Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Big Fish

Had a whale of a time fishing with Mark Hawkins this past Saturday morning. I caught lots of fish from a tree fish (actually the branch) and weeds to this HUGE bass. This fish was my first catch of the day and it was hidden within a clump of weeds. As I reached down to clear the weeds off my line--behold, a fish!

During my time with Mark and Dean I got to see the vast treasure of lures that both of these guys had--one for every situation--even a few for a novice like me! I loved the names for the lures--I used "The Creature" and caught a few fish but the one I had the best time with was called "Fat Albert".

These guys helped me get so good at fishing that at the end of the day I was yanking them out of the water without even setting the hook--and one just gave up and jumped into the boat (no joke!). Well, that's enough for the fish tales. Enjoy the picture!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bite-Sized Sin

Chocolate is a tempting thing, especially when it is in bite-sized pieces. Eating these smaller portions makes it ever so easy to eat more than a king size candy bar in no time! One little piece leads to another and to another—you get the idea. In the end it can lead you to a big stomach ache! You know, sin is a lot like that. Just as with the candy, the white-lies and other “bite-size” sins you indulge in can lead you to more than a stomach ache—it leads you to heartache, if you are not careful. The Apostle Paul in Galatians 6:7 says, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” Those words are a clear warning for us as believers in Christ. Paul is saying that God refuses to allow people to “get away” with sin. Instead, because the Lord is the ultimate Father, He determines that sin will have its consequence in this life for His children. Wherever your life is invested, it will bring a cost—life to life, death to death. In other words, the little sins, without confession and repentance, can eventually add up to a life of pain and heartache. No matter how small or how big the sin is, if your heart repeatedly indulges in it, the result will only bring hurt—to you and to the heart of God. Beloved, I encourage you today to turn away from those “sample” sized-sins and trust Christ in those moments when you are tempted to taste a little rebellion. Say no to sin—regardless of what portion it comes to you in—small or large.

Walking in grace, Pastor George

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Are You Trying to Fool God?

“Are you really my son Esau?’ he answered, ‘I am.’ Genesis 27:24

This quote is from Isaac while his son Jacob is deceiving him about his true identity. Isaac was looking for Esau to come in with a delicious dinner and then he was going to bestow a father’s blessing upon the oldest son. Instead, Jacob came in with Esau’s coat, dinner (with the help of mom) and hair pasted on his skin to assume the appearance of his brother and so steal the blessing of the firstborn from his father Isaac. The condition that allowed this deception to work was the bad eyesight of Isaac. He was not able to recognize his sons apart from voice, touch and smell. Because of this, Jacob was successful in snatching the blessing away from his brother Esau through deception. My friends, the Lord is not like Isaac. He is not fooled by our appearances or pretensions. God’s eyesight is perfect—even seeing into the heart of man. We would be foolish to think that we could come to God with our fake coverings of good works and the smell of religious attendance and still attain the blessing of the Almighty. The writer of Hebrews says it this way, “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:13). In other words, no one fools the Lord. He knows the depths of your heart. He sees your motivation. Don’t be misled, God knows completely and thoroughly your ways and thoughts. Today, I encourage you to come to the Lord with complete transparency, understanding that He is the God that saves sinners with His love and grace in Jesus Christ.

walking in grace, Pastor George

Monday, August 8, 2011

Extreme Measures

“17 Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” Jonah 1:17

We can all relate to the story of the stubborn prophet Jonah. He was a man called by God to proclaim the news of divine judgment to the city of Nineveh. Instead of obeying the Lord, Jonah decides to run in the opposite direction far away from Nineveh. Eventually, the Lord gets the prophet to turn around through a violent storm and a big fish. After being violently ejected from the mouth of the fish, the Lord comes again to Jonah and says, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you.” The will of God has not changed for Jonah. He is still called to obey the Lord and has a second opportunity to do the right thing by the grace of God. What strikes me as interesting when I read about Jonah is the extreme measures that the Lord takes in teaching the prophet some valuable lessons as well as the ministry to Nineveh. Don’t laugh at the storm, the fish, or the vomit on the shore because God just might have to bring us through some pretty crazy things to test and teach us the lessons of trust and obedience. Let’s just hope that He doesn’t have to use a fish to get us to follow Him.

Walking in grace, Pastor George