Archive for Joy

I can never get ahead…I’m just saying.

Posted in Bible Study, faith, Minutia, Observations, Prayer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2010/10/26 by NY4JB

How many times have we said something like this?  “Every time I get ahead something breaks and I end up behind again.”  As if we are being kept down rather than being provided for.  The Lord tells us that he will provide for us daily yet how many of us trust him?  I’m already thinking of my excuses…

Exodus 16:4-5 (English Standard Version)
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not.  On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.”

Just like when Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dream (see Genesis 41) and determines that the Lord is going to provide an exceptional harvest for seven years before seven years of famine.  The Lord provided for the hard time to come so they would be ready.  So maybe if we find we have more than we need there is a reason and when we find we are short it is our own fault and not God’s.  And maybe we should give thanks more and complain less…I’m just saying.

Passing these along…

Posted in faith, Prayer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2010/10/22 by NY4JB

I didn’t write these but they are worth passing along…

A member of a certain church, who previously had been attending services regularly, stopped going. After a few weeks, the pastor decided to visit him.  It was a chilly evening. The pastor found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire. Guessing the reason for his pastor’s visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a comfortable chair near the fireplace and waited.  The pastor made himself at home but said nothing. In the grave silence, he contemplated the dance of the flames around the burning logs. After some minutes, the pastor took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone then he sat back in his chair, still silent.  The host watched all this in quiet contemplation. As the one lone ember’s flame flickered and diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and dead.  Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting. The pastor glanced at his watch and realized it was time to leave. He slowly stood up, picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow, once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it.  As the pastor reached the door to leave, his host said with a tear running down his cheek, “Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I will be back in church…”

And

A woman’s daughter had asked the local minister to come and pray with her mother. When the minister arrived, he found the woman lying in bed with her head propped up on two pillows. An empty chair sat beside her bed. The minister assumed that the woman had been informed of his visit… ‘I guess you were expecting me, he said.

‘No, who are you?’ said the mother.

The minister told her his name and then remarked, ‘I saw the empty chair and I figured you knew I was going to show up…’

‘Oh yeah, the chair,’ said the bedridden woman ‘Would you mind closing the door?’

Puzzled, the minister shut the door.

‘I have never told anyone this, not even my daughter,’ said the woman. ‘But all of my life I have never known how to pray. At church I used to hear the pastor talk about prayer, but it went right over my head…’ I abandoned any attempt at prayer,’ the old woman continued, ‘ until one day four years ago, my best friend said to me, ‘ Prayer is just a simple matter of having a conversation with Jesus. Here is what I suggest; sit down in a chair; place an empty chair in front of you, and in faith see Jesus on the chair. It’s not spooky because he promised, ‘I will be with you always’.  ‘Then just speak to him in the same way you’re doing with me right now.’  So, I tried it and I’ve liked it so much that I do it a couple of hours every day. I’m careful though. If my daughter saw me talking to an empty chair, she’d either have a nervous breakdown or send me off to the funny farm.’ 

The minister was deeply moved by the story and encouraged the old woman to continue on the journey.  Then he prayed with her, anointed her with oil, and returned to the church. Two nights later the daughter called to tell the minister that her mama had died that afternoon. Did she die in peace?’ he asked. Yes, when I left the house about two o’clock, she called me over to her bedside, told me she loved me and kissed me on the cheek. When I got back from the store an hour later, I found her. But there was something strange about her death. Apparently, just before Mom died, she leaned over and rested her head on the chair beside the bed. What do you make of that?’

The minister wiped a tear from his eye and said, ‘I wish we could all go like that.’

Why Worry

Posted in Bible Study, faith, Minutia, Observations, Prayer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2010/06/15 by NY4JB

Matthew 11:25 (ESV)
At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children;

Matthew 18:3 (ESV)
and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

I need to remember this when I start thinking of all of the stuff I have to do. As it says in the Dire Straits song, “so why worry now…”

God is my father, he adopted me when I accepted His Son, Jesus, as my personal Lord and Saviour, so I’ve got nothing to worry about.

Heavenly Father,
Thank you.

That Guy…

Posted in Bible Study, faith, Minutia, Observations, Prayer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2010/06/01 by NY4JB

We often let our surroundings dictate our state of mind but that is not what the Bible tells us to do.

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Genesis 39:20-23 (English Standard Version)
20 And Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined, and he was there in prison. 21 But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 22 And the keeper of the prison put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners who were in the prison. Whatever was done there, he was the one who did it. 23 The keeper of the prison paid no attention to anything that was in Joseph’s charge, because the LORD was with him. And whatever he did, the LORD made it succeed.

Here we see that Joseph, who was wrongfully imprisoned, does not lament this injustice.  Instead he becomes the model prisoner, a trustee of the warden.  This does not change the fact that he is physically in prison but it shows that spiritually he is free despite the injustice of his situation.

Titus 2:9-10 (English Standard Version)
9 Slaves are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, 10 not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.

Once again in the New Testament we are ordered to “be well-pleasing, not argumentative,” but you may say you are not a slave, in which case it should be even easier to maintain a good state of mind.

Lord, we ask to be made aware of your steadfast love in our lives, so that we may be at peace in all situations and that you help each of us reflect your love to those around us that they may see and believe as well, for Jesus sake we pray.
Amen

WAS update

Posted in faith, Minutia, Observations, Radio with tags , , , , , on 2010/03/13 by NY4JB

Update: Total of 44 States worked so far in 2010. I still need AK, AZ, HI, ID, NV and UT for a general WAS but my goal is really to work all States on each band (160, 80, 40 and 20 Meters) so here’s the breakdown of States worked so far by band:
160 Meters 35 States
80 Meters 29 States
40 Meters 25 States
20 Meters 17 States
I hope to make a major dent in this during the upcoming WPX contest and if I get all fifty on 20 meters before summer I might just add 15 meters to my goal and go for the Five-Band WAS

Backyard Games

Posted in Minutia with tags , , , , , on 2009/02/02 by NY4JB

Off the Stoop

My father grew up in the Bronx where kids might play stickball or if they couldn’t find a broom stick to use for a bat they would play off the stoop. The only thing you need to play, other than a city street, is a tennis ball. Here’s how it works, you pick teams and then setup your field. It’s played like baseball only home plate is the stoop (for those who haven’t heard that term, a stoop is the brick steps that lead up to an apartment building.) You would then decide on things to use for the bases, manhole covers, parked cars, the steps on the other side of the street or whatever was available on the street. The ‘batter’ would take the ball and throw it against the point of the stoop and the ball would bounce off and he would run to first base. The rules are just like baseball, he’s out if it’s caught in the air, if he gets tagged or they tag the base before he gets there. Depending on how much room there is on the street there may only be two bases but it’s still played like baseball.

Since we didn’t grow up in the city, we didn’t have a stoop so my father nailed a two-by-four to the garage and showed us how to play in the backyard. He changed the name to off the point and all the kids in the neighborhood would play.   If we were playing two players per side both fielders would stand in our yard.  ‘Hitting’ into the next yard was a ground rule double (we only had room for two bases so that was really like a triple) and if you got it all the way to the yard after that it was a homer.  If we were playing three per side the outfielder would hop the fence and stand in our neighbor’s yard.  Sometimes we would only have three players so we would play round robin style.  After a while we broke down the fence between our yard and the next door neighbor and would play right through, except there was a fence post right in the middle.  We played so much that by the time I was in High School the two-by-four was worn down to being round on top, it may even have been replaced several times.

Backyard Ice Hockey

For several winters we had an ice rink in our backyard. My father got a big sheet of plastic, made a big wooden frame to hold it and then filled it with water from the garden hose. Once it got cold enough the backyard rink would freeze and we put on our skates and would play ice hockey right in our backyard. I was too little to really play but I got to skate around when my older brothers weren’t playing a serious game of backyard ice hockey.

So what games did you play when you were a kid?

Food…that the land may not perish through the famine.

Posted in faith with tags , , , , , , on 2009/01/15 by NY4JB

Genesis 41:36 (ESV)
That food shall be a reserve for the land against the seven years of famine that are to occur in the land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish through the famine.”

Taking a break from Job today to talk about how things die when they are not fed.  It’s almost universal that everyone over 25 knows how hard it is to lose weight.  I believe it is easier to stop drinking or smoking than to lose weight and keep it off.  Why is that?  Because there is no absolute change that can be made, we have to continue to eat, just less, where with smoking or drinking it’s just a matter of stopping and toughing out the withdrawal (with the possible exception of the rare people with an actual medical condition – I’m not a doctor but I know people who drink all the time can die from the DTs if they suddenly stop).  Once you get past the withdrawal you just don’t smoke or drink again and eventually the desire dies (or at least goes into a deep sleep). 

The same applies to our spiritual life; if we are in the habit of reading the Bible everyday, we won’t die if we stop for a few days but we will miss it.  After a while, we will stop missing it as other activities take over.  The same applies to praying and to worshipping with fellow believers.

Matthew 7:17-19 (ESV)
17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

So, if we are not edifying (enriching) other believers and showing our faith by our actions are we bearing good fruit?

Heavenly Father,
You have given us everything we need and all we need to do is accept and enjoy it.  Yet we cling to this world day and night as if what you give us is not far better.  Lord, give us faith to let go of what this world offers and put our trust in your son, Jesus Christ, as our Lord and Saviour and as our constant source of fulfillment and joy.  It is in His great name we pray.
Amen