Where to begin…October 1.

Hello Reader. I hope your day is running smoothly. Perhaps you have just woken up. Maybe sleep is coming very soon.

Whatever time of day it is for you, enjoy it.

For me, there are many things in my life right now that can be looked at as negative. I won’t even list them because they are not negative things.

If I choose to look at a circumstance or situation and be depressed, that is my choice.

If I see the joy in the chaos, that is also my choice.

positive-attitude

Today starts a campaign if you will.

No, I am not running for public office. However, I am out to make a change.

Not a change in you but a change in me.

I want God’s best in me. Writing this blog is more for me than you, the reader.

So for October, I am posting every night.

This will allow me to see my journey. It is almost as if the words that are typed out are a signpost of where I have been.

The plan is to keep looking forward; progressing.

Looking back only serves to slow things down or worse, cause an accident.

If you choose to read along every day, I am cool with that decision.

If not, no worries because, again, this is really for me.

May God grant you grace and mercy today in ways you have never seen before!

See you tomorrow!

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Trials and Chocolate

They come in all shapes and sizes.

Their names are different.

Some are strong; others are weak.

Minutes, hours, or days can be the duration.

Each person reacts differently to varying types.

To what am I referring?

questioning

Trial. Storms. Temptations. Sufferings. Tests. Hardships. What do you call them?

Peter gives some timely words for us.

Here is verse 6:

“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.” I Peter 1:6, NIV

Here are my thoughts on Peter’s words.

  1. Trials are diverse. Chocolate might be a weak spot for me but french fries will get my wife every time. We have different trials that affect us.
  2. Trials are distracting. If I am looking at the chocolate, I might miss the meal.
  3. Trials are dividing. I say chocolate is good. My wife likes potato chips better. We are divided on the topic of dessert.
  4. Trials are depleting. My money goes to buy more chocolate. Will I have enough for a regular dinner?
  5. Trials are depressing. What if I eat too much chocolate?

You get the point. And, by the way, chocolate is not that bad for you.


But why are we talking about trials? Didn’t we just get through a few verses of a fantastic inheritance set aside for us?

The answer is, “Yes!” We do have an inheritance. Read my last post to find out more on this topic.

Look at verse 6 again, from earlier. “…for a little while…”

We are not there yet.

We are in a trial period.

trial period

And we can celebrate in the suffering.

We can have joy in the journey.

We can smile in the storm.

We can be happy in the hardship.

We can rejoice (greatly!) during the rain.

Why? Because God is bigger than the trials. He reigns supreme over the hardships.

Out faith will come out like gold when all is done!

gold

And that will be the topic of my next post, Gold bars!

But for now, look to God if you are in a trial. He will see you through it.

And help yourself to a chocolate bar.

 

170 and counting.

As you may know or have read in previous blogs, I am a pastor by God’s calling. This entails many things but the largest portion of my time goes to the weddings that I officiate. Here is an actual wedding of mine from Pamperin Park in Green Bay, WI.

wedding 1

But before the couple and I get to this point, we will have met 2 or 3 times. Texting, calling, and emailing is also quite frequent . This way, the couple is not completely unknown to me and they also feel comfortable with me. There is a relationship.

To be honest, I do not remember all of the couples I marry. Most of them have faded into a memory. But every once in a while, there is something special that takes place and a friendship is formed. The relationship continues. Of the almost 170 weddings that I have officiated, there are maybe 10 or 12 couples that I could call right now. We have kept up with life.

But all of that is just background. Now you know a little bit of how my process works with these weddings. Monday night, I had a meeting with another couple. Their wedding is Dec. 26 this year. I have enjoyed our meetings and will also enjoy the wedding. They are a godly couple and so I feel like it is a privilege to marry them!

They asked me about what I would say during the ceremony. Do I preach a sermon? Give a little advice? What are my remarks? In this case, it will be a sermon from John 17. And that is my point of today’s post. I am going to give you that sermon. Not the whole thing but a nice little summary. Please turn to John 17…


In John 17, we find Jesus praying. He prays for himself (verses 1-5), his disciples (verses 6-19), then finally, all believers (verses 20-26). There are three things that Jesus is praying for in the second section, the one about the disciples.

He prays for their Protection (11-12, 15). While on earth, Jesus was able to protect them. Now he prays for them to be safe by the power of God’s name.

He prays for their Pleasure (13-14). The world has hated them but they can have joy inside them. The joy will be internal, not depending on the external.

He prays for their Perfection (17 -19). Sanctify. To make whole. Perfection. The disciples would need to keep growing and learning.

God desires this for the disciples so He had Jesus pray these things.

CONCLUSION: I think God would desire these same things for a married couple. The marriage relationship provides an avenue in which God can protect, provide joy, and sanctify His children. The world does the opposite. In fact, without God and His word, we would become like the world. At that point, our marriage will be no good for God’s purposes.

But if we keep God first in our lives and then our marriages, God will keep the marriage what it needs to be.

And that is the difference this world needs.

So be the difference.

NOTE: If you are single, these three things can apply as well so don’t feel excluded or insignificant.

“Put Jesus first and everything else will either work out or not matter.” Roger Sorbo 1941-2014

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