Feeling Full

by Pastor Doc Adkins

But I have all, and abound: I am full…        Philippians 4:18

Thanksgiving!  What a blessed thought.  What is it?  What do I think of it?  Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving has always been a big deal in my life.  Living with my grandparents on that old farm was truly a wonderful time during Thanksgiving.  My grandmother and my momma would begin preparing for the big day at the beginning of the week. The wonderful aroma of all kinds of great stuff fill the air, steamed up all the windows and tempted me every time I walked by them.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I was thinking about my blessings and everything that goes along with the holiday.  Of course my mind couldn’t help but wander to a little turkey, dressing, and big, big homemade rolls.  How full you can feel when you indulge in such a big holiday meal, let alone adding a piece of pumpkin pie on top of it.

When we start dwelling on the Thanksgiving holiday, we sometimes think of all those lists of things we are thankful for and we seem to think of them as separate items, but Thanksgiving is more than that.

It’s seeing how God works everything together until we are “full” of His blessings and of His care even through times when we don’t seem to have everything we need (or want).  It’s at those times that we should be thankful too.

I’ve read through that Philippians chapter four many times but when I read through it recently, the word “full” really caught my eye.

Paul is writing to the Philippians and expressing his thankfulness at their care for him and how God had supplied.  You really do need to read the entire chapter to get things in perspective but look at what it says in Philippians 4:11,12.

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

Paul says, “both to be full and to be hungry”.

He goes on to say in verses 18,19,But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odor of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God.

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:18,19

It’s wonderful the way that God supplies our needs.  When I read through that chapter, I notice that Paul seems to be looking at the whole picture.  He saw how God had worked through everything for him and how God would supply the needs of those at Philippi.

I don’t think Paul was just making a thankful list but he was really seeing how God had worked through this situation and on into that situation and so on.  He surveyed the whole of how God had been working and supplying and Paul was “full.”

I don’t think there is anything wrong with writing out a list of things to be thankful for.  I think that’s great and sometimes we all need to do that just to reflect on how the Lord has blessed us but I think sometimes we forget to see the whole of how God supplied.

I know personally I don’t always think of those lean times or the times Paul was talking about when he said, “to suffer need”.  Not the things I put right up there at the top of my “thankful” list.  I think especially at the Thanksgiving holiday, we put those things in the back of our minds, but that’s how God takes care of us.  He does it through everything.

Even in those times where we don’t feel so blessed, the Lord is still there supplying our needs and working through our lives.  When I think of it that way, it tends to make me even more grateful and thankful for all of the ways that God supplies.

So…gobble til you wobble.  And be thankFULL.

Master Creator

by Pastor Doc Adkins

Here we are and it’s fall again in West Virginia. Also, in a while it will be just beginning to cool off from the summer heat.  Some of the trees are just beginning to lose a few leaves but eventually the fall weather will be here and the leaves will turn to their beauty and fall completely from the trees.

Fall is one of the most glorious times of the year.  It’s filled with the chill of the air in sharp contradiction to the vibrating warmth of the colors of the leaves, making it just breathtaking.  It leaves us just in awe of how wonderful God is and how so perfect each of His creations are.

As I look at the fall leaves and enjoy being out in a tree stand hunting or taking a drive with Sarah, I think about how beautiful a creation of God those are and I wonder how and what kind of a change God has for me.  Think about how leaves change color can be such a lesson to us.

Did you know that the yellow to orange pigments are there inside the leaf the whole time but we only see them in the fall because they are masked by so much green pigment?  During the summer the growth of the tree is making food inside cells in the leaves, which contain chlorophyll, which gives the leaf its green color.

In the fall the chlorophyll breaks down because of certain elements, which cause the other pigments to break out, and we see what becomes our beautiful fall leaves.  There are three basic elements that affect that chlorophyll breaking down.  Those are temperature, light, and water.  During the fall the temperature drops having an effect. The days are shorter so there is less sunlight, and there is less water because of the rain level.

Considering all this, set me to thinking how that is how we are as Christians.  When we are sailing along without any problems we stay green and in the comfortable zone, but if it weren’t for the little less sunlight of a few bumps in the road in the way of trials, a few cold days of heartaches, and a little less water when we feel we can’t handle the burdens, then all of a sudden we become beautiful as a Christian.

God uses all those bumps, heartaches, and burdens to bring out our color and brilliance so that we can be a reflection for Him.  He is the Master Creator.  He knows what He is doing.

But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.   Job 23:10

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.   Romans 8:28

When we get back to realizing that God is the Master Creator and begin taking in how awesome and powerful He is, just like we take in the beauty of the fall, it will cause us to be a little more vibrant in our color. Perhaps a little more vibrant in witnessing, reading our Bibles, our prayer life.

God knows us in such a personal way.  He knows each situation, each thing that becomes important for us, and each thing that we have weighing on our heart.  He knows every one of our joys, burdens, and sorrows. We forget sometimes that He gives us our color in only ways that He can.  We sometimes in a sense forget that He is God.

Be still, and know that I am God…    Psalm 46:10

“Son” Flowers

by Pastor Doc Adkins

For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11 

When I often think of my childhood on the farm with my grandparents, it’s this time of the year that brings back floods of good memories. The harvest of the garden, the hay fields and corn fields are winding down.  All the work in the hot summer heat has paid off and only the remnants are left. Rest assured even they will   not go to waste. At the ends of the garden my grandmother planted sunflowers. Lots of really big sunflowers overshadowed the garden. Whenever you look toward the garden it was the sunflowers you saw first before anything else.  This time of year, the sunflower would take on the colors of majestic guardians of the garden.  I’d see their yellow and gold tones and with the colors you just knew Fall was upon us.

Sunflowers are one of those things you see everywhere such as on dishes, tablecloths, pillows, and other things for the home.  They are right up there with roses when it comes to popularity.

Did you know that even Picasso and Van Gogh painted sunflowers?  Probably because they are such a beautiful and distinctive flower.

Here are a few lessons we can learn from the sunflower.

Sunflowers Track the Sun.  Most plants are attracted to light but the flowering head of the sunflower actually tracks the sun following its path and moving toward where it is in the sky all during the day.

I read somewhere that sunflowers track the sun when they are in bud stage.  Isn’t that how it usually goes for us as Christians?  When we first come to know the Lord, we get excited about knowing all about Him and living for Him, but after a while we sometimes grow a little preoccupied with other things and get our eyes off of the Lord.

Wouldn’t it be great if as a Christian we’d track the Son of God and follow Him all day long?  No matter what was going on in our lives and throughout our day, we wouldn’t take our eyes off of the Son.

Sunflowers Need to be Stabilized. The second thing I’ve learned about the sunflower is that it needs to be firmly planted in the soil in order to grow.  Sunflowers grow so tall and their stems become so heavy that they will topple over if they aren’t stabilized in the ground.

I know as a Christian it’s very easy to topple over if we are not grounded in the Word of God.  We need to know what and why we believe what we do so our feet are firmly planted and we won’t falter in our Christian growth.

Sunflowers Produce Seeds. Did you know that a single sunflower can have up to 2,000 seeds?  When we think about sowing seeds as a Christian, just think of the potential reach that each of us can have to spread the Gospel.  It could be limitless if we would just sow those seeds.

Sunflowers Produce Oil.  The oil that the sunflower produces is considered a good oil with healthy benefits.  As Christians we should be producing the fruit of the spirit (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith).  All of those have some healthy benefits on us as Christians and on others that we meet.

Sunflowers Resemble the Sun. Sunflowers not only follow the sun but when you look at them, they resemble the sun too.  Resembling the Son should be one of those things we do as a Christian.  Being Christ-like is an essential part of being a Christian.

Conclusion: When I think about the lessons from the sunflower, my mind goes to that fifth chapter of Ephesians where it’s talking about following God and all the ways we are to act as Christians.  It starts out in the first couple verses by saying,

Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor.  Ephesians 5:1,2

The chapter goes on in detail on various topics of Christian living and mentions all those bad things we are to avoid, starting with “fornication” and it goes on from there.

In verses 15 and 16 it says,

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

I’m not going to type the entire chapter out here but I think that whole chapter is so important as guidance to our everyday Christian lives.  It is what getting up and following the Son all day and being a SON flower is all about.

It boils down to walking in the spirit, following God, and living Christ-like as a Christian should.  We’ve got to live that way in order to “redeem the time” and spread the Gospel of Christ. .

So, are you living like a SON-flower?

Eyes Wide Open

by Pastor Doc Adkins

Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.  Psalm 25:15

It is finally warming up around here and I’ve been noticing all the little bugs and insects around.  I also notice some days ago when I was at our camp in Hinton that a summer creature you see a lot around the river is the “dragon fly”.  That peculiar looking thing with two sets of wings, a long skinny body and BIG EYES!  REALLY BIG EYES!  They are funny looking creatures to say the least. I am not sure what purpose they have except when they land on the water in the river…fish love them.

I’ve read that their sight encompasses basically 360 degrees and that they can see everything at most angles.

Wish I could see like that, especially those things that seem to sneak up on me and sideswipe me.

There are things I wish I could have seen coming.  I know there are things that as Christians we should watch out for so we don’t get off track in our daily living. We need to have our eyes wide open like a dragonfly.

Eyes Open to Understanding.

If we would keep our eyes open to understanding the Lord, just think how much better we would get to know Him.

That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints. Ephesians 1:17, 18

Eyes Open to the Word.

I guess if we had our eyes wide open to what God’s Word says, we’d learn more and be better able to handle those things that get into our view.

Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word. Psalm 119:148

Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. Psalm 119:18

Eyes Open to Temptation.

Just think how much smoother our lives would be if we were constantly on guard for this one.  We know we are supposed to be on our toes for it to come sneaking in but sometimes it’s there right in front of us before we see it.

Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.  Matthew 26:41

Eyes Open to God’s Help.

We get into these situations and our eyes are bugging out because here comes trouble.  How much better we could handle it if we constantly had our eyes on God and were really relying on the Lord.

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.  Psalms 121:1

Without that 360 degree sight, dragonflies wouldn’t be able to be ready to make the quick maneuvers that they need to make in midair.  I think that when we keep our eyes wide open to certain things, we are better able to maneuver too.  We are better able to handle all those things that come sailing into our view.

All in all, I think we need to keep our eyes on the Lord because He’s the One who sees all.  The Lord can see up ahead where we can’t and that’s a nice fact to rest in.  He can see behind us where we may have missed something.  He can also help us handle those things that come whizzing past us.

So, maybe God created these little strange creatures like the ‘dragon fly ’just to teach us to keep our eyes wide open for Him to show us our way in life, too.

Upsy Daisy

by Pastor Doc Adkins

Psalm 30:1 “I will extol thee, O LORD; for thou hast lifted me up…”

I’m sure you are familiar with the expression “upsy daisy”. It’s a phrase I have heard most of my life and yet for whatever the reason it seems forever ago since I actually have heard it. But, the other day, I saw a grandmother with her little granddaughter or maybe even great granddaughter and the beautiful little gal evidently had just learned to walk. Actually, she was doing pretty well but, it wasn’t the walking that seem to be the challenging thing…it was the stopping. As soon as she  stopped …down on her little bottom she went and immediately Grandma, in that Grandma assuring voice proclaimed, “upsy daisy”. And you know what?  The beautiful little girl laughed out loud. You see “upsy daisy” is the phrase we use when we want to give encouragement to our children when they are learning to walk or when they’ve had a fall.  It means “up you go”.

I think that God does the same with us.  We go walking along in our Christian life and hit some bumps in the sidewalk or maybe we even fall into a big hole and God helps us up and says, “upsy daisy”.

He brushes us off and tells us everything is going to be okay.

It’s not fun when we are down and we find our lives turned upside down.  It’s sometimes hard to see everything in the right perspective when we aren’t standing upright.  But we have a God who cares about us and is there when we get down and He helps us up.

There are some great examples in the bible of some people who had some “upsy daisy” moments.

I think of Job first and foremost. I guess because when he went down, it was with such a sudden force and a big thud.  Here he was, going through life so blessed by God and all of a sudden, Job was laid low.

So much happened to Job in such a short time but God was with him all the way and in the end said, “upsy daisy, Job”.

Job is such a great example to show that when we don’t see God, God still sees us.

It’s like when a toddler falls down and doesn’t see his mother because she’s out of site for a little bit while he’s lying on the ground after he’s fallen.  It’s kind of scary.  But then after a few moments when he sees the face of his mother and knows she’s there to help him up, he’s okay again.

Job might not have been able to see God but God could see Job and Job knew God was still there within reach.  What’s worth remembering is that even though he couldn’t see God, Job still obeyed God.

Job 23:8-12  Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him
On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him:

But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined.

Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.

It’s so exciting to see how God said, “upsy daisy” to Job.  The Lord had a way of showing Job that all was okay.  God lifted up Job and put him upright on his feet once again and “the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before” (Job 42:10).

And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.

Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and everyone an earring of gold.

Job 42:10-12a  So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning.

Conclusion:

Maybe you feel like your life has been turned over on its head and you are feeling the pressure of an “upsy daisy” moment.  Just hold on. God knows you are down.  He’s not far from you.

I know it’s hard to be thankful for those “upsy daisy” moments in our lives but don’t you just love the fact that it is God that does the “upsy” part.  It is Him that lifts us up.  It may be through several circumstances that work together but God has His hand working in all of it.

There has been many a moment that I’ve wondered why I’d been brought so low but those are the moments that I’ve seen God the closest and had to rely on His encouragement the most.

If I just look around for Him and listen to His voice I know He’s there even when I’m down and I know I can get through anything when I have Him with me.

God has that way of giving us His presence and saying, “upsy daisy”. It’s all going to be okay.  You’ll get back on your feet again.  Up you go!

So, are you thankful for your “upsy daisy” moments?

The Flowers of God’s Garden

Julia Johnston, 1908 (Edited and Adapted by Doc Adkins)

“The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” Isaiah 58:11

Have you ever seen a garden in full bloom?  Do you remember it?  I remember my Grandmother’s flower garden. Actually, she had them everywhere. Some were by the front porch of the farmhouse, some huge sunflowers at the end of the garden, and some flowers planted in pots she kept and accumulated from year to year. Each flower there was carefully arranged, carefully spaced, carefully pruned, and tenderly cared for.

I learned a lot about planting and caring for what you plant from my Grandmother and it in a small way reminds me of our relationship with God.

Despite the weather, the garden is always tended, the gardener never taking a break from his labors. Do you see it? Smell the air, with the odors of hundreds, thousands, billions of flowers, each one separate, and each one contributing to the bouquet. Feel the breeze, changing directions and bringing new petals to lie at your feet. You see this garden? This is the garden of God. Each flower and each plant is a life, a person, a soul.

Some of the flowers bloom fully and mightily, giving their all for their short span in the garden while some sulk and refuse to blossom.  Some flowers hold back their distinctive smells and colors while others refuse to be dragged down to the mundane. In every case, each flower is tended by the great gardener Himself. Each flower, each shrub, tree, bush, and plant is pruned so that it will have the maximum growth possible and will be displayed to its fullest potential.

Each plant is carefully planted and watered, from the seed to full maturity because the Gardener knows what is best for that plant. The Gardener also knows where He wants that plant and how He desires to show off and display the plant that each plant is the most beautiful to be seen. The Gardener has a plan for His garden and nothing will get in the way.

Each arrangement shows off every flower to its best potential, each skilled grouping takes every flower to its utmost. In every case the Gardener knows what is best, encouraging, cajoling, challenging, pruning, or just letting it go. Every flower is different, every plant is unique, and the Gardener knows each one by name. It is the most beautiful garden in the universe. Do you see it?

You are part of it. You are an integral part of it, not just a sideline attraction. You are the main show, the primary exhibition in God’s great garden of Life!

Don’t be ashamed of what you are in God’s sight but rather be glad for that is how God, our Gardener sees you. Glorious, filled, and given every chance to exceed! You are His prized selection! There is no pressure to perform, just be! Just by existing you make Him so proud! Don’t be ashamed if you are a petunia, a daisy, or lily. The orchids and roses display you to your best! He is pleased with you no matter what the beauty of the others may be, no matter the size of their petals or the depth of their roots. You are unique and only you can do and be where He wants you to be or to do.

 

Easter is for Second Chances

by Pastor Doc Adkins

But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.” Mark 16:6-7

Do you need a second chance today? On the first Easter morning, Peter needed one. There in the Upper Room, he had insisted that he would never deny Christ. But just as Jesus had predicted, Peter not only denied the Lord, but he denied Him three times.

The last glimpse Peter had of Jesus before His crucifixion was in the glow of the fire in the high priest’s courtyard, where he actually made eye contact with Jesus. And then he went out and wept bitterly.

What kind of look do you think Jesus gave Peter when their eyes met?

Do you think it was one of those I-told-you-so looks?

Do you think it was one of scorn, as if to say, “How could you betray Me?”

I don’t think it was either one.

I think it was a look of love, a look of compassion that said, “I still love you, Peter.”

And I believe that is why Peter went out and wept bitterly. He had failed the Lord so miserably. He probably thought there was no hope for him.

But then a message went out from the empty tomb that Jesus had risen, followed by these instructions, “Go, tell His disciples—and Peter. . . .”

It was not, “Go tell the disciples, including Peter, James, and John. . . .” It was just Peter, because Peter needed a special word of encouragement.

Do you need encouragement today? Maybe you have come on difficult times. Personally.  Spiritually.  You didn’t plan on it, but it happened. And like Peter, maybe you ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time, ultimately finding things going wrong. Way wrong!

God gave Peter a second chance. And He will give you one, too—because Easter is for the person who needs a second chance.

Higher Lord!

by Pastor Doc Adkins

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.  Hebrews 4:16

Back on the farm in Summers County there was a huge pasture field beside the old farm house. It gradually got steeper the further out you went and after a time you’d come to a huge knoll near the backside of the field. From there it was a long hill that went downward for a hundred yard or so.  You get the picture? The great thing about this knoll was that it was a perfect place to fly a kite. March is kite flying weather because of the wind.  March is also unpredictable. It can be sunny, raining, snowing and lots of wind all in the same day if not in a same hour.

Wind is a powerful thing and a must for kite flying. Without a good strong blowing wind you’re just wasting your time. Prayer is a lot like an amazing wind.  To know that we as Christians can tap into the almighty power of God just because we are His children is such a wonderful thing.  Think about God’s power for a few moments.

We see it in creation, in the plagues of Egypt, in Daniel in the lion’s den, in Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego walking in the fiery furnace, in the miraculous story of Joseph’s safety, and in Noah and the flood.  We pray to the same God and that should be exciting to us as Christians.

The power of prayer can lift us to new heights and we begin to fly like kites.  We can sail along because we know we can bring our petitions and situations to an Almighty God who loves and cares for us, yet has the power to change things.

We can fly because God has the power to change our lives.

Think about Paul.  Before he met Christ his name was Saul, and he went around persecuting Christians, but God changed him.  Paul’s whole life was changed.  His thoughts, attitudes, his whole mission in life changed for God’s glory.  It’s the same God that has power to change us as well.

We can fly because God has the power to change those around us.
Is there someone you know whom you are concerned about in the area of salvation?  Keep praying.    Is there someone around you such as a family member or maybe even co-worker who seems to constantly bug you and get you down?  Make them a matter of prayer.  God can change the people around us.

We can fly because God has the power to change our circumstances.

Ever felt like your kite of life has hit a tree?   I’ve been through my share of circumstances and I know first-hand that circumstances can knock the wind right out of your sails.  With a few bad circumstances your kite can come tumbling down.  You might not be able to do anything about those circumstances on your own but God can do something about them.

Look at how the circumstances changed in Joseph’s life.  Remember how Joseph was put into a pit by his brothers and sold into slavery?  He even ended up in prison, but God had a way of changing the circumstances for Joseph till he became the ruler over all that Pharaoh had.

That’s our God that did that.  The same one we pray to is able to change the circumstances we face.

We can fly because God has the power to heal.

We have several examples in the bible of how Jesus healed the sick and lame.  We have that same power available to us through prayer.  Not only can Christ heal physically but He has the power to heal our hurts and feelings as well.

Maybe you feel like your kite has a big hole in it where someone wronged you or you’re going through a situation that is leaving you just torn apart and a little ragged inside.  Your life may seem to be heading down in a spiral motion.  Make it a matter of prayer and let that wonderful healing power of Christ lift you back up into the air again.

We can fly because God has the power to sustain.

Maybe you feel like your kite of life got stuck in the telephone wires somewhere along the way and you’re absorbing just a little bit too much shock.  God has the power to lift you above that and sustain you.  I think of Joseph again.  He endured a lot but God brought him through it.

Look how David relied on God’s strength when Saul was seeking to kill him.  David prayed and cried out continuously to God and God brought him through all of that.  We still have the same God to sustain us as we fly through life.  He gives us the strength and courage to keep flying along.

Look at Paul and his ailment that seemed to just be a continual bother to him.  What did God show him?

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.    2 Corinthians 12:9 

Conclusion: It really encourages me to think about these things that God has the power to do in our lives, in our circumstances, and in the lives of others around us.

When we think all we can do is float down, down, down, we need to tap into that awesome power of God by way of prayer.  With prayer we can be lifted to new heights. BUT!  The only way to reach these heights is to loosen the strings that binds us and let God take us where His wind leads us.

So, how’s your prayer life flying?

It’s All About “Me”

by Pastor Doc Adkins

Social media phrases have always reminded me of those Conversation Hearts Candy.  You know, they say  those little phrases that represent what we want to tell someone at Valentine’s Day such as “love me”, “kiss me”, or “hug me”.  In social media the phrases are things like “follow me”, “friend me”, “text me” and so on.

I kind of see a theme here.  It’s all about wanting someone to respond to “me”.  Those phrases are how others reach out to us and want us to respond.

The Lord reaches out to us in so many ways.  How do we answer His requests?

Friend Me

We all want friends, whether online or offline and Jesus is the greatest friend we will ever have.  One thing we have to do as Christians is to act and behave like we are His friends.

Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.  John 15:14 

Text Me

It seems like everyone is texting on their phones these days, especially young people.  People are staying in contact with each other.  They are just chatting, asking questions, and answering questions.

How much more we should stay in contact with Christ and fill the Lord in with what’s going on in our lives.  No one is afraid to pick up a phone and text a question to a friend but we fail sometimes to pray to the Lord as easily.

Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  Philippians 4:6 

Repost Me

People with blogs and Facebook or any kind of social media want what they’ve posted to be reposted by other people, whether it’s a blog post, photo, or video.  We want what we’ve posted reposted so it gets shared over and over.

We post things online that are important to us or even what makes us laugh or what we enjoy.  We send along links to our friends of things we think they would enjoy or that we think could help them.
Do we enjoy God’s Word enough to share it?  Are we passing it along to our friends for their benefit?

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.  2 Timothy 3:16

Follow Me

Most people that use social media want followers.  They want to know what they are posting is getting read and that people enjoy it.  Many of us follow blogs or the Facebook posts of our friends to see what they are up to or we may even follow people or things we are just interested in.

How interested are we in following Christ closely?  Have we missed anything He has shared with us?  How caught up are we on following His teachings?

Have you ever noticed that sometimes people follow other people online because they’ve seen someone else following that particular website or person?  The more we follow Christ, the more we’ll be those “fishers of men”  He talks about.

And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.  Matthew 4:19 

Add Me

Website and blog owners usually make a way for people to be added to their mailing lists or a way to be added so their visitors can get updates.    Many of you have probably added yourselves to mailing lists or updates at places you shop or frequent online.

How often do we think about adding the Lord into the things we do and making it so He is included in everything we do?

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;  Colossians 3:23 

Share Me

Sharing what we find on social media is what makes the social media world go round.  If it weren’t for people constantly sharing the things they find, it wouldn’t work.

Sharing Christ and His love is what furthers Christianity.  How else will people know about the Lord if we don’t share His love?

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.  John 13:35

Conclusion:  All of social media revolves around how people respond to the different aspects of it but in the end that has no lasting value.  How we respond to Christ does matter.  It’s the difference of eternal things.

So, have you responded to Christ?

Are You Winterized?

by Pastor Doc Adkins

...in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.   Philippians 4:11-13

Growing up in WV, we’ve learned the meaning of cold and winter.   When I was younger living in Hinton, my whole world was WV and I actually thought it was normal to wear several layers of clothing and be bundled up so much you couldn’t move, dig out sidewalks of snow, scrape ice off your car, and do all the other things that go along with snow, ice, and winter.

In our spiritual lives, we all have “winters” too and we have to winterize them in order to face them.  When winter comes it is a time of bleak and dark dreary days.  We must face the fact that winter can be hard and trials are hard.  Just like the season of winter, our spiritual “winters” can leave us discouraged, lonely, and depressed.

There are some things that can make the cold of our winter very intense. We need to winterize and guard against them.

1   The Cold Air Culprit of the World.
When we are going through trials and hardships, we sometimes tend to let our guard down and it’s so easy for worldly influences to take over in our lives.  It seeps through the cracks around the doors and windows just like the winter air.  It may be the influence of world’s unscriptural thinking.

It all can work overtime on us as we face trials in our lives.  We’ve got to dig out the caulk and weather stripping and block those cracks and holes.  Using God’s Word is the best way to do this.  If we have it in our hearts, it can help stop the winter air of the world from seeping into our lives.

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.  Psalm 119:11

2   The Icicles of Cold Attitudes.
During the winter it is easy to develop a bad attitude.  It doesn’t take much at all for some of us.  In comes the dreary days, the cold and chill, and drip…drip…we have formed those icicle attitudes.

We become cranky and out of sorts with our family and anyone who we come in contact with.  We also tend to complain more about anyone and anything.

When we are in the midst of a trial we sometimes automatically go into icicle attitude mode.  We don’t have any fellowship with anyone to help encourage us through our trial because who wants to be around us?

We have to remember that no one else can fix our bad attitudes.  Only we can do that.  It’s not easy either to adjust your attitude during a “winter” because the weight of that ice is bearing down on us.

I’ve found that the simplest way to start working on adjusting a bad attitude is to take a step back and just remember who God is and who we are not.

Be still, and know that I am God:  Psalm 46:10

3   The Blizzards of Circumstances.
Winter can bring so many things along with it.  Blizzards being one of the worst as the effects it leaves is so devastating.  Circumstances in our lives can also be devastating.  Bills mount up.  Family members get sick or even die. Relationships get sour, and many other circumstances weigh down on us until we think we can’t go on because we can’t see what’s down the road.

I think that during these times we need to remember that God sees the outcome. He’s our Potter and we are the clay.

But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.  Job 23:10

4   The Jack Frost of Depression.
Better bundle up because if you are going through a trial, then depression is going to come nipping at your heels sooner or later.  Just like the dark and bleak days of winter have a depressing effect on us, trials seem to frost our lives with depression. The problem is that when we are in the midst of a “winter”, it is so easy to just let it nip away at us. I think depression is one of the worst things of a “winter” because I’ve had my problems with it and it still seems like it is always there looming and wanting to nip…nip away.

There’s no easy way out of depression but keeping our lives in tune with God can help guard against it.  Regular personal devotions and a time with God each day can go a long way in dealing with it.

Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.  Psalm 55:17

Now Listen:  Prepare Your Winter Emergency Kit. When you live where you have severe cold you know that there are things needed in order to prepare to endure the winter.  As Christians, when our “winters” and trials come into our lives we must learn to prepare for them as well.

Here are a few basic things we should have on hand.

 1   Non Perishable Food—Scripture Have some things on hand to sustain you through. Memorized scriptures can help more than anything.  Just a phrase of Scripture to grasp in the dead of our “winter” can be a great comfort to us.

2   Extra Blankets and Warm Clothing—Fellowship During a “winter” some people forget about attending church and fellowshipping with other Christians.  How much more it is needed when trials come into our lives. Having fellowship with other believers strengthens us.  We need their love, support, and prayers.  It becomes a real warmth to us.

3   Drinking Water–Christ the Living Water Bottled water in a winter emergency is a must.  We need it to survive just like we need the Living Water.  We need Christ and His Word to live. Relying on Him will keep us from a parched existence.  Drink in His love, His promises, His blessings, and His strength.  Looking to Him in the face of our trials and circumstances will help see us through our “winter”.

4   Emergency Candles or Flashlights–God’s Guidance The electricity may go out because of the weight of snow and ice on the power lines so we always need a light source to have on hand.  God’s guidance is our light source.  We can’t get through our daily lives, let alone our “winters” without following God’s direction and leading.  Staying sensitive to God’s leading will keep us going in the right direction and will help us to see a little more clearly.

Conclusion: We will all have “winters” in our lives, but choosing how we deal and prepare for them can make all the difference in the world.

So, are you winterized?