Making the Most of our Mistakes

Instead, God has chosen the world’s foolish things to shame the wise, and God has chosen the world’s weak things to shame the strong. – 1 Corinthians 1:27

Everybody makes mistakes, and so will you. In fact, Winston Churchill once observed, “Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” What was good for Churchill is also good for you, too. You should expect to make mistakes—plenty of them—but you should not allow those missteps to rob you of the enthusiasm you need to fulfill God’s plan for your life.

We are imperfect people living in an imperfect world; mistakes are simply part of the price we pay for being here. But, even though mistakes are an inevitable part of life’s journey, repeated mistakes should not be. When we commit the inevitable blunders of life, we must correct them, learn from them, and pray for the wisdom not to repeat them. When we do, our mistakes become lessons, and our experiences become adventures in character-building.

When our shortcomings are made public, we may feel embarrassed or worse, we may presume (quite incorrectly) “everybody” is concerned with the gravity of our problem. And, as a consequence, we may feel the need to hide from our problems rather than confront them. To do so is wrong. Even when our pride is bruised, we must face up to our mistakes and seek to rise above them.

Have you made a king-sized blunder or two? Of course you have. But here’s the big question: have you used your mistakes as stumbling blocks or stepping stones? The answer to this question will determine how well you perform in the workplace and in every other aspect of your life. So don’t let the fear of past failures hold you back. Instead, do the character-building thing: own up to your mistakes and do your best to fix them. Remember: even if you’ve made a colossal blunder, God isn’t finished with you yet—in fact, He’s probably just getting started.

Fix it sooner rather than later: When you make a mistake, the time to make things better is now, not later! The sooner you address your problem, the better. If not now, when?

Truth will sooner come out of error than from confusion. – Francis Bacon

Lord, when we are wrong, make us willing to change; and when we are right, make us easy to live with. – Peter Marshall

Blessings,

Chaplain Rob

Crippled by the Past?

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things become new”—2 Corinthians 5:17

On the television series Fixer Upper, which ran for five seasons, Chip and Joanna Gaines would choose an old house in Central Texas and give it a new beginning. Sometimes the house was for a young couple getting their first home, and sometimes it was for a retired couple looking for somewhere new. Joanna, the designer, came up with amazing plans, and her husband, Chip, the builder, implemented them. When they were finished, it was hard to believe that it was the same house.

Have you ever wished you could start over again, maybe in your marriage . . . maybe in your relationship with your children . . . maybe with friends? In a way you can, because 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (NKJV).

As the J.B. Phillips translation puts it, “For if a man is in Christ he becomes a new person altogether—the past is finished and gone, everything has become fresh and new.”

God can do that for your life. You say, “It’s messed up. It’s broken down. It’s falling apart.”

It can become new and fresh in Jesus Christ. It tells us in 1 John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (NKJV). Notice it says all sin—not just some sin.

You, too, can have a new beginning. It can start now. It doesn’t matter what time of the year it is. It can all change because of the blood of Jesus Christ. You don’t have to be crippled by your past anymore. You can put it behind you.

No matter what you are going through remember you can start again today! May God bless each of you!

Blessings,

Chaplain Rob

An Endless Line of Splendor

Acts 11:1-18, Revelation 21:1-6 and John 13:31-35

This Sunday is Heritage Sunday. We look back to remember what we have inherited as Christians, Methodists in particular, and from whom we have inherited e.g. the founding Wesley brothers, circuit riding Francis Asbury, and even our parents and those before.

We are not self-made men and women nor, as people of faith, can we say we “pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps.” We are who we are by the grace of God and the varied gifts we have received from generation to generation.

This Sunday our scriptures celebrate the doors of the church being thrown wide open in the first century (Acts 11:1-18) inviting all peoples and nations to be grafted into the people of God known as Israel. Love will be the key (John 13:31-35) and the final home a New Heaven and a New Earth (Revelation 21:1-6).

The endless line of splendor ends in the fullness of God’s love! By faith, let’s jump in line and by faith stay in line! We might be surprised who you are walking with and amazed at the life stories of each. We will retell this Sunday some of those faith filled stories e.g. John Wesley’s experience at Aldersgate Chapel on May 24, 1738. We may well hear of great moments coming out of Kedron and Locks Memorial. Better yet we hope to remember that in God’s unfolding work in history we will STILL see “Gods spirit poured upon all flesh….sons and daughters shall prophesy….we will see visions….we shall dream dreams…..” Acts 2:17 quoting Joel 2:28-32!

See you soon in worship as we commune with all the Saints, The Church Triumphant At Rest and the Church Still At Work!

Pastor Barry

Forward Progress

But Jesus said to him, “ No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” – Luke 9:62

It took God one night to get Israel out of Egypt. But it took forty years to get Egypt out of Israel. The Israelites were always looking back.

Some Christians are that way. They’re always looking back. They say, “Remember the good old days—you know, before I was a Christian? Man, we would party! We had so much fun!”

Really? Were they, in fact, the good old days? Were they as good as they thought they were? Or is their memory a little distorted? Have they forgotten the emptiness? Have they forgotten the despondency? Have they forgotten the repercussions of the things they did? Have they forgotten that dull ache deep inside? Have they forgotten the havoc it brought on their family? They’ve conveniently forgotten about that and remember the few good times they had.

That is what the Israelites were doing. They were always looking back. But before we judge them, let’s realize that we’ve done the same thing. This is why Jesus said, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62 NKJV).

Have you ever been driving along and had the highway patrol pull up behind you? It makes you nervous, doesn’t it? Do you slow down, even if you’re doing the speed limit? And if they happen to slow down, do you slow down even more?

You can’t live in two worlds. You can’t go forward when you’re looking back. And you can’t walk forward spiritually if you’re always looking over your shoulder. World changers see opportunities, but those who are changed by this world see obstacles. World changers see bridges, but those who are changed by this world see walls. It’s all in how you look at things.

May each of us look forward to what God is going to do next in our lives!

Blessings,

Chaplain Rob

Crippled by the Past?

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things become new”—2 Corinthians 5:17

On the television series Fixer Upper, which ran for five seasons, Chip and Joanna Gaines would choose an old house in Central Texas and give it a new beginning. Sometimes the house was for a young couple getting their first home, and sometimes it was for a retired couple looking for somewhere new. Joanna, the designer, came up with amazing plans, and her husband, Chip, the builder, implemented them. When they were finished, it was hard to believe that it was the same house.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things become new”—2 Corinthians 5:17

Have you ever wished you could start over again, maybe in your marriage . . . maybe in your relationship with your children . . . maybe with friends? In a way you can, because 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (NKJV).

As the J.B. Phillips translation puts it, “For if a man is in Christ he becomes a new person altogether—the past is finished and gone, everything has become fresh and new.”

God can do that for your life. You say, “It’s messed up. It’s broken down. It’s falling apart.”

It can become new and fresh in Jesus Christ. It tells us in 1 John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (NKJV). Notice it says all sin—not just some sin.

You, too, can have a new beginning. It can start now. It doesn’t matter what time of the year it is. It can all change because of the blood of Jesus Christ. You don’t have to be crippled by your past anymore. You can put it behind you.

No matter what you are going through remember you can start again today! May God bless each of you!

Blessings,

Chaplain Rob

Mothers Day

John 10:11-18 and Isaiah 40:11

This Sunday worship will highlight Mother’s Day, Good Shepherd Sunday with a word about herding cats as described by several angels in conversation! Not something you will get in worship just anywhere!

Delann Dunbar has brought her creative gifts again to our hour of worship with a fresh presentation on the work and care of mothers and those others who display the qualities of caring parenthood.

Good shepherds abound in every age and culture. And they need not be just about herding sheep! Or cats for that matter! Call them by many a name, Mom, Grandma, Aunt, or Dad, Gramps, Unc, coach, “teach,” leader, friend or buddy, they will usually be around when you need “herding,” need an angel, need a hug and guidance, need “a table set before you.”

Blessings upon the Carers this day!

Pastor Barry

What Happened to the Fear of God?

The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant. —Psalm 25:14

We don’t hear much about the fear of the Lord anymore. We used to say things like, “He’s a God-fearing man” or “She’s a God-fearing woman.” This was meant as a compliment, by the way.
Today we hear a lot about the love of God. Of course, the Bible teaches about the love of God, and we should preach about the love of God. But it seems to me that in the days in which we’re living, we never hear about the fear of God.

We hear a lot about the glories of Heaven, but we never hear warnings about Hell. We hear a lot about forgiveness, but we don’t hear much about repentance. All of that is the gospel, you see, and it all needs to be proclaimed.

In days gone by the criticism of the church was about hellfire-and-brimstone preachers. My question is where are they? I want to hear one. I hear preachers talking about health and wealth and prosperity and free parking spaces and blessings galore, no matter what. But I would like to hear a hellfire-and-brimstone message. And I would like to hear something more about the fear of God.

The fear of God doesn’t mean cowering in fear before Him. That is not what I mean by the fear of God. Replace the word fear with respect, reverence, awe, or honor. One definition of fearing God is “a wholesome dread of displeasing Him.” It’s thinking about the repercussions of sin.

We need to know the love of God, and we need to have the fear of God. They’re both important. As Oswald Chambers put it, “The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear God you fear nothing else, whereas, if you do not fear God, you fear everything else.”

My prayer today is that all of us will approach the throne of God with love and reverence, with awe and grace!

Blessings,

Chaplain Rob

Transformed Grief

Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end. – Isaiah 60:20

In 1835 Abe Lincoln was a member of the Illinois legislature and a man with a bright future. In love with the red-haired beauty Ann Rutledge, they joyfully anticipated their future together. . . then malaria struck. Upon hearing that Ann was sick, Abe came to her only to watch helplessly as her life – and his dreams – slipped away. A week after the funeral, a friend saw Lincoln rambling through the woods almost incoherent, mumbling sentences no one could understand. Weeks passed and Lincoln was lost in pain.

Lincoln eventually recovered. And though grief haunted him, faith sustained him. Pain had made him strong. The hard lessons he learned in the Illinois woods prepared him to navigate America through the travails of Civil War. Abraham Lincoln was transformed in the crucible of grief, and in turn, was used to transform an entire nation.

You can have hope in the midst of your hurting. God will never leave you. The Holy Spirit will guide you. And whatever you are going through the promise is you will get through it.

This fact won’t remove the hurt today, but it will help you work through it.

Many of us spend our whole lives running from feeling with the mistaken belief that you cannot bear the pain. But you have already borne the pain. What you have not done is feel all you are beyond the pain. – Saint Bartholomew

Chaplain Rob

All Around The World

Psalm 30, Revelation 5:11-14 and John 21:1-19

May 5th worship will have an international “flavor!” With Vicki Brown and Carol Fare present to share with us their missionary ministries in Thailand we will be half way around the globe! And since it is also Cinco de Mayo our thoughts and prayers will include our Methodist churches and witness to our immediate South!

Even the scriptures in Revelation and John speak to “all creatures everywhere” praising their Creator and Lamb of God” and disciples of the Lord feeding the flock wherever the apostles would evangelize and minister to the world wide church.

And given it is a Holy Communion time at the Lords Table we will be joining millions of the faithful who will also “do this in remembrance of Jesus” throughout every nation under heaven. International indeed!

Buenos Dias indeed! Vaya con Dios to each and all!

Wear your best “international” attire and we will celebrate God’s people and creatures everywhere!

Pastor Barry

Who God Says You Are!

But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1, ESV).

God is very personal. Consider the word formed (v.1)—it’s so intimate. God may have spoken the universe into existence, but He formed you. This is the same word used in Jeremiah 18 to describe God as the potter with His hands on the clay, personally shaping you. He did not just make your life and bring you into existence; He is forming the kind of person you are becoming day by day. God is making you into who He wants you to be.

“God paid your redemption price with His Son’s life so He could have a relationship with you that will last forever.”

When it comes to your identity, the critical issue is not what you think about yourself—because you can’t be trusted! As Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Ultimately, the only thing that matters is what God thinks about you.

Tune in to the biblical message of who God says you are, and allow His thoughts about you to build your identity. You will discover a remarkably different thought pattern developing: I’m not who my parents or my spouse say I am. I’m not who my boss says I am. I’m not what my performance or my appearance says I am. I am who God says I am!

If you let your mind be renewed with His Word, the truth that God formed you will download into your identity and your attitude. This involves accepting truths about God that will affect your understanding of who you are, and it results in an attitude that honors Him. You’ll be surprised by how your actions naturally begin to flow out of who you know you are in Christ.

The fact that God is personal reinforces this awesome identity truth: the Lord has redeemed you and called you His own. He paid your redemption price with His Son’s life so He could have a relationship with you that will last forever.

If you have put your trust in Jesus, God says, “You are mine.” That is who you are. And what God says is the only thing that will ultimately matter. Let this truth shape your identity for His glory today.

Pray
Father, You are awesome and I thank You for the awareness that I am being shaped by Your hands today. Sharpen my senses to appreciate the care and workmanship You are lavishing on me. Thank You for paying for my redemption, for knowing and calling my name, and for claiming me as Your own. What delight there is in relishing Your grace! In Jesus’ name, amen.

May you remember who and whose you are this day!

Blessings,

Chaplain Rob