The Wisdom of the 100 Aker Wood (Proverbs 27:17)

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain. 

Proverbs 27:17

Recently my lovely wife and I took our grandsons to see the Disney movie Christopher Robin at our local theatre. It brought back wonderful memories of the original Disney Winne the Pooh and how the movie and the books helped me through difficult times as a child. C. S. Lewis said, “When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” Continue reading

What is Christian Love? (1 John 3:16-18)

Jesus Loves

1 John 3:16-18

“From whence comes love?” asked the nineteenth century Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard. If love comes from inside a person, can we find it? Can we go deeper and deeper into his interior and find it somewhere there? Kierkegaard would answer, “no,” because the beginning of human love is God’s love. It is like looking at a stream. Though you may see the stream, you cannot see its source. Though the stream may flow or dry up, the source may remain full. So, it is with God’s love. We cannot fully behold its source, but we can see its outflow. Continue reading

CHOP, CHOP! (Galatians 6:2)

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain. 

Galatians 6:2

“Chop Chop!, Chop Chop!,” the crowd of 500-600 people yelled as we all did The Wave in support of contestant Doug. It was the 67th Annual Woodsmen Show at Cherry Springs, PA near the end of 4 hours of competition. Professional Woodsmen from all over the country and continent had chopped, sawed, used cross cut saws, thrown axes, and used chain saws made from motorcycle and snowmobile engines, up to the final event, Tree Felling. Three men would each compete on their own tree in a timed event to see who could chop it down with an axe the fastest. Continue reading

Lily Pads and Love (1 John 3:11-15)

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1 John 3:11-15

There once was a frog named Fred. More than anything else in the world, Fred enjoyed leaping on lily pads. Fred would take trips, trying to find the very best lily pads. One day, he came to what seemed to be the best pond he had ever seen. It was full of lily pads. What Fred did not know was that the pond was enchanted. Continue reading

Little Decisions = Force Multipliers (Ephesians 6:12)

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain.

Ephesians 6:12

 

One of my previous experiences in life was in the U.S Army as an illustrator for the 4th Psychological Operations Group, 8th Psyops Battalion located at Fort Bragg, N.C., part of the newly formed (at that time) 1st Special Operations Command. Our area of operation was the Middle East. This was in the mid 1980’s, which was a very different world than it is today.
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Parental Love from the Pit (1 John 3:1-3)

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1 John 3:1-3

In the 2002 film, John Q, a son with an enlarged heart is denied a heart transplant, because John’s health insurance will not cover the procedure. John, the father, decides to take matters into his own hands and holds the hospital hostage at gun point. When no viable donor heart can be found, John puts the gun up to the temple of his own head and says to the surgeon: “Somebody’s gotta die in order for him to live. I’m his father; it’s me!” Continue reading

Mirror, Mirror (Genesis 1:27)

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain. 

Genesis 1:27

What is a mirror? Almost all of us get up in the morning and look into one. We look into the mirror and we recognize ourselves. This is unique in all of creation. A dog or cat, for example, sees a stranger or an intruder when they gaze into a mirror. Continue reading

The Fall and Redemption of Our Work (Matthew 11:29)

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Matthew 11:29

Last week I concluded that our work has dignity and goodness. If this is so, why do so many people experience work as dismal, distressing, and drudgerous? Continue reading

The Dignity and Goodness of Our Work (Genesis 1:26-28)

work is sacred

Genesis 1:26-28

Where do you think the Bible first mentions work? Over the next two weeks we are going to look at the theme of faith and work. What is the relationship of our faith to our work? Continue reading

Stop Showing Favoritism (James 2:1-13)

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James 2:1-13

It has been said, “birds of a feather flock together.” Our natural inclination is to gravitate toward those who seem and look the most like us. Not only this, but we tend to align ourselves with people whom we view as having something to offer us, whether it be a rich relationship, wealth, popularity, or something else. This is one of the reasons that people hound celebrities. It is also the reason that “favoritism” insidiously infects our lives and society. Continue reading