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Wednesday, November 21, 2012


We all know Stuck. Been there! Way to many times.

We all know there are two ways to get un-stuck. Either you get a Push, or you get a Pull.

Pushing is hard work, and generally not the most pleasant. But it sure beats being stuck. Push ahead.

Press on. Work through it. Get psyched. Just do it.
Shoulder to the wheel. Where’s your drive? Dig in. Let me help.

We know about pushing. It’s pretty much what we do.

On the other hand, we don’t know so much about pulling. We use it less often, are less practiced at it, and rarely consider it as an option. Pulling is still work, of course. The big difference with pulling is that the focus is not on where you are, but on where you are going. It’s sort of like the difference between pushing water with a plunger, or drawing it with a siphon.

Pushing is to “get you out from where you are.” It’s focus is on the right now, on being un-stuck, on un-doing the negative.
Pulling is to “get you on to where we are going.” It’s focus is on the horizon, on moving forward, on reinforcing the positive.

The Bible is full of Push-Pull. Push in the Bible has to do with taking a hard look at human reality in the flesh. Fallen, sin, repentance, judgment, forgiveness and hell are push words. They express the needs of the soul and generate “help me” prayers. Pull in the Bible has to do with taking a good look at human reality in the spirit. Risen, redeemed, grace, mercy, thanksgiving, and heaven are pull words. They express the contentment of the soul and generate “thank you” prayers.

Both are totally necessary. How about you? How well do you balance the Push and the Pull in your life? Are you mired down in the muck of the Push side of things so much that you lose sight of the promise and joy on the Pull side?

Do you need a good kick in the rump, a push, to get you life back on a godly course? Or maybe you need a powerful new experience, a pull, to draw you up and move you into a more godly lifestyle?

For me, I only need a push when my pull is too small, and that’s most of the time. This holiday season I’m going to dwell on the Glory and Majesty of God, ponder the huge-ness of God’s grace, and wonder more about the genius of creation and the miracle of salvation.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Keystone Habits

Habits are killers, aren’t they? Well, sometimes, anyway. Bad ones run our lives amuck and ruin our health. But, on the other hand, good ones are the drivers that turn every effort into success.

There’s a new book out, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg, which studies how by simply changing one habit a person can totally turn their life around.
‘Keystone Habit’ is the name given to that transforming habit. A Keystone Habit can be any habit. Duhigg tells the story of one major corporation that went from near financial disaster to abundant profit in one year by focusing on one habit only, safety.

In 2009 a group of health researchers published how Tracking, that is, keeping a food journal, or writing down everything one eats, helped a study group of 1600 obese participants change their eating behaviors and lose weight. But surprisingly this Keystone Habit -- food journaling – did more, it created a structure that helped other habits to flourish. Six months into the study, people who kept daily food records had lost twice as much weight as everyone else.

Keystone Habits make our life better. God knows how true that is, and in the Bible suggests several, any one of which will change your life forever and for the good. Here are a few. Love God. Treasure God’s name. Pray daily. Worship weekly. Give your first and your best, i.e. tithe. Be thankful for everything. Forgive over and over again, even your enemy. Respect/honor your parents as long as you live. Feed the hungry. Visit those in prison. Welcome the stranger or sojourner in your midst. Oh, the list goes on and on.

Here’s the deal. Just pick one of God’s recommended habits. Commit to it daily. Track it daily. You will probably need an accountability partner to stay at it, so get one. And in no time your life will be more satisfying to you, more a blessing to others, and more glorifying of God.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pilgrims, Past and Present

In the following remarks the word “children” includes all children, those in the home and adult children whatever their age. Parenting responsibilities, especially those of modeling the faith, do not end when a child leaves home. Once a parent, always a parent.

Pilgrims, Past and Present

Men:   Once upon a time, courageous men studied God’s word and taught it to their children. They brought their families to church, and applied the Gospel values in the performance of their civic duties. They taught their children how to work, and how to judge rightly according to God’s word. They taught them how to treat others and govern their own behavior under God, how to live successfully in community with folks of other persuasion. Still today, courageous men do the same.

Women:   Once upon a time brave women studied God’s word and taught it to their children. They nurtured their children in the Christian graces, read to them and taught them to pray. They sacrificed their own comforts to support the evangelization of the world, cultivating in their children, thereby, a desire for excellence, generosity, and peace. They forged wholesome patterns of civility and opposed all forms of social evil. Still today, brave women do the same.

Folks:   It takes courage to stand with Jesus, to speak about Jesus, to let Jesus govern one’s life and guide one’s life choices. It takes Jesus to parent with strength, wisdom and love.
       It always has.
       It always will.
      Be courageous and brave.
      Be quick to call on him.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Pay It Forward Sunday

Thanks to the fun spirit and generosity of a church member
Pay It Forward Sunday was March 11th.
Those attending church that day were randomly given $1, $5, or $10
and asked to do something good with it.
Here is what some used their money for:
Church carpet fund
Sr. Citizens meal site
Random Acts of Kindness for gas and groceries
Elementary School milk money
Youth trip
Sunday School offering
Mission blanket
Extra tip at restaurant
To send a get well card
“Josie’s” fund and bracelet

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


At Sam’s funeral on Saturday and again in church on Sunday I spoke about work. “Work hard. Because if you work hard, you may do well. And if you do well, then you will be able to do good.”
Doing good: what a nice way to honor God. It’s the Abraham principle – blessed to be a blessing.
Is that your way of living? Is honoring God by doing good with the fruits of your labor what your life is all about?
To be blessed. Or. To be a blessing. Which way do you lean?

Thursday, March 1, 2012


It is often the case in baseball that a power hitter leads the league in both strike outs and home runs. It is always exciting when such a batter comes to the plate in a clutch situation. Here’s my question. “At such times would you rather have the batter seeing himself as a strike out king or as a home run hitter?” Self-image matters. So, then, what about your self-image? The Bible affirms believers as saints, yet reminds them of their sinfulness. As a believer, do you generally see yourself as a saint or a sinner? And how does that self-image influence you when you step up to the plate? Be assured that God sees you pure and clean, washed in the blood of the Lamb. To God, you are a saint, and God is glorified when you live up to that image.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Lessons for Lent - #1 - RELATIONSHIPS

The Problem
Are you walking with God? wanting to draw closer to God? There are many ways in which the relationships in our lives interfere with our spiritual development.

Have people in your life blocked this passage? How do you find strength to move past them? How do you align yourself with others who will not block you and will encourage you to reach your spiritual goal?

Sometimes married couples get in the way of one another’s relationship with Christ. Parents can get in the way of their children, especially if they are skeptical of the church and religion. Friends who don’t go to church can encourage us to use our time differently, ultimately getting in the way of the most important friendship of all – with Christ. Perhaps colleagues would rather see us work all the time rather than taking time for devotion and worship. The list could go on.

The Solution
Three key relationships, spiritual ones, are necessary for spiritual growth. Everyone needs a) a faith friend, b) a faith coach, or role model, and c) someone to mentor or tutor in the faith. Find these 3 people in you life. Make intentional commitments with them. Be accountable.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


In all religions adherents observe Holy Days and Holy Seasons. It is the practice in this church to “keep” the season of Lent, which begins with Ash Wednesday, continues for 40 days not including Sundays, and ends on Easter. 1) Throughout these days we try harder to read and pray about the teaching and suffering of Jesus. 2) At the same time we try harder to let God’s forgiving, sacrificing love show through us to others. 3) And also we try harder to purify our thoughts and personal behaviors in the eyes of God who knows everything about us. On the Sundays of Lent, in church, Pastor Dale will be offering help through his messages. All are welcome, so maybe come with a friend. Who knows, you, or they, may find blessing here.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Valentine Candies

Oliver R. Chase invented a machine in 1847 to cut heart-shaped lozenges from wafer candy and started a candy factory, the New England Candy Company (NECCO). Daniel Chase, Oliver's brother, began printing sayings on the candy in 1866. Way before that God figured out how to write “I Love You” and “Be Mine” on the human heart. Of the sweetness he offers he says, “Take and eat. Taste and see that the Lord is good.”

Friday, February 3, 2012

Putting Christ First

There are a lot of smart people out there. Maybe you are one of them. Smart people know that Putting Christ First is a total game-changer when it comes to how you live your life. And a lot of those smart people like their life as it is. So, they don’t Put Christ First. But they are smart enough to know that if/when they reach the place where they don’t like their life the way it is they can improve their situation by Putting Christ First. Some well known athletes and celebrities have done that – they’ve Put Christ First. You can listen to why they did online at

Thursday, January 12, 2012

4 Essentials for Spiritual Growth

Are you a brand new follower of Christ, wondering where to get started on your journey? Are you a long term follower of Christ, finding yourself in a spiritual rut?

Here are 4 essential steps to move you forward toward spiritual growth. Though simple, they are vital to building your relationship with the Lord.

Step 1 – Read your Bible daily. Find a Bible reading plan that’s right for you. A plan will keep you from missing anything God has written in His Word.

Step 2 – Attend church services regularly. The Bible encourages us to meet together regularly with other believers (Hebrews 10:25). This is also fundamental to spiritual growth.

Step 3 – Get involved in a ministry group. Most churches offer small groups and many ministry opportunities. Pray and ask God where you should “plug in.”

Step 4 – Pray daily. Prayer is simply talking to God. You don’t have to use big fancy words.

There are no right and wrong words. Just be yourself.

Thanks to Mary Fairchild