In His Praise — August 7, 2022

“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God  without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe…”

Philippians 2:14-16

There are three important points found in these verses:

  1. We as children of God should be willing to do the work we are called to do with a good attitude. Just as parents instruct their children to do their chores and not complain, so we as God’s children should be happy to do whatever work the Lord gives us to do. There should be no grumbling or fussing about our tasks.

2) Why should we do this? So that our character will grow more Christ-like, our faith will grow  stronger, and our walk with Jesus will become more intimate. All this will cause us to become better people and stronger servants for our Lord.

3) We, like the people that Paul was writing to, also live in a “crooked and depraved generation”. Our example can be the only shining light that others see. It is important that we let that light shine for Jesus  wherever we go.

God has work for us all to do. The way we go about doing it is our gift to God and our witness to others.

In His Praise — July 31, 2022

“For this God is our God forever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.”

Psalms 48:14

What a wonderful reminder this verse is that God will never leave us. Whatever or wherever life takes us God is always with us. He guides, protects and moves to bring about good things for us. From birth to death, our God lovingly cares for us and has a plan for us.

As the children’s prayer goes, “God is great and God is good.” We just need to draw close to Him and trust His leadership. He will never forsake us or disappoint us.

In His Praise — July 24, 2022

“In everything set them an example by doing what is good.”

Titus 2:7a

Have you ever watched the ripples that a stone makes when tossed into the water? They start where the stone lands and then travel out. A larger stone may make larger ripples, but it doesn’t matter if the stone is large or small, there will still be ripples. The same is true of waves made by passing boats on a lake. It doesn’t matter what size the boat is, its  movement creates waves that will travel across the lake. Again, a large boat may cause big wave, while a small boat will create only a small wave. Both the stone and the boat have an effect on the water. The stone, the boat nor the water think about what is happening, it is just a natural reaction.

Let’s imagine that we as Christians are the stone or the boat and the world is the water. What kind of ripples and waves are you making? Our actions do make a difference! Of course all of us want to make big ripples and reach a lot of people.  But the reality is that sometimes our waves are small and don’t travel very far. The point is that our actions  cause a reaction in others no matter how big or small. The way we live (our example) influences others whether we realize it or not. 

Unlike the stone, the boat and the water, we do have control over our actions. With God’s help we should strive at all times to set an example of good.

In His Praise — July 17, 2022

“… yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” 

Habakkuk 3:18

Having a positive attitude is something we have to choose sometimes. Happiness does not always come naturally. Sad things happen and we cannot always wear a smile and act as though we’re not bothered or touched by the circumstances. God has given us emotions that do influence our reactions. 

In the verses previous to the one above, the prophet Habakkuk had learned from God that Israel was about to be attacked and defeated by the Babylonians! That sounds frightening and depressing. Habakkuk was concerned to say the least, his attitude was not positive about the situation. He questioned why God would allow this to happen. He tried to make sense of it in his own mind. He talked to God; and then, Habakkuk listened to God. Once Habakkuk heard God’s response his attitude changed. He accepted the inevitable. But he was no longer frightened or depressed. His attitude changed to one of acceptance and trust in the Lord. Habakkuk declared that no matter what happened, he would continue to find joy and happiness with the Lord.

We too can find ourselves in predicaments that are unsettling or scary. Our first reaction may be anger, fear or doubt. But God assures us that we are never alone. He walks with us through all of life’s ups and downs.

We may not be able to change our circumstances, but we can definitely change our attitude. By trusting the Lord and believing His word we can choose to be joyful and rejoice in our Lord. We can let the peace that passes all understanding rule our hearts and minds. We can stand firm on His promises.

Here are a few Bible verses that can help reassure us in times of trouble: Psalm 46:1, Philippians 4:19, John 16:33, Romans 8:18, James 1:2-4 and Joshua 1:9.

In His Praise — July 10, 2022

“… he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion…”

Philippians 1:6

As children of God we all have work to do. Ephesians 2:10 tells us this: “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”. 

It is easy  to become discouraged though. Satan tells us that what we do does not amount to much, that it is not important or that it is not making a difference. We may also run into other obstacles — health issues, financial hardships, time restraints, just to mention a few.  The world can throw all kinds of stumbling blocks in our paths. But these also, are just ploys of the devil to distract us from the work God has planned for us to do.

We must stay strong in our faith by praying for guidance. We must listen with spiritual ears for God’s answers; we must stay grounded in God ’s Word; and we must believe Romans 8:31, “if God is for us, who can be against us.” 

So go joyfully and courageously on with the work God has given you. Don’t be distracted or hindered by the negativity in this world. We know that God has overcome the world and we can trust that whatever work He has begun in us, He will complete!

In His Praise — July 3, 2022

“Your word is lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”

Psalms 119:105

This verse from the book of Psalms is one that many of us may remember learning as children in VBS or Sunday school. It is a good verse on which to build a foundation of faith. It gives us assurance that God’s Word is filled with the light we need to guide us in a dark world. 

As children and adults we need help to navigate life. We need wisdom to make right choices and we need encouragement to continue on the right path. God’s word can do all those things, and more, for us. When we read the Bible prayerfully and thoughtfully, His truths will be illuminated. As we apply His Word to our lives it will become our guiding light.

We too can join with the psalmist in knowing that God is a”lamp to our feet and a light to our path”.

In His Praise — June 26, 2022

“Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” 

Matthew 18:19-20     

This last Sunday in June has been a different one for the congregation of East Point Cumberland Presbyterian Church. We’re a small congregation and since last Sunday quite a few of our church members have tested positive for Covid-19! As a wise safety precaution our elders decided to cancel services for this Sunday. 

Just hearing the words “you have  Covid” are disturbing, but when others around you begin to report the same thing, it becomes a little scary! Your mind could make you panic. Fear could fill your heart and paralyze your faith. But that’s only satan trying to rattle us. 

We all followed our orders to quarantine, medicate and rest. That has been strengthening to our physical bodies. We checked on each other by phone or text, that served to encourage and strengthen our spirits. Brother Phil shared the sermon today via Facebook from his home, that was nourishing to our souls. But most of all, we prayed! We prayed for each other, and we prayed with each other. God not only is hearing those prayers, He is answering them! 

One by one our health is being restored and we will again be able to join in worship together. But, thanks be to God for His mighty presence and His love that sustains us in such times of trouble. He is always with us to comfort, strengthen, and heal. Thank you Jesus, that you have overcome the world and that satan has no power over  your children!

What a mighty God we serve!

In His Praise — June 19, 2022

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.”

1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Happy Fathers Day! 

Dads are important people in our lives, and their influence is felt more than they probably know.  By example they show their children how to live and teach so many lessons without saying a word. 

Today’s world is a difficult place to live. There are strains and stresses on finances, relationships, morals, and even the family unit itself. It is easy to become discouraged. It is easy to stop trying. But children need fathers that do not give up, they need dads that are strong and faithful. The world needs men that are grounded in faith, who know their Heavenly Father and have a close walk with Him.

Whether you are a dad, stepdad, grandpa, uncle, brother or friend know that you impact the lives of the children in your world. It is not an easy job, but the good news is that your Father God is there to help you be the example He wants you to be. He is your Heavenly Father and He loves you. As you talk to Him in prayer, He will lead you, encourage you and bless you. 

Embrace with joy the task God has given you and let His love be your guide. Be strong and courageous in your faith. You and your children will surely be blessed.

In His Praise — June 12, 2022

“O Lord, our Lord, 

how majestic is your name in all the earth!”

You have set your glory above the heavens.

From the lips of children and infants 

you have ordained praise

 because of your enemies, 

to silence the foe and the avenger.

When I consider your heavens, 

the work of your fingers.

the moon and the stars,

which you have set in place, 

what is man that you are mindful of him,

the son of man that you care for him?

You have made him a little lower than the

 heavenly beings,

and crowned him with glory and honor.

You made him ruler over the works of your hands;

you put everything under his feet:

all the flocks and herds,

and the beast of the field, 

the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,

all that swim the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Lord,

how majestic is your name in all the earth!”

Psalm 8

As we ponder the greatness of God, we too should be moved to worship and praise! We have no words to fully express our love, awe and wonder of such a great God. 

Let us join with the psalmist in saying “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”

In His Praise — June 5, 2022

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me.” 

John 14:1

These words of comfort were spoken by Jesus to His disciples as He was preparing them for His death. The disciples did not fully grasp all that was about happen. They loved Jesus and were faithful followers, but they may have been overwhelmed by all that Jesus was telling them. They were confused, afraid and some were even in denial. They did not understand why Jesus had to face such a cruel death. He had done nothing wrong!

As followers of Jesus in today’s world, we too can become confused and afraid. Daily we are faced with shortages of all kinds, high prices, violence and so many other trials. We wonder why these things are happening and where God is in the midst of all the turmoil. We might even ask why such bad things happen to  good people. It is easy to begin to doubt and even deny that God loves us. But in reality, God’s love is the only thing we can truly count on. We are reminded of this in Lamentations 3:22, Psalm 91:14-15, and 1 John 5:18.

The good news is that just as Jesus reassured His disciples, He reassures us too. In verses 15-28 of John 14, Jesus promises the Holy Spirit will come to comfort and guide the disciples, and us. He promises peace that is not of the world. His words are true, He is faithful and His love never fails.

What a blessing to be able to claim these words from Jesus, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Thank you, Lord! We have no need to fear or doubt! Our great Savior has everything under His control!