Sunday, April 30, 2017



Ecclesiastes 1:16-18      I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind. For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.

I was like the Rich Young Ruler who came to Christ carrying all his wealth and proclaiming his own fulfillment of the Law. I did everything the world's view of church required. When our first child was born I began attending church. I listened to the sermons, agreed with the message and walked away each week feeling "good"! The messages seemed to tell me there was more to just agreeing and paying "lip service" to God's teaching through Christ. But I continued struggling with worldly priorities of wealth, status and meaning of life as the world and church were telling me. I was finding it harder to listen to the both voices in my head.

I came to a point where the ways of the world were not satisfying
my inner needs and desires. I turned on a Christian TV station and asked Christ to lead me. I told him I would try his way, but that I needed his help.

Struggles continue in my life as God molds me like clay, brings me into conformity to his Will not my own. It's not easy to relinquish control over your own life; to allow God to rule as Lord and Savior. I always try to hold back something for myself. Gently, God, through the gospel of Christ brings me along in knowledge and truth. Each day is a new beginning, a fresh start daily.

Grace Presbyterian Church,  June 12, 1993

Saturday, April 29, 2017



Ecclesiastes 6:1-2     I have seen another evil under the sun, and it weighs heavily on men: God gives a man wealth, possessions and honor, so that he lacks nothing his heart desires, but God does not enable him to enjoy them, and a stranger enjoys them instead. This is meaningless, a grievous evil.

The ways of the world began to influence and affect my life. College days were spent in learning the wisdoms of the world. The days of employment were marked by the struggle for material success and acknowledgement by others of my successes. A high salary, impressive titles and position, many employees to rule over, people to impress these were the marks of my success as I understood success. The world had me by the heart and mind. Their philosophy I learned in self-help books. My mentors were men of the world. Greed, lustful, self-centered, egotistical were their principles of life they shared with me. They were my role models. Church life and Christian beliefs were no longer a part of my life. They were no existent in my world.

            All the efforts for material and worldly success proved to provide no happiness. I was neither content nor satisfied with the attainment of the world's success symbols. I realized in 1987 that my life was moving further from my family and my heart felt beliefs. Everything I tried to do as the world taught me was not proving to be fulfilling.

Grace Presbyterian Church,  June 12, 1993

Friday, April 28, 2017



Song of Songs 8:6-7    Love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away.

            God desires that we love Him with all our heart, our soul and our mind. After this He directs us to love our neighbor as our self.  Love is what a Christian is called to do in all walks of life. Your pastor has been called to this love as well. He involves himself in your lives. He shepherds you in the direction of Jesus Christ. This is no small task. His love exposes him to those who know no love. It makes him vulnerable to the sufferings of others.             The Apostle Paul speaks of his vulnerability in serving the church at Corinth: "I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep...I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches [the people]. Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn? “(2 Corinthians 11:27-29)

            “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The
alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside heaven where you will be perfectly safe from all dangers and perturbations of love is hell.” (The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis)

            Do not fall into the trap of being discriminating with your love. The tragedy of life is when love is not shared with God and others. It's all too easy to become selfish with love when you consider others who are different than you in one or many ways.

Reformed Theological Seminary, 1994.

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