Saturday, April 27, 2013

Shade tree wisdom 4/27/13

The Psalm says;

“A day in thy courts is better than a thousand.

I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God,

Than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.” 84,10

So we worship not only because we are so commanded, but mostly because we ought to feel the real need. Life batters us and tugs us in so many different directions. Daily we face choices. We need guiding, we need help, we long for direction. And God’s Word offers us a sure and steady guide

In busy lives, busy with the tasks of daily living, often too busy to stop and seek His aid, we turn to worship, for here God offers us an hour an uninterrupted hour, when we simply pause, drink in His Word, eat the Body and the Blood, and go away, strengthened for the week to come, knowing that “I am the Lord, I change not” still stands.

Our life is enriched because we learn again that “Our Lord is a strength an a shield. . .blessed is the man who trusts in Him.” Vv. 9.12.Hebrews teaches,

“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another; and so much the more as you see the day approaching”. Heb 10,25.

GPD 4/27/13

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Shade tree wisdom 4/24/13

Shade tree wisdom 4/24/13

She was probably in her middle forties and had been a widow for nearly two years, Now, on this bright Sunday afternoon, she was busy going to each house in the village and laying a goose feather on each doorstep she visited. Then, when she finished, she returned to the village church and sought the Pastor.

Well, what had happened, that morning at worship the sermon had been based on James chapter 3, 1-12, and the Pastor had dwelt on gossip as a misuse of the tongue for it could cause so much harm This woman, a regular church-goer, suddenly saw that the words fit her. Suddenly, in a flash of insight, she saw herself as the village gossip. So, right after the service, she had confessed her sin to the pastor and asked for forgiveness.

That’s why she was now placing feathers on nearly every doorstep, for the pastor told her that was part of her penance. Finished at last, she returned to church and sought the Pastor to report the task was done, He smiled warmly, and said, “now, there is just one thing left, go and pick them all up again”.

“Why, but the wind has scattered them all over the place. I can’t pick them up again”.

That is why St. James says what he did. The tongue “is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” 3,8. So we please the Lord when we ‘think before we speak’. Proverbs teaches, “Whoever guard his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from trouble.” 21,23.It suggests, “the tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly”. 15,2.

It is a good thing to think, then speak. And never in anger. Remember, God forgives our sins because Jesus paid the price on the cross.

GPD 4/24/13

Friday, April 19, 2013

ahde tree wiswdom 4/19/13

Shade tree wisdom 4/19/13

The article is titled, “Don’t be the office tech dinosaur.” It’s a story about a man in his 50’s, successful, children in college, mortgage payments, the usual expenses of raising a family, finding himself suddenly in competition with new hires. These people have grown up texting, tweeting, using Facebook and playing video games. He finds it requires constant work to stay up-to-date.

Research show that older workers have a fund of knowledge that is hard to replace, but lagging tech skills is one reason for job loss among the 55 ;and so the man in the report I read is keeping himself up by learning, and using tech support in his professional life.

“The speed of change makes one uncomfortable on a regular basis, and that is difficult for older workers with mortgage payments and living expenses.” He wants to feel comfortable the last years of working, but in this age of rapid change that just will not happen.

I read reports like that and think, “my grandchildren will be in this all their working lives.” And there is little I can do for them, except pray for them, of course

BUT, I do have one large advantage. There is a truth I can teach them that does not change, nor will it fail them. That is the truth of Scripture. To the jailer at Philippi Paul had a short answer to his anxious and troubled question, “What must I do to be saved? He said. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.” (Acts 16, 30.31).

Just think, we can be sure, eternally sure of the truth. Jesus died and rose for us. He died to pay for the sins we did, and the salvation God offers is a free gift. No, we do not need to look for something new, or better. This Truth remains The Eternal Truth.

You and I don’t need to go to bed each night wondering, we know, and so rest peacefully because we are sure His Word is true, and we count on that. Thank God if this is your faith and be at peace that passes all understanding.

GPD 4/19/13

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Shade tree wisdom 4/17/13

Shade tree wisdom 4/17/13

The news read that George Beverly Shea died at age 104. He was the soloist with the Billy Graham New York Crusade in 1957 who sang “How Great Thou Art” 97 times during that week. The choir joining the majestic refrain:

“Then sings my soul, my Savior, God to thee,

How great Thou art, how great Thou art.”

That Swedish folk melody contains this truth.

“And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,

Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;

That on the cross burden gladly sharing

He bled and died to take away my sin.”

The lines emphasize again the grace of God to mankind. Martin Luther understood this truth of grace very well. His study, especially of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians in chapter 2, makes this quite clear

Of that he wrote (WLS II,#2207) “The world wants to win heaven from God by right, although He is causing the message to be proclaimed throughout the world that He wants to give it to us for nothing (by grace). I will not let you win heaven form Me. Therefore make no other gods do not invent things that you do yourself. . .Do not begin with your good works allow Me to have mercy on . . .Do not begin with your good works; allow Me to have mercy on you. . .Such fools we are we want to give, when we ought to take . .The world is just as mad and foolish It wants to Him who has guivenall and from whom we receive all.”

In his hymns “It is well with my soul” Horatio Spafford has this line.

“My sin, O the bliss of this glorious tho’t,my sin, not in part, but the whole; is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more. Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, O my soul.”

“By Grace I’m saved, grace free and boundless.” Thank the Lord for this truth, and for showing it to us so clearly in His Scriptures. Ephesians 2,8.9 “For by grace are you saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast”.

GPD 4/17/13

Friday, April 12, 2013

Shade tree wisdom 4/12/13

          When Jesus gave his marching orders of “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature”, it sounded like a reckless, even hopeless task. A job description sounded like this: 
      entire population: 100 million 
      area: 2 ½ million square miles
      personnel: 12 men, some women 
      college grads, none (Later Paul who sat at the feet of Gamaliel)
      funding, none 
      treasury, non existent
      friendly kings, princes, rulers, none
      headquarters backup personnel, none 
That was the situation. Hopeless!

          Yet there was this promise, “And I will be with you, even to the end of the earth.” Luke 24,49.  And “I will send you what My Father has promised, but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on High”. Luke 24.49. So they “turned the world upside down” with their preaching. And in a few centuries a Roman Caesar cried, “Thou hast conquered, O pale Galilean”.

          Many sneer or make fun of the Christian faith. How could they have known or see what rich blessings the Church would bring to this world. The Hospitals, the houses of mercy, the orphanages, old folks homes, schools, colleges, missionaries through the ages.

          Christ’s people have always brought blessing. Driven from here, they settled there, and established the faith.

          You touch the world, and have an affect on it. Maybe your presence stops foul language, or you speak a word of comfort and hope to a bereaved person, or encourage a lonely person, or send a traveler on his way strengthened and fed. I do not know how, where, or when, but your presence brings blessing.

          Psalm 22, the one that beings “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me", ends with “. . .future generations will be told about the Lord; they will proclaim His righteousness to people yet unborn, for He has done it”.

          The impossible goes on, and God is doing it, for He said, “And the gates of hell shall not prevail against her.” Matthew 16,18.

GPD 4/12/13

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Shade Tree Wisdom 4/9/13

Healthy teeth is nice to have,
They fills you with content.
And if you doesn’t know it now,
You will when they have went.
          You and I, who are baptized children of God, are special in God’s sight. He set us here and called us  “salt” and “light”. Jesus said that to His disciples, and added, “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5,13.14.16.
          Then, before He left, He gave this command: “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature, he that believes and is baptized shall be saved, and he that does not believe shall be damned.” Mark 16,15.16.
          The world is truly in a mess, isn’t it? Go all the way back to the time of the Judges. Joshua reports, “In those days there was no king Israel; every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Judges 21,25. And those eyes are always sinful, for “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
          But there is power in the Word. St. Paul speaks of  all kinds of sinners, and then says, “Such were some of you. BUT, you are washed, but your are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Cor, 6,11.
          Sure, there are obstacles in the way. Political correctness often seems to replace common sense, but remember this promise, “Lo, I will be with you to the ends of the earth”. And let that be enough for us to obey.
          St. Paul says “our Gospel came with full conviction”. The news was so good it simply spilled out. And the Word is always effective.
          So by God’s grace let us be that “light” and that “salt”. And May God bless the work.
GPD 4/9/13

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Shade tree wisdom 4/4/13

Shade tree wisdom 4/4/13

In the beginning of Walden Henry David Thoreau makes a case against the complexity of modern life. “Our life is frittered away by detail”, he muses, and ends by saying, “Keep your accounts on your thumbnail. Simplify. Simplify”. That was the 19th century, we live in the 2lst.

Our lives are filled with gadgets we can’t use, directions we can’t follow, and forms we can’t decipher. (Tax forms, for instance). Every part of our life is full of choices delivered at a frantic pace. Consider, for example, more than 800,000 apps in Apple apps store, nearly 2000 selections at a perfume counter. In 1980 a typical credit card contract was about 400 words, today it’s 20,000.

Why this mess? Maybe this answer is the right one,. “Complexity is the coward’s way out.”

A certain lawyer asked the Lord Jesus, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus replied,

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all they heart, and with and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.. . . And the second is like unto it. Thou shalt love they neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matt.22,36-40.)

The commands are brief, easy to understand, and to follow.

The problem lies with us. We know them, but we tend to whittle away at the edges till we have little left. Our sinful nature tends to ask, “Does God really mean that in this enlightened age?”

An example lies just before us in the news right now,. It involves marriage. All nine justices know the word , “Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall be one flesh.” (Gen 2,24).

Simple, unless emotion is involved, and judges regard that, instead or what the Lord laid out in His creation.

We have a tool God has given us. Let’s use it, Let’s pray for this land of ours.

GPD 4/4/13

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Shade tree wisdom 4/3/13

Shade tree wisdom 4/3/13
          A blessed Easter for Christ is Risen, our Lord is Living.
          On March 13 the largest ground-based telescope on earth was dedicated  at Atacama Desert in Chile. According to reports this telescope, costing l.3 billion, is the cooperative venture of parties from the North America, Europe, and Asia. It is hoped astronomers will gain insight with a peek at the most distant parts of the universe. To Quote from Captain Kirk, it will help mankind “to go boldly where no man has ever gone before.” Exciting news.
          I have something to tell you even more exciting.  It is not possible to read the New Testament without being impressed by  the atmosphere of joyful confidence which we find there. It is an attitude of victory. There was no defeatism at all.
          Expressions such as “Thanks be to God, He gives us the victory.”  Or “In all these things (Dangers and setbacks), we are more than conquerors. . .” or “God would lead us in triumphal procession”.
          Each letter to the seven Churches in Asia ends with a special promise, “To him who overcomes.”  A full quote from St. Paul is: “he gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” And “We are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”
          Luther struck the same note in his hymns and catechism teaching, where he rejoices that we have victory over that ‘monster’, or ‘tyrant’, the devil, who had held us captive under the curse of sin, law, death and hell.
          Colossians 2, 13 – 15 makes it very clear.
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.e
So when we say, “Christ is Risen. He is Risen indeed, Hallelujah”. It is truly an expression of victory, for the sin that lay against us, in which we dwelt, is forgiven. And that is done because Christ died on the cross.
GPD 4/3/13