Willohroots


Patience to wait for Change
March 12, 2010, 14:53
Filed under: Bible study, Christ, culture, faith | Tags: , , ,

There are all Kinds of people who come to Dayspring Bible Chapel where I preach and pastor.  The guy above is quite typical.  He might not be welcome at a lot of churches. It is true that I end up cleaning up a lot of butts,  and I have been told that “good people’  will not stop at our church if they see this type out in the parking lot,  I feel even apes with bad habits need to know the Word of the Lord.  We are working on civilizing these guys, but smoking, as bad as it is, is better than what a lot of them have left behind.   May God help us all to see our bad habits and leave them at the foot of the cross.

The above pictured type church attendee is my personal weak point.  Dealing with bratty females has never been easy for me.
This type comes in all ages,  and usually does not last in the Dayspring fellowship.  The ones who say they are Christian are the hardest to deal with. Those are the ones who feel the Holy Spirit has done His Sanctifying work on their bodies and souls, and are eager to guide others in the process that will make the rest of the church h as perfect as they are themselves.   Give me the apes, please, they know they are not much, and see the need for god in their lives.  the Bratties always feel God’s work in their lives is complete, and love to praise Him for His wonderful creations, themselves.

We now have a couple of these guys,  the Cool Bean Rockers!  They are too young to have messed up too much, but old enough to mess up if they do not focus on God.  They are talented , intelligent, and just the sort Satan would love to Enlist.  Can’t have them ole Slew Foot,  we got them first, and we are filling them with the Word so that they will never be of use to you.   If we work with these guys now perhaps they will never devolve into Apes!

We have had a few of these pass through.  I don’t get them.   They seem to live in a different world,  speak a different language and are genuinely alien to us.  They like the music, or the sermons, or the fellowship,  but usually only 1 or 2 out of 3.  never the whole package.  As they leave we hear.” Beam us up, no intelligent life here.”  Whatever, as long as they leave.  We think they are going to the mother-ship, but we know they don’t want fellowship with the Father and us.

While most people are accepted here, this is one group that is not.  We have many races at Dayspring,  and quite a few guys who are bald-headed, but what really counts is what is under the scalp.  Our Jesus was a Mediterranean  Jew, who would not be allowed in this group.  You just can not worship God if you worship your race.  Pick one.

This is just not allowed!  The holy Spirit is to empower you to do Kingdom work, not to foam at the mouth, or roll around on the floor.  I do not know what spirit makes men bark like dogs or laugh uncontrollably.   What ever spirit it is that makes people act drunken is the spirit that most at Dayspring seek deliverance from.  Sit up nice in church, or go lay on one of the couches, but we praise God that we no longer roll around on the floor, we sobered up.

These guys are rough to get in shape to join the flock.  Quite often they have a sickness on Sunday morning that prevents church attendance.  They call this sickness a “hang-over” but in reality it is residual poisoning.  On Saturday night they have not a problem in the world, and are ready to plunder, fight, mate with women who look attractive through their beer goggles, and ‘ eat drink and be merry for tomorrow they might die’.  We have found that alternative fellowship, true friendship, the type that continues when the wallet is empty, combined with the Wisdom of the Word, can affect even these  denizens of the alcoholic depths.   Real men stay sober in order to serve the Lord.  “Take a seat, Think, and be Holy, for someday you shall surely die”.

A few of the guys at Dayspring have worn this fashionable attire.  The matching bracelets have secured many of our writs.  Quite a few of us have an allergy to alcohol,  when we drink we break out…in handcuffs.    I love working with people like this.  They understand guilt.  They know of a Judge.   They can admit their sin.  These are the people who worship a God who had new mercy every morning.   Humility goes well with an orange jump suit.

Well it is time to prepare to meet the church on Sunday.  Hopefully I will have smiling faces of repentant people before me, eager to hear the Word of the Lord, and eager to humbly serve the Kingdom.  Or maybe this guy…

Whosoever will may come.

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Lost Sinners, to Believers, to Ministers
February 5, 2010, 11:08
Filed under: faith | Tags: ,

Growing in Christ, for service.

What a joy it is to see those you have ministered to begin to minister to others!  I count it a privilege to minister to people.  It is a job I do not deserve,  a duty that is a gift.  I am starting to experience an even deeper joy.  The people I have ministered to in the name of the Risen Savior are ministering to others in the name of Christ.

Our little church has a lot of ministers.  There are people reaching out and loving others, sharing the love of Jesus, and having a faith that is alive with works.

I visited Marie in the hospital during her dark times.  She now visits the hospital, loving the infirm with a depth impossible before her own trials.

Jeff came to Dayspring seeking what Dan had, and now brings others to share what he found.

Bob had a grudge against preachers, [ understandable] and now is every Pastor’s dream, an elder who can teach, preach and pray.

Melinda was a youth in Praise team, now leads a praise team and ministers to youth.

Mike was an agnostic alcoholic, and now shares the Truth with the struggling as only someone who has been there could do.

Young Michael, who at one time had no communion with the Lord, now prepares His Table in true worshipful service.

Little Jessica, [2 years old] , the one for whose life we prayed, now hands out bulletins .  [You should see this, she takes her job seriously!]

G and P ,who once received economic help from the church, now bless the church with what God has given.

The Holy Spirit is working on us all to make us usable for the Kingdom. can anyone ask more?



Baby Jessica Update! Praise God, keep praying!
October 13, 2009, 08:49
Filed under: blessings, faith, Jesus | Tags: , , , ,
By the Grace of God, still with us!

By the Grace of God, still with us!

Patti sends us an update on our miracle girl!  This is Jessica, who was so ignored by her birth parents, that she needed to be Life flighted to Hershey Medical Neonatal Center, on the brink of death.  They neglected to give her food or water.  She is a survivor! Thank you Jesus

From Patti:

First of all I would like to thank all for your prayers to our awesome God for our sweet Jessica and Bob{[Patti’s husband, Jessica’s uncle]and myself. Don’t ever doubt that your prayers aren’t heard and answered,  and so gratefully and humbly appreciated by Bob and I.

Jessica will be 18 months old on October 21st. She is now almost 20 lbs and a healthy, bright, energetic little girl.  She is running, and talking.  She loves reading and can recognize all of the alphabet and some numbers. She knows pretty much every animal and the sound they make.

We took Jessica to an animal park/zoo.  She loved it so much.  She just laughed and pointed at all the animals and called them to come to her.  She fell in love with Twigga, the giraffe, who she got to feed carrots to. She had no fear as this huge animal bending down to her and wrapping his tongue around her little hand to take the carrot.  She laughed and wanted to keep feeding him, which she did many times.  Many people there took great joy at watching Jessica enjoying the animals.  They followed us around, some took pictures of her, one man took a video.   All had such smiles on their faces watching this little angel enjoying God’s creatures.

She is the biggest little helper.   She loves to help me cook and bake.   She is very stubborn and determined and just understands so much.   She truly is a miracle and a wonderful blessing and an amazing little girl.

October proves to be an eventful month.   Her birth father is awaiting a bench trial.   He has pleaded not guilty although the DA thinks he may end up pleading guilty at the trial.   This trial is to be within the next two weeks.   Her birth mother has her plea hearing on October 27th and is expected to plead guilty.   They both have been testing positive for drug and alcohol throughout the entire judicial process.     They had a meeting with Children and Youth and the mother showed up drunk.   Children and Youth have tried to get them to give up their parental rights, but the birth father said “it’s my kid” and they think the birth mother would have given up her rights,   but she was drunk,  and the birth father wouldn’t let her alone with them.

God has been proving to me over and over again who is in charge. In my most anxious moments He wraps His arms around me and says,” be calm, I am here”.  We had the nightmare case worker, and then she went on maternity leave and we were assigned a new case worker who was a dream. In September the old case worker was back.  She called me on the phone to set up a visit and not two minutes into the conversation she was already telling me not to get my hopes up about keeping Jessica.   Well, needless to say, my asthma kicked in because of my anxiousness.   I dropped to my knees and prayed God to let me just not listen to her.   I prepared myself for this meeting by having people pray,  and I spent all morning going from room to room just praying the blood of Christ and glorifying God for all He has done and will do.   By the time the knock on the door came the Lord had me in a peaceful state,  knowing he was in control.  When Miss Nightmare  came in and sat down,  I took a deep breath and smiled.    I  asked her how she was,  and told her how Jessica was doing.   She then told me (brace yourself)  Children and Youth were going to give total custody of Jessica to us and they would be out of the picture.   What an awesome God!!!   So on October 21st (Jessica’s 18 month birthday) we have a hearing to appoint Bob and I as Jessica’s sole legal guardians.   Thank you Jesus again and again!

We will now pursue adopting her. We have no idea what it will involve. Our prayer is that both parents will give up their parental rights. Maybe once they are convicted and jailed they will realize what they have done and if they care anything at all about Jessica they will realize that she is happy and thriving and in the best place she could be.

Please keep us in continued prayer. We look forward to adopting our little Jessica. Pray that we have wisdom in what to do and who to go to.

I thank Pastor Will and Dawn for their constant prayers and help. I thank my family at Dayspring Bible and also all of you who I wish I could meet and just give you a big hug.

Thank you so much! God bless you all!

Patty



Light at the end of the Tunnel
Tunnel through the rail road fill at 7 tubs.

Tunnel through the rail road fill at 7 tubs.

I have been going through some tunnel times.  I seem to be much better at getting a second interview than I am at getting a job.  I am sick of being broke, church giving is down, it rains a lot, my aches have aches, and I am generally miserable.  Worst of all i spent a lot of time this week with Johnny.  Johnny was my assistant Fire Chief for about 5 years back when i was Chief.  he saved my rear  in a figurative way a couple times, and I think God used him to save my life once.

The reason spending time with Johnny put the icing on my depression cake is that he has become a practicing alcoholic.  johnny is 7 years younger than I, but now he looks 10 years older.  his hands shake, his face is lined deeply, his legs can hardly hold him up.  His dad died of alcohol in 73, his pretty younger sister dies about six years ago, same thing.  I love this man, and just know he is on the way out.  I have tried praying, preaching, and invites to AA.  Without a Damascus  road experience he will go the way of his family.  I don’t see John often, but every once in a while, in the dead of night he will stop by, drunk as a skunk and smelling worse, to reminisce and wake me up.  It only happens two or three times a year.

I was with Johnny because he called me Wednesday,  his mom had passed away.   He needed his Chief.  I was with him as much as I could be.  We went to the funeral Mass at The Holy Redeemer.  His mom was a  strong Catholic, but it didn’t take for John.  They have a new priest, and I enjoyed[90%] of his homily. Their beautiful building with its vaulted ceilings is a lot different from, Dayspring’s drop ceiling plainness.  I hear they are going to sell it, and as much as I would love to preach there, i just don’t see that happening. Very Christ centered.  I stayed with him for the burial and the little dinner after. We sent over a ham and some buns, it is about all I can do.  I can’t reassure him, or promise reunion, he is not a believer.  he told me that this existence is Hell.  His theology is really wrong, but he is strong in his disbelief.

Anyway,  the Godlessness of the situation brought me to a dark spot.  I have to watch my self.  I have been really depressed in the past, and if I let my Gospel armor loosen, and if I do not take care of me and walk closer to God i can get so down i can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I took a hike with son in law Mark,  [Eutychus to us] , and took some pictures and walked the blues away.  It lifted me, may you enjoy.  These are from the Seven tubs Recreational area in my home County of Lucerne.

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The tree tops of north East Pa. The colors are coming in.

The tree tops of north East Pa. The colors are coming in.

Looking out to the Blue Ridge Mountains , across the Susquehanna valley

Looking out to the Blue Ridge Mountains , across the Susquehanna valley

One of the Seven tubs

One of the Seven tubs

Markus Eutychus, excellent hiking partner!

Markus Eutychus, excellent hiking partner!

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So how can you stay depressed with such natural glory around?  How can i be down when God has taken me through the tunnels of cancer, and pain, and paralysis?   Do I think God retired?  Am I silly or simple enough to think that He who started a good work in me will nor complete it?  Being around people who have shut out God really runs me down, being around God and His works is my prescription.  Hope you like the photos!



Searching for what is not hidden
October 3, 2009, 11:21
Filed under: apostacy, Bible study, Christ, faith, Jesus | Tags: , , , , ,

hiddeninplainviewIt is human nature to explore, to search and to delve into depth and hight never visited before.  This personality trait  of mankind has motivated us to cover the globe with  civilization,  exploiting as many of the God given resources as we can find and put to use.  Were we not made this way there would be no advancement, no exploration,  no progress.In  academic and philosophic  circles there is a great desire to plow the virgin field, and to stake claim to new grounds as the inventor or discoverer or progenitor of a new theory or school of thought.

It may be this portion of our nature that cause so many people to search for a “deeper” or “hidden meaning”  in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I am personally convinced that the Holy Bible holds all the    information needed to know and please  God, though the Good News of Jesus, the Risen Messiah.  The Bible has proven itself to me to be authoritative,  complete, and truly Holy.  There are many translations available to compare and contrast what is said to come to a personal  understanding of the meaning presented.  It is enjoyable and educational when people bring different translations to a small group study.  comments like,   “My Bible says,”  or “It is said a little differently here”  bring open discussion allow varying perspectives to be examined,  giving participants the opportunity to voice the sentence in their own words, so as to bring the meaning home.

Finding “hidden” meaning in Scripture is quite another matter.  There is a thriving industry, and has been as long as there has been scripture, in having some “enlightened soul”  teach the secret meanings, and “unlock” they mysteries of Holy Writ.  The new rash of Cabalists  tell people that they are skilled at finding the meaning in the white spaces on the page, not in the inked portion.  This obvious nonsense satisfies Madonna.  Books and websites and cults that brag on finding treasures hidden for centuries in the most read of all books abound.  There have been claims for everything from higher levels of awareness, to the location of Atlantis,  all placed in the bible, usually  KJ 1611,  or the original Hebrew, or even in a painting of The Last Supper.

Re-reading some Gnostic literature has fanned the flames of my irritation.  I take the words of Paul seriously, “This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God” , and I honestly do not believe that one can be a steward of the mysteries of god, without being a servant of Christ.  The conjunctive is binding.  Those who claim to have “mysteries” but are not serving Jesus, are quite possibly serving someone else all together.   Those who use the very words of the Savior to weave a web of confusion deserve a special place on my list of irritants.  Let me share this portion of poison.

Jesus’ Five Stage Model of Consciousness And How His Theory of Nature Provides the Key To Stage IV

Jesus’ parable of the sower (Mark 4:13-20) conveys how his teachings are received according to the stage of consciousness of the receiver. What the sower is sowing is the Word, meaning the logos/mind of God. As soon as those on the edge of the path (those in Stage I) hear about the word/logos, they let Satan [the personification of evil] come and carry it away. Similarly, those who receive the seed on patches of rock [those in Stage II] hear the Word [Jesus’ logos/logic teachings] and at first, welcome it with joy. But because they have no root in them, they do not last;.. When the first test or persecution on account of the word comes, they fall away at once. “For they have no moral conscience to persist. Then there are others, [those in Stage III], who receive the seed in thorns, [meaning in a judgmental environment]. They have heard the word, but the worries of this world, the lure of riches, and all other passions come in to choke the word, and so it produces nothing. And then, there are those who have received the seed in rich soil [those in Stage IV]. They hear the word and accept it and yield a harvest, 30 and 60 and a 100 fold.” [Mark 4:13-20]

The key concept, upon which Jesus anchored his knowledge teachings, is that each of us is meant to grow through five forms/states of consciousness and each form is initiated by a consciousness-raising idea.

This discussion  of   “levels of knowledge or awareness”  is quite common among those who seek to find the secret in the open.  Perhaps a better  “unwrapping”  of this parable was given by the author,” 10. And as soon as He was alone, His followers, along with the twelve, [began] asking Him [about] the parables. 11. And He was saying to them, “To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God; but those who are outside get everything in parables, 12. in order that while seeing, they may see and not perceive; and while hearing, they may hear and not understand lest they return and be forgiven.” 13. And He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? And how will you understand all the parables? 14. “The sower sows the word. 15. “And these are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them. 16. “And in a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky [places], who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; 17. and they have no [firm] root in themselves, but are [only] temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away. 18. “And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, 19. and the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 20. “And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it, and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”

Nothing of levels, but of different reactions differing people have to the gospel, a reaction we have all seen take place.  The 8th chapter of Romans is also given a treatment of being divided into levels.  It seems anything is used to promote the idea that some people know some facts that others have missed.

Could it be the truth is plainly laid out for us? Hebrews 1

1. God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2. in these last days has spoken to us in [His] Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high;

Joh 1:14
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Deuteronomy 30:11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, IT IS NOT HIDDEN FROM THEE, neither is it far off.

Col. 2: 2. That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; 3. In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4. And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. 5. For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. 6. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, [so] walk ye in him: 7. Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. 8. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

Before delving in to supposed mysteries and hidden revelation, we should encourage seekers to contemplate the ultimate Mystery. 1Jo 4:19

We love Him, because He first loved us.



There’s a sermon in it: Displaced fish
September 24, 2009, 10:19
Filed under: Christ, faith, Uncategorized | Tags:
Pond dwellers swimming in a cold mountain stream, for a time.

Pond dwellers swimming in a cold mountain stream, for a time.

It must be the preacher in me.  So often things in nature,  in life, in movies or a show, reach out to me with the Truth of  God’s  Word.  At church, before the sermon,  someone may put something in ‘The Mystery Bag” and I am challenged to preach a 4 or 5 minute impromptu  sermonette  to the children about whatever it is I may find there.  The kids seem to love it.  The principle is that since God is the Creator, everything created must tell His story.  I find that is true in all of life.

This spring there was a high water occurrence do to heavy spring rains.  We have been blessed with a small creek in the back yard, running down the middle of the property ,  normally home to striped minnows, crayfish, and the occasional  frog.   This spring the high water brought some unexpected guests.  From the pond at the top of the hill came some Bluegills.  Some of you may know them as blue-gilled Sunfish, or bream.  They had been swept down stream, over a 12 foot waterfall past the rocks and downed trees, and ended up in a small dammed area in the back yard.

Blue gills are not native stream dwellers.  They live naturally in  ponds and lakes, where the water is warmer and still.  They are not streamlined like trout, which are designed by the Creator to cut through currents and live in cold  moving water.  Their color helps them to blend with the weeds and grass of a shoreline, but betrays them in a free stone stream.  If my wife and I did not feed them they would never survive, and if we did not protect them the Great White Herons would have had a wonderful meal.  I’ll not soon forget the image of a 3 to 4 foot high bird in a larch tree giving my wife dirty bird looks,  as she scolded it for trying to get its lunch at stately  Willohroots Manor.   They have grown on their diet of bread and scrambled eggs.  I guess we could eat them,  or ignore them and let the high water or ice  take them to their doom,  but they have given us much pleasure this year,  as we have enjoyed watching them through crystal clear water as they fed and swam around.  Abandoning them now would be very out of character for Dawn and I.   This weekend we are going to scoop them up and give them a car ride back to the pond where they belong, so that they can live with their fellow pond-dwellers in safety and security,  safe from the ravages of winter.

Do you see the sermon in this yet?

This world is not our home.  It is a cold place where we are buffeted with the currents of the stream of things far beyond our control.  We are for a time in a damned place,  damned by our disobedience to to merciful God,  living in a place where the adversary prowls like a roaring lion waiting to devour us, where ravenous birds of the air prey upon the seeds of the Gospel that have no firm root in good soil.

Were it not for the protection and provision of a kind and loving Creator we would perish.  This Creator so loved us that He walked among us, being for a time,  a little fish in a great pond,  not choosing to rule, but to teach and guide us to repentance and love.  We have grown, even in this hostile environment, by his provision,  and he who has started a good work in us would never abandon us to the flood and the chilling cold of a time when His warming love is absent from the stream of history.   We hope we have given him pleasure with the sacrifice of our Worship, and our feeble attempts to imitate Him.  He has promised to gather us up,  all of us, the living and the dead, and take us to a place of warmth and eternal provision, where we can be with others of our kind in a place protected from all assault and deprivation.  He will not do this because of what we have done, but because that is His Nature, and His promises are sure.

Somehow that fish symbol means a bit more to me today.

He will gather us up , the whole school!

He will gather us up , the whole school!



My Daughter finds a new Worship Group
September 16, 2009, 09:48
Filed under: faith, Reaction | Tags: , , ,
Humbly seeking a Greater Power

Humbly seeking a Greater Power

My family and I have done some traveling through the Christian wilds of northeastern Pa.  There was a span of time where we visited quite a few different churches bringing the gospel message and singing blue grass and Southern gospel music.   The kids were never overly impressed with any of the church families  .   Now,  I  will grant you ,  my girls are a rough crowd.  They are very critical of “Holier than thou” and have a built in hypocrisy meter that goes off with great sensitivity.  [ I just can’t imagine where they get it.]

Often times we would  drive home with me being the apologist for the group we had just left.   Usually the conversation revolved around one or two of the group who exhibited highly judgemental behavior, or in some other way played the ‘competitive Christianity’  game and managed to offend my young daughters in some fashion.  In reality, it is not hard to offend young girls,  they are sensitive to even implied abuse.  I am not really sure the oldest girl ever healed from this duty fully,  as she still thinks 99.9% of all the Christians she meets are worthy of her disdain.  We are working on it.

When  the youngest daughter came in last night and announced she had discovered a group filled with humble hearts, seeking God, changing lives, and showing the way to Christ I was honestly  surprised!  Far more common would be here coming  home saying,  “You will not believe what I just experienced, and they call it a church!”   Last night she was energized in prayer, rejoicing over changed lives,  humbled by broken spirits, and warmed by love of others in this group and their love of a living God who is active in their lives.

Last night my daughter attended on open Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.