course, will interrupt our life, push us out of our comfort zone, and put us in a vulnerable position. In spite of the unpleasantness which can occur while trying to minister to the needs of others, it is quite rewarding!

Everybody enjoys it when someone notices a need we have and endeavors to take care of it. So why is it that we do not try to reciprocate? Why do we enjoy being a “consumer” more than a “producer”? Our human nature robs us of opportunities to make a difference in the lives of those around us. Will you open your eyes and behold the harvest field of opportunity? Will you be the servant that Christ can use today?