Merry Christmas

Good morning on this Beautiful Christmas Day.
I don’t usually post on the weekends, but this morning on my early walk l was struck by many things that sent my spirit soaring.
It is always dark when I start my walk, but there was an unusual “lightness” in the sky. The stars twinkled, the sky was clear but they created such a Peaceful presence.
My pace was slower than usual, as I tried to take in the calmness. It was unusual not to have to dodge cars coming and going and to my amazement no dogs barked as I passed by. But there was a new sound, one that probably has been there all the time, but today I finally noticed. A Wind chime in someone’s back yard was ringing so clearly. I was reminded of the song “I heard the Bells on Christmas Day”. It was written during wartime but the message is still the same today. “God is not dead, nor doth He slept, The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, with peace on earth, goodwill toward men.”
Surprised, I did not hear the sounds of traffic from the nearby highway, but the train whistle still sounded. First I heard it from the north, soon it sounded from the East, not too long later, it sounded on the south, and finally I could hear the faint sound coming from the west as the train stretched through the city and on it’s way to another destination. I realized that God was reminding me of His Faithfulness. He is always on schedule (His not always ours) and He is always on time.
Nearing home, the sun began to share it’s rays over the horizon. The black gave way to various shades of blue, then the transition to oranges and reds, and finally the bright ball of light illuminated the entire sky.
For some reason, this day, God was speaking in the cool of the morning. I wondered if this was what Adam experienced. God walking alongside him, conversing with him, teaching him. All I could say was, “God I hope to never break this relationship that we are enjoying today”.
You may not take a morning walk like I do, but do know this. God is always looking for ways to speak to you every day. Like myself, sometimes we just need to listen more closely. He is always speaking in ways of blessings.
May you and your family have a Very Blessed Christmas Season.
Pastor Don Milner


PRAISE FOR CREATION

DECEMBER 1

Lord I stand in awe of You. When I lift my eyes to see the vastness of the universe I stand in awe. When I look at the valleys and the beauty of a sunrise in the mountains I stand amazed. Lord You have me awestruck by the works of Your hands!

How beautiful are the ways of God, and how wonderful is Your creation! I can’t help but worship You when I survey the beauty of all You’ve made. Thank you for Your creation. Thank You that You will create all things new again, making them more beautiful than they are now.

I’m excited to see Your creative power in action as I stand before You. Thank You God that I can stand before You. Thank you for Your new creation in me. How beautiful is Your handiwork! How amazing You are!

 

Take this time to consider all He does to make everything beautiful in its own time, and worship Him for everything He has done and will do in you.

 

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.”  Ecc 3:11

 

From 30 Prayers of Praise by Adam Houge

 

Strangest State Laws

  Utah:

  –A husband is responsible for every criminal act committed by his wife in his presence.

 

Virginia:

  –In Richmond, it is illegal to flip a coin in any eating establishment to determine who buys a cup of coffee.

  –In Lebanon, it is illegal to kick your wife out of bed.

 

  Vermont:

  –It is illegal to deny the existence of God.

  –It is illegal to whistle underwater.

  –Women must obtain written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth.



PRAISE GOD FOR HOPE

NOVEMBER 23

Thank You God for Hope! For the hope of salvation, for the hope of an new life and a new body. Thank You for the hope of healing, and growth, that I can be renewed in You.

Lord I worship You because of Your goodness. I will give You glory with all my heart. Because you have loved me You have given me hope for eternal life.

Thank You Jesus!

Reflect on the strong hope you have in Jesus Christ. Take this time to worship Him

“But I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more. My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness and Your salvation all the day, for I do not know their limits.”  Psalms 71:14-15

 

 

 

More Useless Information

Yes, deer will eat meat. So will rabbits.

Lot of animals have hands, sort of. And can hold them out flat. But only humans can turn the palms of the outstretched hands up then down or down then up.

Only before its first meal of the day can the electric eel zap out that 640 volts.

The “Second” avenues nationwide outnumber the “First” avenues.

 



GIVING THANKS

NOVEMBER 11

          From Richard Carlson’s Book, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: and it’s all small Stuff” I found this wonderful way to express thankfulness to others.

          “This is an exercise that has helped me to change many lives, assisting people in becoming more peaceful and loving.  Taking a few minutes each week to write a heartfelt letter does many things for you.  Picking up a pen or typing on a keyboard slows you down long enough to remember the beautiful people in your life.  The act of sitting down to write helps to fill your life with gratitude.

          Once you decide to try this, you’ll probably be amazed at how many people appear on your list.  I had one client who said, “I probably don’t have enough weeks left in my life to write everyone on my list.” This may or may not be true for you, but chances are, there are a number of people in your life, or from your past, who are quite deserving of a friendly, heartfelt letter.  Even if you don’t have people in your life to whom you feel you can write, go ahead and write the letter to someone you don’t know instead – perhaps to an author who may not even be living, whose works you admire.  Or to a great inventor or thinker from the past or present.  Part of the value of the letter is to gear your thinking toward gratitude.  Writing the letter, even if it isn’t sent, would do just that.

          The purpose of your letter is very simple: to express love and gratitude.  Don’t worry if you’re awkward at writing letters.  This isn’t a contest from the head but a gift from the heart.  If you can’t think of much to say, start with short little notes like, ‘Dear Jasmine. I woke up this morning thinking of how lucky I am to have people like you in my life. Thank you so much for being my friend.  I am truly blessed, and I wish for you all the happiness and joy that life can bring.  Love, Richard.’

          Not only does writing and sending a note like this focus your attention on what’s right in your life, but the person receiving it will, in all likelihood, be extremely touched and grateful.  Often, this simple action starts a spiral of loving actions whereby the person receiving your letter may decide to do the same thing to someone else, or perhaps will act and feel more loving toward others.  Write your first letter this week. I’ll bet you’ll be glad you did.”

Personal Note: Today would have been my wife Judy’s birthday. This is how she lived her life. She sent notes to everyone that came to her mind. She never had a day that she did not send at least two notes to people. Who can you touch today?

 

 

While stationed in Washington, D.C., this man used Arlington National Cemetery as a shortcut on his way to give a briefing at Fort Myer. To his surprise he encountered a roadblock manned by the military police. An MP approached him and said in a stern voice, “Are you supposed to be here?”

Unsure of what to say, he replied, “Not yet.”  The MP held back a smile and waved him on.

 

A small boy stunned his parents after church one Sunday when he began to empty his pockets of nickels, dimes and quarters.  Finally his mother asked the obvious question, “Where did you get all that money?”

“At Sunday school,” the boy replied nonchalantly.”They have bowls of it.”

 

For the umpteenth time Mrs. Youngston came to her parish priest to tell him, “Father, I’m so scared! Joe says he’s going to kill me if I continue to come to your church.”

“Yes, yes, my child,” replied Father Francis McCrady, more than a little tired of hearing this over and over. “I will continue to pray for you, Mrs. Youngston. Have faith – the Lord will watch over you.”

“Oh yes, Father, he has kept me safe thus far, only…..”

“Only what, my child?”

“Well, Father, now he says if I keep coming to your church, he’s going to kill YOU!”

“Well, now,” said the priest, “Perhaps it’s time to check out Father Lawrence Greider’s parish over on the other side of town.”



RIGHT ACTIONS

NOVEMBER 10

“If you continue to do what’s right, what’s wrong will eventually leave your life.” David Blunt”

            “A businessman had personalized letterhead that read: ‘Right is right even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong even if everyone is for it.’  James 1:12 says, ‘Happy is the man who doesn’t give in and do wrong when he is tempted, for afterward he will get as his reward the crown of life that God has promised those who love Him.” (LB)

            Spend less time worrying about who’s right and take charge of deciding what’s right in your life.  Don’t let someone else choose it for you.   Your failures may be planned by hell, but your victory is planned by heaven.  ‘And remember when someone wants to do wrong it is never God who is tempting him, for God never wants to do wrong and never tempts anyone else to do it.”  (James 1:13 LB)

            You cannot do the right thing too soon, for you never know when it will be too late.  You can always find the time to do what you really want to do.

            Successful people understand that no one makes it to the top in a single bound.  What sets them apart is their willingness to keep putting one right step in front of the other, no matter how rough the terrain.  We are what we repeatedly do.

            Consider the words of John Wesley:

            Do all the good you can.

            In all the ways you can,

            In all the places you can,

            At all times you can.

            To all the people you can.,

            As long as ever you can.

            You draw nothing out of the bank of life except what you deposit in it. The height of a man’s potential is in proportion to his surrender to what is right.  People who live right never get left.  Any act of disobedience lengthens the distance between you and your dreams.  Likewise, the realization of your dreams is accomplished by sustained prayer and right action.”

            Taken from You’re Born an Original, Don’t Die a Copy, by John L. Mason.

            Pastor Don

 

A young man visiting a dude ranch wanted to be “macho,” so he went out walking with one of the hired hands. As they were walking through the barnyard, the visitor tried starting a conversation: “Say, look at that big bunch of cows.”

The hired hand replied, “Not ‘bunch,’ but ‘herd.’ ”

“Heard what?”

“Herd of cows.”

“Sure, I’ve heard of cows. There’s a big bunch of ’em right over there.”

 

Is a minister rehearsing his sermon practicing what he preaches?

 

Then there is the preacher who keeps bragging that his sermons are well timed.  The congregation keeps looking at their watches.

 

A sixth grade class is doing some spelling drills. The teacher asks Tommy if he can spell ‘before.’

He stands up and says,  “Before, B-E-P-H-O-R.”

The teacher says, “No, that’s wrong. Can anyone else spell before?”

Another little boy stands up and says, “Before, B-E-F-O-O-R.”

Again the teacher says, “No, that’s wrong.” The teacher asks, “Little Johnny, can you spell ‘before’?”

Little Johnny stands up and says, “Before, B-E-F-O-R-E.”

“Excellent Johnny, now can you use it in a sentence?”

Little Johnny says, “That’s easy. Two plus two be fore.”



KEEP YOUR DREAMS ALIVE

OCTOBER 18

          “Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in.  Study how he did it.  Because he never lost sight of where he was headed – that exhilarating finish in and with God –  he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever.  And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God.”  Hebrews 12:2  The Message Bible

          Today’s emphasis on success and leadership is wonderful, if it follows the pattern of Jesus Christ.  Jesus was a very successful leader and yet stayed in the position of a servant.  The true leader today will recognize the needs of those around him and help meet those needs rather than step on those weaknesses to get to the top.  Here are some ABC’s that will help you fulfill your God given aspirations.  Hope they help.

THE ABC’s THAT MAKE DREAMS

Avoid negative people, places, things and habits.

Believe in yourself.

Consider things from every angle.

Don’t give up and don’t give in.

Enjoy life today, Yesterday is gone.  Tomorrow may never come!

Family and friends are hidden treasures.  Seek them and enjoy their riches.

Give more than you planned.

Hang on to your dreams.

Ignore those who try to discourage you!

Just do it!

Keep trying no matter how hard it seems.  It will get easier!

Love yourself first and most.

Make dreams happen.

Never lie, cheat or steal.  Always strike a fair deal.

Open your eyes and see things as they really are.

Practice makes perfect.

Quitters never win and winners never quit!

Read and learn about everything important to you.

Stop procrastinating!

Take control of your own destiny.

Understand yourself in order to better understand others.

Visualize your dreams.

Want your dream more than anything.

X-ccelerate your efforts.

You are a unique individual.  Nothing can replace YOU!

Zero in on your goals and GO FOR THEM!

– Unknown

         

 

 

Can’t Tell A Young Preacher Anything

A young preacher was contacted by the local funeral director to hold a grave-side committal service at a small local cemetery for someone with no family or friends. The preacher started early but quickly got himself lost, making several wrong turns.

He arrived a half-hour late, the hearse was nowhere in sight, and the workmen were eating lunch.

The pastor went to the open grave and found the vault lid already in place.  Taking out his book, he read the service.

As he was returning to his car, he overheard one of the workmen say: “Think we should tell him it’s a septic tank?”

 

You can never lose this golf ball

A golfer, playing a round by himself, is about to tee off, and a greasy little salesman runs up to him, and yells, “Wait! Before you tee off, I have something really amazing to show you!”

The golfer, annoyed, says, “What is it?”

“It’s a special golf ball,” says the salesman. “You can never lose it!”

“Whattaya mean,” scoffs the golfer, “you can never lose it? What if you hit it into the water?”

“No problem,” says the salesman. “It floats, and it detects where the shore is, and spins towards it.”

“Well, what if you hit it into the woods?”

“Easy,” says the salesman. “It emits a beeping sound, and you can find it with your eyes closed.”

“Okay,” says the golfer, impressed. “But what if your round goes late and it gets dark?”

“No problem, sir, this golf ball glows in the dark! I’m telling you, you can never lose this golf ball!”

The golfer buys it at once. “Just one question,” he says to the salesman. “Where did you get it?”

“I found it.”



HE’S GONE BEFORE

OCTOBER 13

          “Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished the race we’re in.  Study how He did it.  Because He never lost sight of where He was headed — that exhilarating finish in and with God — He could put up with anything along the way:  cross, shame, whatever.  And now He’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside of God.”  Hebrews 12:2  The Message Bible.

          Stuart Briscoe shares this story in a sermon entitled “Handling Your Insecurities.”

          “When I was in the marines, the training for commandos included cliff assaults. The theory was that a commando raid should be a surprise, done as quickly and as silently as possible on the area with the lightest defenses. The lightest defense is at the point where attack is least expected. More often than not, it was the cliffs. ”

“We would come close to the cliff in our small boats and fire one rocket up through the darkness. Attached to the rocket was a grapnel. Attached to the grapnel was a light rope. When the rocket landed on top of the cliff, the grapnel would lie on the grass. We would then pull it back gently until it caught on something. We hoped it caught on something secure. ”

“We had expert climbers. Those guys were like spiders. They would get out of the little boat onto the seaweed-strewn rocks, and scale those cliffs in the dark hanging onto this thin, little rope that was on the end of a grapnel they hoped was hanging onto something secure. ”

“A bigger rope trailed behind them. Below, we held onto the rope. When the climber got on the top, he would secure the rope he’d taken up and then give two little tugs on it. The minute the two little tugs came, we jumped out of our boats, cold and wet on the waves and rocks. We would scale the cliffs. It was a hairy experience, except we had utter confidence in the one who’d gone before us. We had utter confidence in the security of the rope he had fastened for us. ”

“You could imagine my delight when I discovered that Jesus is called “the one who has gone before,” or in the Greek, the “prodromos.” The prodromos was a person who headed a patrol in military maneuvers. He was the one who went ahead and made sure the way was open. I rejoice to tell you that many times we’d find ourselves totally secure on those cliffs because of the utter reliability of the skilled climber.”

          Look up, He’s already on top of the cliff.

          Pastor Don

 

CHURCH BULLETIN BLOOPERS 

*Sermon Outline: I. Delineate your fear                II. Disown your fear         III. Displace your rear

*Next Friday we will be serving hot gods for lunch.

*If you would like to make a donation, fill out a form, enclose a check and drip in the collection basket.

*Nov. 11: An evening of boweling at Lincoln Country Club.

*Women’s Luncheon: Each member bring a sandwich. Polly Phillips will give the medication.

*Karen’s beautiful solo: “It is Well with my Solo”

*Congratulations to Tim and Rhonda on the birth of their daughter October 12 thru 17.

*If you choose to heave during the Postlude, please do so quietly.

*We are grateful for the help of those who cleaned up the grounds around the church building and the rector.

*Hymn: “I Love Thee My Ford”

*Sign-up sheet for anyone wishing to be water baptized on the table in the foyer.

*Newsletters are not being sent to absentees because of their weight.

*Helpers are needed! Please sign up on the information sheep.

*The Advent Retreat will be held in the lover level of St. Mary’s Cathedral.

*The District Duperintendent will be meeting with the church board.

*As soon as the weather clears up, the men will have a goof outing.

*Fifth Sinday is Lent.

*Thank you dead friends.

*Diana and Don request your presents at their wedding.

*Lent is that period for preparing for Holy Weed and Easter.

*Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget all His benefits.

*For the word of God is quick and powerful…piercing even to the dividing asunder of soup and spirit.

*Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peach to men.

 

 

 



OUR THINKING VS GOD’S THINKING

JUNE 3

“It’s impossible. ” All things are possible.  Luke 18:27

“I’m too tired. . . ” I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28-30

“Nobody really loves me. . . I love you. John 3:16

“I can’t go on . . . My grace is sufficient.  II Corinthians 12:19

“I can’t figure things out. . . ” I will direct your steps. Proverbs 20:24

“I can’t do it . . . ” You can do all things. Philippians 4:13

“I’m not able.. . . ” I am able.  II Corinthians 9:8

“It’s not worth it. . . ” It will be worth it.  Romans 8:28

“I can’t forgive myself. . . ” I forgive you. I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1

“I can’t manage. . . .” I will supply all your need.  Philippians 4:19

“I’m afraid. . .  I have not given you a spirit of fear.  II Timothy 1:7

“I’m always worried and frustrated. . . ” Cast all your cares on Me.  I Peters 5:7

“I don’t have enough faith.. . .” I’ve given everyone a measure of faith.  Romans 12:8

“I’m not smart enough. . . ” I give you wisdom.  I Corinthians 1:30

“I feel all alone. . . .” I will never leave you or forsake you. Hebrews 13:5

 

Don’t Look Back

The Sunday School teacher was describing how Lot’s wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt, when little Jimmy interrupted.

“My Mummy looked back once while she was DRIVING,” he announced triumphantly, “and she turned into a telephone pole!”

 

Did you hear about the humorist who only told jokes about sausage?

His friends said his jokes were the wurst.

 

 



GOD PLANTS – WE GROW

JUNE 2

I was chatting with a fellow, who was somewhat discouraged because his ministry was not being accepted and recognized by those around him. Myself, I am never satisfied with what I am trying to achieve. I am often my worse critic (better me than someone else, right).

The Lord shared a special verse with me recently. It is the way I feel today. (1 Tim 1:12 NKJV) And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry,”

What a Blessing to know that our ministry and work are not given significance by what we or others say about it. I agree with David Ring, who said, God has been making a loaf of bread out of me since I was a baby. He mixed all the right ingredients into me, and he kneaded me, and poked me with all kinds of pressure. Now he has me in the heat of the oven of life. But one day, he’s going to open that oven door, and pull me to the edge and pushing his finger against my crusted shell . . . He’ll say, “Well Done”. And then I’ll be ready to be taken out.

I stand humbled that God counted me faithful (I didn’t), and that he put me into the ministry (I didn’t volunteer), but only because he enabled me (I couldn’t).

Be Blessed today. Remember, God has put you where you are, for such a season as this no matter what you or anyone else say.

 

A Radiant Smile

Lord Help Us All…

Lord help me to relax about insignificant details beginning tomorrow at 7:41:23 am p.s.t.

Lord help me to consider people’s feelings, even if most of them ARE hypersensitive.

Lord help me to take responsibility for my own actions, even though they’re usually NOT my fault.

Lord, help me to NOT try to RUN everything. But, if You need some help, please feel free to ASK me!

Lord, help me to be more laid back and help me to do it EXACTLY right.

Lord help me to take things more seriously, especially laughter, parties, and dancing.

Lord give me patience, and I mean right NOW!

Lord help me not be a perfectionist. (Did I spell that correctly?)

Lord, help me to finish everything I sta

Lord, help me to keep my mind on one th — Look a bird — ing at a time.

Lord help me to do only what I can, and trust you for the rest. And would you mind putting that in writing?

Lord keep me open to others’ ideas, WRONG though they may be.

Lord help me be less independent, but let me do it my way.

Lord help me follow established procedures today. On second thought, I’ll settle for a few minutes.

Lord, help me slow down andnotrushthroughwhatIdo.



RULES OR RELATIONSHIP

JANUARY 29

Not that we are adequate in ourselves. 2 CORINTHIANS 3:5 NAS

Have you ever watched someone walking a dog on a leash, when the dog doesn’t want to go where its owner is going? The owner is constantly tugging on the leash, pulling the dog from here and there, telling it to “stop that” and “come back here.” That’s the way a lot of us live. We are on a “law leash.”

Our lives consist of “Stop that; come back here; don’t do that.” Only it’s in terms of “Read your Bible; pray; go to church; pay your tithes; witness.” Now, these are certainly the things we should be doing, but God never meant us to do them at the end of a leash. What a difference when you see a dog and its owner that have a strong relationship. The dog doesn’t need a leash to go for a walk. Its owner can just speak a word and the dog responds. Now we’re not comparing ourselves to dogs, we’re comparing performance-based Christian living to relationship-based Christian living. Big, big difference! Paul writes: “Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” When God redeemed you, He wrote His law in your heart and mind (See Heb 10:16). That means He wants to relate to you from the inside. You shouldn’t need an external system of rules to “keep you in line,” because you have internalized God’s Word and you have a desire to obey and please Him from your heart.

Taken from THE BEST OF THE WORD FOR YOU TODAY

 

A guy was in a cave, looking for treasure. He found an old lamp, rubbed it, and a genie came out.

The genie said “I will grant you three wishes, but your ex-wife will get double.”

The man agreed, and said “I wish I had a mansion.”

The genie granted it, and his ex-wife got two mansions.

The man said “I would like a million dollars.”

The genie again granted it and his ex-wife got two million dollars.

​Then the man said, “Scare me half to death.”