Caught on Camera – Day 26

Every Tuesday evening for the past three years, my son, Gage, has a guitar lesson. During the winter months, better known as “Tax Season” in our house, it is my job to take Gage to his lessons.

Last March as I was sitting in a room with a few dozen amplifiers, listening to my son “rock out” to some 70’s or 80’s classic rock. I saw a ten dollar bill lying on the floor. Now, I never had any intention of keeping that money for myself. It was not mine, and someone could have come back looking for it. Before picking it up, I looked across the room and stared straight into a security camera. What if someone looking at the monitors saw me pick up that ten dollar bill? What if I HAD wanted to pick it up and keep it? Someone could have seen me! I thought then, that if there were more security cameras, perhaps people would be less likely to commit crimes or harm others. If there were security cameras strategically placed, perhaps even hidden so people didn’t know where they were, they would be too afraid to make the bad decisions and commit the crimes that we all too often read about or hear about on the news.

And then, like a ton of bricks, I was hit with a realization. We DO have a security camera so to speak; eyes that are always watching, ears that are always listening. Our Heavenly Father. He knows all and sees all and hears all. Isn’t being “caught” by the Lord a far bigger deal than being caught on a video camera, or store security monitor or even by a police officer? It certainly should be.

I picked up the $10 bill and gave it to the people behind the counter at the music store. I don’t know if anyone ever came back looking for it or not, and it doesn’t matter. I did what I hope and pray God would have wanted me to do with it, as I pray that I always do in any situation.

In all that you do, do it as though you are doing it for Christ. He is the ultimate “security camera”. “And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” Colossians 3:17.
 
– Crystal Johnson
 

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Find Your Passion! Get Involved! – Day 25

What do you like to do? Do you like to sing, paint, cook, garden, exercise or read? What’s your passion? I’ve heard Pastor Josh preach about our “gifts” and how we should use them. I’ve heard famous people like NBA star Kobe Bryant and musician Jason DeRulo both say how finding one’s passion has been vital to their successes and enjoyment in life.

Me personally, my passion is people. I enjoy having fun and seeing people around me having fun! I love to see people smile. I even told my mother at an early age that I thought the reason I was put on Earth was to make people smile.

So what is your passion? Whatever it is, I encourage you to use your passion in a way to help serve the Lord. Use the gifts that you have been blessed with to make a difference in your world. We have all been given one life here on Earth and God wants us not to watch life pass us by, but to be an active part in making a difference for His Kingdom!

If you like to cook, help make meals for those who can’t. If you like to clean, join Nehemiah’s Mission to help neighbors. Whatever you like to do, there is a place for you to get involved in your church’s community to help make a difference.

Life is short. Get involved! Don’t just wait for opportunities to come to you – go out and seek them. I encourage you to participate in Men’s and Women’s ministry activities, join a Bible study or start one of your own. Let’s all make a difference for God’s kingdom and you’ll be surprised how much fun you have doing it!

In Matthew 5:12-13, we are reminded that “You are the salt of the earth, but if that salt loses its saltiness how can it be made salty again. If it’s no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

Don’t lose your saltiness. Get involved, join a group, go to an event. God has gifted YOU to use your gift for HIM!
 
– Dan Inners

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God’s Cross – Day 24

One Wednesday night at Pulse, I was open for what God wanted to do through me, with no restrictions. I felt God tell me to kneel before a large wooden cross that was in the Pulse room at the time. So I did. God gave me a vision. This vision was of a cross in my back yard. This was a fairly large cross, maybe 7 feet tall. I knew that God wanted me to build this cross. I am fairly talented at wood working, but I normally don’t finish projects that I start. But I had God’s help with this project.

When I started on the project a day or two later, I didn’t know what to make it out of. But I knew that God would provide what I needed. We had old cedar logs lying beside our house. When I saw them, I knew that was what God wanted me to make the cross out of. So I went out to my driveway and plugged up an old radio and tuned it to 90.7, a Christian radio station. I went beside our house and picked the two logs that God told me too. I build the cross with a draw knife, a knife used to remove shaving from wood, a pocket knife, a sawzall and cheap thin rope. I started by removing branches and with the sawzall.

About half way though doing this God told me to stop and worship Him. So right in the middle of my driveway I worshipped Him with hands held high. During this time He told me to make it bigger, so the piece that was the vertical piece became the horizontal piece and a bigger log became the vertical piece. This was now a big cross. I continued to work and about an hour later I was wondering why I was doing this. Then I stood it up, all put together, and I understood. It was not my cross that I made; it was His cross that I got the privilege of making. I took the cross out back with my brother’s help. I dug a hole 6 to 8 inches deep and put the cross in the ground. Now 6 to 8 inches is not enough dirt to hold a 7 foot cross in the ground for the three years that it has (even through a wind storm that tore my neighbor’s patio roof off and threw it across the road.) There is one force that is keeping that cross there and that is the power of Christ Jesus, my Lord and Savior.

I now put a light on the cross from about December 10 through May. If you are driving on route 116 going from Hanover to Spring Grove at night, you might see it lit up. If you would like to talk to me about this please do. Don’t forget to follow God without restrictions because when you do great things happen. 
 
-Murphy Altland

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The Carpenter – Day 23

During my college years, I worked construction jobs through the summer months. While on one particular job site, I became very frustrated with a project I was working on, left out a few angry words then flung my hammer across the room.

A fellow carpenter heard the racket, knowing what had taken place. He came into the room and calmly suggested that I use my energy more wisely by walking away from the frustration and moving on to another project for a short time. He explained that I could then come back to the project with a calm spirit and new insight.

His words became a turning point for me as his advice worked that day and every day since. It marked the beginning of my personal journey toward patience and self-control. The practice of stepping back from a frustrating situation soon became second nature. In Galatians, Paul talks about the fruits of the Spirit. As we put these virtues into practice, our daily walk becomes easier and is pleasing to God.

Galatians 5:22-25 – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

Prayer: Father God, thank you for your wisdom. I commit to living by your Spirit and will endeavor daily to reflect your virtues.
 
– Barry Myers

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Scripture Reading – Day 22

Matthew 21:1-11 (NIV)

Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me.  If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

“Say to Daughter Zion,
    ‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
    and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on.  A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”


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Big Bucks Barb – Day 21

Psalm 26:7 – That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving and tell of all your wondrous works.

I have a friend and her name is Barb. Barb is a streetwise , no holds barred, tell you like it is kind of woman. She was in and out of trouble  with the law for years. She struggled with addiction for a long time. Barb has since become a new creation!                            

She works so hard to provide for her family and takes lots of overtime to pay all her bills. Her husband died many years ago, so she is on her own. Barb volunteered to go in a recovery program to get her life straight. She called upon the Lord to get her through. His promise stands tall! She is now gotten a promotion after working in the same manufacturing plant for almost 3 years . Her new job is one of the highest paying jobs in the plant. That’s why I call her Big Bucks Barb.

She has told me on many occasions how thankful of all the wonderful  things that the Lord has done for her. Praise God! Barb has spoken twice to the judges and lawyers of York City of how well the recovery program is. It just does my soul good to see His wondrous works!    
 
– Laurie Kuhn         

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