Give Light to the World by Spreading “The Fire”

You Can Choose What Fire That Will Be

Even if you’re like me and don’t watch the news, you’re most likely aware of the chaos going on. Buildings being burned and businesses being destroyed in protest of the man who died while being detained. Protesting of injustice is one of the foundational building blocks this country is built on.

In 1773 the American Colonists protested being taxed by the British Parliament’s taxation without representation. This protest was directed at the British company that was being allowed to sell tea without being taxed. The protesters didn’t burn the ships or destroy their neighbor’s business…they threw the tea into the harbor.

Even a small fire can light a dark path.

If you’ve ever used a lantern you know how much light a small flame can produce. A match, when lit will give light, but only for a short time. A large candle might burn for 10-12 hours. A fire in a fireplace will continue to burn as long as we keep putting wood on it. We have to be careful, even the small fire of a candle if not controlled, can burn a house down.

This past Sunday Christians celebrated Pentecost. This commemorates the Holy Spirit coming to the followers of Christ. In Acts 2:1-4 it is described as “…a noise like a strong wind, blowing from heaven and filling the whole house…something like flames of fire were separated and stood over each person…” Fire is used throughout the Bible as an example of light in the dark to help us see.

In Shep Jordan’s Monday Morning Moment this week, he shares the importance of Pentecost. That ‘Fire’ that came to Christ’s followers is still available to us today. We can tap into this power and use it to light our path as well as those around us.

For fire to burn it has to have fuel.

We can fuel our fires by reading the Bible, praying, through fellowship and worship. If we don’t fuel our fires they will go out. We need to keep those fires lit so that those around us can witness what light from the Holy Spirt looks like.

The song “This Little Light of Mine”, written in the 1920s by Harry Dixon Loes, explains it well. “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. Hide it under a bushel, no! I’m gonna let it shine. Don’t let Satan blow it out! I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine till Jesus comes! I’m gonna let it shine.

Fuel your fire with the Holy Spirit and let your light shine.

Salt Makes Things Better and Light Shows the Way

We’re All Called to be Saltshakers and Flashlights

We’ve been put here to fulfill a purpose that is specific to us. Some figure out what that purpose is quicker than others. Often people aren’t even aware they have a specific purpose that is exclusive to them and them alone.

Everyone of us is different and the same.

There are different kinds of salt. All of which make things better, whether it’s flavoring food, melting ice, cleaning stains, soothing insect bites or stopping a grease fire. The salt is different and the same. The important thing to remember is that, regardless of its purpose, there is nothing gained if it’s not used. We all have skills and talents that when used make things better.

We all have different skills and talents, but we won’t make things better if we don’t use them. We’re like the salt.

Just like the salt, there are different forms of light. There is electric light, candles, lanterns and flashlights to name a few. All of them allow us to see in the dark. It’s amazing how much light a single candle puts out. The light is different and the same. Light doesn’t do anyone any good if it’s kept hidden. No matter how small, we all have a light that needs to be used to help light the way.

We need to let our light shine and help others to see to find their way through the dark. We’re like the light.

In Matthew 5:13-16, Jesus tells us that we are the salt of the earth and the light to the world. If we don’t use our salt (skills and talents) it will become good for nothing. If we don’t shine our light it leaves both us and those around us lost in the dark.

No matter what our unique purpose is, we make things better and brighter when we share.

Go out and spread some salt and shine your light.

Good Things Are Done in The Light

 

 

 

 

…Not So Much in The Dark

 

Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is everywhere you look. Black Friday, Cyber Monday…we are being bombarded by Christmas advertising. There’s certainly nothing wrong with businesses marketing their products and services. The important thing to remember is that…


Christmas is about so much more than “buying gifts”.

 

Christmas is about celebrating the Light of the World. You’ve probably heard it said that nothing good happens after dark. There is something instinctually implanted in us that tells us this is true. People will do things in the dark that they wouldn’t normally do in the light.


Pastor Lee told a story Sunday about a person who while driving at night, ate a candy bar. The ash tray was already full of trash. Then, this person who hated littering, rolled down the window and threw the wrapper out. Realizing what they had done, they knew they would never have done this if it hadn’t been dark.


Things are done in the dark that would never be done in the light.


Throughout Scripture Jesus’ light is shown in direct contrast to dark, Matthew 5:14-16, John 8:12, 9:4-5 and 1 John 1:5-7 and I’ve found nowhere that it says dark is good and light is bad. The very first thing that God created was light and in the beginning Jesus was with God and Jesus was God


 

This light came to us in a manger over 2000 years ago and we celebrate this light at Christmas. This Lauren Daigle song tells us what this Light of the World is. 

 


Remember this Christmas as you see beautiful, bright Christmas lights everywhere you look, that Jesus is our Light and we are to reflect that light to those around us.

Good Things Are Done in The Light

 

 

 

 

…Not So Much in The Dark

 

Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is everywhere you look. Black Friday, Cyber Monday…we are being bombarded by Christmas advertising. There’s certainly nothing wrong with businesses marketing their products and services. The important thing to remember is that…


Christmas is about so much more than “buying gifts”.

 

Christmas is about celebrating the Light of the World. You’ve probably heard it said that nothing good happens after dark. There is something instinctually implanted in us that tells us this is true. People will do things in the dark that they wouldn’t normally do in the light.


Pastor Lee told a story Sunday about a person who while driving at night, ate a candy bar. The ash tray was already full of trash. Then, this person who hated littering, rolled down the window and threw the wrapper out. Realizing what they had done, they knew they would never have done this if it hadn’t been dark.


Things are done in the dark that would never be done in the light.


Throughout Scripture Jesus’ light is shown in direct contrast to dark, Matthew 5:14-16, John 8:12, 9:4-5 and 1 John 1:5-7 and I’ve found nowhere that it says dark is good and light is bad. The very first thing that God created was light and in the beginning Jesus was with God and Jesus was God


 

This light came to us in a manger over 2000 years ago and we celebrate this light at Christmas. This Lauren Daigle song tells us what this Light of the World is. 

 


Remember this Christmas as you see beautiful, bright Christmas lights everywhere you look, that Jesus is our Light and we are to reflect that light to those around us.

You Don’t Have to Be Lost

 

 

 

 

 

How to Avoid Ending Up as Unclaimed Baggage

 

 

We’ve all experienced times when we felt lost, wondering what to do, unsure of a decision. We don’t have to stumble around in the dark, bumping into things.


There is an Unclaimed Baggage Center in Alabama where an average of 7,000 unclaimed airline items go every day. It amazes me that much luggage is unclaimed or lost. I understand things get lost, but if it was my luggage, you can be sure that I would be looking long and hard.


Most of us are familiar with the stories Jesus tells about the lost sheep and coin in Luke 15:1-10. Both tell about the importance of being found, the importance of finding, and the joy when the lost are found. We are one or the other, either the lost or the ones seeking the lost. God is looking for the lost and can use help.

 

Everyone can be found.


Many people choose not to be found; they prefer the darkness. Less is required of us if we’re unseen, in the shadows. Life is easier with the light turned off.


Hank Williams wrote the famous song “I Saw the Light” 1948. “Williams often sang his song as if he was a man facing the end, desperate to believe in a salvation that he didn’t think existed. Was he trying to convince himself of the reality of the Gospel?


He sang: “I wandered so aimless, life filled with sin; I wouldn’t ask my dear Savior in. Then Jesus came like a stranger in the night; Praise the Lord, I saw the light!” The chorus went, “I saw the light, I saw the light. No more darkness; no more night. Now I’m so happy no sorrow in sight. Praise the Lord, I saw the light!”


Near the end of his life he was doing a show in San Diego but stumbled drunk off stage after only two songs. His friend, country performer Minnie Pearl tried to sober him as they rode around town in the back seat of his Cadillac so he could do his second show. She got him to join her in singing “I Saw the Light” thinking it might help sober him, but after one verse, Hank put his head in his hands and said, “O Minnie, Minnie, I don’t see no light. There ain’t no light.”


“But there was light, only it seems Hank refused it.”


Don’t spend your life in a pile of unclaimed baggage in some dark corner somewhere.

 

Turn on the light.


If you can’t find the switch or don’t know how to turn it on, ask for help. There is someone out there who can help you.

 

 

We Are in The Land of The Dying

On Our Way to The Land of The Living

Sunday was Easter, the ultimate victory story! In Luke 24:1-12 the women go to Jesus’ tomb and find the stone rolled back and no Jesus. They are worried and afraid. Then there were two men in shining clothes standing beside them. The men asked, “Why are you looking for a living person in this place for the dead? He is not here; he has risen from the dead.” The women remembered what Jesus had said and went away celebrating and shouting the resurrection message.

When the apostles heard their story, they didn’t believe them. Peter went to the tomb and found Jesus’ burial clothes and no body. He went away doubtful and concerned. He assumed the Romans had come and taken Jesus’ body. Jesus’ followers had been through some dark days, but Peter was ignoring the light that the women saw.

Darkness is overcome by the light; in the midst of our deepest darkness the SON will rise!

We can choose to be like Peter or the women. They both saw the same empty tomb. Peter went away discouraged and the women went away shouting and celebrating that first Easter morning.

The tomb is not a dark alley, but a thoroughfare to Christ.

Pastor Lee told a story about a soldier who lost his legs and was recovering in a hospital. As you can imagine he was depressed about his situation. He could see no reason to even be alive. What good would he be without legs.

After days of lying there wallowing in self-pity another patient came in, sat down and started playing a harmonica. He played for a while and then got up and left. This went on for several days, never saying anything, just playing the harmonica. Then one day he came in playing the harmonica and attempting tap dance. When he was finished the harmonica playing tap dancer told the soldier to smile and live. The soldier replied that this was easy for him to say that. He was walking and dancing. Then the harmonica player lifted his pant legs to reveal two artificial limbs. He said again, smile and live, it is the only way to thank Him for being alive.


The young soldier’s resurrection began that moment.

Just like the soldier and the harmonica player, we need to remember that there is nothing that we have gone through or ever will go through that Jesus hasn’t already been there and done that.

We need to smile, live and say THANK YOU!

It’s Time To Rise and Shine and Enjoy New Beginnings

I Can Only Imagine How Bright Things Will Be With God’s Light On Them

This Sunday was about new beginnings… It’s the beginning of Pastor Lee’s fifth year as a valuable part of our church family. It’s the beginning of Epiphany, the commemoration of the coming of the Magi, the first manifestation of Christ to the gentiles. It’s the beginning of a new year full of so many possibilities and opportunities “I Can Only Imagine” what wonderful things 2019 has in store.

The key to it being a great year is the attitude in which we choose to approach it. We can concentration on the negative empty part of the glass or focus on the positive water portion. To make this point Pastor Lee told a story about three men each carrying two sacks, one in front hanging around their neck and the other on their back. The Legend of Three Men and Their Sacks, https://nice-inspiration.blogspot.com/2018/12/an-old-legend-about-three-men-and-their-sacks.html

The first man carried the good things his family and friends had done in the sack on his back and in the front sack he had all of the bad things that had happened to him. Because the bad things were always in front of him they got all of his attention. This kept him from making much progress in life.

The second man had the good things he’d done in the front sack. This allowed him to see them and share them with others. The sack on his back had all of his mistakes. The weight of these was heavy and slowed him down.

The third man was walking much easier and making better progress. When asked about his sacks he answered, “The sack in front is great. There I keep all the positive thoughts I have about people, all the blessings I’ve experienced, all the great things other people have done for me. The weight isn’t a problem. The sack is like sails of a ship. It keeps me going forward. “The sack on my back is empty. There’s nothing in it. I cut a big hole in its bottom. In there I put all the bad things that I can think about myself or hear about others. They go in one end and out the other, so I’m not carrying around any extra weight at all.” This appears to me to be the best way to live.

The only way we’ll ever accomplish the things God as put us here to achieve is by asking for His guidance and persisting through difficulties. When researching for last week’s blog post, “Living Life Well Is All About Perspective” I came across a person that is a great example of persistence and perseverance. His name is Nick Vujicic, http://www.nickvujicic.com/. He was born with no arms or legs and has accomplishing amazing things. He’s a great inspiration. If he and God together can do the things they are, then what’s my excuse.

In Isaiah 60:1-6 it says that this Baby that the Magi went in search of is the light in the darkness. He is the Guiding Star in our a dark world.

It’s the beginning of the rest of a super great life and I’m seeking this Light to guide my path.