Saturday, September 27, 2014

HOW’S YOUR DRIVING? - Bulletin 09-21-14

I’m getting ready to take a much needed road trip today. Beginning a trip on a Sunday reminds of another Sunday morning 46 years ago.  Our Sikes’ family and the children’s home chorus were traveling 90 miles to Lawton, Oklahoma for a special morning service.  The chorus was just ahead of me in the home bus, while I skillfully followed behind, driving our family’s station wagon with Dad sitting in the front seat next to me. 
It began to rain, but that posed no problem.  I quickly turned on the wipers, feeling a little smug about my 16 year-old abilities to handle any situation.  We then came to a hilly stretch of two-lane road.  I remember the attitude,  “I was born to drive.”  The bus passed a slower vehicle and after checking ahead for clearance, I began to follow suit.  However, while in the passing lane, I noticed two things instantaneously: 1) I was passing in a “NO PASSING ZONE” and 2) the vehicle I was passing was a police car! 
The rest of the story is quite humbling: I received a ticket and we were all late for worship.  Why?  We had to wait a long time for the tow truck to show up.   What tow truck?  The one that had to pull us out of the bottom of the ravine because I had temporarily forgotten about the side of the road being so waterlogged!  What a slide!  My ego and lack of experience contributed to my overlooking every warning signal in the book!  
I once read an article by Lindsey Curtis, M.D., entitled, “Seven Warning Signals of a Troubled Marriage.”  
  1. When common courtesies are abandoned.
  2. When couples begin to think in terms of “I” instead of “We”. 
  3. When they stop complimenting each other.
  4. When stubborn silence replaces common-sense communication.
  5. When they stop praying together.
  6. When they fail to sense and meet the needs of each other.
  7. When they fail to express love. 

HOW’S YOUR DRIVING?  God is good.  Mr. Steve

TOO BUSY? - Bulletin 09-14-14

“The conditions of modern-day living devour margin.  If you are homeless, we send you to a shelter.  If you are penniless, we offer you food stamps.  If you are breathless, we connect you to oxygen.  But if you are marginless, we give you yet one more thing to do.  Marginless is being thirty minutes late to the doctor’s office because you were twenty minutes late getting out of the bank because you were ten minutes late dropping the kids off at school because the car ran out of gas two blocks from the gas station – and you forgot your wallet.  Margin, on the other hand, is having breath left at the top of the staircase, money left at the end of the month, and sanity left at the end of adolescence.”
The above are the opening words of Dr. Richard Swenson’s best seller: Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives.”  Reading Dr. Swenson’s book for the first time is as convicting as a CT scan revealing areas of marginless living within me! 
Marginless is fatigue; margin is energy.  Marginless is red ink; margin is black ink.  Marginless is hurry; margin is calm.  Marginless is anxiety; margin is security.  Marginless is culture; margin is counterculture.”
The Psalmist view of margin can perhaps best be articulated by the following stanza: 
"BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.  The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress (P 46:10-11).”
It’s September, 2014 -- the beginning of a new school year.  We are a hurried people: there are so many things to do, so many places to go, so many decisions to be made …. therefore, we MUST WAIT, we MUST BE STILL, we MUST LIVE LIVES OF MARGIN BEFORE THE LORD!  AND... PRAY OUR “BUSYNESS” IS FIRST GOD’S BUSINESS.  
God is good all the time.  Mr. Steve

ONE LINERS - Bulletin 09-07-14

“Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them.”  Ezekiel 37:13

It’s amazing how much truth can get packed into one line!  Here’s a selection of some other one-liners:
   *Give God what is right – not what’s left.
   *A lot of kneeling will keep you in good standing.
   *We don’t change God’s message – His message changes us.
   *Never give the devil a ride – he will always want to drive.
   *Nothing else ruins the truth like stretching it.
   *He who angers you controls you.
   *God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
Jesus said more than a few one-liners in His three and one-half year ministry.  Here “go” three of them:
   *Go and sin no more (John 8:11).
   *Go, your faith has made you well (Mark 10:52).
   *Go therefore and make disciples… (Matt 28:19-20).
And, here’s one of my very favorite one –liners:

God is good all the time and all the time....Mr. Steve

ANCHOR MAN - Bulletin 08-31-14

Jeremiah and Ezekiel are written indictments against godless leadership in government, religion and family.  For positive family leadership, my mind goes back to a book I have read several times called “Anchor Man” by Steve Farrar.  In one chapter, Farrar gives 50 coaching tips to parents (especially men) on how to coach your children.  
Here are twelve of his coaching tips:
  1. Coach them how to pray.
  2. Coach them the most important book in all the world is the Bible.
  3. Coach your sons that men protect women.
  4. Coach them ahead of time how to handle pornography.
  5. Coach your daughters that there are two kinds of beauty – outside and inside – and that inside is more important to you and God.
  6. Coach them to do a job right – the first time.
  7. Coach your son to be a gentleman; coach your daughter to be a lady.
  8. Coach them that motherhood is the most important job in the world and definitely more important than a career.
  9. Coach them to love people and use things – instead of the other way around.
  10. Coach them that Daddy will never leave Mommy.
  11. Coach them that there is nothing they could ever do that would make you stop loving them.
  12. Coach them that there is nothing they could ever do that would make God stop loving them.                                                        
Anchor your kids in the Lord!  God is good all the time.  Mr. Steve

ABC’S of JESUS - Bulletin 08-24-14

Ezekiel is called the “son of man” 93X in his book.  Interestingly enough, this is the title Jesus uses most often to refer to Himself!  Some other names of Jesus include:


3 lists compiled by Patti Sikes