Hold them in highest regard. 1 THESSALONIANS 5:13 NIV

Phil Hines tells a humorous imaginary story about Jesus walking along the road one day and seeing a man crying. When He asked what was wrong, the man replied, “I’m blind,” so Jesus healed him. Further along He met another man in tears and asked him the same question. He replied, “I’m lame,” so Jesus healed him. Then He encountered a third man weeping. In response to Jesus’ question he replied, “I’m a pastor.” So Jesus sat down and wept right along with him! Pas to ring can be a thankless job; that’s why the Bible says, “Hold them in highest regard. ”

Somebody has described the “Perfect Pastor” as one who preaches twenty minutes and sits down. Condemns sin without offending anybody, works sixteen-hour days doing everything from preaching to sweeping, makes $400 a week and gives $200 back to the church, wears nice clothes, has a model family, supports good causes and helps panhandlers who stop by the church. He’s thirty-six and he’s been preaching for forty years. He has a burning desire to work with the youth, and spends all his time with the senior citizens. He smiles all the time while keeping a straight face, because he has a keen sense of humor that finds him seriously dedicated. He makes twenty visits a day, spends every waking moment evangelizing, and is always in his office in case he’s needed. The bad news is, he burned out and died at thirty-seven! Paul writes, “Appreciate … pastoral leaders who gave you the: Word” (Heb 13:7 TM). “Honor those … who work so hard for you, who have … the responsibility of guiding you … Overwhelm them with appreciation and love!” (lTh 5:12-13 TM). In other words, support your pastor!



A priest, a minister, and a rabbi want to see who’s best at his job. So they each go into the woods, find a bear, and attempt to convert it.

Later they get together.

The priest begins: “When I found the bear, I read to him from the Catechism and sprinkled him with holy water. Next week is his first communion.”

“I found a bear by the stream,” says the minister, “and preached God’s holy Word. The bear was so mesmerized that he let me baptize him.”

​They both look down at the rabbi, who is lying on a gurney in a body cast. “Looking back,” he says, “maybe I shouldn’t have started with the circumcision.”



Forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against. MARK 11 :25 NLT

A lady was upset because her mother .. in-law forgot to ask her to a family picnic. So when her son called on the morning of the event to invite her, she replied angrily, “It’s too late- I’ve already prayed for rain!” When we’re hurting we want someone to pay, so we lash out at the wrong people. One lady writes, “I was so angry I spent years trying to collect what I thought was due, from people who’d nothing to do with my hurt. Finally God caused me to realize that I was trying to collect a debt from my husband that he didn’t owe. When I accepted this, God began to bless me beyond anything I could ever have imagined.”

One night after preaching about forgiveness, Corrie Ten Boom recognized that the man approaching her was a former guard from Ravensbruck, the Nazi prison camp where she was tortured and her sister Betsie starved to death. When he asked her to forgive him, Corrie thought about Betsie, and felt she

couldn’t do it. Nevertheless she knew she must, otherwise everything she’d preached would be meaningless. So she told God, “I can extend my hand, I can do that much, but You’ll have to supply the feelings.” Taking the man’s hand she felt God’s power rushing through her, enabling her to whole-heartedly say, “I forgive you, brother,” Corrie never experienced God’s love so intensely as she did that night. Although she’d been badly tortured, she let God heal her, and then went on to help others. The truth is-forgiveness is the only way to have peace!



​For many years a prominent pastor had the reputation for his fine sermons which were not only inspirational, but unusually short.

When asked about his unusual awareness of time, he told this story:

“One Sunday I was delivering a sermon to my first congregation, and I became so carried away with the sound of my own words that I didn’t realize how restless the people were becoming until a small boy, who had been squirming and fidgeting in the front pew, caught my attention.

I saw him tug at his mother’s sleeve and then, in a voice that could be heard throughout the church, he shouted, ‘Mommy, are you sure this is the only way to get to heaven?'”



There were no blacksmiths in the land. 1 SAMUEL 13:19 NLT

Bible says, “There were no blacksmiths in the land of Israel in those days. The Philistines wouldn’t allow them for fear they would make swords and spears for the Hebrews … none of the people of Israel had a sword or spear, except for Saul and Jonathan” (1Sa 13:19-22 NLT).

To keep the Israelites in slavery, the Philistines removed all the blacksmiths. It was a devastating blow. Blacksmiths made swords to be used in battle and sickles to be used in the harvest field. Can you imagine the effect that would have on a nation? Satan’s tactics haven’t changed. His goal is still to silence the molders and shapers of a new culture-a kingdom culture. Why do we need spiritual blacksmiths? Because they understand how to shape raw material into something God can use. They not

only shape it, they sharpen it. All great leaders have emerged from raw material. And tomorrow’s leaders are walking around today in raw form just waiting for a spiritual blacksmith to come along. Unfortunately many ministry leaders are so busy “running the show,” they don’t take the time to work with raw material. Spiritual blacksmiths aren’t only needed in the local church, they’re also needed in the nation to reshape our culture. We need “influencers’ who can reform the ranks of business, education, government and media. Any volunteers? It’s time for the spiritual blacksmiths in the land to break free from the constraints of the Philistines and return to the ancient craft of shaping men and women for God’s service. The battle is too big for Saul and Jonathan to handle alone!



​Personnel manager: “So you would like a job in this office?

“Well, what can you do?”

Prospective employee: “Nothing.”

Personnel manger: “Sorry, you should have applied earlier. All of those high paying jobs are now filled.”


The young man from Mississippi came running into the store and said to his buddy, “Bubba, somebody just stole your pickup truck from the parking lot!”

Bubba replied, “Did y’all see who it was?”

The young man answered, “I couldn’t tell, but I got the license number.” ..



Elijah ‘was … just like us. JAMES 5:17 NIV

What was God’s prescription for getting Elijah back on his feet? A lecture on the prophet’s faltering faith? No, just rest and nourishment! God recognizes our limitations, even when we don’t. “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out” (Is 42:3 NIV). When we neglect our own legitimate needs, it shows up in our attitude.

God understands that being down is a “perspective” problem, and getting back up requires adjustment in four crucial areas. So; (1) He adjusted Elijah’s God-perspective. “Get in the presence of God and he’ll meet with you” (See 1Ki 19:11 NIV). The One who gave Elijah victory on Mount Carmel, could also

sustain him. in the desert of Jezreel, But first Elijah had to spend time with Him, otherwise he was running on an empty tank. Hello! (2) He adjusted Elijah’s world-perspective. Elijah said, “God’s covenant is broken, His altar destroyed, His prophets murdered, and I’m the only one left” (See v. 14). But God

showed Elijah that He still had the necessary resources and strategies to accomplish His purposes, even in a hostile environment. (3) He adjusted Elijah’s self-perspective. The prophet saw himself as helpless and inadequate: “Lord, let me die, for I am no better than those who preceded me” (See v. 4). But God

showed him there were still kings to anoint, battles to win, and that Elijah had an important role to play (See v. 16). (4) He provided a helper. He sent Elisha to minister to him (See v. 21). You’re not supposed to carry it all alone! Allow yourself to need help, and watch who God puts in your life to support you.



​While driving in Pennsylvania, a family caught up to an Amish carriage.

The owner of the carriage obviously had a sense of humor, because attached to the back of the carriage was a hand printed sign:

“Energy efficient vehicle . . .

  Runs on oats and grass.

Caution: Do not step in exhaust.”



Elijah was … just like us. JAMES 5:11 NIV

There are times in life when we all feel down. But God’s Word shows us the way to get back up. Look at Elijah, who “was just like us.” How come he got so far down?

(a) It happened on the heels of a great victory. He didn’t start out in the doldrums, and he didn’t fall into sin. No, he’d just called down fire from heaven and slain 450 false prophets (See 1Ki 18:22-39). But that’s hard world So he went from exhilaration to exhaustion. Weary, defenses down and vulnerability up, he fell into a natural depression because fatigue strips us of our courage. (b) Pear caused hint to lose perspective. The man of God who’d just faced down an evil multitude, ended up running from one woman, jezebel (See 1Ki 19). Fear made him forget God’s power; it skewed his perspective and left him feeling suicidal. Exhaustion coupled with fear is a dangerous combination. It invites hopeless, wrong thinking, and creates the illusion that your options are gone. (e) He became isolated. Elijah left his servant at Beersheba and journeyed into the wilderness alone (LKi 19:3-4), When you most need support, anxiety, a sense of inadequacy and fear of failure, will push you into isolation. At that point you’re in the worst possible company-your own. Elijah thought, “1 am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me” (vv.10, 14 NIV). Translated: “It’s bad and I can’t see it getting better!” When you’re down isn’t the time to isolate. That’s when you need to reach for God, and the people who love you and can help you back up.



Some ladies were out for a ride somewhere, and the 90-year-old lady who was the designated driver for the occasion was driving over 100 miles an hour, and was not staying within the lines of the highway, and getting too close to the middle and the edge the road.

One of the ladies who was terribly freighted asked her about her driving by saying, “Millie, don’t you think you should slow down and be more careful? We are afraid you are going to wreck the car and kill us all!”

The 90-year-old lady exclaimed innocently by saying, “Am I driving?”

Sunday, July 5, 2020 INVITATION

Pastor Don is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Zoom Meeting
Time: Jul 5, 2020 11:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. COLOSSIANS 3:13 TM

Jimmy drank too much at the party and embarrassed his wife Lisa. Next morning he felt bad and asked her to forgive him. She said she would, yet she kept bringing it up. One day in discouragement he said, “I thought you were going to forgive and forget.” She said, “1 have, I just don’t want you to forget that I have forgiven and forgotten.” Do you forgive like that?

Keeping score only works in competitive sports; it’s disastrous in relationships. There’s so much good in the worst of us and so much bad in the best of us, that we’ll spend much of our lives learning to forgive and forget. And forgetting is harder when the offence is great. Small offences can be forgiven quickly; big ones require a healing process. But until you make the decision to forgive, the process can’t even begin.

How can you “Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you”? Paul answers, “Clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others” (Co13:12-13 NIT). To practice this kind of forgiveness you must focus on a person’s worth, not their weaknesses. You must turn your heart away from what was, to what can be. You say, “\Why should I forgive and forget?” (1) Because God’s Word tells you to. (2) Because you yourself will continue to need forgiveness. (3) Because you weren’t built to carry the stress that goes with resentment. 



In England, the Declaration of Independence is known as “old junk mail.”


Tomorrow is Independence Day in the USA, or as we call it in Canada, Saturday.


So, on July 4th, one of the hottest days of the year, we’re all going to sit outside of our air-conditioned homes and cook over a fire?



Peter replied, “Tell me to come to you on the water .: ” MATTHEW 14:28 NIV

Peter didn’t walk on the water all by himself, he did it with Jesus. Today Christ invites you to walk with Him and experience His miracles. Why don’t we see more of them in our lives? Because:

(1) We don’t pray and believe God for them. Jesus said, “If you abide Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire” and it shall be done for you” Un 15:7 NKJV). Your prayers give God an invitation, an entry point and a channel through which His miraculous power can flow to change your

circumstances. But you have to pray and believe Him to do it! (2) We think the day of miracles is past. The Scriptures declare, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb 13:8 NKJV). In reality there never has been “a day of miracles,” there’s only a God of miracles, and He never changes. So don’t limit Him! (3) We allow sin to sabotage our confidence, John writes, “If our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him” ( I]n 3:21-22 NIV). (4) We look at the situation instead of the

Savior; and our faith falters. When Jesus asked Peter; “Why do you doubt?” He was saying, “Don’t allow this storm to overwhelm you, I’m right here with you. Your problem is under My feet, therefore it’s under your feet too. Just keep your eyes on Me, keep walking by faith and stick to the plan!”



July 4th is to pyromaniacs what Thanksgiving is to overeaters


Really hoping to get my organic watermelon off layaway at Whole Foods before the Fourth of July this year,


These fireworks are awesome! High four!



Then Peter got … out of the boat, wall zed on the water … toward Jesus, MATTHEW 14:29 NIV

Peter proved that as long as you keep your eyes on Jesus and stick to the plan, you won’t go under. Notice:

(1) Before you get into something, make sure it’s God’s will for you! Peter said, “Lord, if it’s you, bid me to come to you on the water” and Jesus said, “Come.” Before you take on something like water-walking, pray and be sure God’s in it. In other words, get God’s plan and stick to it. (2) Don’t expect everybody in the boat to go with you. Water-walking is a lonely calling; it sets you apart from those who are timid and

security-minded. It also tends to bring criticism from those who think you’re making them look bad by contrast. (3) If you wait for good weather you’ll miss your m0111ent. When Jesus said, “Come,” they were in the middle of a storm .. Face it; we’d all like the stars to line up, or some big donor to underwrite the whole project before we make a move. But how often does that happen? Peter wasn’t walking on the water; he was walking on the Word! What has God told you to do? Stop waiting for ideal conditions and start doing it! (4) Don’t expect a mistake-tree performance. Nobody walks without fluctuation. The Bible describes its heroes in one sentence: “Whose weakness was turned to strength” (Heb 11:34 NIV). All great men and women of God you admire, go through sinking spells when they cry out, “Lord, save me.” And do you know what? He does! And He’ll do the same for you.



I always forget it’s America’s birthday since I’m not friends with it on facebook.


Was told today I’m not supposed to call them “illegal fireworks.”

They’re “undocumented” fireworks.


A man died after lighting fireworks off the top of his head. Medical attention was delayed because everyone was looking up.



My God, why have you forsaken me? MATTHEW 21:46 NIV

Jesus knew that Judas would betray Him, yet He didn’t stop him. He could have summoned twelve legions of angels to help Him, yet He didn’t call on them. Under the weight of our sins He cried from the cross, “My God, why have you forsaken me?” That’s because He understood it was all part of God’s plan for Him. His words, “God, where are you?” teach us that:

 (a) You can be in God’s plan, yet at times feel overwhelmed and alone. (b ) When God doesn’t answer, you must stand on the Word He has given you. (c) The pain of this season will eventually give way to the joy God has awaiting you on the other side of it. So stick to the plan; that’s what disciples do.

The word “disciple” means to be disciplined. It means sticking to the plan when you’re under attack. It: teaches you how to function when you don’t feel like it. The enemy will come against the plan of God in your life, because that plan is like a hedge of protection around you, As long as you stay in God’s plan, nothing that the enemy does can destroy you, So, when YOLI feel like you’ve reached the end of your rope and you can’t go another step, do what Jesus did-s-pray, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Lk 23:46 NIV). Give it to God! Look up and say, “Lord, I’m trusting You to do what I cannot do. Bring me through this. Here it is; I’m turning it over to You. My life, my future, and my all are in Your hands!”



You have to love a nation that celebrates its Independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.

Erma Bombeck


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