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THUNDER AND RAIN

“Are we going to get killed?” I was too scared to answer. Besides, I was only 12 and the question came from my 10 –year- old brother; what did I know? We had walked through the woods all day long, sometime in late May. In Texas that can mean deadly thunderstorms. We were by a creek two miles from home.
The sky lit up, the hair on the back of our necks stood up, and then the thunder! Less than a second between the light and the sound; that is a bad sign. The smell of burnt electrical wire insulation was next. That means we were nearly struck by lightning. We stayed low to the ground and stayed perfectly still. That continued for about 10 minutes, but it was a fast-moving storm, so as quick as that had happened, then just as suddenly came the sound of large drops of water hitting all around us.
I do not have words to express how relieved we were when the rain started and the thunder and lightning subsided! I thought I heard brother crying , but on close inspection, he was laughing! The relief was amazing. I have had few emotions that matched that event.
C.S. Lewis once said something that has caused several people to question me on the meaning. I think the question comes because people think that accepting Christ into your heart starts as seeing your need to be saved well enough , but surely not something that would start in fear? Yes, very much so!
“Of course I agree that Christianity is, in the long run, a thing of unspeakable comfort. But it does not begin in comfort; it begins in the dismay I’ve been describing, ( that deep down we all agree with the moral law of God and yet we all fail it, and we sense the dread of its demands) and it’s just no good trying to go on to that comfort without that dismay ( the misery and fear of God’s rightful judgement against you personally for your sin, and you sensing the hopelessness of that reality). In Christianity , as in the war ( in the middle of WW 11) and in everything else, comfort is the one thing you can’t get by looking for it. If you are looking for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you’re your looking for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth- only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin with, and in the end, despair.” Lewis, “Case For Christianity” P. 28.
This truth is expressed in Romans 7. “ For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin,,, I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good,,, I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin,,, wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Think of a line from the song, “ Amazing Grace.” “ Was grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved.” What an ironic statement. A dread comes before we are ready to be saved. The revelation of our deep need must come before the gospel can give us a new life. The old life has to be abandoned. We need more than a little remodeling! We are ruined without Christ!
So after the “thunder” of the Law of God and its righteous demands, come the sweet “rain” of the gospel. We knew how helpless we were, that day in the woods, to save ourselves from electrocution. Pray for those who think the gospel is simply a remodeling program, to make us a little bit better as people. Pray for those who say, “Well, I have done wrong, but I am still a pretty good person!” That person will never feel the sweet rain, after the storm. They refuse to see their need. They do not see the Law of God and the despair of their miserable failure to keep it. There is a storm coming. Are you ready? JWP “ Was blind, but now I see.”

Jim Petty in Post on February 20 2019 » 0 comments

WHERE WAS I BORN?

Where was I born?
Mother wanted to visit us after we had been in the Great Northwest for about 5 years. She had never seen the mountains, so a trip to Mt. Rainier was in order. They had the “tubing” lane there and she wanted to watch the kids do that and cheer for them at the bottom of the run. We forgot to bring her proper footwear for the snow, but no matter, she was not staying in the car. Imagine the scene as mom wears her black flats up the hill. No socks, feet inside two plastic bags she found. A couple of teen-aged girls came up and wanted to know where she got the outfit. A serious compliment.
I ask mom how she felt so comfortable no matter who she was around, and no matter what situation she found herself to be in. She said, ” You have to really believe that Christ has given you your real identity, and not worry about what others think. You don’t want to be a prisoner in a cell you made for yourself do you?”
So the next place we go is to Port Angeles to take the ferry across to Victoria Island in Canada. She had never been out of the country so I told her the guard would ask a few questions; so don’t get nervous. Do you know what happens to someone when you tell them not to get nervous? Right.
“What is your name,” she answers that one with no problem. “Purpose of your visit?” Again, no problem. The guard had established the fact that she was with me, her son, to which she included non-essential information about how proud she was of her boy, etc. Then came the choke question. “Where were you born?”
She turned pale and turned right around to me and ask,
” Where was I born?” Now think about that a minute. I am 5th out of 6 kids. She was about 30 when I was born so how would I be the authority person to know this information? As a joke,( I hoped it would be received as a joke, ) I put my hands out so the guard could cuff me.
Mom caught on to none of this, but instead, grabbed the guards arm and began patting him saying she was sorry, but just could not remember! He put his head on the railing away from her so she could not see him laughing and with a hand waving behind him flagged us onward.
“So mom, what about that great statement you made about knowing who you are in Christ when we were on Mt. Rainier the other day, you seemed to know full well who you were that day, but today you don’t remember where you were born?”
I expected a clever retort, but I got this. ” I may not remember where I was born, but I know who made me, and that Christ is my Savior, and I know I will forever be with Him .”
” Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on the earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-4.
Everything down here gets stripped away from us, but our life in Christ just starts to glow bright at that point. The New testament has a lot to say about your true identity in Jesus. At some point, you will have to choose to live in that identity, otherwise, your loss and sadness ,and the grief of this temporary life, will crush you.
Where are your treasures stored, here or eternity? What do you really depend on for your identity? 10 minutes into tomorrow will prove it once again. It will show your real identity.
I think you will be found true, but you will not be convinced of it without separating the wheat from the chaff once again. That work is never really done, but it an encouraging separation, and it brings increasing joy as you do it. Do you know who you are? JWP

Jim Petty in Post on February 06 2019 » 0 comments

TBC Sermon for January 13, 2019

Please join us in today’s word. And let us know what you think….either in our comment section or in person at our next service. Join us every Sunday at our new worship times–9:30am for Sunday School and at 10:45am for Worship Service. We’d love to see you here!

Jason Kerr in Post on January 19 2019 » 0 comments

TBC Sermon for December 16, 2018

Please join us in today’s word. And let us know what you think….either in our comment section or in person at our next service. Join us every Sunday at our new worship times–9:30am for Sunday School and at 10:45am for Worship Service. We’d love to see you here!

Jason Kerr in Post on January 19 2019 » 0 comments

TBC Sermon for December 9, 2018

Please join us in today’s word. And let us know what you think….either in our comment section or in person at our next service. Join us every Sunday at our new worship times–9:30am for Sunday School and at 10:45am for Worship Service. We’d love to see you here!

Jason Kerr in Post on January 19 2019 » 0 comments

BROKEN AND HEALED- AGAIN AND AGAIN

MARRIAGE – E-6011 and E-6013

” Guys you need to know that wherever you make a good weld with a 6011 or 6013 stick rod , if done correctly, will never, ever break at that joint because the metal of the rod is better than the material you are sticking together.”

That piece of advice really “stuck” with me years later as a marriage counselor. I though of how a marriage surrendered to honor Jesus, will never break at those points Jesus healed, within that marriage.

Marriage is the crucible of learning to live unselfishly. It brings a glory to God that is undeniably clear and powerful, as we learn Christlikeness through our marriage.

But before that happens; we have said things to our spouse in anger we wish we had never said.

We have done things that we wish we had never done.

We may feel like it is not worth trying anymore because of the things that got broken along the way.
Well, you need to learn a bit about welding with 6011 or 6013 welding rods. The goal is to deliver the project whole and functional. At the end of the ordeal it may not look that pretty, but it is complete and solid and dependable.

You can’t go back and start over, but you can’t go forward without the healing work that only Jesus can do for your marriage.

When He puts a broken piece back together it is better than the original strength of the raw material!

You have to hear this song by Casting Crowns called ,”Broken Together.” We will not be totally healed in ourselves, or in our marriage, this side of glory, but we can certainly get close.

Ask Jesus to heal your marriage. If your spouse is not a believer look at I Cor. 7: 12-16. That really works! Also I Peter 3: 1-8. That really works!

Now a few lines of that song. The song is about getting over the allusions of marriage to surrendering your marriage to Jesus and keeping it real and wonderful by allowing Him to heal it when it gets broken along the way.

Every place you allow Him to work in your life will be better than anything you could have done on your own!

BROKEN TOGETHER- Casting Crowns

“What do you think about when you look at me. I know were not the fairytale you dreamed we be. You wore the vail, you walked the aisle, you took my hand, and we dove into a mystery.
How I wish we could go back to simpler times, before all our scars, and all our secrets were in the light, on this hallowed ground we drawn the battle lines,,, will we make it through the night?
It’s going to take much more, than promises this time, only God can change our minds.
Maybe you and I were never meant to be complete, could we just be broken together?
If you can bring your shattered dreams and I’ll bring mine, could healing still be spoken, and save us? The only way to last forever; is broken together.” JWP

1/11/19

Jim Petty in Post on January 11 2019 » 0 comments

A NO- LOSE SITUATION

No Loss- The Life Of A Real Christian

Sometimes even the hardest lessons given to men are not heeded.

Napoleon was exiled on the Isle of St. Helena for 5 years and died there. St. Helena is one of the most remote islands in the world. It lies 1000 miles SW of Africa. He only lived 52 years. He was the first “Emperor” of France in 1804. Even though Louis XIV rules for 72 years as a king, it was Napoleon who was considered the bright,shooting star of Europe. In that exile he wrote this to one of his generals.

” Now that I am at St. Helena, now that I am fastened down alone upon this rock, who fights my battles and conquers empires for me? Do men think of me? Who exerts himself for me in Europe? Who has remained faithful to my name?,,, Such is the fate of great men! Such is the fate of Caesar and Alexander; and then we are forgotten. How many and various judgments are passed on the great Louis XIV. Scarcely was he dead when the great king himself was left alone in the solitude of his bedroom in Versailles… He is no longer their master, but a corpse, the tenant of a coffin and a grave. Such is the approaching fate of the great Napoleon! What an abyss is there between the depth of my misery and the eternal reign of Christ who is preached, praised, loved, adored, and living throughout the universe! Can that be called death? Is it not rather life?”

Napoleon died in despair. The believer dies in hope. Romans 5 is a great passage to see that all we may suffer has a point to it. A plan to take away what does not fulfill us, in exchange for what can never be taken away. In one degree or another we are all narcissist in our old life, before knowing Jesus. That old life can come back to attack us anytime we get our focus away from Christ.

What God has set out to do in the life of every believer is to help us live a life with no permanent loss. When you realize you have a, “No-Lose” situation you can face life with assurance and daily hope. In Romans 5 Paul stated the benefits of that, “No-Lose” life. But he adds something that he thinks is even more glorious. He says we, “Exult” in our tribulations. He says this brings a hope that is not only future, but a hope that is daily as the old nature is burned out of us by trial.

Well, who likes that? Nobody, at first.

Then you see it working and you will rejoice as you find yourself ceasing to be afraid of each actual or possibly- future scenario. As you began to be at peace with the fact that people do not think you are the center of the universe. To begin to realize all your posturing and posing was for nothing. To feel satisfaction and joy in your walk with the Lord not really caring anymore if things here even get to your liking. You realize that something in you has to die before eternal life can affect you daily temporally life. You find time with Jesus and with other believers becomes the most important thing to you.

Will you ever be happy here on earth? Yes, you can be. It will not be because of a great set of circumstances. “Happy” is standing right in front of you; His name is Jesus. You spend time with Him, top priority time, not left-over time, and you will be transformed! You will be happy.

Don’t say, ” Oh, I know that,” but rather say, ” I am experiencing that, I am living that! ” Your new year will have gains and losses. Your eternal life in Christ, which is already working in you, gives you, “No-Loss,” and certainly no Napoleonic despair.

Romans 5: 1-9 / John 17: 3 / Ephesians 3: 20 /
Philippians 3: 7-14/

Jim Petty in Post on January 05 2019 » 0 comments

Honor The Lord At Christmas

WHAT WILL I DO TO HONOR THE LORD AT CHRISTMAS?

It is a good thing to establish honorable traditions at your family gatherings. You may not be in a position to do so. Maybe your kids are grown and it is hard to get them all together. Perhaps you are single.
Perhaps either one, or both, of your parents are now gone from this life. So either personally, or as a group, these things might help.

We read the Birth narrative of Jesus in Chronological order before the presents are opened, but after the food!
Do a short version if you have little kids, or adults with short attention spans. ( You should be laughing at this spot.)

The long version in the proper order:

Luke 1: 5-80 then Matthew 1:18-25 then Luke 2: 1-39 then Matthew 2: 1-23.

To do the brief version it is:

Luke 1: 26-38 then Matthew 1: 18-25 then Luke 2: 1-20 then Matthew 2: 1-23. I have found that if you practice reading it a few times before you can keep a 4 years old interested for 9. 45 minutes, depending on how many pancakes they had. Put a little zip in the reading, please! Do not bore them with the most exciting book ever written! Lol.

We would sing a few Christmas songs. A max of two verses only.

We would start it all with pray and thanks to God, and that included a prayer done with a review of good things and bad things that happened during the past year.

(Like all great battle plans, have a backup plan if things go sideways. Just don’t make the presents the main thing.)

We also let each person say something about the past year. If that is a 6 year old, well, the reflection will be brief. Give the threatening look to the other, older kids when the youngest is saying stuff that is serious to them, but funny to the rest. You can laugh about it privately later!

We break out the old photo album and let each person in the room tell about the picture. This is always a good thing!

We make a birthday cake for Jesus, since He is the guest of honor, and it is His birthday. We always put one candle on it; but I do not know why. That would be the next year right? (He was actually born in 4 B.C. Ask me about it; and while you are at it, ask me about my grandkids! Is that bumper sticker still available?

We all tell something we like about one or more of the family members present. Once, when the kids were not so amiable towards one another, (because the one got up Christmas morning at 5 a.m. and woke the others up,) we were entertained by a praise of the family dog that would bring a tear to a glass eye!

A Few Fun Facts:

Matthew 2- The wise men narrative- happened at least 3 months and up to two years later. ( 900 miles -Ezra 7:9/ 8:31) When I set the Nativity scene I put the wise men as far away from the manger scene as possible and let the kids know that the wise men visited Jesus when He was a toddler, and not at the manger when Jesus was born, but later, at a house. I still get that look that says, “Really; this is life-shaking information?” And I still get my little feelings hurt over it. Lol. Oh da’ pain!

Nowhere does it say there were 3 wise men; it could have been 50. Unlikely only three took such a dangerous trip. We assume three because there were three gifts. Are we bored yet?

Nowhere does it say they were kings. Nowhere does it say they were from the far east (Orient.) The “East” would be Persia , (Iraq and Afghanistan.) Daniel’s prophecies, given when he lived in this area, in the 600’s B.C., would be well noted by the wise men. They were religiously trained men, not kings.

Were they named Casper, Melchior, and Balthazar? NO. Although I assume they were friendly. Was one a black man? NO. Did they follow a comet or a star to the location in Bethlehem? No. It was the supernatural light called the Shekinah Glory. No natural star could lead to such an exact, small location. Bethlehem had about 1000 people at this time.

When you share about Jesus, that name must be a daily reality to you and if so, they will “catch” the truth of the resurrected Lord as they see Him, presently, in you. Do they see Him in you and me?

Do I walk in the peace the angels were talking about? Do you walk in the peace the angels were talking about? Best gift you can give your family this year is something they will “catch” from you and from me. Be contagious! God bless you my dear brothers and sisters in Christ. JWP

John 14: 27 ” Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives,
do I give to you, let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

Jim Petty in Post on December 07 2018 » 0 comments

TBC Sermon for December 2, 2018

Please join us in today’s word. And let us know what you think….either in our comment section or in person at our next service. Join us every Sunday at our new worship times–9:30am for Sunday School and at 10:45am for Worship Service. We’d love to see you here!

Jason Kerr in Post on December 02 2018 » 0 comments

TBC Sermon for November 18, 2018

ROMANS 12 9 through 21 11 18 18 PART 2

Please join us in today’s word. And let us know what you think….either in our comment section or in person at our next service. Join us every Sunday at our new worship times–9:30am for Sunday School and at 10:45am for Worship Service. We’d love to see you here!

Jason Kerr in Post on November 20 2018 » 0 comments

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