Friday, June 28, 2013


ChuckleBeautician: Did that mud-pack I gave you for your girlfriend improve her appearance?  Man: It did for a while -- but then it fell off.

Good Quote: "Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses." --Dr. George Washington Carver


    Jesus replied: "A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests . . . But they all alike began to make excuses" (Luke 14:16, 18 NIV).

In our passage, Jesus was teaching his followers through a parable about a great banquet that God is preparing and he is inviting all of us to the celebration.  But many who were invited began to make excuses for not accepting the invitation. You may have heard the saying: "If you don't want to do something, one excuse is as good as another."  This begs the question: Why are so many of God's people too busy to do his bidding?

I have often heard this excuse, and, regretfully, I've used it myself: "I just have too much on my plate right now" to serve God more fully and faithfully.  We can all be certain it isn't God who has filled our plates.  We do that ourselves with all the things that take our time, energy, and other resources.  Often, our plates are filled with everything except the most important -- God's plan for our lives.

In Jesus' story, many people turned down the banquet invitation because the timing was inconvenient.  They had other more pressing demands on their time.  We too may resist or postpone our response to God's invitation, and the excuses we offer may sound perfectly reasonable.  You may use work requirements, family responsibilities, financial needs, etc.  But make no mistake, God's invitation, whether it be for salvation or for Christian service, is the most important bidding in our lives, no matter how inconvenient the timing may seem.

As a Christian, if you find yourself making excuses for not making time for answering God's call to service, please remember the Holy Spirit who dwells within you.  If you will allow Him to help you filter out all the "junk" that's on your plate, you will suddenly realize that you have time for God, family, work, etc.  If the Holy Spirit has convicted you in this area, let Him help you readjust your priorities.  What are you willing to give up to accept God's invitation?  Just give God complete control of your life and your problem will be solved.

If you have never received Christ as Savior, please respond to His invitation by placing your trust in Him today. You have no guarantee of tomorrow.  Without making excuses, just ask Him to forgive your sins and come into your heart and life as Savior and Lord.

Love, Jerry & Dotse

Monday, June 3, 2013

Conquering Our Fears

Chuckle:  A little boy had a part in the school play that read, "It is I, be not afraid."  He came out on stage and said, "It's me and I'm scared!
Quote:  "The wise man in the storm prays to God, not for safety from danger, but for deliverance from fear."  --Ralph Waldo Emerson
    Then he (Jesus) asked them, "Why are you so afraid?  Do you still not have faith in me?"  (Mark 4:40 NLT).
Our fears have a major impact on the way we think and act.  We may be keenly aware of some of our most dreaded fears, but others may be buried so deeply in our psyche that we may not even be aware of them.  You may react to a situation instinctively, not fully understanding why you reacted in such a way.  A deeply rooted fear may be the culprit.  Fears of any intensity will ultimately control your life if you don't have the strength or courage to bring them to the surface and place them at the feet of Jesus.  God wants to help us root out our fears and free us from their debilitating effects on our conduct and happiness.
Life's storms come in many forms and intensities.  Think of situations that cause you the greatest anxiety.  Now think about all the miracles God has performed in your life; the most important of which is your salvation by faith in Jesus Christ.  If God can save your eternal soul, what makes you think He is incapable of taking away your fears?  Just bare your fears and view them in light of God's past faithfulness, and they will lose their control over you.
Now back to our passage.  Jesus equated the disciples' being afraid to a lack of faith in Him.  The disciples feared for their lives.  They were afraid the fierce storm would swamp their boat and they would drown.  They were afraid even with Jesus asleep in the boat with them, and this seemed to surprise and disappoint Jesus.  Do you think it disappoints our Lord when we let our fears rule our lives rather than trusting in Him in all situations? 
In situations that cause you to be afraid, you have two options.  You can panic, like the disciples, and assume that Jesus is no longer in control and does not care what happens to you; or you can conquer your fears by placing your complete trust in Him as Savior and Lord in all situations. 
Pastor Ray Stedman spoke to a young man who had given his heart to Christ in a Billy Graham crusade.  He fold him that his new life in Christ would free him from all fear of death.  The young man replied, "I have never been much afraid of death.  But I'll tell you what I am afraid of -- I'm afraid I'll waste my life."  Stedman then commented, " I believe that fear is deep within each of us.  It has been put there by our Creator.  No one wishes to waste his life."  --Ray Stedman, Authentic Christianity
Unconquered fears can certainly result in a wasted life.  But God can change all that if we only turn our lives and fears over to Him.         

Love, Jerry & Dotse