St. John Baptist Church
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When You Need a Little Light
8/27/2020 7:57:31 AM
There are those times when you just feel so frustrated by things that you aren't sure what to do.  I know you've been there and there may be someone reading this who is there right now.  Sometimes you just need a little light in your life.  It seems that things are dark and difficult for you.  There's a couple of verses that I want to share with you.  They help me and maybe they will you too.  Psalm 43:3-4 says, O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.  Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.  The psalmist longed for God to send out His light and truth and lead him.  But notice to where.  To the Lord.  That is where we need to get when life is discouraging and difficult.  Get to Him.  When you can't find an answer, get to Him.  When you need help, get to Him.  When you are frustrated, get to Him.  When you need a little light, get to Him.  When you need grace, get to Him.  When you get to Him, you can get the help you need and are able once again to find joy and peace in your heart.  If you need a little light today, get to Him.
Isaiah 59:19
8/24/2020 11:49:13 AM
"So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun.  When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him."
Seeking Rest in the Lord
8/20/2020 7:55:35 AM
There is a weariness that creeps into our lives from the stress that daily life puts on us.  For you it may be from the rat race of work and the pressures that come with it.  For another it may be the stress that comes from sitting down with the stack of bills at the end of the day and trying figure out how to make the money match the payments.  For others it may be the stress of sickness that comes from a body that refuses to function as you once did and now you feel the frustration of trying to deal with it.  There is the stress of a home life that has gotten messed up by things out of your control.  Stress comes in so many patterns and so many places these days.  But the place of help is still the same in every situation.  Jesus said to a weary crowd in Matthew 11:28-Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  He gives rest from the problem of sin, from the pressures of life's situations and from the people that stress us.  Are you seeking rest today?  The place of rest hasn't changed.  It is still in the Lord.
We Keep Pressing On
8/17/2020 7:36:44 AM
I often think of three words that the apostle Paul said twice in 2 Corinthians chapter 4-we faint not.  In other words, we don't quit or we don't fall by the wayside, we keep pressing on.  He said in that same chapter in vs 8-9-We are troubled on every side; yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.  To me those are some of the most astounding verses found in Paul's writings.  I think of all he had faced but yet he keeps pressing on.  I don't know about you, but I want that kind of help in my life.  So I think, where did he get it?  He gave the answer in ch 3:5-Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.  He says that it is not that we have enough within ourselves to face all life brings but that He is enough, He is ample and He is all sufficient for all that life may bring our way.  He is more that sufficient enough to help us in all of our troubles, trials and difficulties of life.  No matter what may come my way...He is more than enough!  That is why Paul could say, we faint not.  That is the only way we can face all that we face without fainting and keep pressing on.  No matter what you are facing today, you can face it, because He is more than enough.
Praying for One Another
8/14/2020 7:41:15 AM
Paul wrote to the church at Philippi in Philippians 1:3-4-I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy.  The idea Paul is talking about seems to be that every time I think about you I thank God for you and say a prayer for you that the Lord would bless and help you.  You know, that's how it ought to be for each of us.  Our lives should be so entwined with each other that we would never go from one Sunday until the next without giving each other a thought.  But constantly and continuously we ought to be thinking about one another and as someone comes to our minds, to give thanks to God for them and ask for God's blessings and help for them in their lives.  I've often said it and I'll say it again right now...if you can go from Sunday to Sunday and never give a thought about your church family or their needs, then you have a major spiritual problem in your life.  I thank the Lord today for my church family and I carry them in my heart and whenever the Lord brings someone in particular to my mind throughout the day, I want to be able to breathe a word of prayer for them, because you never know what they may be needing at that very moment God has placed them on my heart.  Let's be a people who are constantly praying for one another.
There is Strength in the Lord
8/10/2020 8:11:46 AM
I have been pastoring for well over 36 years now and I'm not sure that I have ever seen a time in my ministry when so many of God's people seem to be dealing with so much in their lives.  There have always been burdens.  There have always been trials.  Sickness has always come and life has always presented its challenges.  But it's almost like the thermostat has been turned up several degrees higher these days and it isn't just a scattering of people dealing with things but it's everyone it seems.  Yet, the one constant in it all is that the strength found in the Lord is undiminished.  We read in the news of shortages of funds for certain things, but I'm so thankful there is never a shortage of strength that the Lord has for His children.  Psalm 81:5 says, Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.  Happy is the person who has realized that their strength rests in the Lord alone.  Oh, happy day when we realize that we can't face life in our own ability.  When we figure out it isn't by our own means that we'll survive all this world puts on us and realize our strength lies in the Lord.  He is the One who will get us through all that life puts on us.  If you haven't realized it today, there is strength in the Lord for you.
To Those Who Trust His Name
8/6/2020 10:20:25 AM
David said in Psalm 9:10-And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.  I'm sure you that have studied the Scriptures always notice when the word "LORD" pops up and it's in all capital letters that it means Jehovah.  The word Jehovah speaks of Him being the I AM; the One who is self-existent, that is all loving and caring for His own.  He is the One who sent Moses to deliver the children of Israel from bondage and led them to the land of Canaan.  And now David says that those who know His name put their trust in Him.  The idea of knowing Him isn't just a head knowledge of who He is, but a heart relationship with Him.  It speaks of someone who knows Him as their personal Savior and Lord.  It also causes us to remember the great power associated with that name Jehovah.  He wrought miracles in Egypt, parted the Red Sea, fed the children of Israel with manna and quail, gave them water from a rock and many more wondrous things.  He is worthy of our trust.  But the psalmist says He is faithful to those who seek Him and He truly is.  He will never forsake those who put their trust in His name.  I am so thankful for that wondrous assurance that we have in Him today.
Who Will Stay or Who Will Go
8/4/2020 7:41:27 AM
In John 6, after some difficult teaching from Jesus, the Bible tells us in verse 66-From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.  There were those who loved the miracles of the loaves and fishes and wanted more, but when it came to the area of commitment to Christ and staying with Christ, they instead went away.  I'm afraid we still have that crowd today.  There are those who love the services when they are sweet.  When the preacher doesn't get to preach and the emotions run high.  But when it comes to the ordinary and it is service as usual and the preacher is just "preaching", then it isn't very thrilling to them.  Jesus looked on the twelve at that time and asked them if they too would go away.  Peter, who often missed the mark, hit the nail on the head that day when he said, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.  There is nowhere else to go to find what we find in Jesus Christ.  I want to be one of the kind who stays true to Him no matter what we have, whether it is the spiritual high or low.  Right now everything seems out of sync and quite strained.  It's not what we're used to, but I'd rather have what we have right now, than not have anything at all.  To whom shall we go?  The world has nothing better to offer God's children.  Even as different as worship is right now, I'd rather have Jesus as it is for now, than not have Him at all.  So, I'm just going to stick with Him until things return to normal or until He comes to take us home.  Are you with me?  Will you stay?
The Forward Look of Hope
7/27/2020 8:39:13 AM
It's so easy to get cast down with what we're dealing with right now in our lives.  I know, because I'm bad to do it myself.  I get focused on what is going on and forget the things God has promised.  We are human and we do forget.  The danger is that if we focus on what we're going through right now that we can lose hope.  I have often read Psalm 42 where the psalmist seemed so low and was longing, thirsting for the Lord in his soul.  He says in vs 3-My tears have been my meat day and night.  He remembers how things once were, but they're not that way now, vs 4.  He talks to himself and asks himself in vs 5-Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me?  He is discouraged, yes.  But then he says something amazing--hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.  He is saying, "You know, right now I may not be able to rejoice, but I will again.  I will praise Him for His help for I have a hope in Him."  You see, hope is a forward looking word.  It doesn't look backward, but forward.  The psalmist says that He will yet praise the Lord again.  He also says in vs 8-Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.  That was his confidence of hope.  The Lord will do this for me, so I will continue to make my prayer unto Him.  You may feel yourself at a low point in life today, but don't lose hope.  There will come a time, when He will touch your heart again, when He will lift you out of the fog, when He will stir your heart with song and He will let you rejoice in Him again.  Don't lose hope...keep looking forward in Him.
Giants Are No Match For Our God
7/23/2020 9:05:25 AM
I guess we have all heard the story of David and Goliath since we were knee high to nothing.  The story has fascinated children through the years, but it isn't just a children's story.  It is a truth to encourage saints of all ages to be reminded that our God can handle the giants of our lives.  We all have our "Goliaths" that we deal with.  Mine may not be the same as yours and yours are not the same as mine, but we all have our giants that walk up our valley threatening our peace and seeking to control our lives.  The hero in the story was David who was willing to face this giant and defeat him by the power of God.  Our hero is found in David's greater Son named Jesus who is able to defeat the giants in our lives.  No matter how loud they talk and no matter how big they stand, they are no match for our hero.  It isn't in our power that we can handle the giants that we face.  Far too often I have tried to handle them on my own, and suffered humiliating defeat.  But when I put the giant in Jesus' hands, victory is found in Him.  I have no idea today what giant may be walking up your valley, but I know that your giant is no match for our God and that He is able to give victory in your heart today.  Why not give your giant to Him?  Right now. No matter where you are. Bow your head and place that giant in His great hand and trust Him for the victory you need over that giant.
Is There Anything Too Hard for God?
7/20/2020 8:01:49 AM
Each of us have things today that we struggle with and are facing in our lives.  Some may seem as minor blips on the radar, while others seem so overwhelming and weigh our hearts down so heavily.  What may seem so minor to one individual though, can at the same time, be so big to us.  Our scales often weigh so differently, don't they?  But I've come to realize that on God's scale they all weigh the same.  It matters not how large it may be, there is nothing too hard for Him.  The prophet Jeremiah lived in days of such difficulty and uncertainty for the land of Judah.  He found himself imprisoned by king Zedekiah, but even then God gave him words of hope for days yet to come.  And Jeremiah prayed and in part of his prayer he said in Jeremiah 32:17-Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee.  When everything seemed all out of sorts for him, Jeremiah reflects on the thought of who God is, the Creator of all things, and declares that nothing is too hard for Him.  No matter your burden; no matter your situation; no matter your worry; no matter your trial; no matter your diffculty; no matter your need--there is nothing too hard for Him.  Put your need in His hands, the hands that created and controls all things, and trust Him to meet your need.
Till the Storm Passes By
7/16/2020 11:17:14 AM
I'm not sure why the Lord has put this on my heart for the blog today or who it's for but back in 1958 Mosie Lister wrote a song entitled "Till the Storm Passes By".  It's a song that has always blessed my heart tremendously.  Here are the words for somebody today who may really be needing it.  

"In the dark of the midnight have I oft hid my face
While the storm howls above me, and there's no hiding place
'Mid the crash of the thunder, Precious Lord, hear my cry
Keep me safe till the storm passes by
Till the storm passes over, till the thunder sounds no more
Till the clouds roll forever from the sky
Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of Thy hand
Keep me safe till the storm passes by
Many times Satan whispered, "There is no need to try
For there's no end of sorrow, there's no hope by and by"
But I know Thou art with me, and tomorrow I'll rise
Where the storms never darken the skies
Till the storm passes over, till the thunder sounds no more
Till the clouds roll forever from the sky
Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of Thy hand
Keep me safe till the storm passes by
When the long night has ended and the storms come no more
Let me stand in Thy presence on the bright peaceful shore
In that land where the tempest, never comes, Lord, may I
Dwell with Thee when the storm passes by
Till the storm passes over, till the thunder sounds no more
Till the clouds roll forever from the sky
Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of Thy hand
Keep me safe till the storm passes by."
Finding Your Way
7/14/2020 8:30:43 AM
We have many options today in helping you find your way to where you're wanting to go today.  There are still those old road maps, Google Maps, GPS systems and more.  We as Christians are often trying to find our way in this life.  Sometimes it's just a matter of making a decision involving family or a personal matter.  Sometimes it is a life changing decision that can determine the direction of our lives.  The verses that always come to my mind at such a time are found in Proverbs 3:5-6 where Solomon says, Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.  Far too often I want to trust my "gut" feelings or the advice of someone else and sometimes those are helpful.  But the most helpful thing is to put all your trust in the Lord, for He truly knows the right way and the best way for us to go.  We can't lean on our own understanding because we can't always see the "big picture" but He does.  So, I must always lean on His wisdom and His understanding and trust in His guidance and He will lead me in the right way through my life decisions.  Maybe you're needing to find the right way in some matter today.  Let Him show you the way.
The Great Comforter
7/9/2020 8:30:26 AM
Paul wrote to the Corinthians these words in 2 Corinthians 1:3-Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.  There are so many today who want to view God as some angry despot that sits on His throne just waiting to strike down in vengeance all who He desires.  But our Bible speaks of a God, who is holy by all means, but who is the "God of all comfort."  Although He is righteous and holy and cannot or will not tolerate sin, He is a God who comforts us in all our troubles.  He is a God who cares! I am so thankful that He is. He comes to us in our troubles and difficulties of life and gives strength in our times of need.  So, no matter where you are today.  No matter the kind of trials you may be facing, the God of all comfort can comfort you in what you are going through.
There is Strength in the Lord
7/6/2020 8:00:18 AM
I remember reading a little story about a dad who asked his son to move a rock out of the way.  The son tried his best to lift it, but it was just too heavy.  The dad asked him, "Son, are you sure you're using all your strength?" The son replied, "Yes, dad, I am."  And, again the boy tried with all his might to lift the rock to move it out of the way, but couldn't.  Once again the dad said to him, "Son, I don't think you're using all your strength.  Are you sure you are?" The boy frustrated and exhausted from trying said, "Dad, I have been using all my strength.  What else could I do?"  The dad said, "You weren't using all your strength because you never asked me to help you.  If you would have asked I would have helped you move that rock."  You know, we are the same way.  We'll do our best in our own strength to carry our burdens, but never ask the Lord to help us with them. If we only ask Him, He will come to our aid and help us carry those heavy loads that we aren't able to carry ourselves.  I thank God today that there is strength in the Lord.  What are you trying to carry all by yourself today?  Let Him help you carry it.
The Lord is Never Too Busy
7/3/2020 8:35:31 AM
I was working on the website this morning, trying to get some things updated before moving on to some other things I needed to do.  I started to skip putting something in the blog section thinking that I really didn't have time then I realized I hadn't put anything here in a while.  You know? Isn't it amazing how we let ourselves get so busy with so many things?  Things that pull us here and then things that stretch us there.  But I am so thankful today that the Lord is never too busy for us.  He always has time for whatever I have going on in my life.  He has all of the universe to control.  He feeds all of the wild animals on the face of the earth.  He provides for all that you and I need.  He keeps the stars in their places and the sun shining in its brightness.  It isn't too hot and it isn't too cold.  He is watching over every single one of His sheep, but He always has time for me.  He never is too busy when I call on His name or ask Him for help or cry out in fear or seek Him in a time of need.  I'm so thankful today that the Lord is never too busy for us.  So whatever you are needing from the Lord today.  Go ahead.  Reach out to Him.  You'll find that, no matter what He is doing, He has time for you.
Someone is Praying for You Today
6/29/2020 7:53:31 AM
The book of Hebrews, for one thing, contrasts the ministry of the Old Testament priesthood to the priesthood of Jesus Christ.  In one particular portion Paul writes about Jesus having an unchangeable priesthood and goes on to say in Hebrews 7:25-seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.  There are things that happen to us through the course of life that would cause us to believe that no one cares and bring us to the dark place of despair.  But Paul writes to remind us that there is One who does care and that He ever lives to call our name out in prayer to the Father.  Right now in your present situation, there is one praying for you as no one else can.  Others can pray for you without ever knowing exactly how you feel or how desperately you hurt, but He does.  He knows where the very need of your life lies and is able to present that need before the Father as no one else can.  I am thankful for everyone and anyone who prays for me, but I'd rather have the Great High Priest Jesus Christ who sits at the right hand of God calling my name out to the Father on my behalf.  So take courage today weary saint.  Someone is praying for you today!
A Listening Friend
6/26/2020 8:20:45 AM
You know, I think we've all had those friends who are handy with advice.  They are always ready to share their "two cents" worth of help with us.  Don't get me wrong.  I appreciate good friends who are willing to come and help in a time of need, but there are some who are more like Job's friends that their advice is more of a critique of what you're doing wrong than trying to find out how they can help.  There's a verse you don't often hear from the book of Job that is a response of his to them found in Job 13:5 when Job says, O that ye would altogether hold your peace! and it should be your wisdom. Job was saying, "If only you would just be quiet and listen for a little while." You know, sometimes all you really want and need is a listening friend.  Not someone to try and "fix" you or "straighten you out", but just to be there and listen to you as you hurt and to encourage you by letting you know that they are there for you.  It is in my heart today to be that kind of friend.  I've been the kind who wants to have all the answers and to try to have the right words to say to meet the situation.  But sometimes it means everything just to be the kind of friend who is there to listen.  I want to be a listening friend.  How about you?
The Shoulders of Jesus
6/25/2020 9:37:02 AM
A verse we hardly ever think of or read until Christmas is found in Isaiah 9:6-For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.  Of course, we know that Isaiah's prophecy is of none other than our Lord Jesus Christ.  He is more than a child born, He is the Son given as Savior for our sins.  But the phrase on my mind is the part that says, and the government shall be upon his shoulder.  There is a time that He will reign as king of all the earth and rule this earth as it ought to be ruled.  But I think about the shoulders that are the only one's that could carry such a load as that.  His shoulder can handle that massive task and if His shoulder can handle the massive task of the government of this world, don't you think His shoulder can handle anything you and I will ever face in life?  He carried the cross on His shoulder and bore it to Calvary.  He will one day bear the government of this world on His shoulder.  Yet, right now He as our Shepherd will carry His sheep on His shoulders.  If you think you can't make it today, the Lord your Shepherd, will carry you.  His shoulders are strong enough to handle it all.
Trying to See Through the Fog
6/22/2020 8:51:15 AM
I'm sure we've all had the experience of driving down the highway in the fog.  It's hard sometimes to just find the road and to make sure we stay out of the ditch.  You grip the steering wheel more tightly and strain to focus so that in an instant you can hit the brakes or swerve to miss something in the way.  All the while you're praying that the Lord help you just get through the fog and make it to your destination.  It can be unnerving to drive that way.  What a blessing it is when suddenly the fog lifts and everything clears up.  Sometimes it feels that our lives spiritually are a lot like that.  There are times we feel as though we're driving in the fog, trying to find the way and just hoping to stay on the road.  We keep looking for the place where the fog will lift and we can see clearly once again.  Maybe you're still waiting for the fog to lift.  I say to you today, don't give up, just keep pressing forward and asking for the Lord to get you through the fog.  There will come the place for you when the fog will lift and you'll be able to see things more clearly again.  Will it come soon?  I can't say how long it will take, but just keep leaning on the Lord and trusting in His guidance and help.  He will get you through the fog and somewhere it will lift for you.
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