Joe's Rocking Chair Greetings

Joe's Rocking Chair Greetings


GULLIBLE

Yes, I hate to admit it, but I was so trusting that many jokes were played on me through my younger years, especially by my brother-in-law’s. If they told me something that I had no experience about, I believed them. The bad part was when I caught on, then everyone around me had a laugh.
 
I even believed everything I read such as an advertisement we received in the mail. It was an offer to purchase a grand piano. The ad seemed so convincing. It was offered for $12.95 including shipping. I waited for weeks for a truck to pull up to our back door with the delivery. My wife tried to tell me that it was a hoax. Well, a truck never pulled up, but a little package came in the mail with a miniature grand piano. Was I disappointed! It actually played music, but it was not what I expected.
 
There is no one better at making fools of us than Satan.  He uses false teachers to convince us that what we believed through the years from a Christian education and the preaching of the Word isn’t necessarily true. Some sound so convincing and use the same religious vocabulary that Christian churches use, but their meaning is different. Many people have left a perfectly good sound belief from what they learned from the Holy Bible to fall for unbelief. How many of the confirmed young adults are turned from their firm conviction during their High School and College days and never come back?
 
By now you are probably asking yourself, “What does this have to do with me!” That is an excellent question. The answer is that the longer a person stays away from God’s word the cooler their faith gets. The Word of God is like warm fire burning and as you stand around the fire you are warm on the outside and in the inside you feel better. But then, see what happens when you move just 3 feet away (attending church maybe once a month). Now move 6 feet away and you probably will feel no warmth of the fellowship and love of God that you once felt around the fire. The longer one stays away from reading God’s word or partake in bible study and communion the cooler their faith will become. Sometimes circumstances keep us from being able to be in worship, but nothing can keep us from God’s Word. Do what you can to give the Holy Spirit opportunity to work in you.
 

Hear this encouragement from Hebrews 10: 23-25 "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
 
Footnote: I am so filled with joy today. The last week in January, I had a biopsy on the kidney which I received from my nephew 11 + years ago. The next day the doctor called with the results. He said the kidney function was now at 30%. He talked about the different options we should check out. They were not good. There were at least 3 days where I was out of it. The roller coaster of emotions ran rampant. Many of you receiving this greeting can possibly relate. So, I decided, whether it’s one year or 2 or 3 that I have left, I will do my best to continue to share the love of my Savior.

Joe’s Rocking Chair Greetings
Joseph Stickney - March 1, 2019 - Vol 12 No 7
David’s Star EV Lutheran Church
www.davidsstar.org


CURTAINS

When we want to see what’s going on outside, we just open the curtains. We are able to see if it snowed and how much. In the summer we can check to see how the flowers in the flower box are doing or the new trees that we planted. If they are closed, we separate ourselves from the outside world. This of course is a helpful thing when we need privacy from the outside, but people suffering from depression might keep them closed all of the time to keep themselves separated from others. How sad!

The following story is about a man who had been baptized, confirmed, attended the Lord’s Supper and was in a bible class for a short time. He was so thin skinned that he allowed some complaining to send him away from all the work that the Holy Spirit worked in him through the years. It appears that he pulled the curtains so tight over his heart, that even the Holy Spirit wouldn’t be able to open them again.

His phone rang in church by accident during prayers. The Pastor scolded him, the worshippers admonished him after prayers for interrupting the silence. His wife kept on lecturing him on his carelessness all the way home. You could see the shame, embarrassment and humiliation on his face. He never stepped foot in the church again. For him the curtains to his heart were closed. He rejected the perfect gift of Jesus’ love for him. This is always a gift that is free.

That evening he went to a bar, being still nervous and trembling, he spilled his drink on the table by accident. The waiter apologized and gave him a napkin to clean himself. The janitor mopped the floor, the female manager offered him a complementary drink. She also gave him a huge hug and a kiss while saying, “Don’t worry man, who doesn’t make mistakes?” He has never stopped going to that bar since then. Sometimes our attitude, as believers, drives souls away from church. Our attitude breaks our relationships, destroys our families. You can make a difference by how you treat other people especially when they make mistakes.

The death of Jesus on the cross tore open the curtain which had separated worshipers from the presence of God. We now have access to the throne of our Lord, without going through someone. What a blessing this is for all believers. To be able to speak to the Lord directly. Is it possible, for us to close that curtain again that had separated us from the Lord of love?

Is it also possible that when we keep our heart closed, that the love that Jesus showered upon us with His death on the cross, is unable penetrate the heart? Even after the Holy Spirit opened it through baptism, confirmation, bible study and the Lord’s Supper?

Acts 16:14: One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.

Joe’s Rocking Chair Greetings
Joseph Stickney - February 1, 2019 - Vol 12 No 6
David’s Star Ev Lutheran Church
www.davidsstar.org