Friday, December 15, 2017

A Setback or a Step Up?

The only difference between a stumbling block and a stepping stone is in the way you use them. – Anon
In the parable of the talents, the first 2 stewards saw it as a great opportunity, the other steward saw it as a liability. Hmm!
Abraham Lincoln. Thomas Edison. Joseph. Paul. Just a few names from history that if you researched you would find overcame many obstacles to be a great benefit to God and contributor to society. We’ve been gifted with the same tools and insight, and God gave and continues to give to everyone generously. We’ll have similar challenges and situations as well. The difference we make will be in our determination and perseverance. Will we allow life’s trials or storms to trip us up, knock us down, or stall our efforts, or will we step up to a higher calling for God.
Until Monday……
Pastor Botts
“Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified; a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God..” – I Corinthians 1:22-

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Benefits of Kindness

Kindness is never wasted. If it has no effect on the recipient, at least it benefits the bestower. - S. Simmons
Jesus said there would be a reward for just giving a cup of cold water to someone. Hmm!
You offer them your seat only to hear a brusque "no thanks!" You offer to help only to hear "nope, I've got it!" It's often true our attempts to do a good deed or bless someone gets rebuffed or angrily rejected. However, that should not deter us from the practice. Doing a good deed is its own reward. If there's a "thank you" attached or some other acknowledgement given, that's great. But even if not we should still commit ourselves to the practice for our Heavenly Father sees us. And that is where the greatest reward will be acknowledged. God will never be indebted to us, and He loves to lavish His blessings on us, especially when we live to pass them on or share them with others. Last I've checked, kindness is an outgrowth of being Spirit filled, RIGHT?
Until tomorrow....
Pastor Botts
"...and as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right." - II Thessalonians 3:13

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Created to Serve God

A man who trims himself to suit everybody will soon whittle himself away. – Sparks
Jethro had to take his son-in-law Moses aside and give him some fatherly advice about leading the people. It worked wonders. WOW!
Conflict. We all somewhat hate it, and try to avoid it at all costs. And that's okay as long as it doesn't cause us to shape ourselves into something we're not, or cause us to take on more than we need to or should be doing. In those cases we need to stand firm, and remember our purpose. Try as we might, but one of the hardest lessons for us to learn is we cannot be everything for everybody. We must remember even God Himself doesn't try to please everyone. Though we serve a God with unlimited power and resources, we must remember we were created to serve Him and Him only. And in the long run when you please Him first, everything else seems to fall right in place.
Until tomorrow…..
Pastor Botts
“Jesus said, ‘Away from me Satan! For it is written; Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’” – Matthew 4:10

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Do Doing Done... with Heart

We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing; others judge us by what we have done. - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
God thought more of Abel's offering not for 'what' he gave but 'how' he gave it. AMEN!
From early on we're taught to manage our time wisely. We're taught to prioritize, arrange, rank, from the least to the greatest the opportunities we have and do those that bring the greatest return. And so we do, day in and day out. And then we measure ourselves for effectiveness. We may think our time spent teaching a class was better spent than the time we gave passing out pamphlets. Or the mission trip we took to a distant land is greater than the time we spent serving as an usher last week. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. In truth, we have no idea what really ranks as the most important part of our work, for it is not really the work itself but the attitude and heart with which we did it. A phone call to an ailing member could be just as important as the Sunday sermon the minister preaches because God is the ultimate judge of all we do and "His ways and thoughts" are not like ours, they are much higher. So the idea here is not to do the work for work's sake, but do the work for the Lord's glory. And just like in school when our final grade was the cumulative effect of all our efforts, the Lord will be grading our efforts and at the end of the day grades will be posted. May we all receive passing grades.
Until tomorrow.....
Pastor Botts
"...Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men." - Colossians 3:23

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Choice To Love

We make our friends and our enemies, but God makes our neighbor. – Anon
The expert lawyer was looking for a loophole as to who his neighbor was. Jesus cleared it up. Hmm!
Choice – what a great gift God gave us. The ability to make our own choices or decisions. We get to choose where to live, what to eat, what to drive, even who gets to be our friend. But the one choice God did not leave to us is who to love. We’re commanded to love everyone, especially our neighbor. And though we’d like to be the people who live to the right and left of us, God says emphatically our neighbor is anyone we can help regardless of location, color, creed or affiliation. So as the day and weekend unfolds remember God might be bringing ‘new neighbors’ our way.
Until tomorrow…..
Pastor Botts
“….and the second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:31

Friday, December 8, 2017

Prayer Work

Remember that nothing will run itself, unless it’s running downhill. – Anon
In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus exhorted the disciples to “keep watch and pray” and not sleep.  Though they failed on several occasions, they finally got it right later. AMEN!
It’s true the life Jesus promised us is the life we all want, but it’s also true that to have the life we want we must put in the “work” required.  If we were to ever seriously look at the life Jesus lived we would see the first and last order of work is prayer. The reasons our lives are often run down, drained, and without effect is because we don’t do the necessary work in prayer. Prayer is what keeps the life running. It is as vital to the Christian life as food is to the physical life. Without it we cease to exist. I pray yours is effective.
Until Monday…..
Pastor Botts
“Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me and answer me. When thou saidst, ‘Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek. Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger, thou hast been my help, leave me not neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.’” – Psalm 27:7-9

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Wait for the Perfect Gift

If you will wait, God will work! - R. Foster
Saul's haste in not waiting for the man of God cost him dearly - a lasting kingdom. OUCH!
WAIT! It's a word we hate to hear. Sometimes even moreso than 'NO!' It just does something strange to our psyche, kind of puts us in limbo where we're not in control of the situation. But yet, so many times in God's Word we see and are told God wants us to wait on Him. So often our prayers revolve around us asking God to hurry up and bless what we want to do (marriage, children, job, car, home, etc.) rarely do we ask Him to guide us or even seek His will to see if its the right thing for us. Waiting on God is not time lost, it means patiently looking to Him for what we need. So our prayers should not seek to hurry up God, but to remind ourselves first of all that God is the giver of every perfect gift, and also remind us that our 'right now' moments are not His emergencies. Since He's never late His response will always be not 'right now' but right on time.
Until tomorrow......
Pastor Botts
"In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation." - Psalm 5:3