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Showing posts from August, 2015

Trash Day

Wednesday is trash day in our neighborhood.  That means early Wednesday morning; I get busy around the house throwing away about anything that is not nailed to the ground.  I collect trash from each room and separate trash items from recycled items. Then I wheel the trash and recycle carts out to the curb to remove the clutter and junk from our home.

Then the trash man dumps all my trash into his truck and drives away with it, never to be seen by me again.  Halleluiah!  Weekly, I get to wipe my hands clean of the rubbish in my life. 
Fortunately for us, we also have a spiritual trash day.  But, instead of weekly, Jesus is willing to come daily, hourly or each minute as we ask for forgiveness to remove the trash of sin from our lives.  By His love and grace, he takes away the sin in our lives. He then dumps them at the foot of the cross and removes it from our presence permanently.  As far as “the east is from the west” is how far our sins have been removed from us, so it states in Psal…

Our Testimony

When I first arrived at Olive Place I wanted to find some connection in Scripture with the church’s name. It needed to be more than name recognition. It needed to proclaim the church’s distinctiveness and personality. Psalm 52:8 was that verse— “But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God. I will always trust in God's unfailing love.” In the light of the surge of evil and godlessness in our world this verse needs to define the church today.

Olive trees are not the most attractive. It isn’t very tall. Its trunk is short, thick, irregular, twisted, light gray and full of bumps and cracks, especially as it gets older. Its leaves are evergreen with a whitish tint on the bottom-side which protects it from cold in winter and heat in summer. It’s tenacious in growing and producing fruit in almost any condition—on hills, in valleys, rocky or fertile soil they are virtually indestructible (it was, after all, an olive branch that a dove brought to Noah after the flood; Genesis …

Pass The Good Old Days

Every one of us has longed for “the good old days.” Those days are defined as a combination of a bad memory and a good imagination. We tend to look back with the notion “if only things could be as they once were, life would be so much better now.” The longing for the days gone by is a part of who you are but the longing you have for the past will not change your present or future. Job agrees with us when he says, “Oh, how I long for the good old days, when God took such very good care of me. He always held a lamp before me and I walked through the dark by its light.” (Job 29:2-3 MSG). Just as it was with Job we too must realize that God permits us to experience difficulties and sorrows, but He also sends victories and joys as well. This is a good reminder that we should try to see life in a balanced way. I agree with the great preacher of the 19th century, Charles Spurgeon who said “Too many people write their blessings in the sand but engrave their sorrows in marble.”

In Job’s case, …

VEGAS FAITH

There is a slogan commonly used when describing a trip to Las Vegas: “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.”  The idea is that when people go to Las Vegas they get license to do things they would never normally do, to act like they would never normally act, and to sin in ways they would never normally sin.  So what if you cheat on your wife, this is Vegas!  So what if you are irresponsible with your money, this is Vegas baby!  

The problem is many Christians are living their faith this way.  When you compartmentalize your faith the slogan becomes “What happens at church stays at church” or “What happens away from church, stays away from church.”  Many Christians are living out their faith only on Sundays at church.  And when they don’t feel like being a Christian, they stuff their church selves away until Sunday when they need to be good again. 
We are called to be Christians not just some of the time, but all of the time.  We are called to be Christ-like in all of our actions, not just…

Display Hope

I came across an interesting story some time back concerning the nation of Australia. In order for the country to raise its lagging birthrate, the government began paying mothers a “baby bonus” — somewhere around the equivalent of $2,100 U.S. dollars — for giving birth (While here in the U.S. we are killing unborn babies at 3,222 per day or 1.12 million per year and selling off their mutilated body parts for profit). While generally the birth of a child is a reward in itself, I know of some mothers who would love to receive some back pay for long, painful hours of labor! And, I’m not sure that any woman would actually seek to get pregnant just for some extra pocket-change — nine months down the road!

It seems to me that living the Christian life is a lot like the Australian “baby bonus”. For many Christ-followers, our life experiences do not reflect stories of ever-increasing glory, successes, blessing and happiness. Just look around you! There is a lot of pain, struggle, discipline an…