Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wednesday's Words

"White Clematis"
(C) Allen Pearson
Enjoy everyday as if it were your last day on earth.  Don't put things off to tomorrow which may never come- pet a dog, smell a flower, kiss your spouse, listen to that song on the radio- though time might not exactly permit, hug a friend, watch the sunset from that lounge chair you've been wanting to use- the list could go on forever- just remember ENJOY the DAY!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday's Thought

Please note this is written by a friend today.

Throughout our lives we'll have to make choices. Some easy, others the hardest we'll ever have to make.

My wife and I recently had to have our wonderful dog put down. The pain, sorrow, and grief we've gone through has been excruciating.

Quite frankly, it's felt like we put down a child. That's what he was like to us.

This has gotten me thinking about Jesus and the choice God had to make to send his son to Earth.

Not only to Earth, but to a land full of persecution. One where he would be cast away. Taunted. Beaten. Bloodied. Bruised. And eventually killed in a most painful way.

God willingly sacrificed His only son. For us. For YOU.

He made the tough choice to have His son to leave the perfection of Heaven for the imperfect Earth below. To live a life as one of mankind. And to deal with the struggles everyone has to face.

Knowing what I had to go through with my dog, I can only imagine the immense pain and suffering God had to go through in making the choice to use His son as atonement for my sins. For your sins. For the sins of mankind.

But He did it. He sent His son here. He let him go through life as a normal man. And He let him die on a cross, crushed and humiliated.

God allowed this to happen to redeem us. Because He loves us. He wanted us redeemed and brought to Him once again.

This kind of love for us, I'm not sure I can understand it. However, God knew what He was doing. He knew what we were worth. He did what He had to do.

I hope you get what I'm trying to say in this post.

We were given the greatest gift possible when God decided to send His son as our sacrifice. The painful choice had to rip God's heart apart.

Let's stop living like our lives they don't. They do.

Our lives matter enough that God sent His son to die so we could be reconciled. Stop wasting that gift.

About the author, Joseph Lalonde. He is a youth leader at Oak Crest Church of God and leadership blogger at JMLalonde.com. Joseph shares leadership tools and encourages you to become a better leader. Connect with him on Twitter or at his blog.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wednesday's Words

"Duck in Jefferson Pond"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

And he saith unto them, 
Why are ye featrful, O ye of little faith?  
Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; 
and there was a great calm.
- Matthew 8:26

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sunday's Thought

"Strawflower"
(C) Allen Pearson
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy 
and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, 
through the power of the Holy Ghost.  

- Romans 15:13

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wednesday's Words

"Yellow Daisy"
(C) Allen Pearson,
All Rights Reserved
We love Him because He first loved us.
-1 John 4:19

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sunday's Thought

Did God intend Christianity to be boring, uninteresting, the “last thing you’d want to be a part of”? A downer, a cold pill in the realm of life? Somehow, I don’t think so. Yet, many Christians I’ve spent time with recently or have talked with, make it seem so boring and cold that I could place water next to them and make ice cubes.

"Red Stripes"
(C) Allen Pearson
I recently attended a conference, where the worship service was dull, as was the sermon; it seemed it was more about social justice concerns than anything else. Afterwards, I spoke with a few people and felt no warmth from them. The atmosphere was cold enough to air condition the room. I was surprised.

How should we act, how should we show the love God has given us so others might see Him and feel His love?

One thing I’ve learned about Christianity at my church is that life is a celebration - though it doesn’t mean that you will never have struggles, trials, or problems. Christ died for us so we would have eternal life, all we need to do is accept and believe (John 3:16). The worship service is titled the Celebration Service and I quickly learned why. One of my friends is a prime example, though his family has had many battles with illnesses, he’s never down or negative, always smiling and happy, both he and his wife. Sometimes he and his wife are a bit tired, but that’s to be expected. I couldn’t figure it out at first, but the more time I’ve spent with them, the more I am certain it is the love of God shining through.

Put away your frown, your attitude, the cold reception you convey because you think you are better than others, have more than someone else, or because you do not truly have the warmth of God’s love in your heart.

Open your heart to the love of God, share it with others, be what He wants you to be so you may lead others to Him instead of turning them off!!!

Don’t cause a fellow Christian to stumble and fall because of your attitude.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Garden Perspectives - Bee on Purple Flower

"Bee on a Wildflower"
(C) Allen Pearson,
All Rights Reserved
My fascination with bees continues- not sure why it's caught my interest, but they are fascinating creatures as they gather pollen. 

What is the name of the wildflower the bee is pollinating?


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wednesday's Words

"Orange Tint Gerber Daisy"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
Last Sunday, my Sunday School teacher imparted some "extra" wisdom to us before he began his usual "intellectually stimulating" lesson (no sarcasm intended).  

He reminded us to pray for him, our Pastors and the leaders of the church- "as the days get harder and more difficult for us, our families, friends and co-workers, it becomes even harder for our Pastors. Please remember to pray for us."   

I wanted to share his comment so you can remember to pray for the leaders of your church.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sunday's Thought

29Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me?Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
- John 20:29 ESV
"Sunlight on Swan Cone Flowers"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

I struggle with doubt in my life.  Though there are many areas where this can happen, it seems to hit me the hardest in the area of faith, God and church.  I have to admit that I am surprised by this because over the short 50 years of my life, I’ve been blessed by miracles, situations and events along life’s way that have ultimately pointed to the hand of God.

I haven’t been able to figure out why, entirely, this seems to happen so strongly. EXCEPT  It seems that when God is going to do something somewhere in my life, whether or not it directly affects me or if it would just be something beneficial for me to see or participate in, the doubt is a strong cloud which hangs over me like one of those nasty thunderstorms you’d wish would roll on through.  And, some days the rain just pours pushing the doubt even harder at me.

I doubt everything that is associated with God, from the church to the Bible to anything in the Christian world you can imagine.  It becomes difficult as I find myself not wanting to participate in anything church related yet I need to take responsibility for the leadership of my home and not cause my wife to stumble.

When I was in college, I went through this journey of finding God and Who it is I believe in.  Though I was brought up in the church, my experiences weren’t the best. As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that is  life, because the church is made up of humans trying to do their best to serve God.   So, my struggles in college weren’t a bad thing, in a sense.  A professor said that I wouldn’t get to heaven based on my parents’ beliefs, I had to have my own.  And, I wasn’t completely happy with the denomination that I was attending because of their Manual of “do’s” and “don’ts” as I like to call it.  During the period of struggles, I determined what I believed and went from there.  I began a fantastic, unbelievable journey with God that I am still on.

My mother had a stroke, my dog died, my grandmother died, my “adopted” grandmother died, my mother passed away a year or so later, my brother died unexpectedly, and then my mother-in-law is diagnosed with cancer. So where is God in all this?  As I look back at life, I can see Him there in the comforting of me during these years of crazy struggles.  A peace that passes all understanding is often with me in those life events.

So, why all the doubt?  Why all the debate?  Why all the looking into the skies wondering if He is there?  Why the strong desires to run like crazy in the opposite direction, adding some screaming  along the way?  I don’t know. Prayers seem to fall on deaf ears - though I know they truly aren’t.

Belief in God is an exercise of faith.  It is a belief in things unseen. It is a belief in things that happen to others, like a friend’s miraculous healing from cancer though the doctors gave her only three months to live.  It is a faith that the Bible is God’s Word and is true.

So, while the doubts are hitting me hard, I will hold onto a simple faith.   And, as I wonder what could be next, I hold onto faith to believe in God and His Word.  Not a complicated process or determination of the realms of theological debate or exposition of the Scriptures. Just simple, “Faith. “

38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, 
nor angels nor rulers, nor things present 
nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height 
nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, 
will be able to separate us from the love of God
in Christ Jesus our Lord.  - Romans 8:38-39

1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, 
the conviction of things not seen.

6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, 
for whoever would draw near to God must 
believe that he exists and that 
he rewards those who seek him.
- Hebrews 11:1, 6