God

Coal Basket Bible

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The Coal Basket Bible

The story is told of an old man who lived on a farm in the mountains of Kentucky with his young grandson. Each morning, Grandpa was up early sitting at the kitchen table reading from his old worn-out Bible. His grandson who wanted to be just like him tried to imitate him in any way he could.

One day the grandson asked, “Papa, I try to read the Bible just like you but I don’t understand it, and what I do understand I forget as soon as I close the book. What good does reading the Bible do?”

The Grandfather quietly turned from putting coal in the stove and said, “Take this coal basket down to the river and bring back a basket of water.”

The boy did as he was told, even though all the water leaked out before he could get back to the house. The grandfather laughed and said, “You will have to move a little faster next time,” and sent him back to the river with the basket to try again.

This time the boy ran faster, but again the basket was empty before he returned home. Out of breath, he told his grandfather that it was “impossible to carry water in a basket,” and he went to get a bucket instead.

The old man said, “I don’t want a bucket of water; I want a basket of water. You can do this. You’re just not trying hard enough,” and he went out the door to watch the boy try again.

At this point, the boy knew it was impossible, but he wanted to show his grandfather that even if he ran as fast as he could, the water would leak out before he got far at all. The boy scooped the water and ran hard, but when he reached his grandfather the basket was again empty. Out of breath, he said, “See Papa, it’s useless!”

“So you think it is useless?” the old man said. “Look at the basket.”

The boy looked at the basket and for the first time he realized that the basket looked different. Instead of a dirty old coal basket, it was clean. “Son, that’s what happens when you read the Bible. You might not understand or remember everything, but when you read it, it will change you from the inside out.” That is the work of God in our lives. To change us from the inside out and to slowly transform us into the image of His son.

Take time to read a portion of God’s word each day, and remind a friend by sharing this story.

“Live Simply, Love Generously, Care Deeply, Speak Kindly, Leave the Rest to God

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From Facebook – Pastor Duke

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Duke Hergatt

It seems to me nobody owns Trump. Maybe that’s why he is so despised. What big money can’t control it will destroy. The deep state is very deep indeed. Follow the money is a great tool understand who really is in power. Find those in power and learn their agenda. Read the Bible and you’ll see it was all laid out from the ancient days. Give your heart to Jesus and rejoice in His soon return. So ..I guess I am now criminal for my faith.

I Just Don’t Get It

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The very people and groups who call everyone racists and sees racial overtones in literally everyone and everything are the very ones who when they first see a person see first the  color, race, religion, clothes and so forth first and do not see the person first.   And they also think that a black person, Asian or gay person are so weak and inept that they can’t think or fend for themselves.  And who appointed these asinine liberals to speak for all groups in the world;  did anyone ask these folks if they need or want these people  to think for them.

I have seen obsessive animal lovers who say they won’t eat meat because it means an animal has to die and it is cruel.  But I have noticed over time that these same people always without fail will make sure the dog or cat food they buy for their animals have “meat” in it.  I don’t get it,  is that meat in the animal foods not really meat – I don’t think so,  I’ve read the label.

I don’t get it when I hear liberals rail against capital punishment as being cruel and inhumane but these same folks are all pro abortion.   So somehow killing and mutilating babies is somehow ok?  Of course the other side is a bit inconsistent also as Pro Life usually means Pro Capital Punishment;   I am in this group I am afraid as if killers are put to death then they will not be hurting other people in the future.

On the lighter side when going to the grocery store to pick up toilet paper I find that it is not called toilet paper,  it is called bath tissue.  Now who among us has ever bathed with and dried off with “bath tissue”?   It is toilet paper folks – always was and always will be.

Easter Is Coming Up

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Easter is coming up pretty soon (couple weeks). Everyone is buying eggs to color and hide and I kind of like that also; I remember an Easter egg hunt at my Grandma Knights Methodist church in Mascotte FL. What fun, what memories. Of course as an adult I now know the real significance of Easter – a time of sadness that turns into a time of joy as Jesus sacrifices himself for us on the cross.

Waterford Weslyan Church has a huge Easter Egg hunt for children at a local park. This is a way to reach out and do something for the community much as Jesus has reached out to us in saving us. If I can get it to work I am going to try to insert here a YouTube video about Easter.

I Have Never . . .

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I have never seen so many people do and say so many stupid things as I have as we near the innauguration of Donald Trump.   The “tolerent” left is just going crazy trying anything they can think of to taint the innauguration and all of it is just plain stupid and annoying to those of us who are still sane.

I am thinking that if the media stopped giving these crazies a bully pulpit this whole mess would just fade away very quickly.    But that  is it isn’t it?    The main stream media “wants” to find and print as much as possible to taint Donald Trump and they now don’t ever care if it is true or not.

If the left believed half of the political correctness crap they are preaching then they wouldn’t spew the venom that keeps coming out of their mouths.

And the snowflakes that are supposed to be getting a college education to help them get and keep jobs for their future well being;  the liberal education they are being indoctrinated with will get them nowhere and probably ensure that they live in their parents basement and be on welfare most of their lives.    They are offended and need therapy because they saw Donld Trumps name in chalk on a sidewalk;   do they really think they should never have to see or hear anything that they don’t agree with.   When we were kids we always said “sticks n stones will break my bone, but words will never hurt me” and we went on with our lives knowing that the government can never legislate all of the hurt out of life – it isn’t possible;  and oh yeah other people have a right to their own set of likes and dislikes.  Here is some of the crap our kids are forced to learn or experience in colleges:

  • Students are using “ze” instead of “he” or “she”.
  • Declaration of Independence Is Racist And Students Should Not Be Forced To Learn It
  • There Is An Actual Trauma Center For Millennials Who Can’t Cope With Adult Life
  • All over the country, the term “manhole” is being replaced with the terms “utility hole” or “maintenance hole”.
  • Liberal Writer Wants You To Know Salad Is Sexist And Oppressive
  • According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, it is illegal for employers to discriminate against criminals because it has a “disproportionate” impact on minorities.
  • Government workers in Seattle have been told that they should no longer use the words “citizen” and “brown bag” because they are potentially offensive.
  • Med School Assistant Takes Disability Leave After Seeing Noose in Joke Display
  • University of Florida to Offer Counseling for Students Offended by Halloween Costumes
  • Be careful what you say at Virginia Tech. Chances are, it could be a microaggression.
  • Earlier this month a study by Northeastern University, Boston, appeared to conclude that men who smile at women and behave in a warm, friendly, chivalrous manner are guilty of “benevolent sexism” that was, in its own weird way, as harmful as shouting abuse at a woman.
  • Having too many white superheroes in one movie.
  • John Hopkins University allowing a Chick-fil-A on campus is an act of terror against the LGBT community.
  • The Princeton University HR department has largely wiped the word “man” from its vocabulary.
  • The Color Of Park Ranger Uniforms: Apparently, we need to change the color of Park Ranger uniforms because it might frighten illegal aliens entering the parks illegally or something….

OK I can’t include all of the ones I’ve been collecting,  I would need about 20 more pages.

I will leave you with the words of a TV personality from my youth.  “Whether you win or lose be a good sport”.     I do wish the adults of today would learn the lesson we learned as children.

NOTE:  before I leave this I just want to say the Trump was not my choice in the primaries but once he got it I took my lumps and went on with life and yes I did vote for him.

Is Christianity Dead ?

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From the blog I read called “Beauty Beyond Bones”.  I don’t know the writers full name but let me tell you she has the best and most interesting blog posts.   A young lady who has deeper and more interesting thoughts than I have even on a good day.   Without further ado I am going to copy it and past it in here because I think it is a subject that the world needs to think more about.


 

Is Christianity Dead?

 

Well folks, another Christmas is in the books!

Christmas 2K16 is officially behind us. The eggnog has been consumed. Gifts gifted. Food coma endured. And for those brave souls who took on a real tree this year, its pine needles are officially all over the floor and will be mysteriously appearing in random crevices for the next 4 months.

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Ever since I was of “appropriate age,” my family has always gone to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. It is one of my favorite memories and traditions. The caroling at 11pm. The candles. The trumpets. For the past, say, 15+ years, we have been going, and every year, we’d always get there right at 11:00, throwing elbows, and staking out our pew, as it is always standing room only. And don’t even bother coming at 11:15…because there will be no parking and you’re guaranteed to be standing – two deep – in the back.

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But over the past couple years, I’ve noticed that each Christmas, we don’t have to arrive quite as early. And the full-court-press/box-out/battle-to-the-death to get and save a pew has ever so gradually deescalated.

Until this year.

When the church was half empty.

Half empty.

For Midnight Mass. Christmas Eve.

There wasn’t a snow storm. The zombie apocalypse hasn’t happened….unless of course, I am terribly mistaken about that one..


But where the heck was everyone?

And I couldn’t help but ask myself, as I looked around and saw several dozen teenage boys counting the ceiling tiles, looking as though they wanted to die…is our faith on life support?

Are we experiencing the decline of faith and church as we know it?

Is Christianity dead?

And that friends, is not the type of thought pattern you want to be mulling over while in church, literally celebrating the birth of Christ.

As with everything in life, looking in the mirror is a hard thing to do. Facing the truth, acknowledging and accepting it…is an exercise in extreme humility, to say the least.

But let’s call it how it is…we are experiencing a decline in Christianity. Look it up. Pew studies. People identifying as Christian. Church attendance. Prayer. Christians actively living their faith are going down. Especially in Gen X’ers and Millennials.

And that. Is scary.

Leafing through the church bulletin after mass, I was almost in a fog. Nevermind the fact that it was nearing 2am and I had just come off a 7am flight from NYC the day before…but my mind was just swirling after witnessing the stagnant, lifeless state of my once vibrant and spiritually ablaze childhood parish. So I was numbly flipping through the pages.

And there was something that caught my eye.

There was, of course, a big “welcome” section in the front. Offering Christmas greetings to parishioners, out-of-towners, guests, non-Christians joining us, etc. All nice. Great.

And then there was the line, “We are your church family and are here for you!”

And I hate to admit this, but I’ve got to be honest….that really rubbed me the wrong way. It felt painfully disingenuous.

There’s a stereotype about “church people.” And I for one, hate even giving the time of day to negative stereotypes about people. Because they’re always hurtful and typically untrue.

But desperate times…

There is a decline in our faith, and it’s time to not mince words and take a cold, hard look in the mirror. Because like it or not, we are the face of the church.

But the stereotype is that “church people” are incredibly “judgey” people. That they prance around all hoity-toity and look down on “non-church people” and scoff at their “heathen ways.”


And we, as the face of the church, what are we going to do about that?

How are we going to fix that?

Because I can attest to the fact that that stereotype is, for the most part, false. 

But the commonly accepted (albeit misconceived) notion is that church is a boring, out-of-touch institution that is full of either judgy snobs, dowdy/orthopedic-shoe-wearing shut-ins, or “Jesus-freaks.”

And people don’t want anything to do with that.

So they just don’t come.

And I want to pause here for a second. I know this is only one factor. There are a lot of other issues – people having different priorities, having other interests, adopting “spirituality” while leaving behind “religion.” Not to mention the church’s often unpopular stances on hot button social issues, such as abortion and the sanctity of marriage, etc. This stereotype is only one contributing factor.

But you and I…we have a personal responsibility.

We have a job to do: and that is to change that stereotype. Turn people’s minds around. Change their hearts to be open to Christ and open to faith.

Is Christianity dead?

Only if we let it.

You can’t give away what you don’t personally have.

And if I want to share Christ’s love and have it be attractive and inviting to another person, I need to have it in my heart myself. I need to have His love be overflowing in my own life, so as to attract another person to Him. And attract them back to church.


The pathetic church attendance on Christmas Eve…I partially blame myself. Because I ask myself…how am I personally fighting to set the record straight on how a “church person” looks and acts.

Because I’m going to be honest…(and I hate to admit it)…but I don’t really wear my faith outspokenly on my sleeve, for fear of being labeled a “church person.” 


And I am filled with such shame typing that out, but it’s true. I don’t want to be labeled as “weird” or “out of touch” … so I keep my faith private. Let that be a personal part of my life that is between me and God.

But I realize now, that I am part of the problem.

My faith can’t be hidden. I can’t just be a silent by-stander as my church is red lining, in desperate need of rebranding and resuscitation.


Christianity is not dead. It is alive in our hearts. In our homes. In our prayers. But that is not enough.

I’m going to go out on a limb. For God. Invite someone to church with me.

Because at the end of the day, if Jesus can stretch out His arms and die on a limb for me, I can go out on one, for Him.

Merry Christmas

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Tomorrow is Christmas and I am wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a great new year.   And by the way please do attend the church of your choice and thank God for everything we have and the beautiful world he has given to us.